Saturday, May 2, 2009

Password Retention Policies

It never used to bother me, but now it does.

Every time I hear about one of those laptops stolen with secrets, but "no secure password", I believe that corporate password retention policies are to blame.

I have now come to the point, where I work, that the various password systems, with their vastly different password policies, have collided to make it impossible for me to keep up anymore. I will now be one of the countless hoardes that puts my passwords on a sticky note above my notebook's keyboard.

I have 9 separate password/account combinations at work. Some of them force me to change them every 6 weeks, others force me to change them every 3 months. Some of these require punctuation characters, mixed case and numbers, some of these do not require anything but letters. I could handle this, because none of the systems (at work) deny the use of punctuation or numbers in the passwords. There is ONE account that does not handle a password longer than 8, but that one (at least) ignores anything typed longer than 8.

I have, for the last 3 years or so, used basically the same password on all of my "important" accounts, with very minor variations. Because of the policies in place, I have been in the habit of changing my password monthly, at the first, and integrating the month itself into the password. This, typically, changes three characters of the password, and allowed me to have a secure password that I had otherwise memorized. So, now the policy has changed again, to where three letters is no longer good enough. Now it has to be five.

None of this stuff is REALLY that important, is it?

Worse, I used to be Director of IT for a former employer. I know this stuff. I know there is a better way. I know why my new solution is "bad for the company". Yet, when I WAS in IT, I did everything in my power to make sure that once someone chose a decent password, that it would be the same password on all the systems, and that I wouldn't force people to change it all the time. EVEN THERE, I found passwords taped to near 30 different laptops (with a corporate population of around 100). If I could figure out that people easily give up trying to protect passwords, then why do all the major corporations have these terribly inconvenient policies in place?

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

[dev] CHAIR Programming Platform 3.0

What is CHAIR?

CHAIR is an offset platform for programming, which is specifically made to support a programmer's approach to offset horizontal surface interfacing to tables. It does not qualify as a fully integrated development environment, but instead is a purpose built platform for supporting a programmer without getting in the way of what the programmer does best! As a programming platform CHAIR is already proven to lead to greatly reduced project timelines when compared to similar projects done without the CHAIR Platform.

Benefits

The CHAIR Programming Platform is an efficiency producing integration tool with countless uses, but here are a few examples-from the floor; surface computing, table integration, workstation interfacing, includes a simple counter interface capability. Chair 3.0 includes the new roll-out feature, which assists programmers in efficiently interfacing a with multiple related tables, especially useful in L.A.B. or Cubical programming environments.

Support

CHAIR Programming Platform is supported by a wide array of service providers throughout the world, including; Suelo throughout most of South America, étage in France, Piano in Italy, Põrand for North East European platforms, based in tech savvy Estonia. We offer support through central Eurasia by пол based in Russia. In Asia we also have support by the popular Pharsha (फर्श) Corporation of India, and even the popular Chinese platform provider 地板 (dì bǎn). However, it is primarily supported throughout UK, Australia, US and Canada (though, étage support is also availble in Canada) by Floor.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Spring and It's Been a While

Hello everyone.

I've been very busy with work and friends lately. I also don't have an internet connection at home, so I've been neglecting this blog. It's not that I haven't seen anything of interest lately, and it's not that I've had nothing to say. I've just been busy.

First -- I lost my TV. Not really that I lost a TV. I don't have one, but I did have a TV capture card, and I was able to get over-the-air signals with it. However, overpowered USB hub, new, and the little thing is dead. Lost.

Second -- I lost my wireless keyboard and mouse. It was connected to the same USB hub as my TV capture card. I now have a keyboard and mouse that probably work just fine, but the little receiver thing is completely dead.

Third -- I think the power-supply that came with my brand-new little USB 2.0, 7 port hub was grossly overpowered. I no longer have a receipt for that little USB hub, but I don't care about the loss of the $15 that this little thing itself represents (see items above). I do have several friends who - in some cases - have more than one of the EXACT SAME model USB hub as I do, and have had very good luck with them. So, I'm not going to actually mention the name. I will say that you should use caution when plugging any expensive USB device into a new hub. Maybe try it on a $10 keychain drive first. Just a suggestion.

Fourth -- Taxes hurt this year. Taxes hurt a lot this year. Long story, and I'm not going to go into gory details.

Fifth -- Work. Oh my god, things have been stressful at work lately. There have been a lot of people shuffling around, and there's a new boss in the office, and everyone has been doing too many things, in too little time. Then there is this looming threat that this office might be moved entirely.

Sixth -- Friends. I have found some very good friends recently. Some are people who have been aquaintences for some-while, others are relatively new to me. They have all helped keep me sane, so ... Thank you.

Finally, the "lowest" high for the rest of the week will be 57. Spring, my friends, may have finally come to St. Paul, Minnesota.