Hacker News new | past | comments | ask | show | jobs | submit login

More specifically, pointing out someone else's stupidity is rarely welcome.





I had both experiences in high school. One situation -> bad result. The other I was made a quasi IT fixer - they put me to work (Novel Netware and other stuff). I would be called out of class to fix things. Since I was naturally super interested in how everything worked together and all the features and the librarians or VP or teachers were not it worked out. At the time I took it reasonably seriously.

In hindsight some teacher must have spoken up for me to come up with the solution when they were trying to come up with an appropriate response.


Novell Netware - blast from the past.

I had to go apologise to IT (who could barely keep a straight face) at college for sending a message from 'God' saying "I saw what you did last night and it disgusted me".

I thought it was going to just the lab but since I was poking around in something I really didn't understand I manage to send it out site wide.

Fortunately they saw the funny side.


I sent more than one message from God by telnet to <mail server> 25. Good times!

Around the same time, someone at my school made a much, much worse semi-accidental prank. Semi-accidental because he didn't think it would work. See, the campus list serve was setup to only allow certain senders to send messages. Makes sense, only a few top administrators should be able to do that. This person theorized that a simple <smtp: from> hack, using an authorized person's email, might circumvent the restriction. He was right! Unfortunately, rather than "test 1 2 3" or something, he sent a message, from the president, that all classes had been cancelled. Had he stopped there, maybe it would have been chalked up to a prank. But he went further: The president would be using this free time to, um, entertain amorous visitors at their leisure. So, yeah, expelled. His excuse, when interviewed by the student newspaper, was "I didn't think it would work."


I send unauthenticated email on port 25, every semester, in front of my students, as part of a discussion on internet application protocols. I can't use "God", because the addresses are validated, but I do send "from" the school's IT director. I even give them the commands to do it themselves (along with a strict talking to about how it's not truly anonymous because their network access is authenticated).

I've been able to do it at every university I've studied or worked at.


Many, many years ago when I was in college at the University of Rochester, I found a paper in the computing lab with the root passwords for about twelve machines at Stanford. I emailed them and told them I'd destroyed it but that they should be much more careful. I got yelled at.

Just curious, did you get yelled at because you destroyed the only copy of their password memory aid? ;)

If they were keeping their only copy at an unrelated University thousands of miles away, they had more problems than I thought ;)

I'm actually not sure anymore what the details of their return email was, as it was over 25 years ago. But it was basically, "We will report you to law enforcement if you contact us again."


They must've been really embarrassed to send that kind of response.



Guidelines | FAQ | Support | API | Security | Lists | Bookmarklet | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact

Search: