Thursday, December 30, 2010

Nissan Leaf rates you against other drivers, creates a high score list for hypermilers

From Engadget

Nissan Leaf rates you against other drivers, creates a high score list for hypermilers
Xbox Live and the Achievement system kind of reinvented the high score list, letting you compete against your friends even when you're roaming solo through a stark, barren wasteland. It looks like Nissan is doing much the same with the Leaf -- but minus the bloatflies and the supermutants. As the cars are now rolling out to eager owners we're learning more about just what its Carwings system can do and another neat trick is the "Regional Rankings" page, where one driver's driving efficiency is rated against others in the area. There are bronze, silver, and gold medals up for grabs but, if you cover the thing with speed tape and only commute downhill, you might just be awarded the platinum award. What does that get you? Why, a little picture of a trophy, of course. What were you expecting?

DOD Launches Casual Games site

from Armed with Science

On December 1st, 2010, Defense Acquisition University (DAU) launched the first ever Department of Defense casual games site with 13 mini games designed specifically to enhance Acquisition workforce education.

DAU’s Global Learning Technologies Center became determined to launch a site of this nature when it was realized that DAU students were similar in demographic to users of other casual games sites. The rationale behind the site was to serve as a place where professionals in the Acquisition workforce could go to play games that were related to the “core competencies” that are central to Acquisition. The result was a game site that mirrors some of the functionalities that most sites use today, including the ability to create a login to store, rate, and comment on games as well as collect badges for achievements in play.

Monday, December 27, 2010

MiX: Here's a Resolution Worth Working On: Have More Fun


Happy Holidays!

As we close out 2010 and look forward to the New Year, let’s take a look at a well honored tradition – the New Year’s resolution.

Celebrating the New Year is perhaps one of the oldest traditions we know of. Over 4000 years ago, the ancient Babylonians celebrated the new moon on March 23rd. Years later, in 153BC, the Roman Senate selected the god Janus to represent the beginning of the calendar year. In 46BC, Julius Caesar established the Julian calendar, securing January 1st as the official start of the year.

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Friday, December 17, 2010

How Video Games Are Infiltrating--and Improving--Every Part of Our Lives

Fast Company

Pretty soon, every soda can and cereal box could have a built-in CPU, screen, and camera, along with Wi-Fi connectivity. And at that point, the gaming of life takes off. "You'll get up in the morning to brush your teeth and the toothbrush can sense that you're brushing," Schell said. "So, 'Hey, good job for you! Ten points' " from the toothpaste maker. You sit down to breakfast and get 10 points from Kellogg's for eating your Corn Flakes, then grab the bus because you get enviro-points from the government, which can be used as a tax deduction. Get to work on time, your employer gives you points. Drink Dr Pepper at lunch, points from the soda maker. Walk to a meeting instead of grabbing the shuttle, points from your health-insurance provider. Who knows how far this might run? Schell said. He offered psychedelic scenarios, like the one in which you recall a dream from the previous night where your mother was dancing with a giant Pepsi can: "You remember the REM-tertainment system, which is this thing you put in your ear that can sense when you enter REM sleep, and then [it] starts putting little advertisements out there to try and influence your dreams." If the ads take hold, you win big points for discounts at your local grocery store. "Then there's your office mate," Schell continued, "and he's like, 'Check out this new digital tattoo' " that he got from Tatoogle AdSense, and when you show him yours, you realize you're both wearing Pop-Tart ads. You get paid for the ads, plus 30 additional points just for noticing.

Full article

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Whistle While You Work (but only if you are winning)

Management Innovation Exchange

We're all for smiling at work—that is, until we start losing.

Just watch what happened when the Arizona Cardinals quarterback Derek Anderson was caught smiling and laughing during the Cardinals 27-6 loss to the San Francisco 49ers on Monday Night football. A short video clip of the lighthearted moment has triggered a bit of a frenzy. Post-game questions about the incident resulted in a tirade from Anderson and set off a storm of discussion in locker rooms and sports talk radio shows all over the country.

Here is a NY Times blog post. Orlando Magic center Dwight Howard spoofed the Anderson episode here.