Hidden 4 yrs ago Post by Awson
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Awson Waiting & Waiting

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I'm very curious what's going to happen to usernames in the future when almost all of the unique ones have been taken.

Are we doomed to a world of names that end in a string of random numbers? Will people take other people's names? Will those people still be on the Internet at the time, or be dead?

Or even worse, will everyone go by their real identities?
Hidden 4 yrs ago Post by Kill Bones
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Well, I imagine the easy fix would be to separate screen names from usernames. Like, you'd sign in with your shitty, number filled username, but you could set the actual name that appears to everyone else to be whatever you want, even if someone else already uses that name. Sure, this could lead to impersonation and shit, but plenty of sites like youtube already have verification type stuff, so I'm not sure it'd be that big of a deal.

Or maybe in the strange new future of 20XX, we'll all be forced by our supreme overlords to each have some semblance of originality

And thus the second Dark Ages will truly begin

Hidden 4 yrs ago Post by Dinh AaronMk
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Dinh AaronMk Revolutionary Marxist Shitposter

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The internet will be a world for XxX_MLG420YOLO_XxX
Hidden 4 yrs ago Post by Vilageidiotx
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Vilageidiotx Jacobin of All Trades

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Websites will die, people will fuck off and do other things, other websites will cull their unused accounts, and other websites will try to replace usernames with real names. It's the circle of life, old usernames die and get recycled by new users.
Hidden 4 yrs ago Post by Kill Bones
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Oh man, maybe the solution is to continually add on more "X"s to existing names until the end of time

I for one can't wait for the day the one true hero XxXxXxXxXxXxXxXxXxXxXxXxXxXxXxXKill_BonesXxXxXxXxXxXxXxXxXxXxXxXxXxXxXxX rises up to save us all
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Hidden 4 yrs ago Post by Vilageidiotx
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Vilageidiotx Jacobin of All Trades

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Change it up and use XO instead. xoxoxoxoxoxoxovilageidiotxxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxo sounds so much friendlier.
Hidden 4 yrs ago Post by KnightShade
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Like, you'd sign in with your shitty, number filled username, but you could set the actual name that appears to everyone else to be whatever you want, even if someone else already uses that name.


And the 'We Are All KB' joke finally becomes true.
Hidden 4 yrs ago Post by Joegreenbeen
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Joegreenbeen Head to the Sky

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Who would want to take my user? I NEED to know.
Hidden 4 yrs ago Post by Keyguyperson
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Keyguyperson Welcome to Cyberhell

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My username is eternally safe.
Hidden 4 yrs ago Post by White Feather
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White Feather Soul of a warrior / Feet of a Coward

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I have three different usernames I rotate between - if "White Feather" is already taken, I get clever and use the others.
Hidden 4 yrs ago Post by Raxacoricofallapatorius
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With the exception of this account, my username is always Clirkus and I've yet to sign up for a site where that name is already taken.
Hidden 4 yrs ago Post by BrobyDDark
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BrobyDDark Gentleman Spidey

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If anyone ever had my username on a website I want to sign up for, I'd sue them and then lose because I didn't patent it.

But at least they'd know I'm very displeased with their using of my username.
Hidden 4 yrs ago Post by TP
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TP O

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XxX_2015MeMeRevolutionVintage2015_XxX
Hidden 4 yrs ago 4 yrs ago Post by Alex
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Alex

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So, this thread made me think of the interesting problem of exactly how many possible usernames there are!

I've come up with 342,708,664,283,810,176,729,802 - that's 342 sextillion, 3.42*10^23 possible names.

I don't think we have to worry about running out of names any time soon - there are enough for each person alive to have billions of usernames.

Also, I bet you just glossed over that huge number when you read it.



Doing all that math reminded me of something I was working on a few weeks ago - someone on the IRC told me about The Library of Babel project, which apparently contains everything ever written (within the parameters they have currently). I was trying to figure out how large the library would have to be in meatspace (And now I realize I was going at it the wrong way!)

(p.s. if i'm wrong feel free to correct me i'd love to know what I messed up)
Hidden 4 yrs ago 4 yrs ago Post by Meth Quokka
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Meth Quokka This Was Nutter's Idea

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So, this thread made me think of the interesting problem of exactly how many possible usernames there are!

I've come up with 342,708,664,283,810,176,729,802 - that's 342 sextillion, 3.42*10^23 possible names.

I don't think we have to worry about running out of names any time soon - there are enough for each person alive to have billions of usernames.

Also, I bet you just glossed over that huge number when you read it.



Doing all that math reminded me of something I was working on a few weeks ago - someone on the IRC told me about The Library of Babel project, which apparently contains everything ever written (within the parameters they have currently). I was trying to figure out how large the library would have to be in meatspace (And now I realize I was going at it the wrong way!)

(p.s. if i'm wrong feel free to correct me i'd love to know what I messed up)


I personally get 324 Sextillion by using a network diagram approach of 36^2 + 36^2 *37^n for n = 1:13 (as you can't start or finish with a space and you can end at each value of n). Seems much to simple compared to your maths though. Although I'm not sure on the potential for more than one space in a row for a username. I have my doubts about the validity of yours as it exceeds 37^15 = 333 Sextillion.
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Hidden 4 yrs ago 4 yrs ago Post by Alex
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<Snipped quote by Alex>

I personally get 324 Sextillion by using a network diagram approach of 36^2 + 36^2 *37^n for n = 1:13 (as you can't start or finish with a space and you can end at each value of n). Seems much to simple compared to your maths though. Although I'm not sure on the potential for more than one space in a row for a username. I have my doubts about the validity of yours as it exceeds 37^15 = 333 Sextillion.

My answer is definitely too big

I worked under the assumption that the cases that weren't allowed would be so few that they would be insignificant - I'm probably very lazy wrong for doing so. But by the time I realized the problem looked like a geometric series I was going crazy (I was trying to brute force it as a programming exercise)

I'm not sure I completely understand your approach or what you meant by "network diagram approach" tbh
Wouldn't it be 36^4*37^n for n= 0:13? n= 1:13 ignored the two character usernames for n=0. I'm not sure why you add the 36^2 instead of adding them either?
idk it's been a while since I've done this sort of maths

Wouldn't it exceed 37^15 since I'm basically summing 37^15+37^14+37^13+...+37^2?

And anyways you're right about multiple spaces in a row - that isn't allowed either.

Honestly without knowing all the rules it's difficult to make an estimate.
Hidden 4 yrs ago 4 yrs ago Post by The Nexerus
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The Nexerus Sui generis

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Another important thing is pronounceability. You may never have to enunciate your username, but people who make usernames generally make them capable of being enunciated nonetheless. This is achieved by way of constructing a username from consonant-vowel pairs, those 105 letter combinations that are phonetically viable. If we stray from pure mathematics by excluding phonetically infeasible names, we're left with a much smaller number than 324 sextillion, but still more than enough for us to never have to worry about running out of unique usernames.

Plus, the internet's so huge that having the same username as someone else doesn't really matter. Some people use names that are already associated with someone else completely intentionally, even. Say, for example, giving yourself the username of a Kingdom Hearts character.
Hidden 4 yrs ago 4 yrs ago Post by Alex
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Another important thing is pronounceability. You may never have to enunciate your username, but people who make usernames generally make them capable of being enunciated nonetheless. This is achieved by way of constructing a username from consonant-vowel pairs, those 105 letter combinations that are phonetically viable. If we stray from pure mathematics by excluding phonetically infeasible names, we're left with a much smaller number than 324 sextillion, but still more than enough for us to never have to worry about running out of unique usernames.

Plus, the internet's so huge that having the same username as someone else doesn't really matter. Some people use names that are already associated with someone else completely intentionally, even. Say, for example, giving yourself the username of a Kingdom Hearts character.


it's okay you're smart too

edit: though in all seriousness there is mathematics you can do on the linguistics and I'm sure that it is possible to find the number of pronounceable usernames but honestly that wasn't a problem I was trying to solve in the first place. The problem isn't uninteresting but I lack the requisite knowledge and the desire to do the research I'd need to do into phonetics to solve it.
Hidden 4 yrs ago 4 yrs ago Post by The Nexerus
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The Nexerus Sui generis

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math is hard. best to be avoided whenever possible
Hidden 4 yrs ago Post by Holmishire
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What about usernames like F1R3H34RT or l8 4 wrk?

Both are easily pronounceable, but would be unlikely to be counted in such a linguistic test. Limiting by such criteria seems counterproductive. People can make meaningful usernames out of anything.
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