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Yahoo: Excessive integration and not enough integration

I’ve recovered my Yahoo! account. If my memory doesn’t fail me, it’s been more than 5 years since the last time I used it. The reason to do it is to start scheduling Free Software events in Upcoming. The original heads up was given to me by Bruno Pedro from Tarpipe when I asked/complained on how to raise awareness about all those events I knew about and a lot of people didn’t. I got reminded about it yesterday at twittlis.

So, how did it go? Well, this time I succeeded which is more than I can say the last time. I failed the captcha test 3 times (am I becoming too much of a machine?). The zip code was the 4-digit one from my parents house, where I don’t live since 2001, so I got it at the 3rd try (Portugal changed from 4-digit to “4-digit 3-digit” a few years ago). And the clues on the emails (Yahoo shows you the first letter of the domain name and the top-level domain, where critical for me to identify the account with which I created my Yahoo account (very cool). This was the first step.

I updated the email addresses (changing the primary address to one I’m still using regularly). Just to test the ID, I configured the Yahoo! messaging just to find out that none of the people I knew there were still using the service. Expected.

Next I found out that Yahoo! ID is not an ID, but a key. It allows you to create an account in any of Yahoo! services. This is a painful. In Upcoming I got jneves. Then I wanted to update the icon. It was not possible, I needed a Flickr account for that. I go to Flickr and find out that I have to create a new account. This time, only my third choice of user name is available: joao.silva.neves. I find the links that allow me to edit my account, upload the usual avatar I use.

Now, back at Upcoming, I just need to provide an e-mail to import the avatar from Flickr. I only had 3 choices, so the 4th one worked (the email I had supposedly deleted in the Yahoo! ID configuration was the right one). So finally I have an account in Upcoming with an avatar.


  • Yahoo!’s captcha is difficult for at least this human.
  • Yahoo! ID is an ID for some Yahoo! services (like messaging), but just a key to create an account on others (Upcoming, Flickr). As a note, Google has the same behaviour (Gmail and YouTube, for instance). Seems to be a direct result of the difficulty to integrate already established services when buying them.
  • Creating new accounts is painful, particularly when finding usable, unique user names.
  • Having a generic account (Yahoo! ID) and then needing to create another account (Flickr) just to have an avatar in an unrelated service (Upcoming) is wrong!

So, in a few days I’ll start taking Upcoming on a test drive. Stay tuned…

Posted in Software Livre, Web.

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