Google Goes Gaga

Saturday, 12 May, 2012

Musicians@Google Presents: Google Goes Gaga (Mar 22, 2011)

Dalai Lama with horns – Inaugural Desmond Tutu Peace Lecture – Dalai Lama & Desmond Tutu hang out on Google+

Saturday, 8 October, 2011

Dalai Lama with horns - pix 1 - 達賴惡魔 (达赖恶魔) 有相及錄影為証

Dalai Lama with horns - pix 3 - 達賴惡魔 (达赖恶魔) 有相及錄影為証

Dalai Lama - pix 4

Dalai Lama - pix 5

Inaugural Desmond Tutu Peace Lecture – Dalai Lama & Desmond Tutu hang out on Google+

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?

~42:26 Dalai: 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.

Dalai Lama - pix 7

KOMU Sarah Hill Google+ Hangouts – General insights

Friday, 29 July, 2011

KOMU Sarah Hill G-Plus Hangouts - pix 00 - Sarah


It has been my pleasure to attend a number of KOMU anchor Sarah Hill‘s interesting Google+ newsroom Hangouts since July 19, 2011. In this detailed article, I will try to share some of my general experiences, observations, and insights. To help this article flow better and less bogged down by highly technical ideas/solutions, I am gathering my technical-orientated observations and suggestions in a separate article.

Since Google+ (and its Hangouts) is a new tool that is only one month old, these notes only reflect my initial thoughts/impressions. I expect my views will be changed later when I learn more. I’ve tried to reference ideas I read elsewhere as best as I can by providing crediting them and provide links to them.

Location, what Location? – Think Global, Act Local

KOMU Sarah Hill G-Plus Hangouts - pix 01 - Sarah, Location

I first heard of KOMU and Sarah likely from “5 Ways Journalists Are Using Google+” (July 17th, 2011 Mashable article). On the internet, the location really doesn’t matter. I live in Calgary, Canada and I participated in KOMU-TV newsroom Hangouts in Columbia, MO. And through Sarah, I’ve got to know and Hangout with Angie Bailey, KOMU AnchorStephen Clark (Detroit, WXYZ TV), Amy Wood, (South Carolina, WSPA TV), and KOMU Interactive Director Jen Reeves. Where they are “physically located” have no impact on our interactions at all.

By attending these newsrooms Hangouts, I have now hungout with people from around the world. People who joined from different parts of US, Canada, and Europe. So far, no Asian countries because of time zone differences, I suppose.

Will evening news stay as “appointment television”?

KOMU Sarah Hill G-Plus Hangouts - pix 02 - appointment TV

I heard the use of “appointment television” from one of the television executives attending Banff World TV Festival a few years ago. Here is an useful definition,

“appointment television: the decision of tv viewers to schedule their time so that they watch a specific program at a specific time

With the advent of around the clock news websites (often with videos) updates from major national and international news outlets (BBC, CNN, Guardian, etc), plus the local newspapers getting into the same game (with video), the evening news, especially for the younger people, are no longerappointment television“.

The viewers won’t want to be locked into watching news at a fixed time, from one news source when they can and are getting news from many different reliable sources online, whenever they want.

I believe the “commodification of news” is close to done. Many news programs are working hard to differentiate their news programs by supplementing “regular” news that they must report (even most people have heard/read elsewhere) by adding special unique segments, panel discussions, etc. For example, in Canada, CBC National “At Issue” panel (a political panel of 2-3) or “Rex Murphy” segment (like 60 Minutes’ Andy Rooney).

I should emphasize, I write this section with an optimistic mindset as I don’t believe not “appointment television” is entirely bad. I believe there are new ways to make money in this new time. Stories may need to be packaged differently. Ads need to be sold differently. In the next section, I will talk about two ways to make money.

How to make money? – Revenue Generation

One thing I enjoy a lot from Sarah‘s Hangouts is the brain storming sessions. When the environment is open and the participants are engaging, the sessions can be very illuminating and productive.

Some people suggested the following ways to generate revenue (make money) online, Read the rest of this entry »

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 »

Documentary “Nuclear Ginza” by Channel 4, Great Britain, 1995

Thursday, 24 March, 2011

A Japanese documentarian friend recommend checking out the insightful and timely documentary “Nuclear Ginza” (with English subtitles) by Channel 4, Great Britain, 1995. [HT Soda]

Funny Lady Carmen Stockton @ CBC The Alberta Comedy Spectacular (Sept 4th @ 7pm)

Monday, 16 August, 2010

Got an email from Funny Lady Carmen Stockton today. If you like a good laugh, check out CBC The Alberta Comedy Spectacular (Sept 4th @ 7pm). I hope Carmen doesn’t mind me sharing it so more people can tune in to watch the show.

This is the CBC Comedy special that me and a few other extremely talented comedians filmed back in May, if you happen to be around your TV sets on this date (see below) and want to see us tell a couple jokes…please tune in!

As always I do not guarantee that my jokes will make you laugh, as a matter of fact my jokes (or lack there of) may irritate you to so much you’ll wish you were watching a Rita MacNeil Christmas special instead, but if you do manage to watch my entire set I will absolutely guarantee you all right here and now you’ll give me an A++ for charm and animated facial expressions!


The Alberta Comedy Spectacular: Best of the West airs Saturday Sept 4 at 7pm across Alberta on CBC TV.

P.S. I’ve already set my machine to record the show. Why don’t you do the same too? If you like, you can check out my video interview with Carmen, done 2 years ago in 2008.

Google Washington DC Talks by Jeff Jarvis, author of “What Would Google Do?”

Wednesday, 13 January, 2010

In light of the decision, I am watching the following Apr 2009 Google Talk by Jeff Jarvis, author of “What Would Google Do?” and self-proclaimed Google fanboy, to see if I can gain some additional insights.

Interesting ideas at time codes: 21:40 and in particular at 23:38 where there is a discussion censoring results at & Google not operating in China.

What I Wish I Knew When I Was 20: A Crash Course on Making Your Place in the World

Sunday, 18 October, 2009

Tina Seelig, executive director of the Stanford Technology Ventures Program at Stanford University, gave a talk on “What I Wish I Knew When I Was 20: A Crash Course on Making Your Place in the World” at 4:30 p.m. on Tuesday, March 17, 2009 as part of the University of Rochester entrepreneurship lecture series.

It is important of how we decide to unpack and look at a problem.

Here is a link to Stanford’s Entrepreneur Corner (with many cool videos).

[via Leona]

Hello Google Wave

Wednesday, 30 September, 2009

Some of Google Wave‘s features look pretty cool.

Here is Google Wave Developer Preview at Google I/O 2009

“Long Hair Revolution” (長毛革命) selected to be part of Library and Archives Canada collection

Friday, 1 May, 2009

20130306 Long Hair Revolution at Library and Archives Canada - Screen capture

Today, I am deeply honoured to share with you the news that “Long Hair Revolution (長毛革命)”, my debut documentary about the rebel Hong Kong politician Leung Kwok-hung (nickname Long Hair), is now part of the federal government Library and Archives Canada permanent collection in Ottawa. (Jan 6th, 2015 Update: Here is a link to Government of Canada “Long Hair Revolution” Item Number (ISN) 416953 at Library and Archives Canada.)

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

Feel free to watch “Long Hair Revolution” on YouTube to see an atypical Long Hair in 2004 that is calm and reflective during one of the most eventful months in Hong Kong financial and political history.

Library and Archives Canada collects and preserves Canada’s documentary heritage, and makes it accessible to all Canadians. This heritage includes publications, archival records, sound and audio-visual materials, photographs, artworks, and electronic documents such as websites.

Acknowledgment: Special thanks for all the help from Nicolas and Steve at Library and Archives Canada and Michele for discovering my film in 2008.

Michael Milken & Mohammad Yunus on Charlie Rose

Sunday, 9 November, 2008

The unlikely pairing of Michael “Mr. Junk Bond” Milken & Mohammad Yunus appear together on Charlie Rose.

Paul Krugman (post-Nobel Prize) on Charlie Rose

Wednesday, 29 October, 2008

Here is Paul Krugman (post-Prize) on Charlie Rose on Oct 23, 2008.

Congrats Christine Cheung for winning a $10,000 Lieutenant Governor of Alberta Arts Foundation’s emerging artists award

Wednesday, 22 October, 2008

I am so excited for my friend Christine Cheung for winning a Lieutenant Governor of Alberta Arts Foundation’s emerging artists award. Here is an excerpt from Calgary Herald “Lieutenant-Governor awards for local artists“,

Five Calgary artists emerged from bed Monday $10,000 richer, thanks to a new arts award sponsored by the Alberta Lieutenant- Governor.

Calgary filmmaker and animator Anne Koizumi, theatre director Simon Mallett, multi-media artist Chad VanGaalen, installation artist Robin Arseneault, and painter Christine Cheung were selected along with singer/songwriter Colleen Brown, composer Aaron Gervais and violinist Andrew Wan of Edmonton, sculptor Dawn Deterando of Red Deer and novelist Sherry Coffey of Athabasca as the initial recipients of the Lieutenant Governor of Alberta Arts Foundation’s emerging artists awards.

[…] Each winner receives a cheque for $10,000, with no stipulations as to how they can spend it.

Here is my extensive video interview with Christine earlier this year in Feb 2008.

Congrats Christine. I’m so happy for you.

Ben, Congrats for getting your MBA

Friday, 10 October, 2008

Ben, Congrats for getting your MBA today.

And I wish you all the best.

Here is a Warren Buffett chat with MBA students which I blogged about previously. I hope you will enjoy this classic.

Ben, I know you are looking for a job and I think the section where Warren talks about job will be great to watch too. (starts around 18:55) Have fun and Congrats.

Warren Buffett MBA Talk 2007 (?)

2008 CIFF: Dear Zachary – David & Kate Bagby’s path to justice for the death in their family

Saturday, 20 September, 2008

July 15, 2012 update: See the 2011 entry “Canada Bail Reform because of documentary “Dear Zachary”” for an update.
I saw many Calgarians cried and were deeply touched after watching the documentary “Dear Zachary” last night. (Read and hear my interview with the documentary filmmaker Kurt Kuenne. Note: You can get in touch with Kurt via his contact info on his page. He reads and appreciates your messages.) And it was my honour to interview David & Kate Bagby after the screening and Q&As. Here is the video. (2015 May update: I’ve fixed the link to used an updated YouTube location.)

Note: If you wish, you can try to reach the filmmaker Kurt Kuenne via the contact info in his website.

P.S. Justice and legal system is a complex and technical subject area that is beyond the limited scope and time that I can spend in crafting this blog entry. Suffice to say that while I think Canada’s legal system does a good job, but from time to time we do have cases of injustice where innocent Canadians were put into jails for a long time or even labeled as child killers.

ParkPlus by Calgary Parking Authority – Reimagining the Wheels

Thursday, 14 August, 2008

May 21, 2011 Update: Fired CPA manager Dale Fraser stated in 2008, “Calgary Parking Authority did create the proprietary approach to this new parking system. And we [CPA] do have a patent-pending on this approach …”

Dec 4, 2008 Update: See Privacy Investigation Report concerning Calgary ParkPlus


ParkPlus System

ParkPlus System

In this Reimagining the Wheels article, I will talk about the ParkPlus System, a Calgary Parking Authority (CPA) created state-of-the-art parking system. ParkPlus is much more advanced than the good old parking meters, the newer pay and display system, or even this type of hybrid meter. Regular readers may remember I have previously promised to blog more about ParkPlus here. Well, I’ve finally kept my promise. (big smile)

To provide a deeper insight into ParkPlus, I’ve also taken time to interview CPA’s general manager Mr. Dale Fraser and Calgary Alderman Mr. Dale Hodges, two of the participants in the creation of the ParkPlus system.

The Business of Parking

You may not realize this but Calgary Parking Authority is a completely self-funded operation. In 2007, after expenses, CPA actually *paid* a total of $17.9 million to the City of Calgary (an $1.9 million increase from $16 million in 2006).

Now, observant readers will notice that old style parking meters sometimes got vandalized or money stolen. To give you a rough idea of the monetary impact, CPA’s meter repairs, parts, and overtime costs have totaled more than several hundred thousand dollars since 2006. I will mention how ParkPlus addresses these challenges in “The Technologies” section.

The ParkPlus system can also reduce parking enforcement cost ($6.3 million in 2007) by making parking enforcement more efficient. And ParkPlus has the potential to increase revenue from parking operations and enforcement by increasing tickets purchased (because it is more convenient for people to pay by credit cards or cell phones) and issuing more parking tickets to violators (with photos as proofs). (note: As a driver that doesn’t enjoy being ticketed, I am torn to call “issuing more parking tickets” a “benefit“!)

Read the rest of this entry »

Making a splash at Bowness Park

Monday, 4 August, 2008
Rooster tail after a Supervee 27 brushless boat

Rooster tail after a Supervee 27 Brushless boat

My better half and I went off to some canoeing at the beautiful Bowness Park and luckily saw Phil Donnelly having some serious fun with his Supervee 27 Brushless remote control racing boat. So I took out my digital camera and did a little interview and Phil gave me a demo (see Google video). The footage are really spectacular. Real cool. (Spoiler alert: Even the crashes look spectacular.) Enjoy.

Phil Donnelly showing his Supervee 27 Brushless at Bowness Park, Calgary, Canada

P.S. Phil has done a few upgrades to the boat as well. By the way, if you like to check out the gears (remote control boats, cars, etc.), Phil asked me to mention he gets his stuff from HobbyGuys. (Hmmm, this sounds like a HobbyGuys’ ad. (smile) Phil, I hope HG gives you a discount or something next time you shop there. (big smile))

P.P.S. Aren’t the crashes spectacular? And the boat at top speed was just beautiful! According to Phil, they have races every Sunday at 9am-ish. Phil, do you know where can people find more info about these races? Is a web page about the Bowness races or something?

U of Michigan 2008 Solar Challenge (video)

Monday, 4 August, 2008

June 24, 2011 Update: Happy Retirement!!! U of Michigan’s Continuum’s New Home in Retirement


michigan arrives by DArcy Norman

Michigan team crossing finish line (photo by D'Arcy Norman)

Please take a look of what I previously posted (including photos) about the University of Michigan solar car team in this blog entry here.

Thanks to the excellent suggestions of two Michigan families (the Cramers and another family which unfortunately I forgot their last name), I asked for and was granted public interviews (I believe these interviews were the only ones done by the media) with Chito Garcia (long time advisor and mentor) and Chuck Hutchins (long time sponsor of the team, see Chuck’s MDSI bio here). After talking to the families and then to Chito and Chuck, I truly believe Chito’s and Chuck’s long-term involvement in the solar car challenge have definitely played a very important role in the success of the team.

As it was said in this blog entry by the Michigan team as an example, “Chito Garcia, our long time advisor and mentor, has developed many of these Australian relationships over his 15 years of racing with the Team.” Quoting from the sponsors page, “Accompanying the Team on every race since the running of Maize and Blue in 1993, Chuck [Hutchins] has maintained cultural and technical continuity […] Chuck’s experience as an engineer (BSE MEAM ’57) and as an entrepreneur (co-founder of Manufacturing Data Systems Inc.) have proved priceless in the development of our 2007 vehicle, Continuum.”

I hope you enjoy and learn something from the following video. I certainly learned a lot from the Michigan team and families and thanks for being very friendly and nice.

See more general coverage of the solar challenge with video here.

Chatting with Dave Irvine-Halliday – Founder of Light Up The World

Friday, 1 August, 2008
Dr. Dave Irvine-Halliday, founder of Light Up The World Foundation

Dr. Dave Irvine-Halliday, founder of Light Up The World

There are only a handful of people that I admire whole-heartedly and Dr. Dave Irvine-Halliday, founder of Light Up The World, is definitely one of them. You may have read from my previous blog entry that I first read about Dave and Light Up The World when he won the 2002 Saatchi & Saatchi Innovation Award and I’ve wanted to interview Dave since then. Here is my chat with Dave,

Ultimately, illuminating lives are what Light Up The World striving to achieve. Light Up The World put “Let there be light” into practice and reality. Quoting their website,

Through generous support from interested individuals, corporations, host country organizations, international foundations and industrial partners, LUTW has lit up more than 14,000 homes in 42 different countries throughout the developing world from Afghanistan to Zambia. (read more…)

I will try to help LUTW. And you can too!. Please check out their site Light Up The World and see how you can help. Together we can change the world.

Banff 2008 – Interview of Jane Mote (Director, Lifestyle & Factual, UKTV)

Tuesday, 24 June, 2008

Banff World TV Festival

I first chatted with Jane Mote (Director of Lifestyle & Factual programming, UKTV) at 2007 Banff (here is a video). As I have been an admirer of the creativities from UK, and in particular UKTV, so it was particularly nice to chat with Jane again this year to get an update of the cool happenings at UKTV. We also talked about the bold, imaginative, and genius in the rebranding of UKTV G2 to Dave. In my humble opinion, if there is such a thing as an instant Lovemark, I think Dave (with its great brand and contents) qualifies as a Lovemark for many people in UK.

Here is my interview with Jane Mote (Director, Lifestyle & Factual, UKTV) at 2008 Banff. Enjoy.

For more info on the rebranding and freeview launch of Dave, see Dave’s Wikipedia page. The jump of the TV viewership and the power of rebranding is just so cool, a great lesson for us all.

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