fun with mailinator

You may have heard about Mailinator, a service used for creating temporary e-mail addresses for site registrations. The standard use case is:

1. You begin registering for a web site that wants your e-mail address.
2. You think of an e-mail address at mailinator ([email protected] for instance)
3. The web site sends out an e-mail to confirm that validity of the e-mail address
4. You get the e-mail at Mailinator, use the link to confirm your account, and never use it again.

They have a useful (and entertaining) FAQ if you want more information about it.

But the real reason for this post is that I discovered a fun way to use the site. Since there are no passwords, you can check any e-mail address you want. Just type in a name and login. At first it feels like you’re reading someone else’s mail (well, technically you are) even though you’re really not doing anything wrong, but then it gets fun. It was intriguing to read the spam some accounts get. I found one account ([email protected]) with an e-mail from a used car salesman saying he tried to call but it was a wrong number and he was really looking forward to hearing back from the guy. If only he knew what mailinator was for…


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  1. HA! That is hilarious! I will have to remember this.

    Comment by Renee on May 9, 2004 @ 9:05 am
  2. Another fun way to use the site is to punch in a
    random name and see what spam is waiting for it.

    Often hilarious, always entertaining and a bit
    like sitting behind a one-way mirror. Now if only
    people would stop replying to it …

    A good snail mail trick to use is to change your
    middle initial (or invent one) for each outfit
    you give your 3-dimensional address to. That way
    when junk mail arrives you know exactly who sold
    your info and you can, if you like, institute

    Paul, you’re a star!

    Comment by Victor on June 1, 2004 @ 7:41 pm

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