The Real Paul Jones

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Month: December 2005 (page 3 of 4)

eVoting – Diebold CEO resigns

For personal reasons says he, but other reports point to ” imminent securities fraud litigation, and legal challenges by states claiming fraudulent certification of Diebold voting machines.” Not to mention the troubles and power plays that Diebold has been involved in here in NC. (Major Source here is SlashDot as an aggregator).

Podcastercon – Earlier start! Later finish!

Podcastercon 2006
Where: 116 Murphey Hall, UNC, Chapel Hill, NC
When: Saturday, January 7, 2006 9:30 am – 6pm

See the new Schedule!

100 songs by McGuinn

Camilla McGuinn’s Roadie Reports entries over on the Roger McGuinn Blog give us not only a nice history of the young Jimmy (later to be Roger) including pictures of his first band, The Frets, but also the story of mixing and mastering the 100 songs for THE FOLK DEN PROJECT. Roger began recording a different folk song each month back in November 1995 and giving them away on the Internet. We’ve been a part of this project of most of its life here at ibiblio by hosting the site and developing some software and procedures to support the work.
In celebration of the ten years of the Folk Den, Roger has made very high quality CD versions of 100 of the 120 songs which you can buy from him or from (just being put up there).

Lipsitz poem on Writer’s Almanac

Into the future, Lou Lipsitz’s poem “In memory of George Lewis, Great Jazzman” will air on Wednesday December 14 nationally on the Writer’s Almanac read by Garrison Keillor. You can hear it in advance here.(Real Audio)
The poem needs to be seen and heard — both — to be appreciated there is a bit of cummings there in the typography.

LeBeau Update

The latest from the Kansas City Star tells us that Brian LeBeau, The University of Missouri-Kansas City dean who was put on administrative leave after being accused of plagiarism[…]will not seek reinstatement to his dean’s position.

More on Library Futures (and wikipedians)

Mike Conway posts a comment in response to the musing about the Future of Collections in Academic Libraries below asking about Wikipedians (as a term and as a people) and a bit about library futures. I decided to reply as a brief article and as a comment so’s it doesn’t get lost.

First Wikipedian is not that new a term. Wikipedians have been self-identifying by that name for a while now. See also “You now you are a Wikipedian if …”

We have a professional information caste; we call them “librarians” and less often “encyclopedians” The last were/are the heroes of the Foundation Trilogy as compilers of the Encyclopedia Galactica. Or you might prefer the parody turned real HitchHiker’s Guide to the Galaxy”.

For the moment, I’m thinking and talking about academic libraries and their future collections. A little bit of boundary helps me out. I do think that data preservation and access (see post above) problems and solutions contain the big issues for the next 20 years.

Public libraries are in an interesting state. They are busier than ever before. People are demanding growth and more access. Being able to access information on the Internet seems to have increased public library use. Book clubs, internet access, reference, and collections of multimedia (books on tape, children’s, etc) are large growth areas at the moment.

An aside, today I have two board meetings — one of the Academic Board of the Library for the UNC Academic Libraries; one for the Chapel Hill Public Library Board of Trustees.

UPDATE: Nassib has been thinking about Federated Databases in Science over at his blog.

Podcastercon – Budget met!

Brian Russell announces that Podcastercon has raised the money needed to meet his ideal budget (over on the podcastercon blog).
Podcastercon 2006

Where: 116 Murphey Hall, UNC, Chapel Hill, NC
When: Saturday, January 7, 2006 11am – 4pm

Wikinews/wikipedia updates

Wikonews one year old! The wikians (wikinews contributors in English, Polish, Swedish, and Dutch) interview Jimmy Wales about the state of the wiki.

Brian Chase of Nashville, TN confessed that he was the wiki-hoaxer who wrote the notorious changes to the John Seigenthaler bio. He immediately had his own Wiki-bio added. Katharine Steelye’s New York Times article in Today’s paper is one of the best sources on the details and the characters involved.
Note: The Brian Chase article is marked for deletion at this moment:

This article is being considered for deletion in accordance with Wikipedia’s deletion policy.
Please share your thoughts on the matter at this article’s entry on the Articles for Deletion page.
You are welcome to edit this article, but please do not blank this article or remove this notice while the discussion is in progress. For more information, particularly on merging or moving the article during the discussion, read the Guide to Deletion.

Stirred up over Stir up Sunday

Amongst American Episcopalians, this is Stir Up Sunday (see last year’s post). Others hold that Stir Up Sunday is the first Sunday before Advent, but we go with the American Prayer Book (the Commonality of the Book of Common Prayer is only national).
We are all astir as this is a very busy season for the North Carolina Boys Choir. Tucker and the Choir were in Raleigh singing the Service in Lessons and Carols at Saint David’s while Sally and I made the rounds to various School parties.
The Boys Choir big Christmas Concert is Monday, December 19th at 7:30 at Duke University Chapel.

Rumblings in Vanuatu

The volcano is getting active just just two islands north of MisterSugar’s paradise.

eVoting – EFF to sue NC

Just asking the Elections Board to obey and enforce the good laws of the state of North Carolina.

A bit from the middle of the EFF press release linked above:

North Carolina law requires the Board of Elections to rigorously review all voting system code “prior to certification.” Ignoring this requirement, the Board of Elections on December 1st certified voting systems offered by Diebold Election Systems, Sequoia Voting Systems, and Election Systems and Software without having first obtained – let alone reviewed – the system code.

“This is about the rule of law,” said EFF Staff Attorney Matt Zimmerman. “The Board of Elections has simply ignored its mandatory obligations under North Carolina election law. This statute was enacted to require election officials to investigate the quality and security of voting systems before approval, and only approve those that are safe and secure. By certifying without a full review of all relevant code, the Board of Elections has now opened the door for North Carolina counties to purchase untested and potentially insecure voting equipment.”

North Carolina experienced one of the most serious malfunctions of e-voting systems in the 2004 presidential election when over 4,500 ballots were lost in a voting system provided by e-voting vendor UniLect Corp. Electronic voting systems across the country have come under fire during the past several years as unexplained malfunctions combined with efforts by vendors to protect their proprietary systems from meaningful review have left voters with serious questions about the integrity of the voting process.

“North Carolina voters deserve to have their election laws enforced,” said co-counsel Don Beskind of the Raleigh law firm of Twiggs, Beskind, Strickland & Rabenau, P.A. “Election transparency is a requirement, not an option. The General Assembly passed this law unanimously, and it is now time for the Board of Elections to meet their obligations.”

See earlier eVoting articles here.

Eugene McCarthy dies at 89

From Minnesota Public Radio.

McCarthy for President
In 1968, my friend Russell went “clean for Eugene” and took off to campaign for McCarthy. When he came back, we all pitched in to make posters and then to meet McCarthy as he stopped in at Charlotte’s Douglas Airport. I also helped (mostly stood around since is was 18 and shy) as we put on a fundraiser for McCarthy. I remember Ben Chavis (now Chavis Muhammad) dancing with Paula Prentiss. I remember having a sideways conversation with Elliot Gould — but what did he or I say? I was too shy to say anything likely. Whatever actually happened, I did get energized by Eugene even at a great distance. Like my favorite poster of him standing on a brickyard read “He stood up and something happened.” Not just movie stars visiting Charlotte, but the beginning of political awarenesses for so many people.

Future of Library Collections?

On March 13, I’m speaking at the Librarians’ Association at UNC-Chapel Hill conference here. The conference theme is “Beyond the 5 year plan: The academic library in 2025” I’ve drawn the library collections of the future straw (see preliminary description below). 2025 is definitely in the future! I’m open for suggestions as to what will be collected and how they’ll be held.

My initial take is that relationships between objects in a collection will be as important as the objects, whatever format, themselves. Algorithms and code for accessing datasets and related objects, which have never really been considered as part of a library collection, will be an important and necessary part of the future library. Without them, the datasets and objects that libraries will be holding for medicine and science soon and for other disciplines in time cannot be understood or used.

Library Collections of the Future
A look at both the kinds of materials that libraries will collect and the formats in which they’ll be held. We can safely assume that books and journals will still be around, but what will they contain? Will they include text alone, or regularly feature audio and visual elements? Will libraries continue to own most of the materials they collect, or will they increasingly have to rely on subscriptions and other continuing costs? How will libraries provide access to traditional books and archival materials?

Speakers: Paul Jones, founder and director of, and Clinical Associate Professor, School of Information and Library Science, UNC-Chapel Hill; Greg Raschke, Interim Associate Director for Collection Management Organization & Preservation, North Carolina State University.

Getting there – to the Grind and in the Triangle

First important news! The Daily Grind is accessible again. We’ve had to weave through Student Stores for coffee and tea for what seems like forever, but now the fence that blocked us from the beloved Grind is down and you can walk right into the Grind! But all is not completely clear, according to UNC ConstructionWatch work on the Daniels aka Student Stores Building will continue through December 2006.

Second, Councilman, Triangle Transportation Board member, and Goodmon Award winner Bill Strom replies to my forwarding him notice of Google Transit’s Portland only transit planning maps by sending me a link to RideTTA which does the same thing for the Triangle and does, to my mind, a better job too. Unfortunately, the maps all tell me to walk over a mile to get on the transit grid just to get started. Others might be better situated to take advantage of RideTTA.

Update: Bill writes again to say that if there is no bus stop within .25 miles of you, Chapel Hill Transit will send a shuttle to you. I don’t mind a little walking but I might try a shuttle to start a trip to Raleigh.

DocSouth and Jones on BoingBoing

The Boing Boing post “19th c. book: Geography for Dixie Children” from Documenting the American South
got a lot of quick attention. It should have. The book is raw history, reflecting the mind of the South. And that mind was not so pretty in today’s light. BB has excerpts (see link above) or go directly to the item at DocSouth (hosted by ibiblio). I sent Xeni a note about the context and a reference to a contemporary echo in Cary that she added to the posting. I’ve included that below.

The textbook, Dixie Children, was printed to provide “education” during the Civil War. UNC holds a lot of material from that period. People who read it are outraged. They should be. These texts are evidence of what the war was all about and of the thinking of the Confederate elite.

At a time when a church school in Cary (just beside Raleigh where the 1863 book was published) is teaching from a pamphlet titled “Southern Slavery: As It Was” which tells us that “slavery was a relationship based upon mutual affection and confidence”, we need to blunt force of historical evidence to impell us to face the sad facts.

See this earlier posting on the Cary school slave pamphlet.

The contemporary authors have tried to hide their book but Amazon’s “search inside” feature lets you know what’s in it.

Tar Heel on Seigenthaler issue and Wikipepdia

Just took a phone call from a Daily Tar Heel reporter, Kyle Chorpening, who is doing a story on Wikipedia and the Seigenthaler issue. He had already spoken to Seigenthaler and to Jimmy Wales before calling me. What the heck could I add after that?
Well, maybe a pointer to the video of Jimbo’s talk here at UNC in October and some talk about owning your own words harking back to the WELL and over to Brin’s Transparent Society as a tension point with the American history of anonymous pamphleteering going back beyond the Federalist Papers. A brief mention of the Hitchhiker’s Guide site at BBC as a peer-reviewed encyclopedia too.
My take is that wikipedia is in process. It will change to meet challenges and it has already begun some changes to address problems such as this one. A year ago, Wikipedia was less good than it is today. In five years, it –or it’s online successor– will be much better.
Kyle also asked if I would accept wikipedia as a source in a paper. The answer is that academic papers should use primary sources, not encyclopedias, not Britanica, not World Book, not wikipedia. Wikipedia is a great starting point and often points to primary sources. In that way, it’s great. I would even accept wikipedia as a source for one of several definitions, but not as a major source. Not because of reliability but because good research should go to the source whenever possible.
UPDATE: Kyle’s article is here. I get the last words, but not (appropriately) the most words ;->

Paul Jones, a journalism professor at UNC, said people should be held accountable for content but can’t reasonably be restricted from publishing it.

“What are you going to do? Make people get an Internet driver’s license?” he said.

As Wikipedia has grown in popularity and reliability, students often are using it as a source for research, especially for term papers.

“I use it for general ideas, but not for specifics,” said freshman Russell Johnson. “It gives me a comfortable understanding of the topic.”

Jones said Wikipedia is useful for directing students to good information but should complement other sources.

“Last semester, I returned a paper that was comprised almost solely of Wikipedia entries,” he said. “I think by the time you’re in college, you should be using primary sources.”

DocSouth Oral Histories opens

Natalia Smith writes to announce that the ibiblio-hosted Documenting the American South Project has added Oral Histories:

Documenting the American South has launched its 9th collection, “Oral Histories of the American South“. The collection includes 21 unique interviews from the Southern Oral History Program with the focus on three significant environmental transformations in North Carolina between 1985 and 2000: the Cane Creek Controversy in Orange County, the extension of Interstate 26 through Madison County, and the flooding from Hurricane Floyd in the eastern part of the state.

Podcast is Word of the Year

According to BBC: The term ‘podcast’ has been declared as Word of the Year by the New Oxford American Dictionary.

Learn more at Podcastercon.Podcastercon

Podcastercon – Getting iTuned

One nice thing about the upcoming Podcastercon as an unconference is that you can propose a session on a topic that you know something about but want to know more about — sort of like Birds of a Feather sessions. TJ and I have proposed a session on iTunes and podcasting.
We were early in getting Roger McGuinn’s Folk Den registered and working with iTunes so we learned a lot about the iTunes extensions to RSS, but there are a couple of things that still drive us nuts. Like, how do you get the image to show in the “Drag Album — Art Here” area under Selected Song? LeShow from KCRW gets their picture there most, but not all, of time. We have the same RSS extensions that we see coming from KCRW but we can’t get our image in place. Not that Roger has a “Drag Album” ;->

Where: 116 Murphey Hall, UNC, Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA
When: Saturday, January 7, 2006 11am – 4pm

SuperBroccoli Busts Cancer

The BBC reports Scientists are developing a “super-broccoli” which they hope will help people ward off cancer.

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