Wii + Second Life = New Training Simulator

Interesting thoughts on using a Nintendo Wii and Second Life together, from the Gadgets blog of Wired online

Nintendo games have made the Wii controller a satisfyingly realistic controller for pretend tennis, golf and baseball. But how about using it to practice doing surgery, applying pesticides or operating a nuclear power plant?

It will be interesting to see how this pans out over the next year or so for mainstream corporate training. For edu-tainment, the surgery bit has already happened. In a March Edition of Learning Trends (link followers- scroll to March 5, ’07 #434), Elliott Masie mentioned a Wii application called Trauma Center: Second Opinion that is only $49 and lets you perform a varierty of tests and interventions using the simulated environment and the motion-sensitive Wiimote controller.

More from Wired:

One of the attractions of [MIT Research Fellow David E. Stone] Stone’s approach is the low cost. In Second Life, it’s relatively easy to build chairs, buildings and other objects for avatars to sit on or walk through. Tools like wrenches or manual controls are also easy to build and, with a little tweaking, users can control them with a Wiimote.

Apple opens registration for iPhone Tech Talks

Apple just sent me an email with information on iPhone Tech Talks that are scheduled for

  • Los Angeles, CA 08/02
  • San Francisco, CA 08/24
  • Chicago, IL 08/28
  • New York, NY 08/30
  • New York, NY 08/31

It looks like an interesting day,and I will admit to a small amount of “return-ers remorse

Bring your notebook, your code, and your iPhone
After a morning of in-depth presentations and demonstrations, you’ll work with the experts to design, code, debug and test your solutions on iPhone. Access to your code is required.

Of course since I no longer have an iPhone and I’m not in L.A., San Francisco, Chicago or NYC, I won’t be going. I’m sure Jeff will notice the conspicuous absence of Hudson, WI as a venue– and feel no disappointment whatsoever.

Is YouTube an Enterprise App for Training?

Google and ZDNet seem to think so. I stumbled on to this Enterprise YouTube coming post on ZDNet in the Googling Google blog by Garett Rogers.

… why would a company want to integrate with YouTube, especially since most are either considering or have already blocked the website from their network? After thinking a while, I came to the conclusion that there are several uses for an enterprise version of YouTube that could make it worthwhile.

Training Videos
Companies are usually responsible for training new hires and even long time employees who are simply moving to new positions. This never ending process takes a lot of man hours that could be better spent in other areas of the organization. It would be easy to create training videos once and upload them to your corporate training application (YouTube) — allowing you to allocate resources more efficiently.

He goes on to cite Corporate Culture and Public Relations as other opportunities for YouTube as an Enterprise App. I wonder about social networking and informal learning as other emerging practices for use of an Enterprise YouTube application. It will be interesting to see what reader comments pop-up on the XDNet site in response– it obviously has a much wider or more diversereadership than the training and development community and their take on things will be interesting.

Adobe on AIR Events- Premiere Example of "Seminars 2.0"

I just got back from the roving Adobe on AIR barcamp event in Seattle. The bus is cool, the APIs are cool, the AIR product/environment is cool, and the whole event approach is cool. It really struck me as a “2.0” seminar, in the “Web 2.0” sense- early feedback from users/participants, user-driven, high-tech, effective and appealing UI, adaptive, editable, lots of APIs and mash-ups (Flikr images, twitter feeds, JSON APIs and geo-tagging with GPS location data).

It was both organized and ad hoc. Both a tech-y learning event and a corporate mark-com session. A great chance to learn and see what’s been done, work with experts, expand your network, and/or submerge head-down in the wireless network if you need to get a little business done online.

I really like that I came away with all the same materials and content that I would have had at a “1.0” seminar at a downtown hotel, BUT it was something that had community, something that will have its own lifecycle and a sort of harmonic sustain. This approach is something I could interact with and engage as it was on its way here, and something “sticky” that I’ll want to check back in with and follow as it goes forward. Those are the things that you don’t have with classic seminars– and I’m also going to monitor the Google code site with examples and check out the twitter and camera live-feeds as they wind their way to Vancouver, back to Portland, a week-end diversion to Las Vegas, and then an event in L.A. (then Dallas then Denvercheck a map first next time guys).

Good luck to Adobe with AIR and to the remote and local participants who join in the experience. Even if you’re not into the product, you should check out the approach and think about creating your own mash-up like this for training and collaboration sessions– its really quite effective. I’ll be editing down some video interviews I did with the Adobe team and then submitting that to the Masie Learning Consortium site next week.

Why I returned my iPhone after just 7 days

A short list of the reasons why my iPhone went back to AT&T on Saturday.

  1. Couldn’t accept meeting invites on it.
  2. No Cut/Copy/Paste.
  3. The keyboard.
  4. Not enough fine tuning control over email:
    • Can’t control size of email initially downloaded
    • Only checks at pre-defined intervals; 15 minutes, 30 minutes, 1 hour…
    • Doesn’t put things in “Sent items”, instead you automatically cc: yourself on everything
  5. No indicator lamp or LED- can’t tell at a glance if I have voicemail/email/SMS messages– or even if the thing is powered on.
  6. No encrypted password vault or ‘eWallet’ utility (I depend on this to ‘remember’ things like seldom-used low-stakes passwords, etc)
  7. No video out; can’t use it with the cool display glasses I recently bought.
  8. No removable memory or ‘mountable storage’; can’t use it to transport files. The SanDisk folding SD card + USB that I use with the Treo has spoiled me.
  9. Lack of 3rd party applications/extensions.
  10. No “museum mode” for the iPod features; most of the training things I want to do I can do better on a video iPod or desktop.
  11. No Adobe Flash.Yet?
  12. It’s good, borderline great, but there HAS to be a better one coming 12-18 months from now.

My Computing History

Already my close friend and personal curmudgeon has scoffed at my switcharoo (see his comment here). I have little to comment on his comment, other than to share that perhaps Microsoft provides a most excellent operating systems for the type of person who shuns human contact.

But seriously folks, here is a log of computers I’ve owned since 1985. In most cases one PC or handheld replaced another of the same type, but there were periods of overlap (eg, the PowerBook 180 soldiered on to 1996).

Some personal favorites were the Apple //c (hot rodded with a memory board), the Mac SE that got me through grad school, the PowerBook (my first laptop), the SmartBook (amazing value ‘Wintel’ machine like a PowerBook, the Palm Vx (still sweet for its role), and all the "serviceable workhorses" called ThinkPads.

Stinkers? There were a few in the "What was I thinking" category- the ’93 Gateway that we managed to use grudgingly use until ’97, the Newton (did you say ‘Newfoundland’?), the HandSpring Visor (translucent blueberry plastic? uggh), the iPAQ h6315 (that they dared to claim was a phone, except it locked-up routinely while a call was ringing in) and the Treo 600 (non-removable battery and volatile storage, but I was desperate after the HP "phone"). The late model PDA iPAQ (h4150) was almost Palm Vx-like, but added WiFi, very cool. The oldest iPAQS were hot stuff at the time, but in hindsight the dual-PC card "sled" was more like a ridiculously sized toboggan. Oh well, here’s the list in all its glory (or embarrassment).

1)Apple IIc (256K) 1MHz 65C02

2) Apple Mac SE 2MB/40MB 68020

3) Apple Powerbook 180 8MB/80MB 68020
4) Gateway Intel 486-33 16/285

5) SmartBook II 486-66 32MB/250MB

6) Newton MessagePad 120 StrongARM 110 162MHz (sold after 90 days)
7) SmartBook IV 486-100 64MB/500MB

8) ChemBook Pentium 133 128MHz/1GB
9) ComTrade P-150 128/4

10) HP 320LX Handheld SH-3 12MB/4MB

11) ThinkPad 770 P-II 233 256MB/5GB
12) Palm III 2MB 8MHz DragonBall

13) HandSpring Visor Deluxe 8MB 16MHz
14) Sony VAIO 490 P-III 600 256MB/20GB

15) ThinkPad T-20 P-III 700 256MB/10GB
16) Palm Vx 8MB DragonBall EZ 20MHz

17) Compaq iPAQ 3650 32MB ARM 206MHz
18) Compaq iPAQ 3670 64MB ARM 206MHz

19) Compaq iPAQ 3870 64MB ARM 206MHz
20) ThinkPad T-23 P-III 1GHz 512MB/60GB

21) HP iPAQ h4150 64MB XScale PXA255 400MHz

22) Handspring Treo 600 32MB TI OMAP 310 144MHz (returned after 6 days)
23) HP iPAQ h6315 64MB TI OMAP 1510 166MHz

24) ThinkPad T-42p P-III 1GHz 512MB/60GB
25) Palm Treo 650 24MB XScale PXA270 312 MHz

26) MacBook Pro, Duo Core 2.4GHz 2GB/160GB
27) Apple iPhone ??MHz Samsung ARM/8GB (returned after 7 days)

The Big Switch Begins

I love computers. Apple is putting the excitement and fun back in computing for me with the MacBook Pro, iPhone, and iPod. I plan on using all of those devices to create elearning and/or delivery elearning in the next 30 days. My journey is just begining, and it started in Shanghai (or at least that’s where my MacBook Pro started with FedEx).Fedex tracking via PackageMapping.com
(Visualization of package tracking via http://packagemapping.com/, accessed via the cool Firefox/Thunderbird extension that works with DHL, Fedex, UPS and US Postal Service tracking numbers.)

The next few hours will be some get (re)acquainted time for me and Mac– it’s been 11 years since I stopped daily use of a Mac. I’ll post some entries here about my preparations and experiences switching from my ThinkPad T43p with Win XP to MacBook Pro and OS X.

Oh yes, one more thing. I won’t be able to install much software tomorrow, I have to be in line somewhere for something– it might be here or here.

Where are you going to be Friday at 6pm? Maybe these links will help:
Apple retail- iPhone Availability Information
AT&T Wireless Find-a-store (hint pick "Apple iPhone" in the list box).

The learning community mourns the loss of Claude Ostyn

The elearning community and especially the specification and standards world mourns the loss of Claude Ostyn (http://www.ostyn.com/) who recently passed away after a battle with terminal illness. From his long-tenure at Asymetrix and Click2learn to his more recent independent consulting, Claude has been an advocate at the vanguard of learning frontiers.

Claude Ostyn made great contributions to elearning, always showing diligence, dedication and great passion in learning technology, as well as all of his other interests. He was a vigorous and active participant in the work of AICC, ADL SCORM, IEEE LTSC and IMS— you’ll find his name as a contributor and reviewer on countless documents & whitepapers, throughout the support forums, and on delightfully precise ballot comments. The Reusable Competencies Definition group is currently working on dedicating a specification to his memory.

Will elearning standards and specifications be the same without Claude Ostyn?

Basically, in effect, No.