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Thoughts From Abbott’s Inbox May 10th, 2024

The sharp-eyed readers out there might notice that today’s edition was sent from a different email address; jim@ashtonthoughts.com. This is on recommendation from all the smart people around me, and is in hopes of getting this into more inboxes and fewer spam folders, while also trying to avoid a ding on our email credibility. If you like reading this on a weekly basis, make sure to add me to your list of trusted senders. And if you have any reason to look back at past editions, they’re now hosted on www.ashtonthoughts.com, rather than our main website.

Something about ...

Microsoft Security

Microsoft has been the target of hackers numerous times in the recent past, and the Department of Homeland Security has found them at fault for not taking the proper precautions.  Now, the salary bonuses of Microsoft’s senior leadership team will depend, in part, on how well they meet their self-imposed targets for better security.

Kaseya Hack

I’ve mentioned a few times in the past about the Kaseya hack that took place in 2021, and effected numerous managed IT services providers (MSPs) and their clients, around the world. Kaseya is the remote monitoring and management tool that many technology companies use to manage their clients’ networks.  We were using it at the time, but in the process of moving to a different solution.  While we had proper security measures in place to protect ourselves and our clients, the hack on July 4 weekend sped up our move to the new solution, and reminded us that MSPs are always under attack.

 

The hacker responsible for this one was just sentenced to 13+ years in a federal prison, and required to pay $16M in restitution.  We’ll see if that happens…

Windows 10

When Windows 11 first hit the market a few years back, our engineering team was of the belief that the upgrades from Windows 10 were not significant enough to require upgrading software. Now that Win11 has been on the market long enough to get the bugs out, all of the new PCs we sell come standard with Win11, but we still manage  legacy Win10 PCs across our client base. 

 

Windows 10 will be going ‘end of life’ as of October, 2025, and that will be here before you know it.  Options for WIndows 10 devices will either be upgrading software to Windows 11, replacing devices, or purchasing additional Windows 10 updates for up to three years.  Based on the cost of those extra security updates, we’d strongly recommend you start budgeting now for new PCs or Windows 11 upgrades.   

Apple Advertising

I don’t pay a great deal of attention to Apple’s ad campaigns, but have seen enough commotion about their newest spot that I figured I should include it.  The new iPad comes out next week and the ad has bothered plenty of thin-skin individuals.  So much so that Apple has decided to pull it from tv, while also offering an apology.  Whereas the complainers in the room feel that creativity is being damaged, destroyed, and crushed, I just view this as all these things in one cool little device. But maybe I’m just ignorant.  

 

This reminds me of my time working on Progressive Insurance’s boat insurance product. We created some tv spots aimed at fisherman and ran them in front of focus groups. One of our favorites was a talking fish, similar to Billy the Bigmouth Bass, that was popular in the early 2000’s.  The focus group consensus was “That’s really dumb.  Who’s ever seen a talking fish?” I think everybody would be much happier if everything wasn’t taken so literally.  

Traveling Dogs

We have two labrador retrievers who, combined, weigh 200lbs.  When we travel with them, we need extra room in the car so that they can get comfortable on a long drive.   I’ve never taken them on an airplane (I can’t imagine anybody looking at them as “service” or “support” animals), and they definitely wouldn’t fit under the seat.  Now, though, there is air travel designed specifically for your pampered pooches.   

Social Unrest

A new report claims that Iran has used three different campaigns over the past three years to create “social, cultural, and political unrest” in Israel, using AI and social media in an ‘advanced persistent threat’ (APT) methodology.  It seems like this has been a pretty simple task, and it makes you wonder why the media doesn’t report on whomever is doing the same thing right here at home. 

Nancy's Nuggets

Nancy has been quite busy this week doing her marketing thing, which leads me to having to respond to more people who are interested in our solutions.  And to think we hired her to make my life easier! She only had time to send me one interesting item this week, and that’s on the topic of the UK cracking down on default passwords in IoT (internet of things) devices.  She also sent me one last week that I forgot to publish… this about a cat from Utah that got sent back to Amazon by its owners.  Notice the image  of the shipping box in the article, and it’ll seem appropriate.

According to one of the newsletters I get, the movie Moneyball came out 21 years ago today.  This is my favorite scene from a great movie. I’m getting out of here a little early today, as we’re headed to Pittsburgh tonight to see Bad Religion and Social Distortion.  Those are your two musical selections for the weekend.  Don’t forget to do your Mother’s Day shopping, and tune into some of the NCAA lacrosse tournament in your free time.

Have a great weekend.

Abbey

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