Google+ Hangout Technical Insights and Ideas to Reshape Newsrooms

Friday, 29 July, 2011

Background

KOMU G-Plus Hangouts - pix 00a - Sarah Hill and Nina Moini

It has been my pleasure to attend a number of KOMU anchor Sarah Hill‘s interesting Google+ newsroom Hangouts since July 19, 2011. In this article, I will try to share some of my technical observations and insights. (note: For my general and business insights, you can read my previous article.)

Using G+ Hangout as a control room of 9 Electronic News Gathering (ENG) team

Setup:

1) News anchor running G+ Hangout connecting to maximum of nine Electronic News Gathering (ENG) teams in the field.

2) Each of the nine reporters will have a notebook computer connecting to the internet via a 3G/4G data stick. And each reporter has a handheld SD/HD camera hooking up to the notebook as its camera. (note: SD or HD probably doesn’t matter here because the data will be compressed and you are transporting over 3G/4G network anyway.) (Aug 11 update: Currently, G+ Hangout doesn’t support external video cameras. I have reflect this request to G+ engineers.)

3) Any “newsroom” can probably set this up easily.

In fact, any team of volunteer citizen journalists may even be able create such a reporting setup with less trouble. All it takes is each individual citizen journalist to have a notebook computer, a fast 3G/4G data stick, and a camera. And these citizen journalists can work together depending on needs and events, etc.

4) Feed the G+ Hangout video stream out to the wider world using tools like Livestream for mass distribution.

5) Use cases: Will be quite cool to report on elections, street festivals, concerts, and live events.

Non-ideal use cases: Any major crisis, earthquakes, etc where the mobile 3G/4G networks are expected be extremely congested and overloaded. In these rare cases, old school dedicated microwave or satellite transmission will likely provide more stable transmission than overloaded mobile data networks.

KOMU Sarah Hill G-Plus Hangouts - pix 07 - Norway https link

Fixing the insecurity of G+ Hangout

At the moment, Google+ Hangouts is known to be insecure, in the sense that each hangout participant has the clear text “https://talkgadget.google.com/hangouts/…” link (see the top of the above photo) and can copy and then share with Read the rest of this entry »


Cisco shutdowns Flip Video

Tuesday, 12 April, 2011

Cisco kills Flip Video - pix 2

Today, on April 12th, 2011, Cisco shutdowns its consumer video division Flip.

 

Cisco kills Flip Video - pix 1

Kodak patent moment: $1 billion from Apple & RIM

Saturday, 26 March, 2011

Here is a $1 billion Kodak moment. Kodak has already settled with Samsung and LG for a combined $964 million over the same patent.

* Bloomberg, “Kodak Wins a Round in $1 Billion Apple, RIM Patent Dispute

“The patent covers a feature that previews low-resolution versions of a moving image while recording still images at a high resolution. Higher resolution requires more processing power and storage space. Kodak, which generated $838 million from patents last year, contends the image-preview feature is used in every digital camera and phone with a camera.”

* AP, “Kodak patent complaint against Apple, RIM revived


3twenty Solutions gives new life to old shipping containers – CBC Dragons’ Den

Friday, 4 February, 2011

3twenty Solutions‘ Bryan McCrea, Channing McCorriston & Evan Willoughby gave a wonderful pitch of their business on CBC Dragons’ Den. I love interesting use of containers, and I am impressed with the 3twenty‘s business and its tagline of “durable, stackable, transportable modular structures – give new life to old shipping containers”. Seem like a wonderful business idea with some good potentials. As a business, new entrants to the market can probably copy and compete with them without much difficulties but I trust the entrepreneurs will work very hard to ensure a good return for themselves and their investors.

Best of luck to the 3twenty team. Check out their Facebook, YouTube video, Twitter, and Flickr photos. Here is their pitch video on the Den.

Here is a CBC news video clip (posted in May 2010) about 3twenty going to the Den to ask for money with more details.

Feb 8, 2011 Update: See Financial Post article Anatomy of the 3twenty Solutions deal. Here is an excerpt,

The pitch Bryan McCrea, Channing McCorriston and Evan Willoughby first crossed paths with dragon and philanthropist Brett Wilson when they competed in and won the Idea Challenge, a competition at the University of Saskatchewan’s Wilson Centre for Entrepreneurial Excellence in 2009. [...] They used their winnings of $30,000 to launch Saskatoonbased 3twenty Solutions. [...]

Mr. Wilson was on hand for the unveiling of the first container: “He walked in and said we should come on the show,” Mr. McCrea says. About a month before appearing on Dragons’ Den, 3twenty Solutions made its first two sales worth $70,000. The momentum was building, but they decided to take Mr. Wilson’s advice and enter the Den mainly to get a strategic partner.

“Many of our target clients watch the show. We knew if we could make our pitch on the Den we would be hitting the right market,” Mr. McCrea notes.


Honibe on CBC Dragons’ Den – The Business and Patent

Thursday, 3 February, 2011

Honibe pitched their dry solid honey “honey you can hold business on the Jan 19, 2011 episode of CBC Dragons’ Den. Although I haven’t tried the product and don’t know how good/bad it tastes, it seems like a good idea (even it may seem a bit pricey).

Knowing I won’t have time in the next while to write a more detail article about Honibe, let me share with you what I’ve found so far. Here are links to Honibe’s Canadian trademark (TMA729391) and patent (CA 2649936) for interested readers. I had tried but was unable to find Honibe’s US patent filings (to me, US patent is important to have since US is a much bigger market than Canada). For those that are new to patents, one can learn a lot about about a business from its patents (in this case, Honibe’s patent).

National Post has an article “Sweet deals buzzing around honey firm” about the pitch and the business and provided an update of the deal. News from CBC, “Dragons’ Den offers $1M deal to P.E.I. company

There is a press release from the governments,  “Federal and Provincial Governments Congratulate Island Abbey Foods on Winning International Award” when Honibe won the prize for Best in Canada 2010, Best of Sweet Grocery Category 2010 and Best New Food Product in the World 2010, the Global SIAL d’Or, at the Paris-based awards.

Here is a video of Honibe Dragons’ Den pitch.


Ricky Gervais – The funny business with Golden Globes

Friday, 21 January, 2011

I love frank and engaging interviews and Piers Morgan had a great chat with Ricky Gervais, one of my favourite comedian, especially after Ricky’s Golden Globes performance. In case you missed Ricky’s performance, here is his Golden Globes 2011 – Opening Monologue and maybe you can see what some of the fuzz was about. The night got better or worst depending on who you talked to.

When was the last time a host got so much attention to Golden Globes a week after the show? I agree with Seattle Pi, Bring back Ricky! Also check out Ricky’s blog for his takes on things.

* Hollywood Reporter, “VIDEO: Ricky Gervais Funny, Revealing, Joyfully Unrepentant on Piers Morgan’s Show – Great hour of talk; Morgan less cocky, more likable and Gervais thoughtful.”

* CNN (with video clips), “Ricky Gervais offers no apologies for Golden Globes jokes”

* Seattle Pi, “Bring back Ricky!

* Gawker.tv, “Ricky Gervais’ Targets Come to His Defense” (with video clips)

* UK Press Association, “Cruel? I was doing my job: Gervais”

* Hollywood Reporter, “Ricky Gervais: If I’d Been Too Nice at Golden Globes, It Would Have Been ‘Nauseating’”

* ABC News, “Ricky Gervais: The Couldn’t-Care-Less Comedian – On ‘Piers Morgan Tonight,’ Ricky Gervais Refused to Apologize for Golden Globe Remarks”

* By the way, I think the following exchange between Ricky and Piers Morgan was very revealing of Ricky as a person. Hollywood Reporter, “Ricky Gervais: It’s the ‘Right Thing’ for Steve Carell to Leave ‘The Office’” Here is an excerpt (emphasis added).

“”I sent him an email saying I think you’re doing the right thing,” Gervais — who serves as an executive producer on the NBC hit after originating the ditzy boss role in the U.K. version — said on Piers Morgan Tonight Thursday. [...]

As a producer, I was expected to try and stop him because he’s a big part of it,” continued Gervais. “[But] you know, it can survive. Whether it should or not, I don’t know. I’m just an adviser and he’s done an amazing job. He’s done his time. It sounds like a prison sentence, doesn’t it?””


Congrats 5468796 Architecture: Emerging Architecture Award (The Cube in Winnipeg’s Old Market Square)

Sunday, 17 October, 2010

5468796 Architecture - pix 1

I want to congratulate the team at 5468796 Architecture Inc. for winning a prestigious international award, for The Cube, a venue for performing arts in Winnipeg’s Old Market Square. Members of the firm will travel to London in November to pick up the award. [Oct 24th update: Great, here is a link to my video interview with co-owners and principal architects Sasa Radulovic and Johanna Hurme from 5468796 Architecture.]

Here is a interesting/telling description of the firm (from the winners’ list in Dec 2009 Canadian Architect, emphasis added),

5468796 Architecture Inc. is a Winnipeg architecture studio with a diverse range of interests and design expertise. The firm was established in 2007 to challenge convention at all scales, from branding, architecture and design, to detailing and engineering systems.

Here are more photos from 5468796 Architecture Inc. about the project.

5468796 Architecture - pix 2

5468796 Architecture - pix 3

5468796 Architecture - pix 4

Here are some cool photos of The Cube I found on flickr: here, here, here, here (closed up, or the back?), here, here, and here.

By the way, I don’t know if this is a fair comparison yet but I want to say, for the beginning years, people have  ridiculed I. M. Pei‘s spectacular Louvre Pyramid which turns out to be not only beautiful but very functional.

Here is a clip of The Cube in action at night. Manitoba Electronic Music Exhibition – Noah Pred

More news about the project or the firm:

- “Setting the stage for art in the Exchange“, Winnipeg Free Press, June 2010 [HT Karenia@Flickr]

New ‘cube’ stage impresses, Winnipeg Sun, June 2010

The Cube steals the show at arts forum – Candidates sound off about project’s lack of consultation, Winnipeg Free Press, Oct 2010

Winners of the 2010 Prairie Design Awards announced, Aug 2010, Canadian Architect

- “Maligned Cube wins international award“, Winnipeg Free Press, Oct 16 2010. Here is an excerpt with emphasis added,

So how big a deal is it to win an Emerging Architecture Award? Very big, according to Manitoba Association of Architects president Art Martin.

Martin said the EAs, which were founded in 1999, are considered one of the world’s most popular and prestigious awards for young architects. He said this year’s competition attracted about 300 entries worldwide.

“For a Manitoba firm to get this award is really something. All (Manitoba) architects can share in that pride.”

Architectural firm earns accolades, Winnipeg Free Press, Feb 2010

- Cube stage rocks in the rain, Winnipeg Sun, June 2010 (this article is cool as it puts The Cube in context in use in a real life situation.)

- youCube, Dec 2009, Canadian Architect

2005 & 2007 articles:

- An older Winnipeg Free Press 2005 article “Behind the design” when both Sasa and Johanna were architectural intern at Cohlmeyer Architects.

- Here is an insightful 2007 Winnipeg Free Press article “By design” where the then newly founded firm was hired “to develop a communications strategy for the association [Manitoba Association of Architects (MAA)]“.


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