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Jay Lake
Date: 2007-05-22 07:29
Subject: [tech] Bad design features r us
Security: Public
Tags:culture, funny, tech
I just dialed into a conference call where the conference ID was 10-digit number. Do they really have a billion simultaneous calls? What's the error rate on people misentering the conference ID due to it being unusually long?
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User: dirkcjelli
Date: 2007-05-22 14:52 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
well, just to play DA, that -could- make some kind of sense if some of the ID was another meaningful piece of information (like 210507####)
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Jay Lake
User: jaylake
Date: 2007-05-22 14:54 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Yeah, kind of like VINs. But it's a lot of numbers for someone to punch in, whereas a VIN isn't used that way.
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User: tillyjane
Date: 2007-05-22 15:19 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
The short term buffer is thought to hold seven plus or minus three. So a seven digit number is manageable by people under the bell of the bell shaped curve. Ten digit numbers are a stretch for most of us. I am baffled that the phone numbers we use with the invariant three digit prefix act like ten digit numbers for me. That is, even though I only have to memorize the final seven digits, I mostly cant do it. Or maybe its old age. tj
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(no subject) - (Anonymous)
User: bdkellmer
Date: 2007-05-22 15:36 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
they still seem extraordinarily long. At MS, we use six digit numbers, and that's for a company with about 50k workers. If you need to have it be unique for billing purposes, you could always add a single digit and increase the possible numbers by an order of magnitude. But 10 does seem like a lot.
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russ: watchmen
User: goulo
Date: 2007-05-22 15:55 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Damn. We didn't want you to feel left out, but it seems you are onto us. Yes, at any given moment, most of the world is talking in little groups of 5 people, and we almost never invite you. Sorry you had to find out this way.
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dragonkal: Gaeta pwned
User: dragonkal
Date: 2007-05-22 16:38 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:Gaeta pwned
My theory: It's a security measure, so that conference-call crashers who randomly enter a ten-digit number are less likely to stumble into one with sensitive information and so they'll have to wait for the NSA transcript instead.
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Gary Emenitove
User: garyomaha
Date: 2007-05-22 17:51 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I'll be gentle even though this is the sort of thing I could talk about all afternoon. (Oh, pul-LEEEZ) A 10-digit code would be easy for me because I'd likely break it down into a phone number, which is also easy for me as a 3-3-4 pattern. Very rhythmic, and up to 4 numbers should be a snap (even considering my advancing age). I recall that Ma Bell did a lot of research on this when they first introduced area codes, no? (I recall the Postal Service didn't do so, introducing the 5-digit ZIP code, which was *not* so easy to remember, or something like that.) Now, when you start throwing in letters in addition to numbers, that's when I get all screwed up.

Okay, I'll stop now. But feel free to bring this up anytime.
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User: carolecole
Date: 2007-05-23 01:19 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Well, I could tell you about a certain close someone who attended a conference call via his hotel room, using the number 9 to get out followed by the number that began with 1-1. Much hilarity ensued when the call didn't connect the first time and paramedics started pounding on the door 5 minutes later. But that would be embarrassing, wouldn't it?
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