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Is Mailinator a scam or for real?

Granted, privacy policies aren't "the answer", but shouldn't the Mailinator site at least have one? Or at least make reference to privacy? Or say they aren't going to collect permanent addresses (i.e. the "from" line in any mailbox-creating emails) and then sell them later?

"No Signup. No waiting. No SPAM. "

Hmmm ... that all-caps sounds awfully convincing, but how do we know (other than Joel's recommendation) that this isn't as bogus as those "unsubscribe me from your list" links at the bottom of pr0n ads?

Pardon my skepticism, but Mailinator/Outscheme people, if you're reading this, please amend the FAQ.

And if this is the real deal, great idea.

Joe
http://www.joegrossberg.com

P.S. How is this any more useful than opening up a permanent Hotmail account for all your registrations/purchases?

Joe Grossberg
Wednesday, July 23, 2003

well, it requires no memorization on your part.

The only way this thing could be a scheme is if they actually harvest the e-mails they get... Someone is bound to accidentally get a credit card confirmation via e-mail because they don't quite get the purpose of the site.

They don't collect any information from the people who visit... well, maybe IP address and some sort of hidden cookie from somebody like doubleclick... How can they spam you?

www.marktaw.com
Wednesday, July 23, 2003

...but you gotta love the slogan: "It's like flicking a booger at spam".

Hahaha! It gets my vote just for it's sense of humor...

HeyCoolAid!
Wednesday, July 23, 2003

From their FAQ:

--
Then how is mailinator going to make money?

It probably won't. It does offer advertising for reasonable rates. Don't worry, we don't need this to make money to eat. We make our real money driving tugboats.
---

I hope this stays open, although the idea wouldn't be too difficult to copy.

Lee
Wednesday, July 23, 2003

They have a Great! sense of humor.

PoopyHead
Wednesday, July 23, 2003

Mailinator is my site. I assure you its a real "deal". I tried (rather tongue in cheek) that there is NO privacy. None. Nada. Anyone can read any inbox anywhere, anytime. That makes the service useful for many purposes, but its just fine for getting that "eval" email many companys require they send you to activate a product.

Glad you like the sense of humor :)

This idea came out of a couple of guys just drinking beer and say "hey.. what if"..

As someone said, very copyable - it isnt a hard site/service to create. Like it says on the site.. we don't plan on making money on it .. use it.. have fun..

Paul

Paul Tyma
Wednesday, July 23, 2003

>P.S. How is this any more useful than opening up a >permanent Hotmail account for all your >registrations/purchases?

Forgot to address this. Because you dont have to signup. When that registration/purchase asks for an email - you dont need to interrupt what you're doing to go signup some email. As you type it in their textfield, you're effectively creating the mailinator account.

cheers
Paul
http://www.tyma.com

Paul Tyma
Wednesday, July 23, 2003

It's a great idea Paul. I for one intend to make full use of it... nothing like flicking boogers at spam, I say.

HeyCoolAid!
Wednesday, July 23, 2003

Hehe, the beer must have been just about finished when you got to the FAQ.

Can we use 'logo2.gif' for 'link to'?

Dave (aka PoopyHead)
Wednesday, July 23, 2003

> Can we use 'logo2.gif' for 'link to'?

sure.

BTW - It seems that so far the most popular mailinator address is .... poopyhead... go figure.

P

Paul Tyma
Wednesday, July 23, 2003

Good one Paul,

BTW: What beer is that you drink, again?:-)

Prakash S
Wednesday, July 23, 2003

Great idea. But its success will be its downfall.

Once the spammers figure this out all they have to do is not allow an email address for the domain 'mailinator.com'.

Already many sites prevent you from entering a hotmail.com or yahoo.com email address precisely for a reason.

And you can almost do the same thing with hotmail (or Yahoo for that matter). Just sign on for an account and then enable white listing so that only those emails which come from someone whose email is in your your address book (and hotmail staff emails!) will land up in your inbox. Never add anyone to your whitelist and voila! all email you get goes to the junk folder which you can peruse whenever you want and if reqd move any reqd email to another non-junk folder.

Non-Microsoft Bob
Wednesday, July 23, 2003

I love it! Great idea...one of those forehead slappers; "Why didn't I think of that?"

I tried it, and it worked fine. Just out of curiosity, I wonder how much money one could make by selling the email addresses of all those people testing it out? ;-)

Spam
Wednesday, July 23, 2003

Mr. Tyma, just a thought. Think you could make your fonts a little darker? I'm finding I have to squint to read your FAQ.

Good job.

Spam
Wednesday, July 23, 2003

I have to second the font thing... my old eyes.

...
Wednesday, July 23, 2003

This is making me curious what people are using it for. Alas, the only addresses (besides poopyhead) that I found having mail were "me" and "joe"... would be interesting to know commonly used addresses.

Martin
Wednesday, July 23, 2003

1) Thanks for the clarification(s).
2) That "joe" wasn't me. For now, I'm happy with one email address for real people, and another email address for spam-prone endeavors like registration and shopping.
3) I misunderstood the usability; I had assumed that you had to "ping" a Mailinator address before it was available.

How is it working so far? Even if emails are only stored temporarily, won't their volume gradually increase to the point that they come in more quickly than you can delete them?

Joe
http://www.joegrossberg.com

Joe Grossberg
Thursday, July 24, 2003

They only keep the last 10 e-mails that go to that address.

www.marktaw.com
Thursday, July 24, 2003

Thanks for the clarification, Paul. I must admit I was wondering "How the eff does this stop just any person reading my email?", but you're right - for those stupid "Giz yer email address, we won't send you any dodgy stuff, honest"-type signups its actually a great idea, bandwidth permitting.

Can I interest you in pines enlargement?


Thursday, July 24, 2003

My trees are tall enough thanks...

Simon Lucy
Thursday, July 24, 2003

marktaw:

Ah.

Yes, I should shut up and read/think more before I write. Or at least be more specific in my thinking-out-loud.

Joe
http://www.joegrossberg.com

Joe Grossberg
Thursday, July 24, 2003

There's still the problem of ever increasing number of email addresses.

But I'm sure that will work itself out.  If it becomes popular enough, it will be copied, which will relieve some of the load.

Richard Ponton
Friday, July 25, 2003

Also have a look at the <a href=http://www.myTrashMail.com >fake email address </a>service from www.myTrashMail.com . It is the same as Mailinator but with additional forward and delete functions.

Greg
Monday, August 16, 2004

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