Turn-key hacking

Back in that Monday mood.

There may be new faces in Boston politics but it’s still the most interesting game in town. Meghan Irons brings us up to speed on the Mayoral race.

Hackers are demanding $20 million dollars from Kia after an attack left owners unable to remotely start their cars. That’s pretty bad but it could have been worse if it affected the car while it was moving. Remember those right to repair scare-tactic commercials from last year where they implied that the independent shops would leak critical data to hackers? Turns out that the weak point was the big dealers all along.

A twenty bedroom home in Maine for $5 million or a five bedroom on the Cape for $7 million? Thankfully, these are they kinds of choices I don’t have to worry about making.

People riding their bike over the frozen Charles River is a thing that happens this time of year. Adam Gaffin rounds up the latest episodes. Also on Reddit.

And there’s more chemistry in cooking scrambled eggs than I would have imagined. But according to this article you can skip all the technical details and just add butter and some starch. And a little tabasco. (That last one is from me.)

The sky is falling

Sunday, February 21st. David Foster Wallace would have been 59 today.

Red wine at room temperature? Not so fast.

The Boing 777 that lost an engine after takeoff yesterday, dropping debris near Denver, was an old airplane. One expert said something like this is extremely rare. But also yesterday, in the Netherlands, an even older 747 experienced the same problem, dropping part of its engine in Meerssen causing damage and some injuries on the ground. Expect a debate on the safety of older airplanes although most aviation experts believe that the quality of regular maintenance, not age, will determine how safe an aircraft is. Both of the aircraft landed safely yesterday. Old planes don’t get to be old planes if they’re not safe planes.

VHS tapes are still a thing. An expensive thing.

Researchers have found new, widely distributed malware on Macs. The code, called Silver Sparrow, has even been updated with a version for the new Apple silicon. What it’s for is a mystery, which is a mystery.

And this smart-watch didn’t measure your heart rate or encourage you to exercise but it was legendary – and way ahead of its time (see what I did there?).

Tentacles of doom

It’s Saturday in a winter wonderland. Happy birthday to Charles Barkley, Patty Hearst and J. Geils.

Kim Janey is off to a good start. Chris Osgood is a ‘get things done’ type of guy who is also easy to work with. And he knows his way around city government. Great choice for chief of staff.

First there was the fail whale. Now we have the much less alliterative “four-armed octopus of doom” to alert us to the broken Massachusetts vaccinate appointment website. The state technology team and software vendor PrepMod continue to trade blame. “It wasn’t our octopus,” a PrepMod spokesperson told the Globe.

Watching the birds waiting for their turn at the feeders this morning I wondered how they keep their feet warm. Apparently it’s all in the circulation.

Here’s something new to worry about. The earth’s magnetic field is due for a shift. Way overdue, actually. Previously scientists didn’t think a pole reversal would be a big deal but a new study is starting to raise alarms. Think Texas, but worldwide and indefinite.

And it’s been 45 years since Frampton Comes Alive! came out. It’s aged like Boone’s Farm.


Friday. Snow is faintly falling.

In an impressive piece of hard hitting journalism, Boston.com ferrets out the best places to cry in the Boston area. There’s even a map. They put a marker on the entire town of Hanover with no explanation. Weird. But then again, so is this entire premise.

There are more problems with the Massachusetts vaccine website. It crashed under load on the day vaccines were opened up to everyone over 65. The state used PrepMod software to set up the site. Hiawatha Bray reports that the company blamed the breakdown on “a sudden and unprecedented surge in traffic to the site.” Meanwhile, a woman who set up a similar website from her kitchen, for free, said her site didn’t crash because she designed it to work off an Internet cloud-based system that has ample capacity for traffic spikes. “Our site is doing just fine, which is great and to be expected, We had, like, thousands of requests per minute.”

Bad news: the Brotherhood of Thieves, on Nantucket, is closing. They lost their lease, so even if they do manage a comeback, it won’t be in the same location.

Perseverance rover made it to Mars. There were some tense moments. Then applause.

And Kalashnikov, maker of the of the AK-47, is releasing a new gun. It has wi-fi and bluetooth and can pair with your phone. Just what we needed.

Hand wringing

Thursday. Today is Cow Milked While Flying in an Airplane Day. Uh-huh.

In what may be the final chapter of the Bulger saga, after almost 19 years in custody, John Connolly is set to be freed from prison on a medical release.

Just because something works in Boston doesn’t mean it will work across the river in Cambridge. Licensing authorities in the people’s republic kiboshed a proposal for live acoustic music that would have bolstered local bars and restaurants because of the potential for noise complaints. Now, about those leaf blowers.

Crowded House have a new song ahead of a new album coming in June. That’s good news.

Later today the Perseverance Mars Rover will land on the red planet. NASA is live-streaming just after noon. You can watch a behind-the-scenes video from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory while you wait. Or you can go out to Crispy Creme and get yourself a mars doughnut.

And another transit system goes for easy, contactless payments. Hint: it’s not ours.