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: January 18-24, 2010

Summary of this week:

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

Monday January 18,  2010

Today is a holiday in the U.S. which makes it like another Sunday which means that there isn't much happening on the web.

On bankers, lawyers, and Girl Scouts. I consider the Girl Scouts the more admirable of the three.

I may get one of these for my grandson - actually for my grandson and me to play together. A table that turns into a house.

And I will have to remember this one for him as well - let kids mix food using the dishwasher door as the workspace. All spills are contained in the dishwasher.

Here is a rumor fit to spread: Apple will release a desktop computer with a 21-inch touch screen.

Texting while walking. Please folks, look where you are walking at all times.

Another great workspace from LifeHacker.

The technology from "Avatar" could keep actors from aging - at least on screen. There are interesting possibilities here. The ethics will be very different.

Web TVs - turn off your cable TV company. But you still have to connect to the Internet over broadband. In my case, you still have to pay Comcast. Is there something I am missing here?

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

Tuesday January 19, 2010

Americans have donated $22Million to Haitian relief via text message.

Bicycles with small electric motors may actually become practical this year. The price has to be the same as bicycles without motors. Not the top-of-the-line thousand dollar bicycles, but the Wal-Mart variety hundred dollar bicycles. If I am rich, I can buy all sorts of impractical gadgets to soothe my concience and ease my muscles.

Iceland may be the perfect place for huge data centers. Lots of geothermal energy and natural cooling.

You never feel better than when you start feeling good after you’ve been feeling bad.” - William Least Heat-Moon, From Blue Highways. I have experienced this, thus I agree.

When it comes to the Internet, the opposite of "open" is "thiers." Something to read and consider.

100 little ways to improve your writing. I like this list. I have used much of it to improve my writing.

And more to the simple life, this looks like an excellent way to trap a mouse using around-the-house simple items. I will remember this one as I once had a three-day escapade with a mouse. (A looooong story)

We keep moving to more storage in smaller places - a 128 GigaByte Compact Flash card.

More rumors about the Apple Tablet Computer. This one seems credible, at least it is about content and not hype. Apple appears to be negotiating with book publishers for eBook rights. Of course, this could all be about using the iPhone and iPod Touch as eBook readers.

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

Wednesday January 20, 2010 

This one doesn't make any sense, but then again I am not an entertainment industry executive. CBS will not allow Jack Benny fans to preserve some old Benny tapes by digitizing them. The fans offered to do this at no charge.

I love this - the music industry is not the same as the recording industry. They are two separate groups of people who at times in the past been related to one another.

Do you want to connect your old brand with kids? Make t-shirts like Popular Mechanics is doing. My son - a junior in college - wears Pop-Tart t-shirts. His friends love them. I don't understand it, but it is there.

Sitting down too much is bad for your health. This is not news. It is, however, a common malady among writers and computer programmers. I have spent much of my life doing one of the two or both.

Photoshop is 20 years old. It is basic image processing, but with enough twist to make it a great commercial success. Perhaps I went the wrong way in my career in 1986 after leaving graduate school where image processing was my focus.

IBM has record profits. IBM has adjusted to a changing world. Many experts predicted the opposite.

This is neat - how to take that old VHS case and make a spiral-bound notebook. Something tells me that some executive somewhere is calling a lawyer about copyright.

Another great workspace from Life Hacker. This one employs an old door as a desk. Good reuse.

I don't know if this is useful, but it is entertaining - at least for me and that may say more about me than about the videos. . Videos have been converted into ASCII characters.

One-third of 11-year-old kids in America have cell phones. $oftware for cell phone$.

Here are four wall-climbing robots. Each uses a different technique to climb the wall.

Apple's BootCamp now fully supports Windows 7.

A "human recorder system." Attach this to someone's chest and via cellphone you know their vital signs and lots of other information. This can be abused. It can also be a great thing for elderly people who want to live in their own homes. Such allows their family to know about their well being all the time.

A USB thumbdrive that has a "PC on a stick." This includes all the software and a lot of encryption protection. Lockheed-Martin is selling this. Yes, that probably means it is bloated, but the corporate name will also give managers at companies some assurance that this is a real product, not a garage thing.

Intel continues to evolve its Classmate PC concept. They have already shipped two million units and now have orders for 400,000 more.

The statistics of clutter. Yikes.

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

Thursday January 21, 2010

The New York Times is to start charging for some of its content. If they charge for the content that I like to read, I will read it from someone else. Sorry about that, but...

There is a security problem in Microsoft Windows that has been there, and known to be there, since 1993. I am dumbfounded.

There is nothing new under the sun. Every now and then we learn that again.

Look at the computer that $650 will buy at Staples. Amazing. Why is that they never have these sales when I am buying a computer? The technology marches on. Remember, the technology is just a tool for people to make real advances in all fields. The number of smart people who can buy such powerful tools mulitplies every year. And more about more powerful tools everywhere.

An iPhone helped this man survive being trapped in a collapsed building in Haiti. If you can connect to the Internet, you have access to all the knowledge - like first aid and survival instructions. The Internet can make you much smarter. I urge people to learn how to use the Internet and thereby learn how to be smarter.

Video changes everything. Amen. While taking a walk (1,100 miles), one of the highlights was having a video chat with my family and seeing my grandson.

A couple of stories that are all over the Internet: Kids are spending most of thier waking day in media. The FBI obtained information from phone companies illegally for years. Per the FBI, a lot of people should be fired, but they won't be because they are connected to powerful people in the bureau. I don't know this first hand, but this is how it works in government agencies. Instead, Congress will spend a lot of money creating new regulations that won't be followed either. Here is the (rather boring) solution: Everyone Federal employee has a supervisor. Each supervisor should do his or her job instead of spending all day working on the career.

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

Friday January 22, 2010

Busy this morning and unable to view the Internet.

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

Go to Dwayne's Home Pag

Saturday January 23, 2010

Larry and Sergey of Google are selling some stock. They will still have control of the company.

95% of email is spam. I use a spam filter, and 95% doesn't go there. I do, however, delete about 90% of my email after scanning the subject lines.

Hillary Clinton asked the Chinese to ease their restrictions on the Internet. The Chinese tell Ms. Clinton to butt out.

Overcommunication (a real word?) is possible. I have a small disagreement with the title. The content is about talking and talking to the point where it becomes blah blah blah. I don't include that in communication.

HP seems to be the first to put a projector into a portable computer.

The LG phone with a projector.

Another example of how to hide all the chords in a workspace.

Success leads to failure. The delays in shipping for Apple's 27" iMac grows. Part is due to technical problems and part is due to popularity. I saw one of these models in a store last week. The screen looks like it is the size of a football field.

Look back 27 years to the Apple tablet that they once built but didn't market.

This LTE network fails to meet expectations (advertisements).

Windows 7 has overtaken OS X - no surprise. A little surprise is that Linux is the only operating system actually gaining in market share.

The part of the RF spectrum (formerly) used by wireless microphones is being switched. Many churches and other groups will have problems, mabye even legal problems.

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

Sunday January 24, 2010

I must have recovered from the Holidays. It is Sunday, and I find myself viewing the writing blogs.

A web site that I have started viewing is You Drive What? It contains photos of unusual automobiles. Most are recognizeable as cars. This one, however, I don't recognize.

Bob Sutton writes about a college professor who probably won't be granted tenure. I have not worked at a college in a few decades. I have, however, worked in government for those few decades. The pattern occurs frequently. An employee behaves badly for a long time. Nobody, that is no supervisors, address the beahvior until eventually someone has to make a decision. Everything explodes on that decision as years of anger has been allowed to fester and grow. It brings to mind an old phrase, "act early, act small."

Writers are superheroes. Well, some of us like to think that on some days.

And at times writing can be effortless. It is usually my attitude that makes it so. Relaxing permits the accomplishment of difficult work. That doesn't sound right, but it is sometimes true.

I like this post. It discusses the real trials and challenges of quitting your job and doing what you love. Finally some one writes about the HUGE pitfalls in quitting your job and starting your own business doing what you love. I have two brothers and one brother-in-law who went off to "do what they love" under the promise that if you j

And here we have yet another video game company working its programmers unending hours without pay. There was a long blog about this a few years ago. It was a different company, but the same story. This probably won't end well. Unpaid overtime is almost always followed by a greater amount of "under time" (time wasted on the job).

Another bad decision by people at government agencies: outsourcing IT work to the lowest bidders. The information is important, and putting important information in the hands of the lowest bidder is risky. At least it seems that way.

In a related story, many data centers are understaffed (fewer staff, lower cost, more government contracts). Forget about cyber security. If there is no one at the building, people can walk in and walk out with the disk drives.

Oooops, another error in climate change science.

Ah those speed cameras whose purpose is to increase public revenue er I mean safety. This parked car has prompted two tickets for speeding.

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