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: December 5-11, 2011

Summary of this week:

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

Monday December 5,  2011

Are co-working sites the future? Maybe, but most of the current ones may go bankrupt.

This is a clever iPhone/iPod music blaster docking thing-a-ma-bob.

The Thai floods and ensuing disk drive shortages continue to manifest themselves. If you want a 2TeraByte drive with your iMac, you have to wait a month or so. And who doesn't need a 2TeraByte disk drive?

The battle for television rages as Microsoft announces several dozen new entertainment services available through the XBox. Remember the days when NBC, CBS, and ABC had television battles? Now it is Google, Microsoft, Apple, and thier kind.

Cyber Monday again surpasses Black Friday in sales. And guess what? The poorer people in American cannot afford the broadband speeds that the richer can. It amazes me to read about people who are shocked to learn the the poorer cannot afford what the richer can. I think that is part of the definitions of richer and poorer. The dictionary is evil.

And those online sales hit $6Billion last week.

This is a good question:  "If the Postal Service has become a subsidized tool for mass mailers, why does the state still own it?" Your tax dollars at waste.

The danger of the Walled Gardens in the app store model.

How the 1% spent their weekend; Larry Page and Richard Branson go kitesurfing.

Evernote is Inc Magazine's Company of the Year.

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Tuesday December 6, 2011

How do you survive the hard disk drive shortage caused by Thai flooding? Be like Apple and don't use hard disk drives. See, for example, the MacBook Air. It seems that other makers will copy this to run around the shortage.

Dell has discontinued its 7" tablet computer.

Kodak may be on its last leg before bankruptcy.

Intel is working with smaller PC makers so that they too can have Ultrabooks.

One of the big boys, LG, shows its new Ultrabook. Only 0.58 inches thick, they claim that it cold boots in ten seconds. Those are impressive numbers.

A look at startup incubators. I think these are sort of like schools, but I can't tell.

Lenovo has a new little portable computer that is "rugged" enough for schools.

I like this. You can use Google as a graphing calculator. Type an equation into the Google search box and you see a graph.

The most popular programming languages: Java, C, C++, C#. I thought C was dead or something. I guess I know the second most popular programming language.

A new term: couch commerce. People are shopping online, but not from the home computer. They are sitting on the couch and shopping from the iPad.

StumbleUpon's mobile app has grown 800% in users. Can you measure that large of an increase?

Yahoo is fighting a brain drain.

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Wednesday December 7, 2011

Intel's latest processors should appear in updated portable computers from Apple in May of 2012.

And Intel's latest 20nm manufacturing process has produced a 2 TeraByte solid state disk in a 2.5" form factor.

DARPA is experimenting with open-source systems development to reduce the time and cost of DoD projects. Best wishes with that.

Many mobile apps rely on technologies that have shown to be vulnerable to security attacks. Is everyone ready for national electronic health records?

A Facebook security hole allowed people to see private photos of others. Again, is everyone ready for, well, you know.

Yahoo News is building a studio in New York City. That city has done something right in the last five years

Here is a 7" Chinese tablet for only $100.

Have some spare time? Want to contribute to historical climate study? You can transcribe the weather records of British ships from the early 1900s.

Now 25% of Starbucks transactions are done via a smartphone. I use my iPhone for these. I tried this earlier in the year as a learning exercise. What surprised me was that the Starbucks employees seemed to prefer it over cash and cards.

Resources for teaching yourself or your kids or someone how to program.

Outsourcing to inexpensive foreign programmers doesn't seem to work well. As hard as we try to change it, programming is still done by humans.

I love this XKCD.com cartoon; it hits at two things I like - (1) silly things school teachers say and (2) human potential.

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Thursday December 8, 2011

It appears that Apple will sell 30 million iPhones in the December quarter. Thirty million is a very large number. The definition of success has changed.

The current U.S. administration has put $5Billion in to the electric car "industry." It is likely that the taxpayers will see no return.

And there is more fun with the U.S. government involved with commerce. It appears that part of the government helped squelch saftey warnings about the Chevy Volt (built by Government Motors). Sigh.

Google may introduce its own digital newstand (like Flipboard) tomorrow. oooops, it is launched and it is called Currents.

Apple names Instagram the iPhone app of the year.

HP will once again sell the old TouchPad tablets for $100 this weekend.

Write down this estimated delivery date from NASA. They will launch the James Webb Space Telescope in 2018.

The U.S. Department of State opened a "virtual embassy" to the people of Iran. Only twelve hours later, the government of Iran closed the virtual embassy.

This story is everywhere - the Myth Busters had an accident with a cannonball.

Other all-in-one desktop computers are closing the gap on the Apple iMac.

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Friday December 9, 2011

This xkcd cartoon is a great graphic. The subject is favorite Christmas songs and how the Baby Boomers own Christmas in America, but that is secondary.

More discussion about coworking and the future of work. Rent office space, don't buy it.

ASUS is preparing an Ultrabook with a swivel screen (swivels itself into a tablet).

The people behind the old TechCrunch are building a new tech news site.

Barnes and Noble has shipped a million nook tablets. That sounds like a success to me.

These aren't real women in the bikini ads; they are virtual or computer generated. I guess that is a lot cheaper. If the advertiser didn't make them "perfect," they wouldn't be catching criticism. I think they hit on a great, money saving idea. Just don't be so perfect.

I will have to look at this one - UP. It is a little wrist band that senses motion and tells you how much exercise you get as well as your sleep patterns.

What kind of PC can you build for upwards of $2,000? A powerhouse.

NASA admits to missing hundreds of moon rocks and other out-of-this-world objects. Your tax dollars at waste.

Apple has cut the prices of the refurbished iPad 2 units. Always look at the Refurbished section of the Apple store.

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Saturday December 10, 2011

Google has offered to restore one of those great big hangers off Highway 101 in Mountain View. Please let them do it. One of the highlights, at least for me, of driving from SFO down into Silicon Valley was always seeing the hanger.

Apple opened its store at New York City's Grand Central. The resulting crowds were predictable and predicted.

The potential for big data, both good and bad.

(Some) Congress(men) wants to tell businesses how to run their businesses. Any organization that runs in the red all the time shouldn't presume to tell anyone else how to do anything. I don't understand how people can't see that concept. In this instance, the want to punish anyone who moves a call center outside the U.S. Drop regulations and those moves won't occur.

A proposed 28th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. The point is to limit the influence or the appearance of influence on elected officials. Nice try, but full of holes.

Sometimes it takes a while, but the disk drive shortages from Thailand are affecting the shelves on stores.

Microsoft and GE will team in 2012 to create a health care technology company. There is money to be made in this area, as well as good to be done (if the government stays out of the way).

What can we say about the Transportation Safety Administration this week? Good intentions run wild? How about incompetent, ineffective, sexual harrassers, police state, causers of cancer - and those come from other government agencies, not from private citizens.

HP is handing its WebOS over to the Free and Open Source Software community.

Six myths about ROWE (Results Only Work Environment).

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Sunday December 11, 2011

I like this, an edible typewriter. It really won't type on paper, but it looks like it would.

Some LaTex tutorials.

The Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) is often billed as a battle between Hollywood and Silicon Valley. Two of the people who helped write SOPA as Congressional aides are now lobbyists for Hollywood. This is neither criminal nor corrupt, but it does tell you who these people are and how they lean on the issue. Funny how this works in general. The vast majority of people in public view are neither corrupt nor stupid. Their friends, their associations and such tell us who they are. We then have the ability to choose.

The Admnistration releases $2Billion in resources to help create jobs. This sounds nice. Let's recall that this Administration also gave $5Billion towards electric cars, and all the recipients went bankrupt. Hence, taking money from taxpayers to create jobs often fails. Why do we keep trying the same failed experiment?

The first commercial spacecraft will attempt to dock with the International Space Station in February 2012.

I love this - an office built into a little trailer.

At first glance, this is another silly little writing tips post, but read the tips. These are golden.(1) Avoid cliches (2) Avoid filler phraes (3) Avoid verbosity (4) Avoid redundancies (5) Avoid repetitive sentence structure.

A post from someone who changed their opinion of the iPad once they got a Zagg case/keyboard. See my post ont he same subject.

Good advice: cut when you revise, not when your are drafting.

Ten gifts for writers. Me, I would like an Apple bluetooth keyboard to use with my iMac and also my iPad.

I like this; when writing a procedure, include the possible mistakes along the way.

Writing and storing your files in "the cloud." This is not a new idea as it is what we did in the recent past with dumb terminals and minicomputers. I often write in Google Docs. I guess that counts as the cloud.

This post advocates the use of a writer's warmup exercise before writing for real. Again, as with all tips, try it. If it works, use it, otherwise forget it.

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