You are the product

A warm and windy Sunday. Happy birthday to Jeff Bezos, Haruki Murakami and Haverhill’s own Rod Zombie.

Complaining can be good. Except when it’s bad.

You know Facebook is tracking you*. Wired describes just how much information is being collected and what you can do to limit how it’s being used.

This WaPo headline on Tom Steyer‘s campaign is a great example of Betteridge’s Law in action.

If you wanted to analyze your Apple Card spending patterns you were out of luck until now. A frustrated cardholder (and developer) came up with a solution, which he is now offering for a small fee.

And science has apparently established what we all know to be true: looks count.

A fox in the hen house

Saturday. In 1949 it snowed in Los Angles but in Boston today it will be 61 degrees.

I’m constantly losing my glasses. This kid found a planet.

Sal DiMasi wants to lobby his colleagues in the legislature and he’s suing for the right to do so. I’ve always found lobbying to be an unsavory business. It seems antithetical to the public interest. DiMasi says he intends to lobby on behalf of issues, not interests. That’s BS. It’s all interests. That’s why it pays so well.

If you ever wondered how guns get into the hands of criminals, the results of this survey of gun owners might provide a small hint.

It seems like the longest downtown construction project in history but the Emerson renovation of the Little Building is finally scheduled to be completed in September. The linked Globe article says that construction started last year but this has been going on for significantly longer than that. It was disruptive on Tremont Street but I’m glad they preserved the facade of the old building.

And Iran says now that it did shoot down the plane. Nevermind.

An overbearing glass box

A sunny Thursday. Thirteen years ago we were introduced to the iPhone for the first time.

Who needs a red phone when there’s Twitter.

The GE headquarters building in Fort Point is not happening. It was going to be a strikingly modern design. But no more. The site has been sold and the new owners are planning a somewhat similar look for their new building and hoped that wouldn’t require another review. But after seeing what’s happening in the Seaport, neighbors want input on the new design to avoid “another clunky, overbearing glass box.” And I don’t blame them.

63 Canadians were on the plane that crashed‘ in Iran.

The way we use GPS today would have sounded like science fiction fifty years ago. This satellite based quantum network sounds like that now.

And does this sound like a guy ready to hang it up?

Focusing on the fundamentals

It’s January 8th. I think it’s Wednesday. Happy birthday to Soupy Sales, Elvis and Stephen Hawking. (Update: also Issac Asimov. )

Is Texas ground zero in the war with Iran? 10,000 cyber-attacks per minute seems like a lot.

Marty Walsh’s ongoing strategy of bolstering the middle class was evident in his State of the City address. Functional public transportation, affordable housing and education are what keep middle class workers in the city. And it’s the middle class that keeps the city healthy and vibrant.

There’s a Navy ship in Franklin Park? Yep, I checked Apple Maps this morning and it’s still there.

I’m a big fan of Italian wines, especially those from around Tuscany. So this proposed 100% tariff on all European wine is bad news. Please don’t force me to drink American Merlot!

And Dark energy has been a real problem for physics. But maybe, after all that searching and head-scratching, there’s nothing to it. That would be a little embarrassing.

No spots available

A Monday squeezed between Christmas and New Year. Weather-wise, it’s a good day to stay in if you don’t have to go out.

While you were relaxing by the fire over the holidays scientists were working on submitting their papers. Here are some of the most cited from last year.

If you want to take the T to work you have to get to the station. If you don’t live near the station you have to drive to it. And then you have to park. Many lots are full by the morning rush and because of supply and demand prices for parking go up. And that’s on top of your T pass. Eventually you run the numbers and find it’s cheaper, quicker and more convenient to just drive in and park. That’s unfortunate but it’s a reality for a lot of people.

The hype was overblown but the potential for a Y2K catastrophe was real. Looking back, it was thanks to the work of a lot of dedicated people that we averted disaster twenty years ago.

Boston had 38 murders so far in 2019. There’s a list of each of the victims compiled by Adam Gaffin. By comparison with similar sized cities, San Francisco had 32, Milwaukee‘s total was 98, Baltimore had 339 and Philly, a slightly bigger city, had 351.

And, from Tulare, CA to Quakertown, PA, an autonomous truck delivered the butter. It was the first cross-country autonomous freight run.