Thoughts From My Inbox

January 21st, 2022

Bologna, Funerals, and Google Voice

I hope you’re enjoying the snow and winter weather (finally!) as much as I am.  I told my wife on Monday night that I’d be very happy if we could get 12″ of snow at least once a week, from Dec. 1- March 15.  This on and off stuff with 35 degrees and slush is for the birds!

 

In theory, this is supposed to be technology-heavy newsletter, since that’s what Ashton Solutions does. But the technology stuff coming through the inbox on a regular basis seems to boil down to A. ransomware is everywhere and many people don’t bother to take the proper precautions, B. most people use poor passwords (‘Admin’ and ‘12345’), even though they know better, and C. you should never trust anybody or anything because they’re all out to get our personal data, user names, and (poor) passwords.

 

So, while I still have the usual hacks to be aware of and security predictions for 2022, you can learn more about bologna, YouTube millionaires, hipster funerals, and a great way to waste time with deepfake text to voice.  Have fun!

 

Something About…

 

Bologna
This isn’t the travel section. It’s the food section.  And while I love bologna (the best fried bologna, ever, is at The G&R Tavern in Waldo, OH.  Where’s Waldo?  It’s between Delaware and Marion, which are both north of Columbus. Perfect for stopping on the way home from a Buckeyes game), I’d never heard of Cleveland Bologna.  Evidently it’s a thing, and the bologna maker has announced they’re not going to make it any longer.  And people are upset.

 

Google Voice
Last week, I had a post that mentioned the majority of malware being hosted on Google Drive, because it’s so easy to set up accounts.  This week, it’s a new scam using Google Voice (while not stated, it is awfully easy to set up accounts on this platform too).  Any time somebody you don’t know asks you for a specific piece of identification (in this case, an authentication code for Google), you should immediately question the legitimacy of the request.

  

 

Real Estate
I kept this section header with nothing under it, figuring that by publication time, some interesting real estate listing would’ve appeared in my inbox.  And sure enough, somebody came through for me (thanks, Tom!).  First, there’s the $2M fixer upper in San Francisco (windows and kitchen not included), and then there’s the epitome of “buyer beware”.  Wow.

 

 

Russian Hackers

I doubt this will effect any of my readers, but Microsoft has released a post regarding a ‘destructive malware’ threat to Ukrainian organizations.  Any bets on who’s behind this?  He was last seen posing shirtless while on horseback.  

 

YouTube

The list of the top 10 earners on YouTube for 2021 has been released, with number one being a 23 year old who made $54M.  That’s hard to believe, but even more so is the fact that two of the top ten are under 11 years of age. There’s a 10 year old who made $27M, and a seven year old who made $28M.  Wow.  

Cyber Security Predictions
Interested to learn about how cyberattacks will evolve and continue to effect small businesses?  How about the new government regulations and how they’re going to effect your IT providers?  In this upcoming webinar https://www.connectwise.com/webinars/2022-cybersecurity-predictions

 

Wasting Time
If you need a good time waster, here’s a deep fake website that allows for text to speech using famous voices (the list is long, but includes multiple U.S. Presidents, Queen Elizabeth, Jerry Seinfeld, Alfred Hitchcock, Al (“Do you believe in miracles?”) Michaels, and cartoon characters including Abe Simpson and Batman.  Timing couldn’t have been more perfect as we’re moving to a new phone system and updating our on-hold messaging.
Internet Connections
As I was reading about the recent volcano eruption off the coast of Tonga, and the fact that they’ve lost all connection to the internet, I was reminded of the importance of a backup or failover option.  As more and more businesses move to the cloud or consider doing so, it makes their internet connection even more important.  If you’re thinking of moving your business, you need to consider what would happen if you lost your internet connectivity?  Would you still be able to transact business?  Would you lose everything?  At the very least, you need to consider a secondary connection.
Funerals

I know I have at least one reader and one client out there who have firsthand knowledge of the business of death.  Maybe they’ll share some insight if they catch this piece about a “contemporary” Brooklyn, NY funeral home that has been deemed by some a “hipster” funeral home.  Kind of like my belief that Sriracha is hipster hot sauce.

Skiing

This video is really cool. Not much more to say than that. I’m headed out tomorrow, but I won’t look like this.

 

 

That’s all for this week.  I hope you have some big weekend plans.  Aside from skiing, we’re refinishing all of our kitchen cabinetry.  You can imagine the fun!

 

Best,

Jim