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(The New Yorker)   Man squats a dictionary-word gmail address in 2004 and forgets about it. Finds 4,382 unread messages, 9 years later. For the New Yorker, this is a shocking story   (newyorker.com) divider line 74
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17470 clicks; posted to Main » on 10 Apr 2013 at 12:08 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-04-10 10:06:43 AM
I hate to say it, but I'm going to use this as my throwaway now.
 
2013-04-10 10:13:03 AM
Meh.

Throwaway email address receives spam, is sometimes used by random strangers as a throwaway.

INCONCEIVABLE!
 
2013-04-10 10:49:16 AM
Wait until they see how much junk mail it gets NOW.
 
2013-04-10 11:11:02 AM
I have a not common, but, not uncommon name that I made as my gmail name, and even though I have a different gmail account now, I have stuff sent to that fwd to my current gmail acct.   I get stuff all the time sent to "other" people with that name.   Even more odd though that the "parents" of other people with my name sending me vacation photos is what are obviously people WITH my name, using the email address as their email address on their airline reservations, online website orders, etc.  And it isn't like they used my CC or anything, they were just too careless to not use their middle initial or number or whatever they probably have that distinguishes their gmail address from mine when setting up the acct.

I've generally just let those go, and unsubscribed the email address to the websites, although I was tempted one time to reroute some cool looking RC helicopters someone bought from QVC to my house.
 
2013-04-10 11:28:19 AM
Yet he still got more BIE than subby.
 
2013-04-10 11:52:16 AM
Hmm. Assuming eighteen's spam filter works exactly as efficiently as does the spam filter on my gmail account, I'm guessing it got a LOT more than 4,382 emails over those 10 years. Most of them just got deleted every 30 days is all.
 
2013-04-10 12:12:07 PM
Just 4382? Amateur.
 
2013-04-10 12:16:42 PM
I read this as a man squatted on a dictionary.
 
2013-04-10 12:17:27 PM
The New Yorker has officially gone to shiat
 
2013-04-10 12:18:52 PM
It must be a fun to have a personality that can see something completely useless and mundane and perceive something amazing out of it.  A sort of "underlying mechanisms of the universe" gestalt that you find truly remarkable.

I don't have that personality...so this guy is just mildly annoying.
 
2013-04-10 12:19:21 PM
He should have picked "co­l­ossa­l­_­do­uch­e[nospam-﹫-backwards]li­amg*com"
 
2013-04-10 12:23:11 PM
Headline gave me the mental image of a man taking a shiat on a dictionary.
 
2013-04-10 12:24:33 PM

dletter: I have a not common, but, not uncommon name that I made as my gmail name, and even though I have a different gmail account now, I have stuff sent to that fwd to my current gmail acct.   I get stuff all the time sent to "other" people with that name.   Even more odd though that the "parents" of other people with my name sending me vacation photos is what are obviously people WITH my name, using the email address as their email address on their airline reservations, online website orders, etc.  And it isn't like they used my CC or anything, they were just too careless to not use their middle initial or number or whatever they probably have that distinguishes their gmail address from mine when setting up the acct.

I've generally just let those go, and unsubscribed the email address to the websites, although I was tempted one time to reroute some cool looking RC helicopters someone bought from QVC to my house.


I have that happen all. the. time. with my trash email account, which is a relatively common play on my first name.  I've had arguments with grandmothers who insist to me (after my polite correction) that I am, in fact, their grandchild as this was the email address they were given.  Every time I log in to get whatever I needed from my throwaway email account, I end up going through all of the detritus that has landed there.  It is astounding what kind of things people don't bother double checking their email addresses on, and the number of people who have inadvertently given me access to basically their entire lives because they can't remember how to spell their own emails.
 
2013-04-10 12:25:34 PM
I use the E-mail address of a person that attended college at the same time as I did (a plagiarist, and of the most annoying people I've ever met), as my throwaway. Mind you, I also signed him up to NRA and NAMBLA newsletters. Within a month of me doing this, he'd developed a noticeable twitch.
 
2013-04-10 12:25:34 PM
four thousand three hundred and eighty-two
nine hundred and forty-one
thousand two hundred and sixty-six


I really hate it when "literate" people insist on spelling out long numbers. It's about as bad as not using capitalization or punctuation.
 
2013-04-10 12:29:44 PM

r1niceboy: I use the E-mail address of a person that attended college at the same time as I did (a plagiarist, and of the most annoying people I've ever met), as my throwaway. Mind you, I also signed him up to NRA and NAMBLA newsletters. Within a month of me doing this, he'd developed a noticeable twitch.


Okay, Farkers, I know you all probably know the answer to this: one of my sons opened his (dumb, not smart) phone yesterday and it was already set to a new text message for him to send - to someone he'd never heard of at a number he ascertained was not a working number. When he checked his contacts, he found this person's contact in there, even though he had never done any of this (and the phone was in his possession at all times). Could any of you explain to this old lady what happened? Thanks for any help.
 
2013-04-10 12:33:37 PM
Obligatory example of New Yorker "humor"
blog.mlive.com
 
2013-04-10 12:33:44 PM
"eighteen" isn't just a dictionary-word.
It has very elementary porn connotations.
MATTHEW J. X. MALADY didn't exactly provide "full disclosure".
 
2013-04-10 12:35:22 PM
All I know is that I've signed moo­[nospam-﹫-backwards]woc*co­m up for some atrocious mailing lists over the years. I never even bothered to check if it bounces.
 
2013-04-10 12:38:26 PM
His definition of SPAM and mine are different.

Every unsolicited offer to buy is SPAM.
 
2013-04-10 12:38:57 PM
That article was boring as balls.  Did anyone read the whole thing?  Did anything interesting end up happening?
 
2013-04-10 12:41:43 PM
you folks used valid emails as throwaways? how cruel... :)

I always used to use me[nospam-﹫-backwards]er­eh*now, until websites started validity checking... then I just signed up for a throwaway gmail account
 
2013-04-10 12:46:37 PM
I normally just type random letters so of you own gfjjdjf[nospam-﹫-backwards]li­a­mg*c­o­m sorry!
 
2013-04-10 12:51:24 PM

Honest Bender: That article was boring as balls.  Did anyone read the whole thing?  Did anything interesting end up happening?


Squatters are worse than scalpers.
 
2013-04-10 12:54:45 PM

GiantRex: Headline gave me the mental image of a man taking a shiat on a dictionary.


Go on...

/one guy and a dictionary?
 
2013-04-10 12:56:55 PM
I gave up on throwaways and trying to block spam. I use a pobox.com account directed to outlook.com. I've been using the same pobox.com email address since... well shiat I don't know. 15 years now? More maybe, not sure, but it's on every spam list in the universe I'm sure. Anyways, between the two spam filters my inbox is almost completely spam-free. I just don't give a damn who sells my email address anymore. Everyone does it and I have better things to do. But for those of you who track those bastard down: kudos! Seems like a stupid waste of time but I thank you for doing it.
 
2013-04-10 01:01:16 PM

Loadmaster: four thousand three hundred and eighty-two
nine hundred and forty-one
thousand two hundred and sixty-six

I really hate it when "literate" people insist on spelling out long numbers. It's about as bad as not using capitalization or punctuation.


that style is standard for professional writing  numbers under ten are written as a digit and numbers over 9 are spelled out  however i do think the word and is extraneous and could create ambiguity
 
2013-04-10 01:04:46 PM

mama2tnt: r1niceboy: I use the E-mail address of a person that attended college at the same time as I did (a plagiarist, and of the most annoying people I've ever met), as my throwaway. Mind you, I also signed him up to NRA and NAMBLA newsletters. Within a month of me doing this, he'd developed a noticeable twitch.

Okay, Farkers, I know you all probably know the answer to this: one of my sons opened his (dumb, not smart) phone yesterday and it was already set to a new text message for him to send - to someone he'd never heard of at a number he ascertained was not a working number. When he checked his contacts, he found this person's contact in there, even though he had never done any of this (and the phone was in his possession at all times). Could any of you explain to this old lady what happened? Thanks for any help.


That is really weird, and more interesting than the article.  My guess is that the information came from his carrier.  You didn't give much info (type of phone, carrier, was it saved to sim card or does he use a carrier back-up plan, etc.), but it is possible for that kind of thing to happen if the carrier were to get its lines crossed briefly.

 I once answered my phone and it was someone who was calling a different number entirely.  The person who was actually calling me at that moment had their call answered by the person that the guy I talked to was trying to reach.  No one had mis-dialed, the calls were somehow criss-crossed during initiation.
 
2013-04-10 01:05:41 PM

dletter: I have a not common, but, not uncommon name that I made as my gmail name, and even though I have a different gmail account now, I have stuff sent to that fwd to my current gmail acct.   I get stuff all the time sent to "other" people with that name.   Even more odd though that the "parents" of other people with my name sending me vacation photos is what are obviously people WITH my name, using the email address as their email address on their airline reservations, online website orders, etc.  And it isn't like they used my CC or anything, they were just too careless to not use their middle initial or number or whatever they probably have that distinguishes their gmail address from mine when setting up the acct.

I've generally just let those go, and unsubscribed the email address to the websites, although I was tempted one time to reroute some cool looking RC helicopters someone bought from QVC to my house.


I have something similar and got a bunch of boobie self shots once.  Took the high road and let her know.
 
2013-04-10 01:06:02 PM

Altair: The New Yorker has officially gone to shiat


For a second I was thinking "Dorothy Parker is rolling over in her grave" and then I remembered that when she was hung over she would mail in a 5,000 word essay on something trite like waiting for a phone call.  They've always done fluff, and as fluff goes they do it better than most.
 
2013-04-10 01:12:29 PM
What's funny is I accidentally got an email intended for someone else from a princess in Nigeria.

She is going to give me €15 million if I help her get her money out of the country. All I need to dois Western Union her a few thousand dollars.

How lucky am I?
 
2013-04-10 01:22:04 PM

FDR Jones: Loadmaster: four thousand three hundred and eighty-two
nine hundred and forty-one
thousand two hundred and sixty-six

I really hate it when "literate" people insist on spelling out long numbers. It's about as bad as not using capitalization or punctuation.

that style is standard for professional writing  numbers under ten are written as a digit and numbers over 9 are spelled out  however i do think the word and is extraneous and could create ambiguity


You have that backwards.

http://www.grammarbook.com/numbers/numbers.asp
 
2013-04-10 01:29:23 PM
I knew someone who knew someone back in the day, and so I got a Gmail invite somewhat early on. It's simply my last name (which is pretty common) and a single digit.

The unintended consequence has been all the emails I get intended for other people. It's apparently pretty simple to forget to tack on the extra digit or first name/initial or whatever separates my email address from someone else's. A few times a week, I get the most random emails out of the blue. I've been a member of the Ohio Bar Association, on the board of an Art Museum in Ireland, a camp counselor in Michigan, I got invited to some dude's bachelor party last week.

It's a pretty fun kind of reverse-voyeurism. Whose life will I get a peek into next?
 
2013-04-10 01:29:40 PM
In other news, gmail is 9 years old.  That makes me feel old.  I still remember all the gmail referral threads on fark.
 
2013-04-10 01:30:54 PM
Je­sussav­e­s[nospam-﹫-backwards]lo­a*c­om is my throwaway.
 
2013-04-10 01:34:33 PM

whistleridge: Hmm. Assuming eighteen's spam filter works exactly as efficiently as does the spam filter on my gmail account, I'm guessing it got a LOT more than 4,382 emails over those 10 years. Most of them just got deleted every 30 days is all.


Do you know how I know you didn't read... not that it was particularly worth reading. Never mind.
 
2013-04-10 01:36:57 PM
I have the same name as a well known conservative Republican and had a hotmail account that was very similar to his. He wrote me a stunningly condecending email informing me of his displeasure in reading messages intended for me. I deactivated the account. CSB?
 
2013-04-10 01:40:06 PM
There are a few women on the internet who accidentally use my address for their email pretty regularly. One's in Birmingham and I see notes from Virgin Air about her travel plans once in a while. Another is a black lady in L.A. whose sisters are very sweet and they all appear to run small businesses. One time they invited me to join them on their miniature golf outing when I sent them a note saying they got the wrong person and they need to phone her so she won't miss all the fun. I suspect the real estate brokers' conference might have been fun. Two of them were going and there was some chatter about running out for drinks afterwards.
 
2013-04-10 01:42:36 PM
Where's the part where it says it's shocking?
 
2013-04-10 01:43:04 PM

dletter: I have a not common, but, not uncommon name that I made as my gmail name, and even though I have a different gmail account now, I have stuff sent to that fwd to my current gmail acct.   I get stuff all the time sent to "other" people with that name.   Even more odd though that the "parents" of other people with my name sending me vacation photos is what are obviously people WITH my name, using the email address as their email address on their airline reservations, online website orders, etc.  And it isn't like they used my CC or anything, they were just too careless to not use their middle initial or number or whatever they probably have that distinguishes their gmail address from mine when setting up the acct.

I've generally just let those go, and unsubscribed the email address to the websites, although I was tempted one time to reroute some cool looking RC helicopters someone bought from QVC to my house.


Same here.  Although its not my name.  I made up a name, not even that common.  Just the first thing that popped in my head so I could have a throwaway email addy.

There are like 5 or more people out there who think their email address is the one I set up.

Strange.
 
2013-04-10 01:47:40 PM
I was an early gmail user, so my last name is my address. Lots of crap for others gets through
 
2013-04-10 01:48:50 PM

jennies1897: FDR Jones: Loadmaster: four thousand three hundred and eighty-two
nine hundred and forty-one
thousand two hundred and sixty-six

I really hate it when "literate" people insist on spelling out long numbers. It's about as bad as not using capitalization or punctuation.

that style is standard for professional writing  numbers under ten are written as a digit and numbers over 9 are spelled out  however i do think the word and is extraneous and could create ambiguity

You have that backwards.

http://www.grammarbook.com/numbers/numbers.asp


that's the joke?
 
2013-04-10 01:58:46 PM
That article struck me as akin to Bret Easton Ellis' masterbatory ruminations on Sports, only with the minutiae of an email account.  I'd like my 2 minutes back for fark's sake.
 
2013-04-10 02:09:29 PM
Quite a few people apparently use one of my Gmail addresses for all kinds of nonsense. My favorite thing to do is use new account confirmation emails to close accounts, change passwords, etc., so that they can no longer access whatever it is they used my email address for. It's one of life's little joys.
 
2013-04-10 02:10:25 PM
Loadmaster:
four thousand three hundred and eighty-two
nine hundred and forty-one
thousand two hundred and sixty-six

I really hate it when "literate" people insist on spelling out long numbers. It's about as bad as not using capitalization or punctuation.


FDR Jones: that style is standard for professional writing  numbers under ten are written as a digit and numbers over 9 are spelled out  however i do think the word and is extraneous and could create ambiguity

jennies1897: You have that backwards.
http://www.grammarbook.com/numbers/numbers.asp


FDR Jones: that's the joke?


It's okay, I got the joke in your Boobies. Kudos for replying to mine.
 
2013-04-10 02:14:30 PM

mama2tnt: r1niceboy: I use the E-mail address of a person that attended college at the same time as I did (a plagiarist, and of the most annoying people I've ever met), as my throwaway. Mind you, I also signed him up to NRA and NAMBLA newsletters. Within a month of me doing this, he'd developed a noticeable twitch.

Okay, Farkers, I know you all probably know the answer to this: one of my sons opened his (dumb, not smart) phone yesterday and it was already set to a new text message for him to send - to someone he'd never heard of at a number he ascertained was not a working number. When he checked his contacts, he found this person's contact in there, even though he had never done any of this (and the phone was in his possession at all times). Could any of you explain to this old lady what happened? Thanks for any help.


i0.kym-cdn.com
 
2013-04-10 02:14:42 PM

Pontious Pilates: I knew someone who knew someone back in the day, and so I got a Gmail invite somewhat early on. It's simply my last name (which is pretty common) and a single digit.

The unintended consequence has been all the emails I get intended for other people. It's apparently pretty simple to forget to tack on the extra digit or first name/initial or whatever separates my email address from someone else's. A few times a week, I get the most random emails out of the blue. I've been a member of the Ohio Bar Association, on the board of an Art Museum in Ireland, a camp counselor in Michigan, I got invited to some dude's bachelor party last week.

It's a pretty fun kind of reverse-voyeurism. Whose life will I get a peek into next?


This!
I managed to score a very early invite to gmail and got (mylastname)@gmail.com, the account I still use to this day.  I get SO many emails that aren't intended for me.  Usually I politely respond that they have the wrong email.  Usually.
 
2013-04-10 02:18:57 PM

Honest Bender: That article was boring as balls.  Did anyone read the whole thing?  Did anything interesting end up happening?


I thought the whole thing was kind of interesting... Sure, there was generic spam, but what similar email addresses were people screwing up? Eighteen1@gmail,.com, or what? Not all of those mis-sent messages were just because someone used a throwaway email address, yet I never get emails meant for someone else in my gmail account. I get spam, but no mis-sent emails. That's the part I found interesting, but that didn't really start until about 2/3 of the way in.
 
2013-04-10 02:24:01 PM

mama2tnt: r1niceboy: I use the E-mail address of a person that attended college at the same time as I did (a plagiarist, and of the most annoying people I've ever met), as my throwaway. Mind you, I also signed him up to NRA and NAMBLA newsletters. Within a month of me doing this, he'd developed a noticeable twitch.

Okay, Farkers, I know you all probably know the answer to this: one of my sons opened his (dumb, not smart) phone yesterday and it was already set to a new text message for him to send - to someone he'd never heard of at a number he ascertained was not a working number. When he checked his contacts, he found this person's contact in there, even though he had never done any of this (and the phone was in his possession at all times). Could any of you explain to this old lady what happened? Thanks for any help.


Is it a Verizon line? Whenever I meet new people and get their phone numbers, when I call them for the first time my name actually shows up on their phone even though they've never had a call from me. Only seems to happen when we're both Verizon carriers. Not sure about other carriers doing this for people who have the same carrier.

/carrier
 
2013-04-10 02:34:33 PM
They can have my na­m­e­[nospam-﹫-backwards]ni­a­m­od*c­o­m email address when they pry it from my cold, dead, fraudulent, virtual fingers.
 
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