GOOGLEMANIA

THE GMAIL GOES THROUGH

GmailWe’re both big fans of Gmail, and we’ll tell you why in just a moment. But first we want to tell you the exclusivity is gone. You used to have to be “invited” to use Google’s Gmail service. Invitations were even sold on eBay. But it’s free and wide open now. So get it and love it at Mail.Google.com.

There are several great things about Gmail: One is that it keeps a record of all your mail. We mean “all” your mail, even spam and the stuff you deleted. That means that later on, when you strike your hand to your forehead and say “dummkopf,” or something like that, “I know I threw out an e-mail about this six months ago,” it will still be there. Every so often you might want to clear those old files out — for neatness’ sake, mind you — but if you don’t, nothing bad will happen. You can recover any of those e-mails if you can remember a single significant word in the content.

Now we come to the spam catcher. Gmail has the best spam catcher we’ve ever found. We get close to 300 spam messages a day — apiece. Gmail catches 99 percent, and after 30 days sends them into the great beyond. At the moment, Joy has 8,115 pieces of spam in her folder, all destined for oblivion.

Other spam catchers are amateurs. Bob has an America Online account, which bills itself as a superior spam catcher, but seems close to worthless. It has cut out less than half the spam. You call that spam-catching? Every Nigerian between Lagos and Timbuctu seems to have the account name, and they all stand ready to transfer millions if only you will provide your bank code

If you want to go behind the scenes and see how Gmail goes through (not really), you can go to Mail.Google.com/mvideo and watch three Bulgarian grandmas pass it hand to hand and a Taiwanese forklift operator carry it to a warehouse. (You can submit your own.)

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