back to article If Hotmail was a person it could have kids now. But it would be a crime

It's a slow day on the tech-news desk in the temporary Olympic capital of the world, London. But, with proper IT news being in short supply, more than one starving blogger has been forced to resort to writing a "my first pony" story about Hotmail, now that it's turning into We take you now to a newsroom not far …


This topic is closed for new posts.
  1. hitmouse
    Thumb Down

    Rape jokes. Stopped reading.

    1. ArmanX

      ...and then posted a comment.

      But then, how else will anyone know you're so righteous as to stop reading an article that mentions statutory rape of a website? Scandalous! These things should be banned!

      1. hitmouse

        Re: ...and then posted a comment.

        How else will people know if something is objectionable unless people object?

    2. That Awful Puppy
      Thumb Down

      Joking about one person forcing the other to have sex with them = incredibly unfunny.

      Joking about the lawmaker's apparent inability to anticipate teenagers disappearing behind the bike shed and coming (oooh er) back in 15 minutes = mildly funny and only offensive to prudes.

      1. David Webb

        @ That Awful Puppy....

        Joking about the lawmaker's apparent inability to anticipate teenagers disappearing behind the bike shed and coming (oooh er) back in 15 minutes 2 minutes 7 seconds = mildly funny and only offensive to prudes.

        Fixed that for you! :P

        1. That Awful Puppy
          Thumb Up

          In my unfortunately very limited experience in such matters, the 15 minutes include the disengagement of the bra strap, frantic attempts at the removal of the belt, the "did I put it on the right way around" meditation, as well as the post-coital "I need to say something cool now" deliberation. As to the 2 minutes 7 seconds, well, you, sir, are a stud among men.

      2. Mike Flugennock

        remove statutory rape jokes...

        ...and you'd destroy a huge swath of modern humor, along with at least half the rock'n'roll and blues songs ever written.

        Good thing that, say, Groucho Marx isn't still around to hear people bitching about underage sex jokes. In one of the Marx Brothers' movies, Groucho's character was named S. Quentin Quayle -- a play on the expression "San Quentin Quail", a regional slang term for promiscuous underage girls.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      It wasn't a joke about rape, it was just an elaborate way of saying 15 years of age- ie, biologically old enough to procreate but not old enough for their consent to sexual intercourse to be considered legal in this country at this time; hence it is 'rape' by default. At no point did the article refer to the horrendous act of an individual forcing their will upon another that so rightly disgusted you.

      In reality, those in authority - teachers, health workers and a fair few parents- accept that teenagers will be teenagers and so provide education and contraceptives to minimise the harm of what they see as being common. Highs and lows and mistakes and tears and elation are all a part of being a teenager.

      1. Jim 59

        Can't say i know many parents who provide 'contraceptives' to their 15 year old children AC. You must move in more modern circles than I do.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          You either

          know some surprisingly young grandparents or everyone you know people has actually done the unusual and made "just say no" abstinence actually work.

          I have friends whose children probably 'don't'' but I am sure that I have many more friends whose children probably 'do' and have been taught appropriate behaviour. We can only say "probably" in both cases because teenagers appreciate some privacy, even when they 'don't'.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward


          I would have considered appallngly poor parenting had my daughter not been completely aware of the prevention available to her as a teenager (before he was 15 in fact). I have no idea when her "debut" was, but I know with a very high level of certainty that she will have done it were her eyes wide open. Then again, I am not an prude, nor do I live in a society that attempts to hide the biological reality behind religious crap and or self righteous "think of the children" bullshit.

          Teenagers get horny, they can't help it, and they do what they do. Our job as parents is to ensure that they do so with the best possible understanding of what is going on.

        3. Tim Worstal

          Probably true

          Given that the average age of losing virginity is higher than 15 for both boys and girls. Or men and women I suppose we should term them after that loss.

        4. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          re: "Can't say i know many parents who provide 'contraceptives' to their 15 year old children"

          Then you'd be moving in weird religious circles who believe that self-delusion is more important than sexual health and life chances in general?

          Teenagers want to have sex- we're almost advanced enough as a society to admit this to ourselves now, and no amount of sanctimonious neo_Victorian twaddle will stop them. Taking that as a given, preventing spread of nasties (chlamydia is surprisingly prevalent amongst teens and young adults, for example) and teenage pregnancy, and teaching responsible attitudes to contraception seems like the only pragmatic and mature response.

          Sticking your fingers in your ears and going "la la la, I can't hear you" puts you on a similar rung of the evolutionary ladder to George W. Bush.

          Try and remember what it was like being a teenager, and how you were a seething mass of confusion and desire. Unless you're completely dead inside, or an utter hypocrite, it shouldn't be easy to understand.

          (Yeah, I am an old git, but I still remember how it felt, and to be honest, haven't really got over it- it makes for a happier life. The difference now is that I don't want to do anything with a pulse, and just prize my partner as the utterly brilliant being she is, which is progress, I suppose)

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Health Workers minimise harm?

        "those in authority - teachers, health workers and a fair few parents- accept that teenagers will be teenagers and so provide education and contraceptives to minimise the harm of what they see as being common"

        They may be physically capable of sexual intercourse but that don't mean they are mature enough to make such decisions, but then again, neither are most of their parents. link.

        1. Mike Flugennock
          Thumb Up

          Re: Health Workers minimise harm?

          They may be physically capable of sexual intercourse but that don't mean they are mature enough to make such decisions, but then again, neither are most of their parents. link.

          Y'know, being from the Colonies, I'm not really up on British social/cultural types, but that sketch is still hilarious. "Oi, look, dey got kiddie porn in 'ere!" D'ahh ha ha ha ha ha.

    4. Jamie Kitson

      Perhaps you stopped reading too soon.

      But way to miss the point.

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      That style is just another attempt by the Reg to get-down-with-the-kids - in'it !

  2. Peter Simpson 1
    Thumb Up

    I use Hotmail

    As my throwaway email address; used for orders, given when asked for an email, etc.

    It's fit enough for the purpose.

    1. xperroni

      Re: My bride uses hotmail...

      As her one and only e-mail account. No, really.

      Actually there's a lot of people who got a Hotmail account so they could sign in to MSN Messenger * and kinda stuck to it, even long after instant messaging lost its cool. So I guess tying services together really does work?

      * I know, you don't really need a Hotmail account to get to Messenger, but MS does everything it can to make it look like you do.

      1. mrobaer
        Thumb Up

        Re: My bride uses hotmail...

        My Hotmail account is my primary email also. I'm not even sure why I signed up back in '97 for email with Hotmail instead of somewhere else, but I know for sure it wasn't for Messenger.

        I've had "throwaway" accounts at Lycos, yahoo,, and a few other places. I have found Hotmail to actually keep the most spam out of my inbox.

        I've been using it for so long because I move around a lot and I changes internet providers almost yearly, making the Hotmail account the most stable email I have.

    2. GerryMC

      Re: I use Hotmail

      So do I, in fact I just logged in with it to upvote and post this!

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    If it wasnt for free hotmail accounts

    We'd probably still be paying AOL and using numbers instead of names :)

    1. Rob

      Re: If it wasnt for free hotmail accounts

      Ewww, [shivers], pass me the mind bleach someone mentioned AOL.

    2. JimC
      Thumb Down

      Re: using numbers *instead* of names

      Compuserve surely? Or AOL do that as well in their early days?

    3. lurker

      Re: If it wasnt for free hotmail accounts

      People actually used AOL/Compuserve? I always viewed those CDs as free coffee coasters, and used Demon Internet for dialup.

  4. Gordon Fecyk

    Hotmail's children

    Yahoo! Mail, gMail,,, Opera mail,, and countless others.

    Each one abused/abusing just as much. Talk about sins of the father.

  5. The Serpent

    Hotmail has been my spam-hole since 1998 and very good it has been. I was early enough to have my own name, number-free - ironically I have occasionally encountered jealousy from people who have to append long numbers to the user name they really wanted.

    1. GerryMC
      Thumb Up

      Same here - no numbers

      Both as a spam hole, and having my name unnumbered.

      An advantage of having a relatively rare surname really.

  6. Chris King

    Hotmail launched in July 1996...

    ...and Microsoft took them over in 1997. I make that sixteen years, not fifteen.

    1. Neil Barnes Silver badge

      Re: Hotmail launched in July 1996...

      And some of us have had an account from pre-microsoft days. It still has its uses - not least that occasional correspondents still know that address where they may not know my paid-for domain.

      1. Chris King

        Re: Hotmail launched in July 1996...

        Same here - pity I let it lapse !

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "have hotmail addresses only use them for signing up to websites that demand an email address, and never read the resulting spam?"

    That sentence pretty much hit the nail on the head as far as my own usage of Hotmail goes.

  8. LesB

    I'm sure I had a Hotmail address once...

    Or twice. Had my own name in it, anyway.

    I've even signed up for, and got the preferred short version of my name.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up


    I too have used hotmail since day 1. I use it as my primary email address and and have never had any issues with it.

    Frankly, i hope thay dont piss around with it. It stores my reg codes, some rare and difficult to find programs so they are always available to me. Sort of like livedrive or "the cloud" but better IMHO.

  10. Whitter

    Cuts both ways.

    Use of Hotmail: to avoid spam from a website

    Reason the website asked: to avoid spam from you*

    Given how easily bots can sign-up to hotmail, yahoo, mailinator etc, many such websites now ban new entries using an email from the main "disposable" email sites, as it defeats their purpose for asking in the first place.

    *OK, some of them do just sell on your details - but not all. An email address really isn't worth much.

  11. Ken 16 Silver badge

    wow, I've had the same email since '97

    I've got a lot of history in there

    1. Naughtyhorse

      Re: wow, I've had the same email since '97

      :-) me too!

      The one unchanging constant in a world of constant change.

      weirdly I got my name - with no numbers, but have since changed my name, so now it's not my name, which is something I have to constantly explain to meat-space contacts.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: wow, I've had the same email since '97

        I've had mine since 1989.

        Mind you, I've changed the domain part 3 times and the local part 4.

        1. Epobirs

          Re: wow, I've had the same email since '97

          See this axe? Belonged to my great-grandfather and it's still good as new. The handle has been replaced at least twenty times and the head has been replaced probably at least that many times.

          But it's still my great-grandfather's axe!

    2. This post has been deleted by its author

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: wow, I've had the same email since '97

      I have had my hotmail account for merely 12 years. I am obviously something of a noob.

  12. ravenviz Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    I just use a free redirector at, and can switch main provider whenever I like, that way I get to keep the same mail address.

  13. heyrick Silver badge

    "Well, it's 15 years old, so Hotmail could totally procreate."

    Where are you that fifteen year olds can "do it"?

    1. Cameron Colley

      Re: "Well, it's 15 years old, so Hotmail could totally procreate."

      Anywhere. Most 15 year olds are quite capable of procreation (heck, I was a late developer but pretty sure I was). How the law views such matters is mentioned in the article, if you bothered to read it?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: "Where are you that fifteen year olds can "do it"?"

      Much of Europe, if you mean legally; otherwise I'm sure there are 15 year olds the world over happily at it.

    3. Tim Worstal

      Re: "Well, it's 15 years old, so Hotmail could totally procreate."

      Legal in Portugal.

      14 for the laydeez here.

      Which produces some amusement when friends bring their children out.

      Sure, every father is happy enough to see his 14, 15 year old daughter flirting a bit around the pool table in the local taverna while parentals get a couple of beers before dinner down their necks. What will come of it after all?

      The later pointing out that the locals really mean it all often leads to wine being spat over dinner.....

    4. PT

      Re: "Well, it's 15 years old, so Hotmail could totally procreate."

      "Where are you that fifteen year olds can "do it"?"

      In the southern USA, probably. Most redneck states let under-16s get married if a judge rubber-stamps the license.

  14. Marshalltown

    Happy to say

    I've never had a hotmail account, nor for that matter an AOL account.

    1. Naughtyhorse

      Re: Happy to say



  15. vgrig_us

    I actually use hotmail more than any other email i have

    Reason - it has a "fat" client. Hate webmails. Now - gmail does have IMAP, but by the time they came up with internalization, un-threaded folder view, etc. - i lost interest. Plus - they don't preserver plain text formatting well - Linux kernel developers won't accept patches from gmail accounts.

    Also - hotmail still shows X-originating IP address header, gmail fakes it. So if someone in Nigeria claims to be from, say, Boston - i'll know right away in hotmail, but not gmail.

  16. Spanners Silver badge

    Nearly 14 years.

    I use the address to work with Microsoft sites that need to know it. I then use Gmail to pull it all in and delete a LOT of spam. The remainder are then nicely tagged so that I know where they came from.

  17. Mike Flugennock

    To drag things back on-topic...

    Around 1993, when I got my first PPP Internet account and learned how to use Eudora and procmail, one of the first domains that went into my straight-into-the-shitcan list was Never in the nearly twenty years I've had email did I see anything either delivered from hotmail -- or spoofed with as the "from" address -- that wasn't spam. In fact, in the mid '90s, throwing, along with and into my procmail "shitcan list" pretty much eliminated 90% of the spam aimed at my inbox.

    So, I suppose I do have hotmail to thank for consolidating all that spam in one place so I could shitcan it all in one stroke.

    I had a hotmail account very briefly about ten years ago -- actually logged into it only once or twice -- as a backup address for email while on the road and, as the article mentions, to provide a sacrificial email address for those obnoxious-assed Web sites which insist that I "register".

    Of course, it seems that has taken over that role recently; I had in my SpamAssassin "shitcan without mercy" list for quite a while, until I was forced to open several gmail accounts to start a couple of blogs I run and my YouTube channel.

    I also use them as my sacrificial email addresses to throw at aforementioned obnoxious-assed Web sites, and for order confirmations when I shop online, and as emergency backup addresses in case my own domains' email servers go down (rarely). I log onto them once or twice a week, maybe, to catch any stray email I may actually want to read, and to scrape out all the spam.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    this should be...

    no question about it, after reading the first 4 or 5 paragraphs, this should be in the BOfH section :P

    now i'll go back to reading [howard cosell] "the rest of the story" [/howard cosell] ;)

  19. davefb
    Thumb Up

    still use hotmail

    Yes I get spam, but it's survived longer than any of the stupid email accounts.

    gmail gets just too much spam.. my ISP one was forced to change address and it became 'web only' and not as good as hotmail interface... so yeah, hotmail it is..

    1. Tom 13

      Re: gmail gets just too much spam

      Of all the accounts (and I've had quite a few) I've had, gmail gets the least spam, even in the spam box.

      Signed up for a Live account (one of the many rebrands of Hotmail) when I was out of work and someone recommended I be on FB for job searching. Don't monitor it much anymore. When I did, all of the spam I got was my own fault (damn Monster).

      The account where I see the most spam hitting the inbox instead of the designated spam folder is my Yahoo account. Which may explain some of their problems.

  20. Qugoo


    If you don't check your mail you will miss all those great offers for, erm, medicine! It's great too - or will be when it arrives...I paid ages ago, they must be busy...

This topic is closed for new posts.

Other stories you might like