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Larry Ullman's Book Forums


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  1. To register for this forum, I was asked as a security question, how many continents are there? A security question requires exactly one correct answer (unless you program it to accept multiple answers, which you obviously didn't). There is not one possible answer to this question, because different people count the continents differently. The Encyclopedia Britannica and the Columbia Encyclopedia both count 6 continents, counting Eurasia as one continent, and thus fail this question. Some people count the Americas as a single continent. The IOC recognizes five continents. Furthermore, this is more a question of education and culture than security. I would not expect every person studying programming languages to be knowledgeable about geography. In my case, it was more a case of too much knowledge than lack thereof, since I know all the continents and I know that counting Europe and Asia separately is illogical, but still, it's been more than 35 years since I've taken geography and I'm sure some would not remember them all. If you are trying to prevent machines from guessing, you did not succeed, because a bot using Wolfram Alpha would pass your test where a human failed.
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