I mean, come on Google. No fair:
Starting now until April 4, you can chomp fruit, avoid ghosts, and collect PAC-Dots along city streets in Google Maps worldwide—all as Ms. PAC-Maps. Just tap on the Ms. PAC-Maps icon on iOS and Android, or click the Ms. PAC-Maps button at the bottom left on desktop, to enter the maze and start chompin’. Sign in to save your top score on the leaderboard and share with friends.
Here's Downtown Chicago:
That's the Civic Opera Building on the upper left and LaSalle and Jackson on the lower right.
Or try this possibly-recognizable board:
Any guesses where that is?
Crain's reports this morning the results of a survey that shows most people in Chicago believe the only way up is out:
The scenario might sound familiar. You've been at a company five or so years; you work hard and reach your goals. Sometimes your boss lets you slide out early on a Friday to catch a Cubs game, and you're fully vested in benefits and options. Not a bad gig—plenty of people have it worse.
But there's a flip side: no clear path to getting ahead. When you've lobbied for promotions, your boss demurs. Your salary has inched up, but not enough to sweeten your lifestyle, and your responsibilities—well, they've stagnated, too.
A decade ago, you might have waited patiently for a promotion. But today, according to a new survey by Crain's and executive women's group Chicago Network, you're likely searching for an exit. Out of 650-plus Chicago-area men and women we surveyed in January, 62 percent—nearly 2 out of 3—said changing companies was necessary for advancement in the local job market. “Being loyal to a company (does) not pay,” wrote one anonymous survey taker.
I won't go into my own history, to protect the guilty, but I can say this lines up with many of my friends' experiences.
Brian Beutler warns that the Republicans in Congress have gone so long without actually thinking about government that they're about to wreck it completely:
Republicans appear unable to meet even basic governing obligations on their own. This will mean, at the very least, shelving campaign promises and long-term ideological objectives; most likely it will mean seeking help from Democrats. But this augurs disaster. Democrats rightly won’t cooperate with attempts to demolish their legacy, while everything we know about Trump—and about the empty promises Republicans made to their voters over the years—suggests the GOP will be loath to empower Democrats. Yet failure to do so will end in ruin for all of us.
There are things Republicans can do without Democratic help, particularly in the regulatory realm. They may even be able to pass a regressive income tax cut on their own, so long as they don’t tinker with the tax code too much in other ways. But we are not at the dawn of a conservative counterrevolution that will command lofty descriptions in history books years from now. If Republicans remain in denial about that, they will court a government shutdown or an even larger crisis.
The Federal government's spending authority lapses on April 28th. Can't wait to see how they pass a spending bill...
Via a longtime reader, LinkedIn software engineer David Max responds to a Wired article with "no, coders aren't assembly-line workers:"
The implication is that one can learn enough coding skills to get a job writing easy code, and then settle into a long stable career writing more of the same. Maybe, but I doubt it.
The world of software development changes rapidly. Even if we need a lot more developers, that won’t change the fact that keeping up is a continuous effort. Even if the barriers to entry are getting lower such that there are programming jobs that do not require a four year computer science degree, that is still just the foot in the door. Once on the job, you will need to keep actively improving to keep up like the rest of us.
To put it another way, there may be more entry level positions open to people with less training, but that training will likely grow stale. A boot camp program might prepare you for a job, but what you learn today in a boot camp will almost certainly be different from what you would learn two years from now.
This is one reason why I prefer to hire developers with liberal arts degrees. And why I give a very straightforward problem to solve in interviews. And why I ask what books the candidates read.
Security expert Bruce Schneier weighs in on the ridiculous airplane laptop ban the Trump administration and the British government imposed last week:
This current restriction implies some specific intelligence of a laptop-based plot and a temporary ban to address it. However, if that's the case, why only certain non-US carriers? And why only certain airports? Terrorists are smart enough to put a laptop bomb in checked baggage from the Middle East to Europe and then carry it on from Europe to the US.
Why not require passengers to turn their laptops on as they go through security? That would be a more effective security measure than forcing them to check them in their luggage. And lastly, why is there a delay between the ban being announced and it taking effect?
One analysis painted this as a protectionist measure targeted at the heavily subsidized Middle Eastern airlines by hitting them where it hurts the most: high-paying business class travelers who need their laptops with them on planes to get work done. That reasoning makes more sense than any security-related explanation, but doesn't explain why the British extended the ban to UK carriers as well. Or why this measure won't backfire when those Middle Eastern countries turn around and ban laptops on American carriers in retaliation. And one aviation official told CNN that an intelligence official informed him it was not a "political move."
In the end, national security measures based on secret information require us to trust the government. That trust is at historic low levels right now, so people both in the US and other countries are rightly skeptical of the official unsatisfying explanations. The new laptop ban highlights this mistrust.
But to the Trump team, distrusting government is a feature, not a bug. They just may not have thought through all the consequences.
Here's the latest ad from the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee:
So, this happened in Chicago yesterday afternoon:
That was in Chicago. I'm across the lake in southwest Michigan right now, and the cold front passage was no less abrupt here:
Actual photos coming soon.
No. Just no. Really, no, they're not:
Rep. Joe Barton (R-TX) admitted as much as he left the meeting Friday. Reporters asked why, after Republicans held dozens of nearly-unanimous votes to repeal Obamacare under President Obama, they were getting cold feet now that they control the levers of power.
“Sometimes you’re playing Fantasy Football and sometimes you’re in the real game,” he said. “We knew the president, if we could get a repeal bill to his desk, would almost certainly veto it. This time we knew if it got to the president’s desk it would be signed.”
Barton, for what it's worth, was one of the loudest proponents of ACA repeal. Until, you know, it was possible.
Why does anyone take the Republican Party seriously? I mean, really?
Despite controlling two of three branches of government and most of the third, the Republican Party suffered a humiliating defeat this week when Paul Ryan couldn't muster enough votes to destroy health care in the U.S. We can all breathe a little easier:
House Speaker Paul D. Ryan, facing a revolt among conservative and moderate Republicans, rushed to the White House Friday afternoon to inform President Trump he did not have the votes to pass legislation to repeal the Affordable Care Act and to decide whether to pull the bill from consideration.
The president and the speaker faced the humiliating prospect of a major defeat on legislation promised for seven years, since the landmark health legislation was signed into law. President Trump had demanded a vote regardless, which has been scheduled for Friday afternoon. But House leaders were leaning against such a public loss.
[Ryan] said 30 to 40 Republicans planned to vote “no”; House leaders can afford to lose only 22 votes and still pass the bill.
So 24 million Americans get to keep health insurance, and we can actually move a little closer to parity with the rest of the developed world.
The Washington Post chronicles how President Trump's difficult relationship with the truth extends even to trying to correct the record:
President Trump had a remarkable interview with Time magazine on March 22 about falsehoods, in which he repeated many false claims that have repeatedly been debunked.
Trump consistently astounds us with his inability to acknowledge that he repeatedly gets facts wrong and consistently misleads the American public with inaccurate, dubious claims. He earns Four Pinocchios for this interview.
Not surprisingly, it's a pretty long fact-check article.