Big Brother in motion

It’s Thursday. Don’t forget to eat your vegetables.

James Aloisi says it’s time to lose the masks on public transportation.

The Globe reports on couple of local tech companies that are joining up to track driver behavior for insurance companies. “Both companies’ core products are apps on smartphones that use the sensors in the phones to collect data about how people are driving, such as whether they are speeding, frequently braking hard, or picking up their phones to text when they should be paying attention to the road.” Uh-oh. Some people are going to get a big premium hike.

Brian Krebs tells the strange tale of Alla Witte, a 55 year old mother of two who was writing the code for a ransomware gang. A real-life Walter White.

New polling for Boston’s mayoral race shows the power of incumbency. Kim Janey now leads slightly over Michelle Wu. Then again, another poll puts Essaibi George in the lead. So it’s really too early to tell. But the front runners are at least starting to come into focus. Adam Gaffin rounds up other election news.

And advertisers want into your dreams. You might want to move that smart speaker out of the bedroom.

Change from within

Wednesday. We’re at the hump.

Bruce Mohl ran the numbers on Uber and Lyft ridership during the pandemic. It wasn’t pretty.

PERF’s Chuck Wexler calls it an evolving crisis. Across the country, police are opting for early retirement, enmasse. At the same time, violent crime is rising. Sure sounds like an evolving crisis. And as they say, crisis is just another word for opportunity. It seems to me that people who feel strongly about police reform should now be submitting applications to their local departments, so they can be the change. We haven’t seen much of that so far. Or maybe the feds could set up a Peace Corps-like program for recruitment, training and certification that local police can hire from. (Right now, the military serves that purpose but that’s not sustainable.) In any case, we shouldn’t let this ‘crisis’ go to waste. There are some real opportunities at hand.

Remember BloggerCon? Dave Winer does. I do too. The first two were held at the Berkman Center at Harvard. Those were heady days. Then came Facebook and Twitter, etc. The rest is history. But some of us dinosaurs are still plugging away at independent blogs.

Eric Adams, the ex-New York cop who’s running for mayor, wants to stand out from the incumbent. But he still may get de Blasio’s endorsement, whether he wants it or not.

And meet the new Windows. Looks a lot like the old Windows.

Transportation doublethink

Saturday, the first day of May. It’s Calamity Jane‘s birthday.

There’s a chicken shortage. And the price of wings is going through the roof.

Should city bus fares be free? In a healthy, financially self-sustaining system that might make sense. But the MBTA is not that and introducing free bus service brings lots of hidden costs. One transportation analyst interviewed by the Globe, Phineas Baxandall, says that those costs are not really costs. “You can define that as a cost, or you can define that as an enormous policy achievement,” Baxandall said. “In the face of possibilities of actually increasing transit ridership, it shouldn’t be seen as just a cost.” That sounds a lot like me trying to justify a new camera purchase to my wife.

Some voices are more soothing than others. (Gilbert Gottfried comes to mind as an exception that proves the rule.) The BBC explores the role our voices play in social settings.

Fireworks season is coming. The City Council is going to handle it this year.

And a group of folks in Japan decided to carry 6 ordinary stones around for 1300 years (scroll down for English). They started the project in 2014. Only one thousand, two hundred and ninety three years to go.

Constricted arteries

Saturday. A beautiful day ahead. Today’s word is impresario.

Another SpaceX launch. Watch it here.

The work being done on the Sagamore Bridge was completed more than a month early. The crew now moves over to the Bourne Bridge and the clock ticking down to Memorial Day starts all over again.

President Biden appears ready to go on record acknowledging the Armenian genocide. It’s a big deal in our relationship with Turkey.

Deep-fakes and international relations. What could possibly go wrong?

And a Florida family has been indicted for selling a miracle cure for Covid. What they were selling turned out to be “a powerful bleach typically used for industrial water treatment or bleaching textiles, pulp, and paper.” Hmmm.

It’s a two way street

Happy Tuesday. It’s a birthday for Beckett and Heaney.

Starting this week, the Sagamore Bridge will lose a lane for maintenance work. Just in time for early-spring travel to the Cape, although the plan is to finish the work before Memorial Day.

Boston needs its police department and the department needs the support of the people of the city. But today, going into the summer, the relationship is dysfunctional. As Ally Jarmanning points out, we’ve been in this situation before. We worked our way out of it. It takes time and effort to rebuild trust and there’s no time like the present to start that work.

Half of Massachusetts residents have had at least one shot. So we’re getting there.

The MBTA is pushing ahead with a one year, $2 billion dollar capital spending plan. Why one year instead of the typical 5 year plan? Mostly funding uncertainties, which doesn’t bode well for any kind of real strategic planning at the T.

And Apple, the company, is very secretive about upcoming events and products. When someone inside Apple gets caught leaking information they usually get fired. So what’s going to happen to Siri?