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: November 12-18, 2012

Summary of this week:

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

Monday November 12, 2012

A very thin electrode has been developed. It could connect prosthetics to the brain to all for much better mobility for the disabled.

A look at MOOC use in El Salvador. One professor there is urging students to take U.S. online courses for free on the Internet.

There are no numbers out on the sales of the Microsoft Surface, but Balmer calls them "modest."

Large international companies are making big profits while paying small taxes. This is all legal, and the folks who make things legal are upset at what they themselves have done. Hmmm. I guess you should think things through a bit more when passing laws.

More evidence that uncertainty introduced by the current administration is slowing the economy. This time with venture capitalists in Silicon Valley.

India has upgraded the $20 tablet it built - the Aakash.

Zipcar is doing well financially. They rent cars by the hour in several major metropolitan areas.

Intel is now shipping 60-core Xeon Phi processors for servers.

The Federal government is spending billions of dollars on a bad idea, so what is new? $7.7Billion of taxpayer money has been spent on electronic health records.

A closer look at Intel's Next Unit of Computing (NUC). This is a single-board computer for $300 that fits in a 4"x4"x2" box.

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Tuesday November 13, 2012

I guess this is a trend that may last a little while. More shipping lockers are appearing. These are coming to 7 11.

Samsung is about to show an 85-inch ultra HD television. Why do they still call these things “televisions?”

Apple is allowing a few employees to take time off and work on “Blue Sky” projects.

Tim Ferris on how to become a great apprentice.

A fit-in-the-palm-of-your-hand base station for 2G phones. Who cares? There are one billion people on the planet still using the 2G system.

Lockheed Martin claims that international cyber attacks are dramatically on the rise.

Fender has released a low-end Statocaster guitar with a USB output. At $200, this guitar connects to a PC or a smartphone. Great stuff.

Google’s ad revenue is now higher than all print publications in the U.S. combined.

I love this. Schools may soon stop forcing kids to learn how to write in cursive. Great! Cursive was created for silver craftsmen in the 1800 to engrave fancy plates. So of course we teach it to 7-year-olds.

I like this wall charger. The cord is a ribbon that doesn’t tie itself into knots.

Excellent maps showing the results of the U.S. presidential election.

Johanna Rothman discusses results of some experiments she performed on how many hours a week you should work. Quick answer: 40. Any longer hours and you make too many mistakes and do too many stupid things from fatigue.

A look at the Google Nexus 7 with mobile data.

Finally, Sylvania has an LED bulb that gives the same light as a 100-Watt incandescent bulb. It only consumes 20 Watts of power. Given the recent east coast hurricane, people may now appreciate that such low-power consuming bulbs are great when all you have is a set of batteries to power your home.

A fallout of the Petreaus case is that Americans are learning that the FBI can easily read all your emails.

Acer brings out its new Chromebook at only $199.

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Wednesday November 14, 2012

Google Fiber is up and running in Kansas City. This report shows 700MegaBitsPerSecond upload and download for $70 a month. That is much better than what I have at home.

The U.S. government grabs more Google data (legally) than all other governments combined.

The Google Nexus 7 receives big updates.

Worldwide sales of smartphones are up 47% this year.

Panasonic is cutting 10,000 more jobs.

Places in your home to hide valuables. They didn’t mention the dirty clothes or the toilet. People won’t look through stinky items to find diamonds.

Text messaging (SMS) is in decline. And I was just starting to use it.

It seems that digital startup companies are low on cash. These companies don’t hire a lot of people, but they do pay well. When these people lose their jobs, many low-paid service workers will also lose theirs.

One thing that has come from the Petraeus affair is that methods of electronic surveillance are being divulged to the public. This, as most things, will have both good and bad results.

A big security hole is found in Skype. Is everyone ready for national electronic health records?

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Thursday November 15, 2012

A look at the Lenovo ThinkStation D30. Several multi-core processors and graphics and you have a supercomputer under your desk for about $10,000.

And Lenovo introduces a new line of smaller home PCs for Windows 8.

In an effort to reduce competition and raise prices for consumers, the state of California is fining car service startups. Hmm, isn't government supposed to help the consumer? Maybe I have this all confused.

Texas Instruments cuts 1,700 jobs.

Researchers at North Carolina State University have a software fix that can increase the speeds in WiFi networks by 700%.

But the good hotels still charge a lot to use their WiFi. Someone explain that one to me.

Samsung has a new line of 64GigaByte mobile flash memory. They are using a new 10nm process that makes the chips smaller and more efficient.

The President has signed a "secret" directive to help protect against cyber attacks. Given that none of us can read this, we should just be happy that government is protecting us, I guess.

Oh here, this seems to be another case of the President not being able to move legislation through Congress, so he signs an executive directive instead. Democracy at work or something like that.

Now these are real tool boxes from H. Gerstner and Sons.

Why the push for tablets in education? It is a way to spend money that impresses some people. They have little to do with kids actually learning anything, but this looks good on the news.

Apple's new iMacs may not ship until 2013 instead of late this month.

Foxconn wants to replace a million workers with a million robots in the next three years. Someone has to make those robots, but... Time marches on and we go through another cycle of displacement.

The city of Paris is banning classic (older, more polluting) cars from some areas.

Facebook has launced a Social Jobs Application. With the current economy, and foreseeable continuation of high unemployment, this could be a big hit.

DropBox now has 100 million users. I use it daily.

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Friday November 16, 2012

The Microsoft Surface is the most popular Windows 8 RT so far.

Despite recent court losses to Apple, Samsung is doing quite well.

A look at a $1,500 book scanner some Google employees built in their 20% spare time.

Only in government... The U.S. Air Froce spent $1Billion on a software project since 2005 (over $100Million a year) and decided to drop the whole idea.

If you are running a supercomputer, you are almost surely running Linux.

Android has 90% of the smartphone market in China - and that is a big market.

A $74 mini PC that runs Android. This is pretty neat. Watch the video. This hold in the palm of your hand device actually runs.

What would a week be without a TSA story? Perhaps the company that makes the full body scanners fudged a bit on the testing. The government is supposed to test devices that it buys. It is ALWAYS the government’s fault for these kinds of things. Your tax dollars at waste.

Great wristwatches of the 1980s. I recognize all of these.

Sony has sold 70 million PlayStation 3 consoles in six years.

Hostess is shutting down. 18,000 people will lose their jobs. Didn’t we just have an election or something? Coincidence?

It appears that Seagate is making wireless disk drives to connect to mobile Android and iOS devices. This lets you keep your own stuff, not on the cloud, that is too big for your mobile device. I like it.

Dell is having a bad financial year. They are still profitable, but not as much.

Google may team with the Disk Network to provide wireless Internet.

I’ll have to look at this closer: SoundSlice. You make an instrumental “tab” score and sync it to a video.

Starbucks, the coffee house, buys Teavana, the tea house, for $620 million.

Bad news for Microsoft. Windows users aren’t interested in switching to Windows 8. A third of them will probably switch to Apple instead.

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Saturday November 17, 2012

This is what happens when you build a data center near water. Floods happen - often. Think ahead. I don't know how many times people have to suffer these things before they understand simple facts.

A new manufacturing technique could bring hard disk drives with five time the capacity.

The sales of Windows 8 devices have fallen below Microsoft's expectations.

Changes at Yahoo: no week off at year's end and they are identifying the bottom 20% of employees.

Poor security knows no organizational boundaries as a Taliban member sent an email with everyone CC'd openly. Is everyone ready for national electronic health records?

It seems the eBay and Intuit had an agreement not to hire any of the other's employees.

If you receive dividend checks, your taxes on that income is going to JUMP on 1 January.

A look at the new taxes coming with Obamacare in January.

With Hostess going out of business, here are recipes for their wonderful snacks.

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Sunday November 18, 2012

Some thoughts on writing a memoir.

Another wonderful TSA story. A man is arrested for having a fancy watch and modified boots. The watch could be used as a timing device for a bomb. Hmm, a watch that could be used for a timing device. What a novel idea (not).

Some productivity tips: Stop MultiTasking! Many would disagree, but this habit works well for this person.

The worth of Apple stock is falling because people are selling their stock before capital gains taxes go up in January. Hmm, elections have consequences, far reaching consequences.

This is a good tip for writers: Learn the terms used in a specific endeavor. Most people already now a specific area, but struggle to write about it. Who wants to hear about Postal Carriers? The rest of us do.

Another tip: read a literary magazine cover to cover. Here is my tip: buy a magazine that you would never buy and read it cover to cover. There is no telling what you will learn.

xkcd describes an Apollo launch vehicle using only the most common 1,000 words that people use. Don’t write like that.

One writer’s good experience with an Espresso Book Machine.

Tips on eliminating distractions to get things done.

Stop and look at this post. Great tips for freelancing before you quit your job.

Thoughts on presenting your freelance services on your web site.

And more tips on a freelancer’s web site.

What if you hate your own writing? Join the club. If others like it, you will be fine.

Do you hate it when another writer “succeeds?” Join the club, again. Look at the bright side. People hear that reading good writing is a good thing so they are more apt to read what you wrote.

Here is a new word - entr-producer. Don’t we already have enough words? Anyways, this is how one self-published writer pushed and prodded and sold a lot of books and kept all the royalties.

Common writing mistakes.

Do other people take Internet work seriously? Do they take it seriously when you ePublish what you write?

Here is an excellent comic, story, novella, whatever you might call it on the same topic.

Six-word stories.

Seven habits of highly prolific writers. There is some good material in here. Read and try them.

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