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 23-29, 2012

Summary of this week:

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

Monday July 23, 2012

Dell is starting a project called Sputnik, a Ubuntu laptop tailored for software developers.

The Lenovo CEO shared $3M of his bonus with junior employees.  I am pretty sure that someone will investigate this and show some hidden agenda. Still, I applaud this.

The LANDSAT satellite has been taking photos of earth for 40 years. I remember looking at the big print posters on the wall of research labs 30 years ago and wondering how they could do that with such detail and clarity. Those photos are relics now, but the wonder was something at the time.

Here is Google's first commercial for its tablet. As a father of three sons and a grandfather of one grandson (so far), I smile.

And Google has sold out the 16GByte version of its tablet. That is the $250 model. They are doing much better at this tablet business than a lot of other people who tried and failed. We have yet to see how Microsoft will do.

Samsung has sold 10 million Galaxy S III phones. They need to work on the name though.

Linux 3.5 has been released.

The next generation of "robots" and how they will change work.

A list of things replaced by smartphones.

I need to learn about this: CardCloud.

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Tuesday July 24, 2012

Yet another clever Apple Siri commercial with Martin Scorsese.

Facebook and Google are spending more resources on lobbyists in Washington D.C. I guess this is a sign of the times. You can succeed in business, but if you succeed too much you better have friends in Washington who will leave you alone.

I guess Google didn't lobby enough in Europe as regulators there are pinging on them.

The Wall Street Journal published a piece full of Internet mistakes. Bloggers corrected the mistakes quickly. This is a different era.

The legal battles between Apple and Samsung continue. Apple wins one and sort of loses one in Europe.

Oh great, four million hotel room locks can be opened by this hacker with a few simple inexpensive tools. Is everyone ready for national electronic health records?

And hackers crippled Australian government web sites. So let's ask again, Is everyone ready for national electronic health records?

And 11 million gamers' passwords were hacked and revealed. Need I ask the question again?

The USB 3. 0 Promoter Group is working on a 100Watt power standard. More on the story here.  This is good news.

The Director of National Intellegence admits that the national intelligence agencies violated the privacy rights of citizens at least once.

The world's population speeds past seven billion. And the largest generation in history is now entering the child-bearing years.

I love this, the basketball arena for the Olympics is designed and built so that after the Olympics it will be dismantled and the materials used elsewhere.

University of Tennessee researchers claim to have a laser that can find and burn cancer cells much more safely and effectively.

Doctors can now use telepresence robots to treat distant patients. At least initially, the rich can take advantage of this. Maybe one day others will be able to as well.

Dell updates its high-end portable computer workstations.

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Wednesday July 25, 2012

A look at the updated Dell XPS 15 portable computer.

This is a pleasant surprise. The Chief of Police of Washington D.C. has told officers to not interfere with citizens and their cameras.

Another pleasant surprise: praise for former President George W. Bush and his efforts to fight AIDS in Africa.

Facebook opens an engineering office in London.

Wikipedia is now being edited by “bots.”

ARM continues surprisingly strong financial performance.

Apple will make a presentation at the next Black Hat Conference. That will be a first.

Broadcom shows its new 802.11ac chipset.

Apple sells a record high number of iPads, but doesn’t do as well financially as some expected.

I try to write on my iPad, but I am relatively alone. People with tablets consume content, not publish it.

Girls who code is trying to help girls move into programming. I hope they succeed.

It seems that the predictable backlash against the Khan Academy and others is happening.

The city of San Francisco is growing its own tech industry and taking away from the Silicon Valley to the south.

Google has added a calculator keypad display when you type a math problem in the search window. I like this. It is simple, but I like it.

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Thursday July 26, 2012

Here is a factory in a briefcase. So far this is a cute stunt, but it clearly shows what will be practical in a couple of years. Manufacturing jobs? I hope it takes a few people to manufacture the little machines in the briefcase, but after that everyone can make their own stuff instead of paying someone else to do it.

Apple released the latest version of OS X yesterday. This one is 10.8 and is called Mountain Lion. I never liked the cute names because I can't seem to remember them. Here is how to build a Mountain Lion thumb drive installer.

With the newly updated OS X comes an update to the Safari browswer. This review says it is now much better than Chrome and Firefox.

Strong rumors that the Microsoft tablet (remember it?) will cost $1,000. That will make it another dead-on-arrival tablet.

People are moving from simple cell phones to smartphones in record numbers.  The computer is attached to a radio and it all fits in your pocket.  Science fiction is here.

People are lining up to pre-order the Google Glasses at $1,500. The early adopters have money and curiosity and maybe a little vanity.

A look at IBM help desk employees in India. Most of them have only high school diplomas. Some people are upset about this. Me? It shows how little education you need to man a help desk.

Cheaper, high-quality 27" monitors are coming.

Starbucks makes a little change to the design of the cup sleeves and saves tons of everything.

Apple moves up to having 68% (formerly 62%) of global tablet market.

The sales of Apple computers (not tablets) to schools hit an all-time high last quarter.

The future of air traffic control is still easy to hack. Is everyone ready for national electronic health records?

Google shows its Creator Space in London. Details are few, but the idea is to provide professionally equipped space for ambitious video makers to come in and shoot their YouTube productions.

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Friday July 27, 2012

An in-depth look at the Goolge Nexus 7 tablet. It is for information consumption, not production, and it has a good price tag.

Sometimes it takes a while for the word to get around. Just one day after the chief of Washington D.C. police told the police not to confiscate phones (with cameras) from citizens, that same thing happened. Oh well. Change takes time, but it seems that this should have never been an issue in the first place.

The One Laptop Per Child project is moving into multi-touch.  I think this group is losing their way. With more advances in technology, they should be concentrating on providing the basic typing machine, calculating machine, browser at ever lower prices instead of multi-touch stuff.

Now that it is publicly traded, Facebook releases its first quarterly earning report. They are doing okay, but not spectacular. And their stock price dropped again.

Samsung sells 50 million smartphones a quarter - Apple 25 million. The idea that an industry would sell 75 million phones in three months would have been crazy in 1980. Who would need those phones? Would everyone in America's phones break or something? The smartphone industry has capitalized on built-in obsolescence.

Amazon will have same-day delivery for some things in some places. Note the use of the word "some."

The Black Hat Conference is this week, and we continue to hear more "Oh My gosh" stories about how insecure all this computer stuff is.  Now you can break into smartphones using Near Field Communications. So once again I have to ask, is everyone ready for national electronic health records?

This gun enthusiast has printed the lower receiver of a firearm with plastic and a 3D printer. In the U.S., the lower receiver is the part of a firearm that the government considers to be the firearm. The upper part, often made of steel, is not considered a firearm. Now that people can print plastic firearms, the government may reconsider their definitions.

Google announces the details of its fiber optic broadband service in Kansas City.

Norway fights terrorism with democracy and freedom. As opposed to the American response. Where did the U.S. go wrong? Why did we invent the TSA in response to Al Qaida? What was the idea there?

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Saturday July 28, 2012

A look at the new Mac TV commercials. They aren't very good.

The average American commits three felonies a day without knowing it. I wonder what I did wrong today?

Thoughts on "microjobs."

Bill Gates left Microsoft, and they have lost a decade.

NBC keeps the Olympic opening ceremonies off the Internet. Good. From what I saw, they ceremonies were awful.

This is not a surprise - six Department of Defense IT contracts have a combined over run of $8Billion. That is billion with a B.

The five best and worst places to find a tech job in the U.S. I don't agree with how they use certain numbers to make the lists.

What do you eat while at your desk? For me, at "the office" most recently it is peanut butter. I don't eat at my desk at home. Never have and I don't know why. I guess I've never thought about that.

Why buy an insulated jacket? Buy a jacket with nothing but pockets. You stuff the pockets with your clothes that you need on travel. The clothes become the insulation, and you don't carry luggage.

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Sunday July 29, 2012

I am not sure why, but I have an unusually high number of items for a Sunday.

Three minutes of webcam video from a factory in China slips out on an HP computer. There is nothing exciting here, nothing about worker mistreatment or anything like that. It is pretty boring, which is what life is like in a factory. I am waiting for someone to put music and commentary to this and make it a viral video.

Want to be an expert? Just shut up...and do the work.

NASA may go back to using a rocket engine from the 1960s. If ever there was a Federal government agency that lost its way, NASA is it. That is a great shame, and it shows how much harm a lack of leadership at an Agency, in the White House, and in Congress can do.

"The single most effective way to improve your impact is to do a better job of providing it." Seth Godin

How one person makes $5,000 a month with travel blogs.

Teaching a robot to swim.

Ars Technica reviews Apple's big release of the week - OS X Mountain Lion (10.8).

Nokia closed its last remaining plant in Finland and laid off 3,700 people.

Write when you are inspired and write about what inspires you.

Read terrible books, and terrible magazines and all that stuff. It is surprising how much I learn by doing so.

50 quotes for writers.

They are great writers because they are great rewriters.

”Most peo­ple are their most cre­ative when they’re not creating.”

Four things writers should stop doing. My favorite is, stop apologizing for being a writer.

A list of 10 web sites that get clients.

Five books with good writing prompts.

Lessons from 25 years of freelancing.

How one writer pushed herself into a freelance writing career.

Is your writing any good? Seven ways you might be able to answer that.

Create a “no meetings” policy and ways to avoid meetings.

How to be creative? Work at it.

A week in the life of a guy who lives in his van.

One writer’s list of ten books on writing that every writer should read. Please stop reading now and then to actually do some writing.

There are some financial benefits to working at home.

Getting into the mood for writing. For me, the first ten minutes are the worst. Once I get that far I am cruising.

"Just get it down on paper, and then we'll see what to do with it."

Some thoughts on breaking rules in your writing.

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