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 15-21, 2013

Summary of this week:

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

Monday April 15, 2013

Windows 8 is not a hit in the marketplace. Does Microsoft have another idea?

The Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT) has been approved. It will cost $1Billion and sit on a volcano in Hawaii. A big hurdle was receiving permission from Hawaii for the use of the land. The usual complaints were environmental and historical. This is good news for unemployed astronomers and builders of optics. It is also a boondoggle of epic proportions. Funny how the one place in the world needed for the telescope just happens to be one of the world's most popular tourist attractions.

Wasn't this a Seinfeld episode? This desk comes with a bed built into it. I like it. When did we decide that single-purpose objects were better than multi-purpose objects?

This before and after photo shows how gadget tech has advanced in the last 20 years.

Thoughts, mostly silly, on toddlers interacting with paper and iPads. These people are trying to be serious, but really folks. Some things work one way - a swipe for example - and other things work in other ways. Kids learn that stuff.

A website that contains only webcams. Hard to search.

glasshole - noun - A person who constantly talks to their Google Glass, ignoring the outside world.

I love this one - reinventing laser tag. Kids are doing it. The result is much better than the original.

The Internet Archive now holds the worlds largest collection of software.

Most Raspberry Pi units are being built in Wales, not China. Good news.

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Tuesday April 16, 2013

There were several explosions at the finish line of the Boston Marathon yesterday. As of this morning, few details were available.

Immigration reform is in the news in the Senate and Silicon Valley. Note: if a non-citizen is implicated in the Boston bombings, such reform will be shelved for another year or ten.

Unemployment rates in rural areas are higher than the national rate - 8.7% compared to 8.1%. Did you notice that US unemployment is back above 8% again?

Thoughts on not having self-driving cars, but instead cars that help you drive safer.

NovoEd - yet another Stanford-based MOOC company. Here is to link to NovoEd.

IBM sends 200 executives to Capitol Hill to lobby for CISPA. I am surprised that many major tech companies are in favor of CISPA. It seems that the proposed law gives these companies protection while not doing so for individual citizens.

About Microsoft, big data, etc. to achieve better building energy management.

Google releases the tech specs for Glass - nothing notable.

A new app that helps you track who is tracking you through your browsing.

Apple's stock price continues to drop - down 40% from its high last year. Buy BUy BUY

Dell releases a new $420 portable computer with enough power to do anything you want to do. Really, what are you going to do, run climate change models?

The Dell XPS 18 is taking orders - 18" touch screen with "feet." This is a really big tablet that doubles as an all-in-one desktop computer. I hope this works in the marketplace.

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Wednesday April 17, 2013

The Washington Post has a long article on how Facebook lobbied the proposed immigration law. Facebook is one of those companies that is listed as "dependent" on H-1B employees (non-citizens) as they have more than 15% of their employees on H-1B visas. Facebook claims a hardship as many of their foreign employees are trying to obtain green cards. The U.S. government is slow to process green card applications. Should Facebook suffer because the government is slow? Well, everyone else suffers because the government is slow and you don't see any special favors given to everyone else.

More information on the proposed immigration bill. Note that the first two letters of the acronym are "BS." Not a good choice.

Part of the proposed immigration bill requires a US company to advertise a job opening on the Internet at least 30 days before hiring a visa holder. Of course there are loop holes there big enough to run a 747 through.

Intel's profits fell by 25% last quarter. They still made a profit, but the drastic drop in PC sales hurt them.

And don't buy a computer, yet. Intel claims that we will see touch screen laptops for $300 by Christmas.

The HP Slate 7 tablet will first be available in the UK for about $200 - May 1st ship date.

LG claims to be making a clothes washing machine that doesn't use water.

Google Fiber in Kansas City will now carry HBO and Cinemax. Why do you need cable TV?

Here is an excellent presentation on wealth distribution in America. I can't verify the numbers, but an excellent presentation. One of the falacies in the presentation is that it doesn't consider the relative cost of living in the different areas of the country. Many people in the Washington D.C. area, for example, are "wealthy" or would be wealthy if the cost of living there was the same as in rural Louisiana. The cost of living isn't the same. Hence, these wealthy live in a house and drive a car just like the person in rural Louisiana that earns 15% of what the wealthy person does.

American Airlines had a computer problem yesterday. Pity the pour souls who were trying to fly the "new" American.

One in six people in the UK are running online businesses from home. Most don't realize it.

The percentage of people using Chromebooks to access the Internet is 0.02% - almost too low to measure.

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Thursday April 18, 2013

All the gun control bills in the Senate fail. The Constitution wins - not the second amendment, but the part of the Constitution that makes people go slow.

And a huge explosion at a fertilizer plant in Texas.

In San Jose, the city has decided to let a private company build an executive (Google) jet terminal on airport grounds. No tax money is involved or so they say. I like the San Jose airport, at least the old terminal building. The new building is just another copy from every other airport that claims to be unique.

Apple's business in India is booming.

Why is Intel trying to enter the TV business? Simple, there is money in the TV business.

Intel buys a data center company so they can enter that market.

It appears that Nokia will make a phablet this year (cell phone in a tablet).

If you are in the early Google Glass program, you can neither sell nor loan your Glass to anyone.

Google Fiber's third city  is  Provo, Utah. What about Reston, Virginia? Huh?

Space Monkey - another local and cloud storage system for your own stuff.

Ah, Microsoft Excel. Here is a tip - if you want the correct answer, you have to program it correctly.

Microsoft's stock price is up 8% this year. So, if you bought it instead of Apple in January...

Driverless cars will be in the U.S. in 2020, as long as that is okay with the lawyers.

The next iPad is expected to be noticeable thinner and lighter. I want one that is the size and weight of a 100-page spiral notebook.

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Friday April 19, 2013

A look at the state of the art in Ultrabooks and other thin and light portable computers.

But wait, from Taiwan - the world's thinnest and lightest laptop from Inhon (whoever that is).

Here is is, a $12 cell phone. Of course they can make it at that price.

This little story is all over the Internet, so there must be something to it: Sony has made a harness so you can strap a video camera to a dog.

Disney plans to have a Star Wars movie in 2015, 2017, 2019.

The Digital Public Library of America is now open online - dp.la .

U.S. farmsourcing companies are delighted to see all the H-1B visas gone so quickly. Hire us, we live in Iowa and work for cheap!

Lots of businesses want to ban Google Glass because of the privacy of their customers. Then the Boston Marathon bombing happens, and everyone wants copies of every photo and video of the scene. The everyone-is-a-sensor concept becomes wonderful again, at least for a week.

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Saturday April 20, 2013

One person's experience of being locked in their own home in Boston.

The tweeting crowd was wrong on several Boston-related stories the past 72 hours, and so was CNN and that crowd.

Marissa Mayer talks about her "no more telecommuting" memo.

Yahoo will close its email service in China in August.

Teachers Pay Teachers is making a few teachers rich.

The Boston Marathon bombers were immigrants who studied science and engineering in U.S. colleges. Yes, this will affect the immigration bill in front of Congress.

Florida is about to pass a law restricting the use of drones by law enforcement. Good for them.

DARPA has built a hand-held, long wave infrared (LWIR) imager.

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Sunday April 21, 2013

The average person wears about 20% of the clothing they own. Who is that average person?

It appears that Facebook is behind a huge data center project in Iowa. Good for Iowa.

A big outcome of the events in Boston the past week is: don't watch TV news for "the latest."

Excellent advice for writers in this post. Can I emphasize that this is E X C E L L E N T    A D V I C E. Practical, specific steps to perform while writing.

Writers should read, but what?

Thoughts on breaking the rules in writing. Let's just state this one plainly: there are no rules.

If you work at home and someone made you go to an office to work - here are ten things (people) that would confront you (humor).

Freelance writing is NOT a way to quick money. It isn't much of a way to long-term money either.

Does location matter in writing? Yes, of course. I write stories set in the rural south and the Virginia suburbs. That is where I lived; I understand something about it. I don't know what an alley in New York City looks like or smells like or what is on the ground.

Excellent title of a post: if you write anything, someone will not like you. I agree.

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