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 January 7-13, 2013

Summary of this week:

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

Monday January 7, 2012

The Consumer Electronics Show (CES) is this week in Las Vegas. Countless product announcements are the order of the day.

If you believe the stories, John McAfee became a one-man spy agency in Belize. The tools and techniques he used were all basic and open source. Just goes to show what you can do if you have the time and money and interest. Oh, and you are competent.

The 3rd generation of Lego Mindstorms progammable robotics kits is here. My oldest son, now a software engineer working at a real company, programmed earlier Lego kits in high school. The team he was on won the Northern Virginia championship and went to a national competition.

HTC and its smartphones are falling on hard times.

A couple of new thinner and lighter portable computers from HP.

Here is technology. A new System on a Chip from Nvidia with 4 CPU cores, 72 GPU cores, and a 4G LTE modem. All on one chip.

A seven-foot TV from Toshiba. Why call it an 84-inch TV? Let's start measuring these things in meters while we are at it. Where do you put something like this? It is bigger than my couch.

A neat device from Seagate - 1TB disk with WiFi and it runs on a battery for 10 hours.

Lenovo shows a multi-user table-top PC. Depending on how really "muti" the multi-user part is, this could actually be a significant addition to the living room.

The US Postal Service lost almost $16Billion last year. Congress won't act to allow cost-cutting measures. Your tax dollars at waste.

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Tuesday January 8, 2013

Alabama routes Notre Dame in the college football "national championship" game. This furthers the pre-judgement that in college football there are those who play in the Southeastern Conference and then there is everyone else. Such prejudice comes from the actual results of the last eight years on the field.

Odd case of the FBI chasing someone who wanted to talk to drone pilots. I thought the FBI was really busy these days.

Qualcomm announces advances in their mobile chipsets.

Intel predicts $600, touch screen Ultrabooks by the end of 2013. The end of this year is a far distance from today. We shall see. It would be fun if the prediction comes true.

The trends indicate that people will buy more tablet computers in 2013 than the old-fashioned portable computers (laptops). There are more consumes than there are producers. The tablets are better suited to the consumers.

A possible future of tablet computers - made of paper and other flexible materials. Also note the concept of apps sharing information by placing two tablets next to one another. Again, if the prediction comes true, it will be fun.

How about 1,000 GigaBytes on your USB thumbdrive?

C is the most-used programming language. Not C++, C#, Objective-C, etc. - the old-fashioned C.

Samsung shows a 7'1" web-connected TV. Recall yesterday, we now measure TVs in feet, not inches.

Big news from CES - HP, Lenovo, and others are still making PCs. These are used by producers of content. I wrote about this last month in my blog. The producers need more than a tablet.

People in the developing world are buying cell phones before installing running water in their homes. Being connected is more important. They are jumping over technology eras.

Some design trends for 2013.

Pandora's user base grows by 41% in one year.

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Wednesday January 9, 2013

Lenovo now has a series of gaming notebooks.

Lenovo expands its Yoga line of machines with a model that has an 11" screen.

AT&T sold 8 million iPhones during the holidays. That is a lot of anything.

Intel's new low-power, multi-core processors are for Apple's portable computers this year.

ooooops, someone found an error in the Ruby on Rails framework that puts the security of 200,000 web sites at risk. Is everyone ready for national electronic health records?

A review of the first day of CES. Companies are trying to sell the idea of super duper high definition television or something like that.

On-line learning moves towards pay $$ for a credential. I had hopes that a person knowing something would be enough, but it appears that we are stuck in the "you need a piece of paper that says you know something whether you know it or not."

New rugged, "pocket" external disk drives from Rocstor. They have keypads on them for you to enter your password for security.

The Musical Instrument Data Interface is now 30 years old.

It seems that Iran is the source of current Internet attacks on banks.

Transportation for those of us with good balance. The ZBoard may the first practical electric motor powered skateboard.

Microsoft has sold more than 60Million Windows 8 licenses. Still, they know they are not doing well with this product.

Apple's App Store has had 40Billion downloads since 2008, half of those in 2012.

Adderall's fastest growing demographic is women 25-34.

Kickstarter's numbers for 2012: 2.2 Million people pledged $319Million.

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Thursday January 10, 2013

The FCC promises to open more of the RF spectrum for WiFi.

Here is the future of automobile travel. You won't be nearly so independent. Your automobile will be linked to all the others around it in mesh networks. The collective will be more efficient. Will Americans accept this collective style of automotive travel?

Eric Schmidt told the North Korean government that open Internet access is a key to economic development. Sounds good to me, but those in power in North Korea have different goals. They want economic benefit to themselves personally. If that can be achieved while keeping their subjects subject to their whim, good. If not, forget it. A simple matter of personal values.

Nuance is building a speech-to-text service in the cloud. It will work with you regardless of your computer.

Google will blanket a New York City neighborhood with free WiFi.

Surprise, Polaroid introduces two low-price Android tablets. I wish them well, but...

Another surprise, iTunes makes more money than the entire Apple corporation did in 2004.

Police are still arresting citizens for recording public officials performing public duties in public. Maybe one day public officials will learn.

A simple case against government surveillance of everyone all the time.

From St Petersburg (Russia, not Florida) where my youngest son currently lives - a monument to Steve Jobs - a six-foot tall iPhone 4.

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Friday January 11, 2013

In what should be the biggest story of the day, but isn't because you-know-who won't like it, electronic health records are NOT saving money like predicted. So, in addition to being insecure, they are a waste of money as well.

Maybe some manufacturing jobs will return to the US. Maybe and some.

Nothing new here, but significant to try to remember it: the unending war on terror is bad for the country. This is true in many ways.

What started as a good idea, people post reviews of contractors so their neighbors will pick good workmanship ... well, we have the lawyers involved and it is all going down hill.

What is wrong with this? "President Obama signed a bill on Thursday to allow users of Facebook and other social media sites to opt in to automatically share which videos they have watched on sites like Netflix." What is wrong is that Congress and the President are involved in so much of everyone's life that they have to pass some kind of law to allow citizens to do such a trivial thing.

For the first time in five years, holiday sales of PCs dropped.

Apple was caught in this as well. Apple's Mac shipments dropped in the US.

The Xbox 360 has been the best selling game console on the market for 24 months in a row. Microsoft sold 1.4million units in December alone.

If you think that is a good streak, IBM has received more patents than anyone else for 20 years in a row.

Teens are using Tumblr more than Facebook.

"I think the smartphone might be doomed. A one-hand tablet and a smart watch would be so much better." Has the iPad mini shown us the way?

Americans spend more on health care, but are less healthy and die younger. That is not a fault of the health care system. It is because Americans eat more and walk less than everyone else. Funny, if you are a lawyer and are just dying to tell doctors how to run their lives you can come up with all sorts of excuses and twist everything to your point of view.

Wikimedia will launch the Wikivoyage travel site next week. What will it do to distinguish itself from all the other travel sites out there?

There is a movement to make denial of service attacks a form of free speech protest. Interesting concept, but...

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Saturday January 12, 2013

While Apple's Mac sales in the US fell slightly, they continue to grow outside the US.

There appears to be a big Java security problem today. Fixes are coming real soon now. Is everyone ready for national electronic health records? More on the problem.

HP takes steps to show how serious it is about cloud computing.

Slow but steady progress towards transparent solar cells. If this ever really works, every window in the world can be a power generator.

John McAfee lands in Portland and declares he is staying there a while.

Want a tech job in 2013? Cloud Computing, Mobile, and Business Intelligence.

Thoughts on the future of programming. The future will be just like the past except in those cases where it won't.

The Chromebook remains as the best-selling laptop on Amazon.

Pinterest is being used as a mental health therapy tool.

It appears that 3D is dying - not soon enough for me as content makers were emphasizing the tech over the story.

The Dell Wyse - a thin client computer on a USB stick.

This is just plain goofy - a typical government project. DARPA wants to drop drones in the oceans to activate them at some later time for some project.

Drexel University is using a "vending machine" to load Apple laptops to students for up to five hours at no charge.

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Sunday January 13, 2013

San Antonio experiments with a bookless library.

A young man named Aaron Swartz committed suicide. I have read various things about him this morning. He created RSS; he founded Reddit, and so on. Then there are those who say, "No, he didn't do that. He was there, but he didn't do that." I don't know about those things. It appears that he was being prosecuted by the U.S. Department of Justice. Some say he was being persecuted by them as if he murdered children. This is a complex and tragic case. In the end, a young man committed suicide.

One million Raspberry Pi single-board computers have been bought. Now, let's see all those student projects. We may not see the results of high school students playing with embedded computers for ten years, but I believe we will see them.

Ideas for improving dialogue in fiction.

A list of good blogs for writers.

Thoughts on setting goals and goals set for 2013.

And thoughts on the cost of being interrupted or interrupting yourself and switching tasks.

Writing isn’t always easy. There are times that it takes resilience.

Is self-publishing the future of fiction? Probably as well as the future of non-fiction.

Resolutions for writers. I don’t do resolutions as I am never quite sure when “the new year” begins.

Notes of facilitating a writing group.

Thoughts on starting your own business while working full time and having family and having friends and educating yourself and... It will be difficult.

Thoughts on the worth of a college education. The post, unfortunately, asks more questions than it answers. That is one of the problems with college - we ask life-changing questions to a group of teenagers.

How a storyteller learned to write.

Recent developments in self-publishing.

A reminder, writing is not sitting in a snow-covered cabin with a dog resting next to the fire.

If you want to write good, read good writing. (I know that is incorrect, but it is “clever.”)

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