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 25-31, 2011

Summary of this week:

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

Monday July 25,  2011

Driving around the Beltway early this morning. No viewing.

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Tuesday July 26, 2011

Book covers. Some people are impressed by other people who have "written a book." Consider again.

More on why Quicken will not work on OS X 10.7. Intuit never really updated thier code. They kept depending on OS X having an emulator in it. Sigh, I am one of those on an earlier OS X version who uses Quicken often. I may, however, be able to survive on the lesser Quicken product that does run on 10.7.

Yes, as Google drives about taking photos of public places it records information that is also broadcast to the public. There is much vexation about all this public information and recorders.

I like this title - Technology is the new Smoking. Addiction in another form, but probably not as harmful. Unless, of course, we learn one day that putting a transitter next to your head causes cancer. Here is a little engineer secret. All electronic gadgets that play music and such (like the old AM transistor radio to the latest iPod) have oscillators in them. The oscillators are not idea. They transmit and have been transmitting into our nearby bodies for decades.

New solid state drives from SanDisk.

Clearwire has a new 4G mobile hotspot. Perhaps some of these things will work.

Engadget reviews the new Mac Mini and the MacBook Air.

This isn't practical, but it looks fun - a tiny electric motor and propeller can power your paper airplane. Be sure to bend the winds a little so the plane flies in a circle instead of a straight line.

I like George Will's editorial about the separation between the executive and legislative branches of the Federal government. It has been this way for a long time. It will stay this way for a while longer regardless of how inconvenient some Presidents find it.

Hackers break into a nation Italian anti-cyber crime server. Is everyone ready for national electronic health records?

We have found volcanoes on the far side of the moon. This is great stuff. It seems we don't know nearly as much as we thought about a few things.

Almost 10% of American adults have a Master's degree. That is the same as the Bachelor's degree of the 1960s. With so much education, you would think we wouldn't still have all the mess in Washington that we do. Perhaps the education system is failing us. No, it must be something else.

The Gates Foundation has given $5Billion to public education in the U.S. The results? No one can see any. Good for the Gates for trying the experiment. We now know that it doesn't work. Let's try something else.

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Wednesday July 27, 2011

The iPad is affecting the PC industry in a major way. My two-year-old grandson wants his dad to buy an iPad. He loves the touch screen. It's the best kids' song video viewer in the world.

Terrapower is slowly moving towards its new type of reactor. Perhaps some of these things will become reality.

People will buy 420 million smartphones this year. That is 28% of the total telephone market. Not all cell phones are smart phones.

Facebook is building another data center in Oregon.

If there are enough eyeballs looking at a problem, it becomes easier. Researchers at Oxford are asking the Internet world to help with Egyptian scrolls. I think they will receive a lot of help.

Some do it yourself alternatives to Dropbox.

Some people think that the NSA can track Americans in America. This is a simple one, and the answer is no.

American manufacturing is in trouble. No kidding. It is almost illegal to manufacture anything in America. We need Congress to slash regulations while they are trying to slash spending.

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Thursday July 28, 2011

Thirty years ago, Bill Gates bought an operating system from Seattle Computer Products. He titled it MS-DOS and made a lot of money for years. I remember seeing adds for Seattle Computer Products in Byte magazine. The company sort of went away in a couple of years.

I like this, a hierarchy of digital distractions. We can argue about what should be on what level.

Great photos from the Battle of Britain.

Jerry Pournelle reports on a Federal program to study deaths of whales in the Santa Barbara channel. This probably costs $10M a year. This is the age where we cannot cut a penny from government spending. As Pournelle states, "If you have to choose, free school lunches or research on accidental deaths of whales in the Santa Barbara Channel, which would you choose?"

A great graphic on the projections of Federal budget surpluses and deficits and the actuals. Guess what? Yes, we have never done as well as projected.

Note this: IEEE 802.22 WRAN (Wireless Regional Area Network). This works in the white space vacated by analog television 2 years ago. The theoretical range is 62 miles at 22Megabits per second. Rural broadband should have waited for this.

And note this: this optical disk drive is dead at Apple. Most people can do with these as they have networks and RF networks. There are some of us in government circles who still depend on CDs.

Hmm, Gig.u - a project of 29 universities to bring Gigabit per second broadband to the communities near their campuses. The idea is to attract start ups to the university communities. George Mason University in Fairfax, Va. is in this group. I work a bit at George Mason with engineering and science students and their writing.

The IBM Selectric typewriter. These things were expensive - $3,000 in today's money. The Selectric is 50 years old. I know where one is at work. Just one.

This story has been around the net a lot - Standford researchers build a battery that is transparent and flexible.

The Ultrabooks are coming in September. These are really thin portable computers much like the Apple MacBook Air. They are enabled by newer processors from Intel. Every manufacturer will have one. They will not be inexpensive.

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Friday July 29, 2011

ParaSail - a new language for programming these parallel processors.

I hope the laws of physics obey President Obama because all U.S. cars will have to achieve 54 miles per gallon by 2025. Some people will never learn.

Quicken is not alone. It seems that Microsoft Office 2004 will not work with Apple's OS X 10.7.

Doing things faster: Reading and Writing.

Wow! These guys can photograph a key (house key, car key) from 200 feet away and use the image to make a working key.

Some thoughts on why telecommuting isn't continuing to grow and grow.

Apple has more cash than the U.S. government. Maybe we have the wrong guy in the White House. Surely, we have the wrong people in Congress and as agency heads.

The American government isn't the only one that can't seem to works . The UK is wasting money on IT.

But we find new ways to waste money, like paying doctors to use iPad apps. Sigh.

Apple is now the world's largest smartphone vendor.

After a lot of hard disks were stolen (physically not virtually) Blue Cross encrypts their data.

Solar energy is the fastest growing industry in America. Nice, but it employs fewer than 100,000 people. That is insignificant and it won't become significant for decades.

Today's "high-fidelity" sound systems are NOT as good as they used to be.

The percentage of women in computer science peaked in 1984. Then it dropped. It seems to be growing again.

There is an algorithm that can identify the gender of tweeters. 66% correct after only one short tweet.

New to me - Code School - online programming training. It isn't free though.

Oooh, cool workspace, love the lighting.

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Saturday July 30, 2011

An in-depth look at multi-core processors. You have to write software for these things. No one else is going to do it for you.

This model plane was designed on computer and printed with a 3D printer. All on the computer. It flies, see the video. The world changes.

Global warming? Let's discuss something real. The world's population will reach seven billion this year.

Western Digital now has a disk drive built for portable computers with a 1TeraByte capacity.

MIT researchers have a solar power cell that doesn't require sun light. Maybe some of these things will work one day.

Someone hacks South Korea and obtains the personal data of 70% of the population. Is everyone ready for national electronic health records?

And American Congress Critters want companies to retain all the data they have for future use (like when someone decides to hack into the data). Someone people will never learn.

KISSmetrics - an online tracking service in use now. Researchers have yet to find a way to evade it. I emphasize the word "yet."

I am not sure what to make of this one. The President took his budget battle to Twitter and lost 40,000 followers in one day.

All sorts of interesting things show up at the Black Hat Conference (next week). This little drone will. It flies about intercepting cell phone calls and cracking WiFi nets. It does other things as well.

I love this George Will editorial about how the Internet world has let the Libertarian thought in the door and is showing old liberalism out the door.

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Sunday July 31, 2011

Jerry Weinberg of problem solving -  "A problem is best defined as a difference between things as perceived and things as desired."

Some thoughts on basic human decency and the Internet world. Weinberg (above) is big on basic human decency. That comment is a bit trite, but it rings true. We can be technical; we can be smart; we can be successful, and we really need to act like human beings and treat everyone else like human beings.

Why programmers of high-frequency trading systems on Wall Street are paid a lot of money. One simple reason is that they live in a high cost-of-living area. Another is that they can concentrate while traders are screaming at them.

How the TSA can break into your zipped and locked luggage.

This post is much better than its title: The 7 Habits of Highly Paid Freelance Writers.

This sounds like a fun writing exercise. Find words and shift to the other half of the alphabet for replacement words.

Reasons why NOT to write a blog post for $15.

Are short sentences better than long sentences? Usually.

One writer's method for doing a lot in a little time.

On having a thick skin as a writer. Sometimes, some people hate your work. Remember: they hate your work - not you. There is a difference between the two.

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