Bored with China and Pakistan banning web services left and right? Here is something new. Possibly feeling a bit left out, the Indian government has decided to join in on all the fun.
Apparently, the Indian security agencies are struggling to monitor the content being shared over Gmail, Skype and Blackberries due to their highly encrypted nature. According to The Hindu, a reputed daily newspaper in India, “Department of Telecom (DoT) will ask these companies to either ensure that data going through their networks be made available to security agencies in a readable format or face a ban from offering services in India.”
Indian security agencies are concerned that services like Skype are being used by terrorists to bypass monitoring mechanisms put in place for telephone calls. Skype and RIM (the Canadian manufacturer of BlackBerry handsets) will be given 15 days to respond, failing which services that do not allow lawful interception on a real-time basis would be banned. Google will also be asked to use encryption standards that can be monitored by the Government. However, the Government won’t impose any deadline on the search engine giant.
This is not the first time RIM has run into trouble with the Indian government. Back in 2008, there was a similar standoff. However, at that time, the Indian Government had claimed that all differences have been resolved.
Formal notices are expected to be served to all affected parties in the first week of July. While, a Google spokesperson declined to comment, Skype has come out and termed any potential ban as “a big step backwards”.
Remember the feature called Undo Send by Gmail which allowed you to avoid those OOPS moments which happen when you send emails to someone and realize that there was something missing, or even realize that you should not have sent that email in the first place?
Well, yes thanks to that I have revoked several emails in the past, however, the only problem with it was that Google only allowed you to undo send for 5 seconds.
But wait, did you visit your Gmail settings page recently? If you did, you will notice a new feature where you can change the cancellation period and set it up be up-to 20 seconds. This is definitely a great addition and will now allow for more graceful undo’s than the scrambling which happened when the Undo send was only limited to 5 seconds.
One of our staff members out here has had some problem sending and receiving emails from his Gmail account. It turns out that Gmail is down for several people and they are having problems sending and receiving emails.
However, Google seems to be aware about the issue as the Apps Status Dashboard shows a "Service disruption" message for the Google Mail service. However, these is no indication as to which parts of the world the outage is affecting users.
Gmail has had a long run with problems where several users have been affected in the past too. If you are unable to access Gmail, you can always try out these tricks to access Gmail or check out some alternative modes to access Gmail.
Apparently it looks like some (or all) users in China are facing issues while accessing the Android Market, Gmail and Google Talk on their Android based devices.
A user on the Android Forums posted a thread today that he was unable to access Market, Gmail and Google Talk from China. According to the user the problems have been happening since 13th June and has been occurring in Mainland China.
Unfortunately, Android Forums itself has gone under so could not check the entire conversation, but here is the page on Google Cache from which the below screenshot has been taken.
The actual thread is here just in case you want to check the debate, however it is still down for me. Are you in China and facing the same issues?
Update: From the comments below we were able to confirm that China is indeed blocking the above services.
When Gmail burst onto the scene, it garnered universal acclaim for its speed. Over the years, Gmail has continued growing and innovating. However, this growth seems to have come at a cost.
If Gmail is agonizingly slow for you, you aren’t the only one. In the words of Gabriel Weinberg, founder of Duck Duck Go, “It can take 20sec to switch labels, and even longer to search for something. But here’s the worst part–it takes just as long to send a simple message!?!”.
Fortunately for Weinberg, his blog post got noticed by a Googler. Not only did Google fix his problem, but also acknowledged that several other users may be affected by the same issue. Here is a snippet from Google’s response:
The team is still looking into your account slowness, but it initially appears that the problem is isolated to a small subset of Gmail users…They are still investigating the root cause of the slowness but in the meantime have moved your account to a different set of servers, which should help.
This isn’t the first time that Google has acknowledged this problem. Google had admitted that Gmail was sluggish and had promised to fix it back in March. While it’s nice that they reached out to Weinberg, one has to wonder what is taking Google so long. Meanwhile, if you are experiencing sluggishness, you can try some measures like deleting data from Gmail (email, labels, contacts etc.) and disabling Gmail Labs.
Google Chrome extensions have brought features to the browser and coupled with the awesome speed Chrome has, this gives us an amazing overall browsing experience. I have personally switched over to Google Chrome as my default browser and am satisfied with it.
Google Chrome extensions now have an added advantage. Chrome got a nifty feature of extension notifications whereby any installed extension can send out windows style notifications. This feature was already available to websites from Chrome 4. In the latest build, this feature will be made available to extension developers by a notification API.
One of the first to use this notification is the Gmail notifier add-on for Google Chrome. This added feature into the notification API can mean two things.
The advantage of this is that extension developers are no more limited to OS capabilities to display notifications and can easily do so using the browser. This will get clearer when more extensions use this feature to create a better user experience. Facebook and Twitter apps will be the first to follow.
Though, a downside of this is how extension developers will use this to provide some real functionality or simply for creating annoying notifications.
Gmail filters are great – you can use them for a variety of tasks. From moving selected conversations to specific labels to auto archiving replies – Gmail filters and the auto forwarding feature makes life easy, in case you get dozens of emails every hour.
Gmail has added a security layer in the auto forwarding email procedure. When you try to add a new email address where you want to forward emails from your existing Gmail account, Gmail requires you to first verify that email address.
To add a new email address for auto forwarding email, go to Settings> Forwarding and POP/IMAP.
Once you have added an email address, you are shown the following message:
Gmail sends a confirmatory link to that email address along with a verification code. You will have to click the confirmation link or enter the verification code to complete the auto forwarding set up procedure. Here is how the confirmatory email looks like:
However, if you are using Google Apps premier or Google Apps education edition, you do not have to verify the forwarding email addresses. Regular Google apps users are an exception though. More information on Gmail forwarding can be found here.
A few days back, Gmail added the functionality to drag and drop attachments from desktop in an email message. It works quite simple – drag the file(s) you want to attach and drop it in the attachment pane of Gmail. The file is instantly uploaded and attached to your email message. This has proved to be a useful feature, you no longer have to hit the old browse button, navigate to the location of the file and then click “Upload”.
Now Gmail has added another cool feature – you can attach images in the email message body by a simple drag and drop from your desktop, or from any other folder in your computer.
Suppose you have a bunch of images which you want to attach to an email message. Instead of clicking the “image upload” button and uploading each file one by one, you can select all the image files and drag them in the message body as shown below:
All the images will be uploaded one by one and when the upload is complete, you can align or resize the images as per your requirements. So simple, yet so useful.
As of now, this new feature is only available for Google Chrome but Gmail will soon implement it on other browsers as well. [ via Gmail blog ]
Gmail has added support for HTML 5, which means now you can drag and drop to attach a file in any email message. This is useful, when you have to attach a lot of files kept on a single folder. You don’t have to click the browse button again and again and can attach a bunch of files together in one go.
When you drag the files in the compose message window, Gmail shows an attachment pane to drop the files:
Earlier I used Picture paste to add images, attachments and other files in Gmail messages from the desktop. The drag and drop feature was much desired, because often the flash uploader would freeze in the middle of a file upload and you have to start the upload all over from scratch. When you want to attach a bunch of files or images – open the folder containing your files, select all files by pressing “Control +A” and drag all of them in the Gmail compose window. As simple as that.
If you want to attach an image from a web URL, simply drag the image from the web page to the Gmail message compose window. Please note that this feature works in browsers that support HTML 5 (Firefox 3.6+ or Google Chrome 4+). [ via Gmail blog ]
In today’s DYK, I will be explaining about an interesting feature in Gmail, which I thought many newbies might not know. You can use single Gmail account with multiple email addresses (variations of your emails id).
The trick is based upon this fact: Gmail does not consider the DOTS (.) in between the email addresses. For example, if an address like [email protected] is registered, then all the following addresses are also considered to be registered.
- [email protected]
- [email protected]
- [email protected] and so on.
So, Google gives no importance to the dots in the address. Another fact is that, you can add anything after a “+” sign in your email id, it doesn’t really matter. Example, if your email id is something like “[email protected]” then this address is equivalent to “[email protected]”.
Using this fact, you can do a trick to automatically segregate all mails into their respective labels. To do this, follow the steps below.
- Let us consider that you have a email id as [email protected]
- Let us consider you use the same id for many purposes.
- In such cases, you can distibute different versions of your id to different people. For example, you can add “+friends” and distribute it to your friends. Similarly, “+work” and distribute it your colleagues.
- After this, you can create a “to” filter in your Gmail account. In the “to” filter, enter the email address, [email protected] Click “Next” and apply the label, “Friends”.
- The next time anyone sends you an email to “[email protected], it will automatically get the label “Friends”.
Like this, you can use a single Gmail account for multiple purposes. Share your comments on this trick. Is this trick new to you or an old one? Do you find this trick helpful and useful?