Craigslist wtf



  • Greetings,

     Foolishly attempting to put stuff on craigslist requires one to log in. OK. This requires a new account. Still makes sense. This requires phone authentication (wtf#1?). I put in my phone # and get:

    ``That phone number is already associated with an account''

     Really? My wife and I cannot have separate craigslist accounts? Or anyone else in my family for that matter? I guess if it discovered mulitple people share a street address or, god forbid, an IP address it just might explode!



  • @zmafoox said:

    I guess if it discovered mulitple people share a street address or, god forbid, an IP address it just might explode!

    The RWTF is that there are apparently actually people in the world who are under the impression that ordinary computers can explode from intensive use or logic errors.  Many of them work in entertainment - probably where someone thought they wouldn't cause further harm, but where they likely have a much bigger impact, as they indoctrinate impressionable minds.

    Yes, craigslist apparently has a thinko on their hands.  It's probably even at the database level, and thus difficult to fix.  But we've heard of a great many systems having non-unique values defined as primary or otherwise unique keys.  I have not yet heard of any that exploded from the issue.

    Personally, I would be more concerned if they had an obvious security issue (not saying they don't, of course), although this one is a mite inconvenient for a small segment of the population.  Yes, there's a lot of couples who don't have individual cell phones and no land line, or only have a land line and no cell phone.  But most of them either don't use craigslist, have a designated craigslister, share their account (likely in violation to their terms of service), or have "borrowed" some other phone number for one of the accounts.  Ultimately, I believe craigslist itself probably suffers most from the fallout on this than any other individual entity, as it suffers a little for every instance of it.



  • @tgape said:

    @zmafoox said:
    I guess if it discovered mulitple people share a street address or, god forbid, an IP address it just might explode!

    The RWTF is that there are apparently actually people in the world who are under the impression that ordinary computers can explode from intensive use or logic errors.

     Uh, those of us who read English understand that the 'it' referenced refers to craigslist, the company, not some computer. I've no idea from where the computer reference comes. As to exploding, that would be sarcasm.

      Many of them work in entertainment - probably where someone thought they wouldn't cause further harm, but where they likely have a much bigger impact, as they indoctrinate impressionable minds.

    @tgape said:

    Yes, craigslist apparently has a thinko on their hands.  It's probably even at the database level, and thus difficult to fix.

    DIfficult to fix? Really? Maybe it (yeah, the company again) needs to hire a programmer not related to the owner?

     There are enough WTFs on craigslist to fill a book. I don't worry much as it's a free service and a perfect example of you get what you pay for. The inability to use perfectly valid email addresses is yet another WTF (the rDNS entry doesn't resolve as craigslist would like, so it rejects my emails). Standards? Who needs standards?



  • @zmafoox said:

    Really? My wife and I cannot have separate craigslist accounts? Or anyone else in my family for that matter? I guess if it discovered mulitple people share a street address or, god forbid, an IP address it just might explode!

    I've run into this many times over the years -- banks, credit cards, PayPal -- and it's really stupid.  Come on.  It isn't 1957 anymore.  People other than Dad have their own separate accounts now.



  • @zmafoox said:

    As to exploding, that would be sarcasm.

    I apologize.  I watched a lot of sci-fi over Christmas.  Oddly enough, none of the shows had featured exploding companies, although companies were about the only thing that didn't explode.  (Well, at least, so long as you don't count all the companies on Earth when the Earth exploded.)  But, in any event, I'm under the impression that companies are much more likely to implode.

    @zmafoox said:

    @tgape said:

    Yes, craigslist apparently has a thinko on their hands.  It's probably even at the database level, and thus difficult to fix.

    DIfficult to fix? Really? Maybe it (yeah, the company again) needs to hire a programmer not related to the owner?

    Given the way these things tend to be coded, probably the easiest fix would be to rewrite, as there's probably crap logic throughout the whole thing.  Somewhere, there's probably some code that'll malfunction if you simply tell the database, "Oh, wait, no, that's not the primary key - this new autoincrement bigint field over here is."  In fact, I'm guessing there's a lot of it.  It may even use the phone number as an internal hash key (as many people do with 'unique' index fields), thus requiring one to go through tens of thousands of lines of code to fix all of that crap.

    So, while it probably would have been easier to not code that problem into the system, once it's there, fixing it will probably require quite a bit of effort.

    Note that this is without having seen any of the code.  For all I really know, the programmer was actually quite good, and the only problem is that the DBA insisted that phone number be unique, and the programmer didn't have enough clout to overrule.  If that were the case, it'd be as simple as telling the database phone number isn't unique.  (It's possible in this hypothetical and not really likely case that there's actually a pre-check on phone number, rather than putting that message up in response to the insert fail.  But a really good programmer would've used the DB error response as a trigger, as that way it's less work when it's time for the fix.  Unless, of course, the DBA was the sort to complain about all of the insertion errors...)

    @zmafoox said:

    There are enough WTFs on craigslist to fill a book.

    I think this means you agree with me, having thought it through a bit more (either on your own or in response to this reply).



  • @tgape said:

    Filed under: this poor tag will never be shown in the main tag cloud<input name="ctl00$ctl00$bcr$bcr$ctl00$PostList$ctl03$ctl23$ctl01" id="ctl00_ctl00_bcr_bcr_ctl00_PostList_ctl03_ctl23_ctl01_State" value="value:Filed%20under%3A%20%3Ca%20href%3D%22%2Ftags%2Fthis%2Bpoor%2Btag%2Bwill%2Bnever%2Bbe%2Bshown%2Bin%2Bthe%2Bmain%2Btag%2Bcloud%2Fdefault.aspx%22%20rel%3D%22tag%22%3Ethis%20poor%20tag%20will%20never%20be%20shown%20in%20the%20main%20tag%20cloud%3C%2Fa%3E" type="hidden">
    Liar!



  • @belgariontheking said:

    @tgape said:

    Filed under: this poor tag will never be shown in the main tag cloud
    Liar!

    FTFY.

    In my defense, I was just repeating what someone else said.  As I recall, it started showing up on the main cloud at around 14 posts, so I wasn't able to get it to three times the minimum before someone commented - but I was able to get to double.



  • @zmafoox said:

     Foolishly attempting to put stuff on craigslist requires one to log in. OK. This requires a new account. Still makes sense. This requires phone authentication (wtf#1?).

     

    Uh... Perhaps my memory is wildly wrong, but I didn't have to create an account to post stuff on craigslist.  All I had to do was provide a valid e-mail address.

    I am quite certain that I never had to provide my phone number.


Log in to reply
 

Looks like your connection to What the Daily WTF? was lost, please wait while we try to reconnect.