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: August 26-September 1, 2013

Summary of this week:

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

Monday August 26, 2013

It appears that the A7 processor in the next iPhone is significantly faster than the current A6.

Part of the Chinese Internet went down Sunday because of a denial-of-service attack. Of course, with all our health records online, we will never have loss of service at critical times (NOT).

And now we have the stories that Steve Ballmer's retirement was not so smoothly planned and all that stuff.

The next mission to the moon will be launched from Virginia.

Linux is 22 years old today. Where were you in 1991?

Amazon Web Services had a problem in Northern Virginia bringing down lots of web sites.

The Peter Pinnacle: to get promoted so high and to be so unqualified for your job that the company tells you that you can name your price just to go away.

Intel is working on adding "3D" sensing devices to the next generation of personal computers.

Over the weekend there were many stories of how the NSA broke United Nations encryption to spy on UN meetings. Well, of course, why not?

And to protect us all more, the DHS is testing facial recognition systems to identify all faces in the crowd and track where you were and when.

The things that China makes - lots of them.

Some interesting maps, good visual presentation of data.

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Tuesday August 27, 2013

Soylent - it is a liquid meal supplement making the rounds in Silicon Valley.

ESPN and PBS were making a documentary on concussions in sports - then ESPN pulled out. Now the conspiracies fly about the reason.

Now the loooong passwords are being broken easily. Is everyone ready for national electronic health records?

Dell introduces a new line of portable computers - business-approved Ultrabooks.

50 things a geek should know.

Six problems with communication in churches. "The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.”  George Bernard Shaw

Retirement? In the future, we will work until we can't. Will someone tell our Federal government about this idea.

Here is good news, for me at least: the number of independent book stores in America is growing.

It seems that Ed Snowden didn't use any advanced technology to carry out all those secrets.

Apple upgrades its online help service.

Seattle is the only U.S. entry on the world-wide top ten Internet cities list.
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Wednesday August 28, 2013

Those who govern Los Angeles are considering building the world's largest free WiFi area. Good luck with that. What could possibly go wrong?

The young adult fantasy movies aren't doing well this year. Why? Because this year's movies are bad.

"If you don't start, you can't fail" - Seth Godin

Several researchers reverse engineed (hacked) into DropBox. Their technique are published and can be used elsewhere. Is everyone ready for national electronic health records?

And someone, claiming to be from Syria, hacked the New York Times.

A school district in California wants to make what students do at home subject to the school's discipline. I am sure these folks have good intentions. Do they know how stupid they appear?

Google lowers the price of the Nexus 4 smartphone.

Jeff Atwood manufactures his dream mechanical keyboard. Some of us old folks know something about how real keyboards used to feel and sound. They WERE better back then.

The U.S. leads the world in asking Facebook for users' data. Land of the free?

Improving the 3D printer with etching and milling capabilities. Yes, this is better. Where will "better" end?

MIT researchers build a 110-core processor.

How it is so easy to crack passwords. I am sure our national electronic health records will be secure because we will all have a strong password (NOT).

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Thursday August 29, 2013

To show that you can still make money selling old-fashioned, desk-top PCs, Lenovo shows a new line of all-in-one and desktop computers.

Here is a new rumor, Apple may be building 65million smart watches to sell at $200 a piece.

Something for the home: Samsung's 98-inch Ultra HD video wall
. No guess on the price, but I won't be getting one.

Jitterbug now has a touch screen smartphone model.

Dell introduces new touchscreen monitors.

The video phone that we never had. Instead, people didn't want others to see how they appeared in the kitchen in the morning. Now, video chat is wonderful. Of course now, we don't pay anything for the video chat. It comes free from Google, Apple, Microsoft, etc.

How easy it was to hack the New York Times from Syria. Is everyone ready for national electronic health records?

Companies are using Amazon's (cloud) computers instead of buying them from HP and Dell.

Why Microsoft stumbled and Steve Ballmer bumbled: mobile took over the world.

The Oxford English Dictionary has added a few words to its online version, and people are screaming. This is an annual event. I think the guys at Oxford do this to raise the traffic to their web site.

The revolving door of lobbyists and those who are supposed to watch lobbyists continues to revolve. The White House copyright czar moved to a lobbying group. No doubt she received a sizeable pay raise.

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Friday August 30, 2013

Would you give all your medical records to an employer in return for possible cheaper health insurance?

The government of New York City likes surveillance cameras as long as they are not attached to the government employees.

The promotional price cuts on Microsoft tablets are now permanent.

Microsoft doubles the online storage to customers to 50GigaBytes.

Local and state governments are cutting the hours of part-time employees to avoid health care costs. This is all part of Obamacare, which was partly intended to help the poor. It was predictable and predicted that the 2,000-page law would have many unintended consequences. This is yet another one where the poor will be poorer and won't have health insurance.

News about Amazon and their cloud contract with the CIA.

The doctape Viewer displays 80 different file formats on iOS.

One of the biggest canyons on earth has just been discovered in Greenland.  You would have thought that we  would not have missed this up  to now. It just goes to show how little we  know about  our planet. This, among many other things, makes me wonder about how 99% of scientists are sure about climate change.

Will self-driving cars eliminate jobs? YES.

A "phenomenal transition" is spelling doom for the 30-year-old PC market.

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Saturday August 31, 2013

A look back at the 1983 Sears catalog. Gosh.

How big will smartphones become? I guess the important question is, how big a smartphone will people buy?

Sort of a new old story: Google confirms that it bought a WIMM Labs - a smartwatch maker - last year.

That U.S. Army has an IT flaw that allows a person to assume the identify of another.

Gloopt.com - one-minute videos that teach you just about anything.

Low-power Bluetooth, throw-away sensors, wearable computers, and the coming personal cloud.

The iPad in educaton may be a problem, not a help. It is a device for consuming, not creating. Hence, the students don't learn to create.

Ohio State University has created a MOOC for calculus. There are far worse things to do with your time than learn calculus.

Impressed with smartphones yet? Yet another round of better processors are coming from Qualcomm real soon now.

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Sunday September 1, 2013

LG introduces the G Pad: an 8" tablet running Android coming later this year. Someone needs to tell LG about the news cycle and when to announce new products.

An in-depth article on online businesses. Excellent material.

There is a lot of talk about Bill Gates returning to run Microsoft. I doubt that will happen. Anyways, here is a nice biography of Gates.

Code for America - a "Peace Corps for Geeks." Actually, the real Peace Corps also welcomes geeks to travel the world and teach and code and assist people.

Article about how poor people are mentally fatigued due to constant attempts to move out of poverty. Being poor is equivalent to sleeping only a few hours a day. The report fails to note that this is true for the poor who worry about and try to move out of their poverty. If you are poor and content, you don't have this situation.

Don't wait for some "muse" to arrive before you write. Sit in the chair, put your hands on the keyboard, and write, or as some people have said it, bleed all over the keys.

Good notes on how to edit your own writing.

Notes on memoirs.

A writer's productivity tip: go somewhere else. It doesn't have to be an expensive place. It can be as simple as moving your chair to the other side of the room or even to the other side of the table.

"Your life is inspirational." Try to learn to soak in the ordinary, the every day.

While drafting, don't worry over "mistakes." There is gold in them.

How one freelance writer went broke. I find that this is the norm. Those who make a good living as freelance writers are the exception.

This post is sort of a joke, but it is no joke that using computers can bring significant back pain.

The snowflake method for designing a novel . I like the idea.

How much do freelance writers earn? The answer is, of course, that depends, but this post has a few facts.

Working around distractions. Here is a tip: make a list of all the distractions that disctract you and write about each one.

Stuck writing? Nothing coming on the screen? JUST WRITE blah blah blah blah and something will start to come. Another tip is to put something someone else wrote in front of you and copy those words until your own start to appear.

Thoughts on writing a memoir.

Write about people you know. Don't worry, just do it. They won't ever read what you wrote. If they do, they won't recognize themselves.

Try to create two hours to work on your writing projects. Just two hours. Two hours? Who has that much time?

This writer was rejected 500 times, but accepted 30 times. Those 30 times paid the bills. Keep at it folks.

Marketing for introverted writers (like me).

Formatting a manuscript the old fashioned, and the still-expected, way.

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