Remembrance Day – Canada’s Veterans Ombudsman (year round care, vigilance and actions)

Tuesday, 10 November, 2015
Minister of National Defence Harjit Sajjan's 2015 Remembrance Day message

Minister of National Defence Harjit Sajjan’s 2015 Remembrance Day message


On Remembrance Day, it is customary to honour and show our appreciation of our veterans past and present for their service and sacrifice for Canada. Quoting our new Minister of National Defence Harjit Sajjan‘s Facebook posting,

On this Remembrance Day, we honour the courage shown, time and again, by our men and women in uniform, past and present. We show our deep appreciation for all they have sacrificed for Canada.

Once a year, we buy our poppy pins and wear them on our clothing to show we remember and we care.

Year round care, vigilance and actions

In 2010, Canada’s first Veteran’s Ombudsman Colonel Pat Stogran, via his passionate/frank words and actions (Ottawa Citizen “Embattled ombudsman Pat Stogran makes his last stand for Canada’s veterans“), got my blood boiled and taught me that as Canadians we could and should do more by speaking up to help our veterans at home by holding our governments in Ottawa accountable to keep our promises to take care of our veterans and their families.

Power of social media

As a start, please LIKE & SHARE the Canada’s Veterans Ombudsman & Ombudsman des vétérans du Canada official Facebook pages.

The Veterans Ombudsman works toward ensuring that the sacrifices of Canada’s Veterans and their families are recognized through the provision of services, benefits, and support in a fair, accessible, and timely manner. The Ombudsman plays an important role in raising awareness of the needs and concerns of Veterans and their families.

LIKE & SHARE these pages so we Canadians can help the Ombudsman to keep issues important to our veterans in Canadians’ hearts & minds and hold our government accountable to do the right thing for our veterans all year round. When we make noises in social media, call or email our MPs, they listen.

Blood boiled since 2010

In 2010, Rick Mercer talked about Canada’s first Veteran’s Ombudsman Colonel Pat Stogran’s battle with our government to fight for our veterans. My blood boiled and I was changed forever Read the rest of this entry »

Tequila Sunrise – a cool step-by-step

Thursday, 29 November, 2012

A Classy Man's Tequila Sunrise - pix 4

I just watched a nice video showing me how to make the above cool looking Tequila Sunrise! The video by Andy is in Cantonese and has clear English subtitles. You should be able understand everything and make the drink yourself. Have a watch of  A Classy Man’s Tequila Sunrise (龍舌蘭日出) video! Thanks Andy for making the great video. (note: The instructional part starts at time code ~3:16 if you want to start learning how make it right away! :)

Subscribe to Andy’s A Classy Man’s YouTube channel for more videos. Like his Facebook and follow his Instagram. Fans of the first video have already asked Andy to make a dessert video! Finally, if you have made your own Tequila Sunrise (龍舌蘭日出), please post a picture to let us share your fun!

A Classy Man's Tequila Sunrise - pix 1

A Classy Man's Tequila Sunrise - pix 2

A Classy Man's Tequila Sunrise - pix 3

“Chairs Are Like Facebook” #fail Wieden & Kennedy Ad for FB to honor users

Thursday, 4 October, 2012

"Chairs Are Like Facebook" #fail Wieden & Kennedy Ad for FB to honor users

Wieden & Kennedy is a great Ad company that bought us the exceptionally cool “Old Spice Man campaign” in 2010 but its lastest “Chairs Are Like Facebook” Ad to celebrate it had reached its billion-user milestone has left this reporter and many people scratching our collective heads. To many people, Facebook is a Lovemark to them but this ad isn’t one fit for a Lovemark.

Rebecca Van Dyck (FB), former exec for Apple and Levi’s and hired by Facebook in Feb 2012 as its head of consumer marketing, told AdAge, (emphasis added)

What we’re trying to articulate is that we as humans exist to connect, and we at Facebook to facilitate and enable that process.” “We make the tools and services that allow people to feel human, get together, open up. Even if it’s a small gesture, or a grand notion — we wanted to express that huge range of connectivity and how we interact with each other.

Ms Van Dyck continued, (emphasis added)

We started thinking about this a year ago and approached Wieden & Kennedy to help us craft a message that articulated our values and who we are. It wasn’t until recently that we realized we were close to reaching 1 billion, and we thought what an amazing way to honor our users, to create this piece for them.

For an ad that aspires to articulate “our values and who we are“, the least it should is to touch us emotionally, be meaningful, and may be have it stand the test of time. I’ve watched the Ad quite a few times now to make sure my comments express my feelings fairly. And I’ve also transcribed the words from the voiceover of “Chairs Are Like Facebook” so I can read it in full and you can see for yourself.

[red wood chair suspending in mid-air in a forest]

Chairs. Chairs are made so that people can sit down and take a break.

Anyone can sit on a chair and if the chair is a large enough they can sit down together and tell jokes or make up stories or just listen.

Chairs are for people and that’s why chairs are like Facebook.

Doorbells. Airplanes. Bridges. These are things people used to get together. So they can open up and connect about ideas and music.

Another things people share: Dance Floors. Basketball. A Great Nation.

A Great Nation is something people build so they can have a place where they belong.

The Universe. It is vast and dark. And makes us wonder if we are alone. So may be the reason we make all of these things is to remind ourselves that we are not.

in white appears on a black screen.

Reading the about FaceBook Ad copy, it just seems, to me, totally disposable and ready to be thrown away next week/month and ready to be replaced by something flashy, different and new. In stark contrast, Apple’s timeless “Think Different” Ad campaign is so impressive a copy that I’ve personally heard it read out loud in wedding ceremony! Yes, people love it that much! As this reporter wrote in 2011 when the Steve Jobs biography was published, the voice (someone has to read the copy) of the voice over deserves tremendous attention! And I don’t know what happened in the Facebook voice over casting?! Anyway, here is what Steve Jobs went through in his struggle to decide whose voice to use.

Jobs couldn’t decide whether to use the version with his voice or to stick with Dreyfuss. […] When morning came, Jobs called and told them to use the Dreyfuss version. “If we use my voice, when people find out they will say it’s about me,” he told Clow. “It’s not. It’s about Apple.”

Have a listen and watch of the following two versions of “Here’s to the Crazy Ones” videos.

Steve Jobs narrates The Crazy Ones (video, not often heard)

Richard Dreyfuss narrates The Crazy Ones (video, this is the official one many people have seen)

(note: By the way, I totally agree with Steve’s decision and rationale here.)

To this reporter, the normally cool Wieden & Kennedy has a big #fail in “Chairs Are Like Facebook” Ad. What do you think?

Cross posted by me at

Cyberbullying Victim in Fake Facebook case can remain anonymous, Supreme Court of Canada rules

Sunday, 30 September, 2012

Good to read, “A Nova Scotia teenager has won the right to remain anonymous in a court battle against a cyberbully, but the Supreme Court of Canada rejected her request for a publication ban on some details of her case.

Read the Supreme Court of Canada ruling. Here is a brief excerpt,

“The critical importance of the open court principle and a free press has been tenaciously embedded in the jurisprudence. In this case, however, there are interests that are sufficiently compelling to justify restricting such access: privacy and the protection of children from cyberbullying.

Recognition of the inherent vulnerability of children has consistent and deep roots in Canadian law and results in the protection of young people’s privacy rights based on age, not the sensitivity of the particular child. In an application involving cyberbullying, there is no need for a child to demonstrate that he or she personally conforms to this legal paradigm. The law attributes the heightened vulnerability based on chronology, not temperament.

While evidence of a direct, harmful consequence to an individual applicant is relevant, courts may also conclude that there is objectively discernable harm. It is logical to infer that children can suffer harm through cyberbullying, given the psychological toxicity of the phenomenon. Since children are entitled to protect themselves from bullying, cyber or otherwise, there is inevitable harm to them — and to the administration of justice — if they decline to take steps to protect themselves because of the risk of further harm from public disclosure. Since common sense and the evidence show that young victims of sexualized bullying are particularly vulnerable to the harms of revictimization upon publication, and since the right to protection will disappear for most children without the further protection of anonymity, the girl’s anonymous legal pursuit of the identity of her cyberbully should be allowed.”

London Olympics will take place in London – Facebook Likes/Shares are making us dumber

Sunday, 5 August, 2012

Internet (Facebook) makes us stupid

Funny? Well, not so fast. Liking and sharing the obviously “funny” may be in our genes. But I argue that without reading even beyond the headline (in this case, the first two lines) is often easier and more dangerous than you think. And I will say also potentially making us dumber than we are!

For the record here is the first two lines, “More often than not, the Olympic host city doesn’t really host the Olympics. It merely hosts a couple of IOC caviar buffets, while the real event tends to take place in a remote pasture or distant slum.”

For the 1,800+ “Likes” and 900+ “shares”, it is so easy to “like” and “share”, I guess is it pointless to even suggest fact-checking something before you re-share (or like)?

Here is WaPo article by Sally Jenkins, mind you, under a different, more “traditional”, title “2012 London Olympics are a refreshingly urban affair, though Mitt Romney might disagree“.

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.


Kempton Lam
freelance TV reporter, commentator & blogger

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

Kempton and Wallace talk about Facebook “investing” in Cantonese

Tuesday, 22 May, 2012

The following is a recording of a LIVE broadcast of Kempton and Wallace talk about Facebook “investing” in Cantonese. If you understand Cantonese, I hope you will enjoy it and share some feedback with us. Here is a brief article in Chinese.

Something funny in memoriam of Instagram (2010 – 2012) – $1 billion, $400m, $180m, $100m – The business of funny money

Monday, 9 April, 2012

Something funny in memoriam of Instagram and then five serious points about Facebook buying Instagram for $1 billion. [HT Melissa Carlson]

Austin Powers – 100 billion dollars

Five serious points,

  1. Lets be clear, Facebook didn’t buy Instagram for $1 billion in stock and shares even thats what the press release said. The software just worth a tiny amount in that $1 billion, Facebook bought the users. You and me. Simple as that.
  2. I don’t know what math Mark Zuckerberg and his team used to come up with the $1 billion figure. It will be interesting to see if and when Facebook reveal more details, possibly as amendments to its IPO document? How much was it in Facebook overvalued shares, and how much in cash? (update: Thanks to Mike Preston’s comment in my post, assuming 50m users @ 1b valuation, that is $20/user lifetime. Thats a lot of money and these users have fingers and they are more mobile than big companies want to admit (just ask Myspace). I kinda agree with Mike, FB must want those users NOW!
  3. During the last internet bubble, AOL used it overvalued stock to merge with Time Warner. May be it is a good time to revisit this NYT article, “In Retrospect: How the AOL-Time Warner Merger Went So Wrong“. Well, at least with Facebook buying Instagram, it is a very new company buying an even newer company with funny money. And it looks like a good deal for the Instagram team.
  4. If you had a team of six people with a neat product and millions of users, I bet you would sell your users out for $1 billion stock and cash too. Wired has an “exclusive” about how much the Instagram key players will get (figures like $400m, $100m, $180m are stated).
  5. Finally, my friend Jen puts it well, “I’ll miss you @instagram. I’m happy for your team but sad for our community. #igersunite #sadiger #sadpanda #fbkillscoolapps

See FB news release.

Angry Dad’s Facebook parenting for the troubled teen – Teachable moments

Friday, 10 February, 2012

Facebook Parenting- For the troubled teen - pix 05

The YouTube video “Facebook Parenting: For the troubled teen” has gone viral with over 2.1 million views since posting two days ago on Feb 8, 2012.

In the video, Tommy Jordan, dad of a 15-year-old daughter, publicly discussed and responded to his daughter’s Facebook status complain.

Facebook Parenting- For the troubled teen - pix 01

What turned the video viral happend near the end of the clip where Tommy took out a gun and shot her daughter’s notebook computer to “put a stop” to her disrespectful behaviour.

Facebook Parenting- For the troubled teen - pix 02

Facebook Parenting- For the troubled teen - pix 03

Gun as Parenting Duct Tape?

In a heated but yet civil KRNV TV debate (thx host Melissa) this morning, an American friend pointed out that the dad shot the computer on his private land to teach his teenage daughter a lesson, whats wrong with it? Well, there is nothing legally wrong. After all, it is just a computer and no one got hurt. What I have problem with is using gun as a parenting tool.

To me, taking out a gun to solve a parenting problem has simply gone too far, even if it is to shoot an inanimate object, a computer, to teach a lesson. The dad wrote, “As her father, I’ll definitely do what I say I will, both positive and negative and she can depend on that. She no longer has any doubt about that.” Sure, shooting and destroying the computer showed the dad will do what he said. At the same time, the dad also also showing bring out a gun to teach a lesson is OK. I don’t know if other parents will flow, I hope not. But I worry more about what will other children learn after watching this viral video? To me, the implicit while unintended lesson is that the destructive and wowing power of gun gets the job done. It shut someone up. Is this an acceptable lesson to learn for children?

Public & World Stage: Facebook status & YouTube video

The teenage daughter was wrong to use Facebook status to write disrespectful open messages about her parents. At the same time, the dad, the supposedly responsible adult here, was wrong to pose a public YouTube video to shame his daughter. Working in the IT industry, he should have know that a public (or even a private) video can get out of the intended target audience. Determined kids could have copy and extracted a private video and post it public. And once the video has gone viral, it is game over, no way to take it back because copies will have been kept by someone somewhere out there.

I will not be surprised that soon Tommy’s daughter’s name will be published and known. And if they decided to accept TV interviews, the daughter will be in the “public domain” too. And both of them will likely be associated with this negative story and the viral video for a long time to come.

Teachable moments

* If you have the urge to publicly shame your parents or children, or friends, my advice: don’t.

* Try to be careful of what you post, share, or say online. Because sometimes things may inevitably get outside of your intended audience and may even get out of control.

* Finally, if and when that inevitable thing does get out of control, try to laugh at it and try to learn something from it. No one is perfect. And in our internet age, unless we completely close ourselves up, there are bound to be funny pix, photos, stories of us floating around somewhere. Be forgiving of others’ faults and failings. Again, no one is perfect. Remember the Golden Rule, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you”.

* This story is likely not finished yet. I am waiting for NextMedia to give it a Taiwan animation treatment! :) For the sake of the daughter (and the father), I hope they can laugh with us.


Since the daughter is “grounded“, I have no choice but to rely on the one-sided comment from the dad. Following is a direct word-for-word quote from Tommy Jordon’s Facebook page (emphasis added). (note: at press time, Li’s TorStar article has, unfortunately, only used one line from Tommy’s lengthy reply. I have quoted Tommy in full to be fair to him.)

“Media Response to Anita Li, from the Toronto Star

Since you took the time to email us with your requests like we asked, I’ll take the time to give you an honest follow-up response. You’ll have to forgive me for doing so publicly though; again I want to be sure my words are portrayed the way I actually say them, not cut together to make entirely different points.

Your questions were:
Q: Why did you decide to reprimand your daughter over a public medium like YouTube?

A: Well, I actually just had to load the video file itself on YouTube because it’s a better upload process than Facebook, but the intended audience was her Facebook friends and the parents of those friends who saw her post and would naturally assume we let our children get away with something like that. So, to answer “Why did you reprimand her over a public medium like Facebook” my answer is this: Because that’s how I was raised. If I did something embarrassing to my parents in public (such as a grocery store) I got my tail tore up right there in front of God and everyone, right there in the store. Read the rest of this entry »

Facebook IPO – The Joy of an Echo Chamber

Saturday, 28 January, 2012

We may know more about Facebook‘s supposed IPO next week possibly as soon as Wednesday (or later, hedging “timing is still being discussed“). One thing for sure is it has been fun to see media outlets in US and around the world joining in unison to repeat the news quoting WSJ as the source, “Facebook Readies IPO Filing – Morgan Stanley Seen Leading Deal Valuing Giant at $75 Billion to $100 Billion“.

In the age of instantaneous news/media, the name of game unfortunately is to report something quickly. Writing CYA words like “according to XYZ” (in this case, according to WSJ) is as good as, if not better than, doing your own reporting and facts checking! Well, it doesn’t cost you a cent plus writing the words “according to XYZ” almost absolve yourself from responsibilities. If the report was later found to be false, well, it is XYZ that f*cked up, not you. At least it is not like you mistakenly reporting someone’s death or something!

According to WSJ “Facebook IPO: Morgan Stanley Close to Reeling In a Giant ‘Like’

WSJ says the IPO could come as early as Wednesday with a valuation of $75 billion to $100 billion.

When thousands of media outlets all are reporting the same piece of information, it must be true right?! Isn’t echo chamber fun? In case you missed it in the above quote, the echo chamber is going as far as quoting itself in Facebook IPO. Yes, WSJ is quoting WSJ. Why not?! The media outlets are stuck in a “no-win” commoditized news game and I would much rather be in games that are “win-win“.

As a business and technology geek, Facebook’s IPO will come when it comes. What I am more interested in is to read Facebook’s IPO filing prospectus if and when it is available.

P.S. Let me be clear that I don’t have a solution to our echo chamber yet but I don’t know if this reporting of news “according to …” is helping anyone.

interesting articles this week

Saturday, 29 October, 2011

* Huffington Post, “YouTube Snags Amy Poehler, Madonna, Shaquille O’Neal To Launch Original Content Channels

“YouTube is shelling out $100 million to producers, according to people familiar with the matter, who spoke on condition of anonymity. The money is an advance on advertising money the videos will bring in, and Google will recoup its portion first before splitting the proceeds. Advances are as high as $5 million per channel, said another person familiar with the arrangement, also speaking on condition of anonymity.”

* “Why is Facebook building a server farm near the Arctic Circle?” – It is cold and it has cheap power. AP via TorStar

“Facebook says its new server farm on the edge of the Arctic Circle — its first outside the U.S. — will improve performance for European users of the social networking site.

After reviewing potential sites across Europe, Facebook confirmed Thursday it had picked the northern Swedish city of Lulea for the data center partly because of the cold climate — crucial for keeping the servers cool — and access to renewable energy from nearby hydropower facilities.”

* “Errol Morris: creating reality“, The Guardian

“Talk to any film-maker and they’ll say the same thing: Morris, who was born in 1948, is a revolutionary. His documentaries create reality as much as they capture it. He sees them as art, as essays, as anything but anthropology. Railing against cinéma vérité and its philosophy of “shaky camera equals truth”, he opts instead for dramatic reconstructions, obtrusive soundtracks, striking angles. He also invented and employs a machine called the Interrotron (its name a synthesis of “interview” and “terror”) that makes interviewees appear to be talking directly to the film viewer.

Tabloid, his new film, is as strange as any Morris has ever made. It’s the story of Joyce McKinney, a beauty queen and former Miss Wyoming who in 1977 hired a private aeroplane and with accomplices travelled to England to track down her boyfriend Kirk whom she believed had been abducted by the Mormon church. After kidnapping him, she whisked him off to a cottage in Devon where, depending on whose story you believe, she spent the next three days either raping him as he lay spread-eagled in bed or having a merry feast of “fun, food and sex”.”

* “YouTube Set to Announce TV Initiative With 100 Niche Channels“, THR

“In a low-budget early effort to compete with satellite and cable TV providers, YouTube is set to announce Friday that it has partnered with several entities to roll out television-style channels with professionally produced shows that will strike a sharp contrast to the short videos of crazy cats, skateboard wipeouts and other amateur content that made the site famous. Read the rest of this entry »

Technology alone doesn’t solve problems. Social media does not create revolutions. Its a tool. – New Quote I Love

Saturday, 6 August, 2011

Adding an insightful entry to my list of Quotes I Love and Quotes I Love (videos).

Technology alone doesn’t solve problems. Social media does not create revolutions. Its a tool. Nothing more or less. Real revolutions are born out of righteous anger and courage and vision. […] The issue is not how accurate a bomb is. The issue is what to do the bombs you have. And more importantly, whether to use bombs at all. Technological problems are not the hardest part of the future. They are the easiest part. The hard part are the human problems that accompany the rise of technology.” – Malcolm Gladwel‬l at University of Toronto: Malcolm Gladwell, Convocation 2011 Honorary Degree speech video (starts at about time code 6:38)

CNN Jun 17th, 2011 report “Malcolm Gladwell: When technology fails

Note: As I see more and more power in G+ Hangout as a tool for reporting and researching news, I try to remind myself of ‪Malcolm Gladwel‬l’s cautionary tale of the Norden bombsight. ‪Gladwel‬l reminded us of Facebook’s and Twitter’s magical roles in the revolutions in the middle-east may be over-exaggerated by the creators of these tools.

Interesting Articles: Bay & Cameron talk 3D, TEPCO president resigns, LinkedIn Facebook IPO

Friday, 20 May, 2011

* THR, “Michael Bay, James Cameron Talk 3D, Preview Impressive ‘Transformers’ Footage – Paramount unveiled 20 minutes of footage from its upcoming summer tentpole at a special event co-hosted by THR.

* AP, “President of utility in Japan nuclear crisis steps down in disgrace, announces massive losses

* CNN Money, “What LinkedIn means for Facebook IPO

* Kevin Roberts, “What a Hotel Sounds Like

Brett Wilson interview – Leaving Dragons’ Den, TV offers, Uno, Risky Business, Canoe Financial, Twitter, Facebook, and Maya Wilson

Thursday, 12 May, 2011

Brett Wilson interview 2011

Few days ago I had the great pleasure of chatting with Brett Wilson, Calgary entrepreneur, investor, former Dragon, and philanthropist. We chatted about a wide range of topics and I have posted the five video clips on YouTube with transcripts.

Brett Wilson interview – 01/05 – Leaving CBC Dragons’ Den, TV offers, Uno bike, and Ben Gulak (with transcript)

02/05 – New TV show “Risky Business” (Info and chat about Brett’s new show “Risky Business”, coming this fall) (with transcript)

03/05 – Canoe Financial (Brett has a substantial investment in Canoe. We talked about his involvement) (with transcript)

04/05 – Social Media (Twitter, Facebook) (How Brett does his Twitter and Facebook magic?) (with transcript)

05/05 – Maya Wilson (Brett talks about the recent passing of Maya Wilson, his beloved chocolate brown flat-coated retriever) (with transcript)


June 28th update: Here is a lovely video of Maja Wilson.

Facebook ‘pop up’ stores

Tuesday, 8 February, 2011

I don’t like Facebook selling our private and personal information but Facebook ‘pop up’ stores sounds like a good way to make money.

The $50 billion Facebook

Tuesday, 4 January, 2011

Facebook was “valued” at $50 billion according to this NYT report “Goldman Offering Clients a Chance to Invest in Facebook“. Here is a PBS News Hour report with an interview of the NYT report author.

For me, this article from MarketWatch makes lots of sense, “Why you shouldn’t ‘like’ the Facebook deal – Commentary: Facebook and Goldman signaling exuberance“,

“It’s called gaming the system, and it’s why Facebook’s alliance with Goldman is a perfect example. Does Facebook really deserve a $50 billion market value? Well, consider Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg’s statements. He said Facebook was generating a lot of revenue, but spending it just as fast through “reinvestment.” And he said Facebook was “around” the break-even mark in October. “There’s no point right now in having a massive profit,” Zuckerberg said. Read full story on those Zuckerberg remarks at

Goldman, instead, is setting high expectations with its own investment to spur others. The brokerage is manufacturing the enthusiasm. Sure, Facebook could be worth $50 billion someday. It could also be the next MySpace or Friendster.

For Goldman and Facebook, it doesn’t matter. They’re creating momentum where there really wasn’t any. As Citigroup Inc.’s Chuck Prince once said, you have to keep dancing as long as the music’s playing. Goldman is its own drummer and the first on the floor.

This isn’t to say the economy isn’t getting better. It is. The problem is that we’ve seen overconfidence exploited before. How many no-doc mortgages were originated and sold in the mid-2000s because people were overbold?”

See more in NYT DealBook “Facebook Deal Offers Freedom From Scrutiny”.

Lets not forget about the “popularity/unpopularity” of MySpace.


Jan 7, 2011 Update: Bloomberg, “Goldman Bid to Polish Image May Be Undermined by Facebook

Facebook Co-Founder: What I Learned From Watching “The Social Network”

Friday, 15 October, 2010

Very insightful article by Facebook Co-Founder Eduardo Saverin, “What I Learned From Watching “The Social Network”” Here is an excerpt (emphasis added),

“What I gleaned from viewing “The Social Network” was bigger and more important than whether the scenes and details included in the script were accurate. After all, the movie was clearly intended to be entertainment and not a fact-based documentary. What struck me most was not what happened – and what did not – and who said what to whom and why. The true takeaway for me was that entrepreneurship and creativity, however complicated, difficult or tortured to execute, are perhaps the most important drivers of business today and the growth of our economy.

[…] As the web increasingly democratizes innovation and costs decrease, anyone can showcase a product – just look at Facebook or YouTube. In the digital world, the dependency on a large checkbook to start a business is diminishing. Instead, what has become increasingly more important is the help from others — the intellectual capital and know-how to succeed.

Entrepreneurship involves mistakes and failures. But ultimately, if you have that intellectual capital and intimate understanding behind your project, you have a chance to succeed.

[…] In the digital world, borders are permeable.

While watching the “Hollywood version” of one’s college life is both humbling and entertaining, I hope that this film inspires countless others to create and take that leap to start a new business. With a little luck, you might even change the world.

Have a read of Facebook Co-Founder Eduardo Saverin’s “What I Learned From Watching “The Social Network”“. Highly recommended.

The Social Network movie (that Facebook movie) review

Friday, 1 October, 2010

I really enjoy The Social Network (that Facebook movie) and I think David Fincher and Aaron Sorkin have done a great job in telling an entertaining story. I will focus my review of the film on its entertainment value and defer other discussions till later.

By the way, to complete this review, I will also post some links to other reviews I enjoy reading plus an interesting review by a respected law professor and my personal response to his views.

1. Opening scenes

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Like other reviewers have pointed out already, the opening scenes set up the story beautifully. And Jesse Eisenberg (as Mark Zuckerberg) is greatly helped by Rooney Mara as Erica Albright. In the hands of lesser writer or director, the audiences may not connect with Jesse‘s Zuckerberg character and we might have a film dead on arrival.

2. The “computer hacking” and “social hacking/understanding”

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Many computer code hacking/writing scenes were shown through out the film and they presented in dynamic manner. But more interestingly, the audiences are also made clear that the “social hacking/understanding” is equal or more important.

3. The Supporting Casts

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The supporting casts all did wonderful jobs. The supporting actors/actresses all have great screen time to show their chops.

I really think Timberlake has done a wonderful job in the film and I think we should stop giving him a hard time for his singing past! :) If you haven’t seen it, he was very funny in Mike Myers’ The Love Guru.

4. The rowing race scene (using tilt-shift time-lapse photography)

The Social Network - pix 11

I don’t have a photo to show the rowing race scene (above photo is the twins practicing). Anyway, the filming technique used to film the race is a special technique called tilt-shift time-lapse photography. [HT Brandon for leaving a comment to remind me of the name of the technique.]

Following is an example of tilt-shift time-lapse photography from Sydney, Australia by Keith Loutit. [HT Gizmodo]

Read the rest of this entry »

Following Pat Stogran Canada’s Veterans Ombudsman/Ombudsman des vétérans du Canada

Thursday, 19 August, 2010

Make sure Pat Stogran Canada’s Veterans Ombudsman/Ombudsman des vétérans du Canada is getting your supporting in exposing a ‘deceptive’ Veterans Affairs and dishonourable treatment of our vets who accept unlimited liability in service of Canada.

Follow Veterans Ombudsman Pat Stogran on Twitter and Facebook and help Pat fight this battle on Canadian soil.

Here is what I wrote on Facebook this morning,

I am not brave enough to risk my life to fight with our vets overseas but, as a Canadian living in the Prime Minister’s Calgary SW riding, I will do my best to flight alongside our vets against the ‘deceptive’ Veterans Affairs and Harper government.

Don’t worry about Facebook

Tuesday, 3 August, 2010

[HT Jesse Brown TVO Search Engine]

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