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: May 9-15, 2011

Summary of this week:

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

Monday May 9,  2011

Mozilla owns the market in Asia with its Firefox browswer. They are enlisting the locals to help them develop the software and retain their dominance. Smart move.

Some people are easily distracted or so it seems. Perhaps they have too much brain for the task at hand. In other words - they are bored. Is anyone involved in the public school system reading this?

The Free Software Foundation is releasing writings of Richard Stallman in book form.

At first, the Wireless LAN was an addition to the wired local area network. Now it is the other way around, and people are reconsidering what a wireless network should be and do.

Here is a Frisbee video game. No! Go outside and throw a Frisbee, catch a Frisbee, chase a Frisbee. Do it with your kids, and if you are really fortunate, do it with your grandkids.

3D printing is starting to find real applications in industry - you can print parts with shapes that are too complex for any other manufacturing techniques. Be ready to see strange "skeleton" parts that are much lighter and still do the job.

Video of NASA testing a lander that they hope will one day land on other objects in space. They have a long way to go with this one.

I like this short post, I like it a lot. If you journal, you are a journalist. The writer also mentions things like many professional "journalists" are on the inside, i.e., they are really paid by the people they are supposed to be objectively describing. Conflicts of interest abound. Folks like me, who are not paid by Apple or Google or the like, are far more objective.

Broadcom has acquired a security software company.

We have found yet another source of energy for mobile phones - speech. Yes, speech hits a microphone and the membrane vibrates. Ah, physical motion which of course can be transformed to electrical energy.

Here is an excellent question: is the iPad a good replacement for TV for kids? Funny how we can consider things differently given a different question.

For the first time, Google will build its own building. Beware the big corporate headquarters as they often begin the decline of otherwise successful companies.

Somehow, someone decides what is the most valuable brand in the world. Apple now takes first place over Google.

This could become something of some import - matching people to jobs via an algorithm. This isn't crunching numbers, but instead matches social aspects of people and jobs.

I have heard this before, but maybe this time it will be real - there is a new development in technology that may bring a new age of airships.

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Tuesday May 10, 2011

In the American system of government, some states (those with small populations), have more representatives in Washington per capita than others. Those over-represented states also take home more money from Washington than everyone else.

I didn't realize it, but Facebook has a minimum age requirement for users. It seems that 7.5 million Facebook users are below that minimum. I am not sure how someone can determine the actual ages of 7.5 million users without studying their accounts, but it makes for a good headline.

Is the PC in its twilight? Probably so. There was a time (here we go again as we reminisce about the 20th century) when having your own computer was fun. Now it is something you have on your desk at work to do mind-numbing work or it is nothing more to students than a typewriter so teachers won't have to read handwriting. Work work work, no fun no fun no fun.

It appears that Apple is working with Nuance on voice applications.

These guys synchronized 300 flash units to take some photos. That is some sort of world record. There are less constructive things to do with your spare time.

Northrop Grumman has spent its own R&D funds to build a new "spy plane." This can have a human pilot or not. Excellent.

Google will probably launch some type of cloud-based music service today.

This is amazing - for only $250 you can buy this 22" display that is less than half an inch thick from HP.

Microsoft is buying Skype?

More advances from those crazy little quadrocopters. This is amazing stuff.

Here is a great collection of gadgets that illustrate design and construction.

And this is a neat gadget - a hardware interface between your car's computing system and your iPhone. Given this, you could...

How do you count trees? Try this method, have a radio-controlled copter fly above with a camera and then let software count the trees.

A detailed look at the recently updated Apple iMac.

This is G R E A T - stitch 37 thousand images together to make one big image of the night sky.

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Wednesday May 11, 2011

Google and Ford are working together to use your driving habits to improve fuel efficiency. This might work.

The next iPod Nano will probably have a camera. The Nano is the really small music player. Why not have a camera? Why not make every kid under 12 a sensor for Facebook and Twitter? Well, maybe we shouldn't be doing this.

Now this could be the start of something - Google is expected to offer Chrome portable computers to students for $20 a month.

Apple will stay with Intel for portable computer CPUs. I hope so. Having the same engine makes software development so much easier. It also makes using Linux and other OSs on the Apple computer much easier.

Microsoft did buy Skype, for only $8.5Billion

I love this, an ingenious use of space in a tiny Hong Kong apartment. Things like this were done in the 1700s and 1800s. Then we became wealthy and stopped trying to be efficient. I would like to return to the efficient era, but then again, I am an engineer.

A human powered helicopter. Yes, it is a lab experiment, but still, good efforts.

Google is lobbying in Nevada to make its self-driving cars legal in that state.

A look at Google's music service.

Google has given away 5,000 Galaxy Tabs. They hope that developers will use the free hardware to start writing apps.

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Thursday May 12, 2011

The Library of Congress has now opened the National Jukebox of historic recordings. A pretty good use of tax dollars.

The Google Chromebook. I have read several posts on the topic and am still a but fuzzy on what is being offered at what price by who. It seems that they will sell you a portable computer for $500, but who wants that? Maybe time will clarify the situation.

For those who need helmet cams, here is a new one with more pixels and a wider viewing angle.

The Ranger robot from Cornell has walked 40 miles on a single recharge. My guess is that required about 15 hours of walking.

The Swiss JetMan flies across the Grand Canyon. Yes, that is a crazy stunt. Maybe one day some good will come of this technology. You have to watch the video.

The Charlotte Motor Speedway now has the world's largest HD screen.

A great view from a simple desk.

This is great, although a bit extrvagent. Two German brothers have built the world's largest model airport. $4.8M could have been put to better use and to worse use as well. Watch the video.

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Friday May 13, 2011

Some how I lost all of today's notes.

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Saturday May 14, 2011

A too busy day.

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Sunday May 15, 2011

Six reasons why the Google Chromebook concept won't work.

UUVs dive beneath the Antartic ice shelf.

The Chinese government has found a way to block the Flipboard app from accessing Facebook and Twitter. This is a type of hack or malware. The Flipboard servers all sit on U.S. soil, still, the Chinese hacked into them to do this. Is everyone ready for national electronic health records?

Perl 5.14 is released.

Believe it or not - some PC repair shops abuse their customers. People, what can we do with them?

More news about Ford teaming with Google to makes its cars "smarter."

It appears that Seagate will soon have an external hard drive with no wires. WiFi connection to your computer and the use of a batter (no power chord).

I love this one - how not to write like an idiot. It mainly concerns proof reading. Give yourself time so that you are not trying to proof read at 1am when the piece needs to be emailed by 6am.

When dinosuars ruled the books. I love the cartoon.

Here are 20 tips for writers that stands out from most lists of tips. Each tip can be a blog post by itself. Excellent information and advice here. Much better than the usual list of tips.

Would you hire a 19-year--old as a consultant? Some people are. Get ready for this folks. We are returning to the days of self-educating where some people are ready for the world while in their teens. They won't spend 4 to 6 years at a college. See the UnCollege movement.

Health concerns for writers and other freelancers. This is not about health insurance, but about staying healthy.

Working at home? Get dressed for work. This is a not-so-little bit of advice that changes everything for many freelancers.

Another look at the question of should you write for free to gain exposure and a bigger pay day later?

Here is an organization that seeks donations to help kids learn to write. I think this is a good cause. I also think that we all in America pay enough taxes into a central education fund that such organizations do no need to ask for donations. If government agencies better managed the central education fund, well, here we go again.

And as if we need more evidence of the failure of those entrusted with using the central education fund, here we have a post from someone tasked with working with "writers" who come out of our government-administered high schools.

Ten words that don't mean what I think they mean. I tend to consfuse disinterested with uninterestered. I should know better by now.

I like this one and agree with its conclusions. Work hard (or write hard or study hard or practice hard) for a couple of hours instead of all day. While a government employee, I met countless people who proclained, "Yeah, that holds for most people, but here we are tough(er than most people). We work hard all day. We are exceptional." Guess what, they weren't.

This is a great apartment, at least for a guy. It looks like the inside of an RV.

These are eight pretty good habits to have. The one in the list I wish to emphasize is about taking edits and feedback. Listen and learn from everyone who reads what you write.

Here is excellent advice about hiring people. I especially like, "Hire nice people."

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