Watch “Revolution Trilogy” 睇「革命三部曲」

Friday, 18 March, 2016

(Watch my trilogy of documentaries.)

Watch my docs Revolution Trilogy 睇「革命三部曲」

Watch my docs Revolution Trilogy 睇「革命三部曲」

20190812 Director new preface re the word “Revolution”:

The title of my debut documentary “Long Hair Revolution 「長毛革命” was decided in 2004, so 15 years ago. The rationale is similar to “industrial revolution” or “internet revolution”, ideas for improvement. Nothing to do with violence.

“長毛革命”在2004, 即是15年前定名, 其實跟”工業革命”或者”互聯網革命”道理相同, 是嶄新改革的意思, 完全同”暴力”沒有任何關係. Read the rest of this entry »

Opening Windows and Doors

Tuesday, 6 January, 2015
Database search of Long Hair Revolution at Library and Archives Canada (Item Number 416953)

Database search of Long Hair Revolution at Library and Archives Canada=

It will always be one of my great honours to have my first documentary in 2005 “Long Hair Revolution (長毛革命)” be placed and collected by the National Archive of Canada (Government of Canada Item Number (ISN) 416953 at Library and Archives Canada). At the same time, as an independent filmmaker with limited resource, I’ve tried, shamelessly, to leverage this honour help me open many windows and doors in my documentary making journey.

I often mention”Long Hair Revolution (長毛革命)” and sometimes the National Archive connection (like today) when  arranging face-to-face or Skype video interviews, requesting copyright owners’ permissions to use their works (photos, artworks, video clips, etc) to help give myself instant “credibility” and hopefully smooth things out. Opening these windows and doors are crucial to my ability to try to make (HKtv+Umbrella)Revolution (香港電視+雨傘)革命 a reasonably “good” documentary since part 2 my documentaries (namely the “Umbrella Revolution” part) is heavily (or almost totally) “crowd sourced”.

P.S. To my friends and supporters: Yes, I am trying to fix the giant 10 years gap between my first documentary and my second film! I guess which is why I am making my 2nd and 3rd film together! Will see what happen.

Forget about Kickstarter, try IndieGoGo in Canada UK Australia Asia?

Thursday, 16 February, 2012

Sept 24, 2013 update: Kickstarter has finally launched in Canada earlier this year and you can find some Canadian projects here.

July 15, 2015 update: Since my 2013 update, I’ve used Indiegogo and like it. Worth investigate it for yourself and decide for yourself if it is a good enough crowdfunding site for your use.


After waiting for close to three years and trying to push a little, I am giving up on the idea of waiting for Kickstarter to come to Canada! Unfortunately, no more illusion for me. Kickstarter’s inaction/inability to find an alternative payment solution for Canada or non-US countries is inexcusable and can only be put as they don’t give a beep. To them, US is a big enough market for them to serve? After three years of waiting, I’ve given up caring. Quoting Kickstarter’s FAQ (emphasis added)

Am I eligible to start a Kickstarter project?

To be eligible to start a Kickstarter project, you need to satisfy the requirements of Amazon Payments:

Be a permanent US resident and at least 18 years of age with a Social Security Number (or EIN), a US bank account, US address, US state-issued ID (driver’s license), and major US credit or debit card.”

I am NOT paid by IndieGoGo to write this article! Judging from IndieGoGo‘s press articles and mention, they seem to be legit (I don’t know). A local friend has used IndieGoGo and I haven’t seen any complain from him.

I am sadden to write this article but then again, three years of Kickstarter inaction is inexcusable, enough is enough.

Can you share your experiences using IndieGoGo?

If you have used IndieGoGo to raise funds, can you please share your experiences good and bad? Both good or bad experiences are very much welcomed at this point. May be take a look of projects on IndieGoGo. And if they are worthy of your support, give them a try and let us know how things go? And if you are going to use IndieGoGo to raise funds, tell us how successful (or not) your experiences are.

P.S. To be fair, Kickstarter is doing good for permanent US resident. Even though I love my US friends, I just think Kickstarter sucks in helping projects initiated by non-US citizens around the world.

Google bought Zagat restaurant Survey

Friday, 9 September, 2011

Official Google blog entry about Google buying Zagat Survey, “Google just got ZAGAT Rated!

NYT Dealbook, Sept 8, 2011, “In a Twist, Google Reviews Zagat, and Decides to Bite

Google+ Impressions, Predictions, and Forecasts

Wednesday, 27 July, 2011

Google+ logo

Initial Google+ Impressions

On June 30, 2011, only 2 days after the launch of Google+, my friend Garry and I were chatting about his 3D TV (I mentioned I would wait for glasses-free 3D TVs after chatting with Tom, NFB Chair). I answered yes when Garry asked me if I had heard of Google+. I told him I was wasn’t that excited about Google+ after wasting my time and was disappointed by Google Wave and Buzz. At the same time, I wasn’t totally dismissive and asked my friend to play with Google+ some more and tell me how he thinks about the tool.

Eight days later on July 8th, after reading some more positive press and my friend’s Eva’s positive experiences with it, I turned around and ask Garry and Eva for an Google+ invite. And I officially joined on July 9th cautiously. You see, Buzz gave me such a bad taste, that I told it to buzz off!

Current Google+ Impressions

I have now been using Google+ about over two weeks. I can now say I’ve been really impressed with what I see and what it can do for me as a **tool**. To me, Google+ is a powerful tool to learn and to use to achieve things. (more on the “things” in future postings)

Sure, there are still many different problems or enhancements to be made but it is a tool that I have confidently included in my toolbox.

As an aside, I never quite see Facebook as a “tool” to me, not like Google+ is a tool to me.

Predictions & Forecasts

There are people/technologists/journalists who can’t help themselves but give lots of Google+ predictions or forecasts. I can’t and won’t give you predictions or forecasts. If you can or are willing to predict & forecast how a one month old baby will grow up to be like a few years down the road, you are much “smarter” and “braver” than I am.

To end this article, let me 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.

More user created Harry Potter in Pottermore – Coming in October 2011

Sunday, 3 July, 2011

Pottermore - by J.K. Rowling

Thanks J.K. This looks cool and very promising. Especially this bit,

“… so Pottermore will be built, in part, by you, the reader”.

I am very excited by what Pottermore can potentially achieve. Now, I have zero inside knowledge of the project but I will try to share with you my thought and ideas on how Pottermore could and should be built. Some cool things can be done? What fun ideas are possible. To start, here are a few random rough ideas.

1) As a design goal, Pottermore should be created with users of all ages and level of sophistications in mind.

Meaning something for younger players to “just play with” and very easy to customize, to create their own special world. And at the same time, also powerful enough for sophisticated users to seriously play to create new “things” (see below).

(side note: The Pottermore design team should help guide the fans away from simply recreating what they have seen in the movies. But it is really up to the fans.)

2) On a small scale, allow sophisticated fans to “create” the look & feel of all notable objects and items in the Harry Potter world (including all the magical objects). Allow the framework for sophisticated fans to “create” their own “enchanted coins” for example.

3) On a bigger scale, allow fans as cooperative community to create all the notable places in the Potter world, rooms, streets, alley, etc together as a team via the site. May be there can be a place where interested fans can come together to help “build” the dinning hall in Hogwarts.

4) Allow enough flexibility, so the popular rendering (look & feel) of an item can be voted upon by members. Very importantly, each and every individual fan created items should be accessible (by links or “ids”) so fans can create their own specialized version of Pottermore experiences and simply see and experience a “popular” version.

5) A fan should be able to “share” her/his Pottermore customization (whatever she/he chooses for the total look and feel) so her/his friends or others in the community can “see” it and then customize base on it. I think it is important and nice to give credit to everyone that help in the process, may be attach these credits/thanks for help in the system somehow.

6) The designers of Pottermore should keep an open mind as they design the systems because, to make Pottermore a success, the system needs to be flexible enough to change and grow with the imagination of the fans.

I look forward to seeing and learning more Pottermore. I hope I will be positively wowed and won’t be disappointed. Will see about that.

[HT Kevin Roberts]

Alice Schroeder: Hollywood Model Could Create New Stars in R&D

Wednesday, 29 June, 2011

As usual, Alice’s Bloomberg column is a good read. Check out her new article, “Hollywood Model Could Create New Stars in R&D“.

Apple Latest PR Disaster – Final Cut Pro X is Not a Professional Application

Tuesday, 28 June, 2011

July 2nd update: New article, “Business Strategy: Apple, with its Final Cut Pro X, lets Adobe & Avid refight their Battles of Waterloo #fail


It is puzzling and amazing to see Apple seems to have created a massive PR disaster for itself and there is even a group of professional Final Cut Pro users created a petition – “Final Cut Pro X is Not a Professional Application”. And according to AppleInsider report, “Dissatisfied Final Cut Pro X customers receive refunds from Apple“.

More news,

* CNNMoney, “600 filmmakers sign complaint about Final Cut Pro X

* ZDNet, “What does Final Cut Pro X teach enterprise vendors?

* WaPo, “Apple Final Cut Pro X: 600 filmmakers say nothing ‘pro’ about it

* SlashFilm, “Final Cut Pro X: Did Apple Just Walk Away From the Professional Video Editing Market?

*  CNet, Petition seeks to bring back old Final Cut Pro

If shows again even Apple (a Lovemark to many people, not to me anymore since July 2010) isn’t immune to complains from seriously unhappy customers if it doesn’t deliver the goods as expected.

Wikipedia, Happy 10th Birthday!

Thursday, 13 January, 2011


I like Wikipedia and have used it quite often to lookup info and learn about things. And when I write articles, I try to provide relevant links (often from Wikipedia) so my readers can dig deeper and learn more if they wish.

It is Wikipedia 10th anniversary this Saturday, Jan 15th, 2011. If you haven’t used Wikipedia before, give it a try. If you have used Wikipedia, why don’t you try to help a little. Next time when you have a chance, why don’t you add some useful information or fix a problem you see in an Wikipedia article. Over the years, I have added various pieces of useful information, fixed different errors, and even created a few new entries. If I can do it, I am sure you can do it too.

Wikipedia, Happy 10th Birthday!

Also check out,

* UK Guardian, “Wikipedia at 10: a web pioneer worth defending“, by Sue Gardner, Executive Director of Wikimedia Foundation,

* The Atlantic, “All-Star Thinkers on Wikipedia’s 10th Anniversary

* NYT, “Wikipedia Marks 10 Years of Edit-It-Yourself

* MSNBC, “53 percent of Americans use Wikiped

Life In A Day – Ridley Scott & Kevin Macdonald Want Your YouTube Moments (July 24, 2010)

Wednesday, 7 July, 2010

Ridley Scott Wants Your YouTube Moments

Pick a day. Ask people to record what’s going on in their lives – getting a haircut, having a birthday party, taking a nap, whatever – and post the video on YouTube. Turn the footage into a feature-length documentary.

Crazy? Maybe. But Ridley Scott (“Gladiator”) and Kevin Macdonald (“The Last King of Scotland”) are sure giving it a try.

“Life in a Day” is a global experiment in user-generated filmmaking, an increasingly hot area on the Web. A similar project is underway involving Lionsgate and Massify, a social network for digital content creators. Mass Animation is an upstart that is trying, with some success, to make animated films by tapping the Facebook community.

Ridley Scott on Life In A Day. Pick up a digital camera and just do it.

Kevin Macdonald on Life In A Day.

Lovemark, Tipping Point, Crowdsourcing: AdAge Best Ideas of the Decade

Thursday, 17 December, 2009

You can read the the full list of ten AdAge Best Ideas of the Decade at AdAge. I’ve selected and excerpted three of the ten ideas that interested me most. And I’ve reordered them to my taste as well. :) (emphasis and links added)

Not everyone in Adland has shown love for Saatchi & Saatchi CEO Kevin Roberts‘ belief that Lovemarks is the way forward for brand marketing. Strip away the cheesy language, though, and his philosophy — aiming to create emotional connections between consumers and brands that become lasting relationships — is tough to quarrel with. And, compared to most agency positioning, like say TBWA vet Jean Marie Dru’s Disruption, Lovemarks is a simple, more accessible technique to grasp. For all the butt of jokes Lovemarks has been, it’s also proved a successful new-business tool for Saatchi that attracted a swath of marketers during this decade, from packaged goods accounts to fast feeders like Wendy’s. Most famously, Lovemarks was what attracted JCPenney to hand its $430 million ad account to Saatchi after Mr. Roberts told CMO Mike Boylson that Penney’s needed to be a Lovemark with Middle America.

In his 2000 book, New Yorker writer Malcolm Gladwell [K: his blog is very readable] introduced the language of connectors and mavens, the 80/20 rule and sticky ideas in an attempt to understand how ideas spread through cultures. In the early part of the decade, this terminology was relied upon to explain how trends caught on. Although it’s been largely supplanted by the language of virality, Gladwell’s thinking still has resonance. Peer-to-peer pass-along has become the single most important factor in considering how ideas — marketing or otherwise — get distributed in a marketing world marked by extreme clutter. […]

[…] “crowdsourcing” — thought to have been coined in 2006 by Wired Magazine — has gone from one-off contests staged to give brands a jolt of PR buzz to mass collaboration efforts that allow consumers to affect the look and feel of brands in meaningful ways. The phenomenon caught fire in 2000, with smaller companies such as Jones Soda using its website to poll its young customers about new drink flavors, and it wasn’t long before the big guys caught on. [K: There is a long list of technical uses not explored here but should be noted.] Frito Lay’s Doritos brand has made an annual tradition out of its consumer-generated Super Bowl spots, while package-goods giant Unilever actually dumped its agency, Lowe, London, so it could crowdsource campaigns.

$289 and $100 Prizes

Monday, 30 November, 2009

Dec 9th Update: I’ve made a correction to “Prize offered by” in the $289 Prize. My apologies to GASARCH and thanks for pointing out my mistake.


Two Computational Complexity Prizes/Challenges

Note: I don’t know if these prizes have been claimed already. And if you think the challenges are dead easy, then your solutions are most likely wrong. :)


A $289 Prize

Prize offered by: GASARCH Stephen Fenner, Charles Glover and Semmy Purewal

Posted on: Nov 30, 2009

Challenge Description:The 17×17 challenge. Worth $289. This is not a joke.

Dec 2, 2009 update: More comments on people’s comments posted here.


A $100 Prize

Prize offered by: Mark Braverman, Stephen Cook, Pierre McKenzie, Rahul Santhanam, Dustin Wehr

Posted on: Aug 27, 2009

Challenge Description: Slides for talk “Branching Programs: Avoiding Barriers (PostScript .ps file)”, presented Aug 27, 2009 at the Barriers Workshop in Princeton. See the last slide for a $100 Prize offer.” [via my former professor Prof. Stephen A. Cook’s website]

uTest crowdsourced software testing service

Monday, 9 November, 2009

uTest is company providing a crowdsourcing web/desktop/mobile/gaming software application testing service. Doron Reuveni is co-founder of uTest and the following is his Google Tech Talk presentation. Worth a watch.

By the way, we have Mob4Hire (a company based in Calgary) doing mobile phone software testing. Take a look if you like.


Designing Obama – The Book

Friday, 30 October, 2009

The crowd-funded Designing Obama – The Book. Check out their Kick Starter funding page with video. (Note: They’ve already met their funding goal of $65,000 with 1,074 backers.)

A word about crowd-funding, it is not just about money (although it is about the money). It is about the connections that people have with the project they care about.

It is about the people, each and every single one of them, making something possible.

They, through their individual small “pledges”, make a project (a book, a song, a film, a creative endeavour) possible.

They create.

P.S. A great way of funding, I hope something like this will launch in Canada soon. Currently according to their site, “Due to current Amazon Payments policy, projects can only be started by people or entities with a U.S. address and bank account.”

[via BMD]

A picture of some other Kick Starter projects.

Kickstarter-funded projects

Netflix Prize – The Ensemble interview @ Kempton’s Virtual Cafe

Saturday, 1 August, 2009

July-26-Netflix Prize Final Winning Leader BoardFew nights ago, I had the great pleasure to chat with four members of The Ensemble team, one of the two teams that beat the 10% improvement goal set by the Netflix Prize – million dollar challenge.

To make the Skype audio interview more enjoyable to you, I’ve edited the interview for length and also eliminated some dead air, silence and noise. (For example, I was a bit confused about the Prize solution submission process and got a nice explanation that I ended up removing for length reason.)

Here is the chat (in mp3 or streaming audio) with The Ensemble team’s Lester MackeyJoe SillCes Bertino, and Bo Yang in their own voices and words.

  • introducing themselves
  • talking about what they’ve contributed to “The Ensemble” solution
  • the computation resources used in achieving the results
  • how are the results from different team members “combined”?
  • talking about how the last 30 days of the final competition was like?
  • And how did the cooperation from various teams and people happen?
  • How did they create a cooperation agreement in the final days?
  • What was the process for Grand Prize Team and Vandelay Industries in their decisions to split the prize money amongst the team members?
  • Given that the “BellKor’s Pragmatic Chaos” team has been contacted by Netlflix to check their code and documentations, so BPC‘s likeliness of winning is pretty high, how do the The Ensemble team members see their experiences in the Netflix Prize competition?

I personally think both BellKor’s Pragmatic Chaos and The Ensemble are developing and creating some cutting edge technologies. While the participants may not fully realize it yet, but their efforts are now part of some ground breaking computer science history!

Once the prize award/money has been settled, I hope both teams will consider writing up technical papers to share the insights they gained. And may be even share their software code under a suitable GNU General Public License or something like that.

Finally, I hope you’ve enjoyed the interview as much as I in conducting it. And I want to thank LesterJoeCes, and Bo again for a wonderful chat.

P.S. Here is Lester writing about the “Final Submission Countdown“. And here is a link to a New York Times article, “Netflix Competitors Learn the Power of Teamwork“ plus an interesting post “What The Netflix Prize Tells Us About Innovation, Collaboration, Info Sharing And Game Theory“.

Netflix Prize – The Ensemble interview

Wednesday, 29 July, 2009

There are two teams that beat the 10% improvement goal set by the Netflix Prize – million dollar challenge. Tonight, I had the great pleasure to chat with four members of The Ensemble team. Thanks to Lester Mackey, Joe Sill, Ces Bertino, and Bo Yang for a wonderful chat. (note: links from team bio page)

It will take me some time to process the audio recording, research and write up this interview. I will try to post it soon. Stay tune.

Here is a link to a New York Times article, “Netflix Competitors Learn the Power of Teamwork

Here is Lester’s recount the “Final Submission Countdown“.

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.

Defending Milton Friedman (on Wikipedia)

Saturday, 2 August, 2008

Before I write about how I (a non-economist) came to defending the Nobel Prize winning Milton Friedman on Wikipedia, let me say that I have been a big fan of Wikipedia for sometime and I often link to its entries to help explain things. And , once in a while, I try to contribute to it by adding things (including new entries) and fixing things.

Here is the story. When I was doing some quick research on Milton Friedman for a previous entry, I noticed a passage from Paul Krugman’s “Who was Milton Friedman?” was quoted in the criticism section of this version of Milton Friedman’s Wikipedia entry. Paul Krugman may be a respected trade theorist, but Krugman is no Milton Friedman nor monetary economics expert as stated by this Edward Nelson & Anna J. Schwartz authored NBER working paper “The Impact of Milton Friedman on Modern Monetary Economics: Setting the Record Straight on Paul Krugman’s “Who Was Milton Friedman?””. (note: I referenced the NBER paper here because I can’t find a link to the Journal of Monetary Economics final version plus I don’t know if that version is more freely accessible online than the NBER version.)

So I ended up adding a quote from the conclusion in the Nelson Schwartz NBER working paper into this version of the Friedman Wikipedia entry. Now, that was not the end of the story because a Wikipedia discussion was started between another editor and myself which I was still responding to this morning. (note: anyone can edit a Wikipedia entry, so we are all “editors”)

I hope I have not mis-characterized Krugman’s critique or Edward Nelson & Anna J. Schwartz‘s defense, but I hope my free market economist friends will help me set the record straight or improve on what I wrote in a neutral and encyclopedic manner.

P.S. I guess because I am no expert (in free market economics or anything), I did feel a little bit of “In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king.” In this case here, I read/scanned/enjoyed the N&S paper and did what I can to defend Friedman a little. I would rather see other experts doing a proper job, until then, I can only do what I can with my limited understanding.

P.P.S. Who am I to defend Milton Friedman? Well, in Wikipedia, any idiot can edit an entry. And the fact that I am defending Milton Friedman just proves that this idiot can edit an entry as well. (big smile)

Hockey Night in Canada theme – Can money buy Love & Loyalty?

Thursday, 19 June, 2008

As a proponent of Kevin Roberts‘ idea of Lovemarks (as a replacement of the “out of juice” brands, see here and here), I appreciate the key ingredients of mystery, sensuality, and intimacy. And if the concept of Lovemarks is to hold any water, I will argue that Hockey Night in Canada theme definitely qualifies as a lovemark.

Now, Scott Moore, executive director of CBC Sports, thinks that a $100,000 contest, some judging by a celebrity panel, and then voting by hockey fans will be enough to buy the love and loyalty of the hockey fans for the new theme slowly but surely. For me, I am not so sure. I think love and loyalty has a more enduring quality that can’t be built quickly in a few weeks and $100,000.

It will be interesting to observe the whole process from now till 11th October, 2008 when the new CBC Hockey theme is to be aired. At the same time, I will also be paying very close attention as to how CTV is going to utilize the Hockey Night in Canada theme. I for one will try to find a few hockey games to watch on CTV just so I can listen to the familiar theme as it has not failed to put a smile on my face (any rendition of it). And my friend, this is loyalty beyond reason. I don’t even know how good is their commentary and I will still watch. :)

Of course, if CTV is any smart (and I always assume someone is smart until they prove otherwise), they will have a wonderful package (good commentary, good selection of games, etc) and not just counting on the wow effect to keep the initial curious audiences. Thinking about it, I have to thank CBC (for giving up the theme so easily) and CTV (for paying the millions) so that we can all learn an important lessons at the expense of one of these broadcasters (reputations and money). Now, I hope you enjoy the following song.

Can money buy Love? (aka, “Can’t Buy Me Love”)

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.

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