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Gmail's Birthday Presents 387

Jicksta writes "Since today marks the first birthday of Google's online email service, Gmail, the Gmail team is rolling out some great new features. Every user's email account storage has been doubled to an astounding 2GB and users now have the ability to use some new snazzy rich text formatting features including fonts, bullets, colors, and highlighting. Happy birthday, Gmail!"
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Gmail's Birthday Presents

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  • This is frikkin' awesome!I only got 1406MB, though, not the full 2GB. Not that I'm complaining about my free e-mail account. All that, and it's a real story. :)
    • Re:Schweet (Score:4, Insightful)

      by ( 653730 ) on Friday April 01, 2005 @12:23PM (#12111307)
      This is frikkin' awesome!I only got 1406MB

      Apparently it increases at the same rate than the javascript counter they put in the main page
      • Re:Schweet (Score:3, Funny)

        by DjMd ( 541962 )
        Boooo BOOOOOOO!
        I call foul, an Actual story on slashdot on 4/1?
        How cruel.

        • Re:Schweet (Score:4, Insightful)

          by cayenne8 ( 626475 ) on Friday April 01, 2005 @12:36PM (#12111485) Homepage Journal
          "...and users now have the ability to use some new snazzy rich text formatting features including fonts, bullets, colors, and highlighting. "

          Geez...just what we need. Email should be plain are just wasting bandwith with all the rich text crap.

          Geez...thought it was bad enough with trying to get idiots using MS Outlook to quit putting crappy wallpaper on their emails...not to mention the other stuff. You get a 2 line email, that is like 1.5MB+ in size with all the formatting crap, dancing images....etc.

          • Re:Schweet (Score:3, Informative)

            by Da Fokka ( 94074 )
            Notice that neither of the mentioned functions contain any images. The extra bandwidth required by colors, bullets and fonts is negligible [1]. Since e-mail is used for a lot of structured communication these days, it's good to see there's a little more than ASCII art to rely on.

            [1] You can only select sans-serif, serif and monospace fonts.
            • Re:Schweet (Score:4, Insightful)

              by RevDobbs ( 313888 ) * on Friday April 01, 2005 @02:56PM (#12113155) Homepage

              Unfortunatly, you can't rely on ASCII art 'cause retarded MUAs (like gmail) won't display messages in a mono-spaced font. That is a feature I've been requesting for ages.

              And your argument of using style for structured communication is bunk. What does colors and fonts have to do with your message, and how are they going to render in pine []? Bullet points? What's wrong with an asterik?

              If you want to sell me something, send me the URL of a webpage. If you want to effectivly communcate with me, send me a plain ASCII email. If you need back up images, send links to web page, but for the love of god don't email them to me.

          • Re:Schweet (Score:5, Insightful)

            by utexaspunk ( 527541 ) on Friday April 01, 2005 @12:54PM (#12111672)
            It doesn't do backgrounds or any of that crap. it just gives the basics- size, color, alignment, block quotes, a few fonts... the cool thing is that they've again incorporated the appropriate keyboard shortcuts ctrl-B turns on Bold, ctrl-I Italic, etc...

            That doesn't add a significant amount of size, particularly in light of the 2GB you get for mail. Even slashdot supports some level of message formatting. It makes it much easier to add emphasis. If someone overuses it, blame the writer, not the application...
            • Re:Schweet (Score:3, Insightful)

              by TeknoHog ( 164938 )
              In any case, formatting breaks the standard/idea of email as plain text. It assumes that the recipient is using a graphical/HTML client. It's the same kind of thinking that everyone is using MS Word, so it's ok to send information in the form of .DOCuments. Which is fine if you absolutely know how your recipient is going to read the message, but not a nice assumption to make in general.
              • Re:Schweet (Score:4, Informative)

                by ip_fired ( 730445 ) on Friday April 01, 2005 @01:36PM (#12112195) Homepage
                Most good mail clients should provide both the nicely formatted html and the text in 2 different MIME blocks. I just tested gmail, and it does this.

                So what are you really complaining about, the extra 1k that the e-mail has because it has good formatting?
              • Re:Schweet (Score:3, Informative)

                by shayne321 ( 106803 )

                It assumes that the recipient is using a graphical/HTML client.

                Yes, it assumes the recipient is participating in 2005 with the rest of us, not stuck in 1994 with you. For $DIETY's sake, even pine will read HTML email these days.

      • ...until it reaches infinity+1 [].
    • Re:Schweet (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Richardsonke1 ( 612224 ) on Friday April 01, 2005 @12:23PM (#12111318)
      Take a look at the main gmail [] page. You can see the counter slowly increasing your space allotment throughout the day.
    • Re:Schweet (Score:3, Informative)

      by pasokon ( 829164 )
      Well... apparantly, they want to keep giving storage beyond 2GB. See here []. Also see the home page (where you sign in)... []
    • Re:Schweet (Score:3, Funny)

      by Striikerr ( 798526 )
      As nerds around the world move their coveted porn off their hard drives to Gmail storage, Google will soon be able to post the following on their login page for GMail and actually mean it... "All your pr0n are belong to us..."
    • Re:Schweet (Score:2, Interesting)

      It looks like they're going to make it 'infinite' and not just 2 GB.... That means they might be trying to do some sort of file pooling with big files and maybe a bit of filtering for stuff of this large size kind. This is theoretically possible, but it'd take years of engineering work to do, I'd bet. I hope google's got people smarter than I am working to put that together. After storing how a huge portion the data on the internet is sorted, they might be finding out that STORING all the data on the in
    • Re:Schweet (Score:4, Funny)

      by AKAImBatman ( 238306 ) * <akaimbatman&gmail,com> on Friday April 01, 2005 @12:41PM (#12111543) Homepage Journal
      If you haven't done it yet, log out of your account and watch the MB counter on the front page. It's mesmerizing... like watching a disk defrag or something...
    • Well, if their plan is to give Infinity + 1 bytes... and if their definition of Infinity is the same as the one given by the Google calculator... then we will end up with an account of... 1 byte! :(

      Just look at: []
    • Re:Schweet (Score:3, Funny)

      by dj42 ( 765300 ) *
      I'm certainly pumped.

      You are currently using 0 MB (0%) of your 1433 MB.
  • April 1st? (Score:5, Informative)

    by maotx ( 765127 ) <> on Friday April 01, 2005 @12:20PM (#12111247)
    In light of April 1st I have to say I'm not sure if this is legit or not.
    My gmail account has slowly been growing today (it's at 1440MB capacity now) and have noticed the rainbow features being integrated.

    Will this last till tomorrow? Who knows. I'm liking it as is. I wouldn't think that Google would offer a service only to rip it away. If I had to speculate I would say that this is their answer to Yahoo!'s recent 1GB offer of e-mail. And as for those of you who keep complaining about gmail being in Beta still, I think Google answered it best regarding their "Gulp" product in their FAQ: []

    11. When will you take Google Gulp out of beta?

    Man, if you pressure us, you just drive us away. We'll commit when we're ready, okay? Besides, what's so great about taking things out of beta? It ruins all the romance, the challenge, the possibilities, the right to explore. Carpe diem, ya know? Maybe we're jaded, but we've seen all these other companies leap headlong into 1.0, thinking their product is exactly what they've been dreaming of all their lives, that everything is perfect and hunky-dory - and the next thing you know some vanilla copycat release from Redmond is kicking their butt, the Board is holding emergency meetings and the CEO is on CNBC blathering sweatily about "a new direction" and "getting back to basics." No thanks, man. We like our freedom.
    • Re:April 1st? (Score:2, Informative)

      by two_stripe ( 584918 )
      Considering GMail was launched on April 1st last year, id say you'd be pretty safe in assuming that it isnt actually a joke.
    • Re:April 1st? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by MPolo ( 129811 ) on Friday April 01, 2005 @12:25PM (#12111349)

      Just log out of Gmail. Then you will see the "joke" about the Infinity+1 Email account. Then at the end, they say "April Fool" and link to the new features mentioned in this article. Hence, the two GB is real, it will just take until tomorrow until it is there. (Or at least that's my analysis.)

      The question remains of whether the submitter saw the joke, realized that it needn't be submitted, given the glut of them, and then found the new features, or just clicked on that glowing red "New Features" link at the top of his logged-in page.

      • Re:April 1st? (Score:2, Informative)

        Read the link:

        But why stop the party there? Our plan is to continue growing your storage beyond 2GBs by giving you more space as we are able

        They discovered that a gigabyte is great, but 99% of all users aren't using more than a megabyte a year. Therefore, they really don't need to worry about limits. They just add on more disk space for the few users who actually need it.
        • Re:April 1st? (Score:5, Insightful)

          by GTRacer ( 234395 ) <> on Friday April 01, 2005 @12:50PM (#12111638) Homepage Journal
          They discovered that a gigabyte is great, but 99% of all users aren't using more than a megabyte a year. Therefore, they really don't need to worry about limits.

          Funny, that's the mentality broadband ISPs used when pricing their plans...then when everyone had a killer app that actually used what they were sold, backpedaling and AUP-juggling ensued.

          I don't think the Google will do this, but FWIW.

          - Has ONE message in GMail inbox

      • Re:April 1st? (Score:3, Interesting)

        by DJStealth ( 103231 )
        FYI, if you want to know how long it will take to get to 2GB, see the following algorithm from their web page:

        var START = 1112331600000;
        var END = 1112439600000;

        var quota;

        function OnLoad() {
        el("gaia_loginform").onsubmit = lg;
        if (!quota) {
        quota = el("quota");

        function updateQuota() {
        if (!quota) {

        var now = (new Date()).getTime();
        if (now < START) {
        setTimeout(updateQuota, 1000);
        } else if (now > END) {
        quota.innerHTML = 'Over
    • The FAQ item is great. When do I get to make mailboxes though?
    • This is not an april fool's prank. It is real. The joke is the "infinity + 1" storage that appears on the gmail main page. [] But if you follow the link they have, which reads:

      "Gmail turns 1 today. And we've always loved a good joke. We know we won't reach infinity, but check out what we will do [] ..."

      You will see that they are very serious about increasing to 2 GB of storage. The counter on the Gmail page seems to be increasing from 1000 Mb to 2000 Mb at a rate that will reach the goal by the time the day
  • by SlongNY ( 766017 ) * on Friday April 01, 2005 @12:20PM (#12111253) Homepage
    More google news :) [] Yummmy...
    • How to get Gulped? You can pick up your own supply of this "limited release" product simply by turning in a used Gulp Cap at your local grocery store. How to get a Gulp Cap? Well, if you know someone who's already been "gulped," they can give you one. And if you don't know anyone who can give you one, don't worry - that just means you aren't cool. But very, very (very!) soon, you will be. I guess I'm not cool. =(
  • True story! (Score:2, Redundant)

    by BWJones ( 18351 ) *
    Wow, the Google story first non April Fools post of the day on Slashdot. Now all we need is a true to life post on the new Apple PDA [].

  • Thats Great (Score:2, Redundant)

    by CrazyTalk ( 662055 )
    Two years old - but when are they finally going to be off of Beta release?
    • Darn, can't edit my responses. I meant to say one year old, of course. Still, seems a long time to be in beta, especially with so many users.
  • No Joke (Score:2, Informative)

    by JuliusRV ( 742529 )
    And this isn't even an April Fool's joke, it's for real! :)
  • I love the way the counter on Gmails home page is slowly crawling towards 2000Mb. Every time I log into Gmail my % use is dropping today!
  • by havaloc ( 50551 ) * on Friday April 01, 2005 @12:22PM (#12111283) Homepage
    Check out the napkin drawing on the login screen [].
  • Sweet... (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 01, 2005 @12:22PM (#12111284)
    Gmail is like a sore dick; you can't beat it!
  • On the web page it is currently about 1400mb. It is counting up to 2gb but it is going to take a few days. I bet I wont be able to tell the difference in storage space between now and then anyway.
  • The great thing is, it has been increasing gradually all day. You can watch the capacity going up on the login page (along with some humorous stuff), and the storage capacity when logged in increasing smoothly in line with it.
  • timer (Score:5, Informative)

    by ice-nine ( 149145 ) <> on Friday April 01, 2005 @12:23PM (#12111311)
    The disk space is going up gradually over the course of the day (I'm guessing, from the counter on the gmail front page (viewable when you're logged out)). When I checked early this morning I had 1128 MB, then 1129 MB, and when I set my system clock ahead, it jumped up (then back down when I set it back).

  • Competitoin? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by adennis ( 846411 ) * on Friday April 01, 2005 @12:23PM (#12111312)
    Hmm... I wonder if this could have anything to do with yahoo and hotmail starting to catch [] up [] with mail space... One of the many things Google has always been good at was staying ahead.
    • Re:Competitoin? (Score:2, Informative)

      by xtracto ( 837672 )
      Well, it could be but, since i started to read about the Hotmail's 250 MB offer I got a bit happy, but, nope, i still had those miserable 4 MB... now I know why:

      250MB inbox available only in the 50 United States, District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. Eligible Hotmail users will first receive 25MB at sign-up. Please allow at least 30 days for activation of your 250MB storage to verify your e-mail account and help prevent abuse. Microsoft Corporation reserves the right to provide 250MB inbox to free Hotmai
  • by k4_pacific ( 736911 ) <(moc.oohay) (ta) (cificap_4k)> on Friday April 01, 2005 @12:23PM (#12111317) Homepage Journal
    Seriously though, this April Fools thing was funny for a while, but it has to stop. I depend on this site for serious news. But today its all joke articles like this one. Come on now, two Gigabytes? For email? Very funny guys.
  • Anyone noticed... (Score:2, Informative)

    by (Jehuty) ( 848693 )
    ... That the counter on the Gmail page shows how much storage you have, and it keeps on increacing, u need to sign out of your Gmail account to view it
  • Drive Extension (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Plazzma ( 754649 ) on Friday April 01, 2005 @12:25PM (#12111340)
    2 gigabytes of storage might be pointless for just email, but it could be useful if you use a Gmail Drive Extension like []
  • Hmmm.... You are currently using 2 MB (0%) of your 1415 MB.
  • Remember that last year Gmail was announced on April Fool's. Besides, there's no way that our good friend Google would give us a fantastic and believable gift then brutally take it away.

    My only fear is that Google can't resist the draw to become evil forever. If they start making some of these new toys for-pay-features. *shakes fist*
  • by schleyfox ( 826198 ) on Friday April 01, 2005 @12:28PM (#12111384)
    I got lucky and got a great picture of it going "You are currently using 44MB (3%) of 1337MB" []
  • I've been in and out of my Gmail account all morning and I didn't even realize at the bottom it now says the following:
    You are currently using 57 MB (4%) of your 1414 MB.

    Nice! Thanks Google!
  • I personally admire the rectitude of normal, unimposing users whose insouciance and anomie natheless inspire the diversion of all that I survey. Indeed, even if one's raison d'etre were so mundane as implied, there would still be no plantain for composition.
  • Unlike most of today's headlines...

    Go to your Gmail account for more info...
  • by kickabear ( 173514 ) on Friday April 01, 2005 @12:31PM (#12111426) Homepage
    In every email program/service I've ever used, I've always set it to text-only. If I need to set something apart for emphasis, I've used regular punctuation and correct word choice. I've never needed to use large fonts or colored text to get my point across. Instead of useless features like bold and italics, why not work on a feature such as downloading email from my existing POP accounts, so I can consolidate all my email into one service?

    Props for the increased space, though.

  • If the dna-in-dinosaur-bones mob had made the mistake of announcing last night, we'd all be assuming it was an april fools joke now because basically _everything_ on slashdot for this 24 hours is bull.

    Gmail ups to 2Gigs may be real or it may be a dumb attempt at a joke. Don't care enough to click the 12th might-be-a-joke/might-be-real link of the day.

    My pledge: boycot slashdot on April Fools day. Next: hit submit then close slasdot window till tomorrow.
  • by MyIS ( 834233 ) on Friday April 01, 2005 @12:34PM (#12111466) Homepage
    I for one don't care about the whole increased storage cap. But the new rich-text formatting feature makes me glad and upset at the same time.

    For a long time now I've been thinking of making a rich-text editor in pure Javascript, so that it works in any browser, unlike past offerings from Hotmail. And now, it looks like that idea wasn't that crazy after all. Of course, I missed the boat to fame, pretty badly, now that Google made it so public. Yeah, I know, someone else probably did it before, but those efforts were obviously pretty obscure.

    Most importantly, though, I think this shows the tidings of the new application: built entirely using the browser as a client interface, and the server as the app-logic/storage. Don't buy Microsoft Office, get a free consumer version from Google. Of course, business-features are also rentable, for a small pay-as-you-go rate of $.05 per minute. The customer is happy - all they need is a browser on ANY PC with teh intarweb; the vendor is happy - no more piracy issues, EVER. Plus, the software "seller" doesn't need to bother with tech support nearly as much - only need to answer the occasional "my JavaScript is turned off/I use Lynx" call.

    I'd like to hear what you folks think of this vision of the future. And of course, links to existing examples that prove that these sentiments are soooo 1999.

  • Thank god i did not threaten to eat my mac before Reading this one through , Part of it is a joke though (2gigs thing seems real though)
  • Milwaukee Journal Sentinel []

    I don't know which is funnier, that Google felt that people actually needed 2GB, or that Slashdot thought it was a April Fool's joke. :)
  • If you check the source code for gmail's login page, you'll see how they are calculating the "running tally" of your current storage limit:

    var START = 1112331600000;
    var END = 1112439600000;

    function updateQuota() {
    if (!quota) {

    var now = (new Date()).getTime();
    if (now END) {
    quota.innerHTML = 'Over 2000';
    } else {
    quota.innerHTML = format(((now - START)/(END - START)*1025) + 1025);
    setTimeout(updateQuota, 50);

    It looks like it's counting from 1000 to 2000 over t
  • First, gmail uses this as a HUGE datamining service.

    Second, ooo free space...

    Personally I don't care if they read my emails or send them off to spammers or what not. It's a quality service, works well and is realible. ... and it's free.

  • I didn't know it was possible with a web interface to implement the rich text formatting they are doing. Right down to ctl-b to bold highlighted text. This works like a real word processor!

    2GB doesn't excite me, I'm using less than 100MB right now. The rich text? It knocked my socks of this morning.

  • Have you noticed?
    Google has a very interesting sense of humour: first they launch Gmail on April 1st.
    This had the effect of confusing people; lots of us expected it to be an April Fools joke and immediately dismissed it, so it effectively went under the radar initially.

    Now on the anniversary of their landmark e-mail service, they are at it again!

    Joke or reality? You figure it out.

    Personally, I believe this is Google's way of remaining low-key while at the same time being (possibly) the biggest thing ever
  • That's all they need. A one gigabyte, hell, even 700 mb attachment size, and it'd be perfect. A sourge to the MPAA, yes, but perfect.
  • by Astryk ( 827596 ) on Friday April 01, 2005 @12:48PM (#12111616)
    I'd love to ditch my local mail apps altogether and all that's holding me back is the lack of a calendar in gmail. It doesn't seem like it would be a difficult feature to add, and the combination of mail, contact and calendar management is largely what has made Outlook so successful. Yahoo's implementation is adequate but their mail interface is nothing compared to gmail's.
    • They actually have all the technical details to a Calendar worked out. The only issue holding up a release at this stage is the name.

      Galendar doesn't sound quite snazzy enough.

      Oh well. Then again I was the guy that suggested they use Go Ogle for their image search so maybe Go Date would work better for the calendar.

      Seriously, I do agree with you. I just implemented a PHP calendar on my website for the family to use and a Google calendar would probably kick my attempt to pieces.
    • What bugs me is that for a search company, they have certainly implemented search within gmail oddly.

      You can't do partial text searches (i.e. search for 'vacation*' (or variations thereof) to return e-mails with 'vacations'). It's highly vexing to be trying to find an e-mail that you KNOW exists, only to discover in the end that it wasn't getting returned because your search string was incomplete!

      Why store all your e-mails if you can't search for them easily/intuitively? Very odd. Does anyone know why thi
  • AT&T worldnet just raised their email storage limit from 10Mb to 25Mb. Woohoo.
  • by jbarr ( 2233 ) on Friday April 01, 2005 @12:53PM (#12111668) Homepage
    I realize that many /.ers have no problem with plain text, but the important thing to understand about the new Rich formatting feature is that it goes much farther than just making your messages look pretty. If you enable Rich formatting, when you reply to or forward a rich formatted message that you received, it now retains all the formatting. Before, everything was converted to plain text. Gmail finally allows you to manage messages unaltered. This is good news for both personal and business users.

    This potentially positions Gmail to be a WebMail client for the masses, because what you receive is what you will reply to or forward. This was a hugely lacking feature that has now been added.

    Kuddos to the Gmail developers!

    -Jim []
  • by dbzero ( 64544 ) on Friday April 01, 2005 @01:01PM (#12111780)
    It would be even better if images could be embedded within the email as well ... rather than attachments.
  • Funny Image (Score:3, Funny)

    by echocharlie ( 715022 ) on Friday April 01, 2005 @01:27PM (#12112082) Homepage
    I love the doodled graph on the main page []. I didn't notice at first, but the shiny effect around the Infinity+1 and the coffee stain really add realism to it. It's these little touches that make Google what it is today.
  • Happy G-day (Score:3, Interesting)

    by p0rnking ( 255997 ) on Friday April 01, 2005 @01:30PM (#12112110) Homepage
    When I first read this, I though for sure it was a April fool's joke ... who would have thunk that Gmail would ever allow rich formatting?

    Also, another thing I noticed this morning, after someone told me that they had 1399MBs of space, is that I was at 1400MBs, and now seems to be going up about 1MB per minute.

    Now if only Gmail supported a normal list view of all emails, along with grouping conversations.
  • And in other news (Score:5, Interesting)

    by emtboy9 ( 99534 ) <jeff.jefflane@org> on Friday April 01, 2005 @02:53PM (#12113121) Homepage
    Mozilla 1.7.6 seems to no longer be a "supported" browser... unless they are playing some sort of sick prank...

    Yesterday my 1.7.6 install worked fine with gmail, but today I keep getting routed to the "Basic" view with none of the candy that made me like my gmail account in the first place (filters, selections, etc).

    I hope this is some sort of practical joke...

Karl's version of Parkinson's Law: Work expands to exceed the time alloted it.