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Passwords Are the Weakest Link In Online Security

irid77 Re:Security Questions Are The Weakest Link (277 comments)

And I would say that it's even worse when you can't type your question. Too many people know my mother's maiden name, my first car, my high school -- and I assume much of this information can be had publicly as well. If I were to imagine trying to get this information on someone, I'd just call them or their family, pretend to be some High School Reunion Committee, and say "We are celebrating the class of 1987 at Shrub High" and they'd probably go "Oh no, I'm graduated in 1992 at Rose Garden High". Then reply "Oh really? I guess you're the wrong Joe Blow, I'm sorry for your trouble, thanks bye."

Multiple attack vectors over one secure password, ridiculous. I think GMail at least does the semi-sane thing and instead of security questions, uses a phone number to verify you if you would ever lose your password.

And that's what is needed, identity verification if the password fails. Not a cheap way to do that in an automated and very dumb way.

There was, also for years, really dumb advice such as to never write a password down. That is unrealistic given the number of passwords someone needs to know today and leads to using the same password again and again. Now, you don't have to write it unencrypted, you could use Rot13 or, even better, some other code of your devising -- but it's better than keeping all this in your head in this day and age.

Ok, but most of these mechanisms using security questions don't just tell you the new password or allow you to reset it. They email you the new password. So unless the hacker has access to your email, guessing your security questions won't do much good. If a site is allowing you to reset your password directly, then that's obviously a security risk. But I don't think this is how it's usually done.

more than 3 years ago

Lawrence Lessig Reviews The Social Network

irid77 Right.. (223 comments)

Of course! Every movie having anything to do with the internet should be an op-ed piece supporting net neutrality. That'll work.

more than 3 years ago

Can NetBooks & Tablets Co-Exist?

irid77 Re:Netbooks kill themselves (291 comments)

The EeePc seems to vary in sturdiness based on the model. My 1000HE is rock-rolid and all-in-all it's the best-built laptop I've ever owned. My parents have the 1101HA and it's much flimsier.. the hinge for the screen is loose and the keyboard is spongy. Also, the graphics are noticeably slow, probably because of the extra pixels in the larger screen. Just have to pick the right one.

about 4 years ago

Dell Drops Ubuntu PCs From Its Website

irid77 Re:it doesn't make any sense because (473 comments)

Perhaps you missed my point. You have no problem with it. I have no problem with it. You and I are not "average" computer users. Ask yourself if it would be overwhelming for your mother to use it. Ask yourself if the counter clerk at the DMV or the bank would find it easy to use. Ask yourself if a truly average user finds what you've described to be easy.

What power users find easy and what average users find easy are different things. This perception difference is what has holds Linux back, more than anything else.

Here's the problem with your argument: the people you're describing are horribly confused using Windows too. All they can really do effectively is open programs and use them, and maybe hunt around in folders for files to open. They wouldn't be able so set up a machine with Windows or Ubuntu, but they can use both just fine. Seriously, what about the Windows UI makes intuitive sense and is missing in Ubuntu? What is hard to accomplish in Ubuntu that is easy in Windows?

more than 4 years ago

World's First Molten-Salt Solar Plant Opens

irid77 Re:Desalinization? (316 comments)

Also, seawater is mostly NaCl, but this salt is NaNO3 mixed with KNO3. NaCl has a higher melting point and would solidify and gum up the works.

more than 4 years ago

World's First Molten-Salt Solar Plant Opens

irid77 Re:Errr Barstow had a molten salt plant in the 90s (316 comments)

Yes, but Solar 2 used molten salt as an overnight storage medium only. This plant uses it as the energy collection medium, and is the first to do that.

more than 4 years ago

Windows 7: The Missing Manual

irid77 Re:I ran a comparison (222 comments)

Linux has significantly more clicks for volume control per application. Why you didn't measure that?

You don't need any clicks. Just hover over the volume icon and use the wheel.

more than 4 years ago

Windows 7: The Missing Manual

irid77 Re:Libraries (222 comments)

What exactly is wrong with the libraries? I keep my music and videos on a separate drive and libraries make keeping up with new stuff as simple as drag and drop. I never have to go to where I actually keep anything anymore, simply drop it into the library under videos,music,whatever and it automatically places it into the appropriate place, easy peasy. And since Windows 7 disc image and backup gives you a simple checkbox for if you want your libraries backed up as well I don't even have to hunt or remember to back up my different media folders, just plug in the USB drive once a week and hit backup.

But you can do all that with links/shortcuts. Libraries are just a more confusing way to accomplish the same thing.

more than 4 years ago

Mixed Reception To AT&T's New Data Pricing Scheme

irid77 It's not like electricity (514 comments)


"Imagine, for a moment, if we bought electricity the way we buy data in this country. Every month, you would pay a fixed amount of money (say, $120), and then you would use as much electricity as you wanted, with an incentive to use as much as you could. That brings price stability to the end user, but it's a horrible way to manage electricity load."

That analogy doesn't work, because the main constraint for electricity isn't network capacity, it's the fact that most current methods of production consume a resource irreversibly, so you're being charged for the use of the resource, not just the use of the power lines. Data doesn't get "used up", only transferred around, so it's relatively easier/cheaper for cellular (or land) networks to increase their capacity to transfer data than it is for energy companies to produce more energy.

more than 4 years ago

Pakistan Lifts Ban After Facebook Deletes Offending Page

irid77 Re:It's draw Mohammad MONTH now! (677 comments)

If you ban all mockery of religion that gets offended, then many religions will suddenly decide to get offended - and many groups will decide to define themselves as religion in order to get the censorship ability.

This could happen in principle, but it won't because nobody else is threatening the mockers with violence. Only radical Islam takes it this far, so they get special treatment.

more than 4 years ago

Chemistry Tasks For the Computer Lab?

irid77 Re:Not a thing (154 comments)

Most chemists don't use LaTex. Probably 95% of the papers in Journal of the American Chemical Society and Angewandte Chemie were written using Word + Chemdraw. It's just easier. We're not typesetters, so why should we learn to typeset?

more than 4 years ago

Chemistry Tasks For the Computer Lab?

irid77 Re:Another career (154 comments)

Do your students a real favor. If any of your students are thinking of becoming chemists, you could tell them to use the computer to look for other fields of study. Companies in the US and Europe are firing chemists at unprecedented rates. If they choose that path, they better be ready to compete with Ivy League PhD's for jobs titrating paint samples.

This would be horrible advice. Having a degree in Chemistry is one of the best ways to get a job, with a BS, MS, or PhD. The need for people skilled in organic synthesis, biochem, and materials science (solid state chemistry) will only grow. Chemists aren't titrating paint samples, machines do that. Chemists design the next generation of nanotech.

more than 4 years ago

Google To End Support For IE6

irid77 Why not run two browsers? (272 comments)

It's so confusing to me that this is a problem at all. Why can't these companies that have some legacy requirement for IE6 for some internal company database just keep IE6 for that purpose, and have any other browser installed for browsing the actual internet? You could even restrict IE6's access to the local network if needed to direct users.

more than 4 years ago


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