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: April 12-18, 2010

Summary of this week:

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

Monday April 12,  2010

Some interesting thoughts on living inexpensively and the benefits. Some of the words are harsh, but we are adults and we can read harsh words. I like much of the philosophy given here. I chose to have a wife and three great kids. Given that choice, I don't think I could have lived the life described in the post. That life, nonetheless, could fit for many people - far more than live it now.

Look at this office in a closet. Great before and after photos.

Someone has learned how to run Windows 95 on an iPad. This is a bit unusual. Some people have too much spare time, but there are worse things you can do with spare time.

Google is updating its online Docs application. I use Google Docs often. I am looking forward to the next update and its new Drawing app.

Some people think that all cell phones should have a TV tuner inside them. That would make it easier for the broadcast networks to tell everyone about emergencies. Sigh. Just what we need, more cost and complexity to devices that seem to work just fine.

Archos may introduce tablet computers in six sizes this summer.

The Microsoft Pink: the result is two cell phones that are aimed at social networking. They are called Kin One and Kin Two. Odd names, but these guys do market research on these sort of things.

Journalists are pessimistic about the future. Oh well, they are living in the world they created.

This journalist had his email account hacked while in Beijing. The Chinese are our friends, right?

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Tuesday April 13, 2010

RIM, maker of the Blackberrry, is buying QNX, maker of a real-time operating system. This could come to something.

The Apple Store is offline at this moment. Many suspect this portends an update to the MacBook Pro line of portable computers.

The WePad comes out in public. It will be available in August.

Lenovo is soon to release a "hybrid laptop tablet" computer. This could be interesting.

And here is a tablet computer that can run OS X. Law suit pending?

The U.S. doesn't want to release the text of ACTA - no transparency. I seem to recall some presidential candidate promising unprecendented transparency and change you could do something or other with. My memory fails me at times.

Researchers at MIT have found a method to split water and make hydrogen fuel. The method uses viruses. Hence, it doesn't use any energy to create the fuel. Let's see, we will run out of energy unless we invent something new, and we usually invent something new, so...

How to fail as a teleworker. The basic advice is, goof off and don't work. Then you can ruin this for the rest of us.

This looks neat - Creative Edge from O'Reilly. $20 a month provides access to thousands of resources for creative work.

Looking for a job? Learn how to write programs for mobile devices.

Overall, IT employment is down. Even the demand for H1-B visas is slow.

Don't buy an iPhone now (touts this post). It is about time for Apple to release a new model.

Prior to now, the TSA claimed that body scan systems could not record and store the images of naked people. Well, as silly as it was to claim such, the TSA now admits that yes, the computers can store images.

Twitter is now advertising. Why?

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Wednesday April 14, 2010 

Apple updates its MacBook Pro line of portable computers. More processing power, more graphics power, more memory, same price. I would like to see them make less expensive computers, but that is just me.

And the newer computers are about 50% faster than the older ones.

Now here is something I think worth mentioning about Apple's updates - 10 hour battery life.

Google is going to make its VP8 video codec open source. That will help everyone show videos in HTML5. The proprietary video codecs are a pain and hurt lots of us. Thank you, Google.

HP opens a data center in northern England that is cooled 360 days a year by the nice cool air from outside. Some 30 years ago I tried to do the same, but was told that it was a wasted effort. Then two years later we cooled a center in the winter from outside air out of necessity. This has always been available, and I don't understand why we haven't been using it and saving money all along.

The Government Accounting Office finally admits that most claims of economic woe due to piracy are not true.

Honda has an all-electric scooter. This is aimed at the Japanese and Chinese market where hundreds of millions of people live in cities and the range of the scooter is sufficient.

Some news about Intel:
Their first quarter profits jumped 400% over last year.
They announce a new dual-core Atom processor for really small portable computers.

GE's LED light bulb. Better than those things with mercury in them that flicker all the time and were loved by Congress in yet another short-sighted fit of legislation.

We now have a 1 TeraByte Solid State Disk.

The NSA develops software that detects when a USB storage device connects to a network.

A web site wins a Pulitzer - this is a first.

Power beaming is advancing in practice. This concept - where you beam power to a remote location via laser or microwaves - could one day lead to satellites that collect solar energy and beam it to earth. That would change everything.

This sounds awful. I hope it isn't true, but working conditions are terrible at a Chinese factory that makes things for Microsoft.

800,000 people have turned off their TVs to watch TV on the Internet. That is about 1 in 400 people in the U.S.

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Thursday April 15, 2010

The use of personal health records is growing. I trust the systems are trustworthy.

IBM may relaunch the OS/2 operating system. I worked for one of the few organizations in the U.S. that ran OS/2 on all its machines. That was in 1995 and 1996. It was a pretty good operating system with features that only recently have come out on other operating systems. You could drag a document icon to a printer icon and it would print. No need to open the document in an application and choose print from there. Nice stuff. It was in the wrong place at the wrong time with poor marketing.

NASA is sending a humanoid robot into space on the shuttle. Expect more stunt than utility from this machine, but who knows where it might lead?

Sucess leading to failure: Apple is selling more iPads in the U.S. than expected. Hence, the interational debut is being delayed a month.

Apple's upgraded portable computers are selling like, well like new Apple products usually sell. The 13" models sold out in many stores. Let's see, that is the least expensive model and it sells the best. There could be something to this.

Apple's sales of desktop computers is growing. They now have 8% of the U.S. market. That is a 34% increase from last year.

The Europeans are building a continent-wide antenna array to look for extraterrestrial life. This is a neat idea enabled by advances in telecommunications.

PCs should have a big recovery year in 2010.

And what will the FCC do now that a court says it cannot regulate broadband, or whatever the court ruling said.

A 95-mile stretch of rail in New Mexico provides WiMax access to the Internet free to all riders. Great stuff.

Researchers at MIT are making advances in wirless power. Maybe one day...

This is one way to go from iPad display to paper. All you need is a copying machine and...Silly? Yes, but still clever.

And another clever idea. Don't bring a chair with you, just bring a strap. See photos.

Texas Stadium was imploded this week. They put a 360 degree camera system in the middle of it to record the event. Take a look.

The benefits of fewer toys. This works for adults as well as kids.

And for adults, we have ways to become more "minimalist." I have yet to decide about all the facets of this minimalist concept. There are, however, many ideas here that I like.

Want a stand for your iPad? Try a business card holder. They are pretty inexpensive.

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Friday April 16, 2010

Not much viewing today. Instead, I spent the morning having breakfast with friends. That was great fun.

Turn a dining room into an office for two. My wife would not go for this as she enjoys the dining room too much.

What do you wish someone would make for you? An excellent question to ask for your own business ideas.

And now for Internet security, especially that run by government...a nine-year-old boy hacked into a school system where he could change passwords and such. Nine years old! Once again, is everyone ready for national electronic health records?

The Johnny Cash project - take a music video and replace each of 10,000 video frames with a hand-drawn picture. Takes too much time, but not if you get one picture from each of 10,000 people. Fascinating.

The HP 5102 really small portable computer. This model costs more than most, but seems to be worth it.

A (really) nice camera from Leica. Ah, $750, but Panasonic sells almost an identical camera for $400. I own a Panasonic Lumix (Leica clone). Excellent products.

Electricity from algae (weeds). With enough of these ideas out there, some are bound to work.

I like this new feature for gmail - drag and drop attachments. It is about time.

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Saturday April 17, 2010

Bill and Melinda Gates will appear on American Idol. They will speak about giving. I like what they do.

Photographs of WiMax installations in New York City.

A few things you can make for your iPad. I like taking a book, cutting holes int he pages, and using it as a carrying case.

Several more tablet computers appear from Dell. This would make a line fo tablets in 5", 7", and 10" sizes.

Research shows that young adults do care about privacy on the web.

George Will writes about the Value-Added Tax
. I agree with much of what he has to say. I doubt many elected officials see it this way. People love to spend the money of others.

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Sunday April 18, 2010

I guess every now and then we (re)learn who is really in charge. The ash from the volcano continues to ground all flights in Europe. Imagine the same thing in America - a grounding of flights for a week. We had something like that back in September of 2001, but not from natural causes.

The standard in government for over 40 years, the Skilcraft ballpoint pen. Not fancy, but they write. For better or worse, in the last decade government offices had some freedom to buy other types of pens from other sources.

iPhones get 70% of Internet traffic of some such sort. I am not sure how anyone measures this.

One more thing you can do with your iPad. Not recommended in some social circles.

Several iPad apps for viewing data on your home computer remotely. So far, the iPad hasn't been exciting for other than an eBook reader. The iPad depends on apps written by others, and they are not yet here. At least that is my experience.

This one is fascinating on a Sunday morning. This photo from 1940 found in a Canadian museum contains a person who looks like he is from another era. Time traveller? Something to consider.

A look at the one laptop per child program. I am sorry to report that it isn't working. Good intentions, but it just isn't working.

One person's experience in teleworking - ten years of it.

We keep finding chemical weapons dumps for WW I in Washington D.C.

Here is a writing exercise: pick an adjective, a character, and a place. Go, write.

A list of books on writing with notes about each.

Ah, writing a book. This writer has written and published-by-a-publisher book. I can tell by the comments on the topic. It is a lot of work and they pay is peanuts.

This writer wrote ten blog posts every week for 18 months. Someone told her that she writes better now than earlier. She was surprised. Yes, it is hard to notice your own progress. And yes, if you write everyday, everyday, everyday...you will write better.

I keep reading that you can make money blogging. I have never experienced that, but some people seem to do it.

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