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Open the pod door HAL

 -- Published: Monday, 19 February 2018 | Print  | Disqus 

By Larry LaBorde


I will admit that I am getting old.  I was born when Eisenhower was president.  My idea of a tablet while growing up in the early 1960’s was an etch-a-sketch.  The first time Apple customer support told me to reboot my ipad I turned it upside down and shook it real hard.


Yesterday my Amazon hockey puck mistakenly starting playing a song at full volume while I was skyping with my son.  I clearly said, “Siri, stop”, but nothing happened.  I repeated again more clearly as I will admit that I do have a bit of a problem being understood by my electronic devises unless I speak slowly and clearly. I then got into a verbal fight with the darn devise and said much more than “Siri be quiet”.  I was getting quite upset and felt like HAL was refusing to open the pod door.  I eventually got up and unplugged the stupid devise convinced that its little AI brain had evolved and it was planning to do me in.  I finally got back on skype and heard my son laughing hysterically from the other side of the world.  He said, “Dad, you have mixed up your electronic assistants.  Try using Alexa instead of Siri”.  Sheepishly I plugged her back in and apologized to Alexa for calling her Siri.  (You never want to call one woman by the “other woman’s” name in the heat of the moment.)


Passwords are another thing I struggle with in this modern age.  We are told not to use the same password for different applications because of security breaches.  For some things like on line banking it is best to use random computer generated passwords and to change them often.  My wife’s “book of secrets” is 1 pound paper and 2 pounds white out tape.  She has changed her passwords so many times she cannot remember any of them.  I use an app on my phone that only requires me to remember one password to the app and then all my passwords are stored there.  Everyone now has dozens of passwords for everything imaginable.  I would not be surprised if I had close to 100 different passwords I have to keep up with to function.  It seems with the IOT (internet of things) that everything is now connected and requires its own password. 


While I am somewhat of a Luddite at times I do enjoy technology.  I do not want to go back to passbook savings accounts where you have to bring your little  savings account passbook to the bank and let the teller post your deposits and withdrawals into your booklet.  However, when I travel I always bring at least two credit cards, a few thousand in cash and a one oz gold coin just in case something happens to both credit cards. 


I was reading the other day where your estate plan should include the location of all your passwords so that your executor can access them for the estate.  It only made sense but I did have to do a little thinking about how to do exactly that with all the constant password changing.


It seems the whole world is now electronic and password protected.  Older bank buildings used to spend quite a bit of money on their vaults with thick concrete walls and elaborate locking doors where the valuables were kept.  Now a bank vault is an after thought and is sometimes retrofitted into an existing building in something little more than a secure closet.  All of the security budget is now spent on the computer firewall to protect the electronic digits.


Everyone has heard of at least one guy who purchased a few bitcoins years ago and forgot about them only to realize to his horror that he lost his password to his electronic wallet that now holds hundreds of thousands of dollars.


While I do not think that the world is going to collapse tomorrow or a solar flare will cause an EMP event that will fry all the computers I do find a little comfort in knowing that a part of my wealth is in real hard precious metals assets that I can hold and touch and is in no way connected to the electronic world.


Buy some gold & silver – no password required.



Larry LaBorde sells precious metals through Silver Trading Company LLC. Since 2001, Silver Trading Company has offered high volume sales of gold, silver, platinum and palladium to serious investors around the world. It also offers guidance about storage options for metals. Please visit Silver Trading Company’s website at


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