Reset your Yahoo password

Here we are again folks. Yet another data breach.

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Yahoo has been hit again.

I have a yahoo account. I use it as a junk mail account. This is the email address I give if I think I’m going to end up on a mailing list or junk mail list. I’ll go for months without checking in at Yahoo. When I do finally get around to seeing what’s accumulated, It’s almost all SPAM!

I just changed the password, that was a thrill!

I’m debating if I should just delete the yahoo account entirely. This account does protect my privacy a bit.


Every time I hear about a breach like this, I’m reminded of all the companies that demand you have an account to interact with them.

It seems that no matter how zealously you protect your personal information. Somehow or another you find yourself looking at gaining access to a needed service, or doing without it.

Most of the time we just create the new account and write account name and password down on a postit that we promptly lose.

We do what we need to do, and as soon as we log off, we forget that new name and password then spend 30 minutes to an hour recovering both six months later.

I personally have a spreadsheet of 143 account names and passwords. (By the way, that 143 line spreadsheet, is trimmed! Over the past few years I’ve been killing accounts. I’m down to 143 from about 250.)

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I was inordinately excited when Apple announced that their new operating system would create passwords, remember them, and make said passwords available across all their devices.

I could hardly wait for the new era of simplicity to begin.

Sadly, the reality is that many web sites are telling the Apple browser not to store or supply passwords automatically. Which leaves me referring to my spreadsheet often.

I was thinking about the bad old days

Back in the stoneage you could have a password that looked like “blat”, then the era of 8 character passwords  dawned, so your password became “blatblat”. Not too long after, you had to have a capital letter so “Blatblat” became the norm. Then you had to have a number so “Blatblat8” got used.

Finally we were forced to change our passwords on a regular basis. Our passwords now look like “FranKen$$tein989”, if we’re lucky. More often than not a password looks like “hual38&&n3gg__7yyhaakj”

I’m far more in favor of passphrases. “I like to have my dick sucked. 69 rules!” Unfortunately many websites and even some computer programs don’t have password fields long enough to deal with a phrase. Which leaves us with a password that looks like the keyboard malfunctioned and is just as forgettable.

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Who hasn’t seen

Your new password must be 8 characters long or greater. Your password cannot be reused, your new password cannot contain any part of your old password or user name.

So you spend 5 minutes coming up with something clever that you’ll remember only to have the web site or computer system say;

You password is unacceptable and must contain upper and lower case characters, at least one symbol and two numerals.

Now you’re thinking for another 10 minutes to access your bank account because you want to check a balance.

If you are finally successful in getting the password changed, you’re likely to have written down the wrong sequence of characters because the system has forced you to try again so many times you’re not sure what the hell you entered.

I personally give up after two or three tries at changing a password. It’s easier for me to just call the vendor and ask for a human. Often, I’ll shut down electronic access when I speak to a human. Invariably I’m asked why I’m terminating web access and I say flat out, “I don’t want to deal with of your insane password requirements.”

I’ve found that I spend just as much time waiting on the phone for a human, as I do fooling around with quarterly password changes. By cutting out the frustration of password changes I’m in a far calmer frame of mind.

Recently I realized that I’m less likely to do business with someone who cannot provide paper forms instead directing me to their corporate website where I can fill out this or that online.

The odds of my doing business with such a company are further reduced if I have to create an account before I can get to the forms.

The truly ironic part of all this, is that I’m a technology kind of guy. I’ve been in the business for decades. I know and understand the need for good strong passwords.

I can’t imagine how annoying all this stuff is to folks my Moms age.

Working on reworking my resume

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How do you take a 30 year career and convert it to a blipvert?

Blipvert is a reference to a movie called Max Headroom where a new form of advertisement in a slightly dystopian future was blasted into the general populations brains. The problem was that at some point the bombardment would cause your head to explode.

My resume is dated, to be sure. I’ve been looking at articles and suggestions about generating the attention necessary to get your resume past an idiot HR person and into the hands of an actual hiring manager.

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Apparently you need to create a resume that caters to the short attention span, so prevalent in todays young people.

I was wondering if I could create a Twitter version that might actually be read.

Exp Technical SQA prsn, no threat to your job, looking for employment. HMU if pos avail pay needed = min wge or better. Amer Citzn, Ntv Eng

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Blast it out to every single corporation with a Twitter account. Who knows, It might actually work. Maybe I could get my 15 minutes of fame and cash in like the Kardashians.

I’m half serious.

The problem is that my resume is, uh, diverse.

Hey it’s not my fault, the 80’s and 90’s were  tumultuous time in the high tech industry.

It’s not like today when everything is like the Linkin Park song “When they come for me

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Part of the lyrics say “Everybody wants the next thing to be just like the first.”

What that means to technology is that more and more of the tech has all the originality and creativeness of building a toaster.

The diversity of my resume is seen as a demerit not a plus. Rather than an HR person looking at it and saying “Gee, this guys has been in the industry since the beginning and has done quite a bit they look at it and say why has this guy been at so many companies?

They don’t think about the mergers, acquisitions, bankruptcies, and “leading edge” technologies that fell by the way side.

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Most of the HR people today are barely in their 20s and they have zero clue about life pre cell phone or iPod. Most of them never consider that a lot of the technology surrounding them wasn’t in existence 20 years ago. They have no sense of history and even less interest in learning about it.

There are three contract positions on my resume that illustrate my point elegantly.

Ameriquest Mortgage, Washington Mutual bank, and Countrywide Mortgage

Yep, I worked for all three of them and they are all gone now.

Here’s some more:

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Kentek Information Systems, Peerless Systems, Konica Business Technologies, BlueKite.com, Splash Technologies

Kentek is gone and has been for a while. Peerless is still limping along, where they once had a floor and 1/2 of a building in El Segundo the last I heard they were down to just a few offices. Konica merged or was purchased by Minolta and while the office still exists it’s not the development office it once was. BlueKite.com, GONE! in a particularly ugly way, as is Splash. The remainder of Splash was absorbed by one of their competitors.

I’ve got more…

Suffice it to say that unless someone is printing a score card there is no way a 20 something HR person could come close to understanding what the business was like, or the reason that someone like myself would have such and extensive resume.

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Especially when they’re looking for the cheapest newbie out of college they can lay their hands on.

Not that there’s anything wrong with that but sometimes experienced people just want to work and they don’t care so much about climbing the corporate ladder or the money. We just want to do good work, and live our lives, and leave the ladder climbing and Machiavellian machinations to the young.

I’ve been in management, I’ve been a real manager and a manager in name only. I’m not looking for that career path right now.

If I was offered a management position where I was really a manager and not one in name only, I’d consider it.

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I don’t want to have the title and simply be the scape goat for someone above me that’s calling the shots but serving up their “Managers” when things go badly.

I’ve been there, done that and I have the T-shirt.

Of course none of this is something one could or should say in an interview. Honesty is strictly forbidden when dealing with an HR child.

Depending on the hiring manager you could get away with saying to them.

Note, the manager would have to be a guy and he’d have to be a stand up kind of guy.

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There are perhaps a few women who could take it in the spirit in which it was said, but they’d have to be from Australia, or New Zealand.

You know places where pragmatism, a “can do” attitude, and common sense are still preferred over political correctness or the fear of hurting someones feelings.

Yeah, I said it!

If I were young enough or wealthy enough, I’d try to move to Australia or New Zealand and become a citizen. I miss the days here in America when having a common sense approach at your company would get you raises and promotions.

I’d love to find a place to work in the world where that philosophy was still the norm instead of the exception.

I can dream can’t I?

Well I Apologize…

It seems that in my cleverness I enabled a commenting system that wouldn’t work for people that were using IOS to make comments.

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Not only would it not post the comment… the system I was using wouldn’t even bother to notify me that someone had tried to make a comment.

It seems to work just fine for Chinese Rolex knockoff sites..,. Who knew?

I’ve checked, comments weren’t sitting in the SPAM folder, they weren’t in the trash folder and they weren’t just sitting in the pending folder.

Wherever your lost comments ended up… Know that they’re in a better place now.

I’m really sorry to any of you who tried to post comments only to have your hard work not show up in the comments section.

In an Ironic twist… 

A buddy of mine sent me an email telling me that he’d commented on “Do you really trust the Internet” and that the comment was MIA. 

So I Suppose this proves the point, you can’t trust the internet!

I’ve switched to a different posting system. I don’t like it as much, but it has the advantage that it works… I think.

I posted something from my iPad and got the proper notifications.

A few things about the comments section.

You can post anonymously for the time being, if this becomes a problem then I will go back to requiring names and email addresses.

All Comments are moderated. Meaning that if I think you’re way out of line I reserve the right to wish your comment into the Corn Field. Something I’ve not had to do, except to people trying to use my blog and bandwidth for free advertisement. 

Abusive comments toward me or toward other posters will not be tolerated. I’ll wish your comment into the Corn Field.

If a person becomes a specific problem, I can blacklist them. I don’t really want to do it but it’s possible. Essentially this is wishing you into the Corn Field.

One last thing, you can’t comment on a post older than 14 days. That’s a way to keep some of the snake oil sales people at bay. 

Remember, I enjoy a bit of interaction, even if you disagree with me. At least I know you’re reading and that makes any writer a happy camper.

If you’d like to send a private email you’re welcome to use the email link listed under the “Contact” heading.

Once again, I’m very sorry if I frustrated anyone…

I kept thinking it was too quiet!


“Wishing someone into the corn field” was from what TV Show? What was the actors name that did the wishing? And where did this actor show up later in their TV/Film Career?

Hey, Just because I screwed up doesn’t mean we can’t have some fun…

People are so weird.

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Big news yesterday was that a bear wandered down from a mountain to the East, walked along my fence line and then through a neighbors garden then up the mountain to the South of the house.

Nothing at all unusual about that, well not to me at any rate.

I live in a canyon on a mountain. The peak to the south of me tops 8000 ft (maybe higher, I don’t  feel like digging out the topo maps for an exact altitude.) I live at 6250 FT above sea level.

In this area we have bears, coyotes, bobcats, and the occasional cougar (mountain lion). We also have rabbits, raccoons, deer, bats, owls, and hawks. Not to mention a variety of snakes, poisonous and non poisonous.

Part of the reason I like living here is that there are birds in the trees, and wildlife is pretty abundant.

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I get a kick out of the way people down below get their panties in a bunch when they see a critter.

On the one hand they’ll oooh and ahhh and protest about the destruction of the Brazilian habitat and yet they’ll freak out when they encounter a Coyote on a trail near their tract homes.

God forbid a Bear should walk through a neighborhood…  Mountain Lions? You’d think that a T-Rex had been found alive.

(Down Below… That’s how we refer to the areas which are not Mountain towns. Yes it sounds effete and I guess it is, so what? Even my Orange County friends live on the top of a mountain, Yes, we do look down on some areas.)

I understand that these people are so disconnected from nature that the only way they ever interact with wildlife is via the Discover Channel, Green Peace, or a nice safe zoo.

Their support of environmental causes doesn’t do anything to minimize their blatant hypocrisy. There are times when I want to slap them and point out that protecting the environment starts at home.

Maybe people should tear down some of their 15FT high concrete walls around their homes. How about creating easements so that critters could once again migrate to better hunting grounds and sources of water easily?

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Oh I see, that’s too scary… You’d have to be responsible and keep an eye on your kids & pets.

I get it, it’s the same mentality that says “put criminals in prison, but don’t build the prison near me.” Or “I want cheap clean electricity but it can’t be nuclear and solar panels are so ugly… Thank goodness my homeowner association won’t let those in our development.”

I got to thinking about these things because a neighbor has family visiting. The family is from one of the most artificial warrens of humanity I’ve ever seen… New York City.

The Grandmother was so freaked out by the fact that a bear had been sighted she’d been keeping the children inside for fear that the bear would carry them off and devour them.

She kept asking why no-one was concerned and why didn’t we contact animal control or the police? (I heard it all through the open windows, sound carries here in the canyon.)

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She just assumed that the locals (us) didn’t have a plan.

Obviously we were ignorant savages because we weren’t freaking out about it. (Hummm now that sounds familiar… in what other context are people presumed to be too unintelligent to handle their own affairs?)

We do have a plan. When we see a bear we contact those people we know have kids first. Then folks with small pets. We inform each other that a bear or other critter is in the neighborhood and to take appropriate action.

Often this results in families gathered on their decks well above ground watching the critter pass harmlessly by. It’s a great show and we feel privileged to have been able to watch.

Then when the critter has gone, the kids, and dogs go back outside to play and life returns to normal.

We’re prepared, we keep our garbage in special containers and we don’t leave edible things outside to attract critters. We also know that most critters aren’t at all interested in us.

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Coyotes & Hawks keep the rabbits, mice, and other rodents in check.

We don’t as a rule have to worry about gophers, squirrels, or rabbits, getting out of control in our gardens.

Sure, we might have to replant a few plants one morning but the telltale blood on the ground tells us that the rodent met it’s end.

Replanting a few plants is a small price to pay for not having to poison the environment.

Notice I said, “out of control”… I lose a few raspberries, blackberries, and apples each year to rodents and birds. I’m content to share, they have to eat too.

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FYI there is nothing like watching a Hawk snatch a critter off the ground and fly off. It’s amazing. Yeah, I feel sorry for the critter but it’s not going to suffer.

I do my part, I accept losses in my garden so that I can witness hawks and snakes doing what comes naturally.

Watching coyotes hunt in the evening or the early morning is a study in teamwork. It’s very interesting to watch and surprisingly often, the prey slips between the coyotes paws and the pack goes hungry.

I enjoy the acrobatic flight of bats snagging insects out of the air.

When I get to watch a bear wander around. The light on their fur makes them look shiny. The last bear I saw had dark black fur but the sunlight playing across its shoulders hinted at a reddish undertone.

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You think about bears and cougars as being somewhat monochromatic but they’re not. They have variations and each one is unique, just like people.

You can’t really appreciate that unless you get to watch them in their natural habitat.

All of these things are worth the minimal risks. The kids learn a lot more practical lessons and hopefully appreciate nature a little more than the denizens of glass and concrete.

My neighbors were trying to explain all of this to Grandma, but she was having none of it.

This was wild and uncontrolled (therefore dangerous) and we have to protect the children! I knew for sure that Grandma was from a big city when she said that.

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Protecting children is obvious, for the most part instinctive, and even those like myself without children will go out of our way to protect them.

(“Protect the children” as a phrase has lost all meaning as it has been overused to forward an agenda. I personally believe that agenda will in fact increase the danger that children face. I’m a believer in knowledge and experience being far better protectors of children than fear and insulation from the world. That’s another completely different story, for another time.)

I couldn’t help but think about the noise that kids make. They’re loud and active and every animal on the planet knows that where there are young… Mama’s not too far away.

Nothing is more dangerous than a mother protecting her young. So between the noise and the mama rule… Critters are going to give the area a wide berth.

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I thought I could have some fun by pointing out the wide variety of poisonous snakes and insects that no doubt existed where the kids had been playing. And that the kids were far more likely to break bones or come to other harm by running around barefoot in the yard.

Thus far I’ve refrained.

No sense in terrorizing Grandma, she’d just make it harder on the kids.

My neighbor pointed out to the Grandmother that I tended to keep an eye on the kids too.

I’m sure that raised eyebrows because so many people nowadays automatically assume the worst. At least it gave her something else to fixate on.

I notice the kids are outside running around enjoying themselves again.

 

Ok, I’ve got nothing!

Nothing to say.

Still looking for insurance that I can afford.

THuhhe search isn’t going well.

On the one hand I’d like to be covered, on the other hand I have a fundamental problem paying another mortgage payment to have medical coverage.

The primary problem I have is this, with a mortgage I have something that’s tangible. With health insurance I’m pissing money away to provide for coverage that I may or may not use.

At the rate I’m paying right now for COBRA, if I paid that same rate for 10 years it would come to $72,000 not including interest.

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When the  men in my family break at end of life we don’t typically last very long.

I’m actually fortunate in that as long as we stay active we live a long fairly trouble free life. Our sinuses are for shit but nothing is perfect.

When our time comes we tend to go out like Don Corleone in The Godfather. We’re playing with the grandkids or great grandkids in the garden then we drop dead.

If I’m going to pay the equivalent of another mortgage, I might as well take advantage of the lower mortgage rates and buy another piece of property. At least I could rent it out and have an income, with a potentially higher rate of return.

I was thinking about it and realized that were I to go to a bank to apply for a mortgage for another piece of property they’d tell me I can’t afford to make the payment. Yet our government says that not only must I afford the payment but that they will enforce it under the law.

It’s a lose, lose proposition. If I were still in my 20s I’d be applying for citizenship in other countries. Not because I hate America, I love this country, but because I wouldn’t be able to afford the cost of American citizenship as I got older.

Today if I could communicate with my younger self… I’d say go find a decent country with good people and a system that works. Move there, become a citizen and plan for a decent retirement.

I look at my parents and their retirement isn’t at all what they’d planned for because they trusted in a system that didn’t really protect them. Remember Enron? There were a lot of 401K investments that got wiped out due to them. Then just a few years later you have the housing implosion and the devaluation of their retirement savings has really cut into what they can do. I know they’re on Medicare and Social Security I know they’re paying for health care supplementary insurance I just don’t know how long they’re going to be able to afford it.

I’ve spoken to younger insurance agents who don’t have health insurance because they don’t have an extra 600 – 800 dollars a month in their budgets.

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I’m still OK,  yeah I’m using my savings to pay the bills but I can go for a while longer with careful spending. I keep wondering how the hell can people less fortunate than myself come close to affording health insurance?

It really messes with your head. You want to do the right thing, but you can’t afford to do the right thing.

Obviously if you didn’t bother to pay for your housing, and didn’t eat you could afford to pay for health insurance. Then you’d only have to worry about paying for health insurance for a few weeks.

This is seriously wrong. And yet the government is in a position to make us all face this choice.

I’ve said it before. Contrary to what President Obama would have us believe. The problem isn’t that American Citizens are irresponsible about medical coverage. The problem is that health insurance companies and to some extent the medical providers are raping the American People.

If our government was truly interested in taking action on health care they’d address the source of the problem not penalize the victims.

Humm, I guess I did have something to say after all.

And in other insanity… Really, this one made my head hurt

I was attempting to locate a dermatologist. My plan was to find one local to where I live.

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I found one, then made the call for a new patient appointment.

I’m assuming that no matter what kind of insurance I end up with there’s going to be a transitional period. I figured no problem, I’ll just tell them I’ll be paying cash… You know, greenbacks, the coin of the realm, money, American dollars.

When I say this… the young lady says I can’t be a patient, because it’s too expensive for the patient to be able to pay cash and the Doctor isn’t accepting any cash clients at this time.

I’ll admit it my brain rebooted!

I never thought about this as a possibility. I mean really? The Doctor isn’t accepting cash patients? WOW!!!!

Needless to say, I’m not going to go see this guy. I need someone with a can of liquid nitrogen and the ability to use it… $250 a 15 minute appointment and we’re done. Next!!!!

I guess my head is still reeling that cash, in some cases isn’t worth anything even today…

Well, cross that Doctor off my list.

Moving on….