Interview with Cliff Roth, Google+ Hangout Speedpaint Artist

Wednesday, 21 September, 2011

Kempton Speedpaint Google+ Hangout Caricature - by Cliff pix 36

I had an amazing video interview with Speedpainting artist +Cliff Roth (Facebook fanpage) this morning to talk about his creative process. We used his speedpainting of me as an example to talk about his Speedpainting process (see below for slideshow).

Cliff will join +Sarah Hill on her Thur Sept 22nd U_News@4 to reveal his fully rendered painting of Sarah plus doing a speedpainting of one of the co-host LIVE on KOMU U_News@4! Tell your friends to watch the show live online at 4pm CST. Check out a beautiful slideshow of the creative process, from beginning to end, Kempton Speedpaint Google+ Hangout Caricature pix – by Cliff Roth.

Question: How do you get yourself speedpainted by Cliff? Check out Cliff’s Kickstarter Google Plus Speedpaint Hangout Project info before the project closed on Friday, Sept 30, 2011.

Cliff Roth, Google+ Hangout Speedpaint Artist, interview


Google (with Google+) wants to be your Police, Judge, and Jury?

Thursday, 1 September, 2011

Eric Schmidt - James MacTaggart lecture at Edinburgh International TV Festival

I will share with you my concerns of what Eric Schmidt has said at MediaGuardian Edinburgh International TV Festival, hopefully, without repeating many points others have expressed in their articles (see refs). Schmidt‘s words got me thinking about this faxlore/viral email,

Heaven is where the police are British, the lovers French, the mechanics German, the chefs Italian, and it is all organized by the Swiss.

Hell is where the chefs are British, the mechanics French, the lovers Swiss, the police German, and it is all organized by the Italians.

Eric Schmidt‘s words about identity service and real names (see below with emphasis added) at Edinburgh raised some serious red flags. To me, hell is where Google (with Google+) is our Police, Judge, & Jury, all rolled into one.

In particular these words by Eric Schmidt have given me most concern.

“In the area of social media, we knew upfront 10 years ago that the Internet lacked essentially an accurate identity service. I’m not here by the way talking about Facebook, the media gets confused when I talk about this. If you think about it, the Internet would be better if we had an accurate notion that you were a real person as opposed to a dog, or a fake person, or a spammer or what have you.

And the notion of strong identity was never invented in the Internet. Many people worked on it – I worked on it as a scientist 20 years ago, and it’s a hard problem. So if we knew that it was a real person, then we could sort of hold them accountable, we could check them, [Kempton: "accountable"? How? Is where Google wants to play Police and Judge?] we could give them things, we could you know bill them, you know we could have credit cards and so forth and so on, there are all sorts of reasons.

And the Internet did not develop this in many ways because the Internet came out of universities where the issue of authentication wasn’t such a big issue. Everybody trusted everybody, you didn’t have these kinds of things.

But my general rule is people have a lot of free time and people on the Internet, there are people who do really really evil and wrong things on the Internet, and it would be useful if we had strong identity so we could weed them out. [Kempton: "weed them out"? Is this where Google wants to play Judge & Jury?] I’m not suggesting eliminating them, what I’m suggesting is if we knew their identity was accurate, we could rank them. Think of them like an identity rank.  [Kempton: Again, is this where Google wants to play Judge & Jury?] [...]“

“[...] Well, the first comment is that Google+ is completely optional. In fact, many many people want to get in, if you don’t want to use it, you don’t have to.

[Kempton: I cannot agree. The old legal and economic model of "property rights" need to be modified/redefined when the acquisition, selling (via ads), ranking, weeding, etc of our personal identity & information are involved. The new expected and accepted behaviours should be shaped and defined by concerned users including myself, and not just unilaterally by the corporations (be it Google, Facebook, etc).].

The path to hell is sometimes/often paved with good intentions, and often good scientific intentions by “smart people”. The fact that these high tech systems and sensitive information can be seriously misused now and/or in the future cannot be left to sort out by future generations when it may be impossible for them to turn back the tide of horror.

I don’t think Google share 100% of the details and algorithms of how it does it searches and ranks its results (except a few high-level academic pappers). And judging from what it has done so far, I don’t expect it will change its mind with Google+ and be completely open. In fact, Google looks awfully close to “evil” now.

Even in our human based and reviewable judicial system, we often made serious and irrevocable mistakes. How can we trust Google’s automated system to “weed out” people and to hold people “accountable” without it being open and transparent? To remind us of the implications, just read up how the lives of Guy Paul MorinDavid Milgaard, Donald Marshall, and Maher Arar have been affected by a system that failed them.

Would you trust Google to be your Police, Judge, and Jury? My answer is an emphatic NO!

*******

Reference articles and video clips

* Gawker (with video), “Watch Google Describe How It Can Exploit Your Name

* Pete Cashmore, Special to CNN, Aug 29, 2011, “Why Google+ will never back down on real names

* NPR Andy Carvin‘s Aug 30, 2011 comment

* NPR Andy Carvin’s Aug 30, 2011 transcript of what Google CEO Eric Schmidt said in the Q&A at the MediaGuardian Edinburgh International TV Festival

* Mathew Ingram, Gigaom “It’s official: Google wants to own your online identity

* My friend Jan Rubak’s comment.

* Aug 29, 2011, ZDNet, “Google+: Eric Schmidt wants your real name or nothing at all

* PC Magazine, Aug 29, 2011, “Report: Schmidt Says Google+ Is For ‘Real Names’ Only

Eric Schmidt’s Mac Taggart Lecture at Edinburgh International Television Festival (without the Q&A segment)

note: skip to the 0:36:00 mark (36 minutes in) for the start

* 11 Apr, 2011, BBC “Google’s Eric Schmidt to give MacTaggart lecture

Here is a “sort of” transcript (definitely not word-for-word).

*** Other stuff:

Guardian, 28 Aug, 2011, “Google crashes TV’s Edinburgh party – What did the television industry make of Eric Schmidt’s MacTaggart speech?

Guardian, 26 Aug, 2011, “Eric Schmidt: an engineer in EdinburghGoogle’s executive chair reaffirmed the revolution confronting his television industry audience


Interview with Mohamed Mansour – Creator of “Facebook Friend Exporter” & “My Hangouts for Google Plus”, and Google Chromium committer

Tuesday, 23 August, 2011

Mohamed Mansour Technical Software interview

Mohamed Mansour is a Canadian Software Engineer and the creator of the cool Google+ extensions “Facebook Friend Exporter“, “My Hangouts for Google Plus“, “Hangout Auto Retry Try Again” and “Extended Share for Google Plus“. Mohamed is also a contributor (actually a committer) of Google Chrome‘s open source project Chromium.

Few days ago, I had the pleasure of conducting a technical interview with Mohamed to talk about his various software work and a little bit about himself. Have a watch of the following video clips. I hope you will enjoy them as much as I was in conducting the interview.

Mohamed Mansour Technical Interview (Chromium, Chrome vs. Firefox …) 01/03

- How did Mohamed get start working on Chromium (Google Chrome’s open source project)?

- Why did Mohamed choose to work on Chrome instead of Firefox?

- Mohamed talked about his experiences of putting in his first patch on the Chromium.

- At university, how did Mohamed switch from chemical engineering to electrical engineering, and finally settling on software engineering?

- Why did Mohamed decide to take the path of putting in so much time in open-source software work, instead of like other talented software engineers spending time to make the next new new product and make a ton of money?

- And other discussions.

Mohamed Mansour Technical Interview (Facebook Friend Exporter…) 02/03

- “Facebook Friend Exporter“, Mohamed talks about the development history and the road blocks Facebook put up.

- “Extended Share for Google Plus” (a tool that share things to Facebook, Twitter, etc)

- “Hangout Auto Retry Try Again

- And other discussions.

Mohamed Mansour Technical Interview (Google+ Hangout, My Hangouts for G+…) 03/03

- Technical discussion about Google+ Hangout. Video data usage, etc.

- Talk about the useful extension, “My Hangouts for Google Plus

- Mohamed’s path to become a committer of Chromium (Google Chrome‘s open source project).

- Lines of code Mohamed authored for project Chromium. Here are some stats of Mohamed’s Chromium (Google Chrome) contribution and Chromium Tools (Google Chrome) contribution.

- And other discussions.


My Google+ Bragging Rights

Saturday, 6 August, 2011

Long Hair (Leung Kwok-hung) on the phone (which is almost always)

My updated Google+ Bragging rights sounds cool to the very biased me:

Kempton’s first feature-length documentary Long Hair Revolution (2005) is preserved in Library and Archives Canada‘s permanent collection “for the benefit of present and future generations”.

Watch Long Hair Revolution free online here.


Technology alone doesn’t solve problems. Social media does not create revolutions. Its a tool. – New Quote I Love

Saturday, 6 August, 2011

Adding an insightful entry to my list of Quotes I Love and Quotes I Love (videos).

Technology alone doesn’t solve problems. Social media does not create revolutions. Its a tool. Nothing more or less. Real revolutions are born out of righteous anger and courage and vision. [...] The issue is not how accurate a bomb is. The issue is what to do the bombs you have. And more importantly, whether to use bombs at all. Technological problems are not the hardest part of the future. They are the easiest part. The hard part are the human problems that accompany the rise of technology.” – Malcolm Gladwel‬l at University of Toronto: Malcolm Gladwell, Convocation 2011 Honorary Degree speech video (starts at about time code 6:38)

CNN Jun 17th, 2011 report “Malcolm Gladwell: When technology fails

Note: As I see more and more power in G+ Hangout as a tool for reporting and researching news, I try to remind myself of ‪Malcolm Gladwel‬l’s cautionary tale of the Norden bombsight. ‪Gladwel‬l reminded us of Facebook’s and Twitter’s magical roles in the revolutions in the middle-east may be over-exaggerated by the creators of these tools.


Joseph Smarr (Google Plus) interviewed at OSCON 2011

Tuesday, 2 August, 2011

Joseph Smarr (Google Plus) interviewed at OSCON 2011 [via Craig Newman]


Happy One Month Birthday G+ aka Google+ !!!

Thursday, 28 July, 2011

Google+ logo

Happy One Month Birthday my dear little G+ (Google+)!

Here is a sexy Happy Birthday song for you! :)

My dear G+ (aka Google+),

I hope you will forgive me in not liking you when you were only 2 days old! Silly old me thought you were just like your time wasting siblings Google Wave and Buzz. But, at one month, you turned out cuter than I thought initially and I am willing to wait a little before declaring you “the best thing since slice bread”, “you suck” or “somewhere in betwen”! :)

(note: After my personal greetings, you will see some excerpts of Birthday Wishes and Birthday Minuses from around the web.)

I’ve read one of your many parents Andy Hertzfeld‘s G+ contribution and even his clarification. And will soon find some time to watch your beautiful birthing video ala Steven Levy‘s “Inside Google+ — How the Search Giant Plans to Go Social“.

You see, I have also started calling you my Lovemark which is much cooler than the boring old school brand. Being called a Lovemark comes with great responsibility. I know you are too young to remember the 1985 Coca-Cola‘s (an indisputable Lovemark) crazy New Coke debacle but it is one lesson in brand management that you have to learn in pre-school. We, the millions of users, are now in control and will be actively shaping your destinyYOU better listen to our complains and our wishes very carefully.

Please tell your parents (i.e. Goolge), if they mess you up or worst “cancel” you, then their credibility in providing “tools” in general, will be damaged seriously, possibly beyond repair. Three strikes in rapid succession, why should anyone trust Google any more? I may be naive, but I am not that stupid!

Anyway, on your one month birthday, I hope to publish two articles to share my general & technical insights of G+ Hangouts with KOMU anchor Sarah Hill and others.

My dear G+, you are only one month old, I am willing to give you time to grow, learn and to be helpful to people. I can’t help but want to use this particular Marshall McLuhan quote when I think of you today.

We become what we behold. We shape our tools and then our tools shape us.” – Marshall McLuhan

With Love and here is a sexy Happy Birthday,

Kempton (G+)

*******

P.S. Interesting to include this Mashable article, “Google+ Hangouts: 4 Creative Ways People Are Using Group Video Chat

*******

Again, allow me to use two of my favourite forecast-related quotes by Edgar R. Fiedler from my quotes I love collection,

The herd instinct among forecasters makes sheep look like independent thinkers.” and;

If you have to forecast, forecast often.

Here are some excerpts of Birthday Wishes and Birthday Minuses from around the web.

TechCrunch, “Sophomore Slump? One Month In, Google+ Sees A Traffic Minus

“While it’s totally circumstantial, my own observations and usage seem to support this data as well. Read the rest of this entry »


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