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 21-27, 2010

Summary of this week:

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

Monday June 21,  2010

No viewing today. Running around the beltway and such.

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Tuesday June 22, 2010

eBook readers are experiencing price cuts. See the nook and the Kindle. It seems to be a reaction to the iPad.

Is this a practical solar charger? The $100 price tag is a bit much.

The Europeans hope to import solar-generated electricity from the Sahara in five years. Long-distance transmission of electricity is  a challenge. Perhaps they can make it work.

Top ten IT places to work in the U.S. Booz Allen Hamilton is number two and always seems to rank high. The puzzling thing is that I know several people who work there. They aren't quite so happy. I guess there are exceptions to just about everything.

What is wrong with health care in America? I like the thoughts posted here. We have innovated technology to the point that too many things are possible in health care. That is too many things that we can manage at this time using the management systems we have today. These are the same management systems we used 50 years ago when much less was possible.

The Department of Energy claims to have invented a new method of air conditioning. It uses 50% to 90% less energy. Maybe this is all true. I wish it were, but I have heard to many wonderful claims from government organizations that proved too wishful to bank on this.

30 states want to investigate Google for "WiFi snooping." Sigh. If you have a portable computer with WiFi capability, and I don't know that you can buy a portable computer today without WiFi, you will receive WiFi signals in the area. If you add a little free software, you can read all the Internet traffic that is unencrypted. This is trivial technology. I wasn't aware that it was illegal.

The vast majority of engineers don't use Twitter. Is there a messsage here?

Some actual test results on cloud computing providers.

Scan a 200-page book in one minute. The technique is called "book flipping scanning" as the operator literally flips the book pages under a camera. The trick is the camera is taking 500 photos a second. Yes, the result are curled and twisted pages, but they can be straighted by software. The image processing algorithms are several decades old.

Sliderocket - an online PowerPoint replacement - seems to be ready for use.

This is a cool workspace.

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Wednesday June 23, 2010 

Korg has a rhythm synthesizer for the iPad. At $10 I'll have to try it.

Google announces that Google Voice is now open to all. I will be trying this.

SponsorMyDegree.com is a place where college students ask for money and some people give it to them. There are far worse things we could be doing with the Internet.

A group of 7th graders studied 200 images of Mars and found a cave that was unnoticed until they noticed it. What was that saying about all bugs being shallow if there are enough eyes on it? Unprecedented things happen when large numbers of people are given tools that were previously unavailable. That is the gift of the inexpensive computer. Hundreds of millions of people now have powerful tools. We have never had this before in human history. Who knows what will happen next.

Acer introduces its latest desktop, plain old black-box computers. Yes, people are still buying millions of these.

SanDisk has a 1GigaByte WORM SD card. I didn't know that someone made a write-once read-many times memory device any longer. I guess there are some legal and such uses for these things.

The HP mini100e really small portable computer. The genius here is that HP, stodgy old HP, has facilities to make "custom" colors and designs to appeal to people who like custom colors and designs.

 A Federal judge has overturned the Aministration's moratorium on offshore drilling. There are limits to the authority of the Executive  Branch of the Federal government. The Founding Fathers wrote that into the Constitution. Those guys were pretty smart and well educated. They studied history and human nature. Good for them. Good for us. I doubt that any of them could be elected to office these days.

I have yet to see this sign, but probably will as I take a flight this weekend. The TSA doesn't allow snowglobes in carry on luggage. I guess they have a good reason, but I may be giving them too much credit.

Mozilla releases a new version of Firefox.

I have read several calls for Amazon to make the Kindle reader free. Well, maybe $50 would be a great idea. Wipe out the competition and sell books. What a concept, just sell books.

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Thursday June 24, 2010

I think the iPhone 4 goes on sale today in Apple stores. At least I hope that is the case. There are hundreds of people standing in line at the Reston Town Center Apple store a block away from me. Maybe there are thousands of people. I don't judge these things well. I can see that they are now wrapped around the block.

Sigh. San Francisco has passed an law requiring signs in cell phone stores about radiation danger. This despite all cell phones sold in the U.S. meet U.S. safety standards. So the cell phone industry will stop holding its trade show in San Francisco. That trade show brings $80 million a year to San Francisco. A lot of people who work hard for meager pay are going to lose money because of all this. It seems odd to me that the city government didn't consider the plight of these people.

WiFi access points drain the batteries of cell phones. Hmmm.

People trust Google, Apple, and Microsoft more than CBS, NBC, and the rest of the traditional media. This is not surprising to me. These companies are yet to falsify the news as badly as traditional media has. When they have tripped and made mistakes, they apologized loud and long instead of printing a retraction to a front-page headline story on page 99.

Skype has released an open SDK. This allows programmers to add Skype features to their applications. Hmm, I wonder if people trust Skype more than the New York Times? The answer is probably "yes," and the reason why is obvious.

There is to be a remake of the 1976 film "Logan's Run." I loved the movie. I really loved the book better.

The IEEE has ratified its standard 802.3ba for 40 and 80 GigaBit Ethernet.

The PCI bus (from 1993) will no longer be supported by Intel. It served us well, and now we move on.

Another YouTube alternative comes along - VidMe.

A Federal judge has dismissed a $1Billion law suit against YouTube.

Another site that turns your handwriting into a font. Neat.

This fabulous office used to be a garage.

Nano machines will change medicine. Imagine little robots swimming through the veins and arteries and making tiny repairs day by day. That would eliminate the major surgical repairs we do today.

Microsoft has sold 150 million copies of Windows 7. Someone figured that this was one copy every seven seconds. That is all amazing. In the old days of floppy disks or even the not-so-old days of CDs, that would have been impossible.

The MiFi - a mobile 3G to WiFi hotspot - goes on sale again soon with prepaid options
- no contracts!

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Friday June 25, 2010

I lost my viewing record for today.

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Saturday June 26, 2010

Domain names officially go into Chinese script.

A tablet computer from Texas Instruments of all people. This, however, is "for developers only." I don't understand the object of that. Why develop for a platform that no one can buy? Perhaps something will come of this.

An attractive desktop computer for $300. You don't have to buy a black box anymore.

All over the Internet - a cat with artificial legs. I am happy for the cat. I am happier in that such testing will lead to better medical devices for humans.

BP is using Kevin Costner's oil separation centrifuges.

What cheap cameras can do when attached to a weather balloon at 125,000 feet up. Watch the video, great.

Another problem with all-electric cars - total cost of ownership is poor caused by higher-than-average depreciation.

The flying car pass another government-regulation hurdle. There are yet more and more hurdles imposed by the government in the way.

Arlington National Cemetary spent $5million in a FAILED attempt at creating a database. I guess MS Access or even Excel were to much or something screwy. Is everyone ready for the government to create national health records?

And speaking of the government, the goal here is to better serve the public. If you make a mistake, you will do other things. I am not confident.

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Sunday June 27, 2010

Travelling and cannot view the net.

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