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: August 22-28, 2011

Summary of this week:

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

Monday August 22,  2011

Apple is now outselling Lenovo in China in basic computers.

A little robot designed to enter mines that have collapsed.

A wearable coach for baseball players. Cute. Okay, take the technology and the idea and use it to help people whose muscle don't work right to function in society.

Nice history of Motorola wireless devices.

The U.S. Coast Guard spent $7Billion and has two ships. Your tax dollars at waste.

A simple desk.

Some schools have their own police forces. I am speechless.

Breaks at work to surf the web improve productivity.

Hackers break into another defense contractor. Is everyone ready for national electronic health records?

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Tuesday August 23, 2011

A British boy writes Mercedes and asks for a mechanical hand. They provide one for him and help him raise the money to fund it. Outstanding. Here is more on the mechanical hand.

I still use an Apple iPhone 3GS. It is the second most popular smartphone in America.

Apple's recent update to OS X and the MacBook Air caused a big jump in sales.

How many people remember what a "long distance phone call" is?

The saga of the discontinued HP tablet computer continues - it is the best seller at several big US stores. Again, one lesson is that people will buy something other than an iPad if the price is $99. Someone might learn how to lose money on the hardware and make a pile of money on everything else.

You can put an FM radio (one little chip) in almost anything, so why not put it in every lantern and flashlight that everyone makes?

Well, HP isn't quite out of the PC business yet - a sharp new all-in-one desktop computer.

Canon has a new line of little digital cameras. Does anyone even count megapixels anymore? These has 12MegaPixels (I think).

Codecademy has 200,000 users in three days. This is not a social site, but one where you learn how to program.

New processors coming from Intel - thee billion transittors on a chip, eight cores.

Some interesting speculation about what we will be carrying or wearing in ten years.

What works in educational technology in the developing world? Simple things and eBook readers. One little eBook reader gives a child enough books to keep them busy for a year or two.

Part of the Ford-Toyota deal is the publication of telematics standards. Yes! Finally!

Some tips on how to sleep on an airplane. Close your eyes, slow your breathing and your mind. Don't try too hard.

3D printing is real, making real parts. See the photo of the skeleton airplane part that weighs half as much and does the job. It reminds me of the flying butress instead of the butress on a cathedral.

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Wednesday August 24, 2011

We had an earthquake here yesterday. Yawn. Buildings were evacuated so that inspectors could ensure they were safe. I guess that is prudent as you don't want to be sued by someone hit two hours later by a falling ceiling tile or something. The Washington Post grossly exagerated the story. That is not news.

And as Seth Godin says: Organizations are busy evacuating buildings, even national monuments. Even though experience indicates that the most dangerous thing you can do is have tens of thousands of people run down the stairs, cram into the elevators and stand in the streets...


The founders of Twitter are starting a new development company called Lift. No details.

Toshiba is now buiding a competitor to the Roomba vacuum cleaner.

Android continues to grow in the smartphone market.

I don't remember this from the movie 2001, but they were using tablet computers in one scene.

The Google fiber project is coming online. Users are seeing 150MegaBitPerSecond downloads. It is a shame that Google chose Stanford for its experimental community. Stanford already has enough money and other advantages over the vast majority of us.

Apple can't meet the demand for the 13" MacBook Air units.

Torture in Bahrain. The evidence was provided by western-supplied systems. It isn't easy doing business internationally. You find yourself quickly dealing with people you would rather not.

Oooops, someone at Yale slipped and 43,000 social security numbers became public. Is everyone ready for national electronic health records?

oooops also happens in China. A People's Liberation Army video mistakenly shows evidence of government-sponsored hacking and attacking of the web sites of other governments.

Fedora 16 alpha has been released today.

This can't be a real desk. It must come from a Hollywood set or something.

I hate to admit it, but I may need this MS Word keyboard cheat sheet.

More PCs are sold in China than in the US.

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Thursday August 25, 2011

This is the story today - Steve Jobs resigns from Apple for health reasons.

I like George Will's editorial. Note in the middle of it how when union dues are voluntary, they drop drastically. People are voting with their wallets.

I love this: an engineer hacks a Kindle and replaces the controls with ones that his sister with cerebral palsy can use.

Houston joins a dozen U.S. cities and turns off its red-light cameras. There are still some 500 cities with the cameras operating.

While the mayor of New York wants a traffic camera on every corner. Why? Because they bring in money. At least he's candid about it.

A Russian cargo ship bound for the space station crashed after launch. Lines of logistics are long and fragile.

A few more tidbits about Microsoft Windows 8 are out.

I find this interesting - the smartphone is the idol of our age. Actually, it is the symbol of worhsiping the "freedom" we gain from electronics and communications.

Lenovo shows its entries into the Ultrabook area and a new tablet.

Acer, the second largest computer maker in the world, LOST money last quarter.

Paul Allen wants your old computers for his museum. Here is a list of especially wanted items.

Is there a link between antibiotics and obesity? Maybe.

Google pays a $500million fine to the U.S. government. I expect many more. Google is simply too successful. If you want money from the government, e.g., General Motors, you have to fail.

South Dakota shortens the school week to four days in some districts. They will lengthen each day by half an hour and shorten lunch break. Great idea! It will save money and the education will be the same. Great idea!

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Friday August 26, 2011

UCLA develops a stretchable OLED display.

IBM is building a 120 PetaByte disk drive array (120 Million GigaBytes). The client is unnamed.

A display of the price of Apple's stock under Steve Jobs. This is why some CEO are paid tens of millions of dollars a year. I understand whatever it is the Apple paid Jobs. I don't understand whatever it is the GM and Chrysler paid their CEOs.

A look at 20 years of Linux. I was in computing when Linux started. We must all thank Intel for the 80386, which was a big enabler. We must also thank Stalhman and the GNU folks as well.

Amazing, a photographer spends his own money to have an 8"x10" imaging sensor built. Wow.

Something to note, Kitware and image behavior and such. I am not sure what to write about this yet, but I will mull on it a while.

Social media and the problems it causes people who work undercover.

Are we in a tablet bubble?

MIT has a new defense against wireless man-in-the-middle attacks.

Great simple desk for podcasts.

The Internet Archive has compiled TV sources of the 9/11 attacks ten years ago. I'd rather not watch any of this. I suppose that in ten or twenty years it will be an excellent source for history classes.

Manufacturing is disappearing in the U.S. I believe that government has almost made it illegal to manufacture anything here.

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Saturday August 27, 2011

No viewing today as I have to work and monitor Hurricane Irene skimming past to the east.

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Sunday August 28, 2011

We have trends so people can go in another direction. Playing games on PCs isn't dead - see this great portable game machine.

Bob Sutton has five warning signs that Apple is starting to slip. When you are at the top, the only place to go is down.

I like this comment about HP's TouchPad and its success after being discontinued and sold for $99 -  Kay explained. "If you were a big company like HP and you were doing a new category product launch, it would not be weird to have a marketing budget in the hundreds of millions," he said in a phone interview. "So, you could have used that money to subsidize the price of the TouchPad and you can flood the market with these devices that are worth way more than you have to pay for them. And get them in everybody's hands. Get everybody talking about it. That could have been the loss leader entry into the market," he said.

Never underestimate the power of writing well.

Some thoughts on high-quality web content.

At only $1,500 (what?) this ASUS graphics card is the fastest on earth.

Okay, listen to this one - IT IS REAL AND IMPORTANT - in an emergency, send a text message, not a phone call. Your text message will go through the clogged system. Your phone call will only clog the clogged system. One of my last great (and yes, ignored) recommendation before I left government was about this very topic.

And here are good tips to make your cell phone battery last longer.

The story behind the Nike logo.

A great video. It has something to do with snowboarding, so there is lots of snow and mountains and things, but how did they shoot this video? Amazing.

How to waste time as a freelance writer.

In a summer writing slump? Here are some ideas of breaking out. My suggestion is to sit and start typing nonsensical things that come to mind. It is fun (for me).

Five brainstorming techniques for writers.

Use short, clear words. I like this example from Winston Churchill: Short words are best and the old words when short are best of all. All words contain only one syllable.

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