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Thoughts From Abbott’s Inbox Dec. 15th, 2023

I’m going to start today with a shameless plug for the Ashton team, especially our engineers who are the ones that do the work that keep everybody up and running.  We (those of us healthy enough to be there) spent last night at the annual Weatherhead 100 awards dinner, celebrating that fastest growing 100 companies in Northeast Ohio. We came in at #31 for the year – a nice bump from last year when we were #52.  


And now on to the reason you’re all here… scroll down to learn more about the newest trillion dollar company, holiday hacking, romance scams, and more!

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Trillion Dollar Company

Nvidia just became the fifth company to hit the trillion dollar mark in terms of market cap.  You’ve probably heard of the other four; Apple, Microsoft, Google, and Amazon.  But are you familiar with Nvidia (microprocessors are what they’re really known for)?  If we didn’t sell their hardware (graphics cards for heavy duty users like architects, designers, and engineers), I’m not sure I’d know the name.


University Hacking

Since some of our nation’s leading educational institutions seem to have trouble determining what is and is not protected speech, it doesn’t really surprise me that they don’t spend enough money on cybersecurity.  Thanks to one of my former social media interns, Robert Sherman (you can now find him on NewsNation), for tipping me off that his college alma mater Depaw recently became the 76th college/university to be attacked this year.  

And while we’re on the topic of travel, the recent snow (which, sadly, is melting as we speak) has me ready for ski season.  If you need some ideas for winter travel, here’s a list of the best ski towns in the country.    

Security Updates

Security updates released this week include those for Apple (Safari, iOS and MacOS), Microsoft (Outlook, Dynamics, Word, Defender, and plenty more), and Adobe (Illustrator, amongst others). In theory, your internal IT team or your outsourced partner should have an automated solution to regularly apply security patches like those mentioned above.  That said, we do still see some organizations where an individual has to go desktop to desktop, installing these patches.  Can’t imagine a more inefficient solution!

iPhone Security

Apple is getting ready to roll out updated iPhone security measures which will make it harder for a thief to take over control of your phone, should they take it from you. The WSJ article breaks down the new features and compares what happens if you turn them on/leave them off.  

Romance Scams

It seems that once or twice a year, some article about online romance scams makes its way to my inbox.  While this is a pretty long-winded one, it does shed a lot of light on how they work and what to beware of, should you be in the market for a new boyfriend or girlfriend.  

Google 2023

What do Damar Hamlin, Barbie, Jeremy Renner, and the Titanic submersible have in common?  They were all among the most searched Google terms in 2023.  

Holiday Hacking

According to at least one article, there are three key reasons why hacking increases over the holidays. The increase in traffic and business (especially for retailers) means that companies will be more likely to pay a ransom, there are more people looking for great deals (phishing emails), and more people are out of the office and not paying attention to their networks (precisely why we use Sophos Managed Detection and Response across our client base- it offers 24/7/365 human eyes on every network and every endpoint).

Nancy's Nuggets

Whenever we (Nancy and I) go fishing, I try harder and spend much more time at it, but she usually catches the bigger fish.  Musky, barracuda, grayling, lake trout… the list goes on. I think she sent me this piece about “huge” goldfish just as a reminder that if we ever target that species, she’ll outdo me there, too. 


And while she’s now handling marketing in the tech world, Nancy spent many years as a commercial interior designer before going into stone and tile sales.  So, the design and architecture eye will always be there, which is why she sent me this interesting video on why North American apartment buildings (new ones) tend to be so big.  It’s all about staircases.  

Last week I saw an article about Oreos now being produced with less filling, and the fact that it’s really irritating hardcore fans.  Yesterday, I got an article talking about multiple brands changing their product formulations to help cut costs.  Have you noticed any of your favorites that taste different, now?  I’d love to hear your feedback; have you dealt with the change or just stopped buying the product?


Finally, while none of the cities and/or streets listed in this article on America’s best Christmas light displays are in Ohio, I’m sure you can find some locally.  And if not, you can use these to get some good ideas for your own neighborhood.  


Have a great weekend, and Go Browns!


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