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 30-June 5, 2011

Summary of this week:

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

Monday May 30,  2011

Another scheme to let you watch broadcast television on your mobile device. This one may work. Maybe.

Linux kernal 3.0 is posted.

The iA minimal writing application is now available for the Mac desktop (laptop). They are selling this for $17.99? It should be free just like the other word processors in this category. I think I will stay with the Unix terminal window and vi.

PBS.org has been hacked. This is supposedly a reply to PBS airing a show on Wikileaks that many considered to be anti-Wikileaks. Security? Is everyone ready for national electronic health records?

Nvidia improves the quality of graphics on mobile devices.

Some thoughts on the changing nature of education.

A tree-climbing robot. Yes, this is a silly little stunt, but one day the technology may transfer to something useful.

Beautiful video of the sky.

Don Tapscott on learning from Millenials. They do things a little different from the rest of us.

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Tuesday May 31, 2011

Samsung breaks one of its own records and sells a million Galaxy S II phones.

ASUS introduces its Padfone. It combines a cell phone and a tablet.

Twitter launches its own photo-sharing service.

China actually admits that it has a cyber war unit.

100,000 people still receive electro shock therapy in the U.S. each year.

The Ultrabook concept from Intel. I find it interesting that a chip manufacturer is pushing the portable computer manufacturers in a direction. Intel has done this for several years now. Someone at Intel decided that just making the chips would put them in a dangerous situation. That was a good thought, and Intel is succeeding. And here is another concept machine from Intel - a convertable laptop/tablet.

Some thoughts on learning science students to write. There are new techniques out there.

One person's experiences with the MacBook Air and the iPad 2.

It appears that someone is trying to build a Square Kilometer Array of telescopes. Several countries, with lots of real estate, are bidding for it. Australia's approach is to use the spare cycles on millions of home computers. I like the idea.

A book to read: Nightworks - A History of Hacks and Pranks at MIT. I guess those of us engineers who couldn't afford to attend MIT can live through this book.

21 books every entrepreneur should read.

Every generation or so, someone has to write this article. Petroleum engineers still make more money than people with a four-year degree in phsychology or female studies. Who would have ever thought such a thing to be true?

Germany will turn off its nuclear power plants in 2022. We shall see if they do. Then what will we do? Hope the wind blows harder and we can live on wind power? When will the west actually put money into energy research - real energy research - instead of pouring money into middle eastern wars?

Some experiences with living in cloud computing. It will costs lots of money unless the telcos and broadband providers basically give away their services. But who pays the salaries of the guys in jeans who climb among the trees and behind the bushes to install and maintain the infrastructure?

Some secrets about Google. There is a lot of R&D happening at Google. Then again, Google has mountains of cash and needs places it to invest it.

Facebook is about to reach 700 MILLION users. The definition of success is changing.

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Wednesday June 1, 2011

No viewing today. It was a travel day to Louisiana.

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Thursday June 2, 2011

I like this one - duh science. It seems that we have to prove once again that water boils at 212 degrees F. The silly part is that much of this research which proves things we already know is funded by the tax payers. It appears that Congress and the regulators love to give money to people they know.

I don't understand this one from Apple. They don't like it when someone buys a big lot of iPads and then gives them away. Why not? The first step is that someone bought the iPads.

A look at rock star programmer salaries. They don't approach that of professional atheletes, but they are pretty good. Also notice that these salaries are much lower than the person who starts a company with a great idea, makes millions, and hires rock star programmers. The money is still at the top.

Here are some pretty good productivity tips for iPad users.

Portable power sources for the iPhone, iPad, and similar devices.

There is plenty of innovation occurring in America. It is unfortunate that regulation is killing much of it.

Keyboard magic that I didn't know about OS X. Grabbing the entire screen and just one window without using the Grab utility.

Some advantages of GIMP - the GMU Image Processing Program. I use it.

A 33 MegaPixel sensor for video cameras from NHK.

Microsoft previews Windows 8. The default mode will be from touch screen with much more emphasis on mobile use instead of the desktop. So Texas Instruments shows a CPU made just for Windows 8. And so does Qualcomm.

I like this little twist on technology - putting a video processor on board the webcam so that the computer's CPU doesn't have to do all the work.

A nice workspace made into a wall.

What are the limits of "fair use?" A pair of professors look at this question in their work and an upcoming book.

iCloud is coming from Apple next week. This story claims that Apple paid several million dollars for the domain name icloud.com. Why didn't I think of that one a few years ago. I wonder if every possbile name in the world starting with an "i" has already been registered.

The Chinese, aka the Chinese government, hacks into hundreds of gmail passwords. Victims include some U.S. government officials. At one time this was considered an act of war or at least espionage that gentlemen did not perform.

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Friday June 3, 2011

I guess I don't understand big business and finance (after all, I am only an engineer). Groupon lost $400 million last year and expects $750 million IPO this year.

This sounds familiar and not good. Big bonuses and such are part of a tech recruiting climate with start up companies. I hope someone learned something from when this happened in the 1990s. The startups had money, new people, and no real plan for what they were trying to do. Everyone lost their jobs and plenty of families were hurt.

New algorithms can defeat the audio CAPTCHAs on many web sites. Ah, computer security. Is everyone ready for national electronic health records?

Some artifacts from the mid 1990s and early Linux.

A Michigan school superintendent asks the governor to declare his district a prison. It seems that funding and lots of other things are better for convicts than for high school students. I suppose there is some history here, and lots of good intentions. The result is the same. The system is the way it is because it got that way.

Sergey Brin is staying busy at Google. He is head of a department called Google X. Sounds like fun.

Another great Kinect hack - 3d video conferencing.

Zoom now has a portable 8-track recorder, the R8.

Oh back to the late 1970s and early 1980s and the calculator wars. Anyways, TI finally releases the Nspire CX color graphing calculator.

Sony is having a bad few months. Now the Sony pictures network is hacked. Is everyone ready for national ... oops I already asked that question today.

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Saturday June 4, 2011

It is late Spring, and someone's fancy has turned to hacking. Sony and parts of our Federal government are the victims. It isn't that someone puts a funny face or embarassing video on the FBI's web site. Organizations are connecting their internal networks - the ones with the passwords, social security numbers, and such - to the Internet. It is all secure of course behind firewalls and other pacifiers for managers. All those firewalls can be and have been and will continue to be broken. Is everyone ready for national electronic health records?

There seem to be plenty of cases from the iPad. This is sort of silly and cosmetic, but it illustrates a real multiplier effect on the economy. Taxing workers to create government jobs doesn't help the economy. Letting someone create a product that leads to others to create products that leads others to ... well you know, but it appears that many in the current administration don't get it.

Another crazy Kinect hack. See the above about economic multipliers.

Syria has turned off the Internet in an effort to control its subjects.

Panasonic has shrunk a WiGig chip small enough to fit in an cell phone. Now if we can just erect all those towers with the right equipment.

Some boys in Copenhagen are building a rocket to carry a person into space. This is a non-government group of enthusiasts. Such would not be allowed in the U.S. as it is obviously not safe.

Great wildlife video shot in Kenya by a quadrotor drone.

Wow, look at this home office. This started as an unfinished basement. See all the full shots on Flickr.

Oracle is sending the source code of OpenOffice to the Apache Software Foundation.

Internet Explorer's market share is now below 55%.

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Sunday June 5, 2011

No viewing today as it was a travel day back to Virginia from Louisiana.

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