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: November 26-December 2, 2012

Summary of this week:

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

Monday November 26, 2012

The iPad and iPhone dominated weekend shopping. Why go to the store when you can shop from wherever you happened to be holding your iOS device?

Samsung has sold five million Galaxy Note 2 units in two months.

Today is cyber Monday, but everyone may have already finished their shopping as $1B was spent online on Black Friday.

NEC will show a new portable DNA analyzer in 2014. It will cost $120,000 and weight 70 pounds, but will be a big improvement over what is currently available.

Amazing photo of the Grand Tetons. I've been to that spot, and it really looks that amazing.

Microsoft will stop support for Windows XP in less than 500 days. The clock is ticking on one of the company's most successful products of all time.

I'll have to think about this one for a while - the Internet of middle class things. Little, somewhat silly, appliances that work through the Internet to tell us things that are important to just us.

The people who fly the unmanned aircraft are stressed out. The opposite should be the case as no one is injured if your aircraft crashes. My guess is that the aircraft cost too much and the "pilots" are too worried about that cost. Toss in some 21-year-old gamers and a lot of low-cost aircraft.

Four excellent questions from Seth Godin.

Things are not going well for Microsoft and the Microsoft stores. This story uses a small sample, but it is telling.

Courts in the U.S. can't seem to decide if it is legal to search your smartphone without a warrant. We are still operating under the U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights aren't we?

US science programs could die if we fall off the fiscal cliff. Lots of things would die. My prediction, not alone in this one, is that our "leaders" will agree to do nothing for 12 more months. And then in 12 months they will agree to do nothing for 12 more months, and then...

Every now and then we need to read things like this to remind ourselves that the people who judge us usually have no clue what they are doing.

It appears that Google is about to start selling its own Chromebook.

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

Tuesday November 27, 2012

This is where the taxpayers' money goes. Instead of installing new broadband systems in rural West Virginia, $22,000 routers were bought where $100 routers would suffice and consultants were paid half a million dollars a year each. This is what happens in big Federal programs - our money is wasted by the Federal bureaucracy. This is why so many of us don't want such wonderful, well-intentioned programs. This is why so many of us cry to have spending cut drastically.

And speaking of BIG government programs, Obamacare is coming soon now with lots of new rules. Guess what? The cost of health care will probably go up - just the opposite of what was intended. We seem to have a pattern here.

There is some sense in the U.S. Supreme Court as it rules that citizens can record the actions of public officials performing public duties in public.

Lenovo puts a 29-hour battery into the IdeaPhone P770.

Sharp releases a new phone with an IGZO LCD display - lower power consumption with better display.

Nintendo sold 400,000 Wii U units in its first week.

More optical illusions. These things fascinate me for some reason.

The U.S. House of Representatives is set to vote again on the STEM visa bill.

The Saudis implement a system to electronically track their female subjects for border crossings.

When will Google Fibre come to my neighborhood? It sounds too good to be true. The question is, can it scale nationwide and maintain the level of service of its pilot program in Kansas City?

Twitter promises that by year end you will be able to download your entire Twitter archive. My 10,000+ tweets might be interesting to have.

In some Chinese factories, Samsung workers work 16-hour days with one day a month off.

Lots of security holes found in SCADA systems. Is everyone ready for national electronic health records?

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

Wednesday November 28, 2012

Apple gains a lot of attention with its iPad mini ad in Time Magazine.

This is a new baby monitoring system that works through WiFi. At $279 it is far too expensive to be practical.

Companies are still putting lots of junk software on their new PCs that they sell to the public that doesn't want that junk.

GE promotes what it calls the "industrial Internet." They want IP sensors on everything so that people can make machines more efficient. This is a worthy goal, but I wish they build in security.

The Salt Lake City Police Department is now using eye-cams to record everything an officer's head points towards. This could be interesting.

Apple fires the manager responsible for the maps problems on the iPhone 5.

Microsoft has sold 40 million Windows 8 licenses since its release on 26 October. That is a big number, but still a disappoint in today's world.

Google's new Nexus 4 phone sold out in half an hour. This sort of puts the Windows 8 sales in perspective.

It seems that age bias is rampant in Silicon Valley. If you are over 50 (40, 30?), you have a tough time finding a good job.

Seth Godin on avoiding the "I'll know it when I see it" customer. This is also known as the game of "bring me a rock, not that one, another one."

A study shows that traffic light cameras cause accidents. So now maybe some politicians will stop lying about public safety with these things.

The number of transactions on Cyber Monday went up 30% from last year. The amount spent per transaction went down.

By combining Gmail with G-Drive, Google users can now attach 10GigaByte (yes, really big) files to email.

This article in the New Yorker delves into the moral issues that programmers of self-driving cars will have to face real soon now.

Lacie has a new portable, rugged, external hard drive that connects via USB 3. Some models use a solid state disk. Very cool.

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 29, 2012

To date, Apple has 70% of China's tablet market.

Romanian hackers stole $30 Million from Australian point of sales systems. They were finally caught.

Iranian hackers broke into a server  operated by the United Nations Atomic Energy Agency.

Is everyone ready for national electronic health records?

Oh, and look at this (it is so good, I'll just qoute the paragraph): "The conversion to electronic medical records — a critical piece of the Obama administration’s plan for health care reform — is “vulnerable” to fraud and abuse because of the failure of Medicare officials to develop appropriate safeguards, according to a sharply critical report to be issued Thursday by federal investigators."

We need a sociologist or someone like that in here now to explain this one: single people prefer smartphones, married people prefer tablets.

Google has created a special network to help military veterans find jobs: VetNet.

Windows phones sales are four times what they were last year.

Government Motors has unveiled the Chevy Spark all-electric car.

A closer look at the Aakash 2 - India's $40 tablet.

One again, Consumer Reports rates AT&T as the worst phone carrier.

Eddy Cue, the guy who walks in and fixes whatever ails Apple this week. Some people are more competent than other people. This guy sits at the far right end of the spectrum.

For the first time, IBM has more employees in India than in America.

Zig Ziglar died yesterday.

LivingSocial is laying off 9% of its workforce - 400 people.

And the President opposes immigration legislation that Silicon Valley will increase jobs.

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 30, 2012

A closer look at the newly updated iMac and Mac mini.

And more photos of what is inside.

A look back at Pong. It was 1972 and for a quarter you could play this video game at the drugstore in Southern California. Wow. The world changed.

The government of Syria has cut off its subjects from the rest of the Internet.

When a hacker finds a security hole, should they divulge it or just keep it to themselves?

Staples will offer 3D printing services. This may work.

How can a Linux-loaded laptop cost more than one with Windows? Asj Dell because that is what they are trying to do.

It is official: sales of Windows 8 are bad, bad, bad.

Voice recognition may finally make its way into the office. A major problem is still all the noise. Typing is a quiet activity. Talking to your computer is not.

An excellent and candid video about the founders and founding of Reddit.com.

The Raspberry Pi Model A has entered production. This model has fewer ports, less memory, draws less power, and costs $25 instead of $25. The power consumption is the big deal.

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

Go to Dwayne's Home Page

Saturday December 1, 2012

For Mac users, a guide to protecting yourself from disk failures and other things that afflict the computer user.

Just because you can't turn pages, does reading an eBook not count as reading?

To help people create software for Windows 8, Microsoft has extended its TouchDevelop Web App.

It seems that some people in Syria prepared for months for an Internet shutdown. As a result, they continue to communicate with one another and people outsie the country. Good for them.

The birthrate in the U.S. is the lowest it has been since records were kept in 1920. The rate is lower than that needed to maintain the population.

A look at eye-tracking technology. In addition to little things like helping advertisers, it helps paralyzed people control machines.

Some trends in home design. I hope these are trends and not fads as they are taking us to the past when people utilized living space for several different things during the day and furniture dissasembled easily.

I like this video, a cut of every one of Apple's 485 commercials in one four-minute video.

User acceptance of Windows 8 unfortunately looks more like Vista than Windows 7.

George Will on how free speech is being outlawed on college campuses. This is sick.

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

Sunday December 2, 2012

It appears that Syria has been connected back to the Internet.

Must see video - five hours of plane landings in 30 seconds.

We get another small, single-board computer - the ODROID-U. This has a quad-core processor for $69.

Time-lapse photography of a research paper being written.

Some pretty good tips on how to write 2,000 words a day.

One way to improve your writing is to provide feedback to other writers.

If you write, people will criticize. It is important to take the criticism as criticism of what you wrote - not criticism of you. This is more difficult than it reads, but is almost essential.

Commercial success as a writer often comes accidentally. This can be mind crushing, but this is life here on earth.

This post contains excellent advice about writing things ahead of time and revising before releasing. When you work along, as most writers do, it is difficult to find someone to read your writing. You have to read it yourself. This isn’t easy, but some of these tips help you become another person so you can better read what you wrote.

“I could write shorter sermons but when I get started I’m too lazy to stop.” Well said.

Use a $35 Raspberry Pi as your own web server.

Short, simple, and excellent writing advice from Scott Adams.

Some thoughts on How to Write.

How to write a proposal.

Always remember this one: Money flows to the writer. Period.

Here is a method of writing a novel or anything else: write a list of questions and answer them as you write.

This is excellent: a collection of work habits of famous authors.

Instructions on how to improve your Facebook page.

Here is a plan for getting things done: no experiments - spend all the time actually doing things.

Interesting - 99-second presentations.

Writing tips from the life of Roald Dahl (author of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory).

I like this post. I struggle with a resistance to writing at times. Good advice here.

Here are some reference resources for writers. I use the Chicago Manual of Style in both hardback book form and online service ($30 a year I think). I have yet to have a question that I didn’t find answered in that book.

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