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 30-February 5, 2012

Summary of this week:

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

Monday January 30, 2012

Samsung updates the Galaxy smartphone.

People are hacking the computer systems of their cars. They are, after all, just another computer full of security holes. These are examples of good old hacking by the good guys. This means reprogramming a system to do things the manufacturer says it can't do, but we know better.

Barnes and Noble vs Amazon in the great race for dominance in eBooks. Hey, Coke and Pepsi have co-existed for a long time, why not these two?

They are at it again, the government trying to rescue us. A cybersecurity bill that "only" concerns US Defense contractors is working its way through the US Senate "quietly." Of course, once people outside of Congress read it, they become frightened for good reason.

Some thoughts on the Content Creation Class. There are no fees and little regulation to participating.

Forget everything you know about learning.

Gates and Murdoch are spending tens of millions on tracking student progress. This could be a very good thing. Let us see.

Photos from our past that tried to predict our future. These are from good old Life Magazine.

Koss continues to evolve the classic headphones.

Sony adds more cameras to its CyberShot line - 18 MegaPixel sensors.

The LandingZone: a clever docking stations for use with the Apple MacBook Air.

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Tuesday January 31, 2012

Apple updates their AirPort (WiFi) software.

Microsoft Office version 15 enters "technical preview" with Beta testing coming this summer. This version will update in all forms the online one.

Intel updates its processor line with seven new chips.

The new Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS20 (yuck, what a name) camera has a 20x optical zoom with a thin body and 14 megapixel sensor. $350.

And Panasonic updates its line of "tough" cameras.

China Telecom to start selling the iPhone 4S next month. Get ready for the millions of units shipped.

Not all is well in the tech business. Like NEC, Fujitsu didn't have a good year. They blame the flooding in Thailand for much of their woes.

This item keeps popping up in Internet news for a couple of weeks now. The BOXX electric bike. It is a $4,000 rectangle shape item. I find it interesting, but for the price it is not practical.

Panasonic demonstrates a WiGig capability in a tablet computer.

Facebook's Oregon data center consumes the same amount of power as the rest of the county. What? You thought all of this Internet stuff came at no cost?

Firefox version 10 is now out.

I like this one: Rawporter. News services can "hire" anyone who happens to be on the scene of an event and has a cell phone camera.

Ah, how governments help us all. Stanford wanted to build a tech campus in New York City, but the city government kept changing the deal. The city government "won," Stanford walked away, and the city's citizens suffer.

And more government help. The Department of Homeland security is keeping the homeland secure by refusing to allow a UK bartender to enter the U.S. after reading his jokes on Twitter. Your tax dollars at waste.

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Wednesday February 1, 2012

Maybe Americans are adjusting to the new normal of greater instability.

Corporate offices are starting to learn a few things from co-working spaces.

Intel is making more efficient servers. This isn't green, it is just plain smart.

American car battery  makers are suffering. There isn't enough demand for their product in spite of the current administration pouring hundreds of millions of dollars of tax payers' money into them. Funny how the market works sometimes, isn't it?

Amazon had a good financial quarter. Hmm, they don't get any Federally guaranteed loans. How do they manage without them?

Engineers are far more likely to build and run companies than MBAs. Let's hear it for the engineer. We actually do things and build things, not just trade paper.

A suggestion for what Apple should do with some of its profits: change electronics manufacturing in the world. My suggestion is engineering education, but that's just me.

The world has changed. Wikileaks is to move its servers offshore - really offshore to international waters away from the jurisdiction of any nation. I anticipate that others will follow.

Two more Stanford professors are starting their own education company. I like the trend.

Neil Young and trying to improve the quality of today's audio (mp3s sound lousy).

The wait is over, the tablet for Linux lovers. Good stuff, but there aren't enough Linux lovers out there for this to make a dent in the market. Still, the niche is big enough to be profitable.

This is just plain fun - a Hot Wheels radio controlled car. Small and quick.

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Thursday February 2, 2012

The worldwide browser market is odd. Ups and downs with Internet Explorer gaining on everyone last month, but down for the year.

Facebook has its initial public offering (this link to just one of many stories on the Internet). Along with this comes disclosure of lots of information. Facebook makes a lot of money.

This is supposedly Mark Zuckerberg's desk. A little plain for someone who is worth $25Billion (with a B).

Photos of the dark side of the moon.

Seagate releases its Thunderbolt adapter for external disk drives.

Comcast is doing a good thing; their Internet Essentials program is succeeding and expanding. They offer $10 a month broadband service and $150 computers to low-income families. Comcast is my cable TV and broadband provider. Their service is pretty lousy at times, but this is a good program. More people should do things like this and we would have less justification for government programs.

ooops, HTC admits that some of its smartphones leak WiFi passwords. Is everyone ready for national electronic health records?

And there is a peculiar fault in the iPhone where some people's private stuff is appearing on other people's iPhone screens. So, are we all ready for, well, you know...

Here is an iPad programming course from Carnegie Mellon University.

Let kids dance in school. Let them dance all day. Physical fitness. At least they won't be bored like they are now.

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Friday February 3, 2012

Apple is talking about how not-evil it is - here about the money it gives to charity. When Microsoft was "overly successful," it was evil. Now that Apple is so successful, it is trying to say it is not evil while many have pointed to the evil in Apple's supplier factories. Google claims not to be evil. Since Google doesn't manufacture any hardware products, it maintains that claim. Maybe someone will examine how Google makes its own servers or something to show how successful and evil it is.

The "poor" in America are "rich" by worldwide standards. This post illustrates the situation well.

Sanyo had a BAD financial quarter. They lost $9Billion.

This shirt will keep track of your exercise for you.

Seagate believes that the shortage of disk drives due to Thai flooding will remain with us for a few more months.

Our Federal government has a big five-year digital learning plan. The communists (remember those guys?) all had five year plans for this and that. History shows how poorly all those plans worked. Just the idea that you can see five years into the future of the digital world is laughable.

And those darn American consumers. They, uh, we won't buy the things our government tells us to buy. GM (Governement Motors) can't sell Chevy Volts even with almost a $10K to anyone who tries one.

A study of H1-B Visa workers brings all sorts of surprising conclusiosn. The workers are younger, better educated, and better paid than their American colleagues. These are all funny numbers, i.e., it seems easy to game the results.

Here is a difference in the world and the government. Seth Godin says that people are not interested in your resume, but want to see your body of work. I have been looking at looking at jobs the past few years. In government, they still ignore your work and want to see your resume (worked here 1990-1992, worked there 1992-1994, etc.).

Android is still the most used operating system in the smart phone world.

Must see! Look at this office with a view. Someone has to have this type of view.

Global warming doesn't seem to match the data. Wait for the Frost Fairs on the River Thames in the next decade.

Here are some experiences with eBook readers in schools. There is much potential, but there is a long way to go.

Productivity and happiness: thoughts from a dying man.

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Saturday February 4, 2012

This year's Super Bowl is watchable on streaming video. You can actually watch it on your smart phone. This is progress? You can watch the game on a 2" screen? I used to watch games on a 5" screen (and in black and white).

Some thoughts on the revolution occuring in the IT field. All these tablets and smart phones are messing with tradition.

On donating money to Wikipedia. That is a pretty good cause.

Android phones cleared for SECRET-level material are coming.

Steve Appleton, the CEO of Micron, died in a plane crash at age 51.

The US Army gets a new Individual First Aid Kit (IFAK). These will be on the civilian marketplace in a few months.

Apple clarifies its user agreement for the iBooks Author app. As expected, Apple will not try to own anything you do with the app.

The university system in Iraq has crumbled.

A commonly used encryption system for satellite phones has been broken. Is everyone ready for national electronic health records?

Some thoughts on Hollywood, the Internet, and influencing culture. Guess which has the greater influence.

Jerry Weinberg discuss the Wiggle Chart. It is a powerful and useful tool.

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Sunday February 5, 2012

How does Facebook make money? The old faishioned way - selling ads. The weakness of such a strategy is that if the economy is down, the money for advertising is down. However, if you have a billion people looking at your site, you can find companies wanting to advertise.

India buys fighter planes from France, not the U.S. There go a few thousand jobs.

A strong recommendation for using Scrivener while writing a book.

Sometimes you make sacrifices to protect your rest.

A discussion of reverse outlining. This is a powerful technique that works for some writers.

How one freelance writer earned a six-figure income in 2011.

Tips on taking better photos of food. I like this.

Should starting freelance writers be paid more than 2 cents a word?

How one writer attempts distraction-free writing. Set a 25-minute timer. Write for 20 minutes, take a five-minute break, repeat.

Seven truths about writers - at least from one person's perspective.

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