Sunday, February 03, 2013

Apparently, there is a sporting event going on?

The media remains obsessed with the Dow Jones Industrial Avg and arbitrary levels like 14,000 despite the repeated efforts of others to get them to focus on broader measures like the S&P 500. Well, that's neither here nor there, because the Dow's back over 14,000 and that means it's all happy days again.

I won't bore you with all of the details of the signals that I'm seeing now, I'll leave you with one of the easiest to remember.  When the whole world is zigging, you want to zag and when Barron's (the  Wall St Journal paper for weekend warrior investors) puts out a cover stating "New Highs coming!!" you had better have your game plan in place.  Couple this with a Paul Krugman piece that basically says the economy is getting ready for lift off and I getting nervous.  No one wants to hear it again, but Europe is slowing again and will likely cause some major headaches for US policymakers in the next 6 months. I'll have some more big picture thoughts in coming days.

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In the era of Chinese hacking - in the last week the NY Times, Wall Street Journal and Twitter were all hacked - password are increasingly important.  I actually think that the next big thing is password generation/authentication but I don't have the capabilities to build that myself (note to wannabe billionaires out there: get cracking on this problem).

However, I found this story on passwords and the remarkably simple nature of many so many passwords interesting.

"Last month, an analysis of leaked pin numbers revealed that about one in 10 of us uses "1234"; a recent security breach at Yahoo showed that thousands of users' passwords were either "password", "welcome", "123456" or "ninja". People choose terrible passwords even when more is at stake than their savings: among military security specialists, it's well-known that at the height of the cold war, the "secret unlocking code" for America's nuclear missiles was 00000000.

Five years ago, Newsnight revealed that, until 1997, some British nuclear missiles were armed by turning a key in what was essentially a bike lock. To choose whether the bomb should explode in the air or on the ground, you turned dials using an Allen key, Ikea-style."

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