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: August 30-September 5, 2010

Summary of this week:

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

Monday August 30,  2010

I drive around the beltway, no Internet viewing today.

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Tuesday August 31, 2010

NASA has put dozens of historic photos on Flickr for everyone to see and use.

Canon's newest, largest CMOS sensor (optical). One application is low-light imaging - still and video.

A new undersea fibre optic cable is connected to West Africa.

Here is Lockheed Martin's unmanned helicopter. It is the winner of an Army competition for unmanned, heavy-lift helicopters.

New video from inside the Titanic.

A really small portable computer from ASUS. But it has a 12" screen. It seems that someone has rebuilt the iBook G4 that I used for four years during the 2000's.

The beautiful office was once a garage. Great stuff.

I think that I like this idea - replace prisons with restrictions on the outside. Technology allows this to work now. It costs less and has to be more effective than our current penal system.

The next version of the Oxford English Dictionary may be be available online only. Online subscriptions are dwarfing hardback sales.

HP finally outbids Dell for 3PAR.

The InterAcademy Council has recommended fundamental changes to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Long acronyms. In essence, one science body has told the climate researchers that they need to pay more attention to climate research and less to politics and funding. I doubt the change will occur as this is quite lucrative. Jerry Pournelle has been doing extensive research into the the research and has learned that many fundamental questions are not answered and may not be answerable by those who claim to kow the temperature of the entire earth to a tenth of a degree 300 years ago and things like that. Interesting stuff that we are spending billions of dollars on.

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Wednesday September 1, 2010 

My crazy work week continues. Not much viewing today, but some.

Wireless TV from HP. An odd supplier of such, but why not.

And HP also announces it really small portable computer with the new dual-core Atom processor.

Now this is a neat home project - a guy made a 1/10th scale Cray 1 Supercomputer. It is actually a running computer.

The Navy has had a bad time with its IT contract. First with EDS and now with HP.

Archos has five new tablet computers.

This California school is going to put RFID tags on pre-schoolers. I guess this means something. I don't like it.

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Thursday September 2, 2010

No viewing today.

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Friday September 3, 2010

It seems that the FCC has a goal of 4MegaBitsPerSecond download speeds for everyone. I find the goal odd, but whatever. Anyways, about 44% of America has met the goal. Are we to be congratulated or something?

Google's Chrome browser is two years old, has 80 millions users (7%), and is in its sixth release.

Speaking of two years ago and the FCC, that is when the white spaces left open by TV were announced. We still don't have final answers, so we wait... and wait... and...

A look back at Thomas Edison and his attempt to own the entire motion picture industry. He failed. This is one of the reasons that Hollywood (way way way out in California) was created. People wanted to move as far away from Edison as possible to avoid being noticed.

Coming real soon now, a tablet computer from Toshiba powerd by Android.

Texas Instruments shows a new, tiny projector chip. This could change a lot of things in the next 12 months.

Harvard University is slowly but surely eliminating the final exam. I like this idea. I had one English professor who did this in 1976. His logic remains sound, "What can you do in an hour to convince me to change my opinion based on 13 weeks experience with you?"

Charles Darwin was into more than evolution of species. Here is an example of his least know, possibly most important act - terra forming an island.

Now THIS is an office - it appears to be half buried with half of the roof transparent. If you put this out in nature you have a wonderful view. How do you look at your work instead of outdoors?

Not good for Linux as iOS passes it to be the third most popular OS for Internet browsing.

When drafting, pour out the words. Just get them down. Edit them later. I agree. Just this week I was working with several engineers on a proposal. "Just type the words you have," is what I kept telling them. "We can fix it later." This works in real life. 

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Saturday September 4, 2010

This is fun - 4,000 people in the world's biggest water baloon fight.

This is a neat toy of sorts - a mobile home with a jacuzzi and a garage for you car.

Netgear offers 500MegaBitsPerSecond over power lines. There is a lot of good copper in homes already. It makes sense that bits can be sent over that copper quite reliably.

A beta preview of Ubuntu 10.10.

Move HD video over wireless USB connections. Samsung's newest chip set promises such.

This looks good - a self-rocking chair.

SD cards are supposed to triple their speed by 2012. This sounds a bit far fetched, but why not?

New Jersey transit is to install WiFi in all its stations and all its lines.

I learned a little Java programming recently. What I cannot understand is if Java is a dead language or a flourishing one. This post says Java is alive and well.

Northrop Grumman apoligizes for its server outages that have brought big problems to the Commonwealth of Virginia.

Nvidia introduces seven new graphics processing units.

I love this editorial from George Will. He discusses the fallibility of expertise. Expertise is currently popular, I think, at least last week it was. An excellent paragraph from the editorial: "And expertise was annoyingly changeable. Experts said margarine was the healthy alternative to butter -- until they said its trans fats made it harmful."

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Sunday September 5, 2010

I end a busy, off-schedule week with a slow, off-schedule Sunday  morning. Lots of viewing today.

Some tips on helping yourself learn better and learn more. Several of the points are about sleeping - sleep more at night and take naps in the day. Fatigue is a killer.

You have to see this one - it is brilliant. This links to an interactive advertisement on YouTube. It allows the viewer to determine the ending of the ad. Good stuff.

This story is all over the Internet, so it must be important. CraigsList has removed its "adult" section.

And this story is all over the place as well. The State of Texas is investigating Google in an antitrust case.

This blog post is a good one about organizational change. The organization in this case is a small church. The principles apply across many types of organizations.

Who is who in global computer sales. (1) HP (2) Dell (3) Acer (4) Lenovo (5) Toshiba. Apple is not anywhere on the list. It is sometimes surprising to realize that Apple is not up there in the rankings given all the publicity they receive.

The New York Times discovers telepresence. Those guys at the Times are really on top of things.

From Seth Godin, a simple reminder, "The emotional labor of engaging with the work and increasing the energy in the room is precisely what you sell." This is a tough one for many of us engineers, but we need to hear and apply.

It seems that the First Lady is blaming video games for childhood obesity while at the same time using video games for something else. Some people need to step back and look at the entire system now and then.

I have yet to understand all the excitement about "3D TV." At least one other person agrees with me. Maybe at times I wax too theoretical, but I will become excited when someone shows me a televisor that only occupies two dimensions.

Advocating high-speed trains to connect big cities. That is a pretty good idea. Here is another idea to actually make that happen: suspend practically all regulations that would slow such construction. Aha, now we see if people really believe that these trains are a good idea. We have to decide, is this more important than that? Such are tradeoffs. Such tradeoffs confront adults everyday. Are politicians adults?

Five quick-start tips to improve your writing. Yes, there are a million "X tips" posts out there. This one makes lots of sense. I have published four or so books and a hundred-plus articles. I used these tips.

On reusing your work. Yes, there is a possibility of reusing so much that your work becomes stale, but really folks. I worked on a proposal this past week. We reused large blocks of text from several prior proposals. That saved us a few dozen hours. Our customer realizes those savings. Also, reuse provides more time and energy for the new stuff.

A primer on Fair Use.

Some practical steps on taking the next step as a writer and freelancer. Sigh, these are work. They take time and energy, but if this is the desired direction, get to it.

The 100 most commonly misspelled words. The HTML editor that I use for this daybook (KompoZer) doesn't have a spell checker. I am sure that often misspell words here 

Want to learn a lot in a little time? Go someplace that is completely different. The obvious place is overseas in a completely different culture in a different country. One problem with the obvious answer is that it costs money. Okay, try this completely different culture - travel around your own town, your own state, your own country while spending little or no money. I don't know how to do that, but if I tried it I am guessing that I would learn a lot in a little time.

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