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: August 6-12, 2012

Summary of this week:

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

Monday August 6, 2012

This is what we are supposed to be doing in technology. This 3D-printed exoskeleton gives arm muscles to children who don't have them.

NASA lands a car on Mars. NASA has a big public relations success with the name of the vehicle and the name of the descent phase. I hope the machine works. Good job for the Jet Propulsion Lab and unmanned exploration. Now if the other parts of NASA could focus on their job and put a person in space in less than five years...

Here is the world's first web site. Hmmm, it looks a lot like this daybook site of mine.

A look at the updated DODOcase for the iPad. This is classic book binding.

I had not noticed this change, but with OS X 10.7, Apple changed how the "Save As" command works. The new action doesn't make sense.

A look at the pictures behind Apple's patent suit against Samsung.

Insects could be the staple of man's diet in the future. Why not? A little chocolate syrup does wonders for crickets.

Steve Wozniak doesn't like cloud computing. I have my reservations about trusting strangers to keep all my data. We shall see how this works out.

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Tuesday August 7, 2012

Game arcades are making a bit of a comeback.

15% of Mitt Romney Twitter followers are fakes. I guess this is news and I guess some people take things like this seriously. What has political science come to in the U.S.?

Kno is moving from the college education market to that of the K-12 with rental textbooks.

This ominous looking robot is simply a WiFi range extender. You send it to places that are not safe for humans so that the unfortunate humans in the area can communicate.

ARM introduces an eight-core graphics processor for mobile devices.

The Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon goes on sale later this month. This is their Ultrabook entry. Yes, the machine looks great.

Technology is helping students cheat in school. Let's reframe: technology is helping students find answers to questions. Why memorize the formula for calculating the volume of a sphere? Look it up. Use your time and brains for more important questions. Alas, we shall see where all this goes.

People drink coffee, people go to the bathroom, and caffiene goes into the ocean.

In the past three years, the medical records of 21million patients were mistakenly posted on the net. Sigh. Is everyone ready for national electronic health records?

Apple and Amazon security flaws are now the culprit in the big takedown of a journalist. Of course Apple and Amazon systems have security flaws. Everyone's systems have security flaws. That is the point - a handful of people create the security system; thousands of people poke at it to find the holes. It is a simple numbers game. That is why I keep asking if everyone is ready for national electronic health records. They will be guaranteed "secure" and they will be secure for about an hour or so.

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Wednesday August 8, 2012

For those of you who have kids and want them to become happy adults one day, a 32-year study concludes that " social connectedness massively overwhelms academic achievement."

Something is wrong with Twitter this morning.

How is this for in-house testing? 30,000 Microsoft employees using more than 30,000 machines tested Windows 8.

Bored with the look and feel of Wikipedia? Check out Wikipedia Redefined.

Some of the old technology in the Curiosity Mars vehicle.

Apple has dropped the stupid Apple Genius ads (someone got fired on that one) and has a new iPad ad.

More details about how our Federal government raided Gibson guitars for having wood that was inspected and legally imported. One department of the government said it was okay, but it seems that everyone department of the government must say that something is okay before it is really okay. This is a sad story. It leads to Americans not trusting the people who work for them.

It seems that Microsoft is already working on the second generation Surface tablet.

And it seems that using an SSD as a cache really does speed up your computer.

While the overall employments figures in the U.S. are lousy, there has been a notable jump in IT employment the past few months.

Dell shows its first Advanced High Performance IPS panel 27" monitor. Ony $700.

This story is all over the net today. A U.S. Court of Appeals says that it is okay for our government to tap our phones with a warrant as long as they don't use the information. Odd, but these are a bunch of lawyers so what do you expect?

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Thursday August 9, 2012

Apple and Samsung dominate the U.S. smartphone market. No surprise here.

Apple sells 1.7million iPads in China in the last quarter - 72% of the market. For centuries, the west has tried to find a way to sell items to every person in China. The fortune was there to be made. Apple hasn't sold a product to every person in China, but has found a way to reach into the gold of China.

All is not well with Apple. The Mac Pro line has stagnated for some unknown reason.

Windows 8 is coming in October, but that isn't stopping anyone from showing their Windows 8 products. Lenovo shows its ThinkPad Tablet 2.

Panasonic shows a line of rugged SD cards. Many camera are now being sold as rugged, so you might as well have a rugged memory card.

To go along with its X1 Carbon, Lenovo has a lower-cost Ultrabook ThinkPad.

Now here to go along with the Raspberry Pi is the Gertboard I/O extender board.

Some of history's best mechanical writing machines, a.k.a, typewriters.

Thoughts on the 2012 Summer Olympics, an old media company trying to cover or smother the event, and social media where everyone is a journalist.

A teenage girl builds a neural network app that diagnoses breast cancer better than anything else in the world. We live in a wonderful age where technical power is inexpensive and in the hands of large segments of the population. Many eyes shrink problems.

The U.S. is about to start helping with the Agent Orange cleanup in Vietnam. I know great grandchildren of American veterans who suffer health problems because of that stuff. What were we thinking?

July of 2012 was the hottest month on record in the U.S. Also note that July 2012 is the only month on record that used the equipment and environment of July 2012. Things change. There is a lot of extrapolation happening with climate data and extrapolation is an estimate, a.k.a., a guess.

Natural gas reserves are growing (how does that happen?), and that is stalling nuclear power. Folks, we use fossil fuels because they work.

Marissa Mayer goes to work at reshaping the culture at Yahoo. Product, not stock price, is paramount.

Boundless is trying to bring free textbooks to college students. Everyone else in the education system is suing them. Hmmm, pushing back the boundaries of ignorance by keeping knowledge out of the hands of people. There must be something here that I don't understand. The Boundless site is here.

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Friday August 10, 2012

The death benefits for Google employees are divulged. They are pretty good.

Speculation about the next-generation Microsoft Kinect and XBox.

This could become a big deal for the visually impaired. Point this finger-worn camera at an object and the ring tells you what it is or reads it to you.

Blizzard Entertainment tells its users that its network was hacked. They recommend changing passwords and the like. Is everyone ready for national electronic health records?

The Federal Trade Commision has fined Google $22.5Million. Fine the successful, fund the failing - the American way.

And our government has stopped issuing permits for new nuclear power plants.

NASA is back to normal. A test flight (thankfully unmanned) ends in a fiery crashSee this video.

The dog days of summer where anythingmakes the national news. This story has been everywhere this week. A man orders a TV and receives a rifle. No doubt a mistake at the shipper - wrong labels attached to the wrong boxes. Somewhere is the person who ordered a rifle and received a lousy TV, but no one covers that.

Ten sites that will help you outsource your life. Little errands taken care of by someone else for as little as $5.

Lose weight through better chemistry in perfume. This spray puts endorphins in you so you feel satisfied while eating less. Yes, these are the dog days of summer.

MIT shows a truly autonomous model airplane that discovers its environment and flies around. This is not a radio-controlled plane as most "UAVs."

A humorous look at those thankfully few and awful Apple Genius commercials. Imagine actually working at the Genius Bar at an Apple retail store and you hear that Apple will run commercials honoring you and your colleagues. And then you see the actual commercials.

Nvidia is doing well in both the Android and Windows 8 tablet markets. I am puzzled about all this news about Windows 8 products. Windows 8 doesn't exist yet. How can you be doing well in a market that doesn't exist?

In Europe, HP is losing ground while Asus, Acer, and Apple gain.

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Saturday August 11, 2012

I am taking a quick trip to Louisiana this weekend, so my viewing is curtailed.

Samsung releases the details on a new processor for mobile that will bring "retina" displays and other improvements to Android systems.

The Census Bureau releases a Mobile App. I wonder how much that cost the taxpayers. The app gives lots of information, but doesn't answer that question.

The Apple-Samsung trial is revealing all sorts of bits of information. For one, the actual sales figures of the companies. Apple is selling far more mobile devices than Samsung. And by the way, what is this trial about?

The nocebo affect - the patient imagines harmful side affects and experiences them even when taking a sugar pill.

This seems to be surprise to some people, but software engineers differ widely in their ideas on how to engineer software (or if you can engineer software at all). No duh! Where have these people been all their lives?

The top 25 companies for work-life balance. Social media types will only recognize LinkedIn. The rest are old line businesses like Mitre (an FFRDC).

NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory using Amazon Web Services to capture and store images and metadata collected from the Mars Exploration Rover and Mars Science Laboratory missions.

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Sunday August 12, 2012

In a coffee house in Louisiana this morning. This is a great place, but the Internet link is slow today.

Some things you cannot buy for a project: a decision, grace, persistence. From Godin.

Barnes and Noble has reduced prices in its nook eReader line. There are some small, inexpensive tablets out there to be hacked.

Seven things you don't know about women in the workplace. There are just seven? Truly, there must be more that I can learn.

If you write, you will be rejected. It happens to all of us. It continues to happen to all of us.

More tips on writing in a journal - with a special emphasis on writers and other people who record words.

Some tips that “pros” use to write words. There are some pretty good ones in this post. As usual, try them; use what works for you and discard the others.

I like this idea: the Little Free Library. You put a box or something in front of your home with free books in it. People take books, people contribute books, and people read books. No cost to anyone. Here is the web site of the people who started this idea.

A drawing technique that may help you in creative writing.

Some ideas on avoiding hatred of your job.

Tips on being consistently productive. Here is my tip: F O C U S

Why you should be a writer. For me at least, it makes me a lot smarter.

We all make mistakes. The secret is having friends that point to my mistakes and then learning from them.

This person seems to understand it. Blogging is about sharing “ah ha” moments.

Write what you don’t know. At least give it a try. I have always learned by trying such.

Email me at d.phillips@computer.org
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