OPEN SESAME IS THE WRONG PASSWORD






Have a cell phone? P.C., tablet, IPad, Mac or Android, then you know somewhere deep in the bowels of hyperspace habits the FORGOT YOUR PASSWORD DEMON. It smirks as you download apps you’ll never use, join groups you’ll seldom attend; establishes accounts at Google, Yahoo, Instagram, Twitter, Macy’s Pay Pal. And with each new account you’re required to create a new password.


How does the DEMON know you’ve already used THAT password for another account?

[Are various accounts sharing information? HELP, Rachel Maddow?] What does it matter if I use the same password. I’m going to forget it anyway. But you comply.


When you’ve created enough passwords, copied them: on different scraps of paper, into different spiral notebooks, to computer file’s you no longer remember, the DEMON will raise IT’S head.


Even if your password was constructed as instructed. Even if your password has at least one symbol - # = $; UPPER and lower case letters and the minimum of eight characters. Even if

the DEMON deems your construct ‘adequate’ and difficult to decipher, it still demands you type your password once again. Just to be sure?


Of course, once established, you never need your password. . . until you do. And I did. I wanted to buy a fluorescent snorkel online. I thought I knew my password. I thought I remembered each symbol, each character, each upper- and lower-case letter I’d cleverly created. I was wrong.


THIS PASSWORD IS INVALID


blipped onto the middle of my screen.


A patient man, I typed again. Those annoying little black ⚫’s reappeared. This is the DEMON’S first challenge. ‘IT’ only flashes each letter, whether upper or lower case, symbol, or number for a milli-second. Each character appeared. Then disappeared so fast I was never sure if the password I was positively sure of, was being typed correctly in the first place. Even then the beast was not satisfied.


CONFIRM YOUR PASSWORD


‘IT’ demanded.


I was up to the first challenge. But before I ‘CONFIRMED,’ I searched for the one scrap paper I knew had my correct password. I aborted my ‘search’ after an hour; convinced my scrap of paper had joined thousands of other scraps of paper as part of a recycling program in Southern California.


So, I typed. I could almost detect a snicker as the DEMON chastised:


YOUR PASSWORDS DO NOT MATCH


I typed both again. I got the same result. The DEMON admonished.



YOUR PASSWORDS DO NOT MATCH



Suddenly, I knew the problem. It was the damn little black ‘s. I counted the ⚫’s on the top and bottom rows. Nine ⚫ ‘s on the top, eight ⚫’’s on the bottom. Bingo! Problem solved.

I was positive my password only had eight characters’. I deleted all the ⚫’’s on the top row and carefully typed in my password and with gusto hit enter.



THESE PASSWORDS DON’T MATCH EITHER




I felt mounting tension. None of this was my fault. It was the eyes

fault. There weren't any. Many accounts provide the little eye

so you can see what you're typing. So simple. So helpful. Of course, if you're typing the wrong password to begin with, it doesn’t matter.



I am patient man. I can spend hours over a chess board or a 1000 piece jig-saw puzzle. I tried again. Now this was a crusade. A religious, grammatical, pilgrimage. I typed slowly. One character at a time. Then hit enter.


THEY STILL DON’T MATCH


blipped onto the middle of my screen. This BLIB arrived with an air of aggression.


I was certain this was the correct password. I typed again. The first two numbers of an old address, the initials of Sherry wyler, upper case S, lower case w. Sherr


y was my first kiss, she had chocolate bon-bon lips. . . Oops, I digressed. And to confuse the most astute hacker I added the last lyric from my favorite song.


Here was a password which abided by every password regulation. The first time I created this password, a kinder, gentler Password Demon assured me it was difficult to decipher and probably beyond the ability of any third-grade hacker. But this new DEMON was of a different ilk. This DEMON had a sarcastic mean streak. I hit enter. My screen BLIPPED then added a piercing BONG.


My computer screen remained blank. What did the BLIP and BONG mean? Was I getting closer? Was this a futile quest? I was not a quitter. I was not beaten.




Third times a charm, I thought. This thought was a bad thought. The third attempt initiated the taunting. The third attempt angered the BEAST. The FORGOT YOUR PASSWORD DEMON twisted upward, out the Hades of hyperspace and took control of my tablet, my password, my destiny. I hit enter.


It raged




THREE TIMES I’VE TOLD YOU!


You’re typing the wrong password, 'Dummy.' This is your password for … Ah, ha, you’d like to know what account this password accesses, wouldn’t you? You can’t find that little scrap of paper, can you? You forgot to transfer your password to your secret file; didn’t you? And you’re hoping I would give you all your password information, didn’t you? Well, that’s not going to happen.



Why can’t you remember a password with a few symbols, a few numbers and maybe an upper- and lower-case letter? It’s only eight characters? Did you have a difficult time when they changed telephone numbers to ten digits?


Why don’t you give up? You know you’ll never remember or find this password. How about we work together? What do you say? Let’s create a NEW password for this account. It’s simple. Follow all the rules. Create a new password. WRITE IT DOWN WHERE YOU CAN FIND IT. Then type in again in the box that says, ‘repeat password.’ If it passes all the criteria for a good password, then I’ll send you a code on your mobile device to confirm you are who you say are. And we can $#@%_75–&(&#


The DEMON went on and on. I was BEATEN. EMBARRASSED. HUMBLED. I decided BEATEN would be my new password. I liked the irony. A password I would always remember. I knew it didn’t have 8 characters, but I tried anyway.




THIS IS NOT A SECURE PASSWORD.


YOUR NEW PASSWORD SHOULD HAVE

A MINIMUM OF 8 CHARACTERS


I knew that. I knew the DEMON knew I knew it. ‘IT’ wanted 8 characters how about 9. I typed in BEATENMAN,


ADDING A SINGLE LETTER DOES NOT MAKE YOUR PASSWORD /SECURE. TRY AGAIN.


ADD A NUMBER.



I typed in 1-BEATENMAN


ADDING A SINGLE NUMBER - EVEN THE DASH -

TO A PASSWORD THAT IS WRITTEN IN THE UPPER

CASE WOULD EASILY BE DECODED BY A FIRST

GRADER TECHIE.


P.S. YOU’RE STILL USING ALL UPPER CASE LETTERS!


Now I was getting a p.s. and an exclamation mark from an analog.


I typed in: 1-BeaTenm+


I was smug. Feeling confident. Clever. A password with number and symbols. A password using upper and lower case. And not a miserly 8 character. No. A password with 10 characters, far above the minimum.


My screen went blank. A long pause then




OMIT THE CAPITOL T . I WILL ACCEPT

A LOWER-CASE t.


When I asked why T was unacceptable, I got.




BECAUSE


I stared at the message. Long. Hard. Something was amiss. Why was the capital T unacceptable? It took several beats before the light went off.


I’d been hacked. I had suspicions. I googled fourth grade English spelling curriculum. And found I'd been hacked by a third grade Geek. I was a homework assignment for some kid in a coding class.


In my mind's eye I could see the teacher, probably a twelve-year-old, writing the instructions on the chalkboard:


“How long can you keep a subject engaged before their on to you.” Extra credit if you can persuade your subject to follow two or more instructions. My hacker was going to get an A+.


Why did it take me so long? My google search was the breakthrough. Artificial Intelligence does not make mistakes. Capitol, as in the capitol of France is Paris, is a third grader word. They don’t sic capital, as in a A is a capital letter, on kids until the fourth.


You can google that fact if you remember your password. I’d been duped! And it was a shame,

1-BeaTenm+ was good password now shared by a class of third graders. Besides, I didn’t

need a fluorescent snorkel anyway



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COMING SOON — To tucksplace.net – “ARE YOU A ROBOT?”






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