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: November 30-December 5, 2009

Summary of this week:

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

Monday November 30, 2009

Arguing that journalism has come full circle and returned to the common man - the place where it started.

The modern media triumvirate. I hadn't thought of this one, insteresting - real-time, real discussion, real reporting. Choose two. I question the "real reporting" leg. I don't know what that one is.

Simple non-lethal devices to fight piracy on the open seas. Lethal devices are actually simpler, but have their drawbacks.

Make your own book scanner. Click through to see the plans and the video. I am impressed. I have done some "scanning" of some of my notebooks lately with a handheld camera. I am impressed. Great ideas.

Out of rooms? Put your workspace in your bedroom. This one is done well.

The Large Hadron Collider is up and running. No results yet.

Barnes and Noble's eBook reader is almost, almost, almost here.

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Tuesday December 1, 2009

Much has happened in entertainment technology in only ten years. But I still use a VCR, I know,  I am old and sometimes I act older.

Google continues to play some sort of role in new energy. I think it is unfortunate that they are also involved in climate-change stuff. The two seem contradictory at their core.

Dell has Google's Chrome OS running on one of its really small portable computers.

The CrunchPad from Michael Arrington may be dead. I can't tell as I can't follow the intellectual property fight that is ongoing.

Still, it shows what can happen if a few bloggers get together and say the equivalent of, "let's put on a show!"

A high-end portable computer from Dell - the M6500 line.

The SD memory cards continue to advance - more storage smaller size. The portable computer makers adapt. As for the chip, now it is easier to lose a lot more data in the laundry.

Maybe this is a breakthrough, maybe it is silly. I do see it as a use of new technology. A paper-thin FM radio. It is solar powered.

The Barnes and Noble eBook reader slips its ship date yet again. This isn't a good sign. At this rate we will see them on the 4th of July 2010.

This is a neat multi-tool. I like it.

Here is a new idea for those really small, really inexpensive USB memory drives - ads in magazines.

A study from Harvard shows that computers don't help hospitals in any way. Oh well, I guess maybe now we won't spend billions on national electronic health records? Wishful thinking on my part.

It appears that Motorola and Verizon will reach their goal of selling a million Droids in the fourth quarter of 2009.

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Wednesday December 2, 2009 

The New York City Police are using Twitter to track gangs. I trust that they have been doing this for a long while now.

Here is a story about a high school paper (those still exist) and how the adults pulled the paper and had the kids rewrite it. As the story asks, why don't the kids just do their own online paper totally separate from the shool? I guess that would keep them from getting an easy A.

A writer is auctioning his old typewriter for charity. Would people pay as much for his used laptop computer? Probably not. I suppose there is more sentiment attached to something that will work a long time.

News flash - Windows 7 is replacing Vista and XP on computers everywhere.

Psystar will pay Apple $2.7Million and stop selling Mac clones. That puts them out of business. If they are going out of business, how can they pay Apple $2.7Million?

Apple only sells 4% of the computers, but gets 10% of the money in the marketplace. Keeping their prices relatively high is working for them.

Waterloo, Iowa has 105MegaBitPerSecond Internet service courtesy of the DOCSIS 3.0 cable service.

Microsoft Office 2010 is coming in June (of 2010, just thought I would add that in case there is a slip in schedule).

The retirement of the baby boomers means that no one will understand the millions of lines of COBOL still running out there. A new opportunity for younger programmers?

Growing meat in a laboratory. It is becoming possible. I don't like the sound of it. There aren't enough laboratories in the world. A small number of labs means that a problem soon infects all the labs, and then where are we. There are millions of places that cattle grow. A problem in one has an tiny chance of infecting all of them. Ineffiency yet safety in numbers.

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Thursday December 3, 2009

Time is moving towards digital magazines made just for tablet-type portable computers.

The Washington Times is cutting 40% of its staff and its scope. I am sorry for the people losing their jobs. The rest is smart. The Times will concentrate on what it does well. It will also concentrate on online distribution.

Microsoft is already selling Office 2010.

The future of the Internet tied to the history of the telegraph.

Odd, an Intel SDK for their Atom processors,  what?

Intel has built a 48-core processor. In the early 1990s I programmed a machine that had 64 Intel processors in parallel. That machine fit in an 8-foot tall rack, not on a postage stamp.

Sprint gave law enforcement the locations of its customers 8 million times in one year. This is all legal. Some hate this idea; I am unsure.

Another great workspace - dual monitors and a 10-foot wide whiteboard.

The ClimateGate email fallout is taking its toll on some of the scientists who were involved. All of this is bad news as it reduces trust.

NASA has a cloud computing center in a shipping container. That is fine, but the goal is so that they can bring a new computing center online in 120 days. That is 120 days, not 2 days or 10 days, but 120 days. Is 120 days supposed to be quick?

Comcast has bought NBC. It seems that should be the other way around, but I guess Comcast is that much bigger than NBC.

Foreign-born residents are 12% of the U.S. population, but comprise 40% of technology company founders. Immigrants start new businesses, new businesses create jobs. Yet, U.S. policy makes it difficult for immigration and job creation. Surely this is because someone hasn't yet realized what is happening and will soon correct this? Probably not, what a shame.

Comments on the Obama policy for Afghanistan from a couple of pretty smart people. George Will and Jerry Pournelle. Neither is optimistic.

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Friday December 4, 2009

Off the regular schedule today, so I didn't view the net.

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Saturday December 5, 2009

DARPA sponsors a baloon-spotting contest.

Michael Arrington writes about the CrunchPad, his former partneers in the endeavor, and all that stuff. Too bad.

In October, Apple had the best selling desktop and portable computer in the U.S.

Hearst plans to sell magazine subscriptions in 2010. The trick is that the magazines will only be viewable on eBook readers, smartphones, and tablet computers. I guess now we have to figure out why you can see the magazine on the screen of a tablet computer but not on the screen of any other kind of computer.

Nature, and other journals, see no reason to investigate ClimateGate. They claim that even if all that data were fake, the conclusions would be the same. I remain unconvinced. I just haven't seen the evidence. I am open to anyone who will show me.

From Jeff Atwood, ship version 1 even though you aren't satisfied with it. You will hear from real people who try to use it.

And here is the ball to be used in the 2010 World Cup.

The British Library has moved its lesser-read items to a warehousing library where they will be rarely retrieved by a robotic system.

For even better use of robotics, a thought-controlled robotic hand operated by an amputee. This is an excellent development in technology.

The Playstation is 15 years old.

This robotic sea glider crossed the Atlantic underwater in 221 days. All alone.

A fresh coat of paint, a new desk, hide the wires, and you have a nice workspace.

Bloggers and reviewed must now divulge when they receive free products for reviews.

350 years of Royal Society letters. A great treasure for historians.

The Air Force has confirmed yet another new top secret stealth UAV aircraft.

The electric-powered Mini Cooper has its problems. It is, however, version 1.0.

A new printer costs less than ink for an old printer. And what do you do with the old printer? Put it in a landfill?

Linux kernal 2.6.32 has been released.

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Sunday December 6, 2009

Gaming the Amazon rankings of book sales. I can be done.

Time lapse photography of constructing an office building from shipping containers. I love things like this, both the time lapse and the concept of using shipping containers for an office building.

Truth is stranger than fiction, especially when a government regulatory agency is involved. The shipment of this person's Apple computer was stalled because the FDA thought someone was shipping one apple (as in the fruit).

A clever way of arranging writing tips: A through Z.

We can turn any noun into a verb, as long as we don't care about the English language.

I guess there is a use for this thing: USB ports on an electric outlet. I was about to explain how this could be useful, but never mind.

Replacing people is expensive. Every few years someone runs the numbers on this. The result is always the same - replacing people is expensive. Do what you can to keep people.

Goals for 2010 as a writer? I would like someone to publish my book on Systems Engineering. I would also like someone to publish some of my writings on Taking a Walk (1,100-mile walk).

Going to the bookstore. Ahh, yes. We used to have a Little Professor Bookstore in our town, but it left when B&N arrived. Little Professor had chairs and tables like a library. B&N has about one chair per 10,000 square feet. I like to go to B&N, but it isn't the same.

Plug and play satellites. This has been attempted before, in vain. Perhaps this time.

For those of us who like lists of references: 100 online resources for writers and 100 videos about writers and writing.

Finding ideas for writing when you aren't looking for ideas for writing.

Find the details in ordinary things. Put those in your writing. For example, what is it with Apple computers and snowflakes. There are seven keys on my MacBook Pro keyboard that have pictures that resemble snowflakes. But then again, perhaps I see the snowflakes on the keyboard because it snowed at my house yesterday.

Government-required changes at General Motors will probably kill the Volt - the electric vehicle that has been in the works since, well I don't remember how long I have been reading about it. It seems that a move to smart economics and efficiency is showing that the Volt was little more than a stunt from the beginning.

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