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Here are some phrases about my friends Peter, John, George, Mary, Harry and Calvin:

The boss told Peter that a case like that was unacceptable in the work environment, so he took precautions and changed his lock.

John has lost his home key, but it was not a big deal since he never used it anyways.

George carefully measured the spaces when he made his table, but somehow it got all messed up when it arrived at the destination.

Mary was addicted to control. She aways knew a way to get things done as she wanted using nothing but her fingertips.

Harry learned the hard way not to enter unless he was sure he was in the right place. It got him into a trouble that cost him a month to resolve.

Calvin will often make shifts and alterations in his workflow whenever it can help him build a character.

The goal is to find a word that connects all these phrases.

Hint:

The keyword is an everyday object that is not obvious on first inspection of any sentence, but unambiguously connects all of them

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  • $\begingroup$ Hmm, I don't really think this is constrained enough. "Friends"? "Statements"? $\endgroup$ – Jason C Aug 23 '16 at 16:06
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    $\begingroup$ @JasonC I added a hint now. Any other suggestion? $\endgroup$ – MathET Aug 23 '16 at 16:14
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Is the answer

Keyboard?

Peter

Change case via lock, Caps Lock

John

Home key, rarely used by most users

George (Thanks to @Sid for pointing out I missed him)

Spaces often don't translate perfectly across machines/fonts. This could easily cause issues in a manually-spaced table.

Mary

Ctrl-based shortcuts let you do a lot of stuff without a mouse.

Harry

Enter is a key, often submitting forms, I guess accidentally submitting a bad tax form or something could cause a lot of trouble? Least sure here.

Calvin

Shifts and Alt-codes are often used to build characters beyond those visible on the keyboard.

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  • $\begingroup$ You missed George.... But, I guess that is obvious enough once you know the answer.. $\endgroup$ – Sid Aug 23 '16 at 16:21
  • $\begingroup$ Awesome! Did you think this puzzle was too easy? You got it in like 2 minutes! What gave it away? $\endgroup$ – MathET Aug 23 '16 at 16:22
  • $\begingroup$ @IvanBarreto the biggest clue was probably the use of the phrase "home key" rather than "house key"; additionally, having most of the key names in the first half dozen words of the sentence made scanning for the pattern really easy once my brain pinged on it. $\endgroup$ – Sconibulus Aug 23 '16 at 16:30
  • $\begingroup$ My first thought was programming, which could be made to apply pretty much all the clues. $\endgroup$ – dcfyj Aug 23 '16 at 17:50
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Guess this is related to

Password or Passcode or possibley KEYBOARD

Explanation coming up...

The boss told Peter that a case like that was unacceptable in the work environment, so he took precautions and changed his lock.

'case' only lower case password is unacceptable so he changed it.

John has lost his home key, but it was not a big deal since he never used it anyways.

On the keyboard, he did not have the 'home key' on the keyboard since the home key was not used in the the password

George carefully measured the spaces when he made his table, but somehow it got all messed up when it arrived at the destination.

Most passwords allow spaces to be entered but the table in which it is stored is a non space encrypted string generated based on a salt.

Mary was addicted to control. She aways knew a way to get things done as she wanted using nothing but her fingertips.

Maybe Mary was trying to using a 'Biometric' fingerprint based password without the need of a Control Key on the keyboard.

Harry learned the hard way not to enter unless he was sure he was in the right place. It got him into a trouble that cost him a month to resolve.

If you enter the wrong password, some phones increase the time limit to attempt login. Guess Harry forgot the password and was trying to guess which were upper cases and which were lower and which was special characters.

Calvin will often make shifts and alterations in his workflow whenever it can help him build a character.

Calvin uses shift to enter special characters while creating password like P@$$w0rd using the shift and alt keys.

Just brute force hacking explanations :-)

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