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 14-20, 2013

Summary of this week:

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

Monday January 14, 2012

Intel lowers the amount of heat generated by its higher-end CPUs.

A car in Chicago drove into an Apple retail store. No serious injuries.

More aftermath of the Aaron Swartz suicide. Anonymous hacks MIT. MIT investigates the relationship between itself and Swartz. I wonder why nothing has happened with the major media questioning the President about the Department of Justice and their actions here.

Northrop Grumman expands its UAV line into Europe.

Swallowing this little camera will make exams of the esophagus much easier. Great advancement. These neat med tech advances are what drive up the cost of health care. They make the impossible possible, and it if is possible, we want it.

imgur.com - 56Million visitors per month, 3.6Billion page views per month. The definition of success has changed.

Rovio - Angry Birds - has 260million active users. That is 2/3s the population of the U.S.

A good case for writing things by hand, i.e., with pencil and paper. Don't walk away from this practice. It works different parts of the brain, and that is usually a good thing.

I'll have to think about this one - scanmyphotos.com - $245 and they will scan about 2,000 photos and return the originals.

Google fiber is bring startup companies to Kansas City.

The state-of-the-practice in telepresence.

People are gobbling data more on their smartphones than on their tablets.

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Tuesday January 15, 2013

As a measure of population, China added 50million web users last year.

The Apple iPad is outselling the Microsoft Surface 20 to 1. If you want to stand out in a crowd, buy a Surface. People may come up to you at the coffee shop and ask you "does that work?" That is what people asked me about my Apple portable computer ten years ago.

For some reason, the Secret Service was involved in the Aaron Swartz case. Still, no one is questioning the President or the Attorney General about this case. Oh, and look at this one: the prosecutor in the Swartz case had the same job when another "suspect" commited suicide.

The California State University system is going to offer $150 lower-division online courses. The writer of this post, who has taught those courses the old-fashioned way, claims this is the beginning of the end of the university. We shall see.

People predicted big savings from electronic health care records. The savings have not appeared. So, the predictors are blaming the implementers and users for not realizing what they predicted. This is another case of  "well, no wonder the system I designed isn't working. You have morons trying to work with my masterpiece." It is also another case of a design that doesn't scale to the real world.

I love this title: believe it or not, air travel is improving.

United Airlines is experimenting with a service that will deliver your baggage to your final destination. For a small fee of course.

Lenovo is going to market a 27" tablet computer in 2013. It may be a table tablet or a sales tablet or something. It is a step towards the table top or counter top computer. It may work.

Can you monitor all of Twitter and predict the future? Of course you can. People always tell you what they are going to do.

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Wednesday January 16, 2013

oooops, The White House has changed its online petition rules in response to citizens actually doing what the White House said. It appears that no one at the White House knows what the population of the US is or how many citizens have Internet access or any of those icky numbers things. And yet they think they know how to manage the US economy (more icky numbers things).

This online petition quickly passed the required threshold: fire the U.S. Attorney who was prosecuting Aaron Swartz.

Concealing your identity on the Internet is probably a felony. No one is sure, but if you are famous in the wrong way to the wrong prosecuting attorney... By the way, many people conceal their identity on the Internet daily.

Bi-partisan lawmakers are slamming the Department of Justice for its Swartz prosecution. Did you ever think you would hear of bi-partisan anything ever again? Kudos to the Department of Justice for being so stupid as to restore something good in America.

When an ISP excempts its own content from data cap agreements...this is net neutrality or a violation of it.

Fedora Linux 18 is released.

United Airlines is expanding its in-flight WiFi service via satellite connections. Maybe one day I will fly United and surf the web. These advances never seem to reach the planes I use.

A programmer outsourced his own job, i.e., he paid a guy in China to do his job for him. He paid the guy 20% of his salary, kept the other 80%, and did nothing all day. This is a bright guy. He will never go anywhere.

The price of solid state drives fell about 44% in 2012.

Someone has demonstrated how easy it is to 3D print your own high-capacity magazine for firearms. I have been waiting for this to appear. It really is a trivial matter to do this with today's technology. Of course, any new law would make this illegal. I guess that would mean that anyone with a computer and a 3D printer would be a felon or something like that.

Facebook is now in some sort of "search" war with Google. They have hired a bunch of Google employees and all that stuff. Still, how is Facebook going to ever make any money?

Can a store install those self-serve checkout counters and NOT cut the hours of employees? Can you make more money and still be decent to your current employees? Some companies struggle with this while other do not.

AMD claims that some of its employees took 100,000 proprietary documents with them when they became Nvidia employees.

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Thursday January 17, 2013

The next iPad (5) coming late in 2013 is to be much thinner and lighter.

Is the President targeting video games now? A few years ago, one commentator asked, "What video game did Cain watch before he killed Abel?" I guess that question has too much common sense in it. More on the President, the CDC, and video games.

American made Internet surveillance and censorship technology is appearing across the globe in places where the government represses its subjects.

The U.S. attorney defends the actions of her office in the Swartz case.

The Boeing 787 Dreamliner continues to have problems and is grounded by the FAA.

Two U.S. power plants were hit by cyberattacks. The attack? Employees picked up USB sticks in the parking lot, carried them in the plant, and plugged them into computers to see what was on them. One of the oldest tricks in the book.

Two new operating systems are coming to the smartphone market in 2013. Niether is from Microsoft.

This link is to a PDF of the Raspberry Pi Education Manual. Everything you might want to start a class on the hardware.

More news on how the Microsoft Surface is doing well in the market. Again, if you want to stand out in a crowd, buy one of these things.

Stumbleupon cuts 30% of its workforce (about 30 people).

An analysis of the international education rankings shows that the U.S. is not as bad as the rankings report. This is really bad news for those who work in U.S. schools as they commonly use these rankings to ask for more money from Congress and state legislatures. Good news for the country? Bad news for the education system?

Here is how to make a good wallet. It is from a company that makes good wallets. They put the instructions here because they know that I don't have the materials and the machinery to make myself a wallet as good as they can. Hence, I buy their product. Excellent.

How to travel the world without paying a single motel bill. Ask people if you can stay with them. People will let you.

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Friday January 18, 2013

Lenovo enters the Chromebook marketplace with a rugged model aimed at K-12 education. At $430, this is pretty expensive, and that makes it doubtful to succeed.

Asus shows a wireless router the size of a USB stick.

Don’t expect a Raspberry Pi II in 2013. Maybe in 2014.

The TSA will remove the naked-body scanners from airports. This is a big story, but I don’t see it in many places.

The Veterans Administration will spend over $100million a year to electronically track just about everything in its hospitals.

Twitter is opening an office in Brazil.

Google is building a $1B+ building in London.

Congressional staffers have been illegally downloading pirated content while at work. And the Justice Department persecutes non-Congressional staffers. Hmmm... These things are really bad for the United States. Anything that confirms the belief that if you are privileged you can get away with crime while “ordinary folks” go to jail damages the structure of a free nation.

A new camera is coming this year with the Kodak label on it. Kodak really didn’t make the camera, but this is how things work these days.

Thoughts on Apple’s “design process.” The article really isn’t about design, but about how Apple would ship the products it develops. Hence, morale of engineers and others was high because they weren’t wasting their time.

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Saturday January 19, 2013

oooops, ISPs use data caps to increase profits, not to alleviate data congestion. What a shock (not).

This guy put an Intel Next Unit of Computing box inside the little half dome of an old iMac G4. Very clever, very nice.

The big lesson from the Manti T'eo affair: some people work hard at journalism. They are in a small minority, but they exist.

Here is a web site that creates fake Facebook girlfriends for you. Doing a good job at this is harder than you mght expect.

Finally, a US Senator asks the US Attorney General about the Swartz case.

The creators of the Raspberry Pi thought they would sell 1,000 units. They sold a million.

I like this little device: feed it plastic bottles (plentiful at home) and it spews forth fiber for input into 3D printers. Put one of these in every public library and fire station in America.

Stories in print continue to contain fewer and fewer words.

Nanotech materials provide for liquid resistant clothing.

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Sunday January 20, 2013

This is one of the reasons why fiction writing can be so much fun. Take something you lived, twist it a bit, and write a fiction story about it. Of course you are exagerating. That is okay. It is fiction; everyone knows it is not true.

Wikimedia is moving its data center to Ashburn, Virginia - about ten miles from where I sit at this minute.

I like this post on having your own web site not so much for the web site stuff. The key point is that no one is going to be your patron anymore. That is gone. Be your own patron, i.e., your own sponsor of the arts.

Excellent design puts 8 rooms into 420 square feet. People used to live like this several hundred years ago.

Thoughts on the coming Microsoft Surface Pro and the next PC.

Time is an excellent tool for writers. Put time between your first draft and your revisions.

One writer highly recommends Stephen Koch’s “ The Modern Library Writer’s Workshop: A Guide to the Craft of Fiction”

Fiction allows you to rewrite episodes of your life. It is great fun. That is one of the reasons I write short stories.

One writer’s lessons from a year of self-publishing. One lesson: write, write, write, and write some more.

If you are a telecommuter or a freelancer working from home, here are cities that may be where you want to live.

Here is a concept: Create an electronics-free zone in your home. Only paper and pencil or paper books allowed.

30 side jobs.These aren’t great jobs, but if you need extra money and you have extra time, try it.

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