• “IT’S A MYTH THAT MACs ARE MORE SECURE THAN PCs… In early days, Windows was susceptible to viruses and Macs were generally safe from this subcategory of malware. However, today both are susceptible to vulnerabilities and malware… Less than three months into 2018, there have been as many new distinct examples of Mac malware as have ever been discovered in such a short time” (including a Trojan horse masquerading as an Adobe flash player, cryptocurrency mining software infections, and remote access tool detections), and Apple now releases security updates sometimes multiple times monthly, even more often than Microsoft patches. “Threats and attacks are universal and can affect any platform and happen to anyone, even Mac users.” Cybersecurity steps are not costly in relation to the costs of being hacked. [ITSP MAGAZINE – Apr 4, 18]
  •  “THE AVERAGE EFFECTS OF A RECESSION ARE SEVERE AND VERY LONG LASTING,” as the last decade’s financial crisis demonstrates. While ‘Recovery’ is being touted in the headlines, with official unemployment stats down and big corporate profits at record highs, reality is that any level of Recovery has been distributed far from evenly or fairly. “The government’s rush to prop up failing markets primarily benefited wealthy Americans who own most of the country’s stocks and other assets, while many workers who lost homes and jobs in the crisis saw their income and any security blanket take a permanent hit… More than a million workers were knocked out of the labor force and still haven’t returned,” while median lower-income household income is now below $11,000. While the same kind of financial collapse (which stemmed from a chain reaction to bursting of the housing bubble) is remote, today’s pricing of capital assets is generally unsupported by conventional economic metrics and positioned for downward adjustment. So the likelihood of tighter times (at least short of collapse) is realistic and capital preservation strategies should continue to be prioritized.  [THE WEEK – Apr 13, 18]
  •  PERFORMANCE MANAGEMENT REMAINS TROUBLESOME FOR MANY COMPANIES when Managers still see the process as a “bureaucratic, box-checking exercise, while employees perceive and complain that feedback they do get feels biased or disconnected from their work.” McKinsey studies have found that ‘perception of fairness’ in performance measurement systems is best achieved when: (1) employee goals are transparently linked to business priorities, with a strong element of flexibility; (2) Managers have been trained in coaching skills; and (3) both standout performance and converging performance for varying roles are rewarded. “As employers’ expectations rise and employees strive to meet them, a heightened desire for recognition and fairness is only natural.”  [McKINSEY QUARTERLY – Apr 18]
  •  PLASTIC HAS BECOME THE LASTEST DIRECT HEALTH DANGER. Researchers at State University of New York studied water bottles from the U.S. and eight other countries to find that “93% were contaminated with microplastics – tiny pieces of plastic which get ingested” when we drink bottled water. Eleven different brands (including Aquafina, Dasani, Evian & Pelligrino) averaged ten plastic particles per liter which can accumulate in the body. [BBC.COM and THE WEEK – Apr 6, 18]
  •  NEW SHADES OF CAR PAINT WILL MAKE AUTONOMOUS CARS SAFER. Globally, nearly one in five autos is white, a color which reflects light & heat, along with radar and radio waves. Black autos are more than twice as popular but, in contrast, dark colors absorb light, thereby warming cars and also absorbing most of the ‘signals’ transmitted from sensors which now operate vehicle safety systems — such as automatic braking and also everything to do with self-driving vehicles, “based on range, position and velocity of objects around the vehicle… Because colors are an essential part of vehicle design & marketing, researchers are now tampering with paint at a molecular level so that whatever color a coat of it appears to be to the human eye, it will still be a highly reflective to the signals from a car’s sensors.” [THE ECONOMIST – Apr 7, 18]
  •  THOUGHTS FOR THE WEEK: Latest stats on Federal spending are that 25% of the budget goes to Medicare/Medicaid, 30% goes for military & veterans, interest on debt takes 14%, food stamp & housing welfare is 4%, and science/education 5%. The other 20+% is spent on land, energy, governance, law & commerce.

        “The Budget should be balanced, the Treasury should be refilled, public debt reduced, the arrogance of officialdom tempered & controlled, and the assistance to foreign lands should be curtailed, lest Rome will become bankrupt. People must again learn to work instead of living on public assistance.” – Cicero, 55 B.C.- 2073 years ago