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Blog posts from June 2013

Week 420

We’ve all been so busy that Week 419 has been lost to history. No one knows what happened then or if it even existed, much like the money in those similarly numbered scams.

It’s now week 420.

Mark is getting addicted to the Cryptic Crossword as well as doing some more wrangling for Sinawava, which Joe and Laurence are doing a lot of drawing and other work for.

Kari has been tackling ZenDesk enquiries, sending paper off to hungry LPs and a multitude of other things.

Matt Webb is as always having meetings and also in Cambridge today for an IoT meetup.

Jack is also in Cambridge as well as doing some fun looking R&D with Joe and Luckybite crew.

Phil is cranking out more publications including one for Eventbrite and making it easy for others to make charts on LP.

Helen has been busy with fulfilment for the 2nd run of LPs and dealing with end of year.

Neil is hard at work assembling the remaining #FLOCKs as pictured here:

birds and stepper assemblies for #FLOCK

Andy has been in Italy at Fabrica for the first Sandbox workshop and learning to make Limoncello which I hope makes it back here.

I’ve been getting the supporting web side of the BERG Cloud developer tools to a point where they can be used in the Sandbox.

Nick has been testing the tools out by building a small project as well as spending some time on some iOS app work.

Alice is continuing to improve on Remote and LP deliveries both visibly and in many hidden but important details.

Fraser is blogging and talking and communicating in various mediums.

And finally Alex and Denise have decided to become developers as well as designers and are doing some work with Processing, Alex has also found time to make a couple of very fun publications for children.

Friday links



Social Satan from Sculpture on Vimeo.







Cosmography of the Local Universe (FullHD version) from Daniel Pomarède on Vimeo.


Friday Links

I can’t remember how this came up over lunch, but it turns out there’s a horror movie about QR codes that re-program your mind to not see them. Or something. Here’s the trailer.

It’s time for you to see the fnords.

The big news of the week – apart from the fact our governments are spying on everything – was the reveal of iOS 7, with lots of pretty pastels replacing the photorealistic textures that used to dominate the user interface. Even the BBC ran an article called What is skeuomorphism (with a few quotes from yours truly).

For me, the highlight of the Apple keynote was Anki:

Remote control toy cars, all driven by Bluetooth from the phone, all independently steering themselves with artificial intelligence? What’s not to like.

Some stuff to read:

The Internet of Actual Things, by Giles Turnbull at The Morning News.

“Your light bulbs will narrate their agonizing deaths.”

The New Aesthetic: James Bridle’s Drones and Our Invisible, Networked World, at Vanity Fair. Awesome to see multiple friends-of-BERG (including our own Matt Jones) in a brilliant and well-deserved profile of James. Says Bridle: “It’s the thing we’re living inside, and I’m keeping an eye on it.”


Hey, so Little Printer exists in the Marvel universe.

And finally, the science fiction corridor archive.


Week 418

Week 418 is muggy. This new office doesn’t have working air con, and so everyone looks a bit shiny like they could do with patting down with some kitchen towel or one of those talcum-laced anti-shine papers that they sell in Boots. Everyone, that is, except Andy Huntington whose complexion is mysteriously matte. Maybe he has a secret stash somewhere in the crowded shelves of his workshop.

This week Denise has gone to Sweden to speak at Creative Summit. I hope she’s having a good time and has figured out how to pronounce Å and Ä.

Helen is on a holiday, she’s in Tunisia. The studio hasn’t quite fallen to pieces in her absence, but I did just have to read a HMRC PDF about VAT so let’s just say I’m excited for her to return next week.

This week, along with his usual responsibilities of making up creative new nicknames for people in the studio and trying to cuddle-monster Mark Cridge and Tom Taylor, Jack is in meetings and doing a lot of R&D.

Adam is back from France, and this week is working on the dev board site for BERGCloud. The first prototype dev boards arrived last week. They have this brilliant map of Old St on the back of them.

Dev Boards for Fabrica

Dev Boards for Fabrica

This week Neil is soldering components onto these using our brand new soldering oven.

Phil G is working on new publications, earlier today he and Alex finished off a new one for kids, you can check it out here. Alex has also been putting the final touches to the new design for the BERGCloud remote site, which we launched yesterday.

Joe is working on Sinawava with Laurence.

Kari is calendar wrangling and doing admin.

Fraser revealed to us at all hands that the spoonerism for his name is almost “Lazer Fury” and I was laughing too much at that to write down what he said his tasks were for this week. I can only imagine that they are writing the newsletter and responding to suport requests as usual.

Nick is helping Phil W, Adam and Joe on their respective pieces of work.

Mark is responding to emails.

Matt Webb is listening to me complain about VAT, writing emails and having meetings.

Andy is keeping an eye on the Little Printer second run assembly, helping Neil to assemble the dev boards, planning for the BERGCloud sandbox at fabrica and getting #Flocks up and running.

I am writing weeknotes, shipping the new remote design and fixing any bugs, boggling about Android Chrome’s weirdness around -webkit-overflow-scrolling: touch and grumbling about VAT.


Friday Links

It’s been a while since the last Friday Links. But I fear the Wrath of Alice, and as it’s my turn this week I’m posting them now before we get caught up in Friday Demos – and the Oculus Rift that Nick has bought in to the studio.

It’s been week of showing physical things here, really. Jack’s been rushing about like a man possessed with bits of paper, bits of plastic and things with wires hanging out the back. More #Flocks are being released into the world, and Alex and Andy have received new bits of the dev kit which are looking very nice indeed. Alice has also shared some awesome work on front end design and development for Remote (Little Printer) and so we’ve been looking at that too.

All of which is lovely of course, but it wont fill anyone’s need for productive procrastination. Things that are kind of work related but not so much they’re like doing *actual work* on a Friday afternoon.

Well, connected objects are the future as are wired/wireless homes, so here’s something that will help your research, shared by Alex:

The WiSee: WiSee uses WiFi signals to detect gestures from anywhere in your house
“Since WiFi signals are capable of passing through walls, WiSee can detect gestures made from neighboring rooms, breaking free from the line-of-sight method relied on by devices like Kinect and Leap Motion.” Insane.

And another, an augmented object, shared by Joe:

smarter objects – radio from Fluid Interfaces on Vimeo.

Joe also shared a link to this piece on the Five Best Time Machines. We’ve made a time machine actually but we don’t really like to talk about it.

Joe also shared this:

And Adam responded with Lockitron (he sent this response last week – he’s been away on holiday this week. The time machine works, but just backwards and forwards a week or two at the moment.)

Alex also shared a link to a connected sign post, and in response, Joe linked to a piece by the London agency Greyworld.

And finally, a non-work link (for the office dweller). What on earth is this person doing? Whatever it is, it made me feel slightly sick.

Have a good weekend, and don’t try that at home. We’ve seen how it all ends.

Week 417

It is week 417. Matt has calls and meetings before he goes to Cambridge for the Springboard demo on Friday. Fraser is duelling with Zendesk in the absence of Kari. Alice and Alex are continuing to refresh the remote for Little Printer and BERG Cloud. Mark is grinding out emails and exploring new retail opportunities for us, later he is doing a talk. Gyfo is finishing some stuff on GitHub and designing some new Little Printer publications to hang off Google and Eventbrite. Helen is working on box build stuff for LP and wrapping the studio in cotton wool so she can go on holiday next week. Joe has invented a new design technique called reflexive wire framing (?). He’s working with a guest animator Laurence on Sinawava which kicks off this week. He’s also got some speculative r&d pots on the boil with me too. I’m working a lot with Lucky Bite on new products and Andy is as usual knee deep in hardware, Dev boards, flock and LP. All coming home to roost in a single lump of time. Neil is on the same train, assembling hardware and wrangling some packaging issues. Nick is debugging and sneezing, he has the fever.

Week 416

This week, we’ll take a whistle stop tour around the Berg studio, courtesy of Vine and a low quality smartphone camera.

Let’s begin at the entrance to Epworth House, where we pass through a set of sleek revolving doors.

If you’re on a bike, please feel free to drop it off in our temporary cycle storage facility.

Before we head into the studio, the top floor of the building provides a good view of London’s bustling Tech City.

A lift takes us to the studio.

Inside, the reception area offers people a chance to take the weight off their feet and have a chat about code.

Ahead of us, we find the engineering department. Complete with tools, hacking and hardware.

Through these blinds we can see the numbers and accounts being carefully handled.

In the corner we can see the Little Printer newsletter being written.

At lunch, designers, developers, engineers and business minded folk gather around the red tables to compare food and share stories.

If you want a cup of tea or coffee we have a small kitchen, replete with gentle reminder to wash up when you’re done.

We are lucky to share a studio with the brilliant Newspaper Club

And Luckybite

At the end of the week we present what we’ve been up to at Friday Demos. If it’s particularly good it might even get a round of applause.

And that’s about it. What better way to wrap things up and head to the pub for a quick pint in the evening sun.

See you next week!

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