We have met the enemy

Friday. It’s my favorite day of the week. And spring is coming.

Strong and beautiful? Not so much. More like Swiss cheese.

Josephine Wolff is right. Local governments should be working hard to minimize internal vulnerabilities to avoid ransomware attacks, not spinning their wheels on confronting international threats they can’t do anything about.

The two people being tested for coronavirus in New Hampshire have come back with negative results.

Home prices in Massachusetts jumped 33% last year, according to Homesnap. That’s more than double any other state. Some of the increase is attributed to lack of inventory. Quite a seller’s market. But very tough for young people just getting started.

And some of us are old enough to remember this historic day.

To those who wait

Good morning. It’s Thursday. Still January. Still winter.

Brexit is pretty much a done deal now.

Four big new developments coming to Dorchester will increase the housing stock and add office space and retail. Looks like one of the projects will finally develop that small Fields Court neighborhood behind South Bay where residents were holding out for a better price for their homes. Presumably they got what they were asking for.

Because it will blanket the globe with incredibly fast Internet, including places that previously have had little or no access, Starlink is a big deal. Jeffery Paul explains just how big a deal.

I get that some people are suspicious of the police but this piece in The Dig is a bit over the top. A police department website announcing “extra patrols to keep the city safe” is cited as an indication of white nationalism and racist motivations? Not quite sure how the writer got from here to there.

The City Council has announced committee assignments for the year. Some good choices. Bok chairs Ways and Means and Campbell has Public Safety.

And the coronavirus may be as much of an economic threat as it is a health concern.

Scientific espionage

Wednesday. Hump day. And a good day to stay inside and work on a puzzle.

Apple had a good quarter.

China has been aggressive in targeting academics lately. In December a Beth Israel researcher was arrested for attempting to smuggle stolen research material into China. And this week a Harvard chemistry and biology chair with a distinguished record was led off in handcuffs for lying about his work with China. That’s not something that happens every day.

A state rep is pushing to streamline access to medical marijuana for veterans.

Another revelation about Ring and privacy. Why would your doorbell need to access Facebook? Or visa versa?

And a man named Boston doubled down on his commitment to getting high.

Spreading like a virus

Tuesday. The anniversary of the Challenger disaster.

New England will be in the Superbowl this year after all, or at least our accents will be.

Two suspected cases of coronavirus are being tested in New Hampshire as the numbers in China skyrocket. We’ve come much further in our ability to sequence viruses in the last few years. This allows us to look under the hood to better and more quickly pinpoint the nature and source of an outbreak. Markets were down yesterday because of the coronavirus but sales of face masks were through the roof.

If you’ve used Avast anti-virus software I hope it was free because you were the product.

And why do Americans have so many bathrooms? The Atlantic wants to know. I think the answer is obvious. Peace and quiet.

Building an innovation ecosystem

Monday morning. A bit cloudy but the forecast is good. On this date Auschwitz was liberated in 1945 and in 1973 the Paris Peace Accords were signed to end the Vietnam War.

Meet the iPad. Has it been ten years?

Portland Maine would like to become a tech hub, joining Boston, Seattle, San Diego, San Francisco and Silicon Valley as innovation centers. The political leadership seem thoughtful about the city’s economic health and its future. And they have some help: a local billionaire and Northeastern University. Not to mention the local food scene, which certainly won’t hurt when it comes to attracting talent.

This case is a mess. Looks like the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office didn’t anticipate how strongly Judge Sally Kelly would object to being sidestepped.

Dietary supplements are a $35 billion dollar business. They come in two flavors. The ones that do nothing and the ones that do something. And for the ones that do something, that something is usually not a good thing.

And the last time a folding phone was introduced it was a disaster. Apparently Motorola doesn’t want to make those same mistakes with its ‘new’ Razr.

The year of the rat

Happy Sunday. Happy New Year. Happy 春节.

How do all-you-can-eat buffets turn a profit? It’s not easy but with a few tricks it’s possible.

This is impressive reporting from inside Iran, by Farnaz Fassihi, on the attempted coverup of the airliner shot down by the Iranian military.

There are indications that the Coronavirus is more highly contagious than even SARS and that it can be spread by those without symptoms.

Coming soon: pop-up nuclear reactors.

And last year more people went to the library than the movies. This probably says more about the quality of movies than anything about surging literacy, but it’s a good thing nonetheless.

In rats’ alley

Another weekend rolls around. It’s Saturday, January 24th. Take a moment today to appreciate a beer can.

The VFW is wanting an apology from the president regarding remarks he made about traumatic brain injuries.

According to the Dorchester Reporter there’s a rat problem in the Polish Triangle. In a meeting with residents a city health inspector told the group that there were billions of them. (That seemed like a lot to me but it might not be an exaggeration.) Next steps appear to involve better managing trash containers and getting landlords in the neighborhood to be more aware of the problem.

Clay Christensen has died. He was a huge influence in business over the last several decades, especially in tech.

This guy could write the book on how not to rob a bank. At least he’s a dog lover.

And Dieter Bohn articulates the concern that many, including me, have with Google’s new search results page.

Medium rare

It’s Friday, January 24, 2020. Happy birthday to the Mac.

Police in the UK are upping their use of facial recognition, with real-time analysis of faces.

It may be too cold for some but my grill goes all year long. I don’t have one of those outlandish looking top-of-the-line status grills. It’s just a modest two-burner Weber. Solid, and it works like a charm. Engadget introduces us to Weber’s newest innovation: pellet grills. Seems elaborate. Probably not for me but I’ll keep an open mind.

Universal Hub reports Boston’s second murder of the year. It happened on Juliette Street in Dorchester. (Random association: the street was once memorialized by a character in John Updike‘s 1988 novel S.)

We shouldn’t panic yet, according to the World Health Organization. They’re keeping an eye on what’s happening in China but they didn’t declare a global emergency. Part of that decision was based on what they know of what’s happening in China. But that may not be reliable. In the meantime, here’s what you need to know.

And it will be an interesting dynamic between San Francisco’s offense on the ground and the Kansas City defense but at the end of the day it will be up to Garoppolo to step in and fill any gaps.

Ready for our closeup

Thursday is here already. And it’s National Pie day. (Not to be confused with National Pi Day or National Boston Cream Pie day.)

Boston Globe food reviewers seem to be afraid of the south shore. But if they did deign to venture beyond the Neponset I’m sure they might have found at least one or two new restaurants worthy of being listed. (How about Oysterman or The Fairview to start?)

It’s a legitimate question whether the Massachusetts film tax credit is a good deal for taxpayers. Bruce Mohl reports that location scouts and some municipal officials are lobbying for an extension ahead of the law’s sunset at the end of 2022. Everyone loves to see movie stars around but lawmakers should just run the numbers and ignore the bright lights.

People often joke that stress turned their hair grey. According to a new Harvard study, it’s no joke.

Service animals are getting more and more common on airplanes. It doesn’t stop with dogs but where does it stop? Small horses are OK but no frogs, ferrets, hedgehogs or goats are allowed on American Airlines. And no ‘comfort turkeys’ on Delta. But rabbits wearing bowties are alright in business class. Now the Department of Transportation is proposing uniform regulations. Maybe it’s time to put this genie back in its bottle.

And we can all breath easier; the mad shitter has been caught.