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What We’re Reading: Plain of Jars, Emma Stone, Tesla, Coco-naut and much more | Marxent

What We're Reading

Welcome to another edition of What We’re Reading, Marxent’s weekly series featuring staff members highlighting the best articles, videos, music and more they saw over the prior 7 days. This week, those finds included stories from Wired, The Verge, Gartner, YouTube and many more. Up first, it’s …

The Best Thing We Read This Week …

Marxent Director of Sales Jeff Morrow waded into an ancient mystery this week when he happened upon a New Atlas story titled, Drones and virtual reality combine to recreate mysterious archaeological site. Per the article, “With the help of drones, Australian archaeologists are creating a virtual replica of the Plain of Jars, an ancient site littered with mysterious stone jars in Laos, so that inquisitive minds can strap on headsets and explore from afar.” It’s a great example of how VR tech is opening to door to new avenues of historic preservation, and allowing people to “visit” places they would never get to go to in real life.

Unity 5 Game OptimizationThe Best eBook We Read This Week …

Marxent Product Engineer Mike Bagley is always sharpening his skills, and that includes reading some interesting stuff, like this eBook covering Unity 5 Game Optimization. “This week I have been reading a great book on optimizing Unity 5. It has some really great snippets and blurbs on optimizing Unity5 textures, materials and lighting too.”

The Best Interview We Saw This Week …

Is there anyone who doesn’t love Emma Stone? We doubt it, but let’s say there is still someone out there harboring disdain for her. Show them this cool video from Vogue, featuring a one-take interview with the actress answering 73 silly questions delivered in rapid fire succession. Their bad opinion will melt away like cotton candy in a rainstorm.

But Wait, There’s More …

Marxent Software Engineer Ken Moser is developing quite the fascination with robots. Last week it was the awesome yet hilarious bot used by the NFL to help players practice tackling. This week, Ken introduces us to Kengoro, the robot that sweats. “Here is another article I found interesting, this one regarding an innovative method for keeping robots cool that prevents their motors from overheating,” Ken says. “The research is from the University of Tokyo, which I guess is expected since the Japanese love crazy stuff with robots.” Who doesn’t really?

Sarah Pennington, our People Operations Associate, found Neri Oxman’s “Towards A Material Ecology” to be a fascinating read. “Neri wants people to have a new view of the world: the World-as-Organism. As crazy as it may seem will our cities one day be living things? Could that be an answer to so many of our environmental issues? Neri purposes that instead of consuming nature we edit it going from mining to growing, the dream is to have products that are able to grow, heal, and adapt,” Sarah says, before adding, “Neri’s last statement is what I found most interesting. ‘As we master ‘unnatural’ processes at a speed and sophistication that dwarfs evolution, Material Ecology propels us into the age where we mother nature by design.” Inspiring or scary? You be the judge.

Google launched a new phone this week, called the Pixel XL, and many of the early reviews have been gushers.

Is 360-degree live streaming video headed to Twitter? This article, shared by Sales Associate Levi Bruce, seems to think so. Why? Because the company hired AngelHack founder Gregory Gopman. Who? “Gopman, who started as VR Program Manager at Twitter this month, most recently worked for UploadVR, a Bay Area-based VR news site, events producer and co-working space.” Oh.

Get ready for some future shock, as “Gartner Predicts a Virtual World of Exponential Change.” Author Daryl Plummer lists off his top 10 strategic predictions for 2017 and beyond. Let’s just say you shouldn’t get too attached to those mobile apps.

Forget “autopilot” mode. According to Tesla CEO Elon Musk, his high-end electric cars will have fully autonomous driving capability by the end of 2017. Cool, yes! Cheap? Not so fast …

And Finally …

The Internet of Things (IoT) is currently riding a wave of hype saying it’s the next big thing, and that connecting all manner of inanimate object (appliances, furniture, artwork — basically anything with physical mass) will have great benefits for consumers. Enter the Coco-nect, a connected-drinks system that uses coconut-shaped cups with Wi-Fi and RFID technologies built in. Twist the bottom of the cup, and it sends out a signal letting the bartender know you need a refill. The cup also informs the waitstaff of your location in the bar so they can bring your new drink to you. It’s not a flying car — but it’s close.

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