Dennis Crowley notes that Target is turning checking people out into a game for their cashiers in order to speed things up.
Girl running the checkout […] said the whole thing “makes work feel like a game”.
Update: A Target employee chimed in with more information in the comments here.
Dennis Crowley has some nice ideas for what to do with a GPS- and internet-enabled device with running software on it (e.g. Nike+ on an iPhone).
#3. Ghost racers. Think: Super Mario Kart time-trials, except you’re running against a ghost version of your best time on the map. I know the Garmin already does this, but make it social… show me the best times of my friends or other local users.
Two average Joes compete in five Olympic events to see how they stack up against the top Olympic competitors.
Dennis Crowley and myself spent all day doing 5 different Olympic Events: 100m freestyle, 100m dash, 110m hurdles, long jump and the rings (in gymnastics) and compared ourselves to Olympic athletes.
Olympic athletes make it look easy and these two make it look difficult. I particularly enjoyed Crowley’s 100-meter swim/walk. Related: can you go from normal guy to Olympian with a few years of hard training? (via clusterflock)
Update: ESPN followed Kathryn Bertine — “an average person with an athletic background” — on her two-year quest to become an Olympic athlete. (thx gerard)
Update: The Mechanical Olympics project is leveraging the Amazon Mechanical Turk workforce to make videos of ordinary people competing in all the Olympic events. Here’s an example video. (thx, michael)
Dodgeball founders leave Google and that leaves Dodgeball probably dead. Then why did Google buy Dodgeball exactly? Not for the founders…they left. Not for the tech. To build it up into a profitable company? (Nope, they didn’t put any resources into it.) To kill it before some other company (Yahoo, Microsoft) got their mitts on it? For the PR value? Why did they even bother?
Update: Official thumbs-down announcement here. “It’s no real secret that Google wasn’t supporting dodgeball the way we expected. The whole experience was incredibly frustrating for us - especially as we couldn’t convince them that dodgeball was worth engineering resources, leaving us to watch as other startups got to innovate in the mobile + social space. And while it was a tough decision (and really disappointing) to walk away from dodgeball, I’m actually looking forward to getting to work on other projects again.”