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: December 2-8, 2013

Summary of this week:

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

Monday December 2, 2013

One fourth of donations to charity are now done online and via mobile.

Lots of talk this morning about Jeff Bezos, 60 Minutes, and Amazon delivery via drones. We are at least a decade of new technology from that. The biggest problem is the power source for a small drone to carry a package more than 15 minutes.

Thoughts on upaid internships. If there is no pay, do not go there.

Speaking of work for no or little pay, the similarities between graduate school, tenured professors, and the drug trade.

The recent Microsoft scroogled ads show that it is worried about the Chromebooks. Apple should be worried as well.

The White House says that Health Care dot Gov is exceeding thier goals. Since no one else can see what is happening inside, this is a "just trust us" claim. Now all that mistrust that has been growing over the years comes in the picture. No one trusts what anyone says because there is an obvious conflict of interest.

MIT has a good technical review of the challenges of Health Care dot Gov. This is one of the reasons why many opposed the law: it required people to do things that they could not do. Now those in favor of the law can sit back and claim, "if only you people were as smart as us, this would have worked." I have heard that claim many times about failed government programs.

Is there a difference between programming in college and on the job? Yes, the biggest difference is that on the job you are expected to work with other people and their code. I understand the issues colleges have with students "doing their own work," but on the job I don't want a programmer to do their own work. I want them to go online, find code that already works, and use it. Creating code and finding usable code are two different skills, and colleges aren't teaching the on-the-job skills.

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Tuesday December 3, 2013

HP has a new line of tablets on the market.

Cyber Monday sales rose 19% over last year - a new record.

A college in Belgium bans wrist watches during exams. Today's watches are too smart and make it easy to cheat. Back in the 1970s, sharing calculators was banned on exams because you could put all the answers in the calculator's memory. Forward to the past.

A new malware capability can jump the air gaps between computers using the speakers and microphones.

The Google Compute Engine is now up and running and competing with Amazon's Web Services.

The Microsoft Student Advantage Program: free use of Office 365 to students at 35,000 schools.

Android 4.4 (KitKat) already has 1% of the Android world.

Motorola's Moto X customers crashed the website on cyber Monday. Success leads to failure.

Sony sold 2.1million PlayStation 4 units in November. The definition of success has changed.

Always quick to respond to stories on 60 Minutes and other hyperbole, our Congressmen want legislation to protect us from door-to-door drone deliveries. They cannot possibly be as stupid as they act.

Google doesn't sell many smartphones and tablets, but that was never the point. Google has its Nexus line to push everyone to do better. Google does everything it does to drive people to the Internet. That way Google makes more money on ads. It is really simple. Why offer free maps to the world? So the world will look at the Internet. Ask that question about anything Google does.

Dell advances the state of the art in monitors with its 4K technology.

ooops, it seems that letting your toddler use the iPad hinders developing needed small motor skills.

Apple buys Topsy: a social media analytics company.

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Wednesday December 4, 2013

WIRED has an excellent critique of Heath Care do Gov. It is great if this were 1996, but it isn't. The article contains numbers for the site and for commercial sites that illustrate how bad the gov site is.

Since Sunday, everyone in the world has declared they will do drone delivery of packages to your door. So, as not to be left behind, I am dclaring that one day I will do drone delivery of packages to your door (not, but it sounds good).

And when the age of delivery drones arrives, this drone can take control of another drone and fly it to your house.

Lynda dot Com has been training online since 1995. Yes, there was an Internet and browsers in 1995.

Video of how much the LG flex phone flexes and all that. I guess this is really important to some people.

Someone in the UK has built an RF pulse gun that kills the electronics in a car caursing its engine to shut off.

Oxford and the Vatican have put 1.5million pages of scanned ancient documents online. Excellent preservation and sharing of history. There is not telling what someone in the world will discover in these documents now that several billion people can view them.

The NSA sent home talking points with its employees so they could give party line answers to questions that may come during the holidays. Your tax dollars at waste.

Will wonders ever cease? The next USB generation will have a reversable plug.

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Thursday December 5, 2013

The world has completed its upside down change: people plan to buy  more Apple desktop computers than Dell desktop computers.

And now in America we have electricity theft. A man recharged his car at a high school.

A new botnet stole 2million passwords from Facebook and Google and such. And none of this will happen with Health Care dot Gov. I just don't understand those who claim that national electronic health insurance records will be just fine.

Acer makes a portable all-in-one computer with a 21.5" screen. It has a battery, but not much battery life. I can see using one of these in the office.

How to take a quick nap and wake yourself before falling too deeply into sleep.

Dads use tablet computer to play with their kids much more than mothers.

Not a surprise - people who shop from mobile devices shop differently than people who shop from desktop computers.

The 20 worse passwords you can use. I don't use any of these. Then again, I might just be saying that so you won't guess any of these when trying to hack me. Hmmm.

Censoring yourself so that you won't become a target of surveillance. Yes, lots of us do it often.

Yahoo's stock price is at its highest point since 2006.

And Microsoft's stock price is at its highest point in 13 years.

Only 5% of the world's known languages are used on the Internet. While convenient for Americans that English dominates the Internet, this will hasten the death of the vast majority of the world's languages.

Oh the unintended outcomes of those with good intentions. Obamacare will provide health insurance for many, but many communities don't have doctors for those newly insured. oooops, someone forgot about the doctors.

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Friday December 6, 2013

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Saturday December 7, 2013

Disney now assumes some type of control of the Indiana Jones franchise of films. New movies?

Microsoft runs another anti-chromebook commercial. The Chromebooks must really be bothering them.

On Yahoo, Marissa Mayer, geeks, and Silicon Valley - all from Vanity Fair. The idea that Vanity Fair has a big article on a Silicon Valley CEO shows us that all the tech geek stuff has moved into the realm of the celebrity. Remember when Lee Iacoca and Frank Sinatra did a commercial for Chrysler. We are now at that point for browsers and search engines.

Here is a sample of Google Glass clipped onto prescription glasses.

Google is giving its employees either a smartphone or a tablet for Christmas. Does you company give Christmas gifts?

People are revolting against childhood vaccinations: measles cases have tripled. Well?

3D printed food is coming. And yes, it will taste as good as a lot of the other food we eat.

Photos of the ASUS Padfone. I suppose you use the processor etc. of the phone, plug it into the back of a bigger screen, and there you have it. Maybe something will come of this.

Want physical keys for your iPhone? Here they are.

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Sunday December 8, 2013

Intel is aiming for 2TeraByte solid state disks in 2014. Wonderful industry to be in.

Just a glimpse into our government at work. Some Federal offices still use 3.5" floppy disks. This post is about one, but I know of several others from person experience.

In praise of Google's $200 Motorola Moto G phone.

Soylent, that green diet drink, is almost ready for mass production and shipping. Oh boy.

A look at Google's Nexus 5 phone and a consideration of Google's philosophy with hardware.

DRAFT - a new online writing tool that may be easier to use and have the few features writers need. draftin.com

Persistence and talent and freelancing.

Finding readers who love your writing.

Writing, discouragement, and perseverance. JK Rowling was told she would never make a penny in children's fiction.

Thoughts on using the Thesaurus (is that how you spell it?). Do it with great thought, but then what should you do in wirting that you don't use great thought?

I'll work from home so I won't have to pay childcare. Well, maybe that isn't such a good idea. There are alternatives.

How one writer created her freelance career.

Do writers need a business plan? For most of us, it won't hurt to have one.

Writers - looking for ideas and inspiration? Walk through a museum.

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