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Hotmail Launches Accounts You Can Throw Away

timothy posted more than 3 years ago | from the at-last-a-feature-that-leads-gmail dept.

Microsoft 286

suraj.sun writes with this excerpt from CNET: "Today, Hotmail is getting a new feature aimed at 'e-mail enthusiasts,' which lets anyone create multiple e-mail accounts that can be read, replied to, and managed from their everyday e-mail inbox. These additional e-mail addresses can be had in the same manner as signing up for new accounts, but they require no extra log-ins or upkeep. ... The idea is to give users a safe way to provide third parties with an e-mail address, without giving up the address they've provided to family and friends, which, if compromised, can end the usefulness of that particular account. Each user will be able to create up to five aliases, any of which can be deleted and replaced with another at any time. Over time, Microsoft will increase that limit to 15 aliases per account, making it so that the true heavy users won't need to juggle between two or more Hotmail accounts."

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286 comments

Cool idea (3, Interesting)

trollertron3000 (1940942) | more than 3 years ago | (#35099398)

I've used it elsewhere but integrated into a client like hotmail is a good idea. Besides, I already use hotmail for my spam address. Now Google, steal this please.

Here. (4, Informative)

MrEricSir (398214) | more than 3 years ago | (#35099418)

Re:Here. (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35099470)

Interesting but not quite the same thing. If an account gets really jacked up then you would have to make another gmail account, remove the old one, then add the new one. Kind of a pain in the ass.

With the Hotmail feature you simply delete the old one and make a new one right there. It's much more straightforward and quick.

Re:Here. (1)

TheLink (130905) | more than 3 years ago | (#35100360)

These throwaway hotmail accounts are too little too late for me.

I get so much spam on my hotmail account that it's kind of my throwaway account already. Nowadays I only bother to check it once every few months :).

In contrast my yahoo and gmail accounts don't get even the same magnitude of spam passing the spam filters.

Re:Cool idea (5, Informative)

Abstrackt (609015) | more than 3 years ago | (#35099450)

While not exactly an implementation of a throwaway address, you can use plus sign addressing (subaddressing, i.e. name+slashdot@gmail.com) with Google. I use it for every site I sign up on so I can see who gives out my email address so I can filter everything from that alias into the trash.

Re:Cool idea (4, Informative)

Manfre (631065) | more than 3 years ago | (#35099510)

I've encountered several sites that do not allow a + in the email address, or come even remotely close to implementing the RFC.

This is a worthwhile read and the regex was fun to implement. http://haacked.com/archive/2007/08/21/i-knew-how-to-validate-an-email-address-until-i.aspx [haacked.com]

Re:Cool idea (2)

farnsworth (558449) | more than 3 years ago | (#35099646)

This is a worthwhile read and the regex was fun to implement. http://haacked.com/archive/2007/08/21/i-knew-how-to-validate-an-email-address-until-i.aspx [haacked.com]

This is the regex that Mail::RFC2822::Address uses, which seems to be the most comprehensive: http://ex-parrot.com/~pdw/Mail-RFC822-Address.html [ex-parrot.com]

I have no idea how that was authored...

In any case, probably the only 100% way to validate an email address is to accept any string and try to send an email with an "is-valid" link in it.

Re:Cool idea (3, Insightful)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 3 years ago | (#35099586)

Unfortunately, it still exposes your primary address. Whereas it seems that the reasoning behind this Hotmail feature is primarily privacy.

Re:Cool idea (1)

garcia (6573) | more than 3 years ago | (#35099726)

I worked for a college and coded around those filters to get at the real address. I'm sure any intelligent marketer would too.

Re:Cool idea (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35100128)

That's why you filter against the real address, and use a + variant as your primary. :-)

Re:Cool idea (4, Interesting)

Patoski (121455) | more than 3 years ago | (#35099768)

While not exactly an implementation of a throwaway address, you can use plus sign addressing (subaddressing, i.e. name+slashdot@gmail.com) with Google. I use it for every site I sign up on so I can see who gives out my email address so I can filter everything from that alias into the trash.

Additionally you can also place a period anywhere in the user portion of your email address and gmail will route it to your address.

For instance, if your email address is "bufordpusser@gmail.com", you can also give out "buford.pusser@gmail.com", "b.u.ford.pusser@gmail.com", etc. and all of them will route to your original address.

Re:Cool idea (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35099794)

Too bad that is in TFA and debunked for both a) exposing your real address and b) not being universally supported at sites due to special characters

Re:Cool idea (1)

snookiex (1814614) | more than 3 years ago | (#35100080)

I'm just curious, who have you discovered giving out your personal information? You can skip the porn sites.

Re:Cool idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35100338)

A computer could easily detect and remove that, defeating the purpose. In fact, it could then turn around and send your email address on to third parties and you wouldn't be able to tell. Also, anyone could easily grief another company with it. It's nice, but not as good as the proposed solution for hotmail. Hopefully gmail implements it soon because I'm not switching back to hotmail.

Re:Cool idea (2)

Cinder6 (894572) | more than 3 years ago | (#35099476)

Gmail does have it, but you have to be using a custom domain to get the feature. I use it; it's nice. I'm not sure why it hasn't been integrated into the Gmail proper; usually, feature lag goes the other direction.

Re:Cool idea (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35099666)

Do you mean the catchall? If so, yeah I do it too and love it.

You get *@yourdomain forwarded to your inbox. Then you just make one rule in your filters. In the "has the words" box for filter creation, you put deliveredto:({[one],[two],[three],[four]})

One, two, three, and four being @yourdomain "accounts" that are abandoned due to spam. Just tell gmail to send those directly to the trash, which keeps your spambox empty.

It doesn't get any better than that. No need to create new email addresses, they all already exist. Just filter out the ones that start causing you trouble.

Re:Cool idea (2)

catmistake (814204) | more than 3 years ago | (#35100334)

bah... no mod points... loaning you my karma is all,
thx for posting

Re:Cool idea (3, Informative)

Graff (532189) | more than 3 years ago | (#35099522)

I've used it elsewhere but integrated into a client like hotmail is a good idea. Besides, I already use hotmail for my spam address. Now Google, steal this please.

Gmail already has had this feature for a long time. it's called plus-addressing [lifehacker.com] . You take your e-mail address, put a plus sign at the end of it and then add a phrase. For example:

foobar@google.com
foobar+slashdot@google.com
foobar+amazon@google.com

All of these will get sent to foobar@google.com and you can create a filter on each term (eg: filter on +slashdot) to send them into their own mailbox.

Re:Cool idea (1)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 3 years ago | (#35099594)

And as soon as I see your email in this format, I strip away the "+" part and have your original address which I can merrily spam.

Re:Cool idea (3, Interesting)

Graff (532189) | more than 3 years ago | (#35099778)

And as soon as I see your email in this format, I strip away the "+" part and have your original address which I can merrily spam.

Spam away on it, the original, no "+" address is to a spam mailbox.

Only addresses with the "+" part go to actual mailboxes that I read. I never hand out the bare address to anyone.

Re:Cool idea (1)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 3 years ago | (#35099860)

A neat trick for sure. But now your "real" address (i.e. the one you give out to actual people) has a plus in it, making it slightly less readable, and possibly confusing people (or badly written apps that they use to email you).

Re:Cool idea (3, Insightful)

Graff (532189) | more than 3 years ago | (#35099940)

I didn't say it was perfect, just that GMail had a version of throwaway email for a while now!

If Hotmail one-ups Google then that's all the better for the users because that's how services get better, through competition.

Re:Cool idea (1)

icebike (68054) | more than 3 years ago | (#35099932)

Spam away on it, the original, no "+" address is to a spam mailbox.

Only addresses with the "+" part go to actual mailboxes that I read. I never hand out the bare address to anyone.

Spam on Gmail?
I get virtually NO spam on Gmail that is not automatically detected and routed to the spam box.
It is astoundingly accurate, and false positives are so vanishingly small I never bother to check the spam mailbox.

I don't need to reserve the root name for a spam catch.

Re:Cool idea (1)

Graff (532189) | more than 3 years ago | (#35100054)

I get virtually NO spam on Gmail that is not automatically detected and routed to the spam box.

Oh sure, this is just overboard paranoia-type stuff. I only do this on my "commercial" e-mail account. I have a separate e-mail account that is for friends and family where I don't bother with any of these kinds of tricks.

Re:Cool idea (1)

icebike (68054) | more than 3 years ago | (#35100164)

Actually Plus Addressing seems intermittently broken on Gmail of late.

It seems if you access your Gmail from IMAP all bets are off with regard to the message actually ending up in any folder other than the inbox. Even message sent via gmail to gmail seem to fail the Plus Addressing for me.

Re:Cool idea (3, Informative)

Anonymusing (1450747) | more than 3 years ago | (#35099596)

There is actually a patent on something like this. AT&T developed it a long time ago, sat on it for a decade, then sold the patent to Zoemail (a now-defunct Internet startup) in the early 2000s, which then sold the patent to someone else. The advantage of the Zoemail/AT&T approach was that the "keyed" addresses would be created to each recipient you sent to, and they would know you by that keyed e-mail, but you could turn those off whenever you wanted. Or give them expiration dates. The keyed address would be listed in your address book with each recipient.

It was a beautiful concept, frankly, but could have been implemented better.

Re:Cool idea (2)

msauve (701917) | more than 3 years ago | (#35099728)

There is actually a patent on something like this. AT&T developed it a long time ago, sat on it for a decade, then sold the patent to Zoemail (a now-defunct Internet startup) in the early 2000s, which then sold the patent to someone else.

Then, there's no patent on it, or won't be very soon. Patent terms from that period were 17 years. "Early 2000s" should mean 2004 or before, so that's at least 10+7 (minus some number of month?) = expired.

Re:Cool idea (1)

vux984 (928602) | more than 3 years ago | (#35099614)

All of these will get sent to foobar@google.com and you can create a filter on each term (eg: filter on +slashdot) to send them into their own mailbox.

Yes, I'm sure no one would ever think to actually strip out the +component out to get the real address, especially since its a documented feature.

The hotmail alias system is more useful, because the real address can't be harvested trivially from address you give out.

Re:Cool idea (1)

Obfuscant (592200) | more than 3 years ago | (#35099706)

Yes, I'm sure no one would ever think to actually strip out the +component out to get the real address, especially since its a documented feature.

And I'm sure that no one would ever think to use a +-form address as his main one and bit-bucket anything that doesn't have the + in it? Spam away at foo@example.com, my filter accepts email only to foo+something@example.com.

The hotmail alias system is more useful, because the real address can't be harvested trivially from address you give out.

I have no idea why this new hotmail thing is important, since I've never had any trouble creating throw-away hotmail addresses when I want them. They are so completely throw-away that I simply walk away from one when I no longer want it. I never see it again.

Re:Cool idea (1)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 3 years ago | (#35099802)

Many websites don't accept the plus in the email address field.

Personally, I used to use mailinator, now I have a catch-all in my domain.

Re:Cool idea (1)

Obfuscant (592200) | more than 3 years ago | (#35099938)

Many websites don't accept the plus in the email address field.

At which point I determine if my dealing with that website is valuable enough TO ME to open up my unplussed address for the short period of time it takes to deal with whatever email they are sending, or valuable enough to them that a complaint about their defective website will get around that error (if you call customer service, many times they can bypass the web nazi).

Most of the stupid ones I deal with are demanding an email address so they an verify my registration, after which any email from them truly is spam and can be tossed without care. Those aren't worth the effort to complain, but sometimes are worth a few minutes of unfiltering.

Personally, I used to use mailinator, now I have a catch-all in my domain.

I got tired of the dictionary spam I got at the catch-all, which made it worse than simply giving out my real address.

Re:Cool idea (1)

vux984 (928602) | more than 3 years ago | (#35099882)

And I'm sure that no one would ever think to use a +-form address as his main one

Oh I'm sure someone thought of it, and then promptly got frustrated at all the places it didn't work and/or got rejected.

(Also, have you looked at the hassles involved in sending from a gmail plus address...)

Re:Cool idea (3, Funny)

Magic5Ball (188725) | more than 3 years ago | (#35100018)

Then would you say that you are nonplussed about this feature?

Re:Cool idea (1)

CreamyG31337 (1084693) | more than 3 years ago | (#35099634)

or just add dots, your.email@gmail or yo.urem.ail@gmail.com goes to you , and i do this all the time when i sign up at questionable places. if they start spamming me, i can just set up a filter to 'skip inbox' and delete.

Re:Cool idea (1)

chunkyasparagus (890907) | more than 3 years ago | (#35099986)

or just add dots, your.email@gmail or yo.urem.ail@gmail.com goes to you , and i do this all the time when i sign up at questionable places. if they start spamming me, i can just set up a filter to 'skip inbox' and delete.

Unfortunately when spammers realise that this is possible, they can just strip the dots off any gmail address and be left with the correct address.

Re:Cool idea (1)

CreamyG31337 (1084693) | more than 3 years ago | (#35100024)

true, but spammers aren't too smart. they *could* get real jobs and not go to jail, but that doesn't seem to happen...

Re:Cool idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35099692)

I've done this for years and years on my personal email server. It's a great way to find out exactly which website "leaked" my email I told them to keep private.

Seems like the credit card number aliases (1)

perpenso (1613749) | more than 3 years ago | (#35099846)

This seems like the credit card number aliases that many banks offer, a temporary number that locks to the first merchant to use it. Hopefully it works out as well.

Wow just like Mac mail (1)

goombah99 (560566) | more than 3 years ago | (#35100050)

snore.

Re:Wow just like Mac mail (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35100248)

Yeah, and just like everything from Apple, they copied it somewhere else and it costs a fortune.

Sucker.

Re:Cool idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35100098)

While still not 100% the same, Google has actually had this for a while. You can make variations of your email with the plus sign and then use filters to sort them.

For example, if your email was billy@gmail.com and you signed up for slashdot you could use billy+slashdot@gmail.com. If that email got out to others you would also know who shared your email address with spammers.

More info:
http://gmailblog.blogspot.com/2008/03/2-hidden-ways-to-get-more-from-your.html

I guess... (4, Funny)

msauve (701917) | more than 3 years ago | (#35099400)

this is the first time I've seen a Microsoft focused article after the /. redesign. Bill as Borg doesn't seem right - he's not even in charge any more. Where's Ballmer with a chair (and not sitting on it)?

Does the chair sit in Ballmer? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35100194)

I gotta ask, since I haven't seen a picture of the man for a while -- is his ass big enough now that the chair sits in him?

Re:I guess... (-1, Offtopic)

westlake (615356) | more than 3 years ago | (#35100202)

Where's Ballmer with a chair (and not sitting on it)?

The Borg icon and the stained glass window were never more than flameboat.

Trash them both. It clears your head:

In Microsoft's second quarter:

Revenues $19.5 billion.

Business software, profits up 35%
Server and tools, profits up 21%
Entertainment group, profits up 86%

While PC shipments are down and tablet sales are hot, the PC isn't going away any time soon:

No, the iPad Is Not Killing Microsoft's Business [dailyfinance.com]
Mobile vs Desktop [statcounter.com]

Let's say it right away! (0)

DWMorse (1816016) | more than 3 years ago | (#35099410)

What could possibly go wrong!!

Hrmmm (5, Insightful)

WiglyWorm (1139035) | more than 3 years ago | (#35099426)

Isn't that what people do with their hotmail account anyway? Throw it away?

Re:Hrmmm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35099626)

Isn't that what people do with their hotmail account anyway? Throw it away?

In other news, AC posts drop dramatically on Slashdot and the user name and numbers blows past 10 million in 2011.

Yours,

Soon to be Anonymous Coward 0000000000000000001.

Re:Hrmmm (1)

free-poker-cash (1989522) | more than 3 years ago | (#35100114)

funnily enough i've always had the same hotmail account. 10 years now haha. I've only had that and work addresses.

Great Idea. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35099440)

I hope Gmail implements something like this. I already have 3 gmail accounts as it is. Personal, Business, Spam.

I only check the spam one when I'm expecting something.

Re:Great Idea. (3, Interesting)

hawguy (1600213) | more than 3 years ago | (#35099502)

Gmail has something that's arguably better -- you can use a plus sign to append any string you like to your address, so you can have "myname@gmail.com' as your main account and give "myname+family@gmail.com" to your family. And when you sign up for a Hormel mailling list, you can use "myname+hormel@gmail.com" so you know when you're getting spammed by Hormel.

Re:Great Idea. (2)

_merlin (160982) | more than 3 years ago | (#35100264)

How's that better? A machine can easily strip the part after the plus sign.

Yopmail and Safe Mail are better? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35099456)

Is Yopmail's system better?

Yopmail has no scripting, cookie requirements, can Hotmail offer the same? Disposable, but didn't notice any SSL.

What of Safe Mail?

Safe-Mail.net has no scripting, cookie requirements and offers free SSL through complete sessions. Keep your account there or delete it when you're done.

You thought it was hard to name an account before (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35099466)

Now we're going to be emailing grandmacatherineandgrandpajohn1320924delta@hotmail.com

Own domain (4, Interesting)

Dan East (318230) | more than 3 years ago | (#35099472)

I've been doing a similar thing with my own domain / webserver for the last decade. I'll make up email addresses right on the spot, usually like "slashdot.org@mydomain.com" or "sprint@mydomain.com", etc. I have a catch all account that receives all emails to non-existent accounts, and I can split any of the addresses off into an actual account whenever needed (or disable it if it becomes inundated with spam). That was always one of the big perks of owning your own domain.

Re:Own domain (1)

no known priors (1948918) | more than 3 years ago | (#35099710)

I do this too, and have done for, ooh, about a yeah and a half? The only trouble is that you can also get spam sent to addresses which are randomly generated (happens to me about once every couple of months). When I first signed up to my domain and set it up, I got spam to gabriell@domain which was weird (the domain info is the domain registry's anonymous thing, and my name isn't anything like Gabriell).
And actually, I have a couple of domains, one which I have a catch-all address on, which I only use for email. It has nothing on the website (just a "fuck off, there's nothing here"), so that people can't easily find my real email address from that.

The only trouble I have is wanting to reply to people with the address that they email. I use Evolution, and I can't find a way to make it automatically insert the "to" address in the "From" field for the reply email. Ummm...

Re:Own domain (1)

dch24 (904899) | more than 3 years ago | (#35100212)

You can configure your SMTP server to reject the email when it is an unknown address -- reject it before closing the connection so there is no chance for a "backscatter attack."

Spammers quickly stop using addresses that either:
1. Hang for a while before responding with a failure and closing the connection -- but that opens you to a huge DDoS problem.
2. Reject and quickly close the connection. No DDoS problem, and the spammer got nothing for the (admittedly miniscule) effort they expended to hit up your server. It's not like they got a 1-in-a-million chance that the email address is legit, because the server doesn't complain on invalid addresses. Nope -- they got a definite rejection right away.

For valid addresses, you can even put in a filter to reject obvious spam, e.g. if it fails DKIM or SPF checks, spamassassin, whatever. Since there are a lot fewer valid addresses, go ahead and put some resources into examining the message right away, before closing the connection.

Be aware that large messages may cause a problem -- but it costs the spammer a lot to send thousands of large messages, so that's really only a DDoS attack vector. I have a size protection line that can kick in before the DKIM/SPF/spamassassin check, but I leave it commented out and have monitoring scripts to alert me if I get hit with an attack. I can quickly respond, enable the size limit, and thus cut off the DDoS.

Too complicated for your average setup? Yes, definitely. But that means it won't become so common spammers really devote themselves to breaking in.

Re:Own domain (4, Interesting)

SydShamino (547793) | more than 3 years ago | (#35100254)

Yup, I do exactly this for about the same length of time. The only difficulty is when I have to give an address to someone verbally, and they think I'm giving them a fake one since it's yourcompany@mydomain.com. I usually get around this by giving those people randomthreedigits@mydomain.com or similar. As it happens I've only ever lost one address this way to spam, but it was obvious right away who sold my address.

Beaten to it? (3, Interesting)

Firehed (942385) | more than 3 years ago | (#35099488)

This seems pretty similar to Gmail's aliasing - append anything after a plus sign to your email address (ex firehed+slashdot@gmail.com) and it goes to your main inbox. If that address is compromised, just filter anything addressed to that account.

Microsoft seems to have a few advantages here, though. First, it's a lot more seamless. Second, there are tons of websites that incorrectly validate email addresses and treat + as an illegal character, which it is not (hell, you can go directly to an IP address instead of a domain, although nobody ever would), so by extension it's harder to use as a throw-away address. And third, it's pretty obvious you've done it, and websites can just s/\+[A-z0-9.-]+@gmail.com/@gmail.com/g it into oblivion.

Of course, in order to get this functionality, you need to use hotmail. Aren't those already throw-away accounts by definition?

Re:Beaten to it? (2)

WiglyWorm (1139035) | more than 3 years ago | (#35099604)

That is nice, but I've had experiences with websites that won't allow the + sign as part of an email address. Unfortunately, emails are one of the hardest things to validate with regex, and most implementations get it wrong.

Re:Beaten to it? (1)

adamofgreyskull (640712) | more than 3 years ago | (#35099684)

From the comment you replied to:

Second, there are tons of websites that incorrectly validate email addresses and treat + as an illegal character, which it is not (...)

Re:Beaten to it? (2)

Obfuscant (592200) | more than 3 years ago | (#35099744)

Plus there is at least one turnkey spam-filtering mail server system that has no clue what a + address is. It simply bounces everything that is not a literal match to a valid username.

People who do not understand the RFCs for email should NOT be selling mail servers.

Re:Beaten to it? (1)

LO0G (606364) | more than 3 years ago | (#35099988)

Mod parent up +1 Funny. After all, if the parent had actually *read* the RFC, they would know that the RFC explicitly states [ietf.org] that:

"Consequently, and due to a long history of problems when intermediate hosts have attempted to optimize transport by modifying them, the local-part MUST be interpreted and assigned semantics only by the host specified in the domain part of the address."

That means that the spam filter is following the RFC. The + address is a convention of a number of email systems but Foo+Bar@domain.com and Foo@domain.com are unrelated email addresses according to RFC2822.

Re:Beaten to it? (1)

Obfuscant (592200) | more than 3 years ago | (#35100294)

What you quote from the RFC has to do with INTERMEDIATE hosts modifying or interpreting the local parts of addresses, not the use of + addresses themselves.

Unless you are maybe arguing that "MUST be interpreted and assigned semantics only by the host specified in the domain part of the address" really means that the "domain part host" is allowed to freely ignore any interpretation assigned by any RFC, since that host would be the only thing that can assign any. That would be a ridiculous interpretation, especially since that interpretation would mean there is, effectively, NO standard for the local part of an email address and it may contain anything the destination host would desire.

No, that part of the RFC deals with things like a system I ran across a very long time ago that attempted to interpret the local part of an email address in MY domain that had the form "usenet.news.groups" (or something like that, I forget the specific naming convention for sending email to a mail to news gateway at the destination server). It intercepted a message I had intended for testing at MY domain and happily posted it for me.

Re:Beaten to it? (1)

artor3 (1344997) | more than 3 years ago | (#35099618)

Those "few advantages" are the only valuable aspects. Plus addressing is borderline worthless, because it requires you to reveal your real address.

Re:Beaten to it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35099638)

This seems pretty similar to Gmail's aliasing - append anything after a plus sign to your email address (ex firehed+slashdot@gmail.com) and it goes to your main inbox. If that address is compromised, just filter anything addressed to that account.

Step 1:
if (email.split('@')[1] == "gmail.com")
          email = email.split('+')[0] + email.split('@')[1]

Step 2: ????
Step 3: Stupid.

Re:Beaten to it? (2)

dudpixel (1429789) | more than 3 years ago | (#35099650)

but any human could see that if you remove everything after the +, you get the person's real email address. How long before spammers set up automated servers to do the same?

hotmail's approach uses completely different email addresses, which is much better.

I want this in gmail :)

Old idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35099518)

Yahoo has been doing this for a very long time

incredibly un-subtle Hotmail PR IMO... way to go /.

Yahoo, yes (1)

no known priors (1948918) | more than 3 years ago | (#35099612)

Yes, I was going to say. I've been using this with Yahoo for ages. Actually though, I think that if you have a yahoo.com login, you have to pay to get this extra feature (Yahoo Plus). But me, with a .co.uk and a .com.au login*, I have it for free. Plus I have POP access, so I don't even see ads on the Yahoo site any more...

As for all the Google fanbois:

Aliases joins an existing multiple e-mail address feature offered in both Hotmail and Google's Gmail that uses a plus symbol after a user name, but before the @ symbol. Users would then add any word after the plus symbol to create an identifiable address (e.g. Josh+newstip@Hotmail.com). This lets messages get filtered into folders, while also providing a way to see if that retailer you bought something from sold your address to a third party.

However the big problems with that system are that it's easy to see the person's real address, and some sites and forms might not let you use the plus symbol. In this sense, Microsoft's new system promises to offer a higher level of privacy along with compatibility when running across sites that won't let you use special characters.

The biggest difference between the Yahoo and Hotmail systems are that with Yahoo you pick a prefix, and the new emails are created with that prefix and a hyphen. E.g. you might have dandyboy as your prefix, you could then create aliases dandyboy-slashboy@yahoo.com.au or dandyboy-cnetsucks@yahoo.com.au. However, any email to dandyboy@yahoo.com.au will get discarded (unlike with the plus addressing system).

footnote * or maybe because I ticked a box at some stage saying "you can spam me"? -- they send about one email a month to the .com.au which gets deleted unread, and none to the .co.uk

?um (0)

Charliemopps (1157495) | more than 3 years ago | (#35099544)

What are hotmails?

Re:?um (1)

murphtall (1979734) | more than 3 years ago | (#35099584)

i am a hot male

Re:?um (2)

RoFLKOPTr (1294290) | more than 3 years ago | (#35099622)

What are hotmails?

The opposite of ComicCon attendees.

Always innovating (1)

gmuslera (3436) | more than 3 years ago | (#35099546)

Always Microsoft realizing last the good internet ideas. Probably they are the last ones left on the world that didnt throwed away their hotmail account yet.

Nice idea. I just use alt e-mails. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35099548)

I speak of Gmail in that case.
Simple to do, setup 2 accounts, private account, public account (more if wanted, such as business, spam, etc.)
Link the accounts.
Now you can reply and read e-mails from all accounts in one main account.

Would like to see it be more built in though.
Hopefully this will push them and others towards it.
It is always a good idea to have multiple IDs online.
Even split friends up across several accounts, in case you decide to hate one of them for whatever reason. Ditch the account, tell the others the new account, simple.

Re:Nice idea. I just use alt e-mails. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35099652)

I ditched your mom. She cried for days after I switched to your sister. But she still has my email address, as I like getting the naked pictures she sends me.

I just aliases on mobile me (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35099568)

I think you can have 5 or something like that.

10 minute mail (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35099572)

Used it to create sockpuppet accounts all the time.

Are tossed-out addresses re-used? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35099630)

What happens to an address after a user discards it? Is it gone forever, or thrown back into the pool of addresses that others may use?

In other news... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35099632)

A team of the nation's best Comedyists have unveiled the joke that writes itself.

Wow aliases !! that's new !!! (-1)

unity100 (970058) | more than 3 years ago | (#35099660)

NOT .... web hosting industry has been giving these out for approx, what, 8-10 years ?

its appalling that something that has been here for eons (for internet timeline scale) is being pitted as 'new'.

Great - More Spam boxes . . . . (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35099672)

This is just a method to generate more Spam . . . .

WTF are they thinking?

Re:Great - More Spam boxes . . . . (1)

Call Me Black Cloud (616282) | more than 3 years ago | (#35100192)

Do you really think spammers a) are using webmail accounts to send spam and b) checking those webmail accounts to see what replies they've received? No wonder you posted anonymously.

Spammers use open relays (or spam-friendly hosts) to send e-mails with fake "from" addresses. The e-mails direct the potential victim to either a website or to reply to another e-mail address.

The ease at which new addresses can be created and disposed of in Hotmail is only a good thing.

It's the friends and family that you can't trust! (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35099752)

I did this for several years with gmail; one account for friends and family only, and the other using +tagged addresses for shopping/accounts/other uses. After 2 years of this, I took a close look at my spam boxes and found that the friends and family account was getting close to 200 spam emails a month, and the shopping/other account got about 1-2 a month. Clearly its my friends selling me out with all of their e-card invites and other "share" links, and not the web sites that I sign up with.

Somehow I don't think that throw away accounts for anything other than Pr0n accounts is of any use, unless you give a different email address to each friend and family member and drop the ones that start receiving spam.

Nah. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35099776)

Meh. Mailinator.com has been doing the work just fine for me.

Re:Nah. (2)

artor3 (1344997) | more than 3 years ago | (#35099834)

Have you used it in the past few years? Most sites refuse to take emails from any of Malinator's domains.

umm (1)

Master Moose (1243274) | more than 3 years ago | (#35099780)

Doesn't everybody already only use hotmail for the junk email? What would I use the others for? Collecting more spam from more email addresses?

BSD (1)

MrKaos (858439) | more than 3 years ago | (#35099838)

I wonder if they are still using the BSD backend that Hotmail originally used?

Yahoo (1)

godIsaDJ (644331) | more than 3 years ago | (#35099868)

God, Yahoo had this for years! This is quite lame :S

Yahoo has had this for years (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35099878)

It's called AddressGuard and they call it 'disposable' emial addresses. From their help:

You can create "disposable" email addresses to use whenever you don't want to share your real Yahoo! Mail Plus address. It lets you save your primary email address for people you know and trust and give these disposable ones to others, such as online vendors, mailing lists, and other Internet services. When you use a disposable address to send or reply to a message, your personal name is not included in the sender information.

Congrats hotmail.

I for one... (1)

diskofish (1037768) | more than 3 years ago | (#35099934)

I for one, welcome our new throw-away email overlords.

Yeah, only we do it correctly. (1)

dskoll (99328) | more than 3 years ago | (#35099960)

(Blatant plug) Our product [roaringpenguin.com] has had this for years, only we do it properly. Our feature is called "Locked Addresses" and it works like this:

  • The system generates a random email address using a strong random-number generator. The address is unlikely to be guessed.
  • Initially, the address is in the "unlocked" state.
  • The very first time the system receives a message for the address, it locks to the sending address or domain (your choice.)
  • If anyone else tries to use the address (ie, someone other than the locked-to domain or address), they get a "User Unknown" SMTP error.

So not only can you give out your locked address, but it can't be sold or given away.

A server side microsoft office? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35100088)

I take it that it's only hotmail accounts? what happens when you choose the 5 is that your choices over? I'm presuming you can delete them too?

I've always used hotmail as my throwaway address (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35100096)

If I don't care about an account, I'll give them spamme@hotmail.com. Once I get their "confirmation" email, I can log into the new site and delete whatever other mail is hanging around in the hotmail account. A bonus is if it's not necessarily legal or conforming to the mafiAA's ideas of proper use, Micro$oft gets to deal with the subpoenas.

google apps has this (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35100104)

Google apps has this (for free) and I make good use of it. My primary mailbox has 22 email address aliases right now (including one for /. and several that I've used for amazon prime 'trials' during the holidays), plus I have a handful of entirely separate mailboxes that could in turn have their own set of aliases. For some aliases I have rules set up that automatically delete incoming mail to that address (I could also just remove the alias). AFAIK there's no limit to the number of aliases per 'user account', and I can have 200 user accounts in my 'organization'.

That's nothing. (3, Funny)

dmomo (256005) | more than 3 years ago | (#35100112)

I threw away my hotmail account 10 years ago.

It was that (1)

phmadore (1391487) | more than 3 years ago | (#35100170)

It was that or somehow steal Gmail's spam-fighting technology. I've given my Gmail address to thousands of services (maybe) in the past six years, and the only spam I get is voluntary or occasional.

This is 10 years old! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35100196)

I remember Caramail (French web portal with stupid chats and shit) offered email service, and you could have 5 aliases.
This is nothing new.

Slow news day (1)

dogsbreath (730413) | more than 3 years ago | (#35100198)

What am I missing here? Hotmail accounts are throw away in the first place but what's the big deal about email aliases? My ISP has had this forever.

Throwing forums under the spambus (1)

Dachannien (617929) | more than 3 years ago | (#35100232)

Similar to the "put periods anywhere in your e-mail address" and "put a + followed by anything" features offered by Google, this Hotmail feature will soon be exploited by forum spammers to create a multitude of e-mail addresses without having to solve captchas.

One of the few weapons that forum maintainers have in their anti-spam arsenal is to be able to collaboratively blacklist e-mail addresses, IP addresses, and usernames. This feature would further hinder blacklisting by e-mail address, in a manner even worse than the easily detectable ones that Gmail offers.

Copy this (1)

mstargard (1988004) | more than 3 years ago | (#35100246)

Seems a bother to be making a new address for each party you don't trust. I've been using a challenge-response system for many years quite successfully. myprivacy.ca was originally created as a whois harvester buster. It's a mail forwarder but if the sender isn't whitelisted then he gets back an email asking him to prove he's human. All he has to do is reply to do that. Then the system will forward his original email. There's room for 15 whitelisted entries and you can use pattern matching. You also have an option to passthrough all mail. This is the one email I use for anybody I don't trust and it strikes me as a far more efficient method than what hotmail's come up with. Maybe they should copy that. ;-)

Mailinator (1)

istartedi (132515) | more than 3 years ago | (#35100332)

Mailinator has been providing me this service for years. AFAICT they get by on a very unobtrusive banner at the top of their home page, donations, and perhaps some funding from their corporate parent which presumeably also finds the service useful. I guess it doesn't take too much money to run such a service. They're obviously dumping spams into the bitbucket after a timeout, and limiting the size of the messages (most spam is small anyway). The only problem I've had is that a few parties filter them; but most don't. IIRC, they have some alternative domains anyway...

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