Dwayne Phillips ' Day Book

Items I happen to view each day. Science, Techonology, Management, Culture, and of course Writing

This is my day book for this week. I have modeled this after science fiction and computer writer Jerry Pournelle's view, or as he calls it, his Day Book. I encourage you to see Jerry Pournelle's site and subscribe to his services.

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This week: April 6-12, 2009

Summary of this week:

Monday - Tuesday - Wednesday - Thursday - Friday - Saturday - Sunday

Monday April 6, 2009

See the Museum of Online Museums. A list of links to museums big and small that have an online presence.

IBM is not going to buy Sun - I think.

The North Korean missile launch was a technical failure - so claims this report. Events like this are filtered by governments. Given national security and other considerations, it is almost impossible to have reliable information.

Here is a Web 2.0-like vision of future government. Parts of it make sense, which is probably why we may never see it.

This is neat! Some sort of Commodore 64 turned into a laptop computer.

There are some who criticize Obama in the web community. I am disappointed in Mr. Obama's failure to keep his promises for actual change. I am not surprised, but I am disappointed.

This report continues the disappointment. Money, money, money flowing from Washington to "Wall Street" and back. It has been happening for years, but we were promised something different.

The U.S. Department of the Interior's computer network is not secure. This, years after a judge ordered them to make it secure to comply with Federal law. Nationwide, on-line, medical records - secure? What do you think?

And in Europe, ISPs are now forced to save emails and phone calls for 12 months. This will help law enforcement in the investigation of crimes. These records will be secure, blocked from prying eyes?

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Tuesday April 7, 2009

Ars Technica gives a long review of Apple's Mac Pro tower computer.

The Associated Press vows to fight the use of its news on the Internet. This could be interesting. It sounds like they will try to strong-arm anyone who links to their material. I am glad I am not linking to their material in this story about them.

The PUMA from General Motors and Segway. It will go 35 miles per hour and 35 miles on one charge of the batteries. Actually, this can work in many situations, especially cities. It does look funny, but perhaps we will grow accustomed to it.

Australia is launching its own national broadband project. Their population is much smaller than America's. Such projects don't scale well, so the Australians have a pretty good chance at success, whereas the U.S., ....well.

There has been much debate on whether the President's gift of an iPod to the Queen violated copyright law. And this shows that maybe the copyright law needs revising.

"Just Add Water Management" Is this supposed to be a joke? I see it all the time. It works. This is an excellent post on management.

Scott Berkun has started a new blog on public speaking. I will read it.

Windows XP may live forever as Microsoft allows "downgrading" from Vista to XP to continue. They may even allow such with Windows 7.

The Blockbuster video stores will probably soon go out of business. Bailout? No. They could save themselves by going to 100% UAW employees. Just kidding...but maybe...

At first I thought this was a joke, but I guess not. People are making a big deal out of the new Intel "stickers" to put on computers.

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Wednesday April 8, 2009 

Autodesk is giving away temporary licenses for their design software to unemployed engineers. Good and smart.

Someone at the New York times understands why Apple computers are almost never hit with viruses - there aren't enough of them. Attaching Macs isn't worth the effort.

Intel continues to bump up the performance of its Atom processors.

A white camera from Leica. The camera is probably much better than it looks, at least it doesn't look good to me, but that is subjective.

People are playing video games instead of watching prime-time TV. Some are time shifting by recording shows and watching them later.

I cringe everytime I see a story about broadband and the stimulus bill. I am cursed with knowing too much about how Federal agencies operate.

The Obama administration is now embracing the "warrantless wiretapping" program that the Obama campaign decried. Yes, governing is a little harder than campaigning.

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Thursday April 9, 2009

Technology stocks may be good investments in the long term. History shows that to be true.

Apple is doing well. They have just ordered 100 million 8GigaByte flash chips for their products. This is going to cause a shortage in those parts and raise the price. Apple is doing well, and its chip suppliers are doing well. Time to invest in them?

How much email is Spam? Microsoft says 97% is. That is a high figure, but no too far off of my experience.

Barnes and Noble may be working on its own eBook reader like the Amazon Kindle.

People are attacking the U.S. electrical and water grids. It is really convenient and cheap to use the Internet to pass data and control signals for any large infrastructure. When we do that, however, we are connecting the infrastructure to the world and opening the possibility that someone can hack into the system. There is no way around this. Simply don't connect the infrastructure to the Internet. 

And the FCC has launched the national broadband program. Sigh, hope for the best and expect...

CouchSurfing.com now has a million members. Simple, join and you can stay at a person's place (on their couch maybe) for free. Others stay with you for free. This is bad for the motel industry, but sounds like a good thing for some million people.

Scott Berkun writes about what makes a great managers. One of the items in his list is being aware of yourself. I believe that Self-Aware is the most important item. If I am aware of myself and what I am doing, I can do all the other things better.  It is this struggle to see myself as other people are seeing me that plagues me and most people I know. I highly recommend the writings and teachings of Jerry Weinberg in this area.

Microsoft will end its mainstream support for Windows XP next week. I am not sure what "mainstream support" is. XP is the most popular product in Microsoft. Why would a company stop supporting its most popular product? There are good reasons, but this is a risk.

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Friday April 10, 2009

Arianna Huffington writes about the news media and the Internet. "You cannot pretend the last 15 years didn't happen." That makes sense, but then I am not losing my livlihood because of it.

Microsoft brings in a chip designer. The speculation is to teach the programmers how to use the multi-core processors more efficiently. I am sure there are other ways to do this, but bringing in someone at a high level "sends a message."

Microsoft has yet another "real person looking for a computer" ad out there. Funny, no one ever buys a desktop computer - they are all portable computers. This ad campaign is working. Sure, the experts poke holes in the buying logic of the "real people" in the commercials. Nevertheless, people are talking about the commercials, and that is the point of advertising - to have people talking about your product.

Not to be outdone by all these ads, the Linux Foundation has created some ads of its own. In keeping with the Linux spirit, they ran a contest and the winning ads will become real ads. See the Linux Foundation page on this with links to the winners. The winners are good videos, but I don't know if they speak to consumers.

And Linux is the fastest growing platform out there. When you have a tiny part of the market, it is easier to grow.

YouTube is creating a new site for high-quality video. Expect charges, advertising, and the like. The market will determine if this is a smart move.

The specification for Bluetooth 3.0 is just about out. I love this photo of an actual blue tooth.

The CrunchPad? It is Michael Arrington's "science project." Build a touch pad computer (no keyboard) that surfs the web for about $200. The project has moved forward. Somone leaked photos of the latest prototype. It looks neat. There was so much discussion of the prototype that Arrington had to discuss it all again himself.

Japanese companies are move from experiment to mass production of an exoskeleton. These could be great for people with physical disabilities. Let's see how this plays out in the next few years.

Here is another perspective on how to keep focused on work when you are working from home (with all those home distractions).

Something in me just loves this: a little steam engine that charges an iPod.

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Saturday April 11, 2009

Experts are picking apart Microsoft's claim of the "Apple Tax." The argument will continue until the end of time. It is a good spectator sport.

Terrorists love to use U.S.-based web servers - they are dependable and affordable.

How valuable is Steve Jobs? This is a good discussion of that question. Jobs is pretty smart and an excellent salesman. Great engineers need an excellent salesman around.

Microsoft may ruin Windows 7 with this strange buy and upgrade scheme. Why?

I like this idea - the Startup Visa. The State Department grants 10,000 special visas a year to people who start new companies. No new company? You are deported.

Microsoft is dropping Encarta - one of the first encyclopedias you could get on something called a CD-ROM.

I like Scott Berkun's new blog on public speaking. Here is a study that shows why boredom among listeners sets in at about 25 minutes - the heart rate.

Gizmodo reviews the Dell Adamo. This seems backwards as Dell has the style but no substance on this one.

Another power grab being offered by the current administration - this one over the Internet infrastructure.

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Sunday April 12, 2009

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