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: April 1-7, 2013

Summary of this week:

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

Monday April 1, 2013

Today is April Fool's Day. That makes Internet viewing more difficult as I struggle to tell the difference between real stories and foolish ones. So much of "technical" advancements these days seem foolish to me. Here are Google's jokes. Here is a collection from all over the place.

Today is also Opening Day for baseball.

ooops, it seems that many of those ankle bracelets used to track felons weren't working.

Governments in the U.S. are driving jobs out of the country by asking for private data of users. In order to protect us, they will unemploy us. Once again, government accomplishes the opposite of what it intends (I think).

Is everyone in favor of common sense background checks on all gun sales? Read the bill that is up before the Senate. As usual, "the devil is in the details" and the details in the bill will make many of us felons.

Steve Jobs' first boss writes a book about innovation and talent. He told Steve to work nights at Atari because Steve was so obnoxious.

The Raspberry Pi Model A ($25) is on sale in the U.S. It consumes much less power than the Model B, so it is well suited for solar power and such projects.

Thoughts on the new data centers - stuff thrown together just for the cloud.

It is April 1st, the rush for the H-1B visas begins. The flood of applications this year will likely cause a return to a lottery system.

As the headline says, the Russian government is now censoring the Internet. Revolution? Still possible, but harder without a free Internet.

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Tuesday April 2, 2013

Feedly now has 3 million new users since Google announced that its Reader is going away.

Information about "citizen scientists."
These are people who volunteer time and resources to study scientific topics and contribute their findings freely.

Diff Display - techniques and software that make it easier to see what has changed on a screen that you aren't watching closely.

Amazon adds a few more features to its Cloud Drive to make it more like DropBox. I don't understand how some of these companies who have all this cloud expertise, and they really do have that expertise, struggle to make something like DropBox.

This probably means something: there were fewer mergers in 2012 than in any year since 2003.

Coca-Cola spends three times the money on ads that Apple does; Samsung four times.

The Seagate Wireless Plus drive: combine a wireless router with 1TeraByte of storage.

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Wednesday April 3, 2013

The cell phone is 40 years old today. It changed the world.

All this online shopping we do is creating a building boom. Lots of concrete and steel and air conditioning and all that physical stuff.

Los Angeles claims to have synchronized all 4,500 of its traffic signals. I hope they built some security into the system. It appears to be a prime target for hackers.

Kansas is running a program to encourage college grads to move to its rural areas.

It appears that Google will release its second generation Nexus 7 tablet in July.

Gabriel Weinberg - the man that may change search all over again with DuckDuckGo.

Firefox version 20 is here.

And it appears that Apple is working on major changes to the iPhone and iOS.

Driverless cars will be safer and more efficient, and that may lead to larger cities and suburbs.

The world has changed: if you need a job, invent one. The old way was easier (for many of us).

In that vein, Apple claims that 80,000 new jobs were created by the iOS app economy in 2012 alone.

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Thursday April 4, 2013

George Will has an excellent editorial this morning about the explosion of administrators in what used to be education. Why have costs gone up so much? We have all these people standing around not teaching.

Apple was smarter in its pricing and distribution of the iPad than the iPhone.

The iPad is three years old this week.

An iPad skeptic describes why he changed his mind.

The DEA is complaining that they cannot eavedrop on Apple iMessage messages. I am sure all the drug dealers are thankful for the DEA admitting their weakness.

Gartner: the PC will continue to fade as the world goes mobile.

ASUS makes a short GPU card for mini tower PCs. Yes, some of us still use PCs to produce content.

Samsung follows Apple into 1,400 Best Buy stores.

The Seattle Mariners now have the largest in-stadium screen in baseball.

Before and after: Bill Gates and Paul Allen 1981 and today.

Snake robots - yes they are real and yes they can do things that other form factors cannot.

A pin-sized transducer may replace hearing aids. I hope this works.

Maybe the all-time high waster of taxpayers' money are the DHS fusion centers. And they are probably spying on citizens illegally, but hey, they mean well so all is okay.

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Friday April 5, 2013

Samsung's profits are way up over last year.

Samsung's Galaxy Note 8 arrives in UK stores.

Someone lost a document to the public that shows how Google fights against giving users' data to the government.

And with more released documents, it seems that the DHS has been watching peaceful, lawful free speech speaker citizens just like they watch potential terrorists. And I thought all this big brother stuff left town with that evil duo of Bush and Cheney.

And speaking of free speech, citizens don't have free speech at the airport, at least not when in listening range of the TSA.

Facebook Home is introduced - turn an Android phone into a Facebook-centric device of some sorts.

EdX is offering software to universities that will grade essays.

The 10 biggest tech companies you've never heard of.

A ranking of airline WiFi. United airlines isn't high on the list.

Bitcoin has been hacked causing the service to be suspended. Is everyone ready for national electronic health records?

A look at low-cost portable computers. You can buy a lot for a little money.

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Saturday April 6, 2013

NASA may get $100million to catch an astroid. The President wants $100million to study the brain. A hundred million dollars here, a hundred million dollars there, pretty soon you are talking about a lot of money. Your tax dollars at waste.

Today's lawmakers aren't qualified to make tech policy. No duh. When were they ever qualified?

Farmers in Kentucky may be able to grow industrial hemp. Let's see, jobs and good products for America. Can't happen in this day.

A California judge rules that you can't look at your map while driving if your map is on your cell phone. I've been waiting for this one to come. Okay, so where do I get maps that are just as good on paper?

The Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act is one year old. The result has been the opposite of what was intended in that fewer startup companies are going public than before the act. This is not a surprise, but yet another data point to note.

The Charge Card - they have changed the form factor of a USB cable to that of a credit card. Clever.

These tech billionaires are giving away $millions. Good for them. I hope some good comes of it.

The rise of Android in the smartphone marketplace has stopped.

See this video of the two-ton Hexapod walking machine. It is real, actually works, and is not practical.

The H-1B visa applications were filled in five days (ten weeks last year). I suppose this is a sign that some parts of the economy are improving.

Boeing has successfully completed testing the new batteries for the 787. Of course it would have cost 1/10th or less if they had done this correctly several years ago.

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Sunday April 7, 2013

the Python programming language was updated this weekend - three times.

Simple yet significant lessons about writing from the late Roger Ebert.

Thoughts on writing better stories.

Here are ten GOOD thoughts on business writing. Please note, I think 99% of writing is business writing.

The four stages of writing. Few people realize that while I am sitting here in Chick-Fil-A reading the Internet and drinking coffee, I am writing short stories, novels, and management books. I'm just not drafting words.

Thoughts on writing better sentences.

Put energy into everything you write. This isn't always easy, but writing isn't easy.

Draft - a writing tool that helps track changes and versionsThe web site for it.

Lessons one person learned in their first year as a freelancer.

Markets that may allow a writer to earn more money.

Preparing a sermon is writing a speech. Here is one method.

Have one point in your message - just one.

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