Cal Laptop Found

Remember that Laptop story that had everyone boogaloo over whether or not the professor could track it down in March…?

Well, the laptop stolen from Cal Berkeley’s Sproul Hall was found yesterday. The culprit has been tracked down from a someone who tried to pawn the laptop to a eBay user in South Carolina. Here’s the details from SFGate.

Back that data up,

New Collection:

Local funk collector Jason Perlmutter recently launched, and we couldn’t be more excited. Mr. Perlmutter has created an invaluable resource, documenting the musical legacy of Soul and Funk artists here in the Carolinas.

Check it out!

Notes from the Move

New Servers (well, sort of!), New Racks (very new), New Datacenter (again, very new). Here’s pics from the ultra fun move.

Jon Manages

Boxes are Moved

Boxes are Trucked

Another View

Don’t show this pic to OSHA

A little art

The new Racks

Are you going to switch?

I switched my permanent email address last spring…Yet, with Google’s announcement of a new IM service, it made me wonder…Will people switch over from AOL or Yahoo?

Well, there must be a great plan to unleash it.

I’m still stunned by the popularity that Gmail generated from word-of-mouth promotion, and I’m amazed by how great of a tool it’s been for my use of email. With that said, I’m prepared for the switch. I just hope that a lot of people join in with my new preference because I can’t get people to switch from AOL IM over to my new YahooMessenger.

What I find interesting is that it seems the new Google IM service is going to be a lot like Skype, an open-source IM/Chat/communications service that I think is an incredible service. I absolutely love it. But It’s going to be a shame to watch Skype battle for users and popularity…Looking at the past growth of gmail and the snobbery that surrounded Gmail’s growth, there’s no doubt that Skype is going to be in a dog-fight to keep users in this part of the world.

Here’s the Reuters release on the new Google IM. Independent tech journalist, Om Malik is suggesting via his blog,
Giaom, that the service is going to be released on the open-source system known as Jabber.

It looks like I’m going to have to add a third IM to my GAIM service. Drop me an email with your new Google IM address, and let’s catch up.

Ping me,

New Collection: Triangle NC IAF

Triangle NC IAF is a broad based, interfaith and ecumenical organization that uses the model of leadership development and community organizing of the IAF (Industrial Areas Foundation). Please visit the multimedia Durham CAN website – a member of Triangle NC AIF

Link: Triangle NC IAF

Upgrade your WP’s!

Its come time in the endlessly frustrating cycle of third-party software use – upgrade your WP’s! We’ve been seeing some exploit-related traffic on ibiblio wp’s, so the best thing you can do is upgrade to protect yourself!

This is written on a nice, happy, safe wordpress.

Hack a RAZR Day

Well, I am sort of infatuated with my new RAZR – form, function, and sheer sex appeal wrapped into a slimline case. As I purchased an unlocked RAZR (read: off-plan), it didn’t come preconfigured. I have always enjoyed the challenge of configuring unlocked phones, generally its not too complex, and you learn a lot about the ins and outs of the services. However, tomorrow I’m going to take it to the next level when I sit down for some heavy hex editing to fix a rogue message-delivery problem. Feel free to stop by the office if you want to see me in exasperated mode…

And just in case you are configuring an unlocked RAZR, here’s a collection of links I’ve put together –

Ibiblio is Hiring!

It is with a profound sense of sadness and with the best wishes that we say goodbye to John as he moves on to his new job at Lulu. However, we’re a fast-moving shop, so we’d like to spread the word far and wide that we’re going to be soon accepting applications for a senior systems administrator/programmer full-time position. At the same time, we’ll be accepting applications for a entry-level student systems administrator position.

The full time job will have a full req (after all, it is a state job), but here’s a little bit of what we’re looking for. We’d like someone with at least 5 years professional experience, in a hands-on high- or senior-level administrative capacity. Solaris, HP-UX, AIX junkies welcome to apply, but we’re a Linux shop, and that ain’t gonna change any time soon. This is an excellent job for a highly motivated administrator who feels ready to take on the task of one of the largest free-information sites on the internet. Of course, free-information-loving, GNU-friendly folks are our fave; but you’ve got to be friendly, understanding, and able to work in a team environment. Salary is a good deal better than non-profit, but we’re no investment bank, either. We do provide one of the coolest working environments around, however. We’ll be developing the req over the next week, so if you’re interested, send us a message at jobs at

If you’re a UNC student, and interested in our entry-level admin job, please drop us a line as well (same address), and you’ll be hearing from us.

Leo Stoller sent Cease and Desist Letter

You may have heard of Leo Stoller. The New York Times wrote about him recently. He has trademarked the word “stealth” and dozens of other terms and phrases, and has made a business of suing people who use them. One of the phrases he claims license to is “Freedom of Expression”. Well, it just so happens that Kembrew McLeod trademarked “Freedom of Expression” (as a political statement) in 1999. Also, I’ve had the domain name registered for a couple years. Kembrew, a few others, and I have have formed the Freedom of Expression Security Consortium. Our motto: Regulating Freedom in the Marketplace of Ideas. We have sent Mr. Stoller a cease and desist letter, demanding that he stop infringing on our intellectual property rights.

Freedom of Expression Security Consortium: Regulating Freedom in the Marketplace of Ideas

Truck in a Ditch

It takes so little to amuse us. Even the misfortune of others can get us into a titter. We are human and so are imperfect. We were reminded of this today when collegue Diane Kelly told us that a really big cement truck had collapsed part of a ditch excavation and was laying on its side blocking the road.
Naturally we rushed down to South Road behind the Student Stores to lend a hand and to gawk. There we met Sarah Reuning who took these pictures at the scene.
It took about 30 minutes and two very very big crane trucks to get the cement truck aright.

Technorati…Public Utility?

Out here in the San Frandisco off of Fillmore Street, and I caught this article…

Check out Adam Peneberg’s article on Technorati today on WiredNews, which reports how much of an influence Technorati has upon real-time media. Peneberg makes a good point that Technorati has become a different type of search engine…as seen with the London Bombings.

Because it only takes seven minutes to post, where Google takes a “static” point of view as the world’s largest reference library research tool. Should Technorati be seen as a new public utility for searching?

I hope so…Let’s see if they can break the $300 mark…;)

From Haight and Fillmore,

Political Orientation of the UNC Campus

I’m currently fascinated by The Facebook. Rather than being just another Friendster/Myspace clone, TheFacebook is a phenomenon on campus. Exactly why TheFacebook is such a hit remains debatable – but beside the point. In some recent research I completed, I found that nearly 90% of Undergraduates at UNC are on TheFacebook. Rather significant.

One of the interesting ways TheFacebook allows you to describe yourself in your service profile is by political orientation. Allowing students to classify themselves as either Very Liberal, Liberal, Moderate, Conservative, Very Conservative, Libertarian and Apathetic/Other (I merged the last two into one category in a very unscientific manner), you can actually use TheFacebook to begin to develop a political profile of students on campus.

In this first graph (click to see it full-size), the “political orientation” of UNC-Chapel Hill is presented. Males and Females are aggregated together, and the totals are plotted. As you can see, we still live on a liberal campus, but the conservative faction is quite substantial (i.e., not the aggrieved hyper-minority it often presents itself as). Interesting also is the lack of the oft-reported chasm between liberals and conservatives. Given the chance to describe themselves as “very liberal” and “very conservative”, most students choose to describe themselves as liberal, moderate, or conservative. It seems that college students represent a more moderate, centrist bloc than is often reported.

View Full Size

In this second graph, we see a side-by-side comparison of the politcial views of UNC students by gender. Interesting is the tendency of female students to identify as liberal, and the relative equal distribution of male political views. While liberals and moderates outnumber conservatives in each case, a significant percentage of males and females identify as conservative.

View Full Size

While none of this is particularly surprising to me (other than the large conservative faction), it is an interesting insight into the political orientation of UNC students. This may be especially interesting for prof’s who always wondered how their classes were politically oriented.

RNC 2004

JJB checking in. I’m currently working on a documentary film, tentatively named RNC 2004. I went to New York City during the Republican National Convention. I interviewed many protesters on the street, in addition to various political and media figures (partial list of interviewees here).

I’ve made a 3 minute promo for the film (no that’s not me with the microphone, it’s my friend Jonothan Bourland). You can also download the current cut of the entire 60 minute film: either a 300 MB Quicktime file or a torrent of the 3.8 GB full quality DVD image.

If you do watch either the promo or the rough cut, I would love to hear any and all feedback you have, either in the comments on the blog, or by email.

If you want to be kept up to date on the progress of the film, sign up on the email list (traffic will be light. maximum one email per week).

Barack Obama at The Aspen Institute 7/03/05

Alright, we have our first correspondent for “Notes From the Lab” today…

Former UNC Chapel Hill Journalism student, Brett Garamella, a.k.a. “The Aspen Kid” attended a dialogue session between rising Democratic hopeful, Barack Obama and President of The Aspen Institute, Walter Isaccson last Saturday night.

Obama touched on a number of topics, and here’s the report from Aspen, Colorado…

Barack Obama – June 2, 2005
By Brett Garamella

Barack Obama spoke in Aspen with articulation you’d expect from a man who served as the first African-American president of the Harvard Law Review. His eloquence and intelligence proved greater than the high expectations I had before the dialogue with Aspen Institute President Walter Isaacson on Saturday evening.

Isaacson began the discussion by asking, “How does a skinny black guy with a funny name, born in Hawaii, mother from Kansas and father from Kenya, become the senator from Illinois?”

Obama told of his improbable rise, how his father left when he was 2 and how he only saw him once, at age 10. “The starting premise for me that my mother instilled in me, and my father inadvertently instilled, was that everybody was the same.” He went on to elaborate that his understanding of the human condition evolved from growing up in Hawaii and Indonesia.

“One of the wonderful things about America is that we come from these different ports and these different places and there is this sense that we can create ourselves, that our destiny is determined by us,” he said. After graduating from Columbia and Harvard Law, Obama created his own destiny, moving to Chicago in 1985 and working with church-based groups trying to improve living conditions in poor neighborhoods.

“I moved there, not knowing a sole in Illinois and it turned out to be the greatest education I ever received,” said Obama. “The most important thing it taught me was that ordinary people can do extraordinary things when they are given the opportunity in order to get them.”

Although listening to him you gained the impression that he might run for president or a higher office in the future, he said the Democrat Party needs to stop thinking about the future elections and decide on what’s the best way to help the American people. “I don’t care how you spin things … if you haven’t done the hard intellectual work and have something say, you’re not going to win elections.”

He said the three biggest concerns the Democrat Party should have are:

1.) The global economy
2.) Foreign policy
3.) Faith and Family values.

“Democrats have to talk about faith, family and community in a way that weighs diversity in politics rather than excludes diversity in politics without feeling the importance to necessarily drop a quote from the bible in their speech. There’s got to be a certain authenticity when we talk about values.”

Another big issue Obama addressed involved the media. In one anecdote, he told how two guys were arguing and finally one guy gave up and said, “Well, I’m entitled to my own opinion.” The other guy said, “Your entitled to your own opinion, but you’re not entitled to your own facts.”

Obama said that the problem with mainstream media today is that it presents two opposing opinions, but then rarely clarifies the facts of the issue based on thorough research.

Here are some more Obama quotes on certain topics discussed:

Education: “Most importantly, No Child Left Behind did not speak to what I think is a critical issue in education, that is how do we encourage our best and brightest to continue teaching, and how do we substantially upgrade the pay and performance of the teaching profession.”

Decision for Iraq War:
“When I was running, in the fall of 2002 … I said this is a bad idea. It certainly wasn’t because I didn’t think Saddam Hussein was a bad guy. I specifically said in a speech in Chicago, it was about six months before the war, I said, I’m not on the federal intelligence committee, but I don’t see any serious weapons of mass destruction. I don’t see Saddam connected to Al Qaida. This is going to cost billions of dollars and thousands of lives… and I think I’ve been pretty restrained in not saying, I told you so….”

President Bush’s Tax Cuts: “You didn’t need those tax cuts and you weren’t even asking for them.”

Ways to Decrease the Deficit: “If we don’t get a hold of our healthcare costs over the private and government sector, I do not think we can solve our structural deficit problem.”

Afterward the lady sitting next to me seemed as impressed as I did listening to Obama. I told her I’m sure he’ll move up from his current position as a senator in Illinois. She said if politicians like him don’t move to higher positions “we’re doomed.” I couldn’t agree more.

Brett Garamella…Reporting for “Notes From the Lab” from Aspen, Colorado.

Good stuff from “BG”, a.k.a. “The Aspen Kid”,

Google Earth

Have you seen Google Earth yet? I find it is hard to believe that I am repping a Windows application, but it is really quite cool. I guess the countdown begins for the *nix port! I’m actually surprised this app doesn’t have an X port from the get go…it seems like it would have come out of a *nix friendly community.

ibiblio sites blogged by Searls and Lessig

Alert ibiblian John Reuning noticed that Doc Searls has found the ibiblio BitTorrent site and has given it some electrons on his blog.
Ever alert and somewhat grumpy ibiblian Josh Meyer notices that Stay Free! (hosted here on ibiblio) and editor Carrie McLaren get electrons from Larry Lessig on his blog.

Guiding Bloggers…

I like these guys at the EFF…They equip the people…What more can you say?…

With that said, the EFF has released a Blogger’s Guide that outlines a set of guidelines detailing the legal rights and issues for bloggers such as libel law, copyright law, and political advocacy.

Bloggers Guide

The good point of the Guide is that it’s not designed to scare off present and future bloggers, but it’s to provide an educational tool that will inform bloggers about their rights and will enchance their ability to defend themselves…Good stuff.

Check out EFF’s Guide here.

Blog Forevah,

HTTP, idempotency, and web apps.

Ian Bicking has a pretty good explanation of the safe/idempotet requirements of RFC2616 (HTTP/1.1), §9.1. It’s available on his blog, titled GWA and RFC 2616.

The real take-home point is this: a web application should only generate side-effects on POST requests. Expect a proliferation of ugly javascript and form kludges to work around this, until someone gets clever. That person will develop templates to allow insertion of anonymous forms with the appropriate <noscript> options. That is, for js-enabled browsers, onClick links to submit; noscript to ugly form buttons for everyone else.

New Collection: Guruguha


Guruguha is Musical Wisdom.

Guruguha is at


Music Business Strictly For the Birds

I’ve been working on a new blog-based website for ex-Byrds lead Roger McGuinn ( and in the process have read a bit about the band’s history. I’ve been struck by how influential Roger McGuinn’s guitar sound has been, particularly on early (re: seminal) R.E.M. I had never made that connection before until I listened last evening for the first time in a couple of decades to the classic “Eight Miles High.” (I imagine the high-flying Byrds were smoking pot for medicinal purposes only.) Anyway, I came across a fascinating website documenting a Frontline television series last year on the death of the music industry that contained an interview with ex-Byrd David Crosby. (See Paul Jones’ blog on the newly formed connection between ibiblio and Frontline at I suppose the Crosby interview is no longer news, and I also imagine there are many bitter overweight sixties rejects complaining about Britney Spears’ tits, but, heck, the interview is compelling. Crosby’s in the “been there, done that” seat, and for that alone, it’s a valuable reflection on the horrors that occur when big biz and art collide (a hint: roadkill). Props to Crosby. The interview can be found at