Week #656 & #657

Friday, September 15th, 02023 at 13:31 UTC

Week #656

In the year 00656, on September 24th (not sure if that’s Julian or Gregorian) a total solar eclipse was observable from Easter Island. The next at this location would not occur until July 11, 02010.

656 Beagle is likely a highly elongated minor planet. It was named for Charles Darwin’s ship, HMS Beagle.

Monday was a public holiday in the USA, so that gave us a full day without pestering. We set upon a small side project with a goal of completing it before the end of the month. We registered a new domain, made some PDFs and registered for selling the product. Things are going smoothly and we’ll see if this print-on-demand project has any legs.

We had a meeting with some folks in Australia for another potential Xero project. This would focus more on quotes and invoicing to replace the deprecated WorkFlowMax. We went over the napkin sketches and discussed a ballpark size of the project and risks. They’ll take it back to the client and see if they have the budget.

The next round of surveys will start in October, so we spent some time this week prepping and checking everything. As we sent out the reminder emails, we checked with our bulk mail provider Mailgun to check for bounces and clean-up our CRM as needed.

As also explored implementing Passkeys and WebAuthn in some projects. The flow to connect things is clunky if you already have a name and password, but if we convert things over to: “Give us an email, we’ll send a magic link, you click that and then we can associate your device to that email”, it should be smoother.

Week #657

We did a quick update to the concreter project in Australia. As part of each job, we pull the hours tracked with the salary information in Xero to create a rough labour table. This helps them stay on budget. The issue was that the team recently got a raise, and past jobs’ labour table went up and didn’t match the invoices. Now, we take a snapshot of that labour table when a job is marked as ‘completed’ and the html is saved as part of the job model and returned instead of any live data.

On Tuesday, we sent out our s02e09 ⪮ Good Morning Newsletter. There is no tracking, so it gets sent into a bit of a void for us. People occasionally reply, link to it, or mention it. That gives us the encouragement to continue. If you find it useful, tell a friend! These monthly newsletters are four interesting links with brief commentary, usually some theme, never any self-promotion.

This week we registered yet another domain. This is a grant funded project to continue with our prototype and research into a new eBike design. More on that soon.

With all of our surveys, we also have a lot of data which could be very useful for researchers… but letting them know that it exists can be hard. We had a meeting this week about a potential grant with other educational and government organizations to get more of our anonymous data on a research dashboard portal. We all agreed that the next step is to meet with the folks running the portal to learn more about their data formats and infrastructure.

Finally, on Friday, our next update to SpellStruck launched. This adds an “evergreen” mode to help queue all the reviewers who’ve already completed all the content and want more. Our roll is much the same as usual: keep an eye on the servers, run some analytics to see the change and send out localized push notifications to let people know about the new content.

We also sent our PDF project off to the printers for proofs. We’ll see how it comes out, then start the wheels in motion.


Back in 02009, we wrote about the Nintendo Wii’s Everybody Votes channel. That still has to be the simplest and easiest way to explain prediction markets. I wish we could bring that concept back!

In 02013, this week we were in Brighton UK for the (then) annual dConstruct conference. It was weeks #134-#135.


This week we learnt that in 01963, The Rolling Stones recorded a commercial for Rice Krispies. It was before the band’s break out success.

We’ve mentioned Silphium before in our s01e12 ⪮ Good Morning Newsletter. It is an ancient plant thought to be extinct… or maybe not!