The 3,000th ideas Revolutionary post

Sunday, 21 February, 2010

Screen shot 2010-02-21 at 12.27.11 PMWow, this is the 3,000th blog entry! That means, good or bad, I have written and posted 2,999 entries before this one. Many blog entries are short and take minutes (sometimes 10-20 minutes) to research, write, and post. Mind you, even the short blog entries are meant to meet the same writing standard I laid out here. Some entries take longer to research and add some cool audio/video contents. And I’ve known to spent hours on doing the needed research to write just one sentence with proper supports/grounds.

Take my yearly trip to report on the happenings at Banff World TV Festival and nextMEDIA (which I’ve tagged with “bwtvf-nextmedia”), it means driving for a few hours out to Banff and staying in Banff for a few nights to report. Of course, I enjoy every moment of it! Special moments like listening to Oscar winning writer/director Paul Haggis tell his chair story and how he broke into TV was priceless. And I had a ton of fun interviewing Ron Moore (Battlestar Galactica) and attending Doug Ellin (Entourage) insightful chat. Plus even doing some legislative reporting re Bill 44 with Minister Lindsay Blackett.

Another priceless bonus in my blogging is the many new friends I’ve made as a result. I have not had the pleasure to meet many of these blog/virtual friends yet. But I have talked to some over Skype/phone. And then some, through my work in interviewing them, have become closer friends.

Thanks to my blog friend Eva’s suggestion, I have created a video for this post. Allow me to sandwich the video between two quotes I love. I hope you will enjoy the short video and the quotes.

The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable man persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man.” – George Bernard Shaw

“To me young has no meaning, it is something you can do nothing about. Nothing at all. But youth is a quality, and if you have it you never lose it.” — a comment made by Frank Lloyd Wright in an interview with Mike Wallace

Thanks a lot for your support for my first 3,000 entries and I look forward to your future support. As usual, feel free to leave your feedback/suggestions/ideas as comments or email me.

Have a great day! And here is my virtual high-five to you!

Go Canada Go !!!

Vancouver 2010 Olympic Red MittensVancouver 2010 Olympic Red Mittens

15,000 historical postcards for free (CC) thanks to U of Alberta

Tuesday, 5 January, 2010

Deer fawn - West Hawk Lake - Manitoba - Canada. - Prairie Postcards PC001724

Check out this collection of 15,000 free (under creative common license) historical postcards. Thanks to University of Alberta Libraries.

Electric storm - photographed midnight July 9.06, Edmonton, Alta.. [Edmonton: c1906. - Prairie Postcards PC006393

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]

Open Yale courses

Wednesday, 16 December, 2009

I heard about Open Yale courses as a result of a blogger mentioning a course Econ 252 Financial Markets taught by Prof. Robert Shiller.

I got to know Prof. Shiller from his book “Irrational Exuberance” (in 2000) and the Case-Shiller index.

Many financial analysts and reporters love to share their hind-sight in explaining to us why things happen afterwards. Prof. Shiller is the rare type that twice manage to warn us of troubles to come.

There are 26 lectures in total. You can watch the lecture video or listen to the lecture mp3. For me, lectures and audio books great ways to pass time when I am driving or shovelling snow. :)

You can find more Open Yale courses. Or you can watch them on Yale YouTube channel. (Prof Shiller’s class on YouTube here.) If you find something interesting, please share them in the comment.

Hmmm, Frontiers of Biomedical Engineering with Professor W. Mark Saltzman sounds interesting.

Lawrence Lessig’s Last Speech on Free Culture

Tuesday, 8 December, 2009

Just finished watching RiP : A remix manifesto (a film from NFB), a documentary film made with open source and remixed work about copyright and remix culture.

The RiP DVD has a copy of speech that is available online and I highly recommend, Lawrence Lessig’s Last Speech on Free Culture (delivered in 2008).

Netflix Prize Winning Teams

Monday, 27 July, 2009

July 29, 2009 Update: Here is “The Ensemble“‘ team official account of their “Final Submission Countdown“. And I am giving up the dangerous business of predicting the winner of the million dollar prize. :)  I better let the people who pay that million decide. :)

Plus I am going to interview team members of “The Ensemble“‘ team and I want to hear from them first hand.

At the end of the day, as I wrote before, both BellKor’s Pragmatic Chaos and The Ensemble are winners to me. I will leave the money decision to Netflix. :)


Notes & Corrections,

  • According to the Netflix Prize Rules, there is only a single one million dollar prize.
  • As announced by Netflix, “There are submissions from two teams that meet the minimum requirements for the Grand Prize. We are contacting the lead team and we will report, as soon as possible, when and if we have a verified winner for the Grand Prize.”
  • “BellKor’s Pragmatic Chaos” team has been contacted by Netflix and is presumed to be the winner upon verification by Netflix. (Sorry my mistakes to report “The Ensemble” team as the winner.)
  • Take a look of the post “By a nose… or is it a hair…” to read an official account of the BellKor’s Pragmatic Chaos team experience.

In some sense, both BellKor’s Pragmatic Chaos and The Ensemble are winners because both teams passed the seemingly impossible test of 10% improvement. And I know I have lots to learn from their experiences and insights.

Download this: LESSONS FROM THE IDENTITY TRAIL – Anonymity, Privacy and Identity in a Networked Society

Sunday, 19 April, 2009

You can download and read the following book here.

******* Intro excerpt *******


Anonymity, Privacy and Identity in a Networked Society

Edited by:

Ian Kerr
Valerie Steeves
Carole Lucock

During the past decade, rapid developments in information and communications technology have transformed key social, commercial, and political realities. Within that same time period, working at something less than Internet speed, much of the academic and policy debate arising from these new and emerging technologies has been fragmented. There have been few examples of interdisciplinary dialogue about the importance and impact of anonymity and privacy in a networked society. Lessons from the Identity Trail: Anonymity, Privacy and Identity in a Networked Society fills that gap, and examines key questions about anonymity, privacy, and identity in an environment that increasingly automates the collection of personal information and relies upon surveillance to promote private and public sector goals.

This book has been informed by the results of a multi-million dollar research project that has brought together a distinguished array of philosophers, ethicists, feminists, cognitive scientists, lawyers, cryptographers, engineers, policy analysts, government policy makers, and privacy experts. Working collaboratively over a four-year period and participating in an iterative process designed to maximize the potential for interdisciplinary discussion and feedback through a series of workshops and peer review, the authors have integrated crucial public policy themes with the most recent research outcomes.

The book is available for download under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 Canada License by chapter below. Hard copies are available for purchase at Amazon & at Oxford University Press.

Creative Commons Hong Kong

Thursday, 25 September, 2008

The Creative Commons movement (and the Canadian one) is one that is dear to my heart (my blog is CC licensed). So it is nice to hear that Creative Commons will be launched in Hong Kong next month. Godspeed to the HK gang.

Shex Project at Bissett School of Business

Monday, 16 June, 2008

I’ve been paying attention to the MIT OpenCourseWare movement since it was opened to the public in 2002. Since then I have been hoping more schools, in particular schools in Canada, will join the OpenCourseWare movement and put some or all of their courses’ materials online available for free access.

So I was very excited when I saw Bissett School of Business professor Dr. Alex Bruton leading a session to talk about Open Source education at the recent Bar Camp Calgary #2.

At the moment, the following free courses can be found on Shex:

Note: Shex stands for “Shared Experience”.

Potential insight on Sub-prime crisis insight from Free to Choose

Monday, 28 January, 2008

Thanks a lot to idea Channel,

In honor of Milton Friedman, we are streaming the ground-breaking Free to Choose series as it originally aired in 1980 as well as an updated 1990 version. If you missed the PBS premiere of “The Power of Choice” it is available here.

Pay special attention to Volume 3 – Anatomy of Crisis where Milton expertly discussed many issues including the sequence of unfortunate events (including what the US Fed did) that lead to the fall of Bank of United States. Fascinating stuff.

[thanks to Angela for the streaming video link]

P.S. Not to be ungrateful, I just hope “Free to Choose” will stay free on the streaming network for good. And I love to ask my economists friends if we are indeed seeing “Free Lunch” here? (smile) Of course, in the age of Creative Commons, may be some rules are to be rewritten, including the “Free Lunch” hypothesis. (big smile)

P.P.S. Rather than plagiarizing myself, I am going to just quote myself, “Here is something resembling a transcript of episode of Milton Friedman’s part 3 of Free to Choose, “Anatomy of Crisis”. I don’t know how accurate is this transcript but one may learn something from it.”

The Future of Ideas is now Free

Friday, 25 January, 2008

Thanks to Prof. Larry Lessig and his publishers, his book “The Future of Ideas” is now free to download. With this addition, all four of Larry’s books are now Creative Commons licensed. “Code (v1) was licensed under a BY-SA license; so too, Code (v2). And Free Culture and now The Future of Ideas are licensed under BY-NC licenses.

Wikipedia is now compatible with Creative Commons

Sunday, 2 December, 2007

Jimmy Wales at San Francisco iSummit party announced : the Wikimedia Foundation board voted to approve a deal beetween the FSF and CC and Wikimedia. We’re going to change the GFDL in such a way that Wikipedia will be able to become licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike license (general info).

Jimmy Wales (Wikipedia) and Larry Lessig (Creative Commons) are two of the people I say have changed the world.

Links for 2007-11-23

Friday, 23 November, 2007
  1. Very insightful John Doerr (VC and Google board member) video interview
  2. Tom Evslin’s video chat from Fall 2007 VON discussing The Third Stage of the VoIP Rocket that Never Fired.
  3. Nov. 21, 2007 Jean Chretien interview on CBC National
  4. Hacking a Soda Machine (video) – It also gets you thinking about security
  5. Tara Hunt open sourcing her book research (video one)
  6. Viddler as a way to post video (under 500MB) that allows timed tags and timed comments.
  7. Startup Weekend Common Misconceptions
  8. Microsoft, Google and Yahoo Acquisitions Compared
  9. Map Kiosks in Beijing
  10. My Cup Noodle Factory (in Japanese) to create your own personalized cup noodle – see pictures here, here, here, and a photos collection here.
  11. What’s wrong with qualitative research?
  12. CBC’s Marketplace on ISP Speed Claims (with video)

Law links for 2007-11-22

Thursday, 22 November, 2007
  1. The weird world of “indecency” and Fox News Porn (YouTube video)
  2. Canada’s Identity Theft Bill: What It Says and What’s Missing
  3. All I Want For Christmas is a Legal TiVo (in other words, TiVo is not exactly legal in Canada at the moment. nice read)
  4. German Public Broadcaster Adopts Creative Commons License
  5. A complete and utter failure – “Last month, a British government agency, Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs, lost a copy of the records for over 7 million families, or 25 million individuals, who receive child benefits.
  6. WaPo-60 Minutes Report Stirs Criminal Defense Lawyers to review cases involving “comparative bullet-lead analysis”, a tool used since 1960s but was found by National Academy of Sciences to be unreliable in 2004, and FBI stopped using it in 2005.
  7. Apple patent applications reveal updated multi-touch system
  8. USPTO Publishes Comments on Proposed Board of Patent Appeals and Interferences (BPAI) Rules


Nov 26, 2007 Update: Engadget reports TiVo comes to Canada, but lack Hard Disk

Information R/evolution

Saturday, 20 October, 2007

Calling myself an ideas Revolutionary, I have a special affinity with the word “Revolution” and the play on words of “R/evolution” (see the letter “R” of “Revolution” in my logo).

So here is a neat video on the revolutionary change in information. Enjoy. [via Michael Geist]

Scholarpedia – free peer reviewed encyclopedia

Wednesday, 3 October, 2007

Scholarpedia seems interesting and worth checking out if you need the extra added precision and confidence. [K: I started looking at it from Prof. Hinton’s entry on Boltzmann Machine, referenced in his team’s solution to Netflix $1 million Prize]

Here are a few words from Scholarpedia’s main page,

Welcome to Scholarpedia, the free peer reviewed encyclopedia written by scholars from all around the world.

Scholarpedia feels and looks like Wikipedia – the free encyclopedia that anyone can edit. Indeed, both are powered by the same program – MediaWiki. Both allow visitors to review and modify articles simply by clicking on the edit this article link.

However, Scholarpedia differs from Wikipedia in some very important ways:

  • Each article is written by an expert (invited or elected by the public).
  • Each article is anonymously peer reviewed to ensure accurate and reliable information.
  • Each article has a curator – typically its author — who is responsible for its content.
  • Any modification of the article needs to be approved by the curator before it appears in the final, approved version.

A closer look at the Netflix $1 million Prize

Wednesday, 3 October, 2007

I’ve heard about the Netflix million dollar prize for a while now but I only pay attention to it after I read the article “Million Dollar Baby” in this month’s UT magazine. I guess seeing UT CS prof. Hinton and his grad students in the top 10 (based on Oct 3rd ranking, #7 team name “ML@UToronto A“) makes it a fun sport for me to watch.

Check out Prof. Hinton’s home page for technical papers like this paper in PDF.

Freed and unlocked iPhone

Saturday, 25 August, 2007

What a great job that George Hotz and his team has done in unlocking the iPhone. You can follow the step by step instructions here (one post at a time). The following is a video clip of George being interviewed on CNBC.

Since George is going to attend Rochester Institute of Technology, looks like he may have a chance to meet Steve Wozniak on Oct 6, 2007 when Woz speaks there. Knowing the fun loving and geek Woz by reputation (his book and video interviews), I think Woz and George will have a lot of fun chatting. Here are two interviews of Woz, one by Charlie Rose and one by Guy Kawasaki.

Write Something Interesting, Not Just Articles

Saturday, 21 July, 2007

Mr. Jakob Nielsen’s “Write Articles, Not Blog Postings” has lead to some interesting discussions in the internet and this post “Write Something Interesting, Not Just Articles” is a direct response to Jakob’s article.

Disclosure: I only read the article tonight after I unwittingly commented on Jakob’s article in a Facebook discussion group before I read it. (smile) And since I have written a longish comment about the article in the Facebook post, I thought I might as well recycle (with updates) my comments here. As usual (and may be more than usual), I better emphasize that I can be wrong sometime. (smile)


Jakob’s view may be “beneficial” for a selected few bloggers (e.g. “world leader in his field“) but I submit if more bloggers follow the reasoning set out by Jakob’s article, the world will be a worst and poorer place.

If I may be direct, I think I originally skipped Jakob’s article the first time because of the tone he uses. First of all, Jakob is obviously a highly respectable man in the industry and my comments don’t mean any disrespect to him. But I hope very few people will follow Jakob’s advice because *your* average content may be better than what I know. And if I read your contribution, I will be better off at the end. For me, I think more in this way — am I potentially adding insights to people who read my blog? If yes, then the blog entry has made a positive contribution, regardless if my insights are average or below average. If the readers don’t learn anything, I hope I will have better luck next time.

Now, the geeky side of me want to spend some time to talk about Jakob’s statistical assumptions and other seemingly intimidating supportive rationales given in the article, but I won’t. In a sense, if my insights (again, no matter how “average” or “below average”) are of use to some readers, then these entries (short or long) have done me proud. As I stated here in my blog, I aspire to make mistakes faster.

Here is an example. It is a story I first read quoted by the insightful Bill Buxton. And I think it applies to blogging too. I was deeply touched by the following story and it makes total sense to me. So take what you can from it. And I hope you find it a good read. Now, if I had believed Jakob’s analysis, I probably would not even consider quoting it word for word. Now, allow me to quote this insightful story (emphasis mine [Buxton and I are both quoting a blog post by Bill Brandon]),

“The ceramics [K: pottery] teacher announced on opening day that he was dividing the class into two groups. All those on the left side of the studio, he said, would be graded solely on the quantity of work they produced, all those on the right solely on its quality. His procedure was simple: on the final day of class he would bring in his bathroom scales and weigh the work of the “quantity” group: fifty pound of pots rated an “A”, forty pounds a “B”, and so on. Those being graded on “quality”, however, needed to produce only one pot -albeit a perfect one – to get an “A”. Well, came grading time and a curious fact emerged: the works of highest quality were all produced by the group being graded for quantity. It seems that while the “quantity” group was busily churning out piles of work – and learning from their mistakes – the “quality” group had sat theorizing about perfection, and in the end had little more to show for their efforts than grandiose theories and a pile of dead clay.

I used to think like a “quality” kind of guy (but end up acting in a “quantity” manner (smile)). Now, as you can probably guess, after reading the above story in Bill’s book “Sketching User Experience, I now try to think and act in a “quantity” manner. (smile) It makes sense to me as this is how I want my blog to be.

P.S. As an aside, I am planning (no fixed date yet) to write a personal post using the title “Jack of all trades, master of none“. Arrogant, idiotic, and humble are some of the adjectives that get stuck in my head right now.Will see how will that piece turns out (if and when I decide to write it). (smile)

Bill Moyers talks with E.O. Wilson

Saturday, 14 July, 2007

Bill Moyers, great documentary film maker from PBS, had a wonderful chat with E.O. Wilson (including some cool footage). [via TED] Wonderful to watch. And Ed is just so inspiring here in this chat with Bill.

Here is Bill’s Intro,

Welcome to the Journal. Our 6 year old grandson is a celebrated ant-catcher in our household. He gave me this latest specimen for my recent birthday — When I look at it and find myself wondering that a child’s curiosity can lead to a lifetime of learning — and finally to an encyclopedia of all living things.

I’m not making that up. That’s exactly what happened to E.O. Wilson as a boy in Alabama, he discovered the fire ant and went on to become one of the world’s preeminent scientists. Renowned as a biologist, with 25 books to his credit, two Pulitzer prizes and honors galore. The ivory billed woodpecker counts him a soulmate…and there’s not an anthill in the world that wouldn’t recognize him peering down into it.

P.S. This is a great chat session (thanks to Bill and his presentation) that really brings out the insights in E. O. Wilson in a understandable and exciting manner. Ed is a great scientist but his TED presentation was just too much of a lecture and his love didn’t shine through during that long and boring speech.

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