TechCrunch reports that recently, many users lost all of their Gmail emails and contacts through some kind of malicious auto-deletion. All in all, 60 accounts were affected, according to a statement by a Google representative. Mike Arrington writes:
The cause of the problem isnt clear. One user wrote that after the deletion they received the following message: “This is not a mistake. All your emails and contacts have been deleted on purpose. This was a malicious attack and not an error. Have a nice day. =)” One user pointed to a known security issue with Firefox 2.0, which was fixed in 184.108.40.206.
Ouch. I’d hate to lose all my emails. Wonder if Google will provide us with some sort of official backup mechanism one day, like a one-click export to ZIP/ import to ZIP feature?
[Thanks Manoj Nahar, Art-One and Brinke Guthrie!]
OneYearForSale.com is a spin on Alex Tew’s Million Dollar Homepage idea (sort of), letting you buy time instead of space. What happens is that you buy a minute (or many minutes) of the year for a dollar each, and for each minute you own your large advertising message will be displayed. The idea by site creator Peter Sauer (“a college student who decided he didnt like his painting job”) is original but not revolutionary – with the big downer that you can’t “own a piece of internet history”, as the Million Dollar Homepage promised in 2005, simply because your ad will disappear after it aired. So now I guess its success will largely depend on marketing; at this time, no messages are displayed, though a couple of advertisers apparently already bought their share. If it works, as this Google search shows, there’s over half a million bucks to be made for Peter...
“TestTube” is the name for the new* YouTube technology playground (similar to Google Labs, including the green goo imagery). At this time, there’s only a single project available – Streams, which allow you to chat alongside others as you all watch the same video. [Thanks Caroline T.!]
*Well, relatively new anyway (it was released around December 22nd 2006, I’m told).
What the Duck cartoons by Aaron Johnson are sharing-enabled... you can check out WhatTheDuck.net and put cartoons on your website, blog, or newsletter. Interestingly enough, the artist also tracks his efforts in getting syndicated in a “live experiment”...
Dave Naffziger created a list of over a hundred countries in which Google does have a local domain, and Yahoo doesn’t. For example, www.google.mu shows Google Mauritius, but www.yahoo.mu results in a time-out... and while google.com.tr resolves to Google Türkiye, the same country domain only finds “UK & Ireland" for Yahoo. Dave comments:
Yes, it is far easier for Google to launch their home page in another country than for Yahoo to launch their homepage. However, making search available and customized for each country begins the long process of brand establishment. I noticed it in Peru and again in the Czech Republic – they know and love Google. They don’t know Yahoo.
AdLogger aims to prevent click-fraud on your site by limiting the number of clicks on your ads your visitors may make. I never had any (visible) problems with this, but maybe other websites do. I suppose the potential problem is that Google blocks your AdSense account if your competitor tries to click your ads a lot (to make it look like you’re abusing them to gain higher ad revenues), though I have no idea how real this issue is, and how little or much Google does to prevent it. [Thanks NEWSiness!]
Microsoft is advertising on Google – thus paying a competitor – as a (US) search for .mov files shows. The ad for this query will take you to a search.msn.com result with a direct Encarta encyclopedia box on top (”.mov file format: Apple Quicktime movie file”, in this case). The StraightUpSearch blog comments that it’s hardly a selling point to tell the user, “Sure, you already chose Google to deliver your search results. But Live.com offers search results too!” Then again, this seems to make more sense than search engines like MSN advertising MSN search in their own results...
[Thanks David Hetfield!]
Google released a patents search recently, but their patents onebox is still pointing to only the USPTO.gov website. E.g. you can search for patent 5123123 to reproduce this. Is this a conscious decision on Google’s part, or an oversight?
[Thanks Martin Porcheron!]
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