Vivint Wireless Internet – How is it?

Has anyone else tried Vivint Wireless Internet service? They’re launching in neighborhoods all over Utah, using a new Wireless technology, promising 50 Mbps down AND up, guaranteed for only $50 bucks a month.

I’ve personally been on the service now for for about 4 months, and it’s been lightning fast. But it seems like not everyone is happy. There’s even a  Vivint Internet Downtime Log to keep track of the outages in their neighborhood.

I have to admit, I too have experienced intermittent outages, and sometimes it seems like, as a new ISP, they’re still working on having their ducks in a row. But it’s a fantastic deal, and they’ve seemed reasonably responsive, so I’m willing to stick it out a while longer. At this point, I think they’ll either be a huge success, or an EPIC BLUNDER for a $2 billion company.

How has the service worked for you? Is it fast? Reliable? How’s their customer service? what kind of experiences have you had? There aren’t many places on the web yet talking about them, so leave a comment below.

Bad Password Policies – AmericanExpress.com

I hate bad password policies.

Bad password policies encourage bad passwords, and bad password behavior (writing passwords down, picking simple passwords, etc…).

Signing up for my new Costco American Express Card, I found a new password policy that takes the cake. From AmericanExpress.com:

Your Password:
  • Must be different from your User ID

  • Must contain 8 to 20 characters, including one letter and number

  • May include the following characters: %,&, _, ?, #, =, -

  • Your new password cannot have any spaces and will not be case sensitive.

  • So they enforce a minimum of 8 characters, but I cannot use spaces.
  • I have to be alphanumeric, but I can’t be case sensitive – if I create a case-sensitive password, they’re kind enough to down-case it for me.
  • I can use special characters, but only from the list of 7 they’ve provided me.

What a horrible password policy. This is just the kind of thing that encourages poor passwords that are easily exploitable. Looking out on the interwebs, I’m not the first person to call attention to this, either. The first blog post I encountered had this to say:

The icing on the cake is the fact that all passwords “will not be case senstive[sic].” This reduces the number of available characters from 52 down to only 26. Once you add in numbers and the limited special characters, customers only have 43 characters to choose from.

Ridiculous. And these people are charged with keeping my credit information safe?

Have you seen a major website with a worse password policy?

Searching Google+ Auto backup for videos and movies

The Google + Photos has evolved! They started with Google + Instant Upload and have since renamed the feature to Google + Photos Auto Backup.  But the service also backs your movies up too!

 

Unfortunately, they’re not as easy to search. Fortunately, I found a simple way, and thought I’d share it.

 

  1. Log in to Google +
  2. Navigate to your Photos
  3. Perform a search in the seach box for “mp4″

You should get back all of your videos (and only your videos), assuming they were originally mp4′s. If not, you can also search on mpgmpeg, mpeg4, avi, etc…

People I'm seeing from LinkedIn

I decided it’d be cool to show a vaguely anonymized list of people who have been reading my article on LinkedIn’s Profile Stats feature. So I’m going to be adding list of company names and positions that appear in the list, periodically. It’s not comprehensive, but it will give you an idea of the kind of stuff I’m seeing.  I think I’ll update it throughout the day of Thursday, May 23rd: Continue reading