[FRIAM] Fwd: Your Daily digest for David Pogue

Tom Johnson tom at jtjohnson.com
Sat Jul 22 12:02:08 EDT 2017

Interesting article on applied systems analysis. Could a city's bus system
have vending machines with varying contents depending on the route?

Tom Johnson - Inst. for Analytic Journalism
Santa Fe, NM
tom at jtjohnson.com               505-473-9646
---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: "Blogtrottr" <busybee at blogtrottr.com>
Date: Jul 22, 2017 4:08 AM
Subject: Your Daily digest for David Pogue
To: <tom at jtjohnson.com>

David Pogue
> The pizza-making robots that want to change the world
> <http://pogueman.tumblr.com/post/163258166282>
> Jul 21st 2017, 17:57
> HBO’s comedy “Silicon Valley
> <https://finance.yahoo.com/news/hbo-silicon-valley-season-4-cast-interviews-153502725.html>”
> makes fun of the way even boring startup tech companies adopt the same
> mission statement: “To make the world a better place.”
> But serial entrepreneur and former Microsoft executive Alex Garden
> <http://www.pwc.com/us/en/pwc-exchange/spring-event/alex-garden.html>
> isn’t shy about stating his new company’s path to making the world a better
> place—through *pizza*. It’s not just any pizza, though. Zume pizzas are
> made by robots, and they’re cooked in pizza ovens *inside* delivery
> trucks.
> [image: image]Alex Garden (right) treats me to the finished product.
> “One of the founding principles of this company is that every American has
> a right to a healthy meal they can afford,” he told me. “If you look at
> pizza, what is it? It’s high-quality bread, and high-quality organic
> vegetables, and meats and cheeses. All of these things are things that are
> good for you in moderation. And the number of calories really is a function
> of how much sugar is in the food. Zume Pizza is half the calories per
> slice, roughly half the cholesterol and half the fat, of any of the
> national leading chains.”
> How? “The main reason is sugar,” says Garden, whose pizzas range in price
> from $10 for a cheese to $20 for a pineapple express
> <https://zumepizza.com/#/>.
> “We don’t put any extra sugar in the sauce. We don’t put any extra sugar
> in the dough. And we let our dough age for 24 hours; during that process,
> the fermentation of the dough further reduces the sugar in it.”
> He also has much to say about where he gets his ingredients—directly from
> the providers, without the warehouses and distribution channels that, say,
> Pizza Hut (YUM <https://finance.yahoo.com/quote/YUM/>) or Domino’s (DPZ
> <https://finance.yahoo.com/quote/DPZ?p=DPZ>) employ. He uses
> software—predictive algorithms—to know what he’ll need when. He makes his
> sausage and tomato sauce in-house.
> But that’s not the most headline-grabbing feature of Zume pizza, which
> was founded in 2015 and currently delivers in Mountain View, California
> <https://zumepizza.zendesk.com/hc/en-us/articles/218747627-When-are-you-coming-to-my-area->,
> and surrounding areas. The biggest feature is the robots.
> The robots
> Inside the Zume kitchen, robots are displacing more human workers every
> passing month. These days, one robot presses out the dough into the
> familiar flattened circle; a second and third (Pepe and Giorgio) squirt
> tomato sauce or white sauce onto each pie; a fourth (Marta) spreads the
> sauce around (“perfectly, but not too perfectly,” Garden says). Humans
> apply the toppings, but then a fourth machine (Bruno) scoops up the pizza
> from the conveyor belt and delicately lays it into the baking oven; a fifth
> (Leonardo) chops it neatly into eight slices with a single,
> 200-pounds-of-force stroke.
> [image: image]Pepe squirts tomato sauce all day long.
> Eventually, Garden and his cofounder Julia Collins intend to replace all
> of the humans in their pizza shop.
> The robots are fun to watch—as long as you can avoid thinking, “This is
> what the end of human employment looks like.”
> But Garden insists that replacing the people is also part of making the
> world a better place.
> “The automation exists so that we can eliminate boring, repetitive jobs,
> and provide a more rewarding work environment for our employees,” he says.
> “And it exists so that we can buy higher quality ingredients. That’s the
> reason why we use it.”
> For example, he says, “taking a pizza off of a production line and putting
> it into an 800-degree oven is actually not particularly rewarding, and it’s
> also quite dangerous. So we found a way to automate that work now that was
> previously done by a person.
> “So what happens to the person? Well, good news. We’re a high-growth
> company. We have people who’ve moved from a role in the kitchen to other
> roles—to customer support or to finance. You come in and prove that you can
> work the Zume way, and we make a lifetime commitment to you in return.”
> The math still didn’t work for me. “But today, 100 people work here,” I
> said. “If you didn’t have the robots, it would be 115.”
> “That is true,” he replied, “but here’s the point you have to consider. If
> you took a national competitor that we compete against, what percentage of
> their workforce are making the absolute rock-bottom minimum wage for the
> place they work? $7 an hour, $7.50 an hour? Do they have benefits? Is it a
> safe job? What hours are they working?
> “Every employee in this company makes a minimum of $15 an hour. Everyone
> gets full medical, dental, vision [insurance] for them and for their
> families. And everyone, when they hit their six-month mark, becomes a
> shareholder. So you can make an argument that the absolute number of
> employed people is the way to go; we don’t believe that.”
> [image: image]In half a second, this machine cuts the 14-inch pizza into
> 8 slices.Inside the box
> Garden and his team have obsessed over every aspect of the American
> pizza-delivery system—including the box. Zume’s pizza is excellent, but the
> box is a masterpiece. (“So you redesigned the box?” I asked him. His reply:
> “We didn’t redesign the box. We designed the box.”)
> It’s made of compressed sugar cane (!), so it’s compostable,
> biodegradable, and collapsible—you can fold it up to fit your compost or
> trash can. Garden says that it also keeps the pizza warmer, keeps it dry,
> and prevents it from getting soggy, thanks to eight narrow channels below
> the pizza, like spokes. They conduct moisture down and away from the crust,
> pooling in a shallow well under the middle. “Your hands will be completely
> clean after you eat a Zume pizza, because there’s no grease or sogginess
> anywhere.”
> (This I found hard to believe. But as my family discovered when we ate
> Zume pizza that night, it’s absolutely true: Our fingers were not greasy.)
> [image: image]The most thought-through pizza box in America.
> The box’s lid slips under the lower box, which (a) creates a nice little
> stand and (b) doesn’t occupy your entire table with the ugly, greasy open
> lid, as a regular box does.
> It even has shallow round depressions that match depressions in the top of
> the lid, so that stacked boxes sort of interlock. “With one hand, you can
> carry five pizzas and walk around, and there’s no hope of them falling
> over,” Garden points out.
> The truck concept
> But Alex Garden isn’t finished yet. He’s also reinvented the delivery
> truck.
> Each one contains 28 or 56 individual pizza ovens. By consulting GPS, the
> truck fires up the oven when it’s four minutes away from your house, so
> that the pizza is coming out of the oven as the truck arrives.
> [image: image]The pizzas cook in their own little ovens–in the truck.
> That cook-en-route system might sound like it was designed to give you
> freshly baked pizza, but it was actually Garden’s solution to a knotty
> governmental problem: It’s against the law for workers to cook food in a
> truck while it’s moving.
> The solution, of course, was to automate the cooking while in motion. No
> person is involved, and so no laws are broken.
> Laws also dictate, by the way, that a food truck must contain a
> three-compartment sink—for washing utensils, spatulas, and so on. Garden
> didn’t want to devote precious oven space to some sink apparatus. So he
> came up with a utensil-free truck. As the pizza finishes cooking, it ejects
> from its oven like a CD from its player, and goes directly into the Zume
> pizza box. “No one ever touches the food,” he says, and so there’s no need
> for a sink in the truck.
> Predictive pizza
> The part of Zume’s master plan that I found hardest to believe was that
> often, your pizza is on its truck before you even order it. Garden says
> that Zume’s AI software predicts what pizzas its customers will order,
> when, and pre-loads them onto the truck. How could he possibly know what
> his customers will order?
> “Do you order pizza?” he asked me.
> Yes, I told him.
> “And how often would you say when you order pizza, you get the same thing
> you got last time?”
> “Probably 95 percent of the time,” I admitted.
> “Usually on the same day that week? Yeah. That makes you like most of the
> other people in the country. So if you think about that…Plus things like,
> when there’s a game you get more orders; when it’s hot out, you get fewer
> orders; you sell a lot more cheese pizza around 6:00 p.m. than you do at
> 9:00 p.m.; [you get spikes during] political debates; and another three or
> four dozen factors that we take into consideration when we’re predicting
> volume.
> “Then we look at it neighborhood by neighborhood. Perhaps there’s a
> neighborhood that really likes Hawaiian pizza, there’s another neighborhood
> who really likes pepperoni pizza. So we have all of these signals and they
> give us the ability to predict about 95% of the time what people are going
> to order, before they do.”
> And what if there’s a run on pineapple pizza on a weird day?
> “We have what we called field reloading, which is giving the trucks more
> inventory in flight. It’s almost like air-to-air refueling in the Air
> Force.”
> Zume vs the World
> Zume just expanded from one location to two. Next year, all of California;
> then to the whole country; then the world.
> That’s the plan, anyway.
> Will Zume’s robots and lofty goals really make the world a better place?
> Well, already they’re making the world a better pizza—and that’s a good
> start.
> *More from David Pogue:*
> Is through-the-air charging a hoax?
> <https://finance.yahoo.com/news/investigation-air-charging-hoax-174529738.html>
> Electrify your existing bike in 2 minutes with these ingenious wheels
> <https://finance.yahoo.com/news/electrify-existing-bike-2-minutes-ingenious-wheels-162540379.html>
> Marty Cooper, inventor of the cellphone: The next step is implantables
> <https://finance.yahoo.com/news/marty-cooper-inventor-cellphone-next-step-implantables-183609452.html>
> The David Pogue Review: Windows 10 Creators Update
> <http://finance.yahoo.com/news/david-pogue-review-windows-10-creators-update-154611419.html>
> Now I get it: Bitcoin
> <http://finance.yahoo.com/news/now-i-get-it-bitcoin-155147167.html>
> David Pogue’s search for the world’s best air-travel app
> <http://finance.yahoo.com/news/david-pogues-search-for-the-worlds-best-air-travel-app-145902717.html>
> The little-known iPhone feature that lets blind people see with their
> fingers
> <http://finance.yahoo.com/news/david-pogue-on-iphone-voiceover-163733668.html>
> *David Pogue, tech columnist for Yahoo Finance, welcomes nontoxic comments
> in the comments section below. On the web, he’s **davidpogue.com*
> <http://davidpogue.com/>*. On Twitter, he’s **@pogue*
> <https://twitter.com/Pogue?ref_src=twsrc%5Egoogle%7Ctwcamp%5Eserp%7Ctwgr%5Eauthor>*.
> On email, he’s poguester at yahoo.com <poguester at yahoo.com>. You can **read
> all his articles here* <https://www.yahoo.com/author/david-pogue>*, or
> you can sign up to **get his columns by email*
> <http://finance.yahoo.com/news/how-to-find-david-pogues-stuff-on-yahoo-finance-110615434.html>
> *. *
> You are receiving this email because you subscribed to this feed at
> blogtrottr.com.
> If you no longer wish to receive these emails, you can unsubscribe from
> this feed <https://blogtrottr.com/unsubscribe/7pG/BpHnPQ>, or manage all
> your subscriptions <https://blogtrottr.com/subscriptions/>.
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://redfish.com/pipermail/friam_redfish.com/attachments/20170722/7399a907/attachment.html>

More information about the Friam mailing list