The Real Paul Jones

Accept no substitutes

Month: July 2006 (page 1 of 3)

NC Lighthouses

We’ve seen most all of these recently. This past weekend we saw the newest NC lighthouse, Oak Island’s cylinder. Not pictured in this otherwise good NandO slideshow of lighthouses is Old Baldy, the state’s oldest lighthouse which is within sight of Oak Island.

August 7 is National Lighthouse Day.

Crash Test Dummy? (PT saga)

I dropped my PT off at the dealer to see if an EGR replacement will fix the stall when hot problem it’s been having. I got there early and heard health stories from the very cordial guy who runs the service department. Then I took the shuttle into town — almost.

After stopping by at Duke with the other rider, we headed down 15-501 for Chapel Hill. But just before the new soon to be improved much much much safer superstreet intersection, the traffic suddenly can to a halt. Not slowly enough for us. The shuttle plowed into the back of a state Highway Department pickup which rammed into the back of a big ole red construction pickup which just missed bonking a police car which was conveniently on the scene.

Although the policeman was on the scene, the scene proceded very very slooooowly. No one was hurt. Only the shuttle was badly smashed.

While we were waiting for the paperwork to be done, the driver tested the shuttle which seemed drivable. So far so good.

Then there was another almost identical fender bender right past us. “Somebody ought to fix this intersection,” said the highway dept guy with a bit of ironic gallows humor.

At Don’s suggestion, I kept an eye out for the D bus. Just as he described it came down the access road right beside us. I waved it down and it stopped and took me to the Morehead Planetarium.

All this before 9:30 am.

Questions – literary and other

Rereading Major Barbara and wondering how heroic and right Shaw thought Undershaft should be considered? Is Undershaft’s commitment to the previous Undershaft’s dreams and obligations a kind of trueness? And what of Cusins? Is his Greek a goodness or a dressing?

A friend asks for the “Auden poem with lines “We must love each other or die.” A line readers grew to love and a line that Auden grew to hate. First he changed “or” to “and” then he dropped the whole stanza. Then he dropped the poem from his Collected and completely disavowed it as untrue. Later after Auden’s death, the original poem, “September, 1939” was restored. How good was Auden’s sense of his own poetry?

Were we all goovier in the swinging 60s or only those Swinging Londoners like the Zombies?

Saturday at the beach

Up early to run a couple of miles before everyone else got up. If I lived at the beach I would definitely do this every day. The beach just after dawn is a treat.
Then over to Orton Plantation and to Brunswicktown, after a round of Jungle Golf. I finished 3 over par which isn’t so bad for having never played the course before. I would be a regular golfer if more courses came with fiberglass animals and waterfalls.

Sharks at the beach; Carroboro gets uncool!

Down on Oak Island where we saw a 4 foot sand shark pulled onto the pier a few yards from our room. The seas have brought in a lot of seaweed which is washing on the beach and bathers. Neither the seaweed nor the shark have detered anyone from being out on the beach and in the warm water.

But in Carrboro, things are getting decidedly uncool. The new Carrboro News reports that the Carr Mill management has banned “unauthorized performers” from the very public Weaver Street Commons. The Dancing Man, the flute player CJ, and even the beloved Hooping Women. (Other sources include Herald-Sun and Concerned Citizen WillR).

Jones to India (end of August)

From August 22 – 30, I’ll be in India for the first time starting out in Delhi where I’ll be a panelist at the “Owning the Future: Ideas and their role in the digital age” symposium sponsored by Red Hat India and Indian Institute of Technology, then heading up into Himachal Pradesh to Dharamsala and McLeod Ganj for a few days.

If you have any suggestions for me — what to see, what to do, what not to do, what to take, how to survive the monsoon season in the Himalayas etc, please let me know here or by email.

Down to Brunswick County

We’re headed down to the NC coast below Wilmington to Brunswick County. Sally will be doing a panel on affordable housing in Supply, NC. We’ll spend some time and money on a long weekend looking at the ocean and driving down to Calabash for their special style of seafood cookery.
So’s now through Sunday, blogging here will be light unless some of the places where Doc found wireless on Oak Island work for me as well.

Tales of my PT!

After last weekend’s PT stall out, I took the car back to the dealer (again). They kept the car overnight and couldn’t duplicate the problem.
Then the local Chrysler guys got on a conference call to the big Chrysler in the sky.
In consultation with the Mighty Minds, they decided to take a look at — get this — the EGR valve — that sounds familiar! Turns out that at about 5 years, the Exhaust Gas Recovery (EGR) can get a bit flakey. They went had used the computer to put pressure on the valve to see if it would effect the idling. It didn’t when it should have.
New solution: change the EGR.
“We can do that in an hour.” ok. Call back in about 45 minutes. “Err we don’t have the part. There is no PT EGR within 50 miles of here. We can get it tomorrow tho.”
We’ll be on the coast tomorrow. Can I leave the car there?
“Yes and we won’t charge you for storage ;->”

Tales of the PT continue on Monday!

UNC ITS Blogging Policy

The Campus Computing folks now have an official blogging policy for themselves. A step in the right direction. Now if they would catch up with NCSU and provide a useful blogoshere for staff, faculty and students — may I suggest Lyceum?

There’s been an aggregator, Planet ITS, going for some time now. This blog is even aggregated there.

BarCampRDU session reclaiming!

Ryan Daigle has created a version of the BarCampRDU session board using the wonderful Flickr Note feature. If you recall a session that you attended, go over and update his Reclaimation Board.

Andrew Chin’s voiceless blog

UNC Law Prof Andrew Chin specializes in tech law and knows a hell of a lot about software patents and more. He now has a blog called Adding it to my RSS aggitator [sic].

WCHL and RHAT’s Greg deK on BarCampRDU

WCHL interviewed Red Hat’s Greg deKoenigsberg and some others [mp3] about BarCampRDU. Despite the title “Red Hat offers BarCamp” the story is a good one and Greg never says “hey Red Hat did this conference;” he’s right on top of it being done by volunteers and that Red Hat provided the space — and his help which was greatly appreciated.

I do agree with the textual description “150 of the Triangle’s brightest computer programmers gathered at the headquarters of software company Red Hat this Saturday.” Boldness added by me.

Official Blooker 2007 Announcement

This just in from the Lulus:

The 2007 Lulu Blooker Prize is now open for business.

Judges (more about us here):

Three categories: Fiction, Non-Fiction, Webcomic

The prize money:

The Overall Winner will receive $10,000 (US)
The two category winners will receive $2,500 (US)

The entry deadline – Monday, January 15, 2007

The contest is open to any book published before the entry deadline that is based on a website (and meets all other eligibility criteria) – this includes blooks that are self-published as well as those published via traditional means.

TeachFor.US chooses Lyceum

Adam Geller, a current Teach For America teacher, has just announced TeachFor.Us, a special instance of the ibiblio developed multi-user blogsphere Lyceum. TeachFor.Us is available to all TeachFor.US (a UNC School of Journalism grad) describes the community this way:

TeachFor.Us is a blogging community created by a current corps member for all Teach For America corps members to document their teaching experiences.

TeachFor.Us makes it easy for all corps members to have a blog without having to worry about any technical aspects. Just register (takes about 5 seconds) and start blogging immediately! Every blog in the community gets a customized web address —

TeachFor.Us is free for all corps members. There are no costs now, later or ever!

The TeachFor.Us first-year Big Goal is 100 active bloggers in the community.

Teach For America
Teach For American blogsphere
Lyceum the open source blogsphere developers of Lyceum

TeachFor.US – Adam Geller ageller AT gmail .com
Lyceum – John Bachir jjb AT ibiblio .org, Fred Stutzman fred AT ibiblio .org
ibiblio – Paul Jones jones AT unc .edu

BarCampRDU is great success

BarCampRDU was the 3rd unconference that I’ve been involved in organizing in the past 18 months. And I’d have to say that it was the best one so far. Fred did a bang up job of using the BarCamp infrastructure of wikis, blogs and lists to work for the conference in advance and in securing sponsorship.

Podcastercon drew over 300 people, but it was national — over half of the attendees weren’t from this area. Triangle Blogger Conference was my first and although it went well, I think our version depended too much on having too many people in the same room for too long. Also both of these were on the UNC campus in the winter which meant that parking and the like were more challenging.

had the advantage of a great location and very good sponsorship from local tech oriented organizations — thanks to Red Hat (for the location and more) and to, rPath, 6th Sense Analytics, BlogAds, Aurora Funds, and the Council on Entrepreneurial Development.

Some press:
News and Observer did a fine BarCampRDU write up on Saturday (the morning of)

as did the tech blog earlier.

on the WRAL hosted Tech Wire
and Local Tech Wire itself
ZDNet blogger Ed Burnette reports as it happens

and WRAL’s Local Tech Wire has a good writeup.

About 150 pictures of BarCampRDU are posted publically on Flickr

Fred’s summary and thank yous are here.


WCOM – Wet Community Originated Media

It was raining inside the studio at WCOM 103.5 today during Tucker’s show. Someone had already jerryrigged a tarp on the ceiling, but it didn’t quite cover the leaks. There were nice sound effects from the trash cans set about to catch the water as it fell but the cans were put down after the carpet was pretty wet. I got some garbage bags and paper towels from the store across the street and started cleaning up. By later tonight, the trash cans will need emptying…

Tucker DJs tomorrow 2 -4 on WCOM

Title says it all. Tucker solos on the DanceJam show on WCOM 103.5 Sunday July 23 from 2 – 4pm.

Rudy and Brian’s Wedding Partry (PT stall)

Right after BarCampRDU, I headed back to get to Ruby and Brian’s Wedding, but first my PT, which had been fine, stalled out just off of I-40. It would not start for a loooong time. Finally someone helped me push it off the road and there and then as I was punching in the AAA number, it started and ran fine all the way home.
It was a lovely wedding which will be I’m sure fully described and photo-archived at the Ruby and Brian site. I can say that the DJing was fine, the guests a delight, the food — Indian catered by CurryBlossom — was fantastic, the ice cream on a stick was Loco Pops! The best Mexican treat north of the Rio Grande. Mango-chili yum yum and Mexican chocolate with cinnamon triple yum!
I’ll have to say that Brian’s poetry selections from Pablo Neruda were wonderful (since I helped a bit there and got a couple of my faves in and that I was delighted how appropriate they were for the occassion).
The ceremony began with a selection from the Mass. Decision on Same Sex Marriage being read. The trick is that no one, or not many of us, realized what the source of this odd discussion about the rights and responsibilities of marriage could be until the end of the reading.
Yes they have a Flickr tag-driven photostream.
Many good ones from Doc Searls and by MisterSugar

At BarCampRDU

We’re off to a great start! Plenty of people here — over the 150 but just slightly so the spaces work well. T-shirts given out and mostly good sizes. Needed more XXLs than we guessed. Bagels on the Hill did a great job of getting up fed. The coffee makers ran into a snag, but quickly rebounded by being very resourceful.
Having brief descriptions of the sessions by the leaders was really a great idea and put people in a place to sign up readily for their sessions. That’s working very smoothly.

Nice write on of BarCampRDU on page 2 of the NandO Business Section this morning.

Started out going to the GWT session led by Ryan Cox who works at NetApp. On the Google Web Toolkit. Nice developer oriented talk with good interaction. (filled room of maybe 35 – 45). Since my brain has solidified and can’t take in new developer ideas without actually being a developers, I did the two feet thing and headed over to —

Reputation on line lead by Terrell Russell of – this was a rousing discussion between/among about a dozen people. We wandered in the best ways over a lot of territory including identity, reputation, eBay, Amazon, of course claimid. I pitched a few books and authors — Steven Nock’s Costs of Privacy: Surveillance and Reputation in America>, Nan Lin’s Social Capital:A Theory of Social Structure and Action, Ronald Burt’s Structural Holes: The Social Structure of Competition, and Mark Granovetter‘s “Strength of Weak Ties” (restated here for those who wanted to write them down).

Next session — Mugshot and design-thinking – Define, Research Ideate, Prototype, Choose, Implement, Learn (DRIPCIL). More of a talk about how was created, implemented and tuned. From Design thinking see DRIPCIL to a somewhat detailed talk about many of the ideas and processing specific to (about 30 folks here)

Great lunch from Neomode Deli in Raleigh coordinated by Ryan Daigle and sponsored by rPath. Good conversations all around.

Tara Hunt and Chris Messina introduce us to an SMS listserv or as they call it “Flash organizing site.” Really it’s listserv for SMS more or less. Very nice and very easy to use.

On to Fred’s Social Networking Sites. Good discussions here. Hard for me to do an Ethan Z level of blogging this session tho. Possibly 2/3rds of the attendees are here. Talk of core values as essential. Fred pushes for a more complex mathematics than Reed’s Law states (as Reed is mostly binary — or entirely binary).
Fearless group prediction: Flickr will last because of strong core values and lots of data while MySpace could be killed quickly by a new competitor. Quality of connections is important. Flickr offers opportunity to move thanks to opening their API. Speaks in favor of MySpace and its ability to change to maintain share.
Are MySpace and FaceBook the same? No. But why? Motivations are often different. FaceBook is gated so that you must be part of an existing network such as those that have a UNC.EDU mail address. 95% of FaceBook users logon at least twice a day.
Fred on Situational Relevance. Going to college causes reforming of social networks in a new context. Lots of college students first join FaceBook in the summer before coming to school. They want to explore their new world in advance of going there.
Older folks in 30s say don’t need FaceBook in the same way. People use social networks to explore their world for their own needs.
MySpace is open to all so that it can be used for a number of uses based on content. LinkedIn doesn’t get used daily, but do people need daily interaction. Fred talks about how LinkedIn and Friendster tweeked their sites after bottoming out and sent their access back up. How? By adding content that their folks wanted. In LinkedIn they made it much easier to connect. That worked for me. I had left LinkedIn idle for a long time. Then suddenly I got a lot of link requests and I went back and updated my profile and accepted friends etc.
Craig’s List gets props as social network for serving the needs of older (than college) people.
Discussion of gated (ala FaceBook) v open (ala CraigsList). How would you make sure that someone is actually in a bounded network? Send them a letter?

At WillR‘s social activism/Kirk Ross’ Journalism futures session. About 25+ people. WillR is more interested in hyperlocalism than national activisms. What does tech add to the equation? Bit of digital divide added to the conversation. Is tech at a local level useful? Most folks have experienced positive effect of neighborhood lists and web sites. How to engage citizens? Who subscribes to the WashPost RSS feeds on their congress criter’s votes? No one.
Someone says they have a company that is creating a site to provide like services with authentication but it will have some anonymity.
Fiona talks about a little and about how to cite and how to verify etc. GeorgeE talks about his experiences on OP etc also about the difference of filters and summaries and commentaries and full tapes/text.
Greg. All about access and personal use but also using the tools together in a wikiworld to create a game plan. Bret and WillR about long tail. A bit about agenda setting and about framing. Trust transativity discussed. Jacob says need votebook aggregators that combine say Sierra Club ratings and Christian Coallition rating.
TomZ profiles of contributors. Self and citizen created.
How to reach out to general public and give general filtering? guy talks about his site and what they do to make local political issues cool.

Gates embraces Knowledge Commons — for pharma

David Bollier writes insightfully about the Gates Foundation‘s frustration with the ways that secrecy and competition is slowing down AIDS research. In an article titled “Is Hell Freezing Over? Bill Gates Embrasses the Knowledge Commons” Bollier begins:

The only story more newsworthy than “man bites dog” has got to be “Bill Gates champions open sharing and collaboration.” Yes, the high priest of proprietary software – whose company has ruthlessly used its copyrights and patents to stifle competition and innovation – is now recognizing the virtues of the knowledge commons…. for AIDS research, at least.

Yesterday, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation announced that it would require that any researcher who get its grant monies for HIV/AIDS research will have to agree to share their scientific findings. The Gate Foundation was apparently frustrated that two decades of secrecy and competition among AIDS researchers have impeded efforts to come up with an AIDS vaccine. Scientists often decline to share their research because they are trying to obtain patents, withhold data until it is published, or simply protect their institutional turf.

Read more.

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