UPDATE: Four minutes after I posted this, from my phone, the service was back up.
Hey, these things happen. But it would be nice if the network techs would tell the support techs so they and customers wouldn't waste amazing amounts of time going through fruitless exercises like rebooting modems and running line diagnostics.
Not that I'm bitter after 40 minutes online and on the phone with support. Julia Rappaport says she spent two hours on hold and the 45 minutes on the line with a tech. Outage reports come from Roslindale, the Back Bay, Cambridge and Ward 2 in Somerville. Other parts of Somerville, Quincy and Salem report no problems.
A Boston man who claims he was threatened with a lawsuit when he refused to buy software he didn't want has turned around and sued the application's maker for privacy violations, claiming the software "phoned home" and gave a company consultant enough information to track him down.
Mike Champion sees reason for optimism in a town where companies often seem to flee for the other coast or get bought up by companies from far away. Even if you could care less about high tech, check out his post for a little bit of Storrow Drive nostalgia.
My Life List, which lets people post lists of things they want to accomplish, then mark them off, was named winner of the city's Innovation District: Welcome Home Challenge, the mayor's office reports.
The company, which now lists its headquarters in Marina del Rey, CA, but which has an office in Boston, gets to choose either $25,000 in cash or a $50,000 venture investment from VenCorps, which ran the competition. It was selected from among nine finalists, which were chosen in public voting by VenCorps, which will use a similar model for similar entrepreneurial efforts across the country.
Here's an interesting tale of how a guy waiting for the Red Line at Park Street got his iPad back after it was snatched out of his hands (while composing e-mail), thanks to a local company that provides IT management services:
Once the officers were in the area, McGowan enabled the iPad’s location alert. The alarm wasn’t loud enough to draw the attention of the officers, but it did make the perpetrator pull the device out of his backpack, which the officers then witnessed and swiftly moved in to retrieve the device.
To prove that the iPad was in fact the stolen property of his client, McGowan sent a message to the device that said "This iPad is stolen property." The officers felt this was sufficient enough evidence and they made sure to get the iPad safely back to its owner.
Connie Loizos provides the tweet by tweet of a fight between some outsider and our own Scott Kirsner on whether Boston's tech scene could give a Hoover a run for its money.
These are the people who will have to deal with global warming, major economic dislocations, war, global hunger, predatory politicians, and all the rest of it.
The Lion senses some difficulty ahead ...
SHIFTBoston and a pair of Paris urban designers have come up with an idea for treepods that would not only filter carbon dioxide out of the air but use solar panels to generate the electricity needed for the filtering and for displaying "colorful light during the evening." A seesaw at the base of each tree would provide a fun outlet for visitors and provide additional energy to the trees.
Their design is based on dragon blood trees, which, in addition to looking like something out of Avatar, provide a large number of surfaces for bringing in carbon dioxide.
Via Andrew Abbott.
An Open Boston City Council
Xconomy reports on the latest wrinkle to the local high-tech set: Web sites that let you customize everything from T-shirts to home decor; quotes one venture capitalist:
We [in Boston] are good at assembling - taking raw components and building blocks, and then fashioning them into something whole greater than its parts. Mass customization is a natural extension of our strength because it's assembling something new and doing it both systematically and repeatedly.
The Globe reports on the passing of the co-founder of Digital Equipment Corp.
- Interview, on everything from how he got interested in electronics in the 1930s to the founding of DEC.
- Salue to Ken Olsen, from the 2006 dedication of the Ken Olsen Science Center at Gordon College.
- Ken Olsen Memory Book, DEC employees remember Olsen.
- comp.os.vms says farewell
- DEC founder Kenneth Olsen mourned by computer industry
The Herald reports Twitter is blocked on computers at the State House because "the site is vulnerable to viruses."
One wonders how they deal with e-mail. Maybe it all comes into one central office where staffers spend the day transcribing it onto paper.
C. elegans comes to a complete stop when flashed with a green laser:
William McAdoo reports on Jose Duarte's experiments with printing QR codes (think of them as bar codes for the smartphone set) on the plates at his Taranta in the North End. Why? Imagine scanning in the code and reading up on the seafood sitting in front of you:
The problem was: how to get it on the plate? His first attempt was with a rubber stamp, using edible squid ink. The squid ink proved a bit oily with traces of sandy grit that clogged the stamp. He then decided to actually screen print the code onto the plate using a more refined squid ink. This worked better.
New York hating Gregory Huang considers the implications of recent VC infusions into New York tech startups.
That would be Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center CTO John Halamka, who describes his home weather station, how he got it hooked into Weather Underground and what lessons people who run large, complex computer networks at large, complex health-care providers can take away from it all.
And a skeptical Davis Square LiveJournal is trying to figure out which local restaurant canned her.
UPDATE: Restaurant identified and tips on how to avoid a situation like this from
Doc Brown local Twitter users, in the comments.
- Eliminate Stenographer... check
- Put everything online... check
- Make it searchable... check
- Reduce costs... check
- Add accessibility... check
I can only imagine how happy he must be... oh wait! Is that him... complaining at 1:47am in the first comment?
MIT charges a Littleton startup failed to pay licensing fees for three of its patents, so now it wants a judge to order the company to stop using them - and pay the fees.
It's MIT's second suit this month against Still River Systems. Last week, MIT sued Still River to force it to add an MIT researcher to a patent used for the company's single-room synchrocyclotron, which can be used to target an intense beam of radiation at certain types of tumors.
In a suit filed yesterday in US District Court in Boston, MIT alleges Still River agreed to pay it nearly $900,000 for the use of three other patents for the device - all based on work by Timothy Antaya, the researcher MIT charged was improperly left off Still River's patent. MIT says that as part of an agreement with the school in 2004, Still River agreed to sponsor Antaya's work on shrinking the size and cost of the devices - existing proton-beam accelerators can cost up to $100 million each - and to pay the licensing fee for Antaya's three patents, all assigned to MIT, then stop using them.
Cambridge Day reports on that joint Cambridge/Boston city-council meeting at the city line, which included a talk by an expert on regional economic development who is really grooving on the state's plans to renovate the "Grand Junction" rail line that will let trains from Worcester sail into North Station:
We have to find a way of connecting these geographies, these populations. So I start talking about how do we improve commuter rail access from Worcester to the Allston Landing area to Cambridge and to Boston. It's very important because the high technology, life-science, educational credentials of the Worcester area need to relate directly to the Boston-Cambridge area. We want these clusters to grow and really develop, but the transportation system really needs to support that.
BostInnovation marvels at some start-up that has offices in both cities.