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.
Most clichés originated from terms that were once clever, useful and connoted some broader meaning from hearing the phrase. These welcome, useful terms catch on and last over time but eventually get overused and then get relegated to cliché status. “The Hair of the Dog,” as an example, lives in infamy today to mean, ‘indulge again in what you overindulged, and you may feel better’. This term originated from a 16th century medical “remedy” where if you were bitten by a rabid dog, you would put the burnt hair of that dog on the wound, and the hair would supposedly act as an antidote.
Has this happened to you recently: You get an email from yourself asking you to click a link to see an agenda you didn’t write or for an invoice you never sent? The newest are people sending you pictures of checks that they supposedly put in the mail to you (hoping you click on the image which then makes nefarious things happen). Earlier this week I saw an email from myself with an exact duplicate of my own RPost signature asking me to click a link to register for a long-past webinar and download a strange document that was titled, “PO#09162020.doc”.
Remember the good old pre-pandemic days when you would get one of those internal emails about a “brown bag” lunch? Maybe, if you were lucky, your company would foot the bill for catering. At RPost, we would have our Thursday lunches brought into our LA office, and we all would commune to talk about everything from movies to the latest advancements in encryption technology—all in person and without masks. Imagine that.
In one of the biggest election upsets since 1948 when Harry Truman defeated Thomas Dewey, Tech Essentials readers delivered a resounding vote of support (85%!) to relive the full moments of our Optimize!2020 Virtual Conference as opposed to the ‘crib-note’ highlight reels. In the spirit of full discourse, the Tech Essentials staff expected a much different result.
Vigilance is the operative term these days, and we can’t stop hearing about having to wear masks, maintain social distance and keep ourselves muted on Zoom calls when not speaking. With so much of our energy put into maintaining new norms of behavior, some things are bound to slip. Changes as fast and dramatic as the ones we’ve experienced this year haven’t given us enough time to build the necessary habits so that we can be as vigilant as we need to be.