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Email Is Not Going Anywhere

Soulskill posted about 3 months ago | from the give-me-smtp-or-give-me-death dept.

Communications 235

An anonymous reader writes: It seems the latest trend sweeping the online world is the idea that email is on its way out. Kids are eschewing email for any of the hundreds of different instant messaging services, and startups are targeting email as a system they can "disrupt." Alexis C. Madrigal argues that attempts to move past email are shortsighted and faddish, as none of the alternatives give as much power to the user. "Email is actually a tremendous, decentralized, open platform on which new, innovative things can and have been built. In that way, email represents a different model from the closed ecosystems we see proliferating across our computers and devices. Email is a refugee from the open, interoperable, less-controlled 'web we lost.' It's an exciting landscape of freedom amidst the walled gardens of social networking and messaging services." Madrigal does believe that email will gradually lose some of its current uses as new technologies spring up and mature, but the core functionality is here to stay.

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serious confusion by the author (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47684787)

Email is actually a tremendous, decentralized, open platform

Right, because people understand and care about that.

So much that they've flocked by the billions to closed, centralized platforms.

Here's the thought process of most internet users: "Are all my friends doing it?" "Does it have cute pictures of kittens?" YES -> Click on it.

"Open", "decentralized", or "user controlled" don't enter into it at all.

Re:serious confusion by the author (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47684809)

So much that they've flocked by the billions to closed, centralized platforms.

Yeah, Prodigy, Compuserve, and AOL are booming, and no one cares about the Internet anymore.

Re:serious confusion by the author (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47684863)

Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr are, in case you haven't noticed, and it's all but impossible to email most people any more, who prefer to be contacted on Facebook.

Closed centralized platforms are winning. Email is dying.

Re:serious confusion by the author (5, Insightful)

Barsteward (969998) | about 3 months ago | (#47684889)

try them as a business communication tool, email beats them hands down

Re:serious confusion by the author (2)

Opportunist (166417) | about 3 months ago | (#47685313)

True. For businesses, you have to turn to IBM and Lotus Notes to get your walled garden.

sukmahp3n1s at twitter dot com (4, Insightful)

khasim (1285) | about 3 months ago | (#47685379)

try them as a business communication tool, email beats them hands down

Exactly. While "kids" may "flock" to whatever is "cool" today, eventually you do have to deal with other adults in structured environments.

With email, usernames can be assigned in a structured fashion. And potentially offensive combinations can be weeded out.

With closed systems, it is usually first-come-first-served from around the world (and that's not counting multiple accounts per person). So you might not be able to get johnsmith. And "sukmahp3n1s" does not work so well when dealing with other companies.

Re:sukmahp3n1s at twitter dot com (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47685459)

Oh the image of a CEOs face who just received a message containing a contract worth millions of dollars from sukmahp3n1s.

Re:serious confusion by the author (5, Insightful)

amiga3D (567632) | about 3 months ago | (#47684955)

You missed the point I think. AOL, Compuserve and Prodigy used to rule. Now look, it's Facebook and Twitter and Instagram. They'll have their day too then it will be something else after they pass and e-mail will still be here.

Re:serious confusion by the author (4, Insightful)

sycodon (149926) | about 3 months ago | (#47685011)

Facebook and Twitter and Instagram.

Time waster, narcissist's dream, enabler for the first two.

Re:serious confusion by the author (1)

Zero__Kelvin (151819) | about 3 months ago | (#47685495)

Yes, because whenever I look at job postings, they always say: Hit us up on the Facebookz! in the contact information section.

Re:serious confusion by the author (4, Interesting)

TWX (665546) | about 3 months ago | (#47685425)

Closed centralized platforms are winning. Email is dying.

E-mail is not dying, I expect that its growth is not necessarily increasing at the same rate as before, but it's certainly not contracting.

Besides, as has been proven, many technologies don't die off just because new ones are added. At work I still occasionally receive paper intra-office memos that aren't mass-distribution. We still have a FAX machine and routinely use it to both receive and send. We all still have landline telephones at our desks through our private, carrier-grade phone system, and there are only a handful of us that have forwarded our desk phones to our cells. We still send and receive via postal mail, and hell, in some countries one can still send a telegraph that's hand-courier delivered.

Facebook right now is the most popular Compuserve or AOL, or even Myspace. It will fade in time as they make missteps and as peoples' interests change.

Re:serious confusion by the author (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47685533)

And what is your yourself to virtually every one of those services? An email address. How do you retrieve your password if you forget it? Email.

Every one of these services that come and go with such frequency uses email for some level of functionality.

It might not be a primary method of communication for personal users anymore, but it'll likely remain heavily used as a fallback method of communications long after every popular service mentioned in these comments is gone.

Re:serious confusion by the author (1)

Opportunist (166417) | about 3 months ago | (#47685309)

They did. They failed not because they were gated and walled, but because they didn't offer what people wanted.

Re:serious confusion by the author (1)

multi io (640409) | about 3 months ago | (#47685347)

Email is actually a tremendous, decentralized, open platform

Right, because people understand and care about that.

You could say people didn't understand or care about the web being a decentralized, open platform either. But that was still the reason why it took off, and ultimately the (indirect) reason why everybody started using it.

Email is insecure garbage (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47684811)

Why not just switch to Gamemaker?

Re:Email is insecure garbage (1)

Barack Nigama (3779375) | about 3 months ago | (#47685027)

Oh happy day, this shit again. More like Gaymaker on this site.

OMFG! There's nothing we can do!!!! (5, Insightful)

Zero__Kelvin (151819) | about 3 months ago | (#47684815)

"“There is no point in emailing students any more," he told The Times. "They get in touch with us by social media, especially Twitter, and we’ve had to employ people to reply that way. "

Only because "they" are idiots (both students and faculty apperently). An autoresponder that tweets back "Dear idiot student. It's called email. We use it for a reason. Use it or don't expect help." is all that they needed to "employ". Allowing students to dictate the use of inefficient mechanisms rather than teaching them the right way is pretty ironic for a school system that purports to be a University.

Students are the customer. Customer always right. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47685005)

Students are the customer. The customer is always right.

Of course those are both marketing doublespeak bullshit, but there we are.

Welcome to the destruction of education, courtesy of naked capitalism.

Ironic captcha: advising

Re:Students are the customer. Customer always righ (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47685129)

Maybe for a diploma mill.

Re:OMFG! There's nothing we can do!!!! (1)

Opportunist (166417) | about 3 months ago | (#47685323)

That works for my university. It's different when you're dependent on the students 'cause they're essentially your customers, not your pupils...

Re:OMFG! There's nothing we can do!!!! (1)

Zero__Kelvin (151819) | about 3 months ago | (#47685369)

Bullshit. Unless you think they will tranfer elsewhere because they can't use the twittersOMFG! I can hear the coversation between student and pops now: But Daaadz! I wants to go to anotha univsty! They don't letz me use da twitterz!! I gatsta use da emailz to getz da helpz! I'm sure pops will start looking around for a different school pronto!

Duh. (5, Insightful)

fahrbot-bot (874524) | about 3 months ago | (#47684821)

Email Is Not Going Anywhere

Duh. Instant messaging and email often serve different purposes and priorities. For example, at work, I don't use IM because *my* time is more important than your time. Email allows me to respond according to my schedule. Call me if something's really important.

Re:Duh. (5, Interesting)

wiredlogic (135348) | about 3 months ago | (#47685009)

At one place I worked they used IM extensively in-house to send messages. It was a bit weird when someone two cubes over messaged you but for quick updates it is more efficient than getting up and disturbing neighbors with a voice conversation.

Re:Duh. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47685289)

You can also integrate it into task management automatically in various ways.

Re:Duh. (1)

SeaFox (739806) | about 3 months ago | (#47685367)

It was a bit weird when someone two cubes over messaged you but for quick updates it is more efficient than getting up and disturbing neighbors with a voice conversation.

Using IM also creates a written record of the conversation, which I'm sure your employer kept logs of for that reason.

Re:Duh. (1)

Zero__Kelvin (151819) | about 3 months ago | (#47685531)

With properly configured IM systems the employer doesn't see it unless the employee shows the content to them. The employee may keep logs, but in a good organization the purpose of that is to have the information at hand for future reference, not to stab each other in the back. If employees are keeping the logs for the latter purpose, it doesn't matter what communication medium is used, as the company, or at least the department, is already fscked.

The right tool for the right job has always been an important maxim in any and all professional environments, including but by no means limited to software development. This is why email isn't going away. IM has a purpose, but it isn't the right tool for selective mass distribution or the sharing of content when said content is more than a couple of sentences or at most, paragraphs.

Re:Duh. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47685121)

i mostly agree sometimes IM is still useful in the work place but i don't just sit there monitoring it i use it when i need to work on something with someone not right next to me for more than just 5-10 minutes

Re:Duh. (2)

fahrbot-bot (874524) | about 3 months ago | (#47685183)

i mostly agree sometimes IM is still useful in the work place but i don't just sit there monitoring it i use it when i need to work on something with someone not right next to me for more than just 5-10 minutes

I can see that as being useful. On the other hand, a voice conversation allows me to talk and work on the actual task at the same time, instead of switching between the task and typing in IM.

Re:Duh. (1)

Noah Haders (3621429) | about 3 months ago | (#47685245)

I can see that as being useful. On the other hand, a voice conversation allows me to talk and work on the actual task at the same time, instead of switching between the task and typing in IM.

wow, quality. I can't wait to have conversations with you.

Re: Duh. (2)

trentfoley (226635) | about 3 months ago | (#47685207)

I guess everybody has their own communication priority level classification system. Of couse any arbitrarily detailed list could be made, so here's mine:
1) email is the preferred base
2) IM - critical yet tolerant to high latency.
3) Phone - emergencies, or other rare events that require full-duplex
4) Knock at door - what have my kids done now?

Re:Duh. (1)

SeaFox (739806) | about 3 months ago | (#47685355)

Duh. Instant messaging and email often serve different purposes and priorities.

Part of the blame for this goes to users and service providers. When people get used to the idea of email moving immediately they start to use email as a form of IM, and then I get calls about how "I sent this email three minutes ago and they haven't gotten it yet". It's email. There is no guaranteed instant-delivery on it. Same with attachments. Email is not made to be a file-transfer method, but the proper alternative means teaching people to use FTP clients..

Re:Duh. (2)

Zero__Kelvin (151819) | about 3 months ago | (#47685571)

Actually, email is intended to be a file transfer method [wikipedia.org] . It wasn't originally [ietf.org] , but now it is. That's what the little paper clip is for. It isn't intended for large file transfers, but that is an ever changing definition as bandwidth becomes more cheap, fast, and ubiquitous. What was once considered a "large file", say 1 or 2 megabytes, is now considered not very large at all. E-Mail will still be here in 2055 if we are, but 25 GB will be a small file for the purposes of this discussion.

Not the latest trend (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47684825)

This is not some latest trend. People (mostly clueless tech journalists) have been saying e-mail is going away since ICQ first appeared on the scene. Heck, they may have said it before that, but I first remember the cry of "e-mail is dead" when some tech writer first stumbled upon ICQ. The idea that e-mail is dying is just as stupid now as it was then. E-mail is a standard, e-mail is universally used. How else are you going to activate your IM account or contact a business or notify a wide range of customers about your product updates? E-mail is not going anywhere.

Re:Not the latest trend (1)

Kjella (173770) | about 3 months ago | (#47684913)

E-mail is a standard, e-mail is universally used. How else are you going to activate your IM account or contact a business or notify a wide range of customers about your product updates? E-mail is not going anywhere.

The management of my apartment building seem to have two ways of communicating:

1) Facebook group
2) Posters/notice in my mailbox

Sure you can reach them by email and they'll reply by email. But my impression is that this is a "legacy" method compared to a Facebook message. If it's not important enough to warrant physical notices, it's Facebook or not at all.

Re:Not the latest trend (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47685125)

The management of my apartment building seem to have two ways of communicating:

1) Facebook group
2) Posters/notice in my mailbox

Sure you can reach them by email and they'll reply by email. But my impression is that this is a "legacy" method compared to a Facebook message. If it's not important enough to warrant physical notices, it's Facebook or not at all.

When I started using the internet email and IRC were pretty much the only means of electronic communication I used. And most people knew how to email (and they could read without moving their lips). Then the 'net became popular. Increasingly emails were posted by illiterates with nothing to say (and an inability to move the mouse and fucking interleave communications). Animated gifs, wallpapered emails with comic sans fonts. Powerpoint attachments. Then increasingly those emails full of moronic humour the Playboy mansion wants back began to get sent by the malware on their systems.
And then, just when I thought it could get no worse - they all fucked off to Ffffacebook. And Instagram. And Twitter. (though I notice a lot seem to post here now).

Good.

Actually mostly clueless geeks (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47685305)

It's the people who ought to know better that have been declaring email dead for years. But then these same people demonstrate their leetness by outsourcing everything to Google. Truth is there aren't more people in tech than ever, we've just watered down what it means to be "tech" to the point of being meaningless.

You're a Second-Class Citizen without Email (1)

Sanians (2738917) | about 3 months ago | (#47685401)

How else are you going to activate your IM account or contact a business or notify a wide range of customers about your product updates?

So we're stuck with email because people refuse to move on? Yeah, I'll agree with that.

Email will eventually die though. The young ones have already quit using it to communicate with friends. Newer businesses use newer protocols like RSS to distribute their news feeds. I'd have already ditched email entirely, except that too many people assume that an email address is something everyone has, and so without one you're a second-class citizen on the internet, barred from participating in online forums and from making online purchases.

Email is almost dead. I know too many people who, while they have an email account, it really isn't something they check every day. They just check it when they sign up for a web site account, or when they order something online, but otherwise ignore it as if it doesn't exist because it just isn't the best solution for anything it does, making it worthless for anything besides communicating with people who haven't yet figured that out.

Re:You're a Second-Class Citizen without Email (1)

ComputersKai (3499237) | about 3 months ago | (#47685471)

And in business settings...?

Ubiquitous Common Denominator (4, Insightful)

markdavis (642305) | about 3 months ago | (#47684839)

Email is the common denominator in electronic communication. Period. Nothing else can match it when it comes to being well known, compatible with everything, and even its flexibility. Spam sucks, and there are still some issues with the way people USE Email (or incorrectly use it), but it is *the* way business communicates now. I would be crippled at work without Email.

If you want to talk about a dying communications technology, that would be facsimile. Our fax volume is a small fraction of what it once was. Still important to have around, but people go out of their way to avoid it now. We have large scan-to-PDF-EMail copiers all over, making it so much more convenient, too.

Re:Ubiquitous Common Denominator (3, Interesting)

MightyMartian (840721) | about 3 months ago | (#47684975)

There is still some faxing going on at our office, but the ubiquitousness of easy-to-use scanners means more and more of the documents that we used faxes for are just being sent via email. We won a contract a few years ago and literally had the hundred page document faxed to us, and then we signed and witnessed the back sheet and sent it back via fax. The last amendment was done via email. When even the lawyers are walking away from fax machines, it is definitely a technology on the wane.

Re:Ubiquitous Common Denominator (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47684981)

No, SMS is the common denominator. Not every phone has email, but they all have SMS. (Change of perspective, the computer is no longer the preferred medium of communication.)

Re:Ubiquitous Common Denominator (1)

maliqua (1316471) | about 3 months ago | (#47685133)

SMS is to limiting to replace email entirely.

Re: Ubiquitous Common Denominator (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47685179)

Email includes identifying information, text messages do not. An arbitrary string of numbers is not a good identifier. If you communicate with the sender frequently they may be in your address book, but a new contact is not.

Re: Ubiquitous Common Denominator (1)

tepples (727027) | about 3 months ago | (#47685335)

Email identifying information can be and often is forged. How is an unfamiliar From address that doesn't look like a real name any better than an unfamiliar number, especially with reverse phone number lookup?

Re: Ubiquitous Common Denominator (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47685565)

With email, you have better tools to figure out is message from reliable source. First of all, you can check the server that transmitted the message to your email server. That part cannot be forged in reasonable way by sender (it's added by your email server). Majority of email clients allow you to see this, it can be a bit hidden tho. Once you know the server, you can start figuring out is the server that send email for that domain (comparing to previous emails from that domain, SPF records, looking up who owns the netblock etc.). I'm not perfectly familiar with SMS protocol, but I do know that it's possible to forge the sender, so you need a way to assert the trustworthiness of message. I'm yet to see any phone who shows more information about the SMS than sender, time (I'm not even sure if it's the time message was sent, time when it was received by sender's operator, time when it was received by your operator or time when it was received by your phone) and message body, not that I'm even sure how much information there is in the headers that would assist in figuring if the message actually came from that number.

Re: Ubiquitous Common Denominator (1)

Em Adespoton (792954) | about 3 months ago | (#47685465)

Email includes identifying information, text messages do not. An arbitrary string of numbers is not a good identifier. If you communicate with the sender frequently they may be in your address book, but a new contact is not.

Huh?

Email includes very little information that cannot be forged, although DKIM and originating IP are useful. SIGNED or encrypted email is much better in this respect; I hope something comes of the Google/Yahoo initiative to make GPG/PGP default.

SMS on the other hand has solid unique identifiers that cannot be easily forged. Of course, this is tied to the SIM and the entry point used to send the message, but those aren't easy to forge.

Re:Ubiquitous Common Denominator (1)

tepples (727027) | about 3 months ago | (#47685331)

Land lines lack SMS. Not all phones are cellular.

Re:Ubiquitous Common Denominator (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47685475)

Land line phones are not the preferred medium of communication anymore. Besides, at least where I am landline phones can receive and send SMS.

Re:Ubiquitous Common Denominator (4, Insightful)

Wraithlyn (133796) | about 3 months ago | (#47685191)

Exactly.

How do people sign up for Facebook and Twitter, or practically anything online? By providing your email address as a unique identifier and verifiable communications channel.

It's pretty much the bedrock of online identity.

Re:Ubiquitous Common Denominator (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47685535)

Bet you anything Facebook is going to try very hard to make signing up with your phone number the standard, and not email. Unless Facebook decides to open an mail.facebook.com account for people to first sign up for.

And life goes on (5, Insightful)

Tough Love (215404) | about 3 months ago | (#47684849)

Email is only losing the people we want to lose. You know, the ones who broadcast that joke of the day email every day CCed to everybody they know, or have ever heard of. Now, please just be good and take all that to facebook. Thxbai.

Re:And life goes on (3, Insightful)

jez9999 (618189) | about 3 months ago | (#47684931)

I'd quite like to lose the spammers too.

Re:And life goes on (1)

amiga3D (567632) | about 3 months ago | (#47684995)

Whitelist.

Re:And life goes on (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47685271)

Not a hosts file?

Re:And life goes on (2)

amiga3D (567632) | about 3 months ago | (#47684979)

This. I deleted my facebook account 3 years ago because of all the bullshit. My wife still has one and it's gotten several orders of worse since I dropped it. The latest thing they did about how they handle messages now has her so pissed off she's considering dropping it too. They want to tie up your entire world in facebook and it becomes more than annoying.

Re:And life goes on (1)

wiredlogic (135348) | about 3 months ago | (#47685085)

Yeah but eventually the only people you can e-mail with will be old Koreans.

Ah, but users don't want power (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47684853)

They want shiny, and no spam (a few ads are OK).

The actual divide is between public and private messaging: "They get in touch with us by social media" because you can't ignore them there, like you would do if they emailed you.

Re:Ah, but users don't want power (4, Insightful)

Noah Haders (3621429) | about 3 months ago | (#47684939)

no, they say "get in touch with social media" because they want their hooks in you and they want to know who your friends are and they want you to advertise to your friends. it's all commercialism and big brotherism. although NSA saves a copy of all emails exchanged so there's big brother for you as well.

Cascade of brown noses (4, Interesting)

paiute (550198) | about 3 months ago | (#47684867)

FFS, is this going to be another breathless article about how corporate email is going out to be replaced by Yammer or some other platform de jour? Because that shit is just a waste of time. When my corporation jumped on the Yammer train (no doubt after a fiery sales pitch by some consultant), I started to see - in my email inbox, ironically - the hourly Yammer feed. It was 95% comprised of threads started by upper management which had zero to do with my day's work and which accreted into long long long posts as middle and junior managers jumped in with witless 'great idea!!!!' comments. You could smell the fecal matter on their noses. The other 5% was actual information passing between business units I had no contact with or interest in. But I am sure that in the next year or so some bright MBA will be sold on the idea of abandoning email and transitioning over to whatever the kids are using that week so that instead of getting actual targeted communications in my inbox I will be deluged with useless bullshit.

Re:Cascade of brown noses (1)

Noah Haders (3621429) | about 3 months ago | (#47684943)

what is yammer.

Re:Cascade of brown noses (4, Funny)

jones_supa (887896) | about 3 months ago | (#47685025)

It's like Flingo with some features adopted from Tamber. I mostly use it to manage my BerrySpring feeds.

Re:Cascade of brown noses (1)

Noah Haders (3621429) | about 3 months ago | (#47685061)

I know Tinder and Grinder, not Flingo and Tamber.

Re:Cascade of brown noses (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47685307)

Flingo and Tamber are competing enterprise-grade frameworks for making "WOOSH" noises.

Re:Cascade of brown noses (3, Funny)

iluvcapra (782887) | about 3 months ago | (#47685221)

At least it has a REST API so you can update Yammer entities with HipzZap and Plinkus. We use them with our federated QUERTOS hive at the shop, which replicates the Yammers to Wo0tgrams for iOS (or Kafoom posts on Android).

And we read them on a boat, and we read them on a goat...

Re:Cascade of brown noses (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47685569)

Pfft. None of those services have names ending in ".ly". You are so behind the times.

Re:Cascade of brown noses (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47685041)

what is yammer.

what is google.

Re:Cascade of brown noses (1)

Noah Haders (3621429) | about 3 months ago | (#47685275)

exactly! what is google?

No wonder... (5, Insightful)

QuietLagoon (813062) | about 3 months ago | (#47684877)

... the students are moving to Twitter. The article says that at Birmingham University it took a week or two before the administration responded to emails. That problem is not with email, it is with the University's administration.

Re:No wonder... (2)

Nemyst (1383049) | about 3 months ago | (#47685099)

Yeah, it's harder for PR to let a tweet sit unreplied to for weeks at a time. An email is so easily "mistakenly" routed to the spam folder.

When email == gmail, email is at risk. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47684937)

Email is indeed based on a decentralized protocol (SMTP), similar to Network News (NNTP) in its decentralization (not strongly decentralized or secure). But how many peoples email addresses still are? The only thing that is actually free is your rights becoming privileges and your eventual worth.

Re:When email == gmail, email is at risk. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47685267)

While I don't disagree with your point, I think Yahoo's done more harm to email this year than anyone. They made it OK to reject standards and disrupt email. Companies complied with their new standards rather than forcing people at yahoo.com addresses from getting blacklisted.

email is open, cheap and universal (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47684949)

With email, you can connect with anyone in the world for free. Get a gmail account, find a wifi hotspot somewhere (restaurant/cafe), connect, send mail. Everything else is proprietary, more expensive, and limited to its select user base. Email isn't as 'fast' as twitter or any of the other instant messaging services, but that is the one and only drawback (and some would put that in the plus column).

Re:email is open, cheap and universal (1)

tepples (727027) | about 3 months ago | (#47685363)

How do you receive the SMS to start a Gmail account without a cell phone and a cellular service subscription?

Re:email is open, cheap and universal (1)

CronoCloud (590650) | about 3 months ago | (#47685419)

You don't need a cell phone to start a gmail account. They ask for a mobile number but it's not mandatory.

What triggers Gmail to require mobile # (1)

tepples (727027) | about 3 months ago | (#47685507)

Reports I've read say it may be correlated with where you connect from. Some IP addresses are more likely to make the Gmail sign-up form treat "mobile number" as required, especially for someone who doesn't already have a secondary email address. Conjecture, but public places that send a whole bunch of account registrations from one IP, such as a restaurant or a public library, may be more likely to make mobile number required. Or it might be based on spam reports from an ISP. I'm only guessing, but here's an anecdote [google.com] . I know Yahoo is strict about requiring a mobile number, and people report having to "pay their dues" to a cellular carrier to create an account.

E-mail marketing (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47684997)

I'm in e-mail marketing.
Wait; not the spam kind, but the kind you have to double opt-in to before recieving only those mails you explicitely want.

The e-mail marketing market has been watching social media (mostly facebook and twitter) with interrest, as it was promissed to be the next big thing for marketeers. As it turns out, social media has already had it's popularity peak and it wasn't very high. People still use e-mail far (talking magnitude-level "far") more than social media.

Not talking about the individuals on twitter tweeting to the whole world whenever they take a shit or eat a meal (preferably not in that order), but about the hundreds of people who don't do that but still communicate with their friends, family, collegues, etcetera. Those are the silent majority.

From a marketing point of view, if you could either spend 1,000$ on e-mail or 100,000$ on twitter, you'd have more success with e-mail.

In hindsight, social media has never even remotely been a thread to e-mail dominance.

Slashdot editors on break again. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47685003)

Nobody thinks email is going away.

The only "disruption" is to /. readers looking to gain a keen glimpse into the future, not some luddite fantasy.

E-mail is the foundation of identity online (3, Insightful)

ZorinLynx (31751) | about 3 months ago | (#47685015)

Everything requires an E-mail account. You need an E-mail account to make a Facebook, Google, Apple, etc. account. It's the "out of band" communications method with which someone can be reached that is universal and not tied to any specific company or provider.

If E-mail has to go away, something else needs to replace it in this manner. Phone numbers could be one way; there's already services that exclusively use phone numbers to authenticate (Telegram messenger for instance). The problem is most people, including myself, don't want to give their phone number out to everyone. E-mail, I could care less, or create a throwaway account.

E-mail is too useful. It needs to stick around.

Re:E-mail is the foundation of identity online (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47685059)

How much less could you care? A lot?

Re:E-mail is the foundation of identity online (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47685201)

> If E-mail has to go away, something else needs to replace it in this manner. Phone numbers could be one way

I wish it would go the other direction. It is sooo much easier to get a new email account than it is to get a new phone number.

I wish there was a way for people to call me from their phone using my email address. I don't care if I receive the call via VOIP or cell or even POTS. But I want to have like 20 different "phonemail" addresses to so that different people/companies know me by different phone numbers, and so I can disable their ability to call me by "turning off" the phonemail address I gave them without having to tell everyone else a new phonemail address for me.

Re:E-mail is the foundation of identity online (1)

Lennie (16154) | about 3 months ago | (#47685481)

Email is federated (it has a standard protocol and a domainname).

All those other solutions are silos that can't talk to each other.

Facebook to Twitter ? Twitter to Whatsapp ? Nope.

"The web we lost" (4, Informative)

l2718 (514756) | about 3 months ago | (#47685023)

The author is quite confused: email predates the web by decades. It predates the internet.

Re:"The web we lost" (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47685213)

No, you are confused. He's saying that email is from the days of an open internet while all the new services like like twitter, facebook, etc are closed data silos.
He thinks the data silos suck and that open is good.
I agree with him.

anti-spam sites force centralization, help SIGINT (2)

tech-law-ny (946400) | about 3 months ago | (#47685039)

Originally email was decentralized in a practical way. Now, unless you arrange for your outbound email to arrive from a server operated by a large email provider, your deliverability is probably low. All of the email reputation systems, blocklists, DKIM, SPF, etc. are advertised as anti-spam measures. The reality is that they force email centralization in a way that helps the monitoring of email by the major SIGINT players.

Re:anti-spam sites force centralization, help SIGI (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47685171)

NSA should benefit the public by releasing the perfectly trained (not over or under) spam filter to enhance and embiggen of economy by helping the public to be more productive and safe.

Instant email (2)

Animats (122034) | about 3 months ago | (#47685065)

One of my back-burner ideas is speeding up email forwarding. Most email forwarders (sendmail, etc.) accept emails, put them in a queue, and then later spool them out to the destination. This adds a minute or so of latency. It's done this way for historical reasons. In the early days, the destination mail agent might be down, or the mail transfer might be over some polled protocol like UUCP.

That's dead. Today, if the destination mail agent exists, it's probably up and immediately reachable via a fast connection. So a modern mail fowarder should accept the incoming email via SMTP, and then, while holding the incoming connection open, send the email on to the destination mail agent. Any problems are immediately reported to the sender via SMTP status code.

This not only speeds things up a bit, it eliminates "bounce messages" generated between mail agents. Problem reports come back immediately, as SMTP errors. There's a series of open TCP connections from sender to the receiver's IMAP server. From the IMAP server to the final destination, today you usually have some kind of push notification. So you get the effect of instant messaging, using existing email protocols.

This also eliminates "joe jobs", where impersonation generates vast numbers of bounce messages. The spammer just gets lots of SMTP errors, which never bother anybody else.

Re:Instant email (1)

QuietLagoon (813062) | about 3 months ago | (#47685237)

One of my back-burner ideas is speeding up email forwarding. Most email forwarders (sendmail, etc.) accept emails, put them in a queue, and then later spool them out to the destination. This adds a minute or so of latency.

A minute? My email server (running Postfix) forwards an email within a couple seconds of receiving it.

Timestamps from a test I just did:

email received: 20140816T143458.533249

email forwarding completed: 20140816T143459.835599

It's done this way for historical reasons.

Yup. The historical reasons are that the MTA has to persist the message to storage before it can tell the sender that it has received the message successfully (i.e., 250 OK).

Re:Instant email (1)

whoever57 (658626) | about 3 months ago | (#47685429)

That's dead. Today, if the destination mail agent exists, it's probably up and immediately reachable via a fast connection. So a modern mail fowarder should accept the incoming email via SMTP, and then, while holding the incoming connection open, send the email on to the destination mail agent. Any problems are immediately reported to the sender via SMTP status code.

1. Not quite what you suggest, but close. [mailchannels.com]

2. Exchange (default setup) accepts all emails to the destination domain and later sends a reject message if the destination mailbox doesn't exist, so your proposal adds nothing to systems where the end mailserver is Exchange.

It's because it is public! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47685071)

They jump when someone posts on Twitter or Facebook because it is visible to the public. It sits in a queue forever when it's emailed because the world is not aware of it. If the people manning the social media channels were answering the emails this wouldn't be an issue.

The lady from Birmingham Uni proves her ignorance of technology when she says, "Email is slower". Oh yeah. Those email electrons go a lot slower than the Twitter ones. Idiot!

it will go away in the workplace (1)

ouachiski (835136) | about 3 months ago | (#47685105)

It will happen around the time that we stop using paper...

Email? Ha. I remember em saying fax is dead (2)

SpaceCracker (939922) | about 3 months ago | (#47685151)

... when email arrived on the scene.

I read same TFA in 2003 as one of those youngsters (1)

osiaq (2495684) | about 3 months ago | (#47685203)

Yeah, I pretty thought the same, who needs email if there's gadu-gadu. I'm not sure GG exist anymore but I have few email addresses in the daily usage

Get off my email! (1)

dbarron (286) | about 3 months ago | (#47685205)

You darn kids, get off my email! Don't step there! I'll call the e-police on ya, if you don't leave that email alone!

But, in Korea... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47685211)

... email is only for old people. Has been for many years now.

protocols vs. web sites (1)

multi io (640409) | about 3 months ago | (#47685241)

The main difference is that email is a (suite of) protocol(s), while all those other things are essentially web sites (with a mobile app, and a REST API if you're lucky). Which means that with email, you can deploy a complete implementation yourself, in your own organization or wherever you want, without having to rely on specific 3rd party services or software. This may ultimately make email last longer, because it is truly decentralized. It also means that email can scale up and down effortlessly. You won't send your cron job errors to Facebook or Twitter (or Asana).

Power to the user (1)

PPH (736903) | about 3 months ago | (#47685293)

That's why email has to be stopped. Corporate interests (Facebook, Twitter et al) can't have you relying on a commodity service. You've got to buy their brand and lock your identity to their product.

Back in the beginning of email, it was sort of this way as well. You were known by your Compuserve or AOL address. Or by the domain name of your ISP. Changing was a PITA if you had a lot of contacts. And then some people got smart, buying their own domain name and setting up redirection to which ever underlying physical address offered the best deal.

But the service providers didn't like this, as it made their branding invisible*. And gave customers an easy way to switch. Lately, a few ISPs have atempted to categorize such redirection services as security/spam risks and block email sent through them. A few people I know have caved in and reverted to the ISP's domain. Others have gotten the ISPs to remove the block after some strongly worded correspondence.

*A decade or so ago, the game was for big ISPs to buy domain names from services that registered but did not turn over ownership/administration to the user. A friend of mine lost her business domain when MSN did this and switched everyone from an XYZ.com name to XYZ.MSN.com.

Re:Power to the user (2)

SeaFox (739806) | about 3 months ago | (#47685381)

That's why email has to be stopped. Corporate interests (Facebook, Twitter et al) can't have you relying on a commodity service. You've got to buy their brand and lock your identity to their product.

Exactly. "Latest trend" my ass. I heard this all the time when Facebook was starting to get popular, and I bet it was being crowed in MySpace's time as well.

What trend? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47685321)

Where exactly is this a trend sweeping the online world? Or did you just need a FUD sentence to start off your bullshit submission?

Uh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47685365)

Why would emails go away?
What would replace it? SMS/Texting? Facebook?
No... an email is still required to access/register for 99% of the web content and until EVERY. SINGLE. PERSON. on earth has a smarthphone with their own unique number, including young kids and older people, it will not go away. Not to mention, emails are free, smartphones are not. And not everybody wants a social account just to send messages to people, so that rules out facebook.

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