Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Best Wishes!

And so Christmas hits us right between the eyes. I have been baking gingerbread cookies and entertained the oldest kid by making various decorations. Cannot believe I am disclosing this - not a role I would usually see myself in - but it was all great fun and in a sense therapeutic. I got to turn the tempo all the way down - until I needed to clean up the mess afterwards, that is.

Best wishes to all - remember to be a kid when you get the chance ;)

Monday, December 22, 2008

Gamer reborn

Looking back at my Florida writings, it looks like something where I would think "Damn, that guy does not seem to get out much...". Eheheh.....

Anyway, back at work and a having a nice and calm December so far. My family and I have been heavily hit by disease but thankfully every instance has only lasted a day or two. It's as if the germs give up on our sad carcasses soon after the initial invasion.

"Fuck this, let's find somebody worth the effort."

So, I spoilt myself buying Fallout 3 in Orlando. Boy oh boy. I am like a child again. Magnificent game. It's not online or filled with bright colours. It's gritty, slow-paced, and foreboding. A real discovery and turn-ever-stone experience, which suits me so well, but with which others might lose their patience. I really think it retains a lot of the original Fallout 1 and 2 atmos, perhaps because it holds on to the concept of "strategic time", be it as passive travel time or in the V.A.T.S. combat system.
I heartily recommend it - yesterday I ran into my first super mutant. Nearly soiled myself...that's the mark of a good game!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

My Bloody Luck

10 days ago, I was ever the big spender in Orlando and I love our new little Canon point-and-shoot.
But it's just my bloody luck that Vestas chooses this year to give employees as their Christmas gift...a digital camera. Bleh.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008


Just a few musings, thinking back on my great trip:

The tipping system is insane, and inflating as far as I can tell. 18% default now.

Great vertical processes (queues, service systems, ways of organising events).

Really poor horisontal processes (people know nothing outside their own function).

Services are expensive, goods are inexpensive.

There is no privacy if you are even suspected of a crime (you and your family will be on the local news with names, address, and all).

Open WiFi is abundant...boy, could we learn from that.

Orlando, Florida is all but devoid of birds. I saw 1...and heard maybe 3. By the end of the week it felt kind of spooky. As if they were all ganging up somewhere, waiting for us to let down our guard. I actually saw more chipmunks than birds.

A particular Dane is stupid enough to buy a new glittery keyboard, oblivious to the fact that layout is still different based on country. Yes, that has not been standardised, you idiot. In fact, I only just realised this writing this very post to test the damned thing. Very nice, mac-like, bluetooth.....and all wrong. MORON!
This is where Apple-induced vanity will get you...

Monday, December 08, 2008

Floribbean: Part Fun

Back home now - but the fun part of Orlando came on Friday when we went to Universal. Oh, and did an obscene amount of shopping. Those fashion outlets are crazy, especially for a Scandinavian. I got 5 pieces of clothing for what one would cost here.

Higlights of Universal were the Mummy coaster and the new Simpsons Ride. The latter is magnificent. I didn't know what to expect and I was completely amazed. Basically, it's a virtual rollercoaster - you sit in a wagon that moves in its place - but the gigantic IMAX-like screen above you takes you away to another place completely.
Don't miss this if you go there - even if the Universal entry fee is bloody expensive...well over $90, as I recall.

Today I am recovering by looking after 2 kids one of which is sick - my jetlag is really bad. I am half asleep right now. Monday, go away.

Floribbean: Part Serious

Notes from the conference - the only notes, since this was one of the more interesting lectures I attended..!

Virtual Training Simulations & Game-Based
Systems: Large-Scale Adoption Issues

Chair: Amala Sadagic

Training beyond the technical stuff.
Military situation: large people turnover

Training needs: many noobs, new skills, short time frame

System succes criteria:
- large majority adoption (>80%).
- methodical and consistent use.
- 24/7 availability.

Comment: perishable skills issue

Literature: Diffusion of Innovation, Everett M. Rogers

1. innovators
2. early adopters
3. early majority
4. late majority
5. laggards

Opinions on new technology often formed on basis of subjective evaluations received from peers.

Factors on adoption:
1. relative advantage
2. compatibility
3. complexity
4. trialability (-> incremental adoption)
5. observability

Game systems never the full solution. Explore synergies between old and new systems.

Other media: forums, blogs, project diaries, podcasts, etc.

Mandatory deployment w. challenge programs (competitions).

Friday, December 05, 2008

Floribbean: Part 2

Friday now, and of course my note processing has not been entirely as planned.
For one thing, our hotel really sucks. Avoid the Orlando Metropolitan Resort if you can. It has the same steep pricing as the rest, $119 a night, but the standard of at least half of its rooms is that of a typical motel: run down and unpleasant. The WiFi provided is visible but almost impossible to access, and of course the regular staff just point to their 'business booth' which costs a fortune and provides crappy computers in a closet-sized, poorly lit cubicle in the lobby. An official conference hotel needs free WiFi, dammit!

Rant is well over now. I hardly spend any time in my shabby room, but after 5 days I really miss my own bed.

ITSEC conference has been so-so. We hit a couple of good sessions in the beginning but nearly all sessions have been 90% military-related. It has required a very concious effort to extract points and good ideas for our own industry context.
Best things have been a session on large scale adoption of virtual training technology, and a session on ROI (return-of-investment) assessment regarding simulation, modelling, and virtual reality integration. Both things extremely relevant, but all in all the price tag on the full conference participation has not quite been justified.

Actually, we have learned just as much on the exhibit floor, looking at a lot of visual technologies. I have seen amazing new projection systems, large scale simulators, loads of almost vulgar weaponry, and a lot of geo-based imaging software. The latter was really the largest category, as if all companies had fled into that domain, once the data was there to support a market.

I have more to tell, but right now I need to get up and running. Today is the last day. It's our one day off so it's all about FUN!
25 degrees...mmmm...

Tuesday, December 02, 2008


The Joint Improvised Explosive Device Defeat Organization.

A worthy cause indeed - and one of the few abbrevations which is actually surpassed by its original parts in terms of obscurity.

Monday, December 01, 2008

Floribbean: Part 1

Well on the ground here in Orlando, Florida - right now laying sleepless in my bed, waiting for breakfast time to arise. Not that I am particularly jetlagged but we turned in early when we got here.

Thankfully, they are a lot more generous with WiFi access points here than in Europe, so the Ipot is going to be really handy over here. I plan to update the blog each day, if not with long boring narratives then at least with basic notes from the conferences.

A great thing is that the Ipod location services seem to be accurate, so my Nearby and Around Me applications are spitting out large amounts of local shops and restaurants. Tonnes of both so in danger of webformation overload. Suggestions for good eating around Orlando are welcome!

Mental note to self:
- must start global airline for tall people.
- should include kindergarten rooms for hysterical toddlers.
- must not rely on half-frozen lunch meals.