WELCOME TO THE WORLD OF THINKBOT
13th April 2119
Apparently all our passwords have been useless for the past 2 years, so now we must change them immediately.
I thought about 'GATE_SHUT_AFTER_HORSE_BOLTED'
But I could not get it past the idiot password algorithm.
'Unacceptable - sarcasm is the lowest form of security setting'
So I tried ******.
'Unacceptable - that is 123456 in reverse'
Ok, how about **********.
'Unacceptable - abuse will be reported'
'Unacceptable - rhymes with trombone.
'Unacceptable - passwords must not use repeated letters'
And so forth until I just gave up and used 'drowsap_142536' and wrote it on scraps of paper everywhere I log on from, but at least the idiot algorithm was happy.
Reminds me of the passage from The Book:
VOICE VALIDATED. PLEASE STATE PASSWORD.
“Password, prairie dog,” said Hedge.
WARNING!PASSWORD INCORRECT. YOU HAVE TWO
MORE ATTEMPTS BEFORE YOU ARE LOCKED OUT.
YOU HAVE 120 SECONDS TO COMPLY.
Hedge looked worried. The NSA man started laughing. All
and sundry had the same thought:He’s forgotten his password.
Exp ‘thought’,THIS IS OUTSIDE THE CALCULATED
PARAMETERS. I HAVE NO IMMEDIATE ACCESS TO
THIS DATA. IT IS INSIDE THE HEAD OF HEDGE.
Hedge looked mortified, “I don’t understand. It’s definitely
a prairie animal.”
A few moments’ delay. Earth’s future hung by a thread;
hung on remembering the correct prairie animal.
“Coyote.” said Thinkbot, making use of his night-time TV
“No,” replied Hedge.
“Badger,” offered Helen.
Thinkbot: “Black-footed ferret.”
“Er, no. I only changed it recently. I just knew I’d forget
when I changed it. But I wasn’t really expecting to launch the
RMD.” The presidential figures on the other screens were still
leaping up and down and waving their arms. Exp cut the video
Thinkbot: “Er, stink bug, carrion beetle, long-billed curlew,
western tiger swallowtail.”
“No, none of those.”
TIME TO LOCKOUT : 90 SECONDS.
Panic began to set in. Even Exp somehow exuded worry,
without moving a single actuator. Mr NSA looked confident.
Helen: “Prairie elephant, grass ground giraffe, land whale,
flying flatsnake, polka dotted leopard, bright green fox.”
Hedge came out of a daze and stared in disgust at Helen.
Thinkbot: “Tiger beetle, eastern cottontail, burrowing owl,
pronghorn antelope …”
“You’re making it up,” complained Helen.
“No I’m not!”retorted Thinkbot. “Anyway you can talk.
What’s the blue blazes is a prairie elephant?”
TIME TO LOCKOUT : 60 SECONDS.
Thinkbot spoke even faster. “Northern grasshopper mouse,
meadow vole, ferruginuous hawk, prairie rattlesnake, gopher
snake, lady beetle, fox snake, killdeer, California condor …”
Helen: “Now you’re making it up!”
“No I’m not, just ’cos humans are too stupid to realise it
lived on the prairie as well!”
TIME TO LOCKOUT : 30 SECONDS.
Thinkbot started up again. “American toad, ground
squirrel, western meadowlark, common snipe, red-tailed hawk,
white-tailed jack rabbit …”
“That’s it!” yelled Hedge. “Password, white-tailed jack
WARNING!PASSWORD INCORRECT. YOU HAVE ONE
MORE ATTEMPT BEFORE YOU ARE LOCKED OUT
PERMANENTLY. FAILURE TO COMPLY WILL
TERMINATE YOUR TERM IN OFFICE. YOU HAVE SEVEN
SECONDS TO COMPLY
10th April 2119
Adopts INSTALL & QUOTE™
Robo-Reuters: Monday 10th April 2119
Filton, Europa -- (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Golbalot.Corp. (LASHDAQ-100), a supplier of advanced robotic equipment and related automated technologies for the global robotics industry, today announced that it has introduced the INSTALL & QUOTE™ business model into its operations. Graham Cracker, CEO of Globalbot, explained 'The traditional model of quote-PO-ship-invoice-install simply does not work in challenging market conditions - customers are not creating RFQs (request for quotation). In contrast, the INSTALL & QUOTE™ philosophy relies on crack teams of Globalbot service personnel, henceforth known as 'agents', performing stealth installations on customer sites leaving the customer no option but to accept a quote.' Industry analysts commented that the idea was little more than a thinly veiled 'lose-win' free robot evaluation fully funded by Globalbot.
Safe Harbor Statement: A quote, no matter how exquisite, is not a purchase order.
6th April 2119
'You've got it set up incorrectly' said the IT support droid, innocently.
The rest of us started scuttling away into dark corners and, for those lucky enough to have them, cubicle bunkers.
Then the tirade started . . .
'WHY'S IT ALWAYS THE USERS FAULT! WHAT YOU MEAN IS THAT IT'S SPONTANEOUSLY AND MALICIOUSLY SET ITSELF UP INCORRECTLY!.
IT'S WORKED FINE FOR YEARS THEN WITHOUT ANY INPUT FROM THE USER IT'S SUDDENLY NOT SET UP CORRECTLY - HOW CAN THAT BE THE USER'S FAULT?'
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