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: July 15-21, 2013

Summary of this week:

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

Monday July 15, 2013

Several retailers are running sales on the recently updated MacBook Air.

A closer look at the solar-powered plan that flew across the U.S.

A look at Ralph Baer: he invented the first video game console among other things.

The Utilite from CompuLab. A desktop PC for $99. This is a real computer.

Just graduated college with a computing degree? Best wishes in finding a job. It doesn't look good.

It seems that Apple and Samsung will continue to work together on the processors for Apple's mobile devices.

And Apple is hiring people who know how to design smart watches. Who are those people?

Retailers are tracking customers in the store via their cell phones. Information is power, and the retailers may learn something to better serve the customers or is it just another tactic to make more money?

Despite a falling public image, Microsoft is thriving as a company.

Samsung releases a 6" smartphone. Too big?

The Middle East has more female tech pioneers than the West.

A look at the black market for stolen mobile devices. There is lots of money here.

Lenovo is now operating a factory in North Carolina.

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Tuesday July 16, 2013

With the new Intel processors, even the game-playing portable computers are becoming thin. See this model from MSI.

It appears that the Thunderbolt interface is failing in the marketplace; USB 3.0 in winning.

Most Americans "work" during their vacations. Are we all crazy? Let's consider another explanation: by making three five-minute calls while on vacation, a person enables a dozen colleagues to work productively back at the office. By staying off the air, the vacationer multiplies the stress of the colleagues back at the office. Hence, the working vacationers are taking 15 minutes a day from their vacation to help their colleagues. Is something wrong with that?

Microsoft has a Lab of Things - a network of sensors in your house that, gasp, send their data to the cloud. I wish they have some security built into the system.

It's just a research product for now, but these flat pieces of material assemble themselves into structures when current is applied. Let your imagination go for a few moments.

Amazon hires a lobby firm to help them lobby for tax reform.

European and Asian governments are currently under a malware attack. Is everyone ready for national electronic health records?

A teenager tweeted that he was going to kill everyone at his high school. It was just a "joke." He was arrested and then released. There is an old saying that an armed society is a polite society. You don't threaten anyone when everyone is carrying a means to kill you. The Internet society will one day be a polite society. You won't threaten anyone when everyone has the means to hear and report your threat to the police. Maybe.

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Wednesday July 17, 2013

The Washington Post continues to follow the government's bunny inspectors. Sequestor? Short on money? What? Who, us?

Google updates Maps for the iPad.

Look what is selling big - the little hockey puck known as Apple TV.

These are excellent tips for traveling.

Bill Gates thinks that software assistants can do wonders for people tackling the world's big problems. I tend to agree, but with less hyperbole.

Google returns to Palo Alto by buying 15 acres. That is expensive land.

Thoughts on an all-surveillance society. Would Trayvon Martin still be alive if both persons knew that cameras and microphones were recording everything? A complete lack of privacy might provide a complete shield of safety.

ooops, a researcher hacks into several major web services easily. Is everyone ready for national electronic health records?

Researchers continue make small advances in harvesting wasted heat. Maybe one day some of these experiments will produce practice products.

Marissa Mayer has been CEO of Yahoo for a year. The stock price is up, but consumers don't think much of Yahoo. Computerworld gives Mayer a favorable rating.

I like this: what makes a successful open source software project.

Here is a surprise (not): the government's school Internet program has lots of waste in it.

The UK will have tests of driverless cars this year.

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Thursday July 18, 2013

Nokia lost $151million in the second quarter alone.

Is the PC dead? Is the future a low-cost, tablet that you can quickly augment with a keyboard?

Japan is considering lenghtening the copyright life. It is too long already.

All the tech companies want the NSA to be more transparent. I seem to recall the current U.S. President promising more transparency when he was a candidate. Perhaps my memory fails me (not).

The ten most-edited topics in Wikipedia. This is an odd list - Jesus Christ and the WWE?

The update to the Nexus 7 will maybe be in stores next week.

Computers in the classroom appear to increase collaboration among students. I guess we will have to establish rules about "doing your own work."

More than ever, adults are living alone and in the middle of big cities. I haven't seen this personally, but the studies show it.

The U.S. Department of Justice believes that it doesn't need a court order to track a citizen's location via cell phone data. And I thought all this big brother stuff disappeared when that other guy left office. What was his name, anyway? Something to do with a W.

And police departments are using license plate readers to store information on where citizens were and when.

Samsung introduces a fast, 1 TeraByte Solid State Disc.

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Friday July 19, 2013

Last night I watched most of the SyFy movie "Sharknado." I am awestruck or dumstruck or dumbfounded or something. Here is an actual review. How did someone have time to write a review of that?

A good guide to SCRUM and Agile.

Apple buys Locationary: a Wikipedia for local business listings. This may improve Apple's maps.

Some Apple account holders have been invited to try iWork for iCloud. I haven't. Where is my invite?

Microsoft is left holding $900million in Surface RT tablets.

Google pulls in $14billion in revenue in one quarter (up 19% from last year). That is almost enough money to get Detroit out of debt.

And Google laid off over 5,000 Motorola employees last quarter.

Hackers post the passwords of hunreds of Capitol Hill staffers. Is everyone ready for national electronic health records?

The New Jersey Supreme Court rules that police need a warrant to track a citizen's location via the cell phone system.

I love this: the seven habits of highly mediocre people.

Nice article on surviving as a senior technical manager.

People are hacking Google Glass so it does things that Google didn't intend. Is Google at fault?

GlassUp - an Italian clone of Google Glass that, of course, will be much less expensive to buy.

Best Buy cuts the price of a MacBook Pro by several hundred dollars.

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Saturday July 20, 2013

Thoughts on the abysmal failure of the Microsoft tablet.

Apple buys yet another company to help it with maps. This time its HopStop.

Google adds a full-screen editing mode for compising mail in gmail.

Udacity and San Jose State Univ have suspended their online class offerings. Only 44% of students passed their online classes, and, even for government, that is too low.

Before and after photographs of the collapse of Detroit. People from many perspectives have their own explanations (blame) for the collapse. It goes to show that a city can simply break. Cities don't just happen and don't just happen to continue.

Maybe our TSA will use random security searches instead of the current system that treats everyone as a potential terrorist.

MIT researchers claim they can make TCP/IP twice as fast via software.

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Sunday July 21, 2013

The trials and triumphs of having a daily writing schedule. Aargh, get to it.

Some books on writing fiction.

The government comes to your door and tells you to install their little black box on your equipment. And it is all legal.

Self-publishing a book is the new business card. I see the reasoning here and mostly agree with it.

Ubuntuforums was hacked with all users compromised. Is everyone ready for national electronic health records?

A look at the economy that has grown around renting a room to a total stranger - airbnb.

The best tech skills to list on a resume. I guess there is something here - don't list skills in alphabetical order.

Here is a good thought, write less and say more. Or I could write more and say  more. Something to consider.

Thoughts on the value of being uncomfortable to writers. I think that the discomfort helps find ideas, but doesn't help with banging keys on the keyboard.

If you are a freelancer who travels, you must protect your travel computer and your data. That is your livelihood.

A writer, and all freelancers, must maintain their health. If you are sick, you don't work, you have no income. Here are some tips to working from home and eating in a healthy manner.

A method of editing a novel that uses five different drafts.

Ideas on writing in plain English. English is a pretty good language. There have been some pretty good books written in English over the years. Try just writing in simple English. It works.

Some thoughts on writing what you know and how to work that into writing about things you don't know.

There are many posts about this story out there: JK Rowling writes a book under a pseudonym, and critics loved the book by an unknown author. She found the experience of writing with no expectations quite satsifying.

Could you write a novel by hand with pencil and paper?

Getting things done and the two-column To Do list. The second column describes the reason behind the activity or task in the first.

Advice to beginning a Freelance work life.

Be a writer; be clever, but that takes a lot of work.

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