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Tabush Group's Cloud & Managed IT Blog

My Favorite Laptops, Managing Partner Forum, Smart Home Amnesia, Bitcoin...and Farm Equipment?

People often ask me what's on my mind, what I'm working on, and what's "new and exciting." Since I'm not big on social media, this is how I share these things a few times a year.

What's farm equipment got to do with IT? Everyone is trying to jump on the Desktop as a Service/DaaS/cloud PC bandwagon these days, including enterprise storage maker NetApp. In NetApp's cloud-based Spot PC: Right solution, right direction, wrong company, Rob Enderle correctly points out that when it comes to business, it is important to work with companies that understand your business culture and how to service it, and not only look for products that ‘tick the boxes’ (especially when it comes to something as mission-critical as cloud desktops). The author compares NetApp’s challenge to farm equipment manufacturers from a few decades ago (which I know nothing about) and Sony VAIO computers (which I owned 2 of back in the late 1990s, and they were great computers).

Some smart homes were suffering from temporary amnesia. Home automation is a personal side hobby of mine, and back in April, SmartLabs, maker of the awesome home automation gear Insteon, closed up shop and their cloud infrastructure went offline. This meant that thousands of smart light switches, thermostats, shade controls, and other devices were suddenly not so 'smart,' because the cloud mothership they all communicate through was suddenly gone. Fortunately, last month, a group of Insteon customers purchased the assets of the company and have started restoring services!

What's on the minds of Managing Partners? Darragh and I spent a few days with 90 law firm managing partners last month, discussing the business of law, with topics ranging from recruiting and retention to marketing, culture, compensation formulas, return to the office, budgeting, and more. Amazing event, beautiful venue, and great to see so many old friends in person for the first time since 2019.

Verizon's 2022 DBIR (Data Breach Investigations Report, which I'm sure was obvious!) was just released. If you aren't interested in reading all 108 pages, here are a few key highlights:

  • Misconfiguration (especially of cloud storage) featured heavily
  • 82% of breaches involved a human element
  • 80% external actors, 20% internal
  • Motive was overwhelmingly Financial (~90%), followed distantly by Espionage (~8%)

I still love the Dell XPS 9310 laptop that I picked up last September. It’s super thin, has a great screen, 7+ hours of battery life, and uses a USB-C charger, which is basically becoming the new standard (there’s even a chance that iPhones may switch to this in 2023). It’s also pretty durable, having survived a fall onto a stone floor with only a slight dent on one corner, but no functional damage. If, however, you aren’t looking to shell out $1,500 or more for a laptop, I recommend the Dell Inspiron 13 5310, which I recently purchased for my wife, as a great budget alternative. Currently only $700, it’s about the same size and tech specs as the XPS. While it lacks the aluminum shell and Face-ID capable camera, it still has a great screen (non-touch), overall feel, and adds HDMI and USB-A ports (the XPS only has 2 USB-C ports). And yes, it uses a USB-C charger.

Bitcoin isn't as anonymous as you may think. Inside the Bitcoin Bust That Took Down the Web's Biggest Child Abuse Site (a very long, but worthwhile article from Wired, the content of which is a bit disturbing) shows how the FBI and IRS were able to track down Bitcoin payments and capture some pretty bad dudes.

One last thing...DJI has a new drone that's likely to hit the sweet spot for many. It's called the Mini 3 Pro and it's under 250 grames so you don't have to register it with the FAA, can do 4k at 60FPS, has obstacle avoidance, can shoot vertical video, has subject tracking, and battery life is 34 minutes on the standard battery. While my birthday was in May, I'll continue to accept gifts for a few more weeks...

Thanks for reading.

-Morris Tabush

Topics: Law Firm Tabush Group