Week #150-152

Friday, January 10th, 02014 at 21:12 UTC

It is now 02014 and it feels strange to write it. The number 151 is the height in feet of the Statue of Liberty. 152 can be found in our favorite asteroid belt as 152 Atala a type D main belt asteroid. It is an especially interesting asteroid because it could contain ice. Atala could be the intergalactic filling station of the future, fuel, interstellar fridge magnets and moon pies.

Since our last weeknote, we’ve celebrated several holidays. Parts of the team took some time off to visit home while others enjoyed the local delicacies of “Skata”, boiled stingray.

We’ve been back at the helm this week rolling out some code and new projects. For Vísar, we’ve been prepping a new survey for kindergarten parents. This is the test-run with a few select customers, then the full-blown product is available in March. This is our second chance to test the improvements to the new collection server before we run it in February for our largest collection. Last year we surveyed around 17,000 Icelanders. That might not seem much, but in a country of only 320,000 that’s roughly ~5% of the nation. Sending that many bulk SMSes was certainly stressful. This year we’ll be doing it again with a new and improved software platform. To prep for this we spent the last few weeks migrating the old data into the new reporting server. That’s just about ready and will be a nice introduction to most of the customers onto the vastly improved online reporting application.

Over the break, we has some downtime for smaller internal projects and we managed to get the utmost minimal version of Tindfell done. The team has been using it for almost two weeks now and we’re making improvements and tweaks as we go. Things are promising and we’re excited to develop it a bit further internally before reaching out to others for feedback.

We have also had some exciting meetings this week to discuss further developments on the old Helgafell project and work in coöperation to help visualize some accounting data. It is now just a matter of how we fit into the overall puzzle.

This week we also sat down with a local design company and they pitched us an exciting idea which they need our help. It isn’t often we get so excited about someone’s idea that we’ve got paper mock-ups doodled in our notebooks the next day. The project market fit, we think, is a great one. They get requests all the time and this service would solve it. The eternal question is price. In such a small market as Iceland, is there enough demand and can you set the price high-enough to not loose money and pay off the development cost? That’s the part we’re spending time on now. With multiple revenue streams it looks promising. Next is to estimate the user base… never an easy task. Either way, we’re excited to write the blueprint for an exciting new project.

Finally on the meeting front, we have a few schedule next week to potentially get back on the Virkisfell project. The software side is pretty solid. It is a revamp from a pitch from 02006. We know what is needed, we’re just looking for the right customer to implement it for and we might have it.

So far the new year is looking-up. We’re excited about all the new possibilities, all the new friends we’ve made in such a short time and all the potential energy we’re about to unleash.



There was a long read about Apollo Robbins passed around the office over the holidays. This man is an amazing pickpocket. Here is a video where he explains some of the simpler techniques he uses. It is mind boggling to watch.

Responsive Design, Be Like Water

These last few months we’ve been digging deep with some responsive design work for the online Vísar reporting app. The software focuses highly on charts, graphs and tables. Since we’re out and about a lot, we needed to make sure all the reporting worked on mobile devices, if not for the client, for ourselves. This created some interesting design challenges, issues and concessions due to browsers and functionality. During the whole process we always came back to this Bruce Lee comment about Being Water.

Our charts, content and website needs to be like water, taking the shape of the device in hand.

Kuleshov Effect

The Kuleshov Effect is a trick employed by film editors to get you to feel different emotions, even though it is the same footage. This is the original:

And this is Alfred Hitchcock explaining how it works with another example.