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: December 27, 2010-January 2, 2011

Summary of this week:

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

Monday December 27,  2010

No viewing today. My Internet cafe failed me.

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Tuesday December 28, 2010

It is that time again, the end of the calendar year, when we see lots of "year in review" posts. So here goes:
The year in enhancing reality.
The year in materials.
The year's best tech products.
The year in biomedicine.

There is a revolution in progress in the field of artificial intelligence. People aren't calling it AI, but intead "apps." The ability to read signs with a telephone that are printed in a foreign language and then show the telephone owner a translation was far-fetched science fiction 20 years a go. That is the result of AI research. AI will always be a field of research, and with each generation, people will accept as normal the output of that research.

Newsweek has a big feature story on Marissa Mayer. She was a smart, attractive woman who got a job at a startup company that became the Google empire. Yes, she played a hand in making Google what it is. How much of the attention paid to her is directly of her technical and managerial doing is a matter of debate.

The prices of those really small portable computers keeps falling. This is probably a result of the iPad. Hurray for competition and innovation in the marketplace. Now if we could just get government out of the auto industry and return some of this competitive innovation to that industry.

HP is already listing new portable computers with the soon-to-be-released Intel processors.

Putin has order Russian governments to move to GNU/Linux. This would be a massive switch if it actually occurs.

Researchers at the University of Glasgow have built a 1,000-core processors. I guess that in five years this will be a commercial product.

Now Sears and Kmart, are they still in business?, have their own movie download services.

As planned, Sprint now has WiMax service in the San Franciso area.

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Wednesday December 29, 2010

More attempts to make the smart-grid work. Off course, people could hack into your grid, learn if you are home, and then rob your house, but since the system is (not) secure, this will (probably) not happen.

And now for a more worthy use of technology: VerbalVictor app helps people speak.

And this finger glove is fantastic. Its camera reads text (it can also get text from the internet) and causes actuators inside the glove to produce Braille. Yes, it allows a blind person to read anything.

Using telepresence to teach languages.  Telepresence has enormous potential. It is only up to managers with a little insight into what can be done.

At least one group of people in the U.S. have installed visible light communication systems. LEDs provide light for a room. They are also blinking a million times a second. That is too quick for people to notice, but just right for light sensors to detect. Those blinks per second are bits per second.

The Kinect is a video camera that has software that senses motion. Hmmm, lots of cell phones have cameras, so load the software and there you have it - touchless interface to cell phones.

Will the Chinese language soon surpass English on the Internet? Probably. This may be another VHS-Betamax situation where the inferior system surpasses a superior system just because it does. The use of Chinese characters is inferior to the English word system in that you cannot "sound it out" in the Chinese system. Instead, you memorize thousands of pictograms. Memorization ability far out reaches thinking ability in that system. There are obvious consequences.

It seems that people are still speculating about what Apple will do with its North Carolina data center.

Solar panels for your pants? I think it is a good idea, although I have lots of reservations about this implementation.

Someone has somehow calculated the average Internet use of people by country. Canadians spend more time online than anyone else. I don't know if this means anything.

The iPad dominated holiday spending. No one else is even close.

I love this little one from Seth Godin "measuring busy-ness is easier than measuring business" This isn't original with Godin. I have seen it in many places over many years. Still, I continue to encounter managers who don't understand this. That is amazing.

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Thursday December 30, 2010

More looking back on 2010.
The year in computing.
The year in the web.
The year in energy.
The year in mobile.

The world is now safe that we have Skype on the iPhone and even with video chat.

The ongoing saga of whether Delicious will survive. If I only had $20 million, I would...

Startups in Silicon Valley are hiring engineers as fast as they can. This is bad news for taxpayers as all the work in Silicon Valley that is done for the Federal government, and there is billions of dollars of it, will cost us much more.

The blizzard in the Northeast was terrible! Well, if you run a motel or restaurant near an airport, it was great. And if you sold goods online, it was great.

GSM phone calls are (not) secure given their encryption. A few cheap cell phones, a portable computer, some open-source software and there you have it - no privacy. Is everyone ready for national electronic health records?

Despite the obvious lack of security, Verizon will show a home monitoring and control system in January. Will anyone learn?

Ah, we have such big problems in society today. Should portable computers be banned in college classrooms? This at a time when we are trying to bring such into high school classrooms. Colleges are funny places when it comes to remembering who the customer is and who the service provider is.

Intel Solid State Drives in the mini-SATA form factor. Smaller packages and lots of new applications.

South Korea has a new line of commerical all-electric buses. I guess we could do this in the U.S. if it were okay with the unions and the government regulators.

One of the differences between the Pentagon Papers of the 1970s and WikiLeaks of today in that in the 1970s four volumes of diplomatic negotiations were NOT published.

Telematics (OnStar and the like) strikes again. Parents can control the radio FM/XM while thier kids are out driving. Gee, I wonder if one day someone in Congress will hear about this and ...

The 3D printers (replicators) are gaining in ability. Here is a concert-quality flute printed from one.

The Zypher solar-powered UAV continues to set flight records.

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Friday December 31, 2010

To tired to view the Internet after driving all night to return home from Louisiana.

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Saturday January 1, 2011

Happy New Year

I like this description of the iPad - Disruptive product of the year.

Predictions for 3D printers in 2011.

The Nook is the best selling product in the history of Barnes and Noble. There is a B&N near my house, and I see their Nook displays. I had no idea that they were selling any of these.

Biggest scientific discoveries of 2010. This is all subjective.

Neat photos of Bell Labs in the 1960s.  Whoever took the photos was really pushing the idea that women worked  at the lab.

And we have Windows 7 and OS X running on  a Google CR-48. I don't think it is legal to run OS X on that machine.

The Library of Congress would like to make movies available. Oh, but there are those copyright things in the way.

There is a place in Kansas that still develops Kodachrome film. They are being flooded with film to be developed. Bring back Kodachrome!

A plea that Linux is just as grandmother-ready as Windows 7. The plea makes sense, but...

This is great - the top 50 qoutes about programming.

It appears that passenger travel in the industrial world has peaked and plateaued.

The evolution of mass storage in computing. Neat history.

How to colonize Mars. This plan will never be followed. Why the pessimism? We can't build a railroad anymore without studying it for ten years.

The Chinese government has declared VOIP (like Skype) to be illegal. Interesting times for the Chinese subjects.

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Sunday January 2, 2011

Wikipedia raises $16 million in donations in 2010. This will allow it to remain ad-free.

A few tips on goal setting for writers.

And 13 tips from 13 years of freelancing. I like:
. write in your head - give yourself time to think before sitting and putting fingers to keyboard
. have a system - this is a framework that permits greater creativity
. take a shower - get out of bed every morning, take a shower, put on nice clean clothes.

In the Netherlands, part-time work is becoming more the norm. Young people just out of school are opting for four-day-a-week jobs because the have enough money and want more time. Interesting shift.

How do writers and others find inspiration? By working. Working spurs inpsiration, not the other way around. Warning: this happens the vast majority of the time, but still less than 100% of the time.

Look smarter as a writer - use brevity and clarity.

I love the featured worspaces from LifeHacker.com.
Gray walls and an ocean view. But with this view, how do you do any work?
Hiding all the cables and power bricks under a hinged table top.

The psychology of positive change. This is a bit deep, but the early statement is true - you gotta do something everyday, don't just wish and dream your life away.

In a similar vein, stop putting off your dreams.

Facebook may use the old Sun headquarters as its new headquarters. I remember reading Dave Thomas' autobiography. He built Wendy's and Kentucky Fried Chicken and other successful businesses. The corporate headquarters was an unnecessary weight on companies. It drew attention away from their real jobs.

15 top technical articles from 2010.

If it won't fit on a Post-It, it won't fit in your day. I like this.

A writer's successful experience with co-working. This is when you go to a desk that you rent in a room full of other freelancers who rent desks there.

One writer's ten tips for writing.

The use of writing prompts.

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