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I just got this rather lengthy and boring spam from someone I have no recollection of ever speaking too Michael <michael.bayer1980@googlemail.com>.

By developers! For developers! This is the motto of a new and innovative social network and collaboration platform for developers called http://www.bettercodes.org. *It=92s Open Source, free of charge, free of advertising and non-commercial. *You receive this invitation because a member of bettercodes.org nominated you.

bettercodes.org aims to engage software developers like you to share ideas and empower them to turn those ideas into code that works. It does so by connecting like-minded developers and enables them to collaborate on anything related to coding. bettercodes.org will enable you to find relevant information easily using powerful search and developer-specific social-networking tools to run and manage your development projects with friends from all over the world =96 nearly 8,000 developers already joined within the last days and weeks. Most importantly we want to make this fun for everyone involved.

We believe in the power of Open Source and the developer community. The first version of the Source Code is released. Therefore the bettercodes.orgproject is also looking for some contributors who are able to contribute new features and functions to our software development environment like code analysis, code visualization, automated bug finders, code review tools, online software testing, etc. We just launched free code hosting based on SVN or GIT.

The vision of bettercodes.org is to someday become the best place for the best developers in the world. So please do take some time to explore http://www.bettercodes.org.

You can use OAuth to sign-in with different credentials like Facebook, Twitter, Odloh, Google, LinkedIn, Open ID, Yahoo, etc=85

Kind Regards,

Michael

Upon checking out the site, and trying to sign up with my Google account I noticed that they were apparently requesting more than just auth from Google:

The bettercodes.org application on your computer is requesting access to your Google Account for the product(s) listed below.

Google Contacts

If you grant access, you can revoke access at any time under 'My Account'. The bettercodes.org application will not have access to your password or any other personal information from your Google Account. Learn more

The application that directed you here claims to be "bettercodes.org". We are unable to verify this claim as the application runs on your computer, as opposed to a website. We recommend you deny access unless you trust the application.

Getting an email from a guy I've never heard of, about a site I've never heard of, requesting permissions I've never granted seems like one too many red flags. Has anyone used bettercodes.org? Does the site have any value? It seems as if some people are reporting that the site is getting email addresses via a github.com bug. I assume the intent here is to get access to my contact list so they can be spammed too?

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What a coincidence, Michael Bayer is the creator of SQLAlchemy and Mako.. :) –  Joril Jan 17 '11 at 8:32
    
@Joril, Well. I'm not really a fan of SQLAlchemy but I guess he is more talented than I thought if he is making social sites too. –  Evan Carroll Jan 17 '11 at 15:27
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5 Answers 5

A quick Google search shows that a lot of people have received these emails out of the blue.

Personally, if I get an email from someone/somewhere I don't know then I would class that as spam and just delete it.

I would certainly stay away if when logging in it tried to access my contacts - that would definitely ensure I didn't return to the site again.

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You can check what they are doing with your data. They just grap your name. http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/bc-oauth/

If you are afraid of someone is using your data close your Google account now!!!

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One thing for sure, they put a lot of effort (possibly money and time too) writing a very detailed and site-specific privacy statement and terms of use. That is usually a very good sign and shows how serious they are about their project.

That said, their privacy statement (located at http://bettercodes.org/privacy-statement) states :

With whom may bettercodes.org share information? bettercodes.org will not sell, rent, or lease a user's personally identifiable information to others, except as described in this privacy statement. Unless bettercodes.org has a user's permission or as required by law, bettercodes.org will only share the personal data a user provides online with other entities that are part of the bettercodes.org corporate family and/or outside service providers who may be used to ship products, process credit cards, provide technical support, handle order processing, or otherwise act on bettercodes.org's behalf. These third parties are prohibited from using users' information for any other purpose, including their own marketing. When bettercodes.org uses third parties to assist in processing bettercodes.org user personal information, bettercodes.org requests that they comply with bettercodes.org privacy practices, and other appropriate confidentiality and security measures.

Therefore, I'd be tempted to say that they seem pretty safe.

That said, if you are still worried, why don't you just register directly on their website without using OAuth?

Or how about creating a new email address just for that site, possibly with some mail forwarding so that you don't even have to check the mail on that account?

If the site looks so interesting, I think you shouldn't let the e-mail that you received prevent you from trying their site...

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I tried bettercodes and I really like it. I believe that this is a serious project and no spam. Are you on any distribution list or mailing list?

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I tried to check this site at http://verify1st.com/bettercodes.org. It seems that they have a good reputation.

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