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Outage Knocks Gmail Offline For Many Users

timothy posted more than 5 years ago | from the blissfully-sleeping-through-it dept.

Google 209

Many readers noted an outage affecting Google's gmail service last night. Firmafest points to a statement from Google, according to which only a small subset of users were affected. According to reader CaptHarlock, mail itself remained accessible through IMAP clients, and the chat feature via external applications. jw3 asks "Of course, gmail is just one of the many providers of web-based e-mails. When I look around, almost everyone seems to be using them nowadays. So — what do you do? Do you trust that the site of your web-based e-mail provider will never go down? Do you make backups of all your e-mails?" (Some readers still seem to be unable to reach the site, too.)

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209 comments

Ma.gnolia! (5, Funny)

stoolpigeon (454276) | more than 5 years ago | (#26969339)

I never worried about backups. Then I watched this video [citizengarden.com] and now I back up everything. For all I know this "Google" company is a couple seventeen year olds with an old 386sx in their mom's basement. I like their stuff but I can't depend on them to know how to protect my data.

Re:Ma.gnolia! (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26969457)

a couple seventeen year olds with an old 386sx in their mom's basement.

Close; they recently updated their 386 with a math-coprocessor. Now they can run MAME. :-)

Re:Ma.gnolia! (-1, Offtopic)

pcdisorder (1426673) | more than 5 years ago | (#26969793)

The world almost ended today - watch my cartoon http://www.pcdisorder.com/2009/02/gmail-down-is-it-world-ending.html [pcdisorder.com]

Re:Ma.gnolia! (2, Insightful)

Arivia (783328) | more than 5 years ago | (#26970109)

A) You're unfunny.

B) Stop spamming.

Re:Ma.gnolia! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26970355)

nice cartoon. check out mine at http://badkitty.on.nimp.org/gmail-down-lol-wut

Re:Ma.gnolia! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26970353)

Sure. Except that the lesson is really that MySQL gets corrupted fairly easily.

Thunderbird Public Service Announcement (5, Informative)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 5 years ago | (#26969341)

Use Thunderbird [mozilla.com] with GMail [mozillazine.org] and configure it so that every time there's a new message it is synced to your local hard drive but also left on the server (IMAP probably though I think the same can be done with POP).

My linux box at home has been doing this for years, I just leave Thunderbird open and set my monitor to sleep after 15 minutes of inactivity. I don't care if my GMail and college mail accounts temporarily go down, it's all mirrored on that machine.

Anti-Microsoft zealot bonus rant: I stopped using Hotmail when I realized I could not access it outside of Outlook Express ... I'm aware of ways [freepops.org] around [izymail.com] this but there's a simpler solution: don't use Hotmail. This and the fact that (last I checked) it didn't support forwarding are two very good reasons to move on to a free mail service more dedicated to you. The choice is yours.

Re:Thunderbird Public Service Announcement (1)

zappepcs (820751) | more than 5 years ago | (#26969393)

I'm setting this up at home for the family. Do you know if deleted messages in Thunderbird can by sync'd to Google so that only a single delete is needed?

Re:Thunderbird Public Service Announcement (2, Informative)

4D6963 (933028) | more than 5 years ago | (#26969475)

Yes, it's in the server/mail options. It's easy to find.

Re:Thunderbird Public Service Announcement (4, Interesting)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 5 years ago | (#26969569)

Actually, I think what he's wants it to do is delete it but not move it to the trash (delete it permanently which I think means they have to compact the folder it's in). Note: I'm not an expert on IMAP. I don't believe this is possible [mozillazine.org] although I'm not sure why this would be a problem. From that support link it seems that you can only mark it was deleted and it will be deleted when the folder it is in is compacted. However, it adds:

Shift+Delete deletes the message without copying it to the trash folder, and is also supposed to compact the folder (if you have that preference set). However, some users report that Shift+Delete doesn't always compact the folder.

That link has something on why what he's asking for isn't possible:

Remove it immediately

"Remove it immediately" doesn't actually remove the message despite its name. It just hides it from view and flags the message as deleted. That appears to be because Thunderbird doesn't support the optional UID Expunge command, which requires the server to support the optional UIDPLUS capability. It will be physically deleted when you compact the folder.

Although that page was last touched on Oct 2008 they may have added that functionality, I'm not sure ... but it may frustrate users to add that feature when the server doesn't support UIDPLUS. Like I said, not an expert though I think this may actually not be possible.

Re:Thunderbird Public Service Announcement (0)

dontPanik (1296779) | more than 5 years ago | (#26969405)

What? Of course hotmail supports forwarding. How else would I hear about all the 8 year olds with cancer who will only live if I forward this message to 25 people?

Re:Thunderbird Public Service Announcement (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26969465)

What? Of course hotmail supports forwarding. How else would I hear about all the 8 year olds with cancer who will only live if I forward this message to 25 people?

He meant auto-forwarding of e-mails to another e-mail account so you can access them through POP or IMAP.

Re:Thunderbird Public Service Announcement (1)

dotancohen (1015143) | more than 5 years ago | (#26970063)

What? Of course hotmail supports forwarding. How else would I hear about all the 8 year olds with cancer who will only live if I forward this message to 25 people?

It's ten people you fool! Now you've just made two and a half cancer-ridden zombies!

Re:Thunderbird Public Service Announcement (3, Informative)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 5 years ago | (#26969509)

I do this myself. One thing I like though is to pull in other e-mail accounts and have everything just appear in my inbox without having to have Thunderbird open all the time to automatically check. So in addition, my setup uses fetchmail [berlios.de] .

Re:Thunderbird Public Service Announcement (5, Interesting)

Elledan (582730) | more than 5 years ago | (#26969559)

Yup, I just use Hotmail for registrations and such which I'm sure may result in spam and other unwanted messages. It's a serious pain to know whether you have got new messages (I don't use MSN), so I hardly use it. GMail's IMAP function on the other hand is perfect. It really elevates this email service from Yet Another Web-Based Email to something that is actually usable and integrates well with my normal work flow.

Great job, Google.

Re:Thunderbird Public Service Announcement (4, Informative)

Admodieus (918728) | more than 5 years ago | (#26969567)

Hotmail now has free POP3 to any client and supports forwarding to any address. It does still lack IMAP though.

Re:Thunderbird Public Service Announcement (0)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 5 years ago | (#26969747)

Hotmail now has free POP3 to any client and supports forwarding to any address. It does still lack IMAP though.

This is great news! It's good to see that they're very slowly catching up to what other free e-mail providers that started years after them already offer. For a while there, I thought it looked like a case of them trying to extort money from their currently large user base for a functionality that really shouldn't cost money. But maybe it was a smart business move, they did have to make it through the dotcom bust after all.

I know my mom and sister still use Hotmail--unfortunately for myself (a developer) it's a case of too little too late. My Hotmail address was my first e-mail address and, unfortunately, will be the only e-mail address I've signed up for that has fallen into complete disuse.

I love when open & honest competition vies for consumer share! It gives me that tingly sensation of things being right for once.

Re:Thunderbird Public Service Announcement (3, Interesting)

vally_manea (911530) | more than 5 years ago | (#26969603)

I have a different way. I set up a dovecot & fetchmail for GMAIL and I can still access my email online from wherever I go.

Windows Live Mail holds local backup of Hotmail (1)

Brit_in_the_USA (936704) | more than 5 years ago | (#26969657)

I find the windows live mail desktop application does a good job of holding a local copy of my hot mail account. So does my WinMo cell phone (for the last 50 messages).

Re:Thunderbird Public Service Announcement (1)

Logical Zebra (1423045) | more than 5 years ago | (#26969887)

Hotmail syncs up with the Palm OS. I get my Hotmail account on my Treo.

Re:Thunderbird Public Service Announcement (1)

jonnykelly (663111) | more than 5 years ago | (#26969993)

Microsoft supports Outlook 2003/2007 integration with Hotmail via their "Outlook Connector" plugin. Works fantastically, even synchs calendar data if you are paying them for the calendar features in your "Live" account. It's been around since 2006, and there were earlier incarnations under different names. more info: http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/outlook/HA102218231033.aspx [microsoft.com]

Re:Thunderbird Public Service Announcement (1)

master811 (874700) | more than 5 years ago | (#26969995)

This is more an IMAP/POP public service announcement than a Thunderbird one.

You could just have easily have used Outlook Express/Windows Mail, Windows Live Mail or even Opera for it. I'm ignoring the full versio of Outlook of course as it's not free like the others.

To add to your obvious MS bias, you CAN access hotmail outside of Outlook Express as Thunderbird can just as eaily be used with the easy to install webmail/hotmail combo addons for it. Not to mention Outlook and Windows Live Mail as well.

Re:Thunderbird Public Service Announcement (1)

DoomHaven (70347) | more than 5 years ago | (#26970189)

I have four big problems with using Hotmail on Thunderbird:

1) is that it doesn't support Hotmail folders
2) it doesn't download all my e-mail, and craps with hundreds of messages left on the server
3) it generates 100s of MB of error messages after a couple weeks of usage that I have to route out and delete
4) it won't delete files on the server when I delete them in Thunderbird

So, to me, I can't just as easily use Thunderbird as Outlook Express / Windows Live Mail on Linux.

Re:Thunderbird Public Service Announcement (2, Informative)

spyrochaete (707033) | more than 5 years ago | (#26970075)

I do what you do, but I recently switched from Thunderbird to Windows Live Mail (a free, better Microsoft mail client than the lame Windows Mail which comes with Vista). Thunderbird is an exceptional mail client that does a great job of handling multiple addresses, but the only thing Windows Live Mail does better is that it allows mail to be indexed and searched from the Vista start button.

BTW I use POP3 but configured Gmail to automatically keep a copy of each mail in its archives. I'm doubly protected this way - if either goes down I can rely on my backup, or I can sync one with the other.

Re:Thunderbird Public Service Announcement (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26970203)

I do sort of the same thing. My Linux box at home runs a fetchmail process periodically, and aggregates email from a dozen different sources. My exposure is only a few minutes, and I've got everything local.

Or do you do it yourself? (1)

IBBoard (1128019) | more than 5 years ago | (#26969353)

Do you trust that the site of your web-based e-mail provider will never go down? Do you make backups of all your e-mails?

Or do you just not place all of your trust in GMail and do it all yourself? It's more customisable, more unique and more individual, amongst other things.

Re:Or do you do it yourself? (1)

lordandmaker (960504) | more than 5 years ago | (#26969851)

Other things being 'difficult' and 'expensive' presumably.

Re:Or do you do it yourself? (5, Funny)

Nursie (632944) | more than 5 years ago | (#26970017)

Expensive?

No. Grab a small box like a linksys nslu2 or a nano-itx board, ADSL with a static IP (I pay an extra £1 permonth for the IP) and a domain name.

Difficult?

No, easy! You just need to install linux (pref. debian) set up an MTA like Postfix or exim, make sure to hook it up to a DNSBL or two, maybe spam-assassin for filtering, rDNS and SPF checks, header validation etc, open port 25 incoming on your router, add in dovecot for IMAP, make sure to set up your own trusted root certificates so you can connect in securely, consider a FOSS webmail solution (squirrelmail?), expose port 80 for that, make sure your passwords are good and strong, continually check for and apply security updates...

I do it. My mailserver runs off an NSLU with a 4GB USB flash stick. I don't think it's for everyone though. Whatever happened to ISPs providing email?

Re:Or do you do it yourself? (1)

IBBoard (1128019) | more than 5 years ago | (#26970237)

Or "as expensive as a basic hosting account" (I could fit all of my email and more on a $5 account with my current host if I wanted) and "as difficult as using the cPanel interface for setting up accounts and the Horde/Squirrel Mail/Cube Mail interface for checking your email (or POP/IMAP through a client)".

It may not be for every Average Joe, but it's easy and cheap enough for Only-fractionally-above-Average Joe.

Whatever happened to ISPs providing email? (1)

the_rajah (749499) | more than 5 years ago | (#26970423)

They still do it, but it's foolish to use it, IMO. I webmaster for a newsletter that is read by over 1.000 people. We get several changes of email address notes from people moving from DSL to cable, or whatever. Why would you want to go through the hassle of notifying everyone that your email address has changed because you went with a different ISP? Then there are the people that you forgot to notify and the people who forget you've changed... Bah! Get a separate email address like gmail or on your own domain and avoid the hassle.

Yes, in answer to the question about backing up my gmail, I do. Like some of the other comments, I use Thunderbird. In my case it's Thunderbird Portable running on a 16 Gig Flash drive that I carry with me so I have it at home or at the office. It's further backed up at Midnight each night to a backup server at home and to Carbonite.com. My wife also uses a similar setup, but her Thunderbird runs on the backup server and she only accesses her gmail via the web.

Re:Or do you do it yourself? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26970441)

That's basically impossible for nearly everyone in the world, and even though most of the rest of us COULD do it, it's so much simpler to just use the one that's already set up. Besides, SquirrelMail's UI is absolutely terrible.

Re:Or do you do it yourself? (1)

pimpimpim (811140) | more than 5 years ago | (#26969895)

I was there when there was free webspace and free urls by "big names" around 95. I forgot the names(!), but I do remember how I had to fight pop-ups that were introduced along the way, or urls that were impossible to use after a year, because they were not your property. I lost several webpages in cyberspace there.

So I have now my own, paid, virtual server for my url, pages, my e-mail that are not mailing lists, etc. That is still not the holy grail, though: my virtual server provider, one of the bigger ones in europe, managed to get my server down last month for about 24 hours. At least I could speak someone on the telephone about it who could confirm it, but they were not likely to speed it up, or pay me back for the lost service. (even though it could be fast, just load the virtual images on another batch of machines, and reroute the internal ip traffic).

Never go down? (5, Insightful)

onion2k (203094) | more than 5 years ago | (#26969417)

Do you trust that the site of your web-based e-mail provider will never go down?

100% uptime is possible, sure, but you're going to have to pay for it. It'll be horrifically expensive (thousands of dollars a month) because you'll need multiple levels of redunancy across your MTA server(s), web server(s), and connectivity, in two or three locations.

So, because that's a ridiculous expense for practically everyone, you should just chill out. A morning without your email isn't going to kill you. In fact, it might even be good for you. Take some time out. Go for a walk. Spend a few hours with your wife/kids/friends/dog.

People are talking about this outage like it was the end of the world. It made the BBC news! I swear the entire world has lost all sense of perspective (except me, natch).

(I was tempted to make a joke about email services being like girlfriends and how you don't need one that never goes down, but I thought that might be tacky. :) )

Re:Never go down? (1, Insightful)

Spazztastic (814296) | more than 5 years ago | (#26969525)

So, because that's a ridiculous expense for practically everyone, you should just chill out. A morning without your email isn't going to kill you. In fact, it might even be good for you. Take some time out. Go for a walk. Spend a few hours with your wife/kids/friends/dog.

You're oversimplifying things. Many people rely on Gmail to be their primary source of e-mail for their business. People host their domains on it for their companies. For some people a few hours means money lost. Sure, it's their own fault for relying on "the cloud," but when you get used to a level of service and it suddenly cuts out it can be a major impact.

Re:Never go down? (5, Interesting)

aclarke (307017) | more than 5 years ago | (#26969763)

No, he's not oversimplifying things. If your business relies on email uptime, then rely on a system that will provide/guarantee that.

I'm sure I'm not the only person here who has worked on systems where an hour of downtime meant many thousands of dollars of lost sales. If being down for 4 hours a month costs you $40,000 in lost sales and $12,000 in lost profits, then be willing to spend $12,000 per month more to get the extra 4 hours per month of uptime. If people rely on a free service without a sufficient SLA for this type of business, then they are being foolish.

Personally I host my domains' emails through Google. You know what? I didn't even know it was down. And even if I did, I wouldn't have really cared that much. I would have done one of the many many many other things on my to-do list that don't require email access, and would have expected that if a client was trying to reach me that badly during that period, they'd have just picked up the phone and called.

Re:Never go down? (4, Informative)

mmkkbb (816035) | more than 5 years ago | (#26969837)

Google Apps for Domains HAS an uptime guarantee. This may not have been affected by the outage.

99.9% uptime reliability guarantee

We guarantee that Google Apps will be available at least 99.9% of the time, so your employees are more productive and so you can worry less about system downtime.*

Re:Never go down? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26969967)

Yeah, but look at the remediation if they fail to meet the uptime - you get some free days of service. That's it. Rather crap of a guarantee.

Re:Never go down? (3, Informative)

jimicus (737525) | more than 5 years ago | (#26970289)

Yeah, but look at the remediation if they fail to meet the uptime - you get some free days of service. That's it. Rather crap of a guarantee.

I know of no hosted service which will indemnify you for $1,000,000 if they go down for an hour and, by sheer bad luck, that downtime causes you to demonstrably lose a US$1,000,000 order.

Re:Never go down? (1)

aclarke (307017) | more than 5 years ago | (#26969971)

Google Apps for Domains HAS an uptime guarantee. This may not have been affected by the outage.

That's a good point and maybe I should have been more clear. For reference, here's the Google Apps SLA [google.com] .

They will provide you up to 15 days of credit per month if you request it, depending on the downtime. In other words, this is nothing if you are a free user. They're going to provide you 15 days per month of extra free service? Additionally, in my post I mentioned a "sufficient SLA". For instance, if you are losing $3000 per hour in lost profit, then craft an SLA with your provider in which they are liable for $3000 per hour in penalties. Then be prepared to pay for that level of service.

In the end it should be fairly simple mathematics. Just look at what downtime is costing your organisation, then try to find a service provider that will give you the best price on the guaranteed service that you require.

Re:Never go down? (1)

Aladrin (926209) | more than 5 years ago | (#26969991)

Google App Domains were affected by this. We were unable to access our mail via web at our office. We actually wouldn't have noticed, but we were having a little (unrelated) emergency of our own and had to check mail from home for a change.

Re:Never go down? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26970331)

My account with Google apps, domain ana.it, was affected by the outage. Haven't measured for how long, though.

Re:Never go down? (4, Insightful)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 5 years ago | (#26969843)

>>>Many people rely on Gmail to be their primary source of e-mail for their business.

Yes, and many people rely on local mail exchanges, which in my experience fail at least once a week. ("Sorry cannot send email at this time. Server connection lost.") If Gmail only fails once every five years, it's still a better choice in my opinion than the current locally-provided email service.

Re:Never go down? (1)

slim (1652) | more than 5 years ago | (#26969881)

Did you know that you can pay Google money for Google Apps for Business? $50 per account per year guarantees you 99.9% uptime.

That said, I bet todays outage for free accounts was less than 0.1% of a year (which would be a tad under 9 hours).

Re:Never go down? (1)

MightyYar (622222) | more than 5 years ago | (#26970349)

Many people rely on Gmail to be their primary source of e-mail for their business.

If that is the case, then they need the thousands of dollars per month solution that the parent referred to. You need multiple physical connections from multiple providers, because you can't get your email if your data connection is bad. You'll also need backup power, since if a car runs into the poll out front none of your PCs will work at all.

Of course, for most businesses, the loss of email connectivity for a few hours may cost some money but it would still be cheaper than paying all that money for a bulletproof connection. In other words, treat it like a local power outage or snow day... or day after the super bowl. :)

Re:Never go down? (1)

Karganeth (1017580) | more than 5 years ago | (#26969969)

I disagree. 100% uptime is impossible. There will always be some probability of the server and all of it's backups failing. If it was possible to have a server which never went down then backup servers wouldn't be needed. The chance of one server going down in a year might be 10%. Using a backup would reduce that to 1%. Using another backup leads to 0.1% and so on. It's never quite 0%.

Re:Never go down? (1)

Big Hairy Ian (1155547) | more than 5 years ago | (#26970023)

I was just glad not to be bothered by all those werewolves & vampires from facebook :)

Re:Never go down? (3, Funny)

dotancohen (1015143) | more than 5 years ago | (#26970119)

Spend a few hours with your wife/kids/friends/dog.

For those who's wife's kid's friend doesn't have a dog, you can browse some porn.

Call me stupid.... (1)

GPLDAN (732269) | more than 5 years ago | (#26969419)

I know all of you won't hesitate to state the obvious, but I've become sort of reliant on Google Docs.

I conduct personal business using it. I have PDFs up there that I only back up to DVD.

Gmail is fine, but if Google Docs had an extended loss of service, I would have to drive 100 miles and go fish out DVDs to restore the docs - and some docs I only have there, and maybe my HD.

The fact that Google Docs won't let me put my files up there in AXCrypt format bothers me. If there was another online storage company I trusted more, and supported all file types - I would switch.

Re:Call me stupid.... (1)

edmicman (830206) | more than 5 years ago | (#26969519)

You could always pay for hosting, and store your encrypted files on an FTP site, right?

Re:Call me stupid.... (2, Informative)

Spazztastic (814296) | more than 5 years ago | (#26969599)

You could always pay for hosting, and store your encrypted files on an FTP site, right?

This. $10 a month and I can have an off site backup. $20 a month and I can have TWO off site backups for my personal data, all encrypted using GnuPG/Trucrypt/whatever both on separate continents. Stop using the "GOOGLE IS MY ONLY OPTION" excuse, there's plenty of other ways to back up your data.

Personally, I use SSHFS and all my files are stored on my home server. Nightly they're archived, encrypted. and shot off to a datacenter in Chicago. It costs me $20 a month for the bandwidth and storage, and it's all encrypted.

Re:Call me stupid.... (2, Interesting)

dotancohen (1015143) | more than 5 years ago | (#26970183)

You could always pay for hosting, and store your encrypted files on an FTP site, right?

This. $10 a month and I can have an off site backup. $20 a month and I can have TWO off site backups for my personal data, all encrypted using GnuPG/Trucrypt/whatever both on separate continents. Stop using the "GOOGLE IS MY ONLY OPTION" excuse, there's plenty of other ways to back up your data.

Personally, I use SSHFS and all my files are stored on my home server. Nightly they're archived, encrypted. and shot off to a datacenter in Chicago. It costs me $20 a month for the bandwidth and storage, and it's all encrypted.

I do that with Amazon S3. The data is backed up in two locations (US and Europe). It costs me 0.83 USD last month.

Re:Call me stupid.... (1)

Admodieus (918728) | more than 5 years ago | (#26969587)

Can I ask why you don't keep any sort of local backups? Even if you work on thousands of documents, surely you could download a few of the most recent or important ones to ensure continuity should Google Docs become unavailable?

DropBox for the win (1)

blahbooboo (839709) | more than 5 years ago | (#26970201)

Check out dropbox. It syncs files, built in encryption, platform independent.

http://www.dropbox.com/ [dropbox.com]

Sorry wrong URL http://www.getdropbox.com/ (1)

blahbooboo (839709) | more than 5 years ago | (#26970293)

Check out dropbox. It syncs files, built in encryption, platform independent.

http://www.dropbox.com/ [getdropbox.com]

http://www.getdropbox.com/ [getdropbox.com]

Re:Call me stupid.... (1)

MPAB (1074440) | more than 5 years ago | (#26970319)

Back up to USB memory and carry it along. Some of them take less wallet space than a coin.

A bit chilling (1)

Andtalath (1074376) | more than 5 years ago | (#26969429)

I do trust Google, but every time they go down I realize I really should backup all my info to some computer.

This is of course only rational, but still.

And, yes, I was affected, it was quite annoying.

Anonymous Coward (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26969431)

Why does BBC report this before /.?

Re:Anonymous Coward (4, Insightful)

Vectronic (1221470) | more than 5 years ago | (#26969689)

Because the BBC (and many others) have thousands of employees, and millions of dollars, and can potentially publish hundreds of stories/articles a second.

Slashdot, has like 35 employees, and fuck all for money in comparison, and the stories are published in sequence/intervals, rather than as they happen, or even as soon as possible.

It's been said before, but this is by no means the latest, freshest, most up to date news on the web, frankly I'm surprised it got here as quick as it did (although a few people mentioned it in off-topic comments hours ago)

Re:Anonymous Coward (4, Insightful)

Attila Dimedici (1036002) | more than 5 years ago | (#26969957)

Because BBC is a news service and slashdot is a news aggregator. Slashdot doesn't "report" anything, they merely provide links to stories and a place to discuss said stories. Until someone else reports on a story, it won't appear on slashdot.

Monk style: Take backups (1)

inthedump (1484859) | more than 5 years ago | (#26969441)

I take backups (email, files, etc) more often than Adrian Monk uses wipes. That way, whether its Gmail or Yahoo Mail, I never lose my important emails.

I don't know about the rest of you (2, Interesting)

theaceoffire (1053556) | more than 5 years ago | (#26969469)

I turned on the "Offline Gmail" feature in the lab...

Did it for the extra speed increase of having all my mail/attachments pre-downloaded, but this also means that I still had access to everything in my account prior to the outage.

So instead of loosing my email, I just had a delay in getting *new* emails.

Re:I don't know about the rest of you (2, Interesting)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 5 years ago | (#26969547)

^Win.

Welcome to the new web, where there are solutions for age-old problems like downtime. ;-)

I was also affected, but it was past my bedtime anyway so I didn't worry too much about it. As long as there's not an extended outage, I'll be fine.

Re:I don't know about the rest of you (1)

Finallyjoined!!! (1158431) | more than 5 years ago | (#26969655)

Grammar Nazi here :-)

Loose? lose? - please look them up. This grates my poor old mind, much like "should of", instead of "should have", or "I could give a damn, instead of "I couldn't give a damn" - Bah.

USAGE The word loose is sometimes confused with lose; as a verb loose means unfasten or set free, while lose means cease to have or become unable to find. It is therefore incorrect to say this would cause them to loose 20 percent, the correct version being to lose 20 per cent.

Sorry :-/

Re:I don't know about the rest of you (1)

changos (105425) | more than 5 years ago | (#26969771)

Same here, gmail is my personal account so new email can wait.

Gears is way cool.

Re:I don't know about the rest of you (1)

aclarke (307017) | more than 5 years ago | (#26969791)

loose [reference.com]
lose [reference.com]

Web interface is ok now (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26969483)

I had trouble getting to the inbox this morning (CET), while logging in worked.
Now everything seems ok. It's funny i didn't try POP or IMAP because i wrongly assumed that the web interface was ok and the mail subsystem was down.

It must have been quite widespread, it was reported on radio24 news here in italy.

Good thing Google offers IMAP (5, Informative)

trmanco (1344269) | more than 5 years ago | (#26969505)

I always had access to my emails, just:

Enable IMAP:

http://mail.google.com/support/bin/answer.py?answer=77695 [google.com]

and configure your email client:

http://mail.google.com/support/bin/answer.py?answer=75726 [google.com]

No Gmail fail for me...

Re:Good thing Google offers IMAP (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26970365)

I couldn't get to mine with Imap - you get what you pay for I guess, but for me it was a complete outage.

small subset? (2, Interesting)

imbaczek (690596) | more than 5 years ago | (#26969529)

apparently half of europe is a small subset of their users, way to go!

Re:small subset? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26970257)

Wow. You are a whiny little bitch. Did someone get a little sand in their vagina?

gmail "offline" IS your backup (1)

anton_kg (1079811) | more than 5 years ago | (#26969539)

Basically, Google Gears plugin uses SQLlite database to store your mail and syncs it automatically. So you can safely use your favourite web interface again.

This isn't really a big deal (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26969561)

Whether your email is stored locally or remotely, there's always the chance for data loss, but for most people, I suspect that having your email saved on a remote server is way more reliable than having it stored on your local machine will ever be. If you want the best of both worlds, that's really not that hard to do. One trivial way to do this is to set up your primary email account to automatically forward a copy to a secondary email account, preferably with a different service provider. If your primary becomes unavailable, you can log into your secondary. Problem solved. This ain't rocket surgery.

Gears anyone? (1)

Itchyeyes (908311) | more than 5 years ago | (#26969575)

I see a lot of people here complaining about a non-issue. Google offers offline access for Gmail, Google Docs and several other services. Simple go to settings>labs>offline access in Gmail and enable. It's simple and free.

Gmail and Google Gears (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26969577)

Well, With Gmail there is no excuse to not back up your emails.

You can use IMAP/POP and Google Gears to backup mail and store emails on your computer.

Who's laughing now? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26969585)

When I look around, almost everyone seems to be using them nowadays

More fool them, then. I certainly don't. Hell I don't even rely on IMAP: I download all my mail via. POP3 to a local mailbox. I don't need to rely on my providers mail server being up in order to read my email.

In related news ... (4, Funny)

PPH (736903) | more than 5 years ago | (#26969605)

... no actual users were harmed during this incident.

Following the cracking of GMail's Captchas and the amount of spam I've seen with a GMail address, I'm guessing that the only things that were knocked off like were bots.

Re:In related news ... (1)

teknopurge (199509) | more than 5 years ago | (#26969989)

parent is funny, but should be modded insightful.

Re:In related news ... (1)

Inda (580031) | more than 5 years ago | (#26970179)

I haven't noticed yet.

If the family have sent me emails, they'll wait.

If Blockbusters, Ebay, PayPal, My Bank, Slashdot Mods, BBC, subscribed newsletters, and the rest have sent me email, I'm sure it'll wait.

If a long lost friend has tracked me down and sent me an email, he'll wait.

If any of the 200 spam vendors have sent me email, they'll get the same long wait as usual.

Since when did _personal_ email become so important that I need it 24/7? If any one is using gmail for business then they're a fucking donkey.

Questions... (1)

nicc777 (614519) | more than 5 years ago | (#26969617)

But first an observation - for me IMAP did not work (using my Nokia E61)...

Now, since my home business can not afford all the fancy and expensive BCM strategies that corporates implement, what alternative is there to GMail that would (a) give me fairly large mailboxes; (b) have a little more redundancy built in?

PS: In all fairness to Google, even though I currently use them for e-mail for my business I accept I can not expect too much from a free service.

Re:Questions... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26970141)

Companies like rollernet [rollernet.us] provide said alternatives for $5/mo. Not for free, though.

Knocks / Gnyquil (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26969631)

Did anyone else think this story was about a KDE application? (Knocks) Yeah, I called in sick today, and am on Gnyquil.

Yeah, I'll try and lay off the Gnyquil.

Offline gmail... (1)

mikeage (119105) | more than 5 years ago | (#26969637)

The gmail labs offline option is great, but it doesn't back up all of your mail; only several thousand messages. 95% of the time, that will leave you with what you need offline.

Of course, it's that remaining 5% of the time...

Of course I make backups (1)

cuby (832037) | more than 5 years ago | (#26969671)

My main computer still uses POP to download everything. In the others I use IMAP.

Anybody notice an AT&T DSL outage or DNS issue (1)

Master of Transhuman (597628) | more than 5 years ago | (#26969675)

For about an hour last night I couldn't access anybody except Google and a handful of sites, apparently at random. I could ping the DNS servers but could not reach most sites. I restarted the DSL modem, my Netgear router, and my machines - no effect. Came back as suddenly as it disappeared.

Beta Testing (5, Funny)

kellyb9 (954229) | more than 5 years ago | (#26969695)

Come on guys? what do you expect, it's still in beta testing.

Re:Beta Testing (1)

hansamurai (907719) | more than 5 years ago | (#26970115)

I'm curious if any of the paying customers, non-beta, were affected. Not curious enough to RTFA though.

Good uptime, no data loss. (3, Insightful)

slim (1652) | more than 5 years ago | (#26969813)

"Do you trust that the site of your web-based e-mail provider will never go down?"

No, you trust that it'll never go down *for long*, and that when it comes back, your data will still be there.

Over the years, GMail has had way better uptime than anything I could have constructed myself, and the cost to me has been negligible.

Not an issue (1)

FyberOptic (813904) | more than 5 years ago | (#26969817)

Considering the usually exceptional service they offer, and for free, you can't hardly complain. Everybody has downtime sooner or later. That's why they include that %0.01 chance of it happening.

Just consider it a two hour break from the computer.

chat still down (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26969833)

Since I came in at work this morning, I haven't been able to use google chat. As of now, 10:30 EST, it still appears to be unavailable.

Re:chat still down (1)

teknopurge (199509) | more than 5 years ago | (#26970077)

How much do you pay for google chat access?

That's right..... ;) I don't know if the parent uses google/yahoo/etc for business, but I can't help but laugh when I hear about people doing business with these type of service providers. I always get some version of "well google has umpteen million servers and can do things better.." Yeah, well if something occurred that crippled any sizable amount of their infrastructure then They Are Doing It Wrong(tm), and continue to do it wrong.

They have nice services for novelty use - sharing family photos, blogging about how your cat just used the toilet on it's own, etc. - never rely upon them for anything. Those that do rely on these types of ISPs are speaking volumes about their level of general business competence.

Gmail backup (1)

evalf (931500) | more than 5 years ago | (#26969977)

This outage prompted me to look for an easy way to backup my mail. I use the webmail interface, and don't necessarily want to put some time into configuring a mail client that I would not use for backup purposes only.

A google search returned Gmail Backup [gmail-backup.com] , apparently designed for the sole purpose of backing up Gmail. I have to wait until I'm home tonight to test it, but I was wondering if by chance some slashdotters would have tested it already. The app seems promissing, but I want to make sure that it's indeed working, as I don't want to find out the backup is crap the day Gmail collapses.

Nice web-based email services... (3, Funny)

dotancohen (1015143) | more than 5 years ago | (#26970049)

...don't go down.

Re:Nice web-based email services... (1)

cryfreedomlove (929828) | more than 5 years ago | (#26970273)

Since you seem to know so much about it, why don't you start a web based email service. Then attract millions of users worldwide and then guarantee 100% uptime. That should be easy for a nice guy like you. Right?

Google Apps for Business. (3, Interesting)

EddyPearson (901263) | more than 5 years ago | (#26970137)

I am a business customer of Google's. We use their apps and e-mail package.

"99.9% Gmail, Google Calendar and Google Talk uptime SLA"

The service was down for over 45 minutes, how do you think google will react to a refund request? I'm probably not going to make one, but do you think many people are? Has anybody here? How did it go?

Re:Google Apps for Business. (3, Informative)

slim (1652) | more than 5 years ago | (#26970277)

Here's the SLA [google.com] .

0.1% of 1 month is ~44 mins. 1% of 1 month is ~7.3 hours.

So it looks like you're entitled to 3 days of free service. W00T!

I think it's been longer than that (1)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 5 years ago | (#26970303)

I've been locked out of my gMail account for two weeks, and nothing I do will get it back. Google thinks the account belongs to someone else and that I've hacked into it. You'd think that the fact that I haven't written of opened any emails in it since I started trying to get access back might clue them in.

Come to think of it, I'd better change my slashdot default email.

Why Imap when Pop works Fine (1)

fast turtle (1118037) | more than 5 years ago | (#26970321)

I gave the Imap access a shot with Kmail and although it worked pretty decently, I'm actually happier with the Pop3 access for the simple reason that I've got a local copy of the message on my system. As to whether I want Gmail to delete anything, hell no it's very nice to know that I have copies of all my gmails and can download everything again should I have a system failure on my end.

This is why.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26970327)

All servers should be running Linux. Unlike NT based systems which throw a Blue Screen when you try to multi-task (proven by the good folks at comp.os.linux.advocacy), Linux will never fail. The server could be on fire with mice inside chewing the wires and it will keep serving data for the next 2 years without any updates.

Gmail is allowed to go offline. (1)

Crispix (864691) | more than 5 years ago | (#26970351)

Of course they can go offline, and you are wrong to be upset about it. Gmail is:

1. Free
2. In Beta

Even if it were not free and were not in beta, unless you are paying for 100% guaranteed uptime, they are still allowed to go offline. Sure, no one wants to be without email for a few hours, but we'll survive. If it's that important to you, get a paid 100% uptime service with a solid backup plan.

I'm amazed how people get worked up about short outages like this. Stuff happens.

Blogger (1)

Tronks (892783) | more than 5 years ago | (#26970381)

I don't know whether it's related or not, but I cannot publish comments on Blogger posts today...
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