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 10, 2012

"New" ideas for meetings. Most are not new, but quite old. It is just that people are lazy about meetings and allow them to be the dragging, time wasting bore that the vast majority of meetings are.

This is great stuff! A man hacks a Kinect and such to allow his stroke-victim mother send email after 12 years.

Some 90% of the neighborhoods in Kansas City have preregistered for Google fibre service.

The Google Glasses made an appearance at New York's Fashion Week. I guess I don't know what Fashion Week is, but this seems important to all those people who said the glasses were ugly.

Bill Moggridge dies at 69. He was the first to design and build a "clamshell" portable computer, a.k.a., a laptop.

It appears that everything has come together for a touch screen all-in-one desktop PC. Thanks to HP and Microsoft and those guys who make good touch screens.

To make coffee, you pour hot water through ground coffee beans. Here, at last, is a simple stand to hold the grounds for you. Why did it take so long for someone to make such a simple device?

HP's Meg Whitman claims that the company is in the early stages of a comeback. I hope that she is right and not merely overly optimistic.

Hiding your expensive, high-tech devices in plain sight.

This is not good for us, "Meet the administrative subpoena (.pdf): With a federal official’s signature, banks, hospitals, bookstores, telecommunications companies and even utilities and internet service providers — virtually all businesses — are required to hand over sensitive data on individuals or corporations, as long as a government agent declares the information is relevant to an investigation." This is not a court-ordered, justified warrant. It is something that a government employee declares on his own. This is not good for us.

A different way to learn the C programming language - use the GNU debugger all the time.

"Say what you need to say, then leave." Seth Godin "Brevity and clarity often go together" Dwayne Phillips

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Tuesday September 11, 2012

Today is Tuesday September 11th. Where were you on the last Tuesday September 11th?

Must see video. Boston Dynamics continues to improve its robotic pack mule or big dog or whatever they call it. This thing is still creepy.

1984 photos of Steve Jobs, the Mac, and the Mac team.

Hackers knock GoDaddy off the Internet for several hours. Is everyone ready for national electronic health records?

Everyone seems to agree that government motors, a.k.a., GM, loses money on every Volt it sells. Now we just arguing about the numbers. Aren't we all glad we made this investment? Aren't we all glad the government made this investment for us?

Self-publishing is no longer "vanity publishing;" it is a way of life to many freelance writers.

On Apple's App store of iOS, free apps are 89% of all downloads.

The "last hope" for growth in PCs on the job is with Apple. Companies are slowing buying Apple computer for the workplace. I think that is a waste, but that is their business.

This chart shows the profits of Apple and Amazon per quarter for a few years. If you look real hard, you can see Amazon's profits dwarfed by Apple's. Amazon's profits aren't even worth mentioning.

FEMA has a long list of things to do to prepare for disasters. The Department of Justice has a long list of thing that indicate you could be a terrorist. Pause. Yes, there is a big overlap of the two lists. Sigh. Government at its best.

Might the iPhone 5 jumpstart the economy and determine the outcome of the the presidential election? I wrote a short story about manipulating startup companies to arrange electrions.

This writer was able to test wear the Google Glass.

Sharp is in trouble and is cutting salaries by up to 10%.

Vastly more men edit Wikipedia than women. See this chart.

How to use your Kindle as a Raspberry Pi display.

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Wednesday September 12, 2012

Today is Apple's big event.

A closer look at Intel's Next Unit of Computing (NUC) - a $400 4" square motherboard.

A quick look at Western Digital's 5mm thick disk drive package. One model comes with a NAND memory cache.

American Airlines' pilots will now use the iPad instead of paper in all phases of flight (does that include the mysterious take off and landing phase where everyone else has to turn off everything?).

As of today, there are 500 million Android devices activated worldwide. The definition of success has changed. 500 million of anything is what used to be unthinkable.

Thin, thin, thin - Intel shows how the next-generation Ultrabooks will be a few millimeters thinner.

Just in time for Christmas this year, Hasselblad will have the H5D camera in stores - 60MegaPixels. No price given yet, but this is not a stocking stuffer for the grandkids.

Google releases Course Builder for building your own online classes. Here is Google's Course Builder site.

EarthLink and Clearwire have some sort of deal so that EarthLink can use Clearwire's 4G WiMax network.

Organize your work and such with WorkFlowy.com. I will give it a look.

Amazing video of Jupiter being hit by a earth-killing asteroid.

The Sony NEX-6, small camera with interchangeable lenses - $1,000.

This could be a disaster: Starbucks is introducing coffee machines - Starbucks On the Go. This is opposite of what built Starbucks into a national success - service and atmosphere.

Amazon is building new storage centers across the U.S. This appears to be the first step in same-day delivery.

Great title, great question: How many iPhones can Apple sell in a weekend?

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Thursday September 13, 2012

Apple has its big event yesterday updating the iPhone (now at model 5) and the iPod touch. The machine is thinner and lighter but longer. It has a 4" vice 3.5" screen. More processing power that draws less electrical power. Good stuff. And of course we have iOS version 6 coming as well. And we have better cameras. And we have a revised iPod Nano. Yet the iPod Classic model lives on.

The big news is that everyone knew about all this before the event. The world has learned how to learn Apple's secrets ahead of these big events. The surprise is gone. Oh well, it was fun for a while.

There are 400 million iOS devices running around out there.

Even the Washington Post feels that Obama wasted taxpayers money on the Chevy Volt and other "green" things.

Speaking of battery-powered transportation - Boosted Board is trying to make a practical skateboard with an electric motor. Still, you have to balance yourself, and that isn't easy.

Maybe something good will come of this: The Nutrition Science Initiative (NuSI). The goal is to end the fad diets and all the other bad information passed about concerning what to eat and not eat and such.

And maybe this will work: Intel demonstrates a 27" screen tablet computer.

Encouraging the wealthy to take risks and start new companies. The new companies make the breakthrough, that is if they don't break the bank account. That is the risk.

The House of Representatives voted to extend the warrantless wiretapping program. I don't like this.

The big server market was once dominated by three companies. Now there are more players and each has a share.

A team at the University of Southampton built a "supercomputer" from 64 Raspberry Pi units. Here are photos. Yes, they used Legos to build the housing. Cool.

Damning criticism of colleges that have Computer Science programs. This recruiter won't hire CsC graduates because they don't know anything.

The wheels are turning for the next Microsoft Office 2013 upgrade. People pooh pooh on Office, but millions still use it and there is profit to be made there. And those profits fund innovation like Kinect and so on.

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Friday September 14, 2012

Seth Godin has excellent comments about what you have to do to have people pay you for your freelance work. There are many people out there who will do what you do and they will do it for free. You have to establish something that people are willing to pay.

The new iPhone 5 is selling at an alarmingly fast rate. They are selling so fast that people are arguing about how fast they are selling.

Whoa! It is good to be a Microsoft employee right now. Microsoft gives every employee a new PC, a Windows 8 phone, and a Surface tablet.

I had a terrible time updating my iMac to OS X Lion. At least I am not the only person who did. Here is someone else.

Hands on with with Google Glass.

20% of American women are using Pinterest.

How the iPhone 10 will (not) appear.

Lessons from startups. Several of these lessons are basic: manage the work.

I like this idea. A mouthguard for kids in sports that has flavors. I don’t recall what sport it was, but I had to wear a chemical-laden mouthguard once. I hated it.

”When your discomfort at being stuck where you are becomes greater than your fear of what you must do to move forward, you jump to the next level in your career.”

Maybe some common sense arrives in immigration legislation. A House bill would create 55,000 visas for people with advanced degrees in science, technology, engineering, or math. As a kid, I was naive and believed what the teacher told me, I was taught that the U.S. allowed the educated and productive into the U.S. and kept out others.

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Saturday September 15, 2012

Apple is already out of stock of the iPhone 5.

The Apple solar farm in North Carolina is completed. This is a lot of acres of solar panels. Something tells me that taxpayers paid for much of this.

Google searches tell Google what people are thinking about at any given time. Google compiles a list of topics for the summer of 2012 - worldwide.

The best "video" from Mars, period.

Brain Shift Radio - the "music" is supposed to help you shift your mood and concentration. It may help kids focus so they can stay off drugs.

"There's no magical formula for picking your cofounders. The combinations often just look brilliant in hindsight, because their companies are successful."

This chart shows two decades of market dominance by Wintel (MS windows and Intel). The dominance is clearly fading.

The X11 windows system is 25 years old.

This is sort of a local story. In Maryland, people are vandalizing traffic trap cameras. So the local government has installed cameras pointed at the traffic trap cameras to catch the vandels. There is so much stupidity here that I don't know where to start.

The Administration has asked Google to pull that silly "Innocence of Muslim" movie trailer from YouTube. Google declined. Good for Google. "Those people wouldn't riot without a good excuse," seems to be the sentiment of many associated with the Administration. Those people rioting are adults, not children. They riot because they want to riot.

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Sunday September 16, 2012

Publish that book you have been sitting on.

What research to do while considering cutting the cable TV cord.

Marissa Mayer is giving a new smartphone to everyone Yahoo employee. That must be nice for the employees.

What happened to newspapers? This chart shows that their peak was the year that blogging software first appeared. Hmmm, coincidence?

It seems that many schools across the U.S. are demanding that students give the schools their Facebook passwords. The stupidity of such is mind boggling. Joining the stupidity is this claim that minors are full citizens, which they are not.  A student's locker on school grounds is not private property. A student's Facebook password at home is out of bounds for the (government) school.

Some thoughts on free writing.

Some thoughts on work-at-home productivity. You need to realize that you are working to earn a living. If you keep that in mind, these tips make a lot of sense.

There are no distractions at a writer’s colony. For this writer, that is important to writing a lot. This writer is on the right track as they want to understand what works for them in the colony and use it at home.

We all seem to have many excuses. Here are ten excuses for not writing and answers to erase the excuses.

There is something here for everyone. 201 tips for writing. I like many of these. This is better than most of these big lists.

Be mindful of mindless tasks. Use that time to write in your head.

Go through your writing three times, not just two.

Describe your characters with two words each. (1) a noun of vocation and (2) an adjective of manner.

Forget motivation; get discipline. And this post has some tips on ways to bring “discipline” into your freelance writing.

Tips on how to write about “embarrassing” topics. Of course, embarrassing is a subjective term.

Marketing advice from Stephen King: (1) Write something someone values and (2) Get that something in front of that someone.

How do you make a living as a novelist? The vast majority of people who have written a novel won’t make a living from it. Sorry. I would follow the advice of those who say, “write four or five novels a year, ePublish them yourself. and charge a couple of dollars per copy.” In ten years, your 50 novels might be bringing a living wage.

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