Some sites or services, quite reasonably, need to know who I am (and that I really am that person, to some acceptable level of verifiability). It’s usually because they hold data on my behalf, and neither me nor they want anyone else getting at that data.
But why does InfoQ require me to register to download a free PDF?
… we’re happy to offer a free version for download, to get this knowledge in as many peoples hands as possible;
however, I had to complete a long form (to which I mostly invented answers), then verify my email address, then navigate back to the page. I hardly see how that is compatible with the stated aim.
After running into that, I almost despaired when I went to download the official MySQL JDBC driver.
Almost: there’s actually a link below the register (or log in) options saying “No thanks, just take me to the downloads!”.
Yay for MySQL.com!