The Luminous List | March 2018
Where’s Spring got to?
First, we had the ‘Beast from the East’, then the ‘Mini Beast from the East’. Now, meteorologists are predicting a third cold snap over the Easter Bank Holiday weekend. While this one will be much milder than previous snowy spells, we’re starting to get a little bit sick of it! We’d like to enjoy a Spring walk in our beautiful East Anglian countryside, without getting frost bite!
Grumbling aside, there’s plenty to feel positive about in the world of tech and media this month. We know we’ve mentioned it before, but we were particularly thrilled to see Norwich leading the charge with this year’s Tech Nation Survey responses:
1. Norwich – 364
2. London – 238
3. Leeds – 139
4. Belfast – 139
5. Redruth & Truro – 116
Top 5 responses, by City
— SyncNorwich (@SyncNorwich) February 13, 2018
Thank you so much to everyone who completed this year’s survey! Each response helps contribute to a detailed picture of our region’s tech ecosystem. This, in turn, helps to attract the right support and funding for technology to continue to thrive.
Here’s what else has got us talking in the LPR office this month…
Hot Stuff ?
International Day of Happiness
This Tuesday was the sixth annual International Day of Happiness: an official UN celebration of happiness. The International Day of Happiness reminds us to make an effort to bring happiness into our lives. It also promotes the importance of incorporating happiness into our culture and organisations.
Since the first International Day of Happiness back in 2013, each of the 193 UN member states has committed to considering happiness at the heart of government policy.
To keep track of how we’re doing, the Sustainable Development Solutions Network (a UN organisation) publishes theon the International Day of Happiness every year. According to the report, Finland is the world’s happiest country, followed by Norway, Denmark, and Iceland.
Unfortunately, the UK didn’t fare as well, coming in at 19th happiest. However, figures from the Office of National Statistics do suggest that overall happiness is increasing for Brits.
We did our bit to boost happiness in the Norwich area by hosting a charity bake sale on Friday 23 March for Theodora Children’s Charity! Thanks to everyone who came and showed their support.
We’ve rediscovered our love of Boomerangs! For the uninitiated, a Boomerang is a one-second looping video, composed of five photographs. It looks like this:
The Boomerang app is created by Instagram, but you can easily share them to any social media platform. Although they’ve been around since 2015, we’ve recently rediscovered our love of them while helping Theodora Children’s Charity with their #GiggleWeek campaign. Something about the silent, endlessly-looping videos make giggling even funnier.
Still not sure what it’s all about? We created a short explainer video to show you how to make a Boomerang. It’s dead simple!
Wondering how we made our looping laughter tweet for #GiggleWeek? We’ve created a helpful video to explain how you can make your own awesome #Boomerangs! #LuminousTips https://t.co/Oj5XtzBrKU pic.twitter.com/t1szAXlZPE
— Luminous PR (@LuminousPR) March 19, 2018
Although we couldn’t attend, we were thrilled to see that the first ever DevEast conference was a success! The event was well-covered on social media, and we’ve heard nothing but good things from all our contacts who attended.
Hosted at Ipswich Town Football Club, DevEast is Ipswich’s first developer conference. Organised by the Digital East Anglia meetup group, the one-day DevEast conference hopes to raise the profile of development work in the region. Headline sponsor of this year’s conference was tech giant, Derivco.
Speakers at this year’s conference included representatives from Derivco, Oracle, The User Story, and the Creative Computing Club. Judging from social media, the highlight of the event was the amazing sketch-noting from Norfolk artist, Rebecca Osborne:
— Rebecca Osborne (@rebeccavosborne) March 16, 2018
We also heard great things about Derivco’s cupcakes:
Gold Sponsors of @Dev_East supplied cupcakes – thks @Derivco P.S. For those looking for a great place to work , cupcakes come as part of the great work benefits! https://t.co/we0BVyYQAR #Developer #Software engineer #ServiceOps pic.twitter.com/t9BObVpjtg
— TechEast UK (@TechEastUK) March 16, 2018
Considering how big the tech sector in East Anglia is, there are surprisingly few tech-specific conferences held in the region – though we do have plenty of brilliant meetup groups! Norwich has the regular Sync the City hackathon and NorDevCon conference, and Newmarket hosts VentureFest East, but it’s always great to see more large-scale tech happenings come to our region. We’re already looking forward to DevEast 2018!
‘Breaking’ Easter Egg News
We didn’t know there was so much to say about the humble Easter egg.
The ‘millennials love avocados’ joke is starting to get a little old, but that hasn’t stopped Waitrose from creating an avocado-shaped Easter egg. To be fair, it does look pretty tasty – especially that cocoa-dusted ‘stone’ in the middle. The digestively-challenged among us were pleased to see a gluten and dairy free treat hailed as this year’s tastiest Easter chocolate. However, we were even more pleased when we realised that it’s produced in Norwich! Vegan brand, Booja Booja, came out on top in a “blind” taste test of 142 Easter eggs and chocolates carried out by the Good Housekeeping Institute.
However, we were less thrilled to see which Easter treats were the worst offenders when it came to wasteful packaging. According to research by consumer group, Which?, the best-selling Easter treats are on average 25% packaging. The worst offender is Thorntons, whose large chocolate egg is 36.4% packaging by weight.
And finally, the Evening Standard reports that the National Trust has made a “U-turn” on banning mentions of Easter from its annual egg hunt following last year’s “scandal”. While it wasn’t quite a ‘scandal’, a few people certainly grumbled about the National Trust’s decision to rebrand its egg hunt as “Cadbury’s Great British Egg Hunt”. The National Trust has averted a similar crisis this year by proudly reinstating lots of mentions of Easter on its marketing materials. Thank goodness for that!
Not Hot ?
The Beast from the East
We’re the wrong side of Christmas to appreciate any more sprinklings of the white stuff! Not to mention the disruptive impact it had on businesses around the country. Retail giant, John Lewis, reported a 5% drop in sales following the snowfall this March.
Like most people in the tech scene, we’ve been watching the drama unfold between Facebook and data analytics firm, Cambridge Analytica. The firms are accused of harvesting the personal data of people who completed a Facebook ‘personality quiz’ back in 2014. Whistleblower, Christopher Wylie, alleges that the harvested data was used to influence the outcome of the US 2016 presidential election or the UK Brexit referendum. Both firms deny any wrongdoing. You can read a write-up of the story so far over on BBC news.
In the wake of this scandal, we’ve been paying a little more attention to our Facebook security. We particularly like this article from The Verge about how to use Facebook without giving away too much of your personal data.
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