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: 23-29 October, 2017

Summary of this week:

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

Monday October 23, 2017

The era of semi-autonomous, platooning trucks is rapidly approaching. Smart folks are working the details, we hope. I drive I-81 in Virginia—more truck traffic per mile than anyplace. I can see some good here, but the potential for bad also exists.

Is the era of the small startup over (again)? Current conditions are favoring the established, well funded.

Google starts a new bug-bounty program aimed at finding troubles with apps on its Play Store.

A physical penetration tester describes the ease of walking into guarded facilities via the front door.

Past age 50 with decades of experience in advanced technology? Great resume. Good luck finding a job.

A coding bootcamp is caught making ridiculous claims of jobs after graduation.

The bottomless pit of hatred is what large parts of the Internet has become. There are still good use cases.

The first $5Billion did nothing, but the Gates are going to try another couple Billion$ to help public education.

Point a neural network at 20 years of Slashdot content and you get silly headlines.

A big price cut comes to the Essential Phone.

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Tuesday October 17, 2017

It appears that we are all moving to more secure https.

Microsoft partners with Cray to provide supercomputing in the cloud for Azure users.

Facebook ups the censorship; smaller news outlets will be pushed off the main pages. Those in power regulate to keep it that way.

We have become dependent on GPS, and GPS is vulnerable to spoofing (always has been).

Our Dept of Justice has dropped the blanket gag orders on tech companies. Microsoft, in turn, drops its lawsuit.

We are now all playing Destiny 2.

The Amazon Kindle is now ten years old.

Ten years ago, Microsoft poured $240M into Facebook. The rest is history. Don't forget that MS also saved Apple.

Here comes Primer: understanding themes from unstructured data.

Snapchat built a few hundred thousand too many of its Spectacles.

Civilization is safe: Star Trek Discovery is coming back for a second season.

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Wednesday October 18, 2017

Apple claims that their retail stores will have lots of iPhone X models on launch day. Stand in line. Get excited.

AT&T loses almost 400,000 cable subscribers in the last quarter. Cutting the cords continues.

Honolulu now has a regulation: read your phone while crossing the street, get a fine. Someone doesn't have enough to do.

Amazon has lots of plans for its Whole Foods stores. Wait a bit on that. There are laws.

Zuckerburg's charity foundation is spending money lobbying. The best way to help others is pass laws, or something like that. So much for direct help. Instead, become friends with those in power for when you run for President.

Tesla is now installing solar panels and battery storage at hospitals in Puerto Rico. A first step. This is the obvious use of such energy technology—power for isolated areas. The rest of us? Not really.

Microsoft releases the Azure Container Service. This enables easier cloud computing using technology developed by Google. Google open sourced the technology and now Microsoft and Amazon use it.

Riding the sales of new processors, AMD returns to profitability. More profitable producers is good for us consumers.

Wyze Cam: another security camera hooked to the Internet, but this one is priced at $20.

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Thursday October 19, 2017

After selling 35million of them, Microsoft stops building the Kinect motion sensor that turned on an industry.

Nintendo announces another game in the Animal Crossing series.

Angela Ahrendts and the Apple store. They are nice places. People gather in them just to talk to friends. Where's the coffee?

Reddit joins in the current wave of censorship by banning groups that "everyone" hates.

Facebook has 30,000 organizations using its Workplace. Now they copy Lync chat and video.

Amazon Key is here: let the Amazon delivery person in your home. Silicon Valley once again wastes tech talent solving problems that mean nothing.

Apple hires a top UK TV executive in hopes on building its own network.

They Mayor of San Juan, Puerto Rico doesn't like the electrical power repair contract award to a Montana company. The  same Mayor has mismanaged finances in her city so badly that she can't let any contracts for anything. Incompetence reigns.

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Friday October 20, 2017

Walmart tests "robots" that scan the shelves for missing items so humans can restock the shelves. Of course it won't eliminate any jobs, of course it won't, of course it won't, keep saying that...of course it won't.

Nvidia releases a lower-cost GPU to compete with AMD's offerings. The price drops, the performance drops a little.

And AMD shrinks its Ryzen Mobile GPUs to fit in those thin laptops.

Twitter pretty much bans all Russian ads. Nothing like pre-judging large groups of persons and censoring them. Is this America? No, it isn't. Of course the Russians did things that made some Americans unhappy. That is the Russians' job. We do much the same to them. Banning "all Russian" ads is pre-judging which is prejudice. Why are we applauding prejudice today?

It appears that Facebook, Twitter, and Google worked in the Trump campaign—just like the worked in the Clinton camp. But they aren't supposed to work for both sides are they? That way they are with the winner regardless of who wins. Is that wrong?

Amazon Web Services continues to rake in more money and more this month than last and on and on.

Microsoft's cloud, while much smaller than AWS, is growing and has profites of $2Billion per month.

Orders for Google's Pixel 2 phone are double what they were last year.

The iPhone 8 is squeezed by the models 7 and X and isn't selling well. Price cut coming???

Amazon now has 540,000 employees. That is the land of the old IBM. Many work in warehouses and grocery stores.

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Saturday October 21, 2017

How rich is Jeff Bezos? We really don't want to know.

SpaceX has learned how to launch rockets and re-launch them. They aim for 19 launches this year.

The folly of computerized voting systems in the US. It doesn't have to be this bad.

Catalonia declares independence from Spain, again. Let's see what happens next.

Got an Apple MacBook and $149? Get a fine leather case for the computer.

The story of how Doom led to advances in pattern recognition and AI.

Waymo (Google (Alphabet)) will start testing its autonomous vehicles in Detroit with snow and ice and yuck.

Our ambivalence towards Facebook. We love to use it and we don't trust 'em.

Google will no longer let us search google.co.uk for England etc.

All this talk about going to Mars soon...it will be horrible trip and a horrible place to live.

The holy grail of making sea water potable and sending it to everyone in the world. A worthy but doubtful goal.

There are now more smartphones in India than the US. Simple demographics. The US is #3 at this time.

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Sunday October 22, 2017

Facebook and Slack copy features from Microsoft's Lync.

John Mollo dies at 86. He designed the costumes for Star Wars. Low budget, lots of improvising. It all worked.

Fly to Mars? Spend a year in space? Forget how to walk? That's what happens.

Twitter is censoring political discourse...in America. Well, why not? When will the adults resume being adults?

The daughter of an Apple engineer makes a little iPhone X video too soon. Apple fires the engineer. Secrecy agreements and all that, you know.

The regulators are coming for Facebook. What to do? Lobby. Lobby. Lobby. It's the Washington way.

The Hallmark Channel owns Christmas on TV. And it works. People love it. A little sappy happiness today is what we want.

The battle for the next Amazon office increases. Some drop out citing fear of traffic, high housing costs, and general headaches. Yes, 500 highly-paid employees will boost your economy. Yes, they will cause housing costs to rise and many families who have always lived here will be forced out. Traffic? That, too. Schools? Forget it. These plutocrats will create their own private schools. Headaches. Yes. But, some quick-footed politicians will make big personal gains.

Want to write more? Want to produce more? Here is one good bit of advice from this piece, "Examine your excuses." Oh, those things.

"Consider talking about your book before you write it." Pretty good advice.

Grammar rules, and why we often ignore them and that is okay.

Some ideas that might help you write every single day without fail.

Some things successful writers do, whatever success means.

The trials and triumphs of moving about from city to city while writing.

The concept of the "ugly barge" to be a productive writer. A barge is ugly, but it does its job—move stuff from here to there. Productivity is the same. It doesn't matter how it looks, just get it done.

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