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: September 3-9, 2012

Summary of this week:

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

Monday September 3, 2012

Today is Labor Day in the United States. It is a holiday, so many people are off work or on a different schedule.

In the Community Canteen, the ladies behind the counter are making funny faces at a toddler, and she laughs out loud. A great place to be.

Goodbye Silicon Valley; hello Silicon Alley. Tech companies move from the suburbs to the city.

Apple used to surprise everyone at its big events. Now the competition is dumpster diving enough to know what Apple will do next and jump ahead of Apple.

Some more benefits of journaling.

Asymmetrical trades are what makes a society work. - Seth Godin

About half the people in Kansas City are registering for Google's fiber service. So, is 50% good or bad?

This time next year (?), many of us will be using super WiFi (white space communications).

The real names of fabric patterns for shirts. I didn't know any of this. Hence, this is the most educational thing I'll see all day.

I guess these milestones were almost inevitable. Windows 7 surpasses Windows XP while OS X pass Windows Vista.

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Tuesday September 4, 2012

A look at the Promise Pegasus Thunderbolt disk array.

Where do you start with this one? An FBI agent was carrying around tons of evidence on a laptop computer (stupid practice). Hackers broke into the laptop (not difficult) and lifted 12 Million unique device identifiers of iPhones and iPads. The hackers then released to the public a million of those UDIDs. Sigh. Is everyone ready for national electronic health records?

A small system to reposition solar panels to face the sun. Yes, there are many little solutions in this space. Let's hope that some become real.

This is a $100 mouse from BMW and Thermaltake. Yes, it looks odd, but I guess it serves some particular purpose.

Turn your iPhone in to a thermal imager for $150. You might be able to find some thermal leaks in your house, plug them, and recoup the price.

I like this video. The producer captured video of people age 1 through 100.

Twenty percent of Apple computer users have upgraded to OS X 10.8 (Mountain Lion). I have yet to do so. I guess it is about time.

In education, like in everything else, one answer does not fit everyone. Funny how educators have trouble with that concept.

Should the school year be longer? Why, of course. What we are doing doesn't work well, so let's do more of it! (not)

Movie ticket sales are down this year (again). Make lousy movies, charge a lot for a ticket, and over price the concessions. Yes, a good formula for failure.

Cambridge is giving a Raspberry Pi to every incoming computer science student and has an OS course for the Pi.

The RV as the telecomuters' office. I know people who have done this. Some loved it while others hated it.

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Wednesday September 5, 2012

Hurrah, the government is coming to help us. The FCC will evaluate mobile broadband speeds nationwide. I guess orginary citizens can't run speedtest.net by themselves.

Bad Piggies - the new game from the folks who brought us Angry Birds - aims to teach kids (and adults) about physics and the like.

Yet again, someone tries to make and market stretchable electronics. This time they are aiming at the medical field. Maybe this time will work.

Jobs are not plentiful in the U.S., but high-tech jobs are growing faster than everything else.

Speaking of growth, the shipments of Apple computers have grown faster than the shipment of PCs for 25 quarters in a row.

People are living longer and working longer. One result is that there are fewer jobs for younger people.

This story is all over the Internet, Apple schedules their big event for September 12th.

Restuarants are tracking the habits of customers with computers. Good restaurants have tracked the habits of customers for years - they called it being smart back then. This is like the software that predicts where crimes occur. Good police have done that for years until someone decided that it was race or economic or some other kind of profiling and that profiling was prejudice and therefore bad.  Predicting future behavior from past behavior is a form of judging before the event or pre-judging or prejudice. If more people would read a dictionary we might have fewer problems.

In a round about way, Facebook is doing a huge stock buy back.

Networked cars will be safer. Networked cars will collect data about you. Now what do we do?

Here is the Samsung Galaxy camera - yes, a camera first.

Neat video - 49 quadrocopters flying in the night sky.

Intel starts shipping Core i3 parts priced for regular old desktop computers.

A step-by-step introduction to obtaining and experimenting with the Raspberry Pi.

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Thursday September 6, 2012

Google is trying a rental scheme to put the Chromebook in the hands of users.

Amazon ran a commercial during the NFL (not DNC) game last night that showed only glimpses of their new eBook reader/tablets. This is one night before the big Amazon announcement.

But Kobo announces their new tablet readers a day before.

So this is what the politcal conventions (both parties) are about: 5,000 delegates and 15,000 "journalists." At least I don't have to put cute quote marks around the word delegates. The "journalists"... do they understand why people don't trust anything they say?

Sony's next high-end video camera ($2,000). Why do people use the word "camcorder?"

As if losing to Apple in court wasn't bad enough, we now have reports of a lot of bad things happening in Samsung supplier factories.

The news isn't all bad for Samsung, and the definition of success continues to change. Samsung sold 20 million Galaxy S III smartphones in 100 days. Twenty million is a lot of anything.

If those numbers aren't big enough, how about 1.3 million Android activations a day. That is changing the definition of success.

Increase the speed of your PC by a factor of ten by spending $55 on this SanDisk SSD cache.

I may have to look at this closer - FaxZero.com - send a fax free over the Internet. Years ago I used one of these services for several years with good results.

This paper promises to keep fruits and vegetables fresh three times longer - and the paper is edible.

Rumor or fact? Amazon is building a phone.

"The Obama administration told a federal court Tuesday that the public has no “reasonable expectation of privacy” in cellphone location data..." I thought all this big brother intrusion on citizens ended when that Bush fellow left the White House.

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Friday September 7, 2012

Amazon had their big event yesterday updating their line of Kindle and Fire devices. There are many stories on the Intnernet about this. The prior link is only one such.

Pogoplug is now partnering with Amazon on person cloud storage.

And D-Link offers a 16TeraByte personal cloud storage system. No, I couldn't fill it, but I think my youngest son could.

Apple may be building a music service like Pandora. I'm a big Pandora user. I don't know what Apple would do to improve on it.

How quiting coffee, or any other $800 a year habit, can save you about $20K interest and three years on your house payment. Yes, this is true. Save your money, but your expenses, live a better life.

Google announces that it will build a data center in Chile. That will be its first in Latin America.

The Rasberry Pi revision 2.0 printed circuit board will start shipping in a few weeks. It is essentially the same device with some errors corrected.

In a week, Amazon will add sales tax to California purchases. This is spurring a buying spree in California before the tax.

A long look at how Google builds it maps.

Why have straps on your backpack when you can have an entire vest to carry the weight?

If you are a Mac Pro users, few are, NVIDIA has a new GPU to double graphics performance.

Logitech now offers its black iPad keyboard in white.

Do you have an extra $1,000 to buy a new CPU for your portable computer? If yes, Intel has a new core i7 processor clocked at 3GHz.

On the bleeding edge - if you are an early user of Windows 8 and Internet Explorer 10, you have big old security holes. Is everyone ready for national electronic health records?

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Saturday September 8, 2012

ooops, it seems that fingerprint reading software that comes installed on many portable computers has big security holes. Is everyone ready for national electronic health records?

It is about time - a judge rules that listening to open WiFi networks is not illegal. Of course not. Why did it take so long?

NASA's latest has been on Mars a month; here is a look at what is happening.

Some thoughts on learning in the workplace and putting to use what your people know.

Do you have $42,000 extra and want a video camera? Red Camera releases the Epic-M Monochrome.

And if you have $158,000 and want a better projector for you home theater (will anyone out there answer, "yes"), here is the CinemaQuattro from Sim2.

And if you have a Mac and need 12TeraBytes of external storage (who doesn't?), Lacie has new models for you that use USB 3.0.

Let's all make a tablet computer this summer/fall. This is from Ainol - a Chinese company.

How to make a GIF.

A few photos from inside Apple's new spaceship building.

Yes, simple drones can be used to drop supplies to people in need and out of reach.

Blogging has become all about photos. Well, at least not mine, but maybe...

A look at the upcoming Windows 8 devices.

Capabilities and cautions of the the FBI's new identification system.

A bunch of editors that may be good for taking notes in class.

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Sunday September 9, 2012

What freelancers (can) earn. Two thirds of writers earn more than $50 an hour. I am skeptical, but interested. Here is a link to the complete report.

Some tips for dropping the excuses and start writing right now. Different techniques work for different people. Keep looking. If nothing else, you can write about your excuses.

Analog tools for the digital age: a good notebook, good pencil and pen, and a good bag to carry everything.

Some of the basics of copyright and intellectual property for writers.  As this post says, obscurity is  more of a problem than piracy.

The advantages, for one writer, of using a minimal, full-screen text editor. I have written much using the vim ASCII text editor. I now write a lot using the plain screen Google Docs editor.

I like this writing tip: write in a new place.

Some thoughts on writing short stories. The big tip: write a story that no one else can write. Write from your unique experience (we all have unique experiences).

And here is some exhaustive practice: tell a story 99 different ways.

How to “win” at freelance writing? (1) Write a lot; (2) Market a lot.

Working along? Find a way to find friends and colleagues.

What one writer thinks everyone should know about writing. At times, writing is difficult (hard!). Still, some of us do it because we just cannot keep from it.

Boosting your creativity by doing something (anything) different.

More in the vein of “writing is hard.”

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