FatBusinessman.com

Register this!

If you’ve spent any great length of time browsing round “the Interweb”, chances are you’ve run into one of these compulsory registration sites. And, if you have, it’s quite possible you’ve run into the rather lovely BugMeNot. (For the uninitiated, it’s a communal site where anyone can set up a phoney account with one of these registration-requiring sites, whereupon anyone can use it.) This often gets one around the problem quite nicely.

However, some other sites are a little more annoying in that they want to send you a confirmation e-mail with a password in it, or a link you have to visit to confirm your address. Sadly, this category of sites includes most of those which offer free evaluation copies of their software, such as Zend and NuSphere, both of whom produce PHP coding IDEs that I’m quite keen on trying out. Bit of a bugger to get round, you might think.

Not according to the public-spirited folks at Mailinator.com. Essentially, the idea is a very simple one – unlimited temporary accounts. You think of a suitably exciting name (anything from [email protected] to hobbledehoy@mailinator.com), and Mailinator will store any e-mail received for that account for a few hours – more than enough to reply to a confirmation e-mail. After that, the account vanishes into the ether.

Just so long as some corporate bigwig doesn’t start bombarding them with cease-and-desist orders, problem solved :-)

10 Responses to “Register this!”

    •  Gravatar for Ben
    • From Ben
    • Thursday 12 August 2004 at 23:08

    Cease-and-Disist orders are probably not a problem and rather a lot of effort. What is far more likely is that email addresses from Mailinator.com will just get blacklisted when you try and enter it in aforementioned email fields.

    •  Gravatar for Fatty
    • From Fatty
    • Friday 13 August 2004 at 10:09

    Ah yes, there is that – of course, I expect that Mailinator can move domains almost as fast as companies can blacklist them…

    •  Gravatar for Elly
    • From Elly
    • Friday 13 August 2004 at 12:57

    In the same way spambots can move domains as fast you bloggers can blacklist them?

    •  Gravatar for Fatty
    • From Fatty
    • Friday 13 August 2004 at 17:21

    Something like that, yes – that’s where things like Bayesian filtering come in :-)

    •  Gravatar for Ben
    • From Ben
    • Saturday 14 August 2004 at 21:41

    Hmmm. But, is it right that, if a company offers a free trial in exchange for being able to send you an update (as NuSphere do), that you should screw them just to get your hands on said software?

    I’m not talking about the dishonourable spamming types here, but Zend and NuSphere are both reputable entities. What reason is there for Mailenatoring them?

  1. Bugmenot is really great. People submit all kinds of passes. I found a pass to suicidegirls once lol A bit naughty, but it’s definitely a timely kick in the butt to news sites – we should never have to fill out forms just to access free media content.

    •  Gravatar for Fatty
    • From Fatty
    • Saturday 14 August 2004 at 23:26

    I’ve just read through NuSphere’s privacy policy – it’s what I expected. They say they will use my name, address, phone number and e-mail address to tell me about “certain upgrades, special offers, updated information, classes, and/or new services”. So essentially, their named reason for having my personal information is to advertise to me (and to allow their “value-added resellers and authorized training partners” to do the same, of course). I don’t see how it’s in any way to my advantage to give them that information, just to test out their software.

    Let’s take the analogy of a hi-fi shop. I go into the hi-fi shop, I see a rather shiny pair of speakers (say, by way of example, a nice pair of KEF Coda 90s). I go up to the salesman and say “Ho there, good man, that is a shiny pair of speakers. May I try them out in your listening room?”

    “Why, of course,” he responds. “I just need to take your personal details so I can send you junk mail.”

    “Bugger off,” says I.

    See my point? I shouldn’t have to sign up for mail I don’t want just so that I can have the privilege of deciding whether I feel like purchasing this company’s software.

    •  Gravatar for Fatty
    • From Fatty
    • Saturday 14 August 2004 at 23:42

    And… ‘suicidegirls’? I’m more than a little worried about what that site might have on it…

    •  Gravatar for Ben
    • From Ben
    • Sunday 15 August 2004 at 20:33

    SuicideGirls is an emo soft-porn site. So not quite as sick…

    — I read this is Q magazine, btw.

    •  Gravatar for Fatty
    • From Fatty
    • Sunday 15 August 2004 at 20:34

    Of course you did, Ben. Of course you did.