The Real Paul Jones

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Month: April 2007 (page 3 of 3)

Twits show wit while Twittering

Fred has an article on Twitter at the site called “The 12 Minute Definitive Guide to Twitter.” No, it is not a 12 step program for Twitterholics but Fred does mention the Twitterholic site — and he quote the tweets of SILS alum and Twitter friend, Jason Griffy, in the article.

I was inspired to go grab Twitterrific which has great improved my twittering life. It’s a smart little application for OS X that aggregates and lets you manage your twittering friends and their tweets.

Tales of Two Theses

I was privileged to be on the committees for two interesting theses in Journalism in the past two days.

One challenged some of the assumptions of the Sundar study about recommendation source. Could customization be such a strong positive factor that recommendation source makes no difference at all? One of the findings of this forthcoming paper says it can be and is.

What causes students to decide to watch and pass on commercial messages they find on YouTube? The strongest reported responses were personalization and humor. If it ain’t funny, higher that average funny, it won’t get passed on.

Spencer and Ferris recognized

Neighbor, friend and author Elizabeth Spencer was just named the winner of the 20th annual PEN/Malamud Award for Short Fiction in recognition of her life’s work in writing. NYTimes story here at the end of Arts Brief.

Colleague and ibiblio Board member, Bill Ferris was just awarded a Guggenheim Fellowships to Assist Research and Artistic Creation for his work Voices and roots: Mississippi blues and 3Dwarehouse testing

I feel just like Frank Gehry! Sketchup works. It’s easy to learn and makes sense. The 3Dwarehouse and linking makes sharing models and displaying them simple as you see above. Haven’t tried adding to Google Earth yet tho.

ibiblio, Project Gutenberg and LibriVox in NYTimes

Nice to wake up to a story about digital libraries and have a good part of it about reuse and remix of ibiblio-hosted materials. In today’s New York Times Arts Section is:

Sampling, if Not Digesting, the Digital Library
Published: April 9, 2007


Admittedly, it is not that difficult to find all this free on the Internet. As the credits in Mr. Seltzer’s books affirm, almost all come from the Web’s premier text site, Project Gutenberg (, a project that started in 1971 and trumps Mr. Seltzer’s “complete” collection with its 20,000 free books, including selections in Chinese, Dutch, Afrikaans, Czech, Sanskrit and Yiddish.

Many of the Gutenberg books (including those used by Mr. Seltzer) are also prepared by Distributed Proofreaders (, which does for proofreading what Wikipedia does for encyclopedias. Public domain books are proofread by volunteers who are given a page of a scanned book to compare with the electronic text. In 2004, the site says, 300 to 400 proofreaders from around the world participated each day, completing 4,000 to 7,000 pages of text a day, which are then proofread again in a second round before being submitted to Project Gutenberg. Yet another site that contributes to Gutenberg,, uses volunteers to read public domain books, aloud, creating free audio books.


Security and Liberty Forum – April 14

What: Security and Liberty Forum
When: Saturday, April 14, 2007 1-5 p.m.
Where: 201 Chapman Hall on the UNC Campus

  • Annie Antón, Director, The Privacy Place
  • Katherine Bryant, Vice President for Consumer Advocacy at ChoicePoint
  • Sen. Janet Cowell, State Senator, State of North Carolina
  • Jim Harper, Director of Information Policy Studies, the CATO Institute
  • Melissa Ngo, Staff Counsel and Director of EPIC’s Identification and Surveillance Project
  • Bruce Schneier, internationally renowned security technologist and author
  • Barry Steinhardt, Director of the Technology & Liberty Program, American Civil Liberties Union
  • P. T. Wright, Acting Deputy Director, Department of Homeland Security


    bFree – Blackboard™ Course Content Extractor

    One of the many pains of Blackboard is that once materials have been placed there, it’s a royal pain to get them back out.

    Uncle David Moffat has tackled this problem and come up with bFree, a course content extractor. This Java-based software has been tested and runs on both Windows XP and Mac OS X. No word on Linux support but since it runs under the latest Java Software, there is a good chance it will.

    Read about bFree and download the software here (Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 2.5 License)

    UNC Zombies in NandO

    Zombie Mob at Facebook
    Rob Roberts’ video story of the Zombie Flash Mob in the UNC Pit is up at the News and Observer. Luckily not all zombie were in the film :-> and luckily Rob didn’t drop the camera when I was trying to rip him intestines out and eat them.

    Japanese the top blogging language

    37% of the blogs tracked by Technorati are in Japanese; only 36% are in English. What’s more the percentage of Japanese language bloggers is increasing — up from 33% last year –, while the percentage of English language blogs is dropping — down from 39% last year.

    All this and much more at David Sifry’s State of the Live Web Report.

    Raleigh 1, Durham 7 in Forbes

    Terrell points us to the new Forbes “Best Places For Business And Careers” Special Report. Raleigh is the Number 1 and Durham is Number 7 on the list. Other NC Cities/Metros ranked in the top 25 are: Charlotte (21), Asheville (23), Winston-Salem (24)

    Imagine if Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill were represented here as one entity! We’d be even higher on the list — remind me though is there a rank above 1?

    Amongst the Disruptors

    I spent yesterday afternoon and evening with an eclectic group of entrepreneurs gathered for a discussion and networking and basketball tossing led by Business 2.0′s Josh Quittner and Erick Schonfeld. As one of the very very few academics there — Ted Zoller of the B-School’s Entrepreneurship program and Steve Jones, the B-School Dean being the others, I was flattered to be a part of the occasion.

    Among the attendees were (in no particular order): Bob Young of Lulu (and Red Hat founder), Matt Wilson of rPath, Fred Stutzman of ClaimID, Babatola Oguntoyinbo of Sonecast, Chuck Messer of Tackle Design, David Sink of IBM (emerging tech group), Paul Garner of Motley Fool (and Executive in Residence at the UNC B-School), Tim Tobin of Greenbridge Development, Reyad I. Sawafta of QuarTek, Pete Durand of Integrian, Ed Iacobucci of DayJet (and Citrix founder), Michael Jones of ChannelAdvisor, Bryan Allis of Broadwick, John Edmond of Cree Research, Chris Marentis of Clearspring, Mark R. Wiesner of Duke’s Pratt School of Engineering, (who am I leaving out?)

    Just took a call from Rick Smith who is writing up a longer article with pictures for WRAL and will link to that later. Rick tells me that the video of the discussion will be edited back at CNN and some of it aired on CNNMoney and less edited on the Business 2.0 site. Will link to those as they appear online.

    Disruptors/Business 2.0 gathering writeups

    Rick Smith of WRAL and LocalTechWire blogged about the event before it happened.

    He later had more to say especially about David Sink and Bob Young’s participation.

    Chris Roush of Talking Biz News blogs smartly on the importance of the event for journalists as well as for entrepreneurs.

    Business 2.0 blogging and Disrupting

    I’m just back from a small gathering of Disruptors at the Kenan Center put on by Business 2.0 and the UNC B-School. I’ll be figuring out how to blog about all that happened soon, but in the meantime Chris Roush at Talking Biz News has a great article about how Business 2.0 pays for blogging

    RTP 2.0 Social: Tonight, April 4 at Tyler’s in Durham

    RTP 2.0 and the Council for Entrepreneurial Development are proud to present the first RTP 2.0 Social. Sponsored by RTP 2.0, CED, and Broadwick, makers of IntelliContact, this event will be held Wednesday, April 4, from 7-9PM at Tyler’s Tavern in Durham (located in the American Tobacco Campus).

    This event is open to everyone interested in meeting other technologists, innovators and entrepreneurs in the area. The goal of RTP 2.0 is to bring individuals together for meeting, sharing ideas, and having fun. Friends are welcome, of course.

    FaceBook: 200 accepts = 25 zombies

    The Zombie Flash Mob had a nice high acceptance number for the FaceBook announcement – 142 confirmations and 268 maybes. But once the blood started to splatter. There were only about 25 reanimated dead. We had a lot of fun and those that were blood splattered got a great taste of red colored chocolate syrup.

    Single string guitar on air, CNNmoney interview, violet jelly

    Teen Spirit took over WCOM today from 10 – noon and will be back on tonight at midnight – 2 am. Can you tell it’s Spring Break? Tucker and friends not only played records, but also the single string guitar made its on air debut. It may be back tonight.

    Fred and I were interviewed separately and together for CNNmoney‘s New Disruptors. I caused a small disruption by wearing a pin striped seersucker suit. I talked quite a bit for something that will probably boil down to 30 seconds to 3 minutes of air time. As you can imagine we spend a couple of hours walking and talking on a great spring day. Erick Schonfeld of Business 2.0 is a good conversationalist so we had plenty to say. The biggest downside for TV is that both Erick and I are expansive people. He has plenty to say too. I found myself trying to find ways to compress my ideas to an almost ridiculous extend which didn’t lead to a very fluid conversation. Finally I could explain Open Source software and non-market production this way: You understand how an Amish barnraising works. Open Source and non-market is like that in that everyone pitches in. But in this case everyone gets a barn including the people who didn’t even work on the raising.

    Fred on the other hand was very concise and to the point in a good way as he explained ClaimID and how it works. I’m sure he’ll be blogging about this soon.

    Afters we had a more relaxed conversation between the three of us outside at UNC’s Johnson Center for Undergraduate Excellence. I started to realize how much impact the past 15 years of sunsite/metalab/ibiblio have had on the local business scene as well as the not-for-profit scene. As we sat in the warm afternoon sun, I felt very lucky to have been a part of the journeys of so many lives and adventures. And more to come.

    Finally, Tucker and I whipped up some of our famous violet jelly. By now we’re getting pretty good at this.

    Single String Electric Guitar goes to the Music Loft

    We took our Make designed single string electric guitar to show off at the Music Loft. As soon as Dennis the owner came out and we plugged in the PVC pipe-based guitar and struck a surprisingly mellow note, we had plenty of attention. Several of the local musicians tried out the guitar and were delighted at the varieties of music that could be had from a less than $20 homemade instrument. Of course getting the strings and machine head for free from Dennis helped contain the cost a little ;->

    Our guitar is now a bass — after we split a string or two trying to get a conventional E tuning. One Lofter played it as a stand-up; another was into Led Zep playing a John Paul Jones bass line. Tucker came home and started on a guitar strap to be made of duct tape — what else?

    Before we left, Dennis took some pictures for the Loft website eventually. I’ll link to them once we hear that they’re up.

    intellagirl talk is online NOW

    intellagirl @ UNC
    Last week’s talk by Sarah “intellagirl” Robbins, “Creating Authentic and Engaging Community-Oriented Learning Spaces,” is now ready for viewing and download from the ibiblio speakers site.

    April Fooled by a too smart radio

    I was up an hour early this morning. I thought that my son had played and April Fool’s joke on me by somehow sneaking into my room and changing the time. But what really happened was even more amusing. The radio has some little intelligence. Or perhaps better only a little intelligence. The radio knew or knows that Daylight Savings Time exists. But it assumes that Daylight Savings Time will begin on the last Saturday of March. This year that changed, but the radio didn’t. So when Daylight Savings Time began earlier, I just set the clock forward myself.

    It never occured to me that the radio was still anticipating the time change. This morning as we crossed from March to April, the clock changed.

    I was up early and not amused. I’m looking for the manual now.

    ibiblio1 successfully launches!

    From today’s ibiblio home page:

    ibiblio is proud to announce the successful launch of our new spacecraft, the ibiblio1!

    Inspired by recent endeavors in amateur space travel, ibiblio launched ibiblio1. Now we can bring you ever more diverse collections from across the galaxy as we make contact with whatever’s out there. We also hope to expand our services as the ibiblio1 will deliver mind-control satellite uplinks to the upper atmosphere of Earth.

    Below you will find some pictures of the ibiblio1 in production. Keep an eye on the sky!

    Pictures, references, links and more as we track ibiblio1.

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