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: January 4-10, 2010

Summary of this week:

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

Monday January 4,  2010

This is a great qoute about writing - the photo is even better. "Being a good writer is 3% talent, 97% not being distracted by the internet."

A twist on the New Year's Resolutions - one in which you celebrate what happened in the last 12 months.

But is you still like the old way of doing resolutions, here are five that writers might investigate.

Google's Chrome browser has surpassed Apple's Safari browser in usage.

A new year, and lots of updated portable computers with the newer Intel processors. Some offer more processing power, others more battery life because of more efficient processors. More, more, more - it is a great time to be a consumer.

The evolution of the computer. (a comic)

A base tablet computer for $199. I like the price. We are almost back to the original Radio Shack "tablet" of the mid-1980s.

Has the "Google Decade" ended? Why only a decade?

Will all cars soon have radar to avoid collisions? The technology is available and already working in some cars.

New processors from Intel with graphics processors on the same chip as the main processor. The result is smaller size and less power draw. And better performance as well.

Dubai opens the world's tallest building today. Again, the third world seems infatuated with the world's fill-in-the-blank-est things.

Three travel secrets from a professional traveller. Check it out.

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Tuesday January 5, 2010

Something from the past, 1,000 true fans.

Steve Smith on leadership. This isn't the usual "take charge" bologna, but some thoughtful comments.

The new Kepler space telescope is finding interesting objects.

DARPA is starting a flying car program. Good luck with that one, but this is way out research, the type of work that DARPA should be funding.

One of the little Mars rovers is still working after six years. Longevity is nice, but results are results. What was the goal? We have learned that there is a lot of dust on Mars. Goals?

Google attempts to stay ahead by moving into mobile phones. The hardware platform for computing is shifting to the little thing that fits in your pocket and acts like a telephone some of the time. Can those who have been successful at writing software shift to the new computer?

A look at four online backup services.

A "smartbook" from Lenovo. This appears to be yet another really small portable computer. Lenovo hopes it will be more.

It seems that 3D sports broadcasts are coming to television.

Google's Adroid OS is finally making some headway in the marketplace.

China and the Ukraine are the new safe havens for those who share files illegally.

The skiff - an eBook or eNewspaper or something reader with an 11.5" screen. We are almost reaching the practical in these devices.

This one is interesting. Look at the images at the bottom of the linked page. Google is blocking negative searches on Islam. Google allows anything for the other major religions. I can interpret this in a lot of different ways. One is that Google is afraid of Muslims being offended and then bombing Google (real bombs that kill people, not internet bombs). Another is that Google is owned my Muslims. Another is .... keep thinking.

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Wednesday January 6, 2010 

The Consumer Electronics Show is this week, so many product announcements as well.

Microsoft and HP are to introduce a tablet computer this week. They want to beat Apple to the market or something. Perhaps typing words is passe, but I don't know how anyone is going to do serious work on these tablets. Perhaps it is serious work that is passe.

The Google Nexus One smartphone.

Google has its own smartphone store online.

How to mark the clothes that you don't wear so you can discard them. Good ideas.

Internet usage figures in the U.S. A little more than half do what I am doing right now, connect wirelessly via a portable computer.

A new digital camera from Kodak. This one looks pretty good both from a technical and a anyone-can-use-this perspective.

A waterproof video camera from Kodak.

A pocket projector from 3M. I think we will see a lot of movement in this market this year. The year of the pocket projector? Let's not curse it with such a declaration. And here is such a product from HP.

And HP comes out with new portable computers with the most powerful processors yet. Wait until next year when the really powerful...

This looks like a neat little camera from Rollei.

Stowe Boyd comments on 21st journalism and such. He also comments on efforts like Wikipedia where people volunteer to accomplish things. His comment: "they rely on people's extramarket motivations" I that way of saying it. Maybe we won't be so cynical, maybe one day we will admit that some persons do good things for other persons just because they want to do good things for other persons. There is no hidden agenda behind it. Selfless acts are possible - even today.

15 web sites with information and tools for writers.

The Israelis handle airport security differently that the U.S. They are more effective and far less intrusive and annoying. Real security vs. security theatre.

The current director of the CIA is sharing satellite data with climate researchers. Given the tragedies and near tragedies of the past month, it is clear where the CIA should be directing its efforts. This other stuff is politics.

Auto sales in the U.S. are slightly better. Ford is doing well while GM and Chrysler are not. Perhaps my memory is failing me, but I think the government gave all those billions of dollars to...the guys who are failing. I must be remembering incorrectly. And GMAC, another taxpayer investment, lost $5Billion in the fourth quarter alone. Who is deciding on where to invest taxpayer money. They seem to be picking losers.

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Thursday January 7, 2010

CES continues this week, so there are lots of little product announcements.

A fold-out, dual-screen eReader from MSI.

Sanyo has the world's smallest HD camcorder.

Now this is one to watch - Samsung has a portable computer with a 14" screen that is transparent. Get ready for the augmented reality applications for this techology!

A 27" LCD monitor from Dell. Great.

Ford keeps updating its telematics systems.

Here are photos of the HP (Microsoft) slate. No details, but it will be available real soon now.

Job satisfaction in the IT field is at an all-time low. Such happens when unemployment is high and some people think they can take advantage of other people. Sigh, perhaps one day we will learn.

Two million Office 2010 Beta fans can't be all wrong. 40,000 downloads a day of the Microsoft's next version of Office while in Beta. Wow.

Oh the woes of large companies and any large organization
. All government agencies share this fate as well.

Two solar updraft towers may be built in Arizona. Simple technology - heat the air passively in large greenhouses. Let the hot air rush upwards inside a tower and have it turn a fan to generate electricity. This does use a large surface area for the greenhouses and a really tall tower as well.

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Friday January 8, 2010

Somehow events kept me from view the Internet.

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Saturday January 9, 2010

Way too busy today. I am not sure what happened.

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Sunday January 10, 2010

Sales of the Mac Mini have risen. I have been considering one for an application I want to try.

MEG imaging may help diagnose autism.

The Evertune guitar system. It keeps a guitar in tune by adjusting spring tension at the bridge instead of turning the tuning knobs with motors. I'll have to run this one through my son the music major.

Of course cars show up at the Consumer Electronics Show. It is Las Vegas and it is a lot of guys showing up.

Intel shows a 3D display that doesn't require the glasses. This is pretty good, watch the video.

A neat photo of England covered in snow. Global warming? I'm sorry, we call it climate change now and, yes, the climate changed.

A 747 carrying a 2.5-meter telescope.

HP is working on a tablet computer. News flash - every hardware maker is working on a tablet and a bunch of other things as well. That is what hardware makers do all the time - work on what may be the next big thing. That is how we got to where we are today. This is not news.

It seems that golf balls no longer have rubber bands inside. When did they change that?

I like George Will's editorial on the state of California. Being a state, not a country, it is easy for people to move away to some place else more to their liking. This is happening to California and New York. Those left behind are in a fiscal disaster. This isn't very hard to see coming, which leaves me to wonder why it happened. Surely the people saw it?

Some commentary on Gilbert Arenas and free speech. I live in the Washington D.C. area, so I have heard plenty about the NBA player(s) with handguns in the a Washington D.C. locker room. This violates NBA rules and transporting handguns in the district violates D.C. laws. Of course the NBA and the district are violating the U.S. Constitution (in the opinion of some learned people and five current Supreme Court Justices). What has amazed me is how ignorance of the basic mechanics of handguns has not prevented untold hundreds of journalists from commenting on the situation. Oh well. Let's see, the first amendment is about freedom of speech, and the second amendment is about freedom of gun owndership, and the third amendment... It is a privilege and not a right to play basketball in the NBA. Is is a privilege and not a right to work at 7-11? Is it a privilege and not a right to pump gas at an Exxon station? When are employers allowed to remove the Constitution?

There, where else can you read about the Consitution and the insides of golf balls in one place?

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