Category Archives: Gmail

Not Receiving Evite Invitations

A few days back a friend called and said “Hae I sent you an evite for my son’s first birthday and you haven’t looked at it”. I said, “no, I haven’t received any email”. Then I gave him another email and asked him to send it to it and while he was on the phone, I got the invite and I accepted it.

A few days later, I was asking another friend about throwing a baby shower party for his wife. He was like “we just had it over the weekend, this other friend sent you an evite”. And I was like, no I didn’t receive any evite and told him what happened earlier. Anyway, I separately went to meet my friend and his wife before they had their baby.

Now, 3rd time is a charm (or in this case, also annoying). I just got a call from another friend and “Hae I sent you an evite for our son’s 2nd yr birthday and you haven’t seen it yet”. I was like, “did you send the evites to my this account? Instead, can you send me to this other account?”. He sent it and immediately accepted for a party that’s just around the corner.

That’s when I thought enough is enough. I need to research about what’s going on? I searched on Gmail help and there are a few more people complaining the same. While all those other postings were related to regular gmail account. Mine is for an account on my own domain registered with Google Apps. So, I almost replied to one of the forum posts with all the info and just before submitting I thought of also giving info on the last time I did receive an evite. So, I searched for evite and then the mystery has been solved (almost).

A few months back, we organized a party for my son. My wife has her own gmail id but I also gave her an account on my domain. So, for organizing this party, she used her email on my domain so that even my friends would readily know who was organizing the party. So, as part of that, she added my email id to her account so that I could also access and look at who has accepted and who has not so that I could follow up if needed. When an email is added, evite actually sends a confirmation email and I just accepted it without much thinking.

So far everything is good. It’s not a fault of Gmail or Google Apps or Evite (almost). But read on to know what has happened.

As my wife doesn’t use her email on my domain at all, she has not logged into it for a long time. So today when we logged into that account, all the 3 evites that I missed are there! So, when we logged on to evite using her id, we saw both emails and her email is the primary. There lies the clue. What’s happening is, evite seems to be assuming irrespective of whichever email the evite is sent, it’s good to send it to the primary email. This is good if all the emails on the account belong to the same person. Otherwise, it would end up like what happened to me.

So, what’s the solution? To login using the primary email and then delete the other emails for which one wants to receive evites directly (I am hoping that after that everything would work fine, I don’t know yet). Now, I just have one problem. When I tried to remove the email, I am getting

“We’re doing a little site maintenance,
but we’ll be back shortly. Try again in a few minutes.

Thanks for your patience!”

I am hoping this is only a temporary issue for them and I can get my separate identity asap.

Update: I am able to delete the email from the old evite (the default one), not from new.evite.com where I get the above error. Not sure how long it would take them to fix this issue so that I don’t miss out future evites.

Update 2: My changes on evite.com reflected on new.evite.com. The email has been removed. Hopefully I will start seeing evites to my email account.

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Filed under Bug, Evites, Gmail, Google Apps

Gmail is down for me and Twitter (and not Google) confirms it

My gmail account of one of the Google Apps domain is down for the last few hours. The funny thing is, it gives “Show Detailed Technical Info” and when I expand it, it just says

” Hide Detailed Technical Info
Numeric Code: 21″

How the heck should I know what Numeric Code 21 is supposed to mean?

So, just to be sure the problem is not just for me, but a general outage, I searched, well, on Google for “gmail down”. The first link is a sponsored link from Google itself and it read

“Gmail Down?
http://www.Google.com/AppsStatus Visit the Google Apps Dashboard to View the Latest Service Status Info”

As I am used to not clicking the link but directly copy paste the URL, when I tried to access “www.Google.com/AppsStatus”, it gave a 404 error. Then I clicked the link which actually took me to http://www.google.com/appsstatus . So the actual url and the display url of this ad are not the same.

Anyway, on the dashboard, it said there was an issue with GMail on 7/28 but today it’s fine. But that’s not true. I am as of this writing not able to access my account.

So I went to the king of the real time search engine, twitter, and typed the same phrase “gmail down” and there you go lots of users already saying the same thing.

Hasn’t Google already integrated Twitter searches into its main search page? Not sure what triggers this twitter search results region, but certainly not the one I wanted :).

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Filed under Gmail, Google Apps, Tweets Search Engine, Twitter

JavaMail, GMail, POP3 vs IMAP

I have been experimenting with JavaMail api to fetch Google Apps Email as part of a product idea. Initially, I used POP3 protocol and tried to get the Inbox and that worked just fine. Then I wanted to get the remaining Folders. Well, Google Apps EMail (which is based on their GMail software), organizes by Labels and doesn’t use folders (except may be the Inbox, I don’t know all the details). When I used POP3, the only folder that I managed to get is the INBOX folder. Then I switched to using IMAP and interestingly, it returned not just INBOX bot also the the rest are the labels that I defined. The remaining such as “Drafts”, “Sent Mail” etc provided by default by Google were not present. However, there was a special folder called “[Gmail]” which contains the standard default folders. When debugging was enabled, it indicated that the “[Gmail]” folder had something like

* LIST (\Noselect \HasChildren) “/” “[Gmail]”

while rest of them had
* LIST (\HasNoChildren) “/” “[Gmail]”

Interestingly, with POP3, even the “[Gmail]” is not present. Not sure if this is related to Google’s implementation of the protocol or some limitations in POP3 vs IMAP.

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Filed under Gmail, Google Apps, JavaMail

GMail Slow

One of the reasons I switched from Yahoo! and Hotmail to GMail is the fact that it supports https not only at the time of login but also during the rest of the session. One advantage with this is, even if you send personal emails from anywhere outside home, no one would know what you are sending/receiving. Gives that extra level of privacy comfort if not anything else. However, last few weeks I have been observing performance problems with GMail. I have been using https for almost a few yrs now that I didn’t bother to try the http version. Today I tried the http version and to my surprise, it is much faster. Hopefully their https servers will continue to work faster, otherwise my incentive to use GMail would reduce given that now a ways all the other major email providers like Yahoo! and Hotmail (would it become Yahmail in the future? :)) also started giving GBs of storage.

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GMail Thinks Google Alert Is A Spam!

I have a handful of alerts setup. Today, one of those alerts ended up in GMail’s spam folder. I know spam filtering is not precise science, if not a rocket science. But, how hard would it be to recognize some of the internal emails such as Google’s own alert emails to be not spam? Unless, their spam engine starts figuring out which alert is a spam and which one is not!

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Gmail is loading and loading and loading and …

These days, I am really sick of Gmail. It’s getting too slow. Like a bloated pig. After all, the 1gb which eventually became 2gb strategy is probably not working. Having to mine all that piled up mails (which probably most people just kept it there, like me, out of laziness to remove or with the may be useful one day attitude) to provide some contextual ads (and a few times some coofeefool ad or the other which has absolutely no relevancy), it perhaps is taking a toll on the Gmail servers. Most of the night times and more on weekends I keep getting the “Loading” red button on the top. What I hate most about that is that it covers the signout link and as a result, I can’t even sign-out when it’s slow! Today is the first time since I signed up for Gmail, perhaps 2+ yrs, that I actually composed a notes on Yahoo’s email (yes, I usually keep notes in drafts and that’s me, don’t ask why I do it).

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Online Search Privacy

Recently AOL leaked a 3 months worth of searches conducted by their users, supposedly by mistake. Even though the usernames are not given out in the logs, there is a lot of criticism based on this article about how it became possible to derive the identify of a person based on the searches she conducted.

In case of AOL, the searches are tied back to the individual user based on the AOL account. Since Google doesn’t have subscription like AOL, is it safe to assume your privacy is safe with Google? Not so if you are using Gmail as well. Why? Because, when you login to Gmail and keep it open all the time like I do, then, everytime you do a search, Google would know that it’s you (with a particular gmail email address), that’s doing the search! And that’s scary. Isn’t it?

All the people keep complaining about this privacy issue. One way this could be resolved is, if you can have two separate instances of Firefox each running as a separte process and one not knowing about the cookies of the other. Perhaps due to various technical reasons this is not possible, but where there is a will, there is a way. Isn’t it?

On the otherhand, even if that was possible, would you want to keep switching between two separate browsers? That’s the whole reason why we all love the Firefox’s tabbed browsing functionality in the first place.

So, what can be done to be able to browse in a single browser and yet protect your privacy against Google? Or for that matter any other company that can track your usage of their free service based on your logging into another of their service?

I think, I found a solution. It’s basically the IE Tab plugin I talked about in my previous blog. Here is what you can do.

1. Get Firefox if you already don’t have one and install it.
2. Then download the “IE Tab” plugin mentioned above and install it, restart the browser.
3. Now, go to https://gmail.google.com/ and switch it to IE by clicking the “IE Tab”s icon at the bottom on the status bar.
4. Login to Gmail.
5. Now, open another tab and happly keep searching the web, and Google wouldn’t get your cookie of their gmail to track you.

How do you know if it’s working? You will notice that while in the past, when you visited Google’s homepage to search, you would see “Logout” link, now you will start seeing “Sign In” link. Google no longer knows that you logged in as IE’s cookie base is different from Firefox’s.

Of course, they can still use the IP address of your machine to try to corelate. But it’s a little less accurate than relating your searches to precisely you!

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Filed under Gmail, Google Search, Privacy, Tech - Tips