Google to Launch Gmail

Those leg-pullers over at Google released this press release announcing a beta version of Gmail, which will feature 1 gig of storage and the ability to search for any email ever sent or received. It also promises to turn "annoying spam e-mail messages into the equivalent of canned meat."
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Joke?

Can you provide a source to say that this is a joke? I have seen this story from numerous sources and at this point I have come to the conclusion that it is a legitimate story.

Re:Joke?

You'd think if they were running with it as an April Fool's joke, they'd date the press release for April 1 -- it does sound way over the top though in the "too good to be true" department. I suppose we'll find out soon enough. :)

Re:Joke?

It's not obvious enough?

The Urban Legends Reference Page at Snopes.com spends a lot of time and computer resources cataloging stories whose legitimacy stems from a popular concensus of reality. Check it out. They file under three broad categories: True, Indeterminate, False. Make it your first stop, always, in checking the veracity of something that sounds too good to be true or too silly to be credible.

Sources

AP Is Reporting it as fact. Google Is interviewing candidates for engineering positions at their lunar hosting and research center, opening late in the spring of 2007.

Re:Sources

Hmmm. Given that their artist's conception looks like a Trade Federation Starship I've really got my doubts about that one. :-)

I noticed that the AP article didn't quote any Google spokespersons, and I am mindful of that story of the California city council that wanted to ban dihydrogen monoxide.

Re:Sources

I'd certainly like to work on the HiDeHiDeHo project at GCHEESE. I was hoping it was true. Damn!

Re:Sources

Actually, it kind of looks like the Death Star...
or one of the buildings on Genosis (sp?). LOL...

My favorite quote is:
"Our new goal is to "organize all the useful information in the universe and serve it to you on a lightly salted cracker."

Re:Joke?

No, it is not obvious enough. I went to Snopes on this and they had nothing. So, I have news sources reporting this as a story. No one but Rochelle at LISNEWS reporting this as a joke, what am I to think. Always trust Rochelle?
Why is one gig of stirage space beyond reason? They don't have to instantly give everyone one gig, you have to get enough mail to use that storage. Most people will be in the several meg range for the first year or two. The idea is that you have up to a gig if you need it. Also as a year goes by the cost of storage space continues to drop.
That dihydrogen monoxide story is not a good example at all to this. That I could have found at Snopes, this is not there. If you are a librarian provide me with a SOURCE for your claim that the Google mail is a joke or don't bother replying.

Re:Joke

Well, you're not the only one confused. It's being reported as straight-up news by many outlets. Here's a comment about the confusion.

And here's something from one of the very detailed gmail info pages:
"During this testing period, the Gmail interface is only available in English. However, we're committed to making Gmail available to as many people in as many languages as possible. And Gmail accounts can already be used to read and send email in most languages (even Klingon).

First it says it's very limited and only in English. Then it says it can already be used to read most languages, including Klingon.

April 1st

Whether the new Google email is a joke I wanted to make a comment about April Fools jokes by companies. I do not think companies or news organizations should ever participate in starting an April Fools story. Disinformation can hurt people. If Google email is a hoax there may be someone out there that is selling some of their Microsoft stock because they think Hotmail is going to take a hit. Even innocuous jokes have some ability to cause harm. Also what happens when someday a life is lost because of one of these jokes. People should not have to wonder whether information coming from a news source or a company is a joke.

Re:April 1st

A colleauge and I were just discussing this, wondering if it is a way overblown joke way of introducing some sort of email service in the future. If so, it seems like a huge gamble, since people, like the New York Times editor who decided to run the story (with hundreds of others) don't like to be made to look foolish. Although google has the market so cornered that I can't imagine any significant harm being done to their bottom line.

Wait until Friday, but...

I see Motley Fool isn't sure whether Gmail is a joke or not. I suspect we'll know better tomorrow.


Meanwhile, given that some folks seem to think the offer of 1GB of storage is a showstopper, look at it another way:


At quantity-one end-user prices, that's sixtyfive cents worth of storage. (You can buy a 120GB drive for $75.) I'm guessing Google gets better than quantity-one prices.


So, the question should be: Can Google get enough revenue from text ads to afford some fraction of sixtyfive cents per Gmail user?


Which sounds a little different than, can Google afford to provide ONE WHOLE GIGABYTE of space?

Re:Sources

Or SpaceBall City...

(I didn't think of Spaceballs until after I posted)

Will eat my hat if necessary

This CNN story is the first I've seen that uses sources other than the goofy press release. "...Jonathan Rosenberg, vice president of the products group at Google, said the Gmail announcement was legitimate. He did concede that the company did get caught up in the spirit of April Fool's Day in its press release."

If such is the case, pass me my April Fool's cap, and I'll commence to munching on it on April 2.

Re:Wait until Friday, but...

I once read an FAQ at a hosting company (when I was shopping for servers) and it attempted to answer the question "how can you offer so much bandwidth for so little money" and the answer was something like "most of our users don't use any where near that much"I think the same thing applies here. Most people will never ever use that much space. I can offer unlimited space/email/bandwidth on LISHost because most everyone doesn't use more than a meg or 2. For many people the log files are bigger than everything on their site.

Opps.... Fang was wrong!

Reuters just put out a story that the Google email is not a hoax. http://www.forbes.com/technology/newswire/2004/04/ 01/rtr1320652.html

So for Fang's comment of, "It's not obvious enough?"
Nope it was not obvious and the story turned out to be true. Check that on Snopes.

Klingon Interface

Good gawd! Google has a Klingon interface. Who knew?

Web4Lib

There's been a lot of discussion about this on Web4Lib today and the consensus there is that this is for real, and very interesting. The search engine function for email seems like a dream come true to me, but the listserv folks brought up some interesting privacy concerns (how safe would your gig of space be?). Hope we find out soon what's really going on.

http://googlecities.com/freewebsite?

competeor become digital archaeology

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