Mailinator follow-up

After I had grasped the concept behind Mailinator, one of the first things that came to mind was, won’t companies start blacklisting email addresses?

Paul Tyma, mailinator’s creator, has answered the question:

“1) Its likely that registration sites will start banning mailinator addresses. The definite first on the list are the ones that already ban yahoo and hotmail addresses and such. The trick is that they already have an infrastructure for banning. If their system has none, its a pain to add and may not be worth the trouble.

2) We have a few aliases set up, but as you can imagine, those just prolong the life. Its possible that enough aliases could become such a chore to track that most registrations will still get through.”

It’s the traditional problem with blacklists. They’re a cat-and-mouse arms race where the “attacker” always has the upper hand, because it always takes the “defender” a finite time to respond. The list of domains that will redirect to mailinator is growing steadily already. If you discover that some site has blocked addresses, don’t worry–there are plenty of alternatives by now.

Turns out that Paul Tyma is also one of the guys behind Dash-O and Dotfuscator, the popular Java and .NET code obfuscation tools. Interesting guy. Have a look at his home page for some recent articles he’s written:

The “Is programming…?” article dovetails with two recent articles by Bob Cringely: “Body Count: Why Moving to India Won’t Really Help IT” and “May the Source Be With You:
IT Productivity Doesn’t Have to Be an Oxymoron, but Outsourcing Isn’t the Way to Achieve It
“. Long-distance outsourcing worries me. It makes me think that there won’t be much of a market for programmers in the UK in ten years’ time, and that I’ll have to do yet another career change. I’ve tried teaching; maybe I’ll become a plumber instead.

His Java article is interesting because I’m start starting to learn Java. He addresses the performance issue, which is something that I’ve always disliked about the language. Server-side Java has never bothered me, but GUI apps have always felt…sluggish. Now I understand some of the reasons behind this.

He does, however, point out the SWT (Standard Widget Toolkit) libraries, which are a set of platform-specific GUI widgets that drive the underlying OS at a much lover-level than Swing does, with a resultant increase in performance. The Eclipse IDE is based on SWT, and it certainly feets nice and snappy. (Unfortunately, SWT seems to be severely under-documented, which is going to make it tough to learn.)