Wednesday 10 October 2012

Rain Man Memory

So, today wasn’t  my niece’s birthday. I can’t even be accurate with a date when I am being immature and stubborn to a close relative 20 years my junior. Oh, Phil – what are you like??? Whhhaaaaaaaaaaaa-waaaaaaa-waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah.

I managed to not give myself away. We had a quick chat over Facebook where I asked her if the card had arrived. It hadn’t. She didn’t seem to think this was an issue. Come to think of it she didn’t seem to have mentioned her birthday on Facebook all day. And no-one was wishing her happy birthday. Wait a minute…maybe it….maybe it…isN’T her birthday. I quickly checked her Facebook page – I was right, it wasn’t her birthday – I had got her birthday wrong. The part of the previous sentence to focus on is “I was right.”

You see I knew 10 was part of her date of birth. She had this little wooden stool that had her name and date of birth on it. I always remembered the 10. The 10 was the month! THE MONTH! Of course. I knew the month was October and it wasn’t going to be the 10th of October was it? I would hardly be likely to forget if her birthday was 10/10. Also there was a boy who I went to primary school with whose birthday was the 10th October so I would have remembered MY NIECE’s birthday by remembering that it was the same birthday as Stuart who I knew 20 years ago.

Pass? Word

I forgot to mention this when I read it the other day. Give it a read. If you’re interested in passwords and internet security and that kind of thing. If you’re not interested in that kind of thing you should probably give it a miss. Maybe find an article about something you are interested in (Flute sketching, the relaxation techniques of Tess Daly or the socio-economic effect of Little Mix)?

If you can’t be arsed reading it I’ll just share this bit with you:

This is where the length of your password makes an almost unbelievable difference. For a hacker with the computing power to make 1,000 guesses per second, a five-letter, purely random, all-lower-case password, such as “fpqzy”, would take three and three-quarter hours to crack. Increase the number of letters to 20, though, and the cracking time increases, just a little bit: it’s 6.5 thousand trillion centuries.

I don’t know about anyone else but I can get an idea of three and three-quarter hours. It’s a couple of films. A decent action film and a good comedy – doesn’t sound so bad watching Die Hard and then Old School while a computer works out the password to someone’s eBay account. Three trillion centuries seems like a long time though. I imagine you could probably watch every episode of Last of The Summer Wine in three trillion centuries – and have toilet breaks.

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