The new abnormal

Wednesday. It’s Little Joe Cook‘s birthday today.

Covid or common cold? Here’s how to play.

Remember back in early 2020 when there were only a few identified Covid cases in the country and the president said it was all well under control and “would soon go down to zero?” I’m reminded of that as Massachusetts approaches its one million case milestone, with almost 20,000 deaths.

The tensions between progressive and practical politics are playing out in Philadelphia. Crime and race are driving the divide, and not necessarily in the ways you would expect.

Thanks to the New York Times, Discord is now mainstream. Soon it will be too crowded and no one will go there anymore.

And reports of a data breach at Last Pass are, according to Last Pass, greatly exaggerated.

A sense of urgency

It’s Wednesday. And it’s National Cupcake Day.

Yes, Virginia, there is no Babbo Natale.

Eric Adams doesn’t assume office until January 1st but he’s already outpaced Michelle Wu in naming a police commissioner. Other than a discussion about opening the process to public comment, it’s unclear if she’s even put a search team together. “We’ll be announcing details of that soon,” she told the Globe in mid-November.

A lot of big businesses and government agencies run on Kronos for scheduling and payroll. Many are now left hanging as the company’s cloud service has been the target of a major ransomware attack. Not the best time of year for people to be missing their paychecks.

Are cargo bikes the pickup trucks of the future? I’d be down with that.

And if you want to write a daily blog but are a pen and paper person, there’s now a solution. A paper website. It’s actually a thing.

Money for nothing – nothing for money

Today is Monday, Taylor Swift‘s birthday. (Guess what year she was born.)

Off with their heads! It’s nice to be King of the Metaverse.

What is the future of money? Peter Coy has some interesting thoughts and observations. We’re in a weird time, he thinks. Cash “is becoming technologically obsolete before replacements have gained the trust of the public and the backing, or at least acceptance, of governments.” Interesting times ahead.

The good news is that the Log4Shell exploit has been patched. The bad news is that not everyone patches their Apache servers quickly.

David Leonhardt warns of an electoral ambush in 2024. He’s right. It’s going to be ugly.

And there’s been another promising development in anti-aging science, which, at least so far, has been very advantageous for mice, but not so much for certain very impatient humans.

State of play

Thursday. Four days down, one to go.

A Banksy exhibition is coming to Boston. Where and when? Nobody knows.

Charlie Baker is not running for reelection. I guess he thought: enough was enough. Baker has been a steady hand on the tiller. Financially, the state is in pretty good shape. On the minus side, the MBTA didn’t improve much. So who will the next governor be? Sonia Chang-Diaz, Ben Downing, and Danielle Allen have already expressed an interest in running. Maura Healey is also a likely candidate. And Politico is reporting that Marty Walsh is very seriously considering leaving his post in the Biden administration to run for governor. Now that’s interesting.

Elizabeth Howcroft talked to developers about the Facebook Metaverse. They’re not enthusiastic. Another Facebook plan to change the world doesn’t seem to be panning out either. The guy in charge of project Libra, the big cryptocurrency initiative, is leaving the company.

Ed Flynn is interested in the City Council President role. The council has a crop of new members and Flynn has been around for a while so it makes sense for him to be in that position. That, and the fact that he’s a genuinely committed public servant.

And New Zealand has an opinion about killer robots. Big thumbs down.


Saturday sunshine. Happy Sadie Hawkins Day.

It looks like Mark Zuckerberg has been reading Ray Bradbury. Spoiler: It doesn’t end well.

As large companies like GE and Johnson & Johnson grow and devour smaller companies, they can take advantage of economies of scale and become even bigger. Until, that is, that they grow so big that they become lumbering giants, threatened by smaller, more agile competitors. So then they just break up into smaller companies again. The cycle of life.

Apparently airplanes can get too big as well. The A380 – that airliner with a double decker row of windows that could accommodate 800 passengers – was a big deal when it was released. Massport even built special ramps for it. Then the pandemic hit and people stopped flying. Emirates, an early adopter of the big plane, is now decommissioning some of its A380s, stripping them down for parts. And Airbus, the manufacturer, will ship the last one this fall. That seemed quick.

The Taproot upgrade is coming to the Bitcoin network in the next 24 hours. It might be a big deal.

And Miles Monroe strikes again.

A bridge to somewhere

Today is Tuesday. A stormy day is in the forecast.

There’s another thing Apple is good at. Active shooter drills.

Last night was the final debate before the mayoral election. More feistiness. WBUR has their wrap up. Here’s what the Globe said. And the Herald. And UH. Essaibi George continued to push Wu on the issues of low-level, day-to-day governing, while Wu continued to talk big picture initiatives. I don’t disagree with Wu’s vision but I do subscribe to the Tom Menino hierarchy of governing. Solid financials, public safety, constituent services and investment in infrastructure first. Then you can start to tackle the higher level stuff. Otherwise it’s all just aspirational.

Hertz, just out of bankruptcy, spent over $4 billion dollars on 100,000 new Teslas. They paid full price, no discounts. What a country.

The Dorchester Reporter went to look for Willie Gross‘s record of voting in the preliminary and couldn’t find it. George Regan had an explanation. He said a poll worker wouldn’t let the ex-police commissioner vote because his drivers license showed an old address. Why would they ask him to show a license? The Secretary of State’s website says that a poll worker might ask for ID if they had a reasonable suspicion that leads them to suspect an identity problem. I guess that poll worker just didn’t recognise the most recognizable guy in the city.

And it’s the ransomware gang that couldn’t shoot straight. They must have wondered why no one was paying.

Home rule

A subdued Sunday. It could be an interesting football game later this afternoon.

David Brooks wants to spend a ton of money on working class Americans.

Milton Valencia spoke to longtime City Councilor Matt O’Malley about his two city council colleagues running for mayor. “Both have very different but nevertheless effective leadership strategies that they’ve demonstrated in their time on the body,” he told the Globe. A career in diplomacy awaits. Yvonne Abraham goes a bit more out on a limb against Essaibi George by painting her as the ‘Old Boston’ candidate. Who do those townies think they are, right?

Andrew Yang confirms what we all long suspected: only sociopaths run for president.

What’s the latest news from Parcel P-3 across from police headquarters? Adam Gaffin has it. Once again developers are being invited to submit impractical proposals for an unbuildable project.

And no honor among thieves has been updated for the ransomware age.

Otherwise unremarkable

Friday, October 1st. Bundle up.

A former president‘s legal problems ended with a conviction and house arrest. Imagine that?

Michelle Wu has been ‘othered‘ by Annissa Essaibi George. Apparently that’s a bad thing. But it’s just differentiation. It’s what politicians do. At the end of the day you have to choose one – or the other?

Where you are and where you go is valuable data. And the apps on your phone are providing that location data to the people who resell and profit from it. Remember, Candy Crush does not need to know your location.

Symphony Hall is reopening this weekend with a free concert. And there’s a new CEO at the helm. Here’s the schedule for the coming year. There’s some good stuff on tap (but still no Philip Glass, unfortunately.)

And, here come the drones.

Public enemy #1

Happy Saturday.

Calibrating all those app settings to protect your privacy can seem daunting. This WaPo guide would be a good place to start.

According to the Officer Down Memorial Page, Covid-19 is the leading cause of death for law enforcement officers in the U.S.

Astronauts and engineers are becoming concerned about seemingly small problems popping up on the ISS.

That Arizona audit that was going to prove that the election was stolen has released its findings. Surprisingly, it found that the election was not stolen. In fact, despite its questionable methodology and a pro-Trump bias, the audit showed that the Biden over Trump gap was even bigger than we thought.

And if you like amazing vocal performances, check out Geoff Castellucci’s version of Blackbird. That last note! Here he explains how he gets so low.

Up is down, down is up

Monday. Here we go.

Mac Jones looked good. It wasn’t a win but this season just might work out.

According to Third Way, via NBC News, crime in red state Massachusetts is way up. But in Boston, part one crime is down 17%. Something is out of whack. Maybe it’s Cambridge pushing the numbers up for the state.

Video game maker Epic sued Apple. Apple won. Kind of. They also lost. And Epic kind of won. No matter, Epic is going to appeal.

Cressida Dick is a reasonable person but I think she’s on the wrong side of this issue. Fighting terrorism and child sexual abuse are important but there are no easy solutions without compromising privacy for the average person. Not to mention the potential for abuse. Consider this. And this.

And A&W tried to ‘one up’ the McDonalds’ Quarter Pounder with their own Third Pounder. It didn’t catch on because people thought a third of a pound was smaller than a quarter of a pound. And you wonder why our vaccination rate is so low.