C&B Notes

Investing is a discipline built on cumulative knowledge, and it requires a continuous evaluation and assessment of new information. The purpose of C&B Notes is to pass along the ideas, concepts, stories, and information that are informing, influencing, and updating our worldview. We use them to build on our “latticework of mental models” that help us make better decisions.

166 articles in list

Decoding Artificial Intelligence

Artificial intelligence is an ill-defined term.  This nebulousness is perhaps necessary given how broad and technical the discipline is, but the enormous amount of jargon used to explain AI does not help the lay person understand something that — over…

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Browser for the Next Billion

UC Browser, hardly known and barely used in the United States, is one of Asia’s most liked browsers.  Its popularity stems its features designed with the world’s “next billion” users in mind. Hundreds of millions of people in India, Indonesia…

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The Artificial Intelligence Race in China

Microsoft veteran Qi Lu left the company last year after a bicycling accident. Since recovering, he has become the COO at Baidu. This recent interview touches on a number of interesting things in technology and China. We were particularly interested…

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The Shepard Tone

In Dunkirk, the film’s director, Christopher Nolan, deployed an audio effect called a Shepard tone to help drive a feeling of ever-increasing intensity throughout the movie. Guerrasio: The scores in your movies are always so memorable, how did the second…

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Wal-Mart Retools E-Commerce

Richard was recently quoted in a BloombergBusinessWeek story on Wal-mart’s re-positioned e-commerce strategy and the new leadership for these online efforts, headed up by Jet.com’s Marc Lore. He’d like to extend Jet’s sensibility and business model to Walmart.com, the second-biggest…

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Pricing in the Internet Age

The internet has revolutionized retail across a large swath of categories partially because it promotes vastly superior price discovery and comparison shopping.  These benefits have mostly accrued to the consumer, but e-commerce retailers are also using the data trail from…

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Desktop Testing

With ever more precise measurements, physicists are probing accepted truths at the limits of physics. The beams of protons that circulate around the 27km-circumference ring of the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), the world’s biggest particle accelerator, carry as much kinetic…

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Challenges to AI

Artificial intelligence’s march forward is a fait accompli, with the expectation that any remaining hurdles to the widespread use of the technology will not be major stumbling blocks.  We suspect AI will not be limited only by Moore’s Law. Speaking…

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Rethinking Car Design

This new Aston Martin is not in our price range, but the car’s new engineering piqued our curiosity.  Historically, low-drag car designs have produced lift at high speeds.  This radical new design reverses that outcome, which has big implications for…

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Thinking Outside The Box

The best, most cost-effective solution is sometimes not the obvious one. Dutch bicycle manufacturer VanMoof found that it had a problem. As it shipped its products to customers, it found that they were arriving to customers damaged. The company came…

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Simple But Effective

A French purchasing agent working for Doctors Without Borders redesigned the humble tarpaulin in the mid-1990’s.  The result has been improved performance and much lower cost for one of the most versatile and important tools for aid workers. Ask an…

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Disrupting Online Advertising

The adoption of ad-blocking software is growing and has the potential to completely disrupt traditional online advertising. Ad blocking software use grew 41 percent in the 12 months to August 2015 and there are now 198 million active adblock users…

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