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 19-25, 2011

Summary of this week:

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

Monday December 19,  2011

Apple has an explosion at a yet to be opened factory in China. More on this story - 57 people injured.

"Looks cool from the outside but can be really messy inside," describing parenthood and a new startup company.

Some thoughts on college education and the Internet.  "We stand on the brink of  the $250,000 undergraduate education." Maybe, if you go to an overpriced private school.  Avoid private schools unless they offer something special that state schools cannot offer, religious training is one example.

An advance in solar cell efficiency. We shall see if it comes to reality from the lab.

Nothing to do this Holiday week? Hack your Christmas lights to blink when you receive an email. Yes, this is silly.

Where some of the 1% live.

Some of the history of version control.

CEO pay jumps 36.5% this year. With ten percent unemployment, this is a really bad week for this news.

But things look down in the semiconductor industry.

Go to google.com and type "let it snow" press return.

Kim Jong Il of North Korea is dead at 69 (or 70, sources vary). Maybe there is some hope for the people who live in that place. I always confused him with his father. There wasn't much difference between the two despots.

National Geographic is using a small four-rotor vehicle to film wildlife in Africa. Very cool.

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Tuesday December 20, 2011

The Ars Technica guide to building a system as of December 2011.

MIT extends their OpenCourseWare to include a certificate for mastery of subjects.

Tips for those holiday photos and videos.

Sony sells over 300,000 PlayStation Vita handheld game systems in two days.

Firefox 9.0 is now available.

I like this. Take an old really small portable computer, set it on this little "robot," and you have a mobile telepresence system.

Neat, Starbucks builds a drive-thru coffee shop from shipping containers.

The government is coming to our rescue as Senators want Google to be investigated closely. Yes, we should spend taxpayers' money investigating a company that gives away all its products. They force no one to use any of them. Sounds fishy to me (the government sounds fishy, not Google, but what do I know?) Your tax dollars at waste.

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Wednesday December 21, 2011

Verizon had a nationwide data outage overnight.

More security flaws found in Android.

Take these last two things together, data networks go down and security holes exist almost everywhere, is everyone ready for national electronic health records?

Michael Arrington on SOPA, Congress, lobbying, and innovation.

MIT tests a couple of Intel-processor, Android-running mobile devices. They seem to work just fine. Perhaps Intel will move into the mobile market after all.

Here we go, SpnKiX. Strap these on your shoes and off you go. Little electric motors that are remotely controlled. Only $400 at first, but surely, the price will come down. Maybe this will work. Ten miles per hour, one to three mile range.

700,000 Android devices are activated every day.

Hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars have gone to biofuel companies. Guess what? Nothing really worked. Your tax dollars at waste.

And BP Solar closes after trying for 40 years to make solar energy work.

There is a good reason why we burn fossil fuels for energy: it works. All this other stuff has made for interesting research, but that is all. The future may be different, but we live today.

The government is asking biomedical researchers to NOT publish their findings. Terrorists read these things, and, well, you know.

The disk drive market is recovering from the Thai flooding. Disk prices are starting to decrease.

While the government wants to ban cell phone use in cars, Government Motors, a.k.a., GM, is putting more audio and video gadgets in OnStar. By the way, the recent government discussions specifically mentioned that they regulations would not apply to OnStar. Who owns whom?

3D printers are making their way into smaller engineering firms to speed building prototypes.

Fifteen years ago, Apple bought NeXT. That gave Apple a UNIX-based OS (the heart of OS X) and also brought Steve Jobs back to Apple. The rest is history.

Apple buys an Israeli flash memory maker for a cool $500Million.

All right, here we go. Real robots. A group in Japan is building a 13-foot tall robot that has a cockpit for a human operator.

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Thursday December 22, 2011

Today is the first day of winter.

This is happening across America in many not-so-publicised ways: Americans are so overweight that transportation companies are widening seats and reducing the number of people they carry per vehicle.

If this comes to fruition it will be the single biggest tech/medical news of the day or year. This is a new way of removing cavities and inserting fillings that takes only 30 seconds and is - get this part - PAINLESS.

I'm running Firefox 9.0 today.

Gannet, publishers of USA Today and others, has purchased thousands of Apple mobile devices for its employees.

Romanian hackers broke into Subway (sandwiches) systems and stole a few million dollars from customers. Is everyone ready for national electronic health records?

Must see video. This kid pulls his tooth by attaching a string to the tooth and to a Nerf gun. When I was a kid, we were told to attach the string to a doorknob and let someone surprise us by opening the door. Advances in technology. At least making the video is an advance in tech.

The US Secretary of Transportation is backing away from his departments call for no cell phone use in cars.

Nintendo has already sold 4 million 3DS units in Japan alone.

So much for wise government - the Chevy Volt reeeives about $250,000 per car in taxpayers' money. And given all the taxpayer backing, they still can't sell the cars. Your tax dollars at waste.

The AMD Radeon HD 7970 GPU is almost here. Only $600.

Walking through New York City. No snow yet.

The $45 tablet from India sold out in a week. Rats, I could never find a place that was selling them.

An unmanned helicopter has started delivering supplies to U.S. troops in Afghanistan.

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Friday December 23, 2011

No viewing today. We drove from Northern Virginia to Louisiana and then across Louisiana to attend a funeral.

Remember our ancestors. Without them we wouldn't exist.

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Saturday December 24, 2011

Who likes the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA)? Here is a list.

ISO has published new specifications for the C programming language.

Hitler burned books; the Taliban burns PCs and cell phones. Not much has changed in 3/4ths of a century.

Volkswagon turns off their email servers after hours. They don't want to disrupt the lives of their employees. Good move. My question is what time zone are they using to judge when "after hours" is?

Excellent thoughts on meetings from Seth Godin. If the building is on fire, would you have a meeting to decide whether or not you should leave? For many organizations, the building is on fire now.

Some thoughts on the U.S. Congress and the payroll tax cut. I am ashamed of the elected officials. I am disgusted with the press. I have yet to hear any mention on how the Social Security system is to be funded as Congress cuts the money going into the system and robs the system to pay for other things. I also hear little about the real issue here: it is stupid to pass a two-month extenstion to something. Ho hum.

The University of California Berkeley chooses Google over Microsoft Office 365. They explain why - mostly cost and speed of integration.

Organized crime loves big data.

So maybe they are using Waffles: a large collection of command-line tools for using big data.

Virginia Tech builds yet another supercomputer that cracks the fastest 100 list. This one is built from (get ready for the numbers) 209 computers with each having dual six-core Xeon E5645 CPUs and two NVIDIA M2050 / C2050 448-core GPUs.

Norman Krim dies at 98. He didn't invent the transistor, but was a key player in its early use and manufacturing.

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Sunday December 25, 2011

Christmas Day. No Internet viewing as all the coffee houses are closed and my mother doesn't have Internet access at her house.

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