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: July 9-15, 2012

Summary of this week:

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

Monday July 9, 2012

I wonder if Apple will sue Samsung on this one as well. Samsung now has silver portable computers that look a lot like the Apple models.

More on the cruise ship of engineers and scientists needed to beat immigration laws. I suppose that I remember too much from school as a kid. I was taught that immigration laws were created to allow educated and skilled immigrants into the country, i.e., people who would help the country grow. The uneducated, the sick, the unskilled, would not be allowed in as they would be a drag on the country. I guess I went to the wrong kind of schools because I see everyday that U.S. immigration laws keep out the educated, the skilled, and so on.

In the U.S., cellphone providers responded to 1.3 million requests from law enforcement. These are the new version of the old telephone taps. With cell phones, law enforcement needs the aid of the cellphone providers. Still, 1.3 million requests in one year?

The changing definition of success: SecondLife has one million users, but it is a failure because it has plateaued at that number.

HP shows four new all-in-one desktop computers. They have the newer Intel processors. More power at a lower price.

Believe it or not... the C programming language is still more popular than the object-oriented languages of Java, Objective C, and C++.

Amazon will have a new Kindle Fire in the third quarter of this year.

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Tuesday July 10, 2012

This is a great application of new technologies. These gloves translate sign language into text and then speech and cost $75 a pair.

Corsair releases a new line of Solid State Disks.

A look at Acer's updated Ultrabook. The Ultrabook line is entering its second generation, and this generation is much better than the first.

Apple has $74Billion in cash overseas. This is more than double the amount 12 months back. Of course, if U.S. tax laws changed the money would come home and be invested in America. I think the cliche is "shove rocks up your nose to spite your face." In other words, (another tired cliche), "we will show Apple who is boss no matter how much it hurts us."

2.4 million emails from Syrian government officials and contractors have been hacked and given to WikiLeaks. The Syrian governemtn "officials" have a lot of money to spend to protect themselves. That money wasn't enough. Is everyone ready for national electronic health records.

I like this one. The ALCU has released an Android app that helps you video police. The app hides itself once activated, and the video is uploaded to an ALCU server for safekeeping in case the police grab your smartphone and accidentally smash it to bits.

If the Russians pass another Internet censorship law, Wikipedia will blackout in Russia.

Google releases the source code for Android 4.1.

Being underweight is a worse health condition than being overweight. I guess we needed a scientific study to show that starving is bad for you.

The original Tron movie is 30 years old. "Get the logic probe!" I saw the original in theatre and loved the inside jokes.

You can still buy these obsolete gadgets. Okay, so I still have a VHS machine, does that make me bad?

This is an old but little-publicized hacking trick involving USB thumb drives. You put malware on nice, new, shiny USB thumb drives and drop those USBs on the ground near an office building. People pick them up, ask, "hmm, neat, I wonder if this is still good?" They carry them into the building and plug them into their office computer and malware strikes the internal network and all hell breaks loose.

The SuperBus prototype motors along at 190MPH on electric motors. Neat idea, but probably will never be practical.

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Wednesday July 11, 2012

DARPA has a new director, Ms. Arati Prabhakar.

And now we have a swirl about exactly how many wiretap requests the government is making. Someone is fudging the numbers.

I love this title, it says it all: "You Can't Introduce Any Decently Cool Product These Days Without Some Sore Loser Claiming Patent Infringement"

Continuing with quotes, "Are American workers losing their jobs to machines? " Good questions asked in that post.

There is a fight in Congress now about funding for food stamps. On the side of more government money poured into grocery stores are food companies. They seem to understand Economics 101 that if you pour money into a market, the prices people will pay rise. Funny how that works. At least these companies understand economics as opposed to some people in government.

The story of the first image ever uploaded to the world wide web, and yes, there were pretty girls in the image.

Another instance of 420,000 user passwords being hacked. Is everyone ready for national electronic health records?

BMW has a keyless car. They use all this great digital security stuff to protect it. Hackers break into the keyless BMW in minutes. Repeat the same question as in the item above.

Apple recently dropped their "green" claim on hardware. San Francisco has just dropped Apple. The story is that the city bought the more expensive Apple products and justified it as "green." Sigh.

Not quite the zombie apocolypse, but the state of Florida has the biggest outbreak of TB in 20 years.

The Linux.org site has relaunched.

Google is fined $22.5Million by the FTC. We must be living in the Google era because the governments are attacking Google just like they attached IBM in the IBM era and Microsoft in the Microsoft era.

A look at the technologies behind Instagram.

What is your favorite computer you ever owned?  The KayPro CPM machine with two 5 1/4" floppy disks. Still has the best keyboard I ever used and the best 9" text character display.

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Thursday July 12, 2012

Asking the TSA to obey the law.

Yet the DHS and TSA is now trying to bring a TeraHertz laser scanner into airports. This one, we are told, will really work and not invade privacy and not degrade dignity and not...I thought that is what they told us about the last one.

In the last quarter, Apple is the only computer maker to show a gain (5%) in shipments. The total market fell %6. Apple's share of U.S. PC shipments is now up to %12.

The Google Nexus 7 tablet is already in stores, but locked in the back and not on shelves.

Google releases version 20 of the Chrome OS.

Here is what you can do if you attach a $75,000 1700mm zoom lens to your camera.

Wikipedia is now offering a place where readers can suggest changes to an article. The editor would then make the changes if they approve of them. You can still edit the page yourself, but that requires a little more skill and time than suggesting changes.

I wonder if this will come to something: The Mozilla Persona. It is yet another single sign in for everything on the Web.

Cute stop motion video of 500 young ladies holding an iPad.

Alcohol, not marijuana, is the gateway drug.

The DEXTR keyboard - a good replacement for QWERTY on smartphones and such?

oooops, another thing wrong with ethanol (burning food as fuel). Sometimes you have a bad crop year.

An attempt to apply "crowd funding" to scientific research.

Amazon is trying to have same-day delivery. Order online in the morning, have the goods in your hands in the evening.

New York City is experimenting with free WiFi hotspots at old pay phone kiosks.

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Friday July 13, 2012

Yet another hack of tens of thousands of passwords. Is everyone ready for national electronic health records?

And here is yet another hacking that reveals private information.

And look at this, a million passwords grabbed. But seriously folks. How often does this type of thing have to happen before people become adults about putting private, very private, information that can be accessed on the Internet?

Finally, voice dictation is coming to the Apple computers in the next release of OS X.

The definition of success changes. Apple sold 20 million iPads in the last quarter.

The Google tablet is already shipped to some pre-order customers.

A look at ten cloud storage or file sharing sites. Maybe one day there will only be two or three surviving.

A report of how teens use the www.

Fascinating look inside a stomach - live boradcast.

Google’s Street View has gone through California’s National Parks. When will they ride the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon?

Apple plans to runner “greener” data centers.

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Saturday July 14, 2012

This is where technology should be used. $35 worth of parts lets a person write an email by only moving their eyes.

Apple has reversed itself and will again certify its hardware as "green."

Russia and China want to "protect children." Being the socialist they are, that means more censorship of everyone about everything. One America's founding fathers once said something about security and liberty and deserving neither or something.

The new Google tablet is selling out as stores can't keep them on shelves.

Amazing Alex is the name of the first non-Angry Bird game from those Angry Bird folks. And it is number one on the app list on day one.

Wikipedia will launch a travel site that users can edit - no ads. This has been attempted before and there are several groups that are trying it now. It appears that everyone is agreeing to merge into one traveller-edit-able site. I like that. I know I can contribute.

And many consider Wikipedia's appearance to be ugly. The bigger issue is the markup language you need to understand to edit a page. I grew up as a programmer, so the syntax doesn't bother me, but I am in a tiny minority.

More applications for the Raspberry Pi - now going into outer space.

Enter the ODROID-X - only $130 with a quad core processor and lots of other stuff on a 3.5" square motherboard.

Someone in Calgary, Canada was evaluating the risk of consolidating everything into one data center. Efficiency is not all good.

I'm chasing the OS X update game with my old iMac desktop unit. I think I am too far out of date.

Have a little spare time? Build a Roman Colosseum out of 200,000 Legos. Outstanding.

In Nevada, a power plant that uses both solar and geo-thermal energy. Let's see if we can make these things work. I believe the technology will be great for special applications like isolated communities in places like Nevada and Afghanistan. Not much use for New York City.

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Sunday July 15, 2012

Bad experience yesterday updating the operating system on my iMac at home. The OS X 10.7 installer seems to have killed the old iMac. I will journey to the Apple store this afternoon for a 3:45 appointment. Sigh.

Two German secuirty researchers hacked a credit card reader and turned it into a Pong video game player. This has been a really bad week for those who proclaim secure this and secure that. The weeks has provided many instances where I could once again write, is everyone ready for national electronic health records?

And consider this one: the Chinese have backdoor access to 80% of the world's telecommunications. That statement hasn't been verified.

I hope this story has been verified - the 3D hype bubble has burst. It all seemed like silliness to me from the start.

The Telikin PC - built especially for older people. There are large letters on the keyboard and such. It seems to work.

I love this: "Just for today, sit down and write something amazing."

And from Seth Godin: "Tell me again why the gift certicates you sell have an expiration date?"

Cellphones, i.e., tracking devices that make phone calls (and send text messages).

Some ups and downs about writers' collaboration groups.

The fine art of faking. As the post says, you can’t be an expert at everything. I recommend, however, that you do some research.

Why this writer never looks at Strunk and White’s book. I disagree as I think it is quite useful for the vast majority of writers.

Thoughts on the virtues of idleness. Recreation is simply that - re-creating.

Eleven “secrets” of creative content creators. Read the list, try things, if they work, use them.

Taking a minimalist approach to freelancing. Keep your costs down - all your costs.

A revision of the ten commandments (THOSE ten commandments) as one person applies them to writing and writers.

Are you doing (writing) what you know you should be doing? Probably not.

Work on your strategy FIRST.

Tips for staying focused while you write.

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