It's a password, but not a password



  • Here's a fun account creation form I came across today:

    http://www.easychair.org/conferences/account_apply.cgi?iid=

    Try to guess what the secret word is for. At first I thought it was a password, with weird security restrictions (at least 5 letters long, must be letters only), but then I noticed the lack of any confirm box. A confirm box isn't needed, though; if you try typing in the "secret word" box, you'll find it's a normal text box that echos, rather than a password.

    Even more fun, it's stored in plaintext. I know this, because on the next page it's sent back to me; I then get an email with a link to another page in, which asks me to type in the secret word (which is not included in the email). So it's a bit like a temporary password used for account creation (which many websites email to you), except that you provide it yourself and it isn't allowed to be very secure. And it's used only to authenticate a link that they've just sent to an email account you provide. (Luckily, you're asked to set an actual username and password after that.) Although this is explained at the top of the page, it still doesn't explain why a system like this is used; the only possibility that I can see that the secret word would insure against, would be if someone else was reading your email, and decided to follow the link and create an account in your name instead. Unfortunately, in such a rather implausible case, such a person could simply use the form themselves, filling in your email address, and then using the secret word to make sure that it was they who managed to create the account, rather than you. And all this is relatively pointless, as as far as I can tell duplicate names are allowed on the initial signup form; it's only the username that has to be unique, and the username/password aren't prompted for until you've already gone through the email confirmation.

    My best guess is that this is some attempt to look like security, rather than actually give any security.



  • (†) Note: leave first name blank if you do not have one. If you are not sure how to divide your name into the first and last name, read the Help article about names.
    I'm more intrigued by the concept of users without both a given-name and a family-name, and the fact they have an article about what to do if you don't have a given-name (not that they use those terms, of course, they use the rather ambiguous 'first' and 'last' name. They should have stuck to 'christian name' and 'surname.')



  • @PJH said:

    I'm more intrigued by the concept of users without both a given-name and a family-name, and the fact they have an article about what to do if you don't have a given-name (not that they use those terms, of course, they use the rather ambiguous 'first' and 'last' name. They should have stuck to 'christian name' and 'surname.')

    Are you trying to piss of all the non-Christians in the world?? (and there are more of them than Christians)

    On more sensible note there are quite a few places in the world where people go by a single name



  • @OzPeter said:

    Are you trying to piss of all the non-Christians in the world?? (and there are more of them than Christians)

    As a non-Christian myself I have no problem with it, and find it amusing that there are apparently whole sectors of the English speaking world that feel they have a non-existent "right to not be offended." (Usually on the behalf of others, as opposed to themselves.)



    My point being when you see first/last name, it's usually synonymous with christian/surname. As opposed to, say, Malaysia where it's common for the family name to be given first.



    @OzPeter said:
    On more sensible note there are quite a few places in the world where people go by a single name
    Cite? TAFNAP and his ilk don't count.



  • I would be more concerned about people not understanding what a "christian name" is supposed to be to begin with. I sure didn't know.



  • @henke37 said:

    I would be more concerned about people not understanding what a "christian name" is supposed to be to begin with. I sure didn't know.
     

    Agreed. 

    Although I'm not a Christian, I wouldn't be offended by the use of the term; it's just that everyone I know uses either "first name" or "given name" for this
    purpose. I've only ever heard one person actually use the term "Christian name": a woman speaking from a computer screen near the beginning of the movie "2001: A Space Odyssey". If I hadn't seen that movie, I would've assumed it had something to do with confirmation names or one of those other Christian things.



  • @Someone You Know said:

    @henke37 said:

    I would be more concerned about people not understanding what a "christian name" is supposed to be to begin with. I sure didn't know.
     

    Agreed. 

    Although I'm not a Christian, I wouldn't be offended by the use of the term; it's just that everyone I know uses either "first name" or "given name" for this
    purpose. I've only ever heard one person actually use the term "Christian name": a woman speaking from a computer screen near the beginning of the movie "2001: A Space Odyssey". If I hadn't seen that movie, I would've assumed it had something to do with confirmation names or one of those other Christian things.

    Maybe it's a regional thing, but I thought it was pretty basic English.



  • @morbiuswilters said:

    @Someone You Know said:

    @henke37 said:

    I would be more concerned about people not understanding what a "christian name" is supposed to be to begin with. I sure didn't know.
     

    Agreed. 

    Although I'm not a Christian, I wouldn't be offended by the use of the term; it's just that everyone I know uses either "first name" or "given name" for this
    purpose. I've only ever heard one person actually use the term "Christian name": a woman speaking from a computer screen near the beginning of the movie "2001: A Space Odyssey". If I hadn't seen that movie, I would've assumed it had something to do with confirmation names or one of those other Christian things.

    Maybe it's a regional thing, but I thought it was pretty basic English.

    I suspect it's somewhat a regional thing and somewhat a matter of growing up in a non-Christian family.



  • @ais523 said:

    My best guess is that this is some attempt to look like security, rather than actually give any security.
    I'd take a guess and say it's some form of filtering out spambots.

    @PJH said:

    As a non-Christian myself I have no problem with it, and find it
    amusing that there are apparently whole sectors of the English speaking
    world that feel they have a non-existent "right to not be offended."
    (Usually on the behalf of others, as opposed to themselves.)
    People get offended by the darnest things, like the nearly-universal calendar system.

    formatting left like the editor decided to write it, as a proof of the WTF it is



  •  I try to use "individual name" and "family name". Bypasses the religion issue, bypasses the first/last issue Still doesn't deal with the problem of Egyptians who are known as "Mohammed Mohammed Mohammed Mohammed Mohammed ..." (individual, father, grandfather, great-grandfather, etc.)

    In my e-mail address book I simply enter "Display name" directly. Giving the names separately just invites some programmer to swap them.

    Unfortunately "individual name" is not common and so can be misunderstood.

     To this day I'm not sure which is "surname".

     



  • “Given name” and “Surname”, or “Given name” and “Family name”, I would generally think to be the least ambiguous across cultures.



  • @snover said:

    “Given name” and “Surname”, or “Given name” and “Family name”, I would generally think to be the least ambiguous across cultures.

    Given and Family are the ones I usually see on immigration forms.



  • @snover said:

    “Given name” and “Surname”, or “Given name” and “Family name”, I would generally think to be the least ambiguous across cultures.

    That's equally non-sensical. Both names are given: there's nothing inherent about it. And e.g. in Spain, there is no such thing as a "family" name. It usually consists of the first last name of your father and the first last name of your mother. So siblings go by the same name, but the parents each by a different one (unless they're all called Perez Perez, of course).

    Words cannot be decomposed and taken literally in all aspects of all meanings of the compounds. What is Christian Science (just to stay with the word Christian)? What is a bank note: is it a single tone of definite pitch made by a land alongside or sloping down to a river or lake? No, you understand the word in context and through common usage. Therefore, christian name is just a acceptable as given name, first name or forename (for all I know, a Christian trying to interpret a form literally would fill in Yahweh or Adam in first name), as long as most language users agree on the usage.

    Words are not insulting, unless everyone understands them as insulting...



  • @TGV said:

    And e.g. in Spain, there is no such thing as a "family" name. It usually consists of the first last name of your father and the first last name of your mother.
    So the name is derived from their parent's name, as in most other western cultures, hence "family name" still applies.



  • @TGV said:

    What is Christian Science
     

    I guess it's about as much about science as the German Democratic Republic was about democracy.



  • @ammoQ said:

    @TGV said:

    What is Christian Science
     

    I guess it's about as much about science as the German Democratic Republic was about democracy.


    Or as much the Holy Roman Empire was holy, Roman, or an empire.



  • @PJH said:

    (†) Note: leave first name blank if you do not have one. If you are not sure how to divide your name into the first and last name, read the Help article about names.
    I'm more intrigued by the concept of users without both a given-name and a family-name, and the fact they have an article about what to do if you don't have a given-name (not that they use those terms, of course, they use the rather ambiguous 'first' and 'last' name. They should have stuck to 'christian name' and 'surname.')

    I also wouldn't be offended, despite being an antitheist, but I honestly don't see why "Christian name" and "surname" is better than "first name" and "last name". That's essentially what "Christian name" and "surname" mean.



  • They should have stuck to 'christian name' and 'surname.'

     Not sure if serious...



  •  

    Why would you post an image macro without the image? Bah to you.



  •  @PJH said:

    Cite? TAFNAP and his ilk don't count.

    You misspelled "Known".



  • @Minos said:

    @PJH said:
    Cite? TAFNAP and his ilk don't count.
    You misspelled "Known".
    I misspelt nothing. You're going to have to be a little less subtle. Which particular word, that you quoted, did you want to replace 'correct?'



  • @Someone You Know said:

    @henke37 said:

    I would be more concerned about people not understanding what a "christian name" is supposed to be to begin with. I sure didn't know.
     

    Agreed. 

    Although I'm not a Christian, I wouldn't be offended by the use of the term; it's just that everyone I know uses either "first name" or "given name" for this
    purpose. I've only ever heard one person actually use the term "Christian name": a woman speaking from a computer screen near the beginning of the movie "2001: A Space Odyssey". If I hadn't seen that movie, I would've assumed it had something to do with confirmation names or one of those other Christian things.

    Yeah, I also had never heard of "Christian name". I've seen the movie several times, but I don't remember it from there, got to watch it again I suppose. ;-)

    Usually I see first/last name, but I suppose given/family name is clearer.



  • Bill Bryson notes that a guide book to the UK, published in America, says that the Christian name is the last part, and the surname is the first part.

    i.e. entirely wrong.

     It's probably better to just stick to "First" and "Last", really



  •  Plenty of pop stars have only a single name (e.g., Prince or Madonna).

     As for the other discussion, apparently there's no set of terminology for name parts that's entirely neutral and understandable between all cultures, nations, and religions.

     



  • @PJH said:

    Cite? TAFNAP and his ilk don't count.

    FWIW, it's my (admittedly amateur) understanding that certain British colonies--for instance, India and some African countries didn't tend to use last names, but the British started making them use last names so that they could be taxed (it's kind of hard to levy a tax on Pradeep when there are 140,000 Pradeeps).



  • @dtobias said:

    Plenty of pop stars have only a single name (e.g., Prince or Madonna).
    Stage names and legal names are two different things. Both Prince and Madonna have full names.



  • @RogerWilco said:

    ] Yeah, I also had never heard of "Christian name". I've seen the movie several times, but I don't remember it from there, got to watch it again I suppose. ;-)
     

    When Floyd visits the space station at the beginning, an automated customs machine asks him to state his name "surname first, then Christian name". I was a kid when I first saw it and I remember asking my mother what my "Christian name" was, followed by incessant and annoying questions about why it was called that when I wasn't Christian.




  • @frymaster said:

    Bill Bryson notes that a guide book to the UK, published in America, says that the Christian name is the last part, and the surname is the first part.

    i.e. entirely wrong.

    Deliberately wrong? It's not unknown for such guides to do that sorta thing.


  • @dtobias said:

     Plenty of pop stars have only a single name (e.g., Prince or Madonna).
    Erm - see my TAFKAP comment. And if you're going that way, 'Prince' had a period where he didn't even have a name that could be usefully put in any such form. (And, for the record, they do have 'proper' names, Prince Rogers Nelson and Madonna Louise Penn née Ciccone, if she even bothered to take his name on marriage.)



  • @PJH said:

    @Minos said:
    @PJH said:
    Cite? TAFNAP and his ilk don't count.
    You misspelled "Known".
    I misspelt nothing. You're going to have to be a little less subtle. Which particular word, that you quoted, did you want to replace 'correct?'
     

    Probably he meant you misspelt TAFKAP, hence the "known".



  • @topspin said:

    Probably he meant you misspelt TAFKAP, hence the "known".
    Ah - indeed. I missed it even on the second reading :/



  • @toth said:

    I also wouldn't be offended, despite being an antitheist, but I honestly don't see why "Christian name" and "surname" is better than "first name" and "last name". That's essentially what "Christian name" and "surname" mean.

    They mean the same thing if you are in a country where the "last name" and "surname" are the same thing. That's not always the case. In Japan, for example, what we call a "last name" actually comes first.



  •  The purpose of the secret word is to ensure that the person who gets the account is the person who requests it. If you request a name with my email address, I may decide to complete the account registration process, either for fun or by mistake. Requiring the person who gets the email to know something entered by the person who requests the account ensures they're the same person.



  • I've never had anyone have problems understanding what a 'given name' was, and I've been using that term for over ten years now.  However, I have noticed that quite a few people have resistance to using that term themselves.  Can anyone explain why that might be?

    On the other side of things, I've frequently had people not understand what a 'surname' was - and generally, the people who don't understand it are native English speakers (well, Americanish, really, but I digress.)  The somewhat distressing part about that is that we have a nice FAQ that explains what it is, and still they ask.  I've several times floated the idea of calling it "family name", which more people seem to understand.  However, there's been a distinct resistance to being or even seeming condescending - if they can't understand plain English, talking to them in a way they can understand shouldn't be condescending.  And "family name" is the proper complement to "given name" anyway.  Yes, there are times when someone's surname isn't their family name, but they're rare.  They also seem to resolve themselves quicker than some of the more memorable, "what's a surname" bouts.

    Oh, and as far as "Christian names" go - in areas where conversion is a big thing, they *are* picked when one converts to Christianity.  As such, "Christian name"s are not necessarily given.



  • @tgape said:

    I've never had anyone have problems understanding what a 'given name' was, and I've been using that term for over ten years now.  However, I have noticed that quite a few people have resistance to using that term themselves.  Can anyone explain why that might be?
    It's what you're used to. I've rarely used "given name" in conversation - in fact the only time I've used it is in situations where using christian/first/fore- name may be ambiguous. "Given name" just sounds awkward to me.

    @tgape said:
    Oh, and as far as "Christian names" go - in areas where conversion is a big thing, they are picked when one converts to Christianity.  As such, "Christian name"s are not necessarily given.
    You're using a capital C there - it makes a difference.



  • @PJH said:

    (†) Note: leave first name blank if you do not have one. If you are not sure how to divide your name into the first and last name, read the Help article about names.
    I'm more intrigued by the concept of users without both a given-name and a family-name, and the fact they have an article about what to do if you don't have a given-name (not that they use those terms, of course, they use the rather ambiguous 'first' and 'last' name. They should have stuck to 'christian name' and 'surname.')
    Better descriptions in this case would be "secondary sort key" and "primary sort key"; there is little reason to start splitting names unless you want to sort on family name rather than given name. The example given in the help article of a person with a single name, Simon, actually only has a given name (he used to have more names, but decided he didn't need them). Since most Western systems require a surname, he often ends up with his name in the field customarily used for surnames, possibly with a dummy "first name" (e.g. "S. Simon"). Other times it's "Simon No-Surname".

    Many people prefer to use their second given name ("middle name") instead of their first (given) name. Some cultures have their names in a different order or have completely different conventions. For situations where you need to split names into bits and sort them, I've often wondered what the correct approach would be. I suspect the easiest correct approach would be to enter all the names in the order they appear in the full name and then specify the sort priority. That way, it doesn't matter which parts are patronyms, given names, family names or whatever.



  • @PJH said:

    @frymaster said:

    Bill Bryson notes that a guide book to the UK, published in America, says that the Christian name is the last part, and the surname is the first part.

    i.e. entirely wrong.

    Deliberately wrong? It's not unknown for such guides to do that sorta thing.

    You forgot the link.



  • @ammoQ said:

    @TGV said:

    What is Christian Science
     

    I guess it's about as much about science as the German Democratic Republic was about democracy.

    Or as much as NSDAP was about socialism, democracy and labor.


  • @alegr said:

    @ammoQ said:

    @TGV said:

    What is Christian Science
     

    I guess it's about as much about science as the German Democratic Republic was about democracy.

    Or as much as NSDAP was about socialism, democracy and labor.

    Well, it was democratically elected.  And it did practice a form of socialism.  And it was fairly pro-labor, come to think of it.  So, um..



  • @morbiuswilters said:

    @alegr said:

    @ammoQ said:

    @TGV said:

    What is Christian Science
     

    I guess it's about as much about science as the German Democratic Republic was about democracy.

    Or as much as NSDAP was about socialism, democracy and labor.

    Well, it was democratically elected.  And it did practice a form of socialism.  And it was fairly pro-labor, come to think of it.  So, um..

     

    I suppose you could still argue that there weren't enough chicks for it to legitimately be called a "party".



  • @Someone You Know said:

    @morbiuswilters said:

    @alegr said:

    @ammoQ said:

    @TGV said:

    What is Christian Science
     

    I guess it's about as much about science as the German Democratic Republic was about democracy.

    Or as much as NSDAP was about socialism, democracy and labor.

    Well, it was democratically elected.  And it did practice a form of socialism.  And it was fairly pro-labor, come to think of it.  So, um..

     

    I suppose you could still argue that there weren't enough chicks for it to legitimately be called a "party".

    Yeah, definitely a Brautwurst fest.



  • @morbiuswilters said:

    @Someone You Know said:
    @morbiuswilters said:
    @alegr said:
    @ammoQ said:
    @TGV said:
    What is Christian Science
    I guess it's about as much about science as the German Democratic Republic was about democracy.
    Or as much as NSDAP was about socialism, democracy and labor.
    Well, it was democratically elected.  And it did practice a form of socialism.  And it was fairly pro-labor, come to think of it.  So, um..
    I suppose you could still argue that there weren't enough chicks for it to legitimately be called a "party".
    Yeah, definitely a Brautwurst fest.

    Right, now you go on and tell me what the fuck is a bride sausage?



    No wait- I don't really want to know.



  • @derula said:

    Right, now you go on and tell me what the fuck is a bride sausage?
     

    When dady and mommy daddy love eachother very much, 



  • @morbiuswilters said:

    @alegr said:

    @ammoQ said:

    @TGV said:

    What is Christian Science
     

    I guess it's about as much about science as the German Democratic Republic was about democracy.

    Or as much as NSDAP was about socialism, democracy and labor.

    Well, it was democratically elected. 

    Yes, but then it went and abolished democracy, so it wasn't in any way about democracy. 

    @morbiuswilters said:

    And it did practice a form of socialism. 

    No, not all forms of collectivism are socialism.  They practiced the different variety known as fascism.

    @morbiuswilters said:

    And it was fairly pro-labor, come to think of it. 

    Right, your definition of "pro-labour" involves shoving all the trade union members in death camps and supplying slave labour to multinationals?  ROFL!  They were a party that was bankrolled by and represented the interests of big finance and the corporations.

    @morbiuswilters said:

    So, um..

    ... Godwin time, I presume.


  • @DaveK said:

    @morbiuswilters said:
    [obvious trolling]
    [unfunny reply]

    Now I want to see Inglorious Basterds again.



    And I only saw it Thursday.


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