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.

Go to Day Book Home and pointer to previous weeks
Go to Dwayne's Home Page
Email me at d.phillips@computer.org

This week: October 5-11, 2009

Summary of this week:

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

Monday October 5, 2009

Rechargeable, heated hiking boots. This is not a joke, not needed in Alabama, but necessary elsewhere.

The Windows 7 boxes are appearing in stores. I guess later this month you buy the box, "install", and then the first thing that happens is all the software changes that have occurred in the last three months are downloaded and installed.

Now this is NEAT! No more training wheels for kids' bikes. This gyro-stabilized front wheel replaces them. My grandson will be one next month, is it too early to...

Also NEAT! A triple-monitor desktop. The combination of neon lights and hidden support arms gives the illusion that the monitors are floating.

A design concept for an eBook reader. This requires flexible electronics and display. I would buy one.

Look at this, this is real, not a fake. It is the original IBM Think Pad.

Women dominate social networking sites.

Email me at d.phillips@computer.org
Go to Day Book Home and pointer to previous weeks
Go to Dwayne's Home Page

Tuesday October 6, 2009

Ah, the government is going to help bloggers. If you write about a product and are compensated by the company, you have to divulge that. No details on how the Federal Trade Commission will monitor millions of blogs daily.

Here is a portable computer with two 10-inch screens. I guess there is a good use for something like this. It weighs under four pounds, now that is an achievement.

A backpack that generates electricity. Only the Army has it now, but the rest of us will have it later. Simple idea - change kinetic energy to electric energy. There are many other places we can do the same. How about on the keyboard of a portable computer? Lots of kinetic energy in the keys being wasted.

Solar power roof shingles will be on sale next year. Let science and technology do its work.

This is not a joke, but it could only happen in government - a document describing how to stop information leaks was leaked.

Now this is neat! You draw a simple sketch, the software searches the Internet for photographs and puts them together. Words fail the describe this, look at it.

Some lessons on how NOT to manage people.

Email me at d.phillips@computer.org
Go to Day Book Home and pointer to previous weeks
Go to Dwayne's Home Page

Wednesday October 7, 2009 

The first USB 3.0 disk drives are shipping this month.

Kindle prices are falling.

People are digitizing the log books of sea captains from previous centuries. One use is for climate researchers to look at climate in prior centuries. I see many good uses for the log books. Climate research is not one. The people taking a recording the measurement were no doubt smart and attentive to detail, but people don't measure the weather with the same instruments they used on those ships. When you change the measuring device you change the measurement. Sorry, no way around that.

The Nobel Prize in Physics goes to three Americans who worked in capturing and transmitting information as light.

Former employees - do you distrust them or treasure them as a resource? All people are potential resources. Sometimes we just like to not like them.

Does your organization have Web 2.0 policies? About blogging, twittering, flickering, and such? Do you want them? It seems that the web is changing so rapidly that those who seek to write policies will be busy 100% of the time trying to keep up. And then again, if you have people who want to write policies it may be a good thing for them to be busy 100% of the time and staying out of the way of people who want to accomplish work.

And look at this, a majority of companies have such policies and prohibit social networking on the job.

Email me at d.phillips@computer.org
Go to Day Book Home and pointer to previous weeks
Go to Dwayne's Home Page

Thursday October 8, 2009

More patent suits in the computer and software industry. Sigh.

It appears that Windows 7 is slower booting to a useful state than Windows Vista. Rats.

Errors in memory hardware occur far more frequently than thought. This is from a Google study, and Google has lots of computers to study.

Dell is closing one of its factories and laying off 900 people in North Carolina.

But Google says it is hiring and spending again.

Some simple yet effective worspaces: see here and here.

And the Justice Department is once again investigating IBM for anti-trust practices. Isn't this where we were 30 years ago?

Americans are paying off their credit cards and saving their money. All of this is somehow bad for the economy as we have grown dependent on people spending more money than they have. How did we get here?

Pay for performance for Federal workers has been killed. I wonder if there is any accounting of the billions of dollars wasted in meetings that people attended on this item. I know I sat in hundreds of them.

Email me at d.phillips@computer.org
Go to Day Book Home and pointer to previous weeks
Go to Dwayne's Home Page

Friday October 9, 2009

One way to decline requests. I sort of like this.

Some progress in prizes leading to a moon mission. I truly like this.

Here is a little non-information on that $18Million contract to build a web site for the White House. This is all absurd.

Ice (water) and other organic compounds were sensed on an asteroid. The conclusion that this is how life began on earth is a bit of a leap (imho).

And Barnes and Noble will be selling its own eBook reader next year.

This is a concept "car" - all electric, seats two people inline, and it leans when you corner.

Jerry Pournelle's monthly column is up with comments about the FTC and bloggers.

Email me at d.phillips@computer.org
Go to Day Book Home and pointer to previous weeks

Go to Dwayne's Home Pag

Saturday October 10, 2009

There is a shortage of NAND flash memory. The culprit is Apple and the success of its iPods and such.

I like this story - the Gates foundation may fund $5-$10Billion to run high-capacity fiber to "anchor institutions" in the U.S. These will be the centers of communities like hospitals, schools, and such. I am walking through the rural south. I see these "centers" everywhere. I hope this happens. The less the government is involved the better the chance of success.

This could be something - a television screen that has a camera and face recognition software. It recognizes when no one is looking at it, so it turns off the screen. I'll take one.

This Sony "computer" is an all-in-one, touchscreen with multi-touch, DVD, Blue-Ray, and everything else. It is a step towards an entertainment and education appliance. Nice job.

I like this - the "Bloomframe" window opens out and becomes a balcony. Great for apartments and all sorts of other places.

Amazing 1 million frames-per-second video of bullets striking objects. These appear to be rifle (not pistol) bullets, so they are probably tavelling at least 2,000 feet per second. Amazing.

Here is one view of the Google books project - a favorable view. There are many good points here. Other people hold other opinions on the matter.

This Danish island conducted a ten-year experiment and became energy self-sufficient.

Email me at d.phillips@computer.org
Go to Day Book Home and pointer to previous weeks
Go to Dwayne's Home Page

Sunday October 11, 2009

When the companies start hiring again, expect to see large departures from companies that mistreated their employees during the recession. People don't like working for jerks (or whatever synonym you prefer).  What I see happening is that the younger people (below 30) are far less tolerant of this than I was 25 years ago. I have seen college grads quite their white collar jobs and work as a waiter instead of working for a jerk.

More on the humility of blogging. Good stuff.

A reminder from Writing Down the Bones about simply writing.

Short of time? Only write the things that you MUST write.

Three words: give yourself permission. Ah, so true. The rest of this blog post is good as well. The "publishing business" has changed in the last decade. It may be tougher to make a living as a writer. It has never been a better time to write and tell your story to the world.

Make a note of this as it may become something, I don't know: The Zero Writers Collective. SIDE NOTE: people ask me what a daybook is - well, this is it. A notebook for what I view on the internet today. A place to keep links and other such bits of knowledge.

Those really small portable computers are selling well and keeping those more expensive portable computers from selling as well. Who would have predicted that in a recession people would buy computers that did enough and cost less would be a hit. The question that keeps coming is, "will Apple get into this market?" This market may not fit Apple, but then again who thought Apple would get into the cell phone industry?

I love reading One Sentence.

The National Novel Writing in a Month is coming in November. November always seems to be the worst month of the year to do this.

There are problems with storing data in "the cloud." You are depending on someone else to do a good job. If their disk crashes and they don't have a backup, you lose. "But they guaranteed us." Read the fine print.

Email me at d.phillips@computer.org
Go to Day Book Home and pointer to previous weeks
Go to Dwayne's Home Page