The Most Commonly Used Password Was …

… yeah, you guessed it: “PASSWORD.” That’s been the winner for a couple years straight, but this year, computer users got wise and upgraded to a foolproof system with an uncrackable password.

That would be “123456.”

People, people, people … you need to stop doing this.

SplashData’s top 25 password list was compiled from data leaked to the net by hackers.

You don’t need to get all clever with passwords to make them better, with a lot of exotic characters and random numbers. Three objects or names that are loosely associated in your mind (but not necessarily in most minds) will work fine, like HUEYDEWIELOUIE or FATHERSONHOLYSPIRIT, but not that obvious. You can also build passwords based on loose associations, such as TOKILLAMOCKINGBIRD for Twitter, but not that obvious. Try to mix it up and add some digits as well. Child and pet names are bad if you have an active social media presence. 

A Bible Verse For MLK Day

Men die. Dreams don’t.

Joseph’s brothers thought to slay him and rob him of his dreams, but he rose as if from a tomb and become more powerful in “death” than he had been in life.

For each Christian martyr cut down, more rose to replace them, leading Tertullian to write, “The blood of martyrs is the seed of the Church.”

Sometimes embracing the cross is the only way find true life. Martin Luther King was a Christian preacher. All he did flowed from the Christian faith, and the sense of justice and righteousness it awoke in him. May we all follow Christ in the same way, even if it leads unto the cross.

H/T to Black Republican on Twitter

Tour the Priscilla Catacombs on Google Maps

After years of restoration work, the Priscilla Catacombs in Rome were reopened last fall. This 8-mile network of tunnels was used for Christian burial and worship from the 2nd to 5th centuries. The catacombs were forgotten, looted, ignored, and ultimately reclaimed, and now centuries of grime has been removed to reveal striking art work.

The tombs sprung from the burial of Manius Acilius Glabrio, executed in the 90s for his faith. His wife, Priscilla, had him buried in a former quarry, and then gave the property to the Church for other burials. Numerous popes and martyrs were entombed there. 

If you can’t travel there in person, you can poke around inside a portion of tunnels on GoogleMaps. It looks good, and is a nifty way to get a sense of the place.

The Catacombs have a very good website (albeit in Italian) complete with videos of the restoration.

Newsify [App o’ the Mornin’]

RSS feeds are essential to my work. It’s the only way to track hundreds (sometimes thousands) of headlines as I try to keep abreast of several major subject areas: games, technology, religion, archaeology, and science. Dozens of RSS readers, both PC and mobile, have passed through my life in the last decade or so. Sometimes we’d see each other for a while. There were good times, laughter, the thrill of new love. But they always ended in tears and heartbreak, and a “It’s not me, it’s you” speech.

After using MobileRSS, Feedler, Pulse, and Flipboard, I settled on Newsify (free: iOS). It handles the newspaper-style layout far better than the over-hyped Flipboard, but still manages to integrate a sidebar that allows rapid switching between groups and feeds. This is it, folks: a find as important as plutonium and s’mores … combined! The last mobile news reader you’ll ever need. At least until the developer breaks it with a new “upgrade.”

Newsify works because it’s both simple and powerful. You can syn with either Feedly or via cloud, and the instantly populates the reader with folders and feeds. The app works well on a Touch or iPhone, but it really shines on an iPad. Navigation among folders and feeds is a snap with the slide-away sidebar. It’s easy to choose all folders, individual folders, individual feeds, starred items, or unread content.

Newsify loads all the items faster than any similar app I’ve used. The headlines and summaries are laid out in either an unending scroll, or newspaper style format. Full text loads super-fast in a window. It’s easy to push stories off to Facebook, Twitter, Pocket, or any number of other services. I find it works perfectly to glances over headlines, identify the stories of interest, and then send them off to Pocket for later reading.

It’s very attractive and readable, with the ability to modify fonts and colors, but without the fussy graphical flourishes that tend to slow down apps. Items can be marked as read as you scroll by them, or in batches, or not at all. It works exactly the way I want it to work: fast, simple, powerful.