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: March 4-10, 2013

Summary of this week:

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

Monday March 4, 2013

This is a strange story - the kind that causes me to shake my head and scream, "W H A T ? ? ?" The Gates Foundation built a database to store information on K-12 students, a.k.a., children. The database includes names, addresses, social security numbers, and so on. States gave the information on children to the database (who gave them permission?). "Education companies" can buy access to the database (what qualifies as an education company?). Are all these people crazy? What happens when hackers break into the database and publish your child's "private" information?

And if some of us don't believe that the database will be hacked, Evernote reveals that they were hacked.

The world is going mobile. Hence, malware is going mobile as well. Who would have thunk it?

Fon and Deutsche Telekom are partnering to cover Germany in the world's largest WiFi hotspot.

Thoughts on why Apple succeeded at some times while it failed at others.  "Allow me to start by putting forth an alternative rule of thumb for commercial success in any market: better and earlier tend to beat worse and later. "

A look at keeping private company information private. It is almost impossible because your employees put copies of the information in places where other people can see it.

Lessons from a man who has built wearable computer eyeglasses for 35 years. No, Google Glass is not a new concept.

You see someone wearing Google Glass. They have captured you on video. Is that okay with you?

Here is another, independent blog post that asks the same privacy question.

Create passwords that make no sense, but are easy to remember using "motor patterns."

The SpaceX cargo ship reached the International Space Station. A little late, but it got there.

Microsoft owes the government of Denmark $1Billion in taxes.

Google searches 30 trillion web pages 100 billion times a month. Those are large numbers. And Google doesn't charge me any money to use their service.

Further investigation into the Holocaust reveals 42,500 Nazi ghettos and camps throughout Europe. This number has shocked even those who have studied the travesty for decades.

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Tuesday March 5, 2013

Marriot teams with IKEA to create the Moxy Hotels chain. Pre-fabricated tech-friendly rooms for the millennial generation or someone like that.

Why is Google trying to build a self-driving car? One possible answer: Google can make money on you while you ride in your car and search the Internet.

Apple has more cash than anyone. Hence, they can dominate the tech marketplace.

Google controls Android; Android controls smartphones in China. Hence, Google may control China.

What should Apple do with its cash? Buy Apple stock (Warren Buffet says so).

More data on H1-B visas. Someone, or a lot of someones, isn't telling the truth about salaries and capabilities.

One hindrance to MOOCs is that not everyone has the needed Internet access.

More on the huge "education database" that contains personal information on millions of U.S. children.

I love small houses; here are some great examples.

Canon has an image sensor that "sees in the dark." Well, not actually, but it is much better in low light than other sensors. There are, as always, tradeoffs.

Apple may be building 2 TeraByte solid state disks for use in the Mac Pro (under the desk supercomputer).

Auti-sim - a "game" that simulates the over stimulation often experienced by people with autism.

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Wednesday March 6, 2013

Clever uses of this and that for PC cases - I like the gasoline pump.

Apple updates its education-only iMac.

The new SimCity is out. It succeeded so much that all the servers were overloaded. A case of success leading to failure.

The $25 Raspberry Pi camera is coming.

Silicon Valley discovers what "comprehensive immigration reform" means: we will try to solve all the world's problems at one time. Hence, we will do nothing.

News Corp may have built the perfect tablet for America's bureaucratic education system.

Google is testing a same-day delivery service from local businesses to your home. Dominoes created a market for home-delivery pizza. They ruined pizza forever, but made a lot of money.

GOWEX blankets New York City with a free WiFi network. They hope to make money selling ads.

Lots of government talk about letting you do with your computer what you wish. This is also known as cellphone unlocking. Who decided to take away the rights of property owners? I suppose I am too simple minded to understand all this.

A good infographic concerning Apple vs Samsung.

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Thursday March 7, 2013

Apple may use Intel's facilities to build Apple-design processors.

Apple claims that 99% of its suppliers do not require more than 60-hour work weeks. What percentage of Apple computer scientists and engineers work more than 60 hours a week?

Texas may soon pass a powerful mobile phone privacy law. Isn't Texas supposed to be where all those evil big brother types come from? Don't mess with Texans.

The ASUS Tranformer Book actually shows up in Japan.

The Attorney General defends the Justice Department's action in the Aaron Swartz case.

And while he was at it, the Attorney General left open the possibility of the government using lethal drone strikes against U.S. citizens in the U.S. Comforting, isn't it?

MIT has a charm school for its techies. It just celebrated its 20th anniversary.

The history of Raspbian - the recommended OS for the Raspberry Pi.

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Friday March 8, 2013

Google lays off 1,200 former Motorola employees (10% of that workforce).

There is hope for civilization. The big three stars from the first three Star Wars movies will appear in movie number seven.

This Samsung executive says that "Windows 8 is no better than Vista" and he blames it for a drop in PC sales.

People are already writing apps for Google Glass. This one purports to identifying your friends in a crowd based on their clothing.

The TSA will allow some little knives on planes starting in late April. The little knife industry frowns as this will cut into sales of people replacing their little knives after confiscation.

Ralph Baer - he produced a video game in 1968.

Interesting graph of what online items most influence purchases. Those old things called blogs outrank Facebook and other social sites.

The Chinese government is monitoring its subjects via Skype.

Bill Gates on education and the role of big data.

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Saturday March 9, 2013

Tonight is the shortest night of the year. Congress, in its grand and glorious wisdom, has taken an hour of sleep from us.

In spite of, or is it due to, the great Obama rural broadband program - broadband service in rural areas is declining.

The life of the ultra-rich and not famous - Singapore.

On the detailed search of computers etc. at border crossings.

A Senator is fed up with FAA delays on allowing use of electronics during takeoff and landing.

A bar in Seattle bans Google Glass. People are starting to realize that Glass and other gadgets will record images of everyone.

Have an extra $2Million? Buy your own little submarine.

Google offered $3Million to people who could hack into Chrome OS. No one succeeded this year. Simpler software is more apt to be secure.

From George Will: "Government is failing spectacularly at its core functions, such as budgeting and educating. Yet it continues to multiply its peripheral and esoteric responsibilities, tasks that require it to do things for which it has no aptitude, such as thinking and making common-sense judgments. Government nowadays is not just embarrassing, it is — let us not mince words — inappropriate."

Those oops-they-caught-on-fire batteries in the 787 were not fully tested by Boeing. They depended on a subcontractor.

8 historic post office buildings that may be turned commercial, e.g., Starbucks. While walking for 1,000 miles, I saw plenty of beautiful, older post offices. I also saw plenty of ugly government buildings.

More and more students are majoring in Computer Science in the U.S. This is five years in a row.

Yet another attempt to bring back the Polaroid camera concept.

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Sunday March 10, 2013

More reasons with the IT department has to go.

If you want to replace a regular job with a freelance job, please note this little fact about pay: "Your freelance hourly rate and your day-job hourly rate are not comparable figures."

Children are great teachers. If you write, hang around kids.

Great qoutes from Mickey Spillane.  "Hemingway hated me. I sold 200 million books, and he didn’t. Of course most of mine sold for 25 cents, but still… you look at all this stuff with a grain of salt." and "I’m a commercial writer, not an author. Margaret Mitchell was an author. She wrote one book."

This is an excellent site: famous writers and their typewriters.

If you write an article that is accepted for publications, the editor of the publication will mark all over it and ask you to revise it. That is life as a writer. Accept it, move on.

Thoughts on working as a Academic Writer.

Yet another study says that if you are working long and hard you may not be an elite achiever. Let's speak in terms of writers. If you want to write, you have to sit in a chair with your hands on a keyboard and bang out words. That takes time. No one has yet invented a machine that translates your deep thoughts to words on paper. We are stuck in this situation where writing takes time - lots of time.

For writers - approaches to entering new markets.

Some history from 1968 about the first word processor and how it changed novels.

More thoughts on working from home and productivity. Marrisa Mayer did the world a favor with her "no more telecommuting" memo at Yahoo. Everyone wants to discuss the subject. Most people are becoming smarter.

Yet even more places to look to try to find writing jobs.

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