Week #148-149

Friday, December 20th, 02013 at 20:02 UTC

The number 148 is Dunbar’s number of the mean group size before you no long have close connections. This number is bantered around many time for various social network group sizes. Dunbar’s number continues to edge upward slightly, much like IQ does. The number 149 share’s its integer-ness with an interesting US Supreme court case, 149 US 304 Nix vs. Heddden. This was to determine if a Tomatoes, for purposes of import duty, was a fruit or a vegetable. The conclusion was that the Tariff Act of 1883 was to be read along the vernacular terms of fruit and vegetable rather than the biological definition. Hence a tomato has been a vegetable.

These last two week also saw a new Innovation House officially opened here in Iceland and we went along to the unveiling. This is a new home for small start-up companies with some great facilities. It will be interesting to see what comes of it in the next few months and years. We have been in touch and will be working with them to survey and ask other start-ups about their experience, needs and wants to help improve the situation and supply what is needed to better succeed.

Work in the office was a blur these last two weeks. We tried to squeeze in a bunch of last-minute items before the holiday break. We did manage to get on top of all the tasks and planned for January when everyone is back full-time. We put forward a few proposals for the new year for Vísar. We wrestled with Heroku’s timeout issues and our phantomjs PDF creation process. With enough caching and some smart tricks, we’ll be ready in the new year to generate some massive customer PDF files on demand. In 02014, we’ll hit the ground running with an estimated 7 big surveys this spring alone. The data collection portion is rock solid, the reporting is launched with some minor additions coming soon. The spring-time is our big test to iron out all the production bugs and smooth out rough edges and optimize our workflow based around all the headaches we actually have rather than theoretical ones.

On the side, we’ve also been prototyping some sticker designs for a small side-projects. Today we bought some doilies and can of spray paint. If the weather clears-up, we’ll test out some new packaging material techniques and design.


San Diego traffic, organized by color

An amazing short video of the traffic in San Diego re-ordered based on their color. It is such a simple idea with a profound impact. How many green cars can you spot?


This umbrella is designed upside-down and inside-out, but the benefits are quite astonishing. From drying easier, to becoming self-standing apparel, why aren’t all umbrellas made like this?


This week also saw our friends at clearleft launch their intern’s project, Chüne. A beautifully interactive jukebox.

We tend to complain about things like iBeacon, RFID, and QR codes. Many instances of their use could be better served with a sign or URL. Chüne is an example of an interaction which is something else in itself. Considering that these sorts of projects were the domain of huge companies, the fact that 3 interns built this in a short time is testament to their ability and how far we’ve come with cheap consumer parts like Raspberry Pis, Arduinos, 3D printing and laser cutting. I look forward to the near-future, I think it will be pretty fun!