links for 2008-05-30

Working Out with the Wii on KTHV

THVideo: Click here and here to see me, Stefanie Bryant and Tom Brannon goofing around on the WiiFit.

I don’t just read the Arkansas business news headlines on “Today’s THV at Noon” — sometimes I’m called on to be Tom Brannon’s monkey. And it’s a role I’m been more than happy to fill.

This week, I pitched in on a C-Block segment on the Nintendo Wii’s WiiFit system. Julie Blackwood from Body Shape Pro Fitness was the guest and talked about how people could use the WiiFit system to exercise.

As I pointed out during the segment, Nintendo has done an interesting thing with its Wii system by targeting markets that don’t include typical “gamers.” Those markets include senior citizens, who can use the Wii and, to some extent, WiiFit, for low impact workouts and exercises in hand-eye coordination.

Games like Wii Sports are fun because they get you off the couch and moving. They’re even more fun when lots of people are around, making gaming even more of a social activity — in my limited experience with the system, its been a blast at parties.

WiiFit takes it step further. Instead of flicking your wrist and flailing your arms (like you do in Wii Sports), you’re moving your legs, leaning to and fro, balancing — even doing push-ups. You can do as much or as little as you like. And the system tracks all kinds of personal health stats.

It’s interesting to see video games moving beyond their traditional markets and into new territory. And consider this: A Bryant physical therapist I know, Adam Carson, is now using the Wii in his practice for lower extremity and shoulder rehab.

(Remember: You can stream the THV noon show every weekday here.)

links for 2008-05-28

BusinessWeek.com Chief John Byrne On Journalism in the Digital Space

I believe in journalism’s most basic values—to inform and enlighten with integrity, to bring intelligent analysis to a complex world, to capture the great drama that business truly is, to teach, help and inspire people, and—let’s face it—to attempt to reform what’s not right with the world. I don’t believe there is a more creative place or a place more suited to accomplish all those goals than digital. You have so many ways to be a storyteller online. That’s why I think of the web as not just another medium, but rather a new utility, like electricity. It’s print, radio, and television all in one, except better and much more than all of them together.

Talking Biz News » BusinessWeek.com chief: We need to think more about our audience

links for 2008-05-27

Twin Towers Dormitory At ASU, My Home for 4 Years, Implodes

So there it goes, my home from 1995-1999. Arkansas State University finally implodes Seminole Twin Towers dormitory. A big chunk of my college experience literally going up in smoke.

Read more about the implosion from The Herald at ASU here, Twin Towers facts and figures here, and the Jonesboro Sun’s coverage here.

Nostalgia alert! After the jump, an essay I wrote this month for ASU on my time at Twin.

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One of Japan’s Hottest Web Sites, Built at UCA

Just noticed this in this month’s Wired magazine:

Nishimura has given his countrymen the tools to cut through all that packaging. He started with 2channel, a bulletin board service he created in 1999. It’s become one of the few places where Japanese people can say exactly what they feel without concern for decorum or propriety.

Nishimura downplays the importance of 2channel. He created the simple bulletin board system nine years ago as an exchange student at the University of Central Arkansas. “I was bored,” he says. “I made it to kill time.” There’s nothing remarkable about the technology — the site is similar to BBS setups that were common in the US at the time. And indeed, navigating it is like time-traveling back to the Mosaic era: It’s just pages of blue hypertext links and text punctuated by banner ads and a brick background pattern.

Now it’s one of the top 5 sites in Japan. Much more here.