Medium rare

It’s Friday, January 24, 2020. Happy birthday to the Mac.

Police in the UK are upping their use of facial recognition, with real-time analysis of faces.

It may be too cold for some but my grill goes all year long. I don’t have one of those outlandish looking top-of-the-line status grills. It’s just a modest two-burner Weber. Solid, and it works like a charm. Engadget introduces us to Weber’s newest innovation: pellet grills. Seems elaborate. Probably not for me but I’ll keep an open mind.

Universal Hub reports Boston’s second murder of the year. It happened on Juliette Street in Dorchester. (Random association: the street was once memorialized by a character in John Updike‘s 1988 novel S.)

We shouldn’t panic yet, according to the World Health Organization. They’re keeping an eye on what’s happening in China but they didn’t declare a global emergency. Part of that decision was based on what they know of what’s happening in China. But that may not be reliable. In the meantime, here’s what you need to know.

And it will be an interesting dynamic between San Francisco’s offense on the ground and the Kansas City defense but at the end of the day it will be up to Garoppolo to step in and fill any gaps.

After a nationwide search

We made it to Friday. It’s a cold one. The Cherry Orchard had its opening on this day in 1904. The gun did not fire.

Meet Scientist Barbie. And she’s not the only one challenging gender stereotypes around girls and science.

If Governor Baker follows through on his proposed law change allowing an outsider to run the State Police, it could bring big changes to the agency. Sure, there are benefits to knowing the culture from the inside. But being restricted to insiders only, as the MSP is, only guarantees that the culture will stagnate. Other large forces, like Boston PD and NYPD to name two, have benefited from bringing in leaders from the outside, alternating with insiders. It’s time.

Your car may know you better than your friends do.

A prominent chef says to forget dry January. He wants us to drink by the bottle, not the glass. That seems like a lot of drinking. But don’t worry. Science says it probably won’t kill you.

And apparently all sorts of bad behavior can be rationalized as long as it leads to victory for our side.

Her brother's keeper

Friday’s are always good. And there’s a short warm spell beginning today.

Here’s a nice story to start your day.

Andrea Campbell is not the first, and won’t be the last, politician with family members on the wrong side of the law. But I think she handled this well.

No homework? I’m not sure I buy this elaborate excuse.

Does Bloomberg have a chance? Jonathan Chait lists a few reasons why a Bloomberg nomination would not be a crazy idea. Also, Elizabeth Warren has a closing argument. And what to make of the Steyer surge.

And a Vermont legislator is proposing to outlaw cellphones for anyone under 21. This is somehow mixed up with the Second Amendment and apparently he is trying to make the point that cellphones are more dangerous than guns. Ok, then.

No joy in Mudville

Sunday. A nice day. Today, back in 1914, Henry Ford instituted a $5 a day minimum wage. It was a big deal.

1/Well, season’s over. There’s always next year. Right?

2/In the pre-game supermarket rush, Market Basket went into sideway shopping cart protocol. I don’t know all the details but it sounds very efficient. And possibly very awkward.

3/Norm Macdonald has endorsed Andrew Yang for president. Of course, there’s an asterisk.

4/Tesla is doing much better than expected. For a while there it was on the ropes but now its market cap is double that of Ford.

5/A 14 year-old kid reported for duty in uniform at a Chicago police station and was put out on patrol. Five hours later a sergeant figured out something was wrong.

In the uncanny valley

Friday today. RIP Carl Sagan.

According to Mark Gurman, Apple is working on a plan to use satellites to provide connectivity to its devices.

A headline should entice you to want to read the underlying story. But rarely does it explicitly tell you to do so, as it does here with Ty Burr’s review of Cats. But you should. It’s a great read.

What’s next in the impeachment process? Also, speaking of headlines…

Algorithmic bias is a real thing. Science can certainly help to solve crimes but investigators should be wary of too quickly embracing every new advance. Then again, knee-jerk bans on technology often backfire. When San Francisco banned facial recognition technology it also banned the use of Face ID to unlock the phones it issued to city employees. (Since fixed with an amendment.)

And, another day, another data breech. Facebook this time.