Thursday, January 18, 2007

Ask the Pr3++Y G33k

Dear Geek -

I recently started growing a clone of myself in my garage incubator to memorize the complicated passwords handed out by our I.T. Overlords. After all, if I can't trust my own clone, who can I trust? Problem is, it's still months away from even being born, and years away from being old enough to remember complex passwords. (Believe me, most hackers are no where near as charming and attractive as Keanu Reeves.) My clone security system will be fully operational by 2025 or so, but what do I do in the meantime? How can I possibly get an honest day's work done at the iron mine, when somebody could just waltz, foxtrot, or mosh into my unguarded computer and determine the location of my priceless set of Franklin Mint collector's plates? Or – even worse – steal my gestating clone? Help me, Pr3++y G33k! You're my only hope!

- Desperate and Clueless

Thank you for your question, Mr. Clueless.

My initial piece of advice to you is to stop playing God. You are dabbling in matters with which man was not meant to fritter about. Password security is one thing – leapfrogging through the genetic fields in a Frankensteinian frenzy is quite another. Continue down the reckless path of rascality and the wrath of a vexed universe will rain upon you like the scalding spew of a Diet Coke left too long in the glass-enshrouded hatch of a Honda Civic.

As to your Franklin Mint plates: I, too, am a collector, and it always pleases me to hear from a fellow Frankie. If you happen to have a spare copy of the John Wayne "Remembering D-Day" plate, I would be happy to swap a delightful "Cozy Companions" plate featuring a teddy bear and two kittens rendered by the most esteemed Kathy Duncan. Please contact my personal archivist to execute this transaction.

The only password memorization system I trust to protect my plate collection – and, to be completely frank, the only one I could afford on a blogger's salary – is to just write those passwords down on a Post It Note and stick them to my monitor labeled "Passwords".

The key, literally, dear Clueless, is to write the passwords down wrong. The most complicated password those I.T. stooges can concoct could always have an extra digit, and there is your security.

The password "il1k3cruNc#y+@c05" could be written anywhere as long as you remember that you've added your code digit, creating " il1kZ3cruNc#y+@c05". In this case, every password could have a capital letter Z in the 5th position. I'd advise against using your actual initial, and you should mix it up every once in a while.

While I recline upon my divan, I need only peer over at my computer monitor to have access to the full array of network and domain passwords. Should anything go awry while I am away at one of my many speaking engagements, I will be able to call anyone near my desk to read the passwords off to me, and I can add my secret digit at my leisure.

"But certainly," I can hear you cry, "memorizing even one character must be most taxing and arduous!" Dry your tears, you sniveling coward. You disgust me. In a mere 30 minutes I had my code digit fully committed to memory. For a fumbling amateur such as yourself, allow 45. Hasslessness is next to quickliness, and securitiness is just across the street. And the name of that street is the single digit passcode.

With great love-
the Pr3++y G33k

Coke Reward Points - 1,554


Joe said...

Why are you speaking out in opposition to "playing God" by creating a clone of oneself?

I have just two words for you: organ factory.

By harvesting the kidneys from your doppelganger (which most likely will still have that "new clone" smell) you can swill enough Diet Coke, Coke Zero and Black Cherry-Vanilla Diet Coke to redeem points for dozens of digital cameras, mp3 players, and Official Japanese Wild Swan devices.

Come out of your ivory tower, Mr. Bioethics. Just think of it ... mass consumption of products with a complete lack of consequences!

Garrick said...

I actually drool at the thought of that.