Chair-based authentication

Een schitterend verhaal, uit één van de betere /. threads, die op zich het lezen zeker waard is.

Some years ago a colleague told me about the strangest support problem he had ever run into: one of their developers could only log in sitting down.

He had recently noticed that if he tried to log in in any other position (eg, still standing and just quickly checking his mail while walking past his desk), his password was always rejected. But as soon as he sat down, he had no problems getting in.

My colleague at first laughed it off, but it was demonstrated to be the case. He spent a long time looking into cabling problems with the keyboard or network, thinking that perhaps there was a loose connection that only worked reliably with the guy’s foot on it or similar longshots. Nothing panned out, and they eventually gave up on it as not important enough to dig into further.

Finally, months later, the developer came back to him, doubled over in laughter, having figured out what the problem was. At some point in the process of cleaning his keyboard, he had reassembled it with a couple of keys juxtaposed. Which never cause him problems, because he touch-typed… when he was sitting in a normal position. When he was standing awkwardly, he looked at the keycaps, and typed his password wrong every time.

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