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: February 8-14, 2010

Summary of this week:

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

Monday February 8,  2010

The New Orleans Saints won the Super Bowl last night. Forty-something years of trying finally pays. Now, if we could just keep the commentators from saying that New Orleans is rising from the ashes...it was (almost) hit by a hurricane not a fire.

Here are comments on the world-famous Super Bowl commercials. Budwieser sure ran a lot of them.

Vizio did have an ad about HD TVs that are connected to the Internet. Is that the Internet appliance that the Apple iPad is hoping to be?

Google ran their ad during the Super Bowl. I liked it. It showed that life of just plain folks is intertwined with the Internet and with Google so much that we forget about it. And this is one Google ad you won't see on TV.

Well known tech ads from prior Super Bowls. Great to remember.

The IBM Power7 processor - eight cores on the chip with each core running four threads.

This survey concludes that people won't be buying iPads.

And maybe the Chevy Volt will actually be manufactured and sold.

White walls, a black and white photo, and some lights - surprising how good it could look.

I like this post. A person has analyzed 200 million Facebook pages. He creates a map of America based on the connections people have and the types of web pages they link.

The solar power industry could take off in America this year - on the backs of American taxpayers. I don't recall anyone asking me if I wanted my tax dollars spent on an ineffective and inefficient source of electricity.

A license to use the Internet? Issued by the government? There are so many things wrong with this that I am not sure where to begin. Let's start with the driver's license. A state issues a driver's license to someone unless the state can prove that the person cannot drive (bad eye sight, ignorance of driving culture, etc.). The driver's license cannot track where you are driving, how you drive, who rides with you while you drive, what you say while you drive, and so on. Everything I do on the Internet could be recorded as the technology is available. All that is needed is the (ill)will to do it. Not than anyone would abuse that information.

For example, the Iranian government is shutting down the Internet ahead of planned protests.

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Tuesday February 9, 2010

In spite of showing 13 billion videos a month, YouTube only accounts for 26% of video viewing minutes on the Internet.

This story has been everywhere on the net, Google is working on live translation from language-to-language for telephones.

Research - just research mind you - is looking into making a car's body into a battery. Where is the research that will replace a car with something completely different?

You can be "bored to death." Research is showing a link between boredom and heart disease.

Here is a good writing tip, erase at least three words from everything you write.

IT employment grew in the U.S. in January by 12, 900 jobs.

The new Intel Itanium 9300 processor has four cores and two billion transistors. That is two billion with a "b."

A look at three ways to run Microsoft Windows 7 on your Apple computer.

The Apple store is down this morning. This means some product or other is being updated.

A new mnemonic for me: the APU or Application Processor Unit. AMD is creating this term to describe how they have put a graphics processor on the same chip as their general purpose processor. I guess Intel missed their chance to create the term.

Someone has run some numbers on what it means to make car fuel from food. We have to cut down all the trees. Hmmm, maybe this isn't such a good idea. Let's keep digging the fuel out of the ground for a while longer.

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Wednesday February 10, 2010 

The snow continues in the Washington D.C. area. This disrupted my schedule today and pushed my posting of the daybook to night time.

Ideas are great, but not worth much if you don't have a team (not just a collection, but a team) of people to execute the ideas. I look back at the early days of home computers. There were many companies starting up to build home computers. Few survived. Kaypro was a company that survived for a decade because there was a company - a team of people - existing.

Solar activity may clobber the Global Positioning System.

Google is to launch an Internet service providing 1 GigaBitPerSeond service. I doubt they will come to my street, but I would welcome them.

Volvo has integrated an object detection and tracking system into one of its newer models. The video processing technology has been around a few years. It is nice to see an auto maker using it.

This is a bad movie script turned reality. A famous hacker has become a program manager of cyber programs at DARPA.

I love this - 15 photos of work spaces. I love it. One of these days I will...

Google's "Buzz" is turned on today. We shall see if it comes to anything, but for now I can post little messages to 17 other people.

New Jersey has become a popular location for data centers.

This is enabled by better telecommunications. On the other hand, better communications are eating into personal budgets.

"The fundamental problem here is the way the computer industry operates: they make money by breaking things that used to work." Interesting way to put it, but mostly true.

I like this idea. I should start using it: spend 3% of my income on personal development.

This is an excellent example of cutting unnecessary words.

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Thursday February 11, 2010

Apple now has a 25% share of the U.S. smartphone market.

NBC has figured out a way to NOT show events live and online. NBC much prefers to package the events with commercials and in-depth profiles of the person who will win the event (NBC knows who will win the event because NBC was there live and you weren't).

Windows 8 is in the works, and some Microsoft employees are excited about it.

Another common mechanical device that can be used to generate electric power - a dog leash. These possible applications are everywhere.

Dell's new 27" monitor uses the same basic parts as Apple's, and Apple users have had lots of headaches lately.

I love optical illusion photos like this one.

OpenOffice reaches 300 million downloads and now releases version 3.2. I use this tool at home. It works just fine.

Online ad revenues went up 10% in the last quarter. Maybe the economy is turning up. If the government will just stay out of the way...

Stowe Boyd writes about journalism as a form of art with all the challenges and opportunities that come with being an artist. I think he may have something here. If my memory isn't failing me, there used to be a lot of freelance journalists and film crews out there. Maybe it was just something I once saw in a Clark Gable movie, but when handheld motion picture cameras were new, freelancers would travel the globe, film unique things, and send them in to big organizations that showed the film in movie theatres. The past 50 years have been sort of a "golden age" for "journalists" in that they had jobs akin to government employees. Show up, get paid, maybe tell people something they didn't already know, a.k.a. "news." The net is new and journalists haven't adapted.

In the Washington D.C. area the Federal government offices are closed for the fourth day in a row. This costs taxpayers $100 million per day (although some say that this saves taxpayers money). This pay for not working scheme may, may mind you, just may, encourage more Federal agencies to allow telecommuting. One regulation working against telecommuting is that if you telecommute you must work on snow days while those who don't telecommute get the same pay without working.

Save these links for later about grants and residencies for writers: (from a Google search on "grants for writers")
A blog with a list of resources.
Funds for Writers.
Foundation Center.
Mira's List on these things.
An eZine Article.

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Friday February 12, 2010

Apple's iTunes will soon hit 10 billion songs sold.

People are already talking about Microsoft Office 2011 of the Mac. 2011? Can't they wait for a few months?

And Microsoft is considering a version of Office for the iPad.

HP opens a new data center in England. Guess how they cool it? They let the cold outside air blow in. This saves a lot of money. Who thought of this wild idea?

A machine from HP/Compaq. I call it a machine as I don't know what else to call it. It seems that they took a smart phone, put it in the chassis of a really small portable computer, put a touchscreen on it, and well, there it is.

A 747 destroys a short-range ballistic missile with a laser.

And here is a mosquito being shot down by a laser. This is a real product developed to help control mosquitoes in countries plagued by malaria. This is a great video.

Turn a school bus into a mobile WiFi router. I like this idea. A problem is that if a bus-full of kids is accessing the net through one 3G link, that is awfully slow.

This is too much litigation. A little high school used the Dodge Ram logo for its own logo - the rams. Who cares? Yet the lawyers walked in and the school is having to erase everything (include the center of the gym floor) they painted and change their logo. Again, who would care about this? It must be a slow week for lawyers.

The bachelor, geek, gourmet meal. Two hot dog weiners, one slice of bacon, and cheddar cheese wrapped in a tortilla.

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Saturday February 13, 2010

Wired magazine will be available for the iPad this summer.

Take another look at Lenovo's IdeaPad in light of the iPad.

Here is a printer that consumes nothing. The "paper" is plastic sheets that are reusable. The printer "prints" via heat transfer. This all costs lots of money now, but maybe one day.

The State of Alabama does not like the Administration's new space plan. The old space plan meant a lot of jobs for Alabama. The new plan kills all those jobs.

I like this one: a SIM card with a WiFi router built in. Pop this into any handset (well almost any handset) and share the 3G connection.

The International Space Station is finished. I don't recall the original finish date, so I have no idea how many years behind this is. I like to watch the space station fly by. Start here to find the viewing times for your location.

This may prove useful : 75 "write for us" sources.

19 grant sources for writers.

Blogs often become books. I am hopeful for Taking A Walk.

Lessons learned from ten years of freelance writing.

Yet another type of light bulb. Congress will never learn to stop specifying technical "solutions" to society's "problems."

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Sunday February 14, 2010

More legal discussion on geo-locating people via their cell phone records - without a warrant.

The Apple line of portable computers is lagging other companies in the move to the more powerful Intel Core i3, i5, etc. processors.

And then the next generation of Intel processors will have WiFi and WiMax built in.

Kensington keeps shrinking the portable power source for portable computers and cell phones.

Walter Frederick Morrison died this week at age 90. He invented the Frisbee. I spent many hours of my youth throwing and catching a Frisbee. A ball was thrown and fell - simple physics of gravity. A Frisbee, however, F L E W after you threw it.

Who says that government doesn't grow and grow and grow and...? Someone is proposing creating a National Climate Service that will predict weather trends decades and centuries into the future. How about getting this weeks forecast right first?

I missed this earlier in the week about encouraging innovation. This take on it from TechDirt says it won't happen as it goes against how Washington D.C. works. Well, first, Washington D.C. doesn't work and that is the root of the problem. I have hope for the future. There are still enough good people around who know what they are doing, have the self-discipline to do it, and the courage to tell the truth (especially when others don't want to hear it).

Is it plagiarism or collaborative writing? There is an old saying: When you steal ideas from one person you commit plagiarism. When you steal ideas from many people you commit research. I have done research for years.

iPhone owners use the Internet part of their phone 5 times more than other smartphone users. I resemble that fact.

A few ideas on how to earn money from writing. The basis is that you have to write and write and write and ... market.

There is much fear in writing. Sometimes the fear stifles and sometimes it brings out the best.

"Crapulence" is a real word. It, however, has nothing to do with "crap," but rather is about being drunk.

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