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 13-19, 2011

Summary of this week:

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

Monday June 13,  2011

The Dallas Mavericks defeated the Miami Heat in the NBA finals. So much for the theory of The Big Three in basketball. The more we learn, the more things stay the same - or something like that.

Twitter is not working this morning A G A I  N !

Has being a journalist become the equivalent of a hamster running on a wheel all night with no forward motion? The answer might be yes.

The U.S. is building censor-evading networks for use by our friends in parts of the world where governments don't like their subjects communicating.

Watch television away from home via IP? Sky Go in the UK is trying it.

A UK game company has their site hacked. Is everyone ready for national electronic health records? The same thing happened to a porn site.

In spite of all these obvious problems with site security, the current U.S. president wants to build a smart electric grid (that people will hack and expose and all that fun).

But don't worry, our government is really going to help us now. Here is a new campaign to cut government waste. The government goes not waste money. People who work for the government waste money. Who made the government employees waste money in the first place?

This Post-It sized computer can process two HD video streams simultaneously. I guess this is 3"x3"

For architecture fans, a former NASA guy is now designing RV trailers. I can see why he would leave NASA and go into something where creativity and initiative are rewarded. Sadly, that is the plight all across government service. There are bright people in government service, but the law of bureaucracy drives too many people away.

A list of misued words.

If you have $40,000 and can wait a few years, you can buy a hoverbike that goes over 150 mph and up to 10,000 feet.

Facebook lost six million users in the U.S. last month. It is losing users all over the world in countries where it first succeeded wildly. Fatigue? Demographics? Stale?

File this one under the category of FINALLY! Someone is using the heat of an air conditioning compressor as a hot water heater.

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Tuesday June 14, 2011

The Internet Archive is attempting to put 10 million books on paper and store the paper for posterity. Good luck. Too bad for the trees.

The next release of Apple's OS X has a "browser only" mode. Much is being made of this crippled computer. I guess there is some value of that mode to some people.

HP wants to join the music-in-the-cloud business. I guess there is money to be made there.

And HP makes big changes on its executive level.

The GoDaddy web site went down for three hours. They claim that they were not hacked.

Logitech has a new HD webcam - only $80.

Some science fiction from Airbus - transparent airliners powered by the heat from the bodies of passengers.

Motorola shows the Televation - a cable box that broadcasts TV inside the home via WiFi. Watch your tele-broadcast programs on any computer device in the house.

ASUS is having some success selling its EEE Pad Transformer tablets (work on the name ASS+US). Their shipments put them in a (distant) second behind that tablet from Apple.

A report from the first health care privacy conference. It is strange that this is the first conference on this topic. Here's a quick note: technical solutions may not be implementable. Oooops.

The AIRprint takes your fingerprint, with your cooperation, from six feet away.

Google Docs continues to improve.

Nokia and Apple settle their patent suit with Apple paying a large (undisclosed) amount.

Instagram has four employees and five MILLION users. The world is a different place.

The founder of UnCollege wins $100,000 to continue not going to college. See conclusion above.

The Chinese government has secretly installed surveillance devices on cars in Hong Kong.

And the American FBI has relaxed rules on agents performing surveillance of Americans. The difference, or at least the difference used to be, is that America comprises citizens while China comprises subjects. There is a difference.

Amazon Web Services is booming. Here is a look at their infrastructure.

Subsaharan Africa is growing economically. That is good to hear.

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Wednesday June 15, 2011

No viewing today as I am working an odd schedule this week.

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Thursday June 16, 2011

Excellent images from Mercury from an orbiter. This is NASA's mission.

Here is a different type of Apple rumor - no updated computers, that is until the next OS X is released.

After it has been hacked wonderdully, Microsoft finally releases a software development kit of the Kinect.

Generac, the maker of excellent home generators, is teaming with EcoMotors - a maker of efficient motors. I like it.

So much for this experiment. Two years after being a surprise appointee, Vivek Kundra resigns as America's first Federal CIO. He had no discernable qualifications for the job and made little notice of himself and his "office." Perhaps next time. Perhaps we won't have a next time.

Happy 100th birthday to IBM.

Mike Bloomberg speaks some sense to Congress on immigration reform. We shall see if anyone listens. "we must stop telling foreign entrepreneurs to build their companies in other countries"

Angry Birds is having 1,000,000 downloads a day. The scope of success continues to change.

Five monitors - yes, I like this.

Great photos from under the earth. Some places are natural while others are big holes dug by man.

RIM claims to have shipped 500,000 of its PlayBook tablets.

India claims that it is ready to ship its $35 tablet.

Panasonic makes the ToughBook portable computers. Now it makes the ToughBook tablet.

Renesas has built some ultra-low power transmitters (WiFi and Bluetooth). They can operate from power harvested from the air.

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Friday June 17, 2011

LulzSec hacks into the CIA web site and release 62,000 other emails and passwords. Is everyone ready for national electronic health records.

And LulzSec hacks into the web site of the U.S. Senate. This is a repeat incident. It seems that after your own site was hacked a few times that you would have an appreciation of the folly of "secure" Internet.

Research in Motion has faltered and announced layoffs.

This photo has gone viral of two lovers in the middle of a riot. It is, however, misleading. As this other photo shows, they are not passionate lovers but instead two people who were trampled by the riot and trying to get up.

A must see photo video. Long periods of time captured in one image.

This is a 268 MegaPixel sensor. It is part of a telescope.

Some thoughts on gamification.

I like Seth Godin's comments on the news reporting that we are all buying. Free broadcast television isn't no cost. We pay for it with our time, and the product is lousy and becoming worse everyday. Stop watching.

Economic recovery? Here are ten cities still dying from house foreclosures. California dominates the list, yet the legislature there continues to raise taxes and the benefits of state workers.

Someone has done another study to show the obvious - when we burn food, we raise the price of food. At least someone in the government has admitted to this.

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Saturday June 18, 2011

An American man created a phoney person - a lesbian in Syria - a fooled the world.

Photos of the progress in the cleanup in Japan. Some are amazing. Still, this is a slow-moving project. Those who live there must be fatigued, and many of them don't realize it. I have many relatives who cleaned up after hurricanes. They looked dead after a year even though much of their lives had returned to a new normal.

From Inidra Gandhi:  "my grandfather once told me that there were two kinds of people: those who do the work and those who take the credit. He told me to try to be in the first group; there was much less competition."

Google's search by image. It is new, revised, and still has a long way to go.

Apple has $70 Billion in cash. This means they could buy all their competitors in the mobile phone industry. It also means they will probably be investigated by the Federal government because, as everyone knows, you can't do well without cheating, or at least some people believe that.

Some experiences of a writer for AOL. They call themselves content slaves.

With all these cameras (still and video), lots of people took lots of imagery of the Vancouver rioting, and now many of the rioters will be arrested and prosecuted.

A high school student built an 8-bit computer from little parts. Neat stuff.

The Federal government has spent hundreds of millions of dollars on little gadgets. They don't know the half of it.

HP has a portable computer for $350. It is a real machine. Amazing.

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Sunday June 19, 2011

Firefox 4 is now available.

Please remember, busy does not equal success, unless of course, your goal is to be busy.

Another reminder, if I write, I should write well.

And I can break some of the writing rules I was taught in junior high. Please, let's not break the rules so we can we known as a rule breaker. Put some thought into it.

I can't tell if this is a real piece of software or just a dream, but the idea is the software turns off your Internet connection for a specified amount of time while you write.

Should you write about what you know? Perhaps write about what you don't know but what excites you. Jerry Weinberg always went with the excitement.

Mistakes often made by writers who have been published.

The U.S. now has electronic health records in all military hospitals. So how long before this is hacked and we see the health records of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and those of someone who will be president in 20 years?

More evidence, as if we needed it, that the TSA is indeed nothing more than security theatre.

“If you can’t write clearly, you probably don’t think nearly as well as you think you do.” Kurt Vonnegut. I've often suspected such and more often experienced such.

More on rewriting from Dean Wesley Smith. Try everything; keep what works, and forget the rest.

Some thoughts on using LaTEX instead of Word. I once typeset a book in LaTEX. I find it a shame that more and more people DON'T user LaTEX. The output looks so much better than Word.

Dean Wesley Smith on rewriting and what it means to him. He has his own method. As usual, try it, if it works for you - use it. If not, move on.

Tips for critiquing another person's writing. This isn't easy. It is easy to hurt the person.

Some experiences with standing all day at a desk instead of sitting.

Ethos, logos, and pathos in writing.

Creating a space for your writing. I cannot seem to do this. I always come back to the idea that the space is just something in my mind and what I really need to do is forget all that stuff and write. And that is what I do, I forget all that stuff and write no matter where I am. I think this goes back to my core of being cheap - not wanting to spend a penny on myself.

Stay-at-home, web working fails for two extreme types of people: (1) those who stop working every five minutes to change a lightbulb or check the weather and (2) those who always think of another idea and spend every waking moment working. Here is a post on the workaholics.

How side projects can be good for you. Then, as given above, side projects can be nothing but distractions.

One person's experience with a MacBook Air. My concern is that the 64GigaByte Solid State Disk would be insufficient. This users shows that it is plenty big enough. Perhaps in the future, I will replace my iMac, five or six years old, with a 17" MacBook Pro portable AND replace my 13" MacBook Pro with an 11" Air.

A business is different from a hobby. I know a lot of people who don't know that.

Some benefits of having a writing coach. I am available.

Some marketing tips for writers. I need all the help with this that I can find.

Twenty practical tips for writers. There are gems in here.

The Washington Post has a big article today on how the rich are taking a bigger slice of the American pie. One of the hidden assumptions, hidden quite well I add, is that the pie is of fixed size and everyone is competing to grab a bigger piece of the fixed pie. The pie is not of fixed size. Much of economic thought stemming from Brittain of several centuries ago was that we could make the pie bigger. Much of economic thought stemming from Spain of several centuries ago was that the size of the pie was always fixed. These fundamental thoughts explain the plight of former Brittish colonies (U.S., Canada, Australia, etc.) and former Spanish colonies (Mexico, etc.). I am afraid the the Post and other influential news outlets are forgetting history. Perhaps the Internet will wipe out such (non)thought.

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