Just spent the morning researching kitchen trash cans and I gotta tell you, covering defense acquisition has changed the way I purchase everything. Everything has requirements now.
We were sold on model subjected to a rigorous wear testing regimen that would accommodate 20 steps a day for 20 years. Stainless steel for look and ease of cleaning, proper r&d and rigorous operational testing.
Younger me would walk into Home Depot, pick up the one that cost under $40 and it would need to be replaced after a couple of years. Price, at the time, would have been the driving requirement. Today the most important requirement is reliability, followed by innovative design.
I also rejected the motion-sensor version. I have learned from covering the Navy that replacing a simple mechanical function with technology for technology's sake introduces complexity and, inevitably, reliability risk info the platform.
If the mechanical trash can step function breaks, it can be easily repaired in house. If the motion sensor lid opening system (MSLOS) breaks, thats at best a depot-level repair, at worst a mission kill.

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More from @DavidLarter

28 Mar
My first job was mowing lawns, then worked as a day laborer for my neighbor who was a contractor. After that, I worked at PetsMart, I lasted all of four weeks at Boston Market (and H/T to the fast-food workers of the world, it's really hard), then the Navy.
Various and sundry since: Barista at Starbucks, the library at University of Richmond, I worked on an oyster farm for a summer (that was a difficult job).
I've never been afraid of a dirty job. Indeed, I derive a good deal of personal satisfaction from them. This is why I enjoy gardening. But there really is nothing quite like bending your mind around something difficult to comprehend and forming new ideas.
Read 6 tweets
26 Mar
Deep down in my soul, I'm so glad this maritime clusterf*** isn't the US Navy or the US Navy's fault.
I'm still recovering from 2017.
I was at a lovely dinner with my wife at our favorite Italian place when
@JeffSchogol (who, if you know him well, is usually the one who is going to text you with bad news) let me know about the JSM collision. That was a tough night. @JournoGeoffZ and I covered it well, though.
Read 4 tweets
26 Mar
This is a tank.

This appears to be another brilliant, war-winning idea from someone who had never actually been the front.
*been TO the front, I meant to say.

WWI was a period of stunning and rapid innovation. But there were probably 100 misses for every hit.
Imagine rolling your stupid metal death wagon over a morass of shell craters with 8 and 10-inch rounds falling all around you.
Read 5 tweets
26 Mar
If you know even a little bit about ancient, or indeed any, history you'll know that as long as mankind had things that float and rivers, lakes or seas to float them in, humans have traded with each other. The Bronze Age refers to an alloy of two metals from different places.
Globalization is the natural order.
That describes everything that continental powers have hated about sea powers for thousands of years: a suspicion about foreign influence and dilution of the culture and loyalty of the wealthy merchant class who got rich off trade Image
Read 5 tweets

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