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 18-24, 2013

Summary of this week:

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

Monday February 18, 2012

Today is President's Day holiday in the U.S. Some presidents have been better for the country than others. Opinions differ on who was in which group.

If you can weave electronics into cloth, your shirt can be your communications device. The military might love this. Of course, there is the possibility that you would have too much communication.

Here is one way to hack into an Android device: freeze it. This is not a new technique.

Now that we have seen a people's revolution in Egypt, YouTube, and other Internet services, are being blocked there. Free speech? You get to make one speech, one time. Elections? One man, one vote, one time. And so it goes.

GNU releases version 5.0 of TexInfo.

Layoffs continue at the Washington Post.

The government of Iceland wants to ban Internet porn. Admirable but impossible.

Project Gutenberg adds DropBox support. Neat.

This story is all over the Internet today, so it must be important. This map shows the places worldwide where Apple products are built. They aren't all built in China.

Here is another way to use a browser as a blank note pad. Use this site zenpen.io

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Tuesday February 19, 2013

NASA says that last week's Russian meteor was to biggest in 100 years. They failed to insert the words "that anyone has seen."

A school district in Illinois is giving iPads to 7,000 students ($1.4Million). I wish they know what they are doing, but I doubt it.

Once again we have a case of a person finding a software problem and then doing the right thing by say, "Hey, look. This is broken and should be fixed." Then that person is arrested for doing something bad. This time the person is a member of the Dutch Parliament.

This story is odd because of how open it is: the Chinese Army unit that attacks U.S. corporations is named in an open report.

Firefox version 19 is here.

Microsoft raises the price of Office for the Mac. Again, buy Office 365 and nothing else. That is what Microsoft wants, and if you want something else you will have to pay much more for it.

More news that the current generation of patients is more likely than their parents to allow doctors to use software expert systems. I have written on this before. We had expert systems in the 1980s that were better than doctors, but not perfect. Medical companies, afraid of lawsuits, rejected the software.

Canonical, makers of Ubuntu, may release a tablet computer tomorrow.

"Bullying persists when bureaucracies and hierarchies permit it to continue. It's easier to keep order in an environment where bullying can thrive (and vice versa), because the very things that permit a few to control the rest also permit bullies to do their work. The bully uses the organization's desire for conformity to his own ends." - Seth Godin. This is why bullies persist in schools. The teacher says, "Do exactly as I say." The bully says, "Do exactly as I say." Somehow, the six-year-old is supposed to knew the difference.

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Wednesday February 20, 2013

More Chinese hacking. "Black PR" is where hackers, for pay, take down sites that criticize someone or some organization.

Someone hacked Facebook, Twitter, and Apple. The culprit has been found. These are top companies with more resources than the U.S. government. They were hacked, but we are to believe that national electronic health records will be safe. How gullible do people in government believe we are?

The coming rate shock under the Affordable Health Care Act. Of course health care will cost more. This is, after all, a well-intentioned government program.

Like they did with the early Chromebook, Google is running a program where you tell them what you would do with an early release of Google Glass. And a video of what it is like to wear an Google Glass.

Southwest Airlines now has video-on-demand on all its WiFi airliners.

Nvidia's GTX Titan is out today - a supercomputer on a graphics card. Let the games begin.

Using tweets to measure happiness (yes, there are some problems with this method) Louisiana is the saddest state while Hawaii is the happiest.

This is a bit surprising, China's Defense Ministry publicly denies all the news stories this week about how its Army is hacking everyone in the West. The surprise is that they addressed the charges. Usually, they ignore everyone.

At Google, many employees don't have kids, so they have a "take your parents do work" day.

It seems that the Federal government has increases jobs, well, sort of. Increased government meddling has led to increased lobbying. Jobs for lobbyists!

Microsoft is already working on its next operating system - they call it Windows Blue for now.

It seems that some companies are replacing old IT workers with H-1B visa holders. Hmmmm.

Linux kernal 3.8 has been released.

Yahoo has a new home page to reflect Marissa Mayer's influence.

3D printing? How about a 3D pen? One quick note, I would love to have a pen or pencil that only writes in two dimensions. Think on that one a while.

The Apple iPhone 5 was the world's best-selling smartphone in the fourth quarter of 2012.

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Thursday February 21, 2013

This retinal implant has restored sight to nine blind people. This is what technology is about.

Two million U.S. citizens have devices that boost their cell phone performance. The government wants them turned off.

Budget crisis? $1Trillion in the red every year? What's the problem? Let's spend $3Billion to map the brain.

One man plans a trip to Mars in 2018. I hope he succeeds if for no other reason than to embarrass all the government-run space agencies in the world.

Google Drive now has better file previewers.

Digital photography continue to do things that film photography never did. This new chip from MIT looks at the subject in natural light and uses that information to improve the subject shot with a flash.

Nvidia shows plans for its new headquarters facility. It out space-ships Apple.

Oracle is moving manufacturing jobs to the U.S. - but only about 100. That is not even a drop in the bucket of U.S. unemployment.

Dell is helping Microsoft push the Office 365 subscription.

Square is now offering a point-of-sale system in one little box. Sell anything on the street corner and take VISA cards.

Twitter has just shortened tweets to 117 characters if a URL is present. Oooops, that is me.

Mark Zuckerberg, Sergey Brin and Yuri Milner have created a $3Million technology prize. That is triple the value of the Nobel prize.

French factory workers work three hours a day. That is why no one builds new factories in France.

Online college courses don't work for the vast majority of students. They either lack fundamentals or desire.

Software that finds products and logos in everyday photos.

Google is working with fashion designers to make Google Glass so. Excellent move. Eyeglasses are fashion accesories, not vision devices.

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Friday February 22, 2013

Watch the amazing quadrocopters toss a pole to one another. These are amazing "tricks." When will these things be put to a practical use?

If you are a tourist in North Korea, you will have mobile access. NK subjects won't.

Qualcomm releases the world's first global LTE chip.

The Chrome OS now supports multiple displays.

Google releases its own Chromebook - the Pixel with touch screen $1400.

And why you shouldn't buy one - #1 reason is that it costs too much.

HP had a good financial quarter.

FBI employees continue to stupid things with their government-issued smartphones.

The concept of the rapidly deployed, tiny satellite to provide visual surveillance of the battlefield.

Finally, Nielson expands the definition of "watching TV."

The DHS confiscates Michael Arrington's boat. The story is a priceless rendering of stupidity in government service.

Facebook uses the concept of "cold storage" to hold photos that no one ever views any more.

Some successes in "farm sourcing."

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Saturday February 23, 2013

Much research that is publicly funded is not available to the public. A new Administration policy won't help much. Of course none of this makes sense, but the nonsense is rooted deeply in politics of government and universities.

This seems to matter to a lot of people: Google says their glasses will be iPhone compatible.

Marissa Mayer wants to end telecommuting at Yahoo.

Will cutting the Pentagon budget hurt or just force some managers to do their jobs? This is a fundamental question. Consider this: if the managers are lousy managers, how will cutting their budgets make them better managers? How about removing the lousy managers? But then, someone will have to be smart enough to know the difference.

Rural broadband is not just an American government dream, France has its own rural broadband plan. Perhaps they will actually execute the plan.

Version 25 of the Google Chrome browser is out.

Microsoft says it was hacked as well. Is everyone ready for national electronic health records?

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Sunday February 24, 2013

This is an excellent piece on the dreams and nightmares of rural schools. I attended a rural high school in Louisiana. I saw first hand what this person writes. Please read it, especially if you never attended a rural school.

The world's fastest growing criminal enterprise: child porn.

George Will has an excellent editorial on the oft-exagerated claims of impending doom from politicians. The great danger in government furloush, a 10% cut in the workforce, is that no one will notice anything and therefore the taxpayers will ask for a permanent 10% in the workforce.

This may seem silly at first and second thought: a suit that senses when people or things are near and taps you to let you know. Consider, however, the case of firefighters indoors where the smoke and other hindrances render eyesight useless.

The joys and benefit of writing on paper with a pen.

This is clever - use old trumpets and others brass instruments to amplify your smartphone.

Coming in Firefox 22: the browser will block third-party cookies. We are currently on Firefox 19.

One of the more difficult aspects of writing is editing your own work. Since I wrote it, I don’t see or hear problems. Here is a tip: Have someone read your writing aloud to you. If you don’t have such a friend, try this: read your writing aloud into a recorder (your phone or computer can be your recorder). Play back your reading and listen to it.

This is a good post on ways to calm yourself.

”So stop trying to find the secret, Universal Code of Good Freelancing Rules. It doesn’t exist.“

This person traveled full time in 2012 for $28K.

Working with feedback in a writing group. This can be difficult; it can also be the most helpful aspect of a writing group.

The life experience of one full-time writer. He describes himself as “self employed” to avoid all those nagging, “Oh, you’re a writer?” questions.

Hemingway on writing fiction. Excellent.

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