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Category: Technology

Pokémon Go: The De-Gamification

I am a lifelong Pokémon fan (Pikachu was my ringbearer) that desperately wants Pokémon GO to survive and thrive. I think the game has tremendous, disruptive potential for the long term (you can read my initial writeup on Forbes.com.) But I’m also a 15-year veteran of the software, gaming and entertainment industries – and I have many thoughts on the changes in the game in the last month. In the month since Pokémon Go’s initial US release, it has been a rocky road, with spectacular highs and worrisome trends. Certainly the popularity of the game has, for the most part,…

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Alexa Knows Pokemon Types

I’m proud to introduce my first publicly released Alexa Skill, “Trainer Tips.” This (unofficial) Pokemon reference skill gives Alexa the ability to provide you with type matchup information while you’re in the thick of a battle. With 18 Pokemon types in the latest games, it’s hard to track all of the immunities, strengths, and weaknesses without a college course. 😉 What You Can Do The Trainer Tips skill supports three kinds of requests: Type Strengths Check the types that a particular “hero” type is strong against. Ask questions like: “Alexa, ask Trainer Tips about Steel strengths” “Alexa, ask Trainer Tips…

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Hello Computer

We’ve already established I grew up in a Trekkie household – so even though my fervor was largely attained in adulthood, I did still have strong opinions about parts of that universe. Specifically, my favorite Trek movie was always Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home. Of course, the juxtaposition of those future characters in present-day was delightful and a large part of what I liked about the film (I’ve always been drawn more to comedy.) But the scene I’ve always most remembered involves Scotty attempting to conduct some research via an 80’s era PC. He walks up to the giant…

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Hover to the Future

About a year ago, shortly after I began my tenure at Amazon and bi-monthly trips to the South Bay Area, I stumbled upon yet another Kickstarter. My Kickstarter portfolio has included books, drink-cooling devices, card games, video games, a design school, and in one case geeky baking sprinkles. All successfully funded, though many late deliveries. This project, however, was much loftier. The video tugged at the heartstrings of my generation, raised from an early age on Back to the Future – early enough that we were forgiving of the sins of Back to the Future II. Specifically, this Kickstarter from…

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Winning at the Starting Line

Countless articles and books have been written about the gender balance problems that continue to plague the tech industry. I’ve been passionate about outreach at the K-12 level for years, but what of those of us already in the workplace? A recent article that got me thinking about the topic once again in great detail was circulated a few weeks ago – Josh Bersin’s “The Important Topic of Women in Business: What Men Can Do”. But even this article focuses on mind shifts at home and in life, without a great deal of actionable advice. So you’re a leader in…

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