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: October 7-13, 2013

Summary of this week:

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

Monday October 7, 2013

The "glitches" in heathcare.gov are poor design and sloppy coding. There is much rework to do, but don't worry, I'm sure it's all a cost-plus contract. Those have a hidden feature in that if you do poor work, you receive more work.

Twitter earns about $50million a year selling user data.

The Nielson ratings now track the Twitter traffic related to television shows.

This is NOT a surprise: the Russian government will listen to all communications at the coming Winter Olympics.

A look at Facebook's data center near the Arctic Circle. For decades I questioned why we didn't blow winter air into computer rooms.

The big screen Samsung Note 3 is available for purchase this week.

I like this one. Bypass filters that block web sites by going through Google Translate. That is how I can move around the filter here in this coffee shop.

About the Alliance for Affordable Internet. Perhaps they will work on the rural parts of the U.S. that the great government program didn't help.

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

Tuesday October 8, 2013

Nvidia announces price cuts for some of their graphics processors.

It seems that Fox News put some goofy gadgets in its TV newsroom and everyone is making fun of them. There must not be much news to report this week. Here is more on the silliness.

Ars Technica looks at 15 innovative tech companies.

The technology behind the bend-able or flexible display.

If you have $21million cash, why not buy a new Lear Jet?

Amazon wins one in court in its battle to work the CIA's cloud computing contract. This isn't over as IBM will appeal the ruling.

A 50-mile road in England will be one of the world's first that is full of sensors and other such goodness.

This wrist-worn gadget tracks and communicates with the wearer. This device is vilified as a tool for over-protective parents. Consider, however, its use with autistic or otherwise disabled children and also with the elderly. Aha, not so funny anymore but quite practical. Ask anyone whose elderly parent was found wandering down the road.

Top-quality no-cost video editing software: LightWorks. Seems to be for MS Windows only.

America gets a new $100 bill. The idea is to make it harder to fake. The $100 bill is the medium of exchange of criminals around the world. It is the most-often faked and attempted-to-fake piece of currency in the world.

"The hardest way to disagree with someone is to come to understand that they see the world differently than we do, to acknowledge that they have a different worldview, something baked in long before they ever encountered this situation." - Seth Godin

The NSA data center in Utah continues to fail due to power and heat problems. They have yet to understand the cause. Your tax dollars at waste.

HP is following Yahoo's lead in requiring employees to come to the office.

Silicon Valley hires men only. This will be a national scandal.

A look into the corruption that is the Social Security Disability Program. Another national scandal.

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

Wednesday October 9, 2013

The tiny computer that could - Raspberry Pi has sold 1.75million units.

Cracking passwords becomes easier with new sources of long passwords like the Bible. So you think your password on healthcare.gov is secure?

Microsoft Office is (eventually) coming to the iPad.  Here is to the producers who would like to write on the iPad without converting and gyrating about.

An HP Chromebook with excellent display for less than $300.

American adults score below average on international math and reading tests. A nation of illiterates all produced by government-run schools. But then who is doing all this innovation that leads the world?

The practice continues: cheap motels provide free WiFi while expensive ones charge you $20 a day for it.

The gov finally admits that the healthcare.gov website is a mess. Experts agree about the poor quality of the programming.

One more thing, the government has reset all the passwords on healthcare.gov.

People have stopped buying apps for the mobile devices. The free apps are ruling.

Samsung officially announces their phone with the curved disply - the Round.

Apple will hold an iPad event on 22 October.

I learn about sockpuppets and Wikipedia. Who knew that so many people would spend so many resources to be on Wikipedia.

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

Thursday October 10, 2013

This is terrible news for the nation. Congress' member-only gym is deemed essential and stays open during the government shutdown. Surely these people can understand the harm inflicted by such "we are better than the rest of you" attitudes.

The region hit hardest by the government shutdown is the West, in particular the four-corners area.

Symbian once dominated the mobile OS world, then Apple's iOS came along.

Apple has passed their peak in the laptop and desktop computer market. Apple's computers are shrinking faster than a shrinking market.

Acer releases a $250 Chromebook with 8.5-hour battery life.

Google is offering money to people who can improve the security of open source software.

Microsoft paid James Forshaw $100K for finding a security problem in Windows 8.1.

The House and Senate Intel committees hide information from the rest of Congress. There is a good reason for that, and there is plenty of room for abuse. It is a great tragedy for the nation that we have experienced much of the abuse in the past decade.

The Army is building unmanned "robots" that carry machine guns and more. The objective is to save American lives while taking other lives. That seems to be the overall objective of the Army. A great fear is that after the Army uses these for a while, American law enforcement will use them against American citizens.

Ford shows self-parking cars. This is decades-old technology. Parking cars is trivial compared to parking semi-trailers, and that tech is also decades old.

Mozilla updates Firefox OS.

GNU releases Make 4.0.

HP and Microsoft no longer work together - the are outright competitors.

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

Friday October 11, 2013

The world changes: a third of millenials are not watching any broadcast television.

Developer bootcamps are blurring the lines of colleges and vocational schools. Will they work?

Strong rumor: Apple's smartwatch is more about controlling the home and lifestyle than telling the time and mobile apps.

Mark Zuckerburg is buying the houses around his. That is one way to keep the neighbors in line.

Google renames Google TV to Android TV.

Best Buy is offering $hundred$ for Microsoft tablets in trade.

A closer look at the HP Chromebook 11.

Microsoft went from 90% to 30% of the computing market in five years. The really small portable computer became the tablet computer, and  a lot of people realized that they spent the vast majority of their time reading and watching and listening. Who needed a keyboard? Well, a few of us did, but that was just a few of us.

A double oops for our tax dollars: healthcare.gov didn't reset everyone's password like the DHHS said.

A look at some of the reasons why government IT is so old and so bad. Please note, I did not write that article although I could have and I could write an appendix to it that is longer than the article.

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

Go to Dwayne's Home Page

Saturday October 12, 2013

This morning I am having troubles with coffee and cafe WiFi. First Chick-Fil-A's system in Reston was out. Next I went to Starbucks in Herndon. It worked for 30 minutes and went kaput.

Google will soon have shared endorsements, where your name and face appear, when you want, next to products and services you endorse.

Google increases its movement of money overseas to decrease its tax burden. Good for Google. This is all legal, and it puts more money into the hands of people and less into the hands of governments.

This has excellent tips on traveling with your tech equipment. Blend in, look poor, look cheap, cover the nice corporate logos (the Apple) on your stuff. Stay alert.

More details on Apple's coming spaceship campus. This is a nice looking building. In 20 years, when Apple comes back to its senses, this real estate will be on the market.

Brain drain from Israel as Nobel Prize winners leave that country.

Java is dead! (not) When will people stop declaring programming languages dead?

I love this: rural is cool #ruraliscool.

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

Sunday October 13, 2013

Apple may market a lower-price iMac desktop computer next year to reverse shrinking sales.

Apple may also have a 12" MacBook next year. Yes, that is half way between the current 11" and 13" models.

Clever video of the optical illusions possible with a simple desk. It is all geometry, a great math lesson.

Here are some keyboard shortcuts (Windows only in this case). LEARN KEYBOARD SHORTCUTS! Boost your productivity.

People would rather buy a (self-driving) car from Google than from Ford.

Watch out for this: Dataland. Data on you and me drives the world. It may not be pretty.

Here are reasons to write short stories. They are good reasons.

One writer loves the BlueHost blog hosting service.

Paychecks for writing don't come in regular amounts at regular intervals. Tips for living this way.

The tale of a Nigerian teenager who becamse a $50K a year writer.

I hate the title of the post, but here are five good suggestions for writers: write, read, finish, publish, learn.

There are many low-paying writing jobs. I have seen plenty of them. That is a shame, but keep writing and move on.

Some facts and fictions about freelance work. You will work very hard and income is risky if it exists at all.

And a good infographic on the ups and downs of freelancing.

Suggestions on how to brainstorm parts of your novel.

Notes from an online Adobe user in the wake of the great Adobe hack.

If you are fortunate as a writer, you may have to create an invoice. Here is how.

Quotes about short stories.

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