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: September 5-11, 2011

Summary of this week:

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

Monday September 5,  2011

Today is Labor Day in America. There isn't much to view today on the Internet.

Is HP in the PC business or out? The questions are sending corporate customers to other suppliers.

The iPad has a 10" screen. It seems everyone else is going for smaller screens.

If you are going to build a house on the edge of water, it might as well float if the water rises.

Here is a list of the five most influential programming books of all time. I have read three of the five.

The Register site has been hacked. Is everyone ready for national electronic health records?

All these computers in the classroom are not raising grades. Of course they aren't. This is silly as grades are relative. The goal is learning, not grades folks. Computers, like chalkboards and books, are tools. The learning comes about with competent teachers and students who want to learn.

And while we are on education, Seth Godin writes about our system of universal, compulsary education and the race to the bottom:  "As we get ready for the 93rd year of universal public education, here’s the question every parent and taxpayer needs to wrestle with: Are we going to applaud, push or even permit our schools (including most of the private ones) to continue the safe but ultimately doomed strategy of churning out predictable, testable and mediocre factory-workers?"

I didn't know that Gateway was still in business, but here they are with a tablet.

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Tuesday September 6, 2011

For some reason, today is a day for Ultrabook news. Here are the entries from Acer and Toshiba. This post claims that no one is making more than 50,000 units. They don't want to invest too much into a risky venture. I guess they don't want to quit and sell the leftovers for $99.

And this post discusses Intel's interest and investment into the Ultrabook idea.

Well, this might be of use to someone - a laser pointer that can be seen 85 miles away.

Jeff Bezos of Amazon owns a company that is trying to build rockets that will go to the space station. They had a test failure eleven days ago.

This is a portable satellite TV system. It is advertised for tailgating to watch sporting events. Note, however, its usefulness in emergency situations like after a tornado, hurricane, earthquake, or the like.

25 best tech companies to work for in 2011.

Everyone says that Apple will sell a TV in 2012. No one seems sure about what that means.

Some reasons why Amazon's tablet will suceed in the market where everyone else (except Apple) has failed. The reasons seem to make sense.

The world's first electric-motor-powered helicopter flight. This was done by one man working alone. It took him 12 months to build and fly. Excellent.

The U.S. Postal Service has been bypassed by time and technology. It serves a much-limited purpose and may no longer exist has I have known it all my life. A few hundred thousand people will lose their jobs. This is tragic for those people. This is life.

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Wednesday September 7, 2011

Objective-C is moving up the charts in the programming language world. It is what people use to program the Apple mobile units.

Michael Arrington tries to clarify the situation - I still don't understand it.

ooooohhh aaaaaahhhhh Apple is shipping its 27" Thunderbolt displays this week.

A big shake up at Yahoo - CEO fired and replaced.

A look at Polaroid's instant photo printer. Not quite there. The print quality isn't good and they cost a dollar print.

Someone is building a 20-square-mile tech testbed city in New Mexico. No one will live there, but the streets, buildings, water, electric, etc. will provide a technology testbed.

The fax machine won't go away. In government work, it will live on for a few more decades.

New photos of our ancient landing sites on the moon. It is hard to believe that we actually did that and that we couldn't do it again today. Amazing how badly America has bungled its space program. It is now just another bureaucracy that spends all its time ensuring it gets money from Congress instead of doing anything.

WOW! This guy connected a DEC VT220 to a MacBook Pro. Outstanding.

Some numbers on eBook readers. Amazon is selling more eBooks than paperbooks (hardcover plus paperback).

Advances in full-duplex RF communications.

Intel introduces a dozen new processors. New big technology advances on this one.

Hitachi releases a little 3.5" disk drive at 1 TeraByte.

And Seagate has the world's first 4 TeraByte external disk drive.

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Thursday September 8, 2011

One person's experience with standing at a desk instead of sitting.

Some of the new technology in the Ultrabooks.

If you use a special notebook (paper), smartphone apps can capture and digitize your notes better.

Michael S. Hart dies at 64. He created Project Gutenberg. He had some vision.

AMD is shipping new arithmatic processor units.

And AMD is shipping 16-core processors for servers.

Delta Airlines has put WiFi on its regional jets. Could they give us better customer service at the airports?

Not quite out of the PC business yet, HP is shipping a new line of all-in-one computers.

A good post about the R Statistics Language.

Next month, Avis will start a new service where they park their rental car in your business' parking lot. Computers and RF track everything and you get the bill. I like the idea.

And now Michael Arrington has been or will soon be fired from AOL. When did tech bloggers become celebrities?

Some thoughts on the state of open-source software. It is the best of times and it is the worst of times. (That's a pretty good line. Did I read it somewhere?)

Maybe, just maybe, just maybe maybe maybe, the lighter-than-air ship returns.

Jobs? Who needs jobs? The PROTECT IP bill will kill jobs. Everyone seems to know this. Perhaps the bill won't pass. Again, who needs jobs? The President has a plan to spend $100Billion to create up to (optimistic not realistic prediction) 1 million construction jobs. I could easily find 1 million construction workers who would work for $100,000. And that is NOT an optimistic prediction.

Ooooops, WikiLeaks shows that U.S. diplomats were marketing Microsoft software to foreign governments.

Research and experiments show that autistic kids will interact and grow when given a simple robot toy. Excellent.

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Friday September 9, 2011

Do we need the 9 to 5 defined work hours? People still do that?

A call to be simple instead of productive. Makes a lot of sense.

Apple wins again in another German court regarding Samsung and their tablets.

Lowe's is going to iPhones for in-store customer help and check out. This is a system similar to what Apple uses in its stores.

Stanford Hospital posts private information of 20,000 emergency room patients. There are a lot of pretty smart folks at Stanford. I would guess that the average level of competence there is pretty high; much higher than the average level of competence in Federal agencies. Given all that, Stanford loses private medical information. Is everyone ready for national electronic health records (handled by Federal agencies)?

It appears that the Patriot Act is all about chasing drug dealers and not counter terrorism.

A company is selling restored Polaroid SX-70 cameras. Wow. We used these into the 1980s at work for quick hardcopy that did not require going to a film developer. Great for sensitive work where you didn't want just anybody at the developer to see what you were doing.

I like this one - time-lapse photography of a person making a time-lapse photography video.

This is a 9,000-square-foot building that can be moved here and there - even on roads. They use different building materials that are as strong as the norm, but much lighter.

According to this source, the U.S. has outspent Al-Qaeda seven million to one. I hope we are winning. What upsets me is that I know many of the people who are deciding to spend like these. They are not stupid people. Our system seems to cause smart people to make stupid decisions.

Dell puts a TeraByte of Solid State Storage into a portable computer.

Microsoft demonstrates how fast Windows 8 will boot. This is fast. We shall see what happens in real life. What surprises me is that in 2011 we still use the term "boot" for a computer.

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Saturday September 10, 2011

George Will has an excellent editorial on the tenth anniversary of 9/11. He constrasts it to the tenth anniversary of Pearl Harbor. I agree that people are paying so much attention to this anniversary in an effort to find something, anything that will bring good feelings.

Sprint is denying all leave to employees the first half of October. The rumor is that the iPhone 5 will be released then. A side note. See what happens in private industry? All leave cancelled. This never happens in government "service" (the word used in government instead of "employment").

Computing in the cloud has some drawbacks. This week both Google Docs and Microsoft 365 went down a while.

The NBC News Twitter account was hacked. The posts were in bad taste, but it again shows how insecure computing is in general. So, is everyone ready for national electronic health records?

And yet another security standard is broken.

A look at an InMarSat Phone.

This is neat, so it will probably be a successful product. It's just a stylus, but it looks like a cursor and it has a magnet on it.

This week's funny videos.

Here is a prediction that energy use per household in the U.S. will decline in the next decade. We shall see.

It seems that hearing aids are grossly over priced. The technology is less expensive, but the hearing aids keep rising rapidly in price. I noted this post as both my mother and one of my brothers have such devices.

Technology hasn't help much in the war on terrorism. Bureacracies continue to stifle innovation and raise costs.

Don't look now, but Samsung is doing very well across a broad range of technologies.

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Sunday September 11, 2011

There is a bill in the U.S. Senate that if inacted would fine companies million of dollars for weak online security. If anyone takes this bill seriously, it would kill online business in America and cost us millions of jobs. If anyone has been paying attention, they would realize that online security is a silly goal. The numbers simply work against you. Hence, companies would disappear from the web. They would be at a terrible competitive disadvantage to non-U.S. companies and lay off millions. I wish smarter heads prevail in Washington, but I have little hope of that.

Basic tips about a blog. These are good tips.

If you believe that government can do wonderful things and manage well, read this. It is about the Webb space telescope. It could be about tens of thousands of different government-(mis)managed projects.

A post about creating jobs the inoovative vice the government way. I fear that the government way of making up work and making up jobs will prevail.

I love this post about how Apple kept the iPad a secret while letting developers have iPads. No WikiLeaks here. Think about that one a while.

And now back to good old insecurity - Take a radio controlled toy helicopter, attach a computer, fly around the neighborhood, or someone else's neighborhood, and hack all the WiFi systems.

What is American food? I have to note this. My youngest son is is Germany for the school year teaching English. We had a Google video chat with him this morning.

NASA launches a new mission to the moon - GRAIL.

Writing doesn’t mean necessarily putting words on a sheet of paper. You can write a chapter while walking or eating.”
—Umberto Eco.

I found the content of this post much better than the title: 52 Types of Blog Posts that are Proven to Work.

I love this post - the underappreciation of rest. Rest is not laziness.

Don't let tomorrow steal your writing.

Write a novel in two months. Or this November, write a novel in one month.

Beating writer's block with a journal. I don't have writer's block as I have more things to write than time and energy. I also keep a journal, so maybe...

And here are some journal writing prompts. And some more.

Another request for people to stop writing for a penney a word
. I have written for far more than a penney a word. And I have written for far less.

A list of eleven books on writing. There is plenty of good advice in these. Here is one more piece of advice: avoid the temptation to delay writing until after you have read all the books.

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