Minister Tony Clement hosted Government of Canada’s first Google Hangout to talk Open Data

Friday, 1 March, 2013

Minister Tony Clement hosted Government of Canada's first Google Hangout

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.

Government of Canada – Innovating with Open Data

Here is an excerpt from the press release,

“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.

note: article is crossed posted by me to examiner.com


Howie Mandel Videobomb Fox LA LIVE Newscast – Why I’m Guilty as an Accessory

Sunday, 6 January, 2013

Howie Mandel #videobomb Fox LA LIVE Newscast

Did you see the talented comedian Howie Mandel (@HowieMandel) #videobomb Fox LA LIVE Newscast on Jan 2nd, 2013?! That was an awesome moment! And we (a few friends and I) were guilty as charged in coaxing Howie to make his impromptu LIVE TV appearance! Here is the funny clip of Howie Mandel #videobomb Fox LA LIVE Newscast!

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!

I just LOVE Howie in his quick witted spontaneity, you just can’t fake stuff like this. I first met and listened to Howie live when he came to the yearly Banff World Media Festival in 2011 to receive an award of distinction.

Howie Mandel at Banff World Media Festival 2011

You can watch this very entertaining non-stop funny “In Conversation with: Award of Distinction Winner, Howie Mandel” (with transcript). Here is an excerpt,

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.

Concluding Thoughts about our Google+ magic

I’m a Google+ Hangout News Consultant and I’ve been using using Google+ Hangout since the beginning in July 2011 and Google+ Hangout On Air (G+ HOA) since its launch in September 2011. To me, G+ HOA is one of the most powerful new broadcasting tools available. But like in the world of cooking, even if you have a great knife, an awesome mixer, etc you still have to have great chefs and first rate ingredients to create magic!

And in our first 2013 Fox LA Google+ Hangout with Howie Mandel, that magic was created because our guest Howie rocked and we rocked! Who are we? We are our host Maria Quiban, and co-hosts Anthony Ramos, DeAno Jackson, Jimmy Louis, Kempton Lam (me), Kim Beasley, Matt Moore, Paul Roustan, Sheila B. DuBois, Stormy Henderson (screen thumbnail order from left to right).

note: This article is cross-posted by me at examiner.


Google Driverless Car – A Brave New Tech & Legal Experiment

Wednesday, 26 September, 2012

CA Governor Brown Signs SB1298 (Autonomous Vehicles)

At the Google headquarters in Mountain View yesterday, California governor Jerry Brown signed the bill, “SB-1298 Vehicles: autonomous vehicles: safety and performance requirements“, making California the third state in US taking steps to make driverless cars eventually legal on roads and highways (not just for testing purpose).

CA Governor Brown Signs SB1298 (Autonomous Vehicles)

Technologically, Google will need to do a lot of testing to make sure its system works in many different basic conditions and to prove that it is “safe” in basic conditions which is a challenge in itself. The bigger problem, at least as this reporter sees it, is a legal one.

As Google and its co-founder Sergey Brin indicated, the hope is to allow the driverless cars to be used by blind people and people who are too intoxicated to drive. Imagine a Google driverless car involving in a car accident (especially one with fatality), who will then be held accountable? The blind driver? The software developer? The software project manager? Or the autonomous vehicle technology providers (like Google)?

Comparison has been made of Google driverless car with self-driving train and that we have those trains for some years now, isn’t it ok? Well, self-driving train (or centrally controlled driver-less train) like the SkyTrain in Vancouver runs on “grade-separated tracks, running mostly on elevated guideways” thus are not subject to the randomness of roads filled by other cars, random animals, and most important of all, often unpredictable people/pedestrians.

In a litigious place like California, United States, it is worth mentioning one of the two unresolved issues in the signed bill (as stated in the 08/24/12 Assembly Floor Analysis, emphasis added),

First, automobile makers fear that when this technology is added on to the vehicles they have designed for use by human operators, they may be drawn into liability litigation after an accident caused by the failure of that after-market equipment or of its installation rather than due to any inherent safety problem with the vehicle itself. Although existing tort law and case law can be interpreted to absolve them of any liability in such instances, the automakers sought to have explicit language incorporated into the bill to make this clear. Ultimately, the contending parties were unable to agree on a formula that met one another’s needs.

California legal experts may have better insight of why the above issue remains unresolved. To the average Joe and Jane citizens, a valid question is whether Google or other autonomous vehicle technology providers should be trusted to be 100% correct all the time with no driver to provide override in the future (when blind/intoxicated people may be the only passengers in the car)? Given the automobile makers are worried enough to try (but unsuccessfully) to shield themselves with explicit language in the bill, may be citizens should ask Google or the legislators what happen if a driverless car is involved in an accident with/without fatality?

Note: Currently, the California bill has a five million dollars insurance provision in this testing phase when there will ALWAYS be a driver on the driver seat to take over when things go wrong. What amount of “evidence of insurance, surety bond, or self-insurance” should be required when the system is truly driverless?!

P.S. this article is cross-posted by me at examiner.com


Google Nexus 7 launched at $209 with $25 credit – (What RIM should have done last year)

Wednesday, 27 June, 2012

Google Nexus 7 - pix 01

Google announced its new Nexus 7 tablet this morning at its Google I/O 2012 conference. The Nexus 7 tech spec (for the price of US$199 (C$209)) is very tempting for new and existing tablet users. In the bottom of this article, I’ve included an edited and annotated specification highlighting my views of the machine.

Looking back, when the Waterloo Ontario based Canadian Research In Motion (RIM) first released its PlayBook in April 2011, if it had come out with a price like C$209 (US$199), it would have a chance to shake up the competitive landscape for the tablet market. Unfortunately, RIM‘s “same as iPad” price of $499 and under powered machine was a weak and underwhelming launch from day one.

I think the $25 Google Play in store credit is large enough an amount that many potential buyers will consider it meaningful, relative to the price of the machine, and they may see the machine as $25 cheaper. The $25 credit is a pretty good way to get people to start using the Google Play store! Getting people to enter their credit card information and start using the store is the hardest first step of all.

Introducing Nexus 7

Nexus 7 tech spec

SCREEN
7” 1280×800 HD display (216 ppi) [K: looks good in the demo]
Back-lit IPS display
Scratch-resistant Corning glass [K: Corning glass is good. The new Corning Gorilla Glass 2 would be better but I am sure that cost more money.]
1.2MP front-facing camera [K: I wish there is a back camera as well but if I must have a front camera for any video conferencing like G+ Hangout or Skype]
SIZE: 198.5 x 120 x 10.45mm [K: looks comfortable to hold but have to have one in my hand to see for sure]
WEIGHT: 340g [K: OK, it is about half the weight of an iPad. To be far, its screen size and viewing area are both smaller than an iPad]
WIRELESS: WiFi 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth [K: Good spec]
MEMORY: 8 GB internal storage, 1 GB RAM [K: Enough for me but since 16GB model is only reasonably $50 more, may just go with the 16GB model]
USB
Micro USB
BATTERY: 4325 mAh (Up to 8 hours of active use)
OS: Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean)
CPU: Quad-core Tegra 3 processor
FEATURES: Microphone, NFC (Android Beam), Accelerometer, GPS, Magnetometer, Gyroscope [K: all pretty cool]

Google Nexus 7 - pix 02


Two Google lawyers reflect on Oracle v. Google

Monday, 11 June, 2012

Great interviews re “Oracle v. Google” patent and copyright trail with two Google attorneys: general counsel Kent Walker, and litigation counsel Renny Hwang. Highly recommended. [HT +Lauren Weinstein]


Chatting with Diana Eastwood (yes, Mrs. Eastwood, wife of Clint) star of reality TV show Mrs. Eastwood & Company

Friday, 18 May, 2012

Dina Eastwood (Mrs. Eastwood), daughter Francesca & Eduard - pix 02

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.

Click to watch the “MyFox11 Los Angeles Hangout w/Maria Quiban” starting at the 22:30 mark.

Dina Eastwood (Mrs. Eastwood), daughter Francesca & Eduard - pix 01


LIVE broadcast of Ceremony of Remembrance @ Queen’s Park Ontario Police Memorial (May 6th, 2012)

Sunday, 6 May, 2012

Pre-ceremony @ Queen's Park Ontario Police Memorial, Sun May 6th - pix 01

Pre-ceremony @ Queen's Park Ontario Police Memorial, Sun May 6th - pix 02

The LIVE broadcast of the Ceremony of Remembrance @ Queen’s Park Ontario Police Memorial this morning (May 6th, 2012) went really smoothly, the following are the recorded videos. (Facebook page for Ontario Police Memorial Foundation) Here is an informal detailed writeup from Toronto Police Constable Scott Mills.

Video pre-Ceremony of Remembrance at Queen’s Park Ontario Police Memorial (reading of the names of 251 police officers killed in the line of duty in Ontario)

Video of Ceremony of Remembrance at Queen’s Park Ontario Police Memorial

Video of March Past: Ceremony of Remembrance at Queen’s Park Ontario Police Memorial

Debrief of the LIVE broadcast at Ceremony of Remembrance (includes interviews with all of the major contributors on the ground in Toronto… including Glen Russell, the father of Scott’s friend Ryan Russell who died in the line of duty in Toronto in 2011)

Ceremony of Remembrance at Queen's Park Ontario Police Memorial, Sun May 6th - pix 03 (Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty)

Pre-Ceremony intro:site test for Queen's Park Ontario Police Memorial this Sunday (May 6th) - pix 01


Pre-Ceremony intro for Queen’s Park Ontario Police Memorial this Sunday (May 6th)

Friday, 4 May, 2012

Pre-Ceremony intro:site test for Queen's Park Ontario Police Memorial this Sunday (May 6th) - pix 01

It was my honour to work with Toronto Police Constable +Scott Mills this afternoon in preparation for this Sunday (May 6th, 10:30am EST) Queen’s Park Ontario Police Memorial LIVE broadcast. More info here.

Watch the video to see the site for yourself.

Pre-Ceremony intro:site test for Queen's Park Ontario Police Memorial this Sunday (May 6th) - pix 03

Pre-Ceremony intro:site test for Queen's Park Ontario Police Memorial this Sunday (May 6th) - pix 04

Pre-Ceremony intro:site test for Queen's Park Ontario Police Memorial this Sunday (May 6th) - pix 05

Pre-Ceremony intro:site test for Queen's Park Ontario Police Memorial this Sunday (May 6th) - pix 06

I especially love this last screen capture where a beautiful butterfly lands next to the broadcast equipment.

Pre-Ceremony intro:site test for Queen's Park Ontario Police Memorial this Sunday (May 6th) - pix 07


Israel’s Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon Google+ Hangout at Fox LA

Wednesday, 2 May, 2012

Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon - Fox LA Google+ Hangout - pix 08

It was my great pleasure to G+ Hangout with Israel’s Deputy Foreign Minister+Danny Ayalon (Wikipedia) hosted by +Maria Quiban +Tshaka Armstrong at+myFOXla / FOX Los Angeles. The following is my question to Mr. Ayalon (I added a few words to give the readers some context).

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?

Here is the full hangout video and you can watch my question and Mr. Ayalon’s answer (at 14:33 mark)

Background & Research material

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)

The Spymaster - Meir Dagan on Iran's threat - CBS 60 Minutes

An excerpt from “Dagan and Erdan’s caustic exchange at the ‘Post’ Conference“,

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.”

* Jerusalem Post Apr 29, 2012, “Dagan, Erdan trade barbs over Diskin comments

* Jerusalem Post Apr 29, 2012, “Former Shin Bet chief slams ‘messianic’ PM, Barak

* The Atlantic has an interesting and insightful piece “Netanyahu’s Bad Weekend

* National Post, “Netanyahu under fire from within over Iran strike

* CBS 60 Minutes “The Spymaster: Meir Dagan on Iran’s threat


Sebastian Thrun talks and shows Google Glass and more on Charlie Rose

Thursday, 26 April, 2012

Have a watch of this interesting Charlie Rose video interview of Sebastian Thrun. This is the first time I see someone wearing a pair Google Glass in a video.
NOTE 1: A picture taken by +Sebastian Thrun‘s Google Glass
NOTE 2: Lets not confuse and think Google Glass is brand new idea. Quoting GuardianSteve Mann, a Canadian known as the father of wearable computing, has been developing systems since the 1980s with obvious industrial, medical and military applications.”
Yes, 30+ years ago. Steve’s first iteration made him look like a mad scientist! :) Steve is a professor from University of Toronto, my alma marter.


City of Edmonton goes Google Apps – (Part 2/2) Privacy Issues, USA Patriot Act, FOIP Act

Friday, 13 April, 2012

 

Chris Moore, City of Edmonton Chief Information Officer, interview

2019, Dec 13 update: Broken SCC case name added in reference and weblink repaired.

2012, Apr 15 update: Here is an excerpt from an Apr 15th Guardian article “Web freedom faces greatest threat ever, warns Google’s Sergey Brin – Exclusive: Threats range from governments trying to control citizens to the rise of Facebook and Apple-style ‘walled gardens’” (emphasis added)

“[Google co-founder Sergey] Brin acknowledged that some people were anxious about the amount of their data that was now in the reach of US authorities because it sits on Google’s servers. He said the company [Google] was periodically forced to hand over data and sometimes prevented by legal restrictions from even notifying users that it had done so.”

The above excerpt is a very powerful statement that should make foreign (to US) decision makers in the private and public sectors think carefully of what they get themselves into by putting data, especially sensitive data, onto Google’s cloud. As we can see from the latest Supreme Court of Canada decision “R. v. Tse, 2012 SCC 16” rejecting current Canadian loose wiretap law, the court has made it clear that accountability and effective judicial oversight are very important matters in Canada.

***

The focus of part 2/2 of this article series will be on the privacy related issues of City of Edmonton going with Google Apps. (See part 1/2 of this series for the financial and technology impacts.)

Keywords: The Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, USA Patriot Act, Privacy Impact Assessment, Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Alberta, Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada

Summary: After extensive preparation by City of Edmonton to go with Google Apps, it is puzzling and questionable why city of Edmonton FOIP office (reporting to Edmonton city council, and working closely with Edmonton Chief Information Officer) has NOT yet decided to submit a privacy impact assessment under The Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act to the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Alberta and the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada to seek the two Offices of the Privacy Commissioners’ advices and recommendations.

The FOIP Act, USA Patriot Act, and the case of University of Alberta

First of all, a little bit of information about The Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (the FOIP Act) (emphasis added),

“[the FOIP Act] was passed by the Alberta Legislature in June 1994. It came into effect on October 1, 1995. The FOIP Act provides individuals with the right to request access to information in the custody or control of public bodies while providing public bodies with a framework within which they must conduct the collection, use and disclosure of personal information.

Given the FOIP Act focus re the “collection, use and disclosure of personal information“, it leads me to a serious concern in seeing City of Edmonton going with Google Apps and wondering how will the USA Patriot Act impact Canadians? At the moment, Google has no dedicated data center located in Canada, and Google stores its data in data centers primarily located in United States. Dr. Jonathan Schaeffer, University of Alberta Vice Provost and Associate Vice President (Information Technology), responsible for moving the university to Google Apps for Education, has painted an informed picture in this article, (emphasis added)

“The decision to go Google took almost two years to be realized. First, we had to investigate all our options, including providing a single system on campus (e.g., Microsoft) and using a local provider (e.g., Telus). Second, having decided on Google, we did our due diligence by doing a privacy impact assessment and getting it accepted by the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Alberta. Third, we had to negotiate a contract with Google that respected Alberta’s and Canada’s laws. Google houses its data in data centers that are primarily located in the United States. The U.S. Patriot Act acts as a lightening rod for some people. It took 1.5 years to come up with an agreement that satisfied our legal team (both internal and external the university), security team, and privacy officer. Only after going through all these steps were we comfortable with signing an agreement with Google.”

In a phone interview with Wayne Wood, Communications Director, Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Alberta, Wood explained that, in Alberta, Read the rest of this entry »


City of Edmonton goes Google Apps – (Part 1/2) Financial, Technological Impacts

Wednesday, 11 April, 2012

Chris Moore, City of Edmonton Chief Information Officer, interview

Update: Part 2/2 Privacy Issues, USA Patriot Act, FOIP Act has now been posted.

Yesterday, City of Edmonton announced it “will become the first major municipal government in Canada to use Google email and other office technology apps for all City employees“. Google Enterprise stated, “While Edmonton may be the first city in Canada to go Google, it’s in great company with other city governments in North America ─ like PittsburghOrlando and Zapopan, Mexico ─ that have already made the move.” It is only natural for people in Calgary, Toronto, and other cities to ask and find out if there are anything we can learn from Edmonton?

In a video interview with Chris Moore, Chief Information Officer of City of Edmonton, Moore said all 6 departments, 31 branches, 10,000+ people, will move to use Google Apps for Government. The press release states, “The change will be phased in over the next few years with Google email and calendar put in place in late 2012, into 2013 and the other apps available for employees to use late next year.

In fact, Moore told me a few hundred employees are already in pilot projects using Google Apps. (note: While the police services will stay on their separate system, the city’s fire services, parks & recreations, waste management/day-to-day garbage pickup, tax department, etc are part of this move.) In a phone interview with Dr. Jonathan Schaeffer, University of Alberta Vice Provost and Associate Vice President (Information Technology) responsible for moving the university to Google Apps for Education, he said U of A has successfully transition 125,000 people and have 3,000 people to go in a phased migration. The U of A project started in March 2011 and is expected to be completed in early fall 2012.

According to city of Edmonton manager Simon Farbrother, “This move supports our City Vision, The Way Ahead, to use the most innovative technologies available. We will now have a more inclusive work environment where all employees will have access and be able to share and collaborate in real time on the same document whenever they want, in any location, and on any device such as smartphones and laptops.

By going to a cloud-based solution, Moore explained the city is moving away from the old model of software licenses installed on desktops and laptops, with upgrades every year or every other year, to the concept of iterative changes which people have already experiencing in their use of technologies at home.

According to Moore, 3.2 million dollars is the estimated up front cost for moving to Google Apps (e.g. implementation, training, documentation, etc). The cost savings over five years is about 9.2 million dollars, Read the rest of this entry »


Google+ Hangout On Air – New YouTube LIVE broadcast function

Tuesday, 10 April, 2012

Kempton LIVE on YouTube via Google+

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.

Google+ Hangout On Air — New YouTube LIVE broadcast functions test

*** Here is the original longer test hangout ***


Meetings, Bloody Google Search Quality Meeting

Monday, 12 March, 2012

I absolutely LOVE this highly technical but also very insightful annotated Google Search Quality Meeting: Spelling for Long Queries (hence the ref to the comedy training film Meetings, Bloody Meetings). The annotation is great. I hope Google will post more. Enjoy. [HT Google & Google Inside Search]

Following are my words of encouragement in hope that Google will post more.

1) For tech geeks

I am one. And it is cool to see how you guys think and make decisions that affect users of Google.

2) For non-geeks

I think it is great that you guys are trying to be more transparent. I hope you will post more of these videos on a regular basis. Google Search affects so many people and business, the more transparent things are, the less we “worry” about Google (I hope I am right to worry less).

3) For your competitors

I remember Toyota used to (I’m not sure if they still do) give tours of their factories to competitors. Why? Don’t they worry about being copied? Well, no. The idea is by the time competitors copy, Toyota will have improved on its process, production methods, etc. This also forces Toyota into a continuous improvement cycle. In the pursuit of perfection. They will never be perfect but they will always be trying.


Driverless Cars in Nevada and California

Friday, 2 March, 2012

The ground rules for the testing of driverless cars are being set in Nevada and California. An excerpt from Bloomberg “Google’s Driverless Cars Get Boost as California Mimics Nevada“,

“‘Building a Framework’

“I’m really excited about seeing Senator Padilla’s work on bringing and building a framework for testing and helping enable the groundwork for consumers to have access to this wonderful new technology,” Google’s product manager, Anthony Levandowski, said at the press conference.
Lawmakers in Hawaii, Oklahoma, Florida and Arizona have also introduced bills to follow Nevada’s lead.

The laws may “provide that boost and regulatory certainty that companies need to develop their products,” said Gary Marchant, director of the Center for the Study of Law, Science and Innovation at Arizona State University (18532MF) in Tempe. Most states don’t specifically prohibit or permit autonomous vehicles, he said.

Major carmakers are working on self-driving prototypes while rolling out semi-autonomous features — such as parking assistance, lane departure warning systems and adaptive cruise control — on premium vehicles now. Yet it’s Google’s car that’s attracted the most attention and inspired the regulatory push.”


News: Astronaut Chris Hadfield, Surveillance State, Election Fraud, Microsoft mocks Google

Friday, 24 February, 2012

Here are some recent News that caught my eyes,

* “Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield ready to rock the ISS

* “The Surveillance State – No Warrant Required

* TorStar, “Microsoft mocks Google Apps with “Googlighting” video

* “Microsoft Slams Google Apps In New Ad (VIDEO)

* “Opposition reacts to report on fraudulent election ‘robocalls’ – Automated calls that sent voters to wrong polling station made through Edmonton service

* “Caribou recovery plan swamped by public feedback – Minister may delay decision as environmentalists go back to court to force emergency action


Samsung Galaxy Nexus’ “fortified glass” has load bearing capacity of 72 pounds?

Wednesday, 11 January, 2012

Samsung Galaxy Nexus' "fortified glass" has load bearing capacity of 72 pounds?

We know that “Samsung Galaxy Nexus confirmed to have ‘fortified glass,’ not Gorilla Glass“. And we also know that Samsung and Corning has a joint venture call Samsung Corning Precision Materials Co., Ltd., so they do work together.

Now, I wonder/guess/speculate, based on this video of “Corning Gorilla Glass2 demo at CES 2012“, if Galaxy Nexus’ “fortified glass” is the type they used in the demo which has a load bearing capacity of 72 pounds?

Note: In the demo, the damage and scratch resistant Gorilla Glass1 has a load bearing capacity of ~125 pounds and Gorilla Glass2 is 20% thinner and offer the same damage resistance as Gorilla Glass1 with load bearing capacity of ~125 pounds.

Am I right? Can someone help me prove that I am right or wrong? I will be happy to be wrong if I can know the spec or more precise info of the Galaxy Nexus’ “fortified glass”.

Here is “Corning Gorilla Glass2 demo at CES 2012“. [HT Mobilesyrup]


2011 Year In Review

Friday, 16 December, 2011

2011 Year in Review - Pix 01

Great video of 2011 Year in Review

2011 Year in Review - Pix 02

2011 Year in Review - Pix 05

More photos here in this Flickr collection.


Sadly @googlenexus challenge shows Google Galaxy Nexus has Logic but lacks LOVE in its DNA – Challenge #1 solution explained

Sunday, 13 November, 2011

Androids' message

Because I am looking to buy a new phone, I was initially excited by the @googlenexus challenge: 10 chances in 10 days to win a Galaxy Nexus and even retweeted it. [HT MS] I thought it was a cool way to generate buzz for the new Galaxy Nexus. But then my excitement quickly faded once I saw and then struggled for hours with challenge #1 (see above message). Which lead me to think about the problem with this promotional challenge #1. See later this post for my challenge #1 solution explanation.

Logic or Love?

In the Galaxy Nexus Oct 19th launch video, a presenter wondered out loud and wished that Galaxy Nexus is more LOVED! Unfortunately @googlenexus challenge #1 clearly showed, to me, Google Galaxy Nexus has Logic but lacks LOVE in DNA. How so?

If Galaxy Nexus is to be loved, it can’t just cater to the geeks (or super geeks)! Should a promotional campaign be enjoyable and solvable by your average Grace & Gary? Or should the challenged be fun and solvable only by super geeks? To be honest, who the heck had any idea what the beep this picture mean? I was pissed off enough that I tweeted with the #fail tag and used “stupid” to describe 99.9% of us fans,

Is @googlenexus too smart for its own good? Why make its first #GalaxyNexus Challenge so hard that 99.99% of its fans look stupid? #fail

Hey @googlenexus We are just happy fans trying to have fun & win a $500 #GalaxyNexus phone right? This is not a job app for #google ? #fail

You see, the challenge was hard enough that Google had to post a hint! Given the hint, I looked up the Flag semaphore and soon realized there can be many combinatorial variations and one can’t really solve the problem easily without spending a ton of time or even writing a computer program!

One such non sensible interpretations of the symbols I came up with is,

(1,2) to indicate number, then “689 944” then (1,3) to indicate letters, then “PICO ALIE CHILAM

Challenge #1 solution explained

What I managed to do was only to verify someone’s answer! For beep sake, the challenge shouldn’t be this hard that it frustrated 99.9% of people who tried to give it a shot!

#GalaxyNexus is well-traveled, coming to @googlenexus from What did J Cook call Hawaii

Process to verify solution:

Converting pictures to Symbols (from left to right)

(note: top flag is the position 1, then clockwise count from 2 to 8 to convert all flag positions)

Symbol #1 (1,2,3,5,6,6,7,8); Symbol #2 (1,1,5,5,6,8); Symbol #3 (1,3)

Symbol #4 (1,5,6,7,7,8,8,8); Symbol #5 (2,2,5,5,6,6,6,8); Symbol #6 (2,3,5,5,6,6,6,6,6,7,8,8)

Verification

What did J Cook call Hawaii

WHAT – W (2,3) H (6,7) A (5,6) T (8,1) [Sources of confusions: (5,6) can also stand for the number 1, also (1,2) can also stand for an instruction for “Numerals”]

DID – D (5,1) I (6,8) D (5,1) [Sources of confusions: All these combinations can also stand for numbers.]

J (1,3)  [Source of confusion: This time, (1,3) also stand to indication coming are Letters!]

COOK (  (5,8) (7,8) (7,8) (1,6) )

CALL ( (5,8) (5,6) (6,2) (6,2) )

HAIWAII ( (6,7) (5,6) (2,3) (5,6) (6,8) (6,8) )

Challenge #2 – Any more love?

Well, challenge #2 has now been posted,

* “Challenge 2: Make something geeky & edible. Include #deliciousness & @googlenexus in your submission

* “Challenge 2 entries evaluated on creativity, originality & use of humor. Rules: http://goo.gl/5dpAK. Can’t wait to see what you concoct!

At least contestants will be judged on their “creativity, originality & use of humor” but the challenge itself stills want entries to be “geeky“!

iPhone vs. Google Nexus

I think it is safe to say iPhone is loved my many people. People don’t LOVE things logically! And I just can’t imagine Apple will be insane enough to try a contest like challenge #1. Sadly, the @googlenexus challenge #1 shows Google Galaxy Nexus seems to be unable or unwilling to broaden its appeal to the general public. If you are not a geek (actually they mean super geek), we are not interested in catering to you or have you interested in our new phone!

It is hard to inject LOVE into Google’s DNA when it is so much built on logic and calculations.


Interview with Cliff Roth, Google+ Hangout Speedpaint Artist

Wednesday, 21 September, 2011

Kempton Speedpaint Google+ Hangout Caricature - by Cliff pix 36

I had an amazing video interview with Speedpainting artist +Cliff Roth (Facebook fanpage) this morning to talk about his creative process. We used his speedpainting of me as an example to talk about his Speedpainting process (see below for slideshow).

Cliff will join +Sarah Hill on her Thur Sept 22nd U_News@4 to reveal his fully rendered painting of Sarah plus doing a speedpainting of one of the co-host LIVE on KOMU U_News@4! Tell your friends to watch the show live online at 4pm CST. Check out a beautiful slideshow of the creative process, from beginning to end, Kempton Speedpaint Google+ Hangout Caricature pix – by Cliff Roth.

Question: How do you get yourself speedpainted by Cliff? Check out Cliff’s Kickstarter Google Plus Speedpaint Hangout Project info before the project closed on Friday, Sept 30, 2011.

Cliff Roth, Google+ Hangout Speedpaint Artist, interview


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