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: February March 5-11, 2012

Summary of this week:

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

Monday March 5, 2012

Government to the rescue: Senator Charles Schumer wants the FTC to investigate Apple and Google. Why not investigate General Motors who took tens of billions of taxpayers' dollars and built a clunker called the Volt.

Hackers broke in Sony servers and stole 50,000 music files. Is everyone ready for national electronic health records?

It seems that China and India were in a race to see who could reach one billion cell phone users first. China claims that it won the race.

More evidence that we haven't yet figured out how to have eBooks at libraries. Random House triples the price it charges to libraries for eBooks. At least they are still present. Penguin has stopped selling eBooks to libraries.

Small Modular Reactors or SMRs may actually work for nuclear energy.

For the first time, cell phone users accessing the Internet are doing so more with native apps than with a browser.

The 20 most influential hubs of new ideas. There aren't many American cities on the list.

From Seth Godin: fear creates scarcity, and scacity usually carries high prices.

The user of smartphones, as opposed to plain old cell phones, is greatly increasing in the U.S.

The MIT app inventor - an online service that provides tools for creating Android apps - is now open to the public.

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Tuesday March 6, 2012

The coffee shop as the future of everything.

More on the coffee shop - remaking offices and everything else in the form of coffee shops.

Two new Ultrabooks from Gigabyte.

The international digital divide continues. Not so much in access to computer devices, but in access to bandwidth.

Mankind still needs to keep physical copies of its works. And some people are doing that. Thank them.

It appears that layoffs are coming to Yahoo.

More evidence that telecommuting benefits just about everyone. Also, real tips for managers of telecommuters.

The definition of success keeps changing - Lady Gaga passes 20 million followers on Twitter. If each were to send her one dollar...

I like this term - the "zoner." That is the person willing to overlap time zones on a distributed project.

Verizon is promising data rates faster than DSl with its home LTE service. You have to have an ugly antenna, but who cares. The monthly fees may stop many.

This shows the, well, how about using "stupidity" to describe government offices. The U.S. Department of State makes a big announcement that its employees can now use Google's Chrome browser if they like it more than Internet Explorer. Your tax dollars at waste.

Just in time for the iPad 3, or whatever they will call it, use of iPads in small businesses quadrupled in 2011.

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Wednesday March 7, 2012

Apple's solar power farm in North Carolina will open as soon as October.

SimCity will be back in 2013.

Google tries again in the world of music, movies, etc. with Google Play.

Today's iPad 3 or HD or whatever will have a processor, 4G, and display that are better than those on latpop computers. Yes the big event is this afternoon (Eastern Time, morning on the coast).

CitiGroup acquires an IBM Watson.

Microsoft is showing Office 15 to some people. The full release is expected this summer.

JIEDDO buys a hundred of iRobot's FirstLook robotic crawlers. These are pretty good, pretty tough little information gatherers.

Acer is selling Ultrabooks at a loss (they claim).

Google cuts the price of its cloud storage service.

Some people don't have enough to do, and most of those people work for the government. Colleges and government agencies are demanding Facebook passwords from applicants. They are turning citizens into subjects.

The worst job in the digital world is still a paying job, and that feeds families. The alternative is much worse.

Here is how to carry anything through the TSA naked body scanners without detection. Child's play. And they spent billions of dollars on these things. Your tax dollars at waste.

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Thursday March 8, 2012

Apple had their event, and we have "the new iPad." And that is the name, not iPad 3 or iPad HD or anything else - just iPad. It is much better than the old iPads. Here is a post about 4G LTE capability. That is a huge addition to the iPad. Apple just has to put LTE into its next line of laptop computers. Can't wait for a MacBook Air with LTE. The data rates are higher than my cable modem at home and the network I use at work. This is a good summary article. Raving about the new display.

And Apple has a new version of Apple TV. A closer look at the update.

Now is a good time to pick up a refurbished iPad 2 WiFi only $350.

Every dollar spent on an iPad is probably a dollar not spent on a PC. That may not be true as corporations and governments will continue to buy PCs for years while their employees won't.

Now let's go back to real technology advances. Microsoft Research has a (somewhat awkward, but it's new) device you wear that makes any surface a touch user interface. Now we are getting somewhere.

The headaches that the new iPad, the old iPad, and all those other mobile devices that people have cause corporate networks.

The Modern Language Association (MLA) has a recommended style for citing tweets.  This is important.

Government to the rescue - the U.S. Department of Justice is warning Apple and others that they are about to be sued  for price fixing of eBooks. Was there a problem here?  Perhaps it is just another money grab by  regulators who don't have enough to do  in their jobs. Your tax dollars at waste.

Nvidia joins the Linux Foundation.

Google has offered a million bucks to anyone who can find a security hole in the Chrome browser. Well, they just paid $60,000 to a Russian student.

A new term - JeOS - Just enough Operating System. I love the concept.

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Friday March 9, 2012

Here is a deeper analysis of the new iPad.

Apple scoffs at the Department of Justice suit that they are fixing prices on eBooks. This whole thing will cost the taxpayers a lot of money and accomplish nothing. Which is why I write "your tax dollars at waste."

The success of the Raspberry Pi may destroy it. They still can't make the things and can't take your orders. Maybe in a month or so the product will be real as in actually in my hands.

Fascinating, this suspended tent from Tentsile.

Don't believe the data rates shown in the Apple big event this week. Those are theoretical maximums and are not experienced in real life. Still, if you have LTE, you are much more likely to have a higher data rate than if you have 3G.

The fastest shrinking industry in America: newspapers. I believe they are getting what they brought on themselves. Smug, slanted, unethical coverage has played a big part in this.

Along these lines, news outlets are being "warned" by the TSA not to report on this week's blogged story about how to sneak a gun right through the naked body scanners. Here is some commentary on the whole thing. The "hole" in the scanners was published two years ago, there are many more problems with the machines. Yet, a billion dollars has been spent on this nonsense.

Prices on the iPad 2 have fallen. I ate breakfast with a man this morning who is figuratively holding a $100 bill in his hand and waving it at anyone with an iPad 2. He may have an iPad soon.

The ClearWire WiMax modem is now available to many more devices. I used one of these a year ago on my Apple portable computer for a few months. It worked quite well.

Take a look at these photos of the cleanup in Japan. They work hard there.

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Saturday March 10, 2012

Apple shows more details of its proposed new headquarters building, a.k.a., the spaceship.

Oh, and Apple will build a $300Million campus in Austin, Texas.

Excellent George Will editorial on how Wasington regulators inch-by-inch work around Washinton laws. Perhaps one day the legislative and judicial branches of government will reclaim the positions granted to the by the Constitution. Perhaps not.

This is an air puffer. Photographers use it to blow dust off their camera lenses. The TSA thinks it looks too much like a bomb or a rocket or something that will crash an airplane. Your tax dollars at waste.

Some definitions for our "Post PC" world. This is post personal computer. Too bad it is not post political correctness.

Who needs a new iPad? Google and ASUS are working on a low-price tablet. Perhaps several of these lower-price tablets will find a good market and sell a million units in a year.

Todd Park has been named the second Chief Technology Officer of the United States. His resume doesn't impress me. I hope his performance does.

The U.S. government has siezed 750 Internet sites that were registered outside the U.S. If we (government by the people, you know) do this, foreign governments will start siezing U.S.-registered websites. Why not? Oh, but the way, this has all happened under the Obama administration. I thought all that evil govenment stuff left town with those Bush and Cheney fellows.

A big advance at Microsoft Research. The software translates what you say into another language, and the translated voice sounds like yours.

It appears that the arrival date of some ordered iPads has slipped to 19 March from 16 March. Some are interpreting this to mean that Apple has already exhausted its supply. Given there are  two communications options, two colors, and three memory options (that is 12 different models), Apple couldn't guess which models would be ordered the most.

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Sunday February March 11, 2012

Tim Ferris on how to read faster. This is something else that high school teaches wrong (an understatement if there ever was one). Ferris is not unique in this method. There are many methods to double, triple, etc., your reading speed.

There are vastly different styles of writing. Use the one that works for you. Never let someone, like a high school English teacher, tell you that you are doing it wrong.

Now for something completely different: The dollar shave club. Great business idea. Makes jobs, what wrong with all that?

I like this - the Half-Hour Theory of learning and improving your life. For example, for the past five years I spend half an hour a day four or five days a week playing the guitar. I may not play well, but I play better than I have at any time in my life. I also have a better appreciation for guitar music.

Apple is driving a boom in leasing office space in Silicon Valley.

One of the best educational sites  on the web is YouTube. Schools, those bastions of pushing back the frontiers of ignorance, ban YouTube because of the other stuff available there. Google is working to create school-approved YouTube portals.

Some thoughts on writing to make money and writing because it feels good to write.

Some thoughts on Freelancers marrying those with "normal" jobs AND health insurance. I am not waiting for a romantic comedy movie about a couple who marry for the health insurance and then, of course, fall in love.

In fiction, it is the scene, not the chapter.

Pursue your life's goal by starting small. Do not aim small, do not dream small, but start small.

Stealing ideas for writing. There is an old saying that goes something like, "If you steal an idea from one person, that is plagiary. If you steal ideas from many people, that is research." Do your research.

Some thoughts on writing historical fiction.

How to hire a programmer. Adjust accordingly for how to hire a writer.

Ways to reduce your spending. If you want to be a freelancer or a writer, the key to financial independence is reducing your spending. Here is a financial tip I learned many years ago. It has worked for me. Ready for it? Okay,

Spend less money than you earn over a long period of time.

And if you are a freelancer or a writer, here is something that has to be repeated every now and then: back up your work.

30 ideas for teaching writing.

Here are some good ideas about writing and being a writer. Nothing exciting here, but basic stuff like sit down, put your hands on the keys, and write. Write daily, find a time that writes, find something that puts you in the mood to write.

In the same vein, find a time of day for writing that works for you.

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