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Exploring the science and magic of Identity and Access Management
Tuesday, June 18, 2024

On the Road: Escaping the Sign of the Beast

Identity, Travel
Author: Mark Dixon
Saturday, August 20, 2011
5:36 am

In the Book of Revelation in the Bible, we learn that the Sign of the Beast, or Number of the Beast, is the number 666 – “Six Hundred Threescore and Six” (Revelations 13:16-18).  I don’t pretend to be an expert on the subject, but over the years, spotting references to this number has been intriguing to me.

When I checked in online for my flight yesterday, up popped the number 666 – the number of photos in my iPhone camera roll.  Interesting coincidence? Bad omen?  Should I be worried?

No … just a coincidence, I’m sure.  I flew to Burbank and back safely.  No beastly danger this time.

But I learned something new this morning.  According to Wikipedia:

Some people take the Satanic associations of 666 so seriously that they actively avoid things related to 666 or the digits 6-6-6. This is known as hexakosioihexekontahexaphobia … A prominent example is Nancy and Ronald Reagan who, in 1989, when moving to their home in the Bel-Air section of Los Angeles, had its address – 666 St. Cloud Road – changed to 668 St. Cloud Road.

Well, that’s taking the whole 666 thing a bit far.  It makes my irrational fear of dentists (odontophobia) seem a bit prosaic.


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A Big Step Forward in Flying Convenience

Author: Mark Dixon
Monday, April 11, 2011
9:48 pm

We road warriors often grouse about the dumb stuff the airlines do and the weirdness of the TSA.  However, once in awhile, we can cheer about a big step forward in flying convenience.   The latest cheerable enhancement is the paperless boarding pass.  Other airlines have offered this perk for awhile, but US Airways has offered the option for the just the past few weeks.  I gingerly brought both paper and paperless boarding passes for a flight week before last, but today, I didn’t even bring a paper backup.

When checking in online, I specified which email address I prefer, and moments later, a link appeared in my email box, which I could access from my iPhone to display a boarding pass like the one to the right.  I presented the image on the phone and my driver’s license at the security checkpoint, and again showed the image on my phone at the gate.  It works great!

Thanks, US Airlines, for taking this big step in the right direction!


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A Dearth of Power

Author: Mark Dixon
Thursday, February 17, 2011
7:16 pm

Dearth: “an inadequate supply; scarcity; lack”

imageA nagging pet peeve of mine regards the dearth of power outlets in most airport waiting areas.  In a time when almost every traveler carries one or more power-hungry devices with too-small batteries, it would seem that each airport would at least consider providing a much larger supply of easily accessible power outlets.

This problem is exacerbated by flight delays, such as the one I am experiencing tonight at San Francisco International airport.  I was fortunate to find one obscure electrical outlet hidden behind a garbage can, where I could plug in, recharge my batteries and get some work done.  But alas, when I took a much-needed bio break, I ceded my prized spot to the next power-hungry traveler.  I am now relying on battery power alone.

If things go well, my laptop battery will expire just about the time I board my 2.5 hour late flight.  Who knows, if the flight is delayed further, I might have to resort to reading a real book!

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New Luggage Wheels

Author: Mark Dixon
Wednesday, January 27, 2010
2:32 pm

I recently replaced the wheels on my roll-aboard suitcase with inline skate wheels.  So much for a run-of-the-mill black-on-black look for my luggage!  I hope the fact that I chose orange rather than red doesn’t get in the way of success with Oracle.

New Luggage Wheels

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