With passwords proliferating like tribbles, I’ve had to upgrade from my two previous methods of managing my accounts.
The first method was the easiest: I had two passwords, an easy one and a complicated one. If the site was important I used the complicated one. If the site wasn’t important I used the easy one. Well… that started to seem like less and less of a good idea pretty much as soon as I started online banking and getting work passwords that mattered and stuff. So.
The second method worked for a long time: I had several passwords written down in a fairly secure online place that was itself password protected, and then I had an easy password that I used for all my “I wonder what del.icio.us is” experimentation online. That started seeming less and less good after several of the sites with the easy password got hacked multiple times and the hackers stole their databases of user passwords. Multiple times. And then I’d have to go through these millions of little sites changing a bunch of passwords all day. That got to be a less and less appealing way of spending a few hours. So.
Now I’m using an encrypted password manager. Here’s the setup. KeePassX (the Mac version of KeePass) on each of my computers and KyPass installed on my iPod Touch, each of these is directed to look at the KeePass database that’s stored in Dropbox (and the file made available offline on my iPod Touch).
Hopefully this solution lasts me for a while.
Google has been rolling out redesigns of its major web services, like Gmail and Google Reader, and like a docile citizen of the Internet, I’ve been waiting for my eyes to adjust and for my hands to quit directing the mouse to places where buttons used to be. It’ll happen. Sooner or later.
What I find fascinating is that the design changes that keep catching my eyes off guard seem to be more than updates to look and feel. They seem to embody a shifting focus or philosophy on Google’s part.
The new designs seem just enough divorced from any 3D metaphors to leave me feeling unanchored. I no longer look through digital windows or at pages on a digital desk. There aren’t enough edges for those things to exist any more, and what edges there are on the page are flat and insubstantial enough that my eye can’t interpret them as edges. They’re just lines. Even suggestions of the existence of friction (like the bumpy edges of messages that you could “grab” to drag) are gone.
What’s left is a denial of the physical. We’re not in Kansas any more. We’re not even “navigating” the digital world any more. Little by little, Google has stopped shipping information down to our world. Little by little, Google has started asking us to give up on gravity and friction and join it in the ever-shifting, edgeless, 2D existence of the digital cloud.
Those of you who have Naxos Music Library know that iPods and iPads and iPhones don’t work well natively with Naxos stuff because Naxos is pretty heavily dependent on Flash. Our music department’s librarian just sent information around about how to make things function, though, so I thought I’d share. As it turns out, there’s an app for that!
- Access NML through your library’s subscription on a desktop/laptop computer
- Select the playlists tab near the top of the page
- Select “sign up” near the upper right corner and follow the sign-up directions
- A confirmation email will be sent, with a link to activate the account.
- Log in to the desktop interface and create playlists
- Download the NML for iPhone App and log in using the same account information.
- Accessed your playlists via the app.
Basically, the music you want to hear on an iThing will have to be put into a playlist first, and the playlist is what’s available via the app.
Every so often, people in online communities turn their attention toward one thing and argue heatedly. Here’s how it generally goes.
- Initial controversial statement (This is usually something that can be interpreted as “You and everything you value? It all sucks.”)
- Initial “Hey, who do you think you are anyway? And by the way, you suck” response.
- Mass internet pile on
- Later, in no particular order
- Sporadic “That controversial statement wasn’t controversial. It’s been said/done/thought since the beginning of time” interjections
- Sporadic “That initial statement was spot on” interjections (mostly ignored or decried)
- Summary blog posts for newcomers to the argument
- Meta blog posts talking about the experience of the argument (ahem, You Are Here)
- Argument is named something catchy (usually a catchy acronym or some reference to Watergate)
- People wax nostalgic about the argument, getting all heated up about it in short bursts
- Argument becomes point of comparison in the next mass internet argument
On this, your 5th birthday, I’d like to thank you for introducing me to some of the people who are now my best friends in the world, for never backfiring on me too badly when I stuck my toes in the crazy, for never attracting the real crazy that exists out there on the internet, for helping me learn to be a librarian, and for helping me learn to be an adult. I started you on a whim and on another platform. I’ve fallen out of love with you and then realized that it wasn’t you, it was me, and this realization led me back to appreciating you again. And through it all, you’re still here, bursting with drafts that I may never flesh out, but here nonetheless. Happy birthday.