Archive for July, 2007

Espresso Book Machine

The first Espresso Book Machine™ (“the EBM”) was installed and demonstrated today at the New York Public Library’s Science, Industry, and Business Library (SIBL). The patented automatic book making machine will revolutionize publishing by printing and delivering physical books within minutes. The EBM is a product of On Demand Books, LLC (“ODB”), the company founded by legendary publishing executive Jason Epstein and business partner Dane Neller, who joined SIBL’s Kristin McDonough for a private event there to speak about the EBM’s potential impact on the future of reading and publishing.

The Espresso Book Machine will be available to the public at SIBL through August, and will operate Monday- Saturday from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. The New York Public Library’s Science, Industry and Business Library is located at 188 Madison Avenue (at 34th Street).

Library users will have the opportunity to print free copies of such public domain classics as “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer” by Mark Twain, “Moby Dick” by Herman Melville, “A Christmas Carol” by Charles Dickens and “Songs of Innocence” by William Blake, as well as appropriately themed in-copyright titles as Chris Anderson’s “The Long Tail” and Jason Epstein’s own “Book Business.” The public domain titles were provided by the Open Content Alliance (“OCA”), a non-profit organization with a database of over 200,000 titles. The OCA and ODB are working closely to offer this digital content free of charge to libraries across the country. Both organizations have received partial funding from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.

[more here]

Note: The UNC–Chapel Hill School of Information and Library Science and ibiblio are members of the Open Content Alliance.

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Open Library (we’re involved with this at ibiblio somewhat), Project Gutenberg (we host that at ibiblio), and Archive.org (Head Brewster Kahle is a visiting scholar at SILS, was our commencement speaker a bit back, and is an old friend of ibiblio from way back) are the meat of this BBC story and they are somewhat at odds with the British Library. Long good quotes from Aaron Swartz

“A library bigger than any building”

An ambitious project to create an online catalogue of every book in every language ever published is under way. Public goodwill is not in doubt, but some libraries remain to be convinced.

[more here]

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The first TriLUG monthly Chapel Hill meeting will take place at 18:00 until 20:00 on Wednesday, August 15, 2007 in room 208 at Manning Hall on UNC Campus. The talk is on Linux video editing, given by Joey Carr.

The talk will introduce the capabilities of several of the most basic tools in linux video production (kino/dvgrab, cinelerra, ffmpeg, and mencoder). Other tools and multimedia-focused linux distributions will be discussed. A basic production workflow will be demonstrated for video capture via IEEE 1394 (i.e. Firewire), and editing in Kino. Finally, options for DVD authoring will be covered in brief.

Joey previously worked as a Java developer and later as a business analyst for a medical informatics application service provider. He recently returned to UNC to study film and video production in the department of Communication Studies. He is currently working for iBiblio on their video speaker series and other projects.

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Patrick points out the wonderful Eggcorns database of language misuse. No half-hazard methods pawned off in this expotentially growing database.

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This Saturday August 4 is BarCampRDU at Red Hat World Headquarters. Sign up on the wiki if you plan to be there. And don’t miss Friday night’s pre-Camp party at Tyler’s in Durham.

RevolutionOS poster

Carolina Open Source Initiative will be hosting FREE PIZZA and the movie RevolutionOS on Monday August 6th at 6:30pm in
the Carolina Union Room 3206B. [PDF poster for the event here]

UPDATE:
New location for RevolutionOS — Manning Hall 208

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Today’s NYTimes gives a buncha ink/electrons to celebrity gossip Perez Hilton. He is to people as shoeblog.com’s the Manolo is to footwear. No question. But there is more to this story than gay Cuban guy goes to LA and spreads the dirt. Perez is raking in the dough thanks to great ad sales and very very good rates through Henry Copeland‘s Carrboro-based BlogAds.com.

Of the business side, Henry dishes on the rates:

Mr. Lavandeira’s blog [PerezHilton.com] commands as much as $9,000 a week for a single advertisement and $45,000 for the most expensive ad package, according to Henry Copeland of Blogads.com, the ad sales representative for Perezhilton.com. His demographics — a largely female readership, with an average age of 26 — lure ads from fashion brands, spirits companies and, of course, Hollywood.

And Hungry? BlogAds is a multi (at least dual) national corporation with staff in NC and HU.

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They came from Serbia. That gave me an edge. Danica bit me first. That was hours before anyone else in my network was aware of the Vampire Facebook application. Without SuperWall, a lure at which I refused to even nibble, I only got 10 bites per day. So inspecting my FriendWheel application. I looked for friends who for the most part were unconnected. My hunch was that Marc Granovetter was right on Facebook as he had been on so many social networks. If he was right, the loose ties in my network would lead to more entrepreneurial Vampires, those more likely to bite folks that I would be unlikely to reach otherwise. Then, I figured, in this clearly pyramidal schemed application, I would quickly advance in the Vampire hierarchy.

What’s more it worked and worked well. Soon I advanced to Vampire Bride to Vampire Mistress and then to the barely clad and overly muscled Vampire Ninja or was that Jedi? I was too busy staring at the picture to read the words. At that point, I’d need to double my over 1200 points to get to the next level whatever that might be.

But today, I became tired of Vampiring. I imagine that a successful Amway Diamond might feel the same way, but I would hope with a bit more guilt over those more recently bitten.

I had seen my Vampire Army grow and seen my other Vampire friends advance (not yet to Ninja I might add with no small touch of pride). So far so good. Then I dropped by 30 points. My fellow Army members were wising up.

I too chunked the Vampire app. It was fun. Slightly obnoxious (sorry to have added to your burdens Jason Calacanis ;->). And sated some small competitive desires that were keeping me from Buddha-hood.

See you later Vampires. Still there on Facebook tho.

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There must be some relation between them, but I’m not sure what yet. Caught the Simpsons Movie last night and was rolling on the sticky floor of the stadium seated theatre which is a trick in itself. Then the credits: How many voices can some of these folks do! Harry Shearer is a master.

Halfway into HP7 having started mid-afternoon. No! I will not talk about it til I’m done.

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Fred Stutzman is part of a four person panel discussion at the BlauExchange along with Miia Akkinen, Paul K. Lawton, and Sarita Yardi.

Topics for the Spring 2007 Roundtable

1. Personal experiences in graduate school

2. Origins of studying interests

3. Influential people for graduate work

4. Most memorable conference experience(s)

5. Biggest challenges and rewards in graduate school

6. Teaching elementary and high school students about the Web

7. Politicians doing smart things on the Web

8. Brainstorming a “web use” seminar for politicians

9. The future for studying the social dynamics of technology

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Has Been cover

Dave Menconi can’t get behind celebrity vanity recordings. He forgets that Bill Shatner is a true artist whose self-awareness sets him far ahead of the pack specifically in his 2004 Ben Folds produced project “Has Been.”

I say in the thread to Dave and a Nimoy-defender:

In his dreams, Nimoy is half as self-aware as Shatner.

“Has Been” made it to number 22!

“Transformed Man” well good for a yuck, but also as a template for what could be and was transformed by Folds into something unique and wonderful — “Has Been” The great Joe Jackson piano on “Common People” is worth the time to download (err buy). The guitar (Adrian Belew) on “I can’t get behind that” is as good as the Rollins-Shatner interaction. Then there is “That’s me” Lyrics by Nick Hornby.

Further evidence that Shatner is the greatest: “Common People” with Folds, Jackson and others on Conan O’Brien.

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Actually the Real Fake Steve Jobs Even Though He Denies It
Andy Ihnatko writes in MacWorld at length to say that he’s NOT, NOT, NOT the Fake Steve Jobs. That means of course that he is. And here’s some additional evidence.

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Fedora Project leads have announced the availability of fedora-archives at ibiblio.org, a new Tier 1 mirror of the Fedora Project’s Linux distribution. The new mirror is accessible to official Fedora mirrors who are connected to the high-speed National Lambda Rail and Internet2/Abilene networks, and is the project’s first step towards a new mirroring hierarchy.

Matt Domsch of the Fedora Project sends ibiblio his thanks for the mirroring, while ibiblio sends its thanks to the Fedora Project for the donation of hardware support which made possible both the fedora-archives mirror and a greatly expanded Linux distribution archive on distro.ibiblio.org.

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As Phil Meyer has predicted, things aren’t getting any prettier out there. Even our national standards are not immune to the changing news market.

Whether by Aliens, Zombie Elvii or by that worse of all evils Declining Readership there seems to be no doubt that the Weekly World News, “The World’s Only Reliable Newspaper,” is shutting down.

I will continue to cherish my September 25, 2001 edition which heads “Bill Catches Hillary With Space Alien!” “Exposed: Romantic Nights in NY Love Nest!” (More Photos inside!).

Read more here! And HERE!

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August 4 is BarCampRDU! We’re pretty well signed up, but we still have some needs — wireless routers, projectors, a PA system. See it all at the BarCampRDU blog and help out.

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Last night, at the People’s Channel celebration which included other localistic groups like the Chapel Hill Preservation Society, Community Gardens, a chocolateer named Matthew, and a bunch of others including some local candidates for office and Ruby of OrangePolitics (which is definitely local).

Then later at a local party in Carrboro celebrating summer and sending off the Red Clay Ramblers to NYC, Seattle and beyond for the new production of “Lonestar Love” aka “Merry Wives of Winsor, Texas.” Party host and Bardolph player, Chris Frank was sorry to hear that his character would end up hung in Henry V, but glad to learn that that play has little to do with the Falstaff play except for the characters. Randy Quaid who will play Falstaff will be glad that he’s not in Henry V either as a bad end meets Falstaff there as well.

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George sent these pictures of the aftermath of a bear breaking into his house and stealing 20 pounds sunflower seeds and canola oil.

Archie sent me this Andrew Sullivan visual observation about misplacements featuring Yanni.

UPDATE: George’s bear is back and he brought his mother this time.

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Follow-up to previous postings on Dook and their network meltdown. First I posted the story. Then I mused that no place else has reported like problems — so the iPhone wasn’t the problem.

Now Dook fesses up. And /.ers rejoice.

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USINFO Logo

Project Gutenberg Digital Library Seeks To Spur Literacy


Library hopes to offer 1 million electronic books in 100 languages

By Jeffrey Thomas
USINFO Staff Writer

Washington – Thirty-six years ago, a student at the University of Illinois keyed the U.S. Declaration of Independence into a mainframe computer and offered it to others on the network that would become the Internet. Six users downloaded the file, inaugurating what its founder, Michael Hart, decided to call Project Gutenberg in honor of Johannes Gutenberg, the 15th-century German printer who started the movable type printing press revolution.

Using free computer time at his university, Hart keyed in the first 100 books himself and since has devoted his life to the project. Today, he often is described as someone who was a visionary ahead of his time; he has described himself as an “incurable romantic,” a “natural-born workaholic and idealist.” Hart grasped from the outset that his idea for a digital library could change the world, spurring literacy. Project Gutenberg became the first information provider on the Internet and is the oldest digital library with the largest single collection of free electronic books, or e-books.

Project Gutenberg gives away 3 million e-books a week from just one single site, www.ibiblio.org at the University of North Carolina, according to Hart. Most are books whose copyrights have expired in the United States, but there are also audio books, recorded music, sheet music, moving pictures and still pictures. The original video clip of the 1969 Apollo 11 moon landing, just four hours before American astronaut Neil A. Armstrong became the first person to step on the moon, is part of the collection, for example.

[more]

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Goes to the beach and makes an iPhone in the sand.

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Two slightly different post in one.

Mark alerts us to Loire Esturary 2007 from the Wooster Collective‘s Florentijn Hofman. It’s a giant (26 x 20 x 32 meters) rubber duckie floated on the Loire! The artist says:

A yellow spot on the horizon slowly approaches the coast. People have gathered and watch in amazement as a giant yellow Rubber Duck approaches. The spectators are greeted by the duck, which slowly nods its head. The Rubber Duck knows no frontiers, it doesn’t discriminate people and doesn’t have a political connotation. The friendly, floating Rubber Duck has healing properties: it can relief mondial tensions as well as define them. The rubber duck is soft, friendly and suitable for all ages!

Has anyone heard of Duke’s network problems that were supposedly created by iPhones happening anywhere other than Duke? Err I thought not. Sounds like the iPhone was scapegoated for local network problems at Duke.

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