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.

Go to Day Book Home and pointer to previous weeks
Go to Dwayne's Home Page
Email me at d.phillips@computer.org

This week: August 12-18, 2013

Summary of this week:

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

Monday August 12, 2013

An early look at Windows 8.1 shows that Microsoft is trying to make it easier for first-time users to figure out what in the world Microsoft did.

The most popular smartphone in China is from Xiaomi. Its price is half of Samsung's most popular model.

HTC starts a big new ad campaign with Robert Downey Jr.

A look at the Minerva Project. An attempt to re-invent college. It will be an expensive learning environment, so only the rich apply. Too bad.

It appears that Microsoft is building a version of its Cloud OS for government use only.

Elon Musk and something called the HyperLoop that will change the world(?).

An excellent visualization of what happens every second on the Internet.

Dogs are being trained to recognize the scent of cancer. Excellent. Why try to build machines to do this?

This story has been all over the Internet for the past several days, so it must be important: these trash cans sense your smartphone as you walk by and track you.

JetBlue now has a service to deliver your luggage to your hotel.

Want a suggestion for a Raspberry Pi project? See Element14.

Email me at d.phillips@computer.org
Go to Day Book Home and pointer to previous weeks
Go to Dwayne's Home Page

Tuesday August 13, 2013

Interesting use of Pi in multiplying estimates for software projects.

The President's surveillance reform panel will be led by DNI James Clapper: he was caught lying to Congress about surveillance.

More rumors and photos of new flip phones from Samsung.

It appears that Windows 8.1 will be released in mid October.

Everyone seems to be discussing the Hyperloop proposal. Here is a meta discussion.

More thoughts on Google Fiber's (an many others') ban on running a server at home. The ban is unenforceable and debatable as no one can define what a "server" is.

Orange County, California experienced a massive software project failure. The project had 6,000 pages of specs. What would happen if Congress wrote laws that were thousands of pages long? We would have chaos and waste and...ooops, never mind.

Has America reached the peak in automobile usage?

Bruce Schneier: The government has commandeered the Internet.

Microsoft, Windows 8, and the touch screen PC: people just didn't buy it.

Google has paid $2million to 2,000 people for finding security problems in its software. Good for them. And, by the way, if all these security problems were in Google's software, is everyone ready for national electronic health records?

Email me at d.phillips@computer.org
Go to Day Book Home and pointer to previous weeks
Go to Dwayne's Home Page

Wednesday August 14, 2013

Samsung is in trouble over working conditions at some factories in Brazil.

The Boeing 787 has yet another problem with electrical wiring.

The fall of Microsoft as seen in the browser wars.

The new workplace born of the great recession - part-time work. The old full-time workplace may not return.

Spiri is a quadcopter that is a programming platform. You buy the hardware ready to go. Now all you need is imagination.

Smartphone sales finally pass dumbphone sales. Now we will see the capabilities of the dumber phones rise while the prices of the smarter phones fall until the divide vanished.

More news on Google's Loon Balloon project.

The White House now says that the DNI will not head the surveillance reform group.

The Chinese government will start bribing people to buy PCs and stimulate their economy. Consumer bribes are also known as "stimulus programs."

Office Depot is now listing 3D printers online. The science fiction has become a consumer good.

This guy gets it - the future of self-driving cars will be trucks. And that means unemployment for truck drivers, almost all of them.

Google Glass and Austism. There is potential here. The glasses may help the autistic to understand the emotions being projected by other people - something that autism attenuates.

Email me at d.phillips@computer.org
Go to Day Book Home and pointer to previous weeks
Go to Dwayne's Home Page

Thursday August 15, 2013

Computer retailer Newegg tries the Pop-Up Store concept.

The smartwatch wars may begin on September 4th with Samsung unveiling the Galaxy Gear. I hope they all note that a watch is a piece of jewelry, not a timepiece.

The Internet of Things - where hacks hack into light bulbs. Is everyone ready for national electronic health records?

And, oh look, someone hacked into a wireless baby monitor and saw all kinds of things.

Microsoft continues to build odd-looking ergonomic keyboards.

This little USB thumb drive holds 32GigaBytes, costs $35, and is rugged. Let us pause to appreciate the evolution of technology and the abilities it affords us.

A look at how teenagers use social media.

This was in the Washington Post yesterday. The Administration has figured a plan whereby the FCC would raise taxes on cell phone to fund more Internet in government-run schools. And Congress would not be asked to pass one of those pesky little laws. This is the progressive agenda. Search and find ways to spend other people's money.

More advances into turning any surface into a touchscreen.

Must see video: putting a "tail" on a biped robot greatly improves its mobility.

Cisco is cutting 4,000 jobs.

A look at the upcoming Apple Mac Pro - the under-the-desk supercomputer.

A new acronym for me - WSC - warehouse scale computer, a.k.a., the datacenter.

READING FOR PLEASURE was largely extinguished by four generations of not-very-good teaching philosophies. By treating a book as homework and a punishment, we’ve raised people to not look forward to reading - Seth Godin.

For the first time, Microsoft is using chips that it designed. The platform is the Kinect.

Email me at d.phillips@computer.org
Go to Day Book Home and pointer to previous weeks
Go to Dwayne's Home Page

Friday August 16, 2013

I saw this yesterday, I guess it is the look of things to come. The iCloud.com beta looks like iOS 7 or something.

News flash: a declassified CIA document reveals that Area 51 is real.

Wall Street traders will start wearing Google Glass.

Vogue magazine has 12 pages of models wearing Google Glass.

Google Glass plus Mercedes seems to be working.

What would a day be without another story about the NSA surveillance program? Today's stories show that the program was internally out of control with the majority of cases fraught with mistakes. Here is one version of the story.

AOL Patch layoffs are about to begin.

Must see video. SpaceX continues to evolve its rocket that launches straight up, moves to the side, moves back, and lands straight down. This is difficult technology. Amazing results.

A study shows that students who use their laptop to take notes in class performed worse. There are many variables here. I would rather the study recommend ways to properly use a computer in class.

And this study shows that encryption doesn't work nearly as well as people always thought.

One person's experience with building their own phone via moto x.

Sometimes cloud computing is more expensive than what came before it.

Email me at d.phillips@computer.org
Go to Day Book Home and pointer to previous weeks

Go to Dwayne's Home Page

Saturday August 17, 2013

Yes, people can hack into the webcam on your computer and watch you. That technique plays a part in a recent short story of mine.

Great design for a small printer. It sits atop a stack of paper and feeds the sheets.

High school physics in a 4-minute cartoon.

Beautiful home built from a school bus. Excellent design.

The U.S. Department of Energy was hacked and personal information of employees was compromised. And yet some people believe that we can put personal health records online and no one will be able to peek at them.

Google's famous 20% free-time to work on interesting things is gone (long gone).

A scathing piece of rising college prices and the role that government plays in the mess.

Debian is 20 years old.

The Steve Jobs movie is out, and the reviews are mixed. That is disappointing given all the hype.

Email me at d.phillips@computer.org
Go to Day Book Home and pointer to previous weeks
Go to Dwayne's Home Page

Sunday August 18, 2013

Considering the factors in running a location-independent business. I envy those who can.

Here are the top-earning writers for the year. The rest of us can dream on and feel fortunate that we don't have the problems of the super rich.

A dishwasher-size fuel cell that promises great things. Perhaps some of these experiments will yield viable products.

This is odd - and chilling. There are methods for "beating" a polygraph or lie-detector. These methods have been known and published for decades. Now, our government is prosecuting people who are teaching these methods. Let's see, the government fighting the spread of knowledge. I believe that fiction writers have predicted this for decades.

And this story is everywhere, so it must be important. Woz doesn't like the Jobs movie.

Microsoft's Outlook.com was up and down, in and out for three days.

Here is some good advice on writing a book fast or on doing almost any type of writing.

A short tutorial on ObamaCare and thre freelancer.

You can write short articles, too. The length of a piece does not relate to its importance or quality.

A post about journaling - one of the few things I recommend to everyone.

You write something, publish it yourself, and sell a few copies. You are now a writer. Are you successful?  That depends on your definition of success; afterall, it is a subjective term. Funny how writers, people who work with words, forget some of these things and allow other people to define our lives with their words.

Thoughts on writing from Woody Allen and Stowe Boyd.

Thoughts on finding freelance writing jobs.

As life goes on, writers have routines. Some fall away sadly and need to be restored.

The one credential a writer needs: something they have written.

Thoughts on the difference between learning and practicing.

Email me at d.phillips@computer.org
Go to Day Book Home and pointer to previous weeks
Go to Dwayne's Home Page