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 29-May 5, 2013

Summary of this week:

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

Monday April 29, 2013

Samsung is beating Apple in the marketplace recently. A lot of Apple haters are applauding. Try to remember that Apple is an American company and that Samsung is based in South Korea.

The Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 - a 7" phablet - price? How do they come up with the names for these things?

Google operates 1,300 bicycles at its Mountain View office complex. Each bike is ridden about 1,000 miles per year.

Apple predictions, a.k.a, rumors, indicate new processors in the portable computer lineup at WWDC.

It seems that Facebook is losing millions of users.

In the UK, over 80% of firms reported cyber security breaches. Is everyone ready for national electronic health records? I am dumbfounded at the claim the if our government put our health records online or held elections online that everything would be private and secure. How can anyone make that claim in the face of evidence?

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Tuesday April 30, 2013

Toshiba ships a small external drive that comes with a Pogoplug subscription.

With all this Internet "TV" viewing, how do you know how many people are watching what shows? The Nielson folks roll out a prototype to try to track Internet show viewers.

MIT's Media Lab and their Smarter Objects experiments with user interfaces and augmented reality.

The World Wide Web is 20 years old today.

Microsoft brings out Web-based Skype calling from within Outlook.com.

What machine language coding was like in 1985. Yes, I did that. No, it wasn't a lot of fun, but it worked. We did amazing things on tiny hardware and it worked. There is something about writing things on paper with a pencil or pen that helps you think.

Is SMS (text messages) dead? More people are chatting in apps than using SMS.

A little tutorial on why security holes in software are so hard to correct. And any national electronic health records system will be full of security holes.

More thoughts on the H-1B visa program and the shortage (?) of American talent. Yes, there is a shortage of Americans with ten years cloud computing in Java willing to share a one-bedroom apartment on the wrong side of the tracks in San Jose, California with five other men and be paid $1.98 an hour with no chance of a pay raise for six years and the threat of deportation if you complain or talk to anyone (lovely non-disclosure agreements).

Excellent ideas on entertaining and educating children without using an iPad.

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Wednesday May 1, 2013

Today is May Day - the International Worker's Holiday. But seriously Americans, many people in other countries have a big celebration today.

Sigh, the government wants to fine tech companies that won't help it spy on citizens. The plain old telephone system (POTS) was easy to monitor. "New" tech (anything less than 50 years old) isn't so easy. The legal system is that far behind the tech system.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation rates companies regarding how they protect our data from the government.

Expect Labs is working on speech-to-text and anticipatory search technologies.

Google has added software to the Chromebooks to make it easier for them to be public Internet kiosks.

Amazon Web Services now has a certification program so that you can be "AWS certified."

It appears that Digg is going to have a replacement for Google Reader sometime in June.

Cadillac is testing semi-autonomous driving cars - they call the product Super Cruise.

Despite the Windows 8 bust, the share price of Microsoft stock hits a five-year high.

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Thursday May 2, 2013

Intel shows information on its next processors - much better graphics capabilities built in.

A Russian billionaire buys $100Million of Apple stock. Out of my financial league.

Would you buy a drone detector? A system that hears a drone flying about and warns you for $70.

Internet Explorer 10 doubled its browser market share after Microsoft put it on Windows 7.

20,000 people have applied to be in a one-way trip to Mars. You go there and you die on camera.

MediaTek introduces new, low-cost system on a chip for cell phones. The capability goes up as the price goes down.

This story is all over the Internet, so it must be important. The President nominates a former lobbyist to head the FCC. Same as usual in Washington - give money to elected officials and be hired as a regulator. What's next? We appoint Mark Zuckerburg to head immigration?

It appears that Apple will use simpler imagery in future iOS releases. Is the age of "image is everything" over? I hope so.

Why aren't smartphones making us more productive?  There are many people who don't want to be more productive. They want more spare time for entertainment. The smartphone is their portable entertainment device. If  they had their wishes, the wouldn't produce anything.

It appears that Microsoft is working on a version of Windows that you run from the web. In the old days, this was called thin-client.

The marketplace for tablets has exploded. Apple is the number on supplier of hardware while Android is the most popular operating system.

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Friday May 3, 2013

Coda - an electric car maker - files for bankruptcy. That is the third company to do so in the last 18 months. People just aren't interested in buying expensive electric cars and bribes from the government don't help enough.

Excellent thoughts from Jerry Weinberg on pricing, consulting, and things that relate to those.

Microsoft now has 400 million users on Outlook.com. Yes, that is greater than the population of the U.S. The definition of success has changed.

And in the vein of really big numbers, Apple has almost reached 50billion app downloads. Yes, the definition of success has changed.

Would you put a small cellphone base station in your home to improve everyone's data access? How community minded are you? Qualcomm has made the technology, now it just needs willing people.

The Chief of NYPD has taken privacy off the table with regards to cameras everywhere. I didn't realize that he controlled the privacy table. Who appointed him?

Apple avoids $9.2billion in taxes by moving money about. Good for Apple. There is an old saying, not well known but old, that goes something like...the government's lawyers figure out how to tax Apple (or any company), but Apple's lawyers figure out how to avoid those taxes. And Apple will always come out ahead because they have better lawyers than the government. Someone needs to figure out a way to write a law that says, "outsmarting us on this one is illegal."

In Apple technology news, Apple has added more flash storage options to the desktop iMac lineup.

Some teenagers in Alaska used old phishing techniques to obtain access to the school's computer system. Hmmm, is everyone ready for national electronic health records?

25% of broadband households have smart TVs (computer and server and such inside).

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Saturday May 4, 2013

Acer introduces a few new products: an 8" tablet, an ultrabook, and a flip, convertable thingy.

40% of the smartphones in  America are iPhones.

Defense Distributed has almost made an entirely 3D printed handgun. It has a nail for a firing pin. Some handgun cartridges produce pressures light enough for plastics to handle. Note there are several large qualifiers in these sentences.

A student-built exoskeleton arm for $2,000.

I like this idea - use your smartphone as the CPU for a laptop docking station. You get a big display and keyboard. In essence, the smartphone becomes a pocket-size storage device.

This must be big news because it has been all over the Internet the past few days: the DoD has approved the Android phone for use by its employees. The iPhone is supposed to be approved real soon now.

Johanna Rothman has a good idea: hire the unemployed instead of stealing employees for another company.

One person's experience as a digital nomad - 10 months in five European countries working every day.

Here is a nice desk-bed. I like pieces of furniture that have several uses. All jokes aside, if you work at home in a one room dwelling, this is practical.

Datawind has delivered 100,000 tablets to the Indian government at $40 each.

Everybody hates Google Glass. Well, it is the first prototype, give them some time to make version 2, 3, 4...

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Sunday May 5, 2013

Steal from good authors? That is called reading.

Should you write fiction or non-fiction? Yes.

Thoughts on writing the end of a story first.

How the tech companies are writing immigration legislation in Washington. Remember the days when Microsoft was surprised to learn that Washington could (almost) ruin them? High-tech learned about money and influence and legislation.

Another excellent lower-cost robotic arm from college students. You control this one, $3,500, with face muscles. Excellent for people who can control the muscles of their face but none of the other muscles of their body.

A Net Present Value calculator for the books you write.  If you can bring $15 a month income steadily for years, and write a new book every year, you can make a little money. Not enough to live on, at least I don't think you can, but maybe...

Excellent advice on writing and being a writer - especially about having a journal.

Write something completely different. It is fun, and I usually learn something from the practice.

The trials, tribulations, and joys of a writing session. This is where you are seated with your hands on the keyboard (or pencil).

One person's path from wanting to be a writer to being a writer.

And here is another person's path.

Good thoughts on writing every day.

Do you have a writing style that is all your own? My answer: if you don't try to have a style, yes, you have a style all your own. Just write. Simply write. After you have a big pile of writing, step back and read through it. You will see your style.

Sometimes, just sometimes, it is good to look at the bad a writer can do to learn a few things about the good a writer can do.

Often, writers sit and think and think and think... Nothing wrong with thinking, actually I find that most people do it far too infrequently, but now and then, choose and do.

The Wordsmithy Workshop in Idaho in August.

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