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: 25 September-1 October, 2017

Summary of this week:

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

Monday September 25, 2017

Microsoft revamps how Office 365 starts; it is all supposed to be faster.

Intel pushes out its 8th generation core processors for the desktop.

The Washington Post informs us that Barack Obama is the real hero in the fight against fake news. Who was President when all that happened?

And who was President when NFL players starting refusing to stand for the national anthem?

Yet another Star Trek TV series started last night.

Yet another employer calls for taxpayers to train their IT workers for them.

A futurist at Google tells us we will still all have jobs in the future.

Twitter tests a lite version in the Philippines. They call it "emerging market" instead of the other things.

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Tuesday September 26, 2017

Apple switches back from Bing to Google for its speech understanding searchX.

Our President pushes yet another learn-to-program-computers initiative. Let's be wary of taxpayers training Facebook's employees.

Microsoft has a new set of machine learning tools, mostly based in the cloud. At least they are using the right name and not trying to push this as AI.

Nvidia shows new software tools that accelerate the machine learning being run on its graphics processors.

Ars Technica reviews MacOS 10.13. Mostly under the hood with few enhancement the user will see.

YouTube introduces Director Mix: a mix and match way to make ads. Modular programming for advertisers.

Here come the truck trains: Daimler will start testing truck "platooning" in Oregon and Nevada real soon now.

Microsoft and Facebook have just laid a new data cable across the Atlantic that breaks all records for everything.

Puerto Rico and Hurricane Maria show the folly of above-ground power lines. The island is dark and will remain so.

Censorship lives on in China as the government blocks WhatsApp.

Google and Levi's team for a $250 jacket with computers in the sleeves. So far, just a stunt.

Microsoft 365 Education is released. It is a bundle of products aimed at schools include a Minecraft edition.

The mismatch of software crafting and project management. This piece highlight the problems, but I find it exagerates the stances and misses the point in many ways.

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Wednesday September 27, 2017

Twitter may double our allowed number of characters to 280.

For the fifth year in a row, Apple remains the world's most valuable brand.

Vimeo buys Livestream and announces its own live video service.

Walmart signs on to use Facebook's Workplace.

Uber is pulling out of Quebec instead of abiding by their regulations. Government wins or is it the citizenry loses?

Lyft adds Ford as a partner in developing self-driving cars.

For those who aren't on Office 365, Office 2019 is coming in 2018. Why must they confuse us so?

Boeing offers a $2Million prize for a practical personal jetpack.

Using the new scanner built into the iPhones simple Notes app for iOS 11.

Coming next year, women will be allowed to drive in Saudi Arabia. Yes, these places still exist.

Google follows Amazon and adds billing by the second for its cloud computing services.

Implementing a plan developed under the prior President, our DHS will now monitor social media of immigrants.

Tesla switches from Nvidia to Intel processors in its cars.

And now we learn that a 3-hour workday would be best for all of us.

Once again we prove that Game of Thrones is the most important thing in the world.

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Thursday September 28, 2017

Hugh Hefner dies at 91.

Amazon has an event and announces lots of new stuff.

Amazon shows the Echo Spot—an alarm clock with a screen that connects to lots of interesting places.

Amazon updates the Fire TV to HDR 4K and a much smaller package.

Apple publishes some details on  its face recognition security on the iPhones. Security and privacy (promised).

Our Senate Intelligence Committee invites tech executives to tell us that the Russians had an opinion about our recent election. Of course the Russians had an opinion. Of course the Russians expressed that opinion. Of course the Russians spent money spreading that opinion. And, oh by the way, American companies happily accepted the money and ran the ads and opinion pieces. And those American companies spent money among American politicians lobbying for this and that. This news is not new.

Zuckerburg tells us that Facebook is completely neurtral regarding politics. Subjective subjectivity reigns.

Seth Godin has an excellent brief, clear piece on brief, clear, crisp meetings and building systems.

NASA and the Russians agree to intend to one day work together on a moon base. Facebook hasn't weighed in yet. This is American where one part of our government hunts Russians while another part hugs them. Policy? Strategic thinking?

Dyson, yes those guys who make expensive vacuum cleaners, will make an expensive electric car.

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Friday September 29, 2017

Social media and just about doing anything about anything. I have several paragraphs here today about the topic. It seems that some persons think social media rules the world. It does become a good excuse if you don't have your way.

In a hunt for ne'er-do-wells, Congress is all over social media providers and is probably over reaching.

And some of our Senators are furious with Twitter because it let groups tweet. Imagine that, tweets on Twitter.

This is what social media is all about. It is a micro-blogging platform where anyone says anything. No one is forced to read or believe what they say. Yes, millions re-tweet these things. The numbers are staggering because the price is, uh, free. Still, the numbers are meaningless as everything is lost in a media where the signal-to-noise ratio is practically zero. Sigh.

GoPro updates its line of video cameras with the Hero6 at $499.

Apple says it doesn't have FM tuner hardware in its iPhones despite what critics claim.

IBM has 130,000 employees in India, which is more than its America-based workforce.

Elon Musk presents his ideas for rockets carrying passengers around the world and all such fun. Price tag?

The EU will outlaw speech on social media if the providers don't censor everything. In the early days, some of us remember them, these providers had a delay in when you posted something and when it appeared. The idea was that a person would see the content before it went online to ensure you weren't posting porn or something to the world in an open platform. I guess that idea went away when the number of users exploded. So, software examined all the posts to see if they were okay. Well, the software wasn't and still isn't good enough. So here we are.

Google releases to all the Family Link app. Turn on old Android tablet into something safer for kids.

Ikea acquires odd-job provider TaskRabbit. The idea is for the odd-jobbers to deliver and assemble the Ikea furniture.

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Saturday September 30, 2017

Zuckerburg, Facebook, Billion$$$, and tangling a web where Zuckerburg wants lots of icing on his cake.

Want to work in tech, but not in California? Here are other locations.

Tesla is sending batteries to Puerto Rico. A little late, but it is a nice gesture.

Fake news...no, the average American is not HORRIFIED by our government watching persons who are not citizens.

Amazon brings out Fire OS 6.

The Chinese know how to deal with fake news: hire censors, uh, er, I mean supervisors. Do we really want to stop fake news here? Really? See above story about watching immigrants' social media.

Of course Elon Musk's idea of rocket travel among points on the earth won't work. Some reasons why.

No power? Of course Puerto Rico is dark and has no communications.

And there are solutions to emergency communications. There have been for many years. FEMA? Who?

Breaking the broken window theory in law enforcement. Arresting guys for jay-walking actually increases major crime.

Fake news brings chaos (to those who want to see chaos). To many of the rest of us, it is just the way things are. Nothing to see here. Move along. Believe none of what you hear and only half of what you see. But, then again, I am an old naive guy.

For shell programmers, a look at the new directed graph shell—dgsh. Fascinating for those of us fascinated by such.

The most expensive tech office spaces in the world. London is surprising at number one.

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Sunday October 1, 2017

And we now have MacOS 10.13. Apple must not be superstitious and afraid of the unlucky 13.

One reviewers thoughts after one week with an iPhone 8.

"And the unfortunate truth is that by design, business model and algorithm, Facebook has made it easy for it to be weaponized to spread misinformation and fraudulent content. Sadly, this business model is also lucrative, especially during elections." Sums it up pretty well. And this has been obvious from the start. Why is anyone surprised or shocked? Really? Come on folks.

A good look at Geoffrey Hinton and the basic back propagation neural network—what everyone uses today.

How Apple uses widespread R&D offices to hire top persons away from other companies. Great idea. Come to town, meet smart persons, and ask them, "What would you like to do at work everyday?" Then tell them, "Come to work with us and you can." Great idea.

The horrible situation that is Puerto Rico. Of course a hurricane hit it, and of course corrupt local government let everything fall down before the hurricane. These things are predictable and were predicted, and the human suffering as a result is awful. See, e.g., New Orleans some ten+ years ago.

Tesla: take over all the 7-11s and sell electricity, too. Why not?

Move to the Pacific Northwest now before the waters rise (probably not).

Satellite photos show how dark it is in Puerto Rico. I am surprised there is so much light in a place with no power.

The writer's journal used during a long writing project. How's it going today? Okay, but I should be better.

Writers, and other freelance workers, must take care of ourselves. When we are ill, the income stops.

Six reasons to plot your novel. These are pretty good. Still, some people have to write and discover as they go and circle back. I find that wasteful, but it works quite well for some.

The memoir from the unknown writer. No chance? How about "Angela's Ashes" written by a retired New York City English teacher?

One writer's basic steps to writing a synopsis of a novel.

This isn't the same old 7 great tips pieces. I find this one worth your time.

Some good questions to ask about what you have and are writing.

Scenes we may want to put in our novels, a.k.a., scenes we must have.

I like this infographic on ways to improve productivity as a writer. They key is to pound the keyboard. Start. Go. Keep going. Keep going. No, don't pause, keep going.

Writing a full book in 100 days. Of course you can do it, do the math. Type 40 words a minute, not real fast. 100,000 words takes 2,500 minutes or about 42 hours. Two hours a day (why work really hard?) makes about 21 days or three weeks.

Examining the first page.

Being polite as a strategy to receive referalls.

Encouragement and instruction on creating an online writing course.

The exploratory nature of writing. Yes, even for someone who outlines, this is true.

And the plotting way to find holes in writing and fill them.

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