Welcome back to another edition of What We’re Reading, our 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 Forbes, The New York Times, YouTube, Rolling Stone, The LA Times and more. Up first, it’s …

The Best Thing We Read This Week …

Revisionist History

Author Malcolm Gladwell has written some of the most popular and talked about non-fiction books of the last 15 years — titles like “Outliers,” “The Tipping Point” and “Blink.” Now Gladwell is spinning off his unique talents into the podcasting sphere, with a new project called Revisionist History podcast by Malcolm Gladwell. Senior Project Manager Tim Sandlund checked out the first episode, and it caught his attention. “Gladwell goes back and reinterprets something from the past: an event, a person, an idea. Something overlooked. Something misunderstood. We are so focused on the future at Marxent, it’s intriguing to step back and learn from history.” he says. The next podcast is about good ideas and why they have difficulty spreading. Tim will be listening. Will you?

Best Thing We Heard This Week …

Black Tapes Podcast

Product Management & UX Strategy Lead Nick Kizirnis is kind of like Marxent’s ears, and this week he’s hearing the sweet, sweet tones of the Black Tapes Podcast. The sister podcast to Tanis from Pacific Northwest, this “radio” mystery is “a serialized docudrama about one journalist’s search for truth, her enigmatic subject’s mysterious past, and the literal and figurative ghosts that haunt them both.” Nick says it’s well-produced, gripping and sometimes more than a little scary. And Nick doesn’t scare easily, so take that to heart.

There was also big music news this week, as a California jury cleared Led Zeppelin of plagiarizing Spirit’s “Taurus” for the intro to “Stairway To Heaven.” The trial featured it’s share of weird moments, and now that it’s over the members of Led Zeppelin can finally get back to their busy schedules of not playing or touring with each other.

Best Thing We Wrote This Week



As part of our Marxent @ Work series, AR/VR Project Manager Kelsey Riviello wrote a terrific piece about what it’s like to come to work at Marxent (or many tech companies just like it) when you’re not steeped in comic books, sci-fi, and other touchstones of geek culture. Kelsey Marxent @ Work piece:

Marxent CEO Beck Besecker was interviewed in Forbes for a piece titled, Augmenting Reality in Retail: How Lowe’s, Walgreens Make Virtual Change In The Aisle. “Just because tech is cool doesn’t mean that people understand it immediately,” Beck told writer Bryan Pearson. “Just coming up with a cool app idea and putting it out there isn’t enough.”

Gaming, Gaming everywhere …

Project Manager Vince Kilian enjoyed a recent Forbes article on the purchase of Supercell, the maker of Clash Of Clans’, by a company called Tencent. “For context, Supercell created four hit mobile games and were purchased $10.2 Billion by Chinese tech giant Tencent. For perspective, that’s more than Facebook’s acquisition of Oculus Rift and Lucasfilm’s acquisition by Disney COMBINED and multiplied by TWO!” Supercell has over 100 million daily active players across the 4 games: — Clash of Clans, Clash Royale, Hay Day and Boom Beach — though there is concern the company may have already peaked.

In other gaming news: The Console Wars officially entered Virtual Reality at E3 in 2016, though winners and losers are a long way off. That said, an article The Verge isn’t so sure VR is the future, explaining “How virtual reality gaming is blowing its big chance in 2016.”

But wait, there’s more …

Shocking but true: Almost every car you see in a TV advertisement is a digital creation. How do the filmmakers achieve photorealistic automobiles that are so convincing most people just think they’re real cars? Marxent Front End Developer Bryan Stubbs found the above video for The Blackbird, made by The Mill, a new customizable car rig that filmmakers can re-skin with almost any in CG car. So now you know …

Big news from across the pond, as Britain has voted to leave the E.U. and Prime Minister David Cameron has announced he will step down. What does it all mean? We have no idea! Let’s let the New York Times explain what Brexit means for England and the world.

What makes us conscious? Plato threw out some ideas on the subject about 2300 years ago, and as Marxent Director of Analytics Seth Cooper, those ideas are now being backed up by neuroscience. News flash: the definition of being turns out to be intertwined with the idea of power. Who knew?

Spooky! 166-Year-Old cemetery goes modern with Virtual Reality tours.

Ever wanted to go on vacation with the Obamas? Soon you’ll be able to, as the White House is set to release VR video of first Obamas’ Yosemite trip.

Hey Siri, can you tell me why you’ve never lived up to your initial hype? “No, but I did find this fascinating article on The Ringer about how I got left behind.”

Boldly going to a galaxy far, far away, Star Wars and Star Trek are leading the next wave in VR entertainment.

Just when you thought it was safe to get back into the water, Discovery’s Shark Week takes its first dive into Virtual Reality.

There’s a mysterious sound coming from the Caribbean that’s so loud it can be heard from space. But it’s probably nothing to worry about, so please move along … too bad there may not be anyone out there to hear it.

And Finally …

George R.R. Martin and Stephen King talk for an hour about writing, pop culture, politics and more! Great video — or the greatest video ever?!!?