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.)

Lights, camera… action

It’s Monday. Columbus Day.

Michael O’Sullivan thinks Robert De Niro has gone from a raging bull to an aging tool. I guess he must need the money.

Danny McDonald reviews Marty Walsh’s ‘nonrhotic‘ performance in Frederick Wiseman’s four and a half hour documentary on City Hall. Sounds like it would have made a great Netflix series if it had been broken into shorter segments. But I can’t wait to see it.

Veena Dharmaraj and Staci Rubin make the case for more public investment in electric car charging stations in Massachusetts. And speaking of electric cars, a vehicle engineering revolution is underway. Think big skateboard.

75 year old Ian Gillan, lead singer for Deep Purple, is still touring. He estimates that he’s sung ‘Smoke on the Water,’ 2500 times. That sounds low to me. I’ve probably heard it on the radio more times than that.

And a sitcom character walked into a bar. Right away they knew her name.

Ball of confusion

Friday time. Happy birthday to Miss Jane.

Massport is in a fight with city hall. Adam Gaffin reports on a local/state transportation squabble in the Seaport.

OK. Here we are, six months into the pandemic in the US, and testing is still a work in progress. The White House just announced a deal to provide 150 million quick-result antigen tests. At the same time, following guidance from the White House, the CDC is changing course and recommending less testing for asymptomatic people. (This was the change made while Fauci was knocked out.) Those new antigen tests, while returning results quickly, also have higher rate of false negative results, which will require retesting. Some states are just throwing up their hands and going their own way, ignoring the new CDC guidelines. Chaos, I tell you.

Weekend reading: In an article in Nautilus, Daniel Sudarsky considers the black hole information paradox in light of the measurement problem.

While commercial airlines have been hard hit this year, startups trying to disrupt the air-travel business are still in the game. Boston-based Transcend is focusing on a VTOL approach that will get you from Boston to New York in less than 40 minutes. Uber is in the game with a plan for ride-share air taxis. And Otto Aviation is close to market with a highly efficient, windowless bullet plane for private flights priced competitively with commercial flights. Exciting stuff.

And you can add dumbbells to the list of things that are in short supply in 2020. Ironically.