Google Typo Leads To Speculation About 1 Terabyte Of Gmail Storage

from the rumors-swirling dept

Someone submitted a note to Techdirt Tuesday afternoon noting that their Gmail account usage bar at the bottom of the page showed the limit to be 1000000 MB (approximately 1 terabyte) rather than the advertised 1 gigabyte (though, actually that reminds me of an annoying aside: Google keeps claiming 1 gigabyte of storage, but 1 gigabyte is actually 1024 MB and not the 1000 MB they show, which even Google will tell you). I checked my own Gmail account, and indeed, it showed the approaching terabyte level of storage. A quick note to a friend at Google confirmed the obvious: it was a mistake. However, that hasn’t stopped rampant speculation to run around the internet – to the point that even has written an article about it. Also, one juicy rumor about the fix: before they fix this error, they’re making sure that no one actually has gone over the gigabyte storage level. Update: It’s really amazing just how many people have naturally assumed that Google must have raised the storage levels to one terabyte. Meanwhile, back in the real world, Google has officially stated that this is a bug. The service will offer 1 gig, as promised. Update 2: Funny to see rewriting history. The article has been changed to reflect the fact that this was just a glitch – but the article doesn’t admit that first reported it as if it weren’t.

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Comments on “Google Typo Leads To Speculation About 1 Terabyte Of Gmail Storage”

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Anonymous Coward says:

Re: 1 Gigabyte **is** 1000MB!!

In the world of silly revisionists, perhaps. In the real world 1GB is 1024MB. Just because some morons decided to be pedantic about the metric system (which I fully support where the choice is between two arbitrary measurement systems, but the 1024 increments for computer storage isn’t an arbitrary choice) doesn’t mean that decades of usage suddenly changes.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: 1 Gigabyte **is** 1000MB!!

which is especially funny, because the people who decided to use “kilo,” “mega,” “giga,” and friends were ultimately aware that they were applying the metric system to somewhere that it could not be realistically applied. 1024 is not “one kilo” of anything. EVER.

except in computers. so you argue that decades of incorrect usage should not be argued with. well, i point to millenia of when people argued that the earth was flat. we should not believe otherwise, simply because chronologically speaking, it is the established norm.

who cares that the earth has been proven round?

for that matter, who cares that “kilo” means “one thousand,” and not “one thousand, twenty-four?”

those of us “revisionists” tired of all the bullshit and misrepresentation, that’s who.

schleifnet (user link) says:

Re: Re: Re: 1 Gigabyte **is** 1000MB!!

bases for system is a two bit system 0 and 1
2 to the x to get each level
2^1 = 2 (1 bit)
2^3 = 8 (1 byte)
etc etc
the bs about kilobyte is 1000 is wrong wrong wrong take one computer class and you will learn the truth in the mean time i think it may be time for me to get a life and for the marketing folks to stop stealing my storage then lying about what size is

i.e. i am 5 ft 8 not 5 ft

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: 1 Gigabyte **is** 1000MB!!

1 gigabyte has been 1024 megabytes for as long as computers have been around. just because 1 group comes along at 5 seconds to midnight (symbolically) and makes up some new standard doesnt mean anyone has to listen to them. screw the gibibyte, we have a system that isnt *that* bad already, so were sticking with it. a gigabyte is 1024mb.

Ed says:

Re: Re: Re:2 1 Gigabyte **is** 1000MB!!

I’m not saying that I like it, but that’s the way it is. Words are always defined by their usage, not by their dictionary entries (which only document current usage) and the most prevalent use so far of the term gigabyte has been to describe hard disk capacities. Certainly now that it’s becoming more common to talk about gigabytes of RAM or gigabytes per unit time of bandwidth, the 8% difference between 2^30 and 10^9 becomes more of a problem and the commonly-understood meaning of GB may change.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: 1 Gigabyte **is** 1000MB!!

1 gigabyte has been 1024 megabytes for as long as computers have been around.

Not true. Drive storage space has traditionally used decimal powers.

just because 1 group comes along at 5 seconds to midnight (symbolically) and makes up some new standard doesnt mean anyone has to listen to them.

The gibibyte wasn’t exactly invented last night.

screw the gibibyte, we have a system that isnt *that* bad already, so were sticking with it. a gigabyte is 1024mb.

Speak for yourself. Others may want to look here.

Jeff says:


Hello Mike,
I have been trying to find out more information about G-mail. I am a software test engineer in Seattle Washington and am very interested in participating in the ‘beta’. However, I can not find any information as to how one can get involved, nor did I know about this prior to there 4/1 announcement. If you have any information I would really appreciate it.

Thank you,


anonymous says:

I know I’m barking up an old, withered, dead tree here, but I can’t believe no one pointed out the obvious answer to the argument here:

1KB = 2**10,

1MB = 2**20

1GB = 2**30

1TB = 2**40

Do we notice a pattern here? The choice wasn’t made arbitrarily, but based on how to keep it in an increment of 10, like metric, while at the same time using powers of two which happens to be necessary when dealing with binary. Of course, they could have used computers with circuitry that depended on 10 voltage levels instead of 2,

which was actually attempted in an effort to stay with the decimal system, but that would have been more complicated and more difficult to maintain than remembering that things were measusred in 2**10n increments.

As for the argument about drives having been first, yadda, yadda: The first computers DID NOT use hard drives but DID have a special temporary storage medium known as CACHE.. 64K, 640K, etc. to be exact. It just so happens that this representation of K really did mean 1024 bytes. So, the definition was there long before drive manufactures came about. As a matter of fact, if you look at a 1.44 MB floppy disk, you will see that it is exactly 1.44 * 1000 * 1024 bytes or 1440 KB… wasn’t that nice of them to mix the definitions? But, we know that they just wanted to look like their drives were 2.4% bigger than they were. They were thinking, “How many people really notice that 35Kb of space is missing?” Problem is today people are missing several GB… Someone buys a 500GB disk today, and suddenly they are 11GB short. The 11GB would be nice… I could use it for backups of the OS partition. It still bothers me when I buy a drive because I know that I’m not really getting what I paid for.


Angry anonymous user.

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