Really Personal Trainers

June 24th, 2004

Our Chief Los Angeles Correspondent Kathy Valladares discovered the newest bulletproof business trend to hit California: underground strip health clubs.

In each of the three union-owned-and-operated Lusty Lady Sport Clubs, rows of exercise equipment are interspersed between raised stages and brass poles. Direct cash tipping is forbidden. In aggregate the dancers are paid at least as much as they would earn at a traditional strip club, but their pay is built into the (quite expensive) gym membership fees. A computer system monitors each customer’s fitness progress on a second-by-second basis, and rewards the currently-performing dancers based on the customers’ exercise performance.

Scenario: Lazy Dave has trouble dragging himself into the gym, and even more trouble carrying through on a full, vigorous workout once he gets there. Dave starts his workout with cardio, hopping on a stationary bike. If he slacks off during Bubbles’ dance (if his speed and heart rate drop too low) Bubbles’ pay during that dance falls accordingly. But if Bubbles can encourage Dave to reach and maintain his peak level of biking exertion during her dance, a big pay bonus is automatically deposited into her account. How Bubbles manages this — by taking off her clothes or keeping them on, by dancing near Dave when he does well or turning away when he slacks off — is determined by the two; the important thing is that Bubbles and Dave are both incentivized to get Dave into shape.

An ambient disco-ball feedback system informs the strippers how close each patron is to his or her peak level of effort, second-by-second. Mirrored disco balls suspended above each piece of exercise equipment tell the tale: slow-spinning mirror-balls indicate slacking patrons and fast spins suggest healthy levels of exertion.

And you thought Pilates was hot…

Welcome Eva

June 8th, 2004


Oh my.

Eva started a weblog.

And I don’t say that lightly.

Welcome Eva! It’s about time.

Encounter Bubbles

June 6th, 2004

Czechy doubt: Encounter Bubbles.

Your PDA: A Wireless Web and Music Server

June 4th, 2004

Imagine sharing the collection of MP3 music files that you listen to on your PDA wirelessly with anyone nearby. Imagine converting that PDA into your own mobile, wireless Web server, through which anyone nearby who has a wi-fi enabled laptop or device can browse and download whatever Web pages, photos or other content that you choose to offer up.

A new application called Pocket Rendezvous allows you to do that. This is exciting because it takes the mobile personal Web server paradigm (as seen in Intel’s Personal Servers and in Julian Bleecker’s Wi-fi Bedouin project), and rolls it out in a form that will run on mobile devices that thousands of people already use.

But get this: while Pocket Rendezvous uses the device discovery and networking protocol most famous for its use in Apple’s Rendezvous system, Pocket Rendezvous runs only on (Microsoft) PocketPC devices! How darkly ironic… Nonetheless, bravo to Simeda, the small German software firm behind Pocket Rendezvous. I hope they port this to PalmOS soon so I can use it on my wi-fi enabled Palm.

(Thanks to Joe, Howard and The Register for the tip.)