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: September 28-October 4, 2009

Summary of this week:

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

Monday September 28, 2009

Why all those spam ads? Because people click on them and buy things.

Do you need a landline? I am not ready to give up mine yet, but the motel room I am in now doesn't have one. The motel assumes that customers bring their phones with them.

This is just plain strange. I heard this story on CNN this morning about Roman Polanski being arrested this morning. Well, it is not true, at least I think it isn't true. This all started with the AP goofing up. Other people started reporting the AP story as fact.

More questions on net neutrality. Do we really want government regulation? Like this short post says, except for a few rural areas, there is plenty of competition and places to switch if you are not happy.

Satellite photos of the Iranian underground nuclear site. This is from commercial imagery and analysis.

One in five households worldwide are wired to the Internet. That is worldwide.

I like this post on ten tools to have for the non-tool expert. I agree with nine of the ten suggestions. I don't agree with the Leatherman multi-tool. Multi-tools are not as good as single-purpose tools. They cannot be. Multi-tools are great for under the seat of the car or in your pocket at a picnic.

It will soon be illegal to use a cell phone in a car in New Zealand for anything. No maps, nothing.

Australia's government is giving 240,000 really small portable computers to school kids. Good thing, but they call them "unhackable." Oh gosh, they have just issued a challenge to thousands of "hackers." Guess what will happen.

I enjoyed watching the movie "The Informant!" This post has some information on how Mr. Whitacre dealt with his bi-polar compulsive lying disorder.

This hospital system will pay doctors $40,000 to digitize their health records. Security?

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Tuesday September 29, 2009

Apple's iPhone app store has downloaded two billion apps.

Dell brings out the Z600 portable computer. Its goal is compete with the Apple portable computers in design and "style."

The Kindle DX is failing at Princeton is their pilot program. It is a start, so maybe you would expect some trouble, but the complaints seem more like something that cannot be fixed.

Someone has rediscovered a way to buy products for less - make yourself into a business. This post shows the advantages to buying Windows 7 this way.

More and more organizations are telling their employees to shut up on the Internet - even the Washington Post - the bastian of free speech. Government agencies have done this to their employees for decades. They all have Publications Review Boards. They justified it as a protection of National Security or something or other. Most of the restrictions were myths, but people believed the myths and obeyed the policies. That is changing now as people under 30 today just don't care to play games at work.

Cellphone use on airplanes - not in the U.S., but everywhere else it is happening.

Now this is a different computer case. Take a look. I don't know what use it is, but you will spend time looking at it.

Has the glory gone out of IT work? The glory leaves five years into the job. Then a new group of young people come out of school and find the glory all over again. Five years later the cycle repeats.

Change in government? A Defense bill with over $2Billion in pork is okayed by the White House.

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Wednesday September 30, 2009 

Social media - that great "word of mouth" on the Internet - may lead to a structural decline in advertising. Why pay money to put your product on TV, radio, etc. when you put it on your web site for free? Also, let people spread the word for you on the net.

A touch-less fingerprinting system. This is a big deal for border crossings as now you have to put your hand on a piece of glass that has had who-knows-what on it.

It seems that porn surfing is a big problem at the National Science Foundation.

I love this post. It is a little bit of philosophy and a lot of good sense. All the nice things in the stores are mine. The store is keeping them in storage for me. When I want an item, I pay them for the storage. When I am done with the item I either give it to someone else or they pay me a fee for storing it for a while. Please read the post.

In a similar vein, see this post on "stuff." Once we became rich, eating too much replaced having too little to eat as a major problem. Once we became richer, having too much stuff has become a bigger burden than not having stuff.

The HP Envy 13. This looks like a good really small portable computer. I don't like the name.

And the HP Envy 15. Again, looks neat, hate the name.

New really small portable computers from Toshiba.

And the Obama administration wants American kids to attend school longer. This will of course mean higher pay to teachers since they will be in front of the kids longer. This is a great example of bureaucracy growing and growing. It is also an example of the single most-tried bureaucratic remedy: if something isn't working, do more of it.

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Thursday October 1, 2009

I guess I should have paid more notice to the Intel and Apple announcement about Light Peak. It just seemed to be another fibre optic interface. Not the first, but probably the first to "make it" commercially with home computers.

Oh the problem of storing electricity. Solving such would be a grand thing, but building more batteries doesn't seem to be a viable approach. But I guess if you own stock in a battery maker...

Interesting photos, what a family from different parts of the world eats in a week. I don't know about the accuracy of these photos - actually I doubt the accuracy, but still interesting.

If you want to buy a real video camera, check this from Sony - 240 frames per second.

Better and faster chips coming from NVIDIA. Hooray for competition and progress.

Dell and its 11Z - more stuff inside, more colors outside. I guess they have finally remade the Apple iBook I used for four years with 11" screen.

Borders follows Barnes and Noble to have free WiFi in all the bookstores. Will Amazon follow, ooops Amazon doesn't have stores. I don't know what good WiFi is in the stores, they don't have any place to sit. I guess it helps to have WiFi for your cellphone and such.

Some good tips on minimizing your luggage. I am carrying too much with me while Taking a Walk. I will try to reduce.

Here is something to watch: the "vook" an eBook with videos in it.

This is a strange one from Jerry Pournelle, but as they say, truth is stranger than fiction: "the Democrats have just rejected a photo ID requirement for receiving health care, just as they reject photo ID requirements for voting. You still have to have a photo ID with your exact name on it to get an airplane to Anaheim or anywhere else."

GM cannot sell Saturn, so Saturn will close. But I thought that when the taxpayers bought GM...

I like George Will's editorial on climate change. My kids hate me because I am still skeptical about climate change. Some people I know and respect look at me with strange expressions when I tell them I am still skeptical about climate change. One, when someone reports that "100% of scientist" support something (as they do with climate change) I am skeptical. I have never experienced a situation wheere 100% of any group agreed on anything. Two, I know something about science and what it means to know something with certainty. I have yet to see the evidence that climate change is certain. If someone showed me the evidence, I would change my mind. Finally, the real "threat" to our planet that I see is population. I haven't run the numbers, but I don't know if this planet can support 10 billion or 20 billion or whatever billion people.

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Friday October 2, 2009

The motel I am in has a slow Internet connection, so I don't know how this will work today.

There is a shortage of Apple's Mac Mini computers. This raises speculation that Apple is about to introduce a changed computer.

The Federal government has announced what is basically a ban on texting while driving for Federal employees while they are on the job.

Personal data of American soldiers is still being downloaded by unauthorized persons. Security? Privacy? Is everyone ready for national electronic health records?

Some people have experimented with wireless networks to allow them to "see through walls." Yes, this works. The idea has been around for years and some people have already been using it. It also works well with really inexpensive equipment like RFID tags.

The $19Million site recovery.gov fails Federal accesibility standards. It is still astounding that the site costs this much. This is a great example of taking something from energized volunteers and giving it to a government contractor.

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Saturday October 3, 2009

The percentage of computers running OS X continues to grow.

The next great challenge for the Internet? Telling you what is happening around the corner in your own community.

Apple has bought a mapping company. This may help Apple with geo-everything on the iPhone.

The electricity a computer server uses costs more than the server itself.

Check the numbers on this LED light bulb: one tenth the power draw, same light, 25-year lifetime, and a $50 price tag.

It is called "product placement," and Dell is doing a lot of it lately.

This is a great looking office area. Real people work here (not me).

This is a wonderful office - and it is in a basement of all places.

A portable computer from MSI with a Core i7 processor. So you can run climate change models or video games while on the go.

A portmortem from the Rocky Mountain News newspaper. At least someone is looking at what happened. Perhaps there is time for some other newspapers to learn.

Unemployment hits the highest number in 26 years, yet some are going around claiming that the stimulus is working. I guess I don't understand economics and how all this works.

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Sunday October 4, 2009

The Department of Homeland Security is going to hire 1,000 cyber experts in the next three years. Good luck with that one. (1) Move to the Washington, D.C. suburbs (expensive), (2) work for a government bureaucracy (lots of brain-dead managers), (3) work for a government salary, (4) if (1) and (2) and (3)  don't kill you, give it a try.

Windows Vista lost market share to Windows 7 last month. Windows 7 isn't even on the market yet, is it?

Perl 5.11 was released this week.

Windows 7 will bring a big boost in sales of cheap laptops. I agree. If you want a really small portable computer today, you have to run Windows XP which is...I can't remember how old. So when a new OS comes that will run on the really small portable computer, expect sales to boom. Apple?

On blogger's block (writer's block for the blogger). Still, I have the opposite situation - too much to write, not enough time. And how blogging helps the writer get to the writing.
How long people live in America.

On structure for the writer who writes at home. One quote that I disagree with "Every writer finds their own structure and way of working that suits them." I have met plenty of writers (and other people who work at home) who have never found "their structure." They flopped at home. My guess is the vast majority of people who attempt to work at home flop.

I like this - a sort of timeline of publishing and writing

Why do people make bad PowerPoint slides? I like reason number 1 - they are less work.

Passion and skill - both needed.

A nice post on journaling. Writing in a journal daily is something that has helped me the past 7 or 8 years (if I was home I would go to my bookshelf, pull my filled journals, and tell you the exact date).

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