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.

Go to Day Book Home and pointer to previous weeks
Go to Dwayne's Home Page
Email me at d.phillips@computer.org

This week: August 20-26, 2012

Summary of this week:

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

Monday August 20, 2012

Going back into computer history where these guys transmitted source code as sounds from a cassette over FM radio. Great idea.

Hubert Joly is the new CEO at Best Buy. He specializes in changing the course of fading corporations like Best Buy. Best wishes.

Not noted for fashion, but anyways...Here is Mode-sty - a web site for women's clothing that emphasizes modesty instead of "show it all."

Sony probably makes the sensor in your smartphone's camera and Sony now updates their line of sensors. Look for better cameras in next year's phones.

An invention the world probably doesn't need, but here goes. A light bulb with Bluetooth circuitry so you can, ready for this, dim the lights from your smart phone.

And I thought the digital age kids were stupid, lazy, and couldn't ready. It seems that the millenials buy more books than anyone else. To this consider that they are under employed and don't have a lot of disposalbe income.

WiFi exists on commercial airliners. Few people are using it. Duh. It costs too much! Is there any future in this at the current prices?

The State Department cancels a planned $16million contract with Amazon for Kindle eReaders. The story is muddled (what else would you expect from State?), and I really don't understand what they wanted to buy and how they would use it.

What will happen to the wrist watch? Beware tech types, recall the great Texas Instruments digital watch fiasco of the 1980s.

Raising funds through Kickstarter and the like? Remember the tax man. You must hire a tax accountant because no one else will be able to understand the mess the government has created.

Microsoft is building at least three million of its Surface tablets. They are betting the company.

Email me at d.phillips@computer.org
Go to Day Book Home and pointer to previous weeks
Go to Dwayne's Home Page

Tuesday August 21, 2012

Honda makes excellent lawn mowers; they have for years. Now Honda is making a robotic lawn mower. It looks much like the Roomba robotic vacuum cleaner.

Samsung to invest an additional $4Billion in its chip factory in Austin, Texas.

Panasonic has built a system that connects its smartphone with all the smart home appliances it makes.

File this one under ethics in education. It seems that there are more than a few universities that fudge the numbers they send to college-ranking services. I know this may surprise or even shock a few people. Please realize that there is a lot of money in college education, and, well, you know how some people are when money is at stake.

Recent claims to the contrary, Apple is not the most valuable company in the history of the world. IBM has that "honor."

300 million people visited Apple retail stores in 2011 (roughly equal to the population of the United States). There are 50,000 people visit an Apple Genius Bar everyday. Still, the Genius commercials were terrible.

I have owned a lot of books for the past 30 years. I own fewer physical books now than at any time during that period. I am buying eBooks instead. So, how do we manage these personal libraries of eBooks?

Have we entered the age of "sealed unit computing?" Is that a bad thing?

How many hours a day do you spend at the workplace. Notice, I didn't ask, "How many hours a day do you work?" Those are two different questions. It is unfortunate that many managers don't realize that difference.

Intel creates a team to help make the software that controls your car more secure. This is a worthy, but unobtainable, goal.

Here is how Facebook appeared in 2004 with 70,000 college students as users.

Thoughts on the cable-cutting trend in home TV viewing. There are many choices today, and many of them are less expensive.

Email me at d.phillips@computer.org
Go to Day Book Home and pointer to previous weeks
Go to Dwayne's Home Page

Wednesday August 22, 2012

No viewing today as I had a different work schedule.

Email me at d.phillips@computer.org
Go to Day Book Home and pointer to previous weeks
Go to Dwayne's Home Page

Thursday August 23, 2012

A look at the Archos 101 tablet. Now that much of the hype and hysteria of the tablet market has died down, we are seeing serious competitors to the iPad genre.

Apple is using a new anti-theft cable and connector in their retail stores. What I like about the design is that it doesn't look like a giant, ugly padlock and doesn't convey so much of a "we don't trust you."

Password hints are easily extracted from Windows 7 and Windows 8. Is everyone ready for national electronic health records?

Here we have research into inflatable robot parts.

LG is building a smartphone that will use a quad-core processor from Qualcomm.

The University of Michigan is connecting 3,000 vehicles for a year to experiment with the practical applications of smarter cars.

HP is losing money, but not as much as expected. So I guess that is good news.

The drug runners are now putting drug packages on pilot-less ultralight aircraft. The government responds with super-expensive technology. A shotgun would do the trick, but that doesn't cost enough money, and we all know that if you want to look like you care you spend a lot of money.

The falling price of the iPad.

I have to agree with this prediction: Windows 7 is the next Windows XP. People will still be using Windows 7 in their offices in ten years. All this hoopla about Windows 8 probably means it will be a bust.

Let's state this one more time briefly: photography in public is not a crime.

And this is interesting, the Federal government is sharing border crossing data (your license plate number, date, place, etc.) with you auto insurance company.

Email me at d.phillips@computer.org
Go to Day Book Home and pointer to previous weeks
Go to Dwayne's Home Page

Friday August 24, 2012

Dell and HP lead in the PC business, but that business is fading. The world has changed again.

On this otherwise boring Friday morning, thoughts on overcoming boredom.

Six ways to become known as an expert.

Some test results from running Ubuntu on Apple computers. It works about as well as OS X.

One more example of how the Bill of Rights no longer applies at the airport. A person was not allowed to fly because of his T-Shirt. There were no vulgar terms on the shirt, just a "joke" that some people at the airport didn't like.

Somebody decides that Lance Armstrong was cheating all those years. Armstrong is fed up with the mess and walks away.

Marrisa Mayer's real change at Yahoo: "high expectations for how hard and fast Yahoo employees can work."

"Skepticism doesn't help you hear." - Seth Godin.

Google is going to cover this year's U.S. elections, and it could be a preview of the post-TV world.

I think someone in the Federal government has eased a deadline for some sort of eletronic health records. It is difficult to understand the gobble-de-goop in the press release. Perhaps someone can interpret this for me.

Here is an excellent video of a flash flood in a dry stream bed in Utah. Note the amount of wood and other heavy objects being pushed at the front of the water. A person could survive the water, but I doubt anyone could survice being hit by all that heavy material.

This odd-looking "glove" may be the future of medical diagnosis. It may put much of today's medical work in the home.

Email me at d.phillips@computer.org
Go to Day Book Home and pointer to previous weeks

Go to Dwayne's Home Page

Saturday August 25, 2012

Neil Armstrong has died. To me, the sad thing is that he didn't live long enough to see us take the next step.

The Apple-Samsung trial (in America) is finally over - Apple declared the winner.

How to you manage someone who has poor communications skills? Change yourself. That is the only thing that any of us really can do.

Stronger rumors: in October Apple will announce the iPad mini (and they will actually give it that goofy name).

Writing is one of the few jobs that seem to be safe from automation. We shall see.

This could be interesting. Evernote has worked with Moleskine to improve the process of imaging your handwritten notebook. The pages have little dots that the software users to deskew the images. Very nice. I shall have to try this.

Oooops, many of those wonderful rooms in the IKEA catalog only exist in a computer. They are not real.

As noted earlier this week, Dell had a bad financial quarter. Soon, China will be the world's largest PC maker. Will this matter?

People want better computers, not cheaper ones. "To compete, PC makers will have to replace their pitch from being good enough at a lower price to as good or better for the same price."

A poll of the IT industry shows that "don't know" beats both Obama and Romney.

Email me at d.phillips@computer.org
Go to Day Book Home and pointer to previous weeks
Go to Dwayne's Home Page

Sunday August 26, 2012

Using mobile apps to write everywhere. I throw in caution at this point. I can't write on my iPhone. I can only write on my iPad when I prop it up against something and use the Apple wireless keyboard (not very portable). I carry 3x5 cards in my shirt pocket and always have a pencil in the same pocket. I write just enough of a note that allows me to remember what it is I want to write later.

Writing all these apps for mobile devices is a $9Billion a year industry.

How to be productive: plan your work and work your plan. Be sure to include time for thinking (and napping) in your plan.

I agree with this premise: the next battle for Internet freedom will be over 3D printing. People will find ways to print their own kid's toys instead of buying them from big companies. People will print their own guns, knives, and kitchen appliances. These will all be exact copies of commercial items.

Something different for me, the millionaire author's mindset. I've never really considered the idea of only writing for a living. It has always been a side job to my "day job."

How to be unhappy. I guess you take these things and do the opposite. It won't guarantee happiness, but no one else than yourself can do that.

Financial tips for the freelancer. Here is the best tip I have ever heard: save half of everything you earn. You will become rich and will really be independent.

This blog post is about turning a blog into a book. Not interesting to me, but this qoute is interesting to me: “I wrote 52 weekly blog posts last year; why can’t I write a book?”

17 reasons (count 'em) to write something now. One of them is that it is relaxing, and to some of us, it is.

Some ideas on have your short story accepted for publication. This is a big part of writing. You are a creative person who invents a story. Then you are a business person who logically finds the right place for your story and presents it in the standard format. How does a creative person use a standard format? It doesn't make any sense.

If you are stuck in a rut as a writer, here are some thoughts that may keep you writing. These are simple things really, but writing can be a simple thing.

Working around the distractions that keep you from writing.

Deadly sins of memoir writing: self pity and vengeance.

Productive goal setting for freelancers (and writers).

Microsoft unveils a new logo. The new logo is about as boring as the old logo.

You have to see this video to believe it. The iTypewriter mechanical keyboard that slaps the iPad screen. Again, you have to see it.

What one freelancer did wrong and right during her first year.

If you live in a rural area, you probably don’t have access to broadband unless you want to pay a fortune for spotty satellite coverage. The FCC program hasn’t helped much. I know my mother in rural Southeastern Louisiana still has no options despite Federal dollars to address the situation.
25 insights on becoming a better writer. The introduction from Hemingway is worth a look all by itself.

Ten tools for today's  writer and everyone else who uses technology to accomplish their work.

Speaking of tools, these are the tools and techniques that the creator of Reddit uses.

Email me at d.phillips@computer.org
Go to Day Book Home and pointer to previous weeks
Go to Dwayne's Home Page