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.

Go to Day Book Home and pointer to previous weeks
Go to Dwayne's Home Page
Email me at d.phillips@computer.org

This week: August 1-7, 2011

Summary of this week:

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

Monday August 1,  2011

Will power and bad habits. Sounds like weight gain to me. Also sounds like Congress and the White House and deficit spending for another generation.

Some thoughts on the virtual office. This post contains one surprising fact: while IT has boosted white collar productivity a little, productivity per employee has exploded in manufacturing in the U.S. We have much more output with a third fewer workers. Is that good news?

Foxconn, a Taiwanese manufacturer, will add one million robots to its factories in three years. Why? To reduce cost by replacing humans.

Ground-based GPS transmitters the size of a book provide for better-than-anyone-would-need geo-location.

Adobe "Edge" a new tool that enables HTML5 animations.

Google's Chrome browser is now more popular than Firefox in the UK.

Gloom and doom? Hmm, data centers are using much less power than was predicted.

Everything is connected these days. Researchers say that you could hack into jails and open cells.  A couple of years ago, I wrote a short story about a guy who did such, see Smashwords.

Georgia Tech researchers are making advances in pulling power out of the RF in the air.

Programmers in Silicon Valley make more than the average American programmer. Before you pack all your belongings in your car and head west, consider cost of living and the approaching disaster with the California state government's budget.

Social media fatigue. I have my current job from LinkedIn. I really can't say that I got anything from any other social network.

Email me at d.phillips@computer.org
Go to Day Book Home and pointer to previous weeks
Go to Dwayne's Home Page

Tuesday August 2, 2011

A look at the MacBook Air using the Core i7 processor. Amazing little mahcines.

Apple is selling the new Air so fast, they are running out of stock.

A college student spent his summer building the largest solar farm in the state of Michigan. College students can do amazing things. A problem is, they graduate, find a job, and are bored to death.

Here are a list of stories about how companies collect and use WiFi networks' information.

Brewster Kahle, the creator of the Internet Archive, is trying to buy one copy of every book published for archive - physical archive. He wants to keep the books just in case the power goes out and all the bits on all the server farms are useless.

Researchers have proved what many have believed - facial recognition software and other data-mining techniques allow you to find people everywhere on the web.

German researchers reach 800MegaBitsPerSecond with LEDs. One thing I read recently mentioned that light-based LANs provide greater security than RF LANs. The light won't leak out of the office.

The University of Southern Mississippi is going low cost with tablets for Honors Students. They are issuing Galaxy Tabs instead of iPads.

PaperPort Anywhere - a scanning and OCR service from Nuance.

Stanford will offer its Artificial Intelligence class online FREE this fall.

Finally, Windows XP is used by less than half of Internet users. Windows XP is one of the most successful products ever from Microsoft.

Google is running about 900,000 servers.

Email me at d.phillips@computer.org
Go to Day Book Home and pointer to previous weeks
Go to Dwayne's Home Page

Wednesday August 3, 2011

The demographics of co-working spaces are changing. There are more suits and more people from out of town who need a place other than the motel for work for a day or so.

Apple seems to have solved the problem facing western commerce for centuries - how to sell something to everyone in China.

Coming from India - village-sourcing. I think I just invented that term "villagesourcing."

Just when we were about to run out of oil - technology doubles the available oil in Canada.

Yet we have more predictions of doom.

The NSA is out at this week's Black Hat conference - recruiting employees.

Here is a surprise (not) - ISPs don't deliver the bandwidth they advertise and bill.

The Patriot Act empowers U.S. intelligence agencies to look at data stored outside the U.S. This is frightening European adoption of cloud computing.

It appears that the Chinese government has been hacking into government and business sites for years. Is everyone ready for national electronic health records?

iCloud.com is up and running.

Google+ now has 25 million users. This sets some kind of record for quick adoption.

Hmm, Radi - a Mac app that helps generate any kind of visual for the web.

This office is F A B U L O U S! In a treehouse. Here are more photos.

This is  a fine-looking external hard drive from IOmega for the Mac.

Email me at d.phillips@computer.org
Go to Day Book Home and pointer to previous weeks
Go to Dwayne's Home Page

Thursday August 4, 2011

Wear a camera around your neck. The camera takes photos of all the faces in front of it. Facial recognition tells you everyone's name and informationa about them. This isn't science fiction.

Trying to manage the new generation of workers - gen y or the millenials.

I like this coming little black box - a graphics cards enclosure that will connect to a main computer via Thunderbolt 10GigaBitsPerSecond. That would allow programming GPUs from a "main" computer in a kit form.

Time will make all 21 of its magazines available for the iPad this year.

That's nothing - Vogue is building a web site that will have every issue since 1892 online. A treasure for historians.

It appears that some people are living in Starbucks locations in New York City. Some Starbucks have covered the electric outlets so that laptop loungers can only stay as long as their battery lasts.

ClearWire may shift from WiMax to LTE. I don't know if they can offer both technologies at the same time.

A Swedish ocean exploring team has found a 60-meter object on the ocean floor.

All sorts of interesting and frightening things come out of the Black Hat conference. Here is one: Google searches help find the keys to SCADA systems. This means hacking into utility companies. Don't worry about the power grid, worry about the sewage facility pumping in reverse.

American Airlines expands its in-flight entertainment video service. I just want ice cream and pop corn on the plane.

For what it is worth, America is leading the world in in-flight entertainment. Just give me ice cream and pop corn on the plane.

Steven VanRoekel will be the second CIO of the United States. He may be a fine person, but he is another political hack. I don't understand why this administration invented the position of CIO of the USA only to fill it will long-term government insiders instead of technology leaders.

Analysts predict that Apple will sell 30 million iPhones in the fourth quarter of this year. 30 million in three months, and the US government appoints a career government employee to be its CIO. Are we kidding?

Strap a video camera underneath a skateboard and hit the streets of New York. I don't recommend skating in traffic like this. Great video.

There have been plenty of bad ideas come out of science. Perhaps one day we will shake our heads at this idea that you can warm the earth with CO2.

The 15 worst-dressed men in Silicon Valley. Sometimes I feel like these guys are trying to look stupid.

Where would we be without government regulators? The FAA is investigating News Corp's use of a drone.

IT spending in the Federal government has "survived" budget cuts. I worked in the Federal government for 28 years. The IT is outdated. It is not, however, the major problem in government offices.

Email me at d.phillips@computer.org
Go to Day Book Home and pointer to previous weeks
Go to Dwayne's Home Page

Friday August 5, 2011

Nice graphic - the Apple tree of products from 1976 to now. The big break was 2001 with a thing called the iPod.

Some ISPs are hijacking the search queries of people. This may be illegal. A lot of people are excited about this, so there must be money involved in here somewhere.

The Ultrabook - a set of parts that Intel has made so that everyone else can make a portable computer as thin as Apple. Now people are griping about the cost of the parts. Intel, of course, is trying to show people that they can compete with Apple on price.

Ooh, I like this conference table. There are big-screen displays at the ends of the table. Every "user" at the table can have their screen's (pad, phone, laptop) display appear on the big screens.

The debt deal will kill federally funded R&D. Please, the sky is not not falling. Perhaps the Federal government funds too much useless R&D.

LinkedIn is now adding two new members every second. Perhaps that is too much success.

A large deposit of rare earth materials has been found in Nebraska. Now America will ask, "can we use this stuff or is the environment more important than jobs?"

The Saudis are constucting the world's tallest building. In a hundred years, what will the people who live nearby think of these (falling) structures in Saudi and other places where they are building these things?

Finally, someone sees (one of) the fallacy in the smart grid where everyone will run their appliances at the low-peak period. If everyone is running their appliance at that time, they it will be the high-peak, not the low-peak. How could people miss this for so long?

Who invented the one-time pad? That is how a lot of effective encryption works. You have a key, you use it one time, you discard it and never use it again. Simple, effective, and used widely.

Travelling the world for a year with an iPad. And here is where you can buy the Scottevest mentioned for carrying the iPad.

The nation's new CIO believes that the productivity gap between public and private employees is IT. I hope that he is kidding or just spinning things to be nice. If he really believes that IT is the reason for government flops, sigh. IT is NOT the reason.

Rich people used to go watch major battles. It must have been a sight to see. Here are tales from the first Battle of Bull Run, 1861. Many of the D.C. residents quickly hopped in the carraiges and ran back home as fast as possible once they saw the Confederate forces win a huge victory. It is one of history's great questions as to why the Conferederates didn't gallop into Washington as they could have. How would history be different?

Email me at d.phillips@computer.org
Go to Day Book Home and pointer to previous weeks

Go to Dwayne's Home Pag

Saturday August 6, 2011

Autonomous "cars" are in use at Heathrow airport. No, they really aren't cars and this is a tightly constrained situation, but it is a start.

The "web" is 20 years old today. Happy birthday HTML and all that.

This is the web site of Milk, Inc. It is the one startup where everyone wants to work. That is all I know.

Growing Up Geek - one woman's memior.

Hackers dump ten gigabytes of police data taken from police departments across the U.S. Is everyone ready for national electronic health records?

And more news from Black Hat: vulnerabilities revealed in ChromeOS and OS X.

Standard and Poor downgraded the credit rating of the U.S. government. Lots of talk on both sides of this decision. Folks, if you spill green ink on paper and tell people it is worth something, well, that sort of wears out after a while. And four American companies are now rated as having better credit that the country.

ooooops, other countries are testing the full-body scanners in use in the U.S., and the results of the tests are bad. Hmm, did we test...

Our government keeps trying to help us, and we keep suffering from unintended consequences. It seems that 149 people die each year for every one mile per gallon increase in fuel efficiency mandated by our government. Yes, higher fuel standards cost lives.

Old programmers have useful skills that young programmers have never experienced. It has always been this way. Remember 64KByte segments?

Email me at d.phillips@computer.org
Go to Day Book Home and pointer to previous weeks
Go to Dwayne's Home Page

Sunday August 7, 2011

The new (so new they don't quite exist yet) self-driving cars are coming under an old criticism that may kill them before they start. They won't be perfect (no accidents ever). They will have fewer accidents than people. Is that good enough? Expert systems in the 1980s were practically killed because, although they had higher rates of success than folks like you and me who are sometimes too tired to think well, they were less than 100% correct. And why, you may ask, will self-driving cars have fewer accidents? Because they will be boring. They won't be in a hurry changing lanes all the time trying to make it to work two minutes sooner than the other guy.

And in a sort of related matter, the Army has sent four robot jeeps to Afghanistan for tests. These vehicles can carry half a ton of supplies. The goal is to remove humans from cargo convoys and the threat of IED mutilation.

There is selling stuff and there is educating people about stuff. Good blogs and sites do both with a little more educating than selling.

This is silly, but why not try it. Some artists, and others, want resale rights. If I buy a painting from Joe for $100 and ten years later sell it for $120, I have to give Joe a percentage of the $20 profit. Imagine doing this with a house or anything else.

Speech-to-text is coming to Apple's iOS5. It's about time.

Mark Cuban on how patent laws are killing jobs. Yes, more good intentions that have dire side effects.

Ask the Northern California realtors if there is a tech bubble. They will answer Yes.

It appears that Microsoft will put JavaScript and HTML5 into Office 15.

More information on how to make money as a writer. There is some good advice in this post. "write copy that persuades their readers and drives them to action." Easier said than done, but it may point you in the right direction.

Find the "we" in writing. This makes good sense. Try to find where the writer and the reader are in the same group. Write inside that group.

I like, change that to love, the advice given here about taking your passion to other markets. For example, how would a magazine about Families want an article about guitar strings? Kids, members of families, take guitar lessons.

Excellent three videos shot around the world. Excellent editing. Only a few generations ago, this was impossible for anyone to do, no matter how wealthy or resourceful.

Moving from working alone at home to working in a co-working space.

For writers, practice practice practice means write write write write write.

Email me at d.phillips@computer.org
Go to Day Book Home and pointer to previous weeks
Go to Dwayne's Home Page