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Thoughts From Abbott’s Inbox June 24th, 2022

Thoughts From My Inbox

June 24th, 2022

The, Hotfeet, and Muddy Baseballs

In case you were worried, there was so much worthwhile info in the inbox this week that I’ve decided to save some for next week. That guarantees two things; one, that you will have another edition next week, and two, that this week’s won’t be so long as to bore you! If you take the time to scroll down, you’ll learn about the newest flavor of popsicle, why fast food restaurants want you to ask for a receipt, and the real reason behind THE. 


Something About…


Team Building

I’ve always wondered what it would be like to walk on hot coals (and I would love to get in a shark cage to watch great whites). Is it really surprising when people burn their feet doing something like this? Not the kind of team-building events we do at Ashton, but maybe we should consider…



This really has nothing to do with anything, but it caught my attention and I figured I should share.  It’s a piece about frogs that can jump, but don’t know how to land.  That would seem like a bit of an evolutionary issue.


Data Loss Prevention

Data loss prevention solutions can be set up so that nobody is able to download data to an external drive (USB, CD, etc.), or just to track any data that’s downloaded onto those devices.  In the case of a Japanese city employee, he probably would’ve been better off if he’d not been allowed to download anything.  It seems he downloaded personal info for the 465,000 residents of the city for which he works, and then lost the flash drive when he passed out, drunk.  Oops.  (late update:  It seems the missing flash drive has been found!)

Spreading Ashes
I’m sure this happens more often than we’re made aware, but it’s a little different on a football field or baseball diamond.  Pouring gray ashes on a white sheet of ice is just a little more obvious.  Great story, and props to the Avs for not banning the guy for life!
Ransomware Marketing
This one has been sitting in my inbox for a few weeks, and I’m just now getting to it.  Interesting to read that Ransomware As A Service organizations are now using marketing and PR teams to get the word out about their various tools and successful attacks. The article goes on to mention research showing how quickly various ransomwares can encrypt their targets’ data;  the quickest is under three minutes!  As mentioned, nobody can defend that speed, so your best bet is endpoint detection and response (EDR) software.  All Ashton clients have Sophos XDR (Extended Detection and Response) as part of their security solution.
Real Estate

If I had $37M, I guess I could deal with living in NYC if it were a place like this (although the kitchen is a little outdated).  Or I could get a place in Saskatchewan for less than $5K.  Now that’s a steal!

Fine Print
Had a good piece appear in the inbox this week regarding the fine print on your cyber liability policy.  When Merck was hit by ransomware a few years back and racked up $1.4 billion (!!) in associated costs, their insurance carrier initially claimed that coverage didn’t apply due to an act of war.  Considering the ongoing war in Ukraine, you might pay attention to this one.

I’d never really thought about the reasoning behind retail and food service establishments incentivizing patrons to report not receiving a receipt.  According to this article, it’s to prevent employees from processing and then cancelling transactions, providing the goods to the customer, and pocketing the money.  Who knew?

One Million Fans

I’ve been to plenty of games in Ohio Stadium with more than 100,000 fans, and I also attended the 2003 Ohio State/Michigan game in Ann Arbor.  At the time, the crowd of 112,118 was the largest ever for a college football game (and it’s one of only four times this century that Michigan figured a way to win The Game). I can’t imagine sitting in the top row of a stadium built to hold a million people though. Definitely need the binoculars for that game!

Ketchup Popsicles

From the land of ketchup potato chips comes new (for a limited time only) ketchup popsicles.  The marketing materials compare the popsicles to a Caesar, which is Canada’s version of a Bloody Mary (but made with Clamato juice. Yuck).

Facebook Messenger Scam

I don’t spend a great deal of time on Facebook any longer, but it seems that at least once a month, I get a message from a “friend”.  Usually, these are people with whom I have no regular contact, so my first reaction is to check out their page. When I confirm that they have very little activity on their page, it’s safe to assume that the message is a scam (hackers generally use the facebook profiles of irregular users). According to this research, 10 million Facebook users have provided their login credentials and made the hacker a nice sum. 


Many of you have probably seen the news that The Ohio State University has finally been granted a trademark on the word ‘The’ as it relates to its usage on hats and shirts.  You probably don’t know why this all started, however.  I have first hand (and, as usual, totally useless) information though.


My father-in-law was a corporate attorney for many years, having gone to Ohio University for undergrad and then Ohio State law school.  He was active with both universities, sitting for a time on the alumni board at OU.  That was around the time that OU decided to try and file a trademark on the word ‘Ohio’.  Even though my father-in-law tried to convince them otherwise, they moved forward on their efforts (ultimately failing). Ohio State got wind of this and decided to start emphasizing that they were THE Ohio State University.  That emphasis became popular and now here we are, all those years later.



I have one more that has nothing to do with technology (especially considering this is something that hasn’t changed since the 50’s), and I believe I may have shared it in the past (it’s from a 2019 Sports Illustrated article).  This one came up again today and I still appreciate the fact that all the mud used to rub major league baseballs comes from a secret one mile stretch of a tributary of the Delaware River.


What are your plans for the weekend?   We’re hitting a couple of estate sales tomorrow (you never know what kind of good deals you might find- some of my past favorites are an autographed photo of Mark Messier hoisting the Stanley Cup in 1994 which hangs on my office wall, and a kilt which hangs in the closet at home) and I’m headed to the Grand River on Sunday morning for some fly fishing (hopefully not in baseball mud).


Have a great weekend.



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