Insights into Video Calls

February 24, 2021

I read a ZDNet write up. The word I would use to describe its approach is “breezy.” Maybe “fluffy?” “Microsoft Teams or Zoom? A Salesman Offers His Stunning Verdict” reveals quite a bit about the mental approach of the super duper professionals referenced in the article.

The security of Microsoft Teams and Zoom concern me. The SolarWinds’ misstep resulted in Microsoft’s losing control of some Azure and Outlook software. But we only know what Microsoft elects to reveal. Then there is the Zoom-China connection. That gives me pause.

What’s the write up reveal? Policy or personal preference dictates what system gets clicked. But the write up reveals some other factoids, which I think are quite illuminating.

First, the anonymous sales professional states:

“I’m on video calls eight hours a day. I just do what’s easiest…Some of my meetings are in the middle of the night. You want me to think then?”

Not a particularly crafty person I think. The path of least resistance is the lure for this professional. I like the idea that this professional’s thought processes shut down for the night. To answer the rhetorical question “You want me to think then?”, I would reply, “Yes, you are a professional. If you don’t want to think, go for the Walmart greeter work.” Lazy radiates from this professional’s comment.

Another person explains that answering a question about video conferencing features can be expressed this way:

“Zoom to Teams is like Sephora to Ulta. Or Lululemon to Athleta.”

I assume that this is a brilliant metaphor like one of Shakespeare’s tropes. To me I have zero idea about the four entities offered as points of reference. My hunch is that this individual’s marketing collateral is equally incisive.

A source focused on alcohol research (who knew this was a discipline?) This individual is convinced that Zoom’s “has more security protocols.” This individual does not know that most Zoom bombing is a consequence of individuals invited to a meeting.

Here are my takeaways from the write up:

  1. The salesman cuts corners
  2. The person who speaks in terms of product brand names is likely to confuse me when I ask, “What’s the weather?”
  3. The alcohol researcher’s confidence in Zoom security is at odds with the Zoom bomb thing.

For my Zoom sessions, I use an alias, multiple bonded Internet services, and a specialized VPN. I certainly don’t trust Zoom security. And Microsoft? These pros develop security services which could not detect a multi month breach which resulted in the loss of some source code.

My verdict: Meet in person, wear a mask, and trust but verify.

Stephen E Arnold, February 24, 2021

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