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Apexdv
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 05, 2005 5:00 pm    Post subject: GMail Anyone... Reply with quote Back to top

I have several (family, kids, etc) GMail accounts each with 50 invites (seems like google is handing those out like candy these days!) and really just want to get rid of them to see how soon I receive more.

If you would like a GMail account just send me an e-mail with the subject as "GMail Request" and I'll send the invitation on to you. Hotmail, Yahoo, etc users: be sure to check your "Spam" / "Junk" folders as the invites are sometimes mistaken as unwanted junk.

Rest assurred, I am not just collecting e-mails for spam, etc. I am an sctive member of the forum and just figured I would 'share the wealth'.

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dconnor
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 05, 2005 5:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

I can tell you that i was never a big fan of web based mail until I found Gmail. It really is great.

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Apexdv
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 05, 2005 7:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

dconnor wrote:
I can tell you that i was never a big fan of web based mail until I found Gmail. It really is great.


Ditto, ibid, righto, same here!

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ChadG
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 06, 2005 3:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

I must be the only one that does not know what GMail is.....Would someone kindly enlighten me. Embarassed
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Apexdv
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 07, 2005 8:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

ChadG wrote:
I must be the only one that does not know what GMail is.....Would someone kindly enlighten me. Embarassed


http://gmail.google.com/gmail/help/about.html

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Apexdv
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 07, 2005 8:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

dconnor wrote:
I can tell you that i was never a big fan of web based mail until I found Gmail. It really is great.


Google now has their POP3 servers up & operating as well. You can download your messages to your computer while having them archived at the web interface for access at a lanother time (great for traveling, work, etc).. I love this feature.

Eek

Oh, God! I sound like a %@!*&#$ commercial! I'll shut up, now . . .
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 08, 2005 3:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

I was really pro-gMail in the beginning. And I do have to say, it's a great free web-based email service. HOWEVER, I would only use it for things like online forum registrations, casual conversation, etc...

At one point, I was so frusterated with my web hosting provider's bad email service, I decided to use a free gmail account. That was fine, but eventually, very sensitive data wound up in google's servers - tax returns, financial data, etc... Now, if you don't understand why this bad, let me tell you.

gMail's goal is to harvest email messages for data mining purposes. Not to say that they know your personal data, but nevertheless. Also, whenever you delete messages from their servers, it isn't deleted. Google has gone on record even confirming that.

See this site for more info: http://www.google-watch.org/gmail.html

BTW- I have no problem with gMail's computers scanning our email and displaying non-obtrusive text ads. Honestly, it's no different than your ISP scanning your email for viruses, etc... It's just a computer program, and something has to pay the bills. If you don't like it, just don't use it.

Anyway, if you are concerned about privacy and security, gMail is NOT the way to go, unless you use your client software configured with a Digital Certificate! This way, your message is signed and encrypted. If you do this, it doesn't matter who sees the email, because it is meaningless without the key required to encrypt it.

<off topic>
Personally, I wish everybody would sign and encrypt their messages. Then we could have true privacy and we would know that our emails are read only by the intended audience.
</off topic>

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 08, 2005 5:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

No matter the isp or e-mail "handler"/server, whenever information is transmitted unencrypted, not just signed, it is able to be intercepted and read easily. This goes for Hotmail, MSN, Earthlink, Comcast, Sprint, Google's GMail, Lycos, etc, etc, etc.

This is the exact reason why I never send private or confidential messages via e-mail/web without being encrypted, again, not just signed and have no problem paying $25 / year to Verisign for my encryption key.

Regarding the Google ads: they are context sensitive. They scan for keywords (nouns) and match those with ads relevant to the found words...not the context of the scanned item; ditto within the e-mail interface. It's not rocket science, rather, dumb scripts that choose the ads with absolutely no human deciding whether it may be offensive in its context or not. Point blank: it's just business and all about the mighty dollar.

I recently watched a news segment on local television in which they described the heart wrenching story of a family torn apart by a house fire. After, the reporter (in the appropriate somber attitude) said simply, "We'll be back.". <fade to black> Immediately a loud, high tempo commercial spot began proclaiming the benefits of purchasing you Home, Fire and Life insurance through their company. After, a funeral home commercial then on to spots announcing how great you would feel if you moved into this new mid-rise luxury condo complex. Yup, my chin was at my chest.

It's not just Google (as the story you linked to suggested) but any and every industry which uses automation for their commercial advertisement placement that can end up looking pretty bad. Again, it's just an unintelligent script doing it's job with no regard for actual context. Perhaps that will be the next great technical advancement?

Anyhow, when compared to other web-based e-mail services (paid or not) GMail is, in my humble opinion, far superior in terms of speed, user-friendliness, etc.

Your post seems to make GMail as a sole culprit in retaining messages deleted by the user; that is an absolute farce. Two years ago when I was still with Earthlink I inadvertently deleted a few e-mail messages containing my travel itinerary. As I had deleted them from my PC I quickly logged into the web-based version to see if they were still lingering. Nada, Zilch, Nothing. I then phoned Earthlink's technical support in the offchance they could undelete the messages.

"Not a problem" said the friendly and courteous technician who then explained that the messages are really never deleted for quite some time (even months) and even then could usually be pulled from backup archives.

As a "former" in the tech industry, myself, I know rule #1 in data is: Save, Backup, Save, Backup, Save, Backup... It is the standard of operation.

Now, I am not trying to disagree with you at all. In fact, I feel you raise a valid point whether you realize it or not. Sensitive, personal and confidential information should not be transmitted via the internet unless you ensure it is properly encrypted/safe. Even then, if a person is uncomfortable with transmitting their data they should stay away from this type of transmission.

As for me, I am comfortable with GMail and to be honest hardly ever pay attention to the ads. And now that I use their POP3 access, I use my encryption key whenever I have the chance.

For those out there who like having ample space in their inbox and don't want to have to pay for AND are comfortable sending e-mails, GMail is perfect. For those who dislike the keyword-generated ads, etc then choose something else. Hey, after all it's free!
Apexdv
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 08, 2005 5:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Ooops. Forgot to login before posting the above...

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Disturbed
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Joined: Feb 07, 2005
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 08, 2005 8:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Quote:
No matter the isp or e-mail "handler"/server, whenever information is transmitted unencrypted, not just signed, it is able to be intercepted and read easily. This goes for Hotmail, MSN, Earthlink, Comcast, Sprint, Google's GMail, Lycos, etc, etc, etc.


I agree. This is not a gMail only thing. I wasn't trying to say that at all. The world would be better if we all used encrypted email, eh?

Quote:

This is the exact reason why I never send private or confidential messages via e-mail/web without being encrypted, again, not just signed and have no problem paying $25 / year to Verisign for my encryption key.


That's great, but unfortunately, the whole world is not yet online with the idea. Most business people who use email just know how to hit Send. One of the biggest problems is that getting an encryption key and installing it into most email systems is not easy and it is poorly documented. All major email programs should have a Wizard and detailed instructions to do so. (This includes Outlook, Apple Mail, Eudora, Entourage, Thunderbird, etc...). In addition, all of the email clients should agree on a set of standards. I know first hand that emails sent from Apple Mail to Outlook that are encrypted cannot be read, however, signed emails can. It's a mess. (This could be another entire topic...)

Quote:

Regarding the Google ads: they are context sensitive. They scan for keywords (nouns) and match those with ads relevant to the found words...not the context of the scanned item; ditto within the e-mail interface. It's not rocket science, rather, dumb scripts that choose the ads with absolutely no human deciding whether it may be offensive in its context or not. Point blank: it's just business and all about the mighty dollar.


Honestly, I have no problem with google's ads. I prefer the text ads over big annoying banners and pop ups. And I could care less if a computer scans my email.

Quote:

I recently watched a news segment on local television in which they described the heart wrenching story of a family torn apart by a house fire. After, the reporter (in the appropriate somber attitude) said simply, "We'll be back.". <fade to black> Immediately a loud, high tempo commercial spot began proclaiming the benefits of purchasing you Home, Fire and Life insurance through their company. After, a funeral home commercial then on to spots announcing how great you would feel if you moved into this new mid-rise luxury condo complex. Yup, my chin was at my chest.


That's the way it goes. And during soap operas, there are many commercials for feminine hygene products. Targeted advertising. Again, I'm fine with that.

Quote:

It's not just Google (as the story you linked to suggested) but any and every industry which uses automation for their commercial advertisement placement that can end up looking pretty bad. Again, it's just an unintelligent script doing it's job with no regard for actual context. Perhaps that will be the next great technical advancement?


The google watch website is very hard on google, however they do raise some valid points. I am not anti-gmail, but I think gmail is a little more obtrusive than people may think, that's all. As google gathers terabytes of data from emails, browsing patterns, etc..., who knows how it wil be used. I don't think the average user understands the gmail privacy policy and what it means.

Quote:

Anyhow, when compared to other web-based e-mail services (paid or not) GMail is, in my humble opinion, far superior in terms of speed, user-friendliness, etc.


Agreed. And free webmail is just that free. So just be cautious.


Quote:

Your post seems to make GMail as a sole culprit in retaining messages deleted by the user; that is an absolute farce...

...messages are really never deleted for quite some time (even months) and even then could usually be pulled from backup archives.


Understood. BUT... Gmail's intent is to never delete. Earthlinks purpose is to backup... not permanently archive and data mine. When I delete a file from my hard drive, it can be recovered, but eventually, it will go away. The intent is to delete, but it may not be truly deleted for some time. Gmail's intention is to never delete. There is a difference. And as long as the average user understands and accepts that, I have no problem with it. I have a gmail account, and I understand how it works. And as far as free webmail is concerned, I would rather use gmail than any other free webmail. Especially Yahoo and hotmail.

Quote:

Now, I am not trying to disagree with you at all. In fact, I feel you raise a valid point whether you realize it or not. Sensitive, personal and confidential information should not be transmitted via the internet unless you ensure it is properly encrypted/safe. Even then, if a person is uncomfortable with transmitting their data they should stay away from this type of transmission.


All email should be signed and encrypted. But, I would like world peace too.It should have been like that from the beginning. Just like Skype encrypts all IMs and audio chats (from the very beginning they have), I feel email should be that way too. And so should all IM clients. When you place data into the public internet, it's dangerous. Now, don't get me wrong... I'm not some Card-carrying ACLU Privacy Nut. Not at all.
But it does nothing but strengthen the entire public internet if all or most data is encrypted.

Speaking of encryption... Do you or anyone you know at least digitally sign all of their emails? Doing something like this would stop spam in its tracks. All email clients or ISPs could have a rule that if an email did not have a valid digital signature, it is rejected (or moved into another folder, etc...). You get the idea. It seems the basic system is in place. No need for Microsoft (the King of Internet Security??) to come to us with their digital caller id plans. Maybe if the techies started to embrace such a practice within our community, it would extend out to the genpop.

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