Tag Archives: gmail

Gmail invite copy needs updating

I got an invite to join Gmail on one of my non-gmail account. They are still pitching “Over 2,700 MB of free storage”. Last I checked, my gmail footer was showing a number almost close to 7GB.

Seems like some marketing person forgot to update this with ‘unlimited storage’ message.

If you haven’t already heard about Gmail, it’s a new search-based webmail
service that offers:
– Over 2,700 megabytes (two gigabytes) of free storage
– Built-in Google search that instantly finds any message you want
– Automatic arrangement of messages and related replies into
– Powerful spam protection using innovative Google technology
– No large, annoying ads–just small text ads and related pages that are
relevant to the content of your messages

Gmail’s labels need usability improvement

I have been using Gmail for a long time now. I really love using the intuitive design and very good usability. I get about 50+ emails everyday in my personal gmail inbox. I use various filters and labels to sort my emails, but there are times when I have to label the emails by myself, without using the filters. I have more than 25 labels (I guess) and it is difficult to reach to the label starting with ‘P’ or ‘S’. I have to scroll down my huge list of labels, which is painful if I have to label a few emails.

When I was at Googleplex earlier this year, I saw a Google employee had a workaround to this problem. She added ‘_’ (an underscore) in front of the labels she wanted to see on the top. She added multiple underscores to labels depending what position she wanted it to show in the list. This work around is good, but not really a solid solution.

To begin with I would like to see ‘most frequently used’ labels on top. This will make life easier. Although a better solution would be to have an inline editing (think Google Calendar or Flickr) to add tag and as the user starts typing the label, the interface should suggest the labels.

It will be good to see Gmail team to make labeling emails easier!

Gmail is gone

Yikes…. ain’t that a scary thought?

My sister called me around 10ish on friday morning. She was nervous because gmail.com was allegedly “hacked”. She was in some comp. lab @ CSUEB

She told me that it says gmail.com is up for sale (like one of those parked domains etc.) I thought I knew what exactly was wrong and I told her the most obvious thing… check the address bar you might have a typo in the url. She re-checked it and confirmed it. I was bit surprised and refreshed my gmail window (CTRL+R and not the inbuilt refresh) and gmail wasn’t hacked for me…

I thought it might be some kind of mental block where she can’t spot the wrong spelling etc (happens to me sometimes.) To prove my theory, I asked her to goto google.com (which wasn’t hacked for her) and then type gmail and then click the link. This would make sure there is no typo. She did it and still landed on the same page. This shocked me, because my sister is not computer illiterate and what she is saying might be true. But I was still wondering how come gmail.com is “unhacked” for me? She tried to access gmail.com using the adjacent computer and had the same result.

She had to leave, so I asked her to take a screenshot of the so called “hacked” gmail and mail me using her Y! mail. I got the jpg screenshot in my gmail after a couple of minutes and was shocked to see she was right. Here is the screenshot

Gmail is gone

I still don’t know what happened, but I think I can make out what this is. I think it is some kind of Spyware which plays around the windows dns resolver and somehow hardcodes mapping b/w some ip address with the domain name gmail.com. I might be wrong, but that is the best I can think of.

I think this kind of spyware can be seriously dangerous, what if the “domain for sale” was replaced by a clone of gmail’s login page? Or even worse bankofamerica.com is infected by this and is forwarded to a clone of the original web site?

I’d love to know more about this so called spyware or is it something else. Did somebody else also noticed this kind of behavior somewhere else? I googled about it, but couldn’t find anything.

Why you should use Yahoo Publisher Network?

In my previous post, I suggested that Yahoo Publisher Network is evil due to its strange legal terms and the buggy code.

But now I am saying that you should use YPN atleast once, if you get approved. Why this change of heart? Does YPN pays a lot more than Adsense? Does it have a lot more contextuality to the content?

I haven’t been successful to use the Ads on my site yet, but I found the root cause of the issue. I was able to show Yahoo Publisher Network Ads on one of my test websites. Right now its just showing 0% APR for Credit Card and vonage.com Ads, but I can’t blame Yahoo for that, as that site doesn’t have any content (just comment spam)

I haven’t even observed a single impression in the YPN reports yet, but when I see my Google Adsense reports, I see a rise in my CPM, as compared to September’s CPM. The Avg. CPM from Sep. 30 – Oct 2 is 33% more than September’s CPM. This doesn’t mean that I am claiming that Adsense has increased my CPM after I have started using YPN, but pointing that it can be a possibility.

I have had higher CPM in the past than what I got in the last 2-3 days, so I can’t claim anything right now. I would suggest people using Adsense to try YPN atleast once, just to check if it affects your numbers. I am planning to rotate my Adsense and YPN periodically and get stats. I am not sure how long should that period be? Should I run Adsense for 12 hours and YPN for other 12? or should it be longer periods such as a week or a month?

I believe this scenario can be compared to the situation a few months ago, when Gmail was launched. Most of the free email providers were reducing the mailbox size and as Gmail entered the market, Yahoo and MSN increased their mailbox sizes to match Gmail. This is the power of competition…..

Here is Yahoo’s (quick) response to the email that I sent to them, followed by my explanation of the problem.

Sep 30 2005 14:36 PT
> Hello Gaurav,
> Thank you for your inquiry.
> We would be more than happy to help you resolve any display issues you are
> experiencing. At this time, we feel that we can better assist you by
> speaking to you directly, in order to obtain more detailed information.
> Please feel free to call our Support Team at (866) 785-2636, Monday to
> Friday from 6:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. PDT, and from Saturday 7:00 a.m. to
> 4:00 p.m. PDT.



Sorry, I was unable to call you guys, but I did find the problem.

Here is the bug (actually a compatibility issue.) I add my YPN code in a
HTML file which is being “imploded” by a PHP file. Then slashes are added
using “addslashes($theVar)” which adds backslashes before the characters
(‘), (“), (\) and (NULL).

When the whole thing is “print”ed it shows something like \’ as compared to
‘ . However the ” (double quotes) are printed fine (without leading
backslashes.) I guess there is some kind of confusion going on with code
while it is printed.

Here is the code snippet:

$tmpl_file = “path-to-file/header.html”;
$thefile = implode(“”, file($tmpl_file));
$thefile = addslashes($thefile);
$thefile = “\$r_file=\””.$thefile.”\”;”;
print $r_file;

I’d suggest you guys to either give an option to the publisher to choose
between a single quote and a double quote, or just make it default as double

I am using Ads provided by * another company * and they do use double
quotes, which works fine for me. If you think it is fine for me to change
the single quotes in the code to double quotes manualy, then do let me know.


Google Talk: A boon or a Misery?

Disclaimer:Google Talk: A boon or a Misery? – I am talking about myself, not the entire GT using community

I talked about Google Talk and the issue that I keep getting other’s emails(click and scroll down).

And guess what…..I never thought that both the things can co-relate themselves and make my life miserable……

I am online on GT since I dled it, I have invited a few people. A few minutes ago, I got an invitation from some girl TP (name initialized, just to create hype.) I didn’t know her, so thought might have read my post on the GT. I accepted the invite. And initiated the conversation. Following is the uneditted conversation, except her name:

Gaurav: hi

tanayapras……: hello

Gaurav: sorry, but do I know you :p

tanayapras……: i am arriving in delhi tonight, i hope :)


Gaurav: :((



tanayapras……: sorry

Gaurav: mere saath aisa kyun hota hai, I always get other ppl’s mails ab msngr par bhi 😐

lol thats ok

hope, I didn’t scare you

tanayapras……: no no

Gaurav: lol ok. Actually I get a lot of emails addressed to other ppl, but then….they send them to
me…. so ur frnd must be having an id gsharma*

Sent at 10:00 PM on Wednesday


During the conversation, as soon as she realized that this was a wrong id, she sent an invite to g._mylastname_. As a lot of u know gmail would consider that as my id coz a ‘.’ placed anywhere in the id is insignificant (except while logging in.)

I guess she has freaked out a lot, I haven’t heard from her since then :p, I’ll delete her after a few days, if there is a no-response and if u r reading it, then let me know if u want to be deleted from my GT :p

I am sure, I’ll have a lot of these kind of incidents, so I’ll try to keep you updated on them 😀

Google Talk

It has happened finally….. Google has launched its Messenger (Ofcourse the Beta Version.) There had been a lot of speculations about it since a long time. Technically it is supposed to be launched on wednesday (tomorrow), but its already up @ their website right now, coz its wednesday in other parts of the world.

You can download the “Google Talk” here, but the catch is that u have to have a Gmail a/c which, most of the ppl have these days and if u don’t then contact me.

Right now it is very primitive, the main funda is Voice Messaging. I haven’t tested it in a duplex mode w/ someone while Voice Chatting, so can’t say too much bout its Voice quality and the lag time etc.

You get new email @ ur Gmail a/c notifications similar to Y! and MSN IMs. There r no Smileys, they just show the main gestures such as a smile or laughter in blue color.

I am sure….in coming few days, we will definetly see a lot of goodies coming to us in the form of Google Talk.

BTW checkout an article about it. Also checkout its features w/ screenshots here.

Feel free to Add me, the username is same as my domain name!!

PS – No, it doesn’t have any contextual based Ads (so, far) and I don’t think they will introduce any Ads, coz it is more for making a customer base…..

Gmail – New Ad Format

The Contextual Ads from the right side of the Gmail is gone…… and what has stepped in is a weird link on the top. I just noticed the new format.

Its surprising to know that these are not solely Ads. It constitutes (Contextual) News and (Contextual) Ads. It just shows one link but a user can navigate to next or previous links. I don’t know why it says “web clip”.

And it seems like the News are not just contextual but coming from a particular section like Oddly Enough which is more like Urban Legends or something that is not really a news article but an intersting-to-read-article.

I think the new Ad format appeals more to the user.

Here is more info on the topic.

Update: Checkout the settings for custom feeds