Summer reading

June 21, 2009

I’m taking summer-classes this year but in the brief period between those and the end of the last semester I bought three books that I wanted to read and I’m going to review it for you here.

The first one I read was “The Gold Standard” by Mike Krzyzewski, it recounts how the USA Basketball Olympic Team got formed and the process used to build it and meet the goal of winning the Gold Medal on the 2008 Olympic Games. It’s clearly trying to catch the business aspect of forming a team, but for those looking for a sports book I can tell you’re not going to be disappointed, it tells about the behind the scenes of a team formed by great stars like Kobe Bryant, Lebron James, Dwayne Wade, and how to make them work together and build truly a team. Overall a great reading, you can learn from this book, mostly how to be a team player and of course how to create and lead a team.

Next was “T-Minus: Race to the Moon” by Jim Ottaviani, Zander Cannon and Kevin Cannon. This is a graphic novel about the behind the scenes of the Space Race of the ’60 and ’70 between USA and the USSR. Although it would be nice if it was longer it meets the expectations, you get to know the internal fights and stretch time-lines both programs had and much more about how the Soviet program worked, at least I didn’t know that it was so dependent of only one man and who that men was and how brilliant he was. Great reading, fun and informative at the same timed.

The last one was a book I was trying to read since a long time, “A Theory of Fun for Game Design” by Raph Koster. Certainly it’s what everyone is saying about it, an instant classic and a must for those wanting to work on the gaming industry and even for those willing to know why we play games and how to make them in a successful manner. After reading it I truly believe it changed my way of thinking on certain aspects and I was able to identify past behaviors of mine on play situations and the actual reasons of my reactions. A book to read once and consult every time you need it and of course one to recommend to everyone.


Intelligent Remote

September 8, 2008

I’m those kind of guys that got an idea with every new thing they get to know, most of it are just crazy things that no one will never want, but often I got with an idea that I think people will find useful. Well yesterday I got one of these and thought that this could be a good place to post it. As a sports fan you usually find yourself trying to get your favorite team on TV (if you don’t have the tickets) and maybe you’re too busy to keep track of that and don’t even know which channel is broadcasting the match (if any). That happens a lot if you are on a trip and out of home. Well then I thought what about having a remote control at which I can say “Colt’s Game” and it will show me which channels are broadcasting the game right now in my TV (or the hotel one). I know it may sound futuristic, I thought the same, but then I start thinking if it really was futuristic and came to the conclusion that it could be possible with the technology we have right now, let me explain it.

I remember having a remote application on my old Palm where I can control my TV from, I’m sure you can have one of those on the new iPhone and Google’s Andoid SO, those devices are connected to the Internet so is pretty easy for them to get the right info on the channels, and voice command? well that’s working already too. So where’s the limitation then? Why we don’t have that working already? Well I don’t know, maybe there is something already working like this out there, but if someone of you want to give a try at something like this I will be awesomely glad of helping to get it done.
Imagine sitting in front of your TV and say “Astro’s Game”, then one click and that’s it, forget zapping. And think about the possibilities if you add pay-per-view to the combo.

Hope this could be one of those ideas, really.