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 29-July 5, 2009

Summary of this week:

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

Monday June 29, 2009

I spent a few hours driving the D.C. Beltway today. That greatly limited my Internet viewing, but here are a few things.

Intel brings forward its schedule to release a 32nm processor.

The Walkman is 30 years old. I had one of the originals. Tape cassette with TWO headphone jacks. Why is it that no one today has two headphone jacks?

Bill Gates retired one year ago. This looks at what if anything has changed in his "absence."

Steve Jobs is really back at work at Apple.

One cause of autism may be a combination of many minor genetic flaws.

This is a solar-powered airplane. It should fly, but it won't carry much. This is an interesting experiment that may lead to something some day.

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Tuesday June 30, 2009

People who contribute to Wikipedia are a bunch of grumpy introverts. Yes, there are many holes in the study, but a catchy title like that is sure to have people at least glance at your report. Now, bah, humbug, let me get out of this place and close the door on my office at home so I can update some of me wiki entries ;-)

Skype version 3.0 for Windows mobile phones is out.

Comcast will offer 4G wireless broadband in a few cities in the U.S. Portland, Oregon is first. Then a couple of other cities will follow. Mine is not on the list.

Japan is working on beaming solar energy down to earth from satellites. Good for them. They are thinking and looking ahead. This concept has been proposed by some learned Americans for years. The potential is huge in many respects.

Lenovo does some smart things with the keyboard on their portable computers. They actually studied what keys people press. Who would have thought of such a thing? Where is everyone else?

This advice is real, practical, and emotional. How to tell the family that you are hitting the road and you won't see them for a long time. This is the single hardest thing for many people who want to be location independent.

Here is a good post on being in "flow" - your skills match the challenge in front of you. For the most part, I have spent the last three or four months in my new job in Boredom. This past week I have moved into flow. I am writing a lot at work and no one else here seems to be able to write what I am writing (I am not sure what to make of that). Anyways, I am in flow now. I want to wake in the morning and go to work (even if I have to drive around the 495 beltway - yuck).

Toyota has built a brain-machine-interface to control a wheelchair. Excellent. Excellent application of technology. People in control theory have been working on and building similar devices for years. This is another area with great potential applications, and this is only the beginning.

Pre-sales of Windows 7 are big on Amazon.

Adobe is trying to cut costs, so they are shutting down for a week. They plan to do this again later this year. I guess this is a week off without pay. I have seen many companies do this. Such companies generally survive these things when there is no place for their employees to go.

it appears that Dell is working on a pocket-sized gadget to access the Internet. It probably isn't a cell phone, but something like the iPod Touch. There is a market for such.

The average Twitter user has 126 followers. I am still below average, but I think I am above the median.

The Apple store website was the most-visited such site in May 2009. 55 Million views - the second most was 21 Million views for HP.

Hey look at this scientific breakthrough: …we finally have strong evidence that weight gain is primarily due to overeating. I guess this means someone did a scientific study that proved this once and for all. I guess someone had to make that proof and make it public. I doubt much will happen because of it.

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Wednesday July 1, 2009 

Too much time on the Washington D.C. beltway to view the Internet.

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Thursday July 2, 2009

I got online for a little while this evening, but still traversing the Beltway.

Behavioral advertisers will probably regulate themselves. These advertisers use a person's web surfing habits to post ads that most interest the surfer. There are privacy issues, but then again I only see ads that probably interest me.

Schaumberg, IL is removing its traffic-light cameras. They do nothing for public safety. So someone else comes to the same conclusion. It seems that the places that still use these cameras are just doing it for the money.

Most of the world has no home access to broadband Internet.  In Africa, only 2% of homes do. That is the digital divide.

Line up at the door for the money. Run rural broadband and cash in, if you can stand the red tape.

Asteroids, the video game from the 1970s, is about to become a major motion picture. I have no idea what the plot might be? Asteroids was one of the few video games that I played. There was something about it that I liked. I just don't play video games.

Make and print your own newspaper from online content. Some people would love this, but those people probably are never online so they won't ever know about it.

Here is a new...well I don't know what it is. I guess it is an overgrown iPod Touch. Looks pretty good actually.

Some very nice photos of the moon...wait, I seem to recall people visiting there when I was a kid. That seems strange to write.

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Friday July 3, 2009

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Saturday July 4, 2009

Happy Birthday America. I may be in the minority on this one, but I think there is a lot of good here.

It may have snowed on Mars.

Which one is the robot?

An employees was shot at the Apple store in Arlington, Virginia. I have never been in that Apple store. I frequent a couple of others in Northern Virginia (a.k.a Federal Virginia).

Disney now has an Obama robot in its Presidents exhibit.

Here is a different approach to dating ancient inscriptions - handwriting recognition. This makes sense. Compare stone carvings to carvings from know inscribers. When you match the carving to a person, you know the lifetime in which the carving occurred.

A humingbird-size UAV from DARPA.

The New York Times reports on Michael Arrington's CrunchPad.

The PC makers are abiding by the wishes of the government of China. I don't like to see this. Here was a chance to bring some liberty to China's subjects.

What recession? Look at these home theatres.

George Will writes about California politics and policies. A couple of phrases struck me: "California's cascading crises prefigure America's future unless Washington reverses the growth of government subservient to organized labor." "We do not have a revenue problem; we have a spending problem of epic proportions." and "Pierre Omidyar, after founding eBay in San Jose, resided in Nevada, which has no income tax." Funny how that works, people moving to places that don't tax them so much. Who could have guessed such a thing would happen?

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Sunday July 5, 2009

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. - somebody could write and imagine and dream and believe!

It is Sunday, and for some odd 4th of July weekend events, I have an extra hour this morning to view. So today's viewings are long.

A testament to the power of stories. Yes.

Hardee's is engaging in Web 2.0 by letting customers name the next products. The are doing more than a web-based suggestion box by emphasizing mobile (cell phone) participation. After all, if you are in a Hardee's you are likely to have your cell phone with you. Check out their video entries at their site. Are the Washington Post and New York Times watching?

Maybe this is the future of public libraries - teen centers and Starbucks.

The CrunchPad may be out in a month or two. At $300 it still seems too expensive. I can buy a computer for that much.

A "day job" can help your writing. Of course it can. I find plenty of ideas in the activities of people around me. There are plenty of people at work. One of my fears of retiring was the loss of material from not being around people at work.

Jerry Weinberg's ideas on attending conferences.

Writers don't spend much time writing. That is true if you only count the time typing words as writing. There are many other things that occur in "writing," and many of those things take 24 hours a day.

George Orwell's diaries from 60 years ago are posted here. As WW II is about to start (in 1939) Orwell's comments should become fascinating.

Coming one day: indoor and outdoor flying UAV's for rescue. We shall see.

There is something to taking the original work of others and combining it to produce something new and wonderful. I thought that was called research, not criminal activity.

More background than you probably want to know about making fireworks.

The portable computer of 1968. It weighed 75 pounds, but it fit in a case with a handle, and you could carry it around with you. It communicated with a mainframe via a telephone modem.

There is cheap energy all about us. Scientists may one day tap into a little bit of it. If the politicians will stay out of the way and stop hyping this stuff as a jobs program...

The London Stock Exchange will stop using Microsoft Windows as its trading platform. It just isn't reliable enough.

The U.S. online job market is still falling. Less jobs.

Travelling can be fun and provide a writer with lots of material, but it is also hard to stay on task. My suggestion is to change your task as you travel. Yes, move the target to where the arrows are flying.

What's in it for me? A simple, yet effective question to ask about your readers. Also ask this question for me, the writer. Yes, this is a bit selfish, but hey, I am spending my time and energy doing this, so I should get something out of it as well. If nothing else, I will learn, and learning is a pretty good outcome of time.

I don't like this news, but I agree with it - reputation matters more than content. Earning a reputation is difficult and involves luck, but that is that way it has always been.

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