My longer form, sit down with a cup of joe and get into it weekend reads:

• Deep Inside – A Study of 10,000 Porn Stars (Jon Millward)
• Can the Republicans Be Saved From Obsolescence? (NYT Mag)
• Beat By Dre: The Exclusive Inside Story of How Monster Lost the World (gizmodo)
• The Extraordinary Science of Addictive Junk Food (NYT)
• Bitter Pill: Why Medical Bills Are Killing Us (Time)
• The Futures of Farming (Le Monde diplomatique)
• The Evolution of Irregular War (Foreign Affairs)
• Is Louis C.K. Our Gogol? (Page Turner)
• When Brain Damage Unlocks The Genius Within (POPSCI)
• Does Jordan Need to Be No. 1? (WSJ)

What’s for brunch, kids?


The Disastrous Outsourcing of the 787

Source: Turtles Can Fly

Category: Markets

Please use the comments to demonstrate your own ignorance, unfamiliarity with empirical data and lack of respect for scientific knowledge. Be sure to create straw men and argue against things I have neither said nor implied. If you could repeat previously discredited memes or steer the conversation into irrelevant, off topic discussions, it would be appreciated. Lastly, kindly forgo all civility in your discourse . . . you are, after all, anonymous.

30 Responses to “10 Weekend Reads”

  1. chartist says:

    As someone who has, ahem, observed some porn over the last four decades, it seems the actors have gotten much better looking, most likely due to the improved wages. However, any semblance of plot development seems to have been altogether abandoned.

  2. • Bitter Pill: Why Medical Bills Are Killing Us (Time)

    “Catastrophic Care: How American Health Care Killed My Father – and How We Can Fix It”

    David Goldhill

    About the Program

    In 2007 David Goldhill’s father died from an infection incurred at a hospital due to medical mistreatment. Mr. Goldhill, president and CEO of the Game Show Network, contends that his father’s death was avoidable and questions how the nations’ health care system allows over 200,000 similar deaths due to error. The author presents his thoughts on the expansion of health care coverage and why patients need to be more like customers who are active participants in the cost of their care. David Goldhill speaks at the Harvard Club in New York City.

    re..Boeing Chart..

    They *probably use more Fuel, shipping all those Parts, from disparate Places, than the 787 was to, purportedly, “Save” (in increased Fuel Economy)..

  3. PeterR says:

    More depressing than the 787 outsourcing is another Washington SNAFU — leaking underground tanks of radioactive waste.

    Is there something in the drinking water in that state?

    Have a good weekend.

  4. farmera1 says:

    Boeing. No doubt parts were supplied by the lowest bidder. It will be a while before I want to ride on one of those things. Doesn’t that graphic remind you of the old cartoon about a horse designed by committee???? Only this time it is a flying machine supplied by an international committee.

    Might be time to unload Boening.

  5. Mike in Nola says:

    Got an email from the neighborhood council urging a vote for our Mayor’s pitch for a Bloomberg Philanthropies grant. While a few of the ideas are good, some exhibited all the worse characteristics of bureaucratic BS.

    Being prejudiced, I liked Houston’s. It’s simply to change the current recycling program where you have to separate your trash into two bins into one where everything goes into one bin and they separate it using newer tech. Since my kids still don’t seem to understand what is and what isn’t recyclable, looks good to me.

    As I said, some others sounded pretty good, like Springfield, Oregon’s, but don’t know how long term sustainable it is with the current healthcare bureaucracy. Reducing ER and 911 calls by spending a little up front doesn’t allow the big fish to get their cut.

    OTOH, Chicago’s sounds like the purest boondoggle: “Chicago will build the first open-source predictive analytics platform that will help leaders make smarter, faster decisions in real-time to help address and prevent problems before they develop. ”
    WTF? Rahm must owe some computer company owners favors. At least it won’t go to a bank – we hope.

    All of them are here:

  6. zell says:

    Chicken and egg. Which came first- customers or producers? Japan earned a piece of the plane.

  7. Mike in Nola says:

    Cute teaser from Asus for it’s padfone that will apparently be announced at the Mobile World Congress starting this weekend in Barcelona.

    It may be powered by an Intel chip and maybe android. If MSFT had been so rigid about what it let it’s hardware partners build, it could have been a Windows Phone tablet, which was nixed early on and could have kicked butt. Contrary to conventional wisdom, Intel is making some pretty good low power chips. For example, there are a number of Windows tablets that get 8 hours of battery life and run full Windows 8, e.g. You won’t run AutoCAD on them, but you can use all your regular software. I think this fall there is a new chipset coming out the will be even enough to convince a cheapskate like me to buy one.

    I think the MWC has replaced CES for where the excitement is, since mobile is where it’s at now. Also, it looks like the shadow of Apple has more or less been dispersed. A year ago, any story about CES or the MWC seemed to have some postscript which said more or less: “What’s Apple going to show later this Spring?” It seems that spell has been broken. Apple still makes good products, but they are no longer considered magical. Maybe their supply of unicorn tears been used up.

  8. Old Rob says:

    Nothing wrong with outsourcing other than the American tax base. Specification and final section integration has to be done well, but it can be done. The article references is possibly news with an agenda, but factual information is hard to track. As I stated, the only real loss is to the taxpayer base. Less Americans assembling and performing the manufacturer of this plane, the less the Feds will have to spend.

  9. PrahaPartizan says:

    PeterR, I can’t tell you about the quality of the drinking water in Washington state, but Hanford does lie near the Columbia River and a major US food producer did source food for its preserves and jellies from the area. When I was speaking several years ago with a human resources director from this firm who was relocating to the area for the firm, I jokingly asked her about the issues associated with Hanford. The Department of Energy seems to have done a very good job of keeping the cap on news leaking out about the site.

  10. ilsm says:

    Has doing work in the military industry complex shifted the shoddiness over to civil aviation?

    More Depressing than the B787 is the F-35. The conventional take off model flown by the USAF is now grounded. The federal deficit is rising!!

    So far the plan is to spend $400B to buy some unknown number of F-35 “Lightning II” aeroplanes that don’t pass tests (B787 tests) and have a weight problem, with a Pratt and Whitney engine whose “blades” may come apart blasting apart the aeroplane’s single engine turning it into a lawn dart.

    The single engine F-16 had a similar issue with P&W engines and years after the ‘down slect’ the USAF brought in the GE competitor.

    As usual no one in congress remembered how many F-16′s became ‘smoking holes’ because the military industry congress complex were bad stewards of the taxpayers’ dough and went with the low reliability P&W engine.

    F-35 has spent too much to cancel, and there is a trillion or more to be profited from ($50B a year support, and untold retrofits) trying to make it work.

  11. PrahaPartizan says:

    Isn’t that diagram of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner outsourcing obsolete. The center fuselage had been outsourced to an Italian firm, but Boeing had to take it over because of problems with the supplier. More importantly, that center fuselage issue affected the wing box structure which transfers the loads between the wings and the fuselage. I seem to recall that was the problem which derailed the program schedule for about two years as a complete redesign was performed.

  12. ancientone says:

    re the 787 chart……what country did the Lithium batteries come from?


    BR: Google that fucker you lazy git!

    Here’s to the Lazy Ones . . .

  13. James Cameron says:

    > More depressing than the 787 outsourcing is another Washington SNAFU — leaking underground tanks of radioactive waste.

    Another Washington snafu? I assume you mean at the federal level re:DOE and FAA since the state certainly doesn’t operate Hanford or build the planes. Incidentally, for what it’s worth I believe Boeing will get on top of its production and outsourcing problems, with a lot of valuable lessons learned.

    > So far the plan is to spend $400B to buy some unknown number of F-35 “Lightning II” aeroplanes that don’t pass tests (B787 tests) and have a weight problem, with a Pratt and Whitney engine whose “blades” may come apart blasting apart the aeroplane’s single engine turning it into a lawn dart.

    I think the one thing that is certain is that plane production will go down, way down, from the initial numbers. Indeed, that’s the one thing that is always certain about bomber/fighter programs these days.

  14. danm says:

    The Disastrous Outsourcing of the 787
    As if optimizing each part will optimize the whole…

  15. James Cameron says:

    A piece on Google’s premium Chrome Pixel laptop was posted the other day. Here’s Google Glass:

    “What was a total oddity a year ago, and little more than an experiment just 18 months ago is now starting to look like a real product. One that could be in the hands (or on the heads, rather) of consumers by the end of this year.”

    I used Google Glass: the future, with monthly updates

    You can imagine the traffic at their retail stores as this comes into its own . . .

  16. VIX For The People says:

    I think I would have split it another way:
    -Germany – overall design/engineering
    -Sweden – safety
    -Italy – interior design
    -US – power
    -Korea – electronics/entertainment system
    -Japan – assembly/production
    -French – wine selection
    -Brazil/Malaysia – flight attendants

  17. louiswi says:

    One might think these parts are made in these countries because of expertise or cost effectiveness. Neither is the case. These parts are made all over the world as it helps ensure these same countries will buy this airplane from the producer. Afterall, “we helped build it, jobs were created for us, therefore we need to buy it to assure this all happens”.
    In a similar vein, parts for all our defense contractors/pentagon nonsensical endeavors are made all over the U.S. so each congressman can have an oar in the same water as well. “jobs for my district-etc etc.”
    All of this spells bad news for the U.S. citizenry.
    The trillion dollar failed F-35 program is a good case in point. The failed F-22 program as well.

  18. VennData says:

    Lengthy Impasse Looms On Cuts

    Oh the GOP’s gonna show Obama, eh? Yeah… The reason Obama’s poll numbers are up and the GOP’s are at historic lows is that voters don’t care about teaching Obama a lesson.

    For the Republicans it’s more important to protect the billionaire’s home owner’s interest deduction than help the economy.

  19. ilsm says:

    @ The Evolution of Irregular War (Foreign Affairs)

    The F-35 has no role here. But it will be used!

    Low intensity conflict: perpetual war to bankrupt the US.

    For the US to have implemented “population-centric counterinsurgency” in Vietnam it would have been allied with Ho the nationalist.

    British Commonwealth experience in Malaya is anomaly. The insurgents were an outcast minority. The empire could gain the hearts and minds of the insurgents’ enemies by taking the guerillas out. Insurgencies: communications and popular opinion, “Both factors have sapped the will of states to engage in protracted counterinsurgencies,…….”

    The point: it is not popular opinion in the first world power, but the popular opinion behind the insurgents. “Oil spot” (strategic hamlets, and SF outposts) lost because the local populous resented the oil spot.

    There is no money in building forces to engage the insurgent, there is money in using WW II tactics that do not work but keep the profits flowing.

    If the only measure is body count, and the main political support from weapons makers then you are not doing counterinsurgency you are doing quagmire.

    The report missed the Irish experience culminating in the 1921 agreement to establish the republic.

    Note to self: You know better than to expect anything credible from Max Boot

  20. DSS10 says:

    RE: James Cameron:

    Having worked on stuff like this 20 years ago, I think google glass might get the traction needed to be commercially viable. If you thought people sticking their nose’s in phones was annoying you will be in for a rough time, but what it will really impact is the way people drive…..

  21. danm says:

    louiswi Says:
    February 23rd, 2013 at 11:40 am
    One might think these parts are made in these countries because of expertise or cost effectiveness. Neither is the case. These parts are made all over the world as it helps ensure these same countries will buy this airplane from the producer.
    Probably more like a mish-mash of reasons.

  22. PK says:

    I paged through that porn study last week. Two things:

    1) With the fascination with blondes in porn, I was shocked to see the plurality of porn actresses had brown hair.
    2) Jon Millward is a pioneer. Here’s a guy who looks at porn at work, legitimately. (Although, I suppose, in this case he did it for pleasure. Or some other, better word for “did it for his site”.)

  23. S Brennan says:

    There is other hidden costs to outsourcing, it’s not only that the expertise been “proliferated”.

    Often in the process of building something you learn “industrial practices” [on your customers dime], which you then either keep hidden* from your customer to make them dependent on you, or you patent the process in the US to force your customer to pay royalties to you. Often you want to do a little of both, that way should your customer take the business back, or to another vender…they are screwed. And rumors are rife on this point.

    The other thing that went unmentioned, an awful lot of money that is made on airplane at the back end. Major structures get damaged [often during maintenance], parts wear out…and with the 787, a significant portion of that will no longer be part of Boeing’s revenue stream.

    All these economies and much more was laid out in great detail to management by an engineer with business acumen before Boeing’s management ignored him and followed the dictates of the conventional wisdom** of the time. I would suspect, having been proven correct, he’s probably out there looking for work…one of those engineers that have a serious skills “mismatch” that the New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman keeps talking about

    *that is if you are not the US management. The vast majority of US management do not understand the value of what we have been giving China over the past two decades. There is a HUGE chasm between theory and practice when you get down to the nitty gritty. All of the USA’s great industrialist knew this, Vanderbilt, Carnegie, Ford et al. They might have been jerks too, but they each knew their respective businesses from the shop floor to boardroom.

    **Honestly, having The Economist comment on this story is too funny…they did so much to promulgate this nonsense, when it comes to Manufacturing they should just STFU. Reading the the Economist staff’s writers view on this subject matter conjures images of Monty Python skits on useless bureaucrats, or upper class gits.

  24. Mike in Nola says:

    BR: I was sorely disappointed when I clicked on that link “Here’s to the Lazy Ones . . .” and the answer wasn’t there.

    You gonna tell us or not? :)

  25. AHodge says:

    so like a loser i found the what they will do on film % of deep inside fascinating,
    guess i’m just an old fashioned guy

    on drier subjects maybe we should only do over 97% of the SEC
    apparently they can see the flaws in chinese accounting
    i lost the link
    but its bloomberg muddy waters seeing what the SEC complained to Chinese ETFs about..

  26. Francisco Bandres de Abarca says:

    A recent article about current IC development. Some of the more interesting bits (silicon- and carbon nanotubes, photonics, etc.) appear when the article turns to IBMer Gary Patton:

    Common Platform Technology Forum: Chip-Making at 14nm and Below:

    Tomorrow (Feb. 24) is the last day to catch this exhibit at the Sackler Gallery (Smithsonian) in D.C. before it goes to . . . Houston(?), I think:

    And, as a tangent to the article about ‘The Evolution of Irregular War’, here is an interesting account from a Marine Force Recon veteran, writing of an operation during the Vietnam War, when current tactics were being developed by FR and other SOC fellows (definitely ‘pre- Hello Kitty’ days).

    Regarding this bit of the story:
    “The first strike was so close that it rocked the Recon team. Bishko called up that the pilot had missed, but the FO told him that it had been a direct hit. There were no longer any enemy troops behind them. It was just their first taste of danger close with two 2000 pound bombs.”

    I thought, “Well, the 2k’s must not have *too* close, as he wouldn’t have been able to converse with a pilot. Why? Because he would have been deaf. If that much ordinance goes ‘bang’ very close-by, all you’re going to be hearing for a while is something like a test-pattern tone.

    Y’all have a good weekend out there.

  27. ancientone says:

    Ah ha! The lithium batteries come from a company in Japan!

  28. rd says:

    The 787 problem is the same as the MBS problem that exploded in 2007-2008 or the Macondo well that failed a couple of years ago.

    I am a design engineer. One of the most critical roles of my job is to defend designs to the people who believe that we understand far more about the system than we actually do. Usually, these people put very complex spreadsheets together with lots of variables and then crunch them to “optimize” the project. They usually have no idea what you are talking about when you ask them questions about the quality of the data that they are inputting to prove their conclusions or potential failure modes that they haven’t been able to quantify. Instead, robust redundant design is reagrded as a waste of money. However, the cost of a failure of a critical component is usually so big that it doesn’t matter how much money you saved before, you are still going to lose boatloads of money.

    In the end, handing a company or design over to financial analysts results in something like VAR that then takes on a life of its own and becomes the governing metric because it is easy to measure. They have no idea that models like that behave like Newton’s Law of Gravity which works very well within certain parameters but breaks down completely in other conditions, which ended up requiring in the Theory of General Relativity and Quantum Physics which in turn are having trouble in certain conditions (e.g. requiring dark matter and energy).

    The old mortage model worked well because it was self-correcting since the banks held on to their own mistakes so they were under constant pressure to make sure they didn’t have many. Outsourced design or securitization with a focus on schedule and cost usually means the quality variable is truly the variable with very uncertain results, the same as happened with MBS’s when they were set free from their old-time self-regulating mechanism.

  29. gkm says:

    Regarding “The Futures of Farming”:

    What an incredibly well written piece of hyperbole. That author is certainly a poet and has crafted a beautiful picture devoid of insight. What it paints for me is an ill wind with a different slant.

    It sickens me to hear the story of what the commodities trader turned “farmer” is doing and what it symbolizes. This guy has 200 acres, and yet he has a farm manager. My father farmed 100 and had a full time job. I have uncles who have 200 and part time or full time jobs as well. The guy in this story is wasting capital. You want to talk about where money goes to die, drive by Double Bubble acres and take a look.

    This reminds me of an historical parallel. In Roman times, when soldiers retired land would be confiscated from farmers and given to the soldiers as their sort of stipend. Of course most soldiers knew little to nothing about farming, and so the farms went south in a hurry. This resulted in a shortfall over time of food stuffs. Not only did the soldier fail, but the community suffered from the misappropriation of capital and diminution of its output. I can’t see any difference here.