Intel Confirms Fresh Spectre, Meltdown Patch Problems – How Much Technology is Too Much?

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Intel Confirms Fresh Spectre, Meltdown Patch Problems – How Much Technology is Too Much?

As an IT professional, I can tell you that the last few weeks have been busy thanks to Spectre and Meltdown security patching. We are now learning that these patches are causing unwanted reboots and slow downs. New patches are being tested and released weekly for these two exploits and it seems that our only defense is: Patch, Patch, Patch!

It seems that these issues will now continue to be a burden to IT professionals, data center and end users and we will need to be diligent updaters for our phones, tablets, computers, watches, etc.

One of the big effects of these patches that IT departments are failing to communicate to end users is that all affected devices will be much slower than they were; 5%-30% depending on the age and type of hardware in each device. This also affects routers, switches and network devices. These devices make up much of the backbone of the Internet infrastructure.

We have already noticed slow downs in Microsoft’s own Office365 email hosting. Especially those with large mailboxes. Some Cloud providers are seeing performance issues on hosted applications as well.

This topic made me think about a recent experience.

Sometimes we forget how much we depend on technology to live and work in today’s world. We have expectations that things should just work; like expecting a light to turn on when you flip a light switch. We depend on technology.

I’d like to throw out an experience of my own about a technology I recently realized was not needed, and even added more stress to my life when I used it.

Last year I purchased a Smart Watch. As a gadget guy, I thought it was cool. I didn’t have to look at my phone all the time for updates to email, text and news. I could customize the face, make it look and fit my personal style. Very convenient. What I learned in time was that I couldn’t effectively interact with other to those alerts without pulling my phone out and using it. It was good at making me aware of things but terrible at allowing me to interact with others. I quickly realized this was another distraction, another thing to charge, another thing to update, and now an addition phone/data line to pay for. Many times my watch was dead by 3-4pm if I used it as intended. Now I had to pull out my phone just to get the time. If I turned off some of the features on the watch I could get to the end of the day. Now I was only getting about 40% of the actual benefit of a Smart Watch though.

The health monitoring features I loved, but they killed the battery. I ended up going back to my Casio GShock Watch that is solar, never needs to be charge,d or ever have a battery replaced and using my Garmin Vivofit2. The Garmin lasts more than a year on a common watch battery that I can change myself and is Water-Resistant for swimming. It also provides better details on Sleep monitoring that the Smart Watch did, providing me with deep vs light sleep and movement during sleep. I quickly realized my Smart Watch was a cool gadget, but it didn’t do anything to make my life easier.

Being a savvy end user, I appreciate technology that improves the quality of life. Smart Watches have not accomplished that in my opinion. I think in some industries, such as the medical field, it serves a great purpose providing real time patient information to doctors. For the average end user though, I have a hard time recommending paying $300+ for the device and $15-30 per month to use it. The cost far surpasses the benefit.

Some may disagree with me. and have great stories about how it helps improve their life. Please tell me about your experience as I love hearing other points of view or how you benefit from this technology.

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