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: June 22-28, 2009

Summary of this week:

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

Monday June 22, 2009

I was on the road today and didn't view the Internet.

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Tuesday June 23, 2009

I am back to a somewhat "normal" schedule after a fine weekend with family in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

Apple has already issued a fix for the slow speeds on SATA drives for the new MacBook Pro portable computers.

Apple sold over a million iPhone 3G S models in three days. Is this the biggest weekend opening in cell phone history? Does anyone keep track of things like that?

It seems there is a "payola" scandal brewing in blogging. The FTC may even investigate this scandal. If someone pays you to say good things about their product, you should say so.

Calculations show that wind power would solve the world's problems. I wonder if these calculators have tried to calculate the total affect of all the construction. And what affect is there when all that wind is blocked from blowing through as it is now? This system is so big and complex that I doubt anyone can model it well.

The U.S. government "loans" big money to car companies to develop electric cars. Ford got $5.9 BILLION with a big B.

Put a 3G to WiFi router in your car. Only $300, but you have to pay the monthly fees.

Move 1 GigaBit per second through your house's electric wires. Well, maybe that is a little exaggerated, but even 80% is really fast.

Steve Jobs is back at work. I find it funny that given all the telecommuting and smart stuff like that, it still picks up people to see a person show up in person at work.

NASA's lunar satellites have reached to moon and are working. I guess it would be too much to put a person or two on one of those things. One can only dream back to the 1960s.

The Location Independent blog reports on the ultimate travelling office. They give a big plug to Apple hardware and software.

U.S. technology graduates are seen by Indians as unemployable. Some of the statements make sense. Most U.S. grads do not want to learn detailed processes for work - they just want to write code.

This could be very useful - a wiki that describes the pinouts of all sorts of cables.

A list of the worst cities in the U.S. for IT workers. It is rather unscientific, but still interesting. On the list are San Francisco and Boston - traditionally high-tech havens. Real estate is too hight and traffic is too heavy.

Most wireless access at airports is done with iPhones.

All that usage in spite of iPhones being slippery and dropped a lot.

The newest Lenovo T400 protable computer is only 0.83 inches thick. I wonder a little when people measure computer thickness to the hundredth of an inch. I guess we will soon measure thickness in microns. Anyways, these are nice looking machines.

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Wednesday June 24, 2009 

The Intel/Nokia partnership could be good news for mobile Linux. I think Linux will survive as an alternative to many people and many applications. I am not sure that it will ever gain a significant market share (25% or more).

The "netbook" (those really small portable computers) may be dead. I still think people are trying to remake the Apple iBook G4 that I still use after all these years. A 12" screen, pretty big keyboard, and runs more software than I will ever use.

For example, here is a "high-end netbook" from HP. Some people seem to be intent on ruining these machines.

Look at this JVC display (I was about to call it a TV, but that probably isn't correct). It is 7mm thick. That is about a third of an inch, and that is THIN.

Ever seen ugly graphics in presentations? Yes yes and yes. Here is some real ugly.

You probably don't need this, but is may be interesting to play with for a while. The Sugar Linux interface from the One Laptop Per Child Project on a USB stick.

I thought this could be a big deal - wireless charging for the iPhone. Alas, there are plenty of wires here. Too bad.

The use of Microsoft's Bing keeps growing. They have a long way to go, but are headed in the right direction.

Everyone wants to get into the SmartGrid market. There is promise of billions of taxpayers' dollars (hey, wait, that is my money!). I have heard that at the coming BlackHat conference, someone will explain how to turn the SmartGrid into one giant botnet. Oh the fun we cause ourselves. Here is an article on SmartGrid and Botnets.

What possessions would you take in the trunk of your car? The commenters write the rest of the post. Good stuff.

Simple fitness rules:
(1) get your body moving on a regular basis
(2) eat a moderate amount of real whole foods

Who is cheating? Kids who store information on their cell phone and read it during a "test?" OR Schools that seem to ignore that storing and retrieving information is a prized skill once you leave high school? The ability to memorize facts has not helped me in my 29 years of work. It didn't help me write four books on technology and management either. Hmmm. Oh well, I am not a professional educator, so what do I know?

Here is a good analysis of the "failed revolution" in Iran and other items on modern revolutions. Why couldn't NBC or the New York Times produce something like this? Perhaps that is why they are failing.

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Thursday June 25, 2009

LSU won the college baseball national championship. I went there, so I put in a plug now and then.

Look to Portugal to boost America's schools? Why not? Nothing else the politicians do seems to work. Portugal has succeeded recently, but the question is, will that program scale to America's size?

There was a crash this week in the Washington D.C. area's metro train system. Nine people were killed. Investigators suspect a computer fault, i.e. software. I have to wonder, if software was at fault, why haven't such crashes happened before? The first thing I would check is that last software change made to the system. The next thing to check is computer hardware failure.

The Associated Press is telling its employees how to use social networking tools. Long sigh. A big part of social networking tools is that social people discover ways to use the tools. Often they discover ways that the builders of the tools didn't imagine. Those discoveries are the heart of the system.

So much for the promise of change. The Obama administration has failed to keep its promise of posting bills on the Internet for five days before the president signs or vetoes them. There are plenty of explanations of why this hasn't happened. The ring hollow; disappointment follows soon after.

It appears that their are dubious reasons why the medical industry disdains computer health records. Sometimes dubious reasons protect people unexpectedly. Sometimes shedding light on an industry hurts patients unexpectedly.

I stumbled on this product. This paper allows you to write in the rain. Neat.

If you want to shoot video with your new iPhone, a shoulder mount will help hold it steady. Of course it works, but ...

AT&T will still release its femtocell repeater real soon now.

More really small solid state drives are coming for the really small portable computers. I love the competition.

Here is a look at the Lenovo IdeaPad U350. It is thin and light, and I guess lots of people are interested in that.

And Lenovo's IdeaPad S12 is now available. This is the closest thing I have seen to my five-year-old Apple iBook G4.

The really small portable computers continue to sell well, but consumers are often confused about what they are buying - disappointment follows.

MySpace is becoming irrelevant. It is unfortunate that many people are losing their jobs as a result. That is the marketplace.

The recession seems to be a good thing for open source software. Red Hat's profits are up.

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Friday June 26, 2009

Microsoft is lowering the price of Windows 7. Microsoft will also allow people to upgrade from XP to 7 without going through Vista. These are smart moves.

Most of the really small portable computers don't have CD-DVD drives. Updating large pieces of software can be a pain. Hence, Microsoft may distribute Windows 7 on USB thumb drives. That would be another smart move by Microsoft.

These test results praise the performance of the new MacBook Pro batteries.

Gartner predicts that PC sales will rise in the fourth quarter of 2009.

Samsung has a cellphone with a 12MegaPixel camera.

The new iPhone has a video camera. YouTube uploads from cell phones has risen 400% since the new iPhone hit the streets. This is not a coincidence. It may soon be impossible to sell little video cameras that are not attached to iPhones.

This story is bizzare. Chris Anderson plagiarized large chunks of his new book. He now admits this and apologizes. Anderson is the editor of Wired magazine. He knows how all this digital and Web 2.0 stuff works. What was he thinking?

In another "what were they thinking" story, these people at a school strip searched a girl looking for Ibupropen. Strip search? Not for a bomb or a gun or something terribly deadly, but some over-the-counter medicine. Lots of people have tough jobs, but there has to be a moment when you step back and think twice.

The bar code is 35 years old.

The Congressional Budget Office concludes that the Federal government is spending a lot more money than it is collecting. This sounds like a disaster, but what do I know?

The "Boomer Tablet." This idea makes a lot of sense, but I don't think it will happen.

Someone outside of NASA has bold plans for NASA. I see no hope of these being adopted. The iron law of bureaucracy rules NASA now.

California is woefully short of educated high-tech workers. Suggested actions:
(1) Pour money in to the University of California system to educate people (I wonder who suggested that?),
(2) Remove the cap on H-1B visas - that would work, but then the screaming would start.
(3) How about cutting state taxes and spending so that people can afford to live in California?
Suggestion (3) is mine. That one has the least chance of occurring.

HP is making several of its classic calculators available for the iPhone. I looked at the app store; they want $20 for these things. No thanks.

The death of Michael Jackson collapsed the web.

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Saturday June 27, 2009

Android development is opening to other programming languages, not just Java. I have heard that recent college graduates groan at the thought of C and C++. Oh, well a new generation.

Expect better and less expensive Apple desktop computers this fall. Is the desktop computer relevant? Yes.

Here are some thoughts on the merits of design in companies versus open-source projects. Apple has wonderful design. Ubuntu, based on open-source Linux, has wonderful design, but there is a company behind Ubuntu. Oh, and OS X is based on open source Linux as well. Maybe the role of open-source software is in software infrastucture. Not glamorous, but necessary.

This isn't a design feature - the new white iPhone over heats and browns itself.

I've seen this story in several places how the Internet is hurting the protestors in Iran. The government there is simply using the Internet as much as they can to squelch what the Iranian subjects are doing.

Something must be getting through as other repressive governments are censoring what their subjects see about Iran.

Yet another report on a new battery technology promising great improvements. Maybe one day one of these stories will become reality.

The next release of Firefox will be here next week.

Some ideas on what parts of a personal computer are going to fade away now and later. Interesting.

Reuters maybe sees the future, the AP probably does not. 

George Will on health care "reform." We spend more on health care now because we receive much more from each health care dollar than we used to. Science and technology have spoiled us in this respect. Who wants to go back - do away with MRI, sonagrams and such niceties?

Some of the wacko right-wing predictions are coming true: people are selling body parts for stem cell research.

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Sunday June 28, 2009

NOAA launched a new GOES satellite.

Apple's Mac Mini little desktop computer is full of portable computer parts. That is one reason why it isn't less expensive.

People are learning that many of the really small portable computers run slowly. They are trying to run too much software on the not-so-powerful Atom processors.

Google Voice has some useful features, but isn't perfect.

Using the material from old blog posts again. This is appealing to me. One way is to turn related blog posts into a book. Very appealing to me.

Acer is booming in the marketplace. How did that happen?

An EPA senior manager removed a report from an EPA employee (educated at Cal-Tech and MIT) that questioned global warming. The thing that gets my attention here is the report was written inside the EPA - not outside from a lobbying group. Oh well, change in Washington means that the Rs are out and the Ds are in - not much else has changed.

MagicJack is selling about 10,000 of its gadgets a day - in a recession.

Innovation can occur at a 90-year-old company - Booz Allen Hamilton.

There is much to be said for perseverance.

Would you like to write your blogs at work and have your employer approve of the activity? See these tips.

The "for what it's worth file" where you write about your writing. I like it.

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