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 27-July 3, 2011

Summary of this week:

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

Monday June 27,  2011

Most technology textbooks are outdated when we buy them. How about the concept of the lifetime textbook? Authors and publishers will make less money, but users will be happier. Balance? Perhaps the system has been out of balance for the past century or two.

A group led by Microsoft will begin white-space testing in Britain this week. It sure seems like using that white space is taking a long time. I thought that was to quickly revolutionize things.

The TSA stoops to another new low - makes a 95-year-old woman remove her Depends diaper. I am sure they will issue new training sessions and tell everyone that this is all legitimate security. Your tax dollars at waste.

I want one of these recreational vehicles, but it will probably never be built.

This web site is a companion to a book on global poverty. Fascinating. This is not about "the poor" in America.

Seth Godin and George Orwell on business writing. Heed the advice.

It seems that environmentalists caused the Corps of Engineers to change how they operate dams in America. The result is flooding. Hmmm, the best intentions of good people have led to the destruction of lives of other good people.

Hackers broke into CitiGroup and stole 300,000 credit card numbers. They ran up $2.7million in charges. I hear that there is a lot of money in the U.S. medical industry. I also hear that some people want national electronic health records. What could possible go wrong?

Social networking on internal business networks. This could be a lot of fun.

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Tuesday June 28, 2011

Here is an idea for using compressed air to store the energy generated by wind turbines. The wind turbines generate electricity at night, but much of that isn't need until the sun comes up.

And more energy dreams - turning windows into solar panels. Maybe some of these ideas will come to fruition.

This company uses WiFi at a much lower data rate to reach out 45 miles. They think it will work well with low data-rate applications like the smart power grid. Perhaps this will work, but with another application as I don't think the smart power grid will be a hit.

The number of Americans owning an eBook reader doubled from November 2010 to May 2011.

Opera has less than 3% of the browser market. Still, that is 200 million users. The definition of success has changed.

Google is activating 500,000 Android devices a day. Yes, the definition of success has changed.

Pay $50 a month and see movies in theatres as many times as you want. This is a bargain if you like to go to the theatre. When I was single (a long time ago), I would go to at least two movies a month. That was before cable TV.

Wildfires in New Mexico are getting close to Los Alamos.

This person survived a week without using a mouse, just the keyboard. Sounds like fun to me. I struggled to teach people who had typed for 30 years to use a mouse. They hated to take their hands from the keyboard.

Here goes the TSA again. It seems that a cluster of their employees have cancer. It seems that their scanners were never really tested for safety, and that standing near one all day is dangerous. No reports yet on walking through one a few times a week.

Everyone wants to be a "geek" today. Finally, the world has discovered that we are okay.

People are rediscovering the Clock of the Long Now.

Connect your laptop, with its puny graphics processor, to a dock, with a big graphics processors, via Thunderbolt. Sony has done it.

The Brittish are putting health records onto cloud computing services. Oh my gosh, some people must learn the hard way.

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Wednesday June 29, 2011

Predictions that Apple will sell 30 million iPads and 17 million Macs in this calendar year. Recession?

Microsoft officially launches Office 365 today. I have toyed with the beta version. I guess I'm not enough of an Office expert to gain an appreciation for the online service. Time will tell.

Half of the 20-somethings in the U.S. have no land line telephones. I have three sons in that age group, none have a landline.

But let's go back in time and get one of these headsets for our cell phonesRock star Lenny Kravitz was photographed using one. Actually, the old headset was a genius design with a lot of function in its form.

Nikon shows some concept cameras.

The International Space Station was almost clobbered by a piece of space junk. There is a lot of space junk circling out planet. Maybe one day we will do something about it.

The U.S. spends $20Billion a year for air conditioning in Iraq and Afghanistan. That figure dwarfs many other parts of the Federal budget. Your tax dollars at waste.

Introducing the Google+ project. Maybe this will change the world, but maybe it will be like Google Smart Grid and Google Health. One of the great things about Google is that they keep trying new things.

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Thursday June 30, 2011

Someone has finally done it, Apple's Thunderbolt cable has transceivers built into the cable itself.

A qoute too good to pass by, "Our present system of government appears to be idealistic Incompetence tempered by greed." Jerry Pournelle.

Microsoft continues to evolve their Kinect sensor.

The Army is testing haptic belts. These belts have actuators that help to point a person in the right direction. In warfare, however, the "right" direction is often up for debate.

IBM may have just invented the replacement for flash memory. This new memory is 1,000 times faster and will last much longer as well.

Delkin has a 64GigaByte SDXC card - faster than previous models.

It seems that the mind behind the Google+ project is Andy Hertzfeld - the guy who designed the original Mac.

A comparison of Google Apps and Microsoft's Office 365.

Believe it or not...(this one is about stupidity), one of the easiest ways to infect an organization with viruses is to put viruses on USB thumb drives and drop the thumb drives in the parking lot, on the sidewalk, on the floors of nearby restaurants. A study confirms what people knew, that 60% of the people who pick up such things will take them in the office and plug them into their computer to see what is on them.

"We work because we love it." For some of the fortunate of us, that is true. I don't know that I work because I love it. I write because I love it. My job provides other blessings for me and my family and a growing circle of others.

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Friday July 1, 2011

Driving around the beltway a lot.

And I have a new granddaughter. This is the first girl born in my line of the family in about 75 years. She is worth the wait.

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Saturday July 2, 2011

So long to the Smart Grid. Microsoft has followed Google's lead and has dropped its part of the grid.

Two new sites for whistle blowers to post inside information. There is plenty to blow the whistles about. Good luck with it though.

If you drive a hybrid vehicle in California, your carpool lane sticker has expired. Get in traffic.

This is too small a chance to not have been staged - the Google Street View car is in an episode of the TV show Burn Notice.

I really like this, not so much the application, but the technology. These exoskeletons are allowing people to walk.

Computing has reached the age where its pioneers are dying. Robert Morris, who helped create UNIX dies at 78.

A hacker breaks into the Florida voter database. Is everyone ready for national electronic health records? Is anyone ready for voting by Internet? How about using Windows-based laptop computers as voting machines? Oooops, we already use that last one.

Make an entryway into an office. This one is practical, efficient.

This person discovered that they were really effective at working while taking flights. So they adjusted their at-home work practices.

This may work - pick up a Chrome book in one airport, use it on the flight, and drop it off at the next airport.

Biomass may be the next big energy source. Maybe. As long as we use waste from other processes, but then why haven't we been doing that all along?

A few thoughts on fear from Seth Godin.

The FBI had surveillance on Ernest Hemingway for years.

So, Federal wiretaps grew 34% from 2009 to 2010.

Google Chrome now has 20% of the browser market.

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Sunday July 3, 2011

There may be an overabundunce of typos this morning as I forgot my reading glasses.

I must keep this set of org charts. The Microsoft chart is also the one the Federal government uses.

As opposed to the myth, writing can be fun (for some of us).

I guess some people consider old books to be boring. I don't. I try to read Pulitzer Prize winning novels. Someone has filtered the material for me.

A few tips on keeping writing fresh - play mental games with yourself.

The "workation" is become more prevalent. This is where you work while on vacation. If used properly (a subjective term if ever there was one), I could extend my vacations with family.

One town has found a way to reduce cost and improve transparency in government via the iPad.

More options for income for writers. Beware of teaching. It requires a lot of time, but then again you make contacts with up and coming writers and people of other occupations. Treat teaching as marketing.

I like this one - 100 years of IBM in photos.

I don't like this trend - solar thermal plants are losing to photovoltaics. I trust that the photovoltaic crowd is including the ernergy cost of making the electronics as well as disposing of them (womb to tomb cost).

A look at India today.

Some of the theory behind the Google+ circle of friends (plus.google). I like the idea of differing needs for differing groups. Sort of makes sense, why didn't Facebook think of this? Perhaps they never dreamed that people would want 10,000 friends.

For all the writers and freelancers out there - please pay attention to your health. It is REALLY your most precious resource. Here are a few tips. I like the one about how rest is just as important as exercise.

Writing for just one reader.

A list of posts for writers.

There are now 100,000 iPad applications to choose.

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