Susan on WOR, and why registration is a pain

Monday 22 August 2005

My wife Susan will be interviewed by Joan Hamburg on WOR-AM in New York City this morning. It’s one of many interviews happening these days, see the whole list at her new events page.

To listen to the interview live from work, I broke down and installed Real player. During the installation, I was asked to register, and of course didn’t want to use my real email address. I entered “”, and was told, “That email address is already registered.” LOL! So I put in “”, but it was also already registered. Holy cow! Now invasive registrations are a pain because we all keep choosing the same bogus email addresses! “” finally worked.



I used to always use since it is just about the easiest thing to type which passes most email regexps. I noticed the same thing, though - I can't ever use it anymore.


Besides using, you can almost always enter x@nil.nil. This works on almost every "email format" address checker I've tried, but gracefully degrades whenever someone tries to mail to it. I like, but since its a "documentation" domain, I try to give them a break.

And yes, if an enrollment form does a quick MX lookup on the domain to see if its valid, both nil.nil and will fail., of course, will always work.


When we're using software a company has put hard work into and we aren't paying for it (and not stealing, either), it seems a little selfish to try and hide from them. Besides, when we are dealing with legitiment companies, like Real, we know they are bound by the laws that say we have the right to opt-out of anything they might send us. Privacy is one thing, but its silly when its ungrounded and misplaced.




Calvin, Real has sealed it's own fate as being a company folks just don't want to deal with. I think that sentiment was implicit in Ned's post. I am certain that there is freeware that Ned happily provides a real address to.


I am happy to provide my email to vendors I truly want to hear from, and who I believe will use it appropriately. Real has behaved in the past in ways that make me think it may not.

We can get into a long debate about the ethics of writing software, and of using it. Real is in a very tough business, and they have to be aggressive and scrappy to stay in it. That's fine. I don't mind being scrappy back at them.

I also mute the commercials on TV.

Karl Martinsson 10:02 AM on 24 Aug 2005

Real is well known for spamming earlier. They made it pretty much impossible to instal their software without giving out your e-mail address, and then you had a hard time getting off their list. They are hated in the anti-spam community for their shady practices. See for more information... Real is one of the sleazy companies I would not give my address too, and I try not to use their products...

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