Random Gmail invites on Google

Google seems to be giving out random invites to random users who visit the Google website. I read about it yesterday in the Google Weblog. And today, an invite appeared when I went to Google. The invites appear right below the Google search box.
Random Gmail invite on Google - click to enlarge (33 kb).
I refreshed the page a couple of times and got the same link but with two different query strings – promo=hpp-gmail-0 and promo=hpp-gmail-1. The links are given below. You can click on them if you want a Gmail account.
Link 1 | Link 2
If the above links do not work and you want a Gmail account, you can get one from http://isnoop.net/gmail/. There are currently (4:29 PM 3/15/2005) 494,177 invites available there!
Related posts:
– 02/12/2005: 182,505 Gmail invites available at isnoop.net
– 11/16/2004: Gmail POP access
– 06/12/2004: Got my Gmail account!

Mark Jen joins Plaxo

Mark Jen, the Ex-Google employee who was fired in February for blogging about Google has got a new job at Plaxo. Today was his first day at work.
And it seems Plaxo fully supports his blogging activities. 🙂

as a bonus, they fully support my blogging activities as well – they recognize the power of keeping the door open to the community through blogs.

Read more about it in his post.
Related Links:
– 03/07/05 (CNET): Fired Googler gets new gig
– 02/15/05 (CNN): Have a blog, lose your job?
– 02/11/05 (CNET): Google blogger: ‘I was terminated’
– 02/11/05 (Mark Jen): the official story, straight from the source

182,505 Gmail invites available at isnoop.net

There are currently (1:15 PM 2/12/2005) 182,505 Gmail invites available at the isnoop.net gmail account spooler. If you have not got your Gmail account yet, now is the time to get it! 🙂
Get your Gmail invite: http://isnoop.net/gmail/

After you can get an account, please return the favor by sending invites back to gmail@isnoop.net when you get them.

The upsurge in Gmail invites is maybe due to the fact that Gmail has started providing 50 invites to each of its users instead of the usual 5 invites.
Update (7:31 PM 2/12/2005) It seems there were 1.5 million invites available in the isnoop.net gmail account spooler on Feb 9, 2005! I think the number has one extra zero, because the isnoop.net website says that it has distributed 258,865 invites since Sep 13, 2004. And the current number of available invites is 186,046. So, that would mean that there have been a total of 444,911 invites on the website (distributed + current) till now. So, I guess Aaron Swartz meant 0.15 million and not 1.5 million. But anyway, 0.15 million is also a whole lot of invites!!! Go grab one! 🙂
Related Links:
– 06/12/2004: Got my Gmail account

Google Video

Google has introduced a new service called “Google Video”. This engine (still in beta) enables users to search the text of TV shows. Right now, video playback is not included.
If you know the name of the TV program, you can use the “title” syntax. For example: title:tonight show
It also provides timings of upcoming episodes for a specified show and zipcode.

Yahoo also launced the beta of its video search engine on Jan 15, 2005.
More info:
Google Video
news.com article
About Google Video

Google SMS

Came across Google SMS. It is a service (still in Beta) introduced by Google where users can send phone book listings, dictionary definitions, product prices etc. I decided to try it out.
Note: The queries need to be sent to 46645 (GOOGL).
Case 1 (Local business info)
Query: papa john 37919
Papa John’s Pizza: UT Campus
South 1819 Lake Ave
Knoxville, TN 37916
Papa John’s Pizza: Northwest
5617 Western Ave
Knoxville, TN 37921
Case 2 (Zip code info)
Query: 37919
Reply: zip code for Knoxville, TN
Case 3 (Area code info)
Query: 865
Reply: area code for Eastern Tennessee
Case 4 (Word definition)
Query: define alacrity
Reply: Glossary: * alacrity: liveliness and eagerness; “he accepted with alacrity”. Source: www.cogsci.princeton.edu/cgi-bin/webwn
I think the service is pretty interesting and very useful too. I intend to use it more in the future.
Related Links:
Wallet size Tips Sheet (36 kb pdf)
PC World article (10/07/2004)

Gmail POP access

My gmail account now has POP access. Gmail started providing POP access for its email accounts in phases a couple of days back. The last time I checked, I still did not have POP access. I checked today and found that now my account has been provided POP access.
The first step was to enable POP access. I did that by selecting the following options in the “Forwarding” > “Forwarding and POPAccount” section:
1. Enable POP for all mail (even mail that’s already been downloaded)
2. When messages are accessed with POP: keep Gmail’s copy in the Inbox.
The account configuration was pretty much straightforward. Configuration instructions are given in the Gmail Help section.
After setting up POP access for my gmail account, I tried sending and receiving emails using Outlook Express. It is working great.

Google Desktop

Google has released a new application called Google Desktop. It is still in beta.
It indexes your computer and enables you to search your Outlook and Outlook Express
emails, Internet Explorer history, Word, Excel, Powerpoint and text files.

Google Desktop   Search Sample

I downloaded it yesterday night and let it do the indexing. Today morning, I
found that it had indexed 145,991 items! (21,148 emails, 28,687 web history and
96,156 files!). Hmm, I guess I have a LOT of emails and files. I tried some sample searches
and it was pretty good.

It runs in the background and pauses automatically when you start doing something.
This also means that if you want to see how it works, you will have to install it
and then not use the computer for some time. A good idea would be to install it
before going to bed or maybe before going to lunch.

More info


Got my Gmail account!

Had been reading about Gmail for some days. A few days back, one of my friends got an account. That was the first time I saw how the interface looked like. After that I read about it a bit on the web and I found out that sometimes. select users get an offer of 3 Gmail accounts to give to their friends. My friend turned out to be one of those lucky few and he gave referred one of his accounts to me!
Have not tested all the features yet. Here is a screenshot:
Gmail screenshot
click to enlarge (57 kb)
p.s. For the uninitiated, Gmail offers 1000 MB of email space!
Update (6/12/2004 2:08 AM): Was checking out Gmail invite auctions on E-Bay. The lowest Buy it Now price is $12.50 and the highest price is $100,000 !!!

Google’s New Look now official

Just noticed that Google now displays its new look by default. So the new look seems to be officially “the look” now.
Couple of days back, the Google bookmarket mentioned in my previous posting stopped working. I had a feeling at that time that Google was going to launch its new look pretty soon.
Also seems that Google updated its database again sometime back (around Mar 27). Before that, I was getting old search results for some particular search strings. Now the results are showing up fine (read – “what I expected :)” )
Also checked if Google’s new look is appearing in Danvine.com’s Icapture. The new look is appearing there too. More info is here.