Sunday, January 31, 2010

Can Nonprofits Be Overreliant on Facebook?

I've been reading up and examining the use of social media by arts non-profits. I've been burned by what I call "the tyranny of the free." I say this, but paying for these services doesn't mean they won't go out of business and causing you annoyance or inconvenience.  Remember eCircles? I had one which I used to brainstorm writing ideas for screenplays. It went kaput and we switched to a Yahoo Group, but the usability wasn't the same and the momentum was lost. Several virtual drives left me in the lurch over the years. I've heard people getting e-mails obliterated by Hotmail.

Enter social networking sites like Facebook. Individuals and organizations using the site to be a part of and engage virtual communities/social networks can get a great deal of value out of Facebook. If Facebook were to go under, it would be annoying, but life would go on. I try not to get too invested in any social media, although I do have hundreds of indexed pages on Blogger.

I think there is a danger of organizations being over-reliant on any third-party technology. One danger is the site going under. While Facebook is finding a path to cash, I still have concerns about its long-term viability. Although, even if Facebook hits hard times, it won't disappear overnight. That said, if an organization is reliant on Facebook to connect with its "community" and Facebook declines, decisions need to be made about where to maintain a virtual community presence. 

Another concern is Facebook changing their policies or advertising rates. Organizations using Facebook are subject to the TOS, which grants Facebook a license, subject to the constraints of privacy and applications settings, to content until it is deleted by users and whomever the content was shared with. In terms of content and using Facebook as a repository of content for community-building, organizations need to understand that they lose control over content posted and Facebook makes the rules for how content is used. What gets trickier if organizations become dependent on Facebook apps, features, or contextual advertising in their business model. This shouldn't necessarily discourage organizations from using Facebook, but make sure they are vigilant about contingency plans in case Facebook policies make its use non-viable. 

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Canadian Federal Poll Analysis :: Where the Tories and Grits Stand Post-Prorogue

Earlier in the week on ThickCulture, I blogged about the consequences of Harper's proroguing of Parliament.  In recent polls of federal vote intent {21 Jan.28 Jan.}, Harper's Conservatives are in a statistical dead heat with the Liberals. In the wake of proroguing, support for the Liberals has shot up, while the Conservatives, Greens, NDP, and the Bloc all have lost ground since December. It should be noted that poll numbers do not necessarily equate to seats and that as of 28 January, 37.3% {+/- 1.8%} of those polled do not nave the intention of voting for a major party, which is almost identical to the 17 December poll.

Here are the party breakdowns by party, according to EKOS polls, by province/region::

(% of population)

Nationally (100%) 35.9%
British Columbia (13.2%)35.0%32.4% -2.6%23.6%27.1%
Alberta (10.3%)
Manitoba (6.7%)
Ontario (38.7%)
Québec (23.2%)
Atlantic Canada (6.9%)

What follows is a quick and cursory overview of the implications of these poll numbers, if they hold until the next election, which is a big "if". I left out the three ridings from the North, as EKOS polls don't offer such a breakdown. I haven't had the chance to go into the local dynamics on a riding-by-riding basis, so take my insights with a big grain of salt. I find the parliamentary system to be much harder to analyze than the electoral college.

The news in BC can be bad for the Tories. There are 4 swing ridings that they control and I feel they are extremely vulnerable in:: North Vancouver {over Lib}, Saanich-Gulf Islands {over Lib}, Surrey North {over NDP}, and Vancouver Island North {over NDP}. Liberal controlled Esquimalt-Juan de Fuca and Vancouver South, as well as NDP controlled Burnaby-Douglas, will be tougher to wrest away for the Conservatives. If the Liberals, NDP, and the Greens with Elizabeth May divide the left vote, Gary Lunn in Saanich-Gulf Islands may hold his seat.
BC:: Four Conservative ridings in play, challengers:: 2 Liberal & 2 NDP
The Liberals shouldn't be too gleeful about the increases in Alberta, which has 28 ridings. The Conservatives control all but one riding, Edmonton-Strathcona, which is NDP. The average conservative voting percentages were 65.6% in 2008.
AB:: Status quo.
The 28 ridings in Manitoba and Saskatchewan, typically characterized by high margin wins for Conservatives. Saint Boniface, Palliser, and Saskatoon-Rosetown-Biggar are all Conservative ridings that may be in play, given the 2008 results. The margins in Saint Boniface {over Liberals} and Palliser {over NDP} were over 10%, while Saskatoon-Rosetown-Biggar was 1% {over NDP}.
SK:: Two Conservative ridings in play, both with a NDP challenge.
MB:: One Conservative riding in play with a Liberal challenge {Saint Boniface}.
Ontario will be interesting in the next election. The Conservative decline was sizeable {-7.4%}, as was the Liberal surge {+5.7}. The Liberals have lost quite a few seats in the past two elections in Ontario to the Conservatives and the NDP. The Dipper numbers have dipped, but voters aren't abandoning the NDP to support the Liberals and reject Harper. That said, I think 12 Conservative ridings may be in play, particularly Kitchener Centre, Kitchener-Waterloo, Mississauga-Erindale, Oak Ridges-Markham, Ottawa-Orleans, and Oshawa, which were within 7 points of their next challengers. The other 6 are Ottawa-West Nepean, Thornhill, Oakville, Kenora, Haldimand-Norfolk, and Brant, all of which are within a 10% win margin. The Liberals cannot take Parkdale-High Park or Beaches-East York for granted, both fairly close races where the Liberals defeated the NDP. Voters in Parkdale-High Park will have two solid candidates to choose from in Gerard Kennedy {Lib} and Peggy Nash {NDP}. I also see Maria Minna {Lib} as vulnerable, as I've been looking at the 2008 Beach{es}-East York results by polling district, which I'll be blogging about in the future.
ON:: Twelve conservative ridings in play, 11 challenged by Liberals and 1 challenged by NDP {Oshawa}. Two Liberal ridings may be in play with NDP challenges in the GTA.
Québec is another interesting case. The Bloc is staying strong at around 37% in the polls in the last month. The Conservatives are too at 15-16% since December, while the Liberals improved 5% in the past month and are around 29%. The Greens and NDP have both lost ground in Québec. Conservatives have three ridings to protect from the Bloc:: Beauport-Limoilou, Robertval-Lac Saint Jean, and the newly won Montmagny-L'Islet-Kamouraska-Rivière du Loup. The Bloc has four ridings that are vulnerable to the surging Liberals:: Ahuntsic, Brome-Missisquoi, Haute-Gaspésie-La Matapédia-Matane-La Mitis, and Jeanne-Le Ber. Thomas Mulcair's {NDP} Outremont riding may also be vulnerable to the Liberals and Gatineau may be tough to take away from the Bloc. The Liberals have two vulnerable ridings {Bloc-challenged}:: Brossard-La Prairie and Papineau.
QC:: I don't expect much change from the status quo, given the current poll.
The Maritimes have seen the Liberals and Conservatives holding steady or increasing support, at the expense of the NDP. This could set up a battle royale in 8 swing ridings, five held by the Conservatives {next closest challengers in brackets}:: Egmont {Liberal}, Saint John {Liberal}, South Shore-St. Margaret's {NDP}, West Nova {Liberal}, and Miramichi {Liberal}. The three Liberal ridings that should be in play are St. John's South-Mount Pearl {NDP}, Malpeque {Conservative}, and Moncton-Riverview-Dieppe {Conservative}.
Maritimes:: I don't expect much change from the status quo, given the current poll.
Is there an advantage for the Liberals in another general election? Ignatieff doesn't think so. The Liberals need to win at least 35 seats and the Conservatives need to lose at least 34 in the next election to take over Parliament with a minority government. Right now, I see 19 Conservative swing ridings, with the Liberals having a realistic shot at picking up 14 of them.  The big battleground in the next election will be in Ontario, which is nothing new. The Liberals have lost seats to the Conservatives and the NDP in the province, so unless support for the NDP falls and the Conservatives go into freefall, a Liberal minority government may be a stretch.

I think how the following play out in February will shape the probability of an election::
  1. Will the Conservatives and Harper rebound during the Winter Olympics or continue to falter?
  2. Can Ignatieff demonstrate strong leadership skills?
  3. Will the NDP hold on to their supporters, particularly in Ontario?
  4. Will the rebounding economy help the Conservatives, despite disappointing unemployment figures?
I'm also wondering if a weakened Harper who is willing to deal in the next session would cause more damage to the Conservatives over time.

Twitterversion:: Thoughts on post-prorogue EKOS polls on intent in #Canada. Election soon? Not sure #s add up to support one.  @Prof_K

Song:: Kinks-"Well Respected Man"

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Apple's iPad :: Ridicule Is Nothing to Be Scared Of

On Twitter, half of the trending topics were Apple related, 6 of 10 if you include Kindle, which Apple's new iPad will be competing against.

Apple's launch of it's new gadget had plenty of buzz and sky-high expectations. While it remains to be seen if this "meso" technology between smartphone and laptop will be significant in terms of media, society, and technology, what's clear is that Apple is either clueless or shrewd when it comes to branding. The video on the Apple site has the following gem:: "I don't have to change myself to fit the product—it fits me." {rimshot} Add I smell at the very least a subversive copywriter.

HuffPo {the greatest scanner/"smart news aggregator" out there} has a good compilation of reviews, including a link to Endgadget's comparison of the iPad and iPhone cost of 3G.

Kindle should be concerned, as iPad has an open data format, ePub, and Apple is opening up its own eBook store. I agree with Sascha Sagan on PC World that iPad could kill Kindle, but Amazon won't cry over it. Newspapers and magazines hoping to capture subscription dollars via Kindle have a lot to lose with Kindled losing this new standards war.

I'm curious to see how this evolves as a new multimedia platform. Rumours were floating around of a TV tuner and videoconferencing, but it looks like those may be in future iterations. The current generation  doesn't even have Flash support. The price point is lower than I thought it would be, but I was expecting more multimedia features. Pricing starts at $499 US. Here's the rundown from Endgadget::
"It starts at $499 for 16GB, 32GB for $599, and $699 64GB. Adding 3G costs a $130 per model, so the most expensive model (64GB / 3G) is $829. The WiFi-only model will ship in 60 days, and the 3G models will come in 90."
Apple is the butt of many a joke on Twitter today for the brand name, as evident here. Is this buzz a good thing? What about the adage that any PR is good PR. I'm not so sure. If the iPad was a showstopper, I'd think differently, but I'm afraid the ridicule is coming from opinion leaders and reinforcing the "meh" factor.  If the content and user experience are there, Apple may have the last laugh.

Update {27 January 2010, 6:23PM}:: Huffington Post found a link to defunct Mad-TV's fauxmercial parody for iPad from a few years back::

Twitterversion:: newblogpost:: Apple launches tablet, faces ridicule on #Twitter with #iPad. Shrewd move or branding faux pas? @Prof_K

Song:: Adam & the Ants-"Prince Charming"

Twitterspace Meets Twitterplace

Just noticed Twitter has a local trending topic option for selected countries and cities and here's what the Twitter blog had to say. In December, Twitter bought Mixer Labs, which provided services for developers wanting their offerings location-aware.  The ability to find out what is being said and where it's being said with granularity can help increase relevance for social media. I'm interested in how geolocation can be used in social networks and I don't mean Facebook, but that's for another time.

Toronto didn't make the cut, but I saw São Paulo did, one of only two non-US cities on the city list thus far. The other one is London. As of 8-9AM EST, looks like everybody is buzzing about the iTablet.


San Francisco



Twitterversion:: Twitter offers trending topics for selected countries and cities. Geolocation offers the "where" in addition to the "what" of tweets. @Prof_K

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

When Is My Intellectual Property Not Really Mine?

I saw through the Twittersphere reference to a Gawker/Valleywag post on how the Huffington Post was reposting tweets on their site.  Through the use of the API, tweets were visible at the following location:: [Twitter user ID]

Now, this message appears::

While users were irate at the prospects that their content could be used by another site for that site's commercial gain, it's all spelled out in the Twitter Terms of Service::
"You retain your rights to any Content you submit, post or display on or through the Services. By submitting, posting or displaying Content on or through the Services, you grant us a worldwide, non-exclusive, royalty-free license (with the right to sublicense) to use, copy, reproduce, process, adapt, modify, publish, transmit, display and distribute such Content in any and all media or distribution methods (now known or later developed).
Tip: This license is you authorizing us to make your Tweets available to the rest of the world and to let others do the same. But what’s yours is yours – you own your content.
You agree that this license includes the right for Twitter to make such Content available to other companies, organizations or individuals who partner with Twitter for the syndication, broadcast, distribution or publication of such Content on other media and services, subject to our terms and conditions for such Content use."
So, users may own their intellectual property, it's licensed to Twitter and anyone who can use API.

I think what I find interesting is how people understandably cling to the notions of having control over their content, as in intellectual property rights, which is contrary to the realities of social media. While it may seem wrong that others can profit from your content, controlling how others use your content, with or without consent and with or without profit, is untenable. Users need to think long and hard about why they are posting their content and relating it to their "strategy" about content and communications.

Social media allows the rapid diffusion of content by anyone, but offers little in the form of control. The Huffington Post {or Digg} and the use of technologies like RSS and API can help to build audiences and cut through the clutter, but don't afford control in the diffusion process. Unfortunately, in the era of Web 2.0 and beyond, the only way to control your content is to put it on lockdown.

Twitterversion::  HuffPo uses API to appropriate Twitter tweets. Users unhappy, but doesn't Web 2.0 mean little real control over content? @Prof_K

Monday, January 25, 2010

Remembering Kate McGarrigle 6 February 1946—18 January 2010

Image:: Kate & Anna McGarrigle, Vancouver, BC {late 1970s} by Alex Waterhouse-Hayward

I was quite saddened to hear about the death of Kate McGarrigle last week. Many of you may know she's the mother of Rufus and Martha Wainwright and was married to Loudon Wainwright III. I stumbled across her in 1990 when I heard Kirsty MacColl's cover of Kate and Anne McGarrigle's "Complainte pour Ste. Catherine" {1975} on Kirsty's album Kite. It's one of my favourite songs and was written by Anna {music} and Paul Tatartcheff {words} and the lyrics are here {scroll down}. Here's a {West} German video from 1977 of a live performance of "Complainte."

Here's a video of Kate's "Talk to Me of Mendocino" {1976}::

On Facebook, Officer Mazaltoff posted this video, with a simple and eloquent "RIP Kate McGarrigle".  Here's the description from the National Film Board of Canada::
"This lighthearted, animated short is based on the song "The Log Driver's Waltz" by Wade Hemsworth. Easily one of the most often-requested films in the NFB collection, Kate and Anna McGarrigle sing along to the tale of a young girl who loves to dance and chooses to marry a log driver over his more well-to-do competitor. Driving logs down the river has made the young man the best dancing partner to be found."

Before she passed, The Kate McGarrigle Fund was started at the McGill University Health Centre Foundation that supports cancer care and research in Montréal.

Twitterversion:: Remembering Kate McGarrigle 6 February 1946—18 January 2010 @Prof_K

Newmusicmonday #27:: Land of Talk

Image:: "Mic Attack!" from CBC Radio 3

Image:: Land of Talk from VinylRecordsUNC

Image:: Liz Powell of Land of Talk, from Brooklyn Vegan

This week's newmusicmonday features Montréal's Land of Talk {MySp, Wikipedia, CBC Radio3}. Land of Talk has been around since 2005 fronted by Liz Powell {singer, guitarist}, who is originally from Guelph, Ontario. Their first EP, "Applause Cheer Boo Hiss" has a harder, more punk sound, but is still tuneful with engaging lyrics. Here's "Summer Special" from the EP::

and the grittier "Speak to Me Bones"::

The "Some Are Lakes" album {previews on} has a softer sound.  Here are videos for The Man Who Breaks Things (Dark Shuffle)", "Some Are Lakes", and "Young Bridge on QTV::

In October of 2009, they released a new 4-song EP, "Fun with Laughter." I'm a big fan of the song, "May You Never Know", which is available for free via download on the Saddle Creek Records site here.
"Fun And Laughter EP will be available in CD and digital formats. The CD version features screen printed art designed by the band in a special limited edition package and will only be available from CIMS indie retailers,,, and at venues on the road."
A live video of the song from the Casbah in San Diego is here::

The Land of Talk has all releases and merch on their online store. I missed them when they played in Toronto last week, but I was wiped from several deadlines. Upcoming dates::

Twitterversion:: Newmusicmonday blog features #MontrealIndie band Land of Talk. Videos & link to free download of "May You Never Know" @Prof_K

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Territorializing the "Empire State of Mind"

Image:: "J/Z Broad Street" from, defaced in Gimp 2.6.4 on Macbook

Over the past few months, it was hard to miss the anthemic crossover blockbuster, "Empire State of Mind," which is a great song that evokes both place and spirit.  I saw the video for the song, which was shot in October of 2009, several times on CJNT-Montréal {I often keep it on when I'm working}, which features a montage full of black and white imagery of NYC that complements the song. I saw Alicia Keys on the Haiti Telethon sounding a bit over-the-top, which I thought was too bad, given how great she was on "Empire." It was interesting to read this week in VV how Mary J. Blige almost was tapped for the chorus::
"Shawn Carter's most important decision was calling Alicia Keys next. Her brassy, soaring chorus is the song's heartbeat—without it, it's hard to imagine "Empire State" as more than a nice local hit. And it almost was. Jay-Z, now 40 years old, admitted to me that he was 'two seconds away' from calling Mary J. Blige, his reliable longtime collaborator, to supply the chorus, a move that would have been safe and true to his heritage. But something about the piano sound and melody (and, maybe, the commerciality) struck him, and so it was."
On ThickCulture, I'll be blogging about the mythological aspects of the song, which has some dark lyrics.

While this has been around for a while, here's a Google map {click on it to go to Google Maps in a new window} that references locations referred to in the song.  The lyrics and video are below, as well.

Yeah I'm out that Brooklyn.
Now I'm down in Tribeca.
Right next to DeNiro
But I'll be hood forever
I'm the new Sinatra
And since I made it here
I can make it anywhere
(Yeah they love me everywhere)
I used to cop in Harlem
All of my Dominicanos (Hey yo)
Right there off of Broadway
Brought me back to that McDonalds
Took it to my stash spot
560 State Street
Catch me in the kitchen like Simmons whipping Pastry
Cruising down 8th street
Off-white Lexus
Driving so slow
(but BK, it's from Texas!!)
Me I'm out that BedStuy
Home of that boy Biggie
now I live on Billboard
and I brought my boys with me
Say what up to Ta-ta
Still sipping Mai Tais
Sitting courtside
Knicks and Nets give me high-5
Nigga, I be Spiked out
I could trip a referee
...tell by my attitude that I'm MOST DEFINITELY FROM...

[Alicia Keys]
New York!!!!
Concrete jungle where dreams are made of,
There's nothing you can’t do,
Now you're in New York!!!
These streets will make you feel brand new,
the lights will inspire you,
Let's hear it for New York, New York, New York

I made you hot nigga,
Catch me at the X with OG at a Yankee game,
shit I made the Yankee hat more famous than a Yankee can,
you should know I bleed Blue, but I ain't a crip tho,
but I got a gang of niggas walking with my clique though,
welcome to the melting pot,
corners where we selling rocks,
Afrika bambaataa shit,
home of the hip hop,
yellow cab, gypsy cab, dollar cab, holla back,
for foreigners it ain't fitted act like they forgot how to act,
8 million stories out there and they're naked,
city it's a pity half of y’all won’t make it,
me I gotta plug a special and I got it made,
If Jeezy's payin LeBron, I’m paying Dwayne Wade,
3 dice cee-lo
3 card marley,
Labor Day parade, rest in peace Bob Marley,
Statue of Liberty, long live the World Trade,
long live the king yo,
I’m from the Empire State thats…

[Alicia Keys]
In New York!!!!
Concrete jungle where dreams are made of,
There's nothing you can’t do,
Now you're in New York!!!
These streets will make you feel brand new,
the lights will inspire you,
Let's hear it for New York, New York, New York

Welcome to the bright light..

Lights is blinding,
girls need blinders
so they can step out of bounds quick,
the side lines is blind with casualties,
who sip the light casually, then gradually become worse,
don’t bite the apple Eve,
caught up in the in crowd,
now you're in-style,
and in the winter gets cold en vogue with your skin out,
the city of sin is a pity on a whim.
good girls gone bad, the city's filled with them,
Mommy took a bus trip and now she got her bust out,
everybody ride her, just like a bus route,
Hail Mary to the city your a Virgin,
and Jesus can’t save you life starts when the church ends,
came here for school, graduated to the high life,
ball players, rap stars, addicted to the limelight,
MDMA got you feeling like a champion,
the city never sleeps better slip you a Ambien

[Alicia Keys]
New York!!!!
Concrete jungle where dreams are made of,
There's nothing you can’t do,
Now you're in New York!!!
These streets will make you feel brand new,
the lights will inspire you,
Let's hear it for New York, New York, New York

[Alicia Keys]
One hand in the air for the big city,
Street lights, big dreams all looking pretty,
no place in the World that can compare,
Put your lighters in the air, everybody say yeaaahh
come on, come,

[Alicia Keys]
New York!!!!
Concrete jungle where dreams are made of,
There's nothing you can’t do,
Now you're in New York!!!
These streets will make you feel brand new,
the lights will inspire you,
Let's hear it for New York, New York, New York


Twitterversion:: Jay-Z's "Empire State of Mind" was almost w/ Mary J. Blige. Plus, Google Map mashup with song references from last fall. @Prof_K

The Moose at Cow Bay

Last month, I saw a repeat of a 2006 Trailer Park Boys episode {S06, E06, "Gimme My Fuckin' Money or Randy's Dead"} which featured the Moose.  The Moose {1959} was designed by Winston Bronnum who designed many a sculpture, including the Shediac Lobster in New Brunswick, near Moncton.

Upon my researching on the Moose, I found out that the beach at Cow Beach was depleted of sand used for construction.  The nearby beach is called Silver Sands and I found the following on my search for more Moose info.::
"The beach was made up of fine white sand and extended from where the moose stands today to Hartlen's Point.
There was a canteen and dance hall in an area fringed by trees and accessible from the road. Many statues of animals sculpted by Winston Bronnum were found near the pond and roadway and children loved to play on them. The only one left is our famous Cow Bay Moose. Most of this area is now under water, the trees are gone.
Sand was hauled away for construction and the beach was destroyed. The provincial government, prompted by the destruction of Silver Sands and other beaches, passed laws preventing the removal of beach materials."
Here's Silver Sands in the 1950s::

In the Trailer Park Boys episode, I noticed that the shore was rocky, although I've seen people comment on Facebook that the sand is coming back.

Here's the TPB segment with the Moose::

Links to the three parts of the episode:: 1, 2, & 3.

Twitterversion:: TrailerParkBoys episode fr.'06 features moose sculpture by Winston Bronnum @ Cow Bay, NovaScotia. Link to Shediac lobster  @Prof_K

Song:: Wintersleep {Halifax}-"Archaeology"

80s Bittersweet Flashback Playlist

Image:: "God and man, no confessions. God and man, no religion. God and man, don't believe in modern love", taken January 2010. Kenneth M. Kambara

I really can't go into the details here of why I compiled this, but it was my version of a playlist meant to cheer someone up going through an emotional rough patch.  

The only song missing is The Jazz Butcher Conspiracy's "Get It Wrong", which is a travesty.  I have this on vinyl in California. Here's  the lyrics::

I keep getting letters about divorces.
Just like cowboys changing horses, people use each other up and leave.
One mistake and it all turns bitchy,
listening to records by Lionel Ritchie.
I'm not sure if he deserves it or even if they do.
Jealousy is just messed up pride, it only twists you up inside.
We don't feel it, we don't need it.

Let's get it wrong.
Let's get it wrong. Get it wrong.
Let's get it wrong.
Let's get it wrong. Let's get it wrong.
I never get anything right with you girl.
And the fact that you are married
Only carries things to ludicrous extremes.
We go to places no one goes, looking for faces that we know.
We know that they don't deserve it, I wonder if we do.
Coz we're not hurting anyone, so come on darlin', let's get it wrong.
We don't feel it, we both need it.

So come on..
I don't care if it is just like the movies,
You make mistakes impossibly groovy.

Why don't you? Why don't you?
They say we've got no moral fibre.
Aw but I'm sick and tired of that Special K
To eat for breakfast anyway.
So come on darlin', let's get it wrong.
The way I'm feeling it won't take long.
We don't know what happens next, but girl who cares?
If I could just remember what you said
We could be getting it wrong on the hotel bed.
But we don't need it.
But we don't feel it.

So come on..


Twitterversion:: 80s Bittersweet flashback playlist. Jam, EnglishBeat, Naked Eyes, Smiths, Sparks, Men at Work, Spandau Ballet, Madness...

Conan Exits with Freebird with Will Ferrell

I watched Conan O'Brien's last Tonight Show and I must admit I wish he had more time to develop the show. I'm convinced that if NBC could do this all over again, they'd still flub it, including going all the way back to 2004.  Here's my other blogs on the debacle, including Craig Ferguson poking fun at the whole thing and my thoughts on his future.

Exiting with Will Ferrell singing "Freebird" and hitting the cowbell like a madman was a great way to end his ride at NBC.

And so it goes.

Twitterversion::  Link to lo-fi video to Conan O'Brien's Tonight Show exit with Will Ferrell doing "Freebird." @Prof_K

Update {2:31am EST}::  Longer, full clip w/better resolution jacked from the same feed I saw here in Canada {A Channel}.  Not sure how long it will be up though.

Update {23 January 2010, 8:11pm EST}:: As you can see, NBC Universal invoked a copyright claim on both videos above. Let's see how long this lasts. Here's what the poster {onemanclap} had to say:: 
"Yes, I know I shouldn't be uploading this video. But neither should NBC behave like they did with Conan. This song was performed on the very last The Tonight Show with Conan O' Brien and is a cover of the original song by Lynyrd Skynyrd. Needless to say, I'm with Coco."

Update:: {23 January 10:04 EST}:: One more ::

25 Jan 2010 4:19 EST::

US viewers may be able to watch the episode on The Tonight Show's NBC site. I get a "null" message here in Toronto.


My post on Toronto subway station architecture and resultant verbal back-and-forth ))< >(( forever with Officer Mazeltoff brought up a link to Vancouver's pornographic offering::

I suppose the Brentwood Skytrain Station {Governor General Medal winner in 2004} is a perfect foil to phallocentric architecture we're all accustomed to. Ah, if it only could get together with "The Gherkin" at 30 St. Mary's Axe in London, England::

Down in California, I've heard that even those in official circles referred to the San Onofre Nuclear Power Plant as Dolly, as in Dolly Parton.  I can see the powerplant as form following function, but the above make me wonder if someone is still chuckling about these designs actually getting built.

Twitterversion::  Sexy architecture? You be the judge...  @Prof_K

Songs:: OMD-"Architecture & Morality"; R. Stewart, P. Hilton "Da Ya Think I'm Sexy"

Friday, January 22, 2010

Tips & Tricks:: Getting Partial Least Squares {PLS} Module Working in SPSS 18-Mac

Note:: Here's an older blog on getting v.17 SPSS/PASW Statistics for Mac software to work in Snow Leopard {OS X 10.6}.

I was using SPSS v.16 on a 1.83GHz Core Duo MacBookPro and started using the Partial Least Squares module in the summer of 2008.  I now have a 2.2GHz Core 2 Duo Macbook running Snow Leopard {Mac OS X 10.6} and I upgraded to SPSS v.17 and v.18 {now PASW v.18}, but just noticed the PLS module wasn't working::

Just to be clear, the PLS module in SPSS is for PLS regression, not path modelling or structural equations modelling using the PLS algorithm.  The distinction can be found here.  I use SmartPLS for path models.

I won't go through all of the problems I had, but excellent advice from Jon Peck on the SPSS Developer Central Forums.

This is what worked for me:
  1. Installing the SPSS 18.0.1 patch [link] {you'll need a login. Go to patches tab}
  2. Installing Python 2.6.4 [link]
  3. Installing NumPy 1.4.0-py2.6 [link]
  4. Installing SciPy 0.7.1-py2.6 [link]
  5. Uninstalling any previous versions of the SPSS Python Integration Plug-in [go to the Applications/SPSSInc folder and look for the Uninstall_Python_Plug_in folder.  Run the app. inside.  Do the same for previous versions installed, if any.]
  6. Installing the SPSS Python Integration Plug-in for v.18.0.1 [link] {Select Operating System: Mac and Plugin Download: Python. Click Get & install}
  7. Restart SPSS/PASW 18.0.1.
I found a ton of insights on the SPSS Developer Central Forums.  If you have problems, I'd start with searches there.

Twitterversion:: Tips & Tricks on getting #PLS {Partial Least Squares} module to work in #SPSS #PASW v.18 for Mac running #SnowLeopard. @Prof_K