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 22-28, 2013

Summary of this week:

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

Monday July 22, 2013

At one time, forensic scientists thought that hair samples could be used to identify people. They were wrong. The FBI is reviewing several thousand cases where people were convicted based on hair samples. And by the way, fingerprints aren't unique and identifying fingerprints is more art than science.

Diet information - a good reminder.

A school district in Texas drops RFID chips on students and goes to surveillance cameras instead. Uh, excuse me, what about reading and writing and that stuff? Education?

In the realm of "is everyone ready for national electronic health records?" we have a few of (un)security stories:

Apple's developer site was hacked. It remains down while they try to fix it.

A security researcher has found a security hole in SIM cards - 750 million of them.

Tales of white-hate (the good guys) hacking.

Hackers hire ten programmers for every one hired by anti-hacking companies. It is a simple numbers game, and if you think you can put your health records online in privacy you are mistaken.

The 75-20-5 rule: That is, on any given day, I’d say 75 percent of what you read in the tech press is somewhat accurate, 20 percent is complete bullshit, and 5 percent is actually true.

Venture capital investment in Silicon Valley drops drastically.

A look at unemployment among engineers and computing fields. It is muddy.

ooops, those 3D printers may be poisoning the users.

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Tuesday July 23, 2013

Intel attempts to change the data center so that software can re-configure it in minutes.

iTunes hits the 1Billion podcast subscription mark.

Even Apple is hurting in the personal computer market - Mac sales are down 5% from last year.

Ubuntu wants to build a phone that becomes your PC. The phone's processor and memory would double as your home computer.

On the Internet, Google is bigger than Facebook, Netflix, and Twitter combined.

Donate your Android device's extra CPU cycles to science with an app called BOINC.

The return of the $15,000 television set - Samsung's 55" OLED display enters the U.S. this week.

Cyber Crime costs the U.S. economy $100Billion a year! This is probably not true, but it is sensational enough to cause some well-meaning Congressmen to propose legislation that will fix all this. And then one day, after it passes, someone will read the legislation and learn about all the bad things that come with it. And then one day, long after it passes and the bad things hurt us, someone will mention that the $100B number was over-estimated by a few orders of magnitude.

More on the $900million in Microsoft tablets that no one wants. Please, please donate these tablets to Africa or Central America or Haiti or something. Let people learn on the machines.

Hollywood is using analytics to craft movies, but even that science doesn't prevent massive financial movie flops.

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Wednesday July 24, 2013

Apple gave its quarterly financial report: almost $7billion profit in three months. The numbers are staggering as we continue to redefine successes. 31 million iPhones 14 million iPads and so on. They sold a million iPads to U.S. schools. Which schools have the money to buy those? I thought education was broke.

Yet people are upset that Apple only grew 1%.

The iPad has 84% of the tablet market. When will the anti-trust investigations begin?

Apple looking to put iOS in the car, real soon now.

Best Buy is already listing the new Google tablet; Google hasn't announced it yet.

According to a study (wonderful words to use), the U.S. slips to 9th place regarding Internet access speed.

Google continues to use its money to fund advances in image recognition. They are achieving excellent results.

Apache releases OpenOffice 4.

A call for Microsoft to sell its Surface RT tablets for $50. They would sell quickly at that price, and Microsoft would cut some of its losses. Still, I think they should donate all of them to kids in developing countries, but that is just me.

The tech companies are pouring millions of dollars into lobbying the immigration bill.

Nvidia releases a graphics processor that far exceeds the world - and only $2,250. If you do graphics all day, this will be worth the money. The rest of us will settle for much less.

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Thursday July 25, 2013

Google releases Android 4.3.

And Google shows the updated Nexus 7: same name, much better product. More on the improvements here.

The Google Chromecast: a $35 "dongle" that allows streaming video to your HDMI televisor. Is this the new Google TV? More on why you should buy one - the big reason is the low price. And even more information on the Chromecast. Judging from the coverage, people are excited about this.

The House of Representatives narrowly voted to keep the NSA programs going.

Textbooks are coming to Google Play.

Geeksphone is now taking orders for the Peak+ smartphone that runs Firefox OS.

Twelve observations about how people behave on the Internet.

"If you don't know how to speak with confidence on tape, you've now entered a culture where you will never be able to speak. Because it's all on tape, it's all online, it's all on your permanent record." Seth Godin.

A town in Norway is installing mirrors that will reflect the sun and lengthen their short winter days. Brilliant. I love it.

The NSA can listen to your phone calls, but claims it cannot search its own email system. I believe them.

It seems that NSA's new data center in Utah wastes a lot of space.

Why tech companies are (re)starting to build products in America - it is good for business. These are, after all, for-profit companies. They are not charities.

The small tablets are beating the big tablets in the market. I saw a ten-year-old girl using an iPad mini last night. Happy as could be.

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Friday July 26, 2013

More news on the coming iOS in the car.

LibreOffice 4.1 comes right after OpenOffice 4.0.

ooops, surprise, Amazon grew sales by 22%, but lost money.

Wikipedia finally allows editing from mobile devices.

Five habits to increase productivity. I guess Ben Franklin had it right a long time ago - get up early and stay healthy.

Computer sales are down, so Best Buy cuts $200 off MacBook Pro.

All is not wonderful with Apple. Apple's smartphone market share dropped to a three-year low.

In an effort to gain more Twitter followers, Chipotle hacked its own account. Western civilization is doomed.

The U.S. government continues to find more taxpayer-funded data centers. The definition they are using is silly, and the entire project is wasting money.

On Silicon Valley and immigrants. It may be time for the U.S. to create special economic zones where immigration is not an issue.

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Saturday July 27, 2013

A closer look at Google's new tablet - the updated Nexus 7. They kept the price low, and if you are to compete with the luxury Apple tablets, you have to have a low price.

Oooops, Google's new Chromecast is easy to hack. That means that the neighbors can push shows to your televisor.

An artists learns programming by just doing it, creating 180 websites in 180 days.

As I sit in Starbucks with my iPhone-purchased coffee - Starbucks is now doing 10% of its retail business via smartphones.

How would you like it if someone pointed a video camera at you while you worked? This FedEx employee is seen doing, well so many things wrong all at once.

The technologists at Facebook have created a PHP Virtual Machine enabling PHP code to run about nine times faster.

It is nice to be Apple: Apple will receive some higher-performing Haswell processors from Intel.

A detailed look into the turn you cellphone off during takeoff and landing experience. Yes, poorly made electronic devices can interefere with an airplane's necessary electronics. Yes, the FAA's policies are over blown.

A demonstration of how easy it is to spoof GPS.

Hacking into the reservation systems of restaurants. These restaurants are high-dollar. They really care about their systems, but their systems are hacked. But people believe that a government-run system will keep their medical records private. I don't understand that.

A demonstration of hacking into the home of a stranger. Yes, let's all have our house be an Internet of things. What could possible go wrong?

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Sunday July 28, 2013

A new term: Glogging - blogging with Google Glass.

Google is close to a voice translation gadget - travel to Russia, no problem.

YouVersion hits 100million subscribers and makes it to the New York Times.

Some researchers have hacked the codes to starting the engines on luxury cars. Is everyone ready for national electronic health records?

Stories ARE all around us.

The world of work for telecommuting freelancers. I'll never experience that because my work ensures that kind of work can exist.

Read about a writer - Dean Wesley Smith will post every day for a year about what he is writing and how he is writing it. Starts 1 August.

This is a wonderful title and a great way to live: It's your life - take notes.

As a writer, you don't stand a chance in the marketplace. Accept it. Go ahead and write anyways because that is who we are - we write.

Borrowing story ideas from other writers and changing them.

Tools used at ProBlogger. They are successful, so maybe there is something here.

Excellent post: common writing mistakes and how to fix them. This is based on a book written by a college professor who graded papers for decades.

For writers and freelancers, beware of HALT - Hungry Angry Lonely Tired.

If you are an employer who employs writers, help those writers improve. I attended writing classes even after I had written several books. People wanted to know why a published author wanted to improve his writing. I told them, "that is how I became a published author, by improving my writing." They didn't understand.

Writing is a way to experience life and grow. Some, a very few, will make a lot of money writing. These rest of us? We grow and I hope that we become better people.

Some thoughts on arranging the parts of a story you are writing.

Seth Godin's book writing (non)process. The process differs from author to author and book to book with the same author.

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