Monday, November 3, 2008

The Revolutionary Fuzzy-Logical Super-Duper Mailinator Captcha System(tm)

So, after many years of resistance for various reasons, Mailinator has finally implemented a DELETE button. That's right. The number one frequently-asked-question that isn't in the FAQ has been answered.

The reasons for its delay are many. In the early days I was too worried that someone would write a script that would attack the system and delete every email out there. Then after a year or two of people writing scripts to attack Mailinator in every other way - I had enough AI built into the system to stop most of it. (As always, I define "attack" as something that could bring the system down or ruin its use for other users - spamming Mailinator is really not on the radar, its not our place to define what is spam in this context).

Subsequently, I looked at implementing it a few times but tended to back off. If you've read this blog awhile you know that Mailinator and Talkinator at least partially existed as a testbed for implementing server ideas (some earlier articles: The Architecture of Mailinator and Benchmarking Talkinator).

And while implementing a delete function might sound simple - it had some interesting complexities in the architecture. In any case I'm happy to say - its finally here.

And here's the best news. To thwart all those rascally script-kiddies (who probably have seen the rather hidden but sometimes funny Mailinator Abuse Page) we're proud to announce the "Revolutionary Fuzzy-Logical Super-Duper Mailinator Captcha System(tm)" !!!!!

Thats right. The great service and ironclad spam (fighting/loving/tolerating, your call) abilities of Mailinator are now in a REVOLUTIONARY captcha system! We could have used a pre-written captcha system but that would have been sadly inferior and very non-mailinatory!

Just look at it and you'll know that this is going to take some major AI, image processing and statistical analysis to crack past this sucker.

Oh. And one more thing.... (got that from Steve Jobs)

We at Mailinator are happy to announce that this Captcha system is just TOO GOOD not to share with the world. So, you guessed it, we're releasing it as a web service !

You can now include The Revolutionary Fuzzy-Logical Super-Duper Mailinator Captcha System(tm) in your websites too !!!

Here's the highly-technical, low-level URL:

(edit: url momentarily removed due to immense user respo.. ok.. just a bug... be bak soon)

(where yourDestination.html is where you want the captcha to go after very securely and precisely verifying the humanness (and also non-computerness) of your user).

Put this in your web pages and sleep well!

(Disclaimer: This captcha system, although highly-advanced and chock-full of the latest advances in modern artificial intelligence does a better-than-expected job of verifying humans are humans. However we've noticed an eensy bug that seems to prevent it from sometimes (or "usually" really (actually its probably more like "mostly" (sometimes its pretty "always" tho))) figuring out that computers aren't humans. So consider this and "alpha" release.. or maybe "pre-alpha" or something like that. A "prototype", yeah, its a "prototype").

PS: Have your own idea for a captcha? Make the image 80x24 pixels and send it to !

PPS: The delete function is in beta. Please let us know of any bugs.


Davey Jones said...

Thanks for this buddy. Your hard work is much appreciated

Anonymous said...

Wow, this is revolutionary!

However, I found a ... say weak spot: instead of typing "Mailinator is neato" I just typed "Mailinator" ... and it was accepted!

Anonymous said...

I love it!!!
*rushes off to make more funny captchas :P*

Anonymous said...

This rules dude! Thank you so very much! This is exactly what I've been waiting for! =D

Sparky said...

A brilliant little addition to what is already one of the smartest apps on the web. Thanks

Anonymous said...

u dont even need to type the word, just click delete and the mail is gone, lolz

srikanth said...

(or "usually" really (actually its probably more like "mostly" (sometimes its pretty "always" tho)))

too much LISPing?

Cheer! Great! This CAPATCHA is easier on the eyes that the othere :)

Isaac said...

The captcha is meant to be a joke, right? you don't have to enter the words to delete.. : Anatomy of a Spammy Campaign

Mailinator is a popular disposable email service. It's also become a great tool for QA Teams to test email receipt, acknowledgment, au...