Technology

Chapel Hill's New Website Goes Live

New TownOfChapelHill.org [screenshot added by OP editor]

The Town of Chapel Hill's new website appears to have gone live today.  It sure is a snazzy new look, but I haven't found much yet in the way of new features.  The menu navigation seems to be more intuitive than the old website, and it seems to be much easier to use from a casual visitor's perspective.  But I'm still not having an easy time finding archived material without a help from my dear friend Google.  Have you had a chance to check it out?  What do you think?

What is the Internet to You?

I have a simple question:  How do you classify digital networking?

I ask because I think we are at a critical juncture in our society.  The idea of "being connected" is foreign to some folks and completely natural to others.  In my personal life, I have found that this split seems to heavily correlate with age.  The younger you are, the more you "get" the idea of a digital network ("The Internet" to most folks), while the older you are the more likely you will view it as an unnecessary and frivolous endeavor.

Where Are The High Tech Solutions?

I know that this is a "political" board but it seems like we have a lot of very "tech-savvy" people that post here.  Is anyone else concerned that a contractor's mistake today, resulting in a cut in a fiber-optics network in Chapel Hill, resulted in a loss of communication amongst courthouses and county offices in all 100 NC counties?

Cut fiber line knocks out state courts' communications

http://www.wral.com/news/local/story/4949649/

I find this kind of disconcerting myself.  It seems like the design of these systems has made us far, far too vulnerable.  I think this is a political issue because it raises concerns for public health and welfare , at least IMHO.

Community Book Forum: Small is Possible: Life in a Local Economy

The Carrboro Cybrary and Carrboro Recreation & Parks invite the community to read Small is Possible: Life in a Local Economy by Lyle Estill. Lyle is a founder of Piedmont Biofuels and he will be leading this discussion along with Michael Tiemann, a founder of the Open Source movement, and William (B.J.) Lawson, PLENTY Revitalization Board Member. This book is focused on the local economy in Chatham County, and will be valuable to anyone interested in sustainability, co-ops, biodiesel, whole foods, slow food, technology, small business, and more. Copies of the book can be borrowed from the Cybrary.

Book Description:

In an era when incomprehensibly complex issues like Peak Oil and climate change dominate headlines, practical solutions at a local level can seem somehow inadequate.

In response, Lyle Estill’s Small is Possible introduces us to “hometown security,” with this chronicle of a community-powered response to resource depletion in a fickle global economy. True stories, springing from the soils of Chatham County, North Carolina, offer a positive counterbalance to the bleakness of our age.

This is the story of how one small southern US town found actual solutions to actual problems. Unwilling to rely on the government and wary of large corporations, these residents discovered it is possible for a community to feed itself, fuel itself, heal itself, and govern itself.

This book is filled with newspaper columns, blog entries, letters, and essays that have appeared on the margins of small-town economies. Tough subjects are handled with humor and finesse. Compelling stories of successful small businesses, from the grocery co-op to the biodiesel co-op, describe a town and its people on a genuine quest for sustainability.

Review:

One of my favorite ideas in this book is the idea of open source. Once you let go of this idea that everything must be copyrighted, everything must be owned and protected in order to make money, you become free. Open source ideas quickly foster a more open community, a more open and honest society. A gropu of people or organizaitons all start working toward a common goal rather than all working against one another. Beautiful, isn't it?

Another beautiful idea is that a community needs a variety of people and businesses to thrive. And that as you begin living locally- and begin working toward a healthy community - people and businesses find their niches. And when you find your own niche within the local economy, your own happiness rises. Your sense of well-being increases when you realize your positive and necessary contribution to society.

As we go further into debt and economic security throughout the world, nurturing our small, local, sustainable businesses and infrastructure will become increasingly important. I recommend this book.
~ Melinda from The Blogging Bookworm

More reviews are linked from:
http://lyleestill.com/blog/?p=9#more-9

Date: 

Friday, June 5, 2009 - 2:30pm to 4:00pm

Location: 

Carrboro Century Center, 100 N. Greensboro St.

Time-Warner, revisited

Time-Warner, its relationship with the town of Chapel Hill, and cable TV agreements are the subject of two CH Herald stories this morning.

 1. "Time Warner Cable, town to break ties March 31" Daniel Goldberg:  "Time Warner Cable has notified the town that a local franchise agreement between the two entities will be terminated effective March 31 . . . [Under] the Video Service Competition Act ... all cable franchise agreements instituted after Jan. 1, 2007, will be licensed by the N.C. secretary of state and agreements like the one between Time Warner and the town of Chapel Hill could be terminated if a competing cable provider were authorized to offer services in the same area."  http://heraldsun.southernheadlines.com/orange/10-1124138.cfm (regis. needed)

 2. "Town opposed cable service legislation" Daniel Goldberg - a history of town opposition to the legislation.  http://heraldsun.southernheadlines.com/orange/10-1124120.cfm (regis. needed).

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