How many people are stupid enough to publish their Windows XP Professional product key to the web? You know, the unique ID that allows them to activate their software?
As of this afternoon, the number is at least 103. [Update: Less than a year later, on March 21, 2008, that search pulls up more than 28,000 pages. Even granting some of those pages are like this one, warning people not to do this, the majority still appear to be product keys that people published to the web. Damn, that's a lot of stupid.]
If you use the Belarc Advisor tool, you might want to do some judicious editing before you actually post its raw results to your website. And it appears that more recent versions of the advisor don’t include the actual key, just the product ID that it generates (and which can’t be reverse-engineered to produce the key). Do no, you won’t be able to find any Windows Vista keys this way.
I’m kinda guessing that not a single one of these keys will actually activate for anyone except the original owner, given that close to 5000 people have flagged this story on Digg already.
Still, dumb doesn’t even begin to describe it.
(via David Berlind)