Sunday, April 17, 2011

Roger Ebert's Voice, AdTech Recap, ADTECH And Game Treat

Because Roger Ebert's voice is now computer-aided and while AdTech was last week, there's a ton of video to share, it made sense to mate the two, together in this post. First off: Roger Ebert.

CNN reports that the famous movie critic - who with the late Gene Shalit created the "two-thumbs-up" signal for movie reviews (that's now applied to everything from one's health condition to a recap of good sex) - is using a computerized voice Ebert calls "Alex." At the TED 2011 Conference in Long Beach, California, in February, Ebert presented his digital aide, and said...

These are my words, but this is not my voice. This is Alex, the best computer voice I've been able to find, which comes as standard equipment on every Macintosh. For most of my life, I never gave a second thought to my ability to speak. It was like breathing. In those days, I was living in a fool's paradise. After surgeries for cancer took away my ability to speak, eat or drink, I was forced to enter this virtual world in which a computer does some of my living for me.

Well, didn't know my Mac has a computer voice, but that aside, it's great to learn that Ebert's able to express himself in a way that's as close to normal as possible, given his condition.

AdTech Recap: ADTECH

AdTech was held Monday through Wednesday of last week, and this blogger interviewed a number of corporate representatives at the digital media conference.  Overall, AdTech 2011 was a successful focus on social media, which it seems the vast majority of attendees are still trying to figure out how to use for what they do. 

What's great is the widespread interest in it, but what was missing (and I'll focus on more another time because it "hit" me as the problem) was how digital ad-selling and social media could mix better than at present.  But I digress. 

Ok, here's part one of my AdTech recap, and it starts with that other ADTECH that conference goers confused with the event name itself. The other ADTECH is a division of America Online, which now calls itself AOL.

In an interview with Lou Sevrine and Rich Bush, I learned about the other ADTECH, which is "an ad-serving product, the wholly owned subsidiary of AOL," as Sevrine said. "We were purchased by AOL in 2007."

AOL liked ADTECH so much, and the firm was already hosting all of AOL's online ads, they bought the company. What you do with ADTECH is, if you're a blogger, or have an ad to post, you set up an account with ADTECH to handle all of your campaigns. Here's Sevrine and Bush on video:

Game Treat At AdTech

Game Treat is a very cool web app that allows bloggers to add games to their pages. While that may seem counterproductive to some, it actually does (from experience with similar concepts) increase blog site stay-rate and reduce the overall bounce-rate.

Tal, from Game Treat, shows us how their gaming offerings can be accessed below, and you can visit the website with a click here: Game Treat, and here's Tal..

There's more to come from my AdTech recap. 

Oakland Rapper Alleged Sex Predator? Jesus Campos Murder A Hit?

A shocking and unfortunate story was relayed to this blogger by a source recently.

A very famous, well-known Oakland rapper is accused by two sources of being a sexual predator, who asks young women, in some cases underaged, if they need a ride in his car, then he "talks sex talk" to them, takes them to his home, where he proceeds to try and have sex with them - to allegedly rape them.

As bad as that story reads, it doesn't always go well for him.

The Oakland Rapper's last alleged victim was very talented at protecting herself, and is the daughter of the friend of my source who came forward with the story.

My source talked to the friend just two days ago. Her daughter, to protect herself from the Oakland Rapper who tried to rape her, was said to have hit him over the head with a fire hydrant, then tazed him, and finally kicked him in the private area.

The Oakland Rappers is also said to "hang out" at a media facility in downtown Oakland. It's there, that he's allegedly meets up with his young female victims. Some of them are underage, yet already involved in the sex trade. My source claims he pays them for sex; a regular routine for them.

Certain Oakland Police Officers are reportedly "already aware" of the Oakland Rapper's activities, but because none of the girls or women will come forward, no arrest can be made.  "No one snitches," said my source, "because they are afraid of him." 

Oakland Has A Problem

Oakland is reportedly one of the nations most active cities for sex trafficking, which is "thriving in plain sight," as the Youth Radio website described it. In 2003, the FBI said Oakland was a "high-intensity child-prostitution area."

Oakland Police Lieutenant Kevin Wiley told Oakland North "The marketing of sex — especially children — is basically replacing the drug market."

To this blogger, this kind of activity is just plain unbelievable.  But when a person seeks you out to help tell their story, after hearing about it, you know it's a problem.   The problem of sex trafficking is normally and sadly connected with Hip Hop culture,  so this alleged sex predator would fall in line with the overall climate of the problem in Oakland.

By this blog posts, my source wants the Oakland Rapper to know that he's being watched by the Oakland Community, and that people know about this alleged series of encounters.

Jesus Campos Murder A Hit?

Word coming to this blogger is that the murder of famed Oakland restaurant owner Jesus "Chuy" Campos was a hit, and not a murder based on a robbery attempt.

The reason for the alleged hit, my source believes, was to start a Black / Latino race war. And, sadly, some Latino gang members are reportedly looking at the murder of Mr. Campos that way.

To recap, Mr. Campos was killed while opening his popular Otaez restaurant on International Boulevard at somewhere around 5 AM Friday April 8th. Oakland Police are looking for two African - American men between the ages of 21 and 35, last seen in a gray 2000 Buick Regal four-door sedan that has tinted windows and 20-inch rims. (No license number has been provided as of this writing.)

Personally, this blogger doesn't know what would be gained by such an action as a "hit", but the source, who's been correct in the past and is enough of an insider to be more than credible, strongly stands by his claim.

Oakland City Officials should head off this by taking the necessary steps to make sure that view is not the prevailing one. Oakland can't be allowed to degenerate into a city hosting wars between black and Latino gangs.

Shifting Gears: Oakland Lakeshore Business District

A while back, I talked to Lakeshore Business Improvement District head Pam Drake about how the area's economic performance, and the ongoing parking issue, in this video:

Overall, there are more businesses, but the fear of getting a parking ticket still keeps some patrons away. Even with that, she says Lakeshore has "really picked up."

In case you're wondering, this video was made at Cana, the new eatery on Lake Park.

Stay tuned.