A question of legitimacy

It is a splendid Saturday morning. July is in the rear view mirror. And despite the heat it was the worst month yet for Covid.

Brian Krebs looks at the state of credit card fraud in 2020 and wonders why it’s still even a thing.

A group of prominent conservative and libertarian attorneys are concerned enough about the President’s tweets on delaying the election that they’ve composed a statement to encourage Americans to be prepared for trouble. And it could very well be trouble. The ‘base’ is lining up to challenge any result other than victory. How this will all play out is still unclear. But the signs of trouble are already starting to show.

On the same topic, Jonathan Turley takes a swing and a miss.

The US deficit has ballooned beyond the point of reasonableness, which is hurting the country’s credit rating, now bumped down a notch from stable to negative. To add insult to injury, Congress and the White House still could not hammer out a plan to support people unemployed by Covid.

And you may not know the name William English, but he changed the world. English invented the computer mouse. He died this week.

License and registration

Thursday morning. Today’s word is catastrophe. (Hopefully not a prophetic choice.)

Is Madonna still an influencer? I really hope not.

The city of Cambridge is considering allowing unarmed city employees to conduct vehicle stops. I don’t think it’s the presence of a gun on the person conducting the traffic stop that raises tensions in the situation as much as it is the potential for ticket or fine, but otherwise this might be an interesting experiment.

Mark Zuckerberg didn’t look especially comfortable in his suit, but overall the tech titans held up under the pressure of being grilled by Congress yesterday. Although both republicans and democrats came at them hard, at the end of the day there are partisan differences on how to reign the big tech companies in. So don’t expect much to come of it. One Florida congressman had his own “series of tubes” moment, when he questioned the CEO of Google about how to use Gmail.

When Zoom was in heavy use, early in the pandemic, it was pretty easy to hack through a password vulnerability that has now been closed. The vulnerability was discovered by Tom Anthony after Boris Johnson tweeted a screenshot from a Zoom virtual cabinet meeting.

And this could have been a story from The Onion. But sometimes the truth is more entertaining than comedy.

Breaking with convention

Friday, July 24th. It’s opening day!

If you do manage to plan a vacation, you may need to get a tested before you go. That may not be as easy as you think. Deborah Becker looks at testing turnaround times.

Well, so much for the Republican Convention in Jacksonville. Cancelled. At least one guy is happy, the local sheriff, Mike Williams, who had the impossible task of providing security for the late-scheduled event.

More than 1000 Twitter employees had access to the tools used in the big hack last week, Reuters reports. That’s not a very tight ship.

UFOs are back in the news. Multiple sources report that we’re in possession of artifacts from something that crashed at some point in time. Not very specific but fascinating, nonetheless.

And, how can you tell if the coronavirus is spreading in your area? Check to see if your local Apple store is open. (I’m guessing that the stores in Brazil are all closed.)

Headlong, eyes closed

Today is Thursday. It’s National Refreshment Day.

In Poland, they’re playing soccer in empty stadiums. But fans will find a way.

Under the proposed Massachusetts police reform bill being rushed through the legislature, current or former law enforcement officers are prohibited from serving on the law enforcement Standards and Training Commission. That’s a little weird, don’t you think? I certainly do, and so do these two prominent attorneys. Also, Eddie Crispin, president of MAMLEO, weighs in on the bill’s streamlined due process provisions. The issues involved are important but this legislation, he says, “cannot, and should not, be a rushed product.”

And defunding the police, as a political concept, is not generally supported by the public, although the Black Lives Matter movement is. It’s an election year so expect to see these two things to be conflated and weaponized.

Bruce Schneider takes a high-level view of the implications of the big Twitter hack.

And, someday, our whole life will be built around the computercirca 1974. Despite those thick glasses Arthur C. Clarke had amazing vision.

Destructive criticism

This Friday took its time coming around. Plenty of rain, today, for the garden.

I found this short video illustration to be absolutely fascinating and it explains a lot about our country.

Sometimes being completely uninvolved with and uninformed about an issue doesn’t disqualify you from critically weighing in on it. I do it everyday. But knowing the players here, I side with Walsh. Councillor Wu has a track record of being hands-off and then swooping in to publicly criticize.

The University of Oxford and AstraZeneca are ahead in the race for a Covid-19 vaccine. Human trials might be finished as early as September. Bloomberg looks at the woman heading the effort, Sarah Gilbert.

John Hollywood, from the RAND think tank, has compiled a set of ideas for how police leaders should approach change to be more effective and responsive to their communities. Fortunately Boston has been working on this track for some time now.

That epic Twitter hack earlier in the week may have looked like a bitcoin scam but could it have actually been a dress rehearsal for the election? Brian Krebs and others investigated and amazingly identified the likely perpetrator. Luckily, this time at least, it looks to have been just a sim-swapper.

And small businesses, some that have withstood formidable challenges over the years, are closing because of the impact of coronavirus. Sometimes a meme says it all.