Patience is a virtue

Happy Tuesday. Today’s word is underwhelm.

Social media and virtual politics almost wrecked the country. Get ready for the virtual economy.

Boomers in Massachusetts, who are over 65 but under 75, are waiting impatiently for their vaccinations. You might say they’re restless, brash and demanding, as the Globe does, especially as some younger people cut ahead of them by driving frail folks to get their shot. It’s kind of a negative generalization, but then again, the comment section for the story underscores the writer’s point and illustrates the overlap between Boomers and the Globe’s readership.

Bitcoin is still sailing, hitting $50,000 for the first time this week.

Is this the time for a third major political party? A lot of people are starting to think so. It’s tempting, but I think two are plenty?

And the Conway family just needs to go away. Really. Just go away.

To argue in the alternative

Today is Saturday. Happy birthday to the first governor of Massachusetts.

Here’s all the latest SPAC news. (What’s a SPAC, you might ask?)

Houston police officer Tam Dinh Pham said that he absolutely wasn’t in the Capitol during the insurrection. When confronted with his own photos and videos showing him inside the building he admitted that he had in fact gone in. But not to riot. He only wanted to see the historical paintings. Yeah, paintings. That’s the ticket.

Instragram food shooters have had to settle for takeout during the pandemic. Boston Magazine’s Scott Kearnan comes to the rescue with tips for taking photos of soggy snacks.

A lot of people got into Bitcoin for the first time recently and are surprised that it corrected so soon. Apparently they haven’t been paying attention. When to trade? The answer is in the stars.

And Larry King is dead. That’s a surprise. I didn’t know he was still alive.

Friends of our enemies

Today is Monday. Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

Bitcoin vs. Medical School? Now you can run the numbers.

Earlier in January, Brian Krebs was investigating DDoS-Guard, a “dodgy Russian firm” that maintains the website for Hamas, a designated foreign terrorist organization. DDoS-Guard also hosts various phishing sites, cybercrime groups and servers for 8chan and QAnon, considered by the FBI as a domestic terror threat. Then the Capitol riots happened, organized to some extent by the QAnon crowd and also by the folks on Parler, which was hosted on Amazon. As part of the backlash, Amazon cut off hosting for Parler, leaving them with no servers. It looks now like Parler is trying to get back online by getting into bed with DDoS-Guard. Fitting, I guess.

Phil Spector has died in prison serving time for murder. He was crazy talented and crazy dangerous.

According to a previously secret settlement agreement, Fox News had a stake in Trump being elected. You wouldn’t know it from their coverage, right?

And Beth Teitell says we can’t concentrate… or something…

Promises made

Thursday morning. I already know what I’m having for lunch.

Secretary of State Bill Galvin wants to use polling places as vaccination centers. Of course someone would have to go on TV to publicize the program.

Looking back on the last four years, the one thing that stands out from all the political noise is the national debt. Trump came into office with a promise to eliminate it within two terms. Instead he increased it by $7.8 trillion. That’s $23,500 of new debt for every American. Sure, the pandemic contributed to the spending but the debt was already out of control even before the first positive test.

In related news, we’re not going to the moon and there’s only been 40 miles of new wall built. Also, Obamacare. Very few politicians accomplish everything they promised on the campaign trail but Trump has made so many outlandish and undelivered promises that it merits note.

Guess a forgotten password and unlock $220 million dollars worth of bitcoin. Guess wrong and it all goes up in smoke. Talk about stress.

And a recent scientific study reveals that marijuana use correlates with junk food consumption. Eureka! Now pass the XXTRA Flamin’ Hot Cheetos®.

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.

Yin and yang

Thursday, Christmas Eve. Let the airing of grievances begin.

Lauren Daley (NR) provides a link-filled love fest for all things Julia Child in an article about the French Chef marathon airing on WGBH the day after Christmas.

Earlier in the week the state announced additional restrictions on restaurants that would go into effect after Christmas. But yesterday the governor also announced a half-billion dollar grant program to help restaurants and other small businesses. So that’s something.

Time and date stamps are kind of important in a system meant to document who was where, when. The state police are right to suspend their ALPR system until this glitch is fixed. A refund from the vendor?

And Lila MacLellan looks into why bitcoin is rising. Easy. Supply and demand.

Hack attack

Friday. Ahhh.

10 bitcoin to pay for a dinner party probably seemed like a good deal in 2013. Today the bill is $200 grand.

Politico reports that Russian hackers apparently breached the National Nuclear Security Administration networks. That’s not good. The Wall Street Journal looks at the scope and methods used in the broader attack. And the president of Microsoft warns that, “The attack unfortunately represents a broad and successful espionage-based assault on both the confidential information of the U.S. Government and the tech tools used by firms to protect them. The attack is ongoing[…]”. The damage done will be very hard to undo. With the country on its heels politically, the timing of this attack is also concerning.

Different Massachusetts towns, different rules. That’s OK for most things but for Covid it doesn’t make sense. Especially as more towns are at high risk. At least we’re in better shape than California.

And PC World used to be a major tech publication. Today they try to review a $1500 dollar laptop that they couldn’t afford to buy.

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.