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 12-18, 2011

Summary of this week:

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

Monday December 12,  2011

Toshiba follows the Amazon and Barnes and Noble path with a $300 tablet. Perhaps everyone will learn from HP and sell a tablet for $100. There just isn't any profit in that. They all missed the wow factor of the iPad.

This weekend's sale of more $99 HP tablets succeeded. All the units sold in minutes.

If you have lots of time and money and like to play in the water, this is for you: the Flyboard.

More information on the EXOdesk.

Who needs a television? Most Americans are now watching videos online.

Some of the bigger surprises of 2011. I guess I have a different meaning of the word "surprise." I am not surprised about what bright people do.

If and when Facebook goes public with stock offerings, thousands of current and former employees will be instant millionaires. Such is what happens when you go to work for a startup that hits it big. Working for small and start up companies is a risk. You could become rich or you could go months without any paychecks.

It appears that the next iPads will be available in three or four months.

Online holiday spending is up 15% this year. That all makes sense as online shoppers typically have more money and less time than everyone else.

Samsung shows an Ultrabook with an optical disk drive.

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Tuesday December 13, 2011

Here are some excellent visualizations of data.

The Google wallet appears to have some security holes. Is everyone ready for national electronic health records and other "secure" services?

Twitter is booming as a business, but is losing engineers. Here is one reason, former employees have more freedom in how and when they sell their stock. Seems to be a simple fix if you are running Twitter and want to keep employees.

Apple has sold four million Apple TV units this year (those little black hockey puck things).

And here is another really big number: Samsung sells 300 million mobile handsets this year.

The TSA keeps at it. They continue to do stupid things especially with elderly passengers. The response is always, "we will change our training procedures to consider this." How about, "we will employ people with some common sense who can think."

Canada will be the first country to withdraw from the Kyoto Accords on Climate Control. Why? Because it will costs billions of dollars on a lot of "ifs." The science isn't solid.

Predator Drones are being used inside the U.S. agaist American citizens. I trust that someone has checked the legality of such.

Life on the bleeding edge: many early adopters of the Amazon Fire are not happy.

The Thai floods and resulting shortage of disk drives will cost Intel 1$Billion (with a B) in revenue this quarter alone.

The iPad is reducing the number of textbooks. Pause a moment; college textbooks often cost $100+. If you can use $10 eBooks instead, you pay for the cost of the iPad in one semester.

Americans are going to restaurants less this year. I write that as I am drinking coffee, eating breakfast, and viewing the Internet from a restaurant. I do this seven days a week.

The minimal backpack is light, strong, waterproof, and expensive ($130). It does, however, look quite nice.

Cambridge has scanned and posted Isaac Newton's notebooks. Wow.

Something for the home: 4TeraByte disk drives from Hitachi.

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Wednesday December 14, 2011

Recession? Someone has money. The contract that founded Apple Computer went on auction with the expectation of selling for $160K. That figure was a bit off as the contract sold for $1.6Million.

Apple is the largest seller of software in the world.

The fuss over Carrier IQ continues as the FBI reveals that it uses the product for law enforcement. The FBI refuses to provide any details.

A report on the LTE 4G speeds in San Francisco.

And that all looks silly compared to 100GigaBitsPerSecond pulled down at CalTech.

Google gives $1.5Million to Code for America. The goal is to help government move from pre digital to digital.

This is sort of silly as Google tells College students how all the Google apps can help them. Back up a bit, however, and it is pretty amazing that all this software power is available to anyone on the net at no cost.

Wow, this is a big dream: a space launch system that will be much cheaper once it comes to fruition. It will use a huge "airplane" that can launch rockets into orbit from high altitude. Paul Allen is putting some of his money behind this.

Another wow, Apple to release a portable computer with a 2880x1800 pixel display. We used to do wonderful things at 640x480, but I would like to see Apple's product.

I will have to look at this one. Microsoft's Skydrive for iPhone gives you 25GigaBytes of online storage. Of course, I still can't figure how people have these cloud services and only give you one or five gigs of storage. That seems silly.

And government to the rescue: the National Transportation Safety Board wants to ban all cell phone use in cars. How have we survived so far? Your tax dollars at waste.

Need a job? For a small paycheck, and I do mean small as you will be competing with Chinese workers, you can post stuff to social media and other sites to influence things artificially.

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Thursday December 15, 2011

Google releases version 16 of the Chrome browser.

The Boeing 747-8 receives FAA approval. This is billed as the most fuel efficient airliner in the world.

Google gave out $115 Million in grants this year. Here is a look at the recipients.

Nvidia has made its CUDA compiler open source. This will be a boost to the parallel computing enthusiasts.

Here is something you might (not) do with the keys from old computer keyboards: cover your bedroom wall.

PogoPlug comes out with the fourth version of its cloud storage device.

Adventist Health System moved to digital and succeeded in 28 months. <upset-taxpayer-comment>Perhaps they could loan some people to the OMB and other government agencies who can't seem to put a zero next to a one.</upset-taxpayer-comment>

IT hiring expected to rise in 2012.

I like this one, how to drive safely while using a cell phone. Someone is candid enough to admit that the vast majority of the people can drive safely the vast majority of the time while using a cell phone. Yes, it is humanly possible.

A quarter of the European Union has never used the Internet. That is believeable.

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Friday December 16, 2011

Way back when Barack Obama was a candidate for President, he promised open government and transparency. Campaigning is easier than governing, and perhaps the President has learned that lesson. Anyways, government is not any more transparent than it ever was.

Dell quits the really small portable computer, a.k.a., netbook, market.

A look at notable people in the tech world who died in 2011.

Seeing RF waves.

Working at coffees shops? Try working at a public library instead. There are some benefits.

This is a multi-tool that you "hide" in your shirt collar so that you can carry it past the TSA. Hmmmm.

Nothing to do this holiday season? Build a 100,000-piece Lego display for the house.

Take vacations in the middle of a project, not at the end of one.

Trying to get away from the crowds? Don't go to the South Pole.

Solar power is cheaper than diesel generators in India. There are odd exceptions here and there in the world.

Research In Motion is failing financially.

Super-duper computers? Try JP Morgan and their FPGA-based dataflow supercomputers. Time is money.

Chrome version 15 is the single most popular browser and version in the world. This survey separates the versions of browsers, so Internet Explorer (all versions summed) is still the most popular.

Need more computer time and power? Ask people in your social networks if you can use their computers when they aren't.

What do you do during a recession? Stay home and watch movies. Video streaming is up this year.

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Saturday December 17, 2011

An excellent question from George Will: How did America stray from its foundational principle that government exists to protect preexisting rights, not to apportion such rights as it creates and chooses to bestow?

Skyrim is setting sales records. I am one of those who knows nothing about it.

Google+ may be save by, of all people, Britney Spears (the pride of Kentwood, Louisiana). She has a milion followers there.

Great title for a post: Dear Congress, It's no longer ok to not know how the Internet works.

The National Football League may greatly expand the technology allowed on sidelines during games. I don't like that.

A Department of Homeland Security grant is used to buy 13 snow cone machines in Western Michigan. Your tax dollars at waste. More on the story here.

Want a big multi-screen monitor? How about 48 screens to use on Google Earth?

This belt unravels to 80 feet of parachord for survival. Don't leave home without it.

The Chinese government is putting the screws to its subjects when it comes to Twitter-like services.

People are making art of photos from Google Street View.

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Sunday December 18, 2011

Full-time travel is cheaper than living in one place. Yes, this is true. Several years ago my wife and I walked 500 miles as part of a longer 1,000-mile walk. We stayed in motels and ate in grocery stores and restaurants. Funny thing, our expenses were lower even though we were still paying a mortgage on our house. Full-time travel has many drawbacks, but trying to live as if you are travelling while you live in one place can dramatically reduce your expenses.

Assorted tips from Seth Godin. They are assorted in that they touch on widely separated areas and they are excellent.

Tips on improving dialogue in your writing.

And some tips on taking criticism. This is a large part of being a writer. You need a thin skin to write and a thick skin to listen to advice or feedback or (yuck) criticism.

113 things you can do (lots of good suggestions) to grow your freelance income.

I really like this post on building creative endurance. I am big on things that are sustainable, i.e., things you can continue doing over a long period of time.

Some thoughts (and definitions) about living with no goals.

Write the way you talk – if you can speak persuasively, eloquently, and clearly

Silly title, but I like this post about things that productive people do.

Ten skills for the future of work. I like the first one: sense making. Can you make sense of something? Can you have an idea that makes sense?

Is a vacation a reward for success or a time to rest? Sometimes we forget these things.

Reasons for having a coach.

The NBA is returning. I like parts of it. Look for a trend among NBA stars: dressing like nerds. I love that.

Sony has released the PlayStation Vita handheld gaming system.

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