Pocket change

Monday morning. It’s a birthday for Upton Sinclair, Red Auerbach and Sophia Loren.

Why doesn’t Lamborghini advertise on TV? For the same reason Willie Sutton didn’t rob hardware stores. Marketing 101.

Here are some things to know about the looming debt default. There’s always the $1 trillion platinum coin option.

There’s another dimension to the chip shortage affecting carmakers. The chips used in cars are antiquated and the semiconductor industry doesn’t want to invest in new foundries to manufacture out-of-date chips. They want the auto industry to redesign their systems to take advantage of more modern chips. Carmakers are understandably holding back because of safety and reliability concerns. A logjam inside of a logjam.

France is still miffed at the US and Australia over the submarine deal. But they’re giving Britain a pass. Is that a good thing? Is their relationship too important to risk a snub, or is the lack of a snub, itself, a snub?

And September is bike month. Galen Mook, the executive director of MassBike, has some timely suggestions for improving access and safety.

Schwab’s drug store

Today is Sunday. The end of the weekend.

It’s time, once again, for another government shutdown and default.

A British plumber was singing while he worked. The homeowner owned a record company. Now he’s taking a crack at a musical career. Here’s the story. Here’s the first album. My review? Great pipes but he could use a good producer.

Sarah Palin isn’t vaccinated. But you probably guessed that.

Coffee is under threat from global warming. This is not a good situation. But science comes to the rescue.

And Alexa can spoil your surprises. Terence Eden provides a cautionary tale.

A failure of unity politics

Saturday. Today’s word is vignette.

David Sanger explains why the French are so pissed at us and Steven Erlanger looks at the wider implications of the US, Australian submarine deal. Sacrebleu.

Emerson professor Roger House has a unique take on the results of the mayoral runoff. Barros, Campbell and Janey, he argues, were trying to win over the liberal establishment and media rather than speaking to the critical needs in the neighborhoods. “They appeared to be swayed by associations with liberal groups – and placed an emphasis on a progressive agenda that inadequately speaks to the cultural and spiritual needs of their community.” But, he believes, it’s not too late to fix things. One of the three could still prevail as a write-in candidate in the general election. But only one.

Restaurants have been closing like crazy. A bunch of new restaurants are also opening in the Boston area. And a lot of them have Bar in their name. Scott Kearnan reports.

Renting a car has never been a fun experience. The pandemic has made a bad situation worse. And it probably won’t get back to just bad for quite a while.

And sometimes I think the Washington Post covers Boston better than the local papers do.

A chicken in every pot

Today is Friday. And so it is.

Elizabeth Warren may have the right intention in trying to protect small investors in Ethereum. But if you’re in that market and you don’t know the risks, shame on you.

Michell Wu is in favor of the Free the T movement. No more fares. On her website, where she describes her position, there’s also a section asking for campaign donations that says, “Every dollar counts.” Unfortunately that part is true. A new report finds that the MBTA is headed for a ‘fiscal calamity’ unless it finds new sources of revenue. It’s nice to promise free things but, like a campaign, transportation costs money.

According to this map visualization from MassINC, Janey decisively beat Campbell in Roxbury and Mattapan. But digging into the numbers in the more progressive parts of the city you can see how Campbell, and presumably the Globe endorsement, cut into Janey’s numbers and tipped the scales citywide.

Apple is taking pre-orders for the new iPhone today. Before Apple, there was Sony. Like the iPhone in 2007, I bought the first Walkman as soon as it came out in 79. It was made of metal, like a tank. But it was an incredible device. This site has everything Walkman.

And the winners are… Mayim Bialik and Ken Jennings. At least for this year.

Voter interest

Happy Thursday.

Rattlesnakes in the Blue Hills?!? Next thing you know we’ll have reports of bears roaming around the south shore.

In 1983, when Mel King and Ray Flynn survived the runoff for mayor, the city was smaller by about 100,000 people. But in that election, 60,000 more people voted than in this week’s preliminary. Could this be due to voter indifference or is something else going on. Michael Jonas ran the numbers and talked to some close observers of the political scene to get a sense of what’s going on behind the scenes and what it might mean for the general election.

George W Bush didn’t leave the Republican party. The Republican party left him.

Millennials get a bad rep from boomers. Boomers ruined the world, according to Millennials. Where will it all end? Maybe we should just all gang up on Gen X and call it a day.

And George Church wants to bring back wooly mammoths, al la Jurassic Park. You know… it’s not nice to fool with Mother Nature.

Meet the new boss

Wednesday, September 15th. Halfway through the best month of the year.

Norm MacDonald has died. A comedic master. Here he is in top form on Letterman’s last show. And then there’s the moth joke. Lots more to be found on his YouTube channel.

And we’re down to two. Wu and Essaibi George. Lots of talk about this being a historic victory for women of color, but it seems to me that this is just a slightly different version of the status quo. I think the battle between Campbell and Janey led to a missed opportunity for historically underrepresented parts of the city to play a larger role.

Facebook continues to reinforce the idea that they are just a rotten company.

Intermittent fasting seems to be very popular. But the real benefits, apparently, come from hardcore fasting. I don’t know if I could go four days.

And the Wirecutter doesn’t think you need the new iPhone 13. They’re probably right, too.

Plausible deniability

Happy Tuesday. Amy Winehouse would have been 38 years old today.

Joe Perry, the last of the south shore holdouts from Aerosmith, is selling his Duxbury house. Only $4.5 million and it comes with a recording studio and guitar shaped pool.

Mel King endorsed Acting Mayor Kim Janey while the Willie Gross super PAC is going to the mat for Essaibi George, despite her disavowal. George Regan and his little dog also make an appearance. Election day is here. At least for the prelim. That guy from all those commercials predicts a turnout of 100,000.

Hot nights. Another effect of climate change.

Apple is announcing new iPhones today. Privacy activists are leveraging the event with protests at Apple Stores, including the one in Boston, to bring attention to the CSAM scanning issues even though Apple put that initiative on hold.

And if your career goal is to be a bank teller, you may want to rethink your plan.

Up is down, down is up

Monday. Here we go.

Mac Jones looked good. It wasn’t a win but this season just might work out.

According to Third Way, via NBC News, crime in red state Massachusetts is way up. But in Boston, part one crime is down 17%. Something is out of whack. Maybe it’s Cambridge pushing the numbers up for the state.

Video game maker Epic sued Apple. Apple won. Kind of. They also lost. And Epic kind of won. No matter, Epic is going to appeal.

Cressida Dick is a reasonable person but I think she’s on the wrong side of this issue. Fighting terrorism and child sexual abuse are important but there are no easy solutions without compromising privacy for the average person. Not to mention the potential for abuse. Consider this. And this.

And A&W tried to ‘one up’ the McDonalds’ Quarter Pounder with their own Third Pounder. It didn’t catch on because people thought a third of a pound was smaller than a quarter of a pound. And you wonder why our vaccination rate is so low.

Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain

It’s Sunday. Elizabeth Barrett eloped with Robert Browning on this day in 1846.

In the wake of 911, Ellen Barry writes about Boston, Massport and Virginia Buckingham. And this story about a fighter pilot who was scrambled to bring down one of the planes headed to Washington was a new one for me. A Lucky Penny.

Before Tuesday’s preliminary election, Annissa Essaibi George is publicly distancing herself from Willie Gross’ PAC. And Meg Irons takes a peace walk with not a single candidate in sight.

Adam Gaffin reports on some new case law for police body cameras in Massachusetts.

The Times data visualization page for covid is pretty good. There are some interesting insights to take away. Also, in Denmark, the pandemic is over.

And a Suffolk County IT director (in New York) used his access to server rooms to set up computers for bitcoin mining on the government’s dime. Thousands of dollars of electricity were allegedly used. The story doesn’t say how much bitcoin was produced or what happened to it. But I’m guessing it wasn’t much.

Turning the tide

Friday, September 10th.

Fixing the RMV is still a work in progress. That something like this could happen means that they still don’t have solid workflows or quality control in their processes.

Billy Baker provides a history lesson on beach access in Massachusetts. Two Cape Cod lawmakers want to adjust the line from the low water mark to the high water mark so we can all take a stroll along the beach. It’s been tried before. Wealthy homeowners won’t like it and it probably won’t pass constitutional muster, but it’s still worth a shot.

COBOL. The gift that keeps on giving. Until it doesn’t.

There are only so many top-tier information security experts in the world. And none of them work in small town IT departments. A recent Massachusetts hearing on protecting the state’s computer infrastructure concludes that we don’t have the money or the expertise to protect ourselves from hackers. It’s a problem.

And it turns out that the deep state thing was real.