Advent of Code 2018 is here! it’s a great way to brush up on your skills in time for the new year with some fun problem solving! I’m gonna make a real effort to do them all this year and hope we can share some strugglez in the Facebook group. h/t to Reed for the reminder on this one. let’s dig in!
testing is one of those things where when someone says they love writing tests I am kind of just like…
but it is important! it’s nice to read about someone else struggling to integrate writing tests into their development process, over the course of several years.
Julia Evans makes some great zines about the hard and soft skills that are useful for a career in technology. and a bunch of them are free for personal use! check out her site, and consider supporting her work as well with a purchase. Oh Shit, Git! is a personal fav.
this version of Conway’s Game of Life uses a webcam as a seed image! the original is a zero-player game created by the mathematician John Conway where the player provides an initial configuration and then observes how it evolves. Nathan Willson has shared a nice write-up on how his version functions, and the code is also available on Github!
are you looking for some source material for your next data-based project? Craig Taylor, a novelist, recently completed a project in conjunction with the digital curation team at the British Library where the entire process of writing a novel was captured via keylogging software. his write-up on the process is an interesting read, and more importantly, the data is now placed in the public domain under a Creative Commons BY license. you’re free to explore and tinker with all of the datasets here.
“TL;DR; You can clone a Pokemon GO Plus device that you own.” this post on tinyhack.com digs into the process of reverse engineering the GO Plus bluetooth device. it’s pretty technical, but an interesting exploration of how these devices are designed, built, and programmed.
📅 upcoming events!
Saturday December 8! School for Poetic Computation! NYC USA: “Avant.org and Ezra Teboul are happy to present an afternoon of discussion and musical/artistic demonstrations focusing on the work of three artists: Anastasia Clarke, Bonnie Jones, and Asha Tamirisa. As a continuation of Avant’s 2016 Circuit Score program, You Do (It) You(rself) asks the following questions: How can electronic circuits and software design act as a canvas for artists to express both personal stories and wider societal concerns?” this event sounds rad, check it out at 155 Bank St., New York, NY, suggested donation of $5-10.
Monday December 10! Eyebeam! NYC USA: Eyebeam presents curator Barbara London and and video and performance art pioneer Joan Jonas in conversation. “As two central figures in the field of media art, London and Jonas’ professional relationship spans over forty years of collaboration. In this special one-on-one conversation, the two will chart the evolution of emerging technologies and their impact on artmaking through three of Jonas’ breakthrough artworks from 1972 through the present.” RSVP for free on Eventbrite.
Sunday December 17 - Monday December 17! Tisch School of the Arts! NYC USA: ITP & IMA have their winter show just around the corner. no need to RSVP, just drop by between 2-6pm on Sunday or 4-8pm on Monday at 721 Broadway, 4th Floor South. the ITP winter show is one of my favorite annual events, there’s always something that grabs my attention and feels genuinely inspiring amid the student projects. check it out!
Make’s job board is a whole big list of open positions for anyone looking to bring a little of their tinkering energy to their day job. and they’re not all technical positions. Maker-style companies need social media managers and sales team members too, so whatever your professional background is you might find something!
Afrotech Fest, a tech festival by and for Black people of African and Caribbean heritage, has an open call for submissions for their 2019 event in London. even if you have never given a talk before, they encourage submitting your idea for consideration and offer some great resources for how to prepare. deadline is January 13, apply here.
just for lulz:
Supper Mario Broth is one of my favorite corners of the internet, an obsessively piecemeal history of Mario franchise ephemera. I especially love all the little explorations of the art from the various game, they’re a funny revelation of the mess behind the curtain in game development. the gif above is one such example- “In Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door, there is a tall hotel building in Poshley Heights where Mario is able to book a room. To visit the room, Mario must ride an elevator. Zooming out the camera to see the entirety of the hotel at once, we can see that the room is floating high above the actual building, to account for the length of the elevator ride.” sounds more like a Murakami short story than a level design but ok. the twitter account is great as well.
as always, submit to the open artist call if you have anything in the works that you are excited about! and if you have an event or opportunity to promote (anywhere), please send me all the details. the next newsletter will cover the week of December 10 to 16, but I’m happy to promote events farther in the future as well and keep them on the calendar.