Google Nerds Are Antsy for Google+

Google+ ProjectGoogle is introducing a competitor to Facebook called Google+:

Introducing the Google+ project: Real-life sharing, rethought for the web

… Google+ is a different kind of project, requiring a different kind of focus—on you. That’s why we’re giving you more ways to stay private or go public; more meaningful choices around your friends and your data; and more ways to let us know how we’re doing. All across Google.

How sweet of them, thinking about me.

This is a major project for google, where it consists of multiple sub-projects (Circles, Sparks), plus retooling their existing products like Gmail (via their People Widget), Buzz, and even their Search interface.

It’s by invitation only. You can hope for an invitation to Google+ by signing up.

Wired has an interesting article about Google+ (despite it reading like an ad too much) that highlights why many (including myself) don’t like Facebook: one tends to over-share information – too many damn “friends”. Google+ appears to be addressing that. We’ll see.

I know this is old (yesterday) news.

Gmail: Google Uses Tape Drives For Backups

gmail logoGmail screwed up yesterday due to a bug from a software update:

Imagine the sinking feeling of logging in to your Gmail account and finding it empty. That’s what happened to 0.02% of Gmail users yesterday, and we’re very sorry.

There are about 170 million Gmail users. 0.02% of 170 million is 34,000.

They’re in the process of restoring all lost email, but what surprised me is they use tape backups.

Tape backup technology has been around since the 1950s. It’s used by every major corporation – it’s the final backup solution – backups of backups resort to tapes in the end, despite their failure rate.

I use an external hard-drive, but tape drives are cheaper (in the long run).

Update: Some resources on how to backup gmail:
Back Up Your Gmail the Easy Way (or the Cheap Way)
How to Backup Your Gmail Account
Backing up your mail with POP (from Google)
– Or just google “backup gmail

Google Adds Chat To Email

gmail folders with chatI noticed a new “Chat” folder in my Gmail account today:

Get Google Talk so you can chat and make free voice calls with friends. Your Google Talk chat history can be automatically saved right here in your Gmail account. Also coming soon: chat in Gmail!

I don’t use Google Talk often, but it would be convenient to have it integrated with email; however, I’m considering getting a new email account. I get almost 1200 spam emails a month to my gmail account now. I don’t see most of it, but man, that’s ridiculous.