back to article US Presidential race becomes Wi-Fi password snark battle

The tragi-comedy that is the extended US presidential election campaign has taken two turns into technological territory. First, the trivial. As reported by The Hill, last week's debate among Republican candidates for the presidency offered the Wi-Fi password “StopHillary” to members of the press. The Democratic debate on …

  1. A Non e-mouse Silver badge
    WTF?

    Is this April 1st? Was this written by an intern? The password isn't "13MillionNewJobs" that's the SSID. There is NO password on the WiFi!

    Where's that El Reg Tombstone icon when you need it.

    1. Tony S

      @A Non e-mouse

      You're correct, but I think that they've used the wrong picture for the reference in the article.

      If you follow the link to "The Hill", it shows a different picture. The SSID on that one is "RNCdebate" and that one has a password of "StopHillary". That's probably what Simon was writing about.

      1. Mark 85 Silver badge

        Re: @A Non e-mouse

        Ah...no. The article says this: From a technical standpoint, the Democratic password is more secure: it's longer and mixes numerals and letters, getting it a little closer to the correcthorsebatterystaple ideal.

        Someone misread the card... it states: "No Password" followed by their political statement.

      2. BillG
        Angel

        Re: @A Non e-mouse

        The SSID on that one is "RNCdebate" and that one has a password of "StopHillary".

        Actually, there is a movement among the Democratic party faithful called "ABH": "Anyone But Hillary".

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: @A Non e-mouse

          Future Queen Hillary knows who those people are, and she never forgets...

    2. BillG
      WTF?

      From a technical standpoint, the Democratic password is more secure: it's longer and mixes numerals and letters

      As already stated above, "13MillionNewJobs" is an SSID, not a password

      But if it WAS the password, the above extract from the Reg article is still wrong because IT'S A PUBLIC PASSWORD THAT NO ONE HAS TO GUESS!!!

      Is this April 1st? Was this written by an intern?

      Exactly.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I work in a European branch of a US company. We regularly get new people who were supposed to work in the US, except that they didn't get a H-1B visa. More often than not, we convince them to stay here.

  3. Pascal Monett Silver badge
    Facepalm

    Gotta love politics

    In programming, the easiest way to find a bug is to debug the code, which starts by launching it.

    In politics, to "to complete a comprehensive investigation and audit of pervasive allegations of abuse of the program", i.e. to debug it, you suspend it. Because stopping all activity is obviously going to bring to light all the ways the program is not being properly used, yeah, sure.

    Instead of auditing the live process to find out who phones who instead of doing what the process says should be done. But I know, that's complicated.

    1. The Man Who Fell To Earth
      FAIL

      Re: Gotta love politics

      The problems with the US h-1 visa program are well known. The system is gamed by the likes of Tata, Infosys and Wipro by flooding the application pool with tens of thousands of applications in less than 24 hours after the opening date. That blocks out legitimate businesses from getting the visas and they all go to these outsourcing companies. The company I work for has had huge problems hiring people we already know & want to work for us because these outsourcing companies grab all of the visas, and we are forced to hired them & let them bring in their 5th rate imported people simply because they have the visas. Our costs go up, but their "workers" don't see any of that - the outsourcing company pockets most of it.

      The New York Times just did an article on this.

      http://www.nytimes.com/2015/11/11/us/large-companies-game-h-1b-visa-program-leaving-smaller-ones-in-the-cold.html?_r=0

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Gotta love politics

        Don't forget the glorious Satyam fake turnover and fictional staff problem

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Satyam_scandal

        And the World Bank multi-year ban on various companies, the reason given was providing "improper benefits" to client staff.

        http://www.livemint.com/Home-Page/Y5EE4RuLVU6s0LQCAWQi5N/World-Bank-ban-on-Wipro-Megasoft-too.html

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Are you sure?

    "From a technical standpoint, the Democratic password is more secure: it's longer and mixes numerals and letters, getting it a little closer to the correcthorsebatterystaple ideal."

    Looks to me like that is the SSID, they proudly claim no password, which is completely insecure as the wifi link is unencrypted leaving uses exposed to MiM attacks........

    1. sisk Silver badge

      Re: Are you sure?

      Careful! Most politicians, especially American ones, are low enough on the tech jargon totem pole for "unencrypted" and "MiM" in one sentence to throw them into dummy mode. They come up with enough dumb ideas as is without that.

  5. Andrew Ansell

    "Opponents counter that Indian companies enjoy an unfair advantage because they can bring their own staff to the United States on H-1Bs and therefore enjoy lower costs."

    For a technical worker internal transfers to the US office are normally L-1 visas. They are easier to obtain than H-1B since you don't need to show you can't hire an american to do the work.

    And on that note - In order to hire someone on an H-1B you must show that you couldn't find an american to do the job and that you are paying a competitive wage. If republicans are complaining that the visas are allowing cheap foreign workers to take american jobs then they don't need to scrap the system, they need to enforce the existing rules.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Yeah the H-1B requirements are BS

      The scheme has been abused for year by the big tech companies as a way of bring in cheaper non-US workers, whenever they go to the Hill and complain that they can't find the skilled US workers so they need the H-1B quota to be raised what they actually mean is they don't want to pay the rates that the US workers command.

    2. Schultz
      Stop

      Easy H-1B visas

      If the salary is above 60 k$, the restrictions on H-1B visas are eased (no need to show that the wage is competitive and no need to show that no American would take the job). So you have a large number of tailored applications for fields where typical US salaries are closer to 100k; sufficient applications to fill all available slots in the first week of January. Big Indian companies seem to dominate (e.g. Winpro, Infosys), but IBM and Accenture are also in the game. Nice little money spinner for a few companies.

      Read more here: http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2015/11/06/us/outsourcing-companies-dominate-h1b-visas.html

  6. Greg D
    Megaphone

    Come on El Reg, that's clearly an SSID, not a password.

    *slaps wrists for tech faux pas*

  7. Guus Leeuw
    Headmaster

    Simon Simon ... and El Reg El Reg ...

    Dear Sir,

    I'm not the first, and surely not the last, but:

    1) "From a technical standpoint, the Democratic password is more secure: it's longer and mixes numerals and letters, getting it a little closer to the correcthorsebatterystaple ideal."

    2) "changes are not popular there are they are seen as deliberately "

    El Reg really needs to hire a stone editor who will ensure that articles are proper in contents and grammar!

    Regards,

    Guus

  8. Seajay#
    FAIL

    "From a technical standpoint, the Democratic password is more secure: it's longer and mixes numerals and letters, getting it a little closer to the correcthorsebatterystaple ideal."

    No. The lesson from correcthorsebatterystaple was that you SHOULDN'T mix numerals and letters, just add another word to take advantage of your comparative advantage over computers in remmembering real words.

    Also, length of the password is not a good metric for entropy in cases like these where it's a phase with a meaning. Furthermore, this is public so it's equally insecure regardless of it's length and complexity.

    1. Stevie Silver badge

      Bah!

      Actually, the lesson of CHBS was that using a memory trick used by stage magicians, making a picture show in your head, you can remember a long series of words easily, and that doing so gives you a high entropy password easy for a human to remember but hard(er) for a computer to brute force (than eight uper,lower,numbers,spec-char). CHBS methods do not preclude numbers, dollar signs or anything else you can type and from which you can make a head cartoon.

      CHBS methodology is subject to the dreaded "typo" fail in spades, though.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Hollowed out the middle classes

    Having seen US workers fired to be replaced be cheaper Indians I can fully see why this would be popular with American voters.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Hollowed out the middle classes

      I've even seen it done to Eastern European branches, it turned out the new bunch to replace them oddly didn't have at all the appropriate product skills and weren't cheaper either :) Of course they forgot to run it past the US team leaders that they were just about to fire all of the company's most senior continuous product development staff across the Atlantic. The mass panic was a treat to see and hear.

      Turns out later certain key new artivals pushing tremendously for the outsourcing had shall we say, "intriguing" connections with the new bunch's company that was bought to do the work. And had most likely done the exact same thing elsewhere There were firings of course.

  10. This post has been deleted by its author

  11. kavrod

    If this was an article about something else, which then obliquely mentions the WIFI political password topic then it would be a "tut tut" for the mistakes mentioned above. But since this article is specifically about the use of political passwords then I can only conclude that the writer was drunk. Did he even look at the photo which clearly says "No password" ?

  12. 38292757

    " only around 85,000 issued each year"

    QUOTE:

    "That the visa has become a political football is remarkable in itself, seeing as there's only around 85,000 issued each year, a drop in the ocean of the US workforce. Yet with political “debate” happy to include Wi-Fi passwords, fights over small migration programmes shouldn't surprise."

    Gee, that's only hundreds of thousands of middle-class jobs, if you recognize that government policy includes the past and the future, in addition to the present.

  13. Old Handle
    WTF?

    Trump wants to raise the minimum wage. For immigrants.

    That actually strikes me as a surprisingly (given the source) reasonable solution. If you're bringing people in as "skilled workers" and not paying them a skilled worker kind of wage, it does look like something might be wrong.

  14. Lars Silver badge
    Joke

    I wonder

    Do Americans actually understand how funny this visa problem is. Only a undeveloped country needs to import skilled people. Developed countries are concerned about loosing skilled people. Dear Bill, should you not listen to Bernie after all. And my icon is not, perhaps, honest at all, and while China may need to build a wall regarding the internet I suggest Americans should build one too, to prevent the rest of the world to listen to the majority of their presidential candidates.

  15. Suricou Raven

    Not impressed

    This is barely news by the current crazy-standard of US politics. This is from a speech Trump just made:

    ----

    As the hunt for the perpetrators of the attacks in Paris continue, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump said Monday that he is uniquely qualified to be commander-in-chief because he has an "instinct" for sensing threats.

    "In my book I predicted terrorism. Because I can feel it," said Trump, speaking to thousands of supporters packed into Tennessee's Knoxville Convention Center. "I can feel it like I feel a good location .... Nobody knew this kind of terrorism before. But I felt it. And you have to have somebody that has an instinct to lead this country."

    ----

    They've got a presidential contender claiming he has the spidey-sense for terrorism - wifi snark is pretty petty beside that.

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