Full scale attack

Today is Thursday. The word of the day is utmost.

It’s a good day to quit the news.

Russia is now engaged in a wider invasion, going beyond Donetsk and Luhansk. Also, we’re seeing some of what the future of war will look like with more malicious and destructive cyber attacks taking place. The stock market is tanking on the news. And crypto may be a way for Russia to evade the pain of sanctions.

The Times covered a US-based truck protest from California heading to Washington DC, illustrated with some particularly good photographs by Meridith Kohut.

Last week the Dorchester Reporter ran a column proposing the elimination of the School Committee. Not just getting rid of the elected committee but eliminating the committee entirely, putting the schools directly under the Mayor. Here’s a followup, with reader reaction.

And I sympathize with Owen Williams over his frustration with his ‘smart home.’ The current state of home automation is only for people who are willing to work very hard at making their life easier. It sort of defeats the purpose.

Following tracks

Tuesday. The word is disheveled.

Trailways and Greyhound airlines are merging into one airline. Actually it’s Frontier and Spirit. Christopher Muther has some ideas on what the new carrier should be called.

Adam Gaffin breaks a story on Universal Hub about a lawsuit against the Globe by a California man who is upset about Facebook ad tracking, which he alleges is a violation of federal law.

Harold Meyerson writes about the state of long haul trucking and the demise of unions.

Brian Krebs reports that spammers and phishers are exploiting a LinkedIn feature called slinks (great name for what it’s turned into) that allows third parties to leverage what looks like an official LinkedIn URL to market their own products. It would look like this, linkedin.com/slink?, with a potentially nefarious redirect code coming after the “?“.

And a guy playing slots in Vegas became frustrated when the machine locked up. After a while he lost patience and walked away. When the casino did maintenance on the slot machine it discovered why it had locked up: it hit a quarter-million dollar jackpot. By that time the guy was back home and the casino had no idea who he was. But there’s a happy ending to the story.

Turning the page

It’s Thursday already. Almost Friday.

North Korea hacked a hacker and so the hacker hacked back, shutting down the entire country’s Internet.

One thing the old Globe building in Dorchester had was parking. There was a huge lot behind the building. It was needed for all those trucks that transported the bundled papers—hot off the big presses—to newsstands and corner stores around New England. The good old days. Those trucks are no more and Gintautas Dumcius reports that developers want to use the big lot behind what used to be the Globe, and is now ‘The Beat‘, for a 6 story biotech facility.

Bogie and Bacall. Antony and Cleopatra. Jay and Bey. Donald and Lindsay. Margaret Hartmann writes about the strangely persistent relationship between Donald Trump and Lindsay Graham.

It’s government shutdown time again. A February 18th budget deadline looms and another temporary stopgap measure is in the works.

And Facebook is having a Myspace moment. I guess it’s all downhill from here.

Fit to print

Today is Tuesday. It’s the Year of the Tiger.

Joan Vennochi compares Bill Galvin to Tom Brady. Both are long time winners but Brady, at least, sees the writing on the wall.

The Globe features another opinion piece about dismantling the BPD gang database. It’s ineffective, the authors state without equivocation. But in the New Yorker, David Rohde writes that “concentrating police efforts on the most active criminal groups and individuals that appear to be fuelling homicides seems to have an impact.” And criminologist Richard Rosenfeld told the Washington Post that “certain crime-fighting strategies appear to be paying dividends. Among them: a laser focus on certain areas and individuals that are driving homicides, while also investing in the repair of police-community relations.” Strangely, the editorial position of the Globe seems to be opposed to both.

Commonwealth Magazine, meanwhile, has news about new DA Kevin Hayden, who told them he would be running for a full term. Also, he is not in favor of eliminating the gang database.

David Leonhardt wants to know why we’re so fixated on inflation. The real problem, he writes, is that we’re upset that society just isn’t functioning very well these days. Inflation, he suggests, is just a stand-in for the broader angst we’re experiencing. (Are things really that bad?)

And finally a fix for the incompatibility issues with texting tapbacks, at least on the Android side. Let’s see if Apple fixes things at their end.

Doom and gloom

Saturday. A cold day in the park.

Kevin Hayden, the new, interim DA, talked to Adrian Walker.

Jonathan Stevenson and Steven Simon wrote an op-ed that suggests that we Americans are “whistling past the graveyard” on whether the union will hold through the next election. They’re not optimistic. And they’re not the only ones (and it”s not just the US). A World Economic Forum survey points to the erosion of social cohesion, a livelihood crisis and mental health deterioration as the most pressing threats in the next few years. “Only 16% of respondents feel positive and optimistic about the outlook for the world, and just 11% believe the global recovery will accelerate. Most respondents instead expect the next three years to be characterized by either consistent volatility and multiple surprises or fractured trajectories that will separate relative winners and losers.” Now there’s something to look forward to.

More cheerful news: When the New York Times says that the Democratic agenda is in shambles, that’s not a good sign.

That big eagle, native to Siberia, that earlier was spotted along the Taunton River, is now in Boothbay Harbor in Maine. Birders are flocking to see it.

And Elvis Costello has a new album out. It’s a remote work recording made by group members scattered around the planet that sounds like it was recorded by a live group in a small club. The new normal, I guess.

It’s all relative

Saturday. It’s Stephen Hawking‘s birthday.

Brother can you spare a dime? Eric Adams is off to a rocky start in New York.

Universal Hub (who but?) informs us about a strange 4th Amendment case out of the MA Appeals Court. It’s an interesting case and a bad decision for many of the reasons pointed out in the comments. If appealed I think it’s likely to be overturned.

Looks like the IRS is wising up to all the financial transactions happening on Venmo and Paypal. A lot of small business activity that has been going on under the radar will now be reportable.

A woman in Woburn received a letter written by her husband while serving in World War II. It was just delivered last month. It’s quite a story, featured in the New York Times, other national papers, and also on a few of the local TV news outlets. (Even though it’s from our own back yard, the Globe missed it or decided it wasn’t impactful enough. (But we did get this.))

And a Democratic love fest for Dick Cheney?!? The world has certainly changed.

Out of the blue and into the black

Happy Wednesday.

January sucks and this January sucks worse than any other January. That’s the premise of a Globe story by Beth Teitell. Come on, Beth. Cheer up. Things could be worse, and they probably will be soon, so enjoy what you can in the moment.

Here’s some good news: The Webb Telescope is continuing its progress towards full deployment. The latest successful milestone occurred yesterday when the sun shield was assembled and put into place as the observatory heads towards its destination, the Lagrange point, a million miles from Earth.

The FAA has convinced AT&T and Verizon to delay the upgrade of their networks out of concern over aviation safety. But only for about two weeks.

It looks like Sheriff Tompkins will have a challenger from inside next time around.

And who do you think was interested in a movie about a recording session from half a century ago by a group of people now either dead or in their 80’s? Spoiler alert: It wasn’t teenagers.

Informing or teaching

Tuesday. It’s World Hypnotism Day. When I snap my fingers

Congress got a little smarter yesterday. So did YouTube.

John Huey is giving up news for the new year. That might be difficult since he makes his living as a journalist. He’s tired of the toxic stew and people’s expectations for what the news should be. “The news is what happens. Not what you wish had happened,” he writes. Which leads us into the whole issue of ‘resistance journalism.’ What exactly is resistance journalism? Globe readers may be familiar with the concept if not the term. Probably the most concise and neutral definition is that it’s journalism that, to one degree or another, “lacks verification, focuses on narrative, and has a propensity to advocate.” Kind of the opposite of Huey’s definition of news. Joshua Benton parses the controversy in this piece for the Nieman Lab.

Good for Shaq.

The Boston City Council is two hundred years old. New councillors were sworn in yesterday and during the ceremony Mayor Wu noted that for the first one hundred years the council was comprised of all men. Fifty-five of them! Today it’s down to a diverse and reasonable nine district and four at-large councillors.

And does your dog need an Apple Watch? One company thinks so. Beep: time for a walk.

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.

A negative windfall

Happy New Year!

Marty Walsh sat down with Washington Post writer Eli Rosenberg to talk about stuff.

The real, actual, non-guesstimate amount of money in the state’s unemployment insurance trust fund is now known to be minus $115 million. That’s pretty good news, actually. File under: It could have been a whole lot worse.

Adam Gaffin reports on the people who were murdered in Boston last year.

The week between Christmas and New Year is traditionally a slow news week and this year was no exception. No news is good news these days. Let’s resolve to keep the news boring for the whole of the coming year. (But not celebrity hijinks. Keep those coming.)

And Seth wants us to throw away our calendar and go surfing. I don’t think Seth has a job.