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 15-21, 2012

Summary of this week:

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

Monday October 15, 2012

Felix Baumgartner jumped for 128,000 feet and made it. There are stories all over the Internet about it.

Here is an excellent use of developing technology: a wheeled chair that can climb stairs. See the video.

The first Windows 8 commercial. Slick. Let's see how the market reacts to the product. As a consumer, I welcome the addition of another good product.

And speaking of good news for consumers, it appears that Best Buy will match online prices this holiday season.

90% of startups fail, and this post explains why that is a good thing. More ideas.

Strict Muslim countries censor the Internet, but not as much as Communist countries.

Yet another name, the Tethered Generation. I guess Connected Generation wasn't good enough. The not surprising finding is that being connect all across the globe has a homogenizing affect. That is quit dangerous for mankind. If something comes along that hurts us, we will all go down together. Variety is optimized for survival, homgeneity is not.

The Raspberry Pi doubles its memory and keeps the $35 price. I think that is a mistake. Keep the same memory and cut the price. Always cut the price and keep it simple. The goal is something cheap enough that any school can buy one and use it to teach. Cut the price.

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Tuesday October 16, 2012

Samsung shows its Windows 8 Ultrabooks and tablets. We are still ten days away from Windows 8 being real, but why wait?

It appears that Google is in big trouble with the regulators in the European Union. They have different privacy rules in Europe, and the EU doesn't mind slapping an American company with huge fines.

Very cool time lapse video of lots of places.

One Digital Millennium Copyright Act notice took down 1.45 million education blogs. Don't you just love government?

Logitech has a bluetooth keyboard that connects to three devices at once and switches among the three easily. Wow, I need one of those. I am one of the hapless persons who stumbles around trying to disconnect my wireless keyboard from one thing and connect it to another.

A look at the chip that Apple puts in its new Lightning cable.

Another rumor about Apple's October event - Apple will upgrade the mini line of computers.

Google is increasing the capabilities of its email search so that it searches more places at once.

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Wednesday October 17, 2012

It seems that you can break into the online voter registration system for Maryland and change everyone's information. Is everyone ready for national electronic health records?

ooops, it seems that medical devices are plagued with malware. Same question as above.

Best Buy will release its own tablet next month for around $250. I wonder if they will continue to sell the tablets of the other makers? Why sell your competitor's products?

Obamacare increases the demand for health care, but does nothing about the supply of it. Hence, doctors will be in short supply. Hence, rural areas will be especially short of doctors.

Microsoft announces the prices for its Surface tablet - they are too high. I don't think people will pay these prices for Microsoft hardware.

Amazon is about to make a lot of money selling information about you and me. This practice is as old as the postal service.

It seems that little has changed in grad school in the last 25 years - go work 80-hour weeks you little grad students!

Worldwide, over a billion of us are using smartphones. And what is the target environment for your next commerical product?

Windows 8 - be ready for something completely different. Sigh. I guess Microsoft thinks they know what they are doing. I can see millions of office workers staring at the screen and wondering what to do. Here is a bussiness tip - learn how to teach office drones how to use Windows 8.

Apple's next big event is scheduled for 23 October - beating Microsoft to the headlines by three days.

LinkedIn has changed the look of its site. I don't care much about these things, but it appears that some people are infatuated with the appearance of sites.

The Gertboard extender for the Raspberry Pi is shipping. $50 brings you A/D-D/A conversion that connects you to the world.

It seems that Apple was the big loser in last night's Presidential "debate."

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Thursday October 18, 2012

A couple of tables away from me this morning a man is explaining his little bluetooth keyboard and iPad combination to another patron. Five years ago he would have been explaing how his Apple portable computer worked just fine with everything he wanted to do. I have lived both of these experiences.

A look inside Google's data centers.

25 University of Phoenix campuses to close; 800 people to lose jobs.

Right on schedule, Ubuntu 12.10 is released.

It appears that Google is about to update its tablet with more memory.

And Google is working on a second, less-expensive tablet. Google is not working with ASUS on this second tablet like it did on the first.

Look what they've done to good old duct tape - they put Justin Bieber's photos on it.

Here is a new ad for the Microsoft Surface tablet. Microsoft is emphasizing the portable computer aspects of their tablet such as keyboard typing and external memory like USB and SD cards. Is the Surface really a small, small portable computer and not a tablet?

Toshiba is accepting pre-orders for its Windows 8 portable computers. Will all these companies be offereing deals so that users can switch back to Windows 7 in six months?

Forward to the past - IBM wants to have its Watson computers work in medicine. Back in the 1980s, we learned that expert system software would perform better than doctors. Expert systems were not, however, 100%. Health firms rejected them because of fear of law suits for deploying a system that was known to fail some of the time. It didn't matter that they were deploying human doctors who were also know to fail some of the time. We shall see if the younger public accepts computer algorithm medical care this time.

The Democratic National Committee has sunk to using Google bombs in this year's campaign. And some people wonder why "None of the Above" would receive the most votes if it were put on the Presidential ballot.

It seems that Apple sold 27 million iPhones last quarter. That is a lot of hardware that does anything at any price.

NetBSD 6.0 has been released.

A look at the birth and growth of Google's Summer of Code project. They have put 55 million lines of code into open source.

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Friday October 19, 2012

Signs that you may have found work that you really love.

This is good: ten dumb lies that some bosses tell.

A quick look at Samsung's latest Chromebook; it comes with 3G.

Where did all that money for rural broadband go? Rural areas are not receiving the promised services.

This story appears in a few places today. The State of Minnesota won't allow its residents to take free online college courses. There is a law that states that Minnesota must approve a "college" before its residents can "attend." The culprit here is Coursera, an online educator founded by two Stanford professors. I guess these guys are smart enough to have faculty positions at Stanford, but not good enough for Minnesota.

In what is described as "Twitter with a business plan," pheed.com debuts.

The Dutch are proposing a law that will allow its law enforcement to tap computers - anywhere in the world.

When cultures collide: it seems that the Apple bitten fruit logo is blasphemous to the Russian Orthodox Church.

I didn't know about this. OpenOffice is now part of the Apache Software Foundation. Release 3.4 of OpenOffice is the first under Apache.

3,000 HP employees were to be laid off, but GM hires them instead. For the short term, that is good news for these people. In the long term?

Amazon is making a push to put Kindles in kindergartens. Why not? One of my joys is to go to the local Apple retail store and stand around in the back. The store has a short-legged table where small children sit and play with iPads. I love to see them discover. In today's world, people look at observers like me with suspicion. I can always tell that that I have grandchildren the same age and I am trying to figure out what to buy them for their birthday - a true statement.

JK Rowling praises the MacBook Air. Many have written that, "you will write with the computer you have with you." The Air is easy to have with you.

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Saturday October 20, 2012

The Big Tex figure at the Texas State Fair burned. It will be replaced - you can count on it. As a kid living in Dallas in the late 1960s, I remember seeing it every year. Some people are calling it a "statue," but that is not accurate.

A closer look at the new Samsung-Google Chromebook. Only $250. Smart price.

Apple has begun construction on its newest data center in Prineville, Oregon.

Strong rumors: The yet to be announced iPad mini should be in stores on 2 November.

A look at using a small-business class broadband connection. This post writer only pays $87 a month for the better service. That is pretty good.

This guy is building a system that floods your license plate with bright light whenever a traffic camera is trying to photograph your car. No one can read your license plate. Of course it works.

Will Windows 8 succeed in the workplace? One person thinks it will.

Taking libraries back to their past when they were places for more than just books.

Google has added 25 million building footprints to the map view of their maps. I like it.

Excellent George Will editorial on the "Seeds of our Dysfunction." "We should reduce government’s complicity in illusions by, for example, sending retirees “a statement showing the estimated present value of their old-age benefits; their lifetime earnings and contributions; and the earnings and contributions that it would have taken to ‘earn’ those benefits. We might then ask them who precisely should earn and remit the missing millions and in what sense it would be ‘unfair’ to modify the empty promises.”  In other words, the vast majority of us need to admit that we are receiving more than we are contributing.  And then not scream when their are cuts.

As it says, get a liberal arts education free on the Internet.

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Sunday October 21, 2012

Five "literary journals" that are online only (mostly).

Hmmm, perhaps the next big Apple event is not about an iPad mini, but about a little updgrade to the iPad 3.

Some thoughts on big data, privacy, prediction, and living in our world where people sort of watch what we do.

A new acronym - COPE - Corporately Owned, Personally Enabled. The IT department owns the smartphone, but they let you install the usual personal applications.

The TSA is moving X-Ray body scanners from larger airports to smaller ones.

More details about how pledging to Kickstarter is a risk. The Kickstarter Terms of Use states that the developers will deliver a product or refund your money. How do they do so when they spent the money in vain trying to build a product that they just couldn't build? It becomes messy.

Looking for new benefits to attact employees? (In a time of 8% unemployment?) Companies are offering home services to potential employees - be my butler and such.

How software can greatly reduce the cost of government. Of course it can. The difficult part is having the government employees use it. Have you met anyone in the last three years who doesn't know how to use a broswer or a mouse or doesn't understand the phrase "click on it?" Go to a nearby government office andyou will met such people.

Be a writer, even when you are not writing. How? Notice all the time; make notes all the time.

Running out of ideas? This post discusses turning your favorite books into writing prompts.

Wow! Look at this Microsoft Surface commercial. A broadway dance number. I don't know if the actual product will be as good as the commercial.

Leo Babauta describes his essential Mac setup. New to me is his recommendations for FTP programs Transmit and Cyberduck.

Common reasons why first-time freelancers fail.

Thoughts on how long a paragraph should be.

Places to access free WiFi. In Reston, Virginia, I frequent Starbucks and the Community Canteen.

Some thoughts on travel as part of a writer’s education, and how you can better afford it.

Some tips on organizing your time from those who hate to organize their time.

This looks like a good source of story ideas: used postcards.

What do you wear while writing? I always wear clothes, but beyond that I don’t really know. I’ve never noticed.

Where do you get story ideas? (see above items on used postcards) The number one answer is always READ READ READ. In general, NOTICE NOTICE NOTICE. Then twist what you notice and see what falls out.

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