Hello Kitty is not a cat! Video interview with LA Times reporter who started worldwide debate

Saturday, 30 August, 2014

Hello Kitty is NOT a cat? Really?! In recent days, people from around the world have expressed shock as they found out Hello Kitty is not a cat from articles quoting “Hello Kitty is not a cat, plus more reveals before her L.A. tour” by Los Angeles Times reporter Carolina A. Miranda. My in-depth and exclusive Skype video interview with Miranda talks about what lead her to write the article and different aspects of the Hello Kitty brand. Have a watch of the interview as it was a ton of fun to conduct and should be a lot of fun to watch.

To be honest, this reporter is one of the people who was shocked to find out Hello Kitty is not a cat from reading Miranda’s article. And then changed my mind again Read the rest of this entry »


Deploy or Die. Learning over Education. – New Quotes I Love

Saturday, 26 July, 2014

Adding these to my long list of Quotes I Love,

Deploy or Die.” (instead of “Demo or Die” – Nicholas Negroponte; or “Publish or Perish” in the old days) – Joi Ito at 2014 TED Talk “Want to innovate? Become a “now-ist”” (transcript via TED)

Learning over Education. To me, Education is what people do to you.
And Learning is what you do to yourself.” – Joi Ito at 2014 TED Talk “Want to innovate? Become a “now-ist”” (transcript via TED)

Inspirational/Interesting things mentioned in speech:

- Samsung SMT – Samsung Techwin Pick and Place Machine

- Gen9 gene assembler

- Limor Fried started her company Adafruit industries (I googled and found this really cool and informative Entrepreneur article where she was named Entrepreneur of 2012!)


TD ATM Automated Thanking Machines #TDThanksYou Campaign

Friday, 25 July, 2014
#TDThanksYou - Mother visits Trinidad

#TDThanksYou – Mother visits Trinidad

Thousands of unsuspecting customers were simultaneously and pleasantly surprised while banking with TD today as part of its Automated Thanking Machine campaign today. At exactly 2 p.m. EST Friday July 25th, TD customers at over 1,110 branches received green envelopes containing a $20 bill from over 20,000 TD employees! Customers using TD phone and online banking service were also included as $20 was deposited directly into their accounts. Since TD thanked over 30,000 customers across Canada, a quick calculation has lead to the conclusion that over $600,000 in $20 bills or direct deposit were gifted to customers! In addition to the cash gifts, a TD spokesperson stated “over a dozen customers across Canada received a special customer thanking experience at their local branch through the Automated Thanking MachineTM, such as trips, experiences, RESP contributions etc.

It was incredible to see the look of surprise on our customers’ faces,” said Ester Condello, a branch manager with TD Canada Trust. “We say thank you to our customers every day, and we’ll say thank you tomorrow and the next day. Today’s thank you is about all of us at TD working together to shout it from the rooftops.

A thank you can change someone’s day, so that’s why we have been surprising our customers across Canada, to say ‘TD Thanks You’,” said Tim Hockey, President and CEO, TD Canada Trust.

At press time, 22 hours after the heart warming YouTube video “Sometimes you just want to say thank you #TDThanksYou” featuring TD’s Automated Thanking MachineTM was posted, it has over 119,000 views. According to TD spokesperson, “Local branch employees helped design these very meaningful and individualized thank-you experiences that were ultimately unveiled to their customers through the Automated Thanking MachineTM, an ATM that talks and delivers surprises.

One of  the TD customers, a baseball fan, featured in the video shared his experience. “I can’t believe TD did this – it’s something that I’ll never forget,” said Mike Jobin, a TD customer who received a special thank you experience from his local TD branch in Pickering, ON.  “We’re a real baseball family and making the first pitch at a Blue Jays game was at the top of my bucket list. Let’s just say that I had goosebumps the whole time!”

Some readers may want to compare #TDThanksYou to the globally successful “WestJet Christmas Miracle: real-time giving” campaign (over 36 millions views) and think this new campaign is a bit derivative but that would have been a bit unfair. In reply to a question about the potential similarity between the two campaigns, a TD spokesperson stated, “The goal behind the campaign was to thank our incredible customers. We created the concept to provide meaningful thank you surprises to customers and drew inspiration from our unique customer service approach- to strive for legendary experiences. We were focused on developing surprising ways to thank our customer, and less so on what others have done.

The #TDThanksYou campaign was created by Diamond Integrated Marketing and Leo Burnett.

Disclosure: This reporter is a long timeTD Canada Trust customer but is not affiliated with this ad campaign in any way. This reporter has written many articles about various advertising campaigns since 2006.

Note: This article is cross-posted on examiner.com.


Guide to Michael Lewis’ top 6 “Flash Boys” videos – Is U.S. stock market rigged?

Monday, 14 April, 2014
Flash Boys cover and TOC

Flash Boys cover and TOC

Flash Boys” is a brand new (published March 31, 2014) book by famed writer Michael Lewis (author of The Big Short and Moneyball) about how the U.S. stock market is “rigged”! Yes a U.S. stock market that is “rigged” so much that big investors (managers of multi-billion dollars pension or mutual funds) to small investors (individuals that invest their own RRSP and 401(k) retirement money) are being electronically “scalped” and scammed. Without further delay, here is a guide to Lewis’ top 6 “Flash Boys” videos. Lewis has done a bunch of media appearances to promote this book. Seeing and hearing Lewis explain things in his words is a ton of fun. You will get to learn how Brad Katsuyama, a Toronto-born former Royal Bank of Canada trader, becomes the reluctant hero in this tale.

1) CBS 60 Minutes March 30, 2014 video segment: The first and most important “Flash Boys” video is the  must watch! All 14+ minutes are highly watchable, insightful, and may make you really angry once you understand some of the ways people rigged the market against investors! The last three out of four of the 60 Minutes Overtime clips add only a little bit of information and can be skipped. CBS has also provided a full transcript of the segment on the same page.

2) April 1st, 2014 live CNBC debate: The ‘epic’ debate on high-frequency trading between Michael Lewis, Brad Katsuyama and William O’Brien (BATS Global Markets exchange president) is another must watch. The debate was so heated and engaging that some traders on the NYSE exchange floor stopped to watch. (note: Some errors were made by both side and one critical factual error was important enough that BATS was forced to issue a correction on April 4th, 2014 “under pressure from the New York Attorney General’s office“.)

The reactions to the debate at the end of this Marketwatch article is worth a read too.

3) Charlie Rose (April 2nd, 2014 video): Charlie Rose did an wonderful job in this 25+ minutes chat giving viewers some great insights. Rose is seen by many as someone who sets the gold standard of conducting engaging and insightful one-on-one interview. Highly recommended. (April 22nd update: Watch full 50+ mins March 31st show on CharlieRose.com)

4) Bloomberg Television’s “Market Makers” with Stephanie Ruhle and Erik Schatzker (April 2nd, 2014 video): The fun starts early when Lewis tried to explain how the U.S. stock market is rigged using a casino example and the poker players are cheated. The hosts didn’t seem to enjoy the example when they, themselves, were set to be the cheated players!

5) Bloomberg Television’s “Bloomberg Surveillance” (April 3rd, 2014 clips): You can watch different clips from the show here, here, here, here, and here. Just wish the hosts asked Lewis and Katsuyama better questions in the show.

6) Live Talks LA – Michael Lewis in conversation with Malcolm Gladwell – Flash Boys: A Wall Street Revolt (April 10th, 2014): This will likely be a very insightful conversation as one can reasonably expect from a chat between two best selling authors and wonderful story tellers. I just checked with Ted from Live Talks LA and was informed that this video will be posted hopefully tomorrow (April 15th) on Live Talks LA’s official YouTube channel first and later on video pages here and/or here. (April 18th, 2014 update: The video is now posted and it is great! Have a watch!)

7) Bloomberg – Book TV: Michael Lewis Takes Viewers’ Questions on His New Book “Flash Boys: A Wall Street Revolt.” Added on April 22nd.

8) Michael Lewis: the stock market is rigged – video interview (UK Guardian) Added on April 30th, 2014.

Note: As Lewis and Katsuyama said many times, “High-Frequency Trading (HFT)” is too wide a term and hard to define so it is better to use terms like “high speed computerized scalping” where unfairness is built into the structure of the market (which is bad, very bad) vs “high speed computerized trading” which has reduced trading costs and enhanced investors’ trading experience over the years!

Additional video and audio clips:

* CBC News in-depth interview with Katsuyama (April 4th, 2014). Worth a watch.

* April 9th, 2014 CBC radio audio clip of Lewis (2:10 – 28:09) and a ~50 seconds short clip explaining “how High-Frequency Trading makes stock markets more like rigged casinos“.

* Here is a brief video clip of Berkshire Hathaway’s Charlie Munger saying (in May 2013), “I think it is very stupid to allow a system to evolve where half of the trading is a bunch of short term people trying to get information one millionth of a nanosecond ahead of somebody else“.

Additional references that worth a read:

* “Digging Into The Cliffhanger That Ends the New Michael Lewis Book“, April 7th, 2014. Recommended interesting tidbit of information for readers of the book.

* “Lewis Calls Flash Boys Blowback ‘Thoughtless’” April 2, 2014 Bloomberg Businessweek

* March 10th, 2014 SEC S-1 filing of Virtu Financial where it talks/brags about “As a result of our successful real-time risk management strategy, we have had only one losing trading day since January 1, 2008.” [HT CNBC Bob Pisani's "Michael Lewis' 'Flash Boys and high-speed trading"]

* “High-Frequency Traders Set for Curbs as EU Reins In Flash Boys“, April 13th, 2014 Bloomberg News

* “The need for speed is costing billions New York’s attorney general explains his investigation into high-frequency trading“, April 3rd, 2014, by ERIC T. SCHNEIDERMAN (New York’s attorney general)

C-Span – Q&A: Michael Lewis “The Big Short” – Added on April 22 (video uploaded on April 5, 2010)

NOTE: This article is cross-posted on examiner.com by me.

July 22nd, 2014 Update: An hour long video chat between Michael Lewis and Conan O’Brien

“Conan talks with Michael Lewis, the author of Flash Boys & Moneyball on Wall Street’s desperate need for oversight, why the financial market should look for a responsible, overpaid “son of bitch,” & how he gets pumped up by listening to the “Frozen” soundtrack.”


Dianne Feinstein on the CIA and the Separation of Powers

Wednesday, 12 March, 2014

Dianne Feinstein, Democrat of California, chairwoman of the Senate intelligence committee, on the CIA and the Separation of Powers.  Watching and reading American history in the making (I hope).

Video via C-Span. Full text via Guardian.

The CIA: the double life of Dianne Feinstein (Guardian editorial)

March 13, 2014 update: “The CIA shows its fangs at home: Neil Macdonald – Spy agency allegedly hacked into senate committee computer


Post-concert thoughts

Saturday, 1 March, 2014

Post-concert thoughts (part 1 of 2)

Rereading “The Art of Producing 監製的藝術” (written 8 days before the concert) gives me a moment to think and reflect.

Post-concert thoughts (part 2 of 2)

For the record, these are my brief comments on the morning of March 2nd, 2 days after successfully staged Kashy Keegan‘s Hong Kong Dreams Come True Concert. I finally have a few moments to relax and reflect. If I can find time, I will try to write a longer article later.

- “Kashy, All those lights were for you!”

I told Kashy after the concert that the lights from the cellphone screens in October 2013 were mostly to support HKTV. Whereas, the cellphone lights when Kashy performed “This Is My Dream” at the end of the concert, the lights were for him! People came from all over Hong Kong to listen to Kashy’s music and support him! As I told Kashy moments after the concert, “All those lights were for you!”

Kashy, All those lights were for you!

Kashy, All those lights were for you!

- “3” for 生生不息 “99” for 長長久久, from 140 to 399

EastWeek 東周刊 interviewed me yesterday to ask about the concert. I told the reporter Kashy and I thought the concert was a success. Some supporters came all the way to Chai Wan to buy Kashy’s CDs and posters. And many came to buy tickets not long before the show starts. It was a bit disappointing (“令人有點失望”) to see only 140 tickets sold on 26 Feb, just two days before the concert. So we were happy to know that when the news of ticket sales situation was reported, Hong Kongers came out in support. And the theatre told us we sold 399 tickets! In Chinese, “3” for 生生不息 “99” for 長長久久, a nice way to symbolize the being of Kashy’s professional music career in Hong Kong.

- Perfect? No. We will get better.

Did we have a perfect concert? No, of course not! No self-respecting artists will say they are “perfect”. In the pursuit of perfection is the ideal. Do it. Learn it. Get better. Do it some more. Learn some more. […] 做。學習。做得更好。做多一些。學多一些。[...]

Big thanks for your support,
Kempton
Kashy’s Hong Kong Dreams Come True Concert producer


The Art of Producing 監製的藝術

Thursday, 20 February, 2014

Kashy 8pm 2014 Feb 28 Concert Banner

Kashy 8pm 2014 Feb 28 Concert Banner

The Art of Producing 監製的藝術:
My journey as a concert producer 踏上演唱會監製之路
I do many things. I am a management consultant, documentary film director/producer, …, and now I’ve taken on the role as a concert producer. 我做很多種工作。我是管理顧問,紀錄片導演/監製,…,現在再加上演唱會監製的角色。
Some people say when you have done it, it is not bragging.有些人說,只要您真的做過,便不算車大炮。
I’ve never attended film school and then my first and only full-length documentary is in the national archive of Canada. 我從未上過電影學校,而我的第一套紀錄長片現正收藏在加拿大聯邦政府“國家圖書檔案館”之內。
I tell this story not to brag but to illustrate the capacity to learn within each and everyone of us. 我說這故事不是想自誇,而是想帶出您我每人都有的學習潜能。
Do it. Learn it. Get better. Do it some more. Learn some more. […] 做。學習。做得更好。做多一些。學多一些。[...]
Singer/songwriter Kashy Keegan, me and a team of great professionals (theatre & music) and unpaid volunteers (camera and production assistant) are working very hard to organize Kashy’s concert! 創作歌手Kashy Keegan、我及一個專業與義務的團隊,大家正在很努力籌辦Kashy的演唱會!
Kashy’s concert happens in 8 days at 8pm, Friday Feb 28th, 2014 in Hong Kong. Kashy的演唱會8日後,2014年2月28日,星期五,晚上8點在香港舉行。
We still have lots to do, music video to shoot, school visit to sing with students, media interviews, plus trying to sell out this concert! 我們還有許多事要做,拍攝音樂短片,參觀學校及與學生合唱,媒體採訪,試賣更多票,把這場演唱會賣個滿堂紅!
As producer, it is my job to be creative and to make things happen. 作為監製,我的工作是勇於創新,無中創”有”。
We have done some ground breaking things and will do some more in Hong Kong. 創新的事我們已經做了很多,到香港後將會試做更多。
The business/science of producing is not easy but the art of producing is harder. 監製(生意/科學)難,但掌握監製的藝術更難。
The “Art of Producing” is about the magic of producing something, out of nothing! 監製的藝術是一門從無中創”有”的藝術!
Please wish us luck! 請祝我們好運!
– Kempton – 錦堂
=====
Kashy’s Hong Kong Dreams Come True Concert :: Friday 28/2/2014, Y-Theatre, Youth Square, Chai Wan. HK$198 & $168 Tickets on sale NOW! > http://www.urbtix.hk :: telephone booking: 2111 5999 (10am – 8pm)
Kashy香港夢想成真演唱會,星期五 28/2/2014,Y綜藝館,青年廣場,柴灣。HK$198, $168 門票現正於各城市電腦售票處、網上及電話購票熱線發售!> http://www.urbtix.hk ,電話訂票:2111 5999 (10am – 8pm)
Ref article: 香港式監製


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