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.

Go to Day Book Home and pointer to previous weeks
Go to Dwayne's Home Page
Email me at d.phillips@computer.org

This week: December 13-19, 2010

Summary of this week:

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

Monday December 13,  2010

More comments on the Google CR-48 - the hardware seems to be garnering more comments than the Chrome OS. Folks, remember this is just a piece of plastic that allows you to see the OS. Look at the OS!

NASA launched a small solar sail last week, and it is already lost out of contact. Your tax dollars at waste.

The all-electric Nissan Leaf is now in America.

The U.S. military has banned (again) the use of removable media on its SIPRnet. They did this once before, then changed their mind, and now have changed their mind which means that they are likely to change their mind again and again. These things have a way of coming back to you.

In addition to sometimes launching space shuttles, NASA has lots of cameras in place make neato videos. You tax dollars at waste.

Email me at d.phillips@computer.org
Go to Day Book Home and pointer to previous weeks
Go to Dwayne's Home Page

Tuesday December 14, 2010

This is a surprise - NOT. A U.S. District Court Judge has ruled major parts of the "Obamacare" law unconstitutional. No doubt this will go to the U.S. Supreme court one day. It seems that the U.S. Constitution does not give Congress the authority to require people to buy something. Funny thing about the U.S. Constitution, large sections of it describe things that the Federal government cannot do.

Some companies make products for sale in the U.S. and different versions of those products for sale outside the U.S. Those companies don't want the two lines to mix, and the U.S. Supreme Court has upheld those desires. Consumers lose. Oh well.

Yahoo will lay off 700 people this week.

The Chevy Volt is actually starting to ship this week. 160 people - WOW - will get them. Perhaps something good will come of this.

You put the two previous items together in some sort of fashion. Yahoo's mistake is they don't have large labor unions. The current White House-Congress likes to give tens of billions of dollars to struggling businesses who have large labor unions. Hmm, a new business strategy?

Sirius XM satellite radio now has 20 million subscribers. They keep asking me to subscribe again, but I don't want to pay the prices. Such is the marketplace.

This doesn't work - yet, but MIT is building a running robot. I have no doubt that in just a couple of years this thing will run faster than any human. I wish something good comes of this work.

Here is the world map of Facebook users. It is not surprising to see large areas of Africa and the former Soviet Union with no users. It is, however, alarming to me. The "digital divide" does not, as many are apt to claim, exist in America.

Look at these new workstations from Dell. They look good. Too bad they will be shoved under a desk where no one can see them.

If at first you don't succeed...Microsoft will try again at CES 2011 to push the idea of tablet computers running Windows. Maybe this year...

Great title - Internet use now ties TV in time spent avoiding outdoor activity. I get it, but much Internet use promotes outdoor activity.

This news is just plain wrong in so many ways on so many levels: Afghanistan is moving towards national electronic ID cards.

I could use one of these today (6 degree wind chill) - a heated jacket. The battery lasts eight hours.

I love this thought - knowledge multiples knowledge or something like that.

Evan Kohlman - a man who finds terrorists on the Internet. He is not alone in this pursuit, but he is one of the more famous.

IBM will build a three petaflop computer. But will it have cool neon lights? And will it be able to run Windows 8?

Email me at d.phillips@computer.org
Go to Day Book Home and pointer to previous weeks
Go to Dwayne's Home Page

Wednesday December 15, 2010

Google is changing its voice recognition software to allow for learning to recognize a particular person. There is not formal training, e.g., repeat the following statement three times, but the software keeps some of the things you say to learn.

Here's a really good (really bad) data spill. A Colorado Sheriff had a leak of informants' names. The informants are no prime targets. Is everyone ready for national electronic health records?

Here is a device that connects to an iPad and allows for camera and memory card connections. Nice. By the way, I have the official Apple camera connector device, it works great.

Hitachi ships three, 3TeraByte disk drives.

The U.S. Army is giving smartphones to soldiers. Of course, why not give a soldier a radio and a computer? Why did it take this long?

Broadcom has its own dual-core chip for use in cell phones.

Only a matter of time, but someone has Ubuntu running on the Google CR-48 along with Chrome OS.

The U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals rules that the Fourth Amendment applies to email. This is the amendment about search and seizure. The government must obtain a court order before getting your email from your ISP. I wish the government will not appeal this to a higher court, but who knows. And I thought that all this evil government stuff left town with Bush and Cheney.

And yes this is about to arrive, a device that receives WiMax and then serves as a WiFi router. Wonderful.

Let the screaming begin, an insider claims that the FBI has keys to back doors into OpenBSD security.

Sprint's 4G (WiMax) is much faster than its 3G - so says this test in New York city.

Nokia will layoff 800 people in Finland.

Email me at d.phillips@computer.org
Go to Day Book Home and pointer to previous weeks
Go to Dwayne's Home Page

Thursday December 16, 2010

Flipboard - the iPad app of the year 2010 - gets a major upgrade today.

Even Facebook is using facial recognition technology now. That was science fiction when I was studying it in the 1980s.

2010 - the year in robots - neat video.

The stuxnet virus supposedly set back the Iranian nuclear program two years. Nice job somebody out there.

Twitter gets lots more money to keep expanding. I would have thought that Twitter didn't need any more money, perhaps they are not yet profitable.

Cubicles are shrinking in the office. I once sat in a cubicle in the 1990s. I had 15 square feet of space. I have worked in even smaller environments. Such is life in some government agencies.

Apple to upgrade all the MacBook Pros in 2011 - as well as bringing the iPad 2. Some estimate Apple to sell 6 million new iPads every month. That is a lot of anything. And Apple will lower the prices on the desktop iMac.

Not everyone likes the idea behind Google's Chrome OS. What is the difference between it and Android? And the Richard Stallman doesn't like the idea of giving away your privacy to cloud computing. I have to second Stallman's reservations.

Oracle announces its own on-line office suite - Cloud Office. This will compete with Google Docs and Microsoft.

Another report on the Millenials - age 18-33.

Microsoft announces a number of improvements to Bing. I like using Bing.

A Federal court says that you have to have a warrant to obtain cell site tracking information. This falls under the fourth amendment. This is the second Federal court ruling this week that limits the wishes of the current administration. I know I keep writing this, but I thought all those evil government guys left town with Bush and Cheney. You mean some of them are in the Obama administration?

Email me at d.phillips@computer.org
Go to Day Book Home and pointer to previous weeks
Go to Dwayne's Home Page

Friday December 17, 2010

Top of the list for today - this isn't a real product yet, but the idea is intriguing. Put tiny electronics onto the spinal column. Sense pain signals in the spine and send other signals to relieve the pain.

This app is a little goofy, but is an outstanding combination of several advanced technology. Word Lens transaltes English-Spanish-and-back and shows the result on the image in the same place. See the photo in the link. This is outstanding.

Apple has two-thirds of the digital music market.All this from that little white iPod thing.

The all-in-one desktop computer market is growing, and Apple, with its iMacs, is leading the way.

The cost of broadband service to the home is falling in other countries while rising slowly in the U.S.

Julian Assange is out of a London jail on bail.

An external hard disk drive that doubles as a multi-touch track pad. Well, it is different.

Volkswagon as an all-electric taxi concept car.

Version 11 of the Opera browser is out. I just downloaded it.

This is wild - a little Apple MacBook Air running four computer screens at once. One of the screens is an Apple IIC, circa 1981.

The rumor is that Yahoo will turn off Delicious. I hate that news. I love to use Delicious. Anyways, here is a link to one of many posts showing up now about how to export your links to something else.

Ah, good old U.S. immigration policy. If you are educated and want to start a business that will hire dozens of people, the State Department will probably boot you out of the country.

You've got to be kidding about his home office. It is too wonderful to be true. Such an open-air office wouldn't work in Northern Virginia as it has been in the 20s during the day the past two weeks.

Retailers don't like shoppers with cell phones. The reason is simple: these shoppers have lots of information at hand, and the informed shopper may not always buy their widgets at your store.

The concept of the "pocket airport." These are for the soon-to-be-released flying car. You don't fly the car like a pilot flies an airplane today. The car flies itself. I am not sure if people are ready for that one.

California has approved the first molten salt solar energy plant. Why does this have to be approved by a government bureaucracy? Perhaps the approval process is the thing that is keeping America from developing new energy sources? Has anyone in any of these government bureaus ever thought of that one?

Email me at d.phillips@computer.org
Go to Day Book Home and pointer to previous weeks

Go to Dwayne's Home Pag

Saturday December 18, 2010

Probably won't do much viewing today. We drove all night from Northern Virginia to Southeastern Louisiana to visit family for Christmas.

Gosh, it is warm down here. It is 45 degrees. I haven't seen 45 degrees in weeks.

Email me at d.phillips@computer.org
Go to Day Book Home and pointer to previous weeks
Go to Dwayne's Home Page

Sunday December 19, 2010

Even the TSA admits that they are really lousy at finding weapons on travellers.  Yet they keep spending our tax dollars. Yes, this is another great example of your tax dollars at waste.

In telematics systems, like OnStar, there are imobilizer units that can make the car imobile. These imobilizers are protected by encryption. Well, gues what? That encryption isn't so protective. Is everyone ready for national electronic health records?

Here are some writing tools that run on the iPad.

Some thoughts on using a desk that requires you to stand. Add a stool or sorts and you can sit now and then.

Sugar plus caffiene may improve concentration. A nap works for me.

Excellent qoute here from Joseph Pulitzer: Put it before them briefly so they will read it, clearly so they will appreciate it, picturesquely so they will remember it and, above all, accurately so they will be guided its light. (I added the boldface.)

Here is an excellent list of travel gear.

Here is a selection of free on-line writing courses from universities. Good stuff.

I love this story about the Cascase Writers Workshop. Why go to a workshop when you can host your own?

A little different way to use Google's ngram feature in their Google books site. Charting a number of computer terms over the last 40 years.

The Wall Street Journal tested 101 apps for the iPhone and found that many of them leak personal information.

If you have powerful electric motors and nothing to do, why not build a racing motorcycle?

Horizontal surfaces that sit out in the sun? Put solar panels on them! For example, put them on a tent.

Email me at d.phillips@computer.org
Go to Day Book Home and pointer to previous weeks
Go to Dwayne's Home Page