How not to generate passwords

A vendor of ours recently outgrew their “startup mentality,” and started using a support panel for their customer requests. As a consequence, all existing customers whoʼd just call in or send an e-mail before, were mass-enrolled in their new system.

This isnʼt an uncommon phenomenon on the internet: an account is created by the system owner, and you get a confirmation e-mail with a random password. No biggie.

This particular e-mail, however, first made me frown, then giggle like an idiot, then cry, then feeling sorry for humanity.

Go Team!

Iʼve been watching the past weekʼs U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee hearings with abject fascination. The level of nonchalance with which they attempt to unravel a conspiracy by a foreign power with ties to some of the highest offices in the land - if not the very highest - is beyond me. James Comey has been added to my list of people with whom Iʼd like to have a beer someday. Heck, after last Thursdayʼs performance, Iʼm buying.

The thing I noticed, though, is that there was a strong correlation in the quality of the questions the various senators asked¹, and whether or not there was an (R) on their nameplate. It is in this light that Iʼd like to share a formative experience I had some years ago.

I need either more friends or a better microphone.

I remember us getting our first sound card in '96. We spent countless hours recording our own radio shows, or soundtracks of movies we invented (picture to be added later), or DJʼing with the standard sound files Windows 3.11 and 95 had to offer. Good times were had by all.

A few days ago I discovered my shitty USB sound card had its own microphone, so I decided to revive that once-favourite pastime and spend a few hours dicking around. After a lot of humming and whistling, this is what I ended up with. It is quite possibly my greatest creation this week.

Copyright law: a proposal

If I were made King for a day, among other things Iʼd change copyright law to work for everyone. Hereʼs how.

PGP transition statement

If any of you care about PGP, Iʼm switching to a new key today. The new one has Key ID 0x2AFE9EFA718B6165, and is available for download at the usual address.

New features include a stronger master key (from 2048 to 4096 bits), a separate signing subkey (so I can keep the master key offline), and Iʼve updated the embedded photo to a somewhat newer mugshot.

Below is the official transition statement, signed by both the old and the new key.