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: November 25-December 1, 2013

Summary of this week:

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

Monday November 25, 2013

It appears that Black Friday starts today. Buy Buy Buy Amazon is starting its Black Friday sales today.

Some personal computer history with an emphasis on OS/2. That was a good operating system with a good user environment. The market just didn't take to it.

From 1839, what is thought to be the world's first selfie or self portrait as some (used to) call it.

A view of the state-of-the-practice from Engadget: best portable computer under $500.

Microsoft sells 1million Xbox One consoles on the first day. The definition of success keeps changing.

The high-tech rich are moving north from Silicon Valley into San Francisco itself. Those who have lived in the city for a while don't like it. Ah, the world changes before our eyes daily. For decades, the elite of the city looked down on those geeks to the south in that valley that used be full of cucumber fields. A new era.

Productivity is up at, wait for it, Starbucks. They are serving customers faster.

People continue to unplug from cable TV AND they are unplugging from broadband Internet access. Let's just all go to the coffee shop and use their WiFi.

Code.org is pushing computer programming in schools with bonus $, and more $ if girls are in the class.

The skills in demand if you want to program from home. Look for jobs at We Work Remotely dot com.

The battle for home automation and the Internet of things. I wish that some of these guys are working on security.

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Tuesday November 26, 2013

The Dutch are demonstrating how human urine can be used as fertilizer. This is a smart, ages old idea.

This camera sold for $1.8million at charity auction.

Python is becoming the language of choice for data scientists.

Sometimes you just shake your head. A man in Ohio was arrested because he had a "secret compartment" in his car and there was NOTHING in the compartment. If it was a secret compartment, how did the police find it?

Google has a service that gathers all reviews from across the web about one business and lets that business see them easily.

More bad news for America: it appears that the Executive branch of our government is lying to the Judicial branch. And some people wonder why most Americans distrust their own government. This is terrible. Surely the President and his advisors can see the wrong in these practices.

Amazon employees in Germany were out on strike yesterday.

A reporter goes undercover at an Amazon warehouse in the UK and learns of the mental and physical strains on the employees.

Report shows that our government spent $32,000 per person to bring broadband to rural areas. How about paying their $100 a month satellite Internet bill instead? Your tax dollars at waste.

Tablets have taken over the world: we are now designing chairs just for tablet use.

Western Digital puts both a spinning and solid state disk in its Black2 enclosure. Finally.

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Wednesday November 27, 2013

I'm reducing my viewing this morning due to errands.

Acer now has a touchscrren Chromebook for $299.

Microsoft has a Scroogled commercial with the guys from Pawn Stars. I like the ad, not the message, but the ad.

Google now permits voice search of Google.com on the desktop via a Chrome extension.

Xowa - open-source software that will download all of Wikipedia to your desktop. It takes 30 hours or so.

The Moto G - a lower-cost smartphone from the new Google Motorola team.

Attach an engine and a computer to a paper airplane and fly it with your iPhone. Why not?

In the vein of "it's about time," airlines are putting electric motors on the wheels of the planes so that they don't burn flight fuel rolling around the tarmac.

It seems that less that 20% of software engineers are women. That is bad. This article lists the results of an informal survey of some companies per number of female software engineers.

Which profession has the heavy coffee drinkers? Writers rank 4th - we need to try harder.

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Thursday November 28, 2013

Today is Thanksgiving Day in the U.S. It has become a day of commerce. I guess there is something American about that. Its origins are religous as we thank God for our blessings. In the U.S. today, we cannot have religous holidays anymore, so we default to commerce.

The Department of Defense was caught using software it didn't buy. Our government settled out of court and paid $50million in damages.

HP is replacing Verizon to host Health Care dot Gov. Sometimes it is best for a company to NOT accept government work.

People are still waiting for their iPhone 5s. This could be a case of success leading to failure.

Someone found a paper copy of three unpublished JD Salinger stories, scanned them, put them online. Here is where you can find them.

Encouraging and praising agile development. I only wish those who claimed to be agile to at least learn what that means.

No one has been able to sign up on Oregon's health care site, and everyone is blaming Oracle. How can so many competent people perform so badly? Hint: the government was involved.

Google is pushing its Chromecast product this holiday season.

It appears that holiday sales are weak this year, hence everyone is dropping the prices of tablets and laptops for the next month or so.
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Friday November 29, 2013

Today is the day after Thanksgiving which means it is still a holiday here.

Google has 43,000 Apple computers in its enterprise and had to build its own management tools for them.

Apple is building half a million iPhone 5s units a day. The definition of success has changed.

Looking for an old-fashioned laptop computer this year? The best buys listed.

THIS is what we should be doing in technology: Georgia Tech finds a way for wheel chair operators to work much better.

For those of us who like Venn diagrams: this is the ultimate menu.

I guess I'll have to read this, it explains all to know about BitCoin and such.

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Saturday November 30, 2013

Vietnam is fining any of its subjects who criticize the government on social media. Yes, places like this still exist in the world and hundreds of millions of people live in them.

In 2003, Google was awarded four patents. Today, Google is getting ten patents a day.

Malware is now targeting the gazillions of Linux-based devices on the Internet.

WalMart sold 1.4million tablets on Thanksgiving Day - not Friday - Thursday.

But lest we forget, WalMart still has brawls of consumers fighting over gadgets on Friday. See video.

Thanksgiving has become the year's biggest photo taking day for Instagram.

China is about to land an unmanned vehicle on the moon. The next people to walk on the moon won't be from America, and that is a great shame on NASA and our elected representatives.

Mark Cuban on the transactional value of cash. Save your money so you can buy things that are on sale.

There are big possible gains from having people work remotely.

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Sunday December 1, 2013

Thoughts on writing and throwing out your writing from Garrison Keilor.

Google Person Finder is helping people find their missing relatives after disasters. Good for Google.

While most Americans are shopping, it is a big weekend for Health Care dot Gov that was promised to be actually working now. I looked at the site and the fundamental flaw remains: you cannot get an estimate of cost and savings without first completing all the forms. In other words, you give all your information first before receiving any information back. Not a good way to inspire confidence or treat taxpayers. A big fat F.

Government officials say the site is surpassing their goals. They are the only ones who can tell as no one else can see the numbers of people trying and succeeding on the site. Just trust the government - a complete conflict of interest.

Gadgets from the 1990s. Those DiscMan portable CD players were a pain.

A review of the DropCam system for home monitoring. This is one of those things that allows the elderly to live in their homes longer.

Save time and angst by saying, "Dear Sir/Madame, you may be right."

Wonderful history and thoughts of C.S. Lewis. He wrote because, due a birth defect, he couldn't do anything else. If ever someone ever was given a bunch of lemons and made lemonde from them...

Short, simple and excellent writing advice.

Thoughts on changing location for the location-independent professional.

How one writer writes at home - whenever she can, which is still usually at night after the kids go to bed.

Everything you can do wrong in trying to be a freelancer.

A bunch of ideas for blog posts.

Being out of work - laid off. I was laid off in February 2013 and have received zero job offers since. You can choose how you react. And that is all you control.

Jane Friedman updates her infographic on publishing paths.

Good ideas on working on your story while you go about your day job, and a few tips on making more time to write.

Do you write about yourself or about people you imagine?

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