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: October 10-16, 2011

Summary of this week:

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

Monday October 10,  2011

Tales of Steve Jobs as Atari employee #40. He snuck Wozniak in the door at night to the do the engineering work and kept all the credit. So what? They were kids.

I guess I didn't realize it since I don't send many text messages (two or three a month), but cell phone companies charge 20 cents a text message. Hence, people are finding ways to send text for free over the Internet instead.

Google introduces a programming language for building web sites: Dart.

I finally find a statement from the Occupy Wall Street group“The one thing we all have in common is that we are the 99 percent that will no longer tolerate the greed and corruption of the 1 percent.” Now all we have to do is identify those greedy and corrupt 1 percent. There are many candidates in the major political parties, Congress, Hollywood, and the board of directors of major companies. I doubt much will come of this, but I am sure who the media will finger as the 1 percent.

And @cshirky: The message of #OWS is not “Here’s is our 9-point plan.” The message of #OWS is “This is not a livable compromise.

This is clever. Use 2-liter soda bottles filled with water to collect sun light. They sort of become light bulbs. See the video to believe it.

If the United States is so stupid, how do we keep winning all these Nobel Prizes? One thing to note, there are no Nobel Prizes in politics. Side question, is there any measurable intelligence among politicians?

The Minnesota company that made Steve Jobs' turtlenecks doubled its sales. I guess this means something. I don't know that it means something good.

Staples surveyed its employees on ways to improve the office. The top answer was "eliminate it." I agree.

A beautiful workspace.

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Tuesday October 11, 2011

HP's new cloud service will run on Ubuntu Linux.

The web and modile use: 7% of web traffic is from mobile users, 58% is from iOS. The vast majority of iOS use is from the iPad, not the iPhone.

Due to a Jerry Brown veto, California Police can still search a subject's (not a citizen's as citizens have rights) cell phone at arrest without a warrant. We will see how long the courts allow this to last.

Adobe shows a preview of a Photoshop feature that will "de-blur" photos. If this really works, just think of the historical photos we would de-blur to reveal what really happened. See, for example, all those blurring images from the JFK assasination.

Facebook releases an iPad app. At least it arrived before both Facebook and Apple ceased to exist.

A look at Western Digitial's home network storage unit.

The Acer Ultrabook is here at $900. They call it the Aspire S3.

Benchmarks showing how much more powerful the iPhone 4S is.

This could change the world. A man with quadriplegia has controlled robot arm with his mind.

Over 60% of Google+ users have gone inactive. I guess I am one of those.

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Wednesday October 12, 2011

Just to show that Steve Jobs also had stupid ideas, here is the story behind his black turtleneck. He wanted Apple employees to wear an official uniform to help them bond to each other and the company. The employees, thankfully, vetoed the idea.

The iCloud home page is now on.

A review of the iPhone 4S. And a look at the Siri voice recognition and assistant application.

Here is the ASUS Ultrabook. They call it the Zenbook.

Intel gives up on putting its chips into televisions.

The FBI has a classified interpretation of an unclassified law. That actually makes a little sense, but then it falls apart when the New York Times wants to know how a publicly funded agency is going to enforce a public law in public.

Guess what? Photojournalists often stage the dramatic photos they shoot. Ahh, when I was a kid, this was called "yellow journalism." Now it is just called "journalism." Is there any wonder that people trust Comedy Central more than they trust fill-in-the-blank News?

Up and Down the Ladder of Abstraction.

Ten food myths that won't die.

Researchers have broken the crypto on RFID smart cards. The cards are commonly used for entry into "secure" areas - like your motel room.

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Thursday October 13, 2011

This is new news in the last hour - Dennis Ritchie dies at age 70. He helped invent UNIX and C. He was one of those guys who changed everything.

When you are tired, stop and rest. Then go back to life.

Do you want to open a co-working business. Check out these ideas.

I like this home office idea. The book case creates a divider in a room that separates the living room from the office. It also hides the office.

The Apple-Samsung court battles are now raging in Australia.

Apple computer sales (you remember computers :) grow 21% in a year. The Mac now has 13% of the U.S. personal computer market.

Apple may have a smaller iPad in the works to compete with the Amazon Fire.

Windows 8 is at least a year away from release, but Microsoft is already responding to users' complaints and changing the user interface. This sounds like the presidential race. The election is in 2012, not 2011. Win 8 comes in 2012, not 2011. Right?

Microsoft launches the Windows phone in India.

Life is not all wonderful being an older engineer. Life is not all wonderful being a younger engineer either.

Here are comments from George Will on the Occupy Wall Street gang. The crowds are much smaller than the Tea Party ones. The OWS group is complaining about many of the same things the Tea Party is, but the press is spinning it another way.

A guide to starting your use of iCloud.

Some EXCELLENT idea from Seth Godin on the use of PowerPoint.  And more from Godin on the "atomic method" of creating a presentation.

More simulations of dinosaurs (what else would we have?) indicate that the T-Rex was bigger than we thought. That means it ate more than we thought. That means that it was rarer than we thought. It was sort of a fluke of nature. I guess that big fight among King Kong and two T-Rexes was just a fantasy.

This is great - a 3D printer for kids. Let the kids have at it. I have no doubt that they will do things that none of the adults ever considered.

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Friday October 14, 2011

Message from a mother who telecommutes - you still have to pay for childcare.

Apple's supply of portable computers is running short. This indicates a refresh to the line. Nothing major is expected here, just some updated, i.e., faster processors.

Google has a big financial quarter. Here is one report (there are many on the Internet this morning).

Stanford continues its plan for building a "campus" in New York City.

The deal is official - Skype is now a part of Microsoft.

College loans are probably not a good idea. Back in the boom days of the 1990s, companies were paying off loans as a hiring bonus for new graduates. Those days are gone and not likely to return.

Rats, real ones, you know, rodents, take down a data center and kill Internet service. They like to chew the insulation on cables.

A California teacher's union is fighting to stop online courses. This is sad, but it is the way it is. The union shows itself for what it is. Education is not important. Jobs for teachers, i.e., union members, is what is paramount.

It is October of 2011, so the Ubuntu 11.10 release is out.

Today is the day for the iPhone 4S to be in stores. Steve Wozniak is the first in line at the Los Gatos store.

This is NOT a surprise - Rovio Entertainment, the company behind Angry Birds, is highly profitable.

Making new, personal covers for inexpensive journals (blank books).

A handful of car makers have agreed on an international standard for an electric vehicle charger. This is a big deal.

As silly as it looks, this is pretty impressive - ping pong playing robots.

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Saturday October 15, 2011

A new wind turbine design from the man who created the Segway.

Windows 7 has overtaken Windows XP is usage around the world.

Nintendo has sold over 50 million DS units in the U.S.

Google killed the Buzz service Friday. Google+ has taken over.

It appears that no one is making film motion picture cameras any longer.

Put 36 digital cameras in a ball, toss it in the air, let software stitch the results together. Great toy, and perhaps someone will find a good use for it.

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Sunday October 16, 2011

I won't be getting one of these - a huge belt buckle holster for the iPhone.

Mark Cuban has some pretty good thoughts on Wall Street, college loans, and the like. I especially like his idea of capping student loans at $2,000 a year. The market will adjust, and people will still be educated. More money only raises the prices, not the product.

How to "cook" food in a Thermos bottle. I've never thought of this one, it seems to work.

The National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) is coming on November 1. Write about 1,666 words a day for 30 days and you have a 50,000-word novel. I did it last year and wrote about a 55,000-word novel. It took me about an hour and a half a day to do this. Fun and educational. I think I have sold a grand total of zero copies of the novel on Smashwords.

Six mistakes commonly made in PowerPoint presentations. Mistake zero is usually doing a PowerPoint presentation.

How one writer moved into freelance writing. It is a portable job. You can even do it in a foreign country without getting a work permit visa. I had never thought of the I-don't-need-a-special visa perspective. Good idea.

A writer describes his switch to Macs from PCs. Years ago, I noticed that many independent consultants were using Apple computers instead of Wintel machines. They percentage of Apple users was much higher than in the general population. Why? I asked, and the answer was that these consultants had no IT department behind them. They needed their computers to work all the time. No viruses, no crashes, no lost data. They had found that the Apple computers just worked better.

Direct electronic publishing from authors can feel like you are not accomplishing anything. One reason is that you are not receiving notes from publishers and editors. Those milestones of accomplishment are gone.

For writers, read something different - something completely different.

How one person has made a life and a living without any marketable qualifications.

A self-navigating vehicle that doesn't use GPS.

Summer camp students build a Braille writer app for tablets. The result is something that is one-tenth the cost of current Braille writers. Great stuff.

Netflix reverses its course and decides to keep streaming video and renting DVDs under one name.

Patagonia has a new one. They are asking customers to buy less of their product. Instead, take that old jacket that you stopped wearing, send it back to them, they will clean it, and put it up for resale.

Words matter. How to open a conversation, and how not to close one with the wrong opening statement.

Sinking your teeth into your writing. Good tips.

Start fresh. I love the photo of the empty note book.

Finding local writing clients.

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