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: February 25-March 3, 2013

Summary of this week:

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

Monday February 25, 2012

Ginger Software from Israel releases "Ginger Keyboard:" a spelling corrector based on language understanding (Android only).

The U.S. is using less coal. So we are exporting more coal. Ah, fossil fuels. We use them because they work.

The nook eReader hasn't worked out well for Barnes and Noble. That is too bad. The competition was good for a while.

Coming next month - Samsung's latest smartphone, the Galaxy S IV. I hope they drop the Roman numerals soon.

Here is the HP Slate 7 - a new $170 Android tablet. HP is trying that market again.

AT&T and GM are going to put LTE 4G into cars. The details are being worked, but don't expect the driver to be able to access the Internet while driving. Lawsuits would soon ensue.

At least this one writer at Wired understands the appeal of the AR-15 and other firearms - they are gadgets for tinkering. And, oh by the way, there is the Bill of Rights in the Constitution.

An argument for why remote work should be promoted, not discouraged as Marissa Mayer did last week at Yahoo.

More on Mayer's reasons for calling the remote workers back into the office. There are several sides to this story.

More on Windows Blue; it is an update to Win 8 and may be out this summer.

NBC joins the list of American companies that was recently hacked. Is everyone ready for national electronic health records?

"A Young Lady's Illustrated Primer." This is an educational project. The product interacts with the young learner. I don't think it is all the way there to the promise, but it is a good step.

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Tuesday February 26, 2013

Mozilla shows its plans for Firefox OS - an operating system for mobile phones.

And someone discovers yet another security flaw in iOS. Is everyone ready for national electronic health records?

The USDA is proposing a definition for "rural." Their proposal, however, will hurt rural areas.

The Chinese have learned how to hamper innovation in Australia by flooding that country with "junk patents." This is a form of intellectual warfare. Clever. The U.S. is ripe for this type of attack.

Samsung is a  big, big distributor for Android products. Perhaps too big for Google's comfort.

Android is not doing well in the corporate world. iOS is.

Most high-tech companies support work from home. Yahoo's pullback from telecommuting had much more to do with a company that had allowed itself to grow fat and not supervise telecommuters. Yahoo is a for-profit company. If telecommuters are not generating profit, they have to change.

This story is all over the Internet, so it must be important. I, however, don't see the import, but that is just me. Google's Chrome browser will indicate to you which open tab is making all that noise.

Barnes and Noble may follow Dell and go private to keep its bookselling business open.

Outbox is a service that picks up your paper mail from your mailbox, opens it, scans it, and emails you the images. I can see this being a good service for some people who travel a lot, but I don't see the market as big enough to support them. We shall see.

A film funded through Kickstarter won an Academy Award.

Free online courses on data and visualization.

Apple computer sales rose 31% in January over the prior January. People still buy those old fashioned computers where you sit in front of them with your hands on the keyboard and your eyeballs on the display.

The sequester doom is coming! And then we have stories of this one-room library in West Virginia that uses a $15,000 router when a $50 unit from Best Buy would work
. As well meaning as some people in Washington D.C. are, we can all find cases of gross waste in government spending. So, cut the budgets until the waste goes away. What is sad is that the waste will not go away. Some government managers are quite creative in how to waste money.

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Wednesday February 27, 2013

These flexible electronics that you stick to your skin may allow you to control computers and other things. Outstanding. Think of the application for people whose muscles no longer work.

Google says it will NOT have its own retail stores. I never could understand what they would sell as they give away all their products.

Next year, the Department of Defense will open its IT systems to Android and iOS devices. Hackers, you have been given a target product line and date. Get working.

Dropbox - one billion file uploads per day.

And Instagram now has 100 million users.

Code.org has a short film about computer programming and kids. Excellent.

New York City is starting a pilot program in software engineering (high school).

400,000 Legos + one year = this massive model Hogwarts. Amazing.

The Supreme Court upholds the Federal wiretapping program.

A deep review of Microsoft Office 365.

Yet another reviewer has a bad experience while test driving a Tesla.

Yahoo stands firm on the decision to stop  telecommuting.

An Australian billionaire is going to build a fully functional replica of the Titanic. It will take people on cruises where they will relieve the early days (good and maybe not so good) of the 20th century.

Intel has created its own distribution of Hadoop.

A report on the gross waste of funds that was the Federal Rural Broadband program. This was predictable and predicted. Your tax dollars at waste.

Predicting the decline of Silicon Valley. I doubt it will become like Detroit. The weather is really nice year round in the Santa Clara Valley. Still, extrememly high taxes and regulation will take their toll.

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Thursday February 28, 2013

You must watch this video. How they put a long-dead actress in a new commercial.

Convoys of self-driving trucks are almost here. Can you spell u-n-e-m-p-l-o-y-m-e-n-t?

Those who make smartphones need to be smart about the elderly consumer because, in America at least, that is where the money is.

Do you want a smartphone that is much lighter and has a much longer battery life? Use an E Ink screen.

The Blackberry phone is not as secure as once thought. Is everyone ready for national electronic health records?

Thoughts on 7,000 years of attempts to educate everyone.

The iPhone hasn't done well in India, so Apple is putting more energy there.

Is "sitting" the new silent killer in our society?

Excellent graphic about the rare earth materials in the iPhone.

More news on the waste that is Federal spending for broadband access.

Yet China is promising to extend broadband access to 70% of homes. How can they do it? Simple, they use the money that the U.S. government is sending them to pay off our debt.

As this post shows, smartphones retain an amazing amount of information about you that can be retrieved by others.

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Friday March 1, 2013

Logitech announces layoffs - no numbers yet, but  they are shifting from PCs to mobile devices.

The Big Dog robot mule now has an arm that can grasp, lift, and even throw objects.

Bradley Manning approached the NY Times and Washington Post with his information before WikiLeaks. They both turned him away.

The growth of mobile computing (smartphones) and the money that is to be made.

Google releases a new open-source compression algorithm - Zopfli.

Thoughts on living without television.

To be more productive, have a lot more light and keep the room at 77 degrees.

An MIT study shows that American companies fail when they try to manufacture in America, so they go overseas.

A Fortune Magazine poll proclaims Apple to be the world's most admired company.

These numbers are astounding because (1) they are so big and (2) they will happen. Apple expects to sell 55million iPad mini units and 33Million iPad units in 2013.

The Raspberry Pi has been out for a year, and they sold a million units. No one predicted that, especially the guys who created it.

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Saturday March 2, 2013

Almost all colleges require incoming freshmen to have a computer. Now, Arkansas State University is requiring freshmen to bring an iPad with them.

The iPad is a pretty powerful computer. This Oxford project uses an iPad as the processor for a self-driving car.

Reinventing the pencil sharpener.

Teenagers are tired of Facebook. They are using Instagram and other photo- and video-based networks.

NASA's Curiosity rover has a computer problem. It is stuck in safe mode while debugging progresses.

Guess what? Apple is "hiding" processors that actually do something in their cables.

How to keep innovation thriving in a large, old organization.

Apple's stock price is falling.

The thumb is about to replace the mouse. That is another way of saying that everything is going mobile, and that on mobile devices you control your software with your thumb, not a desk-bound mouse.

The era of globalization may be ending.

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Sunday March 3, 2013

Build your writing income by making friends.

Get ready for the profits to start rolling in from Obamacare. Big Data is smiling.

Microsoft is learning. The new Office 365 subscription model allows and forces Microsoft to update Office every 90 days. It is sort of Agile.

Marissa Mayer used the data from Yahoo's VPN to determine that their telecommuters weren't working.

Some thoughts on working from home, at least most of the time.

This man has collected over 1,000 cameras. Passion in a hobby is a blessing.

The Department of Homeland Security bought several drones for use outside the U.S. The DHS drones, however, also have features specified for inside the U.S. use against citizens.

If someone is flying a drone (remoted controlled), loses control of it, and it lands in your yard. Can you keep it? Must you return it?

In case you haven't noticed (and most people didn't), airline ticket prices fell 50% in the last 30 years. So did service, but the is a choice that consumers made.

Seven common mistakes of freelance writers.

One writer’s view on why it is so hard to be a freelance writer.

Need some good story ideas? This post shows ten writer collaborations we (might) want to see. Some of the combinations are funny, some silly, some absurd. They won’t happen, unless you write a fictional account of them happening. That’s the idea: pair people and things that would never pair and write about them. For example, bagels (Jewish) and ham (not Jewish), fossil fuels and solar energy, Bob Hope (goofy) and Bing Crosby (singer), and so on.

Notes on writing proposals.

How you can use Twitter as a research tool.

Take your writing seriously - set times for writing and don’t let other things over ride those times.

Now we move from tips to meddling in personal affairs. Clean your desk!

We write and we sit and we write and we sit and our backs hurt. See this little video about sitting posture, computer position, and a little bit of exercise every half hour.

Twitter can help writers. You connect with other writers and you practice brevity and clarity.

The 33 minute rule. Set a timer for 33 minutes and 33 seconds. When it rings, stop what you are doing for a moment and clear your mind. Reset the timer and do the next important thing.

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