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 News.com(.com) 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 News.com rewriting history. The article has been changed to reflect the fact that this was just a glitch - but the article doesn't admit that News.com first reported it as if it weren't.

Reader Comments

Subscribe: RSS

View by: Time | Thread


  1. identicon
    anonymous, 15 May 2006 @ 11:19pm

    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.

    Thanks,

    Angry anonymous user.

Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here



Subscribe to the Techdirt Daily newsletter




Comment Options:

  • Use markdown. Use plain text.
  • Remember name/email/url (set a cookie)

Follow Techdirt
Insider Shop - Show Your Support!

Essential Reading
Techdirt Insider Chat
Recent Stories

This site, like most other sites on the web, uses cookies. For more information, see our privacy policy. Got it
Close

Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.