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: June 10-16, 2013

Summary of this week:

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

Monday June 10, 2013

The source of the NSA leaks reveals himself on the run in Hong Kong. Is he a patriot, civil libertarian, traitor, confused young man, or something else?

And more from Ed Snowden including what he, and anyone else in the program, could do.

Once again, we are reminded, "if you have done nothing wrong, you have nothing to fear from the government."

Outside of the NSA, in other news, Apple's WWDC starts today. New products?

Government boondoggle coming - President Obama launches high-speed internet access program for schools. I wonder how long it will be before we learn of a school buying a $20,000 router like that tiny library in West Virginia? Your tax dollars at waste.

In the UK, the government may regulate how citizens use webcams. We can't have citizens "spying" on other citizens as that is the exclusive realm of government? This is all disconcerting.

A $99 tablet computer. It isn't the worst thing ever. Good. Put a keyboard on a 20-line screen, with some memory and WiFi and you have a writing machine.

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Tuesday June 11, 2013

Apple held their big event yesterday.
The Mac Book Air models have new chips inside - faster, more power, better graphics, and longer battery life.
The Airport and Time Capsule have been updated - better technology.
The biggest change, and the one that will make the least money for Apple, is the Mac Pro. Much better performance and they are putting it in a cylindrical case. Very cool appearance that reminds me of the Cray supercomputer circular love seat. And the new Mac Pros will be "assembled in the USA."
Apple improved its iCloud services.
And iBooks comes to the basic Mac OS X.
A good summary of the announcements.

Ed Snowden is on the run while people are wondering how a guy with no high school diploma and three months on the job had access to all this information
. The answer is that this is what people do in government - make poor decisions about who is given what and when. The government bureaucracy is run mostly by people with little competency. They decide poorly daily. This is from someone who suffered through it for 28 years.

Lego bricks + Raspberry Pi = BrickPi = inexpensive robotics experiments. This is wonderful. Look for more wonder coming in ten years from these kids.

While we are combining things: Longboard skateboard + baby stroller = more fun.

Alienware has recently upgraded portable gaming computers.

One third of adults in the US own a tablet. I guess the definition of tablet has something to do with this, but still, that is a large percentage. How the world has changed.

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Wednesday June 12, 2013

You must see this - these little toy cars are driving themselves around a track in traffic. This is the future of self-driving cars.

A quiet announcement from Apple: iOS 7 will support Hotspot 2.0. A notable improvement.

Big gains in performance from early benchmarks on the MacBook Air.

More data on those tests.

Technology is destroying jobs. I know we have been through this a few dozen times in the past few hundred years, but this time it is serious. Couple the increased productivity of every worker with the large bump in population from the millenial generation and we have unemployment. Then add increased government regulations. This is not good. The one thing we can do is reduce the regulations, but...

The market in the future for mobile devices is India and China. This should not be a surpise. Make a $50 smartphone for those countries and you will become rich.

The US government is spying on its citizens. Who profits? The holder of the copyright for Orwell's 1984.

All this spying is legal because Congress passed a law saying it was legal. The Supreme Court has never ruled on the (un)constitutionality of the law. Now some Senators want to repeal the law.

And now that the law has seen the light of day, the lawsuits are coming.

Microsoft will stop supporting Windows XP next year. Will that push people into buying new PCs?

And this happens often with new OS updates (like the ones Apple just showed). Great ideas from little companies are put into the big company's OS.

Young people prefer real classrooms over the online ones. That is because they are wealthy enough to afford the real classroom. How about the billion students who live in "poverty" in India and China.

HP is trying to make it easy to integrate its systems with Google's Apps for small business.

How much money the Federal government is wasting on IT is up for debate. The waste is so bad that no one can put a number on it.

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Thursday June 13, 2013

Apple's OS X Mavericks claims to use memory far more efficiently, and that will increase battery life on portables.

Ed Snowden's past as a commentator on Ars Technica.

Who says the government isn't making advances in IT? The US Navy can now send text messages in lowercase as well as uppercase.

Why are there so many messaging apps? Immigrants. Each country has its own most popular message app. When a person immigrates, they bring that app with them so they can talk to the folks back home.

A flying bicycle - of course it doesn't really work as the battery life is just a few minutes.

Google officially has a cloud printer ability.

It appears that the great move to 3D home television never happened.

George Will has a good editorial that connects the tragedy of the IRS and the NSA. When government loses the trust of the governed, nothing else matters much. No one believes anything that anyone says about any topic. Society suffers in a slump until the next president takes office. A sad state of affairs that multiplies misery.

IBM has another round of layoffs - now has more employees in India than in the US.

Guess what? Older people use bigger displays (tablets) than younger people (smartphones). At least this wasn't a government study wasting all this study money.

Sometimes the simplest advice is the most powerful. For example, when in doubt make a list.

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Friday June 14, 2013

Many times I comment on a post because of the oddity of the title. This is one case: these guys want to build a swimming pool that floats in a dirty river and filters the dirt with tiles.

Oh guess what? Even the government acknowledges that medical devices can be hacked. So why is the government pushing online health care records?

Finally, Microsoft Office for the iPhone is here.

The definition of success has changed. Half a million new iTunes accounts everyday.

George Lucas and Steven Spielberg predict the demise of Hollywood due to technology.

Symantec is laying off 1,700 people.

Facebook opens a datacenter in the arctic circle. It uses naturally cold water to cool the servers.

Best Buy is making space for Microsoft stores inside Best Buy stores.

Caffeine withdrawal is now a mental disorder. That means it probably qualifies someone for something under Obamacare.

Organic CMOS image sensors are almost here - much better performance.

Engadget reveiws the upgraded MacBook Air.

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Saturday June 15, 2013

The Atlantic magazine will now have a weekly edition on iOS only.

Google now has 30 baloons up in the sky experimenting with providing Internet access to the isolated.

The Common Place Book or Fieldstones.

People are still dropping out of the job market in record numbers. Those unemployed are not counted in unemployment rates. Education may be the key, but not from the education system we have now.

The tech companies are releasing information about how the government asks them for information. Microsoft has 1,000 requests a month from the government.

Some experiences with ultra Hi Def displays. The new Mac Pro can drive three 4K 31" displays ($12,000 worth).

America's NSA is not the only intel agency in the world watching its own citizens.

An interesting idea, put photos in windows of empty storefronts to give the appearance of prosperity.

The Apple design philosophy.

Some alternatives to a traditional college education.

More experiences with how broadband access changes everything in rural America. Whatever happened to those billions of dollars that we were supposed to use to do this?

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Sunday June 16, 2013

The ball point pen is 75 years old.

One of the few ways to fail as a writer is to stop.

A graphic depicting the differences between "geek" and "nerd." I like the display.

As writers become better writers, they also become more critical.

Writing is personal and sensitive; publishing is a heartless, cut throat business.

Yet another reminder that Google Reader goes away on 1 July. At least they gave us a good, long warning.

Some reasons why one person writes - the change himself and the world.

How one person became a full-time writer.

Ten reasons why we should write everyday. Good, solid advice.

Thoughts on finding time to write. Here is a secret: writing is more important than fill-in-the-blank. Hence, you write instead of doing that other thing.

The best time to start that book was ten years ago. The second best time to start that book is today.

How one writer edits her own writing - 15 long steps.

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