We first wrote about Ransomware attacks in Tech Essentials in 2017 – back when a Bitcoin was valued at $1800 (oh, the good old days). The crux of the article was that many victims were paying their ransom to the cyber perpetrators, but they did not have an easy way to track and reconcile who paid, and many who did pay the ransom never got the decryption key to unlock their files. Imagine this happening in the analog world with kidnapping cases!
This time of year, Americans are obviously thinking about independence. And this year, independence will take on even greater importance because the lockdowns are over, and we are free again to travel to see our friends and family for the holiday.
“To Err Is To Be Human”—a great quotation coined, I believe, by Rodney Dangerfield, or maybe Alexander Pope. My mistake. To be human is great—you get to enjoy earthly pleasures like food and music in ways that machines will never be able to do (at least for now). Humans get to love and run through fields of sunflowers in slow motion with their soulmates—not something an Alexa can do (at least for now). Can your iPhone experience the miracle of childbirth? Probably not for another 20 years until the release of IOS 34.
Last Thursday, RPost concluded the first ever business-tech conference held on Mars, Optimize! 2021 E-Sign E-Security. Due to limited spaceflight availability, RPost provided virtual Earth-links for attendees. Those RPost employees attending the conference on the Red Planet flew coach to pass the savings to our customers, the greatest in the Solar System.
A common theme in marketing over the past year plus has been the concept that complex technologies and previously anonymous-seeming processes need to be ‘humanized’. This is likely rooted in the pandemic and a need to give people more of a personalized touch when many are living through a lock-down. Unless you managed to not watch any ads on TV recently, you’ll hear this in the ubiquitous (and now meaningless) messaging which starts with, “In these unprecedented times…”
While this year’s news has been dominated by politics and pandemics, there may have been a universe-shattering discovery made in the world of physics—one that may realign the very way we think about forces of nature. ‘Now this isn’t the usual e-sign, e-security chit chat,’ you may think to yourself. Yes, this week on Tech Essentials, we will be dealing with the nature of the universe itself, so say with me “whoa!” in your best Keanu Reeves voice.
This Sunday’s Superbowl will be the latest US sports championship to be presented during the COVID era. Kudos to the NFL for pulling of its season and post-season largely on schedule and without too many hiccups—though there were plenty. The Superbowl has become such a spectacle over its 55-year life, that it long ago transcended the actual sport for which it is declaring a champion. People will watch it for the ads, the celebrity-studded half time show, and so that they don’t miss out on whatever, meme-able mishap occurs that everyone will be talking about the Monday after.
2021 may now be well underway. The government is starting to drop more money from helicopters, potentially trillions more upon the trillions already. I am not sure what this means for the Bitcoin crowd (I won’t bore you with my speculation on this unless you ask…). But, we at RPost and Tech Essentials are a hopeful bunch, and as I wrote in an earlier Tech Essentials post, we believe that the decade of the 2020s (the single year 2020 aside) could be unusually prosperous as we recover from the pandemic—keep in mind that the 2020s technically didn’t begin until Jan 1 of this year.
News-wise, it’s almost as if 2021 told 2020 to ‘hold my beer’. In 15 days, this new year hasn’t offered any respite from the drama and anxiety that pervaded 2020, especially in the United States. I will not be rehashing or opining on any of the events that engulfed Washington DC last week, but it’s becoming clearer now that the aftershocks of the DC Riots will be far-reaching and will have a major impact on technology and free speech.