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Juicero teardown hints at a very expensively-built product

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Enlarge / In this post a venture capital partner pulls apart this machine. (credit: Juicero)

A product designer and venture capital partner took apart a Juicero to see what made the notorious $400 juice presser so expensive. What he found was eight separate machined parts and a slew of custom plastic pieces that likely made the presser more expensive than it needed to be.

Juicero came under fire last week when Bloomberg reporters found that they could press juice out of the company’s proprietary juice bags with their hands, eschewing the expensive cold-press juicer. Some investors said they assumed the Juicero would press large chunks of fruit and vegetables, but instead the heavily-funded start-up delivered bags of pre-cut pulp to Juicero owners.

In his teardown, Ben Einstein notes that Juicero seems to rely heavily on custom-designed and complex parts, all of which add considerably to the appliance’s cost to build. Some of the eight machined parts (parts that are cut from a larger piece of material) even have rounded surfaces, which makes the parts even more expensive. Einstein calls out the Juicero for “unnecessary complexity.” He points out that the juice press uses what seem to be an excess of components just to keep the press door sealed, including “10 custom injection molded parts,” two stamped steel parts, a gear, two custom dowel pins, and more.

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Looms
4 days ago
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Report: Theranos used shell company to secretly buy outside lab equipment

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Enlarge / Theranos CEO Elizabeth Holmes speaks at the Clinton Global Initiative Annual Meeting in New York City on September 29, 2015. (credit: CNBC / Getty Images News)

If it’s not one thing, it’s another in the dizzying downward spiral of Theranos, the once-darling of Silicon Valley biotech.

On Friday, the Wall Street Journal reported that the company "allegedly misled company directors" regarding its lab tests and used a shell company to buy commercial lab gear. These are just a few of the new revelations made by the Journal, which also include fake demonstrations for potential investors.

The new information came from unsealed depositions by 22 former Theranos employees or members of its board of directors. They were deposed by Partner Fund Management LP, a hedge fund currently suing Theranos in Delaware state court. Theranos is also facing multiple lawsuits in federal court in California and Arizona, among others.

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Looms
8 days ago
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Sigh.
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1 public comment
fxer
8 days ago
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Damn, WSJ really sinking their teeth into Theranos like a dog with a bone. Investigative journalism still worth paying for
Bend, Oregon

How Ghost in the Shell got its main characters wrong—and why it matters

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Enlarge / Major in the American film and the Japanese anime.

This analysis contains spoilers for the new Ghost in the Shell movie. Proceed with caution!

Over the weekend, I dragged my best friend–a biracial Japanese dude I’ve known for over a decade–to watch the new Ghost in the Shell movie. Like Ars Technica’s Sam Machkovech, we weren’t impressed. To my surprise, though, I didn’t actually hate Scarlett Johansson's role in the movie.

Her casting as the Major has been controversial, in part due to concerns about "whitewashing" (using white actors to play non-white characters). Yet Mamoru Oshii, director of the original 1995 anime, was unexpectedly supportive of the decision. Maybe that's because Johansson doesn’t pretend to be Motoko Kusanagi, the boisterous lead character from the original. Johansson's new character, Mira Killian, comes across as pure automaton, a blank slate devoid of emotional ties.

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Looms
20 days ago
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Soon You'll Be Able to Hijack Weaponized Police Drones in Connecticut

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Not content with having a fleet of insecure surveillance drones, the state of Connecticut wants a fleet of insecure weaponized drones. What could possibly go wrong?

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Looms
26 days ago
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Where is Sarah Connor when you need her? :P
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Pope Francis Joins Anglicans

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After attending Evensong in St Peter’s Basilica and visiting an Anglican Church in Rome, the news from the Vatican is that Pope Francis is in secret talks with Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Wellbeing about converting to the Anglican faith. Vatican spokesman Aprile Primera said that Pope Francis was drawn to Anglicanism for several reasons. He very [Read More...]
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Looms
27 days ago
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:P
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Study Reveals White Americans With Poor Job Prospects Die Younger

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A new report draws a clearer relationship between rising death rates and changes in the job market since the 1970s.

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Looms
37 days ago
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