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 April 16-22, 2012

Summary of this week:

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

Monday April 16, 2012

I love this interactive display of the world's population density. Let's here it for Lagos, Nigeria! I lived there a couple of years.

Sony has built an optical disk archive system with a 1.5TeraByte (1,500 Gigabytes) capacity. No prices yet.

Sergey Brin talks about the "threats" to openness on the Internet from governments and other Internet companies.

Google is trying to improve the Chrome Operating System with a new interface called "Aura."

Silicon Valley stardom shifts from engineers, programmers, and leaders to those persons who design the appearance of an application.

Companies are monitoring the email of their IT staff looking for signs that the IT staff may turn rogue and run off with all the data. Here is a tip: talk to every person every day, come to know them as persons.

I don't like this: there is a big digital divide in America. Those who use technology have a huge advantage in stepping ahead. Those who don't use technology are screeching to a halt. I think this is bad for the country.

The best of the best in high-end audio. Wow.

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Tuesday April 17, 2012

Microsoft announces the many different editions of the coming Windows 8. I can't keep up with them.

Apple's stock went down 4% in one day. What happened?

The "smart" house - it is not just a cute use of tech to show off how you can dim the lights with your computer. It is moving to the practical that will allow elderly and the handicapped to live alone in their own homes (something my mother wishes to continue doing).

I don't get this one. This photo shows a bicycle, but not just any bicycle. It is the official Google bike used at their campus. It was designed by Google's own engineers in a design competition. I'm sorry. To me it looks like a plain old bike.

HP ships a new all-in-one desktop computer with a fantastic 27" display. I have a place downstairs where this would ...

The Apple II is 35 years old. I am much older as I remember looking at these in stores.

Intel ships its 330 series of solid state drives. The news is lower prices - $89 for 60GigaBytes.

Guess what? eHarmony might be conning its users. Who would have ever imagined such a thing?

How far will you go to lose weight quickly? How about use a feeding tube?

What would a week be without a good (bad) TSA story? This TSA employee has been stealing iPads from citizen's luggage. Ah, government-enforced safety.

This isn't good - unemployment among young Europeans is about 22% and that is up 50% from 2008.

The rumors of the Google G-Drive are much stronger now. They claim the service will debut next week. If only it had come out before Dropbox. Maybe the weight of Google will push out DropBox. I use and like DropBox.

And this is the sorry state of education in America. The state of Florida hired someone to create a science test for its students. A scientist obtained a copy of practice test questions. He showed that the "correct" answers to test questions were incorrect. The state and the company hired by the state decided that the students wouldn't know the difference and didn't change the questions and answers. On top of this nonsense, the state will not let people see the actual test questions and "correct" answers. Your tax dollars at waste. Your child's life being wasted by the government.

The stupidity of data caps.

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Wednesday April 18, 2012

Ooooh, I love this one. Google Earth is now incorporating aerial imagery provided by all of use from baloons. The Public Laboratory for Open Technology and Science has baloon kits that are about a hundred dollars. I worked in remote sensing in graduate school about 30 years ago (has it been that long?), and these new, inexpensive tools are great.

Not everything Google tries works - a year after its introduction, Google wallet is basically unused.

Coursera.org - I have no idea how to pronounce this, but they seem to be doing good work. They are providing a central place for colleges to put their courses. Good stuff.

Some people are looking at how companies, like Apple, use electricity and the source of that electricity. Apple, as a tremendously successful company, has to be far more image conscious than it used to be. Apple has a different side to the same story.

NBC Sports announces that it will stream live all Olympic sports this summer. If it is on camera, it will be online. I believe that London is five hours ahead of the Eastern Daylight Time.

Real-world results from 3G and 4G Internet usage. Lucky me as AT&T, my default provider, is one of the better 4G (the new iPad) providers.

Some posts are hard to believe like this one that claims that anyone with an engineering or computer science degree will be pounced upon by companies willing to pay them $150K right out of college.

Some of  the hazards of asking people to sign non-disclosure agreements (NDA).

There are still those in Afghanistan who believe that girls should not go to school. This is a great shame.

The average Apple retail store is 17 times more productive than the average American retail store. That is NOT 17% but 17 times. My math shows that to be 1600%.

Logitech previews its Bluetooth keyboard and cover for the iPad. It uses a magnetic attachment similar to Apple's own cover.

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Thursday April 19, 2012

Intel is expecting vendors to ship 20 to 30  million Ultrabooks in 2012. They also expect that to double in 2013. Perhaps I don't understand the definition of Ultrabook.

Will all this - Ultrabook and Win8 tablets - revive the PC market?

And here is the first Intel-built smartphone.

Apple is making it easier for people to move up the 10.abc chain of OS X releases. The goal it to have the user reach "Lion" so they can use the iCloud. Apple has stumbled on this 10 do whatever thing and made a mess of the releases.

Dick Clark of American Bandstand has died at age 82. Here is one of many posts about this on the net.

YouTube has added the ability for us to add a little background music to our videos (without infringing on the copyrights of the music makers).

If you have photos on your iPhone (who doesn't?), you can now send them to the Kodak printers at your local Target and CVS. This saves me from moving to photos to computer, to CD, to CVS, to ...

Qualcomm has a record financial quarter.

Samsung is putting WiFi into some of its better cameras. The serious camera makers will have to do this. People take digital imagery with their "cameras." Hardcopy and processing come via computers. If I were a maker of lenses and mirrors, I would be irritated with all this attention paid to RF communications instead of to clarity. That, however, is today's world of cameras.

Speaking of cameras, turn 1,100 liter trash dumpsters into pin hole cameras and look what you have.

A 15-year-old Austrian student hacked into 259 companies. He was 15 and had no resources! Imagine what resourceful adults could do with national electronic health records.

Men edit Wikipedia far more than women. How does this gender difference affect the contents of the encyclopedia?

The Smart Grid is becoming smarter, but is it becoming secure?

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Friday April 20, 2012

Apple will add 500 new jobs to its office in Cork, Ireland.

Microsoft released its third quarter financials. They had a good quarter.

AMD, however, lost almost $600Million in its first quarter of 2012.

America now has no method of manned space travel. Boeing is showing mockups of its system that will be available in 2015 (these things are often behind schedule). Gosh.

But all is not lost - NASA has the most energy efficient building in the country. Isn't that NASA's mission? Energy efficient buildings? Maybe not.

Justin Knapp has one million Wikipedia edits to his credit since 2005. That is some sort of record.

Numbers for the Government Accounting Office showing how wasteful and ineffective the TSA is.

India has test fired a long range missile. Unlike North Korea, India's missile worked, and that has a lot of people upset.

The Liesure Suit Larry game is making a comeback.

Some of the Congress-perons pushing a new cybersecurity bill practice cyber insecurity. Believe it or not, man Congress-persons have no idea what they are doing when they write legislation about techology or medicine or highways or just about anything.

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Saturday April 21, 2012

Interesting comparison: prohibition in the early 20th century and copyright protection in the early 21st century.

The other side of always knowing where you are with your smartphone is that other people always know where you are.

According to a "whistleblower," the NSA is collecting far more emails and such from Americans now with President Obama than it ever dir with President Bush. Only those inside know.

According to this scientific study, fraud in scientific studies is more rampant now than ever before. There are too many researchers chasing too little money, so they fudge the numbers a bit more now.

A town in Missouri is trying to buy a small-scale nuclear reactor. I hope this works and spreads.

Cadillac is pushing self-driving cars. They could be on the road by the middle of the decade.

And Congress wants to help us all, again. They want black-box data recorders in new cars by 2015. Sigh. Something tells me that Senators will also be riding in older cars that won't record their geographic locations at all times.

It seems that women prefer online meetings more than men.

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Sunday April 22, 2012

Charles Colson dies at 80. The big media all lead with stories about Colson and Nixon and Watergate. I doubt those guys will ever get it.

Apple moves forward with its data center in Oregon. They will spend $250million building the site. They will only add 35 permanent jobs, but the construction time will be a boom.

A few items that kill innovation in health care. Notable is the role of government regulation in America.

The Radio Shack TRS-80 Model 100 portable computer is 30 years old. Unlike the other machines of its era, people are still using this computer today.

Scientists claim to have found vast underground water reserves in Africa. This could change the continent. I hope the change is for the better, but am confident that a few greedy people can turn this blessing into a curse.

I learn a new term: Skeuomorphs - "a derivative object that retains ornamental design cues to a structure that was necessary in the original. Skeuomorphs may be deliberately employed to make the new look comfortably old and familiar, such as copper cladding on zinc pennies or computer printed postage with circular town name and cancellation lines." Wikipedia.

Some writers plan their work before writing. Some writers just start typing words and wait to see what happens. Most of us are in the middle some where like this post describes.

Here is a writing exercise - write about the 1%. In this post, that is the top 1% financially. Move this to the top 1% weight, height, hair length, shoe size, and so on. Then write about the bottom 1% in all those areas. Writer's block? No, there isn't enough time to write.

Ten secrets to writing well. I wouldn't call these secrets, but there are some pretty good tips in the list.

Dealing with rejection is not easy. One way to do it is to realize that if you write, you will be rejected. If you cannot live with rejection, do not write.

Tips on writing "tight," i.e., without lots of redundant and repeated superflous words tossed in randomly without thought or something like that.

Some writing and publishing terms of interest.

This post is about wearing your camera so that you are ready to photograph and that you feel like a photographer. Carry pencil and paper in your pocket - an easy-to-access pocket. You are now ready to writer and you will feel like a writer.

Thoughts on balancing creative time with the time spent selling products and earning a living.

Americans now walk less than all of the industrialized (whatever that means) nations. A couple of years ago I took an 1,100-mile walk. It was great fun. I should do something like that again.

The basics of do-it-yourself eBook publishing.

Five conferences for freelancers in 2012.

Seven resources for writers. There are a few excellent books mentioned here.

If you are making any money as a writer, you should be outsourcing some of your tasks. Here is a guide.

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