Right down the line

It’s a sanguine Sunday.

Dismantling. That’s a good word to describe what happened to the Pats last night.

Where does crypto currency fit in politically? Republicans love it and Democrats hate it. Also, Democrats love it and Republicans hate it. Sounds about right.

Google search trends during the pandemic tell us that the new normal involves roller skates and even more tequila.

Boris Johnson has not had a good week. Time for a ‘good news drop for damage control (although it might not be such good news for the BBC).

And The Onion could not have done better than this real-life scenario. It’s fascinating to imagine what’s going on in some of these people’s brains

Subtraction by addition

Monday. Back to work.

Brian Eno likes the idea of NFTs.

Is Google search getting worse? Michael Seibel thinks so. I tend to agree. Results are less straightforward and more often than not lead to clickbait sites rather than helpful information. He suggests a paid version of Google that would eliminate paid rankings. I’d sign up for that – but only if it had privacy features built in. In the meantime, there’s Duck Duck Go.

Not everyone is thrilled to have another news outlet in town. But the more the merrier, I say.

Finland and Sweden are watching the Ukraine situation very closely. Things could go sideways in the north in response to Russian aggression in the south.

And last week I linked to a tweet about an iPhone’s computational photography algorithm replacing a woman’s face with leaves. Turns out that the tweet was wrong about what happened. It wasn’t the iPhone. It was actual leaves.

Line in the sand

Good morning. It’s Sunday.

A study out of Oregon Health and Science University suggests that if you are fully vaccinated and have a mild breakthrough infection soon after, then you’ve hit the jackpot. You could have super immunity, with antibodies 1000% more effective than vaccination.

Live Boston is reporting that the Wu administration has changed its vaccine mandate to eliminate the testing option, reversing a policy that had been negotiated with some of the public safety unions. This could be the first of many battles between Wu and the unions and it could set the tone for upcoming contract negotiations.

Noam Chomsky and Steven Pinker (who don’t agree on much) are not bullish on artificial intelligence. But new developments might cause them to reassess.

Apple intends to release a completely rewritten version of the old and slow Music App (formally iTunes) on the Mac. You would think this would be welcome news but I’m nervous. Some of us have years of music organization invested in iTunes and although the current version is a lumbering beast, it provides a lot of features that we’ve come to rely on. Here’s hoping that Apple doesn’t dumb it down too much.

And Radio Shack is getting into crypto. But of course, you have to give them your phone number email to get onboard.

The new, new, new, new thing

Hey, It’s Friday!

In New York City, rats are getting a last meal of Oreo cookies before summary execution.

Chris Dixon on why Web3 matters. Kara Swisher is both excited and dubious about it. She advises caution though, writing, “before you start imagining some digital utopia, many (with some justification) think the Web3 movement is also rife with hype, windbags and more than a little grift.” Nicholas Weaver takes it a step further. He thinks it’s an outright fraud.

The Massachusetts rainy day fund is overbrimming. That’s good. We’ll need it when we become our own country.

Some people can’t correct when they’ve taken a wrong stance, so I give credit to San Francisco Mayor Breed for her newfound support for traditional policing. Marc Thiessen takes a more cynical view.

And Tatum Hunter, writing in the Washington Post, provides a guide to secure passwords. But it’s not just a guide. It’s the Ultimate Guide.

Whack a mole

Sunday, Dec 5th. Today is the anniversary of the end of Prohibition.

Some people will do will do anything to avoid getting a shot.

The first case of Omicron in the US was in a person who was fully vaccinated. Another man who seems to have picked up a case of the variant at a convention in New York (and then spread it to others) was also fully vaccinated—and had a booster shot. So are those of us who got all of our shots and boosters now back to square one? What about reinfections? Well, there’s good news and bad news. The bad news is that Omicron spreads faster than Covid and is three times more likely to lead to reinfections. The good news is that, according to early data, those infections are less severe. (The guy from the New York convention had symptoms for only two days.) But wait, there’s more (good news)… David Leonhardt has the scoop on some game-changing treatments on the way.

Are decentralized autonomous organizations the key to the future? I have no idea but some folks seem to think they are.

Before Charlie Baker announced he wouldn’t run again for governor, the Massachusetts Republican party was in a superposition of being both anti-Trump and pro-Trump. That waveform is about to collapse.

And life is complicated for people named Alexa. For one thing, they’re expected to know everything.