Weekly Roundup: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

Image by Alexa from Pixabay

It is Sunday, September 25th and time for a new weekly feature where we look back at the tech news this past week and highlight one each of the: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly. This week as a bit of a slow week even with Microsoft’s Windows 11 22H2 update.

The Good

There has been much talk these days about slowing down climate change and reducing C02 emissions by getting people to ditch their ICE vehicles in favor of battery Electric Vehicles (EVs). However, the effects of climate change (extreme heat/cold) are taking its toll on the US Power Grid. This past summer many power companies in states suffering from the record-breaking heat warned power demand could exceed the supply resulting in blackouts. As a result EV owners were having to wait until later in the evening when demand dropped to charge their cars. Not a big deal for those with Level 2 chargers (10-20 miles of range per hour) who could fully charge in a matter of few hours. However, for those with the much slower Level 1 charges (2-5 miles of range per hour) they need to have their EV plugged in as long as they can to recover the most range. Bidirectional or vehicle-to-grid charges work on the same principal as Solar Power generation: whatever extra power is being produced is sent back via the grid to the power provider. In other uses EV owners with Bidirectional chargers could use their EV’s batteries to power their home during a blackout.

The Bad

This past Tuesday was big day for Windows 11 user with Microsoft releasing the first annual major update for Windows 11 with Windows 11 22H2. While the Window 11 22H2 update in of itself was not a bad thing, there were some ‘issues’.  PC owners (especially those with gaming PCs with Intel processors) who have a Nvidia GeForce GPUs installed noticed a major decline in performance after installing the Windows 11 22H2 update. Nvidia is the most popular GPU brand so this issue affected a great many of PC users. Nvidia has identified the cause as “some new Windows graphics debugging features that are enabled by mistake”. Still not clear if this is an issue on Microsoft’s side since it is affecting users who installed the Windows 11 22H2 update or Nvidia as the issues are tied to their add-on software and not the driver itself. Perhaps a combination of both. Nonetheless, Nvidia should have been able to done testing before the release to prevent this from occurring.

The Ugly

Investment management and financial services company Morgan Stanley was slapped with a $35 Million USD fine by the US Securities and Exchanges Commission (SEC). The SEC’s fine was a result of Morgan Stanley’s data security lapses resulting from the improper disposal of decommissioned it equipment.  More specifically some 1000 unencrypted and unwiped hard drives (plus around 8000 backup tapes) that ended up being sold in auction by a third party company commissioned by the moving company with no experience or expertise in data destruction services who Morgan Stanley had hired to decommission the date center. These hard drives and tapes contained data of millions of customers. Morgan Stanley was not even aware of the issue until a party who had purchased the hard drives notified the company of their findings. This situation could’ve been much worse if these drives had fallen into the wrong hands. Still it could all have been avoided if Morgan Stanley simply contracted with a reputable IT asset disposition provider. At the very least and used data encryption on their drives.