The Real Paul Jones

Accept no substitutes

Penguins mate across the Atlantic

Paul, · Categories: General

The French Linux distro, Mandrake, will buy the Brazilian Linux distro, Conectiva, says the trustworthy (usually) Register. Here is the press release from the Mandrake website.
Note: Both distros have been on ibiblio from their beginning and Mandrake has been a contributor (of $$$) to ibiblio in the past.
Slashdot was so excited that they posted the story twice!

Words of the Year 2004

Paul, · Categories: Alumni and other friends, Amusements, General

Just now getting the finalists and the winners of the Words of the Year 2004 from the American Dialect Society (Thanks Connie). The votes were taken on January 7, 2005 in Oakland, CA.

Word of the Year

  • red state, blue state, purple state, n., together, a representation of the American political map. 36
  • Nominated:

  • flip-flopper, n, a politician who changes political stances; a waffler. 11
  • mash-up, n., a blend of two songs or albums into a single cohesive musical work. 2
  • meet-up, n., a local special interest meeting organized through a national web site. 2
  • wardrobe malfunction, n., an unanticipated exposure of bodily parts. 19

Most Useful

  • WINNER: phish, v., to acquire passwords or other private information (of an individual, an account, a web site, etc.) via a digital ruse. Noun form: phishing. 47
  • backdoor draft, n., the filling of military jobs through reactivation of former troops or through forced enlistment extensions known as stop-loss orders. 16
  • blog- as a prefix or combinging form in making other words: blogosphere, blognoscenti, blogarrhea. 1
  • fetch, adj., cool or stylish, from the movie Mean Girls. 11

Most Creative

  • WINNER: pajamahadeen, n., bloggers who challenge and fact-check traditional media. 36/52
  • hillbilly armor, n., scavenged materials used by soldiers for improvised bullet-proofing and vehicle hardening, esp. in Iraq. 11
  • lawn mullet, n., a yard neatly mowed in front but unmowed in the back. 29/27
  • nerdvana, n., geeks really geeking out; collaborative geekiness. 6.5

Most Unnecessary

  • WINNER: carb-friendly, adj., low in carbohydrates. 38/50
  • -based as in reality-based, faith-based. 14
  • erototoxin, n., a (nonexistent) chemical released in the brain of a person looking at pornography. 17/26
  • stalkette, n., a female stalker. 10

Most Outrageous

  • WINNER: santorum, n., the frothy residue of lube and fecal matter which sometimes is the result of anal sex. 3
  • clone and kill, n., raising a crop of humans for parts. 6
  • douche chill, n., interjection used to break a sudden silence after a verbal faux pas. 9
  • Jesusland, n., the country which will be the rump US after the blue states have seceded and joined Canada. 13

Most Euphemistic

  • WINNER: badly sourced, adj., false. 50
  • angel, n., a soldier killed in action. 7
  • partner reduction, n., divorce or severing of a romantic relationship. 2
  • wardrobe malfunction, n., unanticipated exposure of bodily parts. 15

Most Likely To Succeed

  • WINNER: red, blue, and purple states, n., the American political map. 21/46
  • krunked, n., cool, crazy. 2
  • mash-up, n., a blend of two songs or albums into a single cohesive musical work. 23/22
  • meet-up, n., a local special interest meeting organized through a national web site. 16
  • orange revolution, n., the recent Ukrainian political crisis. 5

Least Likely To Succeed

  • WINNER: FLOHPA, n., collectively, the states of Florida, Ohio, and Pennsylvania, said to have been important in the 2004 American presidential election. From the postal codes for the three states: FL, OH, and PA. 41
  • holy toast, n., a grilled cheese with the image of the Virgin Mary, sold on eBay. 23
  • luanqibaozhao, n., Chinese for a complicated mess. 8
  • security mom, n., a female voter said to vote according to the protection of her family. 2

The unintentional Gates d’ ibiblio

Paul, · Categories: Alumni and other friends, Amusements, General

Not Bill Gates but more the Gates of Christo done on the cheap. The effort, struggle really, to rewire Manning Hall to conform to some standard which I do not completely understand has finally reached our office here at ibiblio. As a result, we are mostly working from home, the library or at secret places where I’d rather not be aware of (being the boss).
The aesthetic effect on the office is not to be ignored. It can’t be ignored. Here are a few quick shots for your viewing pleasure. If only the plastic were orange. But then the grey translucent goes better with our office color scheme.

Save the Orphaned Works

Paul, · Categories: Alumni and other friends, General, Information Commons

Larry Lessig writes to many of us and asks us to pass on his call to bring attention to works that are under copyright, but are out of print and whose owners cannot be found. eldred.cc gives the details and gives a call to action.

Lessig’s letter follows:

Sorry about the intrusion, but an important opportunity has come up for you to have a positive impact on the direction of copyright law and I wanted to let you know about it directly.

Thanks to some prodding by a couple of great US Senators, the copyright office is currently considering whether to recommend changes to copyright law that will make it easier and cheaper for you to use “orphaned works” — works that remain under copyright but whose “owner” can’t be found. As many of you have written me, this is a real problem that affects thousands of innovative people every year. But the copyright office still needs some convincing.

To convince them, we need your help. If you have a relevant story, or a perspective that might help the Copyright Office evaluate this issue, I would be grateful if you took just a few minutes to write an email telling them your story. The most valuable submissions will make clear the practical burden the existing system creates. (One of my favorite stories is about a copy-shop’s refusal to enlarge a 60 year old photo from an elementary school year book for a eulogy because the copyright owner couldn’t be found.) Describe instances where you wanted to use a work, but couldn’t find the owner to ask permission. Explain how that impacted your ability to create. Or pass this email on to someone who you know might have a useful story to add.

The Copyright Office is already overworked and understaffed, so I’m not asking that you stuff their inbox with demands for action, or anything like that. They are not Congress. They are not even the FCC. Their role here is as fact-finder, so “just the facts, ma’am.” (Oops, do I need permission to use that?)

Everything you need to do this is online at http://eldred.cc. We’ve explained exactly what the copyright office is asking for, how and where to submit your email, and provided some examples of stories we’ve heard from others about how their creativity has been stalled when they’ve tried to use orphan works. If you have questions, there’s a contact email there for people who can help you out.

In spite of my usual pessimism, I think we have a real opportunity here to move the law in a positive direction. Please help us “promote the Progress of Science” (and that text is in the public domain), by showing the Copyright Office where unnecessary regulation hampers progress.