I will never be able to log in to Flickr again

I’m not a big user of Flickr, but some time last year I heard that they were offering 1TB of free storage and was amazed. So I decided to use their service to archive some photos.

This afternoon, I wanted to show a friend this Flickr account. I was surprised to find out that Flickr now requires a Yahoo account to log in. I’m not sure when this was implemented, because previously I have been signing in using a Gmail account, and it has been a while since I logged on.

I thought it wasn’t a big deal to sign up for Yahoo account, sure it’s one more account to maintain, but we don’t use this often so it wouldn’t be a hassle. But nope, I was wrong. The Yahoo account registration process was extremely painful.

Besides the requirement on the user name, which must begin with a letter and be 8 to 32 characters long, there were passwords requirements as well.

edit They seem to accept usernames that are shorter than 8 characters, as long as it is unique. That just makes it even more confusing. Thanks EJ for pointing that out!

The various conditions The various conditions

First, the password field has 3 conditions.

  1. 8-24 characters
  2. upper and lower case
  3. at least a number

Sure, the green arrows that appear beside these conditions serves as a pretty guide to the user as to when these conditions have been satisfied, but these conditions are unnecessary in my opinion. If my password of choice does not satisfy these criteria, I am forced to think of and remember something new. Maybe Yahoo is trying to push people to use a password manager, but I really don’t think so. The net effect of this is frustration to the user - or me at least - resulting in me just randomly smashing the laptop to find out if that was acceptable.

Finally I’ve managed to get a good pass phrase that I wanted to use, more on pass phrase http://blog.codinghorror.com/passwords-vs-pass-phrases/ - but no, there was 1 more hidden criteria, or rather, restriction

I can’t use spaces? I can’t use spaces?

Okay. I’m so close to giving up at this point, if not for the hundres of pictures I have lying in Flickr. Why am I not allowed to use spaces in my password? I honestly cannot think of any reason. This just spoils the whole plan of using pass phrases.

This is a pretty easy problem to solve, but wait for it. The next screen is a funky looking animated CAPTCHA. But seriously, after that painful process of registering, I think even bots will give up signing up for Yahoo accounts.

Animated CAPTCHA Animated CAPTCHA

Oh wait there’s more, the next screen asks for a phone number to send a verification code to. And it’s been 30 mins, and my verification code has not arrive. Yahoo!

Update Even signing to Yahoo is broken, clicking on “Sign In” just clears the password fields and indicates an error, askign me to “Please enter your password”. At this point I’m pretty tired of whining already, so that’s all.