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: January 3-9, 2011

Summary of this week:

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

Monday January 3,  2011

Facebook is valued at $50 billion - that is billion with a b.

Cameras are cheaper and computer vision algorithms are better today than ever. There are many possible outcomes. Some of them are chilling, but some are wonderful. One use would permit the elderly to live in their own homes.

Intel unleashes 29 new processors. More cores, more graphics, more power, less cost and all that we expect.

Vizio - the TV maker - shows its own tablet computer and cell phones.

It seems that the newer browsers are disregarding RSS. I live on RSS.

Toshiba teases us with its tablet computer that will be here real soon now.

What the experts say is true is often turning out to be false. This is especially true in medicine. Hmm, I wonder if one day we will decide that ADHD is normal and lots of other people are just plain uninteresting.

It is now illegal in California to impersonate someone online. The outcome will be interesting.

iRobot evolves its line of cleaning "robots."

Apple's OS X is ten years old this year. The linked post has a nice chart on the evolution of OS X and other Unix-like operating systems.

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Tuesday January 4, 2011

As if the world doesn't have big enough home TV screens, Vizio comes out with a 21:9 aspect ratio machine for the home. And it is 50" big.

It is CES week, so the companies are announcing lots of new machines.
Here are HP's updated portable computers. I never understood the appeal of a plaid pink cover for my computer, but evidently some people like them.
Here are Lenovo's updated machines.
And here are more from Lenovo.

And Lenovo introduces a line of all-in-one desktop computers called the IdeaCentres.

Google's Chrome browser claims a 10 percent market share.

Some thoughts on the cars of tomorrow. If they can just get these ideas past the regulators.

There is a lot of chatter on the Internet about the alarm clock not working on the iPhone in 2011. I just tested mine and it worked (although my test didn't roll over midnight). I haven't used my iPhone alarm this year as I have always awakened before the alarm was supposed to sound. Maybe tomorrow I should lie about and see if it rings.

I love these mobile cameras disguised as snow, and then a polar bear destroys one. This is great.

More news on the site Quora. Supposedly, experts answer your questions there. I shall have to investigate.

Intel's newest processors have digital restriction management built into them.

Windows 7 has now reached 20% market share. Vista never reached that mark. Windows XP still has a large share of the market. We use XP at work, but then we are a U.S. government contractor and we do what the government does. Maybe by 2020 the government will be at Windows 7.

A gas worker in England, I am not sure what a gas worker is but it doesn't sound glamorous, discovers four new planets without a telescope. He discovered the planets by analyzing data.

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Wednesday January 5, 2011

Honda is almost ready to bring a small jet plane to market. It flies faster and achieves better fuel efficiency than other similar jets.

The Russians may have a acheived a solution to the radio blackout problem for re-entering spacecraft.

DRAM chips are at a one-year price low due to over production.

This is a great photo. It shows the recent solar eclipse with the international space station flying through the photo.

The California Supreme Court has ruled that when a police officer arrests you, the officer can search the contents of your cell phone without a warrant because anything on your body is fair game once you are arrested. We shall see how this one plays out in the greater court system.

The Apache web server software is running on 152 million servers. That is a 50% growth in 2010, which reverses earlier declines.

A look inside GoogleLabs.

Forrester expects sales of tablets to double in 2011. I guess Apple will make a lot of money. Someone else will emerge as number two.

750 million photographs were uploaded to Facebook over the New Year's Weekend. These numbers are expected, but that should not detract from the concept that this is staggering. Facebook has become the largest repository of photographs in the history of mankind. Where does Facebook find the disk space? This is capitalism and the market at its best. Out of nothing, someone create dozens of fortunes and millions of jobs.

Does this provide safety for customers or surveillance on citizens? Guard towers in Wal Mart parking lots.

This may become something of value, terrain-sensing technology built into a wheel chair so that the chair goes in the right direction.

Maybe this is silly, but I like it (see photo). Goggles with flashlights and video cameras attached. This is good (?) for skiiing and scuba and snow storms and sand storms and rain storms, I guess.

Eye-Fi updats again. Now you can move your images from camera to mobile device.

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Thursday January 6, 2011

Yes, the Consumer Electronics Show is this week. I can tell by the explosion in posts on tech blogs like Engadget. I cannot keep up with all the posts.

Noise-cancelling earbuds from Sennheiser. Nice, but not cheap at over $300. When I travelled a lot, my Bose headphones were indispensible. Great things.

Behold what the printer has become. This is a new example from Canon. It does just about everything with a great user interface and all sorts of other special things. I have a new HP printer and it does just about all this crazy stuff as well. These printers cost under $200. There was a time when printers cost a thousand dollars and were loud and slow. I will never forget reading a prediction some 30 years ago that because printers had so many physical moving parts that their price would never come down.

Here is a waterproof, weatherproof HDTV. If I bought one of these, I would have to install a swimming pool.

Microsoft sold 8 million Kinect sensors in its first 60 days. It appears that Microsoft hit on something here. Much like Apple was saved by making a music player.

And Microsoft continues to evolve its Surface technology.

Texas Instruments evolves its DLP chipset. In a year we will see more and better pico projectors.

This is a bit, no it is more than a bit, strange. Sega has developed a game for urinals (men's bathroom only).

Microsoft is experimenting with putting a data center into what is essentially a barn. The cool Washington air cools the computers. The barn walls just keep out stuff. I like the idea.

Linux kernal 2.6.37 has been released.

How smart people can be bad employees. There are an equal number of ways that not-so-smart people can become bad employees.

Apple may be working on its own cloud-based operating system. This would be much like the Chrome OS from Google?

Whatever Quora is, it is exploding.

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Friday January 7, 2011

No viewing today as instead I had breakfast with some fine gentlemen.

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Saturday January 8, 2011

The U.S. Department of Justice obtained a court order requiring Twitter to provide information on WikiLeaks-related accounts.

Lady Gaga has new goggles provided by Polaroid. This is an odd partnership. The new goggles display the outside what you would expect to be displayed on the inside. We shall see if anything becomes of this.

The government of Tunisia is censoring a lot of blogs and social networks.

Intel says its Light Peak interconnect technology is ready for the market. The first implementation, however, will use coppe wire instead of fibre optics.

Don't buy an iPad today or this week or this month. The iPad 2 is coming in February? We shall see.

Now Skype can run on a Sony Blue-Ray player. You know, there are computers in all these appliances, so why not?

I love the appearance of this Fuji digital camera. It looks like a good-old fashioned camera. By the way, when will we stop calling these things cameras and start calling them "imagers?"

College upperclassmen still fail at scientific reasoning. I don't know why this is a surprise to anyone. I know few adults - out of college with college degrees - who have any scientific reasoning. This is especially the case in news reporters.

Booth babes at CES.

Engadget has too many entries from CES to read or even peruse.

I come across lots of travel photos on the Internet. This one is of one of the most wonderful places on earth - the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone.

People are buying lots of the new Internet-enabled HDTVs. Oooops, they have big security holes.

The One Laptop Per Child machine version 1.75 has been displayed at CES. The news is that it consumes half the electrical power as the prior version.

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Sunday January 9, 2011

18 reasons to not have a TV in your bedroom.

A great post from Jerry Weinberg: The Universal Pattern of Huge Software Losses.

A big smile here - 30 great qoutes about writing.

A couple of "how to make money blogging" posts:
the other one

Hey, I like this. A point system to keep track of how much of your writing is out there in front of people who will pay you for writing. To succeed, you need a lot of items out there. I mean, something like 50 short stories out there circulating among people with money. That is a lot of writing and marketing. This is a real job folks, not a hobby.

A new edition of Mark Twain's Huckleberry Finn has been released. In this edition, a few words have been replaced by words that people will say these days as opposed to words that peopld said in the 1800s. The linked post has excellent commentary on the topic of replacing words. I note this as I once bought a copy of a few Twain works and set them in a waiting area in our office. A week later, the books were removed as someone found them to contain objectionable words. Funny how adults can be afraid of words.

The Oasis project  from Intel Labs. This could become interesting. More image processing with knowledge about what a type of object would do. For example, a dragon shoots fire and sets things ablaze. A fire truck douses flames.

Yes, writers and other make lots of mistakes when it comes to marketing. #1 - Don't do marketing. That is me. At this time, I don't need the money, so I don't worry about this.

America's Social Security Administration is using a computer center built in 1979. I was still in college in 1979! They have tried again and again and spent more and more of our money trying in vain to update this center. The entire operation is about to collapse. You tax dollars at waste.

The American way - spend more money than you have. If you are the government, just print it. It is only paper. This is more of your tax dollars at waste.

"Smart" traffic lights in South Africa have SIM cards in them. So what to do? Steal them and use the SIM cards to make international phone calls.

Expect a wave of "smart" appliances for the home. Read yesterday's entry about the security holes in smart HDTVs. Are we all ready for connecting our home to devices that let hackers know what we are doing, our bank accounts, our health records? Oh well, maybe we are.

Real-time face recognition from a cell phone. Amazing technology.

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