4 years of Gmail

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4 years passed today since I signed up for a gmail account. I received an invitation via Blogger. This was about 3 weeks after Google announced the 1GB inbox.

This secured my best email address:

mostafa@gmail.com

At that time, this was a mindbogglingly huge webmail inbox. Yahoo! & Hotmail offered few MegaBytes for each user, as far as I can remember nothing more than 5MB.

Gmail was also under attack from people concerned with privacy. The text ads displayed at the right side of the email, were scary. They were targeted ads, google scanned your email. That is, some computer program read your email, analysed it and decided to select which ads to show you. You have to trust google's terms of service.

One minute, but your mail is stored on google services. And you are encouraged not to delete it to make use of the Gigabytes of storage you have for archival and later on retrieval.

Both ways you have no choice other than to trust Google. Blindly.

My favourite take on this issue was a short piece of fiction called Scroogled written by Cory Doctorow.

I have to admit. Using Gmail is very convenient. But I stopped GPG signing my outgoing emails. I stopped checking emails with signatures. And I rarely encrypt emails now.

Gmail either treated my paranoid thinking or made me less secure.

I am currently using 1036 MB (15%) of my 6649 MB storage.

Mistaken identities

Khalid M. Baheyeldin usually makes fun of the strange emails he gets from strange people thinking he is someone else.

I get my share of mistaken identities nearly everyday. Almost half of it in Persian (Farsi). Many are from businesses, or people sending their resumes, etc..

I received this email a few days ago and saved it for a blog post. Enjoy!

fish email

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