mersenneforum.org Whose bright idea was this stupid feature?
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2007-10-02, 01:07   #1
jasong

"Jason Goatcher"
Mar 2005

DB116 Posts
Whose bright idea was this stupid feature?

The shortest communication ever was achieved by two men many, many years ago. One dude wanted to know how their jointly owned company was doing, so he sent a telegram:
Quote:
 ?
The response:
Quote:
 !
This leads me to my question. What is the point of forcing people to put stuff in the message body when one sends a PM?

I understand that Xyzzy probably has no control over this feature, so this is simply an OCD rant.

 2007-10-02, 02:40 #2 Xyzzy     "Mike" Aug 2002 79×101 Posts . Attached Thumbnails
2007-10-02, 09:29   #3
Mr. P-1

Jun 2003

116910 Posts

Quote:
 Originally Posted by jasong The shortest communication ever was achieved by two men many, many years ago. One dude wanted to know how their jointly owned company was doing, so he sent a telegram:
I heard the same story about a correspondance between Victor Hugo and his publisher over how well hs book "Les Miserables" was doing.

 2007-10-02, 09:41 #4 hhh     Jun 2005 373 Posts I always wonder why when I enter a password, it shows up as ******, instead of being readable. This leads me not to pick things like $%&"! in the password, cause I never know if I get them right on a different languages keyboard. In linux, once it even didn't show up at all. Hence every newbie in the pool room was desperate. Only once I saw an intelligent design of a login feature: a small box you could check to get the *****, or to turn them of, don*t know anymore. 2007-10-02, 11:10 #5 xilman Bamboozled! "𒉺𒌌𒇷𒆷𒀭" May 2003 Down not across 295B16 Posts Quote:  Originally Posted by hhh I always wonder why when I enter a password, it shows up as ******, instead of being readable. This leads me not to pick things like$%&"! in the password, cause I never know if I get them right on a different languages keyboard. In linux, once it even didn't show up at all. Hence every newbie in the pool room was desperate. Only once I saw an intelligent design of a login feature: a small box you could check to get the *****, or to turn them of, don*t know anymore.
To stop by-standers from reading your password off the screen.

Pau

2007-10-02, 13:26   #6
hhh

Jun 2005

373 Posts

Quote:
 Originally Posted by xilman To stop by-standers from reading your password off the screen. Pau
Ok, very funny. How often do you read mersenneforum with curious readers standing by? And care?

H.

 2007-10-02, 14:14 #7 Spherical Cow     Nov 2004 22×33×5 Posts Reminds one of the groaner blonde joke...she and a co-worker need to get on the boss's computer. "But it's password protected," one dismays. "That's OK," the other replies. "I saw him type it in one day. It's really easy to remember: just five asterisks." Norm
2007-10-02, 16:25   #8
ewmayer
2ω=0

Sep 2002
República de California

2·7·829 Posts

Quote:
 Originally Posted by hhh I always wonder why when I enter a password, it shows up as ******, instead of being readable.
I just use all-asterisks for my passwords - that way I am guaranteed to get what I see. "Ah!" You say - "but since you're only hitting one key, it would make it trivial for a would-be over-the-shoulder password-snoop to see what you're doing!" Not so - I have my keyboard customized so when I hit the secret "go into password mode" hotkey combination, every key except <enter> is aliased to *, so I can enter a random key combo, I just need to remember the length of the password in question. It's all very sneaky and devious, and I'm going to have to ask you all to forget you ever heard about it. "About what?", you say. "Exactly," I reply.

2007-10-02, 16:41   #9
bsquared

"Ben"
Feb 2007

D2B16 Posts

Quote:
 Originally Posted by ewmayer I just use all-asterisks for my passwords ...
For some reason this reminded me of an anecdote of Richard Feynmann's, when he was working at Los Alamos on the Manhattan project (from the book, "Surely you're joking, Mr. Feynmann" - which I highly recommend).

He was a notorious safecracker, and so was asked to open a large safe for which the combo or key had been lost/forgotten. He tried and tried and eventually failed, so they called up a professional safecracker with a large drill. Before he started drilling, the pro decided to fiddle with the combo lock, and within a few seconds, opened it! Feynmann was awestruck, and demanded to know the technique. So the guy revealed, "well, this particular model of safe always comes from the factory with a pre-set combination, so I just tried it out". And it was guarding nuclear secrets!

 2007-10-02, 16:44 #10 Xyzzy     "Mike" Aug 2002 79·101 Posts
2007-10-02, 16:52   #11
petrw1
1976 Toyota Corona years forever!

"Wayne"
Nov 2006
Saskatchewan, Canada

23·569 Posts

Quote:
 Originally Posted by jasong This leads me to my question. What is the point of forcing people to put stuff in the message body when one sends a PM?
I ran across this for the first time yesterday ... I was able to enter ONLY a smiley, though

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