Zoom will host record Christmas gatherings

Merry Zoom Christmas

Zoom is preparing for what could well be the biggest day of the year, so far, for the service that has been one of the bright points of the global pandemic. The Zoom boom is particularly pronounced for Londoners and 18 million Brits southeast of London who were put on high alert, following a new strain of Coronavirus impacting that region and calling for the cancellation of Christmas gatherings even among small groups. Zoom may well be the most used “utility,” ahead of voice conversations on phones, and entertainment streamed across screens. CNBC

dis-rup-shun: Zoom continues to do an excellent job or keeping families, teams, clients and managers connected. It is possible that video conferencing has kept may relationships more connected than they would have without a pandemic, as many relationships which consisted of emails and one or two face to face meetings have now been replaced by weekly or bi-monthly virtual face to face meetings. The future will likely look a lot like 2020, but hopefully not out of fear of infection.

Beware of fake shipping notices

Scammers and hackers are phishing this season, using fake shipping notices that appear to be from Amazon, UPS or FedEx. When some of these messages are clicked on, malware can infect a system and give access to hackers who, in some cases, have used ransomware to extort or “brick” people’s personal devices. CNBC

dis-rup-shun: The use of cloud-based services is so easy, one should get in the habit of saving anything valuable to a cloud service. Many are free, and many cost less than $100 per year — a good value in today’s dangerous computing environment.

The outlook for TVs at Virtual CES 2021

The world’s largest electronics event, CES, will be online this year. As usual, TVs are a focal point of the event. CNET does not anticipate 2021 TV sales to be as strong as 2020 sales, but those were in part fueled by a global pandemic. To expect in 2021: TVs are getting even larger. Sales of sets that are 70 inches or bigger were up 82%. OLED continues to be a popular technology for best in class devices, and this year Vizio joined Sony and LG in offering OLED. 8K will continue to be discussed, but sales of 8K resolution sets will likely remain very low.

dis-rup-shun: CES is always the focal point of amazing consumer technology innovation and wonderment, with countless news stories broadcast from the show floor. This year will likely be no different, except for the fact that there is no show floor. Will CES of the future become an online channel for news releases and product tours? COVID-19 has the potential of transforming CES from an event to a media channel or portal, through which most brands will introduce products in expectation of wide press coverage around the globe. This transformation may also mean that CES moves from an early January event, to a 52 week-a-year event.

More about alleged Russian hack of federal systems

More information has been revealed about the massive hack that occurred in past weeks that has given back door access to users of a network management application from a company called SolarWinds. The breach has potentially given unauthorized access to the networks of the US Department of Energy and the Commerce Department. In addition to Microsoft, about 24 companies are believed to have used the infected version of the SolarWinds software. CNET

dis-rup-shun: What are the implications of attacks such as this? We know this will be far from the last, and that cyber warfare is real and ongoing. Some key learnings include the fact that everyone must, in fact, keep updating passwords and using different passwords, despite the difficulties of doing so. It means that companies and governments are wise to maintain redundant networks with different vendors. It means that IT managers of most all organizations should assume that their organizations will be attacked, if they not already been, and that an economic hotspot that is getting hotter is online security. Data and network security tools and companies are likely great long term investments.