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: July 19-25, 2010

Summary of this week:

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

Monday July 19,  2010

There seems to be the possibility that cloud services will become open source and allow easier interoperability.

The airlines collected about $8Billion in fees last year. These are for non-services like checking baggage and changing reservations - things that used to be free. Sigh. Flying is not as enjoyable as it once was. Still, I will fly round trip Washington D.C. to New Orleans for $250 in August. That is pretty darn cheap.

Two photos of the Mount Everest area taken 90 years apart show much less ice today than in 1921.  Some see this as awful, some people who grow food to survive have a different opinion.

The UK is slowing its deployment of nation-wide broadband. It is only a matter of money.

This is fascinating - how to use a purple laser pointed at the sky to cheaply give broadband access to a lot people.

Open source software for brain-computer interfaces.

And here is something to control - Great tech news - this prosthetic arm is almost ready for clinical trials. This will take the place of a lost human arm and be controlled thoughts.

Here are some demographics of bloggers. Most bloggers are 21 to 35 years old. At 51, I guess I am 20 years ahead of my time, or is it behind my time?

Virgin's space ships continue to advance through testing.

Intel is now shipping a six-core processor.

This coffee shop in Japan leaves an iPad on every table. There are no security cables to anchor them. People just don't steal them. Fascinating concept - not taking what is not yours.

The IEEE takes a look at the oil separating machines that Kevin Costner helped fund. Costner has been attributed everything from designing to building to operating these machines. I applaud a rich celebrity for putting their money behind their beliefs into real technology. If we had more of that and less lobbying we would have a better world. Silly me, I think a President should go about encouraging such instead of backing 2,000-page legislation, but that is just silly me.

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Tuesday July 20, 2010

A look at the "pay what you want" movement. A friend of mine started doing this at least ten years ago and has stayed with it. There is a surprisingly high cost associated with ensuring that people pay the exact price of an item. And it suprises some at how honest most people are, i.e., they do pay a fair price for good services and goods.

And here is a pad computer from Lenovo. It is promised on the market by the end of the year. It will run Android.

Going back to low-cost 8-bit computers. I like the idea. We don't need the vast majority of the power that we have in personal computers these days.

Verizon drops the Kin. Microsoft probably spent millions of dollars developing the Kin. It just didn't make it in the marketplace. Someone, well a few people, will lose a job.

The Computer History Museum is host the source for the 1984 MacPaint. Scroll down to see a 1984 photo of Steve Jobs.

This is a bridge, believe it or not. It is beautiful, but at some point the form and art go a bit too far for something funded by taxpayers so that people can cross a river.

This story is all over the Internet: Amazon is selling more eBooks than hardcover books. Note, this is not paper books, but the more expensive hardcover books.

California wants green power - Oregon supplies it with windmills, but the surges are too much for the grid. Take care with what you request.

All those blogs were shut down ealier because of bomb-making instructions and the like.

Facebook is as annoying as the IRS. That according to a survey.

Profits at Texas Instruments tripled over the same period last year. Bad economy? There is recovery in some sectors. There is also much yelling in Washington D.C. that these greedy companies are making money but not hiring people. Funny how people who are not in business know so much that they can tell people in business how to do business. Check the balance books of TI and the Federal government and tell me who knows how to handle money.

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Wednesday July 21, 2010 

Apple has another record quarter - revenue and profits higher than ever. Bad economy? Someone is buying all those iPads and iPhones and computers. Too bad all that hardware is manufactured in other countries.

Someone in congress thinks that citizens should be able to film Police (who are employees of the citizens). I wonder if one day high school students will starting filming their teachers. Hmmm.

The FCC changes how it studies broadband availability in America. The results look worse than before. This is not a surprise.

Net neutrality reaches auto repairs. Auto makers have been building cars that only they can repair. So now we have a "right to repair" law.

BP has been caught photoshopping images of its disaster response. Sigh. Some people never learn.

And an accused criminal was caught photoshopping himself into charitable events. Sigh. Some people never learn.

The small nuclear reactor may become a reality. It seems that the proponents of large reactors sold equipment for large power plants. They didn't make equipment for small power plants, so they kepts telling everyone that small plants would never work. Sign. Some people never learn.

Several (almost) autonomous cars begin a journey from Italy to China.

Scoble says that this Flipboard will change everything. We shall see. It does look different and easy to use.
This is an iPad app. This link gives another view of the product without the 20-minute chat.
This is a free app, I shall have to try it.

Apple's data center in North Carolina is almost online.

The Panasonic Lumix LX5 camera. I own the predecessor that is a couple of generations old now. I love it. This looks great. The trouble for me is that my old camera still works just fine and I can't justify buying a new one.

Great, someone is publishing a security hack against home WiFi routers just like mine.

Taxpayers' dollars are building battery factories in Michigan. Why batteries? Why Michigan? Why not where I live? Oh, then there is the question about whether or not anyone will buy the cars are supposed to use all those batteries. Declaring that there is a demand for electric cars does not make it so. I believe there is a demand for electric vehicles, but the same government that wants us to drive such also makes regulations that prohibit many ready-for-the-road vehicles from the American road. Department A is fighting against Department B. Seems like a lack of leadership and lack of systems thinking. But it is only government, so what do we expect?

Honda - without an U.S. taxpayers' money - is going to sell electric cars here in 2012. How did they do that, i.e., do just what Chevy is doing with tens of billions of taxpayers' dollars? Also, how did they manage to get their cars through the U.S. regulatory maze?

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Thursday July 22, 2010

I loaded Flipboard on my iPad last night. I couldn't get it to work as their servers were overloaded. Oh well.

Ah, the FCC and broadband in America. Now we learn that people in rural areas have no broadband access and are not likly to get it. What happened to the $7Billion being spent to bring broadband to rural areas. I guess I misunderstood something or other.

Best Buy and WalMart are selling $300 portable computers. This is aimed at the back to college crowd. These machines are probably ten times more powerful than students need. I've never emotionally understood why we aren't using $100 portable computers.

Makers of those USB thumbdrives are trying to find a way to make their products more useful. This may be an excellent way. This thumbdrive has 128GigaBytes of storage and software that continually backups you computer.

A video of the Army's latest exoskeleton. It will allow a person to carry 200 extra pounds. It would also allow someone whose legs don't work to walk.

This is all over the Internet: Facebook now claims 500 million users.

And Pandora, which I listen to, has 60 million users.

Everyone wants to investigate Google now. All they did was drive around with an RF receiver turned on and fed data to a disk drive. Are we going to make it illegal in America to listen?

Dell has shipped some motherboards that are infected with viruses. oops

Boeing is building a commercial spacecraft under contract with NASA. If it is a government contract, how is it a commercial spacecraft? Someone help me here.

NASA has made a map of the world's forests. That is interesting technology, but no wonder NASA can't get us to the moon or anywhere else. They are wasting their time and our money on interesting technology. Do thay have any FOCUS at NASA?

Some success with One Laptop Per Child in Columbia.

The Internet will run out of addresses in a year.

HP says that its slate computer is not dead. The iPad is making a lot of money for Apple. Surely, the thinking goes, other companies can make money with similar products.

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Friday July 23, 2010

I had breakfast with friends and didn't view the Internet this day.

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Saturday July 24, 2010

It appears that Apple will soon update its desktop computer line.

GM and OnStar will allow us to control more of the car via cell phone.

MIT has a small UAV that can land on a wire like a bird.

Microsoft, despite the Kin mess, had a record quarter in both revenue and profits.

Here is a review of Flipboard for the iPad. I would love to let you know what I think, but I still can't load Facebook or Twitter as Flipboard's servers are still overloaded.

Apple is rated the best in customer service for portable computers.

This is a great qoute: Imagine Walt Disney at the age of nineteen. His uncle asks him what he plans to do with his life, and he pulls out a drawing of a mouse and says, “I think this has a lot of potential.

The nation is in a recession, but not the Washington D.C. area. Government is big business now. Somehow the area's Congressmen have been able to keep all the jobs here.

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Sunday July 25, 2010

Stowe Boyd reports on some creativity research. Brainstorming was "invented" in 1953 and proven to be ineffective in 1958.

The most remote data center in the world at the South Pole.

The Amiga computer is 25 years old. If you don't know what an Amiga is, don't worry. But it had the greatest graphics in the world. They devoted a second CPU chip completely to running the display. It was great.

Dell pays $100Million penalty to the FCC.

And Dell has stoppped selling Ubuntu pre-loaded on its computers.

FreeBSD 8.1 is released .

Some thoughts on journaling and getting through mid-life. I guess I am in mid-life at age 51. Does that mean I will live to 102?

For those in college or who know someone in college, writing tips for college essays.

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