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  • Google and it's awesome power

    Alright, I am writting an important email, and I spend about 2 hours typing this thing on a very stable machine. Well, all of a sudden firefox gets a critical error, apparently unhappy I did not install one of it's plugins. Now I lost all my work, right?
    I am sitting looking at my computer in disgust as I spent so long typing this email, but I figure it needs to be sent anyway, dust myself and carry on.

    Google SAVED my email in the draft folder. Saved it down to the last character I hit before firefox pooped out on me.

    You know. Google Email takes care of it's people. Right now I think I would actually hug a google rep.
    -Ridirich

    "When you're called upon to do anything, and you're not ready to do it, then you've failed."

    Commander W.H. Hamilton

  • #2
    Originally posted by Ridirich
    Alright, I am writting an important email, and I spend about 2 hours typing this thing on a very stable machine. Well, all of a sudden firefox gets a critical error, apparently unhappy I did not install one of it's plugins. Now I lost all my work, right?
    I am sitting looking at my computer in disgust as I spent so long typing this email, but I figure it needs to be sent anyway, dust myself and carry on.

    Google SAVED my email in the draft folder. Saved it down to the last character I hit before firefox pooped out on me.

    You know. Google Email takes care of it's people. Right now I think I would actually hug a google rep.
    That is interesting. I might look into that for more details.

    There are web-based mail applications that will store drafts being composed as part of a local cookie. When the OS/browser crashes, then restarts, the cookie is read for use and to allow the user to continue with their draft.

    Such a thing is a double-edged sword, if locally stored. It means a record of a mail may exist as typed on the local filesystem. Any sensitive information, or unencrypted versions of messages could be cause for information leakage or become evidence if forensics is required.

    I'll have to add this to my list of things to check out.
    Thanks. :-)

    Comment


    • #3
      I would assume that they store the email locally since sending every keypress to the server seems ... less than ideal. Perhaps they could checkpoint the file at intervals, and I'm sure the overhead would be minor compared to the traffic they are already handling.

      Originally posted by TheCotMan
      That is interesting. I might look into that for more details.
      Another thing you may wish to look into is how they handle "conversations". Although I don't use my GMail accounts(1), a recent discussion of top-posting versus bottom/inline-posting led to the revelation that Google Mail automatically trims out quoted content and reformats it into a easy-to-follow conversation. I can't even imagine how this works out, and I certainly haven't seen it in any other mail clients, but I know my curiosity sure was piqued.

      (1) My issue is (was?) rather petty: plain-text email should viewed with a monospaced font, and I hated having to set up a custom stylesheet on every web browser I used. (There's also the fact that I pay for an excellent email service so the impetus to migrate isn't as great as for those coming from, say, crappy ISP offerings.)

      Comment


      • #4
        Drafts are indeed saved off of the local machine, with the automatic draft appearing in your draft folder after it's automatically saved. The use of conversations is great, and it's filters are even better for managing multiple email accounts and mailing lists within a single window.

        My sole problem is that Google may or not actually delete any emails, even if you do delete them from your account.
        jur1st, esq.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by jur1st
          My sole problem is that Google may or not actually delete any emails, even if you do delete them from your account.
          Same with any e-mail system. Exchange 2003 gives you the "option" to have another mail storage to which copies of everything go. Talk about an easy way to monitor your little world, and no one knows.

          Comment


          • #6
            No, I was in the middle of typing an email, and firefox crashed...in other words, the window with my info closed.

            Gmail saved it online in my drafts folder, and I had not asked it to or set an option for that.
            -Ridirich

            "When you're called upon to do anything, and you're not ready to do it, then you've failed."

            Commander W.H. Hamilton

            Comment


            • #7
              They just recently added that feature. The URL with the information is at: http://mail.google.com/mail/help/about_whatsnew.html

              *snip*
              Auto-save
              We spent 20 minutes writing this entry, and then the browser crashed. Good thing there's auto-save. It saves. Automatically.
              */snip*
              Biggest Brother's watching Bigger Brother watching Big Brother watch you.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by jur1st
                it's filters are even better for managing multiple email accounts and mailing lists within a single window.
                The filters are occasionally convenient, and Google certainly didn't bring anything new to the table there (unless I missed something). They did, however, bring it to webmail and increased the popularity of such features.

                Originally posted by jur1st
                My sole problem is that Google may or not actually delete any emails, even if you do delete them from your account.
                What is the problem? You sent it across a public network. The sender probably kept a copy in their "Sent Items". Someone skilled could probably recover the message off of your hard drive. Law enforcement, assuming you have their attention, probably saved their own copy.

                It isn't really an issue with Google being nasty, either. The Google File System simply wasn't designed to remove data on demand (in particular, read the section on garbage collection).

                Originally posted by astcell
                Same with any e-mail system. Exchange 2003 gives you the "option" to have another mail storage to which copies of everything go. Talk about an easy way to monitor your little world, and no one knows.
                I don't believe that is entirely accurate. Google delays deletion due to technical limitations. Exchange, as far as I know, provides this option to comply with the latest batch of federal laws dealing with corporate communications.

                Comment


                • #9
                  It never ceases to amaze me how many people in this community are willing to use Gmail. You couldn't pay me enough to use gmail, I actually VALUE my privacy.
                  perl -e 'print pack(c5, (41*2), sqrt(7056), (unpack(c,H)-2), oct(115), 10)'

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Chris
                    It never ceases to amaze me how many people in this community are willing to use Gmail. You couldn't pay me enough to use gmail, I actually VALUE my privacy.
                    I don't use gmail for personal email, either.

                    However, I do monitor a gmail box that is used to manage feedback from users of a free public service. I treat that box as though it is being read by anyone with everything included, posted for anyone to read and review.

                    I'm against use of gmail for personal email, but some useful purposes have been suggested by others:
                    Mailing list subscrriptions for lists with large volume
                    Hackish public data storage of files by using gmail storage space in a way that it was not intended.
                    Some people don't care about content privacy in their personal email, and some of these like the idea of targeted advertising.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Chris
                      It never ceases to amaze me how many people in this community are willing to use Gmail. You couldn't pay me enough to use gmail, I actually VALUE my privacy.
                      Unless you are running your own mail server, no mail services are really all that private. Hell even then I wouldn't bet something important on it, you still need to worry about the other side, as well as every jump in between. I'd consider using encryption (PGP, GPG) through Gmail a lot more secure than going plan text to a private mail server. Though I could understand dislike as far as receiving things like online order receipts etc, to me it just seems like its always going through some other computer that I have no control over at some point anyway, so whether or not it ends up on my box just doesn't seem like it would make that much of a difference in the end.

                      Don't take this to mean I trust Google in any way. Lately I've been moderately wary of the direction they are heading, their business practices seem kind of World-Dominationish. I just don't think email is ever (without some form of strong encryption) at all a secure mode of communication.

                      Either way Gmail is great for non-sensitive stuff. I personally use Gmail to (like Cotman said) back up ridiculous amounts of mailing lists I never plan on reading, as well as sign up for things like forums (see my signup info). Even just emailing friends isn't that big a deal. I live with the assumption that someone else heard everything I ever spoke, whispered, typed, or thought too intensely, and try to act accordingly. I just watch what I output and limit the amount of sensitive information that leaves my head to a minimum.

                      If the above seems disjointed, its because its 4:25 AM and I've been coding for the past 7.5 hours. Peppermint ice cream mixed into strong coffee is very good. Might edit this tomorrow afternoon to look less stupid.

                      -zac
                      Last edited by pr0zac0x2a; November 3, 2005, 05:25.
                      %54%68%69%73%20%69%73%20%6E%6F%74%20%68%65%78

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Chris
                        It never ceases to amaze me how many people in this community are willing to use Gmail. You couldn't pay me enough to use gmail, I actually VALUE my privacy.
                        I use gmail for when I sign up for forums or newsletters. I have PGP 8.0.3 for my actual email address where I do not want to be potentially receiving spam and such.
                        Besides gmail is nice and convenient to be accessed anywhere with full features that you have to be on your own machine with Kmail, Evolution, Outlook Express, etc… to use. Gmail does have some nifty features I think.
                        Did Everquest teach you that?

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by TheCotMan
                          Mailing list subscrriptions for lists with large volume
                          Are there any large-volume mailing lists that don't already have their own archives? Why waste resources duplicating effort?

                          Originally posted by TheCotMan
                          Some people don't care about content privacy in their personal email, and some of these like the idea of targeted advertising.
                          Like pr0zac0x2a, I don't really understand this concept since the information is already so open. Every advertising-supported mail service (and probably most ISPs, as well) are likely analyzing the content of the messages in order to better serve their customers (i.e., the advertisers). As I see it, the difference with GMail is that they are very open about exactly how they intend to scan your mail.

                          What does that leave? You could run your own webmail server (assuming your ISP allows it) and hope people don't feel it is worth the effort to scan your mail anyway. You could trust someone else to run a mail server who promises to play nice. Or, as a last result, you could change the world so that all of us use end-to-end encryption.

                          I'd ask Chris which method he prefers, but the question is probably too invasive.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Voltage Spike
                            Are there any large-volume mailing lists that don't already have their own archives? Why waste resources duplicating effort?
                            In todays world of lawsuits and threats of lawsuits, there is risk for attachments sent to full disclosure lists, being "deleted" from online archives. An example might be the last Cisco issue where lawyers went after people with certain PDF, asking them to stop serving them on their websites.

                            There are also lists run by people who have no problem deleting posts from online archives that make them look bad.

                            Also, some online mail archive search tools are not as powerful or as fast as local searches, or webmail searches. Some archive search interfaces do not allow "and" operations to require each word to be in any hit, or "or" operations to specify optional ones.

                            Availability is another issue. Some archives are yanked for maintenance or taken away, and it is nice to have your copy available-- this is how some archives have been rebuilt in new locations when the old "owner" decided to close shop.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Gmail is the closest thing to a good MUA I've ever seen...

                              mutt makes a close runner up, but web mail is more ubiquitous

                              And besides, any mail going through my Gmail account I wouldn't mind posting on a bulletin board in the middle of a city park... if something is sensitive that's what mutt + gpg + my own mailservers are for
                              45 5F E1 04 22 CA 29 C4 93 3F 95 05 2B 79 2A B0
                              45 5F E1 04 22 CA 29 C4 93 3F 95 05 2B 79 2A B1
                              [ redacted ]

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