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Comment Re:Power Outages (Score 1) 164

Whenever our power goes out, my wife and kids and I get together and actually spend quality time together - playing board games or something and just talking. It's sad that it takes a power outage for that. When you suggest it at other times, and the kids can be playing games or watching stuff online, they decline, but I do try. My favorite is hiking together... good long time, a lot of good conversation... and a lot of "no" when I ask the kids (and even the wife). It's depressing.

Comment Re:The author has a certain level of understanding (Score 1) 198

... Better let an application generate password for user's eyes only and force user to memorize it (or to write it down, at their own risk).

Let's see... my work account, two banks, several credit cards, two healthcare accounts (FSA AND HSA) as well as my health insurance, accounts for my kids in school (like paying for school lunches), ISP account, several streaming services, slashdot, reddit, and a number of other forums I participate in (and not me, but most people will have several social media accounts).... you get the idea. I'm supposed to remember all those completely random passwords?

Oh, and another pet peeve: changing passwords often - it does nothing for password guessing, all passwords with same randomness have same probability of being guessed. Changing passwords are meaningful only if old password is already compromised, but you never know when it exactly happened, so unless you are changing password after each session, it is almost completely useless.

Now that I can agree on - our company's policy is just damn annoying and often screws up our production work.

Comment Re:The author has a certain level of understanding (Score 1) 198

Yeah... I don't know anyone who writes it down on a post-it next to their computer, but we do have a 90 day policy, and my password strategy is not quite what the GP described, but it's not too far off, either. That's the stupidity of just not allowing us to create a really great pass-phrase that would take years to break. That's all on top of two-factor authentication (RSA SecureID) when not signing in from our internal network.

The stupidity is that on systems that have multiple users, we have a shared account that we use - it's actually assigned to a large number of systems; these are not user's desktops, but graphics productions systems that any number of operators might use. The problem is that the IT department implemented this password policy without asking any departments about the effects, and after 90 days we were blocked from this account because none of the operators had the authority to change it, and if they did they'd lock out everyone else who didn't know it - many offices, or even buildings away. Moreover, none of us get the email from that account - which doesn't even really have email, so nobody got a warning the password was expiring. So we do live TV, and people couldn't log into the systems that generate the on screen graphics. Of course now that login is an exception, but it points out a problem with IT blindly creating a policy without input from the people it's affecting.

The other stupid thing is that our MS Office accounts are tied to our logins, and we can authorize up to 5 boxes. There are at least 100 production boxes, and we can't license them by box. We do a lot of daily production data in spreadsheets because it's easy for the user and easy to use as a data source.

In any event, the more passwords humans are required to remember, and the more complicated they are required to be, the less secure we're going to make things as people do skirt the guidelines to make them as easy to remember as possible - or they write them down, or whatever.

Frankly, I don't see what's wrong with the scheme the GP described (although I would make it more complex). If someone has to brute force decrypt it, it will still take just as long. With the special characters in there, it's highly unlikely someone could guess it. It's true that once they got it once, they'd be able to guess it correctly later on, but the idea is to make it hard to get even once.

Comment Re:Looking for the exit (Score 2) 62

A Google login, whether you get it via gmail or "G Suite", ties into all of the Android apps and keeps search history and integrates it into other Google products, and runs synchronization of most app data so they can see a great deal of what you do on the phone. About the worst that you can do is turn on device management. It will take about two days to turn off and during that time it will do its very best to force your email users to put their devices under your control. After that you apparently even have control over booting of the device. It's enough to make me want to support another open phone. Mozilla just gave up the ghost on that.

Comment Re:Two types of laws (Score 2, Informative) 448

Also, intent matters when determining guilt.

I suggest you try, "Officer, I didn't see the sign" the next time you're pulled over for running a stop sign.

The traffic code in most cases specifically excludes intent from consideration, but that's an anomalous area in the law. Throughout very nearly all of criminal law, intent is crucial to determining guilt. So while you're correct that "Officer, I didn't see the sign" won't do you any good, your argument is a red herring that demonstrates significant lack of knowledge of criminal law. (It's also worth noting that most traffic violations aren't technically crimes in most jurisdictions, they're civil infractions which is why you may be assessed a fine but cannot be arrested. There are exceptions for very serious violations, including extremely high rates of speed.)

Comment Re: meh (Score 1) 471

Military meals are designed with attention to the morale factor. Even the modern MRE is designed to help the soldier feel human in unfavorable surroundings. Apollo 10 was the first to officially test real bread. Gemini Astronauts smuggled aboard a kosher corned beef sandwich but it was stale and thus had too many crumbs which went airborne. By Apollo 10 it was discovered that nitrogen-flushed bread would stay fresh for 10 days. I'll have to try that.

Comment Re:USPS (Score 1, Interesting) 237

First class postage is still under $1 for a letter picked up and delivered door to door, usually in a few days. It's a huge bargain if you ask me.

Of course it is. And it's a huge bargain because the USPS is operating at enormous losses, losing ~$8B per year.

What's UPS going to charge you for a letter? $10? $5?

We don't know because they're not allowed to, unless the letter is "urgent" (overnight or 2-day). I suspect that their prices wouldn't be much higher (if any) than USPS, at least for urban areas. They might even be lower. People who live in more rural areas (like me) would likely pay a bit more, but that seems fair, just part of the cost of rural living.

And then they just drop the letter off at the local post office for delivery to your door usually. Same with FedEx.

That's because it's illegal for them to use mailboxes or to deliver first-class residential mail, thanks to the government-guaranteed USPS monopoly on mail delivery.

Perhaps we could scale back delivery days and save labor costs. Say three days a week to the door and only weekday delivery to P.O. boxes? That would drop about half their labor costs, keep service levels high for those who need it, and perhaps allow the USPS to get back to even instead of loosing money all the time.

That might work. While we're at it we should eliminate the monopoly and allow UPS and FedEx to compete with the USPS on all sorts of shipping, and remove all of the remaining subsidies. Let them all compete head to head on price and convenience, on a level playing field.

Comment Re: meh (Score 1) 471

but what are the chances of finding a good vintage of scotch to go with all of this breaded goodness they are going to be having up there?

Alcohol is definitely going to space. Ballantine's zero-gravity glass is made in cooperation with something called the Open Space Agency, which also has a design for an automated Dobsonian telescope. Ardbeg is going to space. And a vacuum still is an old science-fiction trope.

Comment Re:Convenience isn't free (Score 1) 141

I've noticed there are often items that are cheaper non-prime, but then you get the choice - you don't have to order prime, you can pay a little less to order from someone else - but then it's often not two day shipping. Often the non-prime price + shipping is about the same as prime. I've been a prime customer for some years now, and with as much as I order, it's certainly worth it. Plus we get some subscriptions now, like the specialty dog food we need to get, which makes it even cheaper. So yes, I start with Amazon, and only if I can't find what I want, or I do see shenanigans from the seller w.r.t. shipping and so forth, do I search elsewhere.

Comment Re:Everybody should be prepared to die. (Score 4, Funny) 471

Out of several tens of billions of humans, only a fraction have not yet died, and of those who died, only a small percent of disputed cases indicate recovery.

On the contrary, I have never died before and rumors that I would do so are spread by fact-checkers of the liberal press and corrupt global warming scientists.

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