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 19-25, 2012

Summary of this week:

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

Monday March 19, 2012

Apple has about $100Billion (with a B) in cash. They will have an announcement today about what they will do with some of it. I don't know why they are doing this. It is their money.

The Federal Aviation Administration may (may) look at electronic gadgets again. This may (may) lead to an end of the "turn off all electronic devices" stuff.

Looking to start ups and very small businesses for economic recovery. That is a slow course.

NetZero still exists and is offering mobile WiFi hotspots that use the cell phone network.

The Linux kernal 3.3 has been released. It is tied with Android.

A look inside the latest Apple TV (hockey puck).

Even after that TV show admitted to making up stuff in a documentary, Foxconn faces challenges.

One thing in favor of eBooks, no dictator can burn them. They can, of course, erase them.

The big winner at SXSW - extra battery packs for smartphones. Where is the hand crank? Why doesn't the hand crank make a splash? What is wrong here?

A parachute jump from 13 miles up. Next is free fall from outer space. This is too cool.

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Tuesday March 20, 2012

This is important - the Tek Robotic Mobilization Device allows paraplegics to stand. It lifts them from a seated position to a standing one and moves them about in that standing position. This is why we have technology - the help people.

I keep reading stories about how the newest iPad is hotter than the older ones. I haven't noticed this with my iPad.

Anyways, Apple sold three million of the new iPads over the weekend. The definition of success has changed.

Actual testing shows that the display on the new iPad is the best ever.

Microsoft announces that Windows 8 will be on sale in the fall.

Microsoft is giving "PhotoDNA" to law enforcement agencies. The software uses image recognition technology to find child pornography sites.

The Pirate Bay will experiment with putting servers on drones that will fly over international waters. Ah, the digital age. More and more people are physically moving out of all countries so they can operate as they see fit. Technology grants them that option.

The Document Foundation has relesed LibreOffice 3.5.1.

Google's Chrome has now passed Internet Explorer in browswer market share. In the 1990s, some well meaning folks in the U.S. government wanted to break up Microsoft into three companies because the one Microsoft was a monopoly. Of course, those well meaning folks would then make all the decisions at the new Microsofts to protect us all from the one big evil Microsoft. Funny how the folly of well meaning folks in the U.S. government is so obvious ten years later. What bothers me is that people still take well meaning folks in the U.S. government seriously after a long history of such folly.

I like this - a flowchart to help you decide if your business should be on Pinterest.

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Wednesday March 21, 2012

Some performance numbers from testing the battery of the new iPad. It works quite well as a WiFi hotspot.

Ars Technica takes a long look at the new iPad.

Apple has over $60Billion in cash outside the U.S. They won't bring it back to the U.S. (for new jobs) because of U.S. tax policies. Well, does Washington D.C. want jobs for Americans or tax money to feed itself?

I love this one. Kids' toys - the different companies have their own standards for connecting the pieces. This universal adapter set allows you to connect Legos to Lincoln logs to whatever. Great.

An MIT camera can "see around corners." Basically, it uses a laser that turns walls into mirrors.

New undersea cables planned for the arctic. It may seem archaic, but much of the world's Internet traffic moves through undersea cables.

The New York Times has reached 454,000 online paid subscribers. Recall that the newspaper industry is the fastest failing one in the U.S.

Technology won't stop. Western Digital's MyPassport line of little, cute external hard disk drives now offers 2TeraBytes of storage.

Beware of 4G LTE access on your iPad. You burn through the data limits quickly. Just do email and basic web browsing. Leave the video for WiFi.

NASA lost another laptop computer. This one contained personal information of employees - lots of them. This falls under both: Your tax dollars at waste. And Is everyone ready for national electronic health records?

Another myth about the millenials is busted. They really don't care about the environment.

This post was written just for me. It is about why owners of the first iPad, who didn't buy the iPad 2, should upgrade to the new iPad. I love the video camera and the display. I haven't found much else that is wonderful. Although I have yet to try the 4G access. That is coming.

Twitter is six years old today. Five years ago I recommended to a government agency to use Twitter as an emergency communications channel. The government's managers thought I was joking as surely, anything called "twit" would fail. Oh well.

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Thursday March 22, 2012

Excellent editorial from George Will about the folly of government trying to predict a good society.  We now have a country without Sears, Kodak, Borders, and  others.  One qoute that shows how the folly goes back over a century:  "Theodore Roosevelt, America’s first progressive president, thought it was government’s duty to “look ahead and plan out the right kind of civilization.” TR looked ahead and saw a “timber famine” caused by railroads’ ravenous appetites for crossties that rotted. He did not foresee creosote, which preserves crossties."

A closer look at the newest Apple TV. There is much better throughput on its WiFi system than before. It still seems like a hobby to the folks at Apple.

The definition of success has changed. Apple sells a million copies of iPhoto for iPad software in ten days.

I suppose a lot of people associated with a lot of companies could ask this question, "Why aren't we more like Apple?"

Archeologists continue to find ways to find ancient settlements using satellites or at least imagery from satellites. It seems there were far more of these settlements than we ever thought. How civilized are we today compared to 5,000 years ago?

Those guys who recreated Commodore computer are coming out with new models of computers. They are a bit high-priced, but interesting.

The Einstein archive is coming to the Internet. Wonderful.

According to these researchers, male pattern baldness is caused by the concentration of a fatty compound called Prostaglandin—PGD2. There will soon be treatments. We shall see.

The Google Street View camera floated down the Amazon (River not company). Why don't they do this for the Colorado through the Grand Canyon?

Will Universities go the way of Borders book stores? Probably. I think the rich will keep enough universities alive for their kids. The college experience is more about fun than education for most students. Oooops, I wrote that. Now people who spend lots of money on private schools will dislike me.

Big rumors everywhere on the Internet that the next iPhone will have a bigger display; they call it edge to edge.

The traffic on Pinterest grew 50% between January and February of this year. I don't understand. I have noticed that the one thing I do on the Internet that attracts attention is Pinterest. Three blogs, four books, over a hundred short stories - not much interest. I pin a photo of a desk that I saw - lots of interest. Someone explain this to me.

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Friday March 23, 2012

A long look at the iPad and the sylus.
A look at Intel's next generation of Atom processors.

It appears that TV makers will follow the lead of the iPad and increase the resolution of the screens.

T-Mobile USA is eliminating 1,900 jobs.

The city of Austin, Texas has approved over $8Million in tax breaks for Apple to build a facility there. That is a lot of taxpayer money. I suppose Apple would go to another city or state without the tax aid, but it seems to be a bad decision to give millions to a company that has billions in the bank.

Only 6% of internet access on iPad comes from 3G or 4G, which means that 94% comes through WiFi. There is a good reason for this - the cost of 4G access is killing some iPad owners. They want streaming video, but their limited data plans bring big monthly bills. More on this story.

From the Harvard Business Review, a call to do one thing at a time. Conserve your energy, think more, do less.

GCC 4.7 is released. The GNU Compiler Collection is 25 years old. It is wonderful. Can anyone estimate the $$ value or the emotional value of what has been accomplished with this free tool collection?

Twenty tech sounds from years past. The floppy disk and the dial-up modem are two.

Put as little as possible into your corporate web site. There are many more ways to build a community.

A study of the search habits of the millenial generation. They search haphazardly. That brings a chuck to parents, but to those who build systems aimed at the wallets of these people, it is frustrating.

Best Buy sells as many iPhones as the Apple retail stores.

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Saturday March 24, 2012

Newspapers are dying, but people may be reading more news than ever.

More employers are asking job candidates to share private information about themselves. It is a marketplace out there.

The search for a better glue continues. This may seem silly, but there are extreme applications in medical and military fields.

A new blogging platform - Svbtle. We shall see if it catches on.

This could be great for the disabled. A personal mobility device that moves side to side as well as diagonally.

The digital gaming market continues to expand. Entertainment has always done well during economic recessions.

The death of the lab coat.

Cross stitch your own iPhone case.

Now the L-1 visa is coming under fire as companies want to import employees from their foreign offices. This is not the H-1B visa, but it doesn't seem difficult to fake your way through the visa system. Employers are still caught in this quandry of wanting to hire engineers and programmers, but not being able to find them. Then there are the unemployed American engineers and programmers. And who are you to believe in these stories?

Build a giant paper airplane, lift it up several thousand feet with a helicopter, and drop it let to let fly.

Work has begun on the next "world's largest telescope" to be built in the Chilean Andes. Sounds like great fun.

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Sunday February March 25, 2012

I'm not sure how I feel about this one - enter a child's playroom through a wardrobe.

But I do like this one - cable control things that look like power towers.

There is yet another electrical problem with the Government Motors Chevy Volt. If it weren't for all the taxpayers' money sunk into that thing, this would all be funny and bring back lots of photos of the Edsel.

The "Hunger Games" books sold a lot of copies, and the first movie sold a lot of tickets. Here is a look at some of the things in the books that writers might want to notice.

The one gadget adopted by Americans faster than any other? The boombox. In today's world, perhaps we should ask, "what piece of software was adopted the fastest?"

And here you go. This "iPad case" is basically a boombox.

How much should you write everyday? The answer is, "yes."

And when you are writing everyday, write something funny. It doesn't matter if it is funny only to you.

Do authors need to travel for research? It helps. (1) You can do a lot of travelling through documentaries and books. (2) You can do a lot of writing about your neighborhood.

One piece of indispensible writing advice: just keep writing.

Stuck with your writing? Write something dangerous.

Here is how one writer writes over a thousand words in an hour. When I write stories, I always write over a thousand words in an hour. I could do more words if I could type faster. I don't use this writer's method, but consider his. It could work for you.

Outsourcing companies in India are now recruiting workers in rural India. Why? Lower costs.

Imitation is an excellent technique for writers. At least I think so.

Here is an idea for a writing exercise or for a novel - set a story across your street.

One writer's most and least productive places to writer. As in most things, try different places. Use what works for you and discard the rest.

Allow yourself to write poorly. Then refine.

Thoughts on the classic school textbook and what might come in the digital age.

How one writer goes about writing a book. Good notes.

"I want to get into writing, but is it true that all you need to do to get better is to read and write
?" (1) Yes. (2) "all you need to do" Do you have any idea how difficult it is to read and write all the time?

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