In the arena

Friday. It’s been on my mind and now it’s here.

Google cancels an internet balloon project and the cheesy headlines write themselves: Moonshot comes down to earth. Trial balloon crashes. Alphabet lets the air out of Internet in the sky project. Big idea goes over like a lead balloon. Etc. Etc. it’s what you would have expected for a project named Loon. Oh, the humanity.

Some of the current mayoral candidates are good at pointing out problems and criticizing others but not so great at coming up with solutions to solve those problems. Andrea Campbell is not in this category. She tells Nik DeCosta-Klipa what she would do about one of the toughest issues in the city today and one that’s close to home for her.

The trees won. Road safety on Melnea Cass Boulevard lost.

If you’re in the market for a new Mac laptop you may want to wait until at least the end of the year. Lots of new stuff in the pipeline, says Mark Gurman. But no Face ID or cellular. That’s probably another year out, he says.

And in closing out with another cliched headline, this highly charged New York Times story on electric eels is, well, shocking.


Another quiet Sunday morning. It’s a birthday for Jim Croce, Donald Fagan and Ronnie Hawkins.

2020 was the 50th anniversary of the founding of one of the newspapers on Nantucket called Yesterday’s Island. They’re collecting stories of life on the island in 1970. Here’s one that brought back some memories for me.

From the New York Times, writing about the death of Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick at the hands of rioters incited by the president: “Mr. Trump has not reached out to Mr. Sicknick’s family, although Vice President Mike Pence called to offer condolences, an aide to Mr. Pence said.” And the flags at the White House are not at half-mast.

Checking in on Fox News this morning I heard very little about the most important events of the last few days like, you know, the deadly attack on America. But there was plenty of talk about the backlash. I heard outrage over shutting down social media accounts and the potential for impeachment. Essentially they were painting President Trump and people on the right as victims of everything that happened this week. Shameful spin.

Car makers are shutting down over a lack of semiconductors. Cars are computers. So it makes sense for Apple to get into the game.

And Brexit trade is getting off to a shaky start. Companies working across the borders are seeing some “grit in the mechanism.”

The future is now

Today is Sunday. Apple Computer was incorporated on this date in 1977.

Indoor exercise season is here. Very boring, but I think I can manage 4 seconds a day.

In 1998 Ray Kurzweil wrote The Age of Spiritual Machines. In it he made predictions of a future in the year 2019 where technology would revolutionize the human experience. I remember it as an optimistic book. So, how did his predictions work out? The Militant Futurist blog decided to score them. In general Kurzweil did well. Many of the things he predicted did come to pass. But where we are now is not what anyone would have expected from reading that book in 1998.

Eli Dourado takes his own shot at predicting the future, focusing on the next decade. He sees breakthroughs in medicine, life extension, energy technology, transportation, space, computer science and food. But I think he also ignores those pesky political and cultural issues that will color how the science will play out, as Kurzweil did. It’s a great read nonetheless, with many interesting links to follow.

Bitcoin > $30k yesterday.

And that new mutated variant of Covid-19 is looking like it might be a big problem. Not good.

The agony and the ecstasy

Sunday morning. RIP Dave Henderson, who died in 2015.

Most years it’s a treat to read Dave Barry‘s year in review. This year it’s a chore. It’s not badly written, per se, or unfunny, but maybe it’s just a little too soon.

Bitcoin is heading to $30,000. Will it go to $300,000 in the next year? It’s possible says Citibank analyst Tom Fitzpatrick. He says we can expect “unthinkable rallies followed by painful corrections.” Now that’s encouraging.

We saw this one coming: Xiaomi, which ridiculed Apple for not including a charging brick with the iPhone 12 has announced that, for environmental reasons, it will not include a charger with its new phones.

On top of The Guardian’s list of bets podcasts of the year, you can add another 50 from The Atlantic. Too many!

And apparently we need more germs in the workplace.

Roll up those sleeves

Today is Wednesday. Only 8 (!) more shopping days till Christmas.

A couple of weeks ago the Winklevoss twins were bullish on Bitcoin. And here we are.

With vaccines beginning to roll out, the Globe looks ahead at the possibility of compulsory shots in light of a century old case, Jacobson v. Massachusetts, which allowed for government mandated vaccination in some circumstances.

Meet the new deep state, same as the old deep state – except different, in that it actually exists.

Ben Sandofsky, of Halide, explains how the ProRAW image format, available on some of the latest iPhones, works. In doing so, he gives one of the best overall primers on RAW itself that I’ve seen.

And Sebastian Modak had to visit Singapore a dozen times before he began to appreciate it. I’ve only been there twice but the city had me on the first visit to a street food stall.