Here is a new addition to my collection of Quotes I Love.
I wish I had the opportunity to know you before you left us. In the words of George Bernard Shaw,
“The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable man persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man.”
You were one of the brightest & most unreasonable men we had. With your sad & tragic passing, it is up to us to carry on your work and do our part.
May the tears
in our collective eyes
help energize us
to clear our collective minds
to see injustice better &
to try to make progress in this world
for the limited time we have.
In the words of Aaron in “F2C2012: Aaron Swartz keynote – “How we stopped SOPA”“.
For more, see articles & posts from Cory Doctorow, Larry Lessig, Guardian, TorStar, CBC, and “ongoing posts about Aaron, his memorial service, his death, and the malicious prosecution brought by the DoJ against him“.
2013 Jan 17 update re: Twitter #PDFTribute to Aaron:
– Washington Post video interview with Eva Vivalt, the woman behind the campaign, tells us why she launched it, “Aaron Swartz honored with #PDFTribute”
– Fast Company, “Researchers, Academics Remember Aaron Swartz with #PDFTribute”
The insightful, fun, and sometimes deadly serious documentary Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry (艾未未：道歉你妹; title in Taiwan 艾未未：草泥馬) has been Oscar shortlisted from 126 films down to 15, coming out ahead of films like “The Central Park Five” by the legendary Ken Burns et al, and “Head Games” by Steve James (director of the amazing Hoop Dreams).
Alison Klayman, director of Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry, was very nice and cool to do her first post-Oscar-shortlist video interview with me on the day after she came back from a Bangkok film festival trip. Here is my video interview with Alison.
I just noticed on the back wall in the following film still, the pictures are the concept drawings that lead to the Remembering (2009), an installation for the Façade of the House of German Art.
Alison and I talked about the middle finger salute in the interview. To me, it is a show of defiance to the powerful, be it the one-party ruled Chinese government or any other governments or powerful institutions.
My friend +Toronto Police Service Constable +Scott Mills was featured in this insightful +CBC News The National video piece Twitter patrol “Paul Hunter speaks with a Toronto police officer who uses social media to combat gang violence.” Check out Twitter patrol.
P.S. It is too early to tell but I haven’t heard of any advance warning signs for the tragic event unfolded last night (“Colorado theater shooting: a deadly attack delivered with brutal precision“). On a day like today, I want and try to think positive and hope that some future tragedies can be avoided by police departments getting more involved in social media.
Will Twitter’s 500 Millionth User be a Chinese gov spam bot? Thanks to Ai Weiwei @aiww @AWWNeverSorryWednesday, 22 February, 2012
According to some projection, Twitter will have its 500 millionth user today (Wed Feb 22, 2012 at about 3pm EST). I seriously wonder if that “user” will be a Chinese political spam bot?
You see, I sometimes tweet about the Chinese artist and political activist Ai Weiwei @aiww or talk about the documentary Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry @AWWNeverSorry. In the last 4 days alone, there were 15 brand new Chinese gov spam bots spamming me! The Chinese government wants to give the impression that lots of different people support its views.
Based on my experiences, the Chinese government and its agents have created many many Twitter spam bots, each only send out only about 120 or so personal @ message tweets to different people at the same time and then simply discard these accounts and left them unused! Try tweeting about Ai Weiwei @aiww and be spammed by the famous Chinese government spam bot yourself!
So thanks to brave opposition voices from people like Ai Weiwei, will the Chinese government and other spam bots creators be creating Twitter’s Six Millionth or even One Billionth user?
Note: I am not sure if these bots are fully automated or partially run by hired Chinese, also known as the 50 Cent Army/Party (in simplified Chinese: 五毛党; traditional Chinese: 五毛黨).
Also, I want to be clear that Weiwei is NOT the only target of these spam bots, I got spammed by them because I tweeted about Weiwei. Other people got spammed for tweeting about other people the Chinese government happen to disagree with.
Here are six of the 15 Chinese gov spam bot accounts (all different) that spammed me in the last 4 days! Click pix to zoom it. The first image is the collection of many of the spam messages on one page.
I try to keep up with the latest development in the payment card industry because I think it is important. Last night, I found something call Square that looks pretty cool and worth checking out some more. Here is an excerpt from Wired Magazine “Twitter Cofounder Shakes Up the Credit Card Biz” (emphasis added),
His new company began with similarly modest aims: give anyone the ability to accept credit card payments through a tiny reader that plugs into their iPads and smartphones. Called Square, it has signed up hundreds of thousands of merchants and processed $66 million in transactions in the first quarter of 2011 alone. The startup is also building a vast database of financial information that its customers can tap into. [Kempton’s note: The transaction processed is one thing ($66 million for a new gadget). What is as interesting is the financial information Square tracks.] It tracks each sale conducted through its credit card readers, allowing the company to calculate everything from the busiest sales day of the week (Saturday) to the average price of a cappuccino ($3.09 as of April 18).
The power of that kind of data analysis helps explain why Square was able to close a second round of funding in January: $27.5 million fromSequoia Capital, Khosla Ventures, and others, which valued the young company at $240 million. Then Visa invested an undisclosed sum in April. [Kempton: I like the Visa investment. Interesting to know: “how much” & “under what terms”?] .Wired sat down with Dorsey at Square’s offices in downtown San Francisco.
Wired: You got the idea for Square after an artist friend lost a $2,000 sale because he couldn’t process credit cards.
Jack Dorsey: Right now there are about 8 million merchants in the US that accept credit cards. That doesn’t include people who do transactions over craigslist or dog walkers or people fund-raising for the PTA. There is such untapped demand. Like, we had a couch in the office that was really ugly, and we sold it for $5,000, and we accepted a credit card. There are moments in life when that’s necessary. And that’s what we’re focused on.