Parler games

Wednesday, Jan 13th. It’s the anniversary of the Hawaii Emergency Alert scare.

That Trump tax cut that some workers received before the election was actually a deferral of taxes until after the election. Now it’s time to pay up.

Hacking Parler was not difficult because the site was not very secure. Amateurishly insecure, actually. “This is like a Computer Science 101 bad homework assignment, the kind of stuff that you would do when you’re first learning how web servers work. I wouldn’t even call it a rookie mistake because, as a professional, you would never write something like this,” Kenneth White told Wired. The exfiltrated data is already being used to identify Parler users inside the Capitol during the uprising.

The new Moynihan Train Hall at Penn Station came in under budget and ahead of schedule. The reviews are glowing. It looks beautiful in photos. And, it has become a catalyst for other improvements in the area. Nice work!

Business Insider: “The US military will have a larger footprint in the nation’s capital by this weekend than the total number of troops in Afghanistan and Iraq combined.”

And if you ever get a chance to go to Tunis, you should. The food is amazing, even the runny eggs. In the meantime there’s this.

Not with a bang but a whimper

Wednesday, Dec 30th. Rasputin and Saddam Hussein both met their end on this date.

There will be no fireworks in Boston on this New Year’s Eve. And just as well.

As a long time user of Penn Station I’ve become adjusted to the changes over the years. And a big change is coming. A new high-ceiling train hall will be opening in January for riders waiting for trains on the Long Island and Amtrak lines, which is what I take. The new hall is across 8th Ave in the old post office building. I can’t wait to see how they handle the rush when tracks are announced.

More than 40% of workers are still working remotely. It turns out that many are more productive at home and some experts say they should be paid more. And, remote workers take less sick days.

Homicides are up 41% in New York City, with 447 recorded so far in 2020. Boston has seen a similar increase, from 37 in 2019 to 47 this year.

And remember, NO PICKING!

Food for thought

Good morning. It’s Sunday. It’s a Wonderful Life is 76 years old today.

So, who gets the vaccine first? That’s easy. Politicians.

The president is attacking the media for indicating that the recent major hacking attack against the US was conducted by Russia, Russia, Russia despite Microsoft, FireEye, sources in the national security and technology communities and Trump’s own Sectary of State all saying that it was Russia, Russia, Russia. Eyebrow raising. This is also a little concerning. And this.

I don’t usually pay attention to what’s going on in gaming but this disaster couldn’t be missed. It’s raining tanks.

In New York City, a garbageman went to the top of the heap. (I enjoyed my time as a garbageman as a teenager in the 1960’s. It was a good job. Two bucks an hour and all you can eat.)

And this happened ten years ago. Go Pats.

Let the meter run

Good day, Saturday. The word of the day is grandiloquence.

If you have an Apple TV you already know how bad the remote is. It’s a disaster. Now cable companies, who are also notorious for bad remotes, are offering a slightly better one for the Apple TV. Or, you can do as I did, and just get one of these.

How much of a surcharge should the state tack onto Uber and Lift fares and who should bear the brunt, the rider or the ride-share service? Flat fee or structured? And really, is this the right time to be adding surcharges to a struggling industry? Adam Vaccaro reports that the Legislature and the Governor are all over the map on these questions.

Bus maintenance costs at the MBTA are more than double the national average. So before cutting service, the T should look hard at cutting operating costs. Charles Chieppo and Jim Stergios make the argument in Commonwealth Magazine.

Bill de Blasio’s reviews as mayor of New York are, at best, mixed. With contenders lining up to replace him, the Times notes that, “Several candidates have worked in the de Blasio administration, yet the mayor’s residual unpopularity has given rise to an unusual trend: Most mayoral hopefuls are not necessarily running to the left or right of him, but just far, far away.” Smart.

And this commercial will make you feel GREAT! Also, a little disturbed. (From Turnpike Films.)

Not out of the woods

Thursday is upon us. It’s National Shawarma Day.

There’s new music from Stevie Wonder.

The South Shore is seeing an increase in cases. Marshfield, Hanover and Plymouth are in the high-risk category now, with Duxbury and Scituate not far behind. The death rate in Massachusetts, even with its concentration of quality hospitals, is higher than in surrounding states, which is a bit of a mystery. Nationally, it looks like the US is heading for a third peak. And Germany, Ireland and the UK are also bracing for more cases.

Ryanair is closing its bases in Shannon and Cork, at least for the winter, with more cuts expected to come.

I listened to the entire hour-long questioning of the guy who turned the supposed Hunter Biden laptop over to Guliani and the New York Post. (The journalistic badgering and cajoling made me uncomfortable and reminded me of Janet Malcolm’s writing. I guess that’s just the sausage getting made.) Maybe it’s my suspicious nature, but it’s clear to me that this whole fake laptop story was a plant, probably involving overseas actors. October surprise indeed.

And if some industries are thinking of leaving New York, Big Tech is bucking the trend by expanding its presence in the city. And they’re no dummies.