Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Is YouTube / Google Employment as fun as this Google Slide?

On November 11th 2009, I was invited to be one of several YouTube Partners at the YouTube Community Roundtable. The idea was for YouTube Partners who make original video content and are compensated by Google for the traffic those videos generate to meet the staff that helps us. It was a fantastic idea because much of our contact with YouTube is via email and messages on the site itself. We don't get to see the faces behind the names.

Well, until that meeting.

The event was one part meetup and another part tech support and the third part new product roll-out. We saw YouTube's 3D and High Definition initiatives as the new product end of the meeting. But what was cool was just access to the team. Finding out how others are using their channels and ideas they have to revenue generation and content development.

As I understood it this was the "West Coast" Roundtable Meeting; there was a meeting in New York as well. Our meeting turned into a "sharefest" where I quickly learned that many YouTubers were faced with the same problem: comment spammers and flamers.

"It's part of the territory", was the eventual conclusion all of us came to and that perhaps it was a badge of honor to sustain such attacks and keep on churning out content on a regular basis. We also learned how to make full use of all of YouTube's "channel branding" features and got to chime in on what changes we wanted to see in YouTube.

One of the changes we asked for was implemented almost immediately. The "Insight" features that gives traffic updates is now more detailed with respect to time frame. I still want to see more a real time traffic measurement system, but what they have is a great start.

Finally, we were made aware of some of YouTube's vital stats in a kind of "annual report" presentation. For example, YouTube has over 1 million uploads each day, but there are only about 2,500 people who are YouTube Partners who are paid for their efforts via traffic generation. Of the YouTube Partners, some make over six-figures per year and have as many as 40 million views per month.


And on the way out, I took my Flip Video Camera for a ride down the Google Slide.  Check out the video above to ride with me!

I encourage you to start vlogging and work to become a YouTube Parnter. If you have questions, don't hesitate to contact me.

Texas Tech's Mike Leach Fired; Cal's Jeff Tedford on hot seat

In the wake of Texas Tech's firing of Head Coach Mike Leach today, we have now-week-old Internet chatter about Cal's Jeff Tedford heating up again.

Cal's uphill battle can do without Leach

Mike Leach was fired for his treatment of Redshirt Sophomore Wide Receiver Adam James, the son of ESPN's College Football Analyst Craig James. Coach Leach twice confined the younger James to a dark, closed room he called a closet and Leach called a room in the wake of James' mild concussion.

Cal's Jeff Tedford had his star player, Running Back Jahvid best sidelined with a concussion toward the end of the season. To Tedford's credit, even with the pressure of several big games, including the Poinsettia Bowl, Cal's Head Coach never pressured his best running back to play for even a single down. In Cal's last game, Best remained in street clothes on the sidelines.

While online publications like Bleacher Report fan the idea that Coach Tedford's on "the hot seat", the reality is he's not, nor should he be. Cal's problems are schematic; Tedford defends his players and to my knowledge he has not, nor would he treat a player like Mike Leach is said, (and agrees) to have done.

Moreover, Texas Tech's real problem with Coach Leach is that he acted like he was bigger than the program. The letter released by Texas Tech President Gus Bailey on Leach's behavior tells much:

Dear Coach Leach,

As you know, we have been conducting an inquiry into allegations by a student athlete that your treatment of him, subsequent to his being diagnosed with a mild concussion, may have been injurious to his health and served no medical and/or educational purposes. Texas Tech takes these allegations very seriously. In addition to being unacceptable, if proven, these allegations constitute a breach of your employment contract.

So that we can carry out an inquiry that takes into account the safety of our student athletes and in addition, that is fair to the students, yourself, and the university, we have determined that you must abide by the following guidelines from this day forward:

1. All practices and other team meetings will be monitored by the athletic director or his representative. (Crossed out with the initials GB beside it.)

2. Any player claiming an injury will be examined by a physician and cleared in writing prior to practicing or playing. Decisions regarding whether an injury warrants suspension from practice and/or play will be determined by a physician without pressure from you or your staff.

3. You must recognize that the players you are working with are student athletes and that you have an obligation to treat them with respect and further to conduct yourself in a manner consistent with your position as an instructor of students.

4. You must at all times assure the fair and responsible treatment of student athletes in relation to their health, welfare, and discipline, and if you are not doing so, you must immediately cease any actions not in compliance with this provision of your contract.

5. There will be no retaliation against any student who has suffered an injury.

Again, these allegations are serious, and should they be substantiated will result in disciplinary action ranging from public or private reprimand, monetary fines or adjustments in compensation, adjustments in the term of this contract, up to termination.


Guy Bailey


Given this letter, and the report that Leach didn't sign it, I can't see Mike Leach being seriously considered for even an assistant's job at Cal Berkeley. Not to say it wouldn't happen, but I can't see it, nor can I see a logical reason for it. The Airraid Passing Concept is not complicated and Cal's problems lean more to passing philosophy rather than just scheme.

Still, all of this will not stop some bloggers from trying to throw Jeff Tedford under the bus, forgetting that he did build this program to where it is today: annually in bowl contention. I still believe Cal can be a National Champion in NCAA Football, but we don't have to sell our soul to get one.


Bohemian Grove wins timber battle; Vanity Fair's Shoumatoff looses

Remember this video on Vanity Fair's Alex Shoumatoff and The Bohemian Club?

Well, it's all over folks! The Bohemian Club won.

Today, The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection approved the Bohemian Club's application for what is called a "Non-Industrial Timber Management Plan".

Here's what I wrote about the story in my blog on April 6, 2009:

If you remember, Alex Shoumatoff set out last year to help his Harvard roommate Jock Hooper do a smear job on the Bohemian Club, which is a kind of resort home for many San Francisco luminaries, and not all of them male. Hooper was someone described as a "disgruntled former member" of the exclusive gentlemen's club that is favored by the business elite, former presidents, international leaders, and men who enjoy music, wine and song, and ok, I know at least two women who've recently been there (with their boyfriends). The club's lightened up a lot over the years.

Alex Shoumatoff
Anyway, Hooper quit the club when it wouldn't approve his forest management plan (read: major ego) and then became the leading critic of the club's plans to preserve and protect old growth redwood trees on its property. He then got Alex and Vanity Fair to do some dirty work for him, or try to.

This story started last year when Shoumatoff managed to sneak in to the Bohemian Grove during the annual event the club holds in July. But his wandering, covered in detail in his story, only lasted 40 minutes before he was arrested by security guards and a part-time service employee at the famed Grove who quickly spotted that the kind of sloppy, preppy Topsider-wearing editor was not one of their own.

In VF, Alex writes that he was trying to fit in with that style of dress, but folks I talked to say he wasn't hard to miss: he was dressed like a caddy wearing a Pebble Beach pullover and apparently asked off-beat questions that proved to be his downfall. Most of which he mentions in his article.

He was quickly captured cowering behind a bush. Shoumatoff was then arrested by the Sonoma County Sherriff's Department, spent the night in county jail, and forced to pay a fine for trespassing.

Thankfully, that drama is behind everyone, even Shoumatoff , I would think. The objective of the Club has been to guard against overgrowth of trees which could cause forest fires and protects the old-growth Redwoods. “For the past several years we have worked with a variety of environmental agencies, professional foresters and Cal-Fire to craft a plan that protects the majestic old growth trees on our property, preserves important wildlife habitat and allows us to lower the very real risk of a catastrophic fire,” said Emmett MacCorkle, President of the Bohemian Club.

"We appreciate the decision made by Cal-Fire to approve this plan,"MacCorkle continued. "For more than a century, the Bohemian Club has been working to restore this forest and protect it for future generations. This plan will allow us to continue that effort."

The Club reports that the new plan will result in the elimination of more than 254,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions over its life time. You can visit its website for more information.

Mike Leach fired by Texas Tech - update, details, and poll

Suspended Texas Tech Head Coach Mike Leach was fired by Texas Tech today after Redshirt Sophomore Wide Receiver Adam James, the son of ESPN College Football Analyst Craig James, said that Leach twice ordered him to remain in a dark place that James described as a closet and Coach Leach called a room. But Mike Leach didn't see what was wrong with what he did. Meanwhile, scores of Mike Leach supporters have come out in support of the legendary football mind.

Dennis Dodd of has published a number of emails in support of Coach Leach and attacking Adam James. Here's one example from Inside Receivers Coach Lincoln Riley:

"He [James] complained to me that we were not doing our jobs as coaches and that his effort was just fine ... It's just another example of Adam thinking that he knows more about coaching than people who have been coaching their entire lives. I have no doubt that anger from this led to where we are today ... and is his way of trying to "get back" at us coaches."

Mike Leach's actions against Adam James led to a suspension on Monday, meaning he would not be able to coach The Red Raiders in The Alamo Bowl, January 2nd. To get around the order, Coach Leach filed a Temporary Restraining Order, that, if upheld by a judge in a Lubbock, Texas courtroom. According to ESPN, Texas Tech's general counsel Pat Campbell gave Leach's lawyer Ted Liggett the letter of firing just minutes before the two were to appear in the Lubbock courtroom. Leach's reaction?

Liggett said, "Well, he's not thrilled." Liggett said he planned to file a lawsuit on Leach's behalf against the school "soon."

Reportedly, Leach contract of $12.7 million is such that he would have been able to collect on a buyout of $1.6 million had he been fired on Thursday and not Wednesday. The nest step is an arbitration hearing for Leach to get his promised $800,000 bonus. Mike Leach is to receive a $400,000 annual severance over the next four years.

The feelings on this run both for Coach Leach and against, as some of his players have expressed support for Adam James in the wake of the firing. But the problem extends beyond Adam James and Craig James, and to the recruits that were considering Texas Tech and even more important, Texas Tech Alumni.

From reading the live chat at the number of people for Leach is almost 60 percent. But those upset are people who follow the team and are concerned with maintaining its performance in the wake of Leach's ouster. For example:

Comment From sab]
if there is more to this i can't wait to hear it. this is nothing more than myers getting even for having his pants pulled down in front of everyone last year during contract negotiations. the biggest thing is that tech finally made it to the status of being a big time program and didn't know how to handle the problems that can arise from that. i still contend that if it was some kid whose father didn't work for espn this would have been a non-story. but i have a feeling james threatened to say something if he didn't get his way. he says he never hovered around the football program BULL. he all but said that he did during broadcast of the games.

The commenter is referring to last February's bruising contract negotiations between Texas Tech and Mike Leach. At that time, Texas Tech offered Leach a $12.7 million contract that he at first rejected, then signed later in 2009. But it appeared that Mike Leach had become bigger than Texas Tech, and at that point, a once family-like relationship begin to get icy. It didn't help that Coach Leach referred to some of the players as having "Fat little girlfriends" after their loss to Texas A&M in October:

What's clear is that this ice that's now fully formed will only melt under the hot light of a large lawsuit. Just how far the lawsuit will extend is anyone's guess. Mike Leach could and reportedly feels that his coaching methods have been painted in a way as to smear him. Indeed, reports are that a video showing the actual place where Adam James was told to remain will be shown and that the venue was a media workroom. Whatever the specifics, this is going to get uglier before it gets better.

What do you think? Take my poll:

Health for the holidays: Hangover cures - a 7-step medical review

Hangovers are ugly beasts - if you don't believe me, re-watch that insta-Hollywood-classic, The Hangover for a brutal refresher course (keeping mind that chemical results, like so many things in Hollywood, were artificially augmented). Bertie Wooster, in The Mating Season, described the more vintage experience: "I am told by those who know that there are six varieties of hangover - the Broken Compass, the Sewing Machine, the Comet, the Atomic, the Cement Mixer and the Gremlin Boogie, and his manner suggested that he had got them all."

Ooh, my aching head...

Ooh, my aching head...

New Year's Eve festivities loom, with New Year's DAY inevitably to follow. Which means you may be asking yourself - can you actually cure or prevent a hangover? Medically, that is? Other than with that vilest (but proven most effective) of interventions (gasp) teetotaling?

Here are some proposed hangover treatments, the science behind whether they work or not, and some tips on keeping yourself safe this New Year's Eve.

1) Does it matter which alcohol you drink? The data is, well, murky, on this question. While there are many beliefs and anecdotes about which drinks are more likely to cause a hangover (the cloudier a drink is, the more it causes a hangover, is one theory), the science just hasn't kept up. Research DOES show that, in general, the darker the drink (as in red wine, port, etc.), the more likely it is to cause migraines in those people susceptible to them. But, keep in mind, for many migraineurs, any alcohol at all can induce a splitting headache (which may be mistaken for a hangover). Finally, many people avoid certain drink combinations, purely for fear of what the drink might taste like on its way back up (shudder).

2) Does it help to "pre-treat" a hangover? By "pre-treat," we're talking about taking a medicine before you start drinking (such as an aspirin) in the hopes that it will fend off hangover symptoms before they begin. In general, the answer, again, is no, although there is a tiny bit more science to support that claim. You should be aware that, in particular, taking acetaminophen (the active ingredient in, for example, Tylenol) before OR after a drinking bout can actually be very tough on your liver. In fact, several case reports have documented people who accidentally died while taking relatively low doses of acetaminophen in the setting of large amounts of alcohol (especially chronic alcohol ingestion). So if you want to treat that pounding headache on New Year's Day, clearly the safest thing (if you can't turn back time and refuse your third martini) is a cold compress and a dark room. Personally, if you need to take a medicine, I'd recommend taking good old aspirin instead of acetaminophen (as long as aspirin is not contraindicated for you). Sure, aspirin can irritate your stomach, but in its most brutal terms (which is how we doctors tend to think), it's a heck of a lot easier to treat a GI bleed, than it is to get a new liver.

3) How many drinks does it take to cause a hangover? Keeping in mind the uncertainties about which drinks cause more hangover symptoms (see #1, above), there are some general numbers thrown around by researchers, based on gender. Physiologic gender differences exist when it comes to alcohol metabolism. These metabolic differences exaggerate existing differences due to larger/smaller body mass. When it comes to alcohol, drinking is an area where the girls actually should never try to keep up with the boys. Additionally, women are also much more likely (many times over) to get migraines, which can be precipitated by alcohol of all types, complicating the incidence of reported hangover symptoms. Further, a binge drinker is defined differently for men and women. For women, a binge drinker is anyone drinking 4 or more drinks on one occasion, and 5-6 or more for a man. However, at least one study shows that these numbers, while useful, are (as you might expect) variable for individuals - the larger the number picked, the greater the likelihood of long-term alcohol problems. For health benefits, recommendations are that women drink no more than 0-2 drinks a day (no more than 7 total per week), and men no more than 2 a day, but even staying within those numbers, some people will, over the long-term, develop drinking problems. On the opposite end of the spectrum, you may be wondering why your buddy never seems to get a hangover, no matter how much he/she drinks. It's annoying, isn't it? But is it real? Studies have shown that approximately 20-30% of the population is resistant to hangover. And paradoxically, the people resistant to hangover may actually also be more resistant to developing drinking problems. Hangover symptoms may be a form of short-term alcohol withdrawal (even in people who don't drink consistently). Withdrawal symptoms typically induce cravings, which lead to addictions (you get the idea...see "hair of the dog," below). So experiencing hangovers (for ANY small or large number of drinks) can be a warning sign to take seriously.

4) Can you do anything while drinking to reduce future hangover symptoms? A rigorous look at hangover treatments of all kinds in the British Medical Journal in 2005 found that, of many proposed hangover-prevention treatments, including "propranolol, tropisetron, tolfenamic acid, fructose or glucose, and the dietary supplements Borago officinalis (borage),Cynara scolymus (artichoke), Opuntia ficus-indica (prickly pear), and a yeast based preparation." The results? Nada. Nothing worked, with the authors concluding that "The most effective way to avoid the symptoms of
alcohol induced hangover is to practise abstinence or moderation." All that being said, more recent research shows two area of promise. One study shows that asparagus may ameliorate hangover symptoms - especially the younger shoots and leaves (but you do get, however, asparagus pee as a normal side-effect). Second (and more promising) are physiologic studies of the effects of alcohol which indicate a massive disruption of many your body's mediators, including your ADH (anti-diuretic hormone) function. In other words, when you drink alcohol, your hydration hormone gets screwed. Kind of like a Greek myth, you're drinking and drinking but your body is getting thirstier and thirstier. That's probably the reason why re-hydrating a person with fluids has been a mainstay of improving hangover symptoms (just check out New Year's Day ERs and count the number of IV poles). Dehydration also makes nausea much worse - but if you're hangover puking, how can you rehydrate? One suggested approach is to, the night before, drink a large glass of something non-alcoholic for every alcoholic beverage you drink. While the rigorous data is not yet in, this approach definitely at least slows down the rate of alcohol consumption, and some swear by its effectiveness at preventing hangover symptoms the next day, even for the same number of alcoholic drinks ingested. Finally, some researchers indicate taking B6 may help prevent hangover symptoms, but rigorous studies are lacking.

5)What about taking a little "hair of the dog"? Drinking alcohol the next morning to alleviate hangover symptoms ("the hair of the dog that bit you"), is more and more recognized as a marker of alcohol problems, rather than an effective "cure" for hangover symptoms. Studies also show that, while gross tests of psychomotor function are within normal limits during a hangover, judgment can be impaired (and this study also). The "hair of the dog" is definitely going to impair those judgments more, as well as possibly prolonging future alcohol withdrawal symptoms into the next day.

6) Doesn't a hangover teach you a lesson? Um, sorry, but the data are kind of scary in this regard. People who drink heavily, including college students, are the MOST likely to underestimate both the number of drinks it takes to impair their judgment AND to significantly underestimate the actual bad outcomes they have personally experienced while impaired. These bad outcomes run the gamut of everything from severe hangovers to unintended higher-risk sexual encounters. The more you drink, the less likely you are to comprehend, much less learn from, the impact of your drinking. As an explicit example, one case report noted an unusual cause of a patient's reported hangover headache - a "retained knife blade" found lodged inside the brain tissue.

7) Dodging death - how do I tip the odds in my favor? First, studies show that binge drinking is a significant predictor of future alcohol problems. But many people may not know that it's also a predictor of death. When you think about it, that's not a surprise - when you're drunk, you're more likely to stumble into traffic, get behind a wheel, or wander down the wrong alley. More and more studies also show the effect of impaired judgment on unsafe behaviors, like regretted sexual choices. When you head out to party, get your personal dodging death packet ready. Pack some condoms, a Plan B pack of pills (yes guys, even you - studies show men are more likely to report condom breakage and reduce unwanted pregnancies if they have a set of Plan B pills on hand). Also make sure you've got your travel plans safely arranged. Taxi numbers, transit cards, spare cash - make sure you're ready to avoid getting behind a wheel (or piling in a car with an impaired driver behind a wheel). Finally be especially careful to NOT mix and match your ingestions. Make a vow to yourself before the evening begins - no mixing substances. Even the most experienced user can die from an unholy cocktail, taken while your judgment is impaired. Finally, never forget that a person can die from an alcohol overdose. Read these Doc Gurley tips on managing a friend who's overdone it. It's also extremely important to remember that "hangover" can be a mistaken diagnosis - a sign of severe medical problems, including liver damage and infections. If anything about your symptoms seems abnormal or severe, seek medical help.

New Year's is a time to celebrate new beginnings. Be safe out there, folks.

What do you think? ARE there any secret hangover "cures"? Share in the comments section and keep up on the latest health issues in the news, and healthcare reform insanity/hilarity by signing up for a Doc Gurley RSS feed with the tiny orange button at the top. Look for future weekly Dodging Death articles here at Doc Gurley - discover the weird, the wacky and the everyday symptoms you want to know about, as well as practical expert tips on staying well. Do you want to be on the inside, fast track of news and tips? Get on the Twitter bandwagon and follow Doc Gurley! Also check out Doc Gurley's joyhabit and iwellth twitter feeds - and get topic-specific fun, effective, affordable tips on how to nurture your joy and grow your wellth this coming year.

Got a thingie on your doohickey? Or are you pondering how to tell your doctor he's a jerk? Send your burning healthcare questions to Doc Gurley by emailing docgurleyatgmaildotcom. Doc Gurley cannot answer every question, and she cannot practice medicine through a keyboard (not even with her stethoscope pressed firmly against the monitor) but be assured - your questions will be kept strictly confidential and identifying traits are changed.

Texas Tech fires Mike Leach; Twitter explodes with responses

Twitter explodes with responses after Texas Tech fires Mike Leach.

Texas Tech fires Mike Leach

Texas Tech fired Head Coach Mike Leach after a stunning turn of events that started with Redshirt Sophomore Wide Receiver Adam James complaint of Coach Leach' treatment in the wake of James mild concussion. ESPN reports that Texas Tech representatives handed Leach's lawyer Ted Liggett a letter of termination "with cause effective immediately".

This happened as Coach Leach and Ted Liggett were to appear in court today in a court in Lubbock, Texas to determine if Coach Leach application for a Temporary Restraining Order would be granted such that he could coach his team in the Alamo Bowl in San Antonio, January 2nd.

Adam James contends that Coach Leach twice ordered him confined to "small, dark places" during practice after James was diagnosed with a concussion. James's father is ESPN College Football Analyst and NCAA Football Star Craig James.

ESPN's Mark Schlereth tweeted the same thoughts I had:

Mike Leach fired at TT! Wow that was quick.
27 minutes ago from UberTwitter

(I think I'll retweet that one.)

Already, Mike Leach is the fourth highest Trending Topic on Twitter as of this writing. The tweets are worth noting:

NWAAlex Mike leach's firing makes three coaches who were rumored to replace houston nutt at arkansas.
half a minute ago from txt

DesNewsEborn With Leach getting canned today, college FB coaches everywhere are taking inventory of their disciplinary methods
half a minute ago from web

Frinklin RT @VeryFakeAlDavis: I hope Leach, Billy Beane, and Shane Battier chip in for a van and a talking dog and start solving mysteries
half a minute ago from web

MarissaCisneros F*CK TEXAS TECH!!! Leach deserves better!
half a minute ago from txt

topgun530 ha! RT@KellisRobinett: Never thought I'd see the day that Texas Tech made Mike Leach walk the plank. #surprisingnews

El_Williams @JaySkillz A WR had a concussion and Leach put him in a dark closet 2 out of 3 days. Leach says a room, player says a closet.
half a minute ago from web

And 316 more tweets were issued in the minute-or-so that I installed the above tweets.

As for me, I don't know what to think because it happened so fast. First, Mike Leach is an innovator of the football passing game, who's Airraid system built the Texas Tech program. He's a legend. But mistreating players is a no-no and fortunately greater concern for the condition of the athlete is shown in 2009 than even in 1999. There's more to this story, but Coach Leach at least should not have punished Adam James in the way he did.

Stay tuned.

Oakland Parking Enforcement Reform Initiative - a follow-up

It's good that Oaklanders are responding to the Oakland Parking Enforcement Reform Initiative, but it's not in any way my idea. There are aspects of the proposal I do not agree with, but that's not my role as I elected to participate in the process.

My desire is to see a policy-formation process started that leads to some meaningful change in our parking law and enforcement system. That process is starting.   It's easy to argue.  Anyone can do it and it takes little thought.  It takes less energy to destroy than to create. But it take a lot of thought and patience to work to bring disparate ideas of different people together.  

There are more people out there who want change than those who don't. And I have to laugh at the one's who say "I follow the laws.." because that's not the point. They really tend to be selfish and refuse to try and think beyond themselves.

This just in: it's not about you.

It's about protecting Oaklanders who have little of means against a system, the City of Oakland, that's just trying to raise money to make payroll. The Oakland Parking Problem is such that we have people who have four-figure and five-figure salaries who are forced via the fines process to pay to save the six-figure-salary jobs in the City of Oakland.

That's what this is really all about.  Otherwise, why not have a 15-percent across the board salary cut?  That would really make a difference, and everyone knows it.  Cut the City of Oakland salaries to reflect decreased property tax revenue.  Then, when property tax  revenue goes up, we can increase the City of Oakland salaries back to where they were.

We're in a very bad economy with what I predict will be a double-dip recession mid-year. We're not producing enough jobs for the people who need them. Oakland has a 17 percent unemployment rate.  To suddenly turn-up the pressure on car driving Oaklanders in the middle of this just to make payroll is abusing the government against the very people it's supposed to serve.

Enough is enough.

So there's a large group of good people - and getting larger - that want change.  I will not for a second tolerate massively sick people contacting me and being nasty because they have nothing better to do. Yeah, it does come with the territory, but I find in the 21st Century, one has to reestablish their territorial bounds.  That's what I'm doing.

(See, in the old media days, people were more respectful and less angry.  The letters-to-the-editor that were published were logical and to the point.  Crackpot letters were tossed into the trash can.  Now, I love New Media, but this idea of free-expression tends to allow nutcase behavior.)  

Here's my bottom-line; we put the idea of many out there to change it. If a person's got a problem with the idea, then share it, but don't attribute it to me. Get involved in changing this. Those few who see me in public and don't say anything to me (and I don't know what they look like), then try to bug me in a really sicko fashion online, are really not good people and have certain moral problems.  Don't be that person.

A good person can disagree and maintain composure in person, not via text message; by contrast, the people I'm referring to are really sick and express themselves only online and for all I know just want to do harm to me for being a black guy who has a platform.


I'm happy to help people get out the word about an issue, and talk about it. The bottom line is Oakland needs to change in this area, and it will. Sooner, not later.

Happy New Year!

Charlie Sheen update - Brooke Mueller Sheen wants Charlie back

The latest Charlie Sheen update has Brooke Mueller Sheen working to save her marriage to the Two and A Half Men star, and getting a lawyer to protect against the possible charge of making a false police report.

To recap, last Charlie Sheen and Brooke Mueller Sheen had a Christmas morning argument, reportedly over his singing a song to his daughter that he had by another woman. Allegedly, according to RadarOnline and, Brooke Mueller Sheen expressed discomfort with that, which led to an argument. Charlie Sheen was arrested by Aspen, Colorado Police on two felony counts of domestic violence, one misdemeanor count, and a misdemeanor count of "criminal mischief".

In the days after, Brooke Mueller Sheen gave two different stories of what happened, one on the 911 call, and the other to police when they arrived. But the basics are that Aspen Police are said to have found marks on her neck indicating that she was grabbed, which is consistent with her statement that Charlie Sheen was chocking her.

Brooke Mueller Sheen also said Charlie Sheen pulled a knife on her. Aspen Police found a knife in a bag owned by Charlie Sheen that was in the "open" position that Christmas morning. After the discovery of the knife, police arrested Charlie Sheen.

When Aspen Police returned to talk to Brooke Mueller Sheen on Saturday, she refused them. Now, according to TMZ, she has hired O.J.Simpsom's long-time lawyer Yale Galanter to represent her. Yale Galanter will file papers in Aspen court to gain permission for Brooke Mueller Sheen to have contact with Charlie Sheen to save their marriage.

Reportedly, Brooke Muller Sheen didn't want Charlie Sheen to be arrested. At the time of the arrest, both had alcohol in their system, with Brooke Mueller said to have been legally drunk.

Stay tuned.

Dave Brubeck, Grace Bumbry, Mel Brooks, De Niro, and Springsteen at Kennedy Center

Wow, what a show! Dave Brubeck, Grace Bumbry, Mel Brooks, Robert De Niro, and Bruce Springsteen were recipients of the Kennedy Center Honor for their contributions to American Culture. But what is really cool about having a President Obama, who gets mainstream American Culture, is that all of these great people and more have been honored while they're still alive.

Now, I'm referring to the Presidential Medal of Honor Award recipients in 2009 at the White House. It was awesome to see Stevie Wonder and Sidney Poitier honored in such a way, just as it was amazing to see Dave Brubeck get the stage he so rightfully deserves.

In an event hosted by Caroline Kennedy, Brubeck was celebrated by Herbie Hancock, who said Dave Brubeck was his musical inspiration. Robert De Niro was feted by 2007 Kennedy Center Award Winner Martin Scorsese. And Frank Langella and Martin Short sang to Mel Brooks, while tributes were given by Matthew Morrison, Harry Connick, Jr, Jack Black, Richard Kind, Jane Krakowski, Shuler Hensley, , and Matthew Broderick.

That's what you get when you have a President who know who Lady Gaga is.

The YouTube, TotLoL story is a cautionary tale for news sites

As a YouTube Partner, I was interested in today's TechCrunch article about how the company TOTLOL's entire business model was harmed by a change in YouTube's "Terms of Service" rules, such that it had to shut down operations. I'm going to simplify the lingo for consumption, and you can read the more lingo-based version of the story at TechCrunch.


TOTLOL's is a community website that allows you to see videos for kids. It uses a YouTube website building system called a YouTube API, or "Application Programming Interface". The cool aspect of TOTLOL was that one could pick out videos from YouTube to watch that were kid-friendly, which is at times hard to do on YouTube.

The problem as I get it from reading Erick Schonfeld's work at TechCrunch, is that YouTube and Google realized that TOTLOL was making ad money from using its own advertisers and not those with YouTube and Google. So TOTLOL claims that YouTube and Google changed their "Terms of Service" rules to prevent that, thus throwing TOTLOL out of business.

As a YouTube Partner, I know YouTube likes the development of original video content and rewards that. I can say their program is awesome, taking nothing away from anyone else's and just sharing my experience with the YouTube Partner Program.

But this story is different because we're talking about TOTLOL making money off the videos created by others like, say, Cullens ABCs, who specialize in making kids videos and like me is a YouTube Partner. (We know each other). I think YouTube is trying to protect content partners like us in this case.

But in doing so, YouTube and Google may have hit a conflict that would harm use of their API by news sites. Let's say or the NY Times created a website like TOTLOL and sold its own ads. Both would run against the "Terms of Service" set up by YouTube and Google. Now to be clear, we're not talking about a video player, ok?

 So if you don't technically get the difference, a video player is not what TOTLOL is. It's like taking YouTube and remaking it for specialized use. TOTLOL is not a video player slapped on a blog site.  Plus TOTLOL is not making its own videos, which is the issue.

OK? More complicated.

Back to my point. As a YouTube Partner, I think as long as any site like TOTLOL or or the NY Times is causing existing videos to gain views and is using a YouTube API in a creative way, they should be able to use their own ads. YouTube and Google should encourage some kind of ad mixing system, rather than the "it's my sandbox" take they seem to be using.

Doing so would help news website offer more compelling pages with videos. What is interesting to me is that it was TOTLOL that created this problem and not a big news site.

Stay tuned.