Security Question
December 29, 2007 12:59 PM   Subscribe

Security Question A short story by Ramon Rozas III. [via Schneier on Security]
posted by delmoi (18 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite


posted by mr_crash_davis at 1:04 PM on December 29, 2007

posted by orthogonality at 1:21 PM on December 29, 2007

In a bizarre twist of fate, his mother's maiden name is "admin".
posted by Uther Bentrazor at 1:24 PM on December 29, 2007 [2 favorites]

He misspelled Sergey.
posted by George_Spiggott at 1:28 PM on December 29, 2007

I don't get the ending. Is he supposed to be an impostor?
posted by languagehat at 1:30 PM on December 29, 2007

languagehat writes "I don't get the ending. Is he supposed to be an impostor?"

No, forgetful. And froma time that (presumably) has lost the birth and marriage records that would make finding the name trivial.
posted by orthogonality at 1:36 PM on December 29, 2007

Like all time travel stories, it gets less and less convincing the more you think about it. And stories that hang on their last lines shouldn't let you know halfway through exactly what that last line is going to be.
posted by matthewr at 1:41 PM on December 29, 2007

If he was spanish and had 6 surnames, none of this would have happened.
posted by lucia__is__dada at 1:47 PM on December 29, 2007

It's not really a "story" so much as an elaborate joke, but it's all right. I did a Chris Matthews laugh at the end. It should be cut down to about 2 paragraphs to make it a truly effective long-form joke.
posted by synaesthetichaze at 1:47 PM on December 29, 2007

The point is that your mother's maiden name is a horrible question to override your not having a password. In an age where "identity theft" is supposed to be a problem, proving your identity should not revolve around public data.
posted by a robot made out of meat at 2:00 PM on December 29, 2007

It would have been more subtle if he'd asked for the name of his first pet. And surely, if he was from the future, he would have just had to have his iris scanned to get access?

Still, it was a well written short.
posted by baggymp at 2:07 PM on December 29, 2007

Has anyone read Ken MacLeod? Does "making it to the ships" mean what I think it means, surviving until FTL travel?
posted by gerryblog at 2:49 PM on December 29, 2007

No, forgetful.

Well, that was the obvious interpretation, but it was so silly I rejected it out of hand. It makes a shaggy-dog joke of the whole thing. But I guess that's what it is.
posted by languagehat at 4:21 PM on December 29, 2007

Mediocre pieces of flash fiction are fpp worthy these days?

Have I got like a thousand links for you.
posted by shownomercy at 4:50 PM on December 29, 2007

He misspelled Sergey.

posted by dhammond at 5:21 PM on December 29, 2007

He was making reference to Google co-founder Sergey Brin. (It's supposed to be cute because Brin was studying at the University of Maryland, College Park at the time the story presumably takes place.)
posted by anifinder at 5:41 PM on December 29, 2007

What anifinder said.
posted by George_Spiggott at 9:13 PM on December 29, 2007

I read this short story a couple of months ago.

I was entertained. Unfortunately, I predicted the ending pretty much just from reading the title. Did anyone else see it coming a mile away?

This problem could be fixed by renaming the story. My suggestion: A Question of Security.
posted by Spire at 4:42 AM on December 30, 2007

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