Up Times · February 2022

Up Times

by Bryley · March 2024

pocket watch

Time can be our ally in a sound cyber-defense, and the lack of time the thing that dooms our best efforts, like in an urgent request for an employee to send funds to a fraudulent account. And speaking of time, Bryley XDR (Extended Detection and Response) has the potential to pick up signs of inconsistent behavior before your data is compromised, so that planned protective action can be taken.

And then … and then … and then  The singers sound like they’re going to fall off the sofa, they so much want to know how it’s going to turn out in the 1959 Coasters’ song Along Came Jones – based on the popular cliffhanger cowboy TV shows of the time.

‘Why do people read books?’ author Ira Wood (hear him on Cape Cod’s WOMR) asked rhetorically. ‘I think it’s the simplest reason: to find out what happens next.’

Well, what if there is no next? This is the very tactic that was honed in casinos and has been brought to the web – disorienting us so that we lose our usual sense of reality. That state might be Ok by our own choice, but often this is done to us and not with our best interests at heart.

Risk Assessments were made to be done before you invest in network security, so you invest effectively.

Never is the time you hope to use your well-planned backup and data recovery scheme (like you hope you never need insurance).

And about the toughest calls Bryley gets are from business owners asking if we can help after they’ve been the victim of a cybercrime. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

Sedum ground cover

Look Past the Weeds

Don’t Get Lost In The Vulnerabilities

The lockdowns found me in my garden more. One of the things I learned those couple years was that I started out intently focused on the annoyance of weeds – pulling them, pouring boiling water on them when they popped up in the cracks of my driveway, generally trying to kill them. But at some point my focus shifted and I began to see the whole yard – I especially noticed where different plants thrived or failed to. I moved things around. Happy, healthy plants – including working on achieving thicker ground covers (like that sedum pictured) – look beautiful while making the conditions less hospitable to weeds.

Vulnerabilities, which include unpatched software and misconfigured systems, can be thought of like weeds. They look bad. They might overrun the place. These vulnerabilities may represent potential breaches and the possible loss of your business’ data.

But to equate a vulnerability and a risk is akin to mistaking an unwanted weed for a months-long drought. This vulnerability and risk miscalculation is common and can lead to serious problems, because you’re not allocating your resources where they will do you the most good … [6 min. read] Continue Reading >

The Colony of Ants and the Swarm of Grasshoppers

Ever See an Ant Back Up?

And Now for Something Completely Different

In the light of summer in a forest, a colony of ants was busy. It was known as The Colony of Methodical Memory. And the colony worked hard. The ants built clever storerooms within the earth. And they meticulously copied their knowledge and wisdom onto many gathered leaves and placed these in the secure storerooms.

There was at the same time in the same wood a swarm of grasshoppers, known as The Swarm of ‘Hi There’. While the ant colony worked, the grasshoppers swayed on leaves in the sun … [5 min. read] Continue Reading >

Bryley-curated stories from around the internet:

White Rabbit with WatchParticipants whose video consumption was uninterrupted were 22% more likely to choose to watch another video than those who alternated between work tasks and videos — Trying to keep employees (and oneself) focused gets harder as the web is built ever better at drawing us in. The current data show 77% of employees use social media while on the job. So what are the techniques to not fall down the rabbit hole?

When something feels more accessible, it becomes easier to process, leading us to anticipate that we will enjoy it more … people choose to continue down the rabbit hole because viewing related media “feels right” — even if it’s at odds with what they actually want to be doing [like] getting work done …

The way out, according to the Harvard Business Review, is find ways to reduce the similarity, repetitiveness, and relatedness of the content you’re consuming … [by choosing] videos that seem unrelated … [using a] timer that prompts you to take a break … [7 min. read] hbr.org

Wrinkle in Time book coverScreens warp timeScrolling is easy; it doesn’t require any effort. It’s designed so that we scroll without thinking for hours and hours – the promise of finding something new is what keeps us motivated to continue. But the reality is different. What we find is almost always the same: boring, emotionless. We barely remember it. There’s so much information to classify that we don’t remember what we’re leaving behind, [because] there’s no reason to do so, according to University of Delaware’s Philip Gable.

A well-known work published in 2015 was the first to show how much we underestimated the daily time we spend on screens. The authors calculated that our perception of the time we spent scrolling was 20% beneath the real numbers. Eight years later, other researchers suspect that even that figure may have fallen short, Kariela Vazquez reports for Spain’s El Pais … [5 min. read] elpais.com

Gold coin video game tokenScrolling and flow — Ian Leslie made me aware of this exposition of a much older technique employed by casinos and malls that correlates to the time-suck of the web. And it’s a lack of clocks and a deprivation of our usual ways to get a grip on reality, like daylight. Nothing, according to the sales magazine the Hustle, did more than clock removal to get gamblers to play (and lose) more.

You’re not thinking about the future, New Mexico State University’s Raymond Lavoie says, you’re just enjoying this moment. Dr Lavoie studied gamblers and flow, a state of mind where a person is so attentive to a task they lose track of everything else, including time … gamblers who entered a flow state — caused by a distraction-free environment and a focus on a stimulating task — spent more time and money gambling than those who didn’t.

University of Michigan professor Daniel Kruger has studied the similarities between gambling and web use. There are whole departments trying to design their systems to be as addictive as possible. They want you to be permanently online and by bombarding you with messages and stimuli try to redirect your attention back to their app or webpage.

In the online economy, Dr Natasha Schüll, author of the casino-method expose Addiction by Design says, revenue is a function of continuous consumer attention – which is measured in clicks and time spent. And what are we losing to the house – in clicking and spending our time? [5 min. read] thehustle.com

Robot thinkerBoston conference to focus on AI’s use in project management — In this the 18th Annual Project Management in Practice Conference learn from real-life examples and from industry experts about how and why to deploy AI for your project management. The program runs from 9 AM to 5:15 PM with several sessions, including from UMass Lowell’s Michael Cipriano who is part of the panel presenting Real-World Demonstrations of AI Tools and Techniques. The conference is June 14, registration is $125 and you can attend either online or on-site at Boston University’s Center for Computing and Data Science projectmanagementinpractice.com

EULAA time-saving use for chatbots (an easy way to get the gist of complex documents) — Even though this Wall Street Journal discussion is about AI’s use in medical situations it contains this from Dr James Zou of Stanford: I also heard about patients pasting a medical-consent form that has a lot of jargon and is difficult to understand into GPT and asking it to explain the document in plain English.

Can this same idea be applied to those long software licensing agreements that most people do not read (according to the data analyst firm Measuring U fewer than 8% read End-User License Agreements)? The AI chatbots are known to be inaccurate, but isn’t it better to ask one to give a summary that you can read quickly, than altogether skipping reading what you’re about to agree to? [5 min. read] wsj.com

Note: The section directly above is Bryley’s curated list of external stories. Bryley does not take credit for the content of these stories, nor does it endorse or imply an affiliation with the authors or publications in which they appear.

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