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: January 17-23, 2011

Summary of this week:

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

Monday January 17,  2011

Photoacoustic imaging to see inside the body and detect disease. Interesting.

Toyota seems to be ahead of the game on this one. They are redesigning their electric motors to be less dependent on rare materials from China.

Keyless car entry - not secure and not a surprise. Is everyone ready for those national electronic health records?

The Department of Homeland Security spent a billion dollars $$$ on a virtual electric fence on the Mexican border that didn't work. So now they are spend only three quarters of a billion dollars (more $$$) on other technical means. Let's see, for a couple of billion dollars you could hire ... Your tax dollars at waste.

In Taiwan, a vending machine recommends purchases based on recognizing characteristics in a person's face. This research was funded by the government there. Silly? Well at least they didn't waste a billion dollars on a virtual fence that didn't work.

Robots are coming to the office. Silly? So far, yes, but maybe one day.

Beware of the cell phone. If yours is stolen your life may turn upside down several times. Those little devices hold a lot of important information.

Technology celebrities are infamous for their bad style in dress. At least the fashion police say so. What do they know? Did they invent an operating system that runs most of the world's computers? Huh? Did they? Funny pictures here.

Apple's 2011 versions of the iPad and iPhone should have a newer A4 chip with more power and especially more graphics power.

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

Tuesday January 18, 2011

Facebook grabbed $1.86Billion in advertising last year. That is a large number and it is approaching that of Google.

Steve Jobs goes on medical leave again. This is bad news for him personally. The health of Apple is pretty good regardless. They project to sell 100 million iPhones and 40 million iPads in 2011.

And the 2011 iPad (2) will have? "two cameras, a vastly improved screen and graphics processor, a thinner form factor at the same aspect ratio, better speakers, and possibly an SD card slot."

I love this one - a display that receives data AND power via a USB port.

A good little tutorial on 2G 3G 4G and such.

Interesting, odd fonts make the reader concentrate more and hence remember more. That seems counterintuitive, but this study shows such. So if you are studying, print your notes in an odd font.

Productivity while travelling from a world traveller. One note that I like is to stop, stand still, and work one full day for every two days of travel.

Clever, someone figured out how to make a clock that runs fast before lunch and slow during lunch giving you 12 extra minutes between noon and 1PM.

For those who love to feel sand between their toes, put a sandbox in your office and your desk in the sandbox.

Mining minerals from the moon. People have dreamed of this for years. Today's robotic and communications technologies make this possible without sending any people there. We do have, however, many legal and ethical issues. I fear upsetting orbits by removing mass from our moon.

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

Wednesday January 19, 2011

It appears that businesses will buy 10 million tablet computers in 2011. I think that Apple will make a lot more money. Apple is doing quite well (see below).

Apple is nearing 10 billion downloads to the iPhone. That is a large number. Here are the most popular free downloads.

Apple's quarter ending 25 December 2011 set record highs for everything. They are bringing in the cash in alarming numbers.

Intel is putting $2.7Billion in to a chip manufacturing plant in Israel. I like this. I like to see companies making large investments in the Mid-East. If enough countries in the Mid-East become part of the high-tech world, they are less likely to drop bombs on each other. At least that is my hope.

Starbucks is expanding its pay-by-cellphone program. I use a Starbucks card. That card adds a little thickness to me wallet. I carry my iPhone all the time anyways, so paying by iPhone instead of card would be nice for me.

Webcams are pretty much assessible to anyone who wants to pry. Please take care with yours.

Some computer science graduates are paid $200,000 per year? Is this crazy or just another exageration?

Volvo is conducting tests on the autonomous "road train" concept. In this, a line of vehicles connect via RF. Each vehicle does what the vehicle in front of it does without the driver doing anything. No foot on the pedals, no hands on the steering wheel. I know this would reduce accidents on the Interstates coming into the Washington D.C. area. I hope Volvo and others make rapid progress on this. The cultural adjustment, however, will be far more difficult than the technical issues.

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

Thursday January 20, 2011

The University of Manchester is digitizing a 500-year-old, large-format Koran. Fascinating project and process. More on the project here as well.

Guess what? The smart grid has security holes all over the place.

Intel's newer, lower power processors are headed for the Apple line of portable computers.

By revenue, Apple is the world's leading cell phone maker.

More advances in the area of flexible camera lenses. We have a long way to go to make something like the human eyeball, but we are moving in that direction.

The Boeing 787 is three years behind schedule and slipping. Has Boeing tried to rise above their level of competency? Have all aircraft makers in the world done so? It may be time for the collapse of the big boys and a new awakening in aircraft.

Here's a idea I didn't think of...MIT and others have their courses online. The online material is just that, slides and such, no interaction with a teacher. So independent teachers pop up offering a service, "I will help you work through MIT's material." There are many opportunities out there for in-person teachers created by on-line materials.

MSCi, Microsat Systems Canada, Inc., has a plan to launch 78 satellites to improve high-speed connectivity. The trick here is the satellites will fly in low orbit, and MSCi believes that will enable using far less expensive technology to reduce costs. We shall see, but it is a neat concept.

And that satellite story pointed me to this one: Google is backing a project that will use other satellites to bring the Internet to all those folks on earth who live in places without earth-bound communications infrastructure. The project is termed something like 3 billion because it seeks to bring the Internet to 3 billion people.

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

Friday January 21, 2011

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

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

Go to Dwayne's Home Pag

Saturday January 22, 2011

No viewing today. Instead, I drove around the beltway and worked on a project.

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

Sunday January 23, 2011

I lost some of the notes I had taken earlier in the week on writing. I will find them and post them on another Sunday.

An odd story: People are pointing high-power laser pointers at airplanes. I don't see the fun in that, but evidently some people do.

The Legistlative branch of government writes the tax laws. The citizens read the tax laws. The Executive branch of government gets mad at the citizens for reading the tax laws. This is a fascinating system we have here - chasing citizens for reading and then call them "tax cheats".

New CEOs at Apple and Google - sort of.

I don't like these stories - a woman arrested for recording a conversation with Police investigators. Those are public employees spending the public's money. It seems like the public should be able to record the expense of our own money. Perhaps I am missing something here, but perhaps not.

Is cyberwarfare and its threats over-hyped? Some thoughts on the question.

Some evidence that writing by hand brings more thought than writing by keyboard.

IBM is about to turn 100 years old. That is quit an accomplishment. See the history videos.

An interesting way to hack a computer via a smartphone and the USB port.

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