November 06, 2010
I am Spartacus! and other dramatic "Identity" scripts
Name collisions are such fun! The apocryphal story of the Spartacus, the slave-turned-revolutionary, has him being saved by all his slave-warriors standing up saying, "I am Spartacus!" The poor Roman Leaders had little grip on the situation, as they couldn't recall any biometrics for the guy.
A short time ago, I wondered into an office to get some service, and a nice lady grabbed me at the door, entered my name in and eventually queued me to a service desk. The poor woman at the computer couldn't work it out though, as having entered my first name into the computer, all the details were wrong. It was finally resolved when an attendant 2 desks away asked why she'd opened up his client's file ... who had the same first name. Apparently, my name is subject to TLCs, three-letter-collisions...
Luckily, that was easy to solve. My 4-letter name reduces to around 2 people in our field. Hopefully, this is all resolved in a seminal paper on the subject:
Global Names Considered Harmful
by Mark Miller, Mark Miller, and Mark Miller
As reported by Bill Frantz, that's the paper.
Meanwhile, if you want to purchase one of these fabulous global names, some prices spotted a while back: As reported by Dave Birch somewhere, and I only copied this one line (before the link went south):
Authorities said Lominy charged $1,600 to $2,000 for a state driver's license...
And (this time with the link still working):
The gangs are setting up fake-ID factories using printers bought at high street shops. The Met has shut at least 20 “factories” in the last 18 months and believes more than 30,000 fake identities are in circulation.
Police examined 12,000 of them and established they were behind a racket worth £14 million. One £750 printer was withdrawn from sale at PC World after detectives revealed it could produce replicas of the proposed new ID card and EU driving licences.
Mr Mawer added: “There are people with dual identities, one real and one for committing crime.” He revealed that specialist printers capable of making convincing ID documents such as EU driving licences could be bought for £750, though others cost £5,000.
I'm currently trying to get my drivers licence back, and so far it has cost $465, with more costs to come. At some point, the above deal looks good, and they throw in a free printer! A steal :)
Speaking of "Identity" I also watched a British drama of that name tonight. In true form, it's "gritty police drama," which is to say, a copy of a dozen other shows which make a habit of implausible scripts woven around too many cross-overs.
Posted by iang at November 6, 2010 12:26 AM
The victim of my favorite story on this subject was my brother. We both went to the same huge state university, and I remember how he agonized through his senior year over his grad school applications. He got some offers, but his first choice school kept him waiting for week after week. Finally, he called them to ask directly about his application. "We're sorry we didn't get back to you," he was told, "but we couldn't figure out why an anthropology major would want to go to graduate school for physics." Large state university had sent out the wrong transcript, but one with the right name on it.
Adding insult to injury, when first choice school got the proper information they accepted my brother, but by that point they had already given out all their financial aid. My brother ended up staying for his masters at the same university that had screwed up his application.
He was indicted last August — along with two unnamed East European hackers known only as “Grigg” and “Annex” — on charges of hacking into Heartland Payment Systems, a New Jersey card-processing company, as well as Hannaford Brothers supermarket chain, 7-Eleven and two unnamed national retailers.
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