Episode 3: A New Breed of Intellectual Property

June 21st, 2016

Episode 3 is out!

I say the darndest things on camera. O_o

Like everyone else, I see the videos when they are released. So far, this episode makes the clearest case for why Shenzhen is the up-and-coming place for hardware technology.

Most of the time my head is buried in resistors and capacitors. However, this video takes a wide-angle shot of the tech ecosystem. I’ve been visiting for over a decade, and this video is the first time I’ve seen some of the incredible things going on in Shenzhen, particularly in the corporate world.

Episode 2: Shenzhen and the Maker Movement

June 15th, 2016

Woooooo episode 2 is out!

I wrote a post once about getting my phone’s screen fixed in Shenzhen. I’ve learned a lot from watching these phone repair guys do their thing in Shenzhen.

This video shows most of the process, from splitting the bonded LCD/digitizer assembly using a cutting wire and a heated vacuum chuck, to rebonding, to removing bubbles in the LOCA (liquid optically clear adhesive) by way of a vacuum chamber. There’s also typically a UV curing step that was probably left out of the segment for time reasons. The whole video is a good watch, but if you’re short on time, the segment on repairing a screen starts at 12:36.

Name that Ware, June 2016

June 13th, 2016

The Ware for June 2016 is shown below.

Thanks to Liwei from TinyMOS for contributing the ware. He found it on his way to school many years ago. The function of this board is probably an easy guess, so bonus points to anyone who has a convincing idea about the larger system this was once a part of.

Winner, Name that Ware May 2016

June 13th, 2016

The Ware for May 2016 was guessed within the hour of posting — it’s an Antminer S1 (v1.4 mainboards) from BitMainTech.

Tracing through the rapid-fire guesses and picking a winner was a bit of a convoluted process. Based on my primary criteria of awarding to the first person to home in on a make/model of a ware, the winner is Wouter’s post at 10:15PM (congrats, btw email me for your prize).

However, if make/model isn’t guessed, I’d go with an alternate criteria of thoughtful analysis, which would give the prize to Richard Ames’ conclusion that it’s a cryptocurrency compute module posted at 10:06PM. However, even that decision is contracted by 0x3d’s post at 9:53PM, earlier than all the rest, that this is an ASIC cryptocoin miner — no make/model, but still the correct genre.

Also, in response to Richard Ames’ question: HDB = Housing Development Board. It’s the colloquial term in Singapore for public housing, after the government agency in charge of managing public housing.

WIRED Documentary on Shenzhen

June 8th, 2016

WIRED is now running a multi-part video documentary on Shenzhen:

This shoot was a lot of fun, and it was a great pleasure working with Posy and Jim. I think their talent as producer and director really show through. They also did a great job editing my off-the-cuff narratives. The spot in the video where I’m pointing out Samsung parts isn’t matched to the b-roll of Apple parts, but in their defense I was moving so fast through the market that Jim couldn’t capture all the things I was pointing at.

I haven’t seen the whole documentary myself (I was just called in to give some tours of the market and answer a few questions in my hotel room), so I’m curious and excited to see where this is going! Especially because of the text chosen for printing during my Moore’s Law explanation at 3:13 — “ALL PROPRIETARY AND NO OPEN SOURCE MAKES INNOVATION A SLOW PROCESS.”