A friend who blogs anonymously handed me a stickie note tag from a pad she hides in her desk. I guess blogging is completely mainstream when the word is on stickie note tags in the remainer bin at the Dollar Tree along with last year’s Pokemon figures.
All the ibiblio office is abuzz over the video performance of Berkeley Professor Jasper Rine as he visits a class in which the pharmacological effects of coffee and of viagra are explained to put fear in the heart of the person who stole his (Rine’s) laptop during the another class. Boingboing has good coverage and links to many versions of the tape. And there is even a cartoon version. ABC News’ Hari Sreenivasan discloses the most unbelievable part of Rine’s over the top tirade:
At the beginning of the monologue, Rine outlines how he reinstalled the laptop’s version of Windows on a second machine and how folks at Microsoft’s Redmond headquarters responded within 15 minutes to the anomaly. (The idea that Microsoft would respond in 15 minutes to anything ought have been the first indication that there were some liberties with the truth.)
It turns out that it’s not such a good year for laptops with sensitive information at Berkeley.
And it’s not such a good year in Hampshire, England where one of the many laptops missing from the Ministry of Defense was found still full of data.
NC Poet Laureate Kay Byer releases a poem each day by a different NC poet on the NC Arts Council Website. Quite a variety there. Like Kay, I love the lines in Margaret (aka Peggy) Rabb’s “Dogwood Alarm.”
Just got word that I won the UNC Faculty Election as the Professional Schools’ Representative to the Adminstrative Board of the Library. The Library in question being the UNC-Chapel Hill Academic Libraries.
This puts me on two library boards at once. The Chapel Hill Public Library Board of Trustees and the Administrative Board for UNC.
Send your local library issues this way. (And thanks if you voted for me).
Robert Kaye, who has the most creative hair styles known, writes to announce the MetaBrainz Foundation, which is designed to run the evolving MusicBrainz project.
MusicBrainz is a user maintained community music metadatabase. Music metadata is information such as the name of an artist, the name of an album and list of tracks that appear on an album. MusicBrainz collects this information about music and makes it available to the public.
With the creation of the MetaBrainz Foundation, the MusicBrainz project enters its second phase of life. In the first incarnation, the project was privately maintained and focused primarily on basic music metadata described above. Today the MusicBrainz project has the legal backing and infrastructure of the MetaBrainz Foundation, which will allow it to embark on a mission to expand its scope.
MusicBrainz recently released the Advanced Relationships feature which allows volunteers to enter vastly more information about music than previously possible. This new feature allows MusicBrainz to capture essential music information as well as obscure facts about music and the musicians who created it. With these new features, MusicBrainz takes the first step towards creating a user contributed music encyclopedia.
MetaBrainz has a killer Board, including Larry Lessig, Joi Ito, Cory Doctorow and Dan Brickley and is officially tax-exempt and is ready to receive your donations and your help.
From Dan Gillmor come these stories of bloggers promoting literary fiction from the Village Voice and the LA Times.
from the LA Times article:
Calling themselves the Litblog Co-Op, the effort includes the sites the Elegant Variation, Moorishgirl, Rake’s Progress and Confessions of an Idiosyncratic Mind, all of which will continue to operate separately, the bloggers say.
Key to the effort is the Read This! campaign they’ve created, in which five of the bloggers will each nominate a title he or she thinks deserves readers’ attention, then the co-op will vote for one to promote jointly. The first title (four will be selected each year) will be announced May 15 on the group’s Web site, www.lbc.typepad.com.
Blogger Mark Sarvas, who drew the project together, described the effort as less an award program than a conversation starter.
Are we ready for poetry reviews and/or contributions to the News and Observer forums?
This just in from the North Carolina Library Association:
Senate Bill 971 – North Carolina Libraries Special Plate – The bill authorizes the Division of Motor Vehicles to issue a North Carolina Libraries special registration plate. The additional fees for the special plate will go to the North Carolina Library Association, Inc. for the Association’s public programs.
Notes: The bill has been referred to the Senate Committee on Finance. Each year several bills are introduced to add special plates for the benefit of various groups. This type of bill is generally held until late in the legislative session for consideration. If the bill passes, plates will not be issued until there are at least 300 requests and there is no estimate given on the amount of income the plates could generate.
Ross A. Holt
Head of Reference
Randolph County Public Library
Note: the primary sponsor is our State Senator, Eleanor Kinnaird.
So it’s a beautiful day and we’re working outside at the Grind. John R suddenly starts laughing outloud. Why? He was amused by this image from the Red Hat Magazine site.
I was amused because I read “Tryest” without the “E” It’s that kind of day. So beautiful that the smallest things bring joy and diversion. The only part that dampens things down is that I’m working while I’m out here.
No, not that poetry is written by or even for depressives, but that the News and Observer’s noble attempt at making poetry writing inclusive and fun was immediately hijacked by trolls.
For poetry month, that is April the month in which we are mid-way through, the News and Observer published a very broad sampler of poetry, 5 or 6 by different authors, in a beautiful layout in their Sunday Journal section. The online version has an even nicer color photo illustrated slide show.
Now the participation kicks in.
The News and Observer has some barely moderated forums populated by trolls who represent the darkest portion of the ids of some spiritually impoverished part of Raleigh. But never mind that. Poetry can bring light — perhaps.
Or perhaps not. The public, which must go through several hoops to join the forum, is encouraged to take a line for NC Poet Laureate Kay Byer’s poem and to create a new poem of their own.
I like the idea — part of it — The participation and the remaking and the building on in a personal and unique way off of the Byer poem.
The problem is the N and O forum. A glance at the postings immediately put you off. The first posters don’t follow that stated rules at all. What one has to go through to register for the privilege of posting with the trolls is just not worth it.
The poetry project is held hostage by a bad interface, an unpoliced community, and unfilled expectations.
In some ways, I’m happy to have this as an example for my virtual communites class upcoming in the fall. But frankly I would rather have seen it work out as designed.
Can this project be saved or salvaged?
Sally is off in NYC taking in all the culture including a late preview of the musical, “Light in the Piazza” based on our friend Elizabeth Spencer’s novel, The Saint Lawrence String Quartet at Carnegie Hall (featuring her cousin, Geoff Nuttall), a visit to the new MOMA, a revival of “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf” and more.
Tucker and I went instead to Apple Chill and ate bad food on a stick, then his North Carolina Boys Choir did a concert at the Cedars, plus more delightful local diversions. The weather is beautiful so who could possibly complain about anything?
Just talking with Ryan Thornburg and Deb Aikat at Weaver Street about the properties of podcasting. I proposed an initial three properties:
- Location independence
and would add
- Personalized subscriptions
- Nearly seamlessly automated transfer to the listening device
Others? or corrections? Just getting started.
Margaret (aka Peggy) Rabb has been editting Blink: a little little magazine of little poems for some time now. The January 2005 issues in vol. 4 no. 3. Her Blink is one 8.5 x 11 page folder twice so that you have a cover, 2 pages of very very short poems — I’ve not noticed one over 8 lines and most or 5 or less — and a back. I have several issues scattered around the house and am always delighted to read the poem anew as I rediscover the issue and the poems. I’m particularly enjoying Mike White’s “O” just now.
Peggy had her Blink before Malcolm Gladwell. Gladwell subtitles his Blink “the power of thinking without thinking.” Peggy, whose selections are thoughtful, might call her Blink “the power of thinking and thinking again.”
Some useful Blink info:
Blink is published bimonthly. A single issue costs $1; a year’s subscription is $6. Make checks payable to Margaret Rabb, Editor, CB#3520, Greenlaw Hall, UNC, Chapel Hill, NC 27599-3520.
Submit original, previously unpublished poems only; include SASE. First publication rights reserved; all rights revert to author upon publication. ISSN: 1536-1624.
Rupert Murdoch told US editors yesterday that the “Internet is an emerging medium that is not my native language.”
As the big Fox told the editors that News Corp had slept too long during the Internet emergence, he quoted Phil Meyer:
One writer, Philip Meyer, has even suggested in his book The Vanishing Newspaper that looking at today’s declining newspaper readership — and continuing that line, the last reader recycles the last printed paper in 2040 — April, 2040, to be exact.
There are a number of reasons for our inertia in the face of this advance. First, newspapers as a medium for centuries enjoyed a virtual information monopoly — roughly from the birth of the printing press to the rise of radio. We never had a reason to second-guess what we were doing. Second, even after the advent of television, a slow but steady decline in readership was masked by population growth that kept circulations reasonably intact. Third, even after absolute circulations started to decline in the 1990s, profitability did not.
But those days are gone. The trends are against us. Fast search engines and targeted advertising as well as editorial, all increase the electronic attractions by a factor of 3 or 4. And at least four billion dollars a year is going into R&D to further improve this process.
So unless we awaken to these changes, which are quite different to those of 5 or 6 years ago, we will, as an industry, be relegated to the status of also-rans. But, properly done, they are an opportunity to actually improve our journalism and expand our reach.
Full speech at The News Corp site.
The word “robot” was first widely used in the play RUR or Rossum’s Universal Robots [in Czech] by Karel Capek (but some give credit to Karel’s brother Josef for coining the word). The play you may remember is about a robot rebellion — a justified one at that.
The Guardian asks scientists and other experts to evaluate 10 end-of-the-world scenarios as to their likelihood of occuring in the next 70 years. Robot Rebellion was right up on top with a HIGH likelihood and a HIGH impact.
Here’s a very brief summary:
1: Climate Change.
Chance of temperatures rising more than 2C (the level considered to be dangerous by the European Union) in the next 70 years: High
Danger score: 6
2: Telomere erosion.
Chances of a human population crash due to telomere erosion during the next 70 years: Low
Danger score: 8
Chance of a viral pandemic in the next 70 years: Very high
Danger score: 3
4. Terroristic Attack.
Chances of a major terrorist attack in the next 70 years: Very high
Danger score: 2
5. Nuclear War
Chance of a global nuclear war in the next 70 years: Low
Danger score: 8
6. Metor or Asteriod Impact
Chance of the Earth being hit by a large asteroid in the next 70 years: Medium
Danger score: 5
7. Robot Rebellion
Chance of super-intelligent robots in the next 70 years: High
Danger score: 8
8. Cosmic ray blast from exploding star
Chance of encountering a supernova in the next 70 years: Low
Danger score: 4
Chance of a super-volcano in the next 70 years: Very high
Danger score: 7
10. Earth swallowed by a black hole
Chance of Earth being gobbled up by a black hole in the next 70 years: Exceedingly low
Danger score: 10
Judd Knott’s son-in-law Bryan Tucker who writes for the Chapelle Show and for Chris Rock is in town for the UNC Comedy Festival.
Most if not all events are restricted to students (and that’s not funny). Tonight, Joe Garden and Peter Koechley of the Onion will be doing their funny thing in Hamilton 100 at 7:30 pm.
I need your help. We’ve encoded a lot of films in MP4 for streaming — usually your QuickTime player will play the streams whilst embedded in your browser. If you could try streaming the documentary about Wilmington visionary artist Minnie Evans called “The Angel That Stands By Me” or “Give My Poor Heart Ease: Mississippi Delta Bluesmen” featuring BB King then let me know if you get a good smooth stream, the size of the picture, and any quality issues, I’d appreciate it.
If you have difficulties, could you also try streaming “Self Preservation In An Atomic Attack” from the Prelinger Archives at Archive.org and let me know if that movie is handled differently.
Much thanks and enjoy the movies.