moldybluecheesecurds 2

Thursday, November 24, 2011

xkcd: Money

xkcd: Money:

You’ll learn more from this infographic than you’d ever imagine. 

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Prosecutions for Bank Fraud Falling

Prosecutions for Bank Fraud Falling

Comcast puts on great security theater

At the urging of a friend I recently decided to buy my own cable modem
and save the $7 a month Comcast charges me to lease their equipment.
The only complicating factor is having to contact Comcast to
let them know the equipment MAC address and serial number so they can
properly provision it.

And as you may guess, contacting Comcast is like getting a root canal
when all you really needed was a good floss.

I went for the live chat option, hoping that incompetence would seem
less frustrating via IM than phone and knowing that relaying a
15-digit serial number verbally was asking for trouble.   I filled in my
details (name, address, account #) and enter the chat room. The agent sends me the usual canned
text about being happy to help and asks for account verification (basically, everything I've already typed in plus the last four digits of the account holder's SSN).

Note: the account is in my wife's name, but I have been added as an
authorized agent at least twice, and remember vividly the last time
when I had called during the MLB playoffs in 2010 to clarify why I couldn't

Everything seems fine, I'm thanked for the information, they ask what I
need and I tell them I need to set up my own equipment.  They leave for a
bit to play solitaire look up an answer and the agent says that I'm not an
authorized user and they can't discuss the account.

I explain that I can actually tell them the date and time I was (most
recently) authorized to suffer through this indignity.  Amazingly, I
got an honest answer about why I keep having to be added to the account.

Comcast has a notes section on each account where they record things
like authorized users.  The rep informs me that these notes are
regularly purged if they "get too long" and that this precaution is a
matter of security in an era of identity theft, so this is really for
my own good.

Using simple words, I share my sentiments with the rep, end the chat,
and promptly start a new one posing as my wife.  Five minutes later,
we're done.

Thanks for keeping my identity safe, Comcast.

Thursday, November 03, 2011

The most amazing presidential election analysis you have ever seen

Seriously.  When you combine a talented statistician with a talented writer (in one person) with the talented multimedia crew at the New York Times, you get this unbelievable tool for looking at Republican prospects for the presidency in 2012.