Posts Tagged ‘Microsoft’

Service of Cybercriminals Navigating From Phone Calls to Texts & Emails

Thursday, January 18th, 2024

My phones are blessedly relieved from evil calls about car insurance for a vehicle I don’t own, money owed the IRS and so forth. Enough people are on to robocallers and don’t answer anymore.

In their place I’ve received increasing numbers of really sophisticated texts and emails in the last few months. Some are quite alarming and easy to fall for if you’re not vigilant. Use of corporate logos is rampant.

Cybercriminals dressed as Wellsfargo send all sorts of hack emails.

Did you notice anything suspicious already? That bank spells its name in two words: Wells Fargo. And by the way: I don’t have an account there.

Each email with different subject lines provided multiple opportunities to link to a nefarious place.

Here are some of the subject lines: Wellsfargo Bank Guard which alleged someone suspicious has logged into my account. Wellsfargo Billing hit me twice, the first time with claims my account is restricted. The second warned that there was fraudulent entry to my account.

In addition there was Wellsfargo Bank Business, Wellsfargo Bank Agent Security and Wellsfargo Security.

Other favorite faux texts and emails are from a wolf in Microsoft’s clothing or DHL Express. The latter asks for an address correction for an imaginary package they aren’t able to deliver. In another nasty twist I was told in a text that on Tuesday $198.17 was placed on my debit card and to click on a link to stop it.

One crook was lazy or new at the job. She didn’t kill herself in prepping for the outreach. The subject line was Support. This thief didn’t waste time. They were going to suspend my account, [to what they didn’t say], unless I updated my billing information. Sure.

You get the point. Have you noticed a change away from suspicious telephone calls to electronic communication in attempts to steal your money?

Service of Built-In Obsolescence

Monday, August 8th, 2022


Image by Pexels from Pixabay

Built-in obsolescence has always infuriated me. Is it because I love antiques? In any case, I’m a victim again. 

I’ve written before about this kind of waste as in celebrities who make the news for tearing down a $12 million house to build a new one in the same spot. Can’t they buy property to build on and not destroy what is probably someone else’s dream home? The fancy makeup cases of my youth are the first examples I recall. Subsequent iterations didn’t accommodate refills forcing me to buy a new case and toss a perfectly good one. I wasn’t thinking about the environment then. My gripe was about feeling ripped off.

So how is this impacting me now? My perfectly good laptop, inherited years ago from my nephew, still works like a charm. My miracle IT man has helped maintain it perfectly. He gave it a good bill of health a few months ago. 


Image by Pexels from Pixabay

But it needs to go. Why? Because the Microsoft program it currently uses can’t be upgraded and doesn’t meet the requirements of a crucial vendor that soon is moving platforms. So I must buy a new laptop. Grrrrrr.

I have a historically terrible experience with upgrades and updates. I was forced to change a gizmo for one of my phones. It took weeks to be activated and now, every few days, needs to be disconnected because it cuts out so my phone goes dead. The original gadget wasn’t persnickety, lasted a decade and never once did it have a bit of trouble.

An upgrade on WordPress, the platform on which this blog reaches you, caused me fits until I figured out that I needed to format posts in Google Chrome not Firefox [the latter had worked for years]. Once simple changes or inserts require more steps.

I dread learning where documents will be tucked and my fingers are crossed that crucial documents, emails and photos on granny laptop can be transferred. Based on previous experience I anticipate many moments of stomach-churning YIKES and towel-tossing.

The media celebrated and applauded restaurants when they deep-sixed plastic straws and claimed they were saving the world by using paper ones instead. I’ve not read a word about the waste we make by force-tossing millions of perfectly good laptops, computers, tablets and phones–have you? Hmmmm.

What are other examples of built-in obsolescence?  Does it bother you? Should I take a deep breath, shrug, get over it and move on?


Image by Pexels from Pixabay

Service of When a Company Listens to its Employees–or Not

Monday, May 24th, 2021

Image by Couleur from Pixabay

I knew a successful stockbroker who traveled the country at a time in which we manufactured a lot. He’d visit a corporation to speak with the employees on the line. He wasn’t interested in the boilerplate management wanted to share.

Today, employees voice their opinions of management’s decisions–some say even more than before.

Jeffrey A. Trachtenberg and Emily Glazer described a recent to and fro in their Wall Street Journal article “Inside the Simon & Schuster Blowup Over Its Mike Pence Book Deal.”

The article’s subhead reads: “Petition demanded publisher drop potential blockbuster, saying it betrayed company’s promise to oppose bigotry, while CEO defended commitment to broad range of views ” They reported that 14 percent of the staff–200–signed a petition. “While the majority of employees didn’t sign the petition,” wrote Trachtenberg and Glazer, “it continues drawing external support and now has more than 5,000 external signatories.”

They wrote: “The Pence conflict stands out because the demand struck at the heart of the publisher’s business. Book companies, which have long prized their willingness to publish a wide range of voices, in contrast to the silos of cable news, say they need blockbuster books of all stripes to carry the rest of their titles.”

In addition, they reported that Jonathan Karp, president and CEO, “said one reason Simon & Schuster is comfortable publishing Mr. Pence is that the former vice president refused to take an action to overturn the election.” He told staffers in an online gathering “there wouldn’t be any discriminatory content in Mr. Pence’s book.”

“In January,” wrote the reporters, “the company canceled the publication of a book by Sen. Hawley, citing his role in challenging the presidential election results on Jan. 6, when rioters stormed the U.S. Capitol.” Quoting Karp this was because “his actions ‘led to a dangerous threat to our democracy.’ He said the senator’s role in that day’s events ‘brought widespread disapproval and outrage to him and would have redounded to us.’”

Image by Natalia Ovcharenko from Pixabay

The reporters shared other examples referring to a pause in political contributions by Microsoft through 2022 to legislators who opposed certification of the electoral college, a move resulting from an employee’s appeal.

They mentioned that “Similar pressures [to address employee demands] have ricocheted across the business world,” mentioning  Apple, Delta Air Lines and Google. They didn’t specify the dynamics but in a Google search I found that:

  • Apple bowed to employee pressure to rescind its job offer to the author of a memoir in which he wrote disparaging things about women.
  • According to Shirin Ghaffary in vox.com, Google agreed to “scrap forced arbitration in individual cases of sexual harassment or assault after 20,000 Google workers staged a walkout demanding changes to how it treats employees. The walkout was prompted by a New York Times article that revealed Google had given a senior executive, Andy Rubin, a $90 million exit package even after it found he had been credibly accused of sexual harassment…..Employees who prefer to arbitrate privately will still have that option.”
  • Delta replaced uniforms for 60,000 employees because some claimed the originals made them sick.
  • On the other hand, CEO Jamie Dimon suggested that any of his employees who pushed him to restrict doing business with the military could leave JPMorgan Chase, Trachtenberg and Glazer reported.

Should corporations act on what employees request? Have you changed an employer or corporation’s mind about a major decision or can you name other examples where this happened?

Image by Couleur from Pixabay

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