Feeds

Google launches email, takes the Bill Gates defense

Mucho storage, more ads

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

The next step in data security

Google will use its feted scalability skills to take on Yahoo! in the email business, according to the New York Times.

The plan is to take on the tiered pay-for email services and offer more space for free. Much more, if early reports are true: up to 1GB. NY Times hack John Markoff cites an internal Google study which the operational cost of maintaining email is estimated to be "less than $2 per gigabyte". Google will pay for this by injecting advertisements into subscribers emails.

Yahoo! offers 25MB for $29.99 a year, 50MB for $39.99 a year and 100MB for $59.99 although these packages also include features such as POP forwarding and multiple addresses for foiling spammers. According to the San Jose Mercury, which saw a preview of the service, Google will offer users 1GB of email storage.

Capitalizing on the pre-IPO frenzy that accompanies every new Google feature, the company issued a spoof press release today - of all days! - in which co-founder Sergey Brin says, "And while developing Gmail was a bit more complicated than we anticipated, we're pleased to be able to offer it to the user who asked for it."

The service is real, however. The advertisement injection has sparked fierce internal debates, reports The NY Times. "Many people inside the company are worried that users might fear that the content of their e-mail messages could be used to tailor individual advertising messages, much as ad messages are now placed on pages tied to specific responses to search inquiries."

Google's Orkut terms and conditions - Google revives discredited Microsoft privacy policy for Friendster clone - don't inspire confidence: they closely resemble a Passport privacy statement that Microsoft was forced to abandon.

Google acknowledged privacy concerns about the service by insisting that "machines, not humans" would decide on the advertising inserts.

Such a defense has worked for Google's News service. A banner on the page states that "The selection and placement of stories on this page were determined automatically by a computer program." (A program written by … you can guess. A big red foam ball.)

And it worked for Bill Gates too. At an awkward point in his testimony to during the Antitrust trial, Chairman Bill was asked to confirm that he'd written an incriminating email that had come from the account billg@microsoft.com.

"The computer wrote it," said Bill. So the next time you knock over a pedestrian, blame the machine. It works like a charm. ®

Related story

Google revives discredited Microsoft privacy policy for Friendster clone

Security for virtualized datacentres

More from The Register

next story
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
JINGS! Microsoft Bing called Scots indyref RIGHT!
Redmond sporran metrics get one in the ten ring
Driving with an Apple Watch could land you with a £100 FINE
Bad news for tech-addicted fanbois behind the wheel
Murdoch to Europe: Inflict MORE PAIN on Google, please
'Platform for piracy' must be punished, or it'll kill us in FIVE YEARS
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Sony says year's losses will be FOUR TIMES DEEPER than thought
Losses of more than $2 BILLION loom over troubled Japanese corp
Radio hams can encrypt, in emergencies, says Ofcom
Consultation promises new spectrum and hints at relaxed licence conditions
Why Oracle CEO Larry Ellison had to go ... Except he hasn't
Silicon Valley's veteran seadog in piratical Putin impression
Big Content Australia just blew a big hole in its credibility
AHEDA's research on average content prices did not expose methodology, so appears less than rigourous
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.