Apart from parsing [X]HTML with an regex, what are the most frequently asked questions where, if the person did what they were planning to do, they'd summon Cthulhu?


How can I prevent the user from [doing something with his own machine]?

  • changing the font size in their browser
  • killing a process
  • copying a certain file
  • viewing web page source
  • (feel free to extend)

More often than not, I suppose these are just questions where the asker doesn't really understand the issue, rather than someone who's up to plain evil.

But in any case, the raging hordes will be right around the corner.

  • Sounds like a potential nightmare for users with disabilities... – Andrew Grimm May 5 '10 at 23:31

Plaintext password tables are known to be food for the devil.


At least within the trilogy, asking why 1 + 0.1 = 1.100000000000000001 is bound to bring out some sort of demon.

  • 1
    Or asking why two floats aren't equal in a unit test. – Andrew Grimm May 5 '10 at 4:38

Personal affiliate ID's in links to Amazon et al seem to bring on the wrath of Cthulhu:

Amazon affiliate links are not inserted into user profiles
Amazon affiliate tags


"How to write an algorithm to check if a program/loop will terminate?"

.. will summon the worst of your nightmares ...

  • How many rep points does aturing have? – Andrew Grimm May 5 '10 at 6:09

Or how to teach your dog Python...

  • 1
    ... so that can eat it's own dog food :) – Nick Dandoulakis May 5 '10 at 6:30
  • Or you could teach your python DOG. I think a python's more likely to master DOG than vice versa. – Andrew Grimm May 5 '10 at 23:28
  • @Andrew: Not my dog... he is smart! I taught him FORTRAN-77 and Objective-C last week. – uɐɯsO uɐɥʇɐN May 6 '10 at 0:11

Not frequent as such - but definitely summons the full wrath of SO;

4 questions in a row:

  • how can I do an install that the user doesn't see and doesn't appear in the remove programs window?
  • how do I capture key presses?
  • give me a regex for credit card numbers?
  • how do I send ASCII characters to an off-shore web-service?
  • 2
    Links? This looks like fun. – Rosinante May 15 '10 at 21:52

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