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 17-23, 2012

Summary of this week:

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

Monday September 17, 2012

Benchmarks indicate that the iPhone 5's processor is twice as powerful as previous model.

According to news coverage, the smartphone buries the PC. The PC is indeed dead.

According to real people, the PC is a tool that puts food on the table and pays the mortgage. I have to agree with these people.

The Kingston DataTraveler Workspace - this is more than a 32GB thumbdrive. It will run Windows 8. Travel with it, insert into USB port, and you have your desk computer with you.

It has been years since I visited this site, but I am happy to see it still going - Sleeping in Airports.

I like this idea. Ever want a photo of an empty public space, but can't be there when it is empty? This algorithm remove moving objects from video. Clever.

"People are never irrational. They often act on memories and pressures that you're unaware of, though." Seth Godin.

Once again, America's schools rank low when compared to those around the world. Once again, these rankings are flawed.

I was reading this post about the Chicago Teacher's Union strike and noticed that there is one teacher per ten students in Chicago. Those numbers have to be wrong because that would make Chicago's schools the best in the world, and that doesn't seem to be the case.

People are camping in New York City. They are waiting outdoors for eight days to get the iPhone 5. Consider this, they are unemployed (who else can sit around for eight days) and they have lots of money (who else can afford the latest electronic gadget). Someone please explain this combination to me.

According to this article, people in Silicon Valley have lots of money, but eat Ramen Noodles for dinner, that is when they aren't throwing million dollar birthday parties. What is the truth out there?

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Tuesday September 18, 2012

Lenovo buys a software company that specializes in cloud services.

If you have $7,000 to spend on a camera, Leica has the new model M for you.

Microsoft Office 2013 is coming, and you can subscribe for $100 a year. They are trying this new model of rent instead of buy. You can also go the old fashioned route of buying a copy for as low as $140. The subscription method brings with it free updates.

The price of Apple stock hit $700 for the first time.

The FBI arrests another potential terrorist in their continued game of pretend law enforcement. As the linked post says, "That pattern goes something like this: hear that a huge explosion was averted and lives were saved, find out the plotter was an American citizen, find out he was under investigation by the FBI for several years, and then finally find out that it was the FBI that egged on the suspect and built his "bomb" for him." There must be more to this series of arrests than this. Surely, no one is this stupid. But then again...

JetBlue will have free WiFi on its flights in 2013.

You can now create an eBook format of Wikipedia articles for offline reading. This feature has been available for a year or so for PDF files. The news here is the EPUB format.

Yet another security hole in Internet Explorer is made known where someone can take control of your computer. Is everyone ready for national electronic health records?

Hardware is (almost) free.  But the trouble is that paying the people to buy it, install it, and watch it for you is too expensive. It may cost a company $50,000 to buy a $500 computer. Why do it?

A look at the price and performance tradeoffs with hard disk drives, solid state disks, and hybrid disks.

This story is all over the Internet. I don't understand why, but I guess it is important to a lot of people. Yahoo has removed the registered trademark symbol from its logo.

Google claims to have 100 million active users on Google+. I wonder if I am one of them.

USB PD - USB Power Delivery - a new variation that will carry much more power over the cable. This will allow, among other things, charging your laptop computer via USB just like we do with our cell phones.

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Wednesday September 19, 2012

Intel's WiDi (Wireless Display) is 2 years old and isn't used much by anyone (too bad).

A dwindling supply chain indicates that new Apple iMac computers are coming soon - I hope in October.

Intel wants to show off its system-on-a-chip (Soc), so it is hosting a Windows 8 tablet event with a several hardware makers.

Sony shows a new Playstation 3. As expected, it is smaller and more powerful.

Apple cannot keep up with the pre-demand for the iPhone 5. Thanks to AT&T's policy about upgrading phones, which after an hour chatting in a local store I still don't understand, I will be waiting a few months on this.

An early look at the families of computers that Dell is making for Windows 8.

This little white thing is the $30 SMILE Plug Cloud Computer. It is from Stanford as part of the Stanford Mobile Inquiry-based Learning Environment. It may be unfortunate that this clever piece of hardware may be swallowed by a new learning and teaching method that is probably doomed to oblivion. See, e.g., Chicago and its public school teachers.

Must see video - the world's greatest Lego machine.

A look at a Filson bag. I own two Filson bags, I use them daily, and they will outlast me. Might as well have the best.

eBook sales are up 188% this year. Pushing this rise are the new eBooks for children, a heretofore untapped market.

We are more networked than we used to be. Guess what? If parts of the network go down, we will all be affected. This is basic knowledge, but many in positions to decide seem to have forgotten basic knowledge.

Microsoft is struggling again. This time its problem is in killing one of its most successful products of all time - Windows XP.

Google has now put interior business photos on Google Maps. I am looking at maps now, but don't see any of the orange dots. Oh well, maybe soon.

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Thursday September 20, 2012

Let's start with a couple of items from the Washington Post this morning:

George Will has an excellent editorial on the childishness of what presidential campaigns have become. "Someday, someone is going to seek the presidency by demystifying it. Many voters will be astonished by, and even be grateful for, the novelty of being addressed as adults."

And 9 of the nation's richest 13 counties are suburbs of Washington D.C. Who says government work doesn't pay (big)? Your tax dollars at waste.

Some thoughts from Michael Arrington on taxes and tax rates. As Will wrote, if candidates would treat voters as adults and speak plainly (some call this being blunt), things would improve.

The Internet companies are becoming smarter. They have formed The Internet Association to lobby in Washington D.C.

Not to be left behind, HP introduces a dozen new Windows 8 computers. October 26 is the official release date of Windows 8.

MakerBot Industries updates it Replicator 3D printer.

People read Wikipedia. Business are hiring consultants to improve their Wikipedia appearance.

The Rasbpberry Pi gets a 1GHz Turbo Mode.

Slashdot is 15 years old.

We can all feel better this morning knowing that the TSA has just awarded a $245million contract for second-generation naked body scanners. Your tax dollars at waste.

It appears that YouTube's original content channels are gaining viewers.

Hey, this is really smart (not). A facial recognition software package that helps track the hours the employees are in the office. Note, this does not track how much they work while they are in the office.

A new buzzward for portable computers. Sleekbooks from HP. They don't meet Intel's specs for Ultrabooks, but they are as thin and light while being less expensive.

And HP brings out a 24" monitor that is only 11mm thick.

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Friday September 21, 2012

A look at the Alienware M17x R4 gaming portable computer. Flames come out of it instead of warm air.

Apple buys another 200 acres of land in North Carolina for more solar cells.

In the realm of useful devices that I will probably never own, this suitcase becomes a standing desk for your portable computer.

Photos of a disassembled iPhone 5. Look at that battery.

Obamacare requires restaurants to post calorie information (how we ever survived without that I will never understand), McDonald's is two years ahead of the law by posting its calories on its menu boards.

56% of young Americans want to be able to vote in elections via smartphone. At least 56% of young Americans don't seem to mind if someone switches their votes without them knowing it. Secure? Are you kidding?

Kickstarter provides a way to fund projects. Just because someone has a great idea doesn't mean they can deliver a product. It seems that many Kickstarter funders don't realize that. They sent in money and were shocked to learn that development projects failed to deliver. Hence, Kickstarter has new guidelines for its projects.

The new Apple iOS 6 maps have lots of problems (see above about development projects and risk).

These guys are tying to make the Raspberry Pi easier to program. That would be a big boost towards making it a better educational tool.

Six million Virgin Mobile subscribes are at risk of being hacked. Is everyone ready for national electronic health records?

Apple has a new clock icon. It looks a lot like the clock used by the Swiss Federal Railway service. Then again, it looks a lot like the terrible clocks we had in the hallways at LSU in the 1980s. It's is just the face of a clock folks.

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Saturday September 22, 2012

The new, clever(er) iPhone 5 commercials.

The co-working robot, i.e., one made for small business and the big money home ($22,000).

"Micro-entrepreneurship is changing the world." Don't let this year's electrion determine your future. Build your own brand, build your own business, build your own life. At least that is the theory, and it is working for some people.

Government - good intentions and bad results, see, e.g., Children's Online Privacy Protection Act.

Has it been one whole day yet? Anways, the iPhone 5 is already jailbroken. Is everyone ready for national electronic health records?

DODOcase introduces a line of sleeves. Well made and handsome.

Coming, the Lenovo tablet - at $800, I doubt anyone will buy it.

The new multi-screen world.

Wal-Mart, like Target, has stopped selling the Amazon Kindle. They have their own product lines to sell.

The idiocy continues. The U.S. House of Representatives votes "no" on a bill to allow people with advanced degrees in science, technology, engineering, and math to immigrate into the U.S.

Dell releases a new line of monitors with edge-to-edge glass. The top of the line model is only $400. When I was a young man, such monitors would cost tens of thousands of dollars.

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Sunday September 23, 2012

An early look at the performance metrics of the iPhone 5. It is, after all, a computer with a two-way radio in it.
And a close look at the A6 system on a chip processor at the heart of the iPhone 5.

Someone has sliced Apple's new Lightning cable and found integrated circuits inside. Tip: don't buy third-party cables as they won't have these circuits in them and one day, something will not work.

One person's search for the perfect PC laptop. He concludes with the Asus Zenbook Prime (who thought that name was a good idea?).

A list of the top 200 church blogs.

Ready to have a "smart meter" in your house? In Australia, the data from these meters is being shared with all sorts of people.

Once again, good intentions from the government result in something else. Electronic health records were intended to reduce costs, but seem to be increasing costs.

Observations about dialogue, i.e., about people.

Don’t stay at the desk all day. There are tasks that are much better performed elsewhere.

I agree with the premise of this post that Twitter can help your writing. It helps you to find and eliminate the needless words.

Lack of sleep at night leads to more Internet loafing in the day. I agree. When tired at work, you do things that require less energy.

Leading your readers to hate you. I find “hate” to be a bit too strong, but there times when a writer may want to irritate the reader.

Some ideas on how you can take an all-expenses-paid sabbatical. This author is writing a new novel on Google Docs and has opened it for everyone to watch the progress.

Here is a list of "crutch words," i.e., words you use when you stop thinking. Avoid these. Write what you mean.

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