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Monday, August 29, 2005


MAILINATOR: Great Temp-Email Solution to Avoid Spam

I just discovered this free service called Mailinator; they provide users with free temporary email addresses -- a web based solution to getting email you don't need to keep forever, in a safe spam-free way. Its main appeal: a way to avoid spam and stay incognito while safely getting email from someone you just met, or from a business you don't know that much about.

Go to www.mailinator.com for more info, but here are the basics of how it works:

Say someone you meet (in the real world, or online) wants to email you something. If so, make up a Mailinator address on the spot, that you can remember, like, for example, peachy@mailinator.com . Give that out. Now, if someone sends you email at that address, an emailbox is created for FREE at Mailinator, which holds the email for you to read. When you go to the Mailinator website, you would type "peachy" in the proper field, and voila, you are sent to that temporary "peachy" mailbox to see your email. Any mail you receive is stripped of images, scripts, etc, it just appears as text. Your email eventually gets auto-deleted, after a few hours.

The key here is that you can just make up the mailbox name ON THE SPOT and give it out immediately; with Yahoo or Hotmail or other free web email, you have to register online and THEN you can give out the address to people. With Mailinator, you can give out the address FIRST, and then LATER it is created automatically for you. And, Mailinator asks NO info about you, you stay totally anonymous.

Their website says Mailinator was "created out of frustration over spam" and is "a spam solution that approaches the problem differently. It focuses on only one niche of the spam problem. However, what it does, it does well. Mailinator solves the problem of handing your email out to just anyone. You've always got a new spam-free email address ready-and-waiting." Mailinator is designed for folks who "need an email address right now ... that they know they won't need later." The site summarizes its appeal well: "It's free, never asks anything about you and is always ready to go. It fills a real gap. ...Mailinator lets you choose who you are."

The only possible problem I see: what if someone ELSE is using the name you come up with for your emailbox? One solution: always use a name that is either wacky or complex or both, and easy for YOU to remember -- a combo of letters and numbers meaningful to you. That should, I believe, solve this one potential issue.


Mailinator is, of course, not a perfect catch-all solution, just one way to avoid spam and get temporary email in an easy way. See the FAQ section on the Mailinator site for more details (one of the funniest FAQs I've ever read, as you can see from this brief snippet):

So if the government issued a subpeona to Mailinator to divulge emails or logs, you'd rat me out?
Holy crap, yes. I'm not going to jail for you, I have a boyish face and very, very supple skin.
....We think Mailinator provides pretty decent privacy, and we want to keep providing that and even improve it, but we can't promise it. A promise would require lawyers, money, and probably guns - and we don't have any of those.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005



Rocketboom is one cool vlog. Go see it. Like, now.

Kinda kooky... kinda Cronkite meets Congdon -- Amanda Congdon, that is; she's the smart, sassy, sexy host of the short-n-sweet show. There's news, sure... but also always-fun-or-odd vidclips sent in by various folks, with Amanda providing the commentary and the fast-n-fun tieitalltogether glue. Just a few minutes per show, perfect for net viewing, this may be the Future of News for Gen Y and Z. (G... Y didnt I C it'd B the next new net thing?)

i Rather like it!
In fact, CBS did too, they recently featured Rocketboom on a news piece. News covering news, how self-referential. But Amanda And Co deserve it. This is notable, New News.

Tune in at www.rocketboom.com

Monday, August 08, 2005



So, dear readers, I watched with rapt attention the premiere of GIRLS NEXT DOOR last nite on E!, and it rocked! So glad this new reality show lived up to all the hype! 5 out of 5 stars. Loved all the behind the scenes stuff about the behinds, backstage stuff about the backsides, gettin to know Hef, the wild partying life, but especially the lives and goals of the 3 lovely ladies he now dates (VIVA VIAGRA!). They will surprise you. I think you'll be most drawn to Kendra and Bridget, their bubbliness and charm will win you over.

GIRLS NEXT DOOR titilates, has plenty of backstage, backsides and backbiting (well, not really biting, but the girls are a little competitive, sure -- especially the "main GalFriend" who wants to win Hef all for herself.... or is it Hefself). Highly recommend you watch the next episode, next Sun at 9pm, I know I will -- since the 3 girls are supposed to get their own mag cover, finally - and why not? Hef's other main gals of years past got Playboy covers, and these 3 current girlfriends are just as hot, and probably smarter. Check it out. Awesome series, well done E!

Wednesday, August 03, 2005



World's Leading Computer Graphics Conference Continues to Impress by Delivering Plenty of "Wow" Factor, Showcasing Emerging Technologies, Digital Art, and Excellent 'Entech' Exhibitors

by Don Rose, TRR Technology Editor

By "Entech", I mean Entertainment and Technology, two fields straddled for years by Siggraph, taking place once again this year at the LA Convention Center. Where can I begin? There was so much to see, do, hear, feel, touch, and play with! Let's start with the exhibits which began Tuesday, and run through Thursday, featuring all the leading players related to computer graphics, computer games, computer power/speed/storage (needed to get the pixel processing power required for today's animation/SFX-laden projects), and great books related to computers in general and animation/graphics in particular (Charles River Media has a great book surveying Artificial Intelligence Techniques, among other fine titles; Morgan Kaufman was also present in full force, touting their excellent tech-oriented books as well). If you want a break from the exhibits, the Animation Theatre was excellent and inspiring as always, rivaling the Electronic Theatre (which now costs $50, while the A.T.'s free).

There was also collaborative music in the Access Grid area -- people from cities worldwide jamming, and somehow in sync (with, I was told, the help of the aptly named Netronome). Speaking of music, the E-Tech area (short for Emerging Technology, my annual fave at Sigg) had an ultra cool musical device designed to let your natural intuiton, visual skill and button-pushing prowess make music without learning an instrument. Actually, the little handheld device -- about the size, shape and thickness of four mousepads -- really IS an instrument, just a new and different kind, something you might have expected a sci-fi movie set in '05 to have had if made back in '75. This gizmo encourages you to experiment and play and discover how to best make music with it; within a minute I was making basic rhythm loops and experimenting with various built-in instrument voices. I am guessing it will cost around 250-500 bucks when it comes out, most likely next year; the inventor only said it will probably run "a few hundred dollars".

Also cool in E-Tech: a virtual hanggliding rig where you can fly virtually over Rio, with wind and all (well, twas a fan generating the wind, but when you have the goggle on and headphones, that fan IS wind, baby!)... a virtual canoe-rowing trip down a sim river... Microsoft's cool gesture-driven display screen that had the presenter looking VERY much like Tom Cruise's character at the start of MINORITY REPORT (remember when he was searching through visual data using hand and arm gestures? This Microsoft dude was doin' the dang same thing, practically!)... and the ART GALLERY was also cool, a crowd fave being the little moving ball that generates mesmerizing patterns in sand that erase each previous one slowly but surely, the most Zen section of Siggraph hands down.

If you can go, GO to Siggraph, it runs through this Thursday. LA Convention Center (park there for ten bucks, it's the cheapest and most convenient, unless you go for meter-feeding a few blocks away or some cheaper lots many blocks away). Also make sure to see the Star Wars X-wing ship as you enter South Hall from Figeroa, and the Guerrila Studio upstairs (where you can see cyberfashion, draw on PCs, experiment with audio or video or collaborative art, get a free "ticket" into the virtual worlds project called Second Life, print art on megahuge color printers, and even 'print' 3-D objects with a $50grand-or-so Rapid Prototyping/Fabrication machine). Oh, and don't forget all the free magazines (Variety, Hollywd Reporter, Animation mag, Computer Graphics mag, and more), piled up on your left as you enter South Hall's plethora of exhibits, fill up and make the most of your Sigg pass!

If you can't make it THIS year, there is always Beantown next year (or, as they are billing it, 2B0ST0N6).