|By Jeremy Geelan||
|April 4, 2004 12:00 AM EST||
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 hiringGoogle 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:
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:
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.
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.
|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|
|Privateer 04/02/04 06:06:24 AM EST|
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:
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
SYS-CON Events announced today that Loom Systems will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Founded in 2015, Loom Systems delivers an advanced AI solution to predict and prevent problems in the digital business. Loom stands alone in the industry as an AI analysis platform requiring no prior math knowledge from operators, leveraging the existing staff to succeed in the digital era. With offices in S...
Mar. 25, 2017 06:45 AM EDT Reads: 989
SYS-CON Events announced today that Interoute, owner-operator of one of Europe's largest networks and a global cloud services platform, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 20th Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017 at the Javits Center in New York, New York. Interoute is the owner-operator of one of Europe's largest networks and a global cloud services platform which encompasses 12 data centers, 14 virtual data centers and 31 colocation centers, with connections to 195 add...
Mar. 25, 2017 06:45 AM EDT Reads: 664
SYS-CON Events announced today that HTBase will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. HTBase (Gartner 2016 Cool Vendor) delivers a Composable IT infrastructure solution architected for agility and increased efficiency. It turns compute, storage, and fabric into fluid pools of resources that are easily composed and re-composed to meet each application’s needs. With HTBase, companies can quickly prov...
Mar. 25, 2017 06:45 AM EDT Reads: 2,648
SYS-CON Events announced today that CA Technologies has been named “Platinum Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and the 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place October 31-November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. CA Technologies helps customers succeed in a future where every business – from apparel to energy – is being rewritten by software. From ...
Mar. 25, 2017 06:30 AM EDT Reads: 1,450
SYS-CON Events announced today that SoftLayer, an IBM Company, has been named “Gold Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York, New York. SoftLayer, an IBM Company, provides cloud infrastructure as a service from a growing number of data centers and network points of presence around the world. SoftLayer’s customers range from Web startups to global enterprises.
Mar. 25, 2017 05:30 AM EDT Reads: 1,332
Web Real-Time Communication APIs have quickly revolutionized what browsers are capable of. In addition to video and audio streams, we can now bi-directionally send arbitrary data over WebRTC's PeerConnection Data Channels. With the advent of Progressive Web Apps and new hardware APIs such as WebBluetooh and WebUSB, we can finally enable users to stitch together the Internet of Things directly from their browsers while communicating privately and securely in a decentralized way.
Mar. 25, 2017 03:00 AM EDT Reads: 5,654
Keeping pace with advancements in software delivery processes and tooling is taxing even for the most proficient organizations. Point tools, platforms, open source and the increasing adoption of private and public cloud services requires strong engineering rigor - all in the face of developer demands to use the tools of choice. As Agile has settled in as a mainstream practice, now DevOps has emerged as the next wave to improve software delivery speed and output. To make DevOps work, organization...
Mar. 25, 2017 01:45 AM EDT Reads: 1,428
DevOps is often described as a combination of technology and culture. Without both, DevOps isn't complete. However, applying the culture to outdated technology is a recipe for disaster; as response times grow and connections between teams are delayed by technology, the culture will die. A Nutanix Enterprise Cloud has many benefits that provide the needed base for a true DevOps paradigm.
Mar. 25, 2017 12:15 AM EDT Reads: 1,577
What sort of WebRTC based applications can we expect to see over the next year and beyond? One way to predict development trends is to see what sorts of applications startups are building. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Arin Sime, founder of WebRTC.ventures, will discuss the current and likely future trends in WebRTC application development based on real requests for custom applications from real customers, as well as other public sources of information,
Mar. 25, 2017 12:00 AM EDT Reads: 509
TechTarget storage websites are the best online information resource for news, tips and expert advice for the storage, backup and disaster recovery markets. By creating abundant, high-quality editorial content across more than 140 highly targeted technology-specific websites, TechTarget attracts and nurtures communities of technology buyers researching their companies' information technology needs. By understanding these buyers' content consumption behaviors, TechTarget creates the purchase inte...
Mar. 24, 2017 10:15 PM EDT Reads: 4,155
With the introduction of IoT and Smart Living in every aspect of our lives, one question has become relevant: What are the security implications? To answer this, first we have to look and explore the security models of the technologies that IoT is founded upon. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Nevi Kaja, a Research Engineer at Ford Motor Company, will discuss some of the security challenges of the IoT infrastructure and relate how these aspects impact Smart Living. The material will be delivered i...
Mar. 24, 2017 10:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,896
In his session at @ThingsExpo, Eric Lachapelle, CEO of the Professional Evaluation and Certification Board (PECB), will provide an overview of various initiatives to certifiy the security of connected devices and future trends in ensuring public trust of IoT. Eric Lachapelle is the Chief Executive Officer of the Professional Evaluation and Certification Board (PECB), an international certification body. His role is to help companies and individuals to achieve professional, accredited and worldw...
Mar. 24, 2017 08:15 PM EDT Reads: 335
Your homes and cars can be automated and self-serviced. Why can't your storage? From simply asking questions to analyze and troubleshoot your infrastructure, to provisioning storage with snapshots, recovery and replication, your wildest sci-fi dream has come true. In his session at @DevOpsSummit at 20th Cloud Expo, Dan Florea, Director of Product Management at Tintri, will provide a ChatOps demo where you can talk to your storage and manage it from anywhere, through Slack and similar services ...
Mar. 24, 2017 06:30 PM EDT Reads: 4,130
My team embarked on building a data lake for our sales and marketing data to better understand customer journeys. This required building a hybrid data pipeline to connect our cloud CRM with the new Hadoop Data Lake. One challenge is that IT was not in a position to provide support until we proved value and marketing did not have the experience, so we embarked on the journey ourselves within the product marketing team for our line of business within Progress. In his session at @BigDataExpo, Sum...
Mar. 24, 2017 06:30 PM EDT Reads: 2,634
SYS-CON Events announced today that Ocean9will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Ocean9 provides cloud services for Backup, Disaster Recovery (DRaaS) and instant Innovation, and redefines enterprise infrastructure with its cloud native subscription offerings for mission critical SAP workloads.
Mar. 24, 2017 04:45 PM EDT Reads: 1,791
SYS-CON Events announced today that Linux Academy, the foremost online Linux and cloud training platform and community, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Linux Academy was founded on the belief that providing high-quality, in-depth training should be available at an affordable price. Industry leaders in quality training, provided services, and student certification passes, its goal is to c...
Mar. 24, 2017 01:15 PM EDT Reads: 3,856
SYS-CON Events announced today that Telecom Reseller has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 6–8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Telecom Reseller reports on Unified Communications, UCaaS, BPaaS for enterprise and SMBs. They report extensively on both customer premises based solutions such as IP-PBX as well as cloud based and hosted platforms.
Mar. 24, 2017 12:45 PM EDT Reads: 1,878
SYS-CON Events announced today that T-Mobile will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. As America's Un-carrier, T-Mobile US, Inc., is redefining the way consumers and businesses buy wireless services through leading product and service innovation. The Company's advanced nationwide 4G LTE network delivers outstanding wireless experiences to 67.4 million customers who are unwilling to compromise on ...
Mar. 24, 2017 12:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,922
SYS-CON Events announced today that Cloudistics, an on-premises cloud computing company, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Cloudistics delivers a complete public cloud experience with composable on-premises infrastructures to medium and large enterprises. Its software-defined technology natively converges network, storage, compute, virtualization, and management into a ...
Mar. 24, 2017 12:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,658
SYS-CON Events announced today that Infranics will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Since 2000, Infranics has developed SysMaster Suite, which is required for the stable and efficient management of ICT infrastructure. The ICT management solution developed and provided by Infranics continues to add intelligence to the ICT infrastructure through the IMC (Infra Management Cycle) based on mathemat...
Mar. 24, 2017 09:45 AM EDT Reads: 2,756