An open letter to Bank of America

One of my pet peeves is seemingly poor programming practices, especially when it comes to something that I perceive as easily worked around or corrected.

Well, the Bank of America online banking website just earned my ire in this realm.

I'm trying to reset my password to use an algorithm that I've developled for myself. My algorithm generates very secure passwords that are easy for me to remember, and different for each place I use it, using letters, numbers, and symbols. Well, the online banking site has some specific rules for creating passwords:

- It cannot contain special character $ < > & ^ ! [ ]

Now, these are probably metacharacters for whatever language is running the site on the back end. The problem is that, from what I can assess, they don't FRAKING QUOTE the password that you supply them that would prevent whatever language they're using on the back end from interpreting the symbols as metacharacters. Either that, or they don't trust the front-end (the part that we enter our username and password into) to pass the symbols to the backend properly, which should also be solved by quoting the string.

Now, unless someone from Bank of America calls me on this, I'm going to assume that someone in the web development team is a moron, and didn't do enough homework when he/she got their Computer Engineering degree.

I'm not studied in this field, but I know enough to talk to professionals about this on a reasonably intelligent level, having done web development in PERL. If anyone can give me a reasonable explanation, I will post it here, and issue an apology if needed.


To Senator Harry Reid:

I sincerely hope you choke on your own words.

Traitor. I do not use that word lightly.

To explain: Google search for "Define:Traitor". Second entry.

Merriam-Webster defines "traitor" as one who commits treason.

Senator Reid is giving comfort to our enemies abroad, and endangering our troops who protect us from those who would do evil to us.

In my opinion.

Does anyone want to fire up the "Impeach Reid" website yet?

Victor Wooten shows why he's in the "inner circle" of great bassists... Again

If this doesn't inspire young bassists, I don't know what will.

There's really not much to say except "watch the video". Vic has always been regarded as one of the A list bassists on the planet. This is yet another demonstration as to why.

Oh, if you liked that, check out the band he plays with, Bela Fleck and the Flecktones.


I'll be damned if she didn't hit it on the head:

One of the bloggers that I make it a point to read at least once a week is Kim DuToit. He's a naturalized South African national now living in Texas. I don't see eye to eye with him on everything (firstly, he's a professed atheist), but I do like his ideas behind firearm ownership and the freedoms that are granted to us by the second amendment.
I say that to say this: His wife also takes to the keyboard sometimes, and she completely *NAILED* my feelings on the recent crime that occurred at Virgina Tech, and the idea of "gun control". Her rant on this can be found here.
By the way, my idea of gun control is "use both hands". If you don't like it, you're welcome to take your opinion and file it in /dev/null along with the rest of the garbage.


Because I like to give links and props to things that pull my ass out of the fire, part 2 in an ongoing series.

I had attempted to upgrade my Ubuntu/Dapper server (it had many things on it, including Web, SSH, XWindows, and the beginnings of Mail) from Dapper (5.x) to Feisty (7.x, currently in beta). I do the usual upgrade items for any Debian based distribution, change my sources, update the source list and do a dist-upgrade.

From Dapper to Edgy (6.x). Worked with little fuss. No problems.

From Edgy to Feisty... well... to make it short, I lost contact with my Logical Volume Manager definitions.

When I rebooted the machine at 0300 this morning after finishing the update (with much complaining) I rebooted, figuring the complaining to be nothing more than warnings about localization and such.
Well, the machine started.. but not much else. I couldn't load the root file system after boot, so it just sat there. Bummer.

I dd'ed myself a copy of the hard drive, to ensure that I had a recoverable copy of my data in the event that I hosed anything too much. Then I started digging, thinking that I had formatted the file system in ext2. Well, I did, technically. INSIDE THE LVM PARTITION!!! BAH!!! I'M SUCH A USER!!! It took my brain a few minutes to think about "hey, let's use fdisk and figure out what that partition is exactly!".

Actually, LVM isn't that bad of a thing. It's just a bit of overkill for a 20GB drive that's in no danger of filling up.

Anyway, I consult our benevolent almighty data overlords Google for info recovering LVM partitions, and lo, I find the this. Section 7 to be exact. I'm currently copying the data from the recovered partitions to an external USB drive as I type this. I should be able to format the drive and start over tomorrow, with all of my data. Thanks Richard!

God rest his soul.

Jonny Hart, creator of the comic strip "BC" died Saturday before Easter. His wit and insight will be sorely missed.