So all day I’ve been having trouble getting into Gmail from my desktop client (Mail.app) as well as from my iPhone. Sure, Gmail, has the occasional hiccup, but all day? I decided to try and track down some service status info, and from what I could tell things were just fine.
After doing a quick web search I finally hit upon something that might help: my Gmail account might be locked.
Why would an account be locked? Really not sure, I didn’t to anything out of the ordinary so your guess is as good as mine. What I do know, though, is that if your account is locked there’s no indication of it, you just get either a connection error or a rejected password error.
If you ever run into this sort of situation yourself, try going here from the computer you are having trouble from and see if it does the trick, worked great for me:
Bad news for Democratic State Representative Mike Kernell from Tennessee if this story proves true. Remember how Republican Vice President candidate Sarah Palin’s Yahoo email account was hacked into last week?
The FBI has been involved in trying to track down the hacker and the evidence has led them to the home of 20-year-old University of Tennessee student David Kernell, son of Representative Mike Kernell.
No charges have been filed yet but David’s apartment has been searched.
Earlier today both Apple’s MobileMe and Google’s Gmail services each experienced their own hiccups today leaving millions of users unable to access their email.
For Gmail the problem was first reported at roughly 5pm Eastern time and was caused by a problem with the contacts system used by Gmail. Around 7:30pm Eastern things were back to normal.
Two and a half hours…not too bad.
MobileMe users, however, got the short end of things as their outage lasted closer to seven hours. The problem was reported around 2pm Eastern and seemed to affect just POP and IMAP users. People logging in to http://www.me.com/mail were still able to access their email, but those checking their email from Outlook, Mail.app, Thunderbird, an iPhone, etc., were left without email until things were resolved around 9pm Eastern.
Looks like Apple’s MobileMe service can’t catch a break. After a “serious problem” with one of Apple’s email servers affected roughly 1% of MobileMe users, Apple now has admitted that roughly 10% of those users email messages received from July 16 – 18 are lost.
I guess that’s why they didn’t just replace the server with a new one–the problem wasn’t a hardware one.
Could the “Me” name be cursed? It didn’t work out so well for Microsoft with their Windows Me operating system, largely considered the worst version of Windows ever. So far, Apple isn’t having much better luck with it.
What in the world happened, Apple? Nothing cool and hip about screwing up your customers email. Maybe instead of giving away a 30-day credit it’s time to say you’re really sorry with a $100 Apple store credit? With $1.07 billion in profits in a quarter I’d imagine you could handle it.
For most MobileMe users things have been working find for the last few days (after a very rough start for the new service).
Some users, however, are experiencing trouble with MobileMe’s email service that is preventing them from being able to send or receive email with their MobileMe email address.
The problem is reportedly affecting roughly 1% of MobileMe users and is due to a “serious” issue with one of Apple’s mail servers. Unfortunately no estimate is given for when they expect things to be functioning normally.
Note to Apple: after five days of downtime for these people (so far) maybe it’s time to replace troublesome server with some of the $1.07 billion you just made?
[Via Mac Rumors]
In a gem of an email from 2003, Bill Gates sent an email to then Microsoft executive Jim Allchin, talking about some frustrations Gates was experiencing with the usability of Windows and Movie Maker.
According to Gates, “Windows usability has gone backwards” and that after downloading some updates “the machine was so slow I couldn’t use it for anything else during this time…what the heck is going on during this six minutes? That is crazy.”
After talking about a few other problems Gates says “the lack of attention to usability represented by these experiences blows my mind.”
Nice to know Bill runs into problems with Windows too like the rest of us. Unfortunately, like the rest of us, he was in a position to do something about it. Has the usability of Windows gotten better since 2003 when this message was sent?
I think some attempts were made, but ultimately the changes weren’t substantial enough.
Should Microsoft come out with a major OS release that starts from scratch and dumps backwards compatibility except through maybe emulation?
Here’s the full text from the email–enjoy:
—- Original Message —-
From: Bill Gates
Sent: Wednesday, January 15, 2003 10:05 AM
To: Jim Allchin
Cc: Chris Jones (WINDOWS); Bharat Shah (NT); Joe Peterson; Will Poole; Brian Valentine; Anoop Gupta (RESEARCH)
Subject: Windows Usability Systematic degradation flame
I am quite disappointed at how Windows Usability has been going backwards and the program management groups don’t drive usability issues.
Let me give you my experience from yesterday.
I decided to download (Moviemaker) and buy the Digital Plus pack … so I went to Microsoft.com. They have a download place so I went there.
The first 5 times I used the site it timed out while trying to bring up the download page. Then after an 8 second delay I got it to come up.
This site is so slow it is unusable.
It wasn’t in the top 5 so I expanded the other 45.
These 45 names are totally confusing. These names make stuff like: C:\Documents and Settings\billg\My Documents\My Pictures seem clear.
They are not filtered by the system … and so many of the things are strange.
I tried scoping to Media stuff. Still no moviemaker. I typed in movie. Nothing. I typed in movie maker. Nothing.
So I gave up and sent mail to Amir saying – where is this Moviemaker download? Does it exist?
So they told me that using the download page to download something was not something they anticipated.
They told me to go to the main page search button and type movie maker (not moviemaker!).
I tried that. The site was pathetically slow but after 6 seconds of waiting up it came.
I thought for sure now I would see a button to just go do the download.
In fact it is more like a puzzle that you get to solve. It told me to go to Windows Update and do a bunch of incantations.
This struck me as completely odd. Why should I have to go somewhere else and do a scan to download moviemaker?
So I went to Windows update. Windows Update decides I need to download a bunch of controls. (Not) just once but multiple times where I get to see weird dialog boxes.
Doesn’t Windows update know some key to talk to Windows?
Then I did the scan. This took quite some time and I was told it was critical for me to download 17megs of stuff.
This is after I was told we were doing delta patches to things but instead just to get 6 things that are labeled in the SCARIEST possible way I had to download 17meg.
So I did the download. That part was fast. Then it wanted to do an install. This took 6 minutes and the machine was so slow I couldn’t use it for anything else during this time.
What the heck is going on during those 6 minutes? That is crazy. This is after the download was finished.
Then it told me to reboot my machine. Why should I do that? I reboot every night — why should I reboot at that time?
So I did the reboot because it INSISTED on it. Of course that meant completely getting rid of all my Outlook state.
So I got back up and running and went to Windows Update again. I forgot why I was in Windows Update at all since all I wanted was to get Moviemaker.
So I went back to Microsoft.com and looked at the instructions. I have to click on a folder called WindowsXP. Why should I do that? Windows Update knows I am on Windows XP.
What does it mean to have to click on that folder? So I get a bunch of confusing stuff but sure enough one of them is Moviemaker.
So I do the download. The download is fast but the Install takes many minutes. Amazing how slow this thing is.
At some point I get told I need to go get Windows Media Series 9 to download.
So I decide I will go do that. This time I get dialogs saying things like “Open” or “Save”. No guidance in the instructions which to do. I have no clue which to do.
The download is fast and the install takes 7 minutes for this thing.
So now I think I am going to have Moviemaker. I go to my add/remove programs place to make sure it is there.
It is not there.
What is there? The following garbage is there. Microsoft Autoupdate Exclusive test package, Microsoft Autoupdate Reboot test package, Microsoft Autoupdate testpackage1. Microsoft AUtoupdate testpackage2, Microsoft Autoupdate Test package3.
Someone decided to trash the one part of Windows that was usable? The file system is no longer usable. The registry is not usable. This program listing was one sane place but now it is all crapped up.
But that is just the start of the crap. Later I have listed things like Windows XP Hotfix see Q329048 for more information. What is Q329048? Why are these series of patches listed here? Some of the patches just things like Q810655 instead of saying see Q329048 for more information.
What an absolute mess.
Moviemaker is just not there at all.
So I give up on Moviemaker and decide to download the Digital Plus Package.
I get told I need to go enter a bunch of information about myself.
I enter it all in and because it decides I have mistyped something I have to try again. Of course it has cleared out most of what I typed.
I try (typing) the right stuff in 5 times and it just keeps clearing things out for me to type them in again.
So after more than an hour of craziness and making my programs list garbage and being scared and seeing that Microsoft.com is a terrible website I haven’t run Moviemaker and I haven’t got the plus package.
The lack of attention to usability represented by these experiences blows my mind. I thought we had reached a low with Windows Network places or the messages I get when I try to use 802.11. (don’t you just love that root certificate message?)
When I really get to use the stuff I am sure I will have more feedback.
Believe it or not, email spam was invented 30-years ago on May 3rd.
The first piece of spam was sent by DEC (a company acquired by Compaq in 1998 which itself was acquired by HP in 2001) to advertise their line of mini computers.
The message was intended for 393 people and contained this text:
WE INVITE YOU TO COME SEE THE 2020 AND HEAR ABOUT THE DECSYSTEM-20 FAMILY
AT THE TWO PRODUCT PRESENTATIONS WE WILL BE GIVING IN CALIFORNIA THIS
MONTH. THE LOCATIONS WILL BE:
TUESDAY, MAY 9, 1978 – 2 PM
HYATT HOUSE (NEAR THE L.A. AIRPORT)
LOS ANGELES, CA
THURSDAY, MAY 11, 1978 – 2 PM
DUNFEY’S ROYAL COACH
SAN MATEO, CA
(4 MILES SOUTH OF S.F. AIRPORT AT BAYSHORE, RT 101 AND RT 92)
A 2020 WILL BE THERE FOR YOU TO VIEW. ALSO TERMINALS ON-LINE TO OTHER
DECSYSTEM-20 SYSTEMS THROUGH THE ARPANET. IF YOU ARE UNABLE TO ATTEND,
PLEASE FEEL FREE TO CONTACT THE NEAREST DEC OFFICE
FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT THE EXCITING DECSYSTEM-20 FAMILY.
If you think email spam is annoying, how about text message spam to your cellphone?
Lorcan Burke, CEO of mobile phone security company Adaptive Mobile, says that “the average [Chinese] mobile user receives six to ten spam messages per day.”
Yeah…that’s worse than email spam.
[Via The Inquirer]
Helio has become the first mobile phone carrier to offer a new push email feature of Google’s Gmail.
You’ll need either a Helio Ocean, Fin or Mysto handset, but it sounds pretty simple–just setup your Gmail account and press Menu > Send/Receive and you’ll be prompted to enable the new mail notification.
Microsoft has announced that on June 30th they will be switching off Hotmail support for Outlook Express because of the outdated protocol that is used for the connection called DAV.
Users that count on being able to do this won’t be completely out in the cold–they’ll just need to download and use Windows Live Mail instead.
In addition to supporting the DeltaSynch protocol (the new one used by Hotmail) it also supports POP3 and IMAP so you can use it to connect to other email account just as you can with Outlook Express.
According to Microsoft the reason for the protocol switch is because DeltaSynch does a better job with larger email inboxes because of its ability to grab just new message headers, unlike DAV which grabs them all.
For more info about Windows Live Mail and to download it check out the product page here.
[Via Download Squad]
Recently the owner of a MacBook Pro that had suffered water damage contacted Apple to find about repair costs. When they were informed that it would cost $300 just to have his MBP looked at with no guarantee of whether or not it could even be repaired that wasn’t quite what they wanted to hear.
This [so far] nameless customer decided to email Steve jobs at firstname.lastname@example.org and said this:
Dear Steve Jobs,
I wanted to write and express my concern about some recent problems that I have had with Apple Care. This week, my MacBook Pro unfortunately sustained water damage. I understand this is entirely my fault but it is still something I would like to get fixed. After three or four calls I was finally able to get a straight answer. While I was happy to get a straight answer, I was not at all happy with the answer. It is very worrisome to me that the only way to get my computer fixed is to pay almost $300.00 up front with no guarantee that this will fix the problem. I was horrified to learn that their is no system to assess the problem and bill once all damage is known. I am reluctant to put money into a problem that could easily grow. I have had three Apple computers in a row. I love using them but I am not sure if my replacement will be one. I feel powerless in the situation and the whole experience has turned me off of the Apple company.
Sounds like a pretty reasonable email…nice tone of voice, the customer wasn’t blaming Apple for not making their laptops water-proof–nothing like that.
The response that this customer claims to have received was as follows:
This is what happens when your MacBook Pro sustains water damage.They are pro machines and they don’t like water. It sounds like you’re just looking for someone to get mad at other than yourself.
Is it real? As far as I know, yes it is. Poor customer service? Yes, that too.
If it is legit and is in fact from Steve, is anyone really surprised? Its not like he hasn’t acted like an ass/jerk/whatever word you’d prefer in the past and he’ll certainly do it again.