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 13-19, 2012

Summary of this week:

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

Monday August 13, 2012

A look at HP's new 23" monitor - performance at only $200.

A look at the Doxie Go portable document scanner.

For home schooling, and others wanting to learn, here is a Lutheran high school education online.

Google is laying off 4,000 former Motorola employees.

This light painting rig is made from a Raspberry Pi. Silly, but it is a start. I expect unexpected results from the inexpensive hardware trend started by the Pi.

Common IT practices that just don't work.

Is sexual harrassment part of the hacker culture? It had better not be. Stop this nonsense, now! Mistreating any person for any reason is wrong. Stop it. Go home and kick a rock or something.

It seems there was a petition up on a White House site about the TSA. After many signatures arrived, the government removed the petition. Hmmm. We the People...?

I took a couple of flights this weekend. The TSA is selling ad space in their plastic bins where you empty your pockets of everything. I wanted to take a photo as evidence, but didn't want to find myself in trouble with a Federal agency. I am sure someone can explain awy how Hampton Inn ads were on the inside of the plastic bins.

Oh, and one TSA employee told my wife that it was okay to have a single tissue in her pocket when she went through the naked body scanner. Two tissues would have been prohibited, but one was okay. Do they give these poor people an IQ test or something at the TSA? Why do the senior managers at the TSA turn their employees into dolts? What they do to citizens is bad enough, but what they do to their own employees is terrible.

A new species of insect was discovered - on Flickr. Hmmm, enough eye balls and all problems are shallow. Whoever first said that had something there.

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Tuesday August 14, 2012

This is extremely cool - did I write that? A telepresence robot that uses an iPad as the viewer and another iPad as the remote controller. The self-balancing robot is minimalist in design. Must see the video to appreciate it.

Portable computers for back-to-school. They rate they MacBook Air with 13" screen as best overall.

What's a week without another TSA story? In Boston, the TSA is searching minorities because that is more likely to find criminal activity. Finding such activity makes the TSA "look good." So, the TSA is really a way for the Federal government to have warrantless searches of citizens. Okay. At least now we know. Consitution? Bill of Rights? How silly.

Microsoft is trying very hard to make the Windows 8 and the tablet a success.

Google is acquiring the Frommer's travel-guide business.

Magazines are going the way of the newspapers.

Old computers + Linux + OpenOffice = $0 computer lab for a school. Someone will fire the teacher for being too ambitious.

On the other hand, JP Morgan spent $500Million to build a data center.

Can you hack into the Mars Curiosity rover? Of course you can. The exercise is left to the reader.

The Department of Justice says the Apple iPhone is so secure that they can't hack it. They must be the only organization on the planet that can't.

The Enterprise IT Adoption cycle. This is a good graph.

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Wednesday August 15, 2012

OWC has an SSD upgrade for the MacBook Pro (with retina display). I would think Apple would call this the MacBook Super Pro or something other than (with retina display).

Some good personal computer history with charts, graphs, and great photos of old computers.

This little single board computer from VIA Technologies is ony $60. Let the fun begin.

And what do you do with inexpensive single board computers? How about building a "robot" that crawls on a white board and erase it. Silly yes, but great imagination, and such leads to unexpected and wonderful things. Must see video.

Speaking of robots, from the makers of the Roomba is a robot that cleans your rain gutters. No price given here. My wife could use this.

Measuring 3D objects by projecting a grid on them, taking a photo, and processing the results. Very clever and cool.

Some people take playing games quite seriously. See this "keyboard" controller.

Hustle Boards - disposable forums. Hmmm.

Scott Berkun worked at WordPress.com and now he is going to write a book about that experience. They seem to work differently at that company. This could be interesting.

Here is what the iPad mini is supposed to look like next to the iPad (maxi?) and the iPhone.

News flash (not). One day real soon now we will all be moving about in flying cars.

IBM joins a long list of major companies in the Kenyan high-tech and IT sector.

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Thursday August 16, 2012

Something completely silly - space age hair fashions.

Fujitsu has a ruggedized, millitary spec Android tablet for $550. What is surprising is that it isn't really big and heavy as I would have expected.

The Europeans are trying to build a world civilization simulator or model. Good luck with that one.

The concept of the 3D printed house where a "printer" shoots concrete. It would be possible to build a house in 20 hours.

Thoughts on actually taking notes in class now that school is about to reopen in the U.S. Appropriate is the  Moleskine large professional notebook.

Great title: Mobile app startups are failing like its 1999. Another bust coming in the boom-bust cycle?

Another new Internet? Short names, simple design, and no advertisements. Sounds good to me.

Reuters has its blogging site hacked again (twice in two weeks). Is everyone ready for national electronic health records?

Quietly, there has been a boom in the use of license plate readers in police patrol cars. The scary thing is the databases that are fed by these readers.

The  Boeing-Air Force attempt to fly mach 6 crashed into the ocean.

The Khan Academy now has an Introduction to Computer Science course.

Lenovo profits are up 30% as they are slowly overtaking HP as the world's larget PC maker.

The ultimate guide to Android 4 (Ice Cream Sandwich).

Dish Network hopes to have a national broadband satellite service by the end of the year. This could really help people in rural areas if the fees are not too high. The Federal government's rural broadband has been a huge waste of money as themoney was burned with almost nothing accomplished.

A look back to the gadgets that we used only ten years ago.

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Friday August 17, 2012

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

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Saturday August 18, 2012

It seems that people who pay for a service are nicer when troubles arise than people who get the service free. That seems opposite, but it is one company's experience.

This may be a practical one-person city vehicle. It runs on compressed air.

Simply, how to run a problem-solving meeting. Good advice.

Carbon emissions in the U.S. are at their lowest point in 20 years. But I thought everything was going badly and we needed to spend billions of dollars? I must be misinformed.

Security holes are found in Adobe's PDF Reader. There are security holes in all software. You just have to look and find them. That is why national electronic health records and their ilk are silly ideas. The same goes for voting machines that run on top of Windows XP.

Need computer animation video from 1965. Cross your eyes and you see it in 3D.

A photo of the Loch Ness Monster?

Speculation about the price of Microsoft's coming Surface tablet. $200 is what it should be. It cannot compete with the iPad at $600.

Izhmash is the Russian company that has made the AK-47 since 1947. They are near bankruptcy, but what is saving Izhmash is the export of AK variants to the U.S. civilian population. A reliable firearm at a relatively low price. It is not without its problems, but still a good buy.

The U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency has a grand total of 40 TeraBytes of disk storage. Best Buy up the street has that much storage space on its shelves let alone the boxes in the back. Yes, the Federal government is that backwards when it comes to IT. Your tax dollars at waste.

Apple did fire a lot of retail store workers. It was all an innocent mistake as they were using a new software algorithm to determine the optimum staff size. Silliness in private industry as well.

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Sunday August 19, 2012

Here are some good reasons to write short stories. I like this.

noRedink - a web site to help practice grammar. This might be worthwhile.

The concept of the Minimum Viable Service and starting as a freelancer.

Apple's stock price reaches an all-time high on rumors of new products. It must be good to be Apple. And to bolster the rumors, here are photos of circuitry and such.

A look at the ThinkCentre from Lenovo. It is a desktop computer that is physically small - nice and small. I like it.

Finding your writing confidence without drugs and such.

Starting down the road to starting your own location-independent business.

Is writing fiction from a true story plagiarsm? No.

How many types of plots are there? I don’t know. There is the kind where the good guys win, there is the other kind.

I really like this graphic - the evolution of video game controllers.

One writer’s morning routine. I have to question the final step of drinking a one-liter glass of water. That is a big glass.

Some thoughts on using travel to broaden your writing. Notice and learn and apply.

Standing desks from IKEA.

Some of us commute against traffic. There are many advantages to this. So many that you have to wonder why companies don’t arrange this for most of their employees.

A mjaor disadvantage to working freelance: you have to earn more money when you work for yourself to end up with the same take-home paycheck you’d get as a company employee.

Is writing a bottomless pit? Perhaps it is an infinite sky.

Seven “instant fixes” for writing. Some of these are pretty good. I especially like the one about unpacking long sentences.

Once again, don’t apologize for writing. Few people will understand you, but that is fine. You understand yourself.
"The grinding dogma of fifth-grade English teachers everywhere has done incalculable damage to the sensitive psyches of countless school children. One of the most onerous dicta of Miss Vera Strict was this: "Never use I when you write." The calcified trauma of this lives on in otherwise normal adults." I know, those teachers meant well, but...

A post from Godin about anonymous criticism - it doesn't help writers or just about anyone else.

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