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.

Go to Day Book Home and pointer to previous weeks
Go to Dwayne's Home Page
Email me at d.phillips@computer.org

This week: October 29-November 4, 2012

Summary of this week:

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

Monday October 29, 2012

Today is Hurricane Sandy day on the Atlantic Coast. Light rain at 7AM.

The real news is that it is a hurricane hitting the New York City area. Hence, millions of people will be affected - most in only a slight way. The Federal government is closed in Washington D.C. as are all the schools for hundreds of miles. Private industry is open.

Watch the hurricane build via these webcams.

Google has a crisis map up. This actually provides good information.

Google had to postpone a big Android event in New York today, but rumor is they are dropping the price of their tablet.

The One Laptop Per Child organization dropped crates of Motorola Xoom tablets in an illiterate African village and watched what happened. Soon the kids were singing alphabet songs. Further study is coming.

Random House and Penguin merge in the publishing industry.

A look at Steve Job's yacht.

Was the low-cost eReader a transitional technology? Are they gone, replaced by the low-cost tablet computer? Probably.

A large earthquake hit Canada's Pacific Coast.

Worldwide, Samsung sold twice as many smartphones as Apple. They sold 56 million in the last quarter alone. Those numbers are so big that they don't make any sense.

Campaign finance reform? Why? The TV and radio stations are raking in tons of money on advertisements. The Presidential election is like having a Super Bowl in your town every four years. It is an economic gift. You want to be a battleground state where the candidates visit often and advertise like crazy. You would even create polling companies that list your state as a toss up. Hmm, maybe some states are already doing that.

Pack 18,000 NVIDIA GPUs and 18,000 AMD processors in 200 racks of equipment and you have a 20 Petaflop supercomputer.

Email me at d.phillips@computer.org
Go to Day Book Home and pointer to previous weeks
Go to Dwayne's Home Page

Tuesday October 30, 2012

Hurricane Sandy brought rain and 35mph wind to Reston, Virginia. The power is our this morning at my house, but that is normal for the half of the subdivision where I live. New York City and surrounding areas had much more damage as they are on the water and susceptable to big tides that come with such storms.

The iPad "4" has twice the computing power of the iPad "3." So much for guys like me who bought six months too early.

Those who make climate models claim they are improving, but still...you've got to be kidding me. Their models flop.

Google announces its new Nexus 10 tablet. They claim more pixels per inch than Apple.

Intel ships its first 20nm-technology solid state disks - the model 335.

And Intel is building a 48-core processor for smartphones and tablets. They predict 5 to 10 years, but I would cut that in half.

If you are in the market for very high end "camcorder" (how can anyone call this a camcorder?), Sony brings out new high-end video cameras.

Fascinating, this glove has a keyboard built into it. You type of touching your fingers with your thumb. This solve several problems and may become a big deal.

The Microsoft Surface really isn't a tablet; it really doesn't fit into any category yet.

Detecting phoney hurricane photos and phoney photos of all types.

Is the current Silicon Valley culture harmful to people? While Google proclaims "Do no evil" are they doing the opposite?

Physical evidence shows the harm of neglecting a child in its early years. There are problems in this world, big problems, but neglecting children is one of the ones we should devote ourselves to eliminating.

Email me at d.phillips@computer.org
Go to Day Book Home and pointer to previous weeks
Go to Dwayne's Home Page

Wednesday October 31, 2012

Asus and Google are selling a million Nexus 7 tablets a month. Perhaps this is the iPad competitor, or perhaps everyone wants to buy a tablet this year and anything will do.

A closer look at the iPad 4. And a closer look at the iPad mini.

Disney buys LucasFilms for $4billion and plans to release another Star Wars movie. I hope that works. I could use seeing a good old space western.

Oh this is good (not). A map of the U.S. showing the states that use risky (insecure) voting systems. My state - Virginia - is at risk. Good for us. We probably spent a lot of money on our insecure system. Your tax dollars at waste.

A new computer vision system may be able to detect signs of autism at age 2 or 3. Detection at that age enables teaching skills that will greatly improve later life.

As shown by Hurricane Sandy, emergency communications in the U.S. are still flawed. Technology is not the problem and has not bee the problem for decades. The problem is bureaucratic minds in government.

I like this one: Samsung has built a solar-powered Internet classroom into a shipping container. Great for rural South Africa and just about rural anywhere.

Google significantly improves the act of writing emails in their gmail.

Microsoft has sold four million Windows 8 upgrades so far.

Here is a tip is you are building a data center - don't build in low lying areas even if hurricane-type storms are rare. See, for example, New York City.

25% of cell phone towers in the hurricane area went down. Not a good thing.

A study shows that analytic thought and emphathy are mutually exclusive. Perhaps, but I have seen many exceptions to this rule.

Email me at d.phillips@computer.org
Go to Day Book Home and pointer to previous weeks
Go to Dwayne's Home Page

Thursday November 1, 2012

Apple increased its R&D spending about 40% in 2012 - a $1billion increase.

Apple plans to open about three dozen retail stores in 2013 - most of them outside the U.S.

A Federal Judge has ruled that police are allowed to install a surveillance camera on a person's private property without a warrant. The property was not immediately surrounding a person's home, so it was allowed. Prepare yourself for installations of signals surveillance gear without warrants. I don't like this ruling.

Notes on Instructure - an open course education company competing with Blackboard, Coursera, and others.

The Belkin WiFi NetCam. See the story above about police being able to put cameras on your property without warrant. Hmmm, how about surrounding police stations with these little net cams and ...

The human foot does a lot of work in very clever ways. See this video of a state-of-the-art prosthetic foot. Excellent work, but a long ways to go.

Comcast has opened its WiFi hotspots in the storm-hit northeast to everyone free of charge. This is a good thing they are doing. I applaud. Let's now see the same from everyone else.

This story of New York City startups emphasizes the need. People are connected to the world and the people they love via the Internet. After a weather event, they want to reconnect to let everyone know they are alright and to hear that people care about them. The Internet does that today. My power went off about 20 hours. The one thing I was able to do in a dark house was use a portable power source to connect to the Internet.

Internet recovery runs on diesel fuel. Yes, dirty diesel fuel for dirty diesel generators. Where did all that green energy stuff go where there would be solar panels in every window and windmills atop every building? Where did all that taxpayer money go? And, by the way - don't put your generators and their fuel in low lying areas. That doesn't work in a flood.

psfk documents the media bias surround our current President. I guess someone needs to do this now and then so in the future people can read that someone did it. If you live now, you don't even notice it any more.

What happened to all that money that was supposed to bring broadband to rural America?

Email me at d.phillips@computer.org
Go to Day Book Home and pointer to previous weeks
Go to Dwayne's Home Page

Friday November 2, 2012

The Kobo Glo - the unofficial eReader of independent book stores. I like it.

The Russian government has given itself (back) the authority to monitor its subjects Internet traffic.

More thoughts on the major changes in education taking place before our eyes.

And even more thoughts on the subject with the idea of many-to-one education vice one-to-many.

Interesting video of Internet connectivity going down as Hurricane Sandy moves in. It would have been good to see this in real time on the day of the storm. That is what CNN and those other guys should be reporting. Actual news.

A look at the insides of an iPad 4.

ooops, it seems that 2,000 sites running Apache incorrectly are exposing user passwords and such. Is everyone ready for national electronic health records? How about all that wonderful computer-based voting we will do next week?

Just in time (not), the IEEE is working on a standard for voting machines. They are late on this, but you know about better late than whatever. My suggestion of going back to a single-user, single-tasking operating system for voting machines seems to have been ignored.

An MIT professor has developed an algorithm to predict Twitter trends hours before Twitter knows them. The real application here is in stock prices where a few hours notice is billions of dollars.

Open BSD 5.2 has been released.

Duracell sent a charging station into parts of NYC. These efforts are NOT expensive and can be done by all sorts of charitable groups.

Burger King is trying home delivery in parts of south Florida.

Email me at d.phillips@computer.org
Go to Day Book Home and pointer to previous weeks

Go to Dwayne's Home Page

Saturday November 3, 2012

A close look at the performance of the new chips in the newest iPad (4).

The C++ programming language appears to be making a comeback with new standards, but I am not sure what that means for a programming language to make a comeback.

This thing has been on a lot of sports channels this week. The Philadelphia 76ers have the world's largest t-shirt cannon. You could put an eye out with that thing.

A self-portrait of the Curiosity Mars rover. It all looks like New Mexico to me.

A*Star has a 5mm thin hydbrid disk drive. Here come the next generation of thinner Ultrabooks.

With all the new eReaders and tablets on the market, Barnes and Noble cuts the price of the nook line.

Red - the cinema camera makers - is cutting the price of its cameras 45%.

Sadly, it takes time and repeated troubles for cities to learn that you can't build critical infrastructure in low areas near water.

Facebook stories from people who had a very bad time with Hurricane Sandy. At least they had power and connections long enough to post their stories.

Tweets about the power returning in lower Manhattan.

People are building tougher houses in storm-prone areas. As the post states, you reach a point where it is cheaper to let the house blow down and rebuild it.

Government Motors sold almost 3,000 Chevy Volts in October. For most cars, that would be terrible.

Microsoft is doing much better at software security. Note, they have not eliminated problems, but they have reduced them.

Email me at d.phillips@computer.org
Go to Day Book Home and pointer to previous weeks
Go to Dwayne's Home Page

Sunday November 4, 2012

This is a good post about tricks you can play on yourself to put words on the screen in draft mode.

Even the Washington Post is catching on to MOOC Massive Open Online Courses of 15,000 students for the small classes.

You can sort of get a badge for sort of taking a mooc.

Sometimes expanding a brief statement is what is needed in writing. This is an excellent post on that topic.

Some lessons learned by going back to pen and paper. I repeat the lesson about moving slower. The pen on paper method is slower, and sometimes that extra thinking time is very beneficial.

A few benefits of writing in a journal. I highly recommend a journal. Journal writing is one of the very few practices that I recommend for everyone.

I find this interesting: The Three Book Diet. For the next year, read only three books (outside assignments at work or school). Keep lots of notes. Study the books and practice what they teach.

A long list of links for better writing. If you like to read tips on writing, this one will take you a long while to work through. Just stop reading every now and then to actually write.

Do you admit to being a writer? This is difficult for some of us - almost impossible. Many of us were raised to be extremely humble, i.e., never admit that we ever did anything good for anyone. Writing is a self-absorbed pursuit, but then so are many, about 99% by my reckoning, things.

Excellent graphic showing the history of movies.

Email me at d.phillips@computer.org
Go to Day Book Home and pointer to previous weeks
Go to Dwayne's Home Page