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 8-14, 2013

Summary of this week:

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

Monday April 8, 2013

The US Patent and Trademark Office works slowly - painfully slowly. Some suggest loosening the standards so that the process will quicken. I suggest compentence, but then again, I worked in government for 25+ years, so I have no expertise in the matter.

In France, the national intelligence agency forced a Wikipedia editor to remove an entry. In America, we have the 1st amendment to the Constitution that allows free speech. Then again, lawmakers act as if the 2nd amendment doesn't exist, so expect the 1st amendment to be trampled on soon enough.

Liquid Robotics has a new wave glider that drags a server. The system can gather, process, and forward data for months at a time.

State of the art: $100K gets you 1,000 fps in digital video HD.

Transmitting data short ranges with LEDs reaches 3GigaBitsPerSecond. No RF involved, just light.

I like this one: web site shows the operating mechanism of various types of engines.

Guess what? Programmers spend more time not programming. Of course they do. Everyone these days spends more time not doing their jobs.

Speaking of programmers, going to the "big blue room," i.e., outdoors, is good for your brain.

12 Stanford computer science students quit school and start a software company. I guess this is news because they are all rich kids from Stanford. This happens everyday in the U.S. with kids who are not rich.

The new word buzzing around Silicon Valley: serendipity. It is about the wonderful things that happen accidentally when people face one another.

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Tuesday April 9, 2013

Ron Johnson was a huge success with the Apple retail store; not so much at JC Penney.

The Federal government wants to open six drone test ranges, and 37 states are eager to host them.

The IRS wants to tax those free meals that some companies provide their employees.

Intel is putting more powerful processors into its NUC (next unit of computing).

The 27" iMac has appeared on Apple's refurbished store.

Intel doubles the speed of Thunderbolt to 20GigaBitsPerSecond.

A little humor, how to work in a room full of computer (users) and not be disturbed.

Laser guns are approaching the practical realm. They are still big, but so are ships. Watch this video of a Navy laser burning a target drone out of the sky.

The government held a lottery to award the H-1B visas. This is the first time since 2008 that the demand was so high that a lottery was needed.

It appears that Apple will have yet another new iPad in the fall.

It also appears that Apple will update its portable computers in the summer. It is a sign of the times that new laptop computers is far less interesting than new tablets.

Thoughts on STEM education and employment. We seem to be educating enough Americans, but then we drop out of the technology fields. BIG HINT: We pay managers more than programmers, so why are we surprised when programmers want to be managers?

HP releases their MoonShot servers. They are physically smaller and require less electrical power. Will they revive HP?

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Wednesday April 10, 2013

The unemployment rate for electrical engineers is 6.5% - double last year's rate.

Almost half of America's teenagers own an iPhone. America's teenagers have a lot of money.

Intel has a plan to disaggregate server racks. Put all the CPUs here, all the disks there, and so forth. For this idea to work, you need (very) high-speed connections between all the components, and Intel says it has that technology.

And Intel will have quad core processors for the next batch of Windows 8 tablets.

Just like the clock ticking, Intel shows new versions of its processors.

This digital book claims to inform the teacher if the student read the material or not. Of course, it will take the kids five minutes to find a way around the system. The kids are usually smarter than the teachers.

This may be, and I emphasize "may," the new front of the new iPad. This may also be the peak of silliness. It seems that someone could have PhotoShopped out that glove etc.

Now we have a 3D laser scanner that works from a half mile away. Applications? Don't worry, there are applications for some people.

It is now really, actually, official - Google will install Google Fibre in Austin, Texas next summer.

A leaked Justice Department paper reveals information about drone killings that disagrees with official statements. Oooops, those leaked papers can be real headaches.

The number of IT managers is growing, but so is the unemployment rate. This is simple - the population is growing faster than the number of jobs. It seems that some people in Washington D.C. don't understand this idea of a growing population.

It seems that New Orleans is a tech start-up hot spot now. That makes sense as the obvious shortcomings of New Orleans don't matter to tech startups.

The war against "everyone is a sensor" has begun as more businesses ban the not-yet-here Google Glass.

Vine is now the #1 free app in the U.S.

Aereo TV is big in the news this week. Here is why.

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Thursday April 11, 2013

The House Intelligence Committee passed the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA). The bill now goes to the full House. Government always trying to help us. Hey, that's a pretty good acronym - GATHU.

The sponsors of CISPA can't keep their stories straight about the government watching the citizens.

IRS lawyers have concluded that the government can read your emails without a warrant from a judge.

Ivan Sutherland's SketchPad is 50 years old this year. See the video. That was absolutely amazing and decades ahead of its time.

Apple has hired a new architecture firm to redesign some of its retail stores.

Mark Zuckerburg and friends create a new tech lobby - FWD.us - why?

Samsung creates a new product line of phablets - Galaxy Mega (a small tablet that is also a cell phone). When will we have phaptops (a phone in a laptop) or phesktops (a phone in a desktop), and how about...

It appears that Microsoft is building a smaller tablet to compete with everyone else's smaller tablet.

Maryland joins a few states in stomping the First Amendment online with "bullying" laws. First they came after the people who own firearms. Then they came after the people who use the Internet. Then they came after...

Be unique - buy an old-fashioned home computer. Fewer and fewer people are.

Even Apple is selling fewer desktop computers.

Mark Zuckerburg on immigration and innovation. Immigrants are usually hungrier. They work harder. We have to get a grip on this.

Project Gutenberg's Distributed Proofreaders have now put 25,000 public domain books online. Here is the page for the Distributed Proofreaders. Sign up, help out.

The whole social media thing is fading, especially with teens.

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Friday April 12, 2013

The smarthphone market in India is rapidly growing, and Apple and Samsung are not in the lead.

The widow of Steve Jobs will give NBC an interview regarding immigration.

ooops, there are all sorts of mysterious IT problems at the Pentagon related to Guantanamo Bay and trials.

You can load software on your computer that will tell you where it is in the event it is stolen. This post discusses one such event where a stolen laptop ended its journey in Iran.

Your iPad won't hold ALL your videos and music? Set it beside a wireless external hard disk drive.

Thoughts on the many sides to working from home. My take is that the best is to have people gather to generate ideas and then scatter to implement them. I guess that is too simple a recommendation.

The happiest tech workers work at Intuit, then Texas Instruments, and so on.

Are you a great freelance programmer? Get yourself a talent agent to make more money.

More people now work in the motion picture and music recording business than ever. Perhaps all this "illegal" distribution of content in helping rather than hurting the industry?

Should the U.S. grant citizenship to someone with an MS from USC who runs a business that employs people? When I was a kid (I know, in the last century), the answer was a simple "yes." Today, however, we can't seem to answer that question.

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Saturday April 13, 2013

Everyone write this down so we an come back at NOAA in a few years. NOAA reports that the arctic will be ice free between 2020 and 2050.

A story of how the NYPD couldn't find a mugger in three weeks and citizens on the Internet found the suspect in an hour. If law enforcement returned to the day where they were trustworthy, citizens would work with them for the good of all. But that old situation would reduce the need for law enforcement officials and reduce the number of jobs and the power of government. Oh well.

Using batteries to stabilize electric power distribution.

Jeff Bezos of Amazon on why a big business should operate with no profits.

More on Google Glass and the desire to not have a stranger take your photo.

Amateurs searched NASA photos of Mars and have located the remains of an old Soviet probe.

One person's reason for not buying new computers - the old ones still work great. No kidding. Sometimes the market analysts analyze things a bit too much. People today drive their cars longer than they did in the 1960s. People today keep their computers longer than they did in the 1990s.

Something to try - Pertino. Connect your computers in a cloud network. Share much more than files. Hmmm.

Microsoft has integrated a PinIt button in Bing image search.

Marking a moment in time: a look at the best gaming laptop computers.

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Sunday April 14, 2013

Cornell has opened an experimental school that provides an MS in Computer Science. The school is operated as and teaches how to be a startup.

Eric Schmidt on the regulation of private drones. How would you feel if your neighbor put a 20' ladder in his back yard, stood on it all day, and held a video camera? A "drone" can do the same thing.

And in the midst of the backlash on your gadget watching me and my gadget watching you, the next round of smartphones will have more sensors.

How to write a "book" in a weekend. Yes, the method will work. What you are doing is writing a research paper or rather doing some research and collecting lots of other people's work. That is fine.

How busy people, really really busy people, find time to write.

Reframing from OR to AND in your freelancing AND everything else.

Nine steps to write a book. This post is better than the title.

About how WordPress works as a completely distributed company - all telecommuting.

Don't care about what other people think. Really, don't.

Sometimes in fiction, you reach a point where you don't know what your character should do. My advice is simple: have the character sit down and say, "I don't know what to do."

I like this reframe - don't think of them as outlines; think of them as guidelines. Excellent!

Sometimes I link to a story on writing that I loathe, this is one.  A story is ready for "publication" when you are finished with it. Put it up on the Internet. There, it is published. Rewrite it a day or ten years from now and publish it again. Don't polish and do all the other things advocated in the post. You will die before you publish anything. And don't hang your life on the word "publish."

Steve Jobs and the goal of preaching or writing or teaching or all sorts of other things. Expose (needs and desires) and then meet needs and desires that customers didn’t realize they had.

Daily learning - learn a little each day.

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