• Bobbo (unregistered)

    Help out a non-US resident please, what is "a free pass out of study hall"?

  • Unregistered User (unregistered)

    Ah yes the great fun of people who don't know what they are doing in charge of people who have no idea whatsoever whats going on. Is there any better way to make a WTF...though sadly this sorta stuff is quite common even nowadays....so is it really a WTF? :P

    Captcha: Causa....

    This all happened causa ignorance...

  • Flagrant RulebookViolator (unregistered)

    Oh dear, dare I transfer information between my computer and this web site for a comment, or risk being in violation of the official rulebook!

  • highphilosopher (unregistered)

    Really?

    This smells of fiction.

  • second (unregistered)

    what? i was supposed to be second! someone has obviously hacked this site.

  • Fenris (unregistered)

    I don't want to sound like an ass, but I do hope that the student deleted the whole site.

    They deserved that for being an ass to him.

  • Ka (unregistered)

    NOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!

    captcha: Feugiat - Peugeot cross breeding with Fiat

  • pitchingchris (cs)

    managers son, principals son, whats the big difference. People getting all defensive to the point of threatening others, they are totally blinded to the fact that their own blood did a poor job. It happens on a lot of stories on this site.

  • Benjamin Franklin and his dog (unregistered)

    My friend used to have an account in a bank and happend to find a hole in their web application. Since his money was in that bank he obviously didn't like it and informed the admin. Needless to say he got into a lot of troubles for that.

    Captcha: eros - no comment :)

  • ObiWayneKenobi (cs)

    This was... rather lame, really. No real plot, no real WTF other than incompetence, poorly written story with no real conclusion. No excuse for missing out on yesterday's update.

    Possible King of the Hill reference (Dauterive, "rural Texas") makes up for a little bit.

  • bl@h (unregistered)

    shenanigans, this is fake.

  • funluvncriminal (cs) in reply to highphilosopher

    Nah, It's plausible.

    In fact, the exact same thing happened to me when I tried to explain to my school principal that just visiting http://server/cgi-bin/..%255c..%255cwinnt/system32/cmd.exe?/c+format+c: couldn't possibly be hacking.

  • JSelf (cs)

    I am exercising my right to comment... I didn't like this one very much. I like happy endings, like the real world.

  • ∃ Style. (unregistered)
    Comment held for moderation.
  • Matt (unregistered)

    This reminds me of the time in high school when I wrote a program that ran in the background and replaced anything typed on the keyboard with "Do a barrel roll!" over and over. My classmate thought it was so awesome he asked for a copy. Being the genius he is, he left it on his school network storage. Apparently the school does routine sweeps for executable files in network storage, and I spent the next morning explaining to the principal and the school IT administrator why the program wasn't a keystroke logging virus.

  • SwampJedi (cs)

    Anonymous reporting is your friend. Throwaway email addresses were easily available by the late 90s. It's harder to do at work, though, which is where it matters for most developers.

  • SR (unregistered) in reply to highphilosopher
    highphilosopher:
    Really?

    This smells of fiction.

    Principal's son gets exposed as clueless; feelings get hurt; fools clueless father to punish schoolkid whose only crime is to helpfully show son as helpless.

    Rings true to me.

  • The Enterpriser (cs)

    There's nothing wrong with this story in itself. The problem is that we are so accustomed to 95% of each article being clearly fictional with an obvious 5% which plausible. In today's story it is hard to guess which 5% this is.

  • Flagrant RulebookViolator (unregistered) in reply to Benjamin Franklin and his dog
    Benjamin Franklin and his dog:
    My friend used to have an account in a bank and happend to find a hole in their web application. Since his money was in that bank he obviously didn't like it and informed the admin. Needless to say he got into a lot of troubles for that.

    I found an obvious hole in my bank's web site. I knew that to probe or inform the admins would bring a world of hurt, so I just shut up. Fortunately they fixed it themselves within a month.

  • hatterson (cs) in reply to Bobbo
    Bobbo:
    Help out a non-US resident please, what is "a free pass out of study hall"?

    Study hall is a time when you don't have a class scheduled.

    Some places give you a fair amount of freedom in them, but a lot of schools take a strict approach and enforce no talking types of rules.

    Theoretically the point is to use the time to study (hence the name) or complete homework, but for the most part it just turns into a waste of 45 minutes.

    A pass out of it would let you go to the library or somewhere else where you can do whatever you want.

  • frits (cs)

    After reading this story I have an unexlained craving for pizza rolls and goatse. Also, even though I rarely play video games, I really want to play Sim Earth and design my own virtual car. What the hell?

  • chiieddy (unregistered)

    I've heard this story before in alternate forms. I was surprised this wasn't listed as a Classic WTF.

  • Hacker (unregistered)

    This comment is a flagrant breach of Computer Use Rules.

  • Matt Westwood (unregistered) in reply to hatterson
    hatterson:
    Bobbo:
    Help out a non-US resident please, what is "a free pass out of study hall"?

    Study hall is a time when you don't have a class scheduled.

    Some places give you a fair amount of freedom in them, but a lot of schools take a strict approach and enforce no talking types of rules.

    Theoretically the point is to use the time to study (hence the name) or complete homework, but for the most part it just turns into a waste of 45 minutes.

    A pass out of it would let you go to the library or somewhere else where you can do whatever you want.

    So we're actually talking grade school here? I ask because I would doubt that any educational establishment would try to invoke rules as strict as that on anyone over the age of sixteen. My knowledge of the educational system of the USA is limited, unfortunately, to what I've learned through movies.

  • Principle Principal (unregistered) in reply to Flagrant RulebookViolator
    Flagrant RulebookViolator:
    Oh dear, dare I transfer information between my computer and this web site for a comment, or risk being in violation of the official rulebook!
    Well, so far, you've managed to completely avoid transferring any information whatsoever, so no rulebook violation. Keep up the good (non) work!
  • Mike (unregistered) in reply to Matt Westwood

    Yep, sounds like typical high school to me. I never had study hall, but some friends characterized it as the best daily nap they ever had.

  • Tyler (cs) in reply to Matt Westwood
    Matt Westwood:
    hatterson:
    Bobbo:
    Help out a non-US resident please, what is "a free pass out of study hall"?

    Study hall is a time when you don't have a class scheduled.

    Some places give you a fair amount of freedom in them, but a lot of schools take a strict approach and enforce no talking types of rules.

    Theoretically the point is to use the time to study (hence the name) or complete homework, but for the most part it just turns into a waste of 45 minutes.

    A pass out of it would let you go to the library or somewhere else where you can do whatever you want.

    So we're actually talking grade school here? I ask because I would doubt that any educational establishment would try to invoke rules as strict as that on anyone over the age of sixteen. My knowledge of the educational system of the USA is limited, unfortunately, to what I've learned through movies.

    Ha! No, of course we're talking about high school, which involves people up to and including age 18. Welcome to the USA! American schools love nothing more than to micro-manage the behavior of their students.

    Being one of those "techie kids" myself during the mid/late nineties (as I'm sure many posters on this site were too), one of the things that I picked up on right away was that it is is ALWAYS, ALWAYS a terrible idea to get involved with any "official" computer-related task at school. I was twice asked to help design my high school's website, and I twice refused in order to avoid exactly the situation described in this article, because I knew how paranoid and tragically the uninformed school administrators were when it came to anything with a power button.

  • Hasteur (cs) in reply to Matt Westwood
    Matt Westwood:
    hatterson:
    Bobbo:
    Help out a non-US resident please, what is "a free pass out of study hall"?

    Study hall is a time when you don't have a class scheduled.

    Some places give you a fair amount of freedom in them, but a lot of schools take a strict approach and enforce no talking types of rules.

    Theoretically the point is to use the time to study (hence the name) or complete homework, but for the most part it just turns into a waste of 45 minutes.

    A pass out of it would let you go to the library or somewhere else where you can do whatever you want.

    So we're actually talking grade school here? I ask because I would doubt that any educational establishment would try to invoke rules as strict as that on anyone over the age of sixteen. My knowledge of the educational system of the USA is limited, unfortunately, to what I've learned through movies.

    As of my school education we had pretty mucn done away with homeroom and study hall. We did have an experiment one year with a time when the teachers had to present "Life Lesson" workshops to us for 45 minutes, but most kids ignored it and worked on their homework so they could goof off at home

  • H.P. Lovecraft (unregistered) in reply to Matt Westwood
    Matt Westwood:
    hatterson:
    Bobbo:
    Help out a non-US resident please, what is "a free pass out of study hall"?

    Study hall is a time when you don't have a class scheduled.

    Some places give you a fair amount of freedom in them, but a lot of schools take a strict approach and enforce no talking types of rules.

    Theoretically the point is to use the time to study (hence the name) or complete homework, but for the most part it just turns into a waste of 45 minutes.

    A pass out of it would let you go to the library or somewhere else where you can do whatever you want.

    So we're actually talking grade school here? I ask because I would doubt that any educational establishment would try to invoke rules as strict as that on anyone over the age of sixteen. My knowledge of the educational system of the USA is limited, unfortunately, to what I've learned through movies.

    Nah, that's high school, not grade school. At least in the US. In Canada we call those periods 'spares' and go play a game of billards or have a coffee. No strict rules here.

  • Rootbeer (cs) in reply to Bobbo

    "Study hall" is a way of filling gaps in a less-ambitious high school student's course schedule; if you're not taking a class during a given class period, you instead sit in a room and work on school assignments or take a nap while a teacher watches you to make sure you don't do anything fun. Like "The Breakfast Club", with slightly less pot smoking.

    "A free pass out of study hall" is a way for a student to make more constructive use of their time than study hall.

  • Herby (unregistered)

    High school, computers, and another thing, what was it? Oh, the 60's (if you remember the 60's you weren't there!).

    Yes, folks in the 60's there WERE computers, and as a high school student I even had access to them, which at the time was more than the (private) school could say, they had NO computers at all. In my junior year (5th form for those of you in the UK!) I had a new teacher in English. He was also charged with sorting out Physical Education as well. There were lots of rules and before I came around, lots of playing around with the rules. So I did all these PE rosters and my reward was being (personally) placed on the "excused" list (geeks even then didn't like PE). I continued the practice the next year, but my reward then (I had gotten smarter) was that my name was conspicuous by its TOTAL ABSENCE from all lists. Much fun, so I could take a chunk of school off and go to my part time job (where the computers were!).

    So, yes things like this can happen!

    Year: 1967, computer: IBM 1130, language: FORTRAN, in case you are asking! and yes I really did the programming!

  • @Deprecated (cs) in reply to Flagrant RulebookViolator
    Flagrant RulebookViolator:
    Benjamin Franklin and his dog:
    My friend used to have an account in a bank and happend to find a hole in their web application. Since his money was in that bank he obviously didn't like it and informed the admin. Needless to say he got into a lot of troubles for that.

    I found an obvious hole in my bank's web site. I knew that to probe or inform the admins would bring a world of hurt, so I just shut up. Fortunately they fixed it themselves within a month.

    For fun, eg April Fools, go hack their site from your friend's computer when they aren't looking!

  • java.lang.Chris; (cs)

    Although the article reads like it's been exaggerated for increased comedy value, it does remind me of an experience I had.

    I did a six month contract for a music related dot.com at the tail end of the 1990's. On arrival I found that their entire hosting capacity was a single PC server built from parts bought on Tottenham Court Road (a London street known for budget electrical retailers). It ran RedHat Linux with every package installed, back when this meant everything would be enabled by default, and no updates had been installed since the machine had been set up. There were also no back up procedures. I pointed out that this meant there was no redundancy, and seeing as there was no firewall, it also meant there was a huge security risk in running all those services. I was told that no way could I bring the machine down while I updated it and stripped the unnecessary packages, while all budget was earmarked for marketing and couldn't be used to buy another server for redundancy or a tape drive for back ups.

    It's worth pointing out that the company consisted of a two man editorial team (one an unpaid intern), six marketing people, the boss, and myself as the sole developer.

    Cut to four months later, and I was asked into the meeting room by the grim faced looking boss. Already in the room was a guy in a suit who I'd never seen before. The boss proceeded to explain that the server had been hacked, and as I was the only person with the root password since the previous contractor had left, I must be behind it. I calmly reminded her of my concerns about the server when I joined the company, and how I didn't need to "hack" a server I already had root access to. This did no good, as it turned out the guy I'd not seen before was my replacement, and he was prepared to tell the boss anything to get me out of the way.

    At this point I stood up, told the boss she would receive my last invoice in the post, and left. Despite a letter acknowledging my last invoice, she tried to not pay me. Cue one trip to the Small Claims Court, which my former boss failed to attend, and suddenly a cheque arrives in the post. A shame she paid, as I'd hoped to instruct bailiffs to remove the server - which I would only return on receipt of payment of my outstanding invoice. Having wiped the disks first of course.

  • frits (cs) in reply to Tyler
    Tyler:
    Matt Westwood:
    hatterson:
    Bobbo:
    Help out a non-US resident please, what is "a free pass out of study hall"?

    Study hall is a time when you don't have a class scheduled.

    Some places give you a fair amount of freedom in them, but a lot of schools take a strict approach and enforce no talking types of rules.

    Theoretically the point is to use the time to study (hence the name) or complete homework, but for the most part it just turns into a waste of 45 minutes.

    A pass out of it would let you go to the library or somewhere else where you can do whatever you want.

    So we're actually talking grade school here? I ask because I would doubt that any educational establishment would try to invoke rules as strict as that on anyone over the age of sixteen. My knowledge of the educational system of the USA is limited, unfortunately, to what I've learned through movies.

    Ha! No, of course we're talking about high school, which involves people up to and including age 18. Welcome to the USA! American schools love nothing more than to micro-manage the behavior of their students.

    Being one of those "techie kids" myself during the mid/late nineties (as I'm sure many posters on this site were too), one of the things that I picked up on right away was that it is is ALWAYS, ALWAYS a terrible idea to get involved with any "official" computer-related task at school. I was twice asked to help design my high school's website, and I twice refused in order to avoid exactly the situation described in this article, because I knew how paranoid and tragically the uninformed school administrators were when it came to anything with a power button.

    I went to high school in the late 80's/early 90's, so a Walkman and Mary Jane went a long way with keeping me quiet during study hall.

  • anon (unregistered) in reply to Matt Westwood
    Matt Westwood:
    hatterson:
    Bobbo:
    Help out a non-US resident please, what is "a free pass out of study hall"?

    Study hall is a time when you don't have a class scheduled.

    Some places give you a fair amount of freedom in them, but a lot of schools take a strict approach and enforce no talking types of rules.

    Theoretically the point is to use the time to study (hence the name) or complete homework, but for the most part it just turns into a waste of 45 minutes.

    A pass out of it would let you go to the library or somewhere else where you can do whatever you want.

    So we're actually talking grade school here? I ask because I would doubt that any educational establishment would try to invoke rules as strict as that on anyone over the age of sixteen. My knowledge of the educational system of the USA is limited, unfortunately, to what I've learned through movies.

    My High School (and I think it's fairly common) had supervised "Study Hall" for Freshmen and Sophomores, free periods for Juniors and Seniors where you could do whatever you wanted (though only Seniors were technically allowed to leave school grounds).

    Also, to the person who said disposable email addresses were widely available by the late 90s: a) They really weren't, you could sign up for a free provider though there were only a few, and most had restrictions on multiple accounts. The concept of a one time use email didn't come around until much later. b) He had no reason to believe he was doing anything wrong, and thus no reason to bother not using his own address.

  • John (unregistered)

    Ah yes, mid 90's schools and computers. The librarian was always convinced that we were hacking their computers because they left QBasic installed and we would make games on them. Also if you ever opened up a command prompt, that was considered hacking as well.

    Then the librarian banned all .org sites because she thought that ".org" was some sort of hacker shorthand for "orgy porn". I wish I was kidding.

    The really annoying part was that whenever anything went wrong on the computers for any reason at all, all of us that knew anything about computers were immediately blamed and banned from using them for a week or two. Just because you know stuff about computers, people felt afraid of you. Anyway that was 14 years ago. I wonder if things are much different now.

  • Ethan Qix (unregistered)

    I hope the guy made the site explode after he graduated. Petty revenge maybe, but the so-called admin deserved it.

  • whiskeyjack (unregistered) in reply to Tyler
    Tyler:
    Being one of those "techie kids" myself during the mid/late nineties (as I'm sure many posters on this site were too), one of the things that I picked up on right away was that it is is ALWAYS, ALWAYS a terrible idea to get involved with any "official" computer-related task at school.

    I had the exact opposite experience. In 1995 I did a high-school co-op term in which I spent much of my time converting Word documents to HTML documents (entirely by hand, as no export tools existed at the time). When my librarian found out, I was her new best friend. I was asked to help develop a website for the school, and the assistant librarian, eager for her son to be exposed to some of the same awesomeness, paid me $15/hour to tutor him in HTML.

    In another class about digital electronics, the aging teacher made some silly claim that a particular algorithm we used to simplify circuits (Karnaugh mapping) had never, and in fact COULD never, be implemented in a computer program. I called him out by saying that I thought I should be able to write a program to do it. He pretty much excused me from the entire rest of the class, and for the rest of the semester I sat at the PC to the side of the room, banging away at my program. Despite not being a very experienced programmer, and writing it in QuickBasic, I was certainly able to write a program to do what he wanted. He was blown away.

    Ah, high school... good times.

  • Anonymous (unregistered) in reply to Matt Westwood
    Matt Westwood:
    So we're actually talking grade school here? I ask because I would doubt that any educational establishment would try to invoke rules as strict as that on anyone over the age of sixteen. My knowledge of the educational system of the USA is limited, unfortunately, to what I've learned through movies.
    I'm not from the US but I think "study hall" is just the downtime between scheduled lessons. In the UK we call this a "joint break" or sometimes a "bong break".
  • anon (unregistered)

    Isn't this just the Gary McKinnon story, rewritten to be set in a school?

  • SwampJedi (cs) in reply to anon
    anon:
    Also, to the person who said disposable email addresses were widely available by the late 90s: a) They really weren't, you could sign up for a free provider though there were only a few, and most had restrictions on multiple accounts. The concept of a one time use email didn't come around until much later. b) He had no reason to believe he was doing anything wrong, and thus no reason to bother not using his own address.

    Yes, they were. As a dumb teenager in the 90s, I used to "keep score" by how many free email addresses I had, and I had a good score. Now, of course, I think fewer = better. :-)

    The point wasn't that he was doing anything wrong. Heck, as a kid, he wouldn't likely be cynical enough to expect any response other than praise. The point is that we've probably all learned that lesson by now. Go anonymous if "killing the messenger" is something that you can't afford, and you feel the need to report.

  • Matt (unregistered) in reply to John
    John:
    Ah yes, mid 90's schools and computers. The librarian was always convinced that we were hacking their computers because they left QBasic installed and we would make games on them. Also if you ever opened up a command prompt, that was considered hacking as well...

    ...Anyway that was 14 years ago. I wonder if things are much different now.

    It's still happening. I graduated last year, and at my school, all teachers were instructed that having command prompt open should be reported and was grounds for being charged with vandalism by the police officer that worked with the school. I kid you not. That, and as I said before, having an executable on your school network storage space was grounds for a trip to the principal's office.

  • ref (unregistered) in reply to Matt
    Matt :
    This reminds me of the time in high school when I wrote a program that ran in the background and replaced anything typed on the keyboard with "Do a barrel roll!" over and over. My classmate thought it was so awesome he asked for a copy. Being the genius he is, he left it on his school network storage. Apparently the school does routine sweeps for executable files in network storage, and I spent the next morning explaining to the principal and the school IT administrator why the program wasn't a keystroke logging virus.

    Anybody who says "Do a Barrel Roll" does not have the skills to do what you're saying, ie. You're talking crap dude.

    More importantly in reference to the original article. Jeez what a dickbag, but there really are people out there like that, if I was the kid I would've gone straight home and deleted the whole website.

    Reminds me of the time I swapped the admin and user login scripts on the school server, and the sys-admin paid me my 4th visit that year, of course he'd never ask me directly, he'd just use the computer next to me and ask for hints.

  • Anguirel (cs)

    I spent a couple of years at a small christian boarding school, and during my time there I worked for the computer lab. The chemistry lab had just gotten a batch of 30 new laptops which I got to help set up(some great WTFs for another time). The woman in charge of the department had monitoring software set up on them so that she could see the screens of all students on her computer in the front. During one class where we actually used the laptops, she saw me open notepad and freaked out. I was hacking her precious laptops with notepad!! She took the laptop away for the rest of the class period and warned me that if I ever hacked again she's ban me from them for the rest of the year.

    This of course, didn't help me any when I had to go apply a bunch of patches and updates to the laptops for work one day during another of her classes. Since the laptops used Deep Freeze, and my coworker and I didn't want the whole class seeing the passwords on her screen (being merrily projected onto the front wall), we killed the monitoring progam before we applied the updates. Suddenly each laptop we were working on showed up with a red 'X' on her screen. She was livid. She ran over and started threatening us, going on about how she didn't know what we'd done, but she'd be watching us from now on and how much trouble we were in for hacking her computers.

    All this from the lady who wiped out half of her windows folder trying to free up space. face palm

  • DeaDPooL (unregistered)

    I think during my two week suspension I would have had some fun with a picture of the principle, photoshop, and the easy access school website I had just found.

    disclaimer: I do not endorse hacking websites.. unless you are a minor who was already punished for it.

  • Tsubasa (unregistered)

    Had some similar happen to me when I was in middle school.

    It's sad that these "grown-ups" try to mask their incompetence by bullying honest children with responsible attitudes.

    I found out years later that the librarian who caught me "hacking" liked a book about a troubled young man who gets caught by the FBI. So, I suppose she was just living out her fantasy by "catching" me. That was after I learned that their first computer club had been founded by a girl years after I tried to form one.

    Although I suppose when I got in trouble for wanting to form a programming club, that should have been my first warning sign that incompetence in IT is the norm and maybe I should have done something different with my life.

    Oh well. Lesson learned: don't touch computers at school, for any reason, especially if someone asks you to. No good deed goes unpunished.

    I wonder if being 30 will make a difference when I get back to college? I suppose it's a lot harder to bully someone who's paying real money to go to school, but life never ceases to surprise me when it comes to computers, administrators, and arrogance.

  • facilisis (unregistered) in reply to ObiWayneKenobi
    Comment held for moderation.
  • Hacky Sack (unregistered)

    this is entirely plausible. I endured years of being sent out of "IT Lessons" because I'd finished the moronic "arrange some clip art in Ami Pro" exercise within minutes and chose to exit windows 3.1 and use DOS for a proper look around. my "teacher" would flip out every time he saw a black screen with a blinking cursor and throw me out of his "lesson".

    those who can, do. those who can't, teach.

    not that it gets much better in the adult world, mind. My CV says very clearly that once upon a time long ago I might have helped make a web part or two for MOSS. now all of a sudden I'm sold as "external SharePoint maintenance expert" to not one but two governmental institutions in an unnamed European country, all because some dumbass sales of ours doesn't actually know what SharePoint is.

    I love it when the people in charge don't have a clue. I guess this is what it feels like to be in the British Armed Forces.

  • Lod (unregistered)

    My junior year of high school, I was called from class to the principle's office. To my surprise, three policemen were waiting for me there. I was put in a police car and taken "downtown" without any explanation. After about an hour of sitting in a room by myself, the "head cyber security office" of the local university introduced themselves and demanded to know why I had been hacking their systems. I was quite surprised by the whole thing.

    This was the early 90s, somewhat pre internet.. the local university was on arpanet and had several dial up terminal servers called annexes that would let you telnet to arpanet sites once connected. they never asked for any authentication of any kind, or displayed any "for authorized use only" type of message. A bunch of us local nerd kids who frequented BBSes had discovered these and were using them to connect into MUDs. We honestly had no idea that wasn't OK.

    They had traced one of the other kids phone lines, and he gave up my name under interrogation. It took me a while to figure out that was what they were upset about, and much longer to convince them that I wasn't some sort of "hacker". In the end, they threatened my father's job (he worked for the university) but let me go.

    The end.

  • Matt (unregistered) in reply to ref
    ref:
    Anybody who says "Do a Barrel Roll" does not have the skills to do what you're saying, ie. You're talking crap dude.

    Being amused by memes and having programming ability are mutually exclusive now? I'm sorry; I didn't realize that my skill set was dictated by my sense of humor. It's not like Windows hooks are that difficult to begin with anyways.

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