Talk:1279: Reverse Identity Theft

Explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb.
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I'm pretty sure the "+" in the comic refers to a simple concatenation of first initial and last name (e.g., <code>[email protected]</code>), not a literal <code>+</code> character (as in <code>[email protected]</code>). [[Special:Contributions/130.225.98.201|130.225.98.201]] 09:04, 18 October 2013 (UTC)
 
I'm pretty sure the "+" in the comic refers to a simple concatenation of first initial and last name (e.g., <code>[email protected]</code>), not a literal <code>+</code> character (as in <code>[email protected]</code>). [[Special:Contributions/130.225.98.201|130.225.98.201]] 09:04, 18 October 2013 (UTC)
 
:No, because then it should be ''<code>[First initial][Last name]@gmail.com</code>'' instead of ''<code>[First initial]+[Last name]@gmail.com</code>''.--[[User:Dgbrt|Dgbrt]] ([[User talk:Dgbrt|talk]]) 10:20, 18 October 2013 (UTC)
 
:No, because then it should be ''<code>[First initial][Last name]@gmail.com</code>'' instead of ''<code>[First initial]+[Last name]@gmail.com</code>''.--[[User:Dgbrt|Dgbrt]] ([[User talk:Dgbrt|talk]]) 10:20, 18 October 2013 (UTC)
 +
::Taking the plus sign as a literal character does not make very much sense. GMail would ignore ''<code>[Last name]</code>'' behind it and deliver the message to ''<code>[First initial]@gmail.com</code>'', which is no valid address at all due to the limit of 6 characters. Also, it is fairly uncommon to use a plus sign in an email address, and the joke of the comic relies on the pattern being generic. [[User:LotharW|LotharW]] ([[User talk:LotharW|talk]]) 11:28, 18 October 2013 (UTC)

Revision as of 11:28, 18 October 2013

My first attempt at an explanation. I have actually received emails designed for someone else because we had the same name and the sender missed a crucial difference between my email address and the intended recipient. Grahame (talk) 05:39, 18 October 2013 (UTC)Grahame

AFAIK if you have adress [email protected], then gmail delivers all mails in shape [email protected] to your box. So the trick is to make address like [email protected], then heavily use [email protected] to the point, that other people catch up an for example Joe Smith instead correct [email protected] will write [email protected] - which would end in your mailbox then. 89.176.232.253 (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

Good explanation, except gmail only allowes usernames between 6 and 30 characters (and doesn't allow + in username). I would assume that this was true even before this strip and it's not so hard to verify, so Randal probably speaks about addresses like [email protected] being mistakenly used by other Joe Smiths. -- Hkmaly (talk) 08:55, 18 October 2013 (UTC)

I don't get this. When you're creating an account, every e-mail service provider checks to see if the username is available, and only lets you create an account if your username's unique. This kind of issue can happen if you then go around and enter a wrong e-mail ID whenever you sign up for something, or if the company automatically assumes an e-mail ID without asking you (I don't think the latter happens). It shouldn't matter if a provider (GMail for instance) ignores everything after a certain character (+) while determining recepient, or even if it ignores an entire character (.) - all this should've been taken care of when you signed up in the first place. 220.224.246.97 08:50, 18 October 2013 (UTC)

Exactly, it's about entering wrong e-mail ID. -- Hkmaly (talk) 08:55, 18 October 2013 (UTC)

I'm pretty sure the "+" in the comic refers to a simple concatenation of first initial and last name (e.g., [email protected]), not a literal + character (as in [email protected]). 130.225.98.201 09:04, 18 October 2013 (UTC)

No, because then it should be [First initial][Last name]@gmail.com instead of [First initial]+[Last name]@gmail.com.--Dgbrt (talk) 10:20, 18 October 2013 (UTC)
Taking the plus sign as a literal character does not make very much sense. GMail would ignore [Last name] behind it and deliver the message to [First initial]@gmail.com, which is no valid address at all due to the limit of 6 characters. Also, it is fairly uncommon to use a plus sign in an email address, and the joke of the comic relies on the pattern being generic. LotharW (talk) 11:28, 18 October 2013 (UTC)
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