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 18-24, 2011

Summary of this week:

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

Monday April 18,  2011

DropBox now has 25 million users. I have used DropBox for the past several months. I like it. There is something about it that is much easier to use than other store-your-files-up-here-in-the-cloud services. Plus, it allows me to read files on my iPad that other services don't.

Apple has switched from Toshiba to Samsung for its solid state disks for the MacBook Air.

Some thoughts on Apple, the iPad 2, the cloud, the desktop computer, and the like. Interesting.

The iPhone 4 will soon be the most used camera for Flickr photos. What surprises me is that the Nikon D90 currently holds that spot. The Nikon camera is excellent and costs above $1,000. How did the world go from a thousand-dollar camera to one that basically comes free with your phone?

Wireless sensors are inexpensive. There are literally millions (I would have guessed billions) of them all over the planet. Who will grab all or at least most of the data and make it useful. Lots of money to be made here.

A hacker claims that he broke into a wind turbine system. SCADA systems are as prone to poor security as all the other systems. Is everyone ready for national electronic health records?

Armenia is making chess a required subject in school. I like the idea in that it would promote better thinking. Armenia, however, has other motivations. They want to become a world chess power. It will be interesting to see what the side effects are.

Global climate what? "In 2005, the United Nations Environment Programme predicted that climate change would create 50 million climate refugees by 2010. These people, it was said, would flee a range of disasters including sea level rise, increases in the numbers and severity of hurricanes, and disruption to food production." The UN deleted the original web page. Here, however, is a copy of it that was saved. It seems that many of the areas that were to be deserted by fleeing refugees have actually increased in population. Hmmm. Perhaps they were wrong about this. Perhaps they were also wrong about many other things.

It is official: sitting all day is bad for you. Actually, it can kill you.

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Tuesday April 19, 2011

Office365 goes into public beta today. This is Microsoft's online applications effort. Pay per user per month for what you use. Here is where you can join.

Seagate and Samsung are forming some type of partnership in disk drives and solid state drives.

Google map maker finally comes to the U.S.

Hitachi has new USB 3.0 external disk drives. The purchase also entitles you to online storage as a backup to your disk.

Next month, Asus will sell its new line of thin and light portable computers.

TI has shrunk its wirless power receiver chip. The new model is 80% smaller than the previous one. This will make it easier for electronics of all types to move to wireless charging.

Moving from robots that do surgery (remotely) to robots that defuse IEDs (remotely). Good stuff.

More clever packaging for USB thumb drives. Make them look like rolls of film.

Google puts $100million in to an Oregon wind farm that will be the world's largest.

A fascinating post on obsolete technology. Yes, man had complex and capable machines before electricity.

"Before I took a job telling managers of large corporations things that they arguably should have known already, my work experience was limited to part-time gigs tutoring surly undergraduates in the ways of Hegel and Nietzsche and to a handful of summer jobs, mostly in the less appetizing ends of the fast-food industry. " Interesting article on the myth of management. Yes, most managers don't know the things that they should know. It is really amazing and you have to wonder how they got their management jobs.

In this post is a fantastic video. Somehow, the video is connected to selling little bottles of water. One day - danger, prediction coming - peopole will look back at the little bottles of water from the late 20th and early 21st centuries as one of the most wasteful things mankind has ever done.

It appears that Apple has sold a lot more computer lately than everyone expected.

A review of several open-source programming tools.

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Wednesday April 20 2011

All new YouTube videos are being automatically encoded in WebM - Google's media format. I don't suppose this will do anything about America's colossal debt or any other social woes.

And the rumors are official - the next iPhone will come in September.

I suppose we will be leaked to death with details about Windows 8 until it is officially released. The latest news is that the desktop OS will have a feature that automatically synchs your files with an online service.

IBM had a better-than-expected financial quarter.

Intel did as well.

Here is more information on Google Map Maker. I tried this yesterday. I like it. I drew the boundaries of severl local parks that were not labeled. I like it.

Amazing, the iPhone becomes a 3D scanner. Just 99 cents.

The Michigan State Police are using a device that reads all files and information stored on your phone. They are using these at routine traffic stops. The technology to do this is niether new nor advanced. Court cases to follow as the police are searching things that they probably don't have just cause to do. We shall see.

Speculation on why some of us accomplish much more work in coffee shops, and the like, than in the office. People are watching, the owner is watching, and we don't want to look like we have nothing to do.

An office with a lot of white. Hard to keep looking clean.

NASA awards $270million to commercial ventures for space. I like this. A good one for NASA as this is thier mission - space exploration.

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Thursday April 21, 2011

Apple released its quarterly statement yesterday, and the results are astounding and that was sort of expected (does that make sense). Both sales and profits almost doubled.

And there are signs that a new iMac is coming real soon now.

And Qualcomm adds itself to the list of tech companies with an excellent financial quarter.

The tech economy is going again. Still, unemployment hovers at 10% and then there are the 5% who aren't counted as unemployed because they gave up looking for jobs.

The Michigan State Police claim they are NOT extracting information for cell phones of citizens.

Research shows some promise with recharging batteries in sea water. We have plenty of that around. Of course if you want to do this off the coast of California, you need first spend $1Billion on environmental studies. But Texas and Louisiana would be happy for you to do this in their water.

This is different, Sharp has a 20" LCD TV that runs on an internal battery. I guess you watch it via over-the-air broadcasts.

Very clever Leica camera video commercial.

SanDisk and Toshiba bring the world's smallest NAND flash memory chip.

Great stuff from Germany. This is a type of heads-up-display for one eye. You see information while you see reality. AND the device detects your eye movements. Hence, you can flip pages and such by moving your eyes. There is much potential here in many areas. One is the ability for people whose muscles no longer work to be able to use computers.

The Eye-Fi camera memory card now can send images directly to your phone and other mobile devices.

Odd talk from a lawyer and community organizer, "Let's make science cool." Here's a small suggestion. How about making the legal profession cool?

A wonderful, simple desk.

A little fun with a world record-setting Rube Golberg machine from Purdue. What amazes me is the number of steps that use liquids. See the video.

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Friday April 22, 2011

Oooh, excellent gadget idea. Slide a pico projector into the slot where the CD-ROM drive used to be. Fujitsu does it.

I like this story about Santa Cruz guitars. I like guitars and I like small businesses where people care down to the bone.

Here is an odd number - there are more iPads surfing the web than Linux machines. I guess that makes sense, but still, there is something wrong here, at least for me.

This Candian hospital is replacing paper charts with 1,800 iPads.

A Texas jury has found Google guilty of infringing on a Linux patent. The $5million fine is not a big deal, but the decision could reach further into Google and other companies as well.

It appears that part of Amazon's cloud services crashed last night. This affected many Amazon customers.

50% of Apple's revenue comes from the iPhone. Who predicted ten years ago that Apple would become a telephone company?

I love this one. This businessman has a fleet of vehicles and a pile of speeding tickets from automated speed cameras. He used some simple math and multiple images taken at slightly different times to prove that his vehicles were not speeding and that the speed cameras are grossly inaccurate. Hmmm. I wonder how much money local governments have accumulated from these faulty systems?

A small UAV flies about the damaged Japanese nuclear plants and provides video. This is the primary use of unmanned vehicles and robots. To go to places where we don't want to send people.

Put some electric motors in the wheels of a Ford pickup truck and you can go 100 miles and 100 miles an hour. Love it.

There have been many stories this week about how Apple can track the locations of users of its various hardware platforms. The devices store GPS locations, and Apple can read this stored data when the devices connect to the Internet. Well, it seems this easy technical twist is also done by many other hardware devices that people buy everyday. Folks, computer devices store information. When connected to other devices, other people can access that information. This is the heart of the heartburn people have with those full-body scanners at the airports.

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Saturday April 23, 2011

It is against the law in Canada to broadcast election results before the polls close on the west coast. If you tweet election results, you are violating the law.

Pause buying an Apple MacBook Air. It appears that better-equipped units will come in June.

Microsoft has sold 350 million copies of Windows 7. Even for software, that is a lot of copies.

A new, thinner Thinkpad is coming.

An underwater search and rescue robot is in Japan looking for victims.

The NSA has reqeusted $900million to build a new high peformance computing center. Can everyone spell d-e-f-i-c-i-t  s-p-e-n-d-i-n-g?

A $600 weather station. You can cnnect it to an array of such weather stations to create an independent weather-forecasting network. As a kid, my dad had a barometer-thermometer on the wall. I loved it. $600 is a bit steep, but this is tempting.

Seth Godin on how the changes in the world due to technology are not fair, but they are real and they are now.

I have never understood the rush to 3D movies and 3D televisors and such. It seems that slowly a few other people are speaking about this madness.

Everyone receives an iPad 2 at a middle school in Minnesota. Can I enroll?

If you don't have enough time, stop watching TV.

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Sunday April 24, 2011

Is it a good idea to put an iPad 2 into the hands of every Kindergarten student? Think before answering.

Why recycle an iPad (1) when you can sell it to someone?

What is a tech bLubble? Whining about a tech bubble that doesn't exist. At least Michael Arrington thinks so.

Firefox version 4 has 100 million downloads in its first month.

I like this. A real-time regular expression builder and tester.

Day-by-day - a diary of a man who lived in London in the 1600s.

Some of us writers need goals. Others do fine without them. I do like the three questions: What do you want in (1) five years, (2) one year, (3) one month?

I have not thought of this one before - writers need to master a certain amount of 21st century technology. Being a technologist by profession, I over looked this.

This could be an icky situation - writing your memoirs without hurting family members. Of course, you could just not worry about hurting family members. That is the insensitive side of the writer. The sensitive side is the part that actually writes the memoirs.

Fifteen reasons you should blog. I like the one about becoming a better thinker.

In the near future, will all writing be done on and stored in "the cloud?" Maby a little more than half of it will be, maybe.

Oh, yes. I’m depressed 75 percent of the time. You’ve readGet it Done When You’re Depressed, which basically says you have to keep going when you’re depressed because otherwise nothing ever gets done. " That is pretty basic advice.

Not making much money? You can still hire help. There are lots of virtual assistant sites out there that offer services at very low rates.

Book marketing for introverts like author Ruth Ann Nordin.

Weight loss improve memory? Well, they did do a study and all that.

An good list of things that for the freelance writer are like stacking wood. Marketing, marketing, marketing.

I was surprised by this post in that I liked it: Ten tips for straying productive during vacation time.

And some good ideas for building a home office.

Ten tips for writing, BUT these are different from most "top ten" lists. Good advice throughout these tips.

And I like these tips for simplying life. Some of the best things to let go are some bad memories. This is also known as forgiveness.

A nice home office with an emphasis on shelves instead of the desk itself. And here are five "chic" home offices.

Five crippling beliefs of writers. Yes, this can be tough, really tough. Matter of fact, as a writer, I may never succeed. I mean N E V E R.

Amazing facts about Apple. The one that amazes me the most is that nearly as many people went into an Apple store in the last quarter as went to a Major League Baseball game all of last season (70 million).

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