Very interesting to see Minister Tony Clement, President of the Treasury Board, today hosted the Government of Canada’s first Google Hangout to talk about Government of Canada’s Open Data initiative. Great to see the good old Government of Canada starting to use G+. Well, this event seemed to have come out of the blue and quietly finished before most Canadians got a chance to watch it live. Hopefully there will be more advance notice (a few days at least) to allow broader participation next time.
“Participants in the Hangout, which is a virtual, live-stream discussion, included Ray Sharma, Toronto mobile app developer; Edward Ocampo-Gooding, co-founder of Open Data Ottawa; Albert Lai, Toronto game developer; Kevin Merrit, a Seattle-based Open Data platform developer; and Ashley Casovan, Strategic Coordinator for Information Technology for the City of Edmonton.
“The opportunity for Canadian entrepreneurs to utilize Open Data to develop innovative applications has amazing potential,” said Ray Sharma, President, mobile games developer XMG Studio Inc. “I see not only the opportunity for developers but there is a greater potential impact. And that is to the Canadian citizens who should be able to literally experience a benefit in economic productivity. We are just at the cusp of this emerging phenomenon, and participating in the Google Hangout was a great beginning.”
The Hangout discussion explored some of the 273,000 datasets currently available on the Government’s Open Data portal, as well as plans to launch an updated, next-generation portal later this year. Participants provided feedback on what data they would find useful, as well as what some of the key features of the new portal should be in order to encourage greater data uptake.”
Thanks +Google Canada for posting the video link so I can find it easily here.
So why are we guilty as charged?! What roles did we play in coaxing Howie? Well, you are in for a special treat! “Crimes/pranks” have never quite been captured like this, from the inception, to the coaxing, to the actual execution, and then the final we laughing our heads off all over a few short minutes! Have a watch of how we created this magical #videobomb moment right in our Fox LA Google+ Hangout!
“Everything I’ve ever been punished for, expelled for, hit for, is what I seem to get paid for and now I’m being distinguished for it, but the thing is the people who supported me are the people who love like, and those were few and far between, my family and my friends, but when I got into this business, what’s amazing is it’s such a group effort so any cameraman that I’ve ever worked with, any script writer that I’ve ever worked with, any producer, network executive or anything, they’ve all supported me and made this possible.
All I do really, and this is what Woody Allen says, is “I just show up.” 90% of success is just showing up and I’ve always done that from day one, from when my career started. I didn’t even have a career, I wasn’t pursuing a careers. I’m still not really pursuing a career. I’m not, I showed up at Yuk Yuks in April 1977 I showed up at Yuk Yuks because I don’t dance, and didn’t like going to discos and they’d opened a comedy club in Toronto and I showed up to see a show and I was fascinated […]“
I can’t speak more highly of Howie as great comedian and as a frank, blunt and honest person willing to talk about his own life challenges. And if you have time, also watch this insightful interview of Howie by Howard Stern which I watched to prepare my Google+ Hangout questions for Howie.
In a wonderfully relax Google+ Hangout On Air (Live Video chat) today at London 2012, Usain Bolt, the fastest man on earth, got a chance to hangout (via LIVE video) with people from around the world. Usain was asked what was his number one sport before he focus on Athletics and he immediately answered “Cricket, without a doubt! I was a die hard cricket fan!” Now, Usain is a big football fan and especially Manchester United!
You may not know it but Usain said in the G+ Hangout that it was his cricket coach who encouraged him to run! As Usain delightedly retold, he couldn’t afford a box lunch in his younger days and his cricket told him if he won, he would buy him a box lunch. And of course, Usain ran fast and won! And from that point on, he just continued to run. What a lovely impact a wonderful coach and a box lunch can do to encourage and help a talented athlete!
To Usain, his real breakthrough and greatest moment was when he won in his home country (Jamaica) as a 15 years old boy! Usain corrected people’s misconception that Beijing was his greatest moment but it was really when he was running at home at 15 (2002 World Junior Championships). He had “never been that nervous“, and then he won which Usain said was the moment that defined his whole life.
“Thats where it really started for me. And for me, thats wonderful. I cannot forget that moment. When I went back to Trelawny, there was a motorcade. There was so much fun. There was so much awesome for me. And to be 15 at the time, it was so much taken it.” said Bolt.
Then the participants of the Google+ Hangout (one of them actually is my UK friend Mike) got chances to ask Usain Bolt questions. I look forward to watching more news and hangout videos from London 2012 Google+ channel.
Last time Wallace and I talked about the Facebook “investment” before the super hyped IPO. Unfortunately, we were 100% right. What we discussed (the nature of Facebook, what is “investing”, etc) were backed by what we now have seen. And many many people actually lost billions on paper! You can watch our pilot episode here: “林錦堂與陳心田講一講 Facebook “投資”“.)
This time, Wallace and I talked about union’s right to strike/bargaining rights (Air Canada, CP rail). You can watch it here: 陳心田 與 林錦堂 講一講 “工會罷工”. We hope you enjoy our show!
I fired up my creative engine, greased my design fingers, and even turned on my magical camera to create a few submissions to try to help +Melissa Carlson name KRNV’s new webcast. Check out my video and design pix.
OK, you actually don’t need graphics (even I’ve a few :), you definitely don’t need a video (even I love mine :), all you need is a better name in words!Give it a try, it is good fun and you can win some prizes!
P.S. One of my current ideas that I like best so far.
P.S. Did I tell you I love working with Melissa and other participants like myself in the Google+ Hangout. You see, the first show is 9/10/12 (in three months!) and I am already calling it my Lovemark!
In an amazing Google+ LIVE Hangout this morning, this reporter got a chance to talk to Diana Eastwood (yes, Mrs. Eastwood), daughter Francesca Eastwood & Eduard, about their new reality TV show Mrs. Eastwood & Company airing this Sunday night on E!.
Diana was very frank about her new E! reality show Mrs. Eastwood & Company knowing that some scenes kind of make her look crazy at times. Diana was asked how did Clint Eastwood feel about the show? Diana said Clint appears willingly only in two episode and he doesn’t want to be on a reality TV show. Sometimes he would leave when he knew the cameras were coming! Diana was very aware of her added responsibility of not scaring Clint‘s image built from a 60 years of long and lustrous career. “I do have extra pressure trying to gate keep his image a little bit. Make sure we are not too cuckoo.” said Diana.
A very warm moment happened when the charming Fox LA host Maria Quiban mentioned that she was in Clint‘s movie Blood Work and then Diana said with a big laughter to Francesca & Eduard, “And Clint didn’t leave me for her!” How sweet! As it turns out Francesca Eastwood was also in Blood Work!
Mrs. Eastwood & Company was filmed using three cameras with two crews and every characters in the show were miked with tiny microphones. Surprisingly, Clint does not have the right to approve or reject stuff in the show and was totally hands off in the show (in terms of the production of it). This reporter asked if Diana was in the editing room all the time and whether she has final edit on the show? Diana said she was never in the editing room, while E! was respectful and send her the cuts, and really takes her comments & consideration really seriously. So when Diana saw anything inflammatory to her husband, she pulled it. “As far as inflammatory to us, we are out there 110%. We let it go. I look like an idiot in almost every episode!” said Diana. OK, the last bit got me! I have a lot of respect for someone who has editorial influence, and willingly let herself/himself “look like an idiot in almost every episode“. I have not got a chance to watch Mrs. Eastwood & Company yet, but if the E! reality show is remotely as frank and fun as talking to Diana in person in the Google+ Hangout, then I think the show can be a lot of fun.
Toronto Police Constable Scott Mills talks about live broadcasting Ontario Police Memorial (Facebook) this Sunday May 6th, 2012. It is my honour to help Scott broadcast this live to people who really want to but can’t attend in person.
Question: I understand you just attended the Jerusalem Post conference [in New York on Sunday Apr 29th]. And I’ve watched a video of sparks flying between Environmental Minister Gilad Erdan, and Meir Dagan, former chief of Mossad [national intelligence agency of Israel].
My question is about your view on the idea of an Israeli pre-emptive strike of Iran. Do you agree with Meir Dagan that [I paraphrase] “War is the the kind of thing where we know how it starts, but not how it will end” and Israel should exhaust all other means first before considering war?
The following are part of the research materials I gathered in order to ask an informed question. I tried to be as fair and as diplomatic as I could when asking my question without losing anything important in my question.
* May 1st, 2012 Jerusalem Post report of The Jerusalem Post Conference “Dagan and Erdan’s caustic exchange at the ‘Post’ Conference“. I’ve excerpted part of the exchange from a transcript of the acrimonious argument in a panel discussion on Israel’s security situation. To better understand the tone and context, I also found and watched a video clip of part of the exchange on YouTube. I think you get a sense of the heat from reading the words. (note: emphasis added, pix of Mr. Dagan via CBS 60 Minutes)
“Keinon [Jerusalem Post’s diplomatic reporter]: But do you think it’s appropriate for him to make those kind of comments? He could have made them when he was the head of the Shin Bet (the Israel Security Agency)?
Dagan: First of all, I think he presented his position loudly and clearly about his refusal to the prime minister and defense minister. He didn’t announce it. It was in a closed room. To speak openly? (Turning to Gilad Erdan) I heard that a member of your party is now formulating a law… on behalf of my name, Dagan, preventing ex-people of the military and security establishment from speaking. Let me remind you of something, sir, what was started in Germany in the beginning.
You know how you are starting it; you don’t know how it is ending.
About Diskin, I believe that he is a very serious man and he is presenting a very serious point of view. And I know that serious point of view was presented to the prime minister and defense minister on many occasions.
[…] Erdan: Thank you very much, but I know that the Shin Bet is under the Prime Minister’s Office. (laughter) I also used to work there 15 or 16 years ago.
But the minister of defense still works together [with the prime minister], and if Yuval Diskin thought the prime minister was doing things so dangerous for the future of Israel, so in order to save Israel, he should resign, and not wait five years as head of the Shin Bet and then even agree to serve one more year.
And then, when resigning and when the prime minister does not accept his guy to be appointed as head of the Shin Bet…
Dagan:It’s not true. (boos) You are lying, sir. I am maybe not polite, but I prefer ministers of the State of Israel who speak the truth.
Erdan: I prefer that former heads of Mossad and Shin Bet won’t make damage to Israel…. That’s what I expect from you. Mr. Netanyahu goes around the world, and he never says that we are going to attack Iran, or when or where, but he is doing a lot of efforts in order to raise the awareness, and it is working.”
The following is a partial list of questions I asked Sarah Hill in the interview talking about the LIVE broadcast last night from her perspective.
How did the LIVE broadcast come about? How did Sarah know Jean Francois (i.e. the vetting)? What other uses of the G+ Hangout On Air technology can already be used for today? Was there any Hangout On Air technical problems during the broadcast?
I was also able to talk to Jean Francois via G+ message and he was kind to share the setup he used last night and some technical issues he had. Here is my summary of his main setup.
– An old dual core portable computer with 4GB of RAM and a 1394 Firewire port (Firewire 400)
– a Sony HVR camera that was hooked up to the computer with a 1394 wire
According to Jean Francois, the above setup worked well until he had to run after the demonstration. He ended up walking 3-5 km in total and ran into some technical issues. I’ve listed the issues here in Jean Francois’ words. My hope is by sharing the issues, others can have a better LIVE reporting experiences.
“1- [As there wasn’t time to organize and tape everything together] The wires kept unhooking themselves
2- The portable kept shutting down as soon as I closed the lid – even if we went in the control panel and set the parameters so it doesn’t turn off.
3- When there is a large crowd sometimes getting the connection is very difficult. I lost a good 45 min trying to [regain connection].
4- The battery of the portable was a major issue. We could have had a power pack but we needed to convert the current, so we needed a “transfo”- It was already too heavy so that option was out of the question.
5- If I had more time I would have loved to be able to have somebody with a hand-held mic but we had an issue bringing the sound from the cam and into the mic headset. I need to do more R&D on this.
6- Also, as I learned from past experience, good streaming means a lot of light. So the more light you have the better the quality of the image will be. [Kempton: I suggest a battery powered LED light panel]
7- And there is a need for a feature to know if you are still on air. I kept asking Sarah if I was still on air because I was not able to see the computer.”
By the way, Sarah plans to do a LIVE hangout tonight (Sat Apr 28) at 10pm EST to talk about the issues re the student demonstrations. If you live in Montreal or in Quebec, watch out for Sarah’s Hangout or invite.
Again, special thanks to Sarah and JeanJean Francois for the amazing and ground breaking coverage last night!
Note: Apologies for the audio echo in my questions. Fortunately, the echo doesn’t affect Sarah’s answers.
The powerful Google+ Hangout On Air tool now has some new functions and I am excited about them. Check out this Live YouTube video. I will keep it short. You can watch it live. And then the same link will have the raw recorded video.
Update: Here is the more compacted 3 minutes video.
I missed attending the Fox LA Google+ Hangout with “Iron” Mike Tyson but I’ve just watched the video and I think it was awesome! Thanks Maria and the Hangout plussers for the insightful questions and an awesome experience. Love it!
Here are some of my fav moments and their time codes. Hope you find them somewhat useful.
0:00 The fun start from beginning to end! :)
0:14 The funniest Mic check I’ve seen recently.
2:30 Hello Tom
3:15 About Mike’s one man show
4:10 DeAno’s question re how does it feel be be in the hall of fame?
5:07 Jason’s question re Mike Tyson’s Super Punch-Out video game character
6:05 How Mike feels about the Charlie Sheen roast?
6:50 Justin’s question re the brilliant scene in “The Hangover” movie
8:35 Kim’s question: If you can change one moment in life from a negative to a positive, what would it be?
9:40 Monica’s question: Who are some of the sources/people that have inspired you?
11:20 Sudesh’s question: Will you come to India?
11:55 Mike talks about his Las Vegas one-man show April 13th – 18th, 2012.
I want to point out I haven’t forgotten the serious crime and harms Mike has committed in his life. But I do believe once he (or any other convicted criminals) has served the punishments deemed appropriate by the society, it is to his and the society’s benefit to see him well integrated back into the society and be a productive citizen again.
The Mike I watched on the hangout video looks like a changed man and a “nice” man. I hope he is a genuinely changed man even I don’t know him personally. I have no reason to doubt his sincerity.
“Find the best in everybody.One of the things that Jon Snoddy as I said told me, is that you might have to wait a long time, sometimes years, but people will show you their good side. Just keep waiting no matter how long it takes. No one is all evil. Everybody has a good side, just keep waiting, it will come out.“
The actual talk starts at about 25:30. What a great experience in watching +Dalai Lama and+Archbishop Desmond Mpilo Tutu : The world greatest, best, and most insightful comic duo LIVE early this morning (2:30am MST). :)
~41:41 Desmond: Do you have an army?
Dalai: Yes, I have army. Not weapon. But wisdom and compassion. […]
~42:03 Desomond: I was asking this question only to find out, why does the Chinese government fear you?
~42:26Dalai: Quite simple. Quite simple. Some Chinese officials describe me as a demon. So naturally some fear. … When I first heard that Chinese official comments. I feel laughing. So I immediately went yes, I have horns.
P.S. Some time ago I saw a document about how after years of unsuccessfully trying to get rid of Ku Klux Klan, the ridiculous group of Klan men in white sheet over their heads was ridiculed and laughed out of existence. Yes, by making them the butt of jokes. I like that theory.
P.P.S. I spy Google+ Engineer +Loren Groves at about 24:38 Thanks Loren for all the great work. Few more photos in this Flickr Set.
“KOMU became the 1st local television station Thursday to air a live on-air Google Plus video chat.
The group video chat is called “Hangout” and it aired live during KOMU 8 News at 5. Google viewers were able to share their experiences with this new social networking site on-air with television viewers.”
I’ve translated three TV entertainment series, 72 episodes, about 130,000 words form English to Chinese (both spoken and written). Google Translate has ben useful in my work but using it blindly can be outright dangerous. I will share with you 12 tips of how to use Google Translate wiser.
1) Sanity checks
If you don’t know the language you are translating into (e.g. Chinese), you should use it with extreme cautious. Don’t let Google Translate make you look like a fool. At a minimum, use Google Translate to perform a sanity check on itself.
What is a “sanity check“? Well, if you want to translate English to Chinese (or any language you don’t know), at least use Google Translate to translate the text right back to you.
“U.S. forecasters are warning a lumbering tropical storm Lee could bring floods and tornadoes to more south and central-eastern states as it moves northward Sunday after saturating the Gulf coastline.”
Sanity check is using Google Translate to translate the above Chinese to English. You see I added emphasis for the potentially problematic areas.
“The U.S. forecasters warned the storm could bring tropical logging floods and tornadoes Lee in more southern and eastern countries, as it moved north after the Gulf coast on Sunday saturated.”
Observation: The Chinese translation is actually quite confusing, much more confusing that the sanity check is showing.
Here is a “work around” that is not a guarantee “solution” but better than nothing. Use short sentences. Change your English words so that the sanity check won’t give you garbage.
I love Google Translate‘s Chinese pronunciation. It just sound great. I wonder how good is Google Translate‘s pronunciations in other languages? Please add comments to this post if you speak other languages fluently and can judge Google Translate‘s pronunciations as a native speakers of those languages.
3) Google Translate is NOT your magic bullet
To me, the purpose of language is to communicate so I try my best to avoid miscommunication. I started writing this post because I’ve noticed some Chinese Google+ users using Chinese in their comments to English posts.
I think those commenters may be assuming their non-Chinese readers can simply use Google Translate to help understand the meaning of their words. Take the following Sept 1st, 2011 comment in this post for example,
“Can not sleep, can hangout, also considered is neglected, right?”
People may be able to guess what the author means. But the words “also considered is neglected” are annoying because you can’t be sure exactly what the commenter really meant. You see, what the Chinese commenter means is roughly,
“Can’t sleep but I can still hangout, not bad right?”
The commenter used the words “失之東隅” which is a Chinese proverb. I don’t think I will use Chinese proverb if I were the commenter. You see, isn’t it the point of leaving a comment so that other people, including author of the post, can understand what you try to say?
4) Closing comments
To me, I see clear and clean communication as the reason for languages. I use and love Google Translate as a tool. But it is a tool, at its current capability as of Sep 2011, it is a still a very young, immature, and not that reliable tool. It cannot be trusted blindly.
One final sanity check example to remind us why Google Translate can’t and shouldn’t be trusted blindly using the first sentence of this article.
“I’ve translated three TV series, 72 episodes, about 130,000 words form English to Chinese (both spoken and written).”
“I translated three television series, 72 sets, about 13 million words in English in the form of the Chinese (including verbal and written).”
Do you notice one glaring problem? How did 130,000 words become 13 million words? The stupid thing is that “13萬” is actually 130,00, totally correct! But turning “13萬” into “13 million” is just total rubbish!
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 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 Morin, David 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!
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.
– 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?