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: April 11-17, 2011

Summary of this week:

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

Monday April 11,  2011

Here is something for the home from LG - a display, 47", transparent, touch screen. I don't think they left anything out.

The Office of Naval Research has developed some ship-borne lasers. A big technical hurdle in all this is compensating for the up and down motion of a ship at sea - both the ship carrying the laser and the target.

About 2% of the population is known as "short sleepers." They sleep four hours a night, every night, their entire life. They are refreshed, have energy all their waking hours. I'm wish...

35 years ago this month, the Apple I computer was built by Woz and Jobs
. I remember seeing an Apple II in a store in Baton Rouge in 1979. It was for games for something. Then came that spreadsheet program, and the whole thing took off.

In the 1800s, Ivy League schools fought over the small number of qualified students. They have done a magnificent job of turning this upside down and making people feel like they must attend Harvard and the like. The New York Times story also has a link to the Harvard entrance exam. They didn't teach Greek grammar at my high school, so I would have had no chance at passing the test.

Retinal implants are allowing some blind people to see again. Then they have to learn how to see. It isn't as easy as most of us think.

Interesting, the education bubble. “A true bubble is when something is over-valued and intensely believed." Yes, I think education qualifies for that. I shudder when I see people attending $30,000+ a year private colleges on loads so they can work with children, i.e., at a pre-school at minimum wage.

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Tuesday April 12, 2011

The concept of universal design or designing for everyone. From the post, it seems that designing so that the physically less able can use a system enables almost everyone else to use that system easier. There are, of course, the exceptions to this idea.

More news on the brain-computer interface. Excellent.

Yet another new video service on the Internet - VHX.tv - nice name. This one promises to be different and better. Time will tell.

A discussion at work yesterday led us to the McGuffey Reader. These books and this method worked. Around the 1950s educated American educators decided we needed new methods, so they invented methods that didn't work. And here we sit today with billions of dollars wasted and millions of Americans who cannot read.

Don't look now, but Microsoft's Bing has 30% of the U.S. search market.

I like this one - head-coupled perspective. They use the user-facing camera on an iPad 2 to give a 3D-like perspective on the display. Good idea to use the camera to augment the display software.

Here is a camera the size of a grain of salt.

I like this perspective. All this digital power has given us a dividend. Are we going to use it or waste it?

Adobe has just started a monthly subscription service for some of its software. I like this. I would "rent" a $600 product for a month for $40. Actually, I like the one dollar-a-day plan better, but there is a limit to this type of thing. Rent by the hour?

No details, but Moleskine will soon have an iPhone iPad app. Moleskine is the journal that I have used for several years now.

The private information of 3.5 million Texans was posted publicly on a government web site. Of course this was a mistake. Most leaks like this are mistakes as their are people involved and we tend to, well you know, make mistakes. Is everyone ready for national electronic health records. I hear that people will be involved with those, too.

Stowe Boyd finds a few co-working services that rent a desk by the day. This is like renting a motel room. I like the idea. Perhaps one reason is that I am sitting in a motel right now. It is one of those motels that has a little kitchen in the room. A small team could rent a couple of these rooms and do a proposal (a one-week project) at relatively low cost. A person could convert a garage into an office and conference room and rent that by the day. And then throw in child care for the day as well. Perhaps there are local ordances against such. We wouldn't want to attract the wrong element - information workers - to the neighborhood.

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Wednesday April 13 2011

No viewing today, busy driving about the beltway and such.

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Thursday April 14, 2011

I am in a motel this morning. The WiFi signal barely reaches this corner of the place. The Internet is quite slow, so viewing is agony.

Activities consume time. Guess what, people who use iPads are not doing other things.

The next version of the Safari browser will have a "do not track" feature.

Next year, Intel will support both USB 3.0 and Thunderbolt interfaces. I love it, great for consumers who produce.

Japan is still rocking in aftershocks. These shocks are called earthquakes everywhere else in the world. Large shocks. We have to forget about the nuclear power plants and understand the magnitude of the natural disaster.

Just what every home needs - a Sharp 70-inch HDTV. Wow.

iRobot - the guys who make those little robot vacuum cleaners - signs a $230Million deal with the U.S. Navy for bomb finding and disposal robots.

Cool video of the day - the Empire State Building being struck by lightning last night - three times.

1969, an email is sent from this room at UCLA to Stanford - the Internet is born.

I like this - nerdy day trips - these are around London.

Some thoughts on resilience engineering.

Brain stimulation accelerates learning. Let us be careful about "stimulating the brain" with artificial means. The side effects could be, well you know, unintended buy quite severe.

VMware announces an open-source cloud foundry.

This is new - NOT - the U.S. Census Bureau opens an innovation center. Good luck with that one. Your tax dollars at waste.

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Friday April 15, 2011

No viewing this morning as I had breakfast with some fine gentleman and then later coffee with another fine gentleman.

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Saturday April 16, 2011

Here is a photo tour of Facebook's new data center. It is claimed to be the most energy efficient in the world. It certainly is a large place.

And here is a new, large, efficient data center from Cisco.

The sale of eBooks tripled in a year. They now top paper books - so this source says. I am a little doubtful.

People are still camping overnight to buy iPad 2 units. Some are buying them only to sell them again. They are performing a service as they stand in line (overnight). Other people are willing to pay for that service.

Best Buy is reported to have iPad 2 units on Sunday.

The United Arab Emirates is restricting the use of the Blackberry by its subjects.

Microsoft's Internet Explorer 10 won't run on XP AND it won't run on Vista - only Windows 7.

File Transfer Protocol ftp is 40 years old.

The TSA is much more likely to give extra scrutiny to passengers who complain about the TSA while they are standing in line. I guess this is some type of attitude profiling.

This might develop into something really big. Researchers have found a way that light can charge batteries.

Gimp 2.7.2 is released.

The Principle of Least Software: Use only the software that you need. No more, no less. Choose one application for each task, and become an expert on that application.

The portable computer: 2004 and 2011.

The President (of the United States) is complaining about how far behind IT is in the Federal government. This week, we sent a document to an agency that I shall not name on 3.5" floppy disk because they couldn't read CDs. There are many reasons why the government is behind in the rest of the world in IT. One is that there are far too many Federal employees and no one can afford to give them up-to-date IT. Then there is the subject of wasteful managers. I doubt either of these two items will be addressed.

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Sunday April 17, 2011

Red Hat is about to release a new programming language called Ceylon. It will replace Java. This second part is speculative as in the history of programming languages few if any languages have been "replaced."

The Motorola Xoom isn't selling well. Other companies are seeing this and delaying the introduction of their tablets. I was in a store last week and saw a Xoom display. The only thing gathering about it was dust. That sadened me.

Here is a look at Buckminster Fuller's original dome home. I want one.

The Spillionaires of south Louisiana. Sigh.

Wikipedia isn't dead yet. The site registers some 1,800 new editors every day.

The government has a plan for an national Internet identity. This is a take off on a national ID card, but clothed in Internet. Here is a (not so) wild prediction. The government will hire the lowest-bid contractor to implement the system. The contractor will have a dozen smart people work on it for a couple of years. The a couple dozen thousand smart people will go to work for fun to break the system and ... here is the not so surprising outcome - the system will be broken in five minutes.

Jerry Weinberg writes about how fast is writing fast. I am the reader who posed the question in his post. At least I am one reader who posed that question. I wouldn't be surprised if Jerry had been asked that question many times by many different people.

I love this qoute from a writer giving advice to another writer: "What’s going wrong for you is that you’re trying to use a solution you don’t need for a problem you don’t have." The problem at hand is outlining a novel. Many novelists don't need to outline as they just start typing the words and keep going.

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