Archive for May 23rd, 2006
Sometimes it feels like I’m the only person on the planet who has heard of eMusic. I’ve been a fan of eMusic since I first heard about it, and have been a paying member since July 2002. (Which means that eMusic’s various owners have made a total of something like $1000 off of me.) I try and tell everyone I know about eMusic, but sometimes it takes more than word-of-mouth to convince people to lay down $10-$20 a month. So maybe ArsTechnica’s review of eMusic will get more people excited about it:
They’re doing a lot of things right. The site works well, downloads are quick, and it has plenty of tools with which to discover new music. The music itself is high bit rate VBR MP3 files, and it sounds terrific. Still, you’ll need to have a musical taste at least slightly outside the mainstream for the site to interest you in the long term.
It’s kinda funny; Ars considers eMusic’s focus on indie music to be a con, but I see it as one of eMusic’s biggest pros. Indie music is exactly what I was looking for back in 2002, when I decided to boycott the RIAA for their destruction of the old AudioGalaxy P2P service. But I stayed because of the quality of music on eMusic. Without eMusic, I would’ve never heard The New Pornographers, Neko Case, Christopher Jak, nor the Drive-By Truckers.
Oh, and since eMusic offers standard, VBR MP3s, it works flawlessly with Linux! Download and listen, it’s that easy.
Vu, who is a assistant professor in the Psychology Department at California State University, Long Beach, goes on to say that the average password is easy to crack, but access to biographical data makes guessing that much easier with favorites being birthdays and children’s names. “My colleagues and I use an easily obtained cracking device called LC4 to crack passwords,” she said. “It sources a dictionary to try words and combinations of words. It often cracks a password without knowing anything about the user. My research says that 60 percent of passwords can be cracked within a few hours, and some in less time than that.”
One of my job functions is assisting people with creating/resetting passwords. And I am continually amazed at how poor some people’s passwords are. It would be relatively easy to guess someone’s password just by knowing a little about that person. Know that Frank’s dog’s name is Kemosabe? There’s a fair chance that is his password, too. Know that Judy is a knitting nut? Her password is probably something along the lines of woolyarn or luv2knit.
I once was personally guilty of this same thing, normally using girlfriend’s names. Over the years, though, I’ve gotten much better ’bout this. Thanks to a password vault and constant access to it, I’ve abandoned the idea of creating passwords, and instead use a random password generator. I keep all my passwords in a password safe, and have a super-strong passphrase protecting the password vault. But I’m weird that way. Most people are not going to be.