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 23-29, 2012

Summary of this week:

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

Monday April 23, 2012

Intel has officially launched its Ivy Bridge processor with 22nm technology. I wish they wouldn't use these silly names. Numbers would suffice. The new chips are to deliver 20% more processing power while consuming 20% less electrical power.

Now for something a little less important - companies are buiding bathroom scales with WiFi built in. I'm speechless.

The Sinclair ZX Spectrum is 30 years old. Come to think of it, 1982 was an exciting time in the little computer business. There was always something new in the Byte magazine ads every month, prices fell, performance grew. Yes, it was exciting.

New concepts in generating electricity from the wind. These turbines are floated up thousands of feet where the wind is more stable and predictable. Maybe one day these things will work.

Truth is too strange to believe sometimes. A Japanese teenager had his prize football wash away in last year's tidal wave. It washed ashore in Alaska and is being returned.

The black market for body parts. Max Brooks used this market to spread the virus in his novel "World War Z." There is much that could be done about this, but probably nothing will happen for decades. As Brooks wrote, the potential for the spread of disease is vast.

Microsoft created a service patch to its Office for Mac 2011, but pulled it off its servers at the discovery of major problems.

Apple may drop the portable computer with a 17" display. It seems that people no longer want a portable computer to be that big. Hmmm, I may have to grab one before they disappear.

This guy has an Apple computer museum in his garage. Too cool. I just have a bunch of old kids' toys in my garage on a sagging folding table.

Linus Torvalds loves the MacBook Air.

Look what someone just found - huge shale gas reserves off the coast of Britain.

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Tuesday April 24, 2012

Some notes on undersea robotics.

While Microsoft remains strong in the enterprise, it is fading in the consumer marketplace.

And to protect its place in the enterprise, Microsoft is charging companies a lot of money when they interface iPads to Microsoft software.

DropBox now allows you to share your files with others via a link.

And Microsoft continues to build on their own SkyDrive.

Windows 8 will almost be here in June. Some type of "near-final" version will be available then.

Just like with the ill-gated SOPA, CISPA has growing opposition. Maybe Congress will learn one day that people can actually read legislation these days. The trick they pulled with ObamaCare was that they made it so long that it took months to read it.

Netflix has grown to 26 million customers.

Iran's oil industry was hit by cyber attacks. If they cannot protect their oil, how is it that America will protect its national electronic health records?

An asteroid exploded over California this past weekend.

The career of a software engineer is over at age 40. This sort of conflicts with the recent job survey that said software engineer was the best job in America.

The University of Florida is closing its Computer Science department. All other nearby schools that still have CSC are cheering the influx of students.

While people are buying Android devices, they are using iOS devices. Strange.

Cyber criminals from Russia earned over a third of all money earned by cyber criminals worldwide. I don't know how anyone can calculate these things without knowing enough to arrest and convict such criminals.

Cocaine literally rots your brain.

Google Docs has increased its free storage to 5GigaBytes. Some see this as a precusor to the G-Drive which is coming next week or real some now or some time after now.

AT&T has a good financial quarter with revenue and profits up.

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Wednesday April 25, 2012

No longer a rumor, the Google Drive is here. Not yet here for iOS though. Information is all over the place. Here is another source. Or go to drive.google.com.
Firefox 12 is released.

Nvidia updates their line of processors.

HP is already putting the new Intel Ivy Bridge processors into their all-in-one machines.

Maybe this really is the post-PC world. Tablets are predicted to be the device of choice.

Intel is buying assets from Cray. Good old Cray.

TED is explanding its TEDEd offerings.

Google will now pay you $20,000 if you find security holes in its products.

The number of iOS devices in use is staggering. There are over 350 million with 50 million sold in the last quarter alone. I don't think we have reached the bend in the curve. A big part of this is that, except for Cuba and North Korea, Apple can sell its products anywhere in the world. Aha! That is it. Build a product that any one can use anywhere in the world. Sort of like food.

And this all gives Apple yet another record financial quarter. When will Apple just have good financial reports and no longer record ones?

The history of the world since 1300. An online course.

The top ten dying industries in the United States. Unfortunately, government is not on the list.

The paper-based academic journal may join the list.

There is increasing demand for gadget-free vacations. This writer took a one-month cruise on a cargo ship. The writer was the ONLY passenger.

Various flavors of the C programming language are still very popular. Pascal is still in the top 20 languages. Wow.

Contrary to popular predictions, Moore's Law is not dead.

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Thursday April 26, 2012

How Chris Chaney  hacked into the private cell phone photos taken by Hollywood celebrities. Those guys were using "secrets" from the Internet Movie Database (imdb.com) as their passwords. Therefore, the passwords were easy to guess. Amazing.

Even the White House is against CISPA.

Good George Will editorial on how the state of Illinois is running out of money. The formula is pretty simple. This is not politics, it is fact. Heavy Democratic legislature, heavy union presence in state offices, raise taxes on the rich to give to the poor. This all attracts poor people to move to your state and rich people to move out of your state. The result is predictable and predicted. Now we wait to see if the Federal government prints money and takes from about 45 states to bail out about 5 states.

Do you want your own online storage for a Mac? Here is how. I guess this is for people who don't want to use DropBox, or SkyDrive, or Google Drive, or, ...

Irrelevance, not piracy, will doom Hollywood. Actually, I think this is about technology. The hardware required to make a movie continues to drop in price. And guess what, there are plenty of good writers and actors and other artists who can create wonderful entertainment.

Samsung has a new quad-core processor for its next Galaxy phone.

Apple computers are now popular enough that people are writing malware to attack them. Welcome to Microsoft's world.

I like this: Instead of being slightly better than everybody else in a crowded and established field, it’s often more valuable to create a new market and totally dominate it. The profit margins are much bigger, and the value to society is often bigger, too.Instead of being slightly better than everybody else in a crowded and established field, it’s often more valuable to create a new market and totally dominate it. The profit margins are much bigger, and the value to society is often bigger, too.

It seems that Google will tightly integrate the G-Drive with the next Chrome operating system. I would just like to receive that email from Google that says my G-Drive is ready for use. I know it has only been about 48 hours, but...

A look at Apple's huge operating margins.

Oracle had "big" layoffs yesterday, but the company is not commenting.

I love this one: Fitness for Geeks. Others have written about this before. If you are a knowledge worker and especially some type of freelance knowledge worker, your health is your greatest asset. If you are sick, you don't work, you don't have income. Take care of your health first and foremost.

Google Maps adds photo tours of popular destinations.

Cambridge becomes the first city in the UK to have a white space RF data system operating.

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Friday April 27, 2012

Netgear is bringing out an 802.11ac WiFi router. This brings GigaBit speeds. Of course you have to have GigaBit speeds on your cable modem or DSL or whatever you have.

It seems that Secure Socket Layer isn't so secure. Is everyone ready for national electronic health records?

The Kindle Fire accounts for half of all Android tablets.

Apple was going to expand its offices in Austin, Texas. It may still do that, but there seems to be lots of problems in the deal. It isn't easy dealing with local governments especially in places where the economy is already pretty good.

NASA continues to fly space shuttles on the backs of 747s around the U.S. What is this, 1980 or something? Declare victory and maybe people won't notice the shambles that is the manned space program.

Amazon had a big financial quarter.

And so did Samsung, which is now the world's biggest cell phone maker.

The U.S. House of Representatives passed CISPA. There are now rumors that the President will sign it instead of vetoing it. More on the CISPA here.

This could be huge - MIT researchers have developed a new kind of glass that sheds water.

Maybe the University of Florida won't close its Computer Science department.

And the TSA marches on. I know there are a lot of TSA employees out there so even a 1% screw up rate will show itself. But seriously folks.

The changing nature of "watching TV."

Several Apple top people have left for, of all places, J.C. Penney.

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Saturday April 28, 2012

A look at Microsoft's work in home automation.

The Federal government is out to help us again. The Secretary of Transportation wants legislation to ban cell phone use in cars. I can think of a dozen unintended consequences of this and another dozen ways to work around it.

The Chinese government is working towards their own Instruction Set Architecture for processors.

Microsoft is now backing away from its support of CISPA.

This is a great story: Spitfire WWII fighter planes were buried in their shipping crates in Burma. Now they are about to be unearthed.

LibreOffice has a few more features than OpenOffice.

There are now 10,000 apps in the Mac app store. We used to acall these pieces of software and we didn't count them.

The future in one word: glass.

Here we go again. There is a big shortage of engineers and computer scientists in the U.S. today. I know a bunch of engineers who are looking for jobs month after month after month. I don't understand.

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Sunday April 29, 2012

Rules in lan­guage are what­ever edu­cated peo­ple say they are. - C.S. Lewis

Get Rich U. - an interesting way to describe Stanford. For many, I would call it Already Rich U.

Apple is able to avoid paying a lot of taxes.

Nvidia releases a new graphics card with two screaming GPUs. Oh, to program the cores on that card and scream. A $1,000 supercomputer.

I like these questions that a writers asks before writing.

Some thoughts on passive income.

Here is a good writing exercise: write in a different medium. Push a way the computer, grab a pencil and paper, and write a novel (or at least a page). You might be surprised.

Some thoughts on criticism. Plain, old-fashioned, "I don't like this." 

What is the secret to prolific writing? Write, write, write, write...in other words, there is no secret. You just do it.

I like this one - six reasons to write your novel. You may not earn a penney from it (see next item), but you will probably be better because of it. I know I am better, in many ways, after writing.

Some indications of what is commercially viable and not so money making. Rats! Collections of short stories are not big sellers at this time.

How writing changed one person's life.

Grammar - if your grammar is wrong it can nag and chase readers. Some tips on maintaining your good grammar.

Some financial tips for freelancers. The big ones are to live cheaply and save money when you make it.

One writer's list of place to write and not to write. I disagree with several items of these lists, but like always: try things, keep what works, and forget what doesn't.

This post has some good thoughts on making a home office. Practical tips about the direction of the sun and the distance between your front door and your office.

Qoutes about writing. My favorite is Twain on the use of the word "very."

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