Wednesday, 20 March 2013

08:46 – One of the most annoying things about Netflix streaming is that they drop titles with only a week’s notice. One series we’ve had in our queue for probably a year has been gradually bubbling toward the top. Last night, I brought our queue up in my browser, intending to move it to the top so that we could conveniently sample it on our Roku. Unfortunately, availability of that series is now listed as “until 3/25”. There are 50+ 45-minute episodes, so there’s no point to starting it now. Netflix must know how long they’ve licensed each movie or series for, so what’s the point of waiting until a week before their license expires to let viewers know how much longer it’ll be available? They should list the expiration date as soon as they add a title to their catalog.

I see that Cyprus has become The Mouse that Roared. Cypriot legislators rejected the Troika’s (read, Germany’s) bailout terms without a single vote in favor, even though those terms had been modified to protect depositors with balances of €20,000 or less. Merkel must be spitting nails. Germany now has the choice of backing down, which it can’t do, or watching Cyprus crash out of the euro. That’s assuming that Cyprus doesn’t come to some agreement with Russia, which Merkel has explicitly forbidden. No matter what happens, things look ominous for the EU, the euro, and Merkel’s reelection chances this autumn. It will be ironic if tiny Cyprus, which accounts for something like 1/500th of EU GDP, is the straw that breaks the euro’s back.

12:20 – I’m building kits today. We’re getting low stock on the CK01A chemistry kits, with less than a dozen in finished goods inventory, but the real problem is the BK01 biology kits. I shipped one this morning, which takes our remaining stock down to one. I just finished putting together another 30 of the biology kit small parts bags, which was the last thing I needed for another batch of 30 biology kits.

The real problem is that the biology kits include a 12-pack of deep cavity slides. These aren’t the common well slides. They’re three times the thickness of a standard microscope slide–about 3.2mm versus 1 mm–and have a deep cylindrical cavity through most of their thickness. Only one of our vendors carries them, and they’re backordered through 15 May. After I build these 30 biology kits, I’ll be down to only eight packs of the thick cavity slides in stock. That means we’ll have only 38 biology kits available to carry us from now until mid-May. I don’t think that’ll be enough.

We’ve already decided to delay introducing our new LK01 Life Science Kit from 31 March until about 1 June, because it also includes thick cavity slides. I guess we’ll just continue to build stock of the biology kits without the thick cavity slides. If we get more than 38 orders for biology kits between now and mid-May, we’ll just ship what we have and back-order the rest of the orders.