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 19-25, 2012

Summary of this week:

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

Monday November 19, 2012

Boundless Learning is a company that makes free textbooks for college students. Guess what? Everyone else is suing them for this and that. Always pushing back the boundaries of ignorance.

It appears that the Windows 8 interface may simply not work for people. And Microsoft has bet the company on this product. Too bad.

This survey shows 42% of Windows users will probably buy an Apple computer next.

Opera is the number one browser in Belarus. Yes, you have to look on a map to find it.

Despite reports to the contrary, Apple reports that they will have their new iMacs as scheduled. I am waiting on the 21" model as my iMac at home is too old to keep running today's feature laden, i.e., bloated, software.

In the global market, Android is hurting Apple's iOS.

Free speech seems to have died at, of all places, colleges.

Is there life after 40 for a programmer? Probably not. One of the problems we older engineers etc. have is that we have a much better idea of what work should not be done. But then the youngers guys want to do it anyways. A big waste of time, but those who judge performance don't know the difference either, so they older guys look lazy and slow instead of wise and deliberate.

I am having Internet access problems here at the Community Canteen this morning. Therefore, I am cutting this short today. Maybe tomorrow will be back to normal.

And today is my birthday. Happy Birthday to me.

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Tuesday November 20, 2012

Cool home made machine - put a laptop from today into yesterday’s Macintosh portable case.

The Amazon Kindle is five years old today.

I love this video. This book scanner digitizes 250 pages a minute.

Guess what? Many smart meters have lousy security? This is not a surprise. So I ask, are you ready for national electronic health records?

Researchers in the UK have restored a 1950s era large computer to working order - the "WITCH."

And a 1924 Alfred Hitchcock silent movie has been restored.

Thoughts on the disadvantages of students who attend rural schools in America. I attended a rural high school. There are significant hurdles to academic performance in these schools.

Why did the Microsoft Kin phones fail in 2010? They were lousy products.

If you are Google and you want regulators to let your self-driving cars on the road, what do you do? Simple. Hire a high-ranking government regulator.

Hope springs eternal for those trying to sell Windows 8 devices. Next year will be better.

Despite predictions to the contrary, email lives on and is thriving.

Yahoo's stock price is up as investors like Marissa Meyer and what she is doing.

Kids hide their talents to avoid being bullied by jealous peers. What is new? This is sad, but true, and as I hinted, isn't new. One of the problems (just one of them) is that talented kids are kids and have yet to learn how to be humble with their talents.

And kids, four out of five, hide their Internet activities from their parents.

Microsoft is building a data center in Wyoming that will be powered by biogas.

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Wednesday November 21, 2012

Apple sales of Mac computers are down 7% for this quarter from last year. I will be buying a new iMac real soon now when the new iMacs arrive. My six-year-old iMac is limping along here. I had to have the disk drive reformatted again yesterday. I did the same four months ago. Just hold on a couple more weeks.

Payphones are gone. NYC is putting 32" touch screens into old phone booths. The tablets provide information on local businesses and such.

Monitors continue to advance. AOC has a 23" IPS monitor with almost no bezel. Amazing at only $199.

A court requires Google to pay a $22.5Million FTC fine. That is America - punish companies that succeed and provide jobs.

And Twitter is not working right now...

And now the WiFi here has gone down...

Firefox version 17.0 is released.

The STEM Jobs Act bill is coming up for another vote in the U.S. House of Representatives.

South Carolina's Governor faults poor IRS standards for the loss of 3.6million social security numbers recently. Is everyone ready for national electronic health records?

How Tim Ferris works.

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Thursday November 22, 2012

Today is Thanksgiving Day in the U.S.

Two guys exposed a big AT&T security flaw. Their reward? Jail. Only in America.

This happens all the time. We want one outcome, and our actions produce the opposite. The TSA is supposed to make air travel safer. Their tactics, however, have pushed people out onto the highways where travel is more dangerous.

The competition between Apple and Google.

Multitasking doesn't work. Or does it?

Tips for surviving the holidays. Enjoy them.

Can the planet support the current 7 billion people? How about 12 billion?

There are thousands of natural gas leaks in Boston. There are many areas where explosions are likely.

Linux Mint releases version 14.

Your tax dollars at waste. The Department of Homeland Security spent $430 million on radios, but almost no one knows how to use them.

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Friday November 23, 2012

Gifts for nerds and the rest of us.

Apple, and several others, have cut the prices on some Apple products for one day only today.

Cooking a turkey with six high-power flashlights. See the video.

If you voted, the Democratic party has  file on you. They used it in the election to get out the vote. I have to question the legality of the government collecting information on citizens, but this was an election and all sorts of things happen during an election.

What do you do with a 90" flat screen TV? Use it as an advertising sign.

What could possibly go wrong when trying to fry a turkey? See the videos.

Today, tablets are expected to out sell laptop computers.

Computers that we wear, like glasses, will be the end of the smartphone - one day.

One of the (many) unintended consequences of electronic health records: copy and paste and rush the patients through.

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Saturday November 24, 2012

Something to do at Disney World - play catch with a robot.

Barclay's Bank in the UK has bought 8,500 iPads for employee use.

Online retail traffic jumped 71% this Thanksgiving Day over last year.

And Instagram has a huge Thanksgiving Day with over 10 million photos uploaded.

Go Daddy was hacked and customer sites have been hit with ransomware. Is everyone ready for national electronic health records?

This bottle fills itself by pulling water out of the air. This might change the world.

Some Polaroids found of the Apple-I computer.

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Sunday November 25, 2012

People stayed home on Black Friday and shopped online. There was a big jump in shopping from your smartphone. PayPal had a huge increase in usage this year.

If you have $450 and want to buy me a Christmas present, this Ona Brixton Leather bag will hold my portable computer quite nicely thank you.

Bryce Bayer dies at 83. While at Kodak, he invented a filter that made color digital "photography" possible.

This story is everywhere, so it must be important. Gangnam Style by PSY has become the most watched video in the history of YouTube. I guess that means in the history of mankind. What strikes me as odd is PSY is a Korean rapper. The whole thing is silly dancing, sort of like "Do the Makarana" (how do you spell makarana?). What this shows is that everything has not been invented yet. Just when you think that no little person in a little corner of the world can make a big splash, some littler person in a little corner of the world makes a big splash. Keep writing, keep singing, keep dancing. I won't write "keep rapping" as I find that form of expression like scraping your teeth on a chalk board.

Seven common mistakes when starting a home business as a freelancer.

Tips for "turning pro" as a writer.  My favorite is “Practise before you need it so that when you do, you will have it.”

Gifts you can give the writer you know.

To move from aspiring writer to writer, do one thing: write.

As a writer, are you letting your computer kill you? Move around. Don't write in the same place in the same position all the time. Follow this advice only if it works for you.

Excellent post here about writing a report.

Who is the audience for your novel? I don't recommend market surveys to determine what type of novel you write. I do recommend that you keep the age group and reading level of the audience in mind.

How rejection leads to creativity. As usual, it is not the event; it is the reaction to the event.

Here is an example of rejection turned into success.

One writer’s learnings from National Novel Writing Month.

When you work for yourself, how do you ask your boss for a few days off?

And some benefits from taking a day off from writing.

Thoughts on finding ideas for a startup. Don’t try to think of ideas for a startup.“The very best startup ideas tend to have three things in common: they're something the founders themselves want, that they themselves can build, and that few others realize are worth doing. “

Some good thoughts on recharging your batteries as a writer. Don’t watch TV in the evening. Go out and do something else.

Some good tips about writing. I like (1) write something that scares you and (2) you are not your characters.

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