Jennifer Null is impossible: her name can't be entered into most modern databases (plane reservations, wedding registries) because "null" is used to separate fields in databases themselves.
She is the star of Chris Baraniuk's BBC story on people whose names break databases due to their length or other features, and who must phone a customer service line and explain their edge-case-dom to a bewildered and disbelieving representative every time they do anything, forever.
The article makes some important omissions, though. As Danny O'\'\'\'\'\'\Brien has pointed out, the entire nation of Ireland is a PHP code-injection attack, and then there's the well-established critique of the idea that "real names" even exist.
And let's not forget little Bobby Tables.
Before the birth of her child, Null was working as an on-call substitute teacher. In that role she could be notified of work through an online service or via phone. But the website would never work for Null – she always had to arrange a shift by phone.
“I feel like I still have to do things the old-fashioned way,” she says.
“On one hand it’s frustrating for the times that we need it, but for the most part it’s like a fun anecdote to tell people,” she adds. “We joke about it a lot. It’s good for stories.”
These unlucky people have names that break computers [Chris Baraniuk/BBC]
The letter from 4 senators was addressed to Zhang Yiming, founder and CEO of TikTok owner ByteDance.
Your concerns about the privacy and security risks of using state-run coronavirus contact tracing apps? They’re reasonable concerns.
“An Associated Press review of those states found that at least 10 states also share the names of everyone who tests positive.” A review by the Associated Press found that public health officials “in at least two-thirds of U.S. states” are sharing the addresses of people who confirmed to have the coronavirus with first responders. […]
Twitter rants and various online ugliness aside, social media has actually grown up a bit over the past 15 years. In general, users are warier of their interactions on platforms like Facebook or Instagram — and marketers have taken note. In fact, if you felt retailers you saw on social media were only looking to […]
Virus quarantines and shuttered restaurants sent millions of Americans back to their homes, only to rediscover the joys of firing up an oven and cooking something special for themselves. Whether by desire, necessity, or both, many of us have certainly been spending more time in the kitchen these last few months. And we haven’t just […]
Now that the world is starting to re-emerge from its self-imposed COVID-19 quarantine, we’re all going to have to start making some adjustments to both short-term and long-term changes. And the questions… Should customers be hounded out of a store if they aren’t wearing a face mask? Are crocheted face masks safe or not? And […]