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Thoughts From Abbott’s Inbox Oct. 27th, 2023

There wasn’t a whole lot of technology news in my inbox this week (at least, not the kind related to what Ashton does), but I found plenty of other good info to share with you (as well as info you shared with me). It’s been a long week so I’m just going to let you get down to business… scroll down to learn about Waffle House, coffee badging, Uber balloons, and more.  Enjoy!

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Holiday Hacking

Every now and then I’ll get a marketing email for a company or solution that does the same thing that one of our solutions does.  And while it’s not the best marketing to market a competitor’s brand name, I’m just trying to keep everybody here informed and secure.  So, feel free to register for this webinar on why the holidays are such a popular time for hackers to attack, but don’t pay any attention to the name of the company or the product they’re trying to sell you! 

Uber Balloons

As Uber tries to become everything to everybody in terms of rideshares, they’re now offering (for a limited time) hot air balloon rides in Turkey

Outsourced Remote IT

Have you ever hired an outsourced, remote IT worker to work for your company?  If so, then according to this article, there’s a good chance you hired a North Korean who was sending portions of their paycheck back home for use in the PRNK ballistic missile program.  That’s a comforting thought.  And if you wondered, Ashton doesn’t outsource any of our employees.  While we do have four team members who were hired to work remotely for us (two in Columbus, OH, and two in New England), they are all Ashton employees who visit our office frequently.  And I’m comfortable in saying that none of them are helping to fund foreign militaries.

Microsoft Teams

There’s an updated version of Microsoft Teams available, and while this article states that you need to be running Windows 11, I was able to download and use on Win 10.  The new version is supposedly 2x faster while using 50% less memory.  It’s better for Mac users, and supposedly more straight forward.   You can download the new version just by flipping the toggle in the top left corner of the app.  And if you have questions or concerns, don’t hesitate to call our support team. 

Coffee Badging

I will admit that, back in college, my roommate and I used to (on occasion) walk into our “Religions East and West” class, grab seats in the corner closest to the door, and wait for the professor to acknowledge us. As soon as he did and then turned his back, we were out the door, off to play bubble hockey in the campus game room (if anybody has one of these and it’s not getting used, please let me know).  


Now, people are showing up at the office, grabbing some coffee and a catered lunch, getting some face time, and heading back home (reminds me of a former boss I had at Progressive Insurance, back in 2001). It’s called ‘coffee badging’ and I’m really glad it doesn’t happen hear at Ashton.

AI Aiding and Abetting

As I titled this piece, I was reminded of an old Ziggy Marley song from a CD that I used to listen to all the time.  In any case, Travis and I were in Columbus last night, co-hosting a small dinner with some local deal makers, as we work to expand our business in Central Ohio.  Talk turned to AI and one of the attendees related a story about a pet cremation business that uses AI to chat with distraught pet owners (and to upsell them during their time of need). Good timing then that this piece showed up in my inbox about a Brit who claims he was convinced by a chatbot that he could (and should) kill the Queen of England. 

Reader Submissions

My inbox is absolutely overflowing and part of that is due to faithful readers sending me their submissions.  For the sake of my sanity, I’m just pasting everything below so I can get rid of them!


My good friend Jen who works in investor relations is probably thinking how she’d handle it if Elon Musk was her CEO.  Now he’s offered Wikipedia $1B to change their name.  


My brother-in-law, Jeff, recently retired which gives him more time to find random videos on YouTube.  If you have 23 minutes tonight, you can learn all about how Waffle House ‘salespeople’ (wait staff) call in their orders, and how the chefs mark the plates.  I got through five minutes, and feel much better for the time spent (I think I may have shared an article about this some time back, but definitely not an instructional video.)


Our buddy Kurt at Business Network Team has been doing his best to bury me these past couple of weeks.  He’s sent me items on whether or not chicken soup really helps a cold,  the cost-benefit analysis of hitting the snooze button (I set my alarm 15 minutes early so I can hit snooze a few times), and where to get the fastest fast-food drive through service, for when you hit snooze one too many times (Taco Bell is the quickest, and while Chick-Fil-A is the slowest, they’re also the highest rated).

Nancy's Nuggets

Somehwere in our house is my old green iPod mini.  It’s probably with the old Blackberry, GoPro, and flip phones, collecting dust in a drawer because you never know when they might come in handy.  Or make a comeback at $199 each


It’s haunted house season, and you have a few days left to get your visits in before Halloween. According to this article on the business of haunted houses, the average one gets between 7,500-10,000 visitors on an annual basis, with the most popular places seeing 40,000 people.  

I Planning to get out of here a little early tonight, as we (a portion of the Ashton team) are headed to Hattie Larlham’s “Bright Blue Gala” tonight.  If you’re not familiar with the organization (which has facilities throughout Northeastern and Central Ohio), they provide care and support to people with developmental disabilities, and do an incredible job of it.  We’re proud to be a partner and to support all that they do.


This coming week, Travis and I are going to be in Miami with a couple of other team members to collect our hardware for again being part of the MSP 501 ranking of the top IT service providers, globally. It’ll be good to see some peers and learn some new things at the conference, but I’m also excited for a morning of fishing on Biscayne Bay on Monday.  

Before that, though, the Buckeyes play Wisconsin on Saturday night, which will give one more reminder as to why college football will always be better than the NFL. And oh yes, the “best” quarterbackless team in the NFL plays on Sunday…I think I’ll be airborne and not have to subject myself to that, though.

Have a great weekend and Happy Halloween!


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