Archive for April, 2012

The bank security paranoia has reached all new levels this week when I got locked out of my bank account at my credit union.   This particular credit union boasted that they have mobile apps, website banking and a bunch of other features that I would love to use unfortunately it’s impossible to follow the bewildering maze of activities needed to setup this functionality.

The first step is to request “access” to these features which involves calling the bank, going through a gauntlet of questions to prove who you say you are in order to get “approval.”

Then once you’re approved you need to setup your online username and password.  No problem here until you get to the next page and then you get a gauntlet of security questions like “What is your favorite football team?”   Oh boy, well this week it may be X and next year it may be Y so how am I supposed to remember this nonsense?

So then after going through this security nonsense, it’s time to download the app and log on right?  WRONG!   The next step is to “authenticate” the app against your account.  You would think the username/password combo would do this but no!  An email is sent to your account on file with some 4 to 6 digit pin which you need to retrieve in order to authenticate your account.

I got the pin and put it in the account but I mistyped my password a few times then got locked out!   Guess what that means!  I had to start the process all over again! Yipee!    I got so frustrated that I decided to close my account at this bank.   Mobile banking is great until its so secure that you can’t use it which then becomes pointless.   Going back to a cash only lifestyle is starting to look very appealing.

 

I logged on to my iTunes account today seeking to buy a song entitled “Trek” by Spencer & Antfood but was quickly prompted to enter those same stupid security questions which I can never remember the answers for because I never answer them truthfully!   Why don’t I answer them truthfully?  Because every damn website asks the exact same stupid security questions:

What was your first car?   What was your first teacher?  Where did you first work?  Hmmm….If I answer this on website x and Apple iTunes truthfully then whenever website x gets hacked then hackers now know my answer to the question.  How is this nonsense security?     Keep in mind that most accounts use your email as your username so if someone hacks your username on one account its simple trial and error to try others.    Apple also prohibits you from using the same answer for each security question which is what I always do to try to minimize this crap nonsense but Apple won’t let you do that.

I am expected something better from Apple. Who ever made this decision at Apple should quickly be taken outside and hung from the nearest building or shot in the head.   I’ve been using iTunes for purchases of years now and never had a problem so why add these stupid questions now?

I’m now going to be buying my music from Amazon because I’m just so pissed off!

 

I began my dual MBA program in the Fall of 2009 and it is now the Spring of 2012.  I won’t be done this year but certainly next year.  I could speed it up a bit if I took summer classes but quite honestly, I can only take the academic environment one semester at a time with the summers off.    So here’s a run down of the courses I’ve taken and what I’ve learned.

  • Econ 601 – US domestic economics which introduces you to basic economic theory.
  • Econ 602 – International economics which introduces you to basic international economic theory.
  • Stats 601 – Basic statistical course (this is where academia largely goes wrong).
  • Bus 601 – Don’t really remember this course but I think it was some sort of ethics class.
  • Mgmt 601 – Introduction to basic management principles
  • Mgmt 602 – Management and Information Technology
  • Mgmt 603 – Leadership and managing change
  • Mgmt 604 – International operations management – supply chain logistics
  • Mgmt 605 – International management
  • Acct 601 – Financial reporting and analysis
  • Fin 602 – Introduction to finance principles
  • Mktg 601 – Introduction to domestic marketing principles
  • Mktg 602 – Introduction to international marketing principles

 

I can definitively tell you that the MBA program is 80% filler and 20% meat.    There is no real rationalization for much of the program other than to keep the university ecosystem of free-loading administration officials, lackluster professors, and other employees going.

The best analogy I can think of is the stuff I order from Amazon.   If you order a screw-driver from Amazon, it will come in a box too big for the object, an air bag filled with air, some sort of advertisement to order again, a receipt/packing slip and the actual screw driver probably wrapped in useless plastic molding.

All you really want is the screw driver but you have to take the garbage that comes with it too.    The first thing you do is toss out the garbage and begin to use the tool.

I have two more classes in the fall and then six next year and I’m done but the program is already paying off as I’m being solicited left and right by some pretty good firms.   I’ll stick with my present employer though until I’m sure this economy is on solid footing.

By the way, in case you’re wondering what those last few classes are they are primarily more finance and management classes.   I hope to write more frequently as soon as I get done with the three term papers due in the next few weeks.