Gmail open to public? Google collecting cell phone numbers!

So, Google is opening up registration to general public. I still have like 50 invitations left, but it seems that they are pretty useless now…

Or maybe not. Apparently, Google decided to force people to use a cell phone in order to complete the authentication process. WTF? Not only do they want my email, my chats and my searches – now they want my cellphone too? I think this is retarded!

Oh, and btw – great job on cutting off the rest of the freakin world from your service! This is beyond retarded. Is is a fucking ploy to make gmail available only in rich countries where everyone owns a cell phone? No cell phone, no gmail – unless your friend has gmail and can send you an invitation. Gah! This is stupid!

But I’m still willing to forgive them, because they officially haven’t taken the Beta banner from the front page yet. So, as far as I’m concerned, they are still not out of beta yet (shalsdot is wrong, as usuall). Perhaps this is just a way to open up registration to general public, while restricting it to certain demographic (middle to upper class US residents who are old enough to own cellphones) without getting flooded?

Once they finally get out of Beta they better provide a normal way to register that does not require one to live in US and own a cell!

The only good thing about this scheme would be that it could be a nice way to get around the CAPTCHA issues. But, of course they do use a fucking CAPTCHA on the page where you register your phone number (see the screenshot above). Why not, right? Agh!

And I still find the idea of Google knowing my cell phone slightly freaky. Are they on a quest to index all the information on planet earth or something?

I have another interesting question. Why do the cell phone thing, if users can easily bypass that verification and register here?


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