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: January 23-29, 2012

Summary of this week:

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

Monday January 23, 2012

Apple may have 802.11ac WiFi capabilities in products this year. This update to 802.11n provides 1GigatBitPerSecond data rates.

And if that is not enough speed, Wilocity has demontrated 802.11ad (draft) chipsets. Bump the data rate up to 7GigaBitsPerSecond.

Some advances in TeraHertz scanners that could help doctors see cancer cells much sooner.

Tablet computer ownership almost doubled over the holidays. Bad economy?

Anonymous hackers are taking down the sites of major media companies. Gone are CBS, Universal music, and several major foreign companies. These companies spend a lot of money on their sites. They have a lot of expertise on hand and they can't fight off hackers. When will governments learn this lesson? Software is full of security holes waiting to be found and exploited. So, is everyone ready for national electronic health records?

In the same vein, software is increasingly responsible for the safety of implanted medical devices (implanted in my body and your body). The FDA, of all people, is responsible for certifying the security of the software. Are they kidding?

More on why gadgets are built in China. It is not cost. It is the brainpower, diligence, hard work, and flexibility that have been outlawed in the U.S. by well meaning Congressmen and regulators.

Apple makes more profit per employee than Google and Exxon. Why is Exxon in the comparison? Apple's number is $400K per employee.

Per usual, Google is discontinuing some free services that aren't generating ad revenue.

This story is all over the Internet. The two CEOs of Research In Motion have resigned.

The US Air Force now says that the UAV that went down in Iran was not brought down by the Iranians. No reason for falling out of the sky is given.

Here is an idea that I like. Why make dataceners that look like ugly bunkers? Build a data center that looks like a nice house and put it in a residential neighborhood. That way the workers can walk to work. What a concept.

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Tuesday January 24, 2012

A look at iTunes U 2.0.
A Stanford professor quits Stanford and starts an online school called Udacity. He hopes to have 200,000 students enrolled in each class. I hope this works.

A Federal Judge rules that citizens can be ordered to decrypt their computer disks so that police can read the contents. He held that, some how, the order does not violate the Fifth Amendment to the Consitution. I look for this ruling to be over turned.

In better news for citizens, the U.S. Supreme Court rules that police need a court order to hide a GPS tracker on a citizen's car. There is hope.

Google spent almost a billion dollars in the fourth quarter of 2011 alone on data centers.

MIT puts one hundred processors on a chip.

The less-than-expected cost of travelling full time.

Apple's updated iBooks with textbooks seems to off to a good start. 350,000 textbooks were (bought and) downloaded in the first three days. Also, 90,000 copies of the iBooks Author app were downloaded. There are big numbers (for me), but are they big enough for Apple?

Compare those Apple numbers to YouTube's numbers: four billion videos viewed everyday.

People are hacking into the webcams of other people. Surprised? No. Is everyone ready for national online health records?

As another (un) security example, people are viewing the contents on video conferencing systems. Is everyone ready for you know what?

A region of Spain is moving 40,000 computers to open source software.

Hackers break into a railway control system in the Northwest U.S. Is everyone ready for national electronic health records?

I Information Overload a myth?

One of the reasons that Apple has such neat packaging is they have a special group that does nothing but test the packaging. You get what you inspect, not what you expect.

This is a simple, beautiful workspace in an apartment.

This is what 4 KiloBytes of RAM used to be.

The profits at Texas Instruments are down, but they are still profits.

The HP Mini 1104. This is a really small portable computer that hasn't been killed (yet) by tablets. Look at the numbers. There is a lot of computer in a small package for $400.

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Wednesday January 25, 2012

Apple has certainly been busy and successful - last quarter sets all kinds of records.

The iCloud has 85 million users.

The Apple retail stores brough in $6.1Billion in revenue in the most recent quarter.

Apple has paid out $4Billion to app store developers.

You have to read these Apple sales numbers. 15 million iPads and 5 million Macs in the last quarter as well as 37 million phones. Those Chinese factories are churning out the units. Too bad America doesn't have those factories and jobs, but that news has been reported and analyzed and America won't change (yet).

Think about all this Apple success. They sell luxury products. There is more money out there for luxury products while we are still in the great recession. The divide between the rich and poor is growing larger. America's tax policies are keeping Apple jobs outside the U.S. That is too bad - self-inflicted unemployment.

Someone ran the numbers, that is about 378K iPhones a day while there are 371K people born on planet earth a day.

oooops, O2 has a data breach that shares everyone's phone number with the world. Is everyone ready for national electronic health records?

Cisco finally brings the idea of using your home's power wiring as network wiring to the home. A practical, commercial product.

So far, 600,000 people have downloaded the Apple iBooks Author app and 3 million for the iTunes U app.

Results are premature, but it appears that stem cell treatments may cure blindness.

Must see this optical illusion.

Contrary to what you learned in school, there are different ways to read a book.

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Thursday January 26, 2012

A look at how Windows 8 will incorporate information from sensors that are common on tablet computers.

More thoughts on why Apple, and others, have factories in China instead of the U.S. The Chinese workers will come in a 2 AM and work 12 hours to change the factory. That is hard work. Some people call that dedication. Can you find dedicated, hard working people in the U.S. I think so. I think there are communities in the U.S. where a thousand people would volunteer for these working conditions for a solid paycheck.

Nokia releases its quarterly report. They are profitable, but not as good as hoped.

KDE 4.8 is released.

This is a neat little use of a mirror to video record both sides of a video chat on an iPhone.

The workspace shows the artistic value of a screensaver.

President Obama now seems to think that fossil fuels are okay. There is a reason that we use fossile fuels - they work. They work better than solar, wind, water, and other "alternatives."

Telecommuting is more frequent in developing countries.

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Friday January 27, 2012

ooops, people were caught paying reviewers to review their products on Amazon, and review them favorably. Since Amazon, and others, have put reviews of books and such on their sites, the temptation is there to have a "friend" review your product. Almost any review will boost the sales.

Audible Magic recognizes what TV show you are watching by "listening" to the audio. I don't see the utility of this, but it is a good demonstration of technology.

The U.S. Gross Domestic Product increased 1.7% in 2011. It rose 3% in 2010, and 2010, as many remember it, was not a good year for the economy.

Google has better news than the U.S. Google grew its office space in Mountain View by 67% in 2011. That is quite a bit larger than 1.7%.

The Nippon Electric Company lost a billion dollars in the last quarter alone. They will lay off 10,000 people world wide.

There are problems when you have tremendous market success (like Apple). People pick on you, and sometimes justifiably. Apple has $100Billion in cash. It is time for them to donate a couple of those billion to something that everyone likes.

And, as this post says, the look at the supply chain used to provide inexpensive goods to America is all about us.

Some thoughts on working 40 hours or more. People work intellectually for a few hours quite well. Then it is time for a break. When I was in government work, I constantly heard how that stuff applied to everyone in the world except for the people in the room. "We are different; we are tough; we can work ten hours a day productively." Yeah, right.

Freedom of the press in the U.S. has dropped (so says this international report). I thought all that oppressive state stuff left town with the Bush fellow.

Government transparency? Not at the Department of Energy's web site. And I thought the current President was going to bring in an age of unprecedented transparency. I guess governing is more difficult than campaigning.

Twitter is going to help some governments censor their subjects. That is too bad.

A look at Google's giant disk drive in the sky.

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Saturday January 28, 2012

All of HP's newest printers have ePrint, wireless printing (from iPad and such).

Apple products are slowly appearing at work. Many, however, are personally owned.

For only $50 in parts, you can make this little surveillance computer than finds and hacks its way into wireless networks. Is everyone ready for national electronic health records?

Neat, the world's longest continuously running lab experiement is now on webcam.

Engineers find an unknown guitar solo in an old Beatle's song. See the video.

Strap a video camera to a dog, turn him loose in a dog park, and you have this great video.

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Sunday January 29, 2012

Perhaps the New York Times exagerated a bit in its story of how terrible conditions are at Apple factories in China.

Motorola has started selling its new tablet computer. The prices are $400 and $500, too high to compete.

When you put them on a table next to one another, it is sort of amazing. The iPod 2001 to 2011.

For 20 years, global warming advocates have run models that show increasing temperature, a.k.a., global warming. For 20 years, the earth's temperature has not risen as predicted by the models. Hmmm. How does the old saying go? When the map and the terrain don't agree, believe the terrain.

Neat, CloudFTP is a small device with a USB port that is a wireless server. Turn your extern hard disk into a cloud storage device. $99.

Some thoughts on creating silence.

Tips on how a freelancer can still work while travelling.

Dean Wesley Smith states a number of often ignored facts about making a living as a writer. It is really hard. You have to write a lot and earn a little bit for a large number of things.

Throwing out lots of seeds as a writer. This is similar to Smith's experience. Write lots of things and put them on the market. Little by little, sales mount.

Some thoughts on trying to teach someone to write well.

"A lot of memos would be more persuasive if their first and last paragraphs were switched." This is good advice. Show the summary first, not last.

Some thoughts on passion and then commitment among writers.

A look at the job loss and growth at the 100 best companies in the world. Starbucks received 7.5 million applications last year. How do you process that many?

Some thoughts on insecurity and writing.

When writing, reduce the size of the frame. Focus on something of smaller scale and write about it.

Some notes on using copyrighted material, fair use, and obtaining permission.

A discussion of outlining tools for writing a novel. I think having an offline version of a wiki to work well. That requires installing all that MAMP or WAMP and stuff. Another simple method is to write in html and link things together that way. Searching is not as easy, but it can be done.

Some "secrets" of prolific writers. I like the ones about writing simply and writing every day.

A reversal of opinion on Apple's iBooks Author. People are considering Apple's EULA and finding that they can work with and around it.

The phases one writer experiences while writing a novel.

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