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: March 14-20, 2011

Summary of this week:

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

Monday March 14,  2011

More evidence that car computer systems have plenty of security holes.

The deep-ocean assessment and reporting of tsunamis  (DART) isn't reliable in that only 60% of the bouys are operational at any time.

It seems that Apple sold about every single iPad 2 they had in the stores. Great success, great failure in that lots of consumers are upset.

And the iPad 2 has already been hacked.

Here is a description of the bunkers that house many of the Internet's primary servers.

The best analysis of the situation in Japan that I have found is in Jerry Pournelle's site.  Jerry knows  people who have built nuclear power plants, earthquate-resistant structures, and who live in  Japan. They write in with lucid  news and commentary.  Such is the brilliance found on the  Internet, and this is yet another reason why the mainstream media is dying in the face of the net.

The above does not diminish the magnitude of the tragedy. The death toll will be in the tens of thousands. The real story is in the coastal villages. The reports should be there, not sitting in New York speculating about meltdowns and other technical topics that are beyond their degrees in journalism.

Calxeda is working on server chips with 480 cores. The basic idea is to design software for N servers, where N is an arbitrary number less than infinity but greater than several hundred.

I like this one from Seth Godin - blogs are dead, i.e., they are not "new" any longer whatever that means. His observation is that great works of conent came long after the media was invented. Gutenburg wasn't a great author. I may disagree with his not about the guitar as Les Paul was a big player in inventing the electric guitar and he is still arbuably the best electric guitar player of all time.

The legend of the RED camera lives on. I don't know a lot about this camera and company. They seem to be produced in small quantities, are expensive ($50,000), and are excellent. I admire excellence in design and construction of just about anything.

The days of unlimited Internet access are coming to an end. The ISPs claim that this will affect a small percentage of customers. Like in taxes, "don't tax me, don't tax thee, tax that fellow over behind that tree."

Google has shipped the last of the CR-48 Chrome-testing portable computers. I tried to get one, but alas have not. One of my son's college friends did receive one. Perhaps I should have misrepresented my age?

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Tuesday March 15, 2011

Real technology working wonders in the lives of people: Cyberdine continues to evolve its exoskeletons that will soon let people walk even though their muscles have stopped working.

Ars Technica looks at the iPad 2. More power in a smaller package.

And this report says that the iPad 2 has better graphics performance than NVIDIA-equipped tablets. That is a shocker.

Some of the Apple stores in affected areas of Japan are rallying points. The stores are some of the only places that still have WiFi connects to the Internet. Good for Apple. Nice job.

There is a strong rumor that some Apple retail stores will have a new shipment of iPad 2 units today. Also, some stores are to open early for iPad 2 cutomers. I did see a few people sitting outside the Apple store that is around the corner from the coffee shop I am sitting in right now (Community Canteen at Reston Town Center in Reston, Virginia).

Internet Explore 9 is released, but it won't run on Microsoft XP.

This post has it wrong. The nuclear power situation in Japan is not challenging future nuclear power around the world. It is the news media's reports on Japan that are challenging the future. Once again, the media is not content to report the news, but instead feels compelled to make the news.

The South by Southwest non-event event is showing that "laptop" computers are passe. In are mobile devices which include the MacBook Air - a really small portable computer.

This robot vacuum cleaner has a video camera and communications. Yes, it can be a remote-controlled surveillance system for the home.

Microsoft finally kills the Zune. Microsoft learned from that disaster as evidenced by the sucess of the Kinect.

Google updates Blogger. Let us recall that Blogger.com was one of the first big, no-cost blogging sites.

And Google updates the Street View portion of maps.

Twitter is now five years old.

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Wednesday March 16, 2011

Here is a post from a Westerner living in Japan. He felt the earthquake, but was far from the tsunami area. He watched Japanese television for a few hours before switching to the BBC and CNN. Read his post and you will know why he calls it the irresponsible foreign press. If you acuse CNN of being fear mongerers who will twist a story any way they can to get ratings and sell ads, you are crucified. Still, read the post and think about it.

Journalism and recognizing the community.

A reporter shoots a news story using only an iPad 2. That is a cute trick, but it shows how far we have come in technology.

A look at the Zite news magazine for the iPad. I have tried it and like it as well.

Meanwhile, The Daily, that big-name iPad newspaper, seems to be failing.

On the psychology of collaboration via computers.

Your webcam, that simple little thing, can be used to track eye movements and control your computer. Is the mouse going to disappear?

Ah, the TSA, the U.S. Constitution, and judges. A never-ending story. Maybe one day the TSA will go away, but it is very hard for Congress to stop funding Federal jobs in their home districts no matter how silly.

One man was fed up with the lack of broadband in his rural county of Virginia. So he formed his own ISP. I once lived in nearby Fauquier County. It is a nice place that is too quickly being swallowed by the Washington D.C. suburbs.

It seems that computer-based education goes back to the 1960s. This post misses the point that a big part of Bill Gates' suggested reforms to education is to remove the worst teachers from schools. Bigger classes with better teachers educates better than smaller classes with bad teachers.

Richard Stallman on cell phones. "Stalin's dream" and "the tools of big brother." Think he is a nut? Move to China or Cuba.

The future of nuclear power may be in very small sealed plants.  Still, the best coverage and analysis of Japan is at Jerry Pournelle's site.

Whoa! I love this office! Someone restored an Airstream trailer and built their office in it. Great stuff.

A look at the actual speeds from 4G networks.

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Thursday March 17, 2011

Google has added more commentary capability to their docs.

A long list of cuts at the Pentagon that still amount to a small percentage of the budget. Still, a billion dollars here, a billion dollars there, soon it adds up to funding a new stimulus bill.

The UK has altered its immigration policies to allow people to enter and stay if they are starting job-creating businesses. In the U.S. we are considering such changes...we are considering such changes...we are considering such changes...we are...

Internet Explorer 9 had 2.3 million downloads its first 24 hours. And it doesn't run on XP.

ASUS is trying to keep the market alive for the really small portable computer. The tablet, i.e., the iPad, has sort of killed that market. Still, if you have a good product you can sell a million units in a year. If you make $10 profit on each unit, well that isn't bad. So ASUS is trying to make a $200 model that runs a free OS.

Ah the free market, I love it, but not everyone does. Guys are buying all the iPad 2 units they can in New York City, shipping them to China (where they are made), selling them for a profit. Imagine the nerve of some people - trying to make money.

If you have the right kind of iPhone, you can tether the iPad 2 to it and skip paying all that extra money for a 3G iPad 2. There is a factor of convenience for buying the 3G model.

Finally, a music "game" that uses a real guitar. It sounds like (no pun intended) the "games" you play on typing tutor software where you score points by playing along with music that is shown on the screen. I like the idea. Let's see how the game actually works.

This must be a bad joke - U.S. Department of Education officials are threatening public school principals with lawsuits if the pricipals don't monitor and curb the bullying that some students do on their own time at home on thier own social media. Again, surely this is a joke, right? How in the world are principals going to monitor all this? Your tax dollars at waste.

A home-schooled, California teenagers won this year's Intel Science Talent Search - also wins $100,000.

This story is everywhere this morning - a group rates companies on how ethical they are. This year Microsoft is more ethical than Google and Apple and other notables.

Just found this, the Modular toolkit  for Data Processing (MDP). A large amount of open source Python code for data and signal processing.

The Individual Gunshot Detector - purports to locate the origin of a single gunshot. This is for the Army, but seems to be of more use to Police.

Samsung introduces its competitor to the MacBook Air. A really thin portable computer with solid state disks and a $1,600 price tag.

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Friday March 18, 2011

No viewing this morning as I had breakfast with a group of fine gentlemen.

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Saturday March 19, 2011

Another close look at the iPad 2. The disasters in Japan have hurt Apple in its efforts to meet the demand for the iPad 2. There are two or three weeks of parts on hand, but that is it.

A video made from a Japanese ship of the approaching tidal wave. The ship rides over the wave.

The latest dual-core processors from Intel are now in the stores from several makers.

Tonight, the moon will be closer to the earth than it will be in 28 years.

China has closed 130,000 Internet cafes in the last six years. So much for being a subject in China.

Guess what? The physical security on voting machines before an election is a joke. Which means that hackers can access them and alter elections.

And some experts explain how those "the radiation cloud is coming" graphics are misleading.

A couple of simple desks here and here.

Half the new computers sold in 2011 will have graphics processors in the central processing units.

Here is a rare from-space photo of a cloud-free Ireland. The nation is usually half covered by clouds at any point in time.

AMD drops the ATI graphics chip name brand.

The WiFi-only 7" Dell Streak is coming real soon now.

Awesome style - cufflinks that look steampunk and double as USB thumb drives. Awesome and fashionable - at least they are fashionable to some of us.

Firefox 4 is to be released on March 22nd.

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Sunday March 20, 2011

Mark your calendar for March 27th - the Mororola XOOM arrives (WiFi version).

Five reasons to start a writing group. I concur. The motivation and edification are the two biggest reasons and benefits that I have experienced.

Here is a social networking tip: if you are going to be married to two people at the same time, a.k.a, polygamy, don't put your wedding photos on Facebook.

In addition to leading or not leading an air war in Lybia, the U.S. military has been distributing aid to those affected in Japan.

A set of writing prompts.

You know you're an old writer when...

Here are some little habits that make life simpler. I had never thought of these before, but I find that I use many of the habits in the list. Simple and effective.

I like this post as it is a bit different. It calls itself a guide to being "cool." I tend to think of it as a guide to accepting one's own self.

Physical activities to increase your brain power. Sleep, eat, exercise - in that order.

And some productivity habits of a few famous people.

This is fantastic - a guy converts a school bus into a mobile home. He provides incredible detail.

The napping habits of eight famous men. I love it.

Proctastinating? Here are three tips that sound like they would lead to more procrastinating, but won't

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