Google Talk Adds “Chatback” Button Feature

It’s always been frustrating how you couldn’t have a Google Talk chat box on your website. Google changed that a couple days ago, when they announced Google Talk Chatback, which is a badge you put on your site that opens a special version of the Google Talk gadget. It looks interesting, and a version I could add (and considered) is shown below: Now, the reason I’m not adding one is twofold. First, I never got very many hits from the chat box I did find (which I recently disabled because nobody used it and it just slowed down page loads).…

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Official Gmail Blog Posts Internal Screenshot?

I just looked over the post about at the Official Gmail Blog, and noticed that their screenshot is a bit funky. Compare the two images below: The first image is mine; the second is what the Gmail Blog posted. Now, there isn’t much different there, but they aren’t posting screenshots of the interface the rest of us see. Makes me wonder what enhancements Google is hiding in the internal Gmail interface, waiting to be released to the masses. I hope there’s some good stuff there… I want box controls! 😀 [Second image credit: Official Gmail Blog, under a claim of…

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New Invisibility in Gmail Chat, Unsupported by Other Google Clients

Googlers seem to be spending all their time developing the Google Talk service on the Gmail section of it. Garett Rogers (ZDNet) and Ionut Alex Chitu (Google Operating System) have so far picked up on the story. It is now possible, only in Gmail at the moment, to set your status as “Invisible” like other IM services. You can see which of your contacts are online and available for chat without them knowing that you are available. That is, unless they’ve also discovered the new invisibility feature (in which case neither of you will see each other). So, here’s the…

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Evidence of Gmail Task List

Following about the rumored Gmail task list feature that “turned out to be” RTM, I saw a comment from Garett at Google Operating System and revisited the Groups thread pertaining to his original post. Users on Groups have posted evidence that Google is internally testing a task list feature. The evidence comes in the form of CSS rules. One particularly interesting one references corp.google.com, which is (as far as I know) an internal network address accessible only within Google. Take a look at this rule (I’ve added line breaks and indents for clarity and space): .gtasks-sprite { background-image: url(http://www.corp.google.com↵ /~bolinfest/gtasks/sprites.png)…

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Remember Your Add-ons!

Ionut Alex Chitu made a very good point last night about Greasemonkey and related add-ons. His post, entitled “Your Gmail Adds New Features“, showcases three (last I checked) separate instances where people installed Greasemonkey scripts for Gmail and then forgot about them. In each case, the add-ons’ features were interpreted as being part of the Gmail core, rather than add-on functionality available only in that customized browser. Yesterday, the post I published about Garett Rogers’ discovery of a tip-off to a was also revealed to be another forgotten add-on (, if you’re wondering), a case I mentioned in the comments…

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Gmail Task List Feature?

Garett Rogers posted something very strange this afternoon. It seems someone wrote in with a screenshot of a task list feature in Gmail and a (to me, rather dubious) explanation of how it got there. He thinks it’s likely to be “similar to the ‘Remember The Milk’ addon” (he says uses Greasemonkey, which I don’t believe is correct). The screenshot he posted, which I won’t duplicate for fear of copyright infringement (see the original post), looks very, very similar to the RTM pane I have in my Gmail account right now, down to the icons and styling. I’m excited if…

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How to Use Gmail Labels Properly

Over the months, I’ve seen a lot of complaints from people who don’t like Gmail’s labeling features and want Google to implement folders. The only problem here is, labels can already be used as folders. You just don’t assign more than one label to a conversation. One comment in particular, on Matt Cutts’ recent post requesting Gmail feature suggestions, got my attention. The author, Luke Daly, says: FOLDERS!!! I hate the labels feature, I want to add a email to a folder and not see it again until I view that folder Luke, you can. Set up a filter like…

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Google Bookmarks Hiccups Briefly

For many users, tonight brought a shocking and scary surprise: Dozens, hundreds, even thousands of bookmarks contained in the Google Bookmarks system were suddenly gone. Google Toolbar menus showed empty (or near-empty) listings, as did the Web interface. All seemed to be lost. Only recent additions seemed to be present (though all of mine were gone from the main Bookmarks site). Fortunately, there is a temporary workaround. If this happens to you, head to Google Notebook and click the “Unfiled Bookmarks” link at the top left. It won’t necessarily get you your labels, too, but at least you’ll have all…

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Google’s Stealing Ideas from Gmail Userscripts

Now I know why Google doesn’t frown on Greasemonkey userscripts being written for Gmail. They use them for improvement ideas! The latest example of this is yesterday’s addition of an “Always Archive” shortcut, the ‘e’ key, which was introduced by Gmail Macros. Admittedly, that script was written by a Google employee (the original was, at any rate), but from a completely separate team. Previous examples: and . Interesting, at the very least. Google’s probable idea: “Let’s make an easily-extended front-end to Gmail, publicize the unofficial “API”, and let our users give us ideas that we can rip off and announce…

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Some Users Could Be Experiencing Gmail Outages

My site stats are telling me I have a spike in traffic from searches relating to Gmail outages today. All the keywords are similar to “gmail down january 11”, with some minor variations, most leading to my post from last January. To me, that’s a good sign that Google’s having some problems. My account is unaffected thus far, though it might be (you never know). Maybe this is some sort of rolling outage having to do with a major network upgrade. Or maybe there are brownouts (short power outages) at one of Google’s datacenters (unlikely; they must have enormous backup…

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