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: October 8-14, 2012

Summary of this week:

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

Monday October 8, 2012

Thoughts on the inefficiency of data centers and their servers.

Don't you just love it when the government invents new names for things that the public doesn't want? Don't call them drones. Instead, call the Robotic Aircraft for Public Safety or RAPS. See the Department of Homeland Security for this one.

HTC is still profitable, but its profits continue to shrink.

The Wall Street Journal continues to chase iPad mini rumors. Now its seems that Apple has ordered 10 million iPad mini units.

Will the keyboard disappear? What will writers do without them? Speech to text technology will have to improve and it will. I am waiting for the thought-to-text technology to appear. Then their will be the thought-to-thought technology where writers will think their stories, the thoughts will be stored in a device and readers will absorb those thoughts. Just wait a while.

In a similar vein, is handwriting dead?

A look at hackerspaces and whether government money will ruin them.

Let's see what happens with this one. You can now order and receive Windows 8 computers. Why wait for the official release?

This story is all over the Internet, so it must be important. A House Intelligence committee has concluded that a couple of Chinese telecommunications companies are a threat to US national security. I probably agree with that finding. I also have to laugh at the phrase "House Intelligence committee."

It is official. The Harvard Business School finds that results are more important than hours in the office.

I like this, Anil Dash calls for "Education which teaches mid-level programming as a skilled trade, suitable for apprenticeship and advancement in a way that parallels traditional trade skills like HVAC or welding" What I take from this is the we can replace some vanished manufacturing jobs with these mid-level programming jobs. I might work.

I really like this web site. This site captures an image of any web site. It captures the full page, not just the part of the page that appears on your screen. I like this a lot!

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Tuesday October 9, 2012

A look at the Toshiba U845 Ultrabook. This is priced under $800 which is pretty good. Still, how do they come up with a name like U845?

Apple rumors - the supply of the Mac Mini is shrinking, and that leads to speculation that it will have a new processor real soon now.

More Apple thoughts - the iPad Mini may be better than the iPad.

Going the other way will be a new Google 10" tablet. Google will again team with someone else, this time Samsung, in making a tablet.

How do we reach 54 miles per gallon by 2025? Silly question. Simple, have the lawyers change the definition of the measure. Why don't people understand how things are done in Washington D.C.?

Something to research further - citation machine.

Microsoft and Boingo are offering free WiFi in parts of San Franciso and New York as part of the Windows 8 birth. What about the rest of us?

A flashlight multi-tool. A bit too much? Not if you need it.

Unemployment in the U.S. hits a four-year low. We now have a robust European economy where we celebrate when unemployment dips below 8%. Yippee!

Some pretty obvious reasons why the iPad will not replace your laptop just yet.

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Wednesday October 10, 2012

Here is something for your nearby stadium or cathedral - The Steinway Lyngdorf speakers - only $250,000.

In the vein of why wait until Windows 8 is officially released to show all your Win8 products...
Logitech shows their new mice and a touchpad...
Lenovo brings back the combination laptop and tablet with the $850 Twist...
And then there is the Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga. The laptop screen bends all the ways backwards. See the photos to understand.

The German government accidentally reveals the extent that it spies on its citizens.

And our own Department of Homeland Security admits that many of its "intelligence reports" are not true, but their real goal is to generate interest in a topic. Your tax dollars at waste.

More Apple iPad Mini (or whatever it is if it really is) rumors: WiFi only.

How one company survived the disk drive shortage due to floods in Thailand. They went to Costco and Best Buy and bought all the external hard drives on the shelves. Then they "shucked" them, i.e., they opened the cases and removed the actual disk drive.

Some of the good and bad of drinking coffee. I type this between sips of the Community Canteen's coffee.

Firefox release 16 is out.

My Internet viewing was curtailed this morning. Too many thoughts in my head, so I detoured to record them.

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Thursday October 11, 2012

The personal computer market is shrinking. Apple computers aren't shrinking as fast as everyone else. Apple now has 13.6% of the PC market in the U.S.

A judge has sided with Google in its book-scanning project. Most of the books that Google scans come from libraries. The judge has ruled that Google scanning library books and returning the book along with the digital information is fair use.

The strange tale of Roy Bates and Sealand. Founded in 1967, this "island" nation was a tower in the ocean. It could be the forerunner of today's off shore offshoring or whatever we will call it. Bates died at age 91.

I like this one: The bicymple or the simple bicycle. There is no chain as the pedals are attached to the rear wheel. See the video. The design appears to work quite well.

Google updates Street View with 250,000 more miles of photos.

Indian Railyways, one of the largest rail systems in the world, now has a means of showing you where the trains are on Google Maps.

Firefox 16.0 was released yesterday. I downloaded it to my MacBook Pro. Today, they pull the release off the net because of a security flaw. How can I go backwards to release 15? What do I do?

The more weight in the car, the lower the gas mileage. If you are 100 pounds over weight, a.k.a., obese, gas mileage drops 2%.

This motorized suitcase will follow you through the airport. You don't even have to drag it.

This eBook reader from Germany costs $13. Yes, $13. GREAT! Somebody out there gets it. Stop stuffing all the hardware you can into a $200 box (more hardware every year, but the same $200 price tag). Use advances in hardware to deliver a basic device whose price continues to fall.

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Friday October 12, 2012

No Internet viewing today as I had breakfast with some fine gentlemen.

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Saturday October 13, 2012

Sales at AMD are down and they may lay off 3,500 people.

A 1,000 turbine wind farm project in Wyoming received Federal approval this week.

As noted earlier, most start-ups don't create jobs in the agent economy. So? Massive job creation is not the point.

Now we are getting somewhere. This hand-sized projector has WiFi in it. Internet programming shown on the ceiling or the wall of your tent or whatever anywhere (you have a mobile 4G hotspot).

One person's experience of travelling without a wallet - all electronic transactions. Yes, you can go through an airport without a photo ID.

The path to success: this little sketch summarizes it well.

Silicon Valley companies are busing their workers from the city of San Francisco on private buses. This is a reverse commute that may become the norm. It must be nice to have someone pick you up at your home and drive you to work. Please note that these people work very hard.

For 7 years, Google has been scanning books and appearing in court regarding same. This is all concluding rather quietly. It seems that many people were either excited about nothing or they just gave up.

High school students are manipulating college admissions persons via their Facebook pages. Now let's review this a moment. Who is trying to obtain an education and who is educating?

After 29 years, Wendy's is changing their logo a little.

Worldwide, Lenovo is number 1 is PC shipments just edging HP (depending on which market survey you believe).

Great new short from Disney.

Bad news for the Internet - those regulation-happy Europeans want the United Nations to regulate the Internet and charge lots of fees. Yeah, government is here to help us.

Speaking of wisdom in government (not), the Seattle Police want to by more "drones" even though they have two that they have never used.

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Sunday October 14, 2012

A photo-art exhibit on the history of lying with photographs. Now we lie with videos and such.

Some news about the upcoming iMac update from Apple. This interests my as my current iMac is struggling to keep up with the latest browsers and all those new things.

The upcoming Acer Windows 8 Ultrabooks.

The Amazon Kindle Serials. A way to distribute serial fiction. At one time the daily newspapers did this, but then they got smart and now they are going bankrupt.

Is there a time to stop being a writer? Probably not. You are a writer; you write just like you breathe. How can you quit?

The best thing about being a writer today. The best thing about indie publishing (I got my rights back to the Bombay novels when my publisher didn’t want to take a chance on me anymore) is that there are no bookshelves in cyber-space. There are no cordoned off sections and you don’t have to pick just one.

Follow your passion? Most of us do something over and over and somehow develop a passion for it. Otherwise we would quit it after the first “do.”

Write your way out of your ruts. “Many times when I feel unsatisfied with my writing I make a point to write more. Writing is about practice and discipline. You don’t become better by walking away and moaning about how bad it was.”

Productivity tips for writers: pay attention to the ones about keeping copies and making backups of your computer.

The catharsis of writing.

Some thoughts on writing about yourself.

And thoughts on staying organized as a freelancer. Keep paper notebooks and logbooks. I have for years and they are always backwards compatible as technology changes.

A big part of the fun of writing fiction is that you can imagine and create a new world or just one small part of it.

NANOWRIMO National Novel Writing Month is coming in a few weeks. I wrote a novel in November a couple of years ago. Not this year.

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