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Google's Gmail Goes Into Beta for Blogger Users 350

deadpixel writes "Gmail, the 1gb webmail service offered by Google, has gone into beta. Blogger (owned by google) users have first crack at the service. Besides the massive storage, the free service boasts a sophisticated spam filter, no pop-ups/banners, and gives you search results relevant to the emails you receive automatically. Bring on those attachments!"
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Google's Gmail Goes Into Beta for Blogger Users

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  • Details? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by salimma ( 115327 ) * on Sunday April 25, 2004 @11:39AM (#8965086) Homepage Journal
    Is Google contacting Blogger users, or are all Blogger users eligible to be beta testers? I have a Blogger account and I can't log in to GMail..
  • by verbatim_verbose ( 411803 ) on Sunday April 25, 2004 @11:40AM (#8965096)
    Don't get too excited and go run and create a blogger account to get in. It seems that it only works for those that are currently "active" blogger users already. (Though nobody really knows what defines active.)
  • by maddu ( 522722 ) on Sunday April 25, 2004 @11:41AM (#8965104)
    You need to be an active blogger to get access to GMail. I have multiple Blogger accounts. But they gave me access only in those accounts where I have been active lately.
    • Wow, I got in too! I feel so special! :) Haha.. and I don't even blog that often.

      Hmm, it doesn't work with Opera, so I told Opera to fake being IE, but it needs ActiveX enabled on IE.. oh well, better load up Mozilla.
      • How about faking Mozilla?
      • Works in Firefox ... once I installed the latest version of Java, something I've managed to avoid for the last four years.
      • Stop hitting Ctrl+Shift+I (AFAIK - I don't use that shortcut), and hit F12, then "Identify as Mozilla 5.0".
    • by boredMDer ( 640516 ) <pmohr+slashdot@boredmder.com> on Sunday April 25, 2004 @12:02PM (#8965215)
      I haven't blogged in...wow, 2 months I guess, and I had the ad when I signed in.

      Sadly, I've moved to LJ.

      But yes, haven't blogged in a while, merely logged in to get a GMail account, and the ad was there.
  • 1gig? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by RobertTaylor ( 444958 ) <roberttaylor1234&gmail,com> on Sunday April 25, 2004 @11:41AM (#8965107) Homepage Journal
    "1 000 megabytes = 0.9765625 gigabytes"

    says google. [google.co.uk]
    • by RobertTaylor ( 444958 ) <roberttaylor1234&gmail,com> on Sunday April 25, 2004 @11:44AM (#8965126) Homepage Journal
      1 gigabyte = 1 024 megabytes

      Bang on and correct :) I suppose its how you ask the question :)

    • Re:1gig? (Score:5, Informative)

      by cybotix ( 605849 ) * on Sunday April 25, 2004 @11:46AM (#8965136) Homepage
      actually the correct term for 1,024 bytes is mebibyte, for 1,048,576 bytes is gibibyte. mega/giga are decimal prefixes, so 1 megabyte = 1000 bytes, and 1000 megabytes = 1 gigabyte. (google calculator is using the old convention)
      • Re:1gig? (Score:4, Funny)

        by h00dLuM ( 630451 ) on Sunday April 25, 2004 @12:23PM (#8965314)
        So how many jibibytes I need to fire up the Delorean and go back to 1985?
      • Yeah, but does anyone think that those names don't suck?
      • Re:1gig? (Score:4, Insightful)

        by MochaMan ( 30021 ) on Sunday April 25, 2004 @12:39PM (#8965415) Homepage
        In language, what is correct is a matter of widespread adoption, not what someone says is 'correct'. While it's technically 'incorrect' to use punctuation like ;) in the middle of a sentence, everyone does it, and I would guess that very few people would consider it incorrect these days. Same goes for the widespread (and one might say 'incorrect') use of 'was' instead of 'were' as the English subjunctive, particularly in the US -- eg. If I was a little less fervent about 24 bytes, I wouldn't be posting to slashdot.

        Personally, I haven't seen any indication that anyone has adopted 'gibi' and 'mebi' as anything but ridiculous and pedantic terms, but best of luck on your crusade. I agree that it would be nice to see some kind of distiction, but 24 bytes here and there when you're measuring in megs or gigs... not a problem!
    • I'm kind of surprised the Google calculator doesn't use the SI prefixes - they seem pretty interested in correctness elsewhere. (I realize that using SI prefixes for data storage is a pretty recent and controversial definition of "correctness." Still, google has mebibytes and gibibytes in the calculator, so you'd think a megabyte would be different.)
    • Re:1gig? (Score:5, Informative)

      by AlecC ( 512609 ) <aleccawley@gmail.com> on Sunday April 25, 2004 @12:35PM (#8965390)
      This is a piece of distortion introduced by disk drive manufacturers. I think Connor (now expired) first introduced it, at the time that disk drives in the low number of gigabytes were appearing. They started sizing drives with a gigabyte counted as 1000 honest Megabytes. I think Connor needed to do it because with honest gigabytes, their drive (a rotten, unreliable one it turned out to be) would not make the 4 Gigabyte mark, though everybody elses's did. To their shame, the other drive nanufacturers followed. So for all disk drives, a Gigabyte now meant 10^3*2^20, not 2^30. A sad world, my masters.
  • by Notorious B.I.G Bird ( 774065 ) on Sunday April 25, 2004 @11:42AM (#8965115)
    This is being blown so far out of proportion. Seriously. As countless others have said, our email is scanned all the time by third parties for spam and viruses.

    If you have concerns about Google scanning your email to place unobstrusive, sometimes-actually-useful text advertisements next to your email, then there is a solution. DON'T FLIPPING USE IT! That's all there is too it!

    The thing that I'M concerned about is if they pull a similar move that Apple did with mac.com accounts. "Oh yah they'll be free forever", then two years later, once everyone is hooked on free @mac.com email addresses, they turn around and say they're going to charge $99 dollars per year. Excuse me? I dont think so. My mac.com email was my main email for nearly two years and as soon as they pulled that shit, I cancelled my account, bought my own domain, and now have free email for life. Apple was hoping that users would pay because they had been using that email address as their main email and wouldnt want to switch. Well it didnt work on me and yo should have read the mac message boards when this happened. People were pissed!

    I do think Gmail is a cool idea. Being able to store a gig of email so you (as an average user anyways) never have to delete email and have the best search engine in the world to search through old emails is awesome. But what if their idea is to get you hooked so you wont ever want to give it up, then start charging a fee for it? Even though it is worth probably $100/year, I would tell them to shove their bill up their ass and move on. This is why I won't use Gmail.
    • by fleener ( 140714 ) on Sunday April 25, 2004 @11:49AM (#8965154)
      what if their idea is to get you hooked so you wont ever want to give it up,
      >then start charging a fee for it?

      Duh. When Google has its IPO it officially becomes evil. Very few corporations adhere to their founding values when they must answer to shareholders. Google should just remain private. After you have 5 to 10 or 20 megs of e-mail stored on Google servers, are you just going to get up and walk away if/when they decide to bill you?

    • The "evil empire" Microsoft has kept hotmail [hotmail.com] running for free for ages. Yahoo, I'm sure it's some sort of evil empire, has kept their free mail [yahoo.com] running for ages too. I could also list many other sites that give out free email addresses such as myownemail.com [myownemail.com]. I doubt Google would go and charge for gmail, although they might turn that 1gb file storage way down you'll probably still have your gmail address if you want it - just with more like 50mb space or what have you.
    • by jdreed1024 ( 443938 ) on Sunday April 25, 2004 @11:58AM (#8965194)
      This is being blown so far out of proportion. Seriously. As countless others have said, our email is scanned all the time by third parties for spam and viruses.

      If you have concerns about Google scanning your email to place unobstrusive, sometimes-actually-useful text advertisements next to your email, then there is a solution. DON'T FLIPPING USE IT! That's all there is too it!

      Seriously. A friend of mine went into a rant about this the other day, and I pointed out that he has a hotmail account. It boggles the mind that people would trust Microsoft, which is KNOWN to have questionable (if any) ethics and morals, and yet be suspicious of Google, which is known to have good ethics and morals (ie: refusing to accept payment for search result ranking, and penalizing folks who purposely try to manipulate the results for personal gain).

      • Microsoft could easily launch a competing service (actually they could offer 10 GB per user) with no ads and simply treat it as a loss-leader with almost no significant impact on their bottom line.

        Its about incentive - who has more financial incentive to violate your privacy? Google is the BigBrother(tm) company as a key aspect of its survival. Microsoft need not be.

    • by x4A6D74 ( 614651 ) on Sunday April 25, 2004 @12:05PM (#8965229)
      Y'know, it's not like it's horribly difficult to block those ads anyway. I use Firefox with the AdBlock extension, and generally speaking those google ads show up in their own iframe ... which AdBlock is smart enough to block. So my systems all have "advertisements.google.com" (or whatever it is -- haven't had to look at it in a long time) in their blacklist. Thus, if I had gmail, my mail would still be scanned, but I wouldn't have to deal with the ads. So while the privacy concerns may still exist, at least the second half of the problem is gone.

      And honestly, as my dad was quick to admonish me in my younger days, "email is like a postcard." There's nothing to stop a bazillion people from reading it somewhere between the initial and final servers. So if you don't want your email to be read, you should already be enciphering it. It's that simple. Anything I have to send to someone that I seriously do not want anyone else to read, I encrypt -- and if they don't have PGP, I make 'em get it (generally, the people I truly need security with understand the desire for security and are willing to cooperate).

      So am I surprised that Gmail can/will scan your email? No. Does it bother me? No -- because they won't be able to scan my private messages anyway.

  • by fleener ( 140714 ) on Sunday April 25, 2004 @11:43AM (#8965119)
    > search results relevant to the emails

    So Google is going to show me penis enlargement and nude cheerleader search links every time I receive spam?

    • by ironicsky ( 569792 ) on Sunday April 25, 2004 @11:47AM (#8965142) Journal
      Google's just trying to help. I mean, how else are you going to know when new porn sites open
    • > So Google is going to show me penis enlargement and nude cheerleader search links every time I receive spam?

      RTF Abstract: "the free service boasts a sophisticated spam filter"

      So basically, you'll not be getting much spam, if any.
      • but what if you actually want this type of email? Can you customize the filter to fit your own idea of spam?
      • Hahaha, you're being serious, aren't you? No spam filter is worth a hill of beans if it doesn't have a challenge/response system. Unless Google has made a deal with the devil. Has it? Oh wait, that pesky looming IPO...
  • Got this yesterday (Score:5, Informative)

    by boredMDer ( 640516 ) <pmohr+slashdot@boredmder.com> on Sunday April 25, 2004 @11:44AM (#8965129)
    Yesterday I signed in to BlogSpot just to check for this, and when you log in to the main page, on the right hand side there is a GMail ad.

    Click yes, answer yes to all of the questions that follow, and you have your very own GMail account.

    I have had this for what, 24 hours now I guess, and GMail is the best webmail interface I've ever seen.

    The one thing I don't like so far is that links, elinks, or links2 don't work with it. They do support javascript AFAIK which is what GMail is basically comprised of, but that's my only gripe.

    Can't wait for POP or, preferably, IMAP access. Even more preferably, IMAP over SSL.
    • by volsung ( 378 )
      I should hope that no one implementing an IMAP system in this WiFi-enabled world would forget to use SSL. :)
    • by Anonymous Coward
      I think it would be a good idea if they worked with one of the up and coming alternative OS's to do a tie-in with their e-mail client. That would be a good way to give competition to MS Outlook offering the user to sign up for an MSN account.
    • Where exactly is this add listed.. in the admin page.. or what? Be more specific if you could.
  • by fleener ( 140714 ) on Sunday April 25, 2004 @11:46AM (#8965135)
    Gmail really hits the Gspot. All you virgins can just look confused and mod me down.
  • Possibilities (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Denial93 ( 773403 ) on Sunday April 25, 2004 @12:04PM (#8965224)
    Can a beta tester please tell if the sending of very large attachments from one Gmail account to another is reasonably fast? Also, what is the maximum attachment size?

    I don't think anyone knows yet what Google does with a new account that holds a single mail with a very large, PGP-encrypted attachment that curiously is accessed and downloaded from a wide range of different IPs, but if so, please tell.
    • How large message bodies can be I'm not sure, but I would assume they're also 10 mb. Perhaps the message total (text + attachment) is 10 mb.
    • Re:Possibilities (Score:3, Interesting)

      I was wondering about this; I recall way back when in the "hacker days of AOL", there a AOL warez scene that functioned via email. Someone would make a mail and upload as many programs as possible as attachments. Then they'd forward a copy to anyone who was interested. Because it was all done on AOLs internal mail system, it didn't have to transfer a new copy of the attachments to each person. You could send hundreds of megabytes to dozens of people instantly. A neat trick.

      I wonder if something like t
    • Re:Possibilities (Score:4, Informative)

      by STrinity ( 723872 ) on Sunday April 25, 2004 @02:02PM (#8966007) Homepage
      Based upon some initial testing, outgoing attachments are capped somewhere between 5.5 and 7.5 megs. Which is making capacity testing a PIA.
  • How about those ad? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by The Mutant ( 167716 ) on Sunday April 25, 2004 @12:08PM (#8965243) Homepage
    How to get them?

    I've got a gmail account (thanks to Blogger), and also have a Google AdWords account.

    I've been sending mail to my gmail account from another account, and including things that I thought *should* trigger a Google text ad - one of mine, no less and keywords that certainly do trigger a text ad from the main Google search page - dont. I haven't seen one yet.

    During the Beta are they inhibiting the textads?

    Anyone see an ad in the wild yet?
    • They're there (Score:4, Interesting)

      by rebelcool ( 247749 ) on Sunday April 25, 2004 @12:32PM (#8965355)
      but not on every message. Interestingly, messages that once have had ads usually always will so its not like they come and go. But other messages don't trigger them.

      Using the text of an entire message for ads requires a bit more computing than just a search query, so maybe they're trying to keep those down while in beta.

      They're about as good as the ones for the regular search engine. I'm looking at a conversation i'd been having about jobs and internships and the ads it displayed were related to those.
    • The ads appear immediately to the right of the message body, though if the system doesn't detect any keywords to trigger an ad, the space remains blank. And for those wondering, encrypted messages don't trigger ads.
  • Gmail vs. Spymac (Score:5, Interesting)

    by cks3 ( 698800 ) <ck@samplethewe b . com> on Sunday April 25, 2004 @12:11PM (#8965252) Homepage Journal
    I set up one Gig accounts on both Gmail and SpyMac that I've had people sending attachments and emails to to see how they hadnle reaching a GIG. so far, Gmail is only up to 127MB and SpyMac is only at 27MB (but their servers would seem to be a day behind on listing my new email). So far, I have discovered that Gmail's spam filter has caught one actual spam message, and suddenly blocked 5 of 15 messages from one person with no clear reason why. Also, the ad bots only scan the body text of the emails, as all attachment only emails have been ad free. cksampleiii@gmail.com and cksample3@spymac.com if you are interested in contributing to the experiment.
    • Okay, tell you what, I'll use my Gmail account to send my entire pr0n directory to you with the title "Free Pr0n!!!! Free Cia1i$".
    • by adzoox ( 615327 ) * on Sunday April 25, 2004 @03:34PM (#8966676) Journal
      SpyMac is an embarassment of flim flam artistry. It is one of the greatest rabbit tricks ever pulled out of a Mac hat.

      People think there's concerns with Gmail and privacy - yet YOU would trust your email to a site that HAS NEVER backed away from the iWalk PDA being a fake, that consistently breaks MUG rules (they claim to be a MUG, yet moderators post rumors - a no no).

      THERE IS NO WAY I WOULD TRUST SPYMAC with any password, email address, home address or any other information

      SpyMac is just the shiniest car in the parking lot. Be careful though, there may be flood damage under the hood.

      The other thing that bothers me about SpyMac is that their moderators troll the web and forums looking for ANYONE that says something bad about the site.
    • Not to mention that Spymac is slow as hell compared to Google.
  • The ad (Score:5, Informative)

    by boredMDer ( 640516 ) <pmohr+slashdot@boredmder.com> on Sunday April 25, 2004 @12:12PM (#8965259)
    For those who haven't seen it, I'll just show the ad here -

    There's an image header - http://blogger.com/g-logo.gif

    As an active Blogger user, we would like to invite you to be one of the first to try out Google's new email service, Gmail [google.com].

    Would you like to give it a whirl? YES / NO

    The YES link opens up this page [blogspot.com]

    The NO links pops an alert box saying 'Okay, this notice will be here for a few more days, should you change your mind.' or similar.

  • by saitoh ( 589746 ) on Sunday April 25, 2004 @12:14PM (#8965266) Homepage
    And while it states that they will can your account for sending and using your address to receive illicit information in one form or another, I'm tempted to push the envelope (since I dont need the account, I've got an edu account which is better for me).

    As much as P2P has been demonized, there is one content that I can think of that is legal, and distrabution is encouraged, and thats concert recordings of bands that allow taping (see etree.org for more info). Each show typically runs between 700MB-> 1.5GB since its done in a lossless compressiong scheme.

    So whats stopping me from having people get GMail accounts and then doing a CC to everyone who wants a show and doing a mass mailing (even if its broken into chunks).

    I'm not looking for a technical answer, I'm curious about a legal one. (and thus, /. is the wrong place to ask. ;-p) The reason is, whats stopping people from using this for legal functions, but not the intended storage purpose as originally "intended".
    • attachement size is limited to like 30MB. unless you want to split it up into those sizes, it woudnt work. i suppose you could write something that could automatically do that and then have something to recreate it on the other end. it would be easier to do mp3s with this. that way, a 2 hour show could be split up into only like 4 pieces.
  • The Gmail scanner... (Score:5, Informative)

    by Beautyon ( 214567 ) on Sunday April 25, 2004 @12:22PM (#8965309) Homepage
    doesnt present any ads to you if the content of your email is a PGP encrypted message.
    • by Beautyon ( 214567 ) on Sunday April 25, 2004 @03:17PM (#8966549) Homepage
      But it does present ads:
      Sponsored Links

      Open PGP Command Line
      FileCrypt eBusiness secures data with strong PGP encryption.

      Free PGP Disk Encryption
      Completely supported Free Simple, Secure, Secure E-mail too.
      About these links

      If a PGP encrypted message is sent with a PGP encrypted attchment bearing the file extension .pgp

      In both cases, the subject was a line cut from the ciphertext in the body of the message.

      Does this mean that Gmail scans attachments as well as the body of an email?
  • by rfernand79 ( 643913 ) on Sunday April 25, 2004 @12:33PM (#8965364)
    Interesting, GMail currently does not support Safari. https://gmail.google.com/gmail/browser_requirement s.html You get a message on the sign in box saying that you can log in anyway, but your browser is not supported.
  • With all these dam Google stories I'm starting to wonder if someone at Slashdot has a vested interest in Google.
  • First impressions (Score:5, Informative)

    by mrneutron ( 61365 ) * on Sunday April 25, 2004 @12:44PM (#8965459)
    My impression thus far: very sweet.

    I tried registering some short usernames, the username has to be 6 characters or longer.

    So I have a leet 6-character name@gmail.com.

    Transit time for sent and recived mail is near-instantaneous.

    The interface is trademark google utilitarian. Two thumbs up.

    I sent some test spam from my spam folder, they got into my inbox (and not to my 'spam'
    folder on gmail). So they have some tweaking to do there.

  • by citking ( 551907 ) * <jayNO@SPAMcitking.net> on Sunday April 25, 2004 @12:49PM (#8965497) Homepage
    ...as to what the actual mail interface looks like I took a few screenshots for ya:

    Inbox [citking.net]

    Example message w/ text ads present [citking.net]

    The only thing different is the "@gmail.com" e-mail addy at the top...I cut mine out just to avoid any potential issues...sorry.

  • Last time I made an entry to my blogger account was on Saturday, March 20, 2004. I did not receive the Gmail invitation...

  • Hook us up Google!
  • by Skim123 ( 3322 ) <[mitchell] [at] [4guysfromrolla.com]> on Sunday April 25, 2004 @01:35PM (#8965825) Homepage
    By choosing bloggers to help beta test GMail, Google gets:

    1. Users who are interested in new technology/new features/computers/etc.
    2. Users who are influencers: those who share their opinions with others.

    In essence, they have an ideal test base - testers who will give great feedback, and testers who will plug GMail to those who read their blogs. Great word of mouth advertising...

  • the first gmail account goes up for auction on eBay. I searched eBay a little earlier, but couldn't find any.
  • by Syre ( 234917 ) on Sunday April 25, 2004 @04:37PM (#8967116)
    What privacy advocates have objected to about Gmail is that, by scanning mail and displaying an ad next to it, the service reduces the "expectation of privacy".

    "Reasonable expectation of privacy" is a legal term which, among other things, influences what the courts allow the government to do when snooping on people without a warrent.

    For examples of this, look for instance at the case law surrounding trash [floridadetectives.com].

    The courts have ruled that it's perfectly OK for law enforcement agencies to pick through your trash because people do not have an "expectation of privacy" when they throw things away.

    The danger with Gmail is that it starts to erode the generally-held idea that it is wrong for anyone to read someone else's email. Sure, it's just software and sure, no one is actually reading it. But the contextual ads may give the impression that the mail is read, therefore allowing the courts to rule later that there is no "reasonable expectation of privacy" in email, and allowing the government to snoop through your mail at will.

    This isn't coming tomorrow, but it's one of the main objections privacy advocates have to Gmail. Similar sentiments from other privacy advocacy groups are expressed in this article [msn.com]
  • Just signed up (Score:3, Informative)

    by Jett ( 135113 ) on Sunday April 25, 2004 @05:05PM (#8967311)
    I've had a blogger account for almost 2 years now, so I got selected for the Gmail beta. I just signed up about 10 minutes ago. First problem I had was that your username has to be at least 6 characters long. As you can see from my username here, it is less than 6 characters. Not that big of a deal I guess. Besides that it looks awesome, I haven't done much with it beside set up the account and send a few test emails but the display looks really clean, reminds me a little of YahooMail. The textads on the side aren't intrusive at all, especially compared to every other free webmail I've ever seen. Load times are impressive, could just be that they have a huge amount of bandwidth and server-power allocated at the moment, but it's faster than any other webmail. I'll have to see how it responds once I have a bunch of messages in it to load. So my first impression is that it is better than any other webmail - if their UI innovation (i.e. emails organized as conversations, searching, etc.) actually works (or isn't annoying) I would definitely switch to using it as my primary webmail account. 1gig of storage space is definitely awesome, I lost a bunch of relatively important email from my stupid hotmail account (I signed up long before MS bought them and ruined everything) when I was out of country and couldn't access it - I came back to an account overflowing with spam and all my old emails auto-deleted. Yeah, I should of kept them somewhere else - but the account wasn't near full and until then I was only getting a a few spam emails per day. Regardless, it's not likely to happen when you have a gig of space to play with.
  • by gorman ( 50676 ) on Sunday April 25, 2004 @11:40PM (#8969555) Homepage
    I've been using Gmail for a few hours now, and I'm very impressed with it. This is really the best use of Javascript I've seen. It isn't there to add a bunch of cool effects, but to actually increase functionality and usability. So far it has been very, very fast and fairly bug-free considering its beta status.

    The only complain I have so far is that by default, it didn't catch any of the spam I received. However, I've reported all of it as spam, so it will be interesting to see if it improves based upon that. So far though, its spam filter doesn't seem quite in line with filters such as the one in Apple's Mail client. Speaking of Apple, it does appear to work pretty well in Safari. There are a few quirks compared to loading it in Firefox, but nothing show-stopping.

    If they can work out the spam filter and polish everything up, which I'm sure they can, they've got a true winner here. I'm copying over all of my regular POP3 e-mail to my new Gmail account so that I can access it anywhere and perform more in-depth searching on it. After all, if there's one thing Gmail tops all web and application-based Mail clients on, it is definitely searching.

    I urge you to check out these screenshots for a better look at Gmail than the two or three screenshots others have posted by clicking here [modblog.com].

    Gmail is as good as the hype suggested :)

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