Agile Chair Game - Some alternate suggestions

2014-11-23

If you've been at an Agile conference, been a Scrum Master for quite some time and joined an Agile meetup group (here in The Netherlands there are several), then you probably found that games can be very quick ways t energize any meeting and to drive learning through fun.

One game I've been doing a lot during Scrum Developer courses is a variation on the Agile Chair Game as described on Tasty Cupcakes.

Just to reiterate the goal of the game very quickly. Have the team learn quickly by failing in rapid succession and learning from their mistakes. The game drives short cycles, inspection and adaption and lays down a number of restrictions that they (initially) cannot work around (just like the real world does).

As I mentioned we've been doing a number of small changes to the game, so here's how we play it:

Amazons entry into the Dutch book market is not without issues...

2014-11-15

Amazon has finally announced that it opened its digital book store in The Netherlands. Due to the protected pricing on books in The Netherlands that took way longer than many people hoped for. Like me, a  lot of fellow Dutchmen have found their way to the US Amazon Kindle store and have been reading away happily for years now, as long as you don't mind hacking around with Calibre and removing the DRM protection from other sourced ebooks, reading on your Kindle works just fine that way :).

I myself usually read my books in English anyway and thus order them directly through Amazon.com,

Now that the Dutch site has finally launched I went over to see if I'd switch my "Country of residence" on my Amazon account, but it looks like I'll be waiting to do that for a little while more. Why? Well let me tell you:

Amazon does not yet provide extended warranty on Kindle Devices
My Kindle Paperwhite was damaged on the plane back from Mumbai last week and the screen is no longer functional. I wanted to order a replacement device, but that is not (yet) possible directly through Amazon.nl. One used to be redirected to Amazon.com (and pay quite a bit of import taxes), but now it's possible to order through Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.de.

In the order now window Amazon offers you the option to extend the warranty and accident protected with another 2 years. It doesn't tell you at this stage that the warranty is not applicable to residents of The Netherlands.

I contacted Amazon support and they confirmed the option. It looks like Extended Warranty will be available in the future, but it's unsure if it will be in the next 30 days (extended warranty must be purchased in the first 30 days after receiving the Kindle).

The collection of books is miserable (if you read titles in their original language)
This is an interesting problem. If you've ever walked into a large Dutch Bookstore, you might have noticed the large US and UK imports section. Especially the Science Fiction and fantasy sections are often better stocked in their original language.

When you go to Amazon.nl right now you'll find quite a few titles in Dutch, but all of the English titles I looked for were not available in my country. I can order them through bol.com (Amazon's biggest Dutch competitor), it's probably a licensing issue.

The Dutch books are a different story. All major publishers seem to be present, but a lot of the smaller publishers are not present yet.

You can't have a best of both worlds option
I don't really understand why, but it's not possible to be subscribed to two Amazon stores at the same time. Even though I can at present buy any ebook from amazon.com and have it sent to my (now defective) Kindle, I can no longer when I activate the Dutch amazon store.

As long as I don't make the switch I can't order any books that were written by Dutch Authors, unless I order them in English.

Now that doesn't make any sense to a normal consumer. I suspect again that this is a legal and licensing issue, but that doesn't mean I want to understand it.

Concluding
I'll stay with Amazon.com for the time to come. I'm hoping that they'll offer the same extended library of Kindle books in the future on either site.
 

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