Thanks for stopping by. My name is John Patrick and Attitude LLC is the name of my company. My activities include writing, speaking, and board service. I am fortunate to have quite a few affiliations and I get to work with people from whom I am constantly learning. Prior to “e-tirement”, I was vice president of Internet Technology at IBM Corporation. Nearly everything I have ever said or written is here at patrickWeb or in my book, Net Attitude. As of today, the patrickWeb blog contains 1,443 posts. I hope you enjoy reading some of them. Get the email version of patrickWeb if you prefer. Find me on Facebook, Google+, and LinkedIn. Follow me on twitter. You can also find me in Wikipedia.
The 21st Annual Genesys Partners Venture Dinner — Genesys XXI– will take place on Monday, January 26, at the Union League Club in New York. As always, Jim Kollegger — CEO of Genesys Partners and one of the pioneers of the information industry — will be master of ceremonies. I will give a short speech after dinner. I will provide an annual update on the continued growth of the Internet, but will emphasize the transformation of the American healthcare system that is underway. I won’t be able to resist telling the audience about Health Attitude, which will be published in March.
The new element of the Genesys program this year is a conference called The Agility First! Forum. The new conference’s mission it to convene founders and CEOs of agile and advanced early and mid-stage companies with one goal: To focus on more powerful execution. I will participate on a panel on Tuesday labeled “The Uber and Airbnb Blitz: Breaking the Law or Breaking Down Barriers?” I will emphasize how the consumer-led revolution occurring in healthcare is at least as significant as what Uber and Airbnb are doing to transportation and lodging.
Health Attitude is coming soon. An open question is what the tagline should be. This is important because it affects the likelihood that someone will decide to read the book. Ten people have responded to the survey so far, and you can see the results below. For those of you who have been following the development of Health Attitude and providing feedback, you have been shaping the content of the book. If you did not weigh in on the tagline and can spare a few seconds, click here for the one-question survey. Thanks!
Tagline Votes So Far
Unraveling the mysteries of the American healthcare system: 4 votes
How attitude and technology can revolutionize our healthcare system: 2 votes
Solving America’s Healthcare Crisis: 2 votes
How to make our healthcare system better and more affordable: 1 vote
Other: How to make our healthcare system affordable and better: 1 vote
SplashData compiled a list of the worst passwords of 2014 that is instructive. The company analyzed more than three million passwords that had been stolen and then posted on the web. The reason they are called “worst” is because they are the least secure. If you ever wondered how a friend’s email account at AOL or Yahoo! got hacked into, this is the reason: weak passwords that are easy to guess.
SplashData has a line of software products and services called SplashID Safe. I use SplashID as my database to store information about family credit cards, driver licenses, passports, etc. For passwords I use 1Password. There are many password managers available; just Google “password manager” and you will find them.
Password managers allow you to have passwords like &6^%aG(@5T6r@@ that no human can remember and that are very hard to guess. The only password you need to remember is the one you use to open your password manager, and that password is stored only on your computer and smartphone, not on the Internet. A feature that many password managers offer is to show you how many passwords you have that are more than six months old, how many are duplicate, and how many are weak. Your security is important and should be treated with respect and priority. It is worth investing some time to make sure you have strong passwords.
You can read the full story about SplashData’s analysis of the stolen passwords here. You may also want to read a story I wrote about my project to change all my 400+ passwords. I called the story Password Hell.
Thanks for following progress toward the launch of Health Attitude. We are getting very close. The book cover design is entering the second round next week. Marketing copy for the Amazon website is underway. “Advance Praise” blurbs are coming in from reviewers. I will continue to edit and make Health Attitude as good as possible. The feedback from many of you has been incredibly helpful. Another round or two and the draft, cover, and marketing copy will all come together to make Health Attitude a reality. The target is still March, but it may be earlier for the Kindle version. I will keep you posted. Thanks again for your support. Your feedback is always welcomed! Feel free to post a comment on my Facebook page, at LinkedIn, Google+, my Twitter feed, or drop a mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. One other thing: I am considering different taglines for the cover of Health Attitude. If you can spare 30 seconds, click here for a one-question survey. Thanks!
I wish happy holidays for all, and I want to thank those who have been giving me feedback on the draft of Health Attitude. If you are not on the reviewer list, but would like to be, please drop a mail to email@example.com. The purpose of this post is to provide an update on plans for the new book. I started writing it in July, and finished chapter 16, the last one, just before Christmas. I have engaged CreateSpace to design the book cover, and I have secured an ISBN. The target publish date will be in March. The feedback has been invaluable, ranging from “nice read” to “here is a list of 99 things you need to edit”. Like software, a 300-page book will have bugs to fix, and words and phrases to improve. No one is happy about the American healthcare system, and my goal for Health Attitude is to make the system and solutions understandable, and hopefully, help providers, payers, policy makers, and politicians to see the system as the rest of us do.
The other thing underway is a new website, attitudellc.org. Attitude LLC is my company and it will be the publisher of Health Attitude. The new website will include two sets of stories: Health Attitude will be posts about healthcare and the book. Net Attitude will be posts about the things I have been writing about in patrickWeb for more than 20 years: the Internet, motorcycles, music, technology, travels, and e-business. If you receive emails with my periodic posts, you will continue to receive them, but they will come from attitudellc.org beginning in January. No action is required on your part. If you are a reviewer of Health Attitude and also a subscriber to patrickWeb, you may receive a few duplicates until the transition is complete. In January, visits to patrickWeb.com will automatically be redirected to attitudellc.org. Thank you very much for reading my posts and for your feedback. Happy New Year! John
Health Attitude is coming soon! No one is happy about the American healthcare system. Millions have no health insurance. Millions more have it but cannot afford it. Primary care physicians feel over worked. Specialist physicians feel the payers are squeezing them. Hospitals are under huge pressure from Medicare to lower their costs and improve their quality of outcomes. Tax payers are not happy about the increase in their taxes to support the healthcare system. Thousands of people die each year because of errors in the healthcare delivery system. The list goes on. The topic is complex and there is no simple solution, but there are multiple solutions, and good things are underway. Health Attitude will unravel the mysteries of healthcare, make the problems understandable and, more important, will make the solutions understandable. It all revolves around attitude. Consumers need to take more responsibility for their health. Physicians need to put the consumer in the center of health care. Hospitals need to do a better job of coordinating care across the community. Political leaders need to focus more on the needs of citizens and a bit less on the wants of health insurance companies and big pharma.
I had put off the task long enough — it was time to clean up my passwords. I began using the Internet in the early 1990s and started to accumulate web logins and passwords. The first site I recall using was Weather Underground, which went live in 1993. As of August 2014, when I embarked on my cleanup project, I had more than 600 logins and passwords. I use 1Password to store these credentials — it is a truly great piece of software. The app runs nicely on the Mac, iPhone, MacBook, and iPad. The password database is securely stored in Dropbox and kept in sync for use on any of the devices. 1Password doesn’t just store your ids and passwords and automatically log you in to the corresponding website, it also provides a real-time analysis of the quality of your passwords. It shows how many are duplicates — not a good idea because if someone breaks into a site and gets your password, they could be able to use it at other sites. 1Password shows you how many of your sites are vulnerable to heartbleed, a serious security vulnerability, and it shows you which of your passwords are weak, how many are 3 years old, and how many are one-to-three years old. I confess my profile was not pretty.
I embarked on the cleanup project, and it took a chunk of my summer. I had several goals. First was to eliminate passwords for sites I no longer use or that no longer exist. Some sites were defunct, some had been acquired. I emailed sites and asked them to delete my account. Most sites responded quickly to the requests. The second goal was to eliminate any duplicate passwords, of which I confess I had many. It seemed like a good idea way back but clearly is no longer appropriate. The third goal was to make my passwords un-rememerable. I decided that a good password would be 20 characters long, contain upper and lower case letters, 3 special characters, and 3 digits. An example would be MRbUJ,6t4uz,>6FsaPmJ. Fortunately, 1Password can remember such a password. I used to know all my passwords, and now I can’t remember any of them. Any human or software would have a tough time guessing them.
The project was quite revealing about the many websites that I use. Most sites allowed the 20 character password with upper case, lower case, 3 digits, and 3 of any special character. Some sites had hard to believe password policies. Following are some examples of what I encountered.
Most all sites require that you enter your password twice to make sure you get it right. A copy from 1Password and then a paste makes this quite easy. However, TurboTax, Costco, and Quest Diagnostics require you to type in the second field. I cannot think of a rationale for such a policy.
Woodbury Products requires you to buy something before you can login. Their IT department said they outsourced their website and they don’t know anything about it.
My bank limits your password to 8 numbers and letters with no special characters. You would think all banks would love long ugly passwords
The security monitoring company at my house allows no special characters.
1Password generates long ugly passwords for you and you can easily configure how many special characters and numbers you want. The New York Times and a number of other sites allow only periods, underscores, or hyphens. This is the worst password policies.
JC Penney does not allow special characters, but did not say so in their rules
Southwest Airlines: no special characters
CVS accepts up to a password length of 25 characters, but you have to type it in: twice
Surprising that some very sophisticated organizations such as the World Community Grid allowed maximum password length of 15 and no special characters.
BestWestern Hotels sends your password in the clear, and there is no way to change it.
PC Magazine site is cluttered with so much advertising that no password link could be found. It took multiple emails and days to connect with them.
Progressive Insurance does not allow customers to change their password online. You have to fill out an online form to get password reset instructions.
Stop and Shop asks for a secret question but then truncates your answer to 16 characters without telling you so it would never work.
A number of sites require you to enter your password to change your password. This is after you have already logged in.
WSJ requires you to enter your secret question answer before you can change your password. Secret questions are a farce. The classic one is your mother’s maiden name. Do you enter mary jones, Mary Jones, Mary M. Jones, Mary M Jones, etc.? You answer a question and then a year later you have to remember if you used upper or lower case.
Microsoft says minimum length is 8, but they don’t tell you the maximum length is 16. They do accept all special symbols.
AT&T.com finally introduced the idea of allowing a user to have the same login credentials for both your wired and wireless accounts. They introduced the idea of having one set of credentials for one company as though it is a breakthrough. The site requires the secret questions from a short list of their (not your) favorite questions. One of them was “Who was your first employer?”. My answer was ibm. “Invalid answer. It must have at least four characters”. Duh. So much for people whose first job was at IBM, GM, ABC, AOL, NBC, FOX, or ATT. And, your favorite color can’t be red. What were they thinking?
At the end of the project, my password database went from 627 to 354, and they are mostly long and not rememberable. Using 1Password on the iPhone is great. The app opens with your Touch ID fingerprint and then you simply copy the desired password. The interface is elegant. As I finish this post, I note that 1Password shows that I have 14 passwords that need attention, so the project is never over. Investing a small amount of time on a regular basis is a good investment of time for security’s sake.
The iPhone 6 Plus finished the journey from from ZhengZhou, China to Incheon, Korea; Anchorage; Louisville, Jamaica, NY; Windsor Locks, CT; Brookfield, CT; and on to my home in Ridgefield for an 11 am delivery. As usual with Apple products, the setup was a breeze. I took it out of the box, turned it on, went through the simple setup, and then gave it time to load 150+ apps that I had on the iPhone 5S plus gigabytes of pictures and music.
The next thing I experienced was that the iPhone 6+ rang with a default ring tone. Apparently there was a bug in iOS 8.0 that caused ring tones not to sync. I have one that I had purchased way back, but now can’t find it anywhere. It is time for a new one anyway! I answered the phone and it was working perfectly. All the data and settings were exactly where they were minutes earlier on the 5S. I reset the 5S to factory settings and set it up as a hand-me-down to my wife. That process went smoothly except for the phone part of the iPhone. It turns out that the SIM card in her iPhone 4 will not fit in the 5S, so we have to wait for a new SIM card that AT&T shipped to us. I was able to get an exception from AT&T to unlock the iPhone 4 even though the contract wasn’t quite up. They took pity on me for having taken a two year contract on a used iPhone 4, which my wife insisted was plenty good enough for her. She would have taken an iPhone 3 if they had any. The final step is to ship the iPhone 4 to Gazelle. We got $50 plus a $10 early-bird bonus plus a $3 bonus for taking the $63 as a credit on Amazon. The contract thing is not pleasant. This time I upgraded using the Next plan from AT&T. It is basically an installment payment plan with the full purchase price of $849 of the 6+ spread out over 20 months with zero interest. That means I can upgrade to an iPhone 7 in 20 months with no contract penalty.
The iPhone 6 Plus is all that I had hoped for and more. Fast, thin, slick, large screen, and brilliant graphics. Some people may find the size too large, but I find it just right. You can do almost anything on the 5S, but the screen size makes some things laborious or tedious. With the 6 Plus, the difference is dramatic. As I re-use my apps, I find each a great experience. I think of the 6+ as an optimum iPhone size. It is not a mini iPad mini. As for bendgate, the testing has been completed and the results are in –it takes 70 to 90 pounds to bend the new iPhones. My recommendation on this issue is simple: do not sit on your new iPhone.
The only glitch in setting up the iPhone 6 Plus or selling the iPhone 4 were with — you guessed it — AT&T. I really think they are trying hard, but they are a long way from great customer support. My iPhone uses an AT&T Microcell on the kitchen counter because the AT&T tower signal is not very good where I live. The new iPhone has a different electronic serial number, so it is not surprising that the Microcell would have to be updated. You would think that would be easy using their otherwise nice Microcell management page. You can easily add or delete other AT&T phones that you authorize to use your Microcell. However, you can’t remove or change your own! I had the same problem one year ago when I got the 5S. They said then that they were working on a fix — that was a year ago. The Microcell uses 3G technology. LTE has been out there since at least 2012. Apple adopted it quickly into its products, but the owner of LTE, has yet to do so.
Everything I have learned from the prior six iPhones is still applicable on the iPhone 6+, and iOS 8 adds a lot more. Using an iPhone keeps getting easier. The hardware is better than ever — thinner, lighter, and a joy to hold. It would be a shame to put a cover over the beautiful aluminum and glass device. The speed is stunning — it is truly a personal supercomputer. The new Health app is profound for healthcare. I am writing about it in my new book, Health Attitude. Stay tuned. That’s it for now. I am really enjoying the new iPhone.
The iPhone 6 Plus made it to Windsor Locks, CT this evening. Looks like there will be an on-time delivery sometime tomorrow. In the meantime, there is quite a bit of chatter about the bending of iPhones. Hard to tell if this is real or acts of photoshop. It it is real, then my thoughts are that the iPhone is unbendable under all but extreme situations. People should not sit on their iPhones. If they have beyond normal physical demands for their iPhone, then there are many iPhone cases available to offer protection.
The iPhone 6 Plus continued during the past 24 hours to move like a checker across the board from Incheon, Korea to Anchorage, Alaska, to Louisville, Kentucky. Delivery was committed by end of day on Thursday, but perhaps I will get lucky and receive it tomorrow.