Random Passwords with Special Characters in PasswordWallet

hacks

I'm a big fan of S3?s Password Wallet (which syncs with their iPhone version).

The most secure mode of their default password generator generates a random alphanumeric password between 8-12 characters long. In their template format, that looks like this:

{[xX#]:8:12}

Which says characters are randomly chosen to be lowercase (x), uppercase (X) or a number (#), and to randomly do this at least eight (:8) and at most twelve (:12) times.

However, I also like throw in special characters, which you can do like so:

{[xXp#]:8:12}

where p means one of the following characters:

~ ! @ $ % ^ & * . ; : ?

Cool!

One thing bugs me though: I'd like to be able to have a toggle for each entry in Password Wallet that would let me specify a different template for password generation. That way, if a site doesn't like those special characters above, I can just flip the toggle and get the random alphanumeric style. (Right now, I have to open the preferences and delete the p from the template to go alphanumeric... and then remember to go and change it back.)

UPDATE: Before this post even when live, Sanford Selznick -- the man behind S3 -- responded to an email that you could use a template like so:

xXxX{p:0:1}xXxX

that will include a special character half of the time. That's a great temporary solution but I'd still prefer named templates. (And, no, I didn't just give you information about my password generation template!)

Even fancier would be something like:

{[xX#]:4:5}{p:0:1}{[xX#]:4:5}{p:0:1}

which produces passwords between 10-12 characters long where the first 4-5 characters are random alphanumeric, then an optional special character, then the same. This will result in 1/4 of passwords generated having no special characters.

I'm going to stick to pure random and a manual toggle, though!

RIP, Lux Interior, 1946-2009

music, photos, friends
image of lux interior of the cramps screaming into mic

?Rock ?n? roll has absolutely nothing to do with music. It?s much more than music. Rock ?n? roll is who you are. You can?t call the Cramps music. It?s noise, rockin? noise.? --Lux Interior

How does one mourn the loss of a god?

Lux Interior, the 62 year-old frontman for The Cramps, died on Wednesday. He?s survived by the rest of the planet and Poison Ivy, his wife of 34 years and Cramps? guitarist. The band site has gone black.

The NYT obituary is good... I think I can come to terms with ?zombie rockabilly? although I really think they had a unique vision and expression that wasn?t so dependent on the specifics of music history.

Michelle?s favorite band is The Cramps. Our second date was to a Cramps show on 2 November 1997 (our ten year anniversary is in April). And I was pretty much in love after that show. The Demolition Doll Rods opened, and they sucked... mostly naked with skulls hanging from pasties; they couldn?t play their way out of a paper bag.

The second act, Guitar Wolf, was like nothing I had ever seen before, even having played death metal for a number of years in high school (I played drums with double bass). Guitar Wolf is a greasy trio from Japan that are each totally insane. They rock, hard... so hard, in fact, that the lead singer was kicked out of the club about halfway through their set!

Needless to say, I was pumped when The Cramps came on. They were a tight four-piece with a wicked hot guitarist, Poison Ivy, and an impossibly skinny singer, Lux Interior, who was wearing something that was impossibly tight. They played killer song after killer song... ?I Was A Teenage Werewolf?, ?Human Fly?, ?Drug Train?, etc. Each song seemingly ten times better and more raw than the last.

We move to Berkeley for my graduate school and we saw The Cramps three more times, each on a Halloween evening in the 2000s. One of which the newly formed Eagles of Death Metal opened up... and, to everyone?s surprise, their drummer was none other than Josh Homme of Kyuss and Queens of the Stone Age. After that amazing show, I was surprised to find Sarah Ellinger, a SIMS student and someone I mistakenly took for a timid soul, at the front of the stage basking in the rock.

Rest in Pumps, Lux.

UPDATE [2009-02-06T10:59:45]: OMFGWTF... Chelle just pointed me to this crazy recording of The Cramps live in California in 1978 at the Napa State Mental Hospital:

(Image courtsey of canderson)

Gmail Offline's Reaction to Attachments...

system, photos
gmail offline attachment error dialog

Ha!

Arrears

politics

arrears
money that is owed and should have been paid earlier *: he was suing the lessee for the arrears of rent.*

I thought this was a typo in the NYT Daschle story...

Obama's CTO: two positions?

politics, policy, princeton

(Cross-posted at Freedom to Tinker)

Paul Blumenthal over at the Sunlight Foundation Blog points to a new report from the Congressional Research Service: ?A Federal Chief Technology Officer in the Obama Administration: Option and Issues for Consideration?.

This report does a good job of analyzing both existing positions in federal government that have roles that overlap with some of the potential responsibilities of an ?Obama CTO? and the questions that Congress would want to consider if such a position is established by statute rather than an executive order.

The crux of the current issue, for me, is summed up well by this quote from the CRS report?s conclusion:

Although the campaign position paper and transition website provide explicit information on at least some of the duties of a CTO, they do not provide information on a CTO?s organizational placement, structure, or relationship to existing offices. In addition, neither the paper nor website states whether the president intends to establish this position/office by executive order or whether he would seek legislation to create a statutory foundation for its duties and authorities.

The various issues in the mix here lead me to one conclusion: an ?Obama CTO? position will be very different from the responsibilities of a chief technology officer. There seem to be at least two positions involved: one visionary and one fixer. That is, one person to push the envelope in a grounded-but-futurist style in terms of what is possible and then one person to negotiate the myriad of agencies and bureaucratic parameters to get things done.

As for the first position, I?d like to say a futurist would be a good idea. However, futurists don?t like to be tethered so much to current reality. A better idea is, I think, a senior academic with broad connections and deep interest and understanding in emerging technologies. The culture of academia, when it works well, can produce individuals who make connections quickly, know how to evaluate complex ideas and are good at filling gaps between what is known and not known for a particular proposal. I?m thinking a Felten, Lessig, etc. here.

As for the fixer, this desperately needs to be someone with experience negotiating complex endeavors between conflicting government fiefdoms. Vivek Kundra, the CTO for the District of Columbia, struck me as exactly this kind of person when he came to visit last semester here at Princeton?s CITP. When Kundra?s name came up as one of two shortlisted candidates for ?Obama CTO?, I was a bit skeptical as I wasn?t convinced he had the appropriate visionary qualities. However, as part of a team, I think he?d be invaluable.

It could be possible that the other shortlisted candidate, Cisco?s Padmasree Warrior, would have enough of the visionary element to make up the other side of the team; I doubt she has (what I consider to be) the requisite governmental fixer qualities.

So, why not two positions? Does anyone have both these qualities? Do people agree that these are the right qualities?

As to how it would be structured, it?s almost as if it should be a spider position -- a reference to a position in soccer that isn?t tethered by role. That is, they should be free from some of the encumbrances that make government information technology innovation so difficult.

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