Archive for October, 2007

The School of Information and Library Science has up not only the text of the North Carolina House of Representatives recognition statement of ibiblio, but a great picture of current ibiblians.

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Hear here! Thanks for the quick work, Cristobal.

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Last night long time Chapel Hill political activist, Joe Herzenberg died following a long illness. Sally was among the last to visit Joe and also visited with him during his last hospitalization. Many of Joe’s friends are posting their memories of Joe on the Orange Politics blog where the owner/moderator Ruby Sinreich has turned the pages black in Joe’s honor.

Among the press stories recognizing Joe is this one from the Daily Tar Heel and this one from the News and Observer. And as it was broken online by the Carrboro Citizen.

Corey sends this link to an oral history of Joe talking about the Cane Creek Reservoir and other political happenings in 1985.

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YouTube – Buy Mii a Wii – Black Nerd Music Video Very funny and very well done and oh oh so true the love and all. Thx t-rel

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Bob Young is known as the founder of Red Hat, Lulu.com and Lulu.tv, but he is also the founder of Gnack.com an open source solutions company that aims to support open source media players and servers like Gnash and Cygnal.

According to Gnashdev.org:

Gnash is a GPL’d Flash movie player and browser plugin for Firefox, Mozilla, Konqueror, and Opera. Gnash supports many SWF v7 features and ActionScript2 classes. Gnash also runs on many GNU/Linux distributions, embedded GNU/Linux, FreeBSD, NetBSD, OpenBSD, non x86 processors, and 64 bit architectures. Ports to Darwin and Windows are in progress for a future release. The plugin works best with Firefox 1.0.4 or newer, and should work in any Mozilla based browser. There is also a standalone player for GNOME or KDE based desktops.


Bob will be speaking at UNC (as noted below)
as we begin to celebrate ibiblio’s 15th year.
Bob Young
Who: Bob Young, founder of Lulu.com, Lulu.tv and Red hat
Date: Tuesday, October 30, 2007
Time: 3:30pm – 5:00pm
Location: Sonja Haynes Stone Center, Room 103

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Steve Wozniak
Just back from my ole alma mater, North Carolina State, where the Computer Science department is celebrating the 40th anniversary of their (our) founding. When I entered NCSU in September 1968, the department had only been in place for one year. As I recall, there were no PhD’s in Computer Science on the faculty — yet. That would soon change.

It was a pleasure to see the current faculty explaining their research in 5 minute segments ;-> One that stood out was Dr. Robert Fornaro who tried to teach me sometime in about 1969 or 70. His dedication and appreciation of the undergraduate computer science experience is still as fresh as it was in those first classes.

Of the speakers, Al Aho the A in awk (amongst other things) posed the challenging unanswered questions in Computer Science including on from Bill Gates. The Gatesian question goes like this Moore’s Law is seen mostly from the benefits in computer power achieved, but the Law also shows a doubling of power usage and of heat produced. Given that multiprocessors have kept the growth of processing power and the production of heat growing, how will programming fully take advantage of the increased power and how will hardware solutions deal with the increased heat. (highly paraphrased).

Larry Hodges of UNC-Charlotte
took great pride in presenting the work of his students, undergrads, with Avatars, ChatBots, Virtual Humans, Virtual Characters, and Embodied Agents as he argued that avatars were the Human-computer Interface of the future.

Dr. Dorothy Strickland of do2learn.org too was interested in avatars and animation but to a different end. Her work is with special need education especially but by no means restricted to autistic children.

The main attraction was Steve Wozniak, already a holder of an NCSU CS Honorary Degree and ready to tell tales of pre-Apple glory (which are also available in his new iWoz book which was itself available for purchase outside the hall). Woz was wound up and wonderful and full of tales of his various pranks, of blue boxes, of dropping out of college and later returning as “Rocky Raccoon Clark” to graduation from Berkeley, of his shocking Steve Colbert and of as many of his early engineering innovations and pranks.

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Bob Young – The connection between Ibiblio, Open Source, Lulu, and the number 42
Bob Young
Who: Bob Young, founder of Lulu.com, Lulu.tv and Red hat
Date: Tuesday, October 30, 2007
Time: 3:30pm – 5:00pm
Location: Sonja Haynes Stone Center, Room 103

Handy online printable poster here [PDF]

More info and signup at Facebook and the ibiblio speakers page.

Entrepreneurs can be found in all fields of human activity, not just business. The common characteristic of Entrepreneurs, and most humans for that matter, is they eventually get tired of just listening and throwing things at the television set, or the pompous Professor at the front of the room, or their software supplier, and instead decide one day to do something about it. This explains Paul Jones and Ibiblio, it explains Richard Stallman and Linus Torvalds of the free-software-open-source-gnu-linux movement, and it explains Lulu. It also explains the number 42.

Bob Young is the founder and CEO of Lulu.com, the premiere international marketplace for new digital content on the Internet, with more than 100,000 recently published titles and more than 2,500 new titles added each week, created by people in 80 different countries.

Lulu.com, founded in 2002, is Young’s most recent endeavour. The success of this company has earned Young notable recognition; he was named one of the “Top 50 Agenda-Setters in the Technology Industry in 2006″ and was ranked as the fourth “Top Entrepreneur for 2006,” both by Silicon.com.

In 1993 Young co-founded Red Hat, the open source software company that gives hardware and software vendors a standard platform on which to certify their technology. Red Hat has evolved into a Fortune 500 company and chief rival to Microsoft and Sun. His success at Red Hat won him industry accolades, including nomination as one of Business Week’s “Top Entrepreneurs” in 1999.

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Ole friend and Internet radio man, Carl Malamud presents his ideas about making government resources truly public in a presentation at the UC-Berkeley I-School (as linked to from Lessig.org). And he describes his Public.Resource.org projects entertainingly and well.

Fred Stutzman draws on his online campaign experiences with Clark and Kerry as he comments in a Boston Globe article “On specialized websites, candidates home in”

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All of them have digital library challenges that are very very similar. How to represent calligraphed scripts that run in a variety of directions. How to handle fragile materials. How to describe the materials well enough to find them but sparse enough to be able to get the works processed within budget. How to federate work projects. How to choose metadata elements and how to deploy them effectively. How to represent the original object as an image and as searchable strings. How to use non-English characters in metadata effectively.

This after discussions with folks independently working on projects in the Nam characters, in Arabic, in Mongolian, in Slavic languages and in the antebellum South. Part of the trick to getting to a solution is to see where the problem sets overlap and where the solutions need to be independent and local.

Still thinking about all of this but at the same time putting the principals in touch with each other.

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You can bid on JJB’s PowerBook G4 – 1.67GHz – 2G RAM – 100G HD – AppleCare!! – (eBay item 230183388706 end time Oct-29-07 17:07:06 PDT). It has an ibiblio sticker on it AND it has been in the same room as semi-important people! (see description).

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JJB screencasts about the best ways to install Lyceum. This makes it really easy and really clear.

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Last week whilst I was in Kansas, Donald Sizemore, one of our ibiblio sysadmins, and Simon Spero, one of our Internet heroes, were out in SFO for the Open Content Alliance meeting. This morning the New York Times covers the meeting and OCA

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I am not making this up. BBC reports that “The deputy mayor of the Indian capital Delhi died on Sunday after being attacked by a horde of wild monkeys.”

My own experiences with monkeys in India here and here

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Cleaning up my mail after travel is always an experience. This time three messages in a row seem to have some sort of relationship — not necessarily one with me though.

First, we are all alerted of and invited to the Durham Zombie Lurch with this note:

“There’s nothing quite like dressing up as a rotting corpse to excuse you from polite, rational, and lady-like behaviour.”
-Annie Smith, Melbourne, Australia

Dear living-impared,

Join us in lurching through the unsuspecting streets of durham as a horde of zombies! Bring your friends, family?anyone who might get a kick out of stalking downtown for brains on october 27, the saturday before halloween.

Here’s the plan:
We’ll meet at 5 p.m. at the parking lot at the corner of foster and seminary streets, across from the piedmont restaurant (401 foster st.)
There will be a pre-lurch gathering at 4:30 p.m. for folks who want help with makeup.

frequently asked zombie questions:

Q: Is this event free/open to the public/all-ages?
A: yes! yes! yes!

Q: Do I need a costume?
A: Not necessarily. If you arrive before 5 p.m., we can help you with makeup, and that’s all you really need (besides a broken-down shuffle) to look like one of the undead. Wear an old shirt that you’ve torn strategically, or just come as you are and be one of our victims.

Q: How far will we lurch?
A: About 1.5 miles roundtrip.

Q: Should I bring my camera?
A: Definitely bring your camera!

Q: What else should I bring?
A: You might want to stash a little cash and your ID in your pocket in case you end up at one of durham’s fine establishments after stumbling through town with your zombie friends.

Q: rain or shine?
Q: rain?? hahahahahahaha!
But yes, even *if* it rains for more than 5 minutes, we’ll brave it — it’s not going to kill us. Since we’re already dead and all.

Q: Are there any rules for the zombie lurch?
A: Well, since you asked:
rotten rules for the zombie lurch
This is for everyone’s safety. Have your own darn lurch if you can’t hang with the nice zombies. We want you to have fun and be able to do this again!

1. We can raise the dead, but not your jail bond. We assume no responsibility or liability for any mishaps that occur during the walk.

2. Be chill, undead ones. The lurch does not qualify as a parade, so please stay on the sidewalks and keep out of traffic. We have made the police aware of the event, and everything’s fine if we keep out of the street. If they ask us to disperse, DO IT, or you’ll be marching down mangum street, if you know what we mean.

3. Always bring a designated victim, and chew with your mouth closed. Don’t attack anyone who isn’t a voluntary victim. That’s what bloody friends are for! Speaking of blood, try your darnedest not to get it on the sidewalk or on windows.

thanks!

And remember, zombies are eat people, too. Zombies like tortles, too

Then thereminist Steve Burnett chimes in with a note about the Raleigh Zombie Walk:

In addition to the earlier zombie lurch in Durham mentioned in Scott’s message that starts at 5pm for about a mile and a half, there is a zombie walk in Raleigh the same day, starting in Moore Square at 7pm.

I found information on this at [the MySpace NC Zombie Walk site].

There’s a zombie makeup clinic in Raleigh Sunday afternoon, details on the page above.

Finally, I find somewhat appropriate or at least topical spam from Fr. M. Humberto Gama of the Portuguese Association of Exorcists:

Honorable

It is with great honor and pleasure that I the President and Founder of the only Portuguese Association of Exorcists located in Fatima, Portugal, wish to introduce to you our goals and objectives in anticipation of your future collaboration with our organization.

In order to familiarize you with the founder I wish to offer you the following curriculum vitae information which will clearly shows my lifelong dedication to this study and cause.

Your past and present interest in this area is of mutual interest and more so to our organization as it is composed of only international professionals in the area and study of Exorcisms.

As a roman Catholic Priest, ordained in the Jesuit Seminary I have now seeked to establish a society where all members would assist and collaborate towards a common goal of continuing study and practicing of this ritual.

We will be promoting the assistance of priests and other practitioners from all religious and non religious sectors in order to provide this much needed and in high demand service to the needed. The society members will be recommended after properly certification from our Society to perform the ritual as it is requested from all parts of the world.

We further intend to hold an annual convention of practitioners in our headquarters in Fatima, Portugal and would be honored to have your presence in this event to be scheduled at a later date.

The International Society of Exorcists, proudly invites you to become a member of this organization and would be very interested in receiving your reply and recommendations as early as possible.

I wish to thank you in advance for accepting this invitation and we are looking forward to meeting with you here in Fatima, Portugal in the very near future.

Best Regards
Fr. M. Humberto Gama
Founding President

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After at least 20 years in Chapel Hill, Phil Campbell has left the Flying Burrito and the Burrito as we know and loved it has left the building. See Sally’s post here. We loved the Burrito in so many ways; Phil made it into one of Chapel Hill’s great public spaces. And where else would be be served by someone who would become an important young adult novelist and someone would be become the distinctive voice of the Squirrel Nut Zippers.

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Not my report but a report on me as it appeared in the Kansas State Collegian this morning. One of my slides is lovingly projected on my forehead.

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First there was my horoscope on Facebook with this warning: Working with computers will cause you some problems. This is not because of the technology but more because of the people you’re involved with. Opt for an old-fashioned way of doing something during this cycle rather than relying on inventions and modern gadgets, or worse still, people who promise a lot but deliver nothing.

Nice message to wake up to before giving a talk.

Then the storms. We have quit having rain in North Carolina. Of course I didn’t bring rain gear. Heck, I can’t even remember when I last needed rain gear or where I left my rain gear. I have no mental picture of rain gear. Another sign I was sure.

Then the set up of the room was too easy and too quick. I had kept my slides low tech and simple to be sure but it was all too easy. Now that’s a disturbing sign!

I met the former governor of Kansas who was also the Archivist of the United States. That was I think a good sign or was it a sign of how badly I was about to embarrass myself and my host?

As it turns out, the talk went well. I started and ended on time — always a good sign ;-> — and we had great questions and discussion afterwards.

On to meetings around campus for the next two days.

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Long layover at MCI, or is that KCI?, where I’m enjoying the free wifi. Thanks KS and MO! I visited the airport Arthur Bryant’s BBQ originally looking for eggs, but who would pass on the famous KC BBQ? Well, it’s beef. Not so dry but not like chopped pork. The sauce is brown catsup with a few flavors to help the bland beef pass for more than overcooked slightly smoked stuff. Forgetable slaw, called cole slaw here, as a side.

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“Young Librarians, Talkin’ ‘Bout Their Generation”, a link that may given the ways of the Chronicle of Higher Education go away shortly, features interviews with 8 young librarians including Librarian.net’s Jessamyn West (her blog is hosted on ibiblio.org) who talks about the relationship between libraries and publishers. Jessamyn is handed a loaded gun when the Chronicle asks “Should the relationship between libraries and publishers change? If so, how?” and later (in audio) “What are libraries doing right? Doing wrong?” Jessamyn toasts Free Culture and disses libraries resistance to embrace rapid change.

Thanks to Jeff Pomerantz for the link to the Chronicle.

Jessamyn’s talk at Access 2007 gets reviewed on the Kansas State Libraries blog. In return, she links to bogs and feeds there at K-State.

I’ll be at Kansas State tomorrow through Friday (as I mentioned in an earlier post) and I’m looking forward to talking to the library folks there especially now that Jessamyn has pointed out their blogs to me and I’ve been able to read a bit about what they are up to.

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The Independent has a story about the rise of the game of Go in the Triangle over the past few decades. As part of the story, a list of a few places where Go is played is included. Somewhat vaguely, we learn that “There are also weekly games played on the campuses of UNC and NCSU.” When you go to to the Triangle Go Club website, you once learned that weekly games were held on Sundays at UNC. I wrote the webmaster and asked “Where?” Err. No one knows. Now the website says Regular games were previously held at various locations at UNC and NCSU.

If you know of any Chapel Hill Go gaming, please let Bob Bacon of the Triangle Go Club and me know of them.

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