Sunday, September 23, 2007


This video game may generate more revenue than your favorite movie.

I love video games. Many folks my age don't get it. From an economic view, the revenues are huge and the profit margins are probably better than movies. You won't see a video character holding up production because he's doing another movie, in rehab, or wants more money for the sequel.

What you will see is an interactive story telling genre that allows the participants to be a major part of the happenings. If you wanted to be James Bond, now you can!

Looking forward, video games provide a strong signal of where we can go with education. If we create learning that allows kids to have an active role, the information is more likely to stick with them. The challenge for the educational and technology communities is to come together and find appropriate ways to blend lessons and technological activities. That's where conferences like NECC, CES and other educational/technology conferences are key opportunities to for these groups to better understand what they can bring to the table of learning...and hopefully how to collaborate to make learning more fun.

Hail to the Master Chief!

Halo 3 Update--$170 million revenue in US on first day. I wonder how many folks were "sick" on Wednesday???

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Gattaca Meets Minority Report - Your death might be used against you while alive

The other day someone sent me a link to an article from the Atlanta Journal Constitution about your body knowing how you will die(<--free subscription). Studies at Emory University are headed right toward Gattaca. The insurance and medical communities are keeping an eye on the research.

If you have watched either of my two favorite movies from recent times, you know there are all sorts of implications and flaws with this concept. On the mental side, if you "knew" you were going to die next week of a heart attack, how would do things differently this week? Quit your job, take out a big life insurance policy, suicide, attack your 6th grade bully, spend time with family?

Lot's of ways that different folks would deal with the situation. On the other hand, if you get hit by a bus this week, while you are doing the stuff that you decided to do instead of your normal routine, does that make your demise the fault of someone else? In the world of Minority Report, maybe the knowledge of upcoming death makes you more liable for things that week.

On the fiscal side, the insurance companies would love to terminate coverage for folks that they think are going to run up medical or life insurance claims. Now, it is harder to live a normal life because the DNA police are messing with perceptions of your existence. Would you do an Anna Nicole for someone in this situation (marry for money assuming death is coming soon?)

For now, nothing changes, but know that we are getting closer to a world where the more society understands about individuals, the more likely that information will be used strategically against you.

Look out for the pre-cogs!

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Judge, I'm Gonna Be Starting Something

Should I work on the game project, my meeting prep, cleaning up my office, my website revisions, or my first blog?

Blog wins. First topic--Jury Duty.


Guess where I had the time to make a few notes.

For the record, I think jury duty is a good thing. Most folks should do it instead of trying to get out of it. If you ever had the misfortune of being in court would you want to see folks you think are reasonable in the jury box or all the folks that spend their days watching:
  • TV justice (pick your favorite judge)
  • the 58th rerun of ______
  • the third DNA test for that baby's daddy
  • talk show host ___ discuss teen serial killers who each lost 80+ lbs in less than 6 months
I don't want these folks making up the majority of the jury pool. I do want reasonable people there. I was called into the courtroom with about 50 other folks. During the time we waited, lot's of things happened. It took 1 1/2 days to pick the jury. Most individual parts of that time were done in about 10 minutes. The group activities took about 45 minutes. So most of us got 2 days jury pay for about an hour of work and a lot of waiting.

I did not get selected. I was glad because I needed to be in NYC a few days later. The judge said the case would probably take a day or less. Reading between the lines, the defendant was either very guilty or very innocent. Someone (witnesses/alibi?) was going to make this one easy.

Here's an idea to make this work a little better for all of us.

Send everyone a jury summons at the same time. Let us phone in or use the internet to pick multiple dates (say five one week periods) that should work for us to serve. Fill the waiting room when it appears to be good timing for the jury folks. Backfill spaces where you are short with the regular method for all those people who were too busy to call in or login.

Put people to work on the first morning. Keep us busy doing something. If you are not put into a jury pool, let me learn something about how the courts work in my town/county. (Remember, that jury pay comes from your taxes. Get some value out of it.) You could put 500 people though the group part of jury selection answering questions for a bunch of (5-15?) trials at one time. Maybe I don't fit trials #3, 6 or 9, but would be a good juror for #2, 5, and 10. Now you can start individual questions with potential jurors that qualify for the lowest number of trials.

With creative thought and some wise use of technology, jury duty could become more effective and efficient.

There are other ideas to update this process from folks that know more about it than me. I am not a lawyer. I didn't even stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night. I just know there should be a better way to impanel a jury when the stakes are quite high for the people in court.

Michael Jackson gets credit for the title. The song has nothing to do with the post--unless you were actually in my jury pool. In that case you say, hey wasn't that case about...