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blue sky: miscellaneous

open sesame
April 20th
Submitted by Paul Phillips <> to Miscellaneous.

A great many sites require you to register and select a username and password in order to get to something of interest. This system couldn't suck much more when we consider the disadvantages:

  • My username is never available. If I can't get paulp then I try psp and if I can't get that I try pluap. Sometimes even pluap is taken. I refuse to be paulp27.

  • I can't re-use passwords because god knows who is on the other end of these sites and it would be frighteningly easy to programmatically read a large user database and try all the username/password combinations on other sites.

So far my frequent solution is to re-register with a new username whenever I really need to get to protected content, and then proceed to forget those as well. Pretty poor.

And yet here, there is an obvious solution. When I register at the hot new site as paulp26 with password "line-noise", let me enter it into my global Mozilla password database, keyed on the URL to which it applies. Then Mozilla can remind me of my username and password when I arrive, and probably enter them automagically.

If necessary protect the whole password database with one master password. This much I can remember. And Mozilla could pick nice random usernames and passwords for me! I shouldn't have to know about them if I'm not interested.