Ask Leo! #515 – Finding an email address, Supercookies, Hotmail Aliases, and a reminder of Amazement and Wonder


How do I find someone's email address?

How do I find out my friend's email address?

I'd like to get in touch with my old college roommate. How do I find out her email address?

I'm trying to get in touch with a business contact, but I've lost his email address. How can I find it again?

As you can tell, I often get variations of this question. Most people know someone and want to send them email, but they don't have their email address. What do you do?

Well, I'll be blunt. Nine times out of ten, you're simply out of luck.

But sometimes, you can get lucky.

Continue Reading: How do I find someone's email address?

Supercookies and Evercookies: Resistance is Futile

I just read an article talking about so-called "supercookies" and "evercookies" :cookies which are supposedly impossible to delete, and left without the computer user's permission or even knowledge. What are "supercookies"? What are "evercookies"? And how can I protect my computer from them?

I'll start out by saying that options to protect you from supercookies and evercookies are relatively limited, if effective at all.

Supercookies and evercookies are the result of a website owner's desire (or more often, that of the advertising networks) to accumulate data about computer users and the sites that they visit – even those users that disable or clear cookies in their browser regularly.

Continue Reading: Supercookies and Evercookies: Resistance is Futile

Change Your Hotmail or Email Address With An Alias

If you're like me you've had your Hotmail email address for years. I've had mine for 15 years now.

Many people who have had their Hotmail addresses for a long time find that they're getting a lot of unwanted email in the form of spam, marketing messages from companies that they once did business with, or even messages from individuals that they no longer wish to receive.

The common reaction is to want to change your email address or close your account.

The problem is that there really hasn't been and isn't such a thing as "change" when it comes to an email address. You could create a new email address, but that typically creates a new email account. That means everything associated with the old account is lost in the transition: email and contacts as well as additional services like calendars, cloud storage and other items associated with the account. Everything remains in the old account, but the new account – and email address – is starting over with a clean, and empty, slate.

When Hotmail transitioned to as its interface it also added the concept of "aliases", which solves many of these problems.

Continue Reading: Change Your Hotmail or Email Address With An Alias


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Glossary Term


A nybble is half a byte.

No, I'm not making this up. A nybble (sometimes spelled nyble or, surprisingly, nibble) refers to group of four bits, or exactly one half of one byte.

And you thought geeks had no sense of humor.

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Have a term you'd like defined? Submit it here.

Featured Comments

Recover Your Microsoft Account Later by Setting Up a Recovery Code NOW

Ken Wilmot writes:

Thanks for this tip Leo. I found that one of the best places to store this code and other important bits of information is in RoboForm's "Safe Notes". They are always to hand, they are backed up in RoboForm's "cloud" and you can sync them with your RoboForm on portable devices too.

How do I get the old homepage back?

Ralph writes:

Old MSN content was able to be on just one page for a quick review of topics I was interested in. The new one has it spread over many pages with pictures for each topic. I don't have that kind of time to look at and read all that info, especially stuff I'm not interested in. Unfortunately this is one baby boomer that will be looking for a new homepage that can have everything nicely condensed. MSN just keeps going backwards. They changed their sports page to something fancy. Just try and find an article reviewing a game. They show all the statistic but no easy way to read a review.

Janice Weidman writes:

If this is the way MSN works, I am completely out. I will change to anything to get away from MSN!!! I hate it!!

I'm not seeing a padlock with my https site. Is it safe?

Connie Delaney writes:

Games on Facebook are not necessarily secure or safe. It has nothing to do with your browser. Any browser you use will (or should) show the same result. The safety of any game lies within that game itself - who produced it, and why they produced it. Really, in the long run, the only way to be safe is to do regular backups of your computer. Then you can always recover. And also make sure that you have all your recovery information set for your Facebook page, your email accounts, and all online accounts. Which is the exact same things everyone should be doing whether they play games on Facebook or not.

Leo's Blog

Amazement and Wonder? Really?

As you may have read in last week's article How Fragile Things Can Seem, I had a particularly difficult week with technology the week prior.

Such things are to be expected, but after a week like that I felt the need to remind myself a little bit about why I do what I do, and why I love all this technology.

So, I created a graphic and posted it to Facebook.

Continue Reading: Amazement and Wonder? Really?

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