An audio version of the Asianometry YouTube channel. Maybe it will be more in the future. www.asianometry.com
The History of the FPGA - The Ultimate Flex
18:07A Field Programmable Gate Array or FPGA is an integrated circuit that can be reprogrammed after manufacture to emulate a digital circuit. These are great for prototyping new functionalities before mass production. Or serving rare use cases that aren't economical for a custom chip. FPGAs aren’t the first with this capability, but they are by far the most commercially successful. And the story of their development is a fascinating mix of technology and business. For decades, people have searched for ways to make a chip that you can reprogram after manufacturing. In this video, let us explore the industry’s quest for the ultimate flex.
How Oil Ate the Soviet Economy
18:04In 1979, the Soviet Union was the world's leading producer of oil, pumping 11.5 million barrels of oil each day. At the end of our last video on this, the Soviet Union finished the 1960s as the second biggest oil producing nation in the world. Even so, the country's most plentiful bounties of oil and natural gas were still yet to come, hiding beneath Siberia's frozen swamps and lakes. In this video, we look at how the Soviet Union became an energy superpower and how that contributed to the country's eventual dissolution.
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Australia's Natural Gas Dilemma
16:29Australia is the world's leading exporter of liquefied natural gas or LNG. In 2020, the country exported $25 billion worth of natural gas to markets in Asia. Interestingly enough, the country also occasionally suffers from natural gas shortages in their own markets at home. It is a demonstration of the country's sprawling size, bountiful natural resources, and complicated energy politics. In this video, I want to talk about how the land down under became one of the world’s biggest natural gas exporters.
The Rise and Peak of Japanese Watches
20:49At the time of Japan's opening up, almost all of the world’s watches came from either the United States or Switzerland. The Swiss sought to keep their secrets from leaking out to other countries. But those secrets still got out, and with them Japan became one of the biggest makers of watches in the world.
The Sad Fall of a Philippine Steel Giant
16:41National Steel Corporation or NSC had once been the pride of Philippine industry. One of the biggest companies in the country, and a rare example of a well-run government owned company. Over a span of twenty years, the company employed over 4,000 workers at Iligan City. The Philippines had a head start on almost every other Asian country in building a steel industry. NSC could have been a global giant but a confluence of factors led to its decline and failure by 1999. In this video, we will look at the rise and fall of a national champion.
The Soviet Oil Juggernaut: How It All Began
18:47At the start of the 1960s, the Soviet Union was the world's second largest oil producer - trailing only the United States. By itself, the Soviet Union nearly matched oil production from the entire Middle East. Many European countries depended on Soviet oil, and the Communist Party used that to their own advantage. In this video, we will look at the beginnings and rise of the titanic Soviet oil apparatus. From its start with the Russian Empire in the late 1880s to its ascendancy after World War II.
How the Integrated Circuit Took Us to the Moon
19:52The NASA space project advanced the technological progress of the human race by leaps and bounds. Examples of these revolutionary developments abound. But one extra-special item was in its computer. The Apollo Guidance Computer or AGC was one of the first to use silicon-based integrated circuits. Their adoption heralded a revolutionary technology about to make a titanic impact on the world. And the beginning of Silicon Valley as we know it. I try not to make videos about America because it gets me yelled at but I really like this topic. In this video, we are going to look at how the silicon integrated circuit supercharged the AGC and guided us - literally - to the moon.
The Big Automotive Semiconductor Problem
15:02Let me ask you something. You probably have heard all the news about this or that car factory shutting down because of the global chip shortage. That nobody can get the car they want because of a tiny little chip. And you might be wondering. When did semiconductors matter so much to today's vehicles? Why do we need to turn our cars into computers? Why can't things just be simple? What are all these electronics actually *doing* for our cars? In this video we are going to go into the automotive supply chain and their semiconductors. The specific focus will be on conventional cars. But if this video does well enough, perhaps we can do a version for electric and autonomous vehicles.
How New Zealand’s Fonterra Won Dairy
15:20New Zealand's biggest company, by far, is a dairy co-operative. With $14 billion USD ($20.6 billion NZD) total revenue in 2021, Fonterra Group is the country's juggernaut. A dairy company does way more than milk. And over the years, Fonterra has evolved and grown along with the New Zealand dairy industry to become a globe-spanning food giant. In this video, we are going to look at New Zealand’s biggest exporter and a cornerstone of its economy.
How Armed Drones Disrupt Modern Warfare
14:52One of the bigger things that happened in 2020 was that two countries - Azerbaijan and Armenia - fought a war. The war lasted for about 6 weeks, and it has set the air defense world ablaze. For the first time, the world got to see a national army bring a fleet of armed drones to the battlefield. And the impact those drones have made was huge. Using a swarm of cheap Turkish drones and Israeli loitering munitions, Azerbaijan swept aside Armenia's air defenses and paved a road to victory. Cheap armed drone technologies are spreading like wildfire across the world. In this video, I want to look at how such drones add new wrinkles, opportunities and challenges to modern warfare.