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: June 14-20, 2010

Summary of this week:

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

Monday June 14,  2010

NASA's woes continue. The President says "no moon missions," Congress says "moon missions," and Congress and the President aren't talking to one another. I'm glad they are in the same political party.

Meanwhile, the Japanese space program actually does something.
A Japanese vehicle returns to earth five years after landing on an asteroid.
NASA played a part - we photographed the re-entry. Wow for us (not).

The NSA made a video about its polygraph (the lie detector) program. Here is a reply. The polygraph doesn't work. That is why it isn't allowed as admissable evidence in a court of law. I find it disturbing that a government agency would spend all the money needed to make a video of such.

This little bit of news could change everything - valuable mineral deposits have been discovered in Afghanistan. To date, there has been nothing of value to the West in that place. Now we have something to fight over. More on this topic.

If you have a WiFi USB plugin, this will help you focus on WiFi stations. I find this funny. It seems to me that all the WiFi things are built into your computer, not external like this photo.

This is hard to explain, so watch the video. A camera and software tracks where you are sitting. The "lens" projects the screen's image towards you. The screen can project multiple images to multiple people. Again, watch the video from Microsoft.

This is pretty silly, but I like it. This gadget connects an old manual typewriter via USB to a display screen. Neat to watch, I don't think that I will buy one. 

This is all over the Internet today, so it must be important. Microsoft Kinect for the Xbox 360.

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Tuesday June 15, 2010

This story is all over the net - Starbucks goes to free WiFi on July 1. I have been using Starbucks' registered WiFi for the past year. I like it.

Going on vacation? Look to Flickr for ideas.

Another nail in the coffin - The Internet is about to pass the newspapers as the #2 ad revenue spot. Television is still #1.

Apple updates the Mac Mini. Finally! Ouch, it costs $700 now. I thought low entry price was one of the primary features of the Mini.

Microsoft Office 2010 is now available.

Someone is looking for a new Byte Magazine. I loved Byte magazine. I wasn't the only one, but times have changed.

I saw this commercial on TV this afternoon. Great. Adidas, superstars, great.

Analog TV went out one year ago. It seems longer.

Another side of the location-independent lifestyle. Things people don't tell you. It can be lonely.

People were trying to order iPhone 4 's today. Rush Limbaugh said he had four people on his staff trying. The servers were overloaded. It looks like Apple will sell a lot of these gadgets.

Samsung has the world's thinnest external hard drive. Hey, someone has to.

And Samsung has the world's first Android phone with a built-in projector. Neat.

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Wednesday June 16, 2010 

Driving the beltway today.

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Thursday June 17, 2010

The long-rumored "Gdrive" from the Google cloud may be a reality. I can't really tell from this article.

YouTube now has an online video editor.

SeaMicro has put 512 Intel Atom processors together to form one powerful computer. Excellent!

This is what is inside the new Apple Mac Mini.

Toshiba makes NAND flash of 128GigaBytes. That is over 16 hours of full HD video. I am not sure what anyone would do with this, but I am pretty certain that someone will come up with something interesting.

And Samsung is soon introducing a 512GigaByte Solid State Drive.

People are actually building filters to remove the sound of those horns at the World Cup games.

Here is another maybe tablet computer. This one is from Samsung.

Neat, the people at Moleskine have made a "book" that has paper and also holds a Kindle reader. Clever design.

A long post on what it is like to be a consultant. There are many good points here, recommended for anyone thinking about changing jobs.

Amazon has been awarded a patent for "Social Networking System." Our tax dollars at work.

The FBI routinely monitors content on Facebook. Sometimes this practice prevents crime. If you don't want the FBI looking at your Facebook account, don't have a Facebook account - or something like that.

This "airplane" charges its batteries during the day and flies at night. This is a first.

NASA believes that the moon has more water underneath its surface that the Great Lakes. If NASA had been doing its job the last 40 years we would be living on the moon using the water instead of writing reports about it.

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Friday June 18, 2010

Someone in the U.S. government was attempting to fly UAVs along the U.S.-Mexico border. "Attempt" is the key word here as they kept failing and the FAA put a stop to it. Oh well. It seems that someone has been able to fly these things in other countries.

The Office 2010 update seems ho-hum.

Apple is shipping over a million iPads a month. I guess that is a success.

Ah, a Google command line tool. For old guys like me, the command line is a great tool. I think it is under appreciated by most.

The Thai government has closed about 60,000 web sites that it didn't like.

Somtimes we have media for which there are no reproduction devices. Then some engineers work really hard on their own and make such devices. A Thomas Edison recording returns to life.

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Saturday June 19, 2010

More on the new Apple Mac Mini. I love these small computers, but why so expensive.

People who are "self-aware" are better bosses. Being "self-aware" sounds goofy to some of us technical types. This concept is simple, a self-aware person understands their weaknesses, understands how they look to others, and so on. Of course it makes sense.

Some boots that charge your cell phone. This is a bit silly, but one day these types of things should be common place and practical. It is a simple transformation of one type of energy to another. I have to wonder why it took so long.

Photos of the Japanese solar sail in outer space.

A battle is brewing in the midwest this summer. "Serious," i.e., funded university storm chasers, are angry at amatuer storm chasers. The universtity types say the others are causing traffic jams on country roads. The traffic makes it more difficult to run away from a storm when that is prudent. There are public roads and everyone has a right to be there.

Candadians have found the largest field of dinosaur bones ever.

Photos from the 2010 Solar Decathalon Europe. There are some interesting designs here. I hope some prove to be practical.

A short list of writer's sites for writers who actually write. This is a nice site - they show a photo every day with a writing prompt.

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Sunday June 20, 2010

This little Japanese robot can roll over small floor clutter. The advancement is in the suspension or shock absorbers.

HP updates its all-in-one desktop computer.

We may have finally acheived the video cell phone. This is the "lookie-talkie" (a very old term). It seems that the younger generation has overcome the disdain of video phones that my generation has. It is this "I don't WANT anyone to see what I look like when I get out of bed (or other situation)" feeling that kept the video phone from reality for the last several decades.

Yet another Android-powered iPad clone. Maybe one of these things will actually survive.

Acer will probably overtake HP this year and be the world's leader in portable computer sales. I would have thought that Dell was up there.

A potatoe-powered battery. This could work in developing countries. That is if they already have enough to eat. I am not sure by this post if you can eat the potatoe after you use it to power a battery.

Going the way of the dinosaur and newspaper is the desktop computer. Alas, we knew the well.

The SpaceX space launch is much cheaper than NASA's. How? They don't have to employ legions of bureaucrats. They employ only people they need. This sort of makes you wonder about why government organizations don't practice the same, but they are government organizations. Power and prestige come from the number of people you reign over and the amount of money you spend - not results.

George Orwell's diaries from 70 years ago are becoming fascinating. One item, when it seems that your country is about to lose a war, buy durable goods on credit. The credit system will collapse, you will have the goods to survive, and you won't owe anyone anything. Sounds like the USA today with all the bail out packages coming out of Washington.

Part of the tension or balance of being a writer. To write you have to sit and write. To write  you need to get out and observe the world.

How many words should you write a day? The answer is, of course, "it depends." If you write 1,000 words a day, whih doesn't ake long at an average typing speed, you can do a 50,000 word novel in seven weeks. It is unfortunate, but it is rarely that simple.

And if you find yourself writing too much, here are ways to avoid working too much.

Tips for passive income for writers. Passive income - you write something once and collect royalty checks every month for the rest of your life - is the ultimate for a writer. It used to exist, but seems to be fading.

This one is IMPORTANT for writers - you health. Do what you need to do to exercise, keep your weight down, be healthy.

Related to health is fatigue. It is okay to be tired. When tired please rest, eat, then work again. In that order.

Seven newer blogs on minimalism.

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