March 31, 2005 11:14 PM   Subscribe

Need a lift? Google Labs presents RideFinder. Amazing. Oh yeah, and remember that 1 GB quota on Gmail? It's gone. They're bumping it up to 2 GB as we speak, but they are indicating they will continue to bump it up as needed. If you have a Gmail account, log out and check out the wacky graph and counter on the login page.
posted by keswick (39 comments total)
Good thing too, because my account was already up to 31% of my 1GB limit...Those genealogy listserves are worse than the CSS ones, I swear.

But I have a nagging fear that they're just getting me hooked on that fine, fine Google candy, and it will all lead to some nefarious and ominous end that we just can't predict yet. I mean, hey, the first GB's free! Try some, little girl!

Thank you Mr. Google oh God don't ever leave me I need my Google fix
posted by Asparagirl at 11:21 PM on March 31, 2005

Hallelujah! I'm at 57% and I was contemplating all kinds of scenarios to empty my cache.
posted by Turtles all the way down at 11:33 PM on March 31, 2005

I assumed that was an April Fool's joke... of sorts.
posted by cell divide at 11:39 PM on March 31, 2005

That's pretty funny. And you can actually see the size limit on your account going up gradually in sync with the counter on the login page.
posted by mcguirk at 11:40 PM on March 31, 2005

(April Fool's) I did too, but then the original was thought to be the same thing. And they're telling me I am using an increasingly smaller percentage of my allotted space...
posted by Turtles all the way down at 11:42 PM on March 31, 2005

(I guess that should be "progressively smaller percentage")
posted by Turtles all the way down at 11:43 PM on March 31, 2005

So even if Yahoo is the new Google (was the new Yahoo), Google is also the new Google.
posted by NickDouglas at 11:43 PM on March 31, 2005

Ridefinder is a cool idea, but I'm not sure how useful it would be... are you supposed to check the map to find figure out which company runs the vehicle? Some vehicles will already be occupied, and which speicific one you get assigned is up to the dispatcher anyway (who may be trying to distribute work equitably among the drivers, etc.).
posted by gsteff at 11:47 PM on March 31, 2005

er, to figure out which company runs the closest vehicle
posted by gsteff at 11:48 PM on March 31, 2005

gsteff: On the ridefinder page, I just saw a taxicab in my city that was only a couple blocks away. So I went outside to locate it. I saw the cab exactly where marked on the map, and within a couple minutes, someone got in and the cab drove off. I returned to my computer to refresh the page, and the cab was no longer listed. The service appears to list available vehicles.
posted by clyde at 11:56 PM on March 31, 2005

is yahoo the new google because they finally hired a somewhat decent interface designer? have their searches become better? is it 360? what makes 'the people' decide that a certain engine is now "the engine"? is google broken?
posted by Satapher at 12:00 AM on April 1, 2005

I returned to my computer to refresh the page, and the cab was no longer listed. The service appears to list available vehicles.

I give up. You win, Google. God help us if you ever join the dark side.
posted by gsteff at 12:04 AM on April 1, 2005

Is this Gmail something I would need an invite to know about?
posted by neckro23 at 12:06 AM on April 1, 2005

Actually I think this is Google's April Fool.
posted by Lossewen at 12:07 AM on April 1, 2005

I sent an invite to your gmail account neckro23. w00t. Now you'll have 4 gigamytes of space!!
posted by KevinSkomsvold at 12:45 AM on April 1, 2005

The counter code just automatically counts up, starting at 1000 MB at 2100 PST March 31, and ending up at 2000 MB at 0300 PST April 2. So that's when we'll all have 2GB. (... but I'm only using 24MB right now. so. not a big deal.)

clyde: that's fucking awesome.
posted by blacklite at 12:52 AM on April 1, 2005

Man, when I first saw the name RideFinder, I thought they were going to be doing something really cool, like sucking in bus & train schedules and telling you when the next one was coming to your corner. Something like this for the whole country. Even better would be this, but I don't think that even Google could get Muni, e.g., to start tracking every bus.

Like gsteff said, tracking taxis doesn't seem so useful. Am I missing the point? By the time you've left your desk to go out and hail the cab, it'll probably be long gone.
posted by hal incandenza at 12:56 AM on April 1, 2005

On the email front, Google's latest Gmail offerings are a real kick in the guts for Yahoo and their current plans to up their storage. I feel that Google has pretty much assured themselves that most of its users won't stray from their Gmail accounts now.

This is my first post on MeFi!
posted by sjvilla79 at 1:41 AM on April 1, 2005

I would also like to see buses, trains, subways and light-rail on the map. Bus times can be highly variable depending on the load times and line, and it makes bus riding a great deal more pleasant if you're not standing in the pouring rain and/or beating sun or whatever for more than required. Or if you can linger for one more beer with some friends, knowing your bus or train is far enough away for you to leisurely finish, say goodnight, visit the facilities of the establishment and stroll to your stop rather than nervously stride there, only to stand on your tiptoes peering up and down the street or rail every other minute, wondering if the last one had passed already.

It's coming, though. I've already been on systems where they have a gps triggered street announcement systems, and systems with the time until the next bus on LED tickers. The data is all there, it's just not being pushed out to the edges yet.

Having something like RideFinder in a mobile format with active, timely data in a good city on a good (or even mediocre) system would make you like a tiny god among all other mobile-but-carless mortals.

It's almost at the top of my list of "spectacularly useful gadgets or services I would consider amputating a minor body part of my own choice for", especially if it was openly API'ed and it could be easily utilized with other services, hardware, and applications.
posted by loquacious at 1:54 AM on April 1, 2005

I was always guessing that they'd add another gig to gmail as soon as normal people started to fill up their accounts. They'll probably add more storage progressively more often, and eventually have unlimited storage with some kooky set of rules proventing people from exploiting their kindness.

The one year anniversary for the debut is right around now isn't it? They'll probably make it completely public soon.

I'm waiting for an AJAX based Google Feedreader.

Bloglines + Google Groups 2 + Gmail = Essentially, USENET 2
posted by blasdelf at 2:56 AM on April 1, 2005

i just sit here, totally awestruck......
posted by Substrata at 3:03 AM on April 1, 2005

Hey. Whoa. I just checked my gmail with Off By One AND with Lynx. Although Lynx did spit out a bunch of cookie warnings before handing over the goods.
posted by Skwirl at 3:11 AM on April 1, 2005

Holy shit. And I was loving the rich text. Nuts.
posted by bdave at 4:39 AM on April 1, 2005

Welcome, sjvilla79!

Anyway, one of the things about Gmail is that most people I know now have an absolutely surreal number of invites left! I've had 50 for months now, and a dearth of people to invitate, and everyone else I know with Gmail is in the same condition. (Invitate: because misspelling is fun!)
posted by JHarris at 6:13 AM on April 1, 2005

This thread is a good reminder why FPPs should be about a single subject. Anyway, Ridefinder froze up my screen.
What Ridefinder should be, or become, is: you punch in where you are, where you want to go, and when. You get back options: take this bus, this train, etc., OR, we can schedule this cab, or this limo, or this shuttle.
Fixed route public transit systems should be dinosaurs, if a smart, safe, reliable ride-scheduling system could take you from any point to any point within a market.
posted by beagle at 6:19 AM on April 1, 2005

Hm, my Lynx is saying it doesn't support https. I want very badly to get this to work, as Lynx support is my #1 gmail pony request.
posted by By The Grace of God at 6:39 AM on April 1, 2005

Of course, the REAL story is Google Gulp!
(on the front page also, but why not?)
posted by sdrawkcab at 7:17 AM on April 1, 2005

What JHarris said. I have so many gMail invites, I can't give them away. I heard that they increased the number as they are shortly going to leave the beta stage.
posted by johnj at 7:43 AM on April 1, 2005

"9. I mean, isn't this whole invite-only thing kind of bogus?
Dude, it's like you've never even heard of viral marketing."

Too funny =)
posted by deemer at 8:04 AM on April 1, 2005

"And if you don't know anyone who can give you one, don't worry – that just means you aren't cool."
posted by kenko at 8:09 AM on April 1, 2005

Hm, my Lynx is saying it doesn't support https.

If you are using a recent version of Lynx it looks like SSL support is included but:

>To enable SSL support in a recent version of Lynx, configure with --with-ssl. Instructions are included in the README.ssl file supplied with Lynx.

Searching for more info about SSL in Lynx shows that older versions did not have SSL included due to export restrictions so it used to be a patch-it-yourself sort of thing. Seems that newish (as of 2001) versions support SSL by default but only if you enable the option.
posted by drstupid at 8:22 AM on April 1, 2005

Seems that newish (as of 2001) versions support SSL by default but only if you enable the option.

Hmm, this is not to say that it actually works on my precompiled copy of Lynx. You could try Links, that works for me with Gmail (just tested). Make sure you download all the DLLs as well (I'm assuming you're running Windows.)
posted by drstupid at 8:42 AM on April 1, 2005

When they say configure with "--with-ssl", they mean run "./configure --with-ssl", and then recompile/make.
posted by smackfu at 8:59 AM on April 1, 2005

johnj: What JHarris said. I have so many gMail invites, I can't give them away.

Even if you could they will be back tomorrow. Try it. send out a bunch of invites, I think the US Congress could all use a clue. Tomorrow you'll be back at 50.

The ride share thing will be really cool if they can incorporate an impromptu car pool thing. EG: I love to be able to stick a pin at the corner of Edmonton Tr and Memorial saying I'm leaving in 30 minutes and to email me if you'd like a ride. If lots of people bought into this you'd probably be able to get a ride between any suburb and the down town at any time.
posted by Mitheral at 11:18 AM on April 1, 2005

Mitheral: That's exactly what I was hoping for when I heard about it. Harder to organize, but definitely cooler than this.
posted by CrunchyGods at 12:44 PM on April 1, 2005

Fantastic. I was gloomily contemplating my storage allocation this moring and idly wondered why one gig was rendered as 1500mb on my inbox screen.

word to the lynxers: you might be interested in gmail-lite, maybe. The developer notes that it's clearly a direct violation of the Gmail TOS.

An incipient monoply on personal email. Amazing. What happens once they reduce MS to smoking rubble? Does 'do no evil' expire on that date?
posted by mwhybark at 5:01 PM on April 1, 2005

NextBus is a GPS-based service that can show estimated arrival times for buses and trains. Last time I looked, San Francisco has NextBus LED displays at popular stops for some of its MUNI lines. I wonder if NextBus patents will affect RideFinder's growth.
posted by clyde at 7:10 PM on April 1, 2005

For the record, it is 2-Apr-2005, 6:10PM in my timezone, and I'm currently at 2021 MB and counting. Would be interesting to see if it'll stop at 2048MB or something.
posted by the cydonian at 2:06 AM on April 2, 2005

.... and a couple of hours later, it is 2050 mb. And still counting.
posted by the cydonian at 9:32 AM on April 2, 2005

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