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 April 28-May 4, 2014

Summary of this week:

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

Monday April 28, 2014

The price of the Acer Chromebooks is falling, especially if you buy a refurbished model.

Coming real soon now, HP 14" touchscreen laptop running Android.

Facebook funds a police station in Menlo Park near its building.

If you are still using Internet Explorer 6 and Windows XP and the Internet, either you have a serious personal security flaw or you work for one of several government agencies who are still in the dark ages.

Reading from an eReader hurts your sleep.

Netflix will appear on regular cable TV, sort of.

Comparing the number of iTunes and Amazon accounts. Apple has the numbers.

A call for mathematicians to boycott the NSA. Of course, no one seem to be volunteering to pay the bills of these unemployed persons.

"If you’ve got a thousand followers, you’re at the 96th percentile of active Twitter users." Well, I'm up to 800 followers, so I guess I'm in the 90th percentile.

A long story about San Francisco and its current round of changes.

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Tuesday April 29, 2014

Comcast will lose 4million cable subscribers in an effort to gain approval of its Time Warner purchase.

Apple updates the processors and lowers the prices of the MacBook Air computers.

Job skills? How about "quant jock?" Data analytics is the new hot job title.

AT&T says it will move into the in-flight WiFi market.

Twenty years ago Novell sued Microsoft about Windows 95 technology. The case is now closed—Novell lost.

This is an odd story, but one point is that a comedian asks DIRNSA tougher questions that 60 Minutes. What has happened to "journalism" in America today?

Amazon, and other cloud computing providers, is trying to design its own processors.

Most people want to work for themselves in one way or another. There seems to be a believe that Obamacare has made it easier to obtain health insurance without an employer. That is not true as eInsurance has been around for quite a while now.

Apple will borrow money instead of bringing its foreign-held money back into the US. Such is the state of corporate and tax law in America. We can yell all we want about greedy corporations, but Congress created the situation and Americans without jobs have to suffer for it.

Microsoft increases OneDrive storage 400x to 1TeraByte. These tens of gigabyte limits are artificial and have never made any sense to me.

The DATA Act moves from Congress to the White House.

New York will be the next Silicon Valley real soon now, but not yet.

Google shows that its self-driving cars can handle city driving.

Skype now has no-cost, group video chat.

Why Google can challenge Amazon in cloud computing services.

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Wednesday April 30, 2014

The $899 MacBook Air is the lowest price Apple portable in its history. Good for them. Don't add expensive features, drop the price.

And watch the refurbished sales for really low prices on the Air.

Google inches along: we can now stream a presentation from Google Drive to Chromecast.

Target has hastened its move to more secure credit card readers.

A hacker breaks into an IP baby monitor camera. Of course the smart grid is secure (not). Of course Health Care dot Gov is secure (not).

New York City will clean an ancient obelisk with lasers—slowly.

Gibson to sell an audio recorder built into an audio cable.

The Great War was 100 years ago. The Atlantic is starting a series of photographs from that conflict.

Twitter has a good financial quarter,  but its stock price drops to an all-time low.

Sigh. Outbox created a service that benefited individuals and their home snail mail service. The USPS, however, isn't interested in serviing individuals.

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Thursday May 1, 2014

For what it is worth, and it isn't worth much these days, today is the international worker's day.

Silicon Valley proves that if you hire adults who act like children, you need an HR department.

We could put IP tech on top of existing infrastructure, but only after we do something about security.

It isn't just in the movies: you can easily hack the traffic signals in any city.

The Smart Toilet Hoax: don't laugh, someone in government is considering this.

As an example, a little more about the person who hacked into a baby monitor on the Internet of things.

I guess someone had to write a book about this, but if it isn't reproducible, it isn't research.

All this mobile tech and bring your own device to work has extended the work day. It is easy for the boss and collegeaues to grab you later for a quick meeting.

The BASIC programming language is 50 years old.

Something may come of this research: Stanford developes neurochips.

Microsoft continues to lose money on their tablet computers.

Meet the science consultant for the sticom The Big Bang Theory.

According to this study (don't you just love that phrase?), coding bootcamps produce 1 grad for every 8 persons in college computer science departments.

HP teams with Foxconn to build servers customized for cloud computing.

Our FCC promises to get real tough with cable companies that legally violate net neutrality.

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Friday May 2, 2014

It appears that this year's WWDC will emphasize OS X 10.10 (too many "tens" there).

It took me a couple of days to figure out this story. Google has new mobile apps for Docs and such. You could already create, retreive, update, and delete (CRUD) these things with the Google Drive app, but these are supposed to make it easier or more convenient or something like that.

Apple's price cut on the MacBook Air moves them into the sweet spot for selling portable computers—a $63Billion-per-year market.

Despite all the yelling and screaming, Internet Explorer is the most popular browser in the world and Windows XP still runs a quarter of the computers.

Need data storage? Sony has a 185TeraByte tape system.

Our big tech companies will tell us when our government wants to see our data. Confused about this? Me too.

Great video of a SpaceX test of vertical takeoff and landing. Where do they do these test? Beautiful farmland with cows and everything.

Thoughts on the Internet of Things and security. So far, it is not secure.

Great and little-known Google Docs features.

Web Fundamentals: an information resource from Google with tips on how to build good web services.

Wikimedia names Lila Tretikov as its new executive director. Footnote on history: she was born in what was still the Soviet Union. I guess this is a milepost in contemporary history as to whether you were born in the era of the Cold War or after it.

Some of the problems when judges rule on technology cases.

Google Glass users have the same problems as early users of the Sony Walkman (the one with cassette tapes). I know I had lots of derision when I used the original Walkman.

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Saturday May 3, 2014

Here is Lawrence Lessig's MayOne site. They are attempting to win seats in Congress and bring finance reform to American politics. The system is troubled, but the Supreme Court has declared campaign financing as part of free speech, so I don't know what Lessig's group may be able to accomplish. They are trying.

HP tries to start something new with Facilities as a Service (FaaS).

We have entered the age of the commodity web browser, which is odd since browsers are all free.

If Steve Jobs were still alive, he would be facing several felony criminal charges.

Considering the simple design of the Google homepage. How can you make your application look like this?

The Silicon Valley tech uniform. Note, I have been wearing RayBan sunglasses since 1975, so I am not trendy.

As I predicted, the first great wearable computer will fit in your ear. See my blog on hearing aids.

Analysts predict the iPhone 6 will be a huge seller this Fall.

Microsoft couldn't resist the idea of doing nothing, but instead issues a Windows XP fix.

SanDisk releases a 4TeraByte solid state disc.

We have the first consumer protection lawsuit from a Kickstarter campaign.

A look at how farmers are using drones.

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Sunday May 4, 2014

Live, 24 hours a day, see the earth as the ISS sees it.

I don't like this, but Google Drive will no longer allow editing. Google wants us to download the Docs and Sheets apps.

In business, 70% of employees really don't use MS Word much. Businesses would be better served with lightweight cloud apps. This still leaves 30% of employees that actually produce content daily.

Amazon teams with Police departments to provide the bandwidth needed for citizen tips. Of course, there is always the danger that liars will lie and send the Police phoney or doctored photos and videos.

The latest Apple vs Samsung court battle ends with Apple getting $120M. Still, inconclusive.

Some things that some successful writers do.

Someone has done a study of writers and the color of ink they use in their pens.

A few reasons that we tend to be bad writers.

Some writing is filled with gut wrenching emotion. Deal with it.

Writers often make rules that prevent them from writing.

Anything’s possible if you’ve got enough nerve. – J.K. Rowling

How one writer wrote three books in three years. That isn't such a grueling pace.

How walking helps one writer writer better.

Good question for writers (and everyone else, too): what are you doing to improve?

The concept of zero-based thinking and how writers can use it.

There are many bad reasons to become a freelance writer.

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