Follow us: Follow us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter Follow us on Google+ Follow us on Linkedin Follow us on Tumblr Subscribe to our RSS or Atom feed
Thursday, March 30, 2017
Southern Weather Radar


Our Writers

  • Adam Peck
  • Alan Gordon
  • Alex Kearns
  • Alex Seitz-Wald
  • Alice Murray
  • Allison Korn
  • Alyssa Cagle
  • Amanda Marcotte
  • Amanda Peterson Beadle
  • Andrea Grimes
  • Andrea Lee Meyer
  • Andrew Bowen
  • Andy Brack
  • Andy Kopsa
  • Andy Miller
  • Andy Schmookler
  • Ann Marie Pace
  • Ann Woolner & Leonard Ray Teel
  • Anna Dolianitis
  • Anna Forbes and Kate Ryan
  • Annelise Thim
  • Anoni Muss
  • April Adams
  • April Moore
  • Ariel Harris
  • Armando
  • Arthur Blaustein
  • Austen Risolvato
  • Austin McMurria
  • Barry Hollander
  • Bert Roughton III
  • Beth Ostlund
  • Betsey Dahlberg
  • Bill Caton
  • Bill Hamm
  • Bill Mankin
  • Bill Montgomery
  • Bill Moyers & Michael Winship
  • Bill Phillips
  • Bill Semple
  • Bill Tush
  • Billy Howard
  • Bob Bohanan
  • Bob Pritchard
  • Booth Malone
  • Bootsie Lucas
  • Boyd Lewis
  • Brad Clayton
  • Braden Goyette For ProPublica
  • Brandon Collins
  • Brett Martin
  • Brian Randall
  • Brianna Peterson
  • Bruce Dixon
  • Bruce E. Levine
  • Burton Cox
  • Candice Dyer
  • Carl Kline
  • Carol Carter
  • Carson M. Lamb
  • Casey Hayden
  • Cathleen Hulbert
  • Center for American Progress
  • Chantille Cook
  • Charles Finn
  • Charles O. Hendrix Jr.
  • Charles Seabrook
  • Charles Walston
  • Chelsea Toledo
  • Chelsey Willis
  • Chris Bowers
  • Chris Kromm
  • Chris Wohlwend
  • Christopher Burdette
  • Chrys B. Graham
  • Chuck Collins
  • Cliff Green
  • Cody Maxwell
  • Collin Kelley
  • Craig Miller
  • Crissinda Ponder
  • Dallas Lee
  • Dan Kennedy
  • Daniel Flynn
  • Daniel K. Williams
  • Daniel Palmer
  • Danny Fulks
  • Dante Atkins
  • Darby Britto
  • Dave Cooley
  • Dave Johnson
  • Dave Pruett
  • David Bradford
  • David Evans
  • David Harris-Gershon
  • David Jenks
  • David Kyler
  • David Parker
  • David Roberts
  • David Rotenstein
  • David Swanson
  • Dean Baker
  • Deb Barshafsky
  • Debbie Houston
  • Deborah Chasteen
  • Denise Oliver Velez
  • Dennis McCarthy
  • Desiree Evans
  • Dian Cai
  • Diana
  • Diane Rooks
  • Dina Rasor
  • Dindy Yokel
  • Doc
  • Don Lively
  • Don O'Briant
  • Donnie Register
  • Door Guy
  • Doug Couch
  • Doug Cumming
  • Dr. Brian Moench
  • Dr. Dorothy Ann Boyd-Bragg
  • Dr. Nick De Bonis
  • Dr. Ravi Batra
  • E. David Ferriman
  • Earl Fisher
  • Eden Landow
  • Eileen Dight
  • Eleanor Ringel Cater
  • Elizabeth Shugg
  • Ellen Brown
  • Elliott Brack
  • Erin Kotecki Vest
  • Fatima Najiy
  • FishOutofWater
  • Francisco Silva
  • Frank Povah
  • Fred Brown
  • Frederick Palmer
  • Gadi Dechter, Michael Ettlinger
  • Gail Kiracofe
  • Gaius
  • Georgia Logothetis
  • Gib Ennis
  • Gina Williams
  • Gita M. Smith
  • Glenn Overman
  • Gordon Anderson
  • Gregory C. Dixon
  • Gryphon Corpus
  • Hamp Skelton
  • Harriet Barr
  • Heather Boushey
  • Henry Dreyer
  • Hollis B. Ball III
  • Hugh
  • Hyde Post
  • Ian Kim
  • Ian Millhiser
  • Isabel Owen
  • Ivy Brashear
  • J.A. Myerson
  • Jack deJarnette
  • Jack Wilkinson
  • Jacklyn C. Citero
  • Jake Olzen
  • James Hataway
  • James Marc Leas
  • James N. Maples
  • Janet Ward
  • Jasmine Burnett
  • Jason Palmer
  • Jason Parker
  • Jay Thompson
  • Jaz Brisack
  • Jeff Cochran
  • Jeff Davis
  • Jeff Rayno
  • Jeff Spross
  • Jeffry Scott
  • Jennifer Hill
  • Jesse Harwell
  • Jessica Luton
  • Jim Allen
  • Jim Bentley and Jeff Nesmith
  • Jim Clark
  • Jim Cobb
  • Jim Fitzgerald
  • Jim Newell
  • Jim Stovall
  • Jim Walls
  • Jim Warren
  • Jimmy Booth
  • Jing Luo
  • Jingle Davis
  • JL Strickland
  • Joan Donovan
  • Jodi Jacobson
  • Jody Wegmueller
  • Joe Earle
  • Joe Shifalo
  • Joel Groover
  • Joey Ledford
  • John A. Tures
  • John Dembowski
  • John Hickman
  • John Hickman with Sarah Bartlett
  • John Huie
  • John M. Williams
  • John Manasso
  • John Sugg
  • John Tabellione
  • John Yow
  • Jon Sinton
  • Jonathan Grant
  • Jonathan Odell
  • Joni Hunnicutt
  • Jonna Pattillo
  • Joseph B. Atkins
  • Joseph Gatins
  • Josh Dorner
  • Josh Sewell
  • Joy Moses
  • Judith Stough
  • Judy McCarthy
  • Juli Ward
  • Julian Bond
  • Julian Riggs Smith
  • Julianne Wyrick
  • Julie Ajinkya
  • Julie Puckett Fodera
  • Just Plain Will
  • Kaili Joy Gray
  • Kate Greer
  • Kate McNally
  • Katherine A. Edmonds
  • Kathleen Brewin Lewis
  • Kathleen Harbin
  • Kathleen R. Gegan
  • Kathryn Hoffman
  • KC Wildmoon
  • Keith Graham
  • Ken Edelstein
  • Ken Haldin
  • Ken Hawkins
  • Ken Peacock
  • Kevin Austin
  • Kevin Duffy
  • Kip Burke
  • Kirk McAlpin
  • Kirsten Barr
  • Kos Moulitsas
  • Kristie Macrakis
  • Lacey Avery
  • Lamont Cranston
  • Laura Clawson
  • Laura Smith
  • Laurence Lewis
  • Lawrence S. Wittner
  • Lee Leslie
  • Lee Robin
  • Leon Galis
  • Leonce Gaiter
  • Les Eatwell
  • LikeTheDew
  • Linda Hunt Beckman
  • Linda Jordan Tucker
  • Lisa Byerley Gary
  • Lisa Kerr
  • Lois Beckett, Propublica
  • Lorraine Berry
  • Louie Crew Clay
  • Louis Mayeux
  • Lovell Jones, Ph.D.
  • Lucy Emerson Sullivan
  • Lucy Guest
  • Maggie Lee
  • Maisha White
  • Mandy Richburg Rivers
  • Margi Ness
  • Marian Wang, ProPublica
  • Marie Diamond
  • Mark Dohle
  • Mark Johnson
  • Mark Sumner
  • Martha W. Fagan
  • Mary Civille
  • Mary Elizabeth King
  • Mary Kay Andrews
  • Mary Lee
  • Mary Willis Cantrell
  • Matt Johnson
  • Matt Musick
  • Matt Renner
  • Matthew Wright
  • Maurice Carter
  • Meg Livergood Gerrish
  • Meghan Miller
  • Melanie Rochat
  • Melinda Ennis
  • Michael Bailey
  • Michael Beckel
  • Michael Castengera
  • Michael Ettlinger
  • Michael J. Solender
  • Michael Linden
  • Michael Lux
  • Michael W. Twitty
  • Mike ”Hunter” Lazzaro
  • Mike Copeland
  • Mike Cox
  • Mike Handley
  • Mike Lofgren
  • Mike Ludwig
  • Mike Williams
  • Mimi Skelton
  • Moni Basu
  • Monica Smith
  • Murray Browne
  • Myra Blackmon
  • Nancy Melton
  • Nancy Puckett
  • Nancy Robinson
  • Nancy Rogers
  • Neill Herring
  • Nelly McDaid
  • Nikki Gardner
  • Niles Reddick
  • Noel Holston
  • Occupy Wall Street
  • Overman & Senn
  • Pamela Sumners
  • Pat Garofalo
  • Pat LaMarche
  • Patrick Andendall
  • Patrick L. Ledford
  • Patsy Dickey
  • Patti Ghezzi
  • Paul Buchheit
  • Paul Krupin
  • Paul Rutledge
  • Paul Thim
  • Pete & Jack
  • Peter Crawford
  • Peter Turnbull
  • Phil Gast
  • Phil Noble
  • Philip Graitcer
  • Phyllis Alesia Perry
  • Phyllis Gilbert
  • Piney Woods Pete
  • Polly
  • R S
  • R.L. Miller
  • Rafael Alvarez
  • Randy Conway
  • Randy Schiltz
  • Ray Bearfield
  • Raymond L. Atkins
  • Reagan Walker
  • Rebecca Sive
  • Ric Latarski
  • Richard Eisel
  • Righton C. Willis
  • Rob Chambers
  • Rob Coppock
  • Rob Douthit
  • Robert Dardenne
  • Robert E Hunt Jr
  • Robert Jensen
  • Robert Lamb
  • Robert M. Williams, Jr.
  • Robert Mashburn
  • Robert Weiner & Richard Mann
  • Robin Marty
  • Rodney Adams
  • Roger Gregory
  • Ron Feinberg
  • Ron Taylor
  • Rose Aguilar
  • Rose Weaver
  • Rosemary Griggs
  • Russ Wellen
  • Sam Morton
  • Sao Magnifico
  • Sara Amis
  • Sarah Ayres
  • Sarah Bufkin
  • Saralyn Chesnut
  • Scott Anna
  • Scott Borchert
  • Scott Keyes
  • Scott Wooledge
  • Sean Manion
  • Seth Cline
  • Shane Gilreath
  • Sharon M. Riley
  • Shay Dawkins
  • Sheffield Hale
  • Sheila Barnard Nungesser
  • Sigrid Sanders
  • SoniaTai
  • Sonya Collins
  • Soraya Chemaly
  • Spencer Lawton
  • Stephanie Taylor
  • Stephen Lacey
  • Steve King
  • Steve Krodman
  • Steve Valk
  • Stuart Liss
  • Sue Sturgis
  • Sujigu
  • Susan De Bonis
  • Susan Soper
  • Susan Wilson
  • Suz Korbel
  • Tammy Andrews
  • Tammy Ingram
  • Tanya Somanader
  • Ted Kooser
  • Terri Evans
  • The Barnacle Goose
  • Thomas A. Bledsoe
  • Tiger Liliuokalani
  • Tim Oliver
  • Timothy Freeman
  • Timothy Hurst
  • Tom Baxter
  • Tom Crawford
  • Tom Ferguson
  • Tom Millsop
  • Tom Poland
  • Tom Walker
  • Travis Waldron
  • Travis Waldron & Pat Garofalo
  • Trevor Stone Irvin
  • Tricia Collins
  • Troubadour
  • Valerie Evans
  • Viveca Novak
  • Waldron, Somanader & Garofalo
  • Walter Rhett
  • Wanda Argersinger
  • Wayne Countryman
  • Wayne Johnson
  • We The People
  • Will Cantrell
  • Will Nelson
  • William Cotter
  • William Hedgepeth
  • Yana Kunichoff
  • Yasmin Vafa
  • Zack Beauchamp
  • Zack Ford
  • Zaid Jilani
  • Zaina Budayr




  • Writer Login


    Like the Dew?

    We are non-commercial, all volunteer and supported by our readers. Please help sustain the Dew by making a donation.

    computer blues - part II

    Maneater

    by | 3 | May 20, 2014
    • Note: This Part II and conclusion to Computer Blues: Fake, Fraud and Schadenfreude (click here for Part I).

    Heartbleed-Login-Fail-S

    Just like my neighbor Carlos’ ferocious, man-eating cocker spaniel — or my Sixth Grade nun — Internet password strength checkers can smell fear on a man: Gotta’ get by me first punk, before you can do anything,” each one of them barks. But again, I’m getting ahead of myself…

    “What do you want first, the good news or the bad news?”

    The statement is made by the head of the Credit Card Fraud Department of my current bank and former longtime employer. His cramped office is located in the bowels of the bank headquarters building in midtown Atlanta, Georgia and his department is not often visited by the public. Maybe that fact accounts for the office’s almost makeshift, ‘thrown together’ appearance. I note that about  half of the desks are pressed wood, the kind sold at those big box office supply stores. The other half is surely made up of government surplus. “If, by chance, the bank is not meeting stockholder profit expectations, it ain’t because of lavish spending on furnishings”, I tell myself.

    Each desk has a DELL flat screen computer mounted on its driver’s side. Each workstation is manned by a bank online security specialist. Although, I must have been in this building hundreds of times when I was a bank employee, this is the first time I’ve ever noticed that for some reason the place smells vaguely like vanilla.

    I had received the call from Bank Security on the previous day, some six weeks after ‘The Fake Will Affair.” Weeks before, the bank had promptly refunded all of the monies taken from my account for the Jet Blue tickets, the monster truck tires, and even the money my imposter had given to the Nassau County Republicans. The call was to request me to come in and sign some documents regarding the refund of those same monies. (Before I got to the Bank Security Office I didn’t exactly know what I was going to be signing—or signing for. My old bank is legendary for its…er, ‘frugality’ and as such I was happy not to see a set of monster truck tires, recovered from Fake Will, of which I was supposed to now take custody!)

    “Bernie, I’m an optimistic kinda guy. Give me the good news first,” I say to the bank vice president and manager of the department.
    “The good news is as result of all the mischief ‘Fake Will’ or whatever you’ve nicknamed him was doing out there a few weeks back, your credit scores increased dramatically…they’re through the roof.” I’ve known Bernie Calumet, at least on a causal basis for a long time. He’s not a kidder. In fact he doesn’t have much of a sense of humor about anything.

    “Hunh?! Wha…”

    “You don’t see scores like this every day. As head of Bank Security,I see the scores of people from all walks of life…presidents, kings, Arab sheiks…everybody. As a result of Fake Will and his shenanigans, you now have scores that are impeccable, the same type of credit scores as nuns, saints and drug dealers!”

    “Wow!”

    “Will, you could probably waltz into a store almost anywhere in the country and buy anything you wanted. On credit. Anything! New Cadillac, new Porsche, lease a penthouse apartment. Almost anything.”

    I feel my eyes grow grew bigger — big, like a kid in a toy shop around Christmas. “Like maybe a helicopter, maybe?”

    SPACE SHUTTLE“Hell, Will with credit scores this high, you could co-sign to buy a f*&king Space Shuttle!”

    “Wow!” I say again.

    “You could probably go to an arms dealer, buy weapons grade plutonium, get the stuff through U.S. Customs and nobody would question your motives.” Prior to heading up bank security, Bernie was with the FBI and CIA. The statement regarding weapons grade plutonium sounds impressive, though I have no real idea of what weapons grade plutonium is.

    “!?!?!?!”

    “I’m serious. These are great scores.”

    “You know Bernie, I have been looking at buying a new…”

    “The bad news is you can’t keep ’em…you can’t use those credit scores, Will. It would be wrong and you  know we had to inform the credit bureaus about Fake Will and all. By tomorrow morning, you’ll have the same old pedestrian credit scores of the Average American again—the same ones you used to have. Pretty “piss-ant” stuff, if you ask me.”

    “(GULP) Think I could still sign for a new Cadillac, if I wanted?”

    “Ha! I don’t think so. Fella, with average American scores, you’ll be lucky to be able to co-sign for a Fedex or UPS delivery. Now here, please sign these documents certifying that you’ve received your replacement funds.

    “Sure,” I said wistfully as I signed a couple of documents in triplicate. I did so absent-mindedly while thinking about what it was like to have the same high credit scores as nuns, saints and drug dealers.

     

    **************************************************************************

     

    Swapping out or re-setting all my passwords and PINS (“All of ’em, says Kenny B.) is no easy task. And while I understand the urgency to do this thing with the Heartbleed Bug looming, I am not happy about it.

    One reason is I had finally come up with one SUPER-SIMPLIFIED-ULTIMATE-PERFECT PASSWORD.

    Now I’m having to give it up.

    In an instant, I knew it was the perfect password. At the moment if its discovery, I’d say to myself the same two things one hears around the periphery when any timely discovery is made–from Balboa peeping the Pacific Ocean for the first time to where I mislaid the car keys this morning: “Eureka, I’ve found it!” and “You idiot! This was so obvious. Why didn’t you think of looking here before now dumbass!”

    chastity belt

    …like a perfect password, it protects the owner’s goodies,
    while he is away on other business.

    My perfect password had all the properties a perfect password should have: elegance in simplicity; strength enough to resist penetration from cads, interlopers, hackers, Fake Will’s,etc; a hint of sex and most importantly, it protects the owner’s ‘goodies’ while he is off taking care of other business. When I thought about it, my perfect password was just like a midievil chastity belt

    My perfect password was easy to remember too. My memory is prodigal these days. Not only does my memory have a mind and free will of its own, specific memories including PIN numbers, secret codes and where I mislaid the car-keys will go AWOL for long periods of time. I often have no idea where they’ve gone, what they are doing, or who they’ve been doing it with. All I know is they ‘sure as hell’ haven’t been doing it with me. At least not lately. Of course, true to the nature of any prodigal, when the crisis is nearly over and they may have even been replaced, the prodigals come straggling in, unshaven, drunk, disheveled and in need of a good delousing.

    Of course, the biggest reason the swapping out task is difficult is those Internet password strength checkers. They are man-eaters! Like a high maintenance woman, their ultimate approval is impossible to achieve. Like my neighbor Carlos’ man-eating cocker-spaniel, Internet password strength checkers can also smell fear on a man.

    Whenever I am hunched over my laptop working desperately fast before ‘the system’ times out it seems I’m in Sixth Grade all over again and Sister Mary Agnes, a certified Zero Tolerance nun is standing over me. She has a severe look on her face, a ruler in one hand, and a  stop watch in the other. She shakes her head from side to side as I desperately spell out and punch in my spontaneously conjured 8-to-12 character password attempts.

    WC Input to computer: “C|H|A|S|T|I|T|Y |B|E|L|T

    Password Strength Checker: “Nice try William, but you’ve used this password before.”

    WC: “But it’s the perfect password for me.”

    PSC: “You’d only be cheating yourself. Try again. Better hurry, I’m going to timeout any nanosecond
    now.”

    WC: “Ok, I’m hurrying…I’m hurrying … what about this one: X|A|C|T?”

    PSC: “Password Strength is 2 out of 10. Surely you jest, punk.”

    WC: “What about X|A|C|T|O then?”

    PSC: “Password Strength is 1. Even worse. You sure you went to college? Here’s a suggestion. What
    about the password 18A76514#479?”

    WC: “Who could possibly remember that?”

    PSC: “Einstein could’ve remembered it. ”

    WC: “Well, I couldn’t …I couldn’t possibly remember that…..OK, what about X|A|C|T|L|Y?”

    PSC: “3.5 Pathetic. Is that sweat I see on your cheeks or are you crying on me?”

    WC: “What about X|A|C|T|A|M|U|N|D|O

    PSC: “OK, Fonzie, I’m giving this one a password strength of 8. I’ll take it this once, but only because I’ve got better things to do today than mess around with you, you ignorant bastard. By the way, those are tears I see! Don’t cry punk. I’ve broken many a man. Better’n you.”

    WC: “My next one was going to be M|A|N|E|A|T|E|R

    PSC: “M|A|N|E|A|T|E|R! Perfecto! Finally, you’ve come up with a good password. This was so obvious. Why didn’t you think of this before now, dumbass?! Now let’s get on with re-setting  the next ones…the next passwords. You’ve got fifty more to go…”

     

    *************************************************************************

    cocker spaniel barkingA full day and a half later, despite breaks for water, vitamins, exercise and a large chicken, mushroom and pineapple pizza, I am finished –although my ego is substantially worse for wear.

    I’d had countless trial password entries rejected, had been timed-out at least once by twelve different man-eating password strength checkers and knocked off line eight times for no reason whatsoever. Like the ocean, the Internet can be cruel.

    In the end, I now have 6 new passwords plus new one super password for 11 accounts. I’ve also gotten kudos from my computer whiz friend Kenny B who says: “Good work. I didn’t figure you could do it, you old fool!”

    Although I have hopefully thwarted the Heartbleed Bug, I feel no sense of real accomplishment since it’s inevitable another virus or threat will come about soon. There will always be some low self-esteem ass-wipe somewhere in the world who wants to ruin it for the rest of us. There will be another dastardly virus with a terrifying name like PLANET-KILLER or an ironic name like  ‘Pansy’ (or maybe ‘Yo’ Mama’). Nevertheless, with the completion of the password project, another honeymoon period between me and the computer has begun. I doubt it will last for long.

    But rather than dwell on the difficulties of life online, it’s time to get the cobwebs lose and some fresher air in my lungs. A jog around the block will do it. Now, if I can just get by my next door neighbor’s man-eating cocker-spaniel, the same one who can smell fear on a man. Like the Internet password checker, he barks “Can’t go anywhere without getting past me first, punk!”

     

     

    ###
    • Images:Heartbleed login image created by LikeTheDew.com, but inspired by EnvisionDesign.net; Space Shuttle - NASA image (public domain); Chastity Belt - unknown attribution as Google found 17,600 uses (mostly in China?), so we guess that it might have come from the Onion; Cocker Spaniel from AboutCockerSpaniels.com (promotional/fair use);
    Will Cantrell

    Will Cantrell

    Will Cantrell (a pseudonym) is a writer, storyteller, and explorer of the milieu of everyday life. An aging Baby Boomer, a Georgia Tech grad, and a retired banker, Cantrell regularly chronicles what he swears are 'mostly true'  'everyman' adventures. Of late, he's written about haircuts, computer viruses, Polar Vortexes, identity theft, ketchup, doppelgangers, bifocals, ‘Streetification’, cursive handwriting, planning his own funeral and other gnarly things that caused him to scratch his head in an increasingly more and more crazy-ass world.   As for Will himself, the legend is at an early age he wandered South, got lost, and like most other self-respecting males, was loathe to ask for directions. The best solution, young Will mused, “was just to stay put”. All these years later, he still hasn't found his way but remains  a son of the New South. He was recently sighted somewhere close to I-285, lost, bumfuzzled and mumbling something about “...writing' his way home.” Of course, there are a lot of folks who think that “Cantrell ain't wrapped too tight” but hope that he keeps writing about his adventures as he finds his way back to the main highway.

     

    Print Friendly

     

    • Anoni

      You have tapped into a global angst, Good Will. How valiant of you to change multiple passwords. Most of us are too lazy and gamble on being overlooked.
      Inspired illustrations! especially the chastity belt, worn by a very modern figure, not medieval by any means. And that upright space shuttle….
      How about choosing passwords on a theme calculated to lift one’s spirits? Graceful, charitable, understanding, virtuous, romantic, affectionate, enticing… But if one had a controversial streak, or commercial, radical, challenging, or vicious tendencies -- a whole new mood could be encapsulated. “Maneater” -- perfecto indeed. Passwords as art form. Great article.

    • Trevor Irvin

      Will,

      Let’s meet in my back yard again in five and discuss gittin’ that weapons grade plutonium before your credit scores dries up again … then we fire up the grill with it and make some Weapons Grade Barbeque … Oh, and my iron-clad password is 1234567 in case you need to use it.

      Regards,
      T

    • David

      Did you ever discover what the cocker spaniel’s PW is? With it, maybe you could alter his Kibbles and Bits diet.

  • Worthy of Comment



  • Please subscribe to our free Dewsletter

    To subscribe to our Dewsletter (it's free), just enter your email address and click Subscribe. You will be sent an email requiring you to confirm your email address (protects us both from spammers).

    A note on privacy: We respect your privacy and will never sell your information or pass them onto any third parties without your permission to do so. You may also unsubscribe from the mailing list at any time simply by using the link provided in our email communications (bottom of each email). For our complete privacy policy, click here.



  • Please Help Support the Dew

  • %d bloggers like this: