ibiblio is pleased to announce the addition of four new contributing projects to its Osprey bittorrent distribution system. The ibiblio-hosted or -mirrored projects now serving over torrent.ibiblio.org now include:
- Bintoo Linux
- Damn Small Linux
- EnGarde Linux
- the FreeDOS Project
- the ibiblio Speaker Series
- Project Gutenberg
ibiblio is pleased to disseminate its contributors’ content through innovative delivery methods which should speed downloads to end users while cutting bandwidth costs at the same time. If you are interested in serving content images over torrent.ibiblio.org, please drop a note to help at ibiblio.org.
Fedora Project leads have announced the availability of fedora-archives.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.
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.
“The idea of Project Gutenberg is to bring the source of all information, and civilization, to the masses in the same way the Gutenberg press did in the middle of the second millennium, only in a modern manner,” Hart said.
The collection includes books in many languages other than English. For example, there are 1,053 books in French, 451 in German, 396 in Finnish, 279 in Dutch, 155 in Spanish, 114 in Italian, 113 in Portuguese, 54 in Tagalog, and even books in Frisian, Catalan, Nahuatl, Sanskrit and Iroquoian.
Hart has said he expects eventually to offer 1 million books in 100 languages as well as everything else in the public domain including graphics, music, movies, sculpture, paintings and photographs.
Hart’s goal is simple: “We want to provide as many e-books in as many formats as possible for the entire world to read in as many languages as possible.” He added that e-books advance the dissemination of culture, literacy, democracy and civil society.
Project Gutenberg does not claim new copyright on titles it publishes. Hart instead has encouraged the free reproduction and distribution of the collection by such projects as the eGranary, which places Web resources on a server on university campuses in developing countries that have little or no Internet connectivity. (See related article.)
Hart does not ask for user fees or solicit large grants, insisting his collection’s e-books be free, keeping the project a virtual, rather than physical, entity and relying on volunteers. So far, more than 50,000 people have helped – “there are no dues, no membership requirements and still only the most general guidelines to making eBooks for Project Gutenberg,” he said.
Hart’s project has inspired such other digital libraries as Projekt Gutenberg-DE for classic German literature and Projekt Runeberg for classic Nordic literature.
One of Hart’s key principles is “noninterference” with volunteers. “Project Gutenberg’s staff and the organization as a whole can do the most good by setting up a set of tools and infrastructure to create and distribute e-books, and then let creative and energetic volunteers do work as they see fit,” he said.
A free DVD, whose contents also are available for downloading, contains 17,000 of the collection’s first 19,000 titles.
Hart said he believes e-books are also an environmentally friendly alternative to printing traditional books. And, most of the world cannot afford the traditional book, he added. “When it comes to owning entire libraries, it’s easier if they are e-books.”
There are more than 20,000 free books listed in the Project Gutenberg Online Book Catalog. No special e-book readers, software or other devices are necessary. More than 100,000 titles are available at Project Gutenberg Partners, Affiliates and Resources. The Science Fiction Bookshelf is offering a new compact disk for downloading that includes most of the collection’s science fiction titles.
Users also can create a CD or DVD image containing only the books they want, whether 20 or 2,000. For further information on how to download compilations of e-books, see Gutenberg: The CD and DVD Project.
Project Gutenberg is participating in the second annual World eBook Fair, which has more than 750,000 e-books, including historical documents, national literatures, children’s literature, medicine and reference, available for free downloading through August 4.
(USINFO is produced by the Bureau of International Information Programs, U.S. Department of State. Web site: http://usinfo.state.gov)
Expanding on the work of a previous IMLS grant, UNC’s ibiblio.org digital library will archive, digitize, and video stream 35 new documentary films. Partnering with Folkstreams, Inc. and the University’s Southern Folklore Collection, the project will produce a guide to best practices in video digitization; add 20 new video clips to its Video Aids for Film Preservation; and create portals, guides, and outreach materials for senior citizens and teachers. Rare documentaries will provide knowledge of American folklife to these two distinct audiences using the easy-to-access folkstreams.net Website.
boyd, a Ph.D. candidate at the University of California, Berkeley’s School of Information, explores how young people negotiate the presentation of self in online mediated contexts. Her research focuses on how this young audience engages with “digital publics” – connected social spaces such as MySpace, LiveJournal, Xanga and YouTube.
Currently, boyd is a Graduate Fellow at the USC Anneberg Center, and social media researcher at Yahoo! Research Berkeley. Her recent work has explored diverse topics such as the creation of digital publics in Myspace.com (Identity Production in a Networked Culture: Why Youth Heart MySpace), the design of culturally adaptive software (G/localization: When Global Information and Local Interaction Collide), and the exploration of folksonomy (HT06, Tagging Paper, Taxonomy, Flickr, Academic Article, ToRead).
At Berkeley, boyd is advised by Peter Lyman and Mimi Ito. She holds an M.S. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where she studied with Judith Donath at the Media Lab, and a B.A. from Brown University. boyd is frequently cited in top media, including the New York Times, Washington Post, NPR and Salon.com. She even went toe-to-toe with scary old Bill O’Reilly once. boyd blogs at http://www.zephoria.org/thoughts/, a must-read destination for those interested in social technology.
About this discussion:
The discussion will be structured by audience questions. The audience is asked to submit questions in advance. Questions may be submitted to Fred Stutzman at firstname.lastname@example.org. From these submitted questions, we’ll structure a discussion that will be open and wide-ranging.
Please feel free to forward this announcement as appropriate.
I’m very pleased to report that we’ve secured a venue for BarCampRDU. The kind folks at Red Hat have offered us space at their Centennial Campus offices on Saturday, July 22, 2006. BarCampRDU will run from 8:30AM (registration and breakfast) to 5:30PM. Now that we’ve got a date, please go and add yourself as an attendee to the wiki!
Here’s some other valuable information:
- To stay up-to-date with BarCampRDU planning (low-to-medium volume), add yourself to our ibiblio-hosted mailing list.
- To keep up-to-date with BarCampRDU announcements (low-volume), add this blog’s feed to your newsreader.
Now that we’ve secured a date and a venue – we need sponsors. Sponsors will help cover the costs of feeding, caffeinating and t-shirting BarCampers. Sponsorship is absolutely crucial for BarCampRDU – so please consider (contact me at fred @ ibiblio.org if interested). Think of all the geeks you’ll be making happy.
I’m pleased to announce that we’re planning a BarCamp in the Raleigh-Durham area! A BarCamp is an unconference where lots of geek-oriented people get together to chat, teach, learn, eat and have fun. If you’ve never been to an unconference before, they are a lot of fun and worth experiencing.
We’re in the very early stages of planning BarCampRDU, but we know a couple of things we need. We need people to help out with BarCampRDU’s planning and execution. We need sponsors to help cover the costs of refreshments and materials. We need space to host the conference (150 people, hosted on a Saturday). Most importantly, we need campers to come learn, teach and have a great time at BarCampRDU.
To get involved, you’ll want to visit the BarCampRDU website, where you can see the preliminary planning that’s gone on. You should also subscribe to the BarCampRDU mailing list, as this will be the place we have most of our planning discussions. However, if you just have a simple question – don’t hesitate to contact me at email@example.com.
BarCampRDU will be free for all campers, it will be hosted on a Saturday in July (possibly July 8th), and everyone is invited to attend (You need not be from RDU area). To help spread the word, we ask that you blog about BarCampRDU, email your friends, whatever. We can only get the word out with your help. Finally, I hope that you’ll think about coming out – BarCamps have been great successes around the country, and we’d like to do the same here!
This project really tickles my fancy.
Clearware.org aims to make End User License Agreements (EULAs) easy to read for people like you and I, not just the lawyers who write them. Clearware.org specifies a style of summary very similar to a Creative Commons deed that highlights the important points of the license so you can take it all in at a glance.
In addition, and this is the part that I think is the coolest, Clearware.org specifies how to mark up a license as an RDF document so that the license can be understood by third party programs. This sort of semantic markup would eventually allow users search for software based on licensing terms!
We’re very happy to host this innovative new project!
ibiblio’s Lyceum multi-user blogsphere got a boost from The Frances C. and William P. Smallwood Foundation of Fort Worth, Texas today. The Foundation awarded Lyceum a $25,000.00 gift through the UNC School of Information and Library Science to be used for promotion and stablization of the project. More details in an upcoming press release from the School.
Thanks to Fred and especially to JJB for making Lyceum real!
The $10,000 award is given for significant contribution in new media to scholarship about Abraham Lincoln, the American Civil War soldier, or a subject relating to the Civil War era.
“The winner of the Electronic Lincoln Prize proves that the historian’s work can be immensely improved if scholars move fully into the 21st Century,” said Gettysburg College Fluhrer Professor of Civil War Studies Gabor Boritt, who serves as chair of the Electronic Lincoln Prize.
Yesterday, Lawrence Lessig blogged a little more about the ambitious aim of the iCommons project, which “reaches far beyond the infrastructure that CC is building… to bring together a wide range of people in addition the CC crowd – including Wikipedians, Free Software sorts, the Free Culture kids, A2K heroes, Open Access advocates, and others”.
The iCommons crew has been very nice to work with. We’re very happy to have the opportunity to contribute to their effort.
This is a contest for artists to mix audio tracks under 4 minutes which use provided voice samples from Ben Franzen and Kembrew McLeod’s forthcoming film, “Copyright Criminals.” Samples from the film include voiceovers from De La Soul, DJ Qbert, members of Public Enemy, Matmos, Coldcut, members of Negativland, and others. The best overall winner will be included prominently in the film and the top 11 other entries are to be included on a companion CD.
The deadline has been extended to March 14, and new samples from George Clinton (Parliament-Funkadelic) and Chuck D (Public Enemy) are added to the list of possible source material that you may use.
(Incidentally, another thing that Kembrew and I have in common is that we have both interviewed Chuck D… him for several hours and me for 15 minutes. I interviewed Chuck D for my perpetually in production documentary, which will soon have a new home here.)
In preparation for the formal announcment and code release at the end of this month, the Lyceum team is running a public test intallation of the code. Check it out:
The front page explains everything. Basically, sign up for a blog (or several), write posts, adjust settings, comment on other people’s blogs, and then send bug reports to lyceum-bugs AT lists DOT ibiblio DOT org.
UNC has officially joined the Open Content Alliance (OCA). The OCA describes itself as encouraging “the greatest possible degree of access to and reuse of collections in the archive, while respecting the content owners and contributors.” These content owners and contributors comprise a long list of corporations and academic institutions, including, surprisingly, MSN, who has joined in part to promote their new book search.
I think I speak for the lab denizens collectively in saying that we’re proud that our university is a member of this organization. We’re also proud that the spirit in which ibiblio was founded thirteen years ago is spreading throughout our larger culture.
I’ve published a new “study” of the Facebook over on my blog – it can be located at Fred’s blog. The last two studies were posted to the Ibiblog, but this one is so long I didn’t want to crosspost. Here are some key findings:
You can see the rest over here…
We’ll be announcing private beta testing of Lyceum next week. If you’d like to be one of our beta testers, please feel free to drop us a line at lyceum at ibiblio dot org.
We’ve also rolled a new version of the Lyceum website, which should give you a little taste of what to expect from Lyceum.
One of the interesting things I’ve been doing with my Facebook studies (see here, here, and here for more info) is collecting data on the Freshman class over time. I believe that the Freshman can tell us a lot about technology and adoption trends, and from a broader perspective, what social and political trends may be emerging on campus. To both extents, it’s fairly easy to pull out some simple metrics on these from my collected data. I’ll present a little of that data here.
First, who uses the Facebook
Basing my data analysis on these UNC-provided figures, I can say with relative confidence that nearly every Freshman on campus uses TheFacebook. On day 1 of class, I was able to discover 3095 Freshman profiles (!!!). 5 weeks later, I was able to discover 3292 Freshman profiles. 88 percent of Freshmen have an active profile on the Facebook. Lets look at these trends over time:
This graph shows total Freshman profiles found, and the lower line in the graph indicates the 2005 Freshman profiles with no “Privacy” flags set. I’ve found that a little more than 1% of Freshmen use privacy flags. Interestingly, privacy use has declined over time, at a constant rate (Week 1: 3% privacy use; Week 3: 1.5% privacy use; Week 5: 1% privacy use). This feeds into the notion that students that do not share their profiles online are not “participating” as normal social actors.
Interesting in this data is the “Week 4 depression”, which may represent students having buyers remorse about living so publicly. This is just a guess, though.
How often are Freshmen using the facebook?
One of the questions posed to me during a recent talk was “How often are students using the Facebook”, which I roughly translate to “How often are students logging in to the system, etc”. Facebook does not provide “last access” data, though it does provide “last update” information, indicating the last time the user has updated their profile. Accepting that “updating” one’s profile places a slightly higher bar on system use than simply “logging in”, I took a look at how often students are updating their profile. The results amazed me.
Using data collected on September 27, I analyzed last update; as you can see, 2871 profiles were updated in September, with 1819 profiles updated in the last week. I was really blown away by this, so I broke out the September data by day.
We can clearly see a trend that profiles are being updated most frequently in the days preceding the data collection. Assuming that “last update” stands in as a good proxy for system use, I believe we can safely say that students are using TheFacebook extremely frequently.
Friend network expansion
One of the interesting metrics we can pull out of the data is average friend network size; in doing so, we watch the obvious and interesting aggregation of a social network on campus.
The average moves up at a fairly regular interval. For the network geeks out there, here’s data on the Freshman social network size:
Week 1: 3095 nodes, 144,260 edges
Week 2: 3188 nodes, 167,783 edges
Week 3: 3241 nodes, 198,668 edges
Week 4: 3217 nodes, 218,534 edges
Week 5: 3292 nodes, 245,883 edges
Freshmen political orientation
2423 Freshmen report a political orientation in the Facebook; this is 74%, or about 3 out of ever 4 students. Reported here are some well thought out reasons why to take political orientation data in the Facebook with a grain of salt. And to that extent, I agree completely. The notion of labeling in the Facebook may be completely arbitrary; a good amount of the data in the system represents in-jokes and the like. The students use codes in the system to communicate and display in-network group strength and identity. Stepping back from that, though, I still think its interesting to see the data. And of course, it has surprised me.
While Liberal students again outnumber Conservative students, there is suprising parity between the two factions (assuming, of course, that UNC is a liberal institution). Is this what the post-9/11 student body looks like? When political orientation becomes a face-value aspect of identity, how does it force factionization in friend-making behaviors? If we all purport to know each other’s politics, is it not hard to imagine freshmen making decisions based on this highly characteristic identity element? Please see this post for more information on this data, the pooling that goes on, etc.
Now, for some fun
First, I present what I’m calling the Happy Index. This is Freshmen relationship identification over time. I’ve decided to include all fields available in the Facebook, though the graph can more effectively be segregated along Single/Not-Single lines. It is interesting to see how Married and Open Relationship increase over time as the in-joke nature of the claim moves through the network. Since the network size changes each week, this is presented as a ratio of the total network.
Finally, I analyzed what sort of websites students are identifying as their personal websites. As we might expect, the majority of personal websites claimed by students are of the photo, blog, or profile hosting nature.
Interestingly, only six unc.edu sites were returned, with not one being a unc.edu/~ personal site. Not one freshman reports using his or her UNC provided webspace. This is alarming, but not surprising.
For questions about this data, please contact Fred Stutzman