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: June 6-12, 2011

Summary of this week:

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

Monday June 6,  2011

A side effect of the great recession is increased telecommuting.

Three years of in-flight WiFi experiences. I stopped travelling for my job just at the wrong time to miss all this.

The Huffington Post-America On-Line merger is working about as well as most big mergers - that means it isn't working at all. I guess someone made a lot of money on this deal. I also guess that a lot of people lost their jobs.

This is an amazing fact - Apple is worth more than Intel and Microsoft combined. Would it be possible to have some of those Apple folks come to Washington and manage the Federal government for a few years. We need a major revision here.

It seems that inexpensive GPUs are very fast at brute-force attacks against strong passwords. Is everyone ready for national electronic health records?

Here is an eye-tracking system. It is costly - $8,000 - but you know costs come down. This is an excellent application to enable people who can move their eyes but little else of their body.

Not so much viewing this morning. Too tired after driving all night.

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Tuesday June 7, 2011

Apple opened its World Wide Developer Confernce with three big announcements:
OS X 10.7
iOS 5  (already jailbroken)and
iCloud. The operating system upgrades means, at least for OS X, the usual buy and install and use. I think iOS 5, when it is available some time real soon now, will be a "free" upgrade. I will have to learn what the iCloud can do for me.

HTC continues to sell smartphones at an unreal pace.

A small, small PC from Zotac.

Since 2004, Sony has sold 70 million PlayStation Portable units.

Hmmm, a correct analysis of Twitter predicts the stock market movements 87% of the time.

Work in IT? If you are good at your job, everyone else will work you to death, i.e., good work is rewarded with more work. If you are a slacker, you will be allowed to continue as a slacker. Managers don't seem to know the difference and are afraid of firing slackers because they (bad managers) still measure their own success by the number of bodies "working" "for them." In my experience, this is what happens in all fields in government employment. Good, smart workers do all the work while the slackers do nothing and the managers do nothing as well.

This report claims that one in four hackers is also an informant for the FBI. I tend to doubt that as I don't think the FBI is that competent. See the above note about government employment.

Here are some of the amazing Apple numbers: They have 18 million songs in their library. They have sold 15 billion songs.

A fascinating list of "hard science" science fiction books.

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Wednesday June 8, 2011

A new imaging method can reveal brain injuries even a year after the event. These methods are now being used on soldiers. I have no doubt that they soon will be used on professional atheletes. I am surprised that the techniques were not developed in pro sports first. That is, after all, where all the money is.

This post expressed my thoughts well on the cloud offerings from the major companies. Each is a service that ties you to a company. I have been looking into putting my own disk drive on a server that I can access via the Internet. That gives me a vendor-free solution. I will, however, have to do all the work. Perhaps I will go with a co-location service like the Mac Mini Vault mentioned yesterday.

The PenTile display technology. A few "tricks" and brighter screens come with far less power consumption.

Twitter claims to have put a URL-shortening feature online. I can't test it this morning as the firewall at this coffee shop doesn't work well with Twitter. We shall see later.

Facebook has now turned on facial recognition software. How long will it be before someone is found on the "wrong" site and the hilarity ensues?

Recession? Advertising on mobile phones is up 128% in the last two years.

The war for tech talent: Twitter is winning while Yahoo is losing.

The same technology that IBM used to win Jeopardy, a stunt, is now being used to learn medicine. This is not a stunt. The medical science could benefit greatly from expert systems in medicine. We have known this for decades, but insurers have fought against improving medical diagnoses via software.

Different tech skills are sought in different cities.

A huge explosion on our sun. We cannot exagerate the size of it - see the video. Global warming? Climate change? Get real folks, and duck.

Many computer "geeks" learned much of what they know away from established education systems. That is no surprise. Let's not, however, go too far and completely disdain knowledge.

Big flaws in the Siemens SCADA system will be revealed at Black Hat. So, is everyone ready for national electronic health records?

Nintendo finally shows the follow-on to the Wii.

Ten percent of Amazon's revenue comes from the Kindle. That is an amazing success.

Bots are making most of the edits on Wikipedia. That is a good thing as these edits are mechanical formatting changes. The real content edits are still done by people.

Some notes on learning kids to program.

A simple stand-up workspace.

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Thursday June 9, 2011

The Chromebooks are due in a week, here is a look at the Chrome OS as it should appear on them.

And a look inside the Samsung Chromebook.

Dell will sell its Android in China before the U.S.

Google's home page is honoring the birthday of Les Paul.

A WiFi extender from NetGear.

Microsoft may make its own tablet for Windows 8 in 2012. It has worked well for Apple.

Forget climate change, let's talk about something real - is the world's population reaching the point where it is no longer sustainable?

I guess some people are slow to learn, especially people who operate government schools. Here is another "my school is spying on me" law suit.

This story was all over the place yesterday, so it must be a big deal. Apple wants to build a new office complex. It looks like a spaceship. Rarely do finished buildinds resemble the architect's drawing.

Amazing drawings by Joe Fenton, all with a pencil.

It just works - Steve Jobs.

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Friday June 10, 2011

Absolutely fabulous - they are taking orders for these beautiful Steampunk portable computers.

A nice video about what is inside a hard disk drive. This is a good tutorial for someone who has never seen inside.

A little radio-controlled car goes 161 mph.

Cars kill more people in New York City than guns.

Microsoft has to pay $300Million in a patent suit.

People like working for Google. The pay seems good, but please consider the cost of living in Silicon Valley before quiting your job and running out to apply.

Los Angeles will rid itself of its traffic light cameras. They cause accidents and cost more money than they generate in silly traffic tickets.

The state of Tennessee has just past a law banning the transmission or display of an image that is likely to frighten, intimidate or cause emotional distress to anyone who sees it. How do you enforce such? How do you pass such? Are they kidding? 

The US, UK, and France may cooperate on international Internet regulation. Oh boy, why are they trying to help us so much?

After only six years of operation, the Huffington Post has more visitors on the net than the New York Times.

There is news everywhere on the Internet, but not much coverage of local events.

The Comparison Trap. Yes, it exists. I wouldn't call it a comparison trap, but rather a "that looks interesting, let me try it." The trap is that I try too many things and don't spend enough time on my work.

A look at the Mac Mini Vault co-location server service.

I love this baby photo. Where can I buy the shirt?

Natural gas is an excellent source of energy. It is perhaps too good for those who want to see solar and wind be the dominant sources of energy in the next century. Oh rats (?!?), we have a good solution at hand.

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Saturday June 11, 2011

This appears to be significant - algorithms and data collected in ICU can predict medical events up to 24 hours in advance.

Okay, 1GigaBitPerSecond fibre service to the house for $70 a month. This is being installed around Stanford University. Will it scale?

Don't buy a MacBook Air this month. Apple is building newer models with faster processors.

Add iCloud to the growing list of software that won't work with Windows XP.

Panasonic updates the insides of its Toughbook 19.

I wish people will this one - getting funded is not succeeding - it is only starting the hard work.

The Mexican drug cartels are building their own armored and armed vehicles. They certainly have the cash.

The National Archives has hired a "wikipedian in residence." The job is for the summer only. Well, it is a little step in the right direction.

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Sunday June 12, 2011

The twitter function that automatically shortens URLs is now working.

This is an exellent post on why some people use Linux instead of Apple. I use Apple mostly, but I lean towards Linux and the concepts this writer expresses. I want to know where my files are. I don't like it when an program, like iPhoto, hides the individual image files from me. I wish Apple would give users a choice to expose the files and such.

And now the rumors are pointing to new MacBook Air computers Wednesday - three days from now.

File this one under "back to the drawing board." Helmets for cyclists and skaters have become more stylish, but not better at safety. Hence, someone builds a better helmet out of cardboard.

In the same vein, a student shows people how to make better steel.

Some thoughts on the movie "Super 8." I saw it Friday. I enjoyed it.

An excellent post on Lab Notebooks or Engineering Notebooks. I have used these for over 20 years.

It seems like Apple would have checked on this one ahead of time, but there is a company named iCloud Communications that doesn't like the name of Apple's latest product. Perhaps Apple did know this all along and decided to just go with it and fight the battle later.

Apple is now the worlds largest BUYER of semiconductors.

Ken Yankelevitz has built game controller for quadraplegics as a hobby, a.k.a., a gift from his home in Bozeman, Montanna. He is now retiring.

In Congress, Republicans Tweet twice as much as Democrats. There is a message here somewhere. I don't know what it is, but it is here.

The International Monetary Fund suffered a major cyberattack. Is everyone ready for national electronic health records?

The same happened to a Turkish government web site.

A couple of posts on words to avoid - weak, vague words. You know, that stuff. Here is one. Here is another.

Some notes on teaching writing - and other things that kids don't really like.

For writers, some tips on how to finish what you start.

Excellent video here about the power of words.

Life habits to improve writing. I like, or at least use, wake early, eat protein at breakfast, use pen and paper, attend church, change locations, and some solitude.

Creativity killers and some work arounds.

50 strategies for writers to make themselves write.

A simple desk. Ahh. And look at this desk made from a Singer sewing machine cabinet.

29 ways to stay creative.

Health tips for writers.

Some excellent ideas on writing a short story.

Yet another benefit of journaling - working your way out of writer's block.

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