News you can use

In Post Password Era, Passwords are the Problem

The standard password has never been less effective or more susceptible to attacks. But some of the U.S.’s leading corporations say they’re also not ready to get rid of it.

Businesses knew that passwords were dead long before the theft of billions of user credentials from Yahoo! and information on more than 140 million people was stolen from Equifax. But for technical executives at some of the U.S.’s leading corporations, the twin events are serving as a long overdue coda for the technology world’s first swing at security: the simple password.

Still, executives speaking at the Akamai Edge Conference* here said that the much maligned password won’t be abandoned any time soon, even as data breaches and follow-on attacks like automated “credential stuffing” make passwords more susceptible than ever to abuse.

Alternatives like fingerprints and retinal scans are more secure, but resisted by the average user as cumbersome. Meanwhile, I recommend the correcthorsebatterystaple philosophy of strengthening your passwords.

It’s back! “Stranger Things” Season 2 is here

The second season of my favorite Netflix adventure, “Stranger Things”, will debut next Friday, October 27, just in time for Halloween.

The geeky crew of Mike, Dustin, Lucas, Will, and yes, Eleven (with hair!) return to battle whatever is out there in the Upside Down, with the quirky denizens of Hawkins, Indiana. Lots of 80’s references, including movies like Ghostbusters (where did the boys get those cool uniforms?), Chucky, Karate Kid, Carrie, and Star Wars. If you liked The X Files, Twin Peaks, and The Goonies, you will love Stranger Things.

Netflix will release the entire “season” at once, so you can binge-watch the whole thing, or spread it out. If you didn’t catch the first season, there are only eight 42-minute episodes, so it won’t take long to catch up.

Television is a vast wasteland of reality shows and poorly written comedies, but there are gems out there to mine. The Duff brothers have created a 5-carat diamond in Stranger Things; I highly recommend it.

More EM Drive news

I have been following the news on the EM drive(here and here), a potential rocket/spaceship drive that produces thrust without expelling mass. According to my understanding, and Newton’s Third Law of Thermodynamics, this should not happen.

The math is way over my head, but these guys have come up with a possible explanation:


Scientific literature refers to a strange observed phenomenon, “impossible” according to traditional physics, looking at the experimental feasibility of the so called “EM Drive”. The authors have called it an Impulsive Thrust from a Closed Radio-Frequency Cavity in Vacuum. Here we present a possible explanation for the observed thrust based on the conceptual framework of Eurhythmic Physics, a kind of pilot-wave theory aiming at bridging the gap between quantum and macroscopic systems. Applied to the present system, a generalized guidance condition could explain the claimed absence of reaction of the material of the drive on the enclosed fields.