The Real Paul Jones

Accept no substitutes

Month: March 2007 (page 2 of 4)

Tibet’s AirJaldi Conference Downloads

In BitTorrent from and by mail and by single episode download from AirJaldi, it’s the entire Rural Community Wireless Conference aka Air Jaldi from this past Fall in Dharamsala, India. (Thanks, Don for working with Sky and the others on the ibiblio part).

Single String Electric Guitar Adventure — take 2

Working! Now with a nickel wound 46 gage string (a D’Addario NW046) tuned to a C. It’s sort of a thin thin standup bass in this phase, but it works well. We’re talking about the Single String PVC pipe Electric Guitar as described in the current issue of Make Magazine.

IBM’s Bob Sutor Talk — Now Online

Bob Sutor in San Juan
Bob Sutor, IBM Vice President for Open Source and Open Standards, was here last Wednesday. The videos of his talk are now online at the ibiblio Speakers site and available via BitTorrent from


Live on BBC Tonight – Jones and Blookers

See you tonight, Chris!
Just took an email from BBC Radio to do an on-air tonight at 10:45 EDT about the just announced Lulu Blooker Short List. Also scheduled to be on the show will be “My War: Killing Time In Iraq” author Colby Buzzell and “The Doorbells of Florence” author Andrew Losowsky.

Yes it’s the Up All Night – Pods and Blogs Show!

Events upcoming – intellagirl and 2L, Lifeblogging, RTP 2.0, Security and Liberty

Monday March 26 at 11, Sarah “Intellagirl” Robbins (details here) “Creating Authentic and Engaging Community-Oriented Learning Spaces: Using Second Life in Higher Education Classrooms.”

Thursday March 29 at noon:30, ASIST panel (includes me) on “THIS CONVERSATION IS BEING BLOGGED: Our lives, online, all the time, in the trend towards lifelogging” in Wilson Library.

Wednesday April 4 at 7 pm, RTP 2.0 at Tyler’s in Durham. An Open Social!

Saturday April 14, Security and Liberty Forum featuring Bruce Schneier, Robert Ellis Smith, Melissa Ngo (EPIC), Jim Harper (Cato), Katherine Bryant (ChoicePoint), P. T. Wright, Acting Deputy Director, Department of Homeland Security. Moderated by NC State Senator Janet Cowell.

Single String Electric Guitar Adventure

Yesterday Tucker and I began building a single string electric guitar out of PVC pipe as detailed in Make Magazine. We got all the parts and got started yesterday — thanks to Jim of the Music Loft in Carrboro especially for the machine head and the string and good advice. twice.

Today we had it all together and we tuned it up to a D before the string snapped! We were aiming for E. it worked! But we need to have more strings on hand. Monday for strings and to try again.

The last Ze Frank and .org

I was in such a panic over the UNC vs MSU game — especially went it was tied up and things were looking tough for the Heels — that I almost let today slide by without a visit to Ze Frank to catch The Show’s final installment. If you are a long time Frank Fan aka SpeedRacer SportsRacer then you will be deeply touched. If you aren’t you need to go back and see enough older shows that you understand why this has been such a great year.

But like Ze says: Go visit his social community and sign up! I see a lot of ibiblians are there already — so’s you’ll be in with the k3w1 p33pz.

ibiblio move still in the news

Hard to realize that we were completely off the UNC campus and their network back in August AND our move is still news at least in a small way. Today in the Durham Herald-Sun (after the Durham Chamber’s announcement of new board members, etc).

But then the savings, reliability and increased access to great resources and support should be a story — and the creative use of National Lambda Rail to get access to better bandwidth markets should be a lesson to more than just ibiblio.

Snip of news here:, one of the largest digital libraries used by millions of people, is now being served to the world through the N.C. Research and Education Network Data Center at MCNC in Research Triangle Park.

The move, which began last fall, from UNC to the hub of NCREN at MCNC was not noticeable to the users who make an average of 14 million information requests each day, but founder Paul Jones said they would take note of future improvements.

Gumby on Youtube, What Would a Unicorn Do?

A couple of treasures not to forget:

  1. All the episodes of Gumby are now on YouTube for the 50th anniversary of the green man with feet of clay. I love the first one — “Gumby on the Moon”
  2. Whenever I have a question about how to behave in a serious situation, I ask myself “What Would a Unicorn Do?” and then spin this magic spinner.

Tarus Balog faces off in Network World

OpenNMS, the open source network monitoring system, ‘s lead Tarus Balog faces off with Roger Greene in Network World, The topic: “Can you trust your network to open source”

Sunshine and Open Government followup

The News and Observer is also running a series on the Sunshine Laws including this piece on the meetings that I wrote about yesterday.

Open Government part 3

Cathy Packer, media law prof and colleague at UNC

Leah Freeman Friedman – news and observer covering chatham

Gretchen Lothrop – of chatham county

Moderator – Anthony Hatcher of Elon

Running low on batteries so expect drop off in the midst of it all.

summary of lothrop v chatham county against the county board of elections and elections director. in 2005 – 2006

citizen access advocacy by GL. about selecting voting machines at first. chatham was looking at touch screens. she and other citizens met resistance in getting info and access. but a compromise was made in an unannounced elections meeting and in a quickly announced comissioners meeting. GL’s first time trying to get access to pubic info. so she was surprised that no minutes were kept etc — supposedly.

LF has a long history of denial of access to public meeting records. one abstention by Barnes was the subject. Barnes had been pulled into a personell meetings. the closed session meetings are recorded and after the reasons for closure should have been opened. once she got access, the tape was particially erased — conveniently. Barnes filled in the blanks as best he could — october 2005. background for north chatham gerrymandering discussed. and the record of hankypanky on voting rules discussed. imperious performance by Board of Elections chair detailed and which lead to a determined effort to get records. did LF have an easier time getting records because she’s got hot lawyers? yes. board of elections would only refer her to their atty. same for GL. BoE claimed ignorance later.

Jan 17th meeting was supposedly an emergency meeting so they thought that they were okay. they being the BoE. CP makes fun of the use of emergency meeting ploy. and she details the law and the judge’s response. march 7th mtg was closed. no notice and did not follow closure procedures and kept no minutes. CP describes the various legal access to minutes and to minutes including drafts.

MT (from earlier session) was the lawyer for GL and LF. Help America Vote Act causes some deadline pressure – real or perceived. MT says that altho the Commisioners were wrong they were not sued in this case. MT goes into further details.

GL praises the part of journalists on this. MT won on almost every point — except atty fees and nullification. CP reads an email form the county atty who says that “err i can’t come but everyone was innocent and confused. the plaintifs (he says) prevailed on some points and lost on others” laughter ensues. LF talks about the revoting by the Commissioners (and BoE?). MT says they were asked to go to mediation. err this isn’t a mediation issue. they go to meetings for mediation and it was empty. but there it was in the judges chambers. more details given by MT. access fees now discussed. GL is incredulous about the claim that the folks on the BoE were and still are ignorant of the law. The email from the county atty really sets her off. She represented over 100 citizens working together. Stonewalling of BoE detailed with supporting documents — by GL.

less than 13 minutes of battery left. county attys bill at $120K per year? LF did a story on the fees. see n and o stories for details. COunty atty is no longer the county atty. elections changed the commissioners and a number of innovations were instituted. including more citizen meetings and getting educated about citizen access. open government candidates won. county atty retired. he had had a side business in real estate closings notes GL.

should there be mandatory training for public officials on open records? has there been change in access since the law suit? yes and no. LF is now looking at emails and the county manager sends the email weekly. the pittsboro town manager who has since been fired claimed it wasnt possible. bye to him for other reasons.
charlotte oberver reporter – verla insko was opposed to taping closed meetings as he specificially recalls. anders and nando wanted access to cd spangler’s emails. cd opposed because of hte personal nature of his emails. the next day there was a big meeting about rolling back open access laws.

LF does not use email for private communications. CD acted like they wanted to see his underwear, says CP.

Once you are known, LF, does that mean that you lose or gain sources? both of course. does it damage relationships with her sources. she wants records not gossip.

outta power… no outlets in teh auditorium. see you later

Notes with power restored ;-> The members of the Chatham County Board of Elections and the County Atty involved in the suit were invited to participate in this session. One replied that she/he would attend, but was not there. The email refered to above from the atty was in part to turn down the invite.

Charlotte Observer has a Sunshine Week collection of stories and blog
(thanks to great JOMC Librarian Barbara S for the link)

Open Government part 2

Public response to open records. Connie Book — associate dean at Elon and director of the Sunshine Center. Talks about Elon Poll.

Southeastern states Feb 18 – March 3. 37% are aware of sunshine laws. at NC only 26%. NC only above SC in the southeast. Florida number 1 with 55% aware.

is access important 57% and including very important then 90+ agree

Not yet posted on the Elon Poll site. There should be data later.

Interest in local and state 37% say a lot of interest in — higher if interest included

11% of NC feel they have no access to state and local gov

awareness begins at 23 and drops at 65. more education more aware. males more than females. independents most aware. if you made more thand $200K you was as less aware as those under $10K.

Ken G thinks about strategic planning (UNC J-school grad). he talks too. he’s from PR. makes funny chapel hill and jesse helms joke. interprets data. educate at younger level — Ken says. high school teachers and interested publics should be education targets. newspaper and internet sites are stategic for education. value prop is what’s in this for me? to the average NC citizen. for the government educated the gatekeepers. aim for tolerance and not for acceptance.

? about civil liberties and polling. could elon poll and ncpa include civil liberties be included. close call, slam dunk, broad questions. etc. a bit about secrecy and terrorism etc and the need for secret.

? in some states citizens can appeal to the atty general or a compliance officer. in florida they have such a person is that why the awareness is higher. in nc only for public officials. usually public officials won’t ask for a ruling. nc needs some way to provide support if the scope would or could be focused in some way. JimHefner says that the open gov laws in NC aren’t so bad but atty fees and the like are the barriers. Hugh (of law firm??). the coalition will not lobby as part of their mission. but we can talk.

Cathy Packer: some states have an office of public information where you can go to to get access. is this part of the atty general? ny state one is independent of governor and atty general.

training IT department managers need training and support or the requests will fail because hte IT folks are overworked (in reality or in fiction).

At Open Government mtg At Elon

So far beautiful campus, open wireless, closeby coffee (Starbucks dressed up to look like an independent), great building, full house. Being introduced to the Sunshine Center and the NC Open Government Coalition.

Brooke Barnett intros the panel. Mike Tadych — current issues and the law, Beth Grace – NCPA — citizen representation, Steve Riley of N and O — Sunshne Week coverage.

Laws are for the people — not necessarily for media — abusive cost and fees for public records are the big barrier. Government lawyers don’t seem to want to follow the open records laws driving up costs. reluctance in awarding fees by courts. Lothrop v Chatham County is the case. Stout v Whisoering Pines costs to plaintives was $35K. no cost awarded. Outer Banks Sentinel v Kitty Hawk. Burlington v Alamance News. the News sued by the city. the city could not sue. but cost the paper $48k. paper got $38k?

problems: lack of training, economic incentives (hypersecret as in dell and google), public/private partnerships hide public actions, for more.

Beth Grace – public records audit (thanks to all who worked on this). discusses how the audit works. this year no one was arrested! but apparently no one in governments can download emails. emails meet the most resistance. in one case, the police couldn’t download email but they could go to their offices and send a note to the government listserv to warn others that the audit was underway. delays and rerouting to the supertendants is normal. overall the results were improved since 1999.

Steve Riley – on his Sunshine Week projects. recognizes the League of Woman Voters. Head is still waiting for response for the Durham School Board… N and O used volunteers instead of reporters to see how citizens got responses. Problems of dealing with non-professionals. Bills and costs are mentioned as big barriers to citizens. What is the recourse for citizens? If volunteers go to places that have not been visited in the past 6 months, they will likely say no. Post lawsuit in Chatham County resulted in good response from those agencies. Get agencies used to complying. Durham is an exception. They get a lot of requests but they still deny. Especially to volunteer requests. Every sheriff’s dept and police chief gave up cell phone records on requests (as required by law). Some volunteers were nervous especially in small towns.

Questions: Records are hidden in personel files? yes says MT. in manteo for example, the chief challenged MT when he said that personel records are in part must be revealed. another in Columbus County. SR says that sharing with personal lawyers can be used to deny access via client privs. MT says that the law firm in Kitty Hawk stamped every paper as “not a public record” of course legally they are public records.

Return rate is higher this year says BG. last time overall compliance was 20%. but this time less sheriff’s and police. overall no real comparison because the questions were so different. Next time fewer questions. now 6 and will become 4 or so.

BG on charges. actual costs are the rule. she hasn’t seen excessive charges this time. CDs used for free download. (from audience) I wonder if they were warned. listserv mentioned. SR — DHHS charges $1000 for a small amount of work. SR and NandO eventually prevailed

About the listserv. in what county. town clerk. in the previous survey a fax blast went out and killed compliance rate.

37 responses in 50 counties. school districts were the worst at compliance. 60 agencies surveyed (?)

NC Open Government Sunshine Day at Elon

Tomorrow I’ll be up early to get over to Elon University for North Carolina Sunshine Celebration — Sunshine Laws in North Carolina: How bright is the future of open government?

Cedar Waxwing alert!

They are back. Cedar waxwing flocks are starting to show up on the UNC campus where they can enjoy a variety of berries — then they perch over your car…

Two “Cool Facts” from Cornell where they are called “one of the most frugivorous birds in North America.”

# The Cedar Waxwing is one of the few temperate dwelling birds that specializes in eating fruit. It can survive on fruit alone for several months. Unlike many birds that regurgitate seeds from fruit they eat, the Cedar Waxwing defecates fruit seeds.

# The Cedar Waxwing is vulnerable to alcohol intoxication and death after eating fermented fruit.

IBM’s Bob Sutor TODAY at 3 pm

Bob Sutor in Second Life
As announced on, “IBM Open Source Exec To Speak at UNC,” and here in this blog (details and links and directions etc), Bob Sutor, IBM Vice President for Open Source and Open Standards, will be speaking here at UNC today at 3 -m in 116 Murphey Hall.

NC House Appreciates iBiblio

NC House Congratulations

This just in (click on image for a larger copy):

North Carolina
House of Representatives

Certificate of
Acknowledgement and Congratulations

Whereas, October 31, 2007 will be the 15th anniversary of the first public demo of, which is now known as; and

Whereas, the iBiblio website digital repository and community have become cultural treasures of the state of North Carolina, and

Whereas, iBiblio has played a pivotal role as both a medium and advocate for the free and open sharing of digital information.

Then, therefore this Eighth Day of March
In the Year of Two Thousand Seven,
Representatives Deborah Ross and Verla Insko recognize


For its commitment and contributions to technology and culture,
and to the North Carolina community as a whole.


Joe Hackney – Speaker
Attested by Denise Weeks – Principal Clerk
Representative Deborah Ross – District # 38
Representative Verla Insko – District # 56

Back to the Weave!

The signs are down — (Thanks to Alderman Dan Coleman).

Yes signs will be back, says The Beet the Weaver Street Market Newsletter:

Carr Mill will be temporarily removing the signs on the lawn in front of the Carrboro store today to correct the wording. The signs were put up at the end of last week to state Carr Mill’s Policy regarding the use of the lawn. The signs mistakenly used an older version of Carr Mill’s Open Space Policy that didn’t reflect changes that resulted from negotiations last fall between Carr Mill, Weaver Street, and Carrboro Alderman Dan Coleman. The error resulted when the wrong file was sent to the sign maker. When the error was discovered, Carr Mill immediately arranged to take down the signs and have the wording changed. In addition to updating the wording of the Policy, the new signs will start with “Welcome to Carr Mill” to reflect the spirit of the negotiations last fall.

Carr Mill has also agreed to consider changing the location of the signs when they are put up again. It was Weaver Street Market’s understanding that the signs would be put up on the edge of the lawn, not in the middle, and we have requested that Carr Mill make that change. We expect that the signs will be put up again next week, and we hope that the location will be changed to the edge of the lawn.

But this is what they will say (from the Beet).

I hope they will be in less obnoxious locations this time too!

Lulu Blooker 2007 Short List Announced

Blooker Logo
The shortlist is out on the Blooker Blog (see there for details).

Here for the official Lulu Blooker pages.

And there is already coverage from the BBC.

Also in the Guardian Unlimited UK.

And check out this brief list:


“My Secret: A PostSecret Book” by Frank Warren
“My War: Killing Time In Iraq” by Colby Buzzell
“Crashing the Gate” by Jerome Armstrong and Markos Moulitsas
“So Close: Infertile and Addicted to Hope” by Tertia Albertyn
“Words in a French Life” by Kristin Espinasse
“Small is the New Big” by Seth Godin


“The Doorbells of Florence” by Andrew Losowsky
“Monster Island” by David Wellington
“BreakupBabe: A Novel” by Rebecca Agiewich
“Albert the Third” by Slim Palmer
“Messages From the Lost Continent” conceived and edited by Horst Prillinger
“Methuselah’s Daughter” by J.A. Eddy and Dean Esmay


“Mom’s Cancer” by Brian Fies
“Born of Nifty: Sluggy Freelance Megatome 01” by Pete Abrams
“The Definition of Awesome: Another Joe and Monkey Collection” by Zach Miller

The judges are Arianna Huffington, Julie Powell, Rohit Gupta, Nick Cohen and Chair of Judges — Paul Jones.

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