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Dan Rubin's SuperfluousBanter

Design, random musings, and the Web. Since 1977

Archive for March, 2004


I Lost My Password

Wednesday, March 31st, 2004

How usable is security? It’s a question I’ve been asking myself
lately. One of the courses I attended last semester was about cryptography and
secure design. What got me thinking is the fact that security is just 20% technology—80%
is organizational. Security is about people—about trust.

The thing is, the more you try to make a system secure the less usable it becomes—and
as a result, the system actually becomes less secure than its designers intended.
Do you use different passwords for an assortment of accounts you are subscribed
to? Do you change your passwords frequently? I certainly don’t. Security
is always a trade-off between convenience and complexity. People don’t
like complexity, and definitely not at 8:30 in the morning when they need to
log in to start working.

If you ask users to memorize too many passwords they will start sticking post-it
notes on their screen to make sure they don’t have to call tech support.
How secure is that? You just spent 6 months and a few million bucks to end up
with bright yellow post-it notes all over the place with confidential information.
That’s why security is about people, not technology.



Hakuna Matata

Sunday, March 28th, 2004

This is what total relaxation looks like—atleast to me. I took a long
walk with the dog into the backcountry, far from the city, traffic and stress.
It was cold (~5C°) but otherwise lovely weather. The only piece of
technology I took with me was my mobile phone with integrated camera—I decided to capture this
moment of intense enjoyment. Maybe it will somehow make everyone happy. So
what’s your favorite activity or spot to get away from it all?



Weekend Reading (13)

Saturday, March 27th, 2004


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Interview by Justin Goodlett (and win $20!)

Tuesday, March 23rd, 2004

Interview with Didier HilhorstI’m
excited to announce my
first ever interview
by Justin Goodlett of SkinnyJ.
Previous interviewees include Jon Hicks and Andy Arikawa — needless to
say I find myself in good company. I answer questions about design, aesthetics,
usability, Jakob Nielsen, inspiration and how I became to be a designer. Enjoy!

But wait…

There’s more! In the interview
I challenge readers to calculate my age using a mathematical formula. The first
reader to post a correct answer along with a rationale of the calculation in
the comments
will win a $20 gift certificate
from amazon.com. That’s as many dollars as necessary to buy a copy of
the new required reading by the folks at 37signals
entitled Defensive Design
— heck, you’ll even have enough left to grab a beer at your local

Update: There are some mucho smart and especially lightening fast people on the web. Damn. You’ve guessed it: the $20 gift certificate has been won, already. Congratulations to both Shaun and David for the answers. They both get $20. So, what did you think of the interview? Discuss!




Photoshop CS Giveaway

Tuesday, March 23rd, 2004

Interview with Didier HilhorstAndrei

Herasimchuk of Design by Fire is going to give

a way a copy of Adobe Photoshop CS. Better yet, he’s going to give away

a copy of Adobe Photoshop CS that has been signed by the engineers. Andrei will

post a list of 10 questions. The first person to write the correct answers in

the comments area will win this coveted prize. I have a feeling this isn’t going to be easy. Good luck to everyone!



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