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: July 6-12, 2009

Summary of this week:

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

Monday July 6, 2009

This writer's experiences show that the iPhone is much better when stuck in an airport than the Palm Pre. I guess the best thing to do is not become stuck in an airport, but that is not always a choice.

The FCC doesn't have a plan for rural broadband, but it does have a plan for when it will plan. That may sound silly, but it is actually a significant accomplishment. It is much better than not having a plan and not even having a plan to plan.

People keep finding different things to do to make their USB thumbdrives look different. This is a Ned Kelly. I don't really know what that means or what it is supposed to be, but it does look different.

Someone at NASA has a Plan B for returning people to the moon faster and cheaper.

As silly as this sounds, the idea of lagging five years behind technology has some merit.

It seems that the next iPod Touch update will include a video camera like the iPhone.

Work at home? Be proud of it.

Some people work best when they have a deadline. What do they do when they don't have a deadline? Here are some tips.

A simulation confirms the Peter Principle. "All new members in a hierarchical organization climb the hierarchy until they reach their level of maximum incompetence." As a veteran of 28 years of Federal employment, believe me, this is true.

This is neat. A couple of  bookcases built to hide their home office. The center book case opens like a door. The "secret passage."

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Tuesday July 7, 2009

Too much time on the Beltway today.

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Wednesday July 8, 2009 

Too much Beltway commuting again today.

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Thursday July 9, 2009

Some return to a normal schedule.

There is much on the Internet about Google's Chrome operating system. This seems to be a way to be on the Internet quickly and use all the applications that reside up there. As long as there is a way to function when not connected, this would be alright. This will all be interesting. Here is another view of the story.

Don't look now, but the Google apps on the web are no longer BETA.

Focus on the big picture. Oh my goodness, someone has actually used that contradiction in terms in a serious manner.

The Pickens' plan for a giant wind farm is hitting bumps as it encounters reality.

This LG cell phone has quite a camera built into it.

I really like this. Wearable displays. I believe this is the real application for eBooks. No, you don't read "War and Peace" while wearing one of these. You do read workplace documents while doing your job (something that requires both hands to do). See my blog post on the topic.

The idea of the "invisibility cloak" finally moves into the realm of information operations. I was wondering how long it would take someone to think of this. Blocking information is a form of inserting different information. If I can insert one type of information (thing X is not here), I should be able to insert any other arbitrary information (thing Y is here).

This is an old story, but I guess it is "official" now. Apple will open a $1Billion server farm in North Carolina.As a Virginia resident I scream, "Where were the Commonwealth's politicians during all this? Why didn't Virginia bid on this one?"

NASA is inching back towards space.

Maybe I can qualify for free money by trading a "clunker?" This site claims to have a app that helps me see.

Tech or management jobs after age 39? I vote for tech management, but would rather do tech.

The oldest known copy of the Bible will go online.

Only in the government...$18Million to help redesign the site recovery.gov.  $ $ $ $ $  Eighteen M I L L I O N?????

This a fascinating graph. I find most graphs that compare predicted with actual to be fascinating. This shows the Obama prediction of jobs and the actual loss of jobs. The dark blue bars show the predicted job growth after the passage of the stimulus bill. The light blue bars show the actual job decline after the passage of the stimulus bill. The difference between the predicted and actual is about 3.4 million jobs. Oh well. Maybe it is time to recalibrate.

George Will discusses McNamara, Marx, Obama, and General Motors. I like the way he intertwines these.

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Friday July 10, 2009

The people who made Flickr are now starting something else. I'm not sure what it is, but they are hiring a few people.

Jerry Weinberg writes about the Peter and Paul principles. The Peter Principle is the rule in government. The Paul Principle offers a note of caution in quickly moving technical fields. I have also seen the Paul Principle at work and it isn't pretty to watch.

This post marks our point in time relating to those really small portable computers.

And those really small portable computers are growing more power hungry. Windows XP (and 7) and spinning disk drives are dominating the market.

Here is one author's real-world process for writing a book and having it published. There is a difference between (1) writing a book and (2) having it published.

Space-based solar power is getting a little more attention. This is high-tech, big-thinking green stuff. I wish we were seeing more of this from Washington D.C.

GE is moving towards smart grid appliances. I wish they are thinking this through. There is a difference between wishes and hopes.

Here is a tutorial on smart grid. It does address the security issues. It doesn't address privacy issues and those oh-so-nagging issues about the potential for abuse by power-hungry (political power, not electric power) bureaucrats. The last point is my greatest fear, even a bigger fear than the hacking issue.

I like this concept: a robot that eats biomass (grass) to produce its own energy.

Those who have difficulty focusing have discovered the down side of WiFi on airplanes.

Jerry Pournelle's monthly column is up.

Here is Stowe Boyd's view of the Chrome Operating System and its implications.

Intel has been on the inside of the Chrome OS project for a while.

I seems to be official, Disney is making a new Tron movie. I saw the original back in 1982. My favorite line from the movie, "Get the logic probe." That was back in the day when there were digital logic chips on circuit boards and you did use a logic probe to trouble shoot. Oh well, that was a long time ago.

Marketing is different for freelancers; it isn't the same as a small business.

Loose lips still sink ships - so do a lot of other things that people do while traveling.

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Saturday July 11, 2009

Running barefoot seems to be the best way to go. Who would have thought such a thing? We can now buy "gloves" for the feet. These permit running barefoot without all those nagging cuts and bleeding.

Becoming a writer takes time and practice. Ten years? A million words? While driving this morning I was thinking of the same thing. I write fairly well now. I am have working hard at writing for 20 years now. There is something to this.  Jerry Pournelle also writes something about throwing away the first million words.

Technology advances continue to produce more energy from the same materials. This is where investment should be.

What is old is new again, or something like that. Companies laid off mainframe computer workers too soon and are now hiring them back.

It seems there are big security problems with WiFi systems in airports.

Open source software could learn from Apple's software. Some are already doing this.

I love this. "Amateur" astronomers took 1,000 photos of the moon, pieced them together, and produced an amazing, high-resolution photo of the moon. Great.

There is a place for "randomness" in making decisions.

How to form the plural form of words. Most of the time, you don't use an apostrophe and a s. Consult the Chicago Manual of Style. My recommendation is to have a Chicago Manual of Style at home, at work, at anyplace you write.

George Will writes on the economy, taxes, and other such matters. I like the way Will puts things in perspective. Investing in India is much better than investing in America these days. Government isn't running India into the ground.

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Sunday July 12, 2009

Microsoft continues to step towards an October release of Windows 7. They aren't all stupid at Microsoft. It looks like they still have a good cadre of smart people there.

Will the "CrunchPad" ever be built?

Too much noise coming from the disk drives on new MacBook Pro portable computers. There must be something to this story as it is all over the Internet the past couple of days.

A bit of simple, yet proven advice for those who work at home - make your workspace your own. My "office" has two guitars, two full oak bookcases, six Winchester paintings, and a few other items that are "my own." I doubt many other people would like my workspace, but I do.

What is an "author" and what is a "writer?" I suppose that this matters to some people.

Taking and giving "positive" critique. One of the most positive things I can do in critique is start by saying, "I read your manuscript from start to finish."

This is interesting to see on the Internet. It is true, you can read a person's keyboard by monitoring the power line on which the computer is connnected.

Scientists differ in their opinions on science from the rest of the general public. I guess it was worth doing a study to "learn" this.

Let's get ready to argue - writing a novel, is it art or craft? I have never written a novel, so I am most qualified to give the answer.

Freelance advice gained from ten or twelve years of experience. I find several good things here. One of the best is that, like any one-person business, the writing itself is a small part of the business. The worst part for me is the marketing.

Scott Berkun is working on a book on public speaking. Here are a few highlights from it.

Many people "blog" because they like to write. That is all there is to it. It is my theory that journalists once loved to write. After enough time of writing for a living, they forgot that they once loved to write. That is a shame and a source of misunderstanding among journalists of the whole blogosphere.

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