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Thoughts From Abbott’s Inbox May 19th, 2023

Thoughts from my inbox

May 19th, 2023

Are there any armchair economists in the room? If so, you might appreciate the fact that when I leave the office today, I’m headed over to my alma mater to hear a presentation from Arthur Laffer, creator of the Laffer curve which compares tax rate to tax revenue.  Even though I was a business econ major in college, I’d never heard of the Laffer curve until four or five years ago, when he was invited to speak at a similar alumni function.  My son, then a college sophomore (and econ major) said “dad, you have to go see him!”  I admitted I had no clue, to which he responded “dad- the Laffer curve. Everybody knows that!”  


If you’re not here for economics, feel free to scroll down for a lesson on why NOT to hack your employer, the world jigsaw puzzle championships, the history of baseball hats, and more. 

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Clearview AI

How ’bout a tool that can dig through all of your social media, then save the photos and sell access to said photos for those looking to find you via facial recognition? Sounds like Big Brother if you ask me. The company that does this (Clearview AI) was fined 20 millions Euros last fall, and now they’ve been hit with another 5 million fine for not complying.  This is a good reason to lock your social media and keep out those you don’t know.

Baseball Hats

I collect baseball hats.  And I also have a coffee table book depicting the history of major league baseball uniforms, team by team.  So this article about the history of the baseball cap jumped out at me.  It’s interesting to hear how it came to be, and how it’s evolved over the years.  

Hacking Your Employer

The bright guy who hacked his own company was just sentenced to six years in prison and restitution of $1.5M.  Surprised I didn’t see this one earlier (he was found guilty back in February for the crime that commenced in December 2020, which was one of the two years that failed to exist), as the company he worked for happens to be our primary source for wireless networking hardware.   Since nobody is naming the company, you can read this article to learn more.  

Building Bridges

We work with a variety of businesses in the architecture, construction, and engineering fields, so I hope some of them might find this interesting.  It’s a video about building bridges along Highway 400 in Northern Ontario, the road we take to get to our summer cottage.  Back when I first started going up there, it was a two lane road with gravel shoulders, and the only way to pass was to hope the guy in front of you pulling a boat or trailer would move over to the shoulder at 55MPH to let you by. 

Pharmerica Breach

If you’ve ever purchased prescriptions through Pharmerica, there’s a good chance that all of your pertinent info (name, address, SSN) was released in their recent data breach.  If you were affected, you should have received a notification this week, so keep your eyes open.  

Jigsaw Puzzles

Any jigsaw puzzle fans in the crowd (other than my mom and wife)?  We oftentimes have a puzzle in progress on the dining room table (which can be a problem if hosting a dinner party), and while we love to do them, we surely can’t get through one in 37 minutes.  Never would’ve known that there was a World Jigsaw Puzzle Championship, with three different classifications; individual, pairs, and teams.  I guess I need to step up my game…

Ransomware Reward

If you have time to kill and know anybody involved in the ransomware game, you might find yourself receiving a bounty in the $10M range.  The US DOJ has put that bounty out on a Russian hacker who’s been named in three specific ransomware cases against American targets.  Get crackin’ and see what you can come eup with!

I always enjoy hearing from my readers, as I did a few times last week.  One thanking me for the Frank Lloyd Wright piece, and another asking about data breaches and junk email filtering.  So, feel free to drop me a line!  


In case you missed it last night (I did, because I can’t stand either team), the Panthers and Hurricanes played four full overtimes in game one of their Eastern Conference championship series.  It was the sixth longest NHL game of all time, and I’ve never seen somebody in such a rush to get off the ice.  Glad that it wasn’t the Oilers as I would’ve felt compelled to stay up and watch.  And then I might have missed this item about sand hockey…  Ashton president Jim Millican coaches one of the ice hockey teams at Saint Ignatius, and I wonder if this could work as their summer conditioning? 


Looks like it’s supposed to be a nice weekend.  I’ll be outside sawing and splitting wood.  Hope you have some good plans, too!


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