Often, those policies will require that a password contain certain characters, for example at least one number, or at least one symbol. This is wrong-headed and of no real value. Here are two reasons why.
First, remembering passwords with cryptic symbols within them is hard for humans, although easy for machines. This results in the humans using the shortest legal password (in order to remember it more easily) or writing it down (so as to not forget it).
It also means that password generator and storage applications cannot be configured once for all of a user's passwords, because one website will have one stupid set of requirements and another will have another, incompatible with the first, stupid set of requirements.
The net result is generally less security. But this is just the social argument, so to speak. Let's get on to the hard math argument.
The second reason these all-too-common password schemes is because mathematically they're effectively useless. They were chosen because the people deciding on the password policy of requiring (not just allowing) numbers and symbols is because they are trying to increase the entropy, the randomness or lack of predictability, of the passwords.
However, there's a lot more to password strength than entropy. Entropy is about uncertainty -- which doesn't necessarily translate to more security. For example:
The entropy of "akj@!0aj" is 2.5, while the entropy of "password" is 2.75. (larger is better)
Most people can easily tell that using "password" as a password is a very bad idea. But the cryptic string "akj@!0aj" is actually worse on an entropy basis. If someone were trying to crack the above 2 passwords using randomly-generated brute force of trying combinations of valid characters, the "akj@!0aj" password has a larger chance of being found!
All too often, these same fools who impose such cryptic password policies upon users, at the same limit the length of acceptable passwords to 8 or 10 characters! In 2012, a 25-GPU computer demonstrated cracking every single 8 character password in about 6 hours. Such short length limits also preclude using truly secure passwords, such as a series of 5, 6, 7 or more short words randomly generated, as described Arnold Reinhold in his Diceware passphrase generator: http://world.std.com/~reinhold/diceware.html
I'd sleep a lot easier if mediocre password schemes started finding their way to the dust bin of history.
A not comprehensive list, but a good survey starting with those that I can personally vouch for as being great.
@ 56th St. West and Xerxes Ave. South:
1. Cavé Vin at 5555 Xerxes (http://cave-vin.net) -- very French and the best garlic pommes frittes (real french fries) in the state.
2. Pizza Lola at 5557 Xerxes (yup, next door) -- fantastic adventurous pizza and many local brews (http://www.pizzerialola.com)
@ 50th St. West and Penn Ave. South (the Broder family empire!):
3. Terzo at 2221 50th (http://broders.com/terzo-vino-bar/) -- great food and a huge wine selection, both by the glass and bottles.
4. Broder's Pasta Bar at 5000 Penn (http://broders.com/pasta-bar/).
@ 54th St. West and Penn Ave. South:
5. Cafe Maude at 5411 Penn (http://cafemaude.com/) -- see and be seen, great food, delicious Mojitos and occasional live music.
6. Red Wagon Pizza at 5416 Penn (http://www.redwagon-mpls.com) -- family friendly gourmet pizza. I'll bet their patio is popular this summer.
I've heard, but cannot personally verify, that Red Cow at 3624 W. 50th St. is very good as well, and has a pretty large collection of craft beers.
And that's just the top tier dining. There's a bunch of great other restaurants, too, like Broder's Cucina Italiana ("Italian kitchen") also at the corner of 50th and Penn with their other 2 restaurants. It's a casual eat-in / carry-out deli kind of place, Michaelangelo's pizza (best delivered pizza in the area), Arezzo at 5057 France Ave. S. (top-notch traditional Italian but maybe not quite up to Broder's top-end stuff), and several more that I've not visited.
Best of all, I can walk to all of these places, and they seem to exist and do thriving business despite the competition from the vast sea of retail and food that is the Southdale area, and the busy Uptown area just to the north.
I explored the dark side of the network behind the nude celebrities hack...
After the scandal broke, I spent some time immersed in the obsessive subculture of celebrity nudes and revenge porn trying to work out what
This Kid Made an App That Exposes Sellout Politicians | VICE United States
With US politics swimming in so much corporate money that it's pretty much an oligarchy, it can be hard to keep track of all the corruption.
The Very Real Danger of Genetically Modified Foods
New research shows that when we eat we're consuming more than just vitamins and protein. Our bodies are also absorbing information.
It just works: Dell XPS 13 Developer Edition Linux Ultrabook review
Dell's substantial investment in making a functional Linux Ultrabook pays off.
Why More and More Americans are Abandoning Their US Citizenship
Eric Fry discusses the increasing trend of US citizens renouncing their US citizenship in favor of living abroad.
The Software Revolution Behind LinkedIn's Gushing Profits | Wired Busine...
LinkedIn took a huge risk pausing all development for two months as it switched to a turbocharged new system known as "continuous deployment
spamgourmet - free disposable email addresses, spam blocker
spamgourmet provides disposable email addresses that get created automatically the first time they are used, forward messages, and then auto
The Boston Marathon Bombing: Keep Calm and Carry On
It is easy to feel scared and powerless in the wake of attacks like those at the Boston Marathon. But it also plays into the perpetrators' h