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 June 25-July 1, 2012

Summary of this week:

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

Monday June 25, 2012

Twitter is stumbling along this morning for some reason.

Last week we learned that Apple doesn't pay its retail store employees much.
Now we have some perspective on the wages. Things are much worse for many Americans.

Tim Ferris relays some stories from his readers who have lost 100 pounds on the slow carb diet. I have tried that diet on several occassions and not lost any weight. The diet does, however, allow me to eat well and not gain weight.

A major reason that Microsoft has built its own tablet is the failure of its PC partners to build a decent tablet to run Windows.

Politcal scientists are lousy forecasters. That is because they aren't scientists.

Yikes, the iPhone is five years old this week. Time flies when you are older.

Great title - stop treating people like idiots. Good advice for government organizations about how they interact with the tax-paying public. Too bad that the advice will be ignored.

Europe's economy is in shambles, but oh it must be good to be European. If you become sick while on your five weeks of annual vacation, you must be awarded more vacation time - a court rules.

Spain officially requests a bailout from the rest of the EU. Maybe they should just take another vacation or something. I guess this is how the whole Tea Party thing in America started. It is okay with me if you are foolish, but don't ask me to take care of you after you have shot yourself in the foot. This doesn't make much sense to me, but that is life.

The human-powered helicopter advances - stays aloft 50 seconds. Yes, it is a stunt, but something may come of this one day.

Google to soon offer its own cloud service - Infrastructure as a Service.

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Tuesday June 26, 2012

Combine Google, maps, simulations, and Legos - wow, look what you get.

Dell updates its XPS line of portable computers. More processing power and better styling.

Thermal images of the new MacBook Pro portable computer.

An optimistic look at Google Glasses.

Fascinating - these "learning computers" gather text from news sources and "write" reports about items of interest.

Some Apple retail employees tell their tales. Given this is posted on an Apple-affiliated site, it is not surprising to read positive stuff.

How to steal cryptographic keys in minutes. Is everyone ready for national electronic health records? If you think that people won't spend their energy breaking into such records, think again. How much money will some people pay for the health records of Barack Obama and his family? For Sarah Palin and her family? For LeBron James? For Tom Brady?

Google introduces a "live blogging" tool. I guess this is like Twitter.

Microsoft's Bing maps adds another 165TeraBytes of data. I like Bing maps. I like the bird's eye views they give.

A new standard for the C programming language is on the way. I once hated C. I changed my opinion.

A timeline of Ray-Ban glasses. I have worn a pair of Ray-Bans since 1975.

Seagate is teaming with DensBits to low-cost, high-performance SSDs to the consumer market.

Over 500 school districts in the U.S. and Europe are using Chromebooks.

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Wednesday June 27, 2012

A look at the Toshiba USB mobile LCD monitor.  This serves as a second monitor for your portable computer. Good idea, good product.

Rumor for this week's big Google event: Google and ASUS will unveil a $200 tablet. I hope so. That would be good for the marketplace.

How did the commonwealth of Virginia miss on this one? Apple will invest $1B in a Reno, Nevada facility over the next ten years.

The San Diego school district has bought 26,000 iPads for student use. I thought the California school system was broke.

Bill Gates says tablets are bad for education. Low-cost portable computers are much better. Gates has learned much about the U.S. education system the past few years. Listen to him.

Just in time for the Summer Olympics, Britain now has the world's largest single WiFi service provider.

This is one of the reasons the Raspberry Pi was conceived and built. Someone has a two-foot plastic boat that will sail the Atlantic by itself. The Raspberry Pi is the controller. There are batteries, motors, and solar panels in the thing as well. We shall see what happens, but the availability of inexpensive, already built hardware makes experiments like this possible.

A look at what a bus stop should and can be. If they would just start by fixing the airports...

"...you are far more likely to do your best work if you are willing to delight a few as opposed to soothe the masses." Seth Godin

Educated immigrants are important to technology innovation. Someone had to do a study to show this. The rest of us already knew it and have known it for about a hundred years.

Times change, and it seem that the values of Silicon Valley's tech leaders have changed as well.

Gig.U starts a new project - Air.U. The goal is to bring super WiFi to rural colleges. While not gigabit networks, the results will be much faster speeds for these colleges.

Girls Who Code - trying to teach technology and programming to girls in high schools. I hope they succeed. The tech fields need more women.

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Thursday June 28, 2012

The New York Times launched a Chinese-language website.

The Nexus 7 - Google's 7" tablet for $199. It is aimed at consuming content - watching movies and reading books like the offerings from Amazon and Barnes and Noble. It is not like the iPad. How Google and ASUS built it.

A closer look at the unit.

And Google gives all their conference attendees REAL gifts. Wow! Why didn't I go?

More insight into the Google Glasses project. Google is betting that augmented reality in the eye ball is the next step in mobile computing. They could be right.

Google breaks the cardinal rule of demos and shows skydivers live at their conference. The cardinal rule? NO LIVE DEMOS!

This guy reverse engineered eight different versions of Microsoft BASIC from the early 1980s. This is computer software archeology. Great stuff.

The Windows desktop is headed the way of the newspapers(?).

Atari is 40 years old today. I remember 1972 and the Pong game at the shopping center.

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Friday June 29, 2012

There is a lot of Google news this week as they held their big I/O conference this week.

This seems to be big news the latter half of this week in that the Google Chrome browser is coming to the iPhone and iPad.

This is light of Google’s admission that a problem in the Chrome browser is crashing the new MacBook Air computers.

Do you have a problem that requires 600,000 cores? Google’s new Compute Engine could be the answer.

A clever bookcase that stores a table and four chairs in it.

The sales of Ultrabooks is up a little this year.

This is the Google Developer’s Academy. Come and learn.

A look at the new Google Drive for iOS.

And by the way, 10 million people are using the regular Google Drive (in 10 weeks).

Google Docs now (once again) has offline editing for documents.

A deeper look at Google/ASUS new Nexus 7. The best $200 tablet in the world!?It is selling very well in its first few days.

Polaroid tries again with a digital camera that has a built-in printer.

Speaking of companies that are a shell of their former selves, Research in Motion announces more losses and 5,000 layoffs.

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Saturday June 30, 2012

Something called the Young Rewired State Festival of Code continues to grow in participants. I guess this is a a take on the old contests at the State Fair that concentrated on agriculture. Now we have fairs that concentrate on programming. Since it is all computing, the fair is virtual.

The Japanese are planning for self-driving cars in the next decade.

Amazon web services went down, and with it went Netflix, Instagram, and Pinterest. This is one of the disadvantages of the cloud. The cloud is basically a scheme to share resources. When the shared resources goes, so do all the people sharing it. Oh, these servers are all in Northern Virginia where I live. We had a wind storm last night (a big one) that knocked out power for a million people and all those servers.

A toilet that uses very little water to flush and recycles most of the waste. We are getting somewhere, finally.

A small (11" screen) portable computer built for gaming.

Using graphene as a super fast and efficient method of make water potable. Maybe this stuff will actually work.

These disaster preppers (we used to call them survivalists) are all nuts, right? Look at Colorado this week and consider teh bug-out-bag and those other things that preppers discuss constantly.

Does Google's tablet spell the end for Barnes and Noble? I hope not. I enjoy going to our local book store.

Here is one of those great charts: Apple and Google stock prices since the iPhone was introduced 5 years ago.

Here is the surprise of the week: the new Google tablet is made in the U.S.

Yet another solar power company funded by US taxpayers goes broke.

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Sunday July 1, 2012

GlaxoSmithKline is eliminating anything that resemblers an office or cubicle.  “We found that only 35% of work activity took place in offices and cubes, yet we were dedicating 85% of our space to those...”  The march to ever greater efficiency. It makes dollars and sense. If your organization couldn't possibly  do this, you should ask yourself about what your organization is doing and if you are about to dissolve.

The State of South Carolina passes a law that prohibits local governments from running their own broadband services. A fundamental concept for decades is that government does not compete with private industry. Government would always win those competitions because the government prints moneys. This SC law reflects that concept. Many recent Federal laws, however, agree with the opposite that government should run all business.

What most people consider robots are moving into the practical. This one wanders around a store helping customers find things and workers know when further help is needed. We shall see if it makes it.

The Land Grant University in America (150 years old) has drifted away from its purpose.

The GNU C Library version 2.16 was released.

A software developer is trying a new (to him) funding model: everyone gets the source code, donators get the binaries.

Twenty-Two rules of story telling. This is good. Very good.

Grammar, and one writer’s essentials on grammar. Every writer has their own list of essentials. Most of us haven’t written out our lists.

One writer’s one experience with plagiarism.

I like this one. Photograph people riding bicycles and then erase the bicycle.

More on why eBooks are good for writers.

Tips on travel writing and landing assignments.

Microsoft launches Office 365 for Education.

You aren’t going to write a perfect story. Don’t worry about it. Finish the story and move on to the next one. Continue writing and you will improve your craft.

A look at not-so-blank books, i.e., journals that come with printed themes.

Some rules for writers. The best one is write your own rulebook.

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