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: July 18-24, 2011

Summary of this week:

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

Monday July 18,  2011

Three-D printing moves into mainstream manufacturing.

These guys have created a way to transmit power wirelessly to medical instruments inside a body. I trust the transmitted power doesn't cuase more problems than it solves. If they have perfected this, we have a big deal here.

A look at the ten years of the Apple store. A tremendous success while most of the rest of the economy, well we know about the wated decade.

I stumble across System76 - a source of preconfigured Linux (Ubuntu) machines.

This story is all over the Internet, so it MUST be important - the Army has tested smartphones on the battlefield and will start issuing them.

Moleskine adds a new line of accesories to their journal books. I hope they know what they are doing and don't spend so much money on these things that they go out of business. I use a Moleskine journal; I have for five or six years now. I still don't know how you pronounce "moleskine," so I still say something like mOle-skIne (long O long I).

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Tuesday July 19, 2011

An expert in typography has analyzed the Obama birth certificate. The certificate has inexplicable differences in the size of some letters. One conclusion is that if it is a fake, it is a bad one.

A hot new portable computer from Alienware. These machines are good for more than playing games.

Archos brings out two low-cost tablets that may be the highest performing on the market.

I had not thought of this one before, but all this cloud storage will probably reduce the demand for NAND memory. It makes sense. One type of memory replaces another type on the market.

A number of studies, some stretching back a hundred years, show that pay-for-performance doesn't work with school teachers. What does work is removing bad teachers.

Cisco will lay off 14% of its workforce - about 11,000 people.

Suzuki introduces an electric van. Perhaps it would work for moving people about a city. Soccer moms?

Amazon introdoces textbook rentals for the Kindle. I hope this works as college and other students can use a break.

Bill Clinton is right this time - paint your roofs white. Save energy and MONEY. This works great in the summer, but in the winter...

Tsk tsk tsk (is that how you spell tsk?). Some governments are blindly using facial recognition software to catch "criminals" or at least bother people who the software says look like criminals. It seems that some human judgement would be inserted here and there in the process.

An analysis of how people choose passwords.

One person's experience of seven days using nothing but a Chromebook.

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Wednesday July 20, 2011

A broken record - Apple sets another record with its quarterly sales of iPads and iPhones. 20 million iPhones 9 million iPads.

And Apple's profits are up 124% over last year.

And Apple's OS X 10.7 is to come out today.

40 years ago, Thompson and Ritchie wrote the Unix Programmer's Manual.

Lenovo's ThinkPad tablet. It has professional features at a reasonable price. It has features that make business managers smile. I doubt they will sell 9 million of them in a quarter, but this could be a successful product.

And then there is the Lenovo IdeaPad running Windows 7. Oh well, not much hope for this one.

Ruggedized external disk drives from Lacie.

This is an attractive little product from Victorinox. Put a USB thumdrive in a Swiss Army knife case. There are no blades in this thing so the TSA employees won't take it from you and put it in their pockets (happened to me more than once).

The Federal government is closing 400 data centers. Much of this story is bologna as no one in government has a standard definition of a "data center." Do you have six computer in your office? Then you have a data center.

A flying car takes a test flight. No, it doesn't look much like a car.

A New Hampshire man is again arrested for video taping police. Let's consider this one: public employees in public spaces performing public duties. Someone explain why observing and recording such should be against the law.

A government (that means taxpayers) funded electric car company goes bankrupt.

Great napkins in design history. Paper and pen still works pretty darn well.

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Thursday July 21, 2011

Apple updates the MacBook Air and the Mac Mini.

The new MacBook Air outperforms the MacBook Pro from 2010. The new Air is over twice as fast as the October 2010 Air. Thank Intel for all this.

With OS X 10.7 Lion coming out as well. Here is a review.

This is a big week for Apple all around. They are renting a new office building that could house 1,000 people.

The end of an era at Apple - the white plastic MacBook is gone. Apple says it will continue to sell these to educational institutions as a low-end machine.

Google closes Google Labs.

When worlds collide - how about Google Chrome OS running on a Macbook Air.

Nissan updates the standard features on the Leaf. I think the Leaf will clobber the Volt in the marketplace despite the best efforts of the Administration.

Guess what? Burning food drives the price of food up. Whose idea was this anyway?

This story is all over the Internet. Some guys in China built a phoney Apple store from floor to ceiling. Some guys in China are either geniuses or just don't have enough to do.

Hmmm, look at this graph. Grade point averages in colleges have climbed over the decades. Lucky kids, we had EARN our grades in the 1970s.

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Friday July 22, 2011

No viewing today - too much around the beltway activity this week.

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Saturday July 23, 2011

Another monster portable computer from Alienware.

Here is another reason why all this 3D video will probably go away - eye fatigue.

Google Docs up the max file size from 1GB to 10GB. I like that. Not that I have any Word files that are that big, but there are photos and videos and zip files and ...

More information on why new the MacBook Air performs so much better than the one that is only nine months old.

More Americans are on Facebook than have Passports (the percentages are 50% and 37%). I would have guess that only about 15% of Americans have passports. Most Americans don't leave America. Why should we? People break the law to enter America, so there must be something good happening here.

Guitar Hero - one of the games that changed the world - will come back.

Verizon has a good quarter.

The police state of Mass is building a database of car loations. The smart police cars drive about noting license plates with times and locations. The database will hold all this information. What could possible go wrong?

And we will soon have Linux kernal 3.0.

We have "safe" playgrounds now. And the kids are suffering because of it.

The Department of Defense is in the IT Stone Age - that from a crusty old Marines General.

Should historical scientific work be open to everyone? I think that was one of the ideas behind this whole Internet thing anyways, but I digress. This story is making the rounds on the net. A few people are releasing openly gigabytes of old science papers. They are also facing criminal charges. I trust that cooler heads will prevail in all this.

WOW! Look at this chart showing how long it took Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ to reach 10 million users. The world changes yet again. Google has done an excellent job of standing on the shoulders and not the toes of the others. Not to give Google too much credit, as Google+ wasn't their first try at something like this. They did, however, keep trying.

Another good chart - Where Microsoft makes its money.

Watching the news a lot? "If it's important today, it will be important tomorrow" - Seth Godin.

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Sunday July 24, 2011

We Americans owe a lot of money to other countries. Is it possible to, um, how to say this, fire everyone on Capitol Hill and in the White House in one day and replace them with people who know how to spend less than they earn?

This forest is said to be Tolkien's inspiration for Middle Earth.

Here is one in the category of "off course, we should have been doing this all along." Microsoft has studied and concluded that they can use the heat from servers to heat offices and homes.

And in the same category, we have Chevrolet about to sell a diesel-powered car in the U.S. Duh.

A Chinese bullet train has fallen off the rails. In America, such an accident would kill the idea of the bullet train. My guess is that the Chinese will continue with the project and work through the problems.

Five fundamental rules of working from home.

Microsoft has an Online Services Division. It isn't doing well. It has lost money 22 quarters in a row. It lost $1.5Billion last year alone.

Jerry Weinberg continues his series of being a change artist. I highly recommend it.

Stories are everywhere. I agree. That is why I always have a pencil and some 3x5 cards in my pocket.

Writing can be tough enough, and then you have to try to sell it. Some tips for the marketing that (some of us) we hate.

Before writing, answer for your reader, "What's In It For Me?" or WIIFM.

No one was ever born writing. All great writers were once beginners.

Reducing distractions.

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