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

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Is Encana trying to subvert freedom of press by using copyright law?

Thursday, 21 February, 2013

Encana

According to CTV News “Encana seeks to remove embarrassing audio clip from Internet“,

Now the company is asking Chirbit to remove the clip, according to The Globe and Mail.

Encana is the copyright owner of the Recording. It was expressly stated at the outset of the Conference Call that ‘this conference call may not be recorded or rebroadcast without the express consent of Encana Corporation,’” Encana told the web site in a letter.

The Recording has been posted without Encana’s consent. The unauthorized use of this Recording clearly constitutes copyright infringement. … Encana views this matter extremely seriously and requests that you respond to the undersigned on or before the close of business on Friday, February 22, 2013, failing which, Encana will have no other recourse but to take all actions as may be available to it to protect its proprietary rights.

Chirbit has declined the request, invoking fair use laws and saying that under its policy, anyone who wants audio removed from its site should ask the poster to do so.

To hear it for yourself in order to make an informed decision, have a listen to the audio clip in question – Warning: Offensive Language. Also have a read of Globe and Mail report, “Encana wants embarrassing audio file erased from Internet“.

To me, it seems a case could possibly be made that Encana is trying to subvert freedom of press by using copyright law, ultimately if it comes to a lawsuit it will be up to the judicial systems to decide. Now you have listened to the recording, and read the relevant materials, do you think Encana is trying to subvert freedom of press by using copyright law?

Please share your thoughts and comments. All comments are moderated but all fair comments will be approved and I will defend your rights to freedom of speech.

Stretching and bending Copyright Law

It should be noted that copyright law has been used in Canada in recent years to over-reach (in my opinion) into other unrelated areas. Take Euro-Excellence Inc. v. Kraft Canada Inc., 2007 SCC 37, [2007] 3 S.C.R. 20, a Supreme Court of Canada judgment on Canadian copyright law as an example, it ultimately is a case about the import of chocolate that somehow got twisted into a case about copyright.

Note: I have made a record of the audio clip in question as a backup in case the original recording was removed for any reason or by accident. Freedom of press is a principal worth protecting and fighting for by all working jouralists.


Heather Allin, President of ACTRA Toronto, interview post Banff World Media Festival 2011

Tuesday, 21 June, 2011

Heather Allin, President of ACTRA Toronto

ACTRA is a union for performers and according to ACTRA Toronto‘s website, it has over 15,000 professional film, video and new media performers. It was my pleasure to meet Heather Allin, President of ACTRA Toronto at Banff World Media Festival 2011. Here is my phone interview with Heather today.

The following are a few highlights of my interview with Heather.

* 0:00 Heather has been attending Banff for many years now, I asked her why she attends Banff.

* 2:30 For this Banff, did Heather get to meet and talk to senior broadcast executives on behalf of the members?

* 3:42 In our pre-interview, Heather mentioned a figure of 27 hours of bought (foreign) programs for one hour of Canadian produced drama. We talked more on this.

* 5:00 Last year (or the year before), Hon. Lindsay Blackett, Minister of Culture and Community Spirit said something like that the reason we have so little Canada content is because the Canadian creative community creates “shitty” programs that no one watches. I asked Heather to comment on this.

* 8:23 With respect to the fees paid to performers for digital/online content, I ask Heather to explain the current situation and whether the ACTRA Toronto members are being fairly treated.

* 9:50 I asked Heather to give some specific examples and detailed explanation of the fee payment structure for digital content.

* 12:00 I asked Heather about “scale“.
***

For all other Banff 2011 related interviews, please see here.


iPad app review: FlyingWord’s “Treasure Island”

Tuesday, 9 November, 2010

FlyingWord - Treasure Island - pix 1

The following is a review of the pre-release version of FlyingWord Treasure Island iPad app. And I will post my video interview with Joe Weber, CEO and co-founder of FlyingWord, later.

***

Apple iPad app: “Treasure Island” by FlyingWord based on the classic Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson.

Price: $7.99

Launch date: Nov 13, 2010

Promotional clip of FlyingWord’s Treasure Island

Star Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Pros

– Lively and very engaging narration of the original full-length classic Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson. (beautifully narrated for about 7 hours)

– Excellent music and sound effects at the right places.

– Historical original Treasure Island illustrations by N. C. Wyeth and Walter Paget.

– Nicely rendered 2D illustrations into “3D projections”, camera angle controllable by readers. [Note: the 3D here is not real Avatar 3D, but closer to what Ken Burns does with his “layers” of photos in a scene.]

– Some of the pages have objects for readers to play with. For sure to check out the cannon. (These objects have “physics engines” behind them to allow users to move them around.)

Cons

– The initial version of the app has a few bugs that I’ve reported to FlyingWord.

-The app has problems waking up from “sleep” or “auto-lock” modes. Narration fails to restart gracefully. In a few instances, waking up after sleep actually tripped the narration and it got stuck in repeating a word/sound.

– If the reader flip to a page where part of the text in the paragraph is in the previous page, the narration will read from the text in the previous page. This result can be very confusing for the readers as they may not know this is the “expected behaviour”. To me, readers may expect when flipping to a new page, the narration will match the text she/he reads on the page.

– Many of the objects are a bit too small and difficult to control.
+ e.g. in the breakfast scene (bottle is ok, but the egg, plate, and sword are difficult to manipulate)
+ in the scene with the apple barrel, the barrel can be easily moved but the apples are not controllable even though the readers will likely spend time to try to move it. It may be more enjoyable if the apples are made bigger and controllable by readers like the barrel.

– This one is technical. Currently, the space outside of the edges of the 2D to 3D projections are blank (set to black space). I think it will look nicer and gives a more immersive experience if the whole background are filled and readers won’t see black space around the edges of the original 2D frames.

Comments:

As discussed in the Pros section, the narration is lively and very engaging and I really love it. At the same time, the app may have been a bit ambitious in using the full-length original Treasure Island in its launch version. The good news is that an abridged free update will be released in a few weeks after the initial launch. To me, the abridged version with shorter audio (~1.5 hour long) and text will be a nicer fit for kids who will appreciate the physics engines games and 2D-to-3D effects more.

To write this review, I also found and checked out a LibriVox free audio book version of Treasure Island on the app store and it has the original text and the audio is reasonably good but definitely not as exciting/engaging as FlyingWord‘s version.

FlyingWord - Treasure Island - pix 2

Coming Soon

FlyingWord‘s next book is ‘Twas the night before Christmas (tentative price: about $4.99).


Where good ideas comes from?

Thursday, 14 October, 2010

Very nice & insightful Nora Young CBC Spark Plus interview (full audio program) with Steven Johnson about his new book, Where Good Ideas Come From: The Natural History Of Innovation.


Spark: Two different looks at how to reclaim meaning in your work life

Monday, 4 January, 2010

Nora Young’s Spark 97 – Jan 3 & 5, 2010 online episode (runs 54:00 mp3) features interesting interviews with Seth Godin and Matthew B. Crawford.

You can download Seth’s free eBook “What Matters Now“.

[HT Wendy]


Letter to Hong Kong – from Legislator Audrey Eu

Sunday, 3 January, 2010

Ms. Audrey Eu, Hong Kong Legislator, shares her insight about the harsh 11 year prison term of Liu Xiao Bo, the pending “de facto referendum”, and the implication of Liu’s sentence in Jan 3rd, 2010 RTHK radio program “Letter to Hong Kong” (audio program with text).

*******

I am enclosing Ms. Audrey Eu’s letter to Hong Kong here for the record. Emphasis and comments added.

*******

It was especially cold last Christmas, not because the Copenhagen conference succeeded in halting global warming, but because the well known dissident Liu Xiao Bo was given a harsh 11 year prison term on charges of inciting subversion of the State, and stripped of his political rights for 2 years.

The fact that he was held for a year and then dealt a harsh sentence on Christmas Day, a day traditionally for peace and celebration, seems like a cruel joke that China is intent on playing with the rest of the world. [Kempton’s note: This is China’s way of saying “F*** You” to the world. Or “財大氣粗”, a rich man’s ability to ignore the world.]

Liu was charged with co-authoring the 08 Charter and disseminating 6 articles. The 6000 words judgment mainly consists of evidence which is not in dispute, namely he wrote and disseminated the documents in question, but it carries no explanation as to how this contravenes the Criminal Code. The critical part of the judgment is but one tenth of its length. It mentions 4 provisions of the Criminal Code without stating what they are, let alone explain how they apply. [Kempton’s note: To those who claim China has a good legal system, I don’t know how can they kid themselves.] It says the writings spread quickly and widely on the internet and thus goes beyond the bounds of freedom of speech and amounts to a serious crime that justifies a heavy sentence. There is no explanation of where lies the boundary of freedom of speech, who has been incited to do what or what harm the State has come to, or how Liu’s act is different from the tens of thousands who have co-signed the Charter. Anyone who has illusions that a strong China means a modern China should wake up.

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