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.

Go to Day Book Home and pointer to previous weeks
Go to Dwayne's Home Page
Email me at d.phillips@computer.org

This week: February April 30-May 6, 2012

Summary of this week:

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

Monday April 30, 2012

Tired of your IT job? Do what this guy does. He installs IT networks on the super yachts of the rich and famous.

This is not supposed to be a joke. Really, the hot gift for Mother's Day this year is the iPad.

Online sales and state taxes. Amazon reaches a settlement with Texas. There are more states in line.

NASA has a music video of a manned space flight. Hurray for NASA! The real thing is several years away. Your tax dollars at waste.

Does anyone really understand big data and we can do with it?

And one of the big data problems is a lack of people to hire to work on it. Once again, engineers are unemployed and people are screaming for engineers.

More advances in material science - silicene.

OpenMeetings - open-source web conferencing from Apache.

Microsoft is investing $300Million in Barnes&Noble. And the stock of BN is jumping. Here is more news on the Microsoft investment.

Apple is not alone in avoiding corporate taxes. Here is what Microsoft does.

oooops. It seems that wind farms, those wonders of renewable energy, raise the temperature of the area where they are installed. So what? Well, some people think it is the end of the world. The situation is too complex to understand and simulate. And guess what? Let's go back to a fundamental: if you put something in a place where it wasn't before, you will change that place. In other words, if you change the recipe, the food will taste different.

Email me at d.phillips@computer.org
Go to Day Book Home and pointer to previous weeks
Go to Dwayne's Home Page

Tuesday May 1, 2012

May 1st - today is the International Worker's Day. At least it was back when that kind of thing was fashionable.

Remote work is not good for all tasks and all people. Everyone sort of knew that, but this recent study gives more evidence to the thought.

Data passed over mobile handsets is growing. Actually talking on a mobile phone is slowing.

Not everything that Apple and Google and such try works. Google's Wave is officially dead today.

Apple's North Carolina data center will tap into landfills to mine biogas for power. I am still upset that North Carolina has this data center just a few miles from the Virginia border. Where was Virginia's government when all this was being done?

Once again, someone asks, "why hasn't Linux for the desktop become popular?" It has. Linux is under all those pretty pictures you see in Apple's OS X.

Later this year, Intel should release the Next Unit of Computing (NUC) hardware. This is a 4" square circuit board with a computer and I/O on it. It might cost about $100, which may make it a competitor to the Raspberry Pi. That is if the Raspberry Pi is ever going to actually ship.

The definition of success has changed. Angry Birds Space has 50 million downloads in 35 days. That sets a new record. The old record was 50 days by Draw Something.

And Instagram now has 50 million users. They are adding five million new users a week.

So what? Google Translate now has 200 million users.

Worldwide, more people have cell phones than electricity or drinking water. Something is wrong here.

Digg is pretty much dead. Digg's tech team is being hired by the Washington Post. Yes, that is pretty much dead.

The iPad has replaced the traditional laptop computer as the portable computing device of choice for some.

I like this and I hope it becomes a trend. The ShopBot - a low-cost CNC router for the home.

Email me at d.phillips@computer.org
Go to Day Book Home and pointer to previous weeks
Go to Dwayne's Home Page

Wednesday May 2, 2012

Apple now has 31% of the U.S. smartphone market.

But HP has regained the title of world's leading computer maker from Apple.

Firefox is losing market share in the browser world as Chrome and Internet Explorer are gaining.

Several countries are developing floating offshore wind turbines. If these work, the movement of putting a company offshore to avoid all national regualtions will have a boost. Put one of these massive wind turbines at the center of your offshore company to supply all its power needs.

Verbatim's new thumb drives combine USB 3.0 with lower prices. $20 buys you 8GigaBytes.

Sony shows its first Ultrabook portable computer.

In-flight WiFi service comes to international flights between North America and Germany.

This invention could bring big changes. It is a microphone that does not need air to vibrate a membrane. Instead, it uses an accelerometer to move and excite the transducer. This will bring benefits to hearing aids, but there are many more applications as well. Of course the hearing aid use is at least three years from now as it must first go through all the U.S. government regulated processes.

If you can live without the latest Apple computer, this analysis shows when to be the older models. Excellent.

Three guys in Connecticut write a language translator that is better than Google's (and I learn how to spell Connecticut).

How the overnight success of Pinterest took four years.

Maybe the age of Microsoft is over. The U.S. Department of the Interior chose Google Apps over Office 365. When a government agency choose something other than Microsoft, that is news. For the last 20 years, no one got fired for choosing Microsoft.

Email me at d.phillips@computer.org
Go to Day Book Home and pointer to previous weeks
Go to Dwayne's Home Page

Thursday May 3, 2012

The North Koreans have been jamming GPS signals. This has disrupted navigation on civilian aircraft in South Korea. I just don't understand how the world allows the Kim Dynasty to continue on that penninsula.

It seems that Apple is catching up with demand for the new iPad.

Harvard joins MIT in offering free online classes. Good for them. They call the project edx.

Verizon now offers in-home, 4G (LTE), broadband access nationwide. Put a $200 antenna on your house to bring in the signal. Connect your WiFi, and there you have it. The product is called HomeFusion.

Target will stop selling Kindle eBook readers. The Kindle is made by one of Target's main competitors. Why did they ever start selling them?

Microsoft hires 14 Yahoo researchers to help open its New York City research office.

George Will has an excellent piece this morning on the 40th birthday of his son Jon. Jon has lived his 40 years with Down's Syndrome.

The public library continues to struggle with the eBook. I think the problem is that the publishers struggle with the eBook and the concept of the library.

ooops. It seems that Germany's Minister of Science and Education commited plagiarism in her PhD dissertation.

Google Docs has added 450 new fonts and all sorts of other things that the bloated word processors have.

This school district in Maine is issuing students laptop computers loaded with censorship software. This is okay. Look at the first statement. The school district owns the computers and is loaning them to students at no cost. Take a free computer or leave it.

And then there is the bright side of telling students that their computers have censorship filters loaded on them. The students will work really hard and learn a lot as they break the filters, i.e., learn how to bypass them. I don't know if the schoold district is doing this on purpose or is educating students accidentally, but giving a teenager a tech device and telling him that he can't cheat the device is simply a challenge. The kid will learn, learn, learn.

Your tax dollars at waste. The U.S. Department of Agriculture tries to help farmers. The U.S. Department of the Interior tries to protext endangered species. Sometimes these two departments fight one another. The funny thing is that no Federal employees die in these fights. Tens of thousands of animals die in these fights. Hmmm.

Email me at d.phillips@computer.org
Go to Day Book Home and pointer to previous weeks
Go to Dwayne's Home Page

Friday May 4, 2012

The Samsung Galaxy S III is here. All over the Internet.

Here are some things that I didn't know about the iPad 2. There are four models still around with the iPad 2,4 (that is a comma, not a period) using 32nm technology.

Here is more information about the 2,4.

Apple continues its ability to make high profits on its products.

The worldwide tablet market took a 38% drop in the first quarter of 2012.  A drop in that quarter, after the holidays, is normal, but this is a pretty big drop.

$600 now buys you your own UAV with camera. Amazing.

WiFi comes to the subway stations of New York City. If it would only come to the Subway Sandwich places where I live.

Excellent skateboarding video. Outstanding photography and slow motion.

I don't understand this one after one minute, but it looks like it deserves a longer look.

Honda is moving towards cloud computing and driving. Yes, there are lots of ways to move more cars on the same roads safely.

It seems that every person uses the mouse in a unique way. You can identify a user by their mouse movements.

It seems that Osama Bin Laden didn't encrypt his computer files. I doubt that encrypting them would have done much good. Basic PC encryption schemes are easily broken by competent, and some times incompetent, intelligence organizations.

GIMP 2.8 has been released.

Email me at d.phillips@computer.org
Go to Day Book Home and pointer to previous weeks

Go to Dwayne's Home Page

Saturday May 5, 2012

Twitter is down right now. That is odd.

Is remote work the solution or just more of a problem for introverts? I didn't know that we introverts had a problem, but I guess some people see us that way.

Some numbers on work and women: 47% of all workers are women, 53% of offline freelancers are women, and 55% of online freelancers are women. I guess an offline worker is someone who doesn't work on the Internet. My mother was an offline freelancers for years typing for people in one form or another.

Could a photograph "just be" a fact and not something that you could copyright?

The President once again says he will veto CISPA in its current form.

Commentary about the fixed cost of a film or book or whatever. The consumer doesn't care about the cost; the consumer cares about the enjoyment.

Technical talent shortage in America? Look to Romania. Immigration has always fueled the growth of the American economy. Now we are finding ways to have people work without moving here. I don't think that is good.

Credentialism - the college degree means everything. That is too much power to be kept by the traditional college. Whoever finds a way to provide such credentials will make a lot of money. The current colleges will fight them.

A closer look at the Raspberry Pi device. Now if I could just buy one.

The FBI wants CALEA to apply to social networking sites like Twitter and Facebook.

This video has been buzzing around for a while now - the automated dorm room.

Email me at d.phillips@computer.org
Go to Day Book Home and pointer to previous weeks
Go to Dwayne's Home Page

Sunday May 6, 2012

A look at Intel's 910 series of solid state disks. They have an 800GigaByte model. Great stuff.

Perhaps online education is really for real now.

This may work - CodeNow.com has virtual environments that should make trying an API quicker and easier.

If you write, some people will reject what you write. Note, they are not rejecting you, but what only what you write. Understanding the difference is a big deal if you write.

I have been advocating this since I have been advocating: experimenting. Try things. If they work for you, use them. If they don't work, go on.

Bright, ambitious Americans are leaving America. That is a bad thing.

Three tips for writing. Yes, only three.

Writing by hand with pencil and paper has beneficial side affects for the brain.

"Anything you write can be changed. Anything you write can be thrown away. You have nothing to lose."

Some thoughts on writing marathons like NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month).

If your freelancing or writing life feels out of control, try some of these tips.

Do you want to write a novel? If yes, start now.

Here is a tip that works for me, when editing, print your piece of writing and edit on paper instead of on the computer screen.

Email me at d.phillips@computer.org
Go to Day Book Home and pointer to previous weeks
Go to Dwayne's Home Page