Thursday, December 21, 2006

Tech Talk on Social Software on January 2nd, 2007

Here is the press release for January's Tech Talk -- thought I would post it early since I will be taking some time off during the last week of December. The topic of this talk really couldn't more timely given that Time Magazine considered the development of the social web to be worthy of being named "Person of the Year". Hope to see you there!

Janie Hermann and Karen Klapperstuck to give overview of sites such as MySpaceas part of Tuesday Technology Talks program
Tuesday, Jan. 2 at 7 p.m.

Princeton Public Library’s Tuesday Technology Talks series will focus on social software sites such as MySpace on Jan. 2 at 7 p.m., when librarian Janie Hermann and Karen Klapperstuck present a program titled “Social Software: Hype Versus Reality.” Hermann, program coordinator and reference library at Princeton Public Library, and Klapperstuck, director of the Bradley Beach Library, will examine the increasing popular sites, which allow users to connect and communicate online in an open and easily accessible space.
“MySpace, Facebook and YouTube are the most well-known of these sites,” Hermann said, “but social software in general is increasingly popular and has received unprecedented media coverage this year, as the recent issue of Time magazine proves.” Time awarded its 2006 Person of the Year to You, which the magazine defined as the community of Internet users who create content on social software sites.
The Princeton Public Library talk will define social software, look at the pros and cons of using it and show participants how to set up a profile. “We’ll also provide tips for staying safe in online communities and examine what is hype and what is not about the dangers of connecting and collaborating in a virtual world,” Hermann said.
The monthly sessions of the library’s popular Tuesday Technology Talks series feature demonstrations and discussions of new and emerging technologies and related issues. The series continues on Tuesday, Feb. 6, when Martin Mosho presents a program titled “eBay Essentials.”
All Princeton Public Library programs are free and open to the public. When programs require registration, preference is given to library cardholders. The library is in the Sands Library Building at 65 Witherspoon St. in Princeton Borough. Special assistance is available for library customers with disabilities. Those with special needs should contact the library 48 hours before any program to arrange for accommodations. Call (609) 924-9529. For more information on library programs and services, visit

Friday, December 15, 2006

DataBytes for Winter 2007

Getting a Human

I am a fan of technology (this should be obvious by now), but the one technology that I despise is complex phone menus that always lead to a dead end when I just want a bit of help from a human. I am pretty certain that I am not alone in my frustration with phone menus and now I have proof.

I have recently discovered a great new site for when you need to make a phone call to a “customer service” line and dread weaving your way through the prompts to find a human voice that can provide help. Check out for a database of customer service numbers and instructions on how to defeat the menu of prompts to get directly to a human! The database is here:

I-800 customer lines are listed and then tips on how to defeat the menus are given! Here is a sample entry:

Pep Boys
F (note: this is the grade it was given... they failed)
Press 33; at prompt press 1; hold through prompts for representative.

I will be adding this to the Fantastic Freebies roadshow!