Category Archives: General

The End of Passwords?

Hi Everyone!

Paypal and Lenovo have just joined Google and others in developing the “post-password” era which will look at modern alternatives to the age old text based password. I wanted to give my thoughts into passwords, the problems and what potential resolutions there are in the future.

Current Situation:

For any website with a login, you require at least 2 pieces of information:
1) Username
2) Password

The username can be hard enough to remember as many websites have their own unique take on what is or isn’t allowed. An email address? An 8 digit username? 15 digit?

The Problems:

If usernames weren’t hard enough to remember, the password field adds another layer of complexity due to the following reasons:
1) Websites have different requirements on what is an acceptable password
2) You should never use the same password for more than one website (if one gets hacked, your entire digital world could be at risk)
3) A password isn’t enough because:

Sums up the password problem nicely. Thanks!

Nope, even with a username and a unique complex password, this isn’t enough. Google, Microsoft, Facebook and all the major banks now add the ability for two-factor authentication. This is compulsory for banks, though an optional extra for your social media and email sites. This usually takes advantage of a secondary password, and having to remember certain digits within it. I.E “What is the 1st, 3rd and 5th digit of your secret word?”. Alternatively, you may use your mobile phone for verification, an RSA ID tag or a little card reader that generates something called a “one-time password” in order to login.

Tokenguard’s SecureID Password Solutions

That got a little technical, but going back to basics we can see that it’s a difficult process to login to a website, never mind logging into 10 different sites. This means we have some shocking statistics including:

64% of end users report that they have written down their password at least once
Study: Rainbow Technologies Password Survey: 64 Percent Write Passwords Down Compromising Corporate Data – April 28 2003

70% of people do not use a unique password for each Web site
Study: Attitudes and Behavior Towards Password Use on the World Wide Web – October 11 2000

A quarter of Brits forget their online passwords on a regular basis
Study: Microsoft UK Password Survey – November 2 2004

The Microsoft one is the most interesting for me personally. 25% of people on a “regular” basis have to reset their online password. I must have logins for over 100 various online websites, so that means I’d regularly have to reset my password for around 25 of those. What’s more concerning, is I can fully relate to that!

What Paypal & Google Plan to Do:

-Password Protected USB Sticks
-Embedded Hardware Modules
-Other Tokens

These are the main contenders for the post-password era. Biometrics is an idealists view on digital identification. The best way to login to a site is to prove it’s us based on biological identifiers. In a basic form, this could be a fingerprint scan, though these can be quite easy to replicate for people who do want to gain access. Alternatively, facial scanners are available with the obvious flaws (putting a picture up of the person you’re immitating?), and eye scanners which are intrusive, expensive and uncomfortable.

Alternatively, password protected USB sticks are limited as my phone, nor tablet, have USB ports. Hardware embedding has the obvious problem of losing the device, which leaves us with the final option “Other”.

Google has been toying around with the idea of a ring containing a small NFC (Near-Field Communication) chip which, if present, will allow the user to instantly prove it’s the correct owner of the account. Losing the ring is the obvious concern, and adding other authentication methods on top of this means the process is more complex than systems today.

Google Replace Passwords

Summary & Thoughts:

There’s a lot of talk about the “post-password” era, and authentication is certainly a technical and complex problem to solve. In reality, there is no developed solution to this [INSERT BUSINESS IDEA HERE]. The best possible solution to this would be a master login to your entire digital world, which uses some form of two-factor authentication with your phone or something similar. Most websites are starting to integrate single sign on with Facebook which is certainly reducing the need for so many, but it’s still not an ultimate solution.

Will we see the end of the 8 digit password (With an upper case letter and number)? N0chanc3

As a final tip, don’t write passwords down on paper (or anywhere), use a different password for every site, and use some sort of application such as LastPass to store/remember them all which is a secure password database.

Tweet me @thejsug !

Gala Casino Update – Amazing Customer Service

Hi All!

Gala Casino Logo



As a brief background, several weeks ago I had a pretty appalling experience at Gala’s Westgate Casino in Leeds. The night involved awful management of waiting lists, rule breaking/cheating and drunks abusing the table without warning – Felt more like a pub run poker night rather than a casino in effect so wasn’t a good start. To say it was only the 2nd time I’ve ever been it did concern me whether this is something common! So I blogged, and tweeted, and Gala read and replied…

I received an email last night from the general manager of Gala Leeds, and it was without doubt the best piece of customer service I’ve ever received. He sent me a very long apology, detailing where the shortcomings were, why they were missed, and how they’d be resolved. He detailed where the casino is going in the future technology wise to help with some of the issues, but also informed me rules had been changed ASAP to prevent the situation from reoccurring in the casino.

I guess one of the major reasons I was impressed, is I felt like the manager was ashamed of what had happened that night which made me feel like the casino treats poker and it’s members very seriously indeed.

The email finished with an invitation to have a drink with him to discuss other ways to improve the poker and the general experience for their players going forward to achieve the same time of success American casino’s see daily. Here I am, just a Joe Bloggs poker player with a chance to chat and give advice to a senior staff member at the biggest casino chain in England on how to further improve in the future!

With social media has come a new age of user engageent, where a big corporate company is praised not only because of their product or service, but because of how they engage with the little people of this world. Hats off to Gala casino indeed – They’ve made me feel like they care about poker and more importantly me! I’ll be certainly back there playing poker now that I know rules are in place to prevent any repeat of the events the previous visit.

Thanks Gala and a big thank you to the staff behind @my_casinos (The gala casino social media department) for picking up my blog and getting action on it!


Tweet me @thejsug !

Mid-Vegas Update

Hi All!

Though I wasn’t planning to do a poker update till the end of the vacation, I had a long crazy session today and wanted to note down some hands for reference. In summary it’s been a really fantastic 2 days! Not only did I get on the guest list to a police cover band at the hard rock, but I made a load of cash as well as losing some huge pots. Whys that great you may ask yourself? Well, poker players will lose hands. Its as simple as that. We’ll get great all in as a huge favourite and lose.. a lot. The important thing is to make money from the times you can and make sure that’s ahead of your losses. Rather than the past 2 days being a load of “luck”, I’ve lost some big hands but minimised damage and really value betted weak hands against weak opponents where I could exploit them. This is where the money comes from in Vegas cash games, so I’m pretty darn happy so far. To summarise, I’m $530 up so far after about 14 hours of poker in 2 days.

——————GENERAL (NONE POKER)————————

I’ve saved the deep poker analysis for the end of this blog so all you none poker readers can see what I’m up to 🙂

Tomorrow (or Today as it’s 4:44am) brings a lot of fun. Will be seeing HIM again (but not taking any phones…) as well as an evening of poker, then on Monday I’m spending the day at the pool in Hard Rock with a friend who lives in town, before playing more in the evening. Happy to be meeting people around here as I’m going to be back a whole load more… The dealers are getting to know my name too which is pretty fun, though I’m not sure about Jen thinking I was gay due to my lack of flirting..! Pfft – I was working damnit!

Also got the news I’m having to cut my holiday short a day to fly to LA to visit some clients. I was a bit meh at first, but it’s cool. A week is enough for now and I want to get out and see clients as much as possible while I’m here so looking forward to it. Hopefully it won’t rain this time…

——————POKER ANALYSIS————————

Anyway back to the poker!

So a couple of the bad hands included a weak top pair with on a flop. I’m first to act on the flop after he called my $12 raise pre flop from the blinds, so I do a standard bet of $20 which he thinks about and raises to $50. Now I know he’s capable of doing this with nothing and we’d run into each other a few times. His range included nearly all weaker aces and even most tens here! I’m either all in or folding but he has $120 behind so I figure I’ll let him make another play on the turn. I call and the turn is – I check, he goes all in.. thus I call knowing I was ahead on the flop. Unfortunately he had to make 2 pair – The only thing I could have done differently is 1) fold the flop or 2) push the flop. I’m not sure I like the fold as his range for the raise is very big, which leaves pushing the only other option… Saying that if it was any other turn card, I figure he still would have pushed so I’m happy with the play.

Against the same guy several hands earlier though there was a pretty standard cooler with his against my .. It’s always a tough one to see but it’s easy to play and easy to get over. These 2 hands cost me $350 alone.

On the good side of life, one of my best ever plays came from a stone cold bluff with – UTG who hardly ever plays a hand straddles to $4. 4 callers so I figure I have some value! I call, he makes it $15, and everyone also calls that! So the flop comes – UTG bets out a straight $35 which is the worst bet I’ve seen. He’s left himself with $100 but the pot was already $60, and with 5 people in the hand and as a player I respected and thought was very good, $35 is just so weak! I mean what could he have? A strong ace bets more and if he had a weak pair he’s just giving it away! It’s folded round to me on the button and with T high I just can’t fold… I can’t put him on a strong ace so figure him to be on a really bad hand… So I push in the $135 casually, he thinks for about 2.5 seconds and mucks.

Re-looking at the above I took a $100 pot there on a flop with ten high… No pair, no draws, NO showdown equity at all. This is where the difference is between the luck players and the skill ones, so I was pretty happy with my read!

The whole night was like that really… I was reading people spot on, but I took another huge hit when my on a ran into !!! My stack was going from between $200 and $700 way too much, but finished this particular session on $600 which I thought was pretty fair.

Anyway, guess I better get some sleep. Less than 3 weeks till I’m back in England and REALLY looking forward to seeing everyone 🙂 I expect to be hungover most days while I’m in England though if I do see everyone in the few weeks I’m there 😉

Chow and remember to follow me on twitter! 🙂

Tweet me @thejsug !