Archive for June, 2006

Greensborator Ed Cone writes of the Net Neutrality debate for CIO Insight

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Fred has been updating the growing list of sponsors for BarCampRDU (July 22 and with a waiting list). Helpful and giving group include:

* Red Hat – Red Hat is providing the BarCampRDU venue.
* 6th Sense Analytics – 6th Sense Analytics will sponsor the BarCampRDU T-shirts.
* The Aurora Funds – The Aurora Funds will sponsor breakfast, snacks and materials
* rPath – rPath will sponsor the lunch session at BarCampRDU.
* Council for Entrepreneurial Development – CEDNC is helping to sponsor our pre-BarCamp activities.
* Blogads – Blogads is helping to sponsor our pre-BarCamp activities.
* Ibiblio.org – Technical Sponsor
* Pragmatic Programmers – The Pragmatic Programmers are donating their excellent books to be given away at BarCampRDU.
* Manning Publications – Manning Publications has kindly donated books to be given away at BarCampRDU

And more to come. Thanks to all these great folks for supporting the RDU community and to Fred for doing a bang up job of organizing.

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James Boyle is writing in the Financial Times about the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) plans to extend copyright into webcasting by creating a new right to “protect” material that has been put on the net. Boyle calls the tactic “Constitutional circumvention” in his article in the same name.

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Kirk Ross has started a journal about the Cape Fear Basin called the Cape Fear Mercury. Just in time too, Kirk is going a great job on the season’s first hurricane/tropical storm/depression.

Kirk’s Exile on Jones Street blog (also new) surveys the governance and policy being made by State Government.

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I am nerdier than 97% of all people. Are you nerdier? Click here to find out!

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New Yorker is carrying a long and, as one might expect from New Yorker, complex and detailed article about Stephen Joyce, grandson of James, and his war with scholars. Copyright extension has aided him in his battle against scholarship, but also his battle for his family’s privacy as well as for their profits. On the side of the scholars: Larry Lessig. Lessig’s blog is silent on the topic at the moment. But entries from February 2004 and earlier (buried in comments) show that Larry’s been miffed by Stephen for some years now.

Also on BoingBoing, where I was alerted to the New Yorker article.

UPDATE: Lessig’s blog now has a post on Schloss v Joyce.

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Getting the Berkman Center vibe from Jonathan Zittrain. Starting from privacy as he talks about “Open Information: Redaction, Restriction, and Removal.” How DRM infects your computer and reports back etc citing the Sony Rootkit. Funny citing of some of the titles “protected”/infecting your computer including “Healthy in Paranoid Times” bu Our Lady Peace and Van Zant’s “Get Right with the Man.” iPod accessories market is $1 Billion per year! the new British warship comes iPod docks through out. Now on to YouTube as non-institutional contributary work including podcasts. Strong identity projected in the materials. When will things be pulled back? Or under what circumstances would you justify removing materials? 1) national security 2) privacy 3) copyright 4) fairness – jury taint/group insult/defamation 5) repudiation OR source 1) author 2) government 3) third party. — losing track here as JZ is very amusing..
Core Purpose of libraries. Other CPs Cargill to improve the standard of living around the world. Other amusing CPs. Now facebook and privacy. Now facial recognition and Riya. Are ranking systems like eBay and Amazon or the Korean CyWorld invasive or is it a good thing (aka Nock)?
Benefits of reputation systems??

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Don Waters convening and describing OAI protocol for metadata harvesting and pointing out the paupacity of Dublin Core for this use.

Tony Hey of Microsoft. Carl Lagose of Cornell. Herbert von de Sompel. Cliff Lynch.

Tony has slides. He says that Microsoft is commited to supporting scientists and engineers via open standards. He ran the equiv of NDIIPP in UK. e-Science (aka data centered science) is the future. Microsoft has to live in the world of open source. by e-Science he means not so much data centered as dataprocessing/IT driven. Contoso virtual science library looks like Amazon for scientists with some Microsoft icons on it. (slide of Bill Gates). e-Science Mash-ups? Interoperability of repositories. Ginsparg(arXiv)/Lipman(NLM)/Harnad (eprints) cited.

Herbert has slides too. He’s at Los Alamos these days. digital objects and repositories and their value chains. Need richer cross-repository services such as discovery — must have digiobject representation and semantics. Scholarly communication workflow for say an overlay journal by recombining and adding value. Too many datamodels and service that do not interoperate.

Carl on the digital objects, data models and surrogates. unbaked says Carl but here goes. He’s presenting findings from the Pathways Project which comes from Herbert and Carl and others. Pathways he says sits above dspace, fedora, eprints, etc.
repository-centric indentifier paradigm (see J Kunze and others).

Cliff now moderates ?s. But he has his own comments first. how far we’ve come with metadata harvesting protocol but it has limits as it doesn’t really get you any objects, says CL. dealing with very messy complex objects to the point that metadata and object are confused and conflicted. basically trees with decorations on them — how to decorate the trees. pretty simplified way of looking at complex problems. How far should harvest be pushed toward search. http://msc.mellon.org/Meetings/Interop/ for notes from the April meeting. if i had it all to do again, i wouldn’t use ‘surrogate’ but ‘representations’ says CL.

Many of the questioners recall the failed attempts of the 80s and 90s to do effective data harvesting etc. Still no working models is charged. I too complained to Kunze and to CL at OAI presentations that it was not ready for adoption outside the research community. In some ways it’s like watching Wiley Coyote opening his latest Acme box with the product that will help him finally catch the Roadrunner. This time we’ll be sure to catch him! Rich interoperability is done well within constricted domains but not so well across domains. like not at all.

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The difficulty of automatic extraction of named entities from mid-19th century American newspapers discussed in the first paper from Project Perseus.
Futures include how to interate user corrections etc. (wikipedia-like additions as an adjunct/correction to autogeneration)

?s How to deal with new names particularly in modern and expanding universes.
Machine learning systems vs rule writing. The Perseus folks are using rule writing, but machine learning is getting better and PP will prolly use one of the Open Source versions.
Have news correspondents’ use of pseudonyms caused problems and/or have they been identified? No.
Information network overlays using RDF and Fedora could be very interesting.

Learning to Deduplicate. from two Brazilian universities. Use of fitness functions discussed as a way to deduplicate.

Why people with common names need ClaimId! Lots of looking at the ACM Digital Library to notice multiple entities for a single author and also listings of common names (especially but from from exclusively Asian names — Jeff Ullman is a recurring example). ClaimId isn’t mentioned but it would help greatly. All of this work is highly mathematical and doesn’t involve humans — hmmmm.

“Also by the Same Author” UK-based project to move to the semantic web called Advanced Knowledge Technology. how to interate Citeseer metadata with ontology. Disambiguation amongst 3000 plus citations. Observation people cite their own work so if they cite an author with a similar name then they asre likely the same person (98% of the time). So you can use that to get at a bunch of varieties of names that way. So self-citation is greatly helpful in increasing precision. Why would it ever fail, the 2 – 8%? Many many co-authored papers are the biggest problem especially if the co-authors are very diverse and the work is “not so coherent as to subject matter.”

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Bye Dr Fun
Peeps, spam, microbes, chickens and more will be missed. Dr Fun’s creator and perpetrator, Dave Farley wrote last night to say that he had completed 10 years of the single panel comic and that he was done. I’ve loved Dr Fun of the 13 years it took Dave to get the 10 years done. I’ve always been delightfully surprised and amazed. There are stories behind the panels of course and having known Dave for over a decade I can understand his frustrations as well as his triumphs. All of Dr Fun will be still available on ibiblio.org forever or longer.
Dave is really a creative and weird (in the best sense) guy. I’ve never met him even though we’ve worked together since 1993. I’m looking forward to seeing what he’s up to next.

Note: Dr Fun is now on Slashdot.

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Reminding myself (and whoever finds this) that Kathy Sierra of “Creating Passionate Users” has a great article on the differences between Innocation and Progress, Openness and Closedness called “Mosh Pit as Innovation Model”.

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Intros by Cathy Marshall of Microsoft

Dan Clancy – Engineering director at Google Books
David Ferrario – NY Public Library (a Google 5 site)
Dan Greenstein – California Digital Library
Cliff Lynch – moderator; dir of CNI

Dan Clancy starts with an overview of Google Books. only 15% of the books are in print, but how to deal with the 85% that are out of print. The 15% is fine by the publisher since they hope to sell from that 15%. G5 = Harvard, Stanford, Oxford, Michigan and NY Public. Everything — not just that that is “valuable.” Sample pages (from publisher); snippet (Google claims fair use); full text (generally public domain). “Scanning is the easy part.”

David F – about NY Public’s involvement in G5. Non-exclusive agreement to do comprehensive scanning of public domain materials only.

David Greenstein – about Open Content Alliance (note UNC is a member both the Libraries and the School of Information and Library Science). A bit about the formats that come with OCA including JPEG2000 and dejaVu files. Funding is different from Google that is smaller and more diverse and non-profit. More complex entity whose members embrace the “qualities of open.” All scanning of public domain works. 3rd party indexing is allowed by OCA and not by Google.

Cliff Lynch talks about some studies of the collections in G5. 430 different languages. only 49% English. This supported by Clancy and Ferrario.

Differences between working with Google engineers and Google lawyers are discussed at length… Research limitations are bring discussed. What should Google do to facilitate research in digital libraries? Tell Dave Clancy (he says). Greenstein says that public universities can’t possibly make all this available, but he’s mostly wrong says Clancy. Support is always an issue.

Open to audience. post-1923 stuff may be in public domain. what is being done to indentify that stuff? DG says nothing beyond the obvious (that being federal). Orphan works will be especially hard. DC says Google is in legation so they have a very conservative interpretation, but once they are done scanning that there will probably be more work on renewals and orphans. DF says NYPL same as OCA.

Linking, annotation, etc for adding value content? DC speaking as a researcher not as Google mostly restates the question (he admits). DF says NYPL wants to enhance the content. The G contract allows content sharing with places like the Digital Library Federation. DG notices that these mostly open projects are closed because some of the problems are too big to be gotten at. Orphans. etc. Persistance.

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JCDL 2006
I’ll be at the Joint Conference on Digital Libraries for most of the next three days. The joint is ACM and IEEE. The Conference is happening here at UNC Chapel Hill.

I’ll report as best I can. Sometimes being at a conference at home is more difficult than being at one elsewhere…

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That’s the special this month, and extra special this weekend, out at Maple View Farms. The flavor is great and surprizing in some very subtle ways. Chocolate lavender who would have thought.

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Just back from WCOM (local low power FM), where Tucker and his friend Seon (both 13) took over the station for two hours. Melva came by and showed them a couple of things and Chris Frank showed them how to set up Tucker’s laptop for airplay. They were off. I was limitied adult supervision — very limited since Tucker knows how to run the studio better than I do. Among other treats listeners heard three versions of Bohemian Rhapsody – Queen, Clef Hanger a capella, Dean Grey mashup with Greenday and Queen.

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Drove out to lovely Saxapahaw, NC down on the river where the old mill is being turned in to apartments and studios and where there is a little farmer’s market and live music. Tonight the sound was Django Haskins solo. Since Tucker and I are fanboys and had seen Django live, we were glad to get out there when the show was early (before my bedtime) and outside (and so an all ages show). We immediately ran into Marcy Rice Smith (the second time we’ve ever met) who is my poetry editor at News and Observer. Marcy and her family were there to Stitch and B and to cover crafts (with Wimi).

Sally picked up a giant metal flower made by John Amero which looks great in the yard already.

Django is a very active performer even without a band. He played no instrument other than an amp-ed up guitar. But he got a good variety of sound out of that old box.

Set list as best I could get:
Pieces of Me
Radio Religion
Morning Glories
American Romeo
Closed Forever (???)
Never Felt Better
State Road Valentine
I’m So Sorry (in Chinese)
Hand to Mouth (from his International Orange days)
Ole
Talk Straight
Let’s Get To Love

Evergreen
God Said I Could Have You
Reservations
We First Met Again Today
Afraid of Love
Blood and Oil
Boomerang (with audience as chorus)
As the plane went down (not the title I think)
Green Grass of Elsewhere
Dumbdown (with audience as chorus)

UPDATE: Sally has some good pictures on her Greenespace blog.

UPDATE: Marcy and Wimi have pictures of their visit at Marcy’s Notions blog.

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I’m signed up to do a First Amendment and technology talk at Berry College in Southeast Georgia in mid-October. My topic: “expression/repression/association: what happens when intellectual property laws, social networks and privacy collide”. Dr. Brian Carroll is setting all this up and it’ll be great to catch up with him on some of the things he’s been doing.

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We have 150 folks signed up for BarCampRDU (way to go Fred!) — OpenNMS’s Tarus Balog is number 150 (oops one person dropped so Tarus is 149 — YOU can be lucky 150! Go sign up NOW!).

Fred has sent out a call for Organizers (5) and Volunteers (10) on the BarCampRDUBlog. If you are already signed up for BarCamp, read the Call and join the Organizers and/or Volunteers or even consider being a speaker by adding that to the Wiki.

BarCampRDU

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UNC project boosts access to personal stories of history

CHAPEL HILL – The individual stories of more than 500 Southerners, describing their personal experiences of history, will be heard around the world, thanks to a federal grant to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

The $505,232 award from the Institute of Museum and Library Services will allow UNC to post the recorded interviews, which are among more than 3,700 collected by UNC’s Southern Oral History Program, to the University Library’s historical Web site “Documenting the American South” (http://docsouth.unc.edu).

Instead of having to travel to UNC’s Wilson Library to hear the tapes, interested parties will be able to listen online upon completion in 2008 of the three-year project, “Oral Histories of the American South.” The project was one of 10 that the institute funded last year, chosen from among 55 applications.

“We’re going to be able to convey to people the power of the voices that are in this collection, and that is something that has always been difficult for oral history collections,” said Dr. Jacquelyn Hall, Julia Cherry Spruill professor of history at UNC and director of the Southern Oral History Program, which began in 1973.

The project also will enable further development of new information technology pioneered by the University Library. The tool synchronizes the voice of each storyteller with a scrolling transcript. Posting sound on the Web is not new; pairing it with text in this manner is.

“Everyone (in the digitization field) is trying to do this,” said Natalia (pronounced “na-TASH-ah) Smith, principal investigator for the project, UNC digitization librarian and the chief architect of “Documenting the American South.” “No one else has finished a project, to our knowledge.”

The grant’s third focus will be establishing new curricula for K-12 students that are based on the interviews online – the focus of project collaborator Dr. Cheryl Mason Bolick, an assistant professor in the UNC School of Education.

Having the recorded voices and transcripts online will be a boon because:

* Instead of listening to an entire tape or reading all of a paper transcript to determine whether an interview explores certain topics, researchers will be able to search transcripts – and the entire database of stories – by keywords;

* If listeners can’t understand a speaker’s words, they can read the transcript to find out what was said;

* Conversely, a user who is reading a transcript will be able to mouse-click on a portion of it to hear accompanying audio, thereby gaining a better understanding by hearing the expression in the speaker’s voice;

* Users who lack sufficient time to listen to an entire interview – they average an hour and a half in length – will be able to mouse-click on parts of the transcript to hear audio for that section; and

* Internet keyword searches may bring the interviews to the attention of new audiences.

ibiblio at UNC, a free public library of digital material on the Internet, provides server space for “Documenting the American South” and will add the oral history project, said Paul Jones, ibiblio director and a clinical associate professor in two UNC schools: Information and Library Science, and Journalism and Mass Communication.

When the oral history project’s technical advances are complete, Jones said, other organizations will be able to use the software, modify and/or improve it.

Making the interviews searchable on the Internet will aid scholars in using the stories to write history texts and analyses, said Dr. Joseph Mosnier, associate director of the Southern Oral History Program.

“They will investigate oral history as a primary source in their scholarship much more routinely,” he said. “They will use simple, copy-and-paste keyboard strokes to capture text, full citations and audio segments for incorporation in their scholarly products, greatly increasing their overall research productivity. Taken together, these innovations represent a true revolution for the field of academic oral history, and historical scholarship more generally.”

Plenty of the stories are told by ordinary people, instead of the officials and leaders quoted in many history texts.

“These people’s voices give us immediacy,” said Dr. Harry Watson, UNC history professor and director of the Center for the Study of the American South, of which the oral history program is a part. “They tell us what really happened to real people, not just textbook data.”

Bolick believes the personal stories will bring history to life for K-12 students, who also may write stories or poems about them in language arts lessons.

“This is going to be a great resource for teachers,” she said. Bolick will align the new curricula she creates with state requirements, then post them on the classroom page of “Documenting the American South” as well as the School of Education’s LEARN-North Carolina Web site of teaching resources. She also will share them with teachers during her summer workshops on how to use “Documenting the American South” in their classrooms.

A pilot project of 21 interviews, funded by the library, is available at http://docsouth.unc.edu/sohp/. These Southern Oral History Program interviews, including many of Hurricane Floyd victims’ stories of loss and survival, share the theme “Environmental Transformations in North Carolina, 1985-2000.” They comprise the ninth collection within “Documenting the American South.” The collection will expand gradually as the full oral history project goes online.

The project also will address race and civil rights, women, Southern politics, the Southern economy from textiles to high-tech and Charlotte as a geographic region of interest. Scholarly advisers, who are choosing which interviews will be included, are Hall, Mosnier, Watson and Dr. William Ferris, history professor and senior associate director of the Center for the Study of the American South.

“Documenting the American South” has grown steadily since it began in 1996. Two of the collections were funded by the communications company Ameritech through the Library of Congress; two by the State Library of North Carolina; one by the National Endowment for the Humanities; one by the University Library and the Office of the Chancellor at UNC; and three, including the oral history project, by the federal Institute of Museum and Library Services.

Photo note: To download a photo from “Oral Histories of the American South,” visit http://docsouth.unc.edu/sohp/display_images/interview_inside.html.

Note: For more about the Southern Oral History Program, visit www.sohp.org. For a list of “Documenting the American South” collections, visit http://docsouth.unc.edu/browse/; for more about the grant, visit http://www.imls.gov/news/2005/092005d.shtm

Contacts: Smith can be reached (919) 962-9590 or nsmithATemail.unc.edu; Hall, at (919) 962-8076 or jhallATemail.unc.edu; Mosnier, at 962-5931 or mosnierATunc.edu; Jones, at (919) 962-7600 or jonesATunc.edu; Bolick, at cbolickATunc.edu

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According Declan McCullagh of CNet:

update The U.S. House of Representatives definitively rejected the concept of Net neutrality on Thursday, dealing a bitter blow to Internet companies like Amazon.com, eBay and Google that had engaged in a last-minute lobbying campaign to support it.


See/read his full article

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