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Archive for October, 2008

Insecure Online Banking

Thursday, October 30th, 2008

I always choose a very good password, and I don’t forget my passwords, only which one I used. My passwords contain numbers, upper and lower case letters, and symbols. Every website I’ve ever had to use a password for has allowed me to create a password of my satisfaction, with one exception: banks. I’ve used online banking with two or three banks so far and both times my password has been stunted by either a maximum length requirement (even though the user name can be any length I choose) or doesn’t allow special characters.

What benefit could they possibly be gaining from disallowing me to choose a more secure password? Or maybe it’s just the programmers, but then the question becomes: Why on earth would they hire programmers dumb enough to limit the security of a client’s account? Then again, maybe it’s just me; perhaps I just have really bad choice in banks.

Is this some sort of bank conspiracy to make identity theft and theft of our funds easier? They would certainly have something to gain in the case that they offered some protection. Reminds me of the second Dragonheart movie where the guy gets paid by the townspeople to slay the dragon that is working with him.

I see insecurities like this in various different forms on all sorts of websites. Once I found a bug on a major retail site that let anyone view any and all invoices, which includes the customers’ personal information. I’ve sent e-mails to everyone in these companies I can get a hold of, complained in person, bounced up through the ranks over the phone, etc. All of this in an attempt to help these companies fix their issues and protect their customers’ (which may be you) information. I get the run around and they never fix the bugs.

I see this as a serious problem, and in this case I see absolutely no valid reason for the limitation of a user’s password. Don’t let this one go unfixed! Check if your bank has this issue, and if so, make them fix it!

Questions

Wednesday, October 15th, 2008

A friend of mine wishes to become a singer. I told him that I write poetry and he asked if I could write him a song to sing. I wrote this poem a few months ago as a song about my emotions regarding my failing marriage. It is called “Questions”.

I used to think that the world owed me something
The only things that mattered were the things in my head
I used to be a child, but now I’m a man
But there’s still somethings that I don’t understand

How many words make up a memory?
How many notes are in a melody?
How many people are lonely today?
Tell me, why must I feel this way?

I used to take for granted the way that you’d feel me
Now I only feel that you don’t know who I am
You used to tell me that you knew that you loved me
But now I don’t even feel like we’re friends

I remember when we first made love
And I know just what I was thinking of
I want to be with you for all of my life
But I’ve got questions for you, my wife

How many lies add up to misery?
How can I hide it when it’s easy to see?
How can I trust in anything that you say?
Tell me, why must I feel this way?

I know I’ve made mistakes but can you forgive me?
You know, they say that the best things in life are free
But I will spend my time devoted to you
Baby, tell me what you want me to do

How many moments make up true romance?
How will you know if you don’t give us a chance?
Oh, I don’t feel like a man today
Tell me, why must I feel this way?

Ouroboros: 3

Friday, October 10th, 2008

This is one chapter of a short story. To start from the beginning of the story head over to Ouroboros: 1.

The light was too bright to see. It slowly dimmed to reveal beautiful, lush, green trees all around him. Ben stopped short as he noticed a gaping hole in front of him. There seemed to be someone in the hole, but his attention was grabbed by a voice heard in the distance.

He looked up to see an armchair in the clearing. The voices lingered closer as he examined the floral pattern on the chair from afar. The voice’s words were unintelligible and he looked down for a moment into the well.

There was a boy looking up at him with no facial features at all, save a mouth. The boy whispered, but the sound echoed through Ben’s mind: “Please…”

Suddenly the voices in the distance were close and clear as day. He heard the words “father” and “accident”. Ben jerked his head up to find his aunt sitting in the chair talking to someone. A shadowy figure sat on a couch next to her. He looked directly at Ben and as he finished “…but we don’t want to rule out any possibilities.”

(more…)