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 May 19-25, 2014

Summary of this week:

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

Monday May 19, 2014

Guess what? If bumped from a flight, law requires airlines to pay you cash. How to avoid voiding the law and how to collect the money in the post.

The welfare state is booming in Switzerland.

Your smart, Internet-connected appliance is observing you and telling others.

AT&T is buying DirectTV.

Noting how much 3D-printed firearms have advanced in one year.

Here is a growth industry: encrypted Internet traffic.

The Godzilla movie was a box office success its first weekend. I had fun watching it.

Wozniak on the FCC and net neutrality.

A look at the FCC's proposal. "They think we are idiots."

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Tuesday May 20, 2014

Google buys Divide, who has a mobile app for secure enterprise documents.

Hints at big changes coming to Apple retail stores.

Microsoft has a Surface tablet big event today. People expect a bigger screen, not a smaller tablet.

Further news on the dismal U.S. manned space program.

Flying a drone over the world's tallest building.

The dangers of face recognition from one of its pioneers.

Canonical accidentally builds a cloud-in-a-box hardware unit that everyone wants to buy.

Wireless power enables a medical implant that is smaller than a grain of rice. This is an amazing breakthrough in medical technology.

Congress considers doubling the number of H-1B visas. Many predict bad long-term results for US science and technology.

Engadget's explanation of net neutrality.

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Wednesday May 21, 2014

Microsoft shows the Surface Pro 3—a 12" tablet with keyboard that will replace the laptop computer (maybe). This appears to be a good device, but is far too expensive.

Details here.

A writer tries the new machine in his lap—a position often used with laptop computers.

Apple and Google swap spots in most-valuable-brand rankings. Google is #1 (this year).

WiFi hardware is just about to catch up to the 802.11ac standard and bring true gigabit performance.

Our government struggles to hire cyber experts because many cyber experts like to smoke marijuana.

Lenovo claims to sell more computers in the US than Apple.

Intern Sushi spins off Career Sushi. These are job sites for the millennials.

Tech executives have met with our President about the NSA, but say that the meetings were just a show with no substance. Chicago politics at its best or worst.

Northern California is getting a cellular network to be used only by devices.

GM (government motors) has a list of words that engineers cannot use in emails because they may be used later in product liability lawsuites.

Yet another (un)foreseen consequence of driverless cars: speeding tickets will vanish and so will the money.

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Thursday May 22, 2014

The Germans are powering their country on solar and wind. I doubt this will scale to a country the size of the U.S.

Sputnik: a Russian search that hopes to rival Google. Is it surveillance ready?

One day real soon now, Google will be showing ads on appliances in the Internet of things.

A new feature on Facebook: listen in on you via the computer's microphone. They call this a feature to enrich your experience. Are they kidding? What is the probability that someone will abuse this?

Nest (Google) is recalling all its smoke and carbon monoxide detectors due to a fault.

Women come forward at a panel to discuss working in the tech industries.

One journalist returns his Google Glass. The device isn't ready yet.

Politics in Washington as usual: Congress has neutered the surveillance bill.

The Linux Foundation and edX have built an Introduction to Linux course.

Google to sell better-quality WiFi network hardware to restaurants and other businesses.

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Friday May 23, 2014

Twitter blocks blasphemous tweets in Pakistan. Can we do that in America?

Google doesn't mind telling us that they don't have paid fast lanes in their networks.

CodeAcademy is growing international.

The HP 7 Plus: a quad-core Android tablet for $100. How to buy this for only $85.

But HP will eliminate 16,000 jobs.

More details on Google's WiFi network systems for businesses. They involve cloud computing, software radios, and management of networks from cloud resources.

And another closer look at the Microsoft Surface Pro 3.

Google is developing a tablet with multiple cameras to map areas in three dimensions. More details on the project here.

It appears that the Apple-Beats deal is an acqui-hire.

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Saturday May 24, 2014

A surgeon broadcasts an cancer operation via Google Glass. Yes, in part this is a stunt. Surgeries can be broadcast like this to surgical students using other types of cameras, probably much better with much better cameras than are on the Glass. Still, this is a good event for medical education.

The simple secret to Apple's design excellence: everyone is a designer. Everyone cares about the design of the product. No one has an it's-the-other-guy's-job attitude.

The demand has been high for Apple's Mac Pro computer. It is a computer for people who produce content, especially imagery and video.

A paralyzed teenager, aided by an exoskeleton, will kick the first ball at this year's World Cup. Yes, it is a stunt, but an important one that I hope will emphasize this area of medical technology. This is the kind of thing we should be doing in technology.

NASA enlists everyone to create a giant selfie. This is cute, except when you consider that taxpayer money was spent to do this. I guess when you can no longer lift a person into space you have to do something to fill your time. Your tax dollars at waste.

The major tech companies are battling our government over gag orders and a little thing known as Freedom of Speech. See, e.g., Amendment One to the Consitution of the United States of America.

Even the New York Times dislikes the NSA (non)reform bill.

I like this news: software is becoming better at working when NOT connected to the Internet.

Google is the best place to work (makes sense) followed closely by Costco (doesn't make sense).

A look inside the Chinese government's hacking teams.

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Sunday May 25, 2014

Roger Federer wears a Google Glass on a tennis court. It looks awful. The camera follows the pointing of the head, not the pointing of the eyes. One day, eye-tracking software will point the camera in the right direction, but not today.

Apple and the design of its store in Instanbul. Remarkable.

Perhaps it isn't the gluten that is driving so many people to gluten-free diets. I have suspected this since the diet fad began.

Programming can be learned. You also need to learn how to deal with inadequacy. The human condition is and has always been underestimated in the field of programming computers.

Maybe now our Federal government will bring broadband to rural areas. Here comes $4.5billion. Waste?

19MegaBitsPerSecond to the moon and back now acheived via lasercomms.

I never, and still don't, understood having "writing talent." I write and write and write. What I write seems to read better now than it did thirty years ago.

Thoughts on willful ignorance—paying attention to what you are doing and neglecting many other things. “There is very little about the Times’ story that isn’t just straight-up gossip. And for someone like Glass who traffics in ideas and is busy producing something of high quality like This American Life, media gossip just isn’t that important.”

That is a variation on the age-old advice of choose your failures wisely.

Here is a comprehensive guide to computer backups. This is critical for freelance creatives—especially writers. I know many horror stories from friends who lived on their creations, never did a backup, and, yes, lost it all one day.

Excellent quotes on writing and writers. Excellent.

One writer's top five tips. These boil down to write and read much of your time.

Working around practices that slow your writing.

Some thoughts on something called subconcious writing.

There are ways to make some money writing fiction. Caution: don't quit your day job too soon.

Here are some tips on how to write all that fiction while keeping your day job.

Working your way around what many call "writer's block."

One writer's experience with pay-what-you-want pricing.

Characters in fiction don't have to have names.

The thoughts that editors think and how writers can think that way too.

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