Archive for November, 2007
I’ll be delivering the graduation talk to the North Carolina State University Computer Science Department on December 19 at the Meymandi Concert Hall. I entered that Department when it was brand new in 1968. They took their first class in 1967 exactly 40 years ago.
Nov 28 2007
This just in from CNet (full story here):
I spent today in a series of interesting conversations. First with Historian of Science and Duke “recycle” Fellow Andrew Russell who works on the construction of standards for technologies. Later a lunch to talk about Media Law, Privacy, Defamation, and Libel and the like with Lolly Gasaway, Mike Kautsch, and Deb Aikat. And lastly (not counting email, phone and other discussions) a talk about Facebook and privacy and secrecy with Kelly Davies, a student doing social network research for a class in the J-school.
Although, I’m complaining a bit; this is the best part of my job. If the University is one long conversation, then I’m feeling a part of it all today. I get to listen to smart people thinking about a variety of issues and challenges — if I can keep my own mouth shut long enough ;->
Nov 26 2007
Brian alerts us to this event that he will be co-hosting at the border of Chapel Hill and Carrboro on Thursday.
Took some time off the mainland and off the blog to spend on Ocracoke with friends who are now living on the island most of the year. We’ve been going down there since I was a kid. After about 2 decades off for bad behavior, Sally and Tucker and I started going down at Thanksgiving about 10 years ago. The brief report is that Ocracoke is as beautiful and as isolated as ever. Some things have changed this year.
Restaurants closed by Thanksgiving were: the Jolly Roger, Creekside, the Atlantic, Captian Ben’s, Flying Melon and the Mango Loco. Open were: Back Porch, Pelican (with a sparse winter menu), Thai Take Out, Pony Island (some meals), Jason’s, and Howard’s
At Howard’s, some changes notable — more tables and booths inside, games including the ring swing moved outside, pool table to the porch area, not open to 2 am any more and shocking to locals and regular visitors alike — Howard’s will close this winter! The reason ostensively is that all of the creek bridges to the north on the island will be replaced between December and January. Howard’s will use this time to remodel. But locals say that they fear that Howard’s will not longer be the community refuge and center of activity that it has been in the past.
The Ocracoke Coffee Shop however has filled the role as community center and it shows no sign of shutting down for winter or anything else.
On the beach with our friend, Peter, we discovered a young harbor seal pulling itself out of the surf. It let me get rather close before barking and striking at me. We were all looking to see if it was injured and later reported it to the rangers. This is the first seal that any of us had seen on the island. A couple of folks claimed to have seen one in the Sound many years back. Peter took some good pictures and will be publishing this one with a write up in the Ocracoke Observer’s next issue.
On the way to the Swan Quarter ferry in Hyde County, a bear lumbered across the road in front of us.
On the geekier side of things, we installed Damn Small Linux on an old Dell Pentium III for Michael, Peter’s son. We had to leave before getting gcc installed for him. That may be too great a challenge for a guy who has never used command line. I did download the *.deb files but I didn’t get any further.
I should write a whole separate entry on the wonderfully local and generally wonderful OcraFolk Festival fund-raiser especially Capt. Rob Temple’s piratical turn on “The Night Before Christmas”
Sally has a note and a sunset picture here.
Brett Bumgarner’s UNC Honors Thesis on the uses and gratifications of Facebook is now published on/at/by First Monday (Volume 12 Number 11 – 5 November 2007). This is a groundbreaking study with a very high N:
Note: Fred and I were Brett’s advisors. Jane Brown was the lead advisor and a great one.
Nov 16 2007
UNC PhD and Hawaii Pacific University professor Minjeong Kim has a part of her dissertation published in the Journal of Computer Mediated Communication. It’s “The Creative Commons and Copyright Protection in the Digital Era: Uses of Creative Commons Licenses.”
Please reference as: Kim, M. (2007). The Creative Commons and copyright protection in the digital era: Uses of Creative Commons licenses. Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, 13(1), article 10. http://jcmc.indiana.edu/vol13/issue1/kim.html
Note: I was on Dr. Kim’s dissertation committee.
Nov 15 2007
Brian twitters: “meet Congressman Brad Miller, talk about blogs, Mill Town, Carrboro, NC November, 29 5:30pm”
Nov 14 2007
In Austria — but also online –, ibiblio alum Mark McCarthy will be a panelist at the conference The United Nations and the New Media/Information Age: Education for the Next Generation of “the People of the United Nations”
Mark’s panel, “New-Media Mediated Peace Building & Societal Development”, will take place between 4 pm and 6 pm Austrian time or 10 am and noon US Eastern Time. I tried their video test stream and it looks like it will work just fine (it’s on the conference home page; give it a try)>
Mark will be talking about his work with ReliefWeb.int in “ReliefWeb and the Role of Information in Humanitarian Response”
Sally Greene, who was recently reelected to the Chapel Hill Town Council by a very large margin, and Blogger and Law Professor Eric Muller will be featured on WUNC’s State of Things at noon on Thursday (November 15) talking about the subject of their upcoming conference “The Perils of Public Homage: Thomas Ruffin and State v. Mann in History and Memory”.
The conference to be held on Friday November 16 from 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m. in the Dialectic Chambers of the Di Phi Society atop of New West, Cameron Ave., UNC-CH Campus is described below and at the Center for the Study of the American South. A complete schedule with speakers biographies and other material is here.
Nov 12 2007
More: David has hands-on experience in building applications for SunSPOTs and was instrumental in its design and development, will be on hand to offer his insight into this amazing product.
The SunSPOT (Small Programmable Object Technology) was developed in the Sun Labs and represents the future of embedded systems. Already used throughout academia, students and professors alike are finding new and interesting uses for SunSPOTs. Each SunSPOT comes equipped with a processor, memory, eight external tri-color LEDs, light sensors, temperature sensors, an seemingly countless practical uses.
At its core, a SunSPOT is an embedded system. But, unlike other embedded systems that must be programmed using a low-level language such as assembly or C, SunSPOT applications are developed in Java. By allowing Java applications to be uploaded and run on an internal Java Virtual Machine, Sun is not only opening up SunSPOTs to more users than many other embedded systems, it is also leaving the final function of each SunSPOT up to the end user. By following a simple API with which to interface the SunSPOT, developers nationwide have created unique uses for SunSPOTs – everything from animal research to rocket testing and much more!
Gary Marchionini tests our/your/their joint command of personal pronouns as he shoots the video rapids in HisTube tomorrow
Steve B writes to let us know that he’ll be “using open source software (GPL’d Audacity sound editor) as a required component of [his] music for this show”:
I only get, thankfully the grads to be are probably saying, about 10 or 15 minutes to excite, inform, educate and amuse the grads.
What would you tell today’s Computer Science grads before they go out into the world?
I took a little time off the blog this week, for the first time in years really, busy working on balancing work and attention to Sally’s re-election bid with my other projects. Much of my time was spent pounding signs into very hard ground and then in the past two days finding them and pulling them back up. Yikes! I’m best at that level of politics.
The good news is that Sally was reelected handily only out of first place overall by about a dozen votes. ibiblio is doing very well. Many interesting things are happening in the social networking area. Our seminar is becoming immersed in social capital theory and I think in a good way.
The Carolina Union Activities Board just wrote to say that they would join in sponsoring DJ Spooky’s visit to UNC on February 8th. Watch the ibiblio home page for details.