Upgrading Frustrations

I finally succumbed to an annoying message that kept appearing daily on my screen about the need to upgrade my machine. Stupidly, it is my first mistake if 2023. Clicking on the “Install now” button has yielded a mystery. First it asked for a password to get into iCloud. Immediately, another window asked for a password for my Apple ID. Since I had just revised these passwords two days ago, and wrote them down, I felt confident this task would finally go easy.

After entering the second password, a new window appeared asking for the pass-code from my iPhone. I typed it in, and now the screen has frozen with a spinning wheel. The only option it gives me is a “Forgot iPhone passcode?” I can only assume that the spinning wheel indicates that this beautiful pile of engineering wonderment is searching for something. The passcode is something that I use everyday each time I want to look at my phone since the darn thing times out after 2 nano-seconds of inactivity. The wheel has been spinning for thirty-five minutes now.

What do I do?

Let it spin in the hopes that eventually it will install the updates? Shut the machine down and start all over again? What is that definition of insanity? Repeating the same activity over and over again hoping to get a new outcome.

I feel the world is going to self destruct with all of these computers being loaded with passwords requiring passwords to access. Where is the AI (Artificial Intelligence) that is supposed to forego the need for human intervention? Yet, on a daily basis we hear company after company spewing the results they get using AI.

As I am writing this rant my iPhone just beeped a message stating the following:

HU2bSs information.

We have detected suspicious activity on your account and have locked it as a precaution. Click link below to unlock your account:

https://l.ead.me/approved . . . .

If you do not verify your account before 24 hours, your Paypal account will be terminated. Sincerely,

Paypal Team

Is this a coincidence or is it related to the problem I see happening on my desktop computer?

If it weren’t for all the friends I have made on this BLOG I would go into hiding and never again show myself on any computer related correspondence again. It will be the only secure way to keep my sanity and my safety. The world is teeming with corrupt individuals working tirelessly to pick my pockets and enrich themselves. The more passwords and safety systems put into place by the computer companies the bigger the challenge becomes for the hackers to break into computers.

I truly believe there is a design answer to this dilemma. Keeping unwanted entry into computers must be built into the machines. It is doable, but is it profitable? It seems that there will always be some small portal through which thieves can gain entry, and steal to their hearts content. In the meantime, we suffer at the hands of thugs who insist on making a living by stealing. Eventually, our computers will take on the appearance of the Pyramids of Egypt. It has taken thieves as long as two thousand years to find the portals to some of the burial vaults within. If they could create such a secure system over two thousand years ago, surely we can create a better one today in our computing machines.

It has been one hour since the spinning wheel began it’s journey, and it is time for me to hit the kill switch and restart this machine. At least I was able to write a story about it. As soon as I post this piece I will enjoy the kill.

All I Want For Christmas

is a nice easy to remember password that works for every site I visit, and for all the internet places I go to everyday. One would think this is an easy request, but it seems to be damn near impossible to achieve. Among the worst password requesters are Google, and Apple. Both companies demand using passwords, and that they be changed often. In the process they drive users nuts. Probably even worse than Apple is Norton password manager which requires it’s own password to enter before you can access your passwords.

Being memory challenged makes this particularly difficult to navigate. Just try reading the instructions offered by Google. They might as well be in Egyptian hieroglyphics as far as I am concerned. I am an Apple person, but if a simpler system becomes available I’ll dump everything Apple in favor of simplicity. I have an Apple user-id, but it seems that Apple can not recognize that id in any of it’s many discrete applications like iCloud, Apple Store, iTunes, iPhotos, iMovies, etc. Compound that with devices like iMac, iPad, iPhone, iWatch, and many more. I would think a simple droplet of blood applied to a device would solve the problem. I may go anemic or worse yet die because of a lack of blood, but it might be easier to use the devices.

Last week my internet service took a crap, and stopped working. In order to get it up and running I decided to reset the system by shutting everything down. I went too far, and shut off my iMac as well. That was a tragic error on my part. The most tragic was trying to re-enter my own computer after a shut down. It has been three years since the machine has been shut off, and that time gap caused me to forget the Apple id, and password for the machine. It took a full four hours of watching, and listening to Youtube videos made by two different guys from India who spoke a mile a minute with a strong Hindi accent, and tons of trial and error efforts using their recovery steps to finally get into this Mac which sits on my desk unused by anyone but myself. Success was finally achieved and unlike the woman who gives birth and forgets the pain immediately upon seeing her child my pain continues. Now, for whatever reason, in the great wisdom of Apple the Mac acts just like my iPhone. If it is unattended for a few seconds it requires, you guessed it, a password to enter again. I am positive that this useless feature can be turned off, but I may not live long enough to learn where the switch is. I will sleep easier now that I am protected from my wife getting into my computer when I’m away.

Man typing on the keyboard trying to log into his computer forgot password

In trying to understand why all this is necessary, I vision the workplace where every colleague takes over your keyboard when you turn your back, or go to the john. I would sooner booby trap that individual and spray him with indigo blue ink than have to reenter the password every time.

Throughout all this I keep hearing about how smart artificial intelligence has become, but in my opinion this problem is beyond the capabilities of AI. Maybe in another hundred years after electric cars rule the planet, and the air is thick with the smoke of hydrocarbon fueled electric power stations, AI will be smart enough to solve the password problem. However, there is no incentive for Apple, Google, Norton, and the others to solve it because they are making too much money selling updates to newer machines that need more passwords. Like I said above, I’ll reward the company who solves the pw problem permanently with my cash. In the meantime, I’ll keep asking Santa for a solution. His elves suffer from the same malady and may be able to make the miracle happen.

Passwords Rule the world

Lately my desire to write is waning. Why? Who knows? I just don’t get inspired anymore. For many years I was inspired by politics, but since the last election I have cooled to the political arena. I just don’t understand what all these new groups want, nor do I understand who they are. Just what is “woke”? Why is there a need for Black Lives Matter? Who is it that panders to all the weird minds that believe they are a new gender other than male or female? Open Borders? We have open borders between every state, but the way things are going I wouldn’t be surprised if some jack ass of a state will close its borders to anyone coming in. Spend money you don’t have, print some to make up the difference. I like that one for my own personal finances. If Uncle Sam can get away with it why can’t we? Think about that one, if you don’t have money to buy a house or a car, buy it anyway and print money to pay for them. Except, why would anyone work if they could push a button and print the cash they need? Without people working there would not be anything to buy, and then we would all get very hungry very quickly.

I often imagine what the world would be like if there was no gasoline to power our cars. Most times these thoughts come to me as I’m driving along on a crowded tollroad with thousands of cars burning gas like crazy, except the Tesla’s of course, they are burning electrons from their batteries. -Right now I’m a few pages into a book titled “This Is How They Tell Me the World Ends.” The topic is cyber weapons. I’m not sure I can complete the remaining 400 pages if the horror coming toward us via computers continues for that many words. The author describes how the Country of Ukraine mysteriously and suddenly went black. No one knows why it happened, but the Russians are very suspect. It happened because some hacker got into the electrical grid and shut all things electrical down. Think about that one too. No lights, no TV, no iPhones, no internet, no computers, no refrigerator, no water, no toilets, no stores, no gas to pump, the list goes on and on. Imagine your life without electrical power. Life will get interesting but sure. It would make the COVID-19 lockdown seem easy.

Top Worst Passwords

There is a complete underground economy developing in the area of cyber security. All of it is secret, in order to keep it from causing us to panic. Remember the name Snowden. He was the young man who walked out of the NSA with a pocket full of thumb drives filled with our best kept cyber secrets. At the time Obama made it sound like it wasn’t a big deal, but all the talk lately about Russian hackers taking over our elections is leaking from the Snowden defection. I don’t think he will ever be allowed to return to the USA again. I hope he likes Russia, cold weather, and vodka.

At my age, I keep telling myself to become more involved, but at the same time my body says, slow down. My mind says enjoy life and forget about the terrible things that can happen to the USA. You won’t be around to see or experience it. Or will I? The cyber criminals can inflict big damage very suddenly over a huge area. Maybe the answer is to swallow a bullet when that happens.

I will finish reading this book and no doubt have nightmares along the way, but maybe, just maybe I’ll be able to help the world solve the problems caused by too many systems that are too lightly protected by easily hacked passwords.