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 February 4-10, 2013

Summary of this week:

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

Monday February 4, 2012

The Baltimore Ravens win another Super Bowl. This is especially grating to people 40 miles south in Washington D.C. as that franchise, although showing some promise, still languishes.

One of the incidents at the game was a power outage. Several companies were quick to tweet cleverly during the outage. New Orleans does it again. It is a city famous for not quite making things work. See, for example, its reaction when Hurricane Katrina missed the city, but they still managed to do $50Million damage to the Superdome from the inside.

The new defenders of civil rights - nerds. The techno-experts are the ones showing abuses of civil rights and fighting back against "tyrants."

Newsweek has its last issue in print.

The top-paying tech companies for interns. Some pay what would be a salary that is higher than the median income of the U.S.

This software predicts disease outbreaks based on past newspapers articles. I am surprised that we don't have more predictive software like this. The techniques are decades old, and we certainly have the computing power available.

Twitter was mentioned in half of the Super Bowl commercials. Other social sites were not nearly as prevalent. Some are proclaiming that Twitter "won" with all this. They won in some demographic groups. There are other demographic groups that could care less about the Super Bowl let alone the ads for the game.

Apple did poorly last quarter with Mac computers and iPods.

A list of the cities that produce the most inventions. I hate it when news sites spread the news over 20 pages. Anyways, the lists is about patents, not successful inventions. As expected, the old IBM cities in the north are on the list.

The Microsoft Surface Pro is already in Microsoft retail stores.

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Tuesday February 5, 2013

This is what technology is about - two guys separated by continents build a robotic hand for a little boy who had no fingers.

Bad journalism strikes again. The U.S. government is going to install free WiFi nationwide - not.

The $25 Raspberry Pi Model A is finally available, at least in Europe.

The U.S. Department of Energy was hacked; information on employees was taken. Is everyone ready for national electronic health records?

Thoughts on Rebooting Work. I may need this in a couple of weeks.

Logitech now has a keyboard for the iPad mini.

ASUS shows its 7" MeMo Pad tablet.

Microsoft's 4Africa projects is attempting solar powered white space RF Internet access to areas that don't have electricity. There are other parts of the project that involve lower-cost smartphones with Huawei. Good for Microsoft and Huawei.

Our Department of Justice has a memo justifying drone strikes on American citizens. I thought all that big brother stuff stopped when what's his name left town? It has been two elections ago, so I can't even remember what's his name's name/

22 thousand people were hired in IT in the U.S. in January. That is 14% of all new U.S. jobs.

IBM is putting Watson supercomputer technology into $6K servers. Something for the home.

This survey says that workers at companies want a tablet that runs Microsoft Windows. Microsoft could sell 100million Surface Pro tablets. We shall see.

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Wednesday February 6, 2013

A review of the Microsoft Surface Pro. At $900, I don't know what it would do to justify that cost. Another look at the machine saying that it isn't a tablet and it isn't a little portable computer.

Instagram used to be a mobile app only. Now it has a "real" web page for our photos. More on the story here.

Wind power continues to advance. We still have the problem of how to move the electric power from there to here.

The Belgians are going to build an offshore wind energy storage atoll. It is a basic idea of using excess power to pump water up. When you need the power, you let the water flow down and turn a generator.

Dell is going back to private ownership today. One thing this does is remove it from a lot of government regulation. That allows it to try new things.

Go Daddy's Super Bowl ad was criticized, but they had their best day of sales the day after the game.

You can't call the iPhone the iPhone in Brazil any longer. Government silliness.

Considering the history of visual development environments for programmers.

Sometimes job interviews become consulting sessions in which you tell the company how to solve their problems and they don't pay you.

DARPA is funding the extension of Python libraries into big data work.

It seems that Kim Jong-Un uses an Android phone.

A take on ongoing cyber warfare.

Tips and examples for turning your closet into an office.

Several high-tech company managers met with the President yesterday urging for reform for high-tech worker visas. This is not a surprise. Of course tech companies want more people competing for fewer jobs. The question is how to implement these things and keep corruption and fraud out of the picture.

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Thursday February 7, 2013

If you count an iPad as a personal computer, Apple now has 20% of the global PC market.

Microsoft is trying to convince gmail users to switch to outlook with a security ad campaign. This may work a little until someone finds and publishes the security holes in outlook.

Microsoft Office for Linux? Why not? Why not ten years ago? I guess the answer is that if Office were on Linux, people would be switching from Windows 8 to Linux.

Government steps in to help us - wonderful. In 2016, all dogs in England will have to have a microchip in them.

Sony is trying to move into schools with discounts on tablets and services.

Jobs in Silicon Valley are plentiful and the pay is up. The rest of America? Not so good.

Canonical promises the Ubuntu smartphone in October 2013.

The Federal Reserve was hacked giving hackers inside information. Is everyone ready for national electronic health records?

Apple has sold 25 billion songs on iTunes. Apple was a computer company once.

A visual history of photography. I like it.

Believe it or not, IT in the U.S. Federal government is a big mess, and us taxpayers are funding more waste everyday.

Everyone now and then come government bodies do something good: no drone laws are being passed here and there in the U.S.

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Friday February 8, 2013

New England is facing a really really big snow storm this weekend.

Civilization is coming to an end - Farmville is becoming an animated television series.

This is too weird, so it must be true. Some school districts want to own the copyright of papers written by students.

A software error at Facebook took down a number of other major web sites.I suppose this shows that if you insert a carefully planned error in someone’s software, you can make a big mess for a lot of people. Is everyone ready for national electronic health records?

It appears that America On-Line is making a comeback - good financial reports.

And LinkedIn is booming fancially. LinkedIn is also pushing towards publishing content.

HP is trying to limit student labor at its Hong Kong factories.

A pen that vibrates when you write a misspelled word. I had this idea 20 years ago, but never got around to building it.

Finally, a published book that explains how to use GIMP.

Libre Office 4.0 has been released.

Happy Birthday to Jules Verne. I read his books as a kid. I loved them. They were far better than the junk the teachers wanted me to read.
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Saturday February 9, 2013

Seattle's Police department was to use drones, until public outcry. If there is a shootout in progress, overhead views will save lives, but there are helicopters already on duty. Surveilling citizens with small, queit radio-controlled craft can be frightening.

Maybe there is hope for Microsoft: the 128GB model of the Surface Pro sold out in a few hours.

The FBI captures another not-quite-real terrorist.

See the chart on this post: the cost of college is rising fast while the value of college degrees is dropping. There are many factors here. On-line education may be the answer or at least part of the answer. It seems that college education as we know it is broken.

Here comes a collision of cultures: high-capacity magazines may be outlawed while high-capacity magazines can be spewed by 3D printers in your garage.

Government, at least parts of it, never ceases to want to save us from something. The Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA) is back again this year.

A look inside the micro apartments of Hong Kong. These are tiny places where poor people live.

This is an excellent question: at what point does frugal just become stupid?

CACI is "neutering" iPads for government use.

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Sunday February 10, 2013

John E. Karlin led the team at Bell Labs that gave us the arrangement of 0 through 9 on the telephone. They changed the world. He died this past week at 94.

For those of us who didn't have three feet of snow, we can enjoy these time-lapse photos of all the snow in New England.

A note about Microsoft selling all its Surface Pro 128GB units, the same the happened the first day that the Zune was on the market in 2009. That one didn't end well.

Apple is cutting prices on some of its traditional computers, e.g., laptops and desktops.

Stories start with little notes. The writer moves from a few scribbles to something more. Don’t be afraid if all you have at this time are the scribbles.

Thoughts on becoming a better writer. The one item I recommend is letting your first draft rest longer before editing.

Connections of writing and film making.

It is important to understand that as a freelancer and writer you work for you. You build your business. You are not responsible for building someone else’s business.

The why and how of turning your freelancing into a corporation (LLC).

Personal products that thwart surveillance.

E-mail habits to save time so you spend more of your time writing.

Do you blog once a day?

Some fundamentals of blog posts. Nothing new here, but just a reminder of things oft forgotten.

Writing a book in the face of many distractions.

Finish. Ship.

A writer turns a deck of 3x5 cards into an antique-appearing journal.

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