Week #457

Friday, November 15th, 02019 at 11:11 UTC

Other week has flown by as we continue to work on projects and move some ideas forward.

This week share’s its name with Alleghenia 457 a large main belt asteroid roughly 34km across. 457 is also a prime number which in turn is the sum of three consecutive primes (149 + 151 + 157). It is also the international standard frequency for radio avalanche transceivers (457 kHz).

This week we fixed a bunch of small bugs in our survey software. As time passes, as with any project, you tend to introduce more and more features. Some of these are simply to make your life easier and/or to reduce dependence on a specialised programmer. This week, one small bug popped-out around the syncing of customer data. It was correctly syncing the data, but not always creating or connecting new users to that customer. These types of bugs only show their head after a long while when that edge-case appears. Software is never done.

On Tuesday, we attended a morning meeting from the EU about some of their new grants. Previously, we’ve been awarded a Horizon 2020 Phase 1 grant for a project (which we still need to write about). We’ve been working towards the Phase 2, but the application process has changed slightly, so we want along to see what’s new. It was a good meeting. There were highs and lows, interesting bits and less interesting bits. The Q&A was useful, but you also quickly realise how different your business, ethics and understand is than others. And these are other companies you have to work with, for or use as vendors!

Which ties in with an email we got about our Material Conference YouTube Channel. YouTube and Google settled with the FTC in the USA over some of their lax COPPA compliance. COPPA is designed to protect children under 13 while online. It was signed into law in 01998 and 21 years later Google is finally coming into line. For Google and YouTube they can no longer collect data or directly market to children.

Both this change and some of the complains at the EU meeting were all about “the law”. It was burdening their ability to make money, mistakes and exploit potential customers. These “laws” didn’t just appear for no reason, they were enacted and held-up by the courts. While they might not be good for your particular business, maybe your business isn’t particularly good?

On Wednesday, we continued our pair programming sessions to learn, teach and explore some new ideas with others outside of our normal projects. It has been going well and we can already see the benefits paying off.

On Thursday, it was bug fixing and print prepping. Before the end of the year, we’ll schedule some time at the local FabLab to print a few things. We’ve used their vinyl cutter in the past to cut some nice custom patterns for some privacy glass. Next, we’re going to make a nice one for the front-door with names, floors, etc. The vinyl cutter allows you to put any type of vinyl through to be cut. Normally we use the frosted-white color so it is transparent, private, but still let’s light through. We have another design to be cut from opaque black vinyl. These are stickers to be placed on walls, laptops, books, etc.


This is fascinating to watch the light objects being bent enough to effectively make them invisible. The company is called HyperStealth Biotechnology Corp. Which couldn’t sound more like their lab was inside an active volcano. Their website has a lot more in-depth videos about their holographic projection, camouflage and invisibility systems.