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: October 26-November 1, 2009

Summary of this week:

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

Monday October 26, 2009

On the road all day.

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Tuesday October 27, 2009

On the road all day.

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Wednesday October 28, 2009 

I am NOT driving anywhere today. I am home and can view the Internet. Ahhh, it is nice to sleep in my own bed for the first time in five weeks.

A new type of battery that is better in every way is coming to market next year. I have heard these stories before. I hope one of them will come true.

Augmented reality goggles can help maintenance crews. This is an extension of the eBook in the field that I think fits the eBook better than reading novels and such.

And part of this are the displays that "float" in front of your face.

The Department of Defense is trying to come around to accepting Open Source Software.

Asustek has a desktop computer with 1.1 teraflop performance. It would be nice to have, but I don't use the processing power of this Apple portable computer. Such power, however, in an affordable package multiplies the number of people who can perform beneficial research.

I find myself far behind on this one. Here is a site with dozens on YouTube "lectures" on various math and science topics.

I like to study the workspaces featured on LifeHacker. Here is yet  another good desk setup. I hate to look at the creative workspaces of some companies as they inforce how poor the workspaces have been where I have worked. Here is a good example.

GM will offer built-in WiFi in some vehicles next year.

The city of Los Angeles is outsourcing its email to Google.

The first broadband stimulus grants have been delayed. This is not a surprise as it happens over and over and ... Congress appropriates money for a really big program. Applications flood in. The agency tasked with the work if over loaded. Oooops. Congress forgot to fund more employees for that agency to handle the flood of applications. And even when Congress does fund more employees, Congress forgets about the time needed to hire those employees (Federal hiring regualtions are a bit strict you know). And so we plod along.

Here are a couple of neat, maybe cool, maybe silly new technology bits. Here and Here. But then if you think of how you can apply these as aids to the elderly...some good could come of these.

The flu will keep people home, they will telecommute, the traffic will overload the Internet. I guess we are paying people for this analysis.

States collect information about students and don't protect their privacy. Once again, is everyone ready for national electronic health records?

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Thursday October 29, 2009

Understanding speech via software is gaining some attention. People have worked on this for years, and the current state of technology is good. Alas, it seems that people confuse the terms "voice recognition," "speech recognition," "speaker recognition," and others.

Climate change, statistics, and politics. The mess is predictable. I see the real problem as the money involved. Money often skews judgement.

Ars Technica's system guide for October 2009. Want to build a cheap, middle-of-the-road, or absolutely awesome computer? Check it out.

Microsoft is playing a larger role in the computers that use its software. I think this is good for Microsoft as these computers will work better and Microsoft won't be associated with unreliable computers. This also seems good for consumers. This is what Apple has done for years for with good results.

The quad-core processor seems to be coming to Apple portable computers. Amazing processing power to carry around.

Ubuntu 9.10 is starting to aim at the server market in addition to the desktop.

The inventor of the digital camera receives an honorary PhD. Surely Kodak gave him more than this, but then again the digital camera almost ruined Kodak as the Kodak leadership stuck with film far too long.

Some people like surrounding themselves with beautiful objects, furniture, and art. A walk outside is a better value.— Jason Fried

The U.S. needs fewer science and technology students - says this study. The problem seems to be that careers in science and technology are not very rewarding when compared to other fields.

Newspapers continue their decline. People are reading the news online - I do everyday - but online advertising is not generating the money that the papers "need."

Google wants more computers in schools. But who will teach how to use them?

Check out the advertising budgets of Apple ($501M), Microsoft ($1,400M), and Dell ($811M).

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Friday October 30, 2009

The French government is switching 130,000 PCs to Mozilla email and calendar software.

Google now has turn-by-turn navigation. This will probably hurt the existing products in that field. Consumers, however, should benefit with the choice.

Here are some good tips for helping the elderly connect with loved ones via the Internet. I didn't know it, but there is software available that uses special fonts that are much easier to read. There are other such helpful products.

Here is one way to turn a one-room apartment into an office, entertainment center, and so on. I love these workspaces on LifeHacker.

Google Voice blocks calls to numbers that are too expensive to be profitable. This seems to upset many people that a for-profit company would do things that make a profit and avoid things that cause a loss. Sometimes I wonder about such people and thier knowledge of economics and busiess.

Scott Berkun has some ideas on why TV news coverage is so bad. And I agree that TV news coverage is really bad. I had the misfortune of reading a textbook (an old on I guess) on journalism some 30 years ago. It stated how ethical journalists behave in the public interest. It was one of those books that you shouldn't read because it leads to great disappointment when viewing the real world.

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Saturday October 31, 2009

Lessons on holding your breath. I don't know if this is useful. One use is that you have someone who improves their breath-holding time in one lesson. They learn that they can learn.

This Washington Post editorial is calling for government subsidies of the press. The newspapers are dying, and many fear that a responsible watch dog of government dies with them. Of course, you start asking the tough questions: Who receives subsidies? Who doesn't? Who decides? Ouch.

A little piece about how most computers lose accuracy in repetitive calculations. Binary and digital don't convert from one to another well. An easy example: take a calculator, enter something like 37.3, take the square root of it 20 times, square the result 20 times, you probably won't have 37.3 as the result.

The greatest threat to long-distance and long-time space travel may be disease.

A nice way to hide all the cords for a computer.

Okay, so geeks still like to carve pumpkins.

How to print your own circuit board layouts.

Knowing yourself isn't easy. There are tips and techniques that can help. I have learned many from Jerry Weinberg. Still, I often think I am above average at everything but self-evaluation and my only problem is denial.

Seven bad writing habits learned in school. Just seven? How about seventy-seven?

This guy ate one of those Windows 7 burgers.

Members of the U.S. House of Representatives are upset about computer leaks of internal invesitigation data. Many of these people are pushing for national electronic health records. Perhaps they don't see the connection here?

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Sunday November 1, 2009

Tips on travelling light. I was always accused of travelling light while I moved about in the country in a previous job.

And tips on eating slowly.

This could be something - injecting diesel exhaust into the soil as a fertilizer. It saves all around.

Research shows that simply not interuppting nurses while they are preparing drugs for patients greatly reduces the errors. And there are a lot of errors in giving drugs to patients.

Tips on reviewing a blog post before posting it. I tend to disagree as I see a blog post as more a thought than polished writing.

And more on information "leaks." Some stores ask for your zip code when you purchase something. They have software that uses your name, credit card, and zip code to search databases and learn other pesonal information.

Another entry into the eBook readers is coming.

A new term for me: "jargon monoxide." A play on carbon monoxide (a poisonous gas).

Some information on hiring people. The results are not obvious, but are obvious. Hire smart people who have skills in the job being filled.

Ah, universities. Some words on how the "top" universities teach everything in computer science but what real programmers actually do for a living.

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