The Real Paul Jones

Accept no substitutes

Month: July 2006 (page 2 of 3)

BarCampRDU getting hot!


Tonight the Pre-Party at Tyler’s in Derm!

Tomorrow beginning at 8 am (ugh) with bagels (from Bagels on the Hill) and coffee (from Larry’s Beans brewed by Tackle Design) — YUM! Thanks to Aurora Funds

BarCampRDU Pre-Party Friday at Tyler’s Derm!

We’re all wound up about beginning the ending of the week with The BarCampRDU Pre-Party at Tyler’s in the Historic American Tobacco Campus, near the Durham Bulls stadium in Durham.

Here are the details:

Pre-Event Party

* Date and Time: Friday July 21, 7PM-9PM
* Location: Tylers Taproom Durham (American Tobacco Campus, near the Durham Bulls stadium)
* Info: Food and drinks provided.
* Hint: Bring a friend
* Attendee List: BarCampRDUPreEventSignup

* Maps to Tylers Taproom Durham:Google Map to Tyler’s Taproom Durham

The Indians are coming back (in NC)

An Indian
The motorcycle is being reborn in NC.

Richard Thompson wrongly sang:

Now Nortons and Indians and Greeveses won’t do
They don’t have a soul like a Vincent 52

John Edwards and bittorrent on WCHL

Just took a call from WCHL about John Edwards’ use of bittorrent. Does this make bittorrent legit? Actually didn’t need Edwards to make it legit. With OSprey, ibiblio has been using torrents legally, reliably, authoratively and accountably for a good while now. Visit the ibiblio torrent site. No, torrents are not limited to videos and music; we do software, developers’ tools, interviews, etc as well as music and video.

[yap yap yap on my part]

This will run at 5:30 on 1350 WCHL then again in the morning and later on their podcasted website.

Here it is now on from the WCHL site with this text lead-in, “Edwards takes campaign to the World Wide Web”.

BarCampRDU Countdown! 3 days out

Fred’s got the dope on the BarCampRDU blog. The BarCampRDU Wiki has the attendees (up to 175 and capped there) and folks are signed up for the Pre-event at Tyler’s in Durham (with 10 more slots available at this writing).

Looking good.

Pew Report on Bloggers is Out

And with some very interesting facts about the blogging population.

Here from the Pew Internet Short Summary of “Blogging is bringing new voices to the online world” [full report and questionaire available here]

Blogging is bringing new voices to the online world

Most bloggers focus on personal experiences, not politics

7/19/2006 | ReleaseRelease

Washington, DC – The ease and appeal of blogging is inspiring a new group of writers and creators to share their voices with the world.

A new, national phone survey of bloggers finds that most are focused on describing their personal experiences to a relatively small audience of readers and that only a small proportion focus their coverage on politics, media, government, or technology.

Related surveys by the Pew Internet & American Life Project found that the blog population has grown to about 12 million American adults, or about 8% of adult internet users and that the number of blog readers has jumped to 57 million American adults, or 39% of the online population.

These are some of the key findings in a new report issued by the Pew Internet Project titled “Bloggers”:

# 54% of bloggers say that they have never published their writing or media creations anywhere else; 44% say they have published elsewhere.
# 54% of bloggers are under the age of 30.
# Women and men have statistical parity in the blogosphere, with women representing 46% of bloggers and men 54%.
# 76% of bloggers say a reason they blog is to document their personal experiences and share them with others.
# 64% of bloggers say a reason they blog is to share practical knowledge or skills with others.
# When asked to choose one main subject, 37% of bloggers say that the primary topic of their blog is “my life and experiences.”
# Other topics ran distantly behind: 11% of bloggers focus on politics and government; 7% focus on entertainment; 6% focus on sports; 5% focus on general news and current events; 5% focus on business; 4% on technology; 2% on religion, spirituality or faith; and additional smaller groups who focus on a specific hobby, a health problem or illness, or other topics.

The report, written by Senior Research Specialist Amanda Lenhart and Associate Director Susannah Fox, says that bloggers are avid consumers and creators of online content. They are also heavy users of the internet in general. Forty-four percent of bloggers have taken material they find online – like songs, text, or images – and remixed it into their own artistic creation. By comparison, just 18% of all internet users have done this. A whopping 77% of bloggers have shared something online that they created themselves, like their own artwork, photos, stories, or videos. By comparison, 26% of internet users have done this.

“Blogs are as individual as the people who keep them, but this survey shows that most bloggers are primarily interested in creative, personal expression,” said Lenhart. “Blogs make it easy to document individual experiences, share practical knowledge, or just keep in touch with friends and family.”

The Pew Internet & American Life Project deployed two strategies to interview bloggers. First, bloggers were identified in random-digit dial surveys about internet use. These respondents were called back for an in-depth survey between July 2005 and February 2006, for a final yield of 233 bloggers. Second, additional random-digit surveys were fielded between November 2005 and April 2006 to capture an up-to-date estimate of the percentage of internet users who are currently blogging. These large-scale telephone surveys yielded a sample of 7,012 adults, which included 4,753 internet users, 8% of whom are bloggers.

“Much of the public and press attention to bloggers has focused on the small number of high-traffic, A-list bloggers,” said Fox. “By asking a wide range of bloggers what they do and why they do it, we have found a different kind of story about the power of the internet to encourage creativity and community among all kinds of internet users.”

Some additional data points from the Bloggers report:

# 87% of bloggers allow comments on their blog
# 72% of bloggers post photos to their blog
# 55% of bloggers blog under a pseudonym
# 41% of bloggers say they have a blogroll or friends list on their blog
# 8% of bloggers earn money on their blog

[I’m in meetings most of the day today so’s this post will be without my comment and for future reference for me and for you]

Jane G (and others at M$ conf) say Goodbye Keywords

Metadata Maven Jane Greenberg reports from Seattle:

greetings and hello from Seattle (here at MS faculty summit)

among the a.m. highlights is “A Farewell to Keywords: The reigning obsession with search technology has elicited new ways of using images to track down information on the Web” by Gary Stix in the July 2006 Scientific American. [not freely available despite being listed as a “Free preview.” the preview is the first two brief paragraphs- pj]

“A picture may be worth a kilo of words, but typing into Google Image the single word “rosebud” returns about 60,000 pictures. [actually 58,500 at Google; MSN Search only gives you 20,224– pj]

The power of an individual keyword is both good and bad. It can find a virtual stack of Web pages. But it is unable to differentiate between the flower in bloom and legendary film director Orson Welles’s scowl. Ideally, an Internet user should be able to use the likeness of a rose to tell a search engine to find others like it….”

[stuck behind a paywall – pj]

sorry, i don’t have a blog, or i would have put this message there instead. [No problem, Jane. I blogged it here for you. – pj]

Social Networking Hits the Sports Pages

Both USAToday and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution cited ibiblian and SILSian social networking researcher Fred Stutzman recently. It’s not surprising that they would seek out and cite Fred and his work, but to have it cited on the Sports pages! That’s something else entirely!

Although the stories are more of the continuing moral panic over students’ use of social networking sites and the unabashed transparency with which students live their lives on the Web especially in their use of MySpace and FaceBook, the fact that they appeared not on a lifestyles page or a tech page or a news page or even on a business page shows that social networking has gone very mainstream.

Blogs and social networking sites have been having their runs on various newspaper comics; Boondocks recently did a bit on MySpace. There is not much ink left unspilt.

My guess: Next for stop social networking is on the TV pages. Don’t expect to see social networking in classifieds tho. Craigslist might make sense but not the vanishing classifieds.

Fred has smarter things to say about his research on his blog.

BarCampRDU Update

Fred sends this:

* BarCampRDU doors will open at 8AM on Saturday. Get here early to avoid the rush.
* We need people to bring WAPs. Can you bring yours? If so, configure it to broadcast “BarCampRDU” as the SSID. You’ll just plug it in the wall on the day of. Label your WAP.
* We need people to bring power strips AND extension cords. Bring one and share alike. Label your cords and power strips.
* BarCamp confirmed attendance is at almost 120, and we’ve got a few spots left for the pre-event. If you haven’t confirmed, do it now as you’ll lose your spot on Thursday!
* BarCamp will end around 6, rather than 5:30. This is so we can accomodate 4 afternoon time slots.


Just back from a BarCampRDU Organizing Committee meeting. Everything is looking great. Fred has done a great job of getting sponsors and the committee has gotten good food lined up and folks on the wiki have done a fine job of proposing and claiming initial sessions.

The Friday Night Pre-conference party has 60 folks signed up (there’s room for 15 more). Fred and Jackson tell me that there will be lots of food. Plan on treating this as dinner, they tell me.

So Confirm, Sign up, and Show up on Friday and on Saturday.

PS I saw the t-shirts tonight and they look even better than the picture.

PT Saga post-0551

Today I took my PT back to the dealer. The Check Engine light was still on. The drive there went fine. It was almost exactly the same distance I drove on Saturday when I experienced the stalls. But no stall this time.
The mechanic drove the car over 25 miles and then drove in town where he never stalled.
He did check the Power Steering Sensor. As the light had reported, it needed to be replaced. It was. Also the multi-switch that does the turn signals needed a replace. Did that.
Watched too much Fox News whilst he did all this.
Then drove back to Chapel Hill via I-40.
Got to Weaver Dairy Road and stopped. Stalled, I think. I could have paniced. Anyhow it started again immediately and with no trouble.
The rest of the trip was uneventful.
More news as it happens.

TJ the DJ today 2 – 4

Tucker will be spinning the Dance Jam show on WCOM – LPFM 103.5 today from 2 til 4.


Sayan alerts us to Wikimapia

PT Saga – P0551

Following WillR’s advice posted as a comment in the previous message, I retrieved the diagnostic codes (after some adventures noted in my comment following WillR’s.
I do have a P0551 which is related to idling. the has this to say of a very very similar case:

1010. I have a 2001 BE PT with 59.6k miles. Recently, while going to fill up with gas the engine (MIL) light on dash came on. I ran the self-tests and got this DTC – P0551, Power Steering Switch. Is this something I can fix or change out, or is it a dealer repair. I have always worked on my own cars, and rebuilt many engines in the old days. Thanks in advance. – Roger, from South Carolina.

A DIY’er with automotive experience could probably replace the switch, if it were diagnosed as being faulty. However, as you are probably aware, DTC’s are the result of a system or circuit failure, but do not always directly identify the failed component or components. Personally, I would have a diagnostic run before replacing the switch.

P0551 (M) – Power Steering Switch Failure: Incorrect input state detected for the power steering switch circuit. PL: High pressure seen at high speed.

Power steering pressure switch – A power steering pressure switch is used to improve the vehicle’s idle quality. The pressure switch improves vehicle idle quality by causing a readjustment of the engine idle speed as necessary when increased fluid pressure is sensed in the power steering system.

The pressure switch functions by signaling the powertrain control module that an increase in pressure of the power steering system is putting additional load on the engine. This type of condition exists when the front tires of the vehicle are turned while the vehicle is stationary and the engine is at idle speed. When the powertrain control module receives the signal from the power steering pressure switch, it directs the engine to increase its idle speed.

This increase in engine idle speed compensates for the additional load, thus maintaining the required engine idle speed and idle quality. The power steering pressure switch is mounted directly on the backside of the power steering gear. The replacement procedure is available through the Pit area on the site.

Looks like a job for Chrysler on Monday.

Note: Nothing in this posting at saysing anything about stalling out.

PT Saga Continues

First let me say that I love my PT Cruiser. I’ve had it for over 5 years; it is a first year Cruiser. During that time I’ve only had a few minor repairs and not serious callbacks.
Then the stalling when the engine is hot started.
The occurance of the problem preceded my 60K mile maintenance by only 24 hours so I added a look at the stall to the scheduled maintenace. The 60K is a pretty big deal in which all the spark plugs, wires, hoses etc are replaced or at least checked. The guess of the service guys was that the PT had gunk built up in the throttle housing (?) and that in the heat the gunk became fluid enough to ooze down and cut off the flow. No trouble. Just clean it out.
I pick up the car and drive a bit. The stall is back — or more properly never left.
[inserting forgetten visit here]
I take it back to Chrysler. They have found a tech bulletin of some sort. They download new soft/firmware in to the car’s mind. That should fix it.
In the mean time, Sally’s car, an older Saturn, was stalling too. Her problem was related to the EGR valve.
The PT, even with it’s new brain download, stalls again and again. Some symptoms: fine until driven about 15 or 20 miles in the heat. Then beware on stoplights.
The Chrysler guys next speculated that the problem was the fuel pump. My choices: Drive around with a pressure recorder on the fuel line or Just go ahead and replace the pump.
We replaced the pump. Not cheap but effective or so it seems.
No more stalling — so far.
Thursday I drove the PT about 4 blocks and the Check Engine Light lit up. Finally some data for the poor mechanics. During all the stalling there was no Check Engine and no data or alerts generated.
Now we have something for them to look at.
More on Monday.
[insert Saturday stall outs]
So I take the first good medium length drive today. Over to Durham to hear Barry Varela read from his new novel, Palmer’s Gate at the Regulator. I get almost to 9th Street when I hit a stoplight. The car stalls.
I am cursed in several different languages as I try to restart the car even though I have the e-blinkers on and am in the rightmost lane.
Finally, as usual, the PT restarts. I get to the reading a little late, but I do get there.
After the reading and good talks with friends, I get in the PT. Starts fine. Drives fine. All the way to Chapel Hill. Until I try to turn off 51-501 onto Morgan Creek. Stall again. Yikes.

Rice U Press to be bookless

Via Edupage:


Rice University will restart its press, which was closed in 1996, as an online-only operation, publishing peer-reviewed books and monographs.

Faced with declining budgets, many libraries buy fewer books, leaving academic publishers unwilling to publish books unless they can justify the printing costs. Rice’s model does away with printing, allowing the press to publish texts not published otherwise while considerably speeding up the publishing process. Because texts will be peer-reviewed, organizers hope the reborn Rice press will be as prestigious–and as valid for tenure or promotion–as a traditional press. The press will operate through Connexions, a site that offers course materials free of charge. Separately, Connexions will also begin offering print-on-demand custom textbooks, assembled from individual modules within Connexions. The textbooks are expected to cost significantly less than comparable offerings from traditional textbook publishers.

Inside Higher Ed, 14 July 2006

Reconfirm BarCampRDU (and the shirts are in!)

Fred has a great picture of the lovely BarCampRDU shirts on his blog along with a plea/reminder to reconfirm your place — so we can open the open slots to the folks on the Waiting List.
Go get confirmed; come get shirt!

Amusing friends (or selfamused friends)

I pick up the phone. There is an odd voice doing a bad British accent claiming to be Simon. Simon was just here and this call is clearly from a cell nearly out of its cell range. There is another voice in the background. It too does a bad accent, but bad in a different way.
After several rounds, I learn that Jim Fullton and Dykki Settle are driving around Geneva in too big of a car on too small of a street. They have Summer O’Neil with them as near as I can tell from their muffled and occassionally tense and alert voices. They have had a big dinner. They are having a grand ole time.

Lulu Blooker Judges 2007

I’m back on the Lulu Blooker Prize judges panel. This time as the Chief Judge. Look out John Roberts! The others on the panel this time out will be:

Long Tail Party in NYC and JJB

I couldn’t get up to NYC for the great book party for Chris Anderson‘s Long Tail so’s JJB took my invite and represented ibiblio by doing some serious partying. CNet has the story in which JJB gets the last words:

The crowd was an enthusiastic one. “It’s beautiful,” said John Bachir, an engineer for the online information archive Ibiblio. “It’s dangerous to say that it’s the ideal of Marx, but it is the ideal of Marx. [sic] In a controlled way.”

After saying that, Bachir glanced at this reporter’s notebook and added, “Make sure you mention that I’m not a Marxist, okay?”

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