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March 02, 2006


I'm not sure if I've mentioned this before, but it's good enough to discuss again.

Some websites, such as those operated by newspapers or scientific journals (among many others), are perfectly happy to give you lots of information for free. Annoyingly though, they want you to sign up first, providing them an email address and personal information.

I'd really like to know why they do this. After all, surely anyone with any common sense will click the "Do not contact me with marketing information" checkbox? Not only this, but they've suddenly catapulted themselves from providing a simple online service to collecting personal information, all of which must be stored in a way compliant with the vagaries of the Data Protection Acts.

So what we have is a company collecting data for no real purpose at all. Not only this, but I often have to faff around subscribing to a service just to read one webpage.

Luckily there's a solution, which I'll plug heavily.

http://www.bugmenot.com/ is a website which provides a database of valid username/password combinations for free services which demand sign-up.

So now we can easily circumvent the compulsory sign-up systems. So why do we need them anymore? It's about time that content providers stopped treating us like dirt. Perhaps when Web 2.0 style things really get going, we won't need them anymore. Already I reach for Wikipedia before Google.


  • Very pretty site! Keep working. thnx!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:10 am  

  • Really amazing! Useful information. All the best.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:19 pm  

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