Thursday, May 20, 2010

"Is this really necessary"

Pogue about over-doing security measures.


Bruce said...

A growing problem. At my job, there is an (underground) motto: "We are so secure we can't do anything."

Eolake Stobblehouse said...

One of the earliest SF stories published in the US, by Jack Williamson, "With folded Hands", tells of the invention of small, black robots made to make sure humans were safe. You can guess the rest.

Anonymous said...

Certainly not necessary for most people/businesses. Maybe if you're the U.S. government you don't want someone hacking you.

the password must be at least eight characters long, letters and numbers, no recognizable words.

Which for me would necessitate writing it down.

You can guess the rest.

Hm, okay. I'm guessing it all works out fine? :)

Timo Lehtinen said...

For years, Richard Stallman had no password on his personal account. This was a widely known and openly publicized fact.

I think his philosophy was that 100% openness was safer than trying to hide behind walls. Especially as this was the hacker community anyway.

I too once logged on his account just to see if it was true. He had a friendly welcome message asking people not to delete his files.

Eventually there was too much vandalism and sadly he was forced to start using a password.

Eolake Stobblehouse said...


What kind of account was this?

Timo Lehtinen said...

Just a normal shell account. Reachable by telnet.

This was in late 1980s/early 1990s when only big corporations used firewalls. Otherwise you could basically telnet to anyone's computer on the Internet.

Timo Lehtinen said...

By the way, this general openness and trust also reflected in a certain comradeship among Internet users. You could email basically anyone, and they would (1) reply swiftly; and (2) bend backwards to help you. I still have saved email exchanges with some very notable people, some of whom I'd have no access to today -- at least directly.

Those were the golden days of the Internet.