About this site's lack of design: Yes, it's supposed to look this way — I'm helping create a new sandbox theme for WordPress (see it on GitHub).

Dan Rubin's SuperfluousBanter

Suffering from chronic idiocy 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


No Comments

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!



No Comments