Good and Bad Business

I heard about a developer sharing a story where his application got cracked. Luckily his app "phoned home" and he knew who had stolen a copy of his application. He was now looking for advice on what to do. Many ideas were presented on how to gain this cracker as a customer. One of the best ideas I heard was to list this cracker's company on the developers customers page. LOL. How is that for a good idea?

On a more serious note, I tried downloading a free copy of a book from Microsoft. Turns out you need an MSN Live account. So I went through the pain of creating one. It requires that you provide a valid e-mail address. Since I hate span, I decided to create a new throw-away Yahoo mail account. This is where I ran into what I believe to be a very poor user interface. You type in the account name that you would like. And there is a "Check" button next to the name. So I assume that means this will check if somebody else has taken the name you have chosen. But I find that, no matter how random of a name I enter, I always get back some type of error message. Either Yahoo recommends a different name, or says it cannot choose a different name for me.

After a while I determine there is some type of bug on this page. Not sure if it is some bad look up code, or just poor user interface design. I proceed to try to create the account anyway. And what do you know? It actually works. Luckily this is just a throw-away account. I had created a long and hard to remember name to get past the "Check it" stage. Come on Yahoo. I know you provide e-mail for free. But you got to provide a better sign up experience please.