Our 22nd instalment of the (optional.is) Quarterly Newsletter.
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Q2: What did we do?

SMOKEYBAY, ICELAND 02017Q2: This is a hodgepodge (what a great word) of links and shameless self-promotion. We start with some Macro and Micro art, from an entire city to just to a few bricks in the wall. We're deep in material and scale.

It's no secret we've been focusing on our upcoming conference: Material in a few weeks, but we have managed to get a few other projects out the door, from writing about survey results to pushing the boundaries of perceptive media and the UK Shipping Forecast, we've been busy.

Cretto di Burri

This looks like a glitch on the map, but it's actually a massive concrete art project.

After the town was devastated by an earthquake, it was relocated 20km away. This monument symbolizes the original village.

Read more about Cretto di Burri
Nase Pop Instagram account covers typographic graffiti and other amazing street art.
IBM pushed the limits of what was possible to make a 01930s-esque stop-motion film.
When you look at gigantic installations, like a work from Christo and Jeanne-Claude or Spiral Jetty by Robert Smithson, it is easy to see the scale and effort that went into it. In the middle of the spectrum, it can be harder to grasp the difficulty of creating something like graffiti. Even smaller, we are again amazed at the difficulty of creating microscopic artworks such as Nikon's Small World photo contest or IBM's movie A Boy and his Atom made with individual atoms.

When and where do these lines blur between perceived and actual difficulty? Does size and scale even matter? (Probably not!)


The Material Conference in Reykjavik, Iceland is only a few weeks away, on August 17th, 02017!

We have a great list of speakers you don't want to miss. We also know that getting to Iceland can be hard, so we've created a new ticket, the media pass. You can watch the live stream from the event with the "pay what you want" media ticket. If you want to watch, you can certainly watch for free, but if you can, we ask you put a little money towards the cost of streaming and recording.

Hope to see you at the conference, but if you can't make it, you can still tune in from the comfort of your own home.
Material Conference Media Ticket

Salary Surveys

One thing we've been doing a lot of recently is working closely with O'Reilly Media. We've taken two of their salary surveys and dug into the numbers to write a bit more about how to judge if you are under-paid.

If you work in Software Development or Dev Ops, you can compare your salary with those of the respondents: We're currently crunching the numbers for the 2017 Data Scientist Salary Survey, but that won't be ready for a few more weeks.

The shipping forecast is one of those quirky British aspects of life. It is a 2 minute radio slot which explains the weather forecast for the areas of sea surrounding the UK. They methodically tick through each area in a strange abbreviated form of speech. It is impenetrable to the regular listener but those in the know can understand.

It has a strange cult following, so we created a small, experimental iOS app to fetch the forecast XML and read it back to you in the Text-to-Speech voice.

As we developed this app, we also experimented with this new concept of perceptive media. Perceptive media apps can change the information presented based on various inputs. Implicit inputs, such as ambient noise or light may cause the story or volume to change. Explicit inputs such as asking you how much time you have, may increase or decrease the text in the shipping forecast accordingly.