Tilting at Windmills


Point of the game: describe a problem you are passionate about.
Acknowledge it is likely going to take more than you to solve.
Remind the world you will never give up.

I’ll go first.


My name is Japhroaig, and I work in infosec (hi japhroaig!).

I have a problem when usernames and passwords are literally the same thing. I can’t fix this alone.

But I will never stop trying.


My name is Tachin, and I work as a sysadmin.

I want to work on your systems, I just need a list of server names as opposed to a screenshot of said servers names. I need help.

I will solve this.


I want to strangle all the recruiters/companies they recruit for that ‘require’ the last four digits of your SSN. GAAAAAH such big security risk.


I’m MalevolentPixy and my problem is that people don’t seem to realise that when given a list of instructions, those instructions are meant to be read. And if there is an itemized list (especially if the instructions are of things to fix) to not simply do the first thing and ignore all others.

There are no stupid questions, but don’t be surprised when my answer is RTFM.


My name is OhhJim and I use computers.

My problem is that I log into approximately 5,814,592 websites that require a password, and many of them require me to change my password regularly. How am I supposed to remember that many passwords?

I will write all my passwords into a notebook and leave it next to my keyboard, but still keep wishing there were a better way.


My solution is https://pwsafe.org/ + https://www.dropbox.com/


Thanks, but doesn’t that mean that when THAT gets hacked, they get ALL my passwords, instead of just one?


It is my firm belief that only heathens slather their hot dogs with ketchup, especially when they do so to the exclusion of all other condiments.

I have been as yet unable to convince any other members of my household of this truth.

Also, I occasionally forget that our family name literally means “heath dweller.”


Hi my name is actionabe, and I expect my bosses to read the reports I write for them before they call me in to talk about things I covered in my report, such that they can make a non-split second decision by the time they get to me. I even include summaries that, while they don’t substitute for reading the report, point them to the section they can go to in order to find any answers to questions they may have.

I have attempted to make these reports more enticing, and to make it clear that all the information they need is in the document I sunk a lot of time into, but I will never stop trying.



That’s why I make that password extremely hard to brute-force, and memorize that.

As far as I know, that particular program isn’t vulnerable to rainbow table attacks; it doesn’t store a hash of the valid password, but uses it as a symmetrical encryption key. If you enter a wrong password, it can’t tell the difference between “This is a valid file, but the wrong password,” and, “This file is a bunch of gibberish that you typed in Notepad.” The only way it can tell that it is the right password is if the decryption yields something intelligible.

I will admit, if someone got a hold of that file and was using a keylogger on my desktop or phone, I’m pretty well pooched.

On the other hand, if someone’s using a keylogger on my desktop or phone, I’m pooched anyway.

Though, now that you mention it, I’d better change that password. It’s probably overdue for it.


Do you have a jackknife that you keep out of sight?

I think I’ve found my windmill for this thread.

Videos, podcasts, conference calls, in-person meetings, handouts: they are all subject to the same limitation: after the fact, it’s not searchable. I can’t file it in a folder and then search it by keyword later. Once it’s done, I’m relying fully on my memory to either remember exactly what was said, or remember exactly which file/binder/email it’s in, and where in that file it is.

My windmill is that anything and everything that can be transcribed into digital text should be.

It’s never going to happen; it takes twice as long to type something out and make sure you have it down accurately than just leaving the listening to the audio and trusting your memory (my memory being something I trust only marginally more than some random untrustworthy person I might name), but it is a goal to strive for.

At least until computers can reliably understand and transcribe human speech, at which point, all of that other stuff should become searchable.


My name is Gellfex and I want people on the roads and sidewalks to all know and obey the rules that apply there. Walk or drive when it is your turn, and pay attention (take your nose out of your phone) and know when it your turn. A small fraction of the drivers in my city actually know the rules for multiway stop signs. Pedestrians routinely cross against the signal stealing the brief turn light from the cars. I honked and yelled at a woman for doing this not 1/2 hr ago. I acknowledge this is hopeless, but I rail against it, driving my family crazy.

Seems to me this is simply a computing cycles/bandwidth problem. Currently any text image you upload to Google will be OCR’d, what you want is just the next stage of that, visual voicemail for everything.


…and checked against a child porn database of some kind, apparently. A university ethics officer at my university got busted after uploading such content onto his google account. They tip off the NCMEC and they tip off the cops, apparently.

ETA: Any image, obviously, not just text images as @gellfex was talking about.


Miasm. Aye.

I’m still rather discombobulated over the whole “no absolutes in life” thing.

If we could just come up with a couple, I really think I would feel a lot better.


VGA. I want this standard done away with.

The number of machines I still see hooked up via VGA when both the computer and the monitor support DP is too damn high.

Edit - I mean, sure, I get it. Computer was replaced on Date X and the monitor only had VGA and DVI and the VGA cable was already plugged into from the old PC. But when a New Monitor is put in place on Date Y, is it really that hard to look and see if you can use a better cable from the get go?


DVI was short lived though. I have VGA and HDMI on my current laptop. VGA is gonna stick around cause so so so many older monitors use it and they last a long long time!

ETA and in an enterprise environment monitors stick around till they are well and truly dead.


Yes, it was “short lived” but most of the monitors in my environment have it. That was a horrid “standard”

HDMI is OK. It feels a little “consumery” to me, but I can deal with it.


Hi I’m CleverEmi, and I send a lot of PDF proofs of items to be printed.

When I ask people to proofread their requested file, I DO NOT MEAN, is this pretty?

I mean, is the information correct and accurate and/or did I fuck up? (Is it that some people don’t want to tell me I made a mistake? Because proofing is the PERFECT time to tell me I made a mistake. I will appreciate your doing that, because once you have 1000 copies in your hands, it’s no longer simple, easy or cheap to fix.)

I’ve trained a few people, but it never ends.


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