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 12-18, 2009

Summary of this week:

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

Monday October 12, 2009

The video demo. This is an excellent idea. For about ten years now I have tried in vain to have people in government make video demos and tutorials.

Here is an open-source, Java, neural network framework for image recognition.

This is something that probably won't ever be tried - a shame: A giant gas powered gun that would fire cargo into earth orbit.

A hand-made standing desk with a powerful computer configuration - beauty.

I like this look back into history. It shows the reaction to new technology (like the gramaphone and the photocopier) of the content providers and rights holders. They wrongly predicted the end of the world everytime. Yes, things changed, but they did not end.

Microsoft believes that Windows 7 will take advantage of the multi-core processors.

This glucose monitor looks like a cell phone and is supposed to be much less painful to use. A good use of technology.

Look at this pocket calculator from 1976. Cool. I don't remember this.

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 13, 2009

The Army is using Apple OS X servers for physical security systems. They like the computer security aspects of OS X.

A review of the Dell Mini10V really small portable computer. This has Moblin and Ubuntu and on and on.

And California is introducing new regulations that will coat car windows with material that will basically kill RF flow. The result is that the GPS and cell phones won't work well anymore. This creates a market of external car antennas and wiring and antenna jacks and...I guess cars will cost more in California - again.

Compaq has this portable computer with a 15" screen and on and on for under $400.

This HP portable computer line handles a stream of water through it.

Sexism in the open-source software community? I don't know that it is deliberate, but there are relatively few women working in thiat field. The field loses.

Italian scientists have built a tiny robot that crawls through the digestive track taking photos. This is only a beginning. I predict that we will have tiny, tiny, T I N Y, robots that swim through the body detecting and repairing small problems in our bodies before they become large problems. It is only a matter of developing the technology.

The Ubuntu Linux distribution now supports an open-source cloud capability.

Desktop touchscreen computers don't work well. The computers work fine, but we don't work fine with them. You are holding your hands above your heart. This tires quickly.

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 14, 2009 

Internet traffic keeps growing. Peer-to-peer file sharing - sending music to one another - has dropped. Streaming video - watching TV and YouTube - has more than taken its place.

Confusion about Bing's share of the search market. It either held steady or dropped a little. No one seems to be saying that it continues to grow.

Some hobbyists (we used to call them hackers, in a good way), rewrite code on their TI calculators. Someone at TI no longer thinks this is interesting. Lawyers are now involved. Yuck.

Hmm, Wikipedia in my pocket for $99, all of it. Hmm.

Intel's profits and revenue are above forecast. Is the recession over? I doubt it, but this one part of the economy is doing better.

The Polaroid camera is making a comeback.

New portable computers from Toshiba. More power, smaller size. People are still trying to make these things thinner.

An example of statistics lying: the average Federal worker makes twice as much as the average private sector worker. In the Washington, D.C. area, Federal workers make less than their counterparts in the private sector. That is why so many Federal workers leave government and switch to a contractor. As another example, I cite me. I now make more in the private sector than I did as a Federal employee.

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 15, 2009

Not able to view the Internet this morning. Too busy with logistics and walking.

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 16, 2009

Apple's computer sales grew 11.8% in the third quarter of this year.

Apple's Mac Pro - the big under-the-desk machine - may use six-core processors next year. Ready to run those climate simulations?

Smartphones use eight times the bandwidth that 3G cards in portable computers use. It is all the signalling and such happening that takes the bandwidth. The system could be altered to greatly reduce this.  The pendulum has swung back to where RF space is now the limiting factor, not computational power.

Apple is happy to see the Windows 7 debut. At least they are telling people they are happy. The publicity could serve to boost all sales of personal computers. They also see it as a way to poke Microsoft a bit about Vista some more.

This carpenter went to a lot of work to build a bookcase with a secret compartment. I have to give him credit for the workmanship and the concept.

A look back at the world's fastest typist from the 1970s. I remember this guy.

Here is a better way to detect when a computer user is gone. It allows turning the screen off sooner and saving power.

There seems to be a trend here. Another student group has put a digital camera up 100,000 feet with an inexpensive balloon.

Windows 7, the birth of the cloud, the end of the desktop. Well, maybe.

I guessed I missed all this while out on the road walking, but this kid was supposedly flying across the country in a balloon, but was really hiding inside a box in his garage and CNN and everyone...

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 17, 2009

This is news to me, I thought the record labels were payed when a song was played on the radio. Not true, only the song writer. Congress is possible changing this.

Linux will probably be the most popular operaing system in consumer electronics, i.e. embedded systems.

Here is a problem that probably didn't need a solution - intelligent speed bumps. They sense the speed of approaching vehicles and lower themselves if the vehicle is going slow enough. This is supposed to save energy and save the planet. I doubt someone did a complete study of total energy costs.

This is better - MIT has built an autonomous helicopter that navigates itself through a changing environment. This is NOT remote control. It is self-controlled and adaptive. Watch the video, outstanding combination of small, lightweight materials and better algorithms.

The world hasn't changed much. Apple's latest operating system is faster than Microsoft's. The Microsoft OS is "better" at playing games. The speed attribute is objective. The games attribute is subjective.

And people haven't changed much. Executives at IBM and Intel have been arrested for insider trading.

Suggest to Google a trail or part for their "street view" trike to photograph. I suggested two trails in Northern Virginia.

The war of words about the FTC and bloggers continues. Maybe it is nothing.

Once you lie you are known as a liar. It is quite simple, but difficult to live. Being honest is much simpler and requires much less work.

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 18, 2009

Natural gas found in shale. Oh my gosh, people are finding new energy resources. Who could have guess such would happen?

A short guide to writing a research paper. This is worth saving.

The #1 reason my blogging grew into a business is that I treated it that way. That makes sense.

Microsoft's "lifeblogging" camera is going into product. Initially made as an aid to Alzheimer's researchers, it will continue to be used with people who have memory problems. This is a good idea. I have relatives who have lost all their memory abilities. I have relatives who may lose such. Being able to see where they are and where they have been would be a great benefit.

California will ban TVs that consume "too much" power.

A new site, the people of Wal Mart. I have gone in several Wal Mart SuperCenters while walking. They are a great place to meet Americans in real America. Sure, some are funny looking depending on what you consider normal looking. They are, however, real people with real lives trying to raise kids, care for parents, work a job with a lousy boss, pay they bills, and keep Americia being America.

Solid State Disk drives are about to take off. It is the performance, the speed that will sell them. Sure they cost more, but that is part of the memory hierarchy (an old computer architecture term).

Some good tips on editing writing.

16 years from writing the first scene to a selling novel. Yes, patience may be required in this writing thing.

The Dell Adamo portable computer will launch on October 22nd. This is a super-slim machine (here we go again with optimizing that attribute). A cool feature, you touch it, it senses the heat of your touch, and it opens itself. I don't know how useful that will be, but it will be fun to try it.

The FCC doesn't understand why 1/3 of American homes that have access to broadband don't sign up and use it. Here is a possible answer: they don't want to. This is after all America, and we are free to do or not do some (every decreasing number of) things.

Even the Washington Post has caught on that immigrants are leaving the U.S. after being educated here. It is the immigration laws stupid!

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