Week #646 & #647

Friday, July 7th, 02023 at 14:41 UTC

Week #646

This week’s namesakes are pretty relevant. ISO/IEC 646 is the ISO’s standard for international 7-bit variants of ASCII.

We managed to get out of the office and have two separate meet-ups with with old friends. It was good to chat, catch-up and brainstorm. Hopefully, we’ll make it more of a regular things (after the summer slump).

We continue to run SpellStruck analytics reports and dig-up numbers to help advise on the sprint planning and organize the feature priorities.

This week was the end of the month. That means it’s time to pay all the bills and salary. We’ve been doing this for a solid year now and we have a good handle on the cash-flow. With inflation in Iceland being 10% over the last 12 months, we were slowing going back around to all our customers and re-negotiating contracts and hourly rates. As this month closes, we’ve now converted all our customers over to the new rates with a bit of padding so we not only get ourselves up-to-date, but also future proof it a bit. This is always a ship-at-sea bobbing up and down as our rate in foreign currency is fixed, but how much that’s worth in Iceland is at the mercy of the exchange rate.

Week #647

This week is a prime number.

Monday felt a bit like a false start. We had planning meetings for the week, and then immediately had Tuesday off for the 4th of July celebration in the USA.

Since it is an odd numbered month, that means prepping our VSK (VAT) tax returns. Since taking over more and more of our own accounting, it requires more grazing and being on top of all our finances. We’re in the swing of things and keeping the numbers all balanced successfully in the online accounting software: Payday. VAT submissions are important because you can offset your spending with your invoicing. For us, nearly 100% of our invoices are from aboard and VAT exempt – so this is an exercise in keeping our expenditures logged.

The rest of the week we did a lot of research and homework for a few potential future projects. We also had several meetings which could have been emails. Our input was not needed and now that this project has shifted gears, we need to have a discussion how our time is best spent. This week made it even more obvious.

Twitter announced that Tweetdeck will become a paid-for-feature in 30 days. Every December, we would queue-up a year’s worth of @icelanders holiday tweets. We have no idea if they will be posted or not (yet). So we need to keep an eye on the next date and see what happens. We had not planning on queuing-up anything for 02024, so maybe this just accelerated that decision. For those Icelanders following along, we have setup a similar bot on the Fediverse: @Misseristal.

On Friday, we had a meeting with our old friend and partner-in-crime from the UEFA project days, Si. He’s got a new project called PETALS. It focuses on quick and easy survey feedback. Something we have PLENTY of experience in. We had a quick 30 minute chat which was mostly us brain dumping everything we’ve learnt. We wish him luck and are always available for more feedback.


Back in 02012, we wrote Shine-on you crazy ones! in reference to iOS6’s use of reflective material and the accelerometer to actually make the UI’s shine change. 11 years later, we’re now seeing some of that design born out in VisionOS’s Windows Aero Glass matte glass background both passing some of the color though, but also creating reflections and shadows based on your lighting environment.

Bric á brac

We found our own Hyperart Thomasson this week in the form of an old children’s slide which only the slide portion had been removed. That left a semi-staircase observation deck which had been closed off.

The term Hyperart Thomasson was coined by the Japanese artist Akasegawa Genpei in the 01980s. It refers to a useless relic or structure that has been preserved as part of a building or the built environment, which has become a piece of art in itself. He publish a whole book of photos of Thomassons around Tokyo. You can also listen to an Episode of 99% Invisible about Thomassons.

The word Thomasson is in reference to an American Baseball player traded to the Yomiuri Giants in Tokyo for a a substantial sum of money. He was a big slugger in the US, but never managed to click in Japan. He was about to set the strike out record when he was benched. For the artist Akasegawa, Gary Thomasson was both “useless” and “maintained” hence the new eponym.