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Thoughts From Abbott’s Inbox June 30th, 2023

Thoughts from my inbox

June 23rd, 2023

A little bit late getting this to you today, as we had our annual Independence Day cookout here at the office.  We added a little smoke to the haze we’ve had around here for the past few days, but somehow, the water balloons never made it out of the desk this year.  Would’ve been a great day to break in the new engineers… (we’ve added three in the past couple of weeks).


Lots of good info for you this week (in addition to the $10M bounty on the Clop ransomware gang), including smart cars, calf cramps, and must-see TV.  Enjoy!

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Your Car

Is your car tracking everything you say, do, and listen to? Possibly.  Which makes me miss the 13 year old Jeep Wrangler I just traded in a few months back.  While I don’t have Siri activated on the new Bronco (nor do I use it on my phone or at home), there is lots of data being tracked and sent to Ford (and probably other entities) including the type of music I listen to, how fast I drive, and how often I go to certain places.  Google is free because we are the product.  Too bad our cars aren’t the same!

Pen Testing

We are often asked if we provide penetration testing (“pen testing”) for our clients, and the standard answer is “we don’t like to grade our own homework”.  We’ll secure your network, but we’re going to rely on somebody else to tell you how well we did, and whether we missed anything.  Interesting article here about pen testing and three of the biggest opportunities you have in securing your network.  If you need a pen tester, we’re happy to refer to a partner.  If you need cybersecurity, we can handle it for you.  

Smartphone Security

For some reason, Australia’s Prime Minister is handing out security tips as they relate to smartphones.  Lots of good suggestions in this article.  


As a kid at summer camp, tennis often turned to baseball tennis; using a tennis racket instead of a baseball bat to hit tennis balls over the fence at the end of the court. Looks like these guys have come up with an even better version, using their rackets to hit and pitch!

Hot Shots

Back in college, we used to drink “TNT” shots- half tequila, half tabasco.  So when I saw this product that immediately relieves muscle cramps (I get them in my calves), I was intrigued.  Made from cinnamon, lime, salt, ginger, and capsaicin, which are all things I enjoy (ginger not so much), so I couldn’t figure out why people are having horrible reactions to what they’re drinking.  If anybody wants to try one of these shots with me, I’ll buy.  And if you’re feeling really adventurous, I still have three unopened One Chip Challenge packages sitting on my desk.  (Three of us here at the office won the challenge a year or two back, although Francisco was a little worse for wear.)

Law Firms

Although the number of attorneys reading this is probably small, I would imagine that any business owner or decision maker has a lawyer that they work with.  As such, you’ll have an interest in this piece about the uptick in ransomware aimed at law firms.  As we’ve seen with managed IT services providers, law firms are a target not just for their data, but for all of their client data.  These fall under the term “supply chain attacks”.   If you haven’t already done so, you should question your attorney (as well as CPA and IT provider) about the steps they take to secure THEIR networks, thereby helping to secure YOUR data. 

More Sports

If you have some downtime this weekend, you can make plans to watch the World Lacrosse championship game on Saturday night at 7P.  As expected, it’ll be US and Canada, with Haudenosaunee (Iroquois Nation) as the only team to give either a competitive match so far. There’s also a NASCAR race through the streets of downtown Chicago.  I’m not a NASCAR fan, but it might be interesting to watch them on a road course.  On the other hand, I do enjoy watching some of the Tour de France every year, and that starts this weekend.  I’m sure Ashton’s Jim Millican will be glued to the tube.  And finally, I had no interest in reading to the end of this article, but somebody is trying to make chess not only a team event (notice I didn’t call it a sport) but one that is just perfect for TV viewers.  Somebody can let me know how that goes…


Side note on “must see” tv… we were out to dinner earlier this week and I looked up to see poker on the tube.  Can’t imagine anything more boring.  Looked up a few minutes later at the hockey on the tv next door… same poker player with the same look on his face.  Wow, I thought- this is enthralling.  Looked up a few minutes later, and same guy/same look.  Only then did I realize that the tv was frozen…

I’ll leave you with a reminder that all of the posts I share are actually items that have made it through my inbox in any given week (occasionally I get something that’s behind a paywall, and if it’s worthwhile, I’ll find a free version to share here).  That even applies to this piece about mermaids and the workforce, which came from some random newsletter that I don’t recall ever signing up for. 


Hope you have a great holiday weekend!


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