Click here to close now.

Welcome!

Web 2.0 Authors: Pat Romanski, John Savageau, Plutora Blog, Carmen Gonzalez, Yakov Fain

Related Topics: SOA & WOA, Java, XML, Websphere, Weblogic, .NET, Linux

SOA & WOA: Article

The i-Technology World Remains Giga-Baffled By Google's "Gmail"

"No humans read your e-mail" says Gmail's FAQ.

  • Read yesterday's story: Forget E-Mail, Free Google-Mail Arrives: "G-Mail" Is Born

    The world of Internet technologies like Java, .NET, XML, Web services, and Linux continues this morning to try and make sense of yesterday's choice of All Fools Day by Google to make its extraordinary announcement about launching a free e-mail service that offers so much accompanying free storage - 1 Gigabyte - that rival services would overnight seem massively restrictive in comparison, storage-wise.

    Was it a hoax? Or was it genuine? If a hoax, why hasn't Google yet said so? If genuine, same question.

    Here are some of the stranger aspects of the story.

    For a start, as yet not remarked upon elsewhere, the story was only ever searchable yesterday (and still, today) via Google's business sub-section, never its Sci/Tech subsection. That would seem to lead credence to the notion that Gmail is 100% legitimate and marks a massive warning shot across the bows of Yahoo and MSN's Hotmail.

    On the other hand, according to the Terms and Conditions listed on the Gmail Web site, Google is "currently only offering Gmail as part of a preview release and limited test. We don't have details on when Gmail will be made more widely available, as that depends in part on the results of the test." Reports began circulating that only 1000 "e-mail addicts" would be allowed to sign up for the service in beta, to iron out any wrinkles, which some commentators saw as being an indicator that perhaps it wasn't real after all.

  • Most distracting of all, of course, was yesterday's 100% certain Google-hoax, namely its April 1st announcement of GCHEESE,  standing for "Google Copernicus Hosting Environment and Experiment in Search Engineering" - an imaginary lunar outpost for which the company was mock-soliciting engineers' resumes:

    Google Copernicus Center is hiring

    Google is interviewing candidates for engineering positions at our lunar hosting and research center, opening late in the spring of 2007. This unique opportunity is available only to highly-qualified individuals who are willing to relocate for an extended period of time, are in top physical condition and are capable of surviving with limited access to such modern conveniences as soy low-fat lattes, The Sopranos and a steady supply of oxygen.

    The Google Copernicus Hosting Environment and Experiment in Search Engineering (G.C.H.E.E.S.E.) is a fully integrated research, development and technology facility at which Google will be conducting experiments in entropized information filtering, high-density high-delivery hosting (HiDeHiDeHo) and de-oxygenated cubicle dwelling. This center will provide a unique platform from which Google will leapfrog current terrestrial-based technologies and bring information access to new heights of utility.

    If Google is serious about Gmail, then it has - whether inadvertently or deliberately - reaped a massive amount of publicity as a result of the confusion. Searches of the Internet this morning already reveal over 20,000 references to "Gmail" now litter the WWW after just 24 hours, with the number growing all the time. On the Google News site itself, only the reassurances yesterday by Saudi Arabia about US oil supplies (1229 items) exceeded the number of items about Gmail (555 items).

    Indeed Google News is very unusually linking not only to stories about its own Gmail announcement but also to news stories about its rivals such as Microsoft ( e.g. "Microsoft's quest for dominance", from CNET).

    Here's what some of the more prominent media are saying this morning:

    Techfocus (Australia): "It's War"

    Computer Business Review: "Gloves Off, Google Gets into Webmail Gig"

    St Petersburg Times: "No Gag: Google's plan for e-mail draws ogles"

    Forbes.com: "Google says "Gmail" is no joke, but lunar jobs are"

    CRN.com: Google Parlays Search Strength In New Mail Offering


    The Washington Post: "Google E-Mail Ad Plans Raise Fears About Privacy"

    The most serious issue, as raised by The Washington Post, would seem to be Google's current determination to use a "contextual advertising" model to fund the service.

    Here's how Google explains itself in the Gmail FAQ:

    8. Are there ads in Gmail?

    There are no pop-ups or banner ads in Gmail. Gmail does include relevant text ads that are similar to the ads appearing on the right side of Google search results pages. The matching of ads to content is a completely automated process performed by computers using the same technology that powers the Google AdSense program. This technology already places targeted ads on thousands of sites across the web by quickly analyzing the content of pages and determining which ads are most relevant to them. No humans read your email to target the ads, and no email content or other personally identifiable information is ever provided to advertisers.

    "No humans read your e-mail" is one of those assertions that always has the exact opposite effect on privacy advocates, and justifiably so.

    This Gmail story promises to be one of the most widely discussed initiatives since the creation of the WWW itself. You can expect the Internet to be awash with it for a good time yet. Especially as there may be some trademarking problems ahead for Google. Just look here:

    Gmail is an experimental SQL-based vfolder email system, using MySQL as its back-end database, which allows for large volumes of mail, without risk of data loss. The vfolders (virtual folders) are implemented as SQL queries. A cache system keeps gmail fast.

    Not from the Gmail site at all, but from the part of the Debian.org site devoted to a package known in full as gmail (0.7.5-2), GNOME mail client using SQL-based vfolders.
  • More Stories By Jeremy Geelan

    Jeremy Geelan is Chairman & CEO of the 21st Century Internet Group, Inc. and an Executive Academy Member of the International Academy of Digital Arts & Sciences. Formerly he was President & COO at Cloud Expo, Inc. and Conference Chair of the worldwide Cloud Expo series. He appears regularly at conferences and trade shows, speaking to technology audiences across six continents. You can follow him on twitter: @jg21.

    Comments (21) View Comments

    Share your thoughts on this story.

    Add your comment
    You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

    In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


    Most Recent Comments
    ameoba 04/02/04 07:22:35 AM EST

    With 1GB of storage and a good search function, a lot of people are never going to delete anything they recieve. Add the spam factor and that'll fill up pretty damned quickly

    OoSync 04/02/04 07:19:59 AM EST

    This has the potential for massive abuse, but I really, really want to continue believing that Goolge is a truly ethical company. So far they've done a fine job of catering to pay customers (advertisers, et al.) and regular Joes/Janes.

    aussersterne 04/02/04 06:56:21 AM EST

    The number of users who will actually use that much storage is very small. I have a large email volume, plus SPAM, which I save (but filter into another folder with spamassassin). My email archive goes all the way back to 1997 and is still not much larger than 1GB. Even with SPAM, I think most users will take months or even years to reach a 150-200MB, much less 1GB.

    And of course, it's very likely that Google will aggressively filter SPAM in the same way that Yahoo! or the others do.

    Koooool 04/02/04 06:42:03 AM EST

    Im sure many geeks will just love the google.com domain and use it for average everyday stuff, not really ever pushing the 1GB limit. I would be alot more concerned about bandwidth on a system like this.

    Chris McCaw-Sinclair 04/02/04 06:41:25 AM EST

    I went to Register.com and did a WHOIS look up on "www.gmail.com" yesterday and then again today and I find it all very... uh, INTERESTING! Yesterday, it was registered to a run-of-the-mill guy somewhere in the U.S. The website was registered waaaaaaay back in 1995 (pre-Google) and was set to expire in mid-August of 2004. Yesterday, I would have said this whole Gmail-thing is a hoax and they simply rented this guy's website for a day to make it more realistic... but, now it says Google owns it and they've secured it through mid-August 2006. Maybe they're serious about this after all(???). What's important is this guy (I sure wish I had copied down his name and contact info). He had the URL "Gmail.com" and if he sold it Google so they can go through with the Gmail e-mail plan, they guy could be an instant millionaire by now. I sure would sock it to Google for all it's worth if they want the highly desirable URL "Gmail.com" and I owned it! lol

    vwjeff 04/02/04 06:40:36 AM EST

    My first question was why is google doing this? Then the answer came to me....money. I predict google will develop an anti-spam process by using this service as a testing ground. They could then sell this technology. With the google name behind it, people will pay attention!!!

    This is all speculation but to me it seems reasonable.

    SpamJunkie 04/02/04 06:39:06 AM EST

    I really like yahoo's mail service. The spam blocking is exceptional and the disposable email address feature a life saver. It makes me more entrenched though. It'd take a lot of coaxing to get my friends to update their email addresses, I'd probably need a year to make the transition.

    But with 1GB of space and good email searching (a weak spot with yahoo) I'd switch for sure.

    leerpm 04/02/04 06:37:57 AM EST

    It's not Microsoft that's the target, it's Yahoo. Yahoo is their biggest competitor, and they are going for Yahoo's crown jewels, their premium users who pay for the email service.

    Father Goose 04/02/04 06:34:36 AM EST

    Two subjects seem to be missing from everything I have read so far.

    1) It is every user's responsibility to maintain (monitor, edit, & delete) any information they accept and/or store, particularly if they don't own the storage medium. Otherwise they're their own worst enemy.

    2) No one is forcing anyone to accept or use Gmail. Granted Google's offer is very attractive, but I don't have to use it.

    The reality is Google has just scared the pants off the GREEDY media mongers.

    Have a pleasant day.

    Meerkat 04/02/04 06:25:45 AM EST

    If anyone believes that webmail or any mail besides encrypted emails is secure you are seriously kidding you're self. If you are worried about security, simply don't get an online email account.

    maboo 04/02/04 06:07:00 AM EST

    As opposed to who's privacy policy? Yahoo? Hotmail? Online privacy policies are largely unenforceable so they're meaningless in the first place. TrustE certified? Yea, right... that company is like the fox guarding the henhouse. There is NO privacy policy anywhere on the net that has much legal ground unless it pertains to kids under the age of 12.

    Privateer 04/02/04 06:06:24 AM EST

    i wouldn't touch this service with a 10-foot pole given google's lack of a serious privacy policy. i didn't notice any statement regarding privacy in the announcement. but the privacy policy for the whole site includes, "Google may decide to change this Privacy Policy from time to time." also, do you know what google *really* does with those cookies?

    talk about a profiler's goldmine. don't tell me any of you believe google (a for-profit company) wouldn't scan every last email for "marketing" reasons?

    OneBigReservation 04/02/04 06:04:52 AM EST

    I do not know exactly how the system will work, but there is enormous potential for abuse. Actually, just personal storage of large amounts of data is probably the least of the concerns. One could imagine a warez or porn distribution system based on small requests to a controlling site that then uses mail fowarding to deliver the content (thus pushing the bulk of the storage and bandwidth costs onto gmail).

    biglig2 04/02/04 06:03:44 AM EST

    Reasoning: It's too damn good an idea to waste on a joke.

    Is there anyone here who wouldn't switch to being [email protected]? A clean interface, non-intrusive adds, nigh unlimited storage, from a brand you trust.

    Their ad system would read my mail? That's fine by me. Free webmail accounts are hardly secure now, are they? Encrypt if you need privacy.

    If it's still there tomorrow we'll know.

    lurker 04/02/04 06:02:56 AM EST

    After thinking about this all yesterday, I have come to the conclusion that Google is introducing Gmail (i.e. it is not a joke). However, I am also convinced that the timing and style of the announcement was specifically designed to maximize discussion. Very clever!

    rht67 04/02/04 05:28:44 AM EST

    The Gmail site says, about spam:

    What about spam?

    Google is committed to keeping unwanted messages out of your inbox. Gmail includes a sophisticated spam filter that we're continuing to improve. The Report Spam link in Gmail is a way for users to help with this effort. It removes spam from the inbox and sends valuable data to the Gmail team working on spam blocking.

    SpamBuff 04/02/04 05:26:58 AM EST

    Their spam system may be easy. Think of how many times Nigerian scam emails have been sent, to how many millions of people. No actual mailing list or legit promotion has that level of repetition. the sheer *volume* of nearly identical spam becomes the easiest way to flag it as spam.

    jdifool 04/02/04 05:25:46 AM EST

    Giving away 1Gb is the perfect way to attract warez, and affiliated nasty stuff.

    almaon 04/02/04 05:24:02 AM EST

    My concern is that such a wealth of storage is going to be abused by pirates.

    Those of you who are familar with AOL back in the early days found their large capacity email to be a haven for piracy. Large file attachments that once initially uploaded, could be forwarded and shared with hundreds of people in seconds, once recieved, it could be forwarded again to yet even more people. All without the delay of re-uploading, nor even having to download the complete file.

    I hope that Google has something up their sleave to preemptively nullify this problem before it starts. I used to make entertainment software for PC's and eventually had to disolve the S-Corp due to dwindling sales lost to piracy. The above mentioned method the result of...

    Possible solutions would be to limit the size of attachments. Possible disallow forwarding attachments greater than 50MB. Dunno, just hope this is just paranoia talking and not an omen commanded by my Rice Krispies.

    It's Real 04/02/04 05:22:32 AM EST

    Yes, Gmail is real:

    http://msnbc.msn.com/id/4641298/

    Google spokesman David Krane, reached Wednesday night, admitted that the "color and personality" of the press release -- which is dated "April 1 UTC" and includes phrases such as "millions of M&Ms later, Gmail was born" -- "was indeed in the spirit of April 1" but said that Gmail was a serious product.

    "We are beginning to test a free e-mail service," Krane told MSNBC.com.

    slider451 04/02/04 05:19:20 AM EST

    Gmail has caused a lot of raised eyebrows. If it's fake, it fooled me good. I gave them my e-mail address yesterday hoping it was true

    @ThingsExpo Stories
    One of the biggest impacts of the Internet of Things is and will continue to be on data; specifically data volume, management and usage. Companies are scrambling to adapt to this new and unpredictable data reality with legacy infrastructure that cannot handle the speed and volume of data. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Don DeLoach, CEO and president of Infobright, will discuss how companies need to rethink their data infrastructure to participate in the IoT, including: Data storage: Understanding the kinds of data: structured, unstructured, big/small? Analytics: What kinds and how responsiv...
    Since 2008 and for the first time in history, more than half of humans live in urban areas, urging cities to become “smart.” Today, cities can leverage the wide availability of smartphones combined with new technologies such as Beacons or NFC to connect their urban furniture and environment to create citizen-first services that improve transportation, way-finding and information delivery. In her session at @ThingsExpo, Laetitia Gazel-Anthoine, CEO of Connecthings, will focus on successful use cases.
    Sensor-enabled things are becoming more commonplace, precursors to a larger and more complex framework that most consider the ultimate promise of the IoT: things connecting, interacting, sharing, storing, and over time perhaps learning and predicting based on habits, behaviors, location, preferences, purchases and more. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Tom Wesselman, Director of Communications Ecosystem Architecture at Plantronics, will examine the still nascent IoT as it is coalescing, including what it is today, what it might ultimately be, the role of wearable tech, and technology gaps stil...
    The true value of the Internet of Things (IoT) lies not just in the data, but through the services that protect the data, perform the analysis and present findings in a usable way. With many IoT elements rooted in traditional IT components, Big Data and IoT isn’t just a play for enterprise. In fact, the IoT presents SMBs with the prospect of launching entirely new activities and exploring innovative areas. CompTIA research identifies several areas where IoT is expected to have the greatest impact.
    Wearable devices have come of age. The primary applications of wearables so far have been "the Quantified Self" or the tracking of one's fitness and health status. We propose the evolution of wearables into social and emotional communication devices. Our BE(tm) sensor uses light to visualize the skin conductance response. Our sensors are very inexpensive and can be massively distributed to audiences or groups of any size, in order to gauge reactions to performances, video, or any kind of presentation. In her session at @ThingsExpo, Jocelyn Scheirer, CEO & Founder of Bionolux, will discuss ho...
    SYS-CON Events announced today that GENBAND, a leading developer of real time communications software solutions, has been named “Silver Sponsor” of SYS-CON's WebRTC Summit, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. The GENBAND team will be on hand to demonstrate their newest product, Kandy. Kandy is a communications Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) that enables companies to seamlessly integrate more human communications into their Web and mobile applications - creating more engaging experiences for their customers and boosting collaboration and productiv...
    Roberto Medrano, Executive Vice President at SOA Software, had reached 30,000 page views on his home page - http://RobertoMedrano.SYS-CON.com/ - on the SYS-CON family of online magazines, which includes Cloud Computing Journal, Internet of Things Journal, Big Data Journal, and SOA World Magazine. He is a recognized executive in the information technology fields of SOA, internet security, governance, and compliance. He has extensive experience with both start-ups and large companies, having been involved at the beginning of four IT industries: EDA, Open Systems, Computer Security and now SOA.
    From telemedicine to smart cars, digital homes and industrial monitoring, the explosive growth of IoT has created exciting new business opportunities for real time calls and messaging. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Ivelin Ivanov, CEO and Co-Founder of Telestax, shared some of the new revenue sources that IoT created for Restcomm – the open source telephony platform from Telestax. Ivelin Ivanov is a technology entrepreneur who founded Mobicents, an Open Source VoIP Platform, to help create, deploy, and manage applications integrating voice, video and data. He is the co-founder of TeleStax, a...
    The industrial software market has treated data with the mentality of “collect everything now, worry about how to use it later.” We now find ourselves buried in data, with the pervasive connectivity of the (Industrial) Internet of Things only piling on more numbers. There’s too much data and not enough information. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Bob Gates, Global Marketing Director, GE’s Intelligent Platforms business, to discuss how realizing the power of IoT, software developers are now focused on understanding how industrial data can create intelligence for industrial operations. Imagine ...
    Operational Hadoop and the Lambda Architecture for Streaming Data Apache Hadoop is emerging as a distributed platform for handling large and fast incoming streams of data. Predictive maintenance, supply chain optimization, and Internet-of-Things analysis are examples where Hadoop provides the scalable storage, processing, and analytics platform to gain meaningful insights from granular data that is typically only valuable from a large-scale, aggregate view. One architecture useful for capturing and analyzing streaming data is the Lambda Architecture, representing a model of how to analyze rea...
    SYS-CON Events announced today that Vitria Technology, Inc. will exhibit at SYS-CON’s @ThingsExpo, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Vitria will showcase the company’s new IoT Analytics Platform through live demonstrations at booth #330. Vitria’s IoT Analytics Platform, fully integrated and powered by an operational intelligence engine, enables customers to rapidly build and operationalize advanced analytics to deliver timely business outcomes for use cases across the industrial, enterprise, and consumer segments.
    When it comes to the Internet of Things, hooking up will get you only so far. If you want customers to commit, you need to go beyond simply connecting products. You need to use the devices themselves to transform how you engage with every customer and how you manage the entire product lifecycle. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Sean Lorenz, Technical Product Manager for Xively at LogMeIn, will show how “product relationship management” can help you leverage your connected devices and the data they generate about customer usage and product performance to deliver extremely compelling and reliabl...
    The explosion of connected devices / sensors is creating an ever-expanding set of new and valuable data. In parallel the emerging capability of Big Data technologies to store, access, analyze, and react to this data is producing changes in business models under the umbrella of the Internet of Things (IoT). In particular within the Insurance industry, IoT appears positioned to enable deep changes by altering relationships between insurers, distributors, and the insured. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Michael Sick, a Senior Manager and Big Data Architect within Ernst and Young's Financial Servi...
    SYS-CON Events announced today that Open Data Centers (ODC), a carrier-neutral colocation provider, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Open Data Centers is a carrier-neutral data center operator in New Jersey and New York City offering alternative connectivity options for carriers, service providers and enterprise customers.
    The IoT market is projected to be $1.9 trillion tidal wave that’s bigger than the combined market for smartphones, tablets and PCs. While IoT is widely discussed, what not being talked about are the monetization opportunities that are created from ubiquitous connectivity and the ensuing avalanche of data. While we cannot foresee every service that the IoT will enable, we should future-proof operations by preparing to monetize them with extremely agile systems.
    There’s Big Data, then there’s really Big Data from the Internet of Things. IoT is evolving to include many data possibilities like new types of event, log and network data. The volumes are enormous, generating tens of billions of logs per day, which raise data challenges. Early IoT deployments are relying heavily on both the cloud and managed service providers to navigate these challenges. Learn about IoT, Big Data and deployments processing massive data volumes from wearables, utilities and other machines.
    SYS-CON Events announced today that CodeFutures, a leading supplier of database performance tools, has been named a “Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9–11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. CodeFutures is an independent software vendor focused on providing tools that deliver database performance tools that increase productivity during database development and increase database performance and scalability during production.
    The explosion of connected devices / sensors is creating an ever-expanding set of new and valuable data. In parallel the emerging capability of Big Data technologies to store, access, analyze, and react to this data is producing changes in business models under the umbrella of the Internet of Things (IoT). In particular within the Insurance industry, IoT appears positioned to enable deep changes by altering relationships between insurers, distributors, and the insured. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Michael Sick, a Senior Manager and Big Data Architect within Ernst and Young's Financial Servi...
    The major cloud platforms defy a simple, side-by-side analysis. Each of the major IaaS public-cloud platforms offers their own unique strengths and functionality. Options for on-site private cloud are diverse as well, and must be designed and deployed while taking existing legacy architecture and infrastructure into account. Then the reality is that most enterprises are embarking on a hybrid cloud strategy and programs. In this Power Panel at 15th Cloud Expo (http://www.CloudComputingExpo.com), moderated by Ashar Baig, Research Director, Cloud, at Gigaom Research, Nate Gordon, Director of T...
    “In the past year we've seen a lot of stabilization of WebRTC. You can now use it in production with a far greater degree of certainty. A lot of the real developments in the past year have been in things like the data channel, which will enable a whole new type of application," explained Peter Dunkley, Technical Director at Acision, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.