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Lakeshore
An author of no particular popularity

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)
Keyword:watchmen
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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cscole
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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