Sunday, June 24, 2007

Our long national nightmare is over

I have been offline since Memorial Day, since I moved out of my last apartment. A friend offered to sit in my apartment all day Friday waiting for Verizon and flexing her technical troubleshooting muscles, and as of 1:20 PM yesterday I had a wireless network at home, winning me $1 from the bar across the street, which gambled they could resolve their Verizon wireless troubles sooner.

Woo Hoo! It feels good to win. And to be back on the net. Lord knows how you people have gotten by.

I'm trying to register my account with Verizon. As you may be aware, Verizon's core marketing principle is 'suck at everything that's not network quality, so customers don't feel we're misspending our efforts." Although I still give Verizon Wireless props for not selling cellphone records, that's really the joint venture.

So, these are just reflections from the first page of the account registration page. They have the 'secret word' security device, that communicates to the user that they don't give a crap about passwords either. When left alone with friends' computers, I've often cracked their passwords by typing in boyfriend's names, pet's names, children's birth dates and what not; the secret question security hole really lets everyone do this.

But, the secret question is common enough. Verizon's spin is to make the questions themselves, in database terminology, indeterminate.

If you forget your password after a year, are you going to want to visit the same country? I think my first job was selling Burpee seeds door to door, but it could have been Stuart MacGuire shoes -- in any case, delivering newspapers was not only more lucrative, but I had a far more formal relationship with the Stamford Advocate. However, I wasn't strictly anybody's employee until I worked for Mr. Sports at the Springdale Shopping Center. But, if we're talking professional jobs, here, should I put in my contracting firm, or the place that I worked? Progressive Networks is now RealNetworks. If they were my first employer, which name should I use? Whatever decision I make now, am I going to answer that question the same later?

How am I supposed to choose favorites among my friends and pets? Should I be encouraging competition for my favor among these populations?

So, that brings us to High School mascot. I only attended one high school, although only for two years, so that has the least ambiguity. My high school mascot was a blue wave, which makes cool logos, but is a little hard to cheer for. I could never understand what I was supposed to call each team member. A packet? Unfortunately, 'Blue Wave' has a space in the middle of it

So, it goes on, with another of my favorite registration page foibles, the incremental password rules. First, I type in a weak password.

Fair enough. Who knows what mischief people might get into with my Verizon account? Spuriously paying my bill and reviewing my network service. No, thank you! So, I gamely type in a longer password.


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