Ask Mondelez how much a successful cyber attack costs

I’m that IT guy. No you can’t have Facebook at your work PC. No you can’t access the company Wi-Fi network with your personal device. No you can’t remote access the work servers from any PC you want to. No you can’t skip this month’s security training.

Know why I’m such a pain? Because one slip up on my part will bring the company crashing down.

Ask Mondelez, the snack maker that owns Oreos and Cadbury, what the cost of a successful cyber attack is. According to an article on Food Business News, it was an immediate $7.1 million loss, another $150 million in lost sales, and an ongoing “to be determined” repair cost.

Back in June, Mondelez got hit with the ransomware strain “Petya”. The effects were immediate and brutal. Production came to a complete stop, and the company scrambled for weeks trying to remove the ransomware infection from their company servers.

According to Food Business News, “The malware affected a significant portion of the company’s global Windows-based applications and its sales, distribution and financial networks across the company.”

“Although the company believes it has now largely contained the disruption and restored a majority of its affected systems, the company anticipates additional work during the second half of 2017 as the company continues to recover and further enhance the security of its systems. For the second quarter, the company estimates that the malware incident had a negative impact of 2.3% on its net revenue growth and 2.4% on its organic revenue growth. The company also incurred incremental expenses of $7.1 million as a result of the incident.”

The worst part? “In an Aug. 2 conference call with investment analysts, Irene Rosenfeld, chairman and chief executive officer, said Mondelez was not yet “back to normal.”

June. July. August. And an untold number of months to go.

Yes, IT guys like me are a royal pain. It’s not because we want to be. It’s because we know what will happen if a cyber attack is actually successful.

Dallas Cowboys 1979 roster poster from McDonald’s

In a previous post, I mentioned McDonald’s used to give away epic promotional items when you visited their stores.

This was another one of their promotions. The Dallas Cowboys full-size roster poster from 1979.

The front…

Dallas Cowboys 1979 Poster Front 300dpi FlickrFormat
..and the back.

Dallas Cowboys 1979 Poster Back 300dpi FlickrFormat
Tom Landry was still the coach, Roger Staubach #12 was THE quarterback, and Tony Dorsett #33 was still on the team. Wikipedia has a summary of the 1979 season, but I do not remember anything about seeing the games from back then. I do vaguely remember the uproar when it was announced this was Staubach’s last season with the Cowboys.

The back of the poster should have been a standalone poster in its’ own right. It had detailed stats of the whole team with photos of their previous accomplishments, an “all-time” best chart by position played, and a special “ring of honor” near the center.

I don’t remember anything on how I originally got this poster, but I do remember it kept falling off my wall every year. I kept having to re-mount it, and used everything from putty to glue to duct tape. I had no idea back then how to mount a poster and keep it intact over time, and my lack of experience shows in the condition. I couldn’t get some of the tape off the back when I got it out of storage, and had to help guide this one through the poster scanner to get it through.

Even through this poster was in worse condition than the 1981 version I had, it still did very well rolled up in a cardboard tube in one of my Seward Trunks all these years.

Flickr only allows 300mb uploads, so this is a highly down-scaled version of the original 905mb TIFF scan.

Dallas Cowboys 1981 roster poster from McDonald’s

Way back in another era, McDonald’s used to give away epic promotional items when you visited their stores.

Case in point – this Dallas Cowboys full-size roster poster from 1981.

The front…

Dallas Cowboys 1981 Poster Front 300dpi FlickrFormat
..and the back.

Dallas Cowboys 1981 Poster Back 300dpi FlickrFormat
 

Tom Landry was still the coach, Danny White #11, Gary Hogeboom #14 and Glenn Carano #18 were the quarterbacks / alternates, and Tony Dorsett #33 was still on the team. Wikipedia has a summary of the season, and I do remember watching the final game against the 49ers with my dad in our living room on the old TV set they had. Funny how a simple thing like this can bring back memories so easily.

The back of the poster had “autographs” of the whole team around their iconic helmet.

I don’t remember the exact details of how I originally got the poster, but I do remember that as soon as I got home, it went up on my wall right above my bed and stayed there even after I went off to college.

The poster did surprisingly well rolled up in a cardboard tube sitting sideways in one of my Seward Trunks all these years, but it took awhile for it to flatten out so I could scan it. I got lucky the tape I used to hang it up back then came right off and left very little residue.

After guiding it very slowly through a poster scanner at max resolution, and a little straightening in Photoshop, here we are.

Flickr only allows 300mb uploads, so this is a highly down-scaled version of the original 900mb TIFF scan.

If you like this one, just wait until you see the Dallas Cowboys roster poster I have from 1979.

Stem cells in the brain’s hypothalamus control how fast aging occurs

In a very interesting news article on Technology Networks, scientists at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine “have found that stem cells in the brain’s hypothalamus govern how fast aging occurs in the body.”

The article is a straightforward read on a potentially world-changing research project.

“Einstein researchers made the surprising finding that the hypothalamus also regulates aging throughout the body. Now, the scientists have pinpointed the cells in the hypothalamus that control aging: a tiny population of adult neural stem cells, which were known to be responsible for forming new brain neurons.”

“Researchers injected hypothalamic stem cells into the brains of middle-aged mice whose stem cells had been destroyed as well as into the brains of normal old mice. In both groups of animals, the treatment slowed or reversed various measures of aging.”

There’s still a very long way to go before this even becomes feasible for human trials, but the idea that we now know where the aging process is taking place in the brain and how to slightly reverse it is absolutely amazing.

The article and links to the Albert Einstein findings are here.

15″ off the back. 10.5″ off the top. A return to “business professional”.

Well, it’s the end of an era for me.

I’ve had a short “business professional” haircut most of my life, but I was always curious what I would look like with long hair.

So, for the last 5 years, I let my hair grow.

I wanted to do this while I was somewhat young and before I could be accused of “old man trying too hard”.

Needless to say the experiment was… interesting.

Anyhow, yesterday was the “finale”. The literal cut-off time. My gorgeous wife (who can do everything!) started by cutting 15 inches off the back in one snip and 10.5 inches off the top in the second snip. Almost an hour later, she trimmed me back to my original “business professional” cut.

It was fun while it lasted!

Proof! The back (twisted into a ponytail for easier slicing)!

15 off the back

And the top!

10.5 off the top
 

Time Warner ended partnership with Dell’s Sonic Wall

In a big giant bit of ugly news today, our local Time Warner rep informed me that Time Warner corporate is no longer offering Dell Sonic Wall products or services.

If you are in a Time Warner corporate environment and are currently using a Dell Sonic Wall product provided by Time Warner, you should have grandfathered-in support for the time being. HOWEVER, if your existing Sonic Wall goes out or you need to add to your WAN/LAN, your only option now will be to switch to Time Warner’s new Cisco/AdTran services or buy and config your own Sonic Wall.

Nightmare scenario: the corporate Sonic Wall goes out. Time Warner has nothing to drop ship you as a replacement. You will either have to re-configure your entire network through their new Cisco/AdTran services or find an identical Sonic Wall online to clone your previous config to. How long will either scenario take?

If you’re in this boat, contact your Time Warner rep for more details.

California has banned all state-funded travel to Texas

California has banned all state-funded travel to Texas over discriminatory laws in regards to LGBT rights.

Other states included in the ban are Alabama, Kentucky, South Dakota, Kansas, Mississippi, North Carolina and Tennessee.

In an article on Government Technology, there is a growing concern on how this ban will affect the partnerships California has with these states in addition to how (and if) the ban will affect sporting events and what possible retaliatory actions  will come from the states currently under the ban.

In the GT article, California Attorney General Xavier Becerra was quoted as saying “Our country has made great strides in dismantling prejudicial laws that have deprived too many of our fellow Americans of their precious rights. Sadly, that is not the case in all parts of our nation, even in the 21st century.”

“According to the press release: “AB 1887 prohibits state-funded and state-sponsored travel to states with laws that authorize or require discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression or against same-sex couples or their families… This restriction applies to state agencies, departments, boards, authorities and commissions, including an agency, department, board, authority or commission of the University of California, the Board of Regents of the University of California and the California State University.””

While California is no stranger to asserting its’ beliefs through the application of trade law, things will become complex very quickly if the banned states petition to the current federal administration. Unless this is handled with tact and measured diplomacy, this could be the spark that ignites a nationwide inter-state trade war.

New research shows 3D through-wall imaging using only two drones and Wi-Fi

This should get the tinfofil hat brigade nice and riled up. New research from the University of California Santa Barbara has shown it is possible to make a “high-resolution 3D through-wall imaging of completely unknown areas” using only basic Wi-Fi signals and two drones.

The concept is pretty straightforward but the tech behind it is fairly complex. One drone acts as the Wi-Fi broadcaster, and the other drone “reads” the signals and maps out the interior. Both drones follow multiple paths around the area until a satisfactory image is created.

The idea is to use this tech for “emergency response, archaeological discovery, and structural monitoring”.

The link to the video showing the drones in action, the tech involved, and article is on the TechTV site here

Crash test video shows how “heavy” older vehicles fare against modern cars

While temporarily lost in the internet rabbit hole today, I found a video that shows how a 1959 Chevrolet Bel Air fared against a 2009 Chevrolet Malibu in a front offset crash.

If you know anyone who still thinks classic cars are “more secure” because they are “heavier” then their modern counterparts, just send them this link…