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 19-25, 2010

Summary of this week:

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

Monday April 19,  2010

This video camera claims 2,800 frames per second at 1080p resolution. That would provide amazing slow motion. It would also gulp your memory.

Writing about speed, see how quick the robotic arm is in this video.

I guess we could title this post, "How to mess up a location independent life." Yes, there are ways to ruin a style of life and style of work.

A comfortable and pleasing office. Surprise, this is in a basement. I am amazed at what you can do with some basic materials and taste. Please don't forget the most important part - once the office is finished the work begins in earnest.

China publishes lots of academic papers - second only to the U.S. Ooops, it seems that many of the Chinese papers are fakes.

Linux development is not attracting young programmers like it once did.

There is a mass of microbes in the Pacific Ocean that is the size of Greece. How did we miss something this big until now?

Verizon hopes to have 100 millions customers by the end of this year for its 4G LTE services. The key to this number is to include lots of devices that are not cell phones.

Photos and videos of the volcano that paralyzed air traffic in Europe.

The FCC wants to expand its reach - again. They want $16Billion (raised of course by just a small tax on everyone) to build a national network for emergency workers. I admit there is some value in allowing a fireman in Tickfaw, Louisiana to IM a fireman in Reston, Virginia. "Some value," however, isn't much value and not worth the taxation and interference that will accompany it.

Here is a neat video of someone taking apart an iPad. I am surprised at the amount of empty space in the iPad.

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Tuesday April 20, 2010

It seems that there is a problem with iPads and university networks. The iPad is taking more bandwidth than it should for some reason. Some universities are "banning" the iPads.

This is an excellent presentation of the calamity that is math education in government-run schools today.

Send HD to every televisor in your home without wires. I would like that.

Some breakthroughs in the recycling of tires.

This is all over the Internet: someone left a prototype next generation iPhone in a bar. Gizmodo found it and took it apart. Given how well Apple has always kept its next products secret, I have to wonder if someone accidentally left this one in the bar on purpose. It all seems too convenient.

Ooops, someone stole the source code for Google's sign on authentication system. Changes are being made.

Cows need exercise - yes they do. So put them on a treadmill to generate electricity. This actually works and could change a lot of things.

Computer science students cheat a lot. Well, that is a matter of opinion. It seems that in many universities if a programming student gets information from another source - well that is cheating. I thought it was research. Besides, learning how to find the answer to a problem that has already been solved is great. Why revinvent every wheel? Perhaps I just don't understand what universities are trying to teach or not teach.

Bruce Schneir writes about a life recorder. As he says, it would first be beneficial to groups of people with "diminished" rights. Such would be good for the elderly who wish to live in their own homes longer.

These researchers may have made a portable and disposable blood lab a reality. Another great thing for the elderly and infirmed.

Many Europeans grounded by the volcano are learning that video conferencing works pretty darn well. Sometimes it takes times like these for us to relearn lessons. We also learn that much of the traveling done in business is really for pleasure and is not necessary for business. There are things that can be noticed in person that are not noticed over a video, so being there in person has its benefits. Nonetheless, I recommend greater thought concerning some of the trips that people take.

In Apple's recent upgrade to its portable computers, they didn't upgrade the processor on the 13" model. Some more information on that decision. Space was an issue. That issue came from commercial disputes with Nvidia.

Ah the fun we have with statistics: the fastest average Internet speed in the world is in Berkely, California.

I find myself liking Bill Gates more as the years pass. Now he is on a small college tour where he asks todays collegians to focus on big problems like the health of children. Nice work.

Some thoughts on the lunacy of turning corn into fuel for automobiles. In 2009 alone, we could have fed 330 million people with the corn we burned. Each gallon of the fuel gets a needed 54 cents a gallon tariff protection to make it viable. Lunacy.

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Wednesday April 21, 2010 

I love visual displays of information, also known as graphics. Here are twp links to flowingdata.com and the display of old graphics. one two.

Looking for expert information? Try the Oxford Bibliographies Online.

A clever idea for a basic power plug.

HP updates its desktop computers with the latest Intel processors.

ASUS finally brings its PC-in-a-keyboard to the U.S. $600

I like this workspace. Why get a desk Just attach a shelf to the wall and put your computer on it.

Want a zoom lens for your camera phone? Here is a simple trick with magnifying cards.

Epigrams in programming - 120 outstanding bits of knowledge for the, well for just about everybody, but aimed at anyone who every attempted to write a computer program.

Moe's Notes - a simple iPhone app with great utility (an admirable combination). Your notes, photos, recordings are tagged with time, date, and place. Brilliant.

This is not another cute kid video (although it is a video and the kid is cute, and no, this is not my adorable grandson). I am fascinated at how this 2.5 year old masters the iPad user interface in a short moment. Did the guys at Apple have kids this age in their labs?

Just in case you didn't know, most modern photocopiers are digital scanners and printers AND they have a disk drive that stores your photocopiers. If you throw away a copy machine, please be sure to erase the disk drive.

Virtual conferences - invest in this as these things are exploding in the market. They do not provide all that is learned at a real in-person conference, but the benefit is high for the lowered cost.

I like xkcd comics. I really like this one.

Apple's second quarter profits rose 90% over last year. Some parts of the economy are recovering nicely. Let's see, the government bailed out Apple, right, and that is the source of their success? No, maybe I am confused.

Government marches on - the state of North Carolina is demading that amazon.com release information on every purchase made by every North Carolina resident in the last seven years.

Now I love this - these guys put an excellent camera on a small, home-built, radio controlled crawler and sent it into the wilds of Tanzania. Outstanding wildlife photos. They call it the BeetleCam. Maybe the state of North Carolina can find a way to try to tax these guys. Did they receive a government bailout? I'm still confused on that one.

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Thursday April 22, 2010

Two breaking news reports from the Washington Post:
Teenagers use cell phones a lot.
Scientists cannot predict volcanoes.
What would we do with stellar "news"papers like the Post? No wonder they are going out of business.

And the world will now be safe as Farmville is heading to the iPhone and iPad. My worries are over.

Facebook may just be the future of the Internet. Facebook is dominated by people age 18-25. MTV is as well. MTV, however, knows that its viewers will move on, i.e. MTV has a stated policy that it will not grow older with its viewers. We have to wait and see if Facebook will grow older with its users or if all those users will leave Facebook and go to something else when they turn 30.

Those brain-training games don't do any brain training. There are other benefits to them. If you think they do you good, you will probably feel better. Besides, there are worse things to do with your time.

Alcatel-Lucent has demonstrated VDSL2 in the lab - broadband of 300MegaBitsPerSecond over copper wire. Products for the rest of us will come sometime after now. This could be a big deal for the phone companies in their battles with cable and RF companies.

Red Hat releases the beta of its Enterprise Linux version 6.

Should you pay far more money to have a movie system installed in your car or just buy your kids their own iPads?

The cell phone system is not secure. These researchers have proven that. Take care with how you use your cell phones. A cell phone is a radio broadcasting on known frequencies with known protocols.

Google may move into the tablet business itself as it buys a hardware company.

Local and regional cloud computing has a niche market.

HP is selling its 3D printers in Europe now. One day they will sell them in the U.S. I have to wonder why they are sold in Europe first. My first guess is that it has something to do with government regulators.

Ooops, McAfee shipped bad software. The software is shutting down XP machines worldwide. I have to see what my XP machine at work this morning is doing. My Apple computer is running fine.

A robotic floor cleaner for hardwood floors. Clever, cute, whatever - it can help elderly live in their own homes longer.

More research that could help the elderly - this vest senses when a person is about to fall and provides feedback. It is a big help to those whose sense of balance is degraded.

Now the iPad is moving into real areas - a California hospital will use them as portable x-ray viewers. The finger-touch interface is an excellent application here.

Save money with refurbished computers. All the computer makers have a "refurb" area on their web sites. Google "Dell refurbished" or whatever brand you like.

Someone has Android running on the iPhone.

The U.S. $100 bill is the most counterfieted piece of currency in the world. Here is the new bill with its security features. It is U G L Y, but if it saves the taxpayers money...

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Friday April 23, 2010

A lot of ideas on changing communities via the Internet, local everything, and minimalism. I especially like the thoughts on schools and schooling. This is very different from what most of us do and have done. It is not for everyone.

And a different view of minimalism. I tend to go with this view. If a person doesn't "own" a city bus, but uses it everyday...someone owns it. The person who maintains the bus does so with hundreds of tools. There are hundreds of things inside the bus. This could go on and on. This post also has excellent links to other minimalism sites.

What do you do when people no longer need desktop computers? The winning answer could generate billions of dollars.

Google has over a million servers. I didn't really grasp that until looking at this graphic.

A 30-year study to track health and cell phone use has begun in Europe.

This is the video that Apple wishes it made, but it didn't make, so that renders the video ever more charming. A 99-year-old woman, who has N E V E R owned a computer, is enthralled with her iPad.

Intel cannot keep up with the demand for its processors.

I like this post - a list of seven things that affect your productivity. It concentrates on diet, exercise, and sleep. Absolutely.

I like this as well as I too intend to keep my day job AND blog. I write four or five blog posts every week. I usually do so before coming to work in the morning.

Some good tips for parents. Relax a bit folks.

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Saturday April 24, 2010

There! This settles it! Taking a nap helps.

And if you make people change their life for 24 hours, they hurt
. This study does this with social media. College students reacted as expected.

A demolition robot. Really, that what it is. It is remotely controlled to work in tight and dangerous locations.

A simple, really really simple, robotic lawn mower.

Fooling face-recognition systems with simple makeup. Yes, this looks a little odd, but is using decades-old camouflage techniques.

A system that helps autistic and others communicate with the rest of us. Excellent.

Apple computers tend to last a long time. I once dropped by iBook G4 onto concrete from four feet. The hinge holding the display bent a little, but otherwise the computer kept running - still is running.

Seth Godin on choosing your judges. Excellent points.

Leonard Nimory retires from Star Trek .

95 simplicity posts.

A test program that lets the utility company control your thermostat.

People are finding ways to connect USB devices to the iPad via the camera connection kit.

The usual stuff from government regulators - surfing the web instead of whatever they were supposed to be doing.

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Sunday April 25, 2010

If you are interested in marriage, go online. If you are more interested in other pursuits, go to a bar. Not me, the result of research.

More colleges are banning computers from classrooms. I understand what they are doing. This, however, fails the "Washington Post Test." That that test asks, "what would the headline look like in the Washington Post?" So, how does it look to see that colleges are banning portals to knowledge in the classroom? Flunks the test. I also have to go back to the Virginia Tech shootings when the university sent a mass email warning students what was happening. Those with laptops in the classroom knew something important that others did not know.

There are now 12,000 cloud servers running the Ubuntu Linux distribution.

Was the volcano flight ban a lot of hype? Probably.

How hard could it be? Dilbert wins again.

Indian companies are more open about their employees than U.S. companies. Good or bad? It is nice that they share information, but many in the U.S. consider such sharing an invasion of privacy to release such information.

Authors should also be public speakers. This seems natural to me, but evidently it isn't for many writers. Just part of my background.

49 writing and freelancing blogs.

Leave out the parts that readers skip. Good tip.

Imperfection is a good thing. It is good in interesting characters, the type that people will read. Good thing, since everyone I have ever met (including the guy in the mirror) is imperfect.

Something wild. "Use a text editor to edit text." I write books using the vim ASCII text editor. Books are 99% text or some large percentage like that.

Want to write better? Write less (words).

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