The insurrectionists return
Jan. 6 was truly a low point for America, but some people think it wasn't low enough
Sree’s newsletter is produced w/ Zach Peterson (@zachprague). A lawn-sign version of an endless supply of T-shirts that have similar images (from the Twitter feed of @TrisResists; the image may be doctored, but they’re all still losers).
Scroll down for Read Something; Watch Something; and a weekly tech tip from Robert S. Anthony (@newyorkbob).
TUNE IN: Our #NYTReadalong this week was with Johnette Howard, who collaborated on Billie Jean King’s new bestselling autobiography (see recording). Recent episodes: Peter Marks, Washington Post chief drama critic #WaPoReadalong; Sarah Maslin Nir, NYT reporter and author. The NYTReadalong is sponsored by Muck Rack.
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The events of January 6 in Washington, D.C., were truly tragic; this weekend’s tepid “Justice of J6” rally was a farce. But we would be wrong to think that the danger has passed.
The fact remains that people still showed up to this thing, and a lot more people probably wish they could have. At this point, it's hard to endorse a "let's talk it out" approach because what's left to talk about? If you are still hanging on Donald Trump's every word, stridently anti-vax, opposed to mask mandates, and showing up to a rally explicitly in support of the January 6 crowd, not sure you’ll listen to anyone who disagrees with you.
In my own circles, almost everyone is vaccinated and loudly denounces the insurrectionists, but I still find folks who still have doubts about the election outcome. After all, 78% of Republicans do not believe Joe Biden won the election - shows you the Big Lie is alive and well.
A lot of it is driven by the grift class of the conservative political movement, but the rot has spread throughout the GOP. These are people — many of them millionaires who live very cosmopolitan lives right here in New York City! — who have nothing to lose if things go poorly, there is violence, or both. They have everything to gain. No matter what happens, they will find a grievance to peddle for a few weeks until the news cycle breaks.
They've clearly succeeded in some way, as there is just an intractable one-third of the country that found its political mooring with Trump, and it's simply not going to budge, come what may.
Maybe we should thank the organizers of this weekend’s failed rally. They managed to push the events of January 6 back into the spotlight for a few days. Maybe it will cause more of us to pay attention to all that happened and all that could still happen in the months and years ahead.
On a related note, I was in California on recall day and wrote a Twitter thread (you can read it without being on Twitter) in which I warned, at length, about Larry Elder, a Trumpist, anti-vax, anti-mask, anti-poor misogynist and leading Republican challenger to Gov. Gavin Newsom. While America dodged a bullet that day, every election from now on has to be treated like the existential battle it is. I hope we all have the stomach for it.
The Earth is changing and we aren’t helping. There’s simply no denying that our children, and their children, will have a very different relationship with the physical world, whether they want to or not. We are entering the age of climate-based migration and evacuation, and the fossil fuels industry has a lot to answer for over the last 100 years or so.
Listen to Something
Martin Short has been making people laugh for decades, and this interview with him — which includes a Jiminy Glick bit — is such a great look inside his unique, remarkably clean brand of comedy. Also, Jesse David Fox is such a great interviewer, and it really shows here. He knows and genuinely loves comedy, and he has a unique ability to really discuss the craft with some of the best to ever do it.
@NEWYORKBOB’S TECH TIP: Bluetooth 5.2 Blues: Hurry Up and Wait
By Robert S. Anthony
Each week, veteran tech journalist Robert S. Anthony shares a tech tip you don’t want to miss. Follow him @newyorkbob.
Sometimes silence can be louder than a stampede. That seems to be the case with Bluetooth, the ubiquitous low-power technology which lets us link wireless headphones, earbuds and speakers to our mobile devices.
Bluetooth 5.2, a major upgrade to the technology which improves range, extends battery life and vastly lowers power consumption, was announced at the CES gadget and gizmo showcase in Las Vegas 20 months ago. So where is the sweet sound of thousands of Bluetooth 5.2 products hitting store shelves? All we have is silence.
Whether a victim of the pandemic, the worldwide chip shortage or global supply-chain issues—or all the above—Bluetooth 5.2 has gotten off to a glacially slow start with very few products—quite a disappointment for a technology upgrade that promises to do so much.
What can Bluetooth 5.2 do for you? Imagine you’re in a sports bar with plenty of TVs showing college football games from around the country. What if you could link your Bluetooth earbuds to the TV showing, say, the Notre Dame football game while your friend connects to the TV with the Alabama game? Bluetooth 5.2 supports that via a new one-device-to-many audio-sharing capability.
The Bluetooth 5.2 audio-sharing feature would also allow a smartphone user to share an audio stream privately with Bluetooth headsets worn by others in the home—or at the workplace. There are a few Bluetooth 5.2 devices on the market from companies like Sony and Samsung but, unfortunately, there are no Bluetooth 5.2-capable TVs yet.
Bluetooth 5.2 offers LE (low energy) Audio, a feature which significantly lowers the power requirement to transmit audio streams, thus allowing for smaller chipsets (and thus smaller devices) and smaller batteries that last longer. The new Bluetooth version uses a new audio “codec” which compresses audio data with less impact to clarity and fidelity than the old version. The promise: Richer sound.
Yes, the Bluetooth Special Interest Group, which manages the global standard, warned in January 2020 that it would take a year or two for the first Bluetooth 5.2 devices to appear, but as of September 2021, the flow of products has barely begun.
But even as consumers wait for the trickle of Bluetooth 5.2 products to turn into a wave, the Bluetooth SIG isn’t sitting on its hands. In July the organization approved Bluetooth 5.3, which adds a few new tweaks to Bluetooth 5.2. But you’ll have to wait a lot longer for that.
No, there’s no one to blame for the shortage of Bluetooth 5.2 products. There are enough health and supply-chain issues worldwide to slow down the spread of the best technologies. But hopefully the wait will be worth it.
Covid19 has killed 1 out of every 500 people in the U.S. It’s an absolutely devastating statistic given how completely avoidable so many of those deaths were. Please get vaccinated, encourage friends and family to get vaccinated, and let’s put an end to the needless suffering.
Odds & Ends
🗞 TUNE IN: Our #NYTReadalong this week was with Johnette Howard, who collaborated on Billie Jean King’s new bestselling autobiography (see recording). Recent episodes: Peter Marks, Washington Post chief drama critic #WaPoReadalong; Sarah Maslin Nir, NYT reporter and author. The NYTReadalong is sponsored by Muck Rack.
The NYTReadalong is sponsored by Muck Rack. Interested in sponsorship opportunities? Email email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Readalong is followed, on Sundays at 11 am-noon ET, by a medical show I’m co-executive producing with surgeons Sujana Chandrasekhar, M.D. (@DrSujanaENT), and Marina Kurian, M.D. (@MarinaKurian), called She’s On Call (watch live or later).
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