Google+ Hangout Technical Insights and Ideas to Reshape Newsrooms

Friday, 29 July, 2011


KOMU G-Plus Hangouts - pix 00a - Sarah Hill and Nina Moini

It has been my pleasure to attend a number of KOMU anchor Sarah Hill‘s interesting Google+ newsroom Hangouts since July 19, 2011. In this article, I will try to share some of my technical observations and insights. (note: For my general and business insights, you can read my previous article.)

Using G+ Hangout as a control room of 9 Electronic News Gathering (ENG) team


1) News anchor running G+ Hangout connecting to maximum of nine Electronic News Gathering (ENG) teams in the field.

2) Each of the nine reporters will have a notebook computer connecting to the internet via a 3G/4G data stick. And each reporter has a handheld SD/HD camera hooking up to the notebook as its camera. (note: SD or HD probably doesn’t matter here because the data will be compressed and you are transporting over 3G/4G network anyway.) (Aug 11 update: Currently, G+ Hangout doesn’t support external video cameras. I have reflect this request to G+ engineers.)

3) Any “newsroom” can probably set this up easily.

In fact, any team of volunteer citizen journalists may even be able create such a reporting setup with less trouble. All it takes is each individual citizen journalist to have a notebook computer, a fast 3G/4G data stick, and a camera. And these citizen journalists can work together depending on needs and events, etc.

4) Feed the G+ Hangout video stream out to the wider world using tools like Livestream for mass distribution.

5) Use cases: Will be quite cool to report on elections, street festivals, concerts, and live events.

Non-ideal use cases: Any major crisis, earthquakes, etc where the mobile 3G/4G networks are expected be extremely congested and overloaded. In these rare cases, old school dedicated microwave or satellite transmission will likely provide more stable transmission than overloaded mobile data networks.

KOMU Sarah Hill G-Plus Hangouts - pix 07 - Norway https link

Fixing the insecurity of G+ Hangout

At the moment, Google+ Hangouts is known to be insecure, in the sense that each hangout participant has the clear text “…” link (see the top of the above photo) and can copy and then share with Read the rest of this entry »

Tahrir/Liberation Square 2011 – witnessing history unfold

Thursday, 10 February, 2011

The world is “witnessing history unfold” in Egypt. I am watching Al Jazeera LIVE on YouTube.

From CBC News “Egypt braces for Mubarak’s possible ouster“.

P.S. A very [I hope for a very] different outcome than what happened in Tiananmen Square 1989 in China.

1:46pm MST Update: Muybarak speaking LIVE. Looks like he is NOT quitting tonight. I don’t think thats what the Egyptian people in Tahrir Square want to hear.

I hope CBC Neil Macdonald analysis in “Brace yourself for an inevitable crackdown” is wrong but I am deeply worried now.

9:52am MST, Feb 11, 2011 Update: “Egypt’s Mubarak resigns – Hard and uncertain job of transferring power to people begins

Movies A-Z

Monday, 1 November, 2010

I looked up a “randomish” list of movies from A-Z, in no particular order, that I have watched and enjoyed over the years. There are drama, comedy, action, and even documentaries that you may have never heard of (I have interviewed some of the doc filmmakers).

I think part of the fun of watching films is to explore films that you may not normally check out. You can click on the links to find more info about them. [HT Mad Dog]

American Beauty (1999), Avatar (2009)

Bridges of Madison County (1995), Blue (1993), Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan (2006), Being Caribou (2004)

Cinema Paradiso (1989), Comrades: Almost a Love Story (甜蜜蜜) (1996), The Corporation(2003), Casablanca(1942), Crash (1996), Crash (2004), Campaign (選舉) (2007)

The Decline of the American Empire (1986), District 9 (2009), Dear Zachary: A Letter to a Son About His Father (2008)

English Patient (1996), The End of the Affair (1999), Eastern Promises (2007)

The Fog of War: Eleven Lessons from the Life of Robert S. McNamara (2003)

Groundhog Day (1993), Grizzly Man (2005), The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2009), Glass: A Portrait of Philip in Twelve Parts (2007)

Hoop Dreams (1994), Heat (1995), A History of Violence (2005)

In the Mood For Love (2000), Iron Man (2008)

Jonestown: The Life and Death of Peoples Temple (2006), Jumper (2008)

Kill Bill Vol. 1Vol. 2 (2003 & 2004), Kings of Pastry (2009)

Lost in Translation (2003), Les Invasions Barbares (2003), Leave Them Laughing (2010), Last Train Home (2009)

Manufactured Landscapes (2006), Match Point (2005), Moon (2009), The Matrix (1999)

Nikita (1990)

Ocean’s Eleven (2001), One Big Hapa Family (2010), Orgasm Inc. (2009), Objectified (2009)

Pride & Prejudice (2005), Patton (1970), Paper Moon (1973)

The Queen (2006)

Red (1994), Roger & Me (1989)

Strictly Ballroom (1992), Sense and Sensibility (1995), Spanglish (2004), Super Size Me (2004), The Shawshank Redemption (1994), Standard Operating Procedure (2008)

The Truman Show (1998), Thank You for Smoking (2005), Tiger Spirit (2008)

United 93 (2006), Unforgiven (1992)

V for Vendetta (2006)

White (1993), When Harry Met Sally (1989), WALL-E (2008), The Way We Are (天水圍的日與夜) (2008), War Hospital (2005)

X-Men (2000)

You’ve Got Mail (1998)

Zathura: A Space Adventure (2005)

Film Your Day for worldwide Life in a Day YouTube project (July 24, 2010)

Saturday, 24 July, 2010

July 25 Update: Here are some of my video clips for Life in a Day – Calgary, Alberta, Canada.


It is “Life in a Day” day. I am going out to film my day. Go out and film your day too. Have fun. (If you like, you can check out the guidelines.)

Ridley Scott on Life In A Day. Pick up a digital camera and just do it.

Kevin Macdonald on Life In A Day.

PBS Digital Nation – Watch it

Wednesday, 3 February, 2010

PBS Digital Nation (full 90 mins program online) – Watch it, think about what you see, and consider of what all these mean to your understanding of the new world, I am.

Ongoing notes as I watch the show (work-in-progess):

  1. Awareness of potential problems identified by scientifically reputable researches are the first steps toward deeper understanding of the problems and how may we “solve” them.
  2. In Korea, the big problem of people seemingly addicted to gaming. (I need more time to think about the full implications first.)
  3. Learn from the Korean experiences and the problems their youth are facing. “Causalities of the digital revolution”.
  4. The video games in the “Army Experience Centre“.

Government data from around the world

Friday, 22 January, 2010

From UK Guardian: “Government data from around the world. Welcome to our single gateway – Governments around the world are opening up their data vaults. Now you can search all of them, from one place: here

Avatar pictorial review – I love Avatar and why box office records will be broken

Saturday, 19 December, 2009

Avatar - Air Battle - Sky 1

This is a pictorial review of Avatar with lots of pictures and only a few well-chosen comments and links. After the review, I will write a few words about why I think the box office records will be broken this weekend and later. I’ve written about Avatar previous “Avatar reviews are good“.

Warning: there are spoilers in this review but I’ve alphabetized things so you won’t know when exactly things happen.

Lets start with the pictorial review! (Images from the amazing Avatar HD trailer.)

1) The Air Battle is simply spectacular. The story telling rules supreme over the well tuned and used special effects. You care about the characters and are following the story. Unlike some other big budget films where you go to watch the special effects with completely silly characters who you don’t care.

Avatar - Air Battle - Sky 2

Avatar - Air Battle - Sky 3

Avatar - Air Battle - Sky 4

Avatar - Air Battle - Sky 5

2) I was rooting for this scary monster and was excited when it took out this soldier.

Avatar - Air battle Oops (1)

Read the rest of this entry »

Are You Gay? (The Internet Would Like to Know)

Thursday, 1 October, 2009

Another great episode from TVO’s Search Engine (mp3),

“Gaydar” software from MIT and queer-bashing Islamist radicals trolling Iraq’s chatrooms are making it increasingly difficult to hide one’s sexuality, and increasingly dangerous to be gay. Also: how CIRA, the non-profit “dot-ca” domain people get 10 million dollars a year. Post your comments on the Search Engine blog:

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