Older blog entries for amars (starting at number 384)

Evolving Logo

This has me thinking like a harlequin (a la The Traveler). It'd make a GREAT authentication scheme.

Syndicated 2006-12-08 20:04:25 from Something More Than a Machine

The worst of Best Practices

The Good

My bank is making an effort at providing better security for online account access.

The Bad

I can't trust it.

The Backstory

For weeks, after logging in, I've been prompted to opt-in to a program that is supposed to improve security by providing answers to security questions -- they call it multi-factor authentication. Given the option to "do it later", I always passed. That is, until I was presented with three questions I never supplied answers to and no access to my account without the correct answers.

I call the number that is suggested when I run into problems. They tell me it was supposed to be gradually implemented over the period of a few months and the deadline passed for voluntarily opting in. I was aware that they were trying to implement this feature, I was not aware that it would be mandatory. I asked if I could opt out altogether, I'm happy enough with an account number and password. They tell me that it was mandated by a federal regulation, but weren't able to give me any information about what regulation mandated this change, specifically. Nor are they able to give me any details about where and how this supposedly private information is stored and to whom access is afforded. Either way, they would be happy to temporarily change the password to an arbitrary number, not of my choice, which when used would prompt me to select and answer the security questions. Each of which are somewhat personal in nature and frequently crop up at other sites (for password reset/retrieval) and most staggeringly are all questions for which the answers can be found in public records! To top it off, and to make things easier no less, I'm given the option to bypass this step in the future for the computer I'm using at the time, or for any other computer I authorize in the future.

Yep, sounds secure to me.

On the subject of Best Practices

I'm still impressed by the American Express technique of partially occluding the user name when returning customers log in... and no silly third-party solutions that may or may not have been federally mandated.

Syndicated 2006-12-08 04:10:01 from Something More Than a Machine

Wooster Collective: A Live Meeting of Bigger Geezers

This sounds like fun. David Choe, The London Police and more painting to the tune of a live performance by The Dandy Warhols. Bonus for following the link to the Dandy Warhols site: Wear 3D glasses. I always wanted to do that, in fact, it was one of my motivations for learning flash, so I could maybe have some animated stereogram action on the site.

Syndicated 2006-12-07 19:57:59 from Something More Than a Machine


Check out my Final Project for my HCI class. I can finally make this public now that it has been submitted and graded.

Syndicated 2006-12-06 16:18:29 from Something More Than a Machine

Checking in. At this point it's been what? 16 months since my last post? I'm pleased to see that after so much time Advogato hasn't changed (much). I've always admired advogato for it's dead simplicity, it's been somewhat of an inspiration as I develop Something More Than a Machine, but after revisiting, I look at SMTaM and think it's not simple enough.

16 Apr 2005 (updated 16 Apr 2005 at 05:11 UTC) »

I started in on the Yahoo! API for possible use with my Intelligent Systems term project. I was pleased to find the following in the example code...

// Yahoo Web Services PHP Example Code
// Rasmus Lerdorf

To follow-up on my last post, my quest for employment is at an end, for now. I start Monday at my new job as a programmer for a local (but well-funded) startup. This weekend will be my last at the sushi restaurant in which I am currently only working weekends.

19 Jan 2005 (updated 11 Aug 2005 at 14:24 UTC) »

I'm back. The cruise was fun, the break semi-relaxing and the new semester (my first as a legitimate graduate student) is going well. Over the break, I graduated and after a long hiatus during which I focused on finishing my degree, I am back looking for a job. My resume is accesible at my univ-provided webspace. The ASCII version is [NO LONGER] inluded below

deekayen: If wikipedia is any indication, UTD is probably the best place in Texas that is best for me. They have an excellent Applied Cognition and Neuroscience program as well as a computer science department that is rapidly gaining national attention. The faculty and student body have proven to me to be top-notch and i've already had a taste of graduate school as I will enter the program having already taken 15 hrs of graduate level coursework. I was given much flexibility in my academic path as an undergraduate and the same will be true in the graduate level.

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