Dumb Challenge Questions

So, my place of employment (a quick Google search should clear up the mystery) has just implemented challenge questions for their new password retrieval system. Now, on top of auto-expiring our passwords every six months (Grrr!), we are required to know the answers to odd questions. This is becoming common practice everywhere, so I guess there’s no getting away from it. But other places (like my bank) let me choose two questions from a list of thirty or so. Not here. No, I must provide:

  1. My favorite historical figure.
  2. My best friend in grade school.

No choices, those are the questions.

They do let you create your own challenge questions, too, but you must also fill out the two they require. So, while some of you may be able to nail down your favorite historical figure, and some of you may have kept in touch with some chum from when you were seven (and I expect the misbegotten programmer who chose these two questions can do both), I can’t, and I haven’t. Which means, I have to choose a historical figure, and designate him or her as “likely to have been picked as my favorite”. Same with my grade school pal.

Of course, the obvious answer for the historical figure is Jesus, and I would be willing to bet that a large majority of our white, Christian community has chosen Jesus. For that matter, the answer to the second question could readily be Jesus, too. Which led me to think about the two DIY challenge questions, and how I might make it easier on myself if I should forget my password…

  1. My favorite historical figure: Jesus
  2. My best friend in grade school: Jesus
  3. The Son of God: Jesus
  4. The answer to all these damn questions: Jesus

Try it, you might get lucky.

An expiration for your phone’s vibrate setting

When I set my phone to vibrate I’d like to be able to set an expiration time for that. Say, for two and a half hours, if I’m at the movies. After that period has passed, the phone sets itself back to what it was before. Then I don’t have to remember to set it back to ring, and I don’t miss a bunch of calls the next day.

For all I know, there are phones out there that do this, but I’d like to have one.