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 31-November 6, 2011

Summary of this week:

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

Monday October 31,  2011

The creators of Ubuntu Linux will try the mobile market. They plan to do tablet and smart phone operating systems.

It seems that an eBook downloaded to an eBook reader actually has a measurable mass.

Some people are starting to notice the education bubble. But don't worry, recently our government has announced plans to allow the borrower to not repay their debts. The rest of the tax payers will take care of that.

Your tax dollars at waste - An Ohio Emergency Management Agency staged a zombie attack for an emergency drill. This would be funny as I am a Virginia resident and don't care how much Ohio tax money is wasted, but I have no doubt that Federal dollars also supported this.

Back in March, 760 companies were compromised in an RSA attack. Is everyone ready for national electronic health records?

A conversation with Brian Kernighan (of Kernighan and the recently deceased Ritchie).

The age of range sensors may be upon us.

The marketplace is turning away from cable television. I know a few people who have cancelled their cable TV and switched to viewing entertainment and sports from the Internet only.

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Tuesday November 1, 2011

Symantec reports on cyber attacks for defense companies. Is everyone ready for national electronic health records?

The Chinese space program takes another step forward. The next people to walk on the moon will be from China. The U.S. will be redesigning their design plans for design planning at the time.

DISA has approved Dell's Mobile Security for Android platform, i.e., the Dell Streak tablet, for use on defense networks.

Motorola, recently purchased by Google, lays off another 800 people.

HTC is now shipping more smartphones in the U.S. than everyone else.

A must-see video from Boston Dynamics. Those guys make the creepiest-robots. This time they have a biped, human form robot - the PETMAN.

Apple may drop the Mac Pro line of computers. I always thought of these as the under-the-desk supercomputers. They have the most powerful processors, more memory, more disk space, and generally  more power than just about any commercial computer you can buy off the shelf. I understand how this line would not be popular, but I kind of liked them.

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Wednesday November 2, 2011

Must see video - German quadrocopters actually lift a person in to the air. This is supposed to be some sort of first.

Remote working, teleworking, and the like have boomed during the recession. (If and) When the economy recovers, will these work styles fade away?

A new source of tech news - The Verge.

Lenovo has a big financial quarter with profits up 88%.

The K computer - the world's fastest supercomputer - becomes faster.

Beijing will soon have the world's largest free WiFi network. Of course, the government will monitor its subjects through the network and so on.

A research study "steals" 250 GigaBytes of data from Facebook. Is everyone ready for national electronic health records?

Microsoft Research shows some neat possibilities using Kinect sensors.

OpenBSD 5.0 is released.

A look back at software that worked and required, by today's standards, a tiny amount of memory. Turbo PASCAL, which I used a lot, needed 39KBytes of memory. Visicalc needed 29KBytes. Please note, these are kilobytes, not megabytes, not gigabytes. These programs worked wonderfully well on computers with 64KiloBytes of memory.

A do-it-yourself unmanned airship climbs to 95,000 feet. Another new record. This only cost $30,000.

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Thursday November 3, 2011

A great story - we hear about copyright infringement killing industries, but those are the fastest growing, highest paying industries in America.

Google is trying to win a contract for cloud services for the Department of the Interior. The contract, however, is so heavily tilted towards Microsoft that Google, and everyone else, has little chance. Your tax dollars at waste.

For the first time, Internet Explorer has less than 50% of the market share. There was a time when government regulators wanted to break Microsoft into several independent companies because it was a monopoly. Government is a bit slow on these things.

And there are hidden features in the iCloud. You can sync files that are not iWork files. That means that everything else can be synchronized among machines.

A new sensor that can monitor your heartbeat from a distance. There are many possible applications beyond the obvious ones in the medical field.

A self-balancing, electric motor propelled unicycle. Neat, but with no prices and such I can't tell if it is practical or just another green stunt.

Harris has built a trusted, secure cloud service that it offers to businesses and government.

Is the the ultimate gamers office? Monitors and game consoles are mounted on the walls.

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Friday November 4, 2011

AMD laysoff 1,400 people - 10% of its workforce.

Wikipedia has slowly but surely grown a huge technical debt or editorial debt or enyclopedic debt or something. Someone woke up and discovered thousands of articles that don't have references and other things.

Flexibility - that is the key word for Gen Y employees (generally speaking, those under 30). They want flexibility in everything, and I mean everything. Yes, that too.

A post on some of the many problems with the annual performance review. Yes, these things still exist. What is sad for me is that in most cases that I have seen, the annual performance review is only used in one way - to justify a layoff. They are rarely used for reward.

Can the wristwatch be saved? Can the tech world build a tech wristwatch? Here is one that might make it, if it ever comes to reality.

The recreated Commodore 64 is updated with newer processors and such.

It appears that Barnes and Noble with have their own tablet to compete with the Kindle Fire.

60% of YouTube viewers are non-English speakers.

Some news on the development of a robotic seeing-eye dog from Japan. This is impressive. It is still in development with no guesses on what one would cost. Nice, but not yet practical.

Sony and RIM are in decline. Changing directions is possible, and, in the case of Sony, I would say likely.

Some news on the future plans for the One Laptop Per Child tablet computer. Interesting method of distributing the tablet - drop them out of helicopters on villages, come back a year later, and see what happened.

I like this - failures are described. The writer tried these productivity tools, some for a full year, and learned that they didn't work for him.

And I like this as well - using a 3D printer to create models for surgeons in training. Prior to this, models were built in a slow, expensive process. Faster and less expensive medical training. I like it.

The vim editor is 20 years old. I have used vim for about 20 years writing hundreds of papers and several books with it. I am not an emacs person.

A new social network idea from Wal Mart - an in-store network. You are in the network only when you are in the store. People in the stores would comment to one another about their experiences. Some Wal Mart stores today are as big as shopping malls. This might work.

ViaSat-1 is in position, but not yet active. It will bring better satellite Internet service to North America.

The Canon C300 camera, only $20,000, but a great camera.

Here is the all-electric Ford Focus. It is a $40,000 compact car, and as such is a stunt for rich people and not practical. By the way, the Federal government will bride you with about $8,000 if you buy one, and that bribe tells you what they think the market will think.

The European Space Agency simulated a mission to Mars and back. 520 days with five guys cooped up in a small space. No one went nuts, no one punched anyone (I think).

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Saturday November 5, 2011

Many fine activities this day, so no Internet viewing.

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Sunday November 6, 2011

Apple continues it relationship with educators. Other companies have tried, but none have achieved the success of Apple.

Some news on the flooding in Thailand. This is the biggest story in the world that is not being reported by the press. The floods are large and so is the affect on the high-tech industry of the world.

US Cellular claims that its LTE network is ready for users. The phones will be out next year. We shall see if the world actually goes to 4G.

This is a must-see video. It is about kids filling their time on skateboards. What makes is a must-see is that these kids live in Kabul. The skateboard is a sanctuary from the horror of the rest of the world.

An exhortation to keep track of your writing. Note the time spent doing each part of the writing (drafting, revising, marketing, etc.). I don't keep detailed records of my time. I do keep a log book of my writing day by day. It is quite helpful when I have to go back in time to learn when I did something. It frees my memory for more important items.

I find this to be excellent advice for writers and everyone else as well - never save it for later. There are occassions when "later" doesn't come.

Copywriting for at least $100 an hour. There are many reasons why writers write for $5 an hour. This is a good, practical post.

A good tip on writing for the web - write to be "scanned," not "read."

The standard word counts for different types of fiction writing.

Your high school English teacher taught a lot of things that were wrong. If you remember them, forget them.

Here is a great reason for using the serial comma. For example: I like A, B, and C. (uses serial comma). I like A, B and C. (doesn't use serial comma)

Do you want to be a writer? Great. Write, at home, in your fee time. Don't quit your day job until you earn as much writing in your spare time as your day job pays you at least two years in a row. Here are some other reasons for not quiting your day job.

Email me at d.phillips@computer.org
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