interview Horatio Tsoi, former HKTV documentary producer/director

Sunday, 27 October, 2013

This is my Cantonese interview with Horatio Tsoi, former HKTV documentary producer/director on 2013/10/27 訪問蔡錦源港視前高級編導.


Cantonese interviews with HK Legislative Council members Claudia Mo & Alan Leong Kah-kit

Sunday, 27 October, 2013

The following are two Cantonese interviews with HK Legislative Council members Claudia Mo & Alan Leong Kah-kit.

立法會 毛孟靜 議員政總十月二十一曰訪問

立法會 梁家傑 議員政總十月二十一曰訪問


Priceless: Tommy Hilfiger Defending my “Fashion Honour”

Wednesday, 13 February, 2013

2013 Tommy Hilfiger at Fox LA defending my "Fashion Honour"

I LOVED & enjoyed the chance to ask Tommy Hilfiger @tommyhilfiger a question. (Tommy’s Facebook) And then it turned into a super #epic moment (at 2:07 of the clip) for me to watch Tommy defending my “Fashion Honour” at Fox LA Google+ Hangout! Thanks +Maria Quiban +Tony McEwing +FOX 11 Los Angeles for the #awesome hangout!

FOX 11 Google+ Hangout: Tommy Hilfiger Talks About His New West Hollywood strore


Interview with “Father of Computing in Canada” re Google Car, Google Glasses, Alan Turing

Wednesday, 13 February, 2013

20130212 Father of Computing Kelly interview - pix

Interview with “Father of Computing in Canada” Prof Gotlieb re Google Car, Google Glasses, Alan Turing

This is an extensive interview with Professor Emeritus C.C. Kelly Gotlieb, (Wikipedia) “Father of Computing in Canada”, Department of Computer Science, University of Toronto, Feb 2013 interviewed by Independent reporter Kempton Lam
KL: Kempton Lam
KG: Professor Emeritus C.C. Kelly Gotlieb
Table of content (with time codes):
0:00 KL: Introducing Professor Emeritus C.C. (Kelly) Gotlieb, “Father of Computing in Canada”, University of Toronto
0:29 KL: My question about Google Driverless Cars. Three US states already has law permitting testing of Google Driverless Cars. Talking about California governor signed the bill, “SB-1298 Vehicles: autonomous vehicles: safety and performance requirements” into law.
2:07 KL: Bill SB-1298 allows Google to test the Google Driverless Car provided Google pays a $5 million insurance, and provided there is a driver in the car.
2:21 KG: “That’s what I expected.”
2:35 KL: My concerns were concerns raised by Kelly in an earlier speech of his.
2:47 KG: listing some of the concerns he has with concepts like Google Driverless Cars. “United States is a very litigious society.”
3:12 KG: Google Driverless Car gets into an accident, whose to blame? And who can you sue? The person who wrote the program? Google who authorize the car? Car manufacture? The person who is in the car? Or all of the above? […] Lots of questions to be asked when failure happen. Read the rest of this entry »


Interview with Yasmin Nakhuda, owner of Darwin (IKEA) Monkey, re upcoming court case

Tuesday, 22 January, 2013

Yasmin Nakhuda & Darwin (IKEA) Monkey

Late last night, I interviewed Ms. Yasmin Nakhuda, owner of Darwin (IKEA) Monkey over the phone. Have a listen to the extensive phone interview first before you leave any comments. If your comment don’t show you have actually listened to the interview, I reserve the right to not approve it. I have seen way too many comments on articles/posts about this issue that have gone totally out of control elsewhere (CBC and other media outlet) and I won’t let it happen here. So please keep your comments brief, to the point, and don’t make any personal insults or groundless attacks. Disagreement is fine, strong critique is ok, but pointless insults are decidedly NOT!

As the issue of Darwin (IKEA) Monkey is in front of a court (case is scheduled to appear in front of a judge on Jan 31, 2013) and hotly discussed/debated amongst Canadians, all the readers comments will be heavily screened & monitored me. We are civilized people and many of us are Canadians so we are better than those people who cannot ground their arguments in facts and reasons. Former Prime Minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau got it wrong with his so call “Reason before Passion (La Raison Avant la Passion)“, in our social media age where anyone and everyone can have their worldwide platform and LIVE video broadcast channel, we must aspire to have “Reason alongside Passion.

Have a listen to my extensive phone interview Ms. Yasmin Nakhuda, owner of Darwin (IKEA) Monkey

Research & reading materials

1) Have a read of Toronto’s animal control by-law.
- Toronto-by-law 1184_349

2) Can anyone help me here? I like to find the court filings by Story Book Farm Primate Sanctuary online. Have the Sanctuary or its lawyer posted these documents online? If you know where to find them, please leave a note in the comment as I would like to read them.

3) I found the court filings by Ms. Yasmin Nakhuda online here at her lawyer’s website and I found them useful to read. I suggest you read them to understand what were said under oath by Officiers Joseph Florillo and David Behan describing what exactly happened during the own process of them taking Darwin.

- Highlighted Transcript of Officer Joseph Fiorillo Jan 17 2013
Summary of Transcript of Officer Joseph FiorilloJan17 2013

- Highlighted Transcript of Officer David Behan Jan17 2013
Summary of Transcript of David Behan Jan17 2013

Concluding thoughts and Personal notes

After interviewing Yasmin for over 40 minutes last night, I cannot disagree more with people who hear or know about the case from reading a headline here and there and watching a minute or two of news clips and then went on to insult Yasmin, her family, and even her children. Lets ground our discussion and look at the facts and situation surround this specific case of the lovely Darwin (IKEA) Monkey.

On a very personal note, I hope and wish for wisdom in the judge for this case and that the best outcome for Darwin will be delivered. Yes, may be I’ve watched way too many episodes of Judge John Deed (especially loving the earlier seasons 4, 1, and 2), I hope the judge for this case is as wise or wiser than Judge Deed!

P.S. Thanks again to Yasmin for her time to be interviewed by me. And special thanks to Calgary Public Library for stocking great TV DVDs like Judge Deed. Not unlike pure mathematics, we sometimes learn a lot more about justice from a fictional drama than real life court cases that can be very messy at times.

P.P.S. I wrote a light hearted “funny” piece about Darwin “Top 10 Reasons why Monkey Darwin shops at Ikea & No charges by T.O. police!” on Dec 10th, 2012. Even it was meant to be a funny piece, I do insist on my thinking and comments to be solidly grounded. Compare to that time, I think my positions and views have now definitely changed given the new information I have come to learn about this case.


CBC Dragon Brett Wilson redefines Success and talks Mistakes in extensive video interview

Saturday, 24 November, 2012

Brett new book interview pix - 2012

Over the last four years since June 2008, I’ve the pleasure to interview Brett Wilson (businessman & philanthropist, “Dragon with a heart”) many (see my 2008 pre-Dragons’ Den interview videos) and many times. I also slowly get to know Brett from industry events (we’ve met at Banff World Media Festival quite a few times (see 2009 interview)) and from his annual charity garden parties (thx Brett for inviting me & my better half). I can honestly say the “up close & in person” Brett is pretty much the same nice & straight talking no non-sense guy that many viewers of CBC’s award-winning Dragons’ Den have come to know.

Earlier this afternoon, I had the pleasure to conduct an insightful, open and frank video interview with Brett to talk about his Globe & Mail best-selling book “Redefining Success: Still making mistakes“! I hope you enjoy my interview with Brett as much as I in conducting it. Please share this article & video. And comment too.

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

Brett & Kempton at 2010 Garden Party with book cover


Interview with Dr. Naweed Syed, Hotchkiss Brain Institute, Neurochip co-lead researcher

Friday, 17 August, 2012

Interview with Dr. Naweed Syed, Hotchkiss Brain Institute, Neurochip co-lead researcher

Earlier this month I had a fascinating interview with Dr. Naweed Syed, Hotchkiss Brain Institute, head of University of Calgary Department of Cell Biology and Anatomy. Dr. Syed is one of the lead researchers behind neurochip − “a microchip with the ability to monitor several functions of the brain.Neurochip is “a novel lab-on-a-chip technology that, through an ultra-sensitive component built directly on the microchip, also enables direct imaging of activity in brain cells.”

In one fascinating part of the interview, Dr. Syed talked about Parkinson’s patients who have really bad tremors and don’t respond to drugs anymore. Currently, surgeons insert a deep brain stimulation electrode to allow the patients to stimulate the electrode themselves which release dopamine to stop the tremors. Unfortunately, the electrode can continue to stimulate the brain cells beyond the limit. Resulting in what is known as excitotoxicity. (Too much dopamine constantly being produced and brain cells being over excited.) In essence, nobody is there to tell the electrode when the stimulation is enough and can be stopped to avoid damage because there is no loop going back to tell it. Dr. Syed suggests implanting a two-way link where machines (capacitors and transistors) and the brain cells can talk to each other to better control the stimulation loop and avoid/reduce the problem of excitotoxicity.

Have a watch of my extensive interview with Dr. Syed to hear of his explanations and the background info in his own words for the latest advancement in research in neurochip.

As an alumnus of University of Calgary, it makes me really proud to see cool research done in Calgary, Alberta. At the same time, near the end of the interview, I asked Dr. Syed about the challenges of getting the required funding for the research program to succeed and to keep doing cutting edge researches right here in Calgary. Given the achievements his team has made so far, I would hate to see any of these world class scientists leaving Canada to go to United States/China, etc because our three level of governments and private industry partners are not putting in the needed funding to keep doing these ground-breaking researches that can lead to better medical devices, better drugs, etc right in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.

On a personal note, a very close friend has Parkinson’s and I hope the device Dr. Syed talked about can be developed, tested, and approved soon so that my friend and other Parkinson’s patients can benefit.

News references:

University of Calgary, UToday “New advances for neurochip

CTV News (with video), “U of C researchers achieve major milestone

Calgary Herald, “New microchip helps take detailed images of brain – University of Calgary researchers achieve new milestone


Social media video interview with Royal Canadian Mounted Police Ontario expert Jean Turner-Floyd

Tuesday, 14 August, 2012

Social media interview with Royal Canadian Mounted Police Ontario expert Jean Turner-Floyd

Astute readers may remember I had insightful chats with social media experts from Toronto Police (see video interview) and UK Police (video interview) few weeks ago. Well, after some planning, I had the pleasure to talk to Royal Canadian Mounted Police “O” Division (Ontario Division) (English: @RCMPONT, French: @GRCONT) social media expert Jean Turner-Floyd (@jturnerfloyd) two weeks ago about how RCMP “O” Division is currently using social media to help with policing work. I really appreciate Jean taking time in sharing her insights.

Following is my video interview with Jean.

P.S. When I find more time, I still plan to write up an in-depth article (possibly also conducting one or more interviews) to allow Canadians (and citizens in other countries) to see how social media tools have been used by police forces from around the world. And may be opportunities for police forces to learn from each others. Stay tuned.


Councillor Brian Pincott interview re Calgary 100th Stampede and Peace Bridge

Saturday, 7 July, 2012

Councillor Brian Pincott interview re 100th Stampede & Peace Bridge

I can’t believe this year is already the 100th anniversary of Calgary Stampede. To join in the fun, we went out to one of the many free Stampede breakfasts this morning. And I ran into Calgary city councillor Brian Pincott. I jumped on the chance to interview Brian for a few minutes to talk about Calgary 100th Stampede and the $25 million Calgary Peace Bridge. Yes, before & during last city election, I wasn’t too convinced of the $25 million price tag for a foot bridge even I was and still is a fan of renowned Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava. You see, I got hooked on Calatrava when I watched a documentary about his Turning Torso project years ago at Calgary International Film Festival. I will let you watchBrian‘s explanation of how pedestrian foot traffic has exceeded the council’s original expectation and there was an even unexpected added benefit of the bridge.

Councillor Brian Pincott interview re Calgary 100th Stampede & Peace Bridge


Did Bloomberg distort Apple Co-Founder Steve Wozniak’s view on Facebook as an investment?

Wednesday, 6 June, 2012

Did Bloomberg distort Apple Co-Founder Mr. Steve Wozniak's view on Facebook as an investment?

Here is an edited version of a request for clarification sent to Bloomberg reporters and editor for the May 13th, 2012 story “Apple Co-Founder Wozniak Would Buy Facebook At Any [Price]“.

*******

To: Bloomberg reporters Ms. Shraysi Tandon & Mr. David Fickling and editor Mr. Michael Tighe [see Bloomberg article for email contacts]
copy: Mr. Steve Wozniak

I was in touch with Apple Co-Founder Mr. Steve Wozniak electronically yesterday [see lengthy exchange in this public post's comments]. And I was very disturbed to hear Mr. Wozniak telling me his view on Facebook “investment” had been distorted by Bloomberg. At the core, Mr. Wozniak told me that he made it clear to Bloomberg’s reporters that any purchase of Facebook shares would be just “ceremonial” (he gave the analogy, like “waiting in line for iPhones“). The following are Mr. Wozniak’s words. Emphasis are added by me to draw your attention.

if I bought Facebook shares (it wasn’t possible due to my schedule) it would not be as an investor but rather ceremonial, like waiting in line for iPhones. But that got missed by a lot of people. I’m very sorry if they duped you.

This is in direct contrary to the video excerpt Bloomberg decided to include. Here is a transcript of the broadcasted video exchange between Bloomberg reporter Ms. Tandon and Mr. Wozniak re investing in Facebook (~00:22 to 00:37)

Reporter: “Would you invest in Facebook?”
Answer: “I would invest in Facebook. I don’t care what the opening price is. I would, just for good reasons. Especially if was an investor looking to make money.”

Mr. Wozniak also wrote the following. And again, I have added emphasis to draw your attention. [see excerpt from public post's comments]

“I have a great idea. Why don’t you contact the reporter and ask him if, before the interview, I told him how I don’t read financial papers and have never used the iPhone stock price app and that I couldn’t answer financial questions. He was a very good tech reporter but asked that question at the end. It was a trick and a setup, as he’d heard my explanation an hour before during my speech. I think this may have been in Singapore. You have to ask how ethical that was. He knew the truth but set it up in a way that would deceive you. And it was my intent at that time to buy Facebook stock, but not as an investment, and the reporter knew that well. I had told him that my wife and I don’t trade stocks and all we have is Apple and Fusion-io. So he knew the truth but published otherwise. Sorry, but at the end of a tired day one word may have been wrong (invest instead of buy) but 2 people, myself and the reporter, knew it was not an investment. I doubt I used the word “investment” since it’s a word not in my vocabulary. I have never in my life invested in stock. Please contact the reporter to verify this and let him know what you think. And ask him not to do it to the next “nice” guy.”

I personally don’t know Mr. Wozniak and had only got in touch with him yesterday. Mr. Michael Tighe, as the Bloomberg editor in charge of this article, can you please confirm with the Bloomberg reporters if Mr. Wozniak’s view got distorted seriously. At times I am a blunt reporter and based on Bloomberg’s original report, I had written,

“I love +Steve Wozniak for his tech but his investment “advice” was worst than idiotic.”

To me, Bloomberg’s reputation is on the line here. Distorting a “ceremonial” purchase of Facebook stocks and turning it into a story with title “Apple Co-Founder Wozniak Would Buy Facebook At Any [Price]” is a serious journalist blunder at least or an inexcusably unethical behaviour at worst.

Finally, Ms. Shraysi Tandon, Mr. David Fickling, and Mr. Michael Tighe, I hope if there was a mistake, Bloomberg will do the honourable thing and issue a formal correction and apologize. Since you are all professional journalists, I don’t need to remind why we in the business of reporting will all remember Jayson Blair (former reporter with New York Times) or Stephen Glass (former reporter with The New Republic) for a very long time to come.

Please kindly recheck the source and basis of your story and issue a correction and apology if a mistake was made. Please let me know an error was indeed made, I would like to promptly issue my apology to Mr. Wozniak in saying his “investment “advice” was worst than idiotic” based on Bloomberg’s May 13th report.

Best,
Kempton

Kempton Lam
B.Sc. MBA
mobile: 403.xxx.xxxx
freelance TV reporter, commentator & blogger

P.S. Cross posted onto examiner.com. I am hoping to hear from Bloomberg really soon to set the record straight.


Bank of Canada confirms poor-quality counterfeit polymer $100 notes as it launches 4 new PSAs to help educate public to prevent financial crimes

Wednesday, 16 May, 2012

Bank of Canada - pix 00

Yesterday, Bank of Canada unveiled four public service announcements (PSAs) at Toronto Police Service headquarters.

The Bank of Canada takes counterfeiting very seriously and responds by researching and developing new notes with innovative security features that are both easy to check and hard to counterfeit. The Bank of Canada will be unveiling four new public service announcements to help educate the public and assist in the prevention of Financial Crimes.

During the post-press conference Q&A, Bank of Canada representative confirmed with this reporter that since the launch of the new polymer $100 notes in November 2011, there have been attempts to counterfeit the polymer $100 notes and the counterfeit $100s were in circulation. Fortunately, according to the Bank representative, the quality of these counterfeit C$100 notes were of very poor quality, for example, these counterfeit notes didn’t even have the transparent windows, one of the most obvious and easily verifiable security features. Which is why the Bank is emphasizing the importance of educating the public to detect counterfeit polymer notes. You can watch my questions and the Bank representative’s answers at the 20:00 mark of this YouTube video.

Full press conference video: Fighting Fraud On The Front Lines ~ Bank of Canada & Toronto Police Financial Crimes Unit

Bank Note Counterfeiting – from Bank of Canada

A good way to check bank notes is FLP (Feel, Look, and Flip) as explained here at the 3:20 mark.

Some readers may remember I’ve previously written about polymer banknotes since Bank of Canada first announced (in March 2011) that it would launch polymer notes in Canada. The following are my in-depth research articles based on information known or found at the time.

March 2011, “Secrets of Bank of Canada’s new plastic money: An advance look of 12 possible security features

March 2011, “Bank of Canada’s new polymer banknote – Patents & technologies by Securency International

June, 2011, “Canada New Polymer $100 Notes in Nov 2011 – Now your money is smooth & will bounce!

November, 2011, “Canada polymer $100 banknote hands-on look finally! (with video)

Note: See also this 660 News article reporting about the BoC press conference, “Bank of Canada launches fraud prevention campaign“.

Note: article is cross-posted to examiner.com

Bank of Canada - pix 01

Bank of Canada - pix 02

Bank of Canada - pix 03


NAB 2012 – Newsight Japan Glasses-Free 3D TV President & CEO Kiyoto Kanda interview

Monday, 30 April, 2012

Newsight Japan's President & CEO Kiyoto Kanda - NAB 2012 interview

At NAB Show 2012, I had the pleasure to meet Newsight Japan‘s President & CEO Kiyoto Kanda. I was at Sony’s NAB Show booth checking out Sony’s latest prototype not-for-sale Glasses-Free 3D TV to see for myself the pros and cons. And then Kiyoto came up and we started talking. Kiyoto mentioned that his company is also working on Glasses-Free 3D TV. While I have not seen what Newsight Japan‘s Glasses-Free 3D TV actually look like (and the look and image quality is one of the most important thing), Kiyoto seems to be quite knowledgable and I like his talking of applying a Glasses-Free 3D filter on top of a traditional LCD/LED set and partnering with Chinese TV manufacturers. Here is my video interview with Kiyoto at NAB Show 2012.


Insights from Montreal Student Protest Friday LIVE broadcast using Google+ Hangout On Air – Sarah Hill interview

Saturday, 28 April, 2012

Montreal Student Protest Apr 27 LIVE Google+ Hangout On Air - pix 02

Montreal Student Protest Apr 27 LIVE Google+ Hangout On Air - pix 01

This afternoon I interviewed +Sarah Hill to talk about her amazing coverage of Montreal student demonstration captured and broadcasted LIVE last night (Friday Apr 27) with video from +Jean Francois Desmarais‘s camera on the ground, and Sarah broadcasting LIVE from her kitchen in Columbia, MO in the US using Google Plus On Air Hangout technology!

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

- 4G key USB stick for video/data transmission

- Note: Here is a picture of Jean Francois’ gear for Sat night (Apr 28).

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.

Montreal Student Protest Apr 27 LIVE Google+ Hangout On Air - pix 03

Montreal Student Protest Apr 27 LIVE Google+ Hangout On Air - pix 04

Here is the video captured and broadcasted LIVE last night (Friday Apr 27)

Sat Apr 28, 2012 10:12 MST UpdateMontreal Demonstrations on the night of Apr 28, 2012


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

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 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 Officier 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 »


Video interview Ning Wang – How China Became Capitalist, co-author with Ronald Coase Nobel Laureate in Economics

Thursday, 29 March, 2012

Kempton interview Ning Wang (co-author with Ronald Coase (Nobel Laureate in Economics)) re their new book How China Became Capitalist

I had a great interview with Ning Wang (co-author with Ronald Coase (Nobel Laureate in Economics)) to talk about their new book How China Became Capitalist. (Sample Chapter: You can download a free sample book chapter from Palgrave.)

I appreciate very much professor Wang spending over an hour sharing his insight with me about How China Became Capitalist and answering questions I have related to the Chinese economy. The following are edited clips of the video interview. By the way, feel free to share your comments and questions. When I finish reading the book, I plan to arrange another interview with Ning to talk more. And I may be able to incorporate some of the comments/questions into my next interview.

I have edited the interview into 3 clips with a list of questions/themes. Enjoy.

*** Main interview (see below for list of questions/themes)

Main interview (list of questions/themes)

Q1) Can you talk about the Shenzhen stock exchange in mid-90s where it had 300 offices for people to buy or sell stocks when the stock exchange actually had NO official permission to allow for these trades?!

Q2) China is now the world largest producer of Ph.Ds. Yet Qian Xuesen (錢學森), a most respected Chinese scientist asked a sobering question before his death in 2009 and the question is known as the “Qian Puzzle”.

“Why have Chinese universities not produced a single world-class original thinker or innovative scientist since 1949 ?”

Q3) Quoting the book,

“After more than three decades, the Chinese legal system is still far away from where it can “guarantee the equality of all people before the people’s laws and deny anyone the privilege of being above the law.”” 

This is a tough assessment which I agree with very much. Can you share your thoughts?

Q4) So far I’ve only read parts of the book but I feel more pessimistic of the possibility in seeing China makeing positive changes. I’m feeling more constrained by the history I now know. Can you share your thoughts?

Q5) I love this quote in the book,

“Capitalism with Chinese characteristics is very much like traffic in Chinese cities, chaotic and intimidating for many western tourists. Yet Chinese roads deliver more goods and transport more passengers than those in any other country.

Can you share your thoughts?

*** More in-depth questions

List of more in-depth questions/themes

Q1) China’s “Rule by Law” as opposite to the western practice of “Rule of Law“, that one word (“by” vs “of”) makes the difference of night and day! Can you share your thoughts? (see note 1)

Q2) “Do you see institutional arrangement as something culturally oriented or is base upon universally applicable principles? i.e. if every country is of certain uniqueness or that there exists a ‘one size fits all’ economic system?” [Thanks goes to my economist friend Wallace for this question.]

Q3) What is your and prof. Coase’s main discovery or new understanding gained from the years of research compare to the original understanding in 2008 when you started the research?

Q4) Can you talk about research topics that you and prof. Coase like to see more of? Any interesting puzzles worth further research?

*** Background questions about the book

List of background questions/themes about the book

Q1) Can you talk about the process of writing the book with professor Coase? I understand there was the 2008 Chicago Conference on China’s Market Transformation and then the 2010 Chicago Workshop on the Industrial Structure of Production.

Q2) I understand the book title has a history and may be traced back to 1982! Can you talk about it?

Q3) Given Ning’s Ph.D. wasn’t in Economics, how did he get to write this economics book and meet professor Coase?

How China Became Capitalist by Ronald Coase (Nobel Laureate in Economics) & Ning Wang - published Mar 23, 2012

Thanks: Special thanks to Katy for arranging an advance copy for me to prepare for this interview and for my book review.

Notes:

1) During the writing of this post, I found a link to a book chapter “The Institutional Diffusion of Courts in China: Evidence from Survey Data” (pdf) by Pierre F. Landry, Assistant Professor of Political Science at Yale University. This book chapter is one of the chapters in the book “Rule By Law: The Politics of Courts in Authoritarian Regimes“. While I haven’t read it, it may be something that is worth reading further.

2) On a personal note, I I think How China Became Capitalist is a ground breaking and insightful book that shines a bright light through some foggy misconceptions in our minds. Some of these misconceptions are unfortunately encouraged and repeated by the Chinese government.


Hannibal and Me – A book Review

Tuesday, 20 March, 2012

 Interviewing Andreas Kluth, author of Hannibal and Me, The Economist U.S. West Coast correspondent

Meet with Triumph and Disaster and treat those two impostors just the same.” from Rudyard Kipling‘s poem “If –“, first read in “Hannibal and Me

Andreas Kluth is The Economist‘s US West Coast correspondent and author of a new book “Hannibal and Me: What History’s Greatest Military Strategist Can Teach Us About Success and Failure“. I’ve been reading Andrea’s blog for some time, so I knew I would like his book but I ended up loving Hannibal and Me!

The following is my review of the book, video interview clips, plus some additional bonus materials about characters trimmed from the book.

*** Book Review ***

I love biographies in general and reading Hannibal and Me to me was like reading the crucial slices of lives of many interesting people’s stories of “successes“, “failures“, and sometimes “impostors” (successes that actually lead to failures, or failures that become foundation of future successes) all in one book woven into many cohesive lessons.

To give you an idea of the “who’s who” in the book, take a look of this partial list of characters featured in the book: HannibalAndreas (the author himself), Barack ObamaEleanor RooseveltSteve JobsAmy TanMeriwether Lewis (and Thomas JeffersonWilliam Clark), Douglas MacArthur and Harry TrumanLudwig ErhardPablo PicassoPaul CézanneTiger WoodsCleopatraLance ArmstrongLiu Shaoqi (and Mao Zedong), plus Albert Einstein.

In Andreas’ throughly researched and eloquently written Hannibal and Me, the lives of modern day people like Steve JobsTiger WoodsAmy TanEleanor Roosevelt, Douglas MacArthur and Harry Truman were woven into the spectacular venture tale of Hannibal, bring every characters to live.

Don’t let words like “history“, “military strategist“, “Hannibal” in the title deter you from reading the book. I had to study history for six years and pretty much hated every minute of it. Andreas’ Hannibal and Me managed to bring all these characters to life to teach me, Kempton, teach us, readers of the book, important life-changing lessons. I originally thought I would have to skip a few pages so I can get to the interesting/fascinating modern real life stories sooner. To my pleasant surprise, I ended up reading every page over a few days. I find the lives, decisions and actions of the charters in the book absolutely fascinating and illuminating.

Ultimately, each reader will learn different lessons from the book depending on our own life experiences and life stages. Hannibal and Me is one of the best books I have read for years. To me, the book crystallized some of the life decisions I have made over the last few years and will be making in the future. I know I will be re-reading Hannibal and Me again and again over time as I grow older and gain more experiences. I hope you will enjoy the book as much as I did.

*** Video interviews with Andreas ***

Here is the main video interview clip. (My previous post about my multiple interview video clips with Andreas.)

Andreas on Eleanor Roosevelt Read the rest of this entry »


Interviewing Andreas Kluth author of “Hannibal and Me”

Friday, 24 February, 2012

Interviewing Andreas Kluth, author of Hannibal and Me, The Economist U.S. West Coast correspondent

Earlier this week, I had an insightful and fun interview with Andreas Kluth (Google+). Andreas is The Economist‘s US West Coast correspondent and author of a brand new book “Hannibal and Me: What History’s Greatest Military Strategist Can Teach Us About Success and Failure“.

I highly recommend “Hannibal and Me” and will write a book review later. For now, have a watch of my interview with Andreas. I hope to give you a sense of why I love the book so much.

Interviewing Andreas Kluth author of “Hannibal and Me”

*** Extra English interview clips & Chinese articles ***

Andreas Kluth, “Hannibal and Me” author, on Eleanor Roosevelt – interview extra

Chinese article: 唐英年太太郭妤淺應向羅斯福總統第一夫人Eleanor學習面對凱旋及厄難【短片】

Andreas Kluth, “Hannibal and Me” author, on Liu Shaoqi (劉少奇) in Cultural Revolution (文化大革命) – interview extra

Chinese article: “Hannibal and Me” 從文化大革命中的劉少奇學習 – 防人之心不可無

Andreas Kluth, “Hannibal and Me” author, on Harry S Truman – interview extra

Chinese article: Hannibal and Me” 美國總統杜魯門在韓戰中大敗於中國? Harry S Truman in Korean War


Dan Eisner, True North Mortgage

Tuesday, 27 September, 2011

In 2007, I was impressed by Dan Eisner‘s mortgage brokerage business, True North Mortgage, when he described how lucrative and profitable it was when I met him at the Calgary Dragons’ Den audition.

By chance I met Dan again today, and he said he now has 7, yes SEVEN, officies across Canada (2 in Calgary, 2 in Toronto, Vancouver, Montreal, and Halifax).

I am happy for Dan. Have a watch of my video interview with Dan Eisner in 2007.


Tales of a Chinese Purchaser – worth a listen

Thursday, 1 September, 2011

In 2008, with the help of Simon, who has 30 years of purchasing experience, we created a series of 15 parts “Tales of a Chinese Purchaser” (about 10 minutes long per episode). Few days ago, my friend Echo kindly told me that she is learning a lot about purchasing from the series and is helping her work. So I actually started listening to it again and find that I am also learning a lot (again). And it is fun to listen.

So I am sharing my Cantonese series of 15 parts “Tales of a Chinese Purchaser” here.


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