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Thoughts From Abbott’s Inbox June 21st, 2024

Sorry I’m late with this.  Jim and Travis sat down in my office at 1:18 as I was trying to put the wraps on this, and I knew I’d lose at least thirty minutes.  I don’t have anything interesting for an introduction today, so you can learn about Russian anti-virus protection, Excel experts, the Canadian national anthem, and more.  Enjoy.

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Back in 2017, all US government agencies were forbidden from using Kaspersky anti-virus software solutions due to the company’s ties to the Russian government.  That was a good start. It took another seven years, but now the government has decided to ban the sale of Kaspersky software to any US-based users.  If you’re using Kaspersky software to protect your business or personal devices, you’ll have 100 days to find something new.   If you need help, let us know and we can educate you on the value of Sophos Managed Detection and Response (MDR) as your new solution.  

Outer Space

I’ve never heard of the National Science Foundation, but they’re the sort who probably pay big bucks to fund studies on topics like cyber security in outer space.  Sure, it’s good to think things through and plan for every possible scenario, but when we can’t figure out how to secure Cleveland City Hall (nice piece from my fellow former hockey coach) or the hospital down the street, do we really need to be spending time and money making sure that people don’t get locked out of the space station?

Adobe Lawsuit

The Federal Trade Commission is suing software developer Adobe, claiming it’s too difficult for users to cancel their subscriptions. I’ve heard of people not being able to cancel their gym memberships, even after they’ve moved to a new location, but have never seen it with software.  That said, we (Ashton) haven’t been an Adobe licensing reseller (particularly for Adobe Acrobat .pdf software) for at least three or four years now, because they made it so difficult.  I guess then that I shouldn’t be surprised that a company that makes it difficult to sell would make it just as difficult to cancel.  

Sports Traditions

The Stanley Cup is the greatest trophy in professional sports, and my favorite team is two wins away from hoisting it for the first time since 1990.  Game six is tonight, the Cup is in the house, and win or lose, it’s the last chance this season to see one of the sport’s great traditions – Edmonton’s fans singing the Canadian national anthem

Car Dealers

If you were planning to buy a new car this weekend, you might want to sit and watch the hockey game instead.  On Monday morning, Travis sent me this post about a dealer in Las Vegas being hacked last week, and the claim of millions of dollars in lost revenues.  And then this morning, another dedicated reader (thanks Jen B.) sent me a piece about dealership software provider CBK being taken down for the second day in a row, and effecting 15,000 dealers across the country.  

Microsoft Excel

Back when I was using Excel on a daily basis, I thought I was pretty good with it.  But after reading this article about the Excel world championships, I realize I was a total beginner.  I tried to change fonts and text colors in this awful format, but without any luck.  And then I looked at the bottom corner of the screen and found that the writer was kind enough to offer a solution.


We found out yesterday that Ashton again ranked on Channel Futures’ list of the top 501 managed IT services providers, globally.  After a slight drop to #210 on the 2023 rankings, we recovered this year, moving up 51 spots to #159 in the world.  Rankings are based on revenues, profitability, recurring revenues, and various other business-related data.  Next time you speak to one of our engineers, congratulate them on all of the hard work they put in!


If you’re not familiar with Hopewell, you’re missing out on a pretty cool organization that does great things for a lot of people. Hopewell is a farm-based residential treatment program for adults with severe mental illnesses including schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, amongst others, and we’ve worked with them for the past seven years.  Tonight is their annual Summer Solstice event, and if you’re interested in the silent and live auction items, they’d love to have you bidding.  Items include Notre Dame football tickets, golf outings, fishing trips, jewelry, art, liquor, wine, and more.  Bid early and bid often!


It sounds like it’s supposed to stay hot this weekend, so I hope you have something to keep cool. The college baseball world series finals begin this weekend, and while I can’t say I’ll be glued to the tv, I’ll probably give them a few minutes.  I had no idea as to the party atmosphere in Omaha, NE every year for this event.  Nor did I have any clue as to the jello shot competition amongst the eight competing teams’ fan bases.  Wow.  


Have a great weekend, and Go Oilers!


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