Driven by necessity

Saturday. Somewhere in wintertime.

Billy Baker takes us surfing – in New England – in February.

The pandemic forced restaurants to change their service models to focus on online ordering and delivery. Now, many mom and pop operations seem to have well designed and regularly updated online menus, and the delivery sites work even better. That’s good news for the software developers that build these things and, ultimately, for customers.

I’m not great with faces and since everyone is wearing masks these days, it’s even harder to pick people you know out of the crowd at the grocery store. (But at least now I have an excuse for not recognizing someone.)

The Guardian has the story on that guy and his company buying up all the music, including Neil Young’s catalog.

And since the new Apple M1 Macs are super powerful and efficient, they should be great for mining crypto, right? Well actually…

Walk right in, sit right down

Well, it’s Friday. Today is the anniversary of the first World Trade Center bombing.

Who will be the new US Ambassador to Ireland? Some Boston names are in the mix.

Mark Sullivan covers the Senate hearing last week on the Russia-based Solar Winds hack. The bottom line: This was a new type of attack vector that we did not see coming. It was also a huge intelligence sharing and coordination failure.

If you’re a nervous flier booking a trip, you might, as this NYT article suggests, want to research what type of plane you’ll be flying on or even the model and manufacturer of the engines. Not me. In some cases ignorance is bliss. This is one of those cases.

John Adams and Alia Beard Rau explain how to build and sustain an audience for an online newspaper, in this case the Arizona Republic. First, you have to kill the zombies.

And it looks like an arms race is brewing. The new fully-automatic Hyper Mach-100 is a step up from the pump-action Hyper Siege-50, holding a hundred rounds of ammo with a super-fast reload capability. Not your father’s Nerf guns.

Sausage making in a windowless room

Good morning on this beautiful Thursday.

Annabel Battistella, otherwise known as Fanne Foxe, died this week at 84. Her 1974 performance at the Pilgrim Theater in the combat zone, with Wilbur Mills in attendance, rocked the national political scene.

What happens in committee stays in committee. Arguments about transparency on Beacon Hill are getting personal. On the matter of releasing public testimony transcripts, CommonWealth Magazine reports that one rep said that it would be an undue burden on staff and that they didn’t have the technical capacity to do it. Coming from a member of the body that passed legislation requiring all the other government agencies in the state to jump through those same hoops, that seems just a tiny bit hypocritical.

Reply All seems to be spiraling. It was a great podcast as a quirky upstart, then it got ambitious, taking on more complex, important stories, attracting larger and larger audiences and raising expectations beyond what they could deliver organically. An unfortunate, but familiar, story arc. And one that would have made for a great episode of the old Reply All.

Alexis Madrigal poses an interesting question: How will we know when the pandemic is over? It’s not too early to start thinking about this. Personally, I’m looking forward to going places and eating things.

And the MIT Technology Review points out 10 technology breakthroughs you might have missed. This really is a good time for science and technology, despite all the political noise.

Supporting the team

Wednesday. Sunny and spring like. Today’s word is fathom.

We may have botched the response to Covid-19, but the good news is that, at least in England, we seem to have eliminated the flu!

In-person sports could be coming back, according to a tease from the governor. Will it be Bruins… or Celtics? Or will we have to wait for a summer game at Fenway. Foxboro in the fall? I’d settle for getting back to normal even by then.

Attorney General Maura Healey is flexing. Matt Stout suggests it might have something to do with a potential gubernatorial shot in 2022.

A new restaurant, Noami, is slated to open in the Derby Street shops in Hingham by the summer. Marc Hurwitz reports that it will be operated by the same team that runs restaurants in Chinatown, Cambridge and at Logan Airport. Good restaurants moving out into the suburbs seems to be a trend. Spread the wealth, I say, especially on the south shore.

And a court has ruled against drummer Joey Kramer, who will not be playing with Aerosmith at the Grammys. It’s a sad story.

Teflon Charlie

Today is Tuesday. It’s International Dog Biscuit Appreciation Day.

Cam Newton says he’s still in the game. We shall see.

Everyone, from legislators to columnists, is slamming Charlie Baker. But according to polls, among voters he’s still very popular, despite all the issues around vaccine distribution.

The upcoming MBTA service cuts, especially on the commuter rail, are being reworked to provide less trains during rush hour but more regularly scheduled runs throughout the day. It’s an interesting approach, but it’s still an open question whether it will save money while attracting new riders, as the T hopes.

In the smartphone sales race, Samsung always sold more phones while Apple made the most profit on the fewer iPhones it sold. Now, for the first time in a long time, Apple is selling more phones than Samsung – and still selling them at the same higher profit margin.

And the engineering effort required to land the Perseverance rover on Mars was simply amazing. Watching this video of it actually happening is no less amazing.