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Comment: Re:Every time XKCD 936 is Mentioned (Score 1) 549

by Matt Steelblade (#48141731) Attached to: Password Security: Why the Horse Battery Staple Is Not Correct

Weirly, I was thinking about that comic entry just a couple of days ago. "It's simple math that shows that Munroe's method is better for creating stronger password" - is it, though? What about dictionary attacks? Attackers could just join 3 or 4 English words together in an attempt to brute force such passwords. This drastically reduces that kind of "passphrase"'s entropy.

Let's assume that we have a dictionary of 15,000 common English words (a very reasonable assumption (examples found from Wiktionary's frequency list in the 14,000's are: zebra, tightly, and curves), though obviously more would give us better entropy). Let us also assume worse possible situations, they know our list of words, and they know we use four together (though we securely randomly pick them). Absolute worse case in this instance would be 15,000 x 15,000 x 15,000 x 15,000 = 50,625,000,000,000,000 possible combinations. Assuming that the attacker could hash a billion passwords a second, they would have a 50% of correctly guessing the password in approximately 293 days. Raise the size of the dictionary to 20,000 (now we have words like fairest, teapot, and haircuts) with the same conditions and you're looking at 2 and a half years for a 50% chance. Munroe's method still stands.

Comment: Every time XKCD 936 is Mentioned (Score 5, Insightful) 549

by Matt Steelblade (#48134251) Attached to: Password Security: Why the Horse Battery Staple Is Not Correct
Just because the author asserts that the password system is broken doesn't make Randall Munroe's point about passwords incorrect. "At least one security researcher rejects that theory." What theory does he reject? It's simple math that shows that Munroe's method is better for creating stronger passwords (at least for the average user), but that has nothing to do with relying on password managers...

Comment: Re:Correlation is not causation, FFS. (Score 5, Informative) 417

by Matt Steelblade (#44776581) Attached to: 'Half' of 2012's Extreme Weather Impacted By Climate Change
I remember an article in which it discussed that Climate Change denying is an American problem. While there are as many conspiracies to Climate Change being a myth as there are of who is starting and promoting them, the reality as shown by poll after poll is that people are not 'buying into it.' For example, my EXTREMELY Catholic parents love and agree with the pope(s). The previous pope, Benedict, was known (by some) as the green pope. A quick search easily shows how he spoke openly on the need to do something. When I say to my dad, 97% of climatologists agree on this issue (and let's be honest, in how many scientific fields do you see that sort of majority consensus on "controversial" topics) and that does nothing to persuade him, I am continued to be amazed when the pope angle doesn't do diddly either. The opposition is so engrained, reason no longer works...

Comment: Re:Uhm Yeah (Score 1) 163

by Matt Steelblade (#44051429) Attached to: Google Files First Amendment Challenge Against FISA Gag Order
Not sure the connection to papal infallibility... Papal infallibility is invoked when the pope speaks ex cathedra, lit. from the chair (of St. Peter), an event that has happend twice (both Marian doctrines): Pius IX, Immaculate Conception in 1854 and Pius XII, Assumption in 1950. It's not something done willy nilly.

Comment: Re:Get a Job (Score 1) 182

by Matt Steelblade (#42698645) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Job Search Or More Education?
Thanks for the advice! I'm super critical about my programming but everything you mentioned "arrays, lists, queues, stacks, iteration, and recursion " I feel fairly comfortable with. As for a sys admin (which to be totally honest, I think is right up my alley) do you have any specific recommendations. I feel fairly comfortable with Linux, I started with MEPIS, am writing this on a laptop with Ubuntu, and have messed around with several distros in VM (I even compiled a gentoo installation).

Comment: Re:What do you want to do? (Score 1) 182

by Matt Steelblade (#42698591) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Job Search Or More Education?
I think that my favorite thing to do is building and fixing computers. I enjoy the software side as well, and I know that I can do it, but I also love working with my hands as well. I posted it as "IT work" because it is broad. I really love anything to do with computers, and I have for years, and I love learning as much as I can. I work incredibly well with others, but I don't see myself as going into major software development (which I am told is notorious for 60+ hour weeks).

Comment: Re:Or... (Score 1) 182

by Matt Steelblade (#42698509) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Job Search Or More Education?
I came up with the name when I was either 13 or 14. It was for a text adventure that I had written (with an ungodly amount of gotos) inspired by the Legend of the Green Dragon. I had always loved the name Matt (from Mathias, think Redwall) and wanted a cool name to go with it. I thought, "what was another cool name: Luke Skywalker." Using that format I got Steelblade. I've just continued to use it over the years.
Businesses

+ - Ask Slashdot: Job Search or More Education?

Submitted by Matt Steelblade
Matt Steelblade (1458189) writes "I've been in love with computers since my early teens. I took out books from the library and just started messing around until I had learned QBasic, then Visual Basic 5, and how to take apart a computer. Fast forward 10 years. I'm a very recent college graduate with a BA in philosophy (because of seminary, which I recently left). I want to get into IT work, but am not sure where to start. I have about four years experience working at a grade/high school (about 350 computers) in which I did a lot of desktop maintenance and some work on their AD and website. At college (Loyola University Chicago) I tried to get my hands on whatever computer courses I could. I ended up taking an a python course, a C# course, and data structures (with python). I received either perfect scores or higher in these courses. I feel comfortable in what I know about computers, and know all to well what I don't. I think my greatest strength is in troubleshooting. With that being said, do I need more schooling? If so, should I try for an associates degree (I have easy access to a Gateway technical college) or should I go for an undergraduate (I think my best bet there would be UW-Madison). If not, should I try to get certified with CompTIA, or someone else? Or, would the best bet be to try to find a job or an internship? Thanks for the help, I've been a lurker for years."

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