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The Airing of Grievances: Computers & Technology

To Verizon: don’t advertise that your phone/mp3 player holds 2 gig of music. You should advertise that it takes MicroSD chips that can hold 2 gig of music.

To anyone who has ever developed a program that requires passwords: I realize it’s not good security for me to use the same password over and over. Or even for me to use the same two or three passwords over and over. But for fuck’s sake, I can only come up with so many nonsense words that I can remember. I think I’m up to about 12 now and I still can’t fucking keep up.

To MS Outlook: Why do you even have a default font setting for email when you’re just going to create everything in 10 Arial any fucking way?

To MS Excel: Seriously, make that review toolbar go away. I don’t like it. I don’t use it. Every time I get rid of it, it comes back. I even installed a fucking macro to get rid of it and it still comes back.

To Paypal: I told you to leave me alone. Our relationship is through. Stop sending me email; stop contacting me; and cancel my account. You’re like a clingy old girlfriend who can’t take the hint. I know, your monkeys with keyboards tell me they can’t cancel the account and must keep it open for 7 years but I don’t care. You’ve wasted enough of my time and I will not devote any more time to resolving the issue. In fact, I’m tempted to ask my readers to paypal me $0.01 with the phrase Semi-Automatic Assault Weapon in the subject line. Though it’d be funny, you’d make money from it.

8 Responses to “The Airing of Grievances: Computers & Technology”

  1. Jay Says:

    It would be NICE if I COULD use the same password a lot, but sites try to make it difficult: One site I deal with wants at least 8 letters AND a number that cannot be FIRST or LAST. I told them to expect lots of phone calls, as I will NEVER remember that.

    There is an anecdote about a company IT guy who tried something like that to improve security. Some time after, he noticed that most employees had their new passwords on post-it notes stuck to their monitors.

    If you have to buy a MicroSD card, this is the best deal I have seen:

    Kingston 1GB microSD Secure Digital Card $14.95 after rebate & Google Checkout

  2. SayUncle Says:

    Wow. Good deal. Thanks Jay.

  3. trainer Says:

    I’m with ya on the password thingie. I have at this moment 8 pieces of paper pasted to my desk (at home) with passwords for utility and card companies. That doesn’t include passwords for my OS and blogging software or PIN codes. I hate the one that requires numbers to be not at the end or beginning. It’s a real PITA. I try to use variations on a theme…CRS and all the drug use in the 60s has taken it’s toll.

  4. Standard Mischief Says:

    Get a PDA with a good, high security scrambled password program. Keep your strong password in there. Carry the PDA everywhere, even to your brother’s wedding, it’s a necessary tool now just like that penknife or multi-tool.

    Regularly change that one good grandmaster password that secures all the others. Write that password down a thousand times so you will remember it and then burn that paper. Keep a spare PDA handy and a backed up copy of that encrypted file just in case you lose your PDA consider printing all those passwords out and storing them someplace really safe as plaintext, like a safety deposit box.

    Security is never easy.

  5. mike hollihan Says:

    I have a cheap wire notebook (about 2 x 3) filled with useranmes and passwords. It sits right next to my home computer. Very high tech.

  6. anonymous Says:

    As a former network security guy, about the password thing: Yes, it’s fascist. It does serves a few purposes though:

    (1) If you use the same username/password for all accounts, all I need to do to access any of them is to find out one of them. Not so good.

    (2) Why a password with a minimum number of chars and assorted numbers interspersed? Because it is *TRIVIAL* to run a dictionary attack against words that most people pick. If you use a word that is in a dictionary, I’ll figure it out. FAST. I’ll just run your username against a list of prehashed dictionary words. Bingo! I’m in. That trick in many decades old.

    Ya, it sucks to have to pick a bunch of passwords that are relatively hard to crack. But it sucks more for me to hack your SayUncle password and then empty your bank account.

  7. M. Neal Says:

    As a current software developer, keep in mind it is not necessarily the software companies or IT that require these “complex” passwords or to change your password. Many times it is the “security consultants” telling business this is what they need to be secure. If the business doesn’t comply, the security consultants will give them a red mark on their security audit.

  8. The View From North Central Idaho - Maybe he needs a cigarette Says:

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