05 Mar 2010

Google’s got me

Yesterday morning, for the third time this week, Gmail ate an outgoing email. I don’t know what the deal is, but sometimes lately when I reply as normal, and then hit the “send and archive” button, my reply simply goes *poof*. When I check sent mail, all I’ve got is an email adressed to “me”, with no subject line, that is totally blank. Of course the lost replies are always the ones that I’ve laboured over; the note of a condolence to an old friend, the detailed reply – with supporting attachments – to my mortgage broker. Yesterday it was a long, thoughtful email to my dad, whose younger brother, my Uncle Russ, died suddenly a few weeks ago.

I tried Googling the problem, and found bupkis. Though others before me have experienced this little glitch, I couldn’t find any explanation for why it happens, or directions for how to fix it. The bug is annoying enough that I briefly toyed with the idea of dumping Gmail altogether, but I’ve been using it too long, and I have thousands of emails stored, and besides I can’t find anything else to replace it with, offering all the features I want, for free.

A couple of weeks ago Tonia left Chrome open on my laptop, and I happened to notice how fast YouTube videos seem to load in the Google browser. Even with my less than stellar connection speed those videos were smoking. Not only did they load much quicker than they do when I’m using Firefox, I also managed to get half a dozen open in different tabs, and open a second and then a third one after I’d finished watching the first. I haven’t been able to do that in Firefox in a very long time.

Okay, probably this is because Chrome’s a faster, lighter and more efficient browser, but there was a tiny part of my paranoid brain that wondered if Google is perhaps throttling YouTube (which it owns) for Firefox users in order to encourage people to switch to Chrome (also a Google product). And if that’s the case, then wouldn’t it stand to reason that Gmail would probably work better with Chrome than is does with Firefox? I realize I am speculating wildly here, but I did wonder. They’re not supposed to be evil, Google, and yet… is it possible that their strategy for world dominion is to simply design excellent products I can’t live without, which only work with their own other excellent products I can’t live without? Is Google the new Adobe?

I realize am probably over reacting, but sometimes, when I have too much time on my hands during thoughtful, introspective moments, I wonder if perhaps living in Googleland isn’t a bit like living in Berlin in the 1930’s, when people were not so sure about that short guy with the weird moustache, but wasn’t it nice to have the trains running on time again? Ah well. If they turn out to be evil at least I can say, “I always knew there was something funny about them, ” and meanwhile I will avail myself of some very cool products.

Chrome rocks. It took all of five minutes to export all my Firefox bookmarks, import them into Chrome, and set Chrome as my default browser. I’ve been catching up on email today, and haven’t lost so much as a comma.

Thank you, most sincerely, for your many kind words of encouragement regarding my shoulder. Yoga is absolutely on my list of activities for the future, though stretching is not quite the thing to do right now. Apparently, when my trigger points have all lost their tenderness, I will be ready for yoga. Meanwhile, I’m enjoying the little victories. Like being able to reach above my head and hit the shut-off button on our stupidly located smoke alarm, without the usual searing pain in my shoulder. ((The smoke alarm is in the kitchen, hard-wired into the ceiling. It goes off when the oven is on, and you open the door.))

I know that many of you are missing the podcast, and I want you to know that I am missing it too. It’s not the lack of knitting in my life that’s keeping me away from the microphone, however, but the fact that I am only good for about an hour of computer work a day. That’s it. Any more than an hour I begin to undo all the work I’ve done with my trusty TheraCane, so podcasting has to wait for a little while. I have read that trigger point therapy does work fairly quickly, and I am certainly motivated, so hopefully I won’t be too much longer away from the mic. Meanwhile, if you’re looking for audio knitting entertainment, you need look no further.

Long time listeners will certainly recall those early days of podcasting, when Marie Irshad’s Knitcast was the only knitting podcast in the world. Without Knitcast I wouldn’t have known that a podcast about knitting was even possible, and Marie was hugely supportive of my efforts with Cast On during those early days. Though she took an extended break from podcasting several years ago, Marie released a new episode of Knitcast last week, which I am delighted to recommend. Go. Listen. (Then come back.)

Posted on March 5, in Blog


  1. Lyndsay wrote:

    I love Google and Chrome, too… I do hope their not evil, because they know way too much about me. ;o)

    Speaking of Google, I thought you’d enjoy this article from The Onion.


    Posted on 3.5.10 ·
  2. kmkat wrote:

    Your speculations about Google are not a far-fetched as you might think. Others — on Gizmodo, boingboing.net, Lifehacker, and presumably other techie sites — have had them, too. Apparently the “Don’t be evil” mantra has become a bit of a joke in certain circles. And the equating of all Google, all the time with 1930s Germany is making the rounds, too. Darn.

    Having said that, I may just try Chrome…

    Posted on 3.5.10 ·
  3. I have ridiculously sensitive smoke detectors too. Sometimes they go off because of the steam from boiling water. Give me strength.

    Yes, I miss your podcast terribly, but i”m happy to read that you’re taking care of yourself and healing. Be well.

    Posted on 3.5.10 ·
  4. kathleen wrote:

    Oh, once they get to a certain size the “evility” kicks in 🙂 How do you spell “monetize”?

    Today we set off our smoke detector/fire alarm system while trying to replace a battery. Turns out our system is actually hard-wired (no batteries required), and the thing that was beeping was a CO2 detector hidden behind a chair.

    Be well. Heal well.


    Posted on 3.6.10 ·
  5. Steven C. wrote:

    Just FYI, but the “Send & Archive” button you’ve been using is a “GMail Lab” and therefore may be buggy (as it says on the Settings > Labs page “Gmail Labs is a testing ground for experimental features that aren’t quite ready for primetime. They may change, break or disappear at any time.”).

    You might want to send feedback on that particular lab, via http://groups.google.com/group/gmail-labs-help-send-archive/topics?pli=1 (linked from the above page).

    Hope this helps!

    Posted on 3.6.10 ·
  6. I’ve finally got caught up with your podcast after starting at the beginning a year last Christmas. I just wanted to say I’ve enjoyed it soooo much and will love being ‘current’ with you when you get back.

    Look after yourself and let your shoulder get better, and we will all be waiting for you when you can start podcasting again :o)

    Posted on 3.6.10 ·
  7. FYI, I hear Google Chrome breaks my blog. I can’t seem to find some fixes, either, but I’m still looking. My Gallery plugin doesn’t seem to want to load either in Chrome or a couple of Mac browsers. I don’t think this was always the case, but the plugin hasn’t been updated, so I don’t know what the real issue is.

    Posted on 3.6.10 ·
  8. Katherine wrote:

    I’m so glad that you too have found Trigger Point Therapy and that it seems to be working. My Body Back Buddy is the only thing I’ve found to help my hand pain and tension headaches. Hope the pain continues to improve.

    Don’t rush back to the computer on our account. We will be happily waiting when you’re able to come back!

    Posted on 3.6.10 ·
  9. Connie wrote:

    I have had KnitCast on my Itunes since before I had an Ipod. I couldn’t believe it when it started updating the other day! She is wonderful and I still will look forward to your next podcast.

    Posted on 3.7.10 ·
  10. Gaidig wrote:

    I don’t think Google is intentionally making their stuff not work with other companies’ stuff; I just think they are making an extra effort to make their different products compatible with each other, which I think makes sense and is perfectly reasonable. They aren’t forcing you to buy their products all bundled together or anything.

    Posted on 3.7.10 ·
  11. Nina wrote:

    Hehe well even if Google is evil, they gave my father-in-law a job after he was unemployed for over a year. They can’t be all bad. 🙂

    Posted on 3.28.10 ·

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