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The Actuator – January 23rd

Level 17

In Austin this week for our annual Head Geek Summit, and to film some secret stuff. I'm thankful for the warm Austin weather this week, but can't understand why everyone is wearing coats.

As always, here are some links from the Intertubz that I hope will hold your interest. Enjoy!

Apple replaced 11 million iPhone batteries in its $29 program, report says

Apple has tricked consumers into phone hardware upgrades for a decade, and consumers are starting to understand they don’t need a new phone every year.

IRS is recalling 46,000 workers — nearly 60 percent of its workforce — from furlough to handle tax r...

Nothing says "refund" like having a disgruntled IRS employee review your tax return.

Japan’s robot hotel lays off half the robots after they created more work for humans

Ageism against robots is a thing, apparently. "Many of the robots that have been retired were in service for years, making them outdated.”

Mother of All Breaches Exposes 773 Million Emails, 21 Million Passwords

Chances are you have an email address in this breach. More importantly, you can check to see if your passwords have been involved in previous breaches. I recommend you take time, today, to review your passwords.

Mark Your Calendars: The End of Support for Windows 7 is Jan. 14, 2020

While I am certain your company will hold on well past the Win7 expiration date, I cannot stress enough the importance of upgrading to the latest versions of software available.

Microsoft no longer sees Cortana as an Alexa or Google Assistant competitor

I’m not sure anyone saw Cortana as a competitor, either. But it’s interesting to see Microsoft admit they missed their chance to compete, rather than waiting another five years as they did with Windows Phone.

Introducing AWS Backup, a centralized AWS backup service

I felt a great disturbance in the Force, as if millions of DBAs suddenly cried out in terror...

A day in the life of a Head Geek on the move - rental car, building access card, thank you note from an airline, and lunch:

travel_meat.JPG

44 Comments
rschroeder
Level 21

When Apple replaces 11 million batteries, one wonders what happens to the old ones.  Fully recycled?  Partially recycled?  Buried in some landfill to leak toxic chemicals that will each into water & soil & air?

This isn't just on Apple, though.  For all the many millions of cell phones, PC's, printers, Access Points, switches, routers, servers, cable modems, etc. that fail or become obsolete each year, I doubt any of them are completely recycled.  And perhaps many (most?) are impossible to recycle at all.

It seems we're not making good choices for ourselves & our children when we accept/adopt/design/build/want things that can't be completely recycled quickly and easily.  No, I don't want to go back to out houses & only eating what I can grow or barter for.  I'm as guilty as anyone.

rschroeder
Level 21

People forced to work without pay.

Isn't that called "slavery"?

rschroeder
Level 21

Obsolete robots?  Happens all the time in industry.

If you haven't read "The Bicentennial Man" by Isaac Asimov (don't watch the movie--it's not even a remote reflection of the quality of story in the book, IMHO), you've missed some serious thinking about robots and ethics.

And you've missed a story that can bring a tear to the eye of an adult.

tinmann0715
Level 16

No mention of your Patriots? You must be getting bored of this too.

I keep changing and updating my passwords to keep up with the latest "major hack" its just not any fun anymore. Wish someone would do something about it.

tinmann0715
Level 16

Yea... that movie was T-E-R-R-I-B-L-E!!! I turned it off after about 20-30 minutes. I was coerced into watching that much of it and then my wife fell asleep so I turned it off right away.

smttysmth02gt
Level 13

Thanks for the links as usual!  The robot lay off in Japan...LOL.

rschroeder
Level 21

That's a LOT of free user names / e-mails / passwords to be made available to anyone.  Uff da!  MFA protects work accounts, but I don't know more than a handful of people (security-aware / paranoid I.T. types) who use MFA on all things electronic.

Longer and longer passwords, combined with MFA become the rule.  And smartphones aren't particularly well-known for convenient entry of complex passwords.

Maybe going back to cash & barter is the solution to a more secure, more personal experience.

rschroeder
Level 21

Windows 7 deadline fast approaching.  And I am still forced by medical equipment builders/vendors to purchase equipment with embedded Windows 95 and 98. 

It makes me firewall more and more things.  Thanks goodness for NPM and NCM for managing them all.

rschroeder
Level 21

Cortana never floated anyone's boat, as far as I know.  I fear for the security and safety of those who go IoT and let Siri and Alexa have access to their bank accounts & credit cards and physical security.  Time will show that portion of the gene pool getting shallower and shallower as their funds are drained and their identities and virtual and person properties are compromised or taken.

rschroeder
Level 21

AWS backup?  No, I don't feel DBA's have much to worry about there--UNLESS people aren't aware of data breaches and how common they are.

I don't want my PHI or PCI data in the cloud, stored in AWS or elsewhere, if for no other reason than the earlier Actuator story about bulk passwords & user names free to download in massive quantities.

All that is current history and ongoing exploitation of vulnerabilities.

We know what happens to those who don't study history.

vinay.by
Level 16

Cool article

vinay.by
Level 16

A day in the life of a Head Geek on the move - rental car, building access card, thank you note from an airline, and lunch:

Jfrazier
Level 18

mother of all breaches...change your password....everywhere...NOW!

So this brings up the question of password managers.  Like many on here, I belong to quite a number of forums on quite a variety of topics.
Password managers don't work well with forum tools like tapatalk which I find great to monitor certain forums on my phone or ipad.  PC based access
remains via website.  It can be a pain to keep all that synced up.  Any ideas?

df112
Level 13

As always, thanks for a bunch of interesting links.  Love the robots being retired.  Amazing how everyone overlooks the shortcomings of the latest craze until someone suffers a reality check (after going all in and the money is long gone).

df112
Level 13

I didn't realize how many people had their iPhone batteries replaced.  Having said that, my iPhones have done better with batteries than my Android devices.  My son is still using my old 3GS with the original battery.  Slow, but it does work.  My Droid Turbo didn't even last 18 months.

mtgilmore1
Level 13

Good points.

network_defender
Level 14

They do have a choice.  They can work elsewhere.  Not defending bringing them back without pay, but they are not slaves.

df112
Level 13

The Windows 7 EOL will probably affect a lot of folks.  I suspect most of us have legacy apps that won't run on Win 8 or Win 10.

meyer837
Level 10

I actually really enjoyed that movie.

david.botfield
Level 13

Thanks for the articles.

bobmarley
Level 15

Apple replaced 11 million batteries.... I don't replace my old phone yearly, I'm on year 3 on my current phone with it's original batteries. 

bobmarley
Level 15
gfsutherland
Level 14

I can't wait for the reasoning behind their future offering "Amazon Backup Prime".... for $x/month we will do your restores for you, before you know you need to.

A disturbance in the force indeed! sqlrockstar

gfsutherland
Level 14

A non paid IRS employee auditing tax returns..... no good comes of this.

gfsutherland
Level 14

Cortana was a feature I couldn't WAIT to turn OFF!

It lacked the "cool" factor, plus it was born in Redmond... Enough said?

network_defender
Level 14

Still trying to wrap my brain around 773 million email addresses.

bleggett
Level 12

Wow, hard to believe that Windows 7 is reaching that last station, and Windows Server 2008 along with it.  Ahh, the hype machine that preceded those releases.

ScottRich
Level 12

Had to look up the bacon bites, now I have to try the Epic meat bars. It looks like a protein bar but with meat.

sqlrockstar
Level 17

Oh, I could talk Patriots all day long, if you want.

sqlrockstar
Level 17

Yeah, I have tried a few of them. I think the sriracha chicken is the best in terms of a carb to protein ratio.

gfsutherland
Level 14

make that two of us!

Live 10 minutes from Gillette....

vinay.by
Level 16

Apple replaced 11 million iPhone batteries in its $29 program, report says - Nice

HerrDoktor
Level 14

and yet cortana will nag you on every new windows 10 installation ...

petergwilson
Level 14

Maybe if they just made phones with user replaceable batteries and responsible users (more likely than responsible Apple) disposed of them correctly.

petergwilson
Level 14

I guess if they had done their job properly the first time .........

petergwilson
Level 14

The Book is sooooo much better.

petergwilson
Level 14

Who ?

petergwilson
Level 14

Of course if you type in your e-mail address to see if you are on the list they you get to be on the list.

petergwilson
Level 14

Used to work for a Fire Brigade and they were still using XP for certain applications and they wouldn't run on Win7. It would have cost £5M to replace all the kit it talked to to get a Win10 version.

petergwilson
Level 14

Good job too.  The Master Chief was missing her    (Halo reference).

petergwilson
Level 14

If only there was a cloud based alternative.  Oh wait.  Solarwinds Backup.

petergwilson
Level 14

Must have a look to see if they are available in the UK.  If not I can think of a giveaway for the next London SWUG.

vinay.by
Level 16

IRS is recalling 46,000 workers — nearly 60 percent of its workforce — from furlough to handle tax refunds without pay - wow

vinay.by
Level 16

Japan’s robot hotel lays off half the robots after they created more work for humans - I am sure this is again linked to costing

About the Author
Thomas LaRock is a Head Geek at SolarWinds and a Microsoft® Certified Master, SQL Server® MVP, VMware® vExpert, and a Microsoft Certified Trainer. He has over 20 years experience in the IT industry in roles including programmer, developer, analyst, and database administrator.