PassBuilder.Com

The fine folks over at Ilium Software have put together PassBuilder.com, a site that will generate passwords for you.  Generated passwords don’t suffer from the kind of interference that us humans provide to normal password generation (namely, we like passwords that we easily remember – too easily – such as “fluffy”).  I like their “dictionary” option – which lets you easily associate your new password with a dictionary word.  And of course, you need somewhere to store those passwords – such as my favorite wallet app, eWallet.

SPA: Putting Your Heart, Soul, Water Bottle, Second Base, And Baseball Bat into The Game

Minor League Manager Meltdown

“Minor league manager Joe Mikulik had a major league meltdown.Tosay Mikulik — skipper for the Asheville (N.C.) Tourists — lost hiscool Sunday in a Class A South Atlantic League baseball game againstthe Lexington (Ky.) Legends would be a gross understatement.”Thatwas incredible. That’s gotta be on ESPN or something,” Legends starterTip Fairchild told the Lexington Herald-Leader. “I’ve seen coaches gooff, but that was pretty good. … He used everything — bases, theresin bag, the hat, the dirt. Everything.” It all started in thefifth inning when Asheville pitcher Brandon Durden tried to pick offKoby Clemens — son of Roger Clemens — at second base insideLexington’s Applebee’s Park. Clemens was called safe, prompting Mikulikto charge toward first-base umpire Andy Russell to protest the call.Protest he did. The agitated Mikulik went nose-to-nose with Russell, who showedconsiderable restraint before tossing the manager. Even after
hisejection, Mikulik demonstrated a headfirst slide into second before hepicked up the base and flung it toward the outfield. On his walk towardthe visitors’ dugout, Mikulik stopped at the pitcher’s mound, picked upthe resin bag and hurled it toward first base.”

I don’t know if this is truly a Stupid People Alert, but man, take it easy – it’s only single A…  Kyle, ever thought of throwing a second base into the outfield in little league – do it and you’ll be my hero 🙂

Awesome Artichokes!

Artichokes are one of my favorite foods, however I find that many people are downright scared by the things when they see them in the grocery store.  After all, they do look like a strange green vegetable that you’d probably never want to eat.  Recently, artichoke dips have become very popular at places such as generic american bar and grill and the other generic american bar and grill and even at semi-reputable chain-style italian eatery.  Artichokes are pretty nutrious as well, as listed on Wikipedia.
So how does one make an artichoke? Well, here are the simple steps:
1. Purchase Artichoke(s)
2. Cut tips off the leaves (optional – real men don’t care if they are a bit pointy – they won’t cut ya!)
3. Cut black part off stem (optional – looks better. Stem
is able to be eaten, just a bit bitter on puny arti’s)
4. Place in pot of boiling water, uncovered, let cook for long time (~45 min, it’s done when the leaves are tender and can be pulled off easily)
5. Place garlic under a few cloves, drizzle with olive oil, put in broiler for 5 – 10 min. (optional, but makes them taste better)
Ok, now on for the eating portion!
1. Pick leaves off, dip in butter or other sauce if you choose
2. Run bottom part of leave (the end that was attached to the plant) under teeth to pick off ‘meat’ (tasty!)
3. When leaves are gone, don’t dispair!
4. After you get to the annoying leaves (little ones, no meat, puny), pull them off.
5. Scrape pointy parts out.  This is the part that would have become a flower if us greedy people didn’t decide to eat it!)
6. Enjoy Artichoke Heart (Part under pointy parts, looks like little bowl).
There ya go.  If you want another idea, here is an article on making grilled artichokes at Cooking for Engineers.

Lawn Wars

I have no idea what number LW this was… but for anyone who ever cared, 3 1/8th bags of grass today, a little over an hour time. T & H are on their way up, so I guess it’s off to a quick shower before they get here, as I look like a grass monster.

Strange Dreams

OK, K & I were down in PA this last weekend for a party, which was great. We came home last night, and I hit the hay around 2. Got woken up at 3 because it was a thunder storm and K really hates those. Got back to sleep around 3:45, then the real fun hit – a strange dream.
I dreamt that I was doing some sort of market research where a group of people were entering a theatre to preview some product and I was a part of the team, posing as a confederate (the stuff psychologists dream of…) halfway through my dream I fell asleep (in the dream, so I’m sleeping while sleeping) and had a dream! In my dream’s dream, I was lucid, and my dreaming self did the following:
1. Picked up a guy and threw him over a bridge, just to see if I was lucid (The punk shouldn’t have been in my dream’s dream)
2. Flew around a bit.
Then I woke up, and was doing the market research crap when someone stole my van (Yes, the van parked in my garage right now). Then I really woke up, and heard people next door digging a trench about a foot away from my property, along the entire border. Bay Point fun…
A dream within a dream, truly a strange experience.`

Stupid People Alert: Free USB Drives!

Dark Reading – Host Security – Social Engineering, the USB Way
We recently got hired by a credit union to assess thesecurity of its network. The client asked that we really push hard onthe social engineering button. In the past, they’d had problems withemployees sharing passwords and giving up information easily.Leveraging our effort in the report was a way to drive the message hometo the employees.

The client also indicated that USB drives were a concern, since theywere an easy way for employees to steal information, as well as bringin potential vulnerabilities such as viruses and Trojans. Several otherclients have raised the same concern, yet few have done much to protectthemselves from a rogue USB drive plugging into their network. I wantedto see if we could tempt someone into plugging one into theiremployer’s network.
For all those out there that think “Eh, writing down the password is OK” or “Guess the guy who lost this is a loser, guess I’ll keep it”, here is a great piece on social engineering, USB drives, and idiot credit union employees.

Three Things I Hate, All In 1 Hour!

Alright, this morning, one of my friends (Who shall remain nameless) sent out a forward to everyone he/she knows regarding a missing child report.  Now I’m a nice person, and so are they, so I feel these kinds of emails are valid to be sent – assuming that the information is real.  The email in question was the “Ashley Flores” forward that Snopes.Com (An awesome site) debunked a few weeks back.  So I found the page on Snopes, and did a “Reply to All” (Something I’m always leary to do, since it can be abused so much) hoping to stop others before they sent out this dribble by accident.  I wrote a nice reply stating the following:
Ugh… unfortunately (or fortunately) this is a hoax: http://www.snopes.com/inboxer/missing/ashleyflores.asp .

 
The internet can be used for so much good – it’s a shame people put these things together – then the next time, we all fail to pass things along when it’s real!
 
Jon.
Which I thought was straight, to the point, and didn’t put the sender down for not checking (After all, they might not know about snopes.com, or google, or anything like that).  A few seconds after I sent my reply, I got the following from another person on the list:
I thought you might find the following article from snopes.com interesting: http://www.snopes.com/inboxer/missing/ashleyflores.asp
Now I don’t mind someone else posting the same link I did, what I do mind is this: That reply has absolutely no information to offer to the people reading it.  It simply states “Read This”, which everyone knows nobody does.  I’m willing to bet that most of the recipients would read that line and figure “Gee, must be more info on this missing girl”, not “Gee, must be a hoax”.  My reply stated it was a hoax up front, and tried to be a bit comforting to those taken in by it.
So the 3 things I hate:
1. The F****** AS*H**** that create these crap hoaxes trying to be funny, witty, or malicious.  You’re cluttering up the internet with junk worse than my blog is cluttering up the internet.
2. People who do not check on the facts of messages they receieve, they simply forward it out to everyone.  To be honest, some might not know how to check, but perhaps messages like mine will inspire them to check in the future.
3. People who reply to ANY email with nothing to offer. A certain radio show I like often uses the quote of one of their staffers that simply states “I bring nothing to the table”, which certainly describes replies like this.  Everyone hates a “Me Too”-er, we should all hate messages that boil down to “uh… here’s a link” without atleast a brief description of the link in question.
Ok, I’m done ranting for the day!