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Comment Re:The nature of the Trump-fans is pretty obvious (Score 1) 167

Independent here, not a "Trump fan".

They are authoritarian followers, that fight anybody that disagrees with them with violence. They are irrational and dangerous. They are unable to find a middle-ground with others.

You're describing Hillary's followers here.

.

Because authoritarians follow charismatic leaders...

Just saying repeating what someone else says doesn't make it true, no matter where you claim your loyalties lie (or in this case loyalties you disclaim).

Comment Re:Power Outages (Score 1) 151

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:Weird definition (Score 1) 237

Well, if you've ever been an expert at something, you no doubt use certain words in ways that confuse non-experts, because you have need of more precision than they do.

I have no idea what the technical epidemiological standard is for being something- "free", but it can't be the utter absence of that something (which is the non-specialist's definition) because you can't prove a negative. So there must be some criteria short of absence.

Comment Re:Fear is a good thing for business (Score 1) 296

It's been tried before, on an impressive scale. Humans haven't figured out absolutely how to keep rats, cockroaches and bedbugs out of their domiciles, much less most persistent and clever pest of all: other humans.

It'd probably be worthwhile for the rich to consider what being rich actually means. It's not having a lot of gold. Gold through the ages has only been useful as specie because (a) it's pretty and (b) it didn't have much practical use other than being pretty.

What being rich means is having the ability to command the cooperation and compliance of other human beings.

So a bunker is only good for a couple of weeks or at most months of disorder. It's a place to go while someone on the outside is struggling to re-establish the status quo ante. So it makes no sense to build one unless you also invest in the stability of the status quo, because if those people trying to preserve society fail you're actually in a worse situation than other survivors when you come out of your bunker. The vast majority of your money will become only scare-quotes "money" if the legal framework in which debts and ownership exist ceases to function.

Comment It's the marginal hedonic value of money, folks. (Score 3, Informative) 296

Scenario: You discover to your surprise that you can have your fill of every pleasure money can buy, and then you notice you've still got a mountain of that stuff lying around.

What to do?

(1) Pursue power. This never gets old, because there's other guys with mountains of money doing the same thing. No amount of power.is ever enough, because it's relative power that brings satisfaction.

(2) Serve humanity. The ability to amass money on this scale is a function of the scale of society, and that means that society's problems scale proportionately. The material resources you command could have solved all humanity's problems -- five thousand years ago. Today they're just a drop in a bucket, and that's a challenge.

(3) Build yourself a lavish Armageddon bunker.

(4) Any combination of the above.

Comment Re:The author has a certain level of understanding (Score 1) 189

... 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) 189

the majority of respondents understanding that passwords should contain uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers and symbols

Yup. A password under 8-12 characters in length, consisting of a simple dictionary word (with simple digit substitution of a = 4, e = 3, i = !, random capitalization, etc) can be solved by a GPU in less than a second or two. Combine several non-related words together and you might have a fighting chance. Don't even get me started about how many friends and relatives don't use 2-factor auth.

Comment Re:The author has a certain level of understanding (Score 1) 189

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.

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