Coming down to earth

Sunday. A day of rest. It’s Chuck Berry‘s birthday.

First the crash at McGoo’s and now another ‘drive-through’ in a different part of South Boston. I see a crackdown coming.

Massport was one of those agencies that seemed to have lots of money. The pandemic changed that.

Those football crowd noises that we hear on TV are not heard on the field. It’s quiet out there, and that’s leaving the defense at the mercy of the hard count.

Love these photos by Cambridge photographer Rosamond Purcel. Sometimes it’s the ordinary things that make the best subjects.

And it’s looking more and more like the New York Post is the new Wikileaks and Rudy Guiliani is now playing the role of Julian Assange. Nyet?

Gentlemen, gentlemen!

Good morning. It’s Wednesday. A windy Wednesday.

In some cases working from home can come with intrusive monitoring.

The first Trump / Biden debate? It was not pretty. The president was childish, aggressive and insolent. Biden’s exasperated jibes risked bringing him down to Trump’s level. Chris Wallace tried to moderate but Trump was out of control and fought at him every step of the way. It was a shit show. And that’s even before considering all the distortions and outright lies thrown about. Not a good look for our political system and its future.

The Pixii camera is a fascinating experiment. A rangefinder with internal memory and no screens that uses the Leica M mount for lenses. Reviewers seem to want to like this camera but at the end of the day it’s not quite ready for prime time. Hopefully, future versions will improve on the concept. It reminds me of the groundbreaking Leica M8, a disappointment when it was released but which ultimately, through ongoing iteration, led to a line of fantastic digital rangefinders.

Starlink is getting an early workout and the reviews are good. First responders in Washington state have been using the system and one of the telecom experts trying it gave the network high marks for ease of use and speed. A good sign.

And I used to enjoy Top of the Hub and the Skywalk for the views of the Back Bay and beyond. But the Skywalk closed and Top of the Hub shut down so those great views of the city were closed off to the public. Fortunately, as Tim Logan tells us, plans are afoot at the Pru for a world class observatory.

Highly leveraged

We made it to Tuesday. What will today’s number be?

The robot cameramen have taken over Fenway Park.

According to that Times report yesterday, the president has debt of at least $421 million coming due in the next several years. Forbes puts it closer to $1.13 billion. Security experts say that it’s a huge vulnerability. The Washington Post reports that the president has opened himself up “to manipulation by foreign governments aware of his predicament, and put himself in a position in which his financial interests and the nation’s priorities could be in conflict.” Who does he owe? Says Eric Trump, “Well, we don’t rely on American banks. We have all the funding we need out of Russia.”

Ransomware is still a big threat. It looks like Ryuk ransomware hit the systems at United Health Services last weekend, shutting down some operations.

This year Prime Day will be Oct. 13 and Oct. 14.

It took most of the summer for me to get a handle on how much junk I had in the basement before I could begin to clean it out. So I was very impressed that scientists have precisely measured all the matter in the universe, of which my basement is but a minute subset.

And Bill Murray and the Doobie Brothers are in a proxy war. It’s just what you would expect.

Winter is coming

Happy Tuesday to you. September is upon us.

Primaries today. Vote early so you don’t forget.

The Fours, which opened on Canal Street in 1976, has closed its doors. The Quincy and Norwell locations will continue to be open for now. Many other restaurants that have been surviving by offering outside dining are worried about the coming cold weather and the reduction in business as diners avoid crowded indoor spaces. Heat lamps can only go so far. The focus may return to takeout and delivery. It’s important to support your local establishments if you want them to still be there when this is all over.

There were three overtly political murders in the streets this week. This is not normal.

The teardown crew at Lens Rentals got a chance to dismember a $10k Fuji GFX 100 that was exposed to salt water. Moral of the story: don’t drop your camera in the ocean.

And Apple usually does the reveal of new iPhones early in September. But according to supplier leaks, this year’s announcement may be delayed until as late as October. (Sad trombone sound.)

Measure twice, cut once

It’s Monday, Waffle Day. (Not to be confused with Swedish Waffle Day.)

Time machine tip: If you bought a thousand dollars worth of Apple stock at its IPO in 1980, it would be worth over $1.2 million today. Jean-Louis Gassée takes us through the numbers.

In The Guardian, Hallie Golden explores what defunding the police actually means when it’s driven by short-term political expediency. Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither will police reform be accomplished by rushed, poorly considered budget cuts.

Tom Petty died in 2017. If you miss that Petty sound, there’s a new home-recorded version of the song Wildflowers on YouTube. In October, a nine box set of songs and videos will be released. And if that’s not enough, Mike Campbell’s band, The Dirty Knobs, has its debut release in November. The title song has a familiar ring to it. This one too. Can’t quite put my finger on it.

I admit that I was one of those people who thought the blockchain would revolutionize the world. Triple entry accounting would be the next great step forward. And who knows, it still may be. But judging from all the unrealized hype in the last few years, especially in the cryptocurrency area, I’m beginning to have my doubts. Jessie Frederik, writing at The Correspondent, also has doubts.

And if you enjoy physicists singing over cheesy background tracks (and who doesn’t) you’ll enjoy Sabine Hossenfelder‘s musical version of Theories of Everything. And then there are the comments, which quickly veer into misogyny and physicists slamming each other and each others’ theories, completely validating the premise of the song. Who said science was boring.