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Gmail Accidentally Resets 150,000 Accounts

samzenpus posted more than 3 years ago | from the did-you-need-that-mail? dept.

Cloud 401

tsj5j writes "Many users have reported loss of their Gmail accounts, as they signed in to find their email accounts reset — losing years of email history. This appears to be a result of a bug which treats existing owners as new users. For those affected, Google is currently trying to resolve the problem. For the rest of us, perhaps this is a timely reminder to backup our data and be less trusting of the cloud."

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401 comments

Tag it (2, Funny)

inpher (1788434) | more than 3 years ago | (#35336930)

Oh, how I want to tag this story gfail.

Oh shhhh (-1, Offtopic)

commodore6502 (1981532) | more than 3 years ago | (#35336934)

Yep that's what they stepped in.

IMAP (4, Insightful)

jdb2 (800046) | more than 3 years ago | (#35336936)

This is *exactly* why I have my Gmail account linked to Thunderbird via IMAP and I perform regular backups.

jdb2

Re:IMAP (2)

Randyll (1914386) | more than 3 years ago | (#35336966)

I am doing the opposite. GMail is just a POP3 client for me. I prefet it to most non-web e-mail clients as its user interface works well and looks better than most clients, e.g. Thunderbird. All mail is on the POP3 server -- which has backups -- GMail just duplicates it.

Re:IMAP (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35336974)

Wrong.

Re:IMAP (1)

Compaqt (1758360) | more than 3 years ago | (#35337006)

Do you find leaving mail on a POP3 server is better than downloading locally to an mbox ?

Just wondering what's better for long-term archiving of lots of mail.

Anybody know the limitations of mbox files?

Re:IMAP (1)

Randle_Revar (229304) | more than 3 years ago | (#35337096)

My policy with mboxes is to never trust them farther than you can kick them. Horrible format.

Re:IMAP (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35337134)

What format would you suggest instead, and what format do you think the pop3 server is using?

Re:IMAP (1)

youn (1516637) | more than 3 years ago | (#35337234)

I like eudora's approach to strip attachment automatically... much easier to back up... attachments are all in one directory and still human readable... too bad eudora is dead (I know of penelope... and it's still light years behind eudora's features... though to be fair some plus come with using thunderbird)

Re:IMAP (1)

slim (1652) | more than 3 years ago | (#35337398)

A good system might use QMail's maildir format, which is designed to overcome many of the serious problems mbox has.

Re:IMAP (1)

jrumney (197329) | more than 3 years ago | (#35337404)

maildir is supposed to be more robust than mbox, at the expense of some disk space and slower server side searching (which can be dealt with by keeping a full text index)

Re:IMAP (2)

snookiex (1814614) | more than 3 years ago | (#35337232)

Just wondering what's better for long-term archiving of lots of mail

I prefer a "distributed backup" (pst files on every user's computer with a general backup manager). Yeah, I know. It's way harder to manage, but I've had a couple problem with single backup that keeps me from centralize everything. And it's only 70 PCs so it's not a big deal (larger infrastructures are another story).

A year ago Gadhafi and Mubarak were our allies (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35337018)

As he always does when his friends become inconvenient, Obama has now thrown them under the bus. I'm not saying those bums don't deserve it (especially Gadhafi - remember Pan Am 103, you Muslim faggot?), but I am saying that Obama has NO spine and NO personal convictions.

Re:A year ago Gadhafi and Mubarak were our allies (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35337198)

Truth hurts, doesn't it Obamabots? Hey, how's that whole "closing Gitmo" thing going? Is the PATRIOT Act still in force?

http://biggovernment.com/sahiller/2010/02/28/obama-signs-patriot-act-extension-msm-and-the-left-silent/ [biggovernment.com]

How about curbing those tax cuts for the rich? Because we all know that only money-hoarding Wall Street fat cats invest in the stock market or sell their houses. Only soulless millionaires ever have any capital gains to report.

Re:IMAP (1)

Larryish (1215510) | more than 3 years ago | (#35337070)

Ditto on the Thunderbird/IMAP bit.

Re:IMAP - More efficient storage alternative? (2)

ziesemer (959438) | more than 3 years ago | (#35337284)

Unfortunately, Thunderbird doesn't appear to have the most efficient mail store for Gmail accounts, due to Gmail's system of supporting single messages with multiple labels (folders). If I have messages with multiple labels, it appears that Thunderbird downloads and stores the message multiple times, in multiple disk files.

Is anyone aware of an alternative that "intelligently" supports Gmail? I.E., simply downloading "All Mail", and then creating a database from each label to the associated Message-ID's in "All Mail"?

Re:IMAP (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35337324)

If gmail deletes all your mail, will it also disappear from Thunderbird?

I ask because I have the same setup as you but don't backup as often as I should.

Re:IMAP (1)

lordandmaker (960504) | more than 3 years ago | (#35337356)

It shouldn't. If the emails have gone but the index is still there then Thunderbird will just fail to get the new mail that doesn't exist. It wont concern itself with old mail, since according to the index it's up-to-date on those files.

If the index has also been cleared, then perhaps. I'm not sure if Thunderbird requires an expunge or delete in order to delete files. Here's another of those times a mail client that actually implemented IMAP would be nice - you could look at the RFC and find the expected behaviour, rather than having to guess what Mozilla decided would be a good idea.

thought for food (2)

cosmas_c (1079035) | more than 3 years ago | (#35336958)

Imagine having a transcript of your emails in a web site like livedash.com ... just imagine !

I think I'd be okay if my inbox got erased.. (4, Funny)

intellitech (1912116) | more than 3 years ago | (#35336982)

At least, I wouldn't then have to clean it.

Re:I think I'd be okay if my inbox got erased.. (0)

Gaygirlie (1657131) | more than 3 years ago | (#35337010)

Indeed! I just logged into my gmail account and got slightly disappointed to see all the mails there! :D

It's just spam mails mostly anyways, and my phone downloads all my new e-mails from my 3 accounts every 15 minutes so it wouldn't have hurt anyways even if it was something more important.

What idiot trusts the cloud? (5, Insightful)

dtmos (447842) | more than 3 years ago | (#35336990)

I mean, even its name is vaporous.

Re:Cloud (2)

TaoPhoenix (980487) | more than 3 years ago | (#35337040)

But it's so soft and fluffy and will cradle you in a cushion of customer service who will get you back up and running in no time! /humor

Re:What idiot trusts the cloud? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35337048)

Exactly. "Oh, I think I'll put all my important information completely under someone else's control. That way, when it's lost, I can just point the finger at the cloud instead of taking responsibility for my own data."

Re:What idiot trusts the cloud? (5, Insightful)

delinear (991444) | more than 3 years ago | (#35337194)

Actually, given the technical ability of the average person, that's probably not a bad thing. This way they have at least some chance of someone technically competent at Google solving the issue for them. If they'd stored it locally and wiped it they'd probably be kissing goodbye to it instead of having a reasonable chance of recovering it. For most people's lolcat and pyramid mails that's a good enough solution - obviously if you're relying on it for storing your company accounts then that's another matter.

Re:What idiot trusts the cloud? (1)

LordLimecat (1103839) | more than 3 years ago | (#35337448)

Not everyone has an IT staff. I would prefer that CEOs DIDNT "take responsibility" for their own data, as thats not really their core competency.

Who do you trust more to keep things operational, a PHB of a 10 employee startup, or Google's Docs team?

Re:What idiot trusts the cloud? (5, Insightful)

nexttech (1289308) | more than 3 years ago | (#35337218)

Because its safer then my hard drive.

It would be interesting to see how many users had their hard drive crash and lost everything yesterday.

Re:What idiot trusts the cloud? (5, Insightful)

LordLimecat (1103839) | more than 3 years ago | (#35337408)

It comes down to who you trust more. I have several clients who are looking at email solutions; two options are "host it inhouse with exchange and backup to tape / backupexec", or "Google Docs, and let a dedicated team handle it".

At the end of the day, they arent going to want to pay for my time to monitor backups, or perform restore testing, or rotate tapes daily. So do i trust that non-technical users will remember to rotate daily (I have several who forget, not realizing its importance despite reminders), or do I trust that Google will overall have less downtime and fewer disasters than a server with no physical monitoring or weekly maintenance?

I will note that gMail's track record is pretty darn good since its inception; I only remember seeing 2-3 other stories like this in that time, with % affected being very low in a few cases, and I do not ever remember seeing a permenant data-loss scenario. Contrast to the real world, where I go to do a restore for said clients, and it turns out they havent rotated tapes in ages, or the tape drive has needed cleaning for years, or their online backup that they picked out (sans my advice) doesnt actually capture exchange or system state... etc.

So sure, make claims that "the cloud" is untrustworthy... but there are scores of companies that rely on consultants for server setup and then never have an IT person set foot in the "server room" for several years thereafter-- and thats PRECISELY the market that "the cloud" is perfect for. You offload IT work from non-skilled folks to skilled folks, with the downside of relying on connectivity (though gmail has offline mode...).

Only I value my data enough to protect it properly (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35336992)

There is only one person in the world who values my data enough to protect it properly, and that person is me.

Re:Only I value my data enough to protect it prope (5, Insightful)

camperdave (969942) | more than 3 years ago | (#35337068)

There is only one person in the world who values my data enough to protect it properly, and that person is me.

...And I don't eve trust that person to do it properly.

Re:Only I value my data enough to protect it prope (5, Funny)

dkleinsc (563838) | more than 3 years ago | (#35337172)

...And I don't eve trust that person to do it properly.

After all, a simple typo can completely screw up the meaning of an automated backup script!

Re:Only I value my data enough to protect it prope (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35337294)

Isn't that why you're supposed to actually test backups by restoring them before you go ahead and trust them?

Re:Only I value my data enough to protect it prope (3, Insightful)

1s44c (552956) | more than 3 years ago | (#35337092)

There is only one person in the world who values my data enough to protect it properly, and that person is me.

Dam right. Trusting your email to a company who's main business is mining data can't be safe either. Having your data spread out over god knows how many countries and subject to the whims of who knows what government agencies doesn't sound like a good idea.

I run my own mail server and do nightly backups of my whole mailstore. Any decent linux admin should be able to setup a cheap virtual machine and a BackupPC server at home to do the same. In fact any decent linux admin should enjoy setting it up.

Re:Only I value my data enough to protect it prope (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35337154)

Agreed. I run Postfix and Dovecot on a remote VM and locally on my Snow Leopard box. Thunderbird POP3s everything from the remote VM to local Maildir and Dovecot serves it back to Thunderbird via IMAP. Add Time Machine and cycled offsite backups into the mix and my mail is pretty safe.

Re:Only I value my data enough to protect it prope (1)

badran (973386) | more than 3 years ago | (#35337310)

What if you are trying to send an email and your IP is blocked since it is registered to an ISP and not a host?

Re:Only I value my data enough to protect it prope (2)

NickyNack (1998128) | more than 3 years ago | (#35337162)

And what do you do when your house burns to the ground with both your cheap virtual machine and BackupPC? I'd say it would be quite nice to have yor data stored somewhere else in addition to your own private backup system. With that said, of course it does not have to be Google or another multi national corporation storing the data for you. Find someone and pay them for it. Then sue them if they do something bad with your data :)

Re:Only I value my data enough to protect it prope (1)

return 42 (459012) | more than 3 years ago | (#35337178)

Or you could just encrypt your data before you upload it. Then they can't do anything with it, except possibly lose it, but that's a risk no matter what you do.

Re:Only I value my data enough to protect it prope (1)

SharpFang (651121) | more than 3 years ago | (#35337112)

That's what THEY want you to think!

Trust != Competence. (2)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | more than 3 years ago | (#35337222)

Yes, only you have 100% alignment with your interests. But are you competent to backup and guard your data properly? Same thing with my house. But I would rather outsource my security to my local municipality and hire some private security monitoring firm for additional security. At some point cost benefit analysis should be done. Gmail's reliability is much better than what you would expect for a free service.

Yay cloud. (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35336994)

Yay cloud.

Re:Yay cloud. (1)

anomaly256 (1243020) | more than 3 years ago | (#35337094)

God I hate that microsoft ad.. as far as I can tell they're RDP'ing to their home pc anyway. wtf does that have to do with the cloud?! the entire marketing campaign is flawed.

Seems like a good place to suggest backup solution (5, Informative)

Mascot (120795) | more than 3 years ago | (#35337012)

A stand-alone application seems the safest way to go. Personally, I use MailStore [mailstore.com] (free home edition) to ensure a local backup of my Gmail mails.

I suspect offline access via Gears wouldn't help much in this case. It's supposed to stay in sync so I guess logging into an empty account would sync the local gears data into oblivion as well. The same would presumably be true of a local IMAP client (though that could at least be recovered from a backup and then opened in offline mode).

I haven't paid anything for this but (4, Funny)

carou (88501) | more than 3 years ago | (#35337016)

I demand my money back!

Re:I haven't paid anything for this but (1)

mwvdlee (775178) | more than 3 years ago | (#35337422)

Google already did.
Check your account transcript; you will find you recieved exactly nothing from Google.

The cloud (2)

return 42 (459012) | more than 3 years ago | (#35337020)

...and be less trusting of the cloud.

Sorry, can't. I don't trust it at all.

Gmail-Backup (5, Informative)

dHeinemann (1954876) | more than 3 years ago | (#35337026)

This is exactly why it's important to keep backups. Gmail Backup [gmail-backup.com] is a pretty straightforward way to back up your Gmail account. You can also use it to upload emails from one account into another.

Re:Gmail-Backup (2)

Mascot (120795) | more than 3 years ago | (#35337088)

That page doesn't render for me in Firefox or Chrome. View source draws a complete blank as well. Slashdotted or otherwise broken?

Re:Gmail-Backup (1)

dHeinemann (1954876) | more than 3 years ago | (#35337130)

That page doesn't render for me in Firefox or Chrome. View source draws a complete blank as well. Slashdotted or otherwise broken?

Yeah, it seems broken at the moment. It was working fine a few hours ago when I visited the page after reading this article on a different source. Google's cache version seems riddled with errors.

Re:Gmail-Backup (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35337142)

that links to a blank page, or is that a joke ?

Re:Gmail-Backup (1)

JustOK (667959) | more than 3 years ago | (#35337308)

Google reset it.

Re:Gmail-Backup (2)

MBaldelli (808494) | more than 3 years ago | (#35337354)

that links to a blank page, or is that a joke ?

Checking that link through google, I see the following in cache:

Warning: User 'drupal_16www7606.gmail-backup.com' has exceeded the 'max_questions' resource (current value: 10000) query: SELECT CASE WHEN status=1 THEN 0 ...

Most amusing

Re:Gmail-Backup (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35337452)

Always back up your data on-premises. No, wait...

Gmail has always been somewhat of a crapshoot (2)

sarbonn (1796548) | more than 3 years ago | (#35337032)

While I still love my gmail account, I also know of so many stories of people close to me who have lost their gmail accounts due to some weird glitch or choice made by Google. Yet, I'm still a fan of the service and maintain mine. I just don't use it as my main account because I realize that any one time I can probably lose it. Whenever you rely on a service that requires trust in an entity that might not be there tomorrow, or has a tendency to do really weird things without first informing customers, you really have to be careful with what you're doing. That doesn't mean I have to hate gmail, but at the same time it means I'm a lot more careful when dealing with it.

Re:Gmail has always been somewhat of a crapshoot (3, Insightful)

linuxgurugamer (917289) | more than 3 years ago | (#35337180)

Happened with Bigfoot.com. They advertised free unlimited email, then one day they started limiting it to 20 messages a day. I left them as soon as I was able to change all the accounts pointing to it.

Now I have my own domain, and while it's on a CPanel-based box somewhere in Texas, I can do regular nightly backups of everything, and if I need to can move it to another host and simply change the DNS.

Re:Gmail has always been somewhat of a crapshoot (1)

pmontra (738736) | more than 3 years ago | (#35337402)

[...] I also know of so many stories of people close to me who have lost their gmail accounts [...]

I know somebody who's got his gmail password stolen and changed. He's locked out from his mail now and no, there are no local backups. That made me like even more my habit of using gmail only as a POP3 server and download everything to my notebook. I sync it to my netbook with unison when I need my updated mail on the smaller box. I've got some gmail accounts (1 mine + a few customers) and some other POP3 ones for my own companies and but one can't leave anything important there. I'm at about 101,000 messages now. Local copies + (remote) backup are best.

Nice polo tops (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35337038)

Polo-tops.com is a wonderful collection of polo tops. There get a lot of polo tops for men and women. With a view of long term business relationship, more preferential policies could be offered to you. To get more information, please kindly contact our customer service.
Nice polo tops [polo-tops.com]

No worries... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35337058)

... Google has repeatedly said they could not guarantee that deleted mail was actually deleted. With such built-in redundancy everything should be back in order in no time.

Mistakes or Karma (2)

mfh (56) | more than 3 years ago | (#35337062)

I suspect this bug was avoidable. The thing with Google is they are learning what it's like when you abandon the policy of doing no evil. You lose sight of the important things like minimalism, reduction of bloat, and overall user satisfaction.

They are no longer reliable.

The replacement for Google will do the following:

1. Create stable search with minimalist reliable results, perhaps P2P generated.
2. Not cater to douchebags on the internet trying to get rich quick.
3. Supply secure/reliable minimalist email service.
4. Supply secure/reliable minimalist hosting service.
5. Supply secure/reliable minimalist discussion and social networking.
6. Supply secure/reliable products and services people want without commercial interruption. (this is the financial medium, business gurus)
7. Do no evil.
8. Be very wise about it all.
9. Be aware of the dangers and circumnavigate them well in advance.

Re:Mistakes or Karma (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35337238)

And I suppose that successors business plan will look something like this?

1.) Create User friendly search engine "for the people" to "fight the man".
2.) ??????
3.) Profit.

I believe Google tried the strategy above, then they realized that they needed money to pay those paychecks and to keep those hip corporate offices running. I sincerely hope that one day we will reach a point where altruism triumphs over mammon, and respectful conversation and honest business beats out corporatism and consumerism, but I'm not going to hold my breath.

Re:Mistakes or Karma (1)

geminidomino (614729) | more than 3 years ago | (#35337260)

10. Become the new search engine of choice and cruft out every offering with stupid and useless javascript misfeatures, dirty datamining tricks, and other miscellaneous trash .

It's the circle of fail. </EltonJohn>

hosni inc. to be prosecuted for torture franchise, (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35337074)

etc.... his customers are presently giving beautiful speeches about human rights etc.... at a UN meeting. PHEWWW. that haig guy sounds talks like somebody's pouring hot tea up his nose? hillary looks a little chubby, & sort of as though she has a turd caught in her throat?? see you at one of the new baby care centers (opening soon?)? you still have the right to remain silent?

User education about faults and backups needed (1)

asdf7890 (1518587) | more than 3 years ago | (#35337104)

While there are not (as yet, as far as I've seen) any people yelling and shouting for heads to role because some of their precious data is lost, I expect it to start soon.

There are far too few people who understand the danger of having only one copy of information, and people seem even more naive when that copy is help by another party (they assume that someone else is dealing with it, and seem to expect there will be some sort of come-back if the service they pay nothing for loses some of their info).

I'm not sure how we'd go about it, but the general public really needs to be hit around the head with the clue-stick on the matter. It probably needs to start in schools. I'm pretty sure from talking to younger family and friends (the conversation usually starts with something like "my cheap USB stick isn't working, can you read my document off it for me?) that good backups is not something covered in IT lessons at school (or if it is taught, it isn't drummed in hard enough) and it should be.

People need a better appreciation of how many things can cause damage or loss of data, and how easy it can be to protect yourself from the worst side-effects of that damage/loss simply by looking after your information properly.

Re:User education about faults and backups needed (2)

slim (1652) | more than 3 years ago | (#35337248)

While there are not (as yet, as far as I've seen) any people yelling and shouting for heads to role because some of their precious data is lost, I expect it to start soon.

There are far too few people who understand the danger of having only one copy of information, and people seem even more naive when that copy is help by another party (they assume that someone else is dealing with it, and seem to expect there will be some sort of come-back if the service they pay nothing for loses some of their info).

The expectation is that the 3rd party (Google in this case) are doing the backing up for you. If you were paying for Google Apps, you'd make damned sure your contract says so. As a free GMail user, I admit I haven't read the small print recently, but my assumption is that my data is "backed up". "Backed up" in quotes, because rather than there being a regular copy made to tape or whatever, their storage grid inherently has everything in multiple places.

They seem to be saying they'll recover the mailboxes in due course. If that's true, then it shows that their service is "as good as" having your own backup. Indeed it's better, because they did the recovery for free. Most people find recovering from their backup non-trivial.

If they fail to recover even one of these accounts, that's a big fail for Google.

Re:User education about faults and backups needed (2)

Jumperalex (185007) | more than 3 years ago | (#35337254)

I know one place where the value of backups is learned hard and fast: Grad School. I warned my classmates (read: I explained to them how paranoid I was) but everyone scoffed until on of them lost 6 months of thesis work. Never have I seen the phrase "spooked the herd" so convincingly demonstrated. Next thing you knew "saving" your work meant clicking save (to thumbdrive), clicking print, clicking email-to, and copy-to-network. We had two more people "lose work" who were subsequently saved by the process ... no one ever had to resort to retyping from the printed document ;-)

Re:User education about faults and backups needed (3, Insightful)

Ephemeriis (315124) | more than 3 years ago | (#35337432)

Honestly, I think that for most people this just isn't a concern.

Most folks have been bitten by the lack of a backup at some point. You can't tell me they've never been working on a paper for a class and had the machine crap out on them - losing many pages of work. You can't tell me they've never been playing a game and had the machine crap out on them - losing a couple hours of progress. You can't tell me they've never sent an SD card through the laundry - losing some irreplaceable photos. You can't tell me they've never clicked "submit" on some forum comment or Facebook post and had the website malfunction - losing whatever witty thoughts they had at the time.

It happens all the freaking time.

But, for the most part, that information isn't all that valuable.

Folks will curse and mutter... And then re-type their paper, or re-play the game, or live without those pictures.

Folks won't feel like they need to back up their data until they're really burned by it. Just telling people that they need to make backups is not enough. Just teaching it in class isn't enough. Folks need to lose something that they care about.

noobs (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35337110)

VPS cost less than 2EUR/month these days... i shit on clouds.. lol...

Re:noobs (1)

Bert64 (520050) | more than 3 years ago | (#35337184)

How good are they? Most very cheap VPS are extremely over subscribed...

Re:noobs (1)

lordandmaker (960504) | more than 3 years ago | (#35337384)

Aren't those ones generally rather cloudy, though?

It's still cloud computing, even if you throw yet another layer of abstraction over the top of it.

Not good but backups are your friend. (1)

AbRASiON (589899) | more than 3 years ago | (#35337148)

This is a bit of a worry, as I am considering moving a client over to google apps sometime eventually.
I myself have a LOT on my gmail I should probably backup but I do understand it's my responsibility, even though I don't have one at the moment.
I wonder if there's a simple sure fire way of grabbing the whole lot once every 3 months, anyone know a tool to do this?

Also since this is as good a place to ask as any, how many here have moved business' over to Google Apps for mail? I am considering doing so, but in my testing with Outlook 2003 the performance for latency,.. wasn't ideal - is there some local caching I can organise on my desktop to increase performance? or do Google app users just endure the speed issues?

Also, my real issue with google apps (besides price) is the way folders work, I need obscenely large folders for my clients unfortunately... yes it's an odd requirement but these people _live_ out of their email, all day long and have folders named like this.

Inbox \ Department \ Project #125 \ Customer Name \ Visa Process
Inbox \ Department \ Project #314 \ Customer Name \ Housing information
(You get the idea, really, really big folders) - IIRC Google mail / apps falls ass over when you try to use folders on it with imap (once folders get too big) - Wish I could just use 'normal folders' in this instance)

Re:Not good but backups are your friend. (1)

Jumperalex (185007) | more than 3 years ago | (#35337274)

Aren't "labels" the solution to that in gmail?

Re:Not good but backups are your friend. (1)

AbRASiON (589899) | more than 3 years ago | (#35337350)

Labels are how folders are actually handled. An email would get multiple labels per folder.

So
Inbox \ Client \ Project #222 \ Customer Name \ Visa
Would get FIVE labels on it - and there seems to be a limit or punctuation limit and so on for those.

You have to remember, these end users need to use an IMAP'd version of Outlook. Suggesting they use plain old Gmail won't work for them :/ (and as someone who uses a lot of mail, I'd agree - Outlook is actually a very good mail client)

Trust-able cloud ? (1)

noshellswill (598066) | more than 3 years ago | (#35337158)

First it grows upward toward nothing, then it rains and finally it blows away... who, but byteboyz would trust a cloud ? Better buy a pet-rock!

Unacceptable! We demand ..... (1)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | more than 3 years ago | (#35337164)

This is horrible. Losing years of email because of some glitch in service provider is totally unacceptable. We demand an immediate refund of every cent we paid for our gmail service. And 100 times that as punitive damages. That will teach them to treat us with more dignity.

Re:Unacceptable! We demand ..... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35337230)

you do realize they do make a profit from offering free email accounts and keeping customers happy, right?

Re:Unacceptable! We demand ..... (1)

Ash-Fox (726320) | more than 3 years ago | (#35337242)

you do realize they do make a profit from offering free email accounts and keeping customers happy

How do they make a profit off gmail exactly? I don't recall ever seeing any ads on it. How does happy translate into money from an e-mail account?

Re:Unacceptable! We demand ..... (1)

slim (1652) | more than 3 years ago | (#35337266)

How do they make a profit off gmail exactly? I don't recall ever seeing any ads on it. How does happy translate into money from an e-mail account?

Not looked very hard, have you?

GMail ads aren't very intrusive, but they're worryingly well targeted.

Re:Unacceptable! We demand ..... (1)

Ash-Fox (726320) | more than 3 years ago | (#35337318)

Not looked very hard, have you?

Point it out to me, please [dropbox.com] .

Re:Unacceptable! We demand ..... (1)

slim (1652) | more than 3 years ago | (#35337362)

Go into a conversation and look to the right.

Unless you have adblock, there's something special about your chosen skin, or you're paying for GMail.

http://mail.google.com/support/bin/answer.py?answer=6603 [google.com]

I also have a single line ad immediately above the "Archive" button - dunno why you don't.

Re:Unacceptable! We demand ..... (1)

xaxa (988988) | more than 3 years ago | (#35337400)

Not looked very hard, have you?

Point it out to me, please [dropbox.com] .

On the right [imgur.com]

Re:Unacceptable! We demand ..... (2)

lordandmaker (960504) | more than 3 years ago | (#35337414)

I think GP expected you to have noted the adverts before blocking them.

Re:Unacceptable! We demand ..... (1)

delinear (991444) | more than 3 years ago | (#35337444)

Aside from the fact that there are ads in GMail, the very fact that they're providing a service that makes people happy and that people then associate that with their name and are more likely to use their other services will generate them income elsewhere. To ignore that is to suggest that advertising doesn't work, and there's a multi-billion dollar industry out there that would seem to suggest otherwise.

CLI Backup Solution? (1)

thornomad (1095985) | more than 3 years ago | (#35337202)

Anyone using a solid and secure command line backup solution for linux? I run a headless server -- would be nice if I could securely backup all my emails there in the event of a catastrophe ... and only then fire up Thunderbird or the like and view them when needed. The only downside I have seen is the need to save my gmail password somewhere in cleartext -- which doesn't seem like a good idea.

Re:CLI Backup Solution? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35337270)

apt-get install backup-manager

Re:CLI Backup Solution? (1)

lordandmaker (960504) | more than 3 years ago | (#35337440)

Or, perhaps, offline-imap or fetchmail if all you're looking to back up is your mail.

GMAil needs better bkup system (1)

hesaigo999ca (786966) | more than 3 years ago | (#35337236)

I want gmail to offer an image system, where by you ask to download an image (zipped of course) of the current state of your email folders and configs and all contacts, into a nicely zipped file. Then you can restore or backup using the notion as in VSS, which makes it very easy to maintain backups for individuals, especially those that do not want to wait long hours to use something crappy like outlook to manage their backups of emails. Also it would solve the bulk upload/download situation...as it would be zipped.

Re:GMAil needs better bkup system (1)

Seumas (6865) | more than 3 years ago | (#35337286)

That actually seems like a lot more work than just having a POP/IMAP client setup that automatically downloads all of your email in real time. If anything ever happens to your mail, just drag your email out of /local over onto the server.

Create backup account to stay in synch (2)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | more than 3 years ago | (#35337256)

Simple solution: Create a second gmail account to serve as the back up. Always BCC: this account every mail you send from the main account. Auto forward every received mail to this account. Chances of gmail wiping both due to the same glitch is remote. This is likely to be as safe, as reliable as mucking around with imap clients running on some home grown hand-me-down server and cron jobs to take periodic back ups. Far cheaper too.

The Fed? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35337258)

It was probably the Department of Homeland security. I am sure that one college students email was important enough to accidentally wipe out everyone else's, thanks for keeping the homeland safe!

.edu Ramifications (2)

SpinningCone (1278698) | more than 3 years ago | (#35337272)

this is easier to shrug off if you think of it as just average users using gmail. in general it's a personal mail and not intended for business. still hurts but there's only you to be upset.

the university i work at is working on migrating towards gmail for .edu domains. we have already moved our alumni to gmail and are progressing towards all students, faculty and staff on gmail.

It would be quite the s*hitstorm if some or most of our employees lost their email.

Accounts disabled as well? (1)

labiator (193328) | more than 3 years ago | (#35337280)

Are you seeing your account disabled due to a "perceived" violation of the TOS? What recourse is there to this issue? Whatever happened to "Don't be evil?" I can't access Apps, Voice, iGoogle. or anything else they "offer" me. I have been in this boat since yesterday morning. Anyone have any suggestions?

Maybe could be a new feature? (1)

OrangeMonkey11 (1553753) | more than 3 years ago | (#35337290)

For those of us who does not care can this be added as a new feature to clean out our mailbox rather than manually deleting junk mail a page at a time.

Not so much of a story, really (5, Insightful)

RivenAleem (1590553) | more than 3 years ago | (#35337298)

Google has already stated they have a resolution, but it may take a little time to implement. They have backups, and will restore the accounts. This seems like a case of:

Something went wrong, they're fixing it.

The End.

Re:Not so much of a story, really (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35337360)

Oh come on, I am a rabid anti-microsoft guy and even I know how slanted this article would be if it they screwed up hotmail accounts.

Re:Not so much of a story, really (4, Insightful)

Daley_G (1592515) | more than 3 years ago | (#35337454)

This is all true, but would there be as much traffic on this article had the headline read something like "Gmail Accidentally Resets .004% of the Total Number of Accounts, and they'll have it fixed soon" ? Media generates hype. Hype generates income.

John C Dvorak (1)

Seumas (6865) | more than 3 years ago | (#35337304)

Notorious cloud-hater, John C Dvorak [google.com] , is waking up with a smug grin on his face, this morning.

This is just a huge exaggeration (1)

samfisher5986 (1927786) | more than 3 years ago | (#35337334)

Think of it like this. Computers crash all the time, people lose all their data, not just their emails. Many company based email clients and other email services have very poor uptime. When you calculate it, its just the 99.9% uptime with the 0.1% of downtime being 0.08% of customers can't access old emails for a short period of time, I could understand this story if they weren't getting their emails back, but they are. Besides the few minority that sync to the cloud while backing up to Tape/HDD/DVD there isn't a better place for the average person to store their email then Gmail. The amount of times I used to hear about someone losing all their emails because they went on holiday and never logged into Hotmail......

What if this happend to Microsoft ? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35337358)

Somehow I have the feeling the responses would be completley different :-)

An opportunity to start afresh (3, Interesting)

mmsimanga (775213) | more than 3 years ago | (#35337396)

Perhaps living in Africa has given me a liaise faire approach to archiving mail. Life goes on with or without your years of email. In my working career I have always diligently backed up all mailboxes as I moved from one exchange server to another all with the belief that one day I would go back and read through my mails. I have never done this and I doubt I will be doing so in the near future. Over the years I have lost/misplaced some of the DVDs containing my vast collection of email and I have never felt the need to dig through the attic to locate some DVD with an important email stored on it.

I am struggling to read through my day to day mail. I am not going to bother setting up a backup server because I do not have the time to maintain it and I doubt I will do a better job that the "professionals" at Google. To those who lost their data I feel your pain but believe me there are worse things that can happen in life. Have a glass of wine and start your Inbox afresh.

Something Goes Wrong, Don't Trust Cloud? (1, Interesting)

Jahava (946858) | more than 3 years ago | (#35337430)

For the rest of us, perhaps this is a timely reminder to backup our data and be less trusting of the cloud.

Okay, Slashdot, this is getting tiring. Every time a major cloud service fails, the inevitable "re-evaluate your trust in the cloud" mantra is mindlessly invoked. Everybody knows that backups are good, cloud or no cloud. Everybody knows that things go wrong, cloud or no cloud. So what's the real value-added to calling out cloud services every time something fails?

The interesting question is how the disaster is addressed. Will Google recover the data? Will it be quick? Seamless? If so, then the real lesson here isn't the weakness of the cloud, but rather its strength. Anything can go wrong with any system, but maybe Google's well-run cloud can handle the problem with minimal incidence.

So, Slashdot, rather than spouting off a thoughtless, ominous warning on every "something breaks in a cloud" story, how about you sit tight and see how this resolves?

Isn't it still BETA (1)

gsgriffin (1195771) | more than 3 years ago | (#35337456)

Can't complain. We were all warned that it is a BETA product. That means things can go horribly wrong, and they warned us it wasn't really ready to be used yet.
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