Archive for April, 2007
After decades of wanting to have my own tea plant, I now have one.
We were out in the Camellia Forest when I noticed a sign pointing toward “Tea.” I remembered then that tea is a camellia, camellia sinensis in fact.
Years ago I tried to find tea plants for sale. The nurseries that I asked looked at [or talked to] me like I was crazy. Who would want a camellia with small flowers? One that was bushy and leafy instead of large flowered — and, they told me, no one wants to grow their own tea. It’s too cheap to just buy it. Still I wanted my own tea plant.
I tried to find the remains of what in the 1970s was the only tea plantation in North America. The Pinehurst Tea Farm in Summerville, South Carolina outside of Charleston was home to award winning oolongs in the early part of the 20th century. But by the 1970s, the Tea Farm has become a highly desirable development — and still is as these listings show. At the time, I tried to speak with the Summerville Chamber of Commerce folks at the Plantation, but they only wanted to talk real estate and to say that the plantation part had failed several times.
Now with a little searching I find that a new tea plantation is open outside of Charleston. The Charleston Tea Plantation was recently bought by Bigelow Teas which not only has the plantation working but sells their American Classic Tea. On May 12, The Charleston Tea Plantation will be celebrating the First Flush of the new leaves on their bushes and trees.
I’ll miss the flushing this year, but it’s nice to know there is still tea being grown commercially in America.
My little bush is out defying deer now and will be there for a couple of years before I get more than maybe a cup. But I’ve been trying since the 70s, so what’s another year or two?
Okay so I over committed last night.
I did make it to the W3C talk put on the the local folks interested in XML, RDF, OWL and the Semantic Web at Duke in the noisy Nasher Museum. I did learn quite a bit about international and local activities in the W3C/Semanitc Web and meet a lot of folks involved — thanks Jane Greenberg and John Madden.
I did get to the DigCCurr2007 conference, an international symposium on Digital Curation, to talk with some old and new friends from Virginia, MIT, Duke, UCSD and Edinburgh amongst others and to swap a lot of stories about digitization and about people we know working in digital humanities and digital libraries.
But I finally gave out and headed home rather than drive back to Duke again. My age is showing — and I had some pretty important commitments scheduled for the next day (today, Friday). So no theremin music for me. Steve, I’ll have to catch you another night. Do let me know next time you’re playing out.
Apr 19 2007
What: “Royalties, the better way to finance and invest in companies and projects,”
World-renowned authority in venture financing, securities expert, author, lecturer, entrepreneur, management consultant and winner of numerous awards, Arthur Lipper III, will be on campus for a special presentation hosted by the School of Information and Library Science.
Lipper is currently the Chairman of the British Far East Holdings Ltd. in Del Mar, California, and has been affiliated with the international financial community since 1954. He is involved with many educational institutions including the Frank Hawkins Kenan Institute of Private Enterprise of the Kenan-Flagler Business School here at UNC at Chapel Hill.
Doc Searls posts a great stanza from “Song of Myself” which you will remember is a poem by a newpaper writer turned poet.
Is Whitman’s call for direct experience a visionary call what citizen media and citizen journalism?
Davidh passes on this wonderful piece about a music invasion (from Sweden? at a Spanish site); no translation needed. Music for 6 drummers and 1 apartment.
Molly Bragg (bio before that of Mouse the dog) of Internet Archive is talking about the Archive-It subscription service. And Dan Avery (notice that the Archive bios are listed in alphabetic order by first name) is talking about “The Web is a Mess!” in which explains the Archive-It crawler and how he learned to stop worrying and love the web.
(with luck we should have video of this later on)
Apr 18 2007
Starting this evening, DigCCurr2007, an international symposium on Digital Curation, April 18-20, 2007 here at UNC.
At almost the same time, HASTAC’s snappily named “Electronic Techtonics: Thinking at the Interface” conference begins at Duke, April 19 – 21. Most importantly with a 9:00 p.m. – Reception in Nasher Museum Atrium. Music by Steve Burnett, thereminist.
On Saturday, April 28th, 2007 at UNC Chapel Hill BarCampSignal will be held in conjunction with Signalfest, the Southeastern Electronic Music Festival. We are attempting something completely new with music conference workshops. We want to blend the standard Q&A process with the collaborative magic of Bar Camp. You have say as an Artist/Producer, Promoter, or a Fan on how we put this festival and future festivals together.
Our family was only without power for most of Tuesday. We were lucky. No giant trees blocked us into our neighborhood. They only made it inconvenient to get around town. Or even to get to the next town as I found out when I tried to get to Hillsborough last night. We got power back fairly quickly — after only about 8 hours. Others (see Ruby writing in Orange Politics) were still looking for electricity this evening. And even today there was still clean up of trees and broken power poles underway on Franklin Street.
And I get to pick the day of MerleFest that I want to attend. Thanks WCOM! I choose Friday when Elvis Costello will be playing with Sam Bush, Jerry Douglas, and Jim Lauterdale. I am trying to imagine what they’ll play and what they’ll sound like.
Chapel Hill is experiencing wide power outages and trees across various roads. I’m thinking good thoughts about NCSU for two reasons:
1) This year is the 40th anniversary of the NCSU Computer Science Department. I entered NCSU and CS there in 1968 so’s I wasn’t there the first year, but the second year. Here’s the link to the 40th Celebration pages.
2) SlashDot is reporting that NCSU Director of Student Legal Services, Pam Gerace, has advised students to remain anonymous, and has indicated her office’s willingness to challenge the RIAA’s subpoenas (23 John Does sent to NCSU).
3) The Technician, the NCSU student paper, urges students to work with the Legal Services in an article beginning:
Uzi writes to alert us of an electronic music BarCamp, BarCampSignal, to coincide with Signal Fest. BarCampSignal will happen on April 28 beginning at 10 am at UNC. Signal Fest 2007 will happen from Thursday, April 26 through Saturday, April 28.
PT Wright of Homeland Security has canceled.
Christian Stalberg of NC-CLU, one of the organizers welcomes us. (Joey is taping the Forum for ibiblio). Don’t drink the water or wash your hands — lead (and I saw gravel literally) in the water).
State Senator Janet Cowell (D-Wake), co-Chair of the Information Tech Committee.
Katherine Bryant, consumer advocate for ChoicePoint on consumer rights – she explains Choicepoint and about their 2005 social engineering break-in. Lists Choicepoint’s consumer’s rights list. (slides will be online? think so). Fair Credit Reporting Act. 30 states have their own fair credit statues in addition. Gramm-Leach-Biley Act about sharing personal info about individuals). Family’s Educational Right to Privacy Act. Children’s Online Right to Privacy Protection Act. Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act.
How to get your Choicepoint file: call 1-888-395-0012
Next up is Jim Harper director of Information Policy Studies at Cato Institute on Data Mining, Sharing and Brokering, the Author of Identity Crisis: How Identification is Overused and Misunderstood, and blogger of Privacilla.
Someone was stopped because of photographing the interior of a Metro station in DC yesterday. He sees this one as a failed analysis of pattern recognition behavior yielding a false positive.
He next disses datamining to try to detect terrorists as bad use of datamining. Not enough examples of terrorists planning to help mine. You will only get false positives which costs too much and impinges on our liberties — dissing Total Info Awareness in this respect. Instead link analysis would have yielded better and more accurate results including 9/11 terrorist. He demands transparency (ala Choicepoint).
Barry Steinhardt of ACLU – Directory of ACLU on Technology and Liberty. On Real ID (ACLU site – RealNightmare.org) – a federalized driver’s license with consistant data but would yield a national id card managed by Homeland Security. As you might expect, Barry and ACLU don’t like Read ID.
Terrell wants me to write down “The Billy Bob Problem” in Georgia over an attempt to inact an early version of Read ID there. “William Robert” or “Billy Bob”. A clip from ACLU.tv to hit YouTube
Bruce Schneier’s flight was delayed he will be here we hope at 4:30
Gene Spafford of Purdue and the U.S. Public Policy Committee of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) on “Government surveillance and propensity profiling”
Annie Anton of NCSU and The Privacy Place where they have done an analysis of the Choicepoint breach – “The ChoicePoint Dilemma: How Data Brokers Should Handle the Privacy of Personal Information” (March 14, 2007) [PDF]
Additional papers reviewed. Great bit on auditing airline privacy policies – Best was Alaska and the worst was United (called ended up in India and with the answerer shouting into the phone).
Also points to Nimity.com.
Bruce Schneier is in the building — and up next, talking on the Future of Privacy. NorthWest was his airline and he spent 3 hours in the Detroit airport.
Stirring talk which Joey is capturing for later…
In the meantime, here’s Bruce getting the EFF Pioneer Award at eTech
How much privacy would you give up for security? Bruce says that this is a false statement. Privacy is about identity. Security can be about door locks for example. The debate is liberty vs control. Government should be transparent — this reduces power and changed the imbalance of power.
Facebook exposure is fine if all are exposing. But the power imbalance of say job hiring makes it a problem. Data is the pollution problem of the information society. Overproduced and not managed or controlled. Data controls will be the equiv of pollution controls.
[brief reconfiguration for the panel of all the speakers minus Sen. Cowell]
Spafford – Are you equating a smoker with a terrorist victim? One is an actor and one an innocent bystander.
Harper – I have a friend who was investigated for buying gun powder to reload shells. My friend thought this was appropriate based on pattern matching.
Ngo – what direction is legislation likely to go as data trails increase?
Bryant – what information on sex offenders gives false positives?
BarryS – How has the monetary cost of real id play out in the states? If my state doesn’t participate in Real ID will I be banned from Federal Courts? (BS says No).
Bruce S – traded a constitutional law credit for another one: Increase of occurences in false positives and the decrease in transparency in government terrorist cases.
Bruce has ended up with all the questions.
BruceS – Can technology protect privacy etc?
KB – in 2000, choicepoint provided a list of voters with names “like” convicts which disenfranchised a lot of voters. what is choicepoint doing to prevent doing that again.
BarryS – does the constitution protect our privacy? if not do we need an amendment?
The Hill explains further with a focus on Carl’s call for improved quality of Congressional videos. (â€śawful. Any kid on YouTube could do better.â€ť says Carl. Not exactly overpraising YouTubers).
I’m a little late in posting these. I reconnected with Carl last night via email as he write to tell me about Paul Vixie and the Internet Systems Consortium being nominated for a Mellon grant for their continuing work on BIND — what I call the glue that holds the internet together.
That’s tomorrow, April 14, in Chapman Hall!
Program – Confirmed Speakers and Panel Members
Confirmed Speakers and Panel Members
Annie Anton, Director, The Privacy Place
Katherine Bryant, Vice President for Consumer Advocacy at ChoicePoint
Sen. Janet Cowell, State Senator, State of North Carolina
Jim Harper, Director of Information Policy Studies, the CATO Institute
Melissa Ngo, Staff Counsel and Director of EPIC‘s Identification and Surveillance Project
Bruce Schneier, internationally renowned security technologist and author
Gene Spafford, Executive Director, CERIAS – Center for Education and Research in Information Assurance and Security
Barry Steinhardt, Director of the Technology & Liberty Program, American Civil Liberties Union
P. T. Wright, Acting Deputy Director, Department of Homeland Security
Apr 12 2007
Later the Chair of Commissioners reads a proclamation in honor of the workers efforts at keeping knowledge available to all citizens.
A literature group that I participate in online — warren wilson alums –had turned into a complaint forum about the overuse of I in writing. This is a perennial complaint of course and often raised as as answer to why writing isn’t worth reading today (during whichever today this complaint is being registered). Where is mythic writing? Asked one member. (or perhaps the discussion started on the mythic as a cue for writing). I confessed thusly:
I Caused the Decline of Literature
Sex with a swan
Part of a press release we’re sending out today (full release here):