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 12-18, 2012

Summary of this week:

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

Monday March 12, 2012

Carnegie Mellon analyzes what the Chinese government censors on the web.

It is sort of official - Apple sells out its pre-order of the new iPad.

The Khan Academy has released an iPad app for its online learning.

I like this - the map shows the spread of income per counties in the U.S.

This one is important - if you want to make the next big product, look at demographics and build something for a large group of people. And in America, one of those really large groups is over 50 years old.

Is immediate feedback a better way to program?

The iPhone is NOT popular in China.

You have to look at the bottom of this post to see a pretty good cartoon.

Turning homeless people into 4G, WiFi hotspots. You have to think about this one a while.

More evidence that we have yet to understand how to put eBooks in public libraries.

This is an example of NASA wasting money. The GRAIL spacecraft are making incredibly detailed maps of the moon ('s gravitational field). This will not lead to man on the moon. Hence, your tax dollars at waste.

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Tuesday March 13, 2012

Some thoughts about turning electronic gadgets into fashion items.  Remember the great Texas Instruments digital watch fiasco?  A group of engineers figured out  how to make really inexpensive watches. What they didn't realize was that watches are fashion items, not time pieces.

TED has launced TED-Ed on YouTube. They hope to produce many educational videos for schools. We shall see if all those smart, rich people on TED will be outlast all those school teacher unions.

Someone wrote this for me. A guy who still uses an iPhone 3 wants to know when Apple will release to iPhone 5.

And it seems that many Apple computer owners are delaying their purchases to see what and when the next update is coming for that area.

The director of DARPA leaves government and goes to Google.

iRobot and Texas Instruments are teaming up on something.

A cute, tech package for a USB thumb drive. It looks like a disk drive package and it even glows.

And as long as we are talking cute...an iPhone case that doubles as a coffee cup.

Unemployment has fallen a little, but not as much as salaries. College graduates today are earning about 10% less than they were ten years ago.

It seem that if, as an American citizen, you are charged with a crime, you will not have a Constitutionally guaranteed jury trial.

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Wednesday March 14, 2012

First printed in 1768, the Encyclopedia Britannica will stop creating paper editions. We had one when I was in high school. I understand the change, but it is a shame.

Kindle and Barnes and Noble have made a dent in Apple's dominance of the tablet market.

But corporations prefer the iPad ten to one over any other tablet.

Forgers rejoice - a new technique for removing ink from paper via a laser. This could also turn printers into un-printers. Paper would not be recycled as it is today. We would merely run it through an un-printer.

Firefox 11 is released.

Tales from the White House IT department. Yes, government agencies are that far behind in the world of IT. And they are not catching up anytime soon.

Guess what? Lobbyists are behind many of the traffic light cameras and speed cameras in the U.S. They give money to politicians who put in the cameras to get more money for the government. Safety? Don't be naive.

Hacking attacks on U.S. government web sites has risen 700% year to year. Is everyone ready for national electronic health records?

This is sort of an exoskeleton glove. It does much of the work of the person wearing it allowing the person to do more work and feel less fatigue. It could be a wonderful item for those whose muscles no longer function.

When the power goes out, you can still use this Japanese vending machine by cranking electricity yourself. I don't understand why these hand-powered dynamos are not far more widely used.

The Raspberry Pi $35 computer is still stumbling out onto the market. Success may kill this idea. I looked at the store yesterday, and it is still down. Maybe one day I will be able to buy one of these.

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Thursday March 15, 2012

The definition of success keeps changing as Apple is expected to sell over 60 million iPads in 2012. That is a large number.

And Apple is now bigger than the entire U.S. retail sector.

Passwords or pass phrases? Some claim that the length of pass phrases doesn't work as the phrases are too easy to guess. I suppose the Dilbert phrase "uranus hertz" doesn't count.

The Ultrabook computers are here. Now it is time for Apple to leapfrog with better Air-like machines.

Verizon continues to expand its LTE coverage. They have over 200 markets and want to have 400 by the end of 2012.

Apple is offering money for your iPad 2 in a reuse and recycling program.

Half the data traffic on the Internet is software running on its own - not people.

Why aren't kids studying Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM)? There are many reasons. One is that careers in these fields aren't very good.

As I sit in a somewhat noisy Starbucks, we learn that sitting in such places, semi-disturbed is the term some people use, is good for creativity. Different people, different tasks, different optimum environments - try them, learn what works for you, discard the rest.

Amazon leads the world in cloud computing.

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Friday March 16, 2012

Those wave gliders have completed 117 days at see and covered 3,000 miles.

Some thoughts on the use of drones for safety and such.For example, I could have a small drone flying around in my mother’s home watching her health and safety. That would allow her to live in her own house for many years. She would like the result.

There are still jobs available for people in journalism.The jobs, however, are different.

The Utah Data Center is being built for the National Security Agency.

The TSA’s pre-check program.If you are lucky and willing to pay $100, you can bypass all the security theatre.

This Microsoft ad is strange.It is really funny, but I don’t know how it will help Microsoft sell anything. Maybe that is the point, they just want to entertain and have people associate their name with a smile.

The new iPad appears in the stores today.There will be stories of long lines. I drove past the local Apple store this morning at 6am, the line was half a block long. I have seen much longer. Perhaps the ability to order one and have it delivered has cut the lines. I am waiting for my wife to call me and tell me that mine arrived.

Here is Steve Wozniak waiting in line.Sometimes its just plain fun to wait in line.

What is inside the new ipad

One person’s history of using an iPad for two years. See my blog for about ten posts on the original iPad.

Here is something I learned a few years ago. If you don’t read lousy books, you have more time to read good books.

I love these pieces of folding furniture.

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Saturday March 17, 2012

Here is a video of someone taking their iPad out of the box. I have never understood the appeal of these "unboxing" videos. My new iPad arrived yesterday afternoon. I am not sure why it took eight hours to go ten miles. Perhaps I should have told UPS that I was coming to their facility to pick it up instead.

Glenn Beck is off of cable TV and now on his own Internet TV network - gbtv.com.  Whether you like him or not is  unimportant. The news is that celebreties can and are making their own TV stations online.

More information on Google's 7" $150 tablet coming this year.

Another Internet casualty - the business card. Actually, it is the smartphone that is killing them. Still, they are handy.

People are asking that the 50 hour work week goes away and is replaced by the good old 40 hour work week. One problem that would go away is high unemployment.

I don't watch enough television, maybe? There is a show called "This American Life" that did an Al Gore in that they showed drama instead of reality in a documentary. Now they are having to take it all back and beg for foregiveness. The story is all over the Internet.

Some excellent tips for online writing. What is odd is that this post ignores all those good tips.

Intel buys a stake in a company that has eye-tracking technology.

Looking at the new and old iPad display with a microscope. The new display is much better.

Apple keeps the people lining up around the block for these new products.

How Google is using "toilet water" to cool its servers. Good stuff. There are many ways to cool computers that cost little money.

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Sunday February March 18, 2012

Microsoft Research is working on something they call Lifebrowser. It digs through your digital history and recreates a story of your past. I like this idea. I like it a lot.

Atari is offering $100K to the winner of a contest: write a new version of Pong.

Remembering Robert Scott and his explorers who died a hundred years ago in Antartica.  They are remembered because of what Scott wrote as he froze to death. He took the trouble to write.

For writers, read outside your comfort zone. I agree wholeheartedly.

I hate to do this, but sometimes as a writer you have to delete some of your words.

Great minds discuss ideas.As a writer, I may not have a great mind, but if I concentrate on writing about ideas...it could help.

Thoughts on a working vacation.I recently went on a cruise with 18 family members. I had one hour a day on the side to write fiction. It was incredibly productive.

Here is a writing “secret:” sit in a chair at least two hours a day.

Book publishing used to operate on the scarcity model. Now it is on the abundance model.

What the well-dressed person will wear during the zombie apocalypse.

But what if my boss is really nice but incompetent?

C.S. Lewis on vocation.

While the Internet is a great writer’s resource providing lots of useful information at your fingertips, it can also be a terrible distraction to some of us. Here are a few tips to avoiding the distraction.

Some thoughts on finding extra time to write. It isn’t easy, but it can be done.

Writing about yourself is difficult for many of us. Here are tips on mistakes to avoid.

How Microsoft and the PC killed Britannica (not Wikipedia).

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