Every screw up your e-mail password and login with a free provider and feel completely stuck? That's what happened to my teenage daughter who very quickly changed her password in her Yahoo e-mail account a couple of days ago. Clearly, she repeated a typed mistake twice in specifying her new password. Bottom line: we were locked out of her account, which contained vital communications pertaining to her her college search and athletic recruitment. We tried Yahoo's "Forget your password or ID?" option, but that did not work. We tried it so many times - DOB and zipcode were the critical to access - the account sensed a hacker and was temporarily disabled. We got a half dozen automated e-mail responses advising us to do the things we had already tried uncessfully (turn off caps lock, try forgot your password etc).
We thought we were stuck. The automated e-mails said that passwords were encrpyted, suggesting no human other than my daughter and whoever revealed them to could ever know their identity. Yahoo also said they could not reset the password or give us a new one. That's 150 or so e-mails and countless key contacts down the drain. She would have to go back to all her contacts and inform them of her new e-mail. What a pain!?
Via e-mail, we begged for human intervention and finally in our 22nd frantic hour, we got an e-mail with a temporary password from Yahoo customer care. Out of the dark vastness of cyberspace, it had picked up our SOS and sent a lifeboat. We were back in business. What impresses me about this that we have no financial relation with Yahoo!. This is a free e-mail My Yahoo! account. Why should it go out of its way to help us? We must have gotten through what must be hundreds if not thousands of such desparate messages every day.
The engineers and inventors of the post WWII period turned their attention to advancements in electronics, communication, and entertainment. Breakthrough inventions range from LEGOs and computer gaming to the integrated circuit and Ethernet -- a range of advancements that have little in common except they changed our lives.
Neil Fromer is the executive director of the Resnick Institute, a program for energy and sustainability at the California Institute of Technology, working to develop new ideas and research technologies related to providing a sustainable future. He spoke to us about the severity of the current drought in California and how solar energy can help prevent such situations in the future.
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Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.