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 26, 2011-January 1, 2012

Summary of this week:

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

Monday December 26,  2011

Some of our distinguised Congressmen are asking Twitter to censor the Taliban. Perhaps I make too much of these things, but the short-sightedness and stupidy are astounding.

GoDaddy was publicly in favor of SOPA. Then a bunch of customers walked away, and now GoDaddy is publicly against SOPA. Vote with your feet.

Some thoughts on how Facebook is using its users to generate money. This is big data in big business. Facebook users don't pay any direct costs to Facebook. All the costs are indirect.

Here is where old Christmas tree lights go to die or be recycled.

The Occupy Wall Street movement skipped Silicon Valley. That is because the valley didn't have a recession. The only shortage is of skilled workers. The occupy movement also skipped Mineapolis and Anchorage - too cold to stand around all day.

If you work for yourself, i.e., freelance, your health is most important. If you are sick, you don't work, you don't have income. Work, work, work, but take care of yourself.

Some good you can get from a bad boss. Remember, no matter the outcome, you can always choose to learn.

This could be a lot of fun: an Altair kit. Build your own 8-bit home computer with toggle switches and LEDs on the front.

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Tuesday December 27, 2011

How do you have an office party if you don't work in a traditional office?

And those who work non-traditional jobs (freelance), seem to take even less vacation than the rest of the Americans.

Young people who are accustomed to mobile computing seem unaccustomed to thinking about data security. No wonder they seem ready for national electronic health records.

The new Tranquil PC media centers. Somehow, it just doesn't seem right that computers have come to this - playing your TV.

Some thoughts on how word processors (computers) have changed literature.

Generating electric power from the wind using what is basically a kite that looks like a little airplane. This is clever, and I can see uses for people out in remote areas for temporary stays. There just isn't enough low-altitude sky for mass deployment.

Online Christmas-day sales up 16% this year. The stores were closed on Sunday, Christmas day, but the Internet never sleeps. IThe economy seems to be growing faster than unemployment is dropping. Those who have, have. Those who don't, don't. Seven percent of those Christmas day sales were from iPads.

Intel will be ready to release the Thunderbolt I/O technology in the Spring of 2012.

Acer claims that it is NOT leaving the tablet market to Apple and Amazon and Barnes and Noble and...

Voice mail hacking seems to be easy enough. Is everyone ready for national electronic health records?

Amazon has built a virtual supercomputer. Think about that one a while.

Are schools obsolete? Has the eBook doomed them? I would answer "probably yes" to both questions. There is, however, so much political clout invested in the traditional school system that we may be decades away from their demise. I wrote a short story on the subject called "The Last Public High School in America."

The Los Angeles Police Department spent a lot of taxpayers' money on surveillance cameras. Many of them have never been used or even fully connected. Your tax dollars at waste. The story also fall under the line of "don't worry about your government spying on you, they are too incompetent to do so."

A year end summary from the Location Independent.

The really small portable computer, a.k.a., the netbook, isn't dead yet according to ASUS.

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Wednesday December 28, 2011

About seven million people received an iOS or Android device this Christmas. This comes from the number of activations of Christmas day. In the old economy, numbers like this didn't exist. The definition of success has changed.

Apple was fined a million dollars in Italy for misleading somebody about something. Sometimes it doesn't pay to be a big, successful American company.

Netflix had a bad Christmas. This agrees with several of my relatives who used to be big Netflix users until the company stumbled on its subscription services and prices this year.

This Japanese vending machine broadcasts a WiFi service. You have about 30 minutes free use before the machine blocks you. I guess the idea is simple. If you are standing next to a Coke machine using WiFi, you'll probably yield to temptation and buy a Coke. I hope this works and every vending machine in the world becomes a WiFi hotspot.

I like this health-care solution. Big companies are hiring doctors and nurses and providing the family doctor at the office. Of course it is much cheaper care for the same quality. Wonderful. Free enterprise wins again.

Here is a clever way to trace stolen cameras.

Look at this: the Boeing A160 Hummingbird helicopter "drone." (Whoever it was that started calling radio-controlled vehicles drones should be paid a million dollars and then be removed from public writing forever.) It will carry a 2GigaPixel imaging system. There are many possibilities. I trust that overly ambitious people will not be given the controls.

This is what 5MegaBytes of disk storage looked like in 1956. It worked, and there were enough smart people around to make it useful.

The $25 computer from Raspberry Pi will be available next month. Can't wait. Experiments.

More on how silly it is to be told to turn off all electronic devices during takeoff and landing. Plus, most flight attendants don't know the FAA regulations about which devices can be used during this time. The "if it has an On/Off button it must be turned off" is not correct. But hey, the FAA and the Federal government has declared that when you fly you are no longer a citizen but a subject, and so far they have gotten away with this abuse.

Why write songs or anything else? Paul Simon discusses this. Good reading.

A new security flaw in WiFi setup. Is everyone ready for national electronic health records?

Yet more evidence that solar energy is not ready for the market.

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Thursday December 29, 2011

I finish an 1,100 drive home overnight. Too tired to view the Internet today.

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Friday December 30, 2011

Stanford's library has the world's largest collection of early Apple historical items. They are not on display and are kept at a hidden offsite location.

Someone is releasing many items from the collection for viewing. Here is a 1983 Apple prototype of a small computer and a built in phone.

Both Android and Apple are growing in the U.S. smartphone market. Android reaches the 50% mark.

Here is how to hack a network printer and gain access to the entire network. Hmm, breaking into a network through a simple little printer. Is everyone ready for national electronic health records?

China did not give a timeline, but announced its intentions to send me to the moon. The U.S. is still replanning its latest replan. Your tax dollars at waste.

The end of the year is nigh, so lots of places are giving retrospectives of 2011. Here is one.

And here are some of the tech low-lights of the year.

And here are five things we learned about publishing this year.

This bicycle trailer is actually a motor that pushes the bike. I think it is silly. It does, however, give me an idea. Make it a real trailer that holds things for you. Also, put extra batteries in the trailer that extend the mileage of the electric motor in the bike. Someone out there who makes such bikes is free to use this idea.

An excellent workspace built in an attic.

Hadoop reaches release 1.0.

What external keyboard do you use for your iPad? I have settled on Apple's wireless model for speed of typing and the Zagg for portability.

2011 had a record low number of airline crashes.

All this complaining about the TSA isn't working. The TSA budget continues to climb and climb. Your tax dollars at waste.

Doctors die with minimal "futile care."

Intel ships its latest mobile Atom to manufacturers.

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Saturday December 31, 2011

Alter the context and content of your current job.

Some thoughts on adults at work.

The use of iOS apps by churches.

Learned a couple of new things here. A new service Dropbox Automator is like IFTTT for Dropbox. I use Dropbox a lot, so this is of interest to me. What is IFTTT? Well, this is all sort of like the good old UNIX commands that allow you to run commands at certain times based on certain events. All that was old is new again, or something like that.

Using LinkedIn durng 2012.

Interesting prediction: IBM and Microsoft will merge and use the IBM name. Ballmer will be out.

Is it intelligence or curiosity? A thought from Einstein.

A study shows that people who play musical instruments have sharper minds in old age.

How to open a padlock with a Coke can. Excellent.

Yesterday's view showed that funding for the TSA went up. Well, why not? A TSA agent felt that cupcakes were a security risk. Cupcakes. Gosh, you can't make up such tales of incompetence. Your tax dollars at waste.

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Sunday January 1, 2012

Someone's list of the top ten blogs for writers.

The only way to become a real writer: say you are one.

When you need help writing, here is what you do: write anyway. One trick, put your hands on the keyboard and start typing stuff like "blah blah, blah blah blah, blah blah blah blah blah..." real words will come soon enough.

A mix of generations: family board games for the iPad.

Forty synonyms for "lie." I am going to read these word lists more from now on. My vocabulary is shrinking.

This writer has found 19 stories outside their window. Observe. The stories are everywhere and no where and just outside the window.

And great story ideas are hiding in our own lives.

Remove the clutter from your desk and your life to help your writing. Unless, off course, the clutter is the source of your writing.

NASA's GRAIL mission is now entering orbit of our moon. This is hailed as a big, wonderful thing. I find it tragic that 42 years are putting people on the moon we are celebrating earth-launched satellites around the moon. By now, we should be on Mars building satellites there that orbit that planet. We are still stuck in a bureaucratic government mess of a "space program."

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