Updates from August, 2014 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Peter Nikolaidis 7:46 am on August 14, 2014 Permalink

    Farewell, Mu 

    Last night, Mu – my faithful feline companion of 18 years – passed away. It was quick and she did not appear to be in pain.


  • Peter Nikolaidis 1:38 pm on January 25, 2014 Permalink  

    “I’m sorry, I don’t understand.” 

    This phrase is not too difficult, and if you’re like some folks I’ve had to deal with recently, will serve you immensely well. Say it with me: “I’m sorry, I don’t understand.” (More …)

    • Llalla Shahar 7:28 pm on January 25, 2014 Permalink

      I have never called on technical services and asked for help without giving as many answers as I can. I figure there is no way I want silence on either side until the other party says “Please wait just a moment while I try something on my end.” I want dialogue, if for no other reason than I am paying by the hour.

      I will also say that it helps that I have several years of experience in customer service. Kudos to you for not making it clear to her she was being hard to work with.

  • Peter Nikolaidis 8:45 am on July 29, 2013 Permalink  

    Let Me Fix Your Computer, Without Accessing Your Stuff 

    Normally, I’m not what I would call an “idea guy.” I’m not someone who sees all sorts of innovative new things and shares his creations with the world – it’s just not the way my brain works. I’m a problem solver. I see a problem, I come up with a fix, workaround, or solution – that’s what I do. Every now and then, however, there’s an overlap between problem solving and innovation. This may be one of those.

    I want a way for a custodian of a system (think “computer technician”) working on a system, to be able to do everything needed to set up, maintain, and troubleshoot said system, without requiring any credentials from the owner. This is tricky because if I want, for instance, to set up your email for you, without requiring any interaction from you, I need to have your password. Sure, I could set up everything except the password and then have you fill it in later, but this road sometimes leads to frustration on the part of the end user, as they don’t have a “completely” working system that they asked for.

    Encrypting the owner’s data does not meet this goal, as it needs to be decrypted for the custodian to do their job. Two-factor authentication doesn’t solve this because the password would still need to be placed in the hands of the custodian, along with the second factor, at least temporarily. Combining these two, along with a forced password change, go a long way to securing your data from your custodian’s prying eyes, but don’t ultimately solve the problem.

    Do you have a fix for this? Does anyone? Drop me a line and let me know.

  • Peter Nikolaidis 11:14 am on April 16, 2013 Permalink  

    Boston Marathon Bombing – (Who Cares If) It Was Terrorists(?) 

    Yesterday, two bombs exploded at the Boston Marathon, killing three people and injuring over a hundred others. The big question people seem to be asking today, besides “who did it,” is “what it a terrorist attack?” My response is “who cares?” (More …)

  • Peter Nikolaidis 3:00 pm on April 15, 2013 Permalink  


    On April 5, after six months of preparation, I took, and passed, the CISSP exam. Here are some of the lessons I learned along the way.

    (More …)

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