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 May 7-13, 2012

Summary of this week:

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

Monday May 7, 2012

Both NASA and the European Space Agency were hacked over the weekend. Is everyone ready for national electronic health records?

Even Apple messes up now and then. An OS X security blunder makes it possible to see logins.

AT&T introduces an Internet-based home automation and security service. Of course I have to wonder if this service is secure or if hackers will know everything about your home that you know. I am betting on the tens of thousands of hackers who will gleefully sacrifice their spare time to have fun with this one.

For O'Reilly, piracy is just another marketing expense.

And piracy doesn't seem to be killing the eBook business as sales rose 366% last year in the UK.

What studies on file sharing really show. Most of the claims by publishers are exagerated.

NASA once again shows that it can't put a man in space, but it can make music videos. Your tax dollars at waste. Why do the budget people in Congress let them get away with this?

Rovio, the maker of Angry Birds, had $100+Million in sales last year on almost 650 downloads. The definition of success has changed.

Some thoughts on Google and wardriving. Wardriving is where you drive around a neighborhood with you laptop computer looking for an open WiFi router so you can access the Internet. It is legal. The problem is that if you are Google, a rich and sucessful company, you should stay away from this stuff.

It seems that Da Vinci's anatomy drawings were correct. They were hundreds of years ahead of their time. Few people, however, bothered to or were privileged to see them.

I hope this rumor comes true - Apple may release an $800 MacBook Air this year (currently $1,000).

Adobe ships Creative Suite 6 (only $2,500).

I like these tips for taking photos while travelling.

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Tuesday May 8, 2012

A look at new small form factor PCs from ASRock.

Apple jumps from #35 to #17 on the Fortune 500 list.

Google obtains license to test drive autonomous cars in Nevada.

The world changes just a little bit more as we learn that people spend more time on Facebook via their cell phone than via their computers.

Toshiba made about $900 million last year.

Here are Toshiba's new tablet computers. The price seems too high.

The IEEE releases the new WiFi spec - 802.11-2012.

The descent of Kodak continues as they take their photo hosting service offline.

GMVault - a utility to backup and restore your Google Mail account.

Microsoft is opening a research lab in New York City. That is expensive real estate.

Yahoo's CEO Scott Thompson had "errors" in his resume. He has apologized, but some people at Yahoo aren't satisfied. This is a case of "if you know the right people you can do things that everyone else can't." Thompson could do something like work a year with no salary and distribute his salary among Yahoo employees. That might do it, but I doubt that will happen.

Universities are refusing to send transcripts to potential employers if students don't pay back loans. Ah, forever pushing back the frontiers of ignorance.

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Wednesday May 9, 2012

In Japan, a cell company will start using balloons to lift their antennas. This idea is especially good after a natural disaster for reviving service quickly.

Exoskeletons are becoming more practical. A woman will use one to walk the marathon at the London Olympics. That is a good stunt, and perhaps it will bring attention to the technology.

Lots of semantics here, but if you count tablets as netbooks you have to admit that netbooks have conquered the universe.

The TSA admits that their full body scanners have some "vulnerabilities." I think that means that all those YouTube videos about how you can sneak items through the scanners are not fake. Your tax dollars at waste.

But these millimeter wave scanners have enough power to fry a teenager's insulin pump. Your tax dollars at waste.

HP shows more thin and light portable computers. They are calling some of them Ultrabooks and some Sleekbooks.

This little fuel cell will recharge your iPhone a dozen times.

The Australian government is purchasing 50,000 One Laptop Per Child computers.

OpenOffice 3.4 is released.

DDR4 memory technology will be in our computers next year.

More movement in the idea of locating in international waters to avoid all the VISA problems of the world's countries. Blueseed is going to put a cruise ship off the California coast. 146 companies are interested in cabins.

Seth Godin on how to make money online. This is practical, useful advice. I especially approve of the one about keeping your job while you work on this at night and on weekends.

People with college degrees and graduate degrees are on food stamps. A PhD in Art History is a luxury folks - plain and simple. If you can afford it, major in anything you want, but don't expect a paying job after college. I majored in engineering because I needed a job.

I love this qoute, "Don't underestimate how far local, state and federal government is behind [in computing]," said California Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom. Sometimes politicians aren't lying or shading the truth.

"Dell has launched an experimental project called Sputnik to produce a Linux laptop that is tailored to meet the needs of software developers."

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Thursday May 10, 2012

George Will has an excellent editorial that explains how parts of Obamacare will tax jobs out of existence. It has happened before - taxes killing jobs - and will happen again as long as people in government who seem to have no sense of business and economics go through these exercises.

Apple is spending far less money lobbying the Federal government than Google and Microsoft. While I applaud this in principle, I am afraid that it will bring bad news for Apple.

Fujitsu shows its new portable computers. The state of the practice continues to advance.

Finally, an augmented reality, heads-up display for cars. Why did this take so long. Of course, we don't know when or if these will be allowed in the U.S. (see Obamacare note above).

Want a faster PC? Put in a solid state disk and use it as a cache drive.

Mobile phones now account for 10% of Internet use world wide.

Even Congress admits that the TSA is wasting money. More on this story. Maybe one day the TSA will foul up enough that it is canned. There is hope.

Once again we hear that Moore's Law is dead and so is silicon-based computing. We shall see if this often-heard prediction is correct this time.

It seems that the Harry Potter franchise has stayed away from eBook, until now.

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Friday May 11, 2012

No viewing this morning as I had breakfast with some fine gentlemen.

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Saturday May 12, 2012

Intel is building more efficient processors in hopes to move back into Apple's mobile devices.

SpinRay Energy may have created a practical DIY home solar energy system. It may be practical, but it is not economic. It will not pay for itself. Still, if you are somewhere that does not have electricity delivered over wires, this would be good.

Another post crying about a talent shortage of engineerings and computer scientists.

Guess what? Social media really isn't have much of an affect on elections. Maybe one day, but not now.

HP shows a history of all-in-one computers. I used several HP models from the early 1980s. They had touchscreens way back then. I was one of the few people who liked them.

Apple will move away from Google maps in iOS 6.

Nvidia's revenue and profits fell. They are still profitable.

Steve Wozniak doesn't have wired broadband at home. He does, however, stay connected via several wireless devices.

A pen made to match your Moleskin notebook.

Angry Birds hits a billion downloads. The definition of success has changed.

It seems that applying for jobs online is a waste of time.

The state of West Virginia has wasted millions of Federal stimulus money. They bought $22K routers for use in schools in libraries that only have half a dozen users. We heard about this waste. We are not hearing about 98.6% of the waste. Your tax dollars at waste.

So let's try again. This time the FCC has a $300Million fund to expand rural broadband service.

Once the best, now California is the worst in schools in the U.S. Only 22% of 8th graders passed the national science test.

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Sunday May 13, 2012

Sometimes a camera is a handmade work of art. See this Leica for example.

Three tips to write like Kurt Vonnegut. The one I like is "Every sen­tence should do one of two things—reveal char­ac­ter or advance the action."

Is it worth all the effort to write a book? The answer depends on why you are trying to write a book. You won't make money. I repeat that one: you won't make money. Rich authors are rare - about less that 0.001 percent. If writing books is fun for you, write books.

Two kinds of fears that freelance writers face.

The power of brevity. Writing short pieces is often much harder than writing long pieces. You have to look and look to find those few words that express the same as those long passages.

I like this post. It lists items that could indicate that you should not be a freelancer. A person can learn to work around each of these items, but it is good to first know what they are.

This is a difficult one for writers to accept: it is okay to leave some stuff out.

Something new to me - tools that help Google Docs and Microsoft Office work better together.

Not an expert at something? Don't eliminate yourself from writing about it. Jerry Weinberg is a successful author and consultant. He writes about things outside his expertise. The topics of his writing are, however, in his excitement. His usual procedure is: (1) recognize excitement about a topic, (2) learn about it (fairly easy if you are excited), (3) teach classes on it, (4) write a book about it.

Going on a vacation? Take advantage of the time and energy and write something. I usually write short stories when off from work.

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