back to article Connecting Gmail to Google+ is SENSELESS, says Digg founder

Google's latest hardheaded strategy to link its "network thingy" Google+ to Gmail accounts makes zero sense. That's the verdict of Digg founder Kevin Rose, who might be a more reliable source than most when it comes to slinging criticism at Mountain View, given that he was temporarily drafted in as a part of the Google+ …

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  1. Martin 47

    Well I tried to follow your link to 'zombie' my google+ account but it wants me to log in first which is a slight problem because I have no idea what my Google plus email address is, I set one up years ago to access the play store, and I have even less chance of remembering my password.

    But hey, I opened the link to log in so that's one more 'active' Google plus member this month I suppose.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Not seeing the problem here

    Anybody can send me emails. I have written academic papers, and every single one has my email address on the front page. If people want to contact me, I want them to be able to do it.

    I wonder if people complaining about this realize that every time they go out of their home, random strangers can not only talk to them, but also see their face and even know their exact location. The horror!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Not seeing the problem here

      Yeah, I know what you mean. Other people claiming to have problems with things I think are ok is so annoying. What's wrong with them! Don't they know that anonymous internet shills are the only people that matter? Especially ones with published academic papers!!!!!!

      Makes perfect sense, if people want to contact you then you want them to be able to. That's why you posted anonymously. Whenever I want to be contacted by someone I just make sure I don't tell them my name.

    2. PerlyKing Silver badge
      FAIL

      Re: Not seeing the problem here

      "Anybody can send me emails. I have written academic papers, and every single one has my email address on the front page. If people want to contact me, I want them to be able to do it."

      ...posted the Anonymous Coward.

    3. John Wilson
      Mushroom

      Re: Not seeing the problem here

      Bully for you, as we say round my parts. I have email addresses that are most decidedly not public, and that are only given to people I know personally; much like my home phone number, and my mobile number. Just because you can't see a problem (presumably because you're far too stupid to see the several blindingly obvious ones), doesn't mean there is one.

      1. Blacklight

        Re: Not seeing the problem here

        Just because you can't see a problem (presumably because you're far too stupid to see the several blindingly obvious ones), doesn't mean there isn't one.

        TFTFY.

        I do wonder what'll happen with those people who (like me) have disabled the priority and other inboxen though. Hopefully there will be some subject based identifier to allow a filter....

      2. toor

        Re: Not seeing the problem here

        "I have email addresses that are most decidedly not public, and that are only given to people I know personally;" ...and any of the operators of any of the relays your mail passes through. Know them personally?

        1. Number6

          Re: Not seeing the problem here

          While it obviously doesn't help when emailing someone with an outsourced email account, I run my own SMTP set-up and stuff travels from my home server directly to the published MX for the recipient. Most servers now operate with tls so that hakes it harder for people to eavesdrop. If the MX is on the recipient's local network, that keeps things fairly secure.

        2. compendenium
          Thumb Up

          Re: Not seeing the problem here

          Loved this comment. The comment you replied to had 11 upvotes and 2 downvotes - those same people's votes determine the entire sort of comments, and you can't read them all. What if you could throw out the votes of the people you disagreed with when sorting the rest of the comments? Looking for help revolutionizing search.

      3. R 11

        Re: Not seeing the problem here

        if you have email addresses that aren't public, don't create a public Google+ account with them. Problem solved.

        As for the article saying people were stealthily opted in, I think the fact that Google sent everyone an email explaining what had happened and pointing them to where they can disable it is quite some way for being stealthy.

        For those who are upset, and want a clean and private mailbox, there are plenty of hosts that will let you pay for one.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Not seeing the problem here

          "I think the fact that Google sent everyone an email explaining what had happened and pointing them to where they can disable it is quite some way for being stealthy."

          How was anyone supposed to know they'd been sent an email? E.g. like many here, my Gmail account has never been actively used. It's been used occasionally to access Google Play and the like. Even that may have to stop soon.

          Google Is Your Friend? Not any more it's not.

          1. Number6

            Re: Not seeing the problem here

            How was anyone supposed to know they'd been sent an email? E.g. like many here, my Gmail account has never been actively used. It's been used occasionally to access Google Play and the like.

            To some extent that's less of an issue. If you don't use the account for email then for the most part you're not going to be bothered by random messages from Google+ users. I never check the email attached to the account I use for Google Play - on the occasions I want a new app, I browse the Play store while signed out, then once I find what I want, I'll get the phone to go get it directly.

            Of course, there's always the risk of offending some clueless type who sends you a message via that mechanism expecting a reply. I counter that by having a really obscure Gmail account name that you wouldn't associate with me.

    4. Piro

      Re: Not seeing the problem here

      Says AC. Oh, the irony.

  3. Admiral Grace Hopper Silver badge

    Other options

    Alternatively, you can restrict the people allowed to exercise this option to those in your Google+ circles. As my Google+ is a howling void, any messages coming from that direction will be more likely to come from Cthulhu than a human being. Or Friendster.

    1. janimal

      Re: Other options

      Indeed. I actually have 22 people in my circles. Only three of them ever post anything, and that is once in a blue moon. I am fine with that.

      My Dad started to use it occasionally but they kept changing the interface at random & with no warning, which completely scuppered that. He is 80 years old though. He only just coped with all the recent gmail interface changes, I had to give him some coaching mind while he muttered angrily over skype.

  4. Eradicate all BB entrants

    If full integration is what they are ....

    ..... aiming for then it might make me question if I want to continue on the Android platform when contract time comes around. I have a gmail account just for the phone, I don't want Google+. I don't have circles of friends, I just have friends (amazing but true).

    It may not happen but if it does I am off to Winphone land because I have been using them at work and they are pretty good phones.

    1. Martin 47

      Re: If full integration is what they are ....

      Been there done that, and for £150 a Nokia 625 has been surprisingly good so far.

      I suspect Microsoft will bugger it up in a year or two though so I would recommend you to make hay while the sun shines.

      1. FrankAlphaXII

        Re: If full integration is what they are ....

        I'm right there with you. The next phone I'm getting is either going to be a Jolla if I don't have to Grey import it or a WinPho if I have to wait on my flaky friends in Europe to get me a damn Jolla. Android's never been that good, and Google's done nothing but prove they are a festering sore on the face of every industry they get their hooks into.

        However, I may get a Chromebook if I can format the Chrome crapware off of it and install a real, bonafide Fedora, CentOS or RHEL on the damn thing (and thats a big damn if, I know you can do it for now but noone knows what they'll do in the future).

    2. Mike Wilson

      Re: If full integration is what they are ....

      I've been wondering much the same. I would have bailed out of Gmail ages ago if I didn't have Android phone & tablet. I wouldn't touch any of the iThings with a 10' pole for the same reasons I don't trust Google. I haven't looked at WinPhone yet. How ironic would it be if Microsoft turned out to be the safest people to trust with personal information?

      If not for the privacy issues, I'd be happy to stay with Android. Having mail, calendar and contacts synchronised across multiple devices if wonderfully convenient but the price is getting too high.

  5. Fiddler on the roof

    Hate G+

    Since they keep trying to force me to use google + I will do everything in my power to never ever go near it. I dont really care for facebook, but will stick with it because google are abusing their power in trying to make people use it. It sucks, people prefer FB (for whatever reason, no one other than google and FB care), grandfather it and build something else.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Hate G+

      Four down votes, the Google PR staff are busy today.

      Have an up vote, that way I can get some down votes as well.

    2. Marshalltown

      Re: Hate G+

      No argument. One of the most horrible interfaces deployed in the last decade. What I want is antisocial networking: deFacebook, shoottheangrylittlebirds, noSpace, ....

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Off Topic

    I suspect I was a "victim" of some social engineering phishing last week when a cold caller managed to pursuade me to give him my date of bith. He already had my name and address. (He had a spiel that was convincing enough in my sleep-befuddled state - his call woke me from a Saturday lie-in.)

    But now I am left wondering what he could actually do with just my name, address and date-of-birth. Can my identity be stolen with such minimal and often publicly accessible information? Which organisation would be pursuaded by such triviality? Yahoo? Apple? Google? Amazon? My bank? (In order of probability, I suspect.)

    1. BillG
      Go

      Re: Off Topic

      I suspect I was a "victim" of some social engineering phishing last week when a cold caller managed to pursuade me to give him my date of bith. He already had my name and address.

      I use different date of births. For my mother's maiden name I treat that like a password, so I give out a phony name.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Off Topic

      Name and address plus date of birth was all that was needed to steal my identity last year. First I knew about it was when I got a courier card for a failed delivery on a rather expensive smartphone from Orange that the toe-rag then managed to get delivered to another address, followed by being chased for a £200 payday loan, followed by other similar "inconveniences".

      In the end I had to pay to get my credit record cleared up, plus get a CIFAS Protective Registration.

      Good luck.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Off Topic

        Name address and date of birth is not anywhere near enough info to steal someones identity. Courier cards don't give specific information on what was being delivered so u wouldn't know it was a "rather expensive smart phone"

        Payday loans are repaid from the same bank account as the money was paid into. So it must have been a right Muppet that stole your ID, he bought a phone that was sent to YOU and then took out a loan which was paid into your account. Why did you bother making this up ??

    3. Marshalltown

      Re: Off Topic

      Depends on where your reside. In the US your name, DOB, and a social security no., and your well on the way to a passport you never knew you applied for.

  7. fruitoftheloon

    grand!

    Thanks for the heads-up.

    One (more) G+ has a mortal coil problem....

    J.

  8. b 3
    FAIL

    google idiots

    they screwed up youtube by forcing people to be google+ ers. i wish they'd just left it alone, it didn't need screwing around with just to try and fake up the google+ figures to make it seem more popular. idiots.

    1. R 11

      Re: google idiots

      Not sure I'd admit to visiting YouTube for the comments.

      1. thomas k.

        Re: google idiots

        Depends on where your interests lie, I suppose.

        The commenters on the classical music selections are generally a pretty respectful bunch; Sebastien Letocart, for example, has been keeping up a running dialog with commenters regarding his completion of the finale to Bruckner's 9th.

  9. Cerviperus

    Just a quick note...

    While this allows anyone on G+ to e-mail you by default, it does not give them access to your actual address unless you reply back to them. So everyone worried about their "super secret, no one knows" e-mail address, it's still going to remain that way. I've been an avid Gmail and G+ user, and first thing this morning received an e-mail from Google detailing the change, as well as a way to turn off the functionality. That's more than I ever received from FB when they made changes to my account.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Yes, kevin rose the guy the torpedoed dig has an opinion. He wants google plus to have a crappy internal mail interface like facebook. If you have a fully functional email application, why not use it.

    The limited number of times that I have used google plus, I have look for ways to message people, so they are adding a useful feature.

    1. Marshalltown

      Attachment limits

      The sole reason I ever acquired a gmail address was as a means around send and receive attachment size limits on my "real" email account.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Seems perfectly reasonable to me.

    But then I also really enjoy Google+ It's full of interesting chatter and good communities.

    I don't need Facebook or Twitter, For real friends, I use the pub, for everything else, there is Google+

    1. Marshalltown

      Long ago

      I worked at a hell desk because my employer decided to tack on ISP to the various other services he provided - which mostly involved archaeological investigations. During the period while he was running the system up, we were drafted as "help." One new account holder called in and I took the call. He was upset because during the two weeks he had held the account, he had received no mail "from the E." He fully expected his mail box to contain all the typical crap the shows up in the standard snail-mail box. I signed him up for several spam sources and he was there after a happy camper. As far as I can see, Google+ (and most other "social" networking) is for people like him.

  12. ukjb

    geez... a little uppity are we

    jumping all over ac's back because he posted anonymously? what does posting in public get you that posting anonymously doesn't? you still can't see his email address... so who cares?

    as for google "forcing you" to use google+... .... this is just stupid. never have a clicked anything in youtube or gmail that has opened a google+ page that i didn't want. it never forces me to create circles. it never forces me to go read a page i don't want to read. they are not FORCING you to use google+. are they integrating features? yeah. for some people, that's cool. but they haven't FORCED me to do anything. i don't understand why this has people all hot and bothered.

  13. Alan Denman

    Yet he dig his own grave with Microsoft

    the demise of Digg came a year or 2 after switching from Google to Microsoft.

    The value plummeted from 100's of millions down to a single digit value .

    So what does this guy know about sense?

  14. Frankee Llonnygog

    Memo from the GMail team to the Google+ team

    Oi - stop your users spamming our users!

  15. Alan Denman

    Android is the mistake

    I'm not sure about the wisdom of inventing Android.

    Only if they had known everything Google is now the enemy.

    Even DuckDuckGo, that Microsoft stealth weapon is striking it lucky in the arena of hate.

  16. ad47uk

    No forcing google+

    I have a Gmail account, not that I use it a lot, but I don't have a Google+ account. i don't understand why people have a problem with this as Google is not forcing you to get a Google+ account, it is just if you do have one then it will be linked with Gmail and even then you can set it up so no one from google+ can send you a message via Gmail.

    Now You Tube was a different matter as google did force people to have a Google+ page if they wanted to write comments and if you have a new channel, you got to have a google+ page, which you can lock down with no problem at all.

    I did set up a page to have a look, but now got rid of it as I don't comment on videos.

    if google force people with Gmail to have a google+ profile then that is another thing, but so far they are not, you can even delete the profile when you set up a Google account.

    1. Charles 9 Silver badge

      Re: No forcing google+

      They ALSO force you into Google+ if you wish to comment on Android apps. This can be important if you've found a very good or very bad app and wish to make your opinion known.

      1. IsJustabloke
        Thumb Up

        Re: No forcing google+

        Yes, I agree... the net result is that I no longer comment on apps because I don't have anything on my G+ profile and I intend it to say that way. I did delete the association with my Youtube account also. Other than that I don't really care about it, I only use gmail for "junk" and for my app purchases

    2. Nicole D.

      ...force people with Gmail to have a google+ profile...

      "if google force people with Gmail to have a google+ profile then that is another thing, but so far they are not, you can even delete the profile when you set up a Google account"

      This seems inevitable

      Interesting how a corporation that would champion the avoidance of evil in its mission statement would come to embody it, as though they were giving us advance warning of their intentions.

      "Don't Be Evil" is to Google what "To Serve Man" is to the extraterrestrials in that classic Twilight Zone.

  17. Mr.Mischief
    Boffin

    Panties in a twist?

    There's a setting in Gmail settings where you can disable this feature. It's a nice to have for those who want it, and if they don't they can turn it off. Even them email from Google notifying me of this update had the link to my Gmail settings so that I could change it.

    Methinks the Digg guy is trying to keep his name in the news.

    What's Digg anyway?

  18. Only me!
    Mushroom

    It will be shut down

    This little feature will be shut down as soon as the 419ers work out how to make a quick buck out of it.

    All people will have in their inbox is more spam than you can shake a Python at.

  19. Chad H.

    Doesn't make sense?

    You know what makes even less sense? Adding another annoying stupid non interconnected messaging system to the Internet?

    Bravo to google for actually settling on email.

  20. chrisp1141

    Google is freakin terrible

    Google is getting worse and worse with each passing day. If you're still using google products, then I recommend you do some serious soul searching. People who use google are supporting a culture that says its okay to violate our privacy. Please don't support them or Facebook, or any other company that makes money from collecting our personal information. Instead we should be using sites that don't violate our privacy such as Ravetree, HushMail, DuckDuckGo, etc.

    1. beast666

      Re: Google is freakin terrible

      Can you be sure they don't... dickhead??

    2. ad47uk

      Re: Google is freakin terrible

      What about Mobile phones? My mobile phone is Android based, which is Google, i got it because it was a good price and a better Os than windows based phone and cheaper than a Iphone.

      If someone came out with a good phone Os that is open source and no spying aat a decent price then i may look at it, so far there is none.

      firefox Os is still not that good.

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: Google is freakin terrible

    Agreed, but Android and UTube are tolerably useful, for software and content, just F'ed for comments now. Google+ is just more social Pink slime, rather like the disgusting 'meat' product which seem to fool lots of zombie consumers, but not the genuine security and food smart. The Google+ integration in Android and UTube made me swear at them, when they tried to trick me into joining that pus hole.

    Ravetree looks to have iffy security details, so I'll avoid that one, but the rest are OK so far.

    I prefer StartPage HTTPS to DuckDuckGo, including the Firefox search integration, and numerous other security extensions to get rid of the last vestiges of Google spying e.g. the "Self-Destructing Cookies" extension is amusing, because sites think their cookies were accepted, but it smites all but my white listed ones, the instant I leave a site now.

    beast666: are you really? Do you need a full body Condom?

  22. csumpi
    WTF?

    What's digg?

    And why do we care what a digger says?

  23. willi0000000

    an immodest proposal

    why don't the good folks at the NSA just start free e-mail and search services and a circle-of-acquaintances thingy that have absolutely no advertising. they already own all of the data they want (meta and otherwise) from all the other services and could operate their own additional services at, effectively, no additional cost.

    they could also guarantee that none of the data about you is ever sold to anybody except your own government. and, would anybody really try spamming someone via the NSA?

    think about it for a moment. they already have all the data that any of the ad-driven services have and they have already read your e-mail and circle-of-acquaintances chats.

    the best feature of all would be their search engine. it goes places nobody else can reach and knows all kinds of interesting things that even google doesn't.

    it would be win-win all the way around.

  24. MrRtd

    Digg...

    Now there's a site to look up to. They practically invented the the self-destructing social website, with every re-design it got progressively out of touch with what their users wanted, so now I'd be surprised if they're half of what they used to be.

  25. Shannon Jacobs
    Holmes

    EVIL is as google does

    Remember the corporate motto: "All your attention is belong to the google."

    There was once a time when the google did not seem EVIL, but the love of money has clearly gotten to them and there is almost no pretense left. Yes, I'm still using the google for certain things, but it's for the same reason I use some Microsoft software: Lack of freedom to do otherwise. Here are my latest formulations of the problem that drives large American corporations to EVIL:

    free = (meaningful + unconstrained) choice

    time > money

    I need to write it up at more length, but don't worry, you're unlikely to see it. Even if it isn't in a webpage under the google's control, the search that doesn't lead you there is NOT the path to Tao. However, here's a short explanation, just for amusement:

    Starting with the inequality: Economists are lazy and incompetent fools, so they look for the missing valuables where the light is better, not where the value is. Money is conveniently countable, but time is too hard to measure, even though it's the truly valuable and limited resource.

    The equation is just my biased American fixation on freedom, though there is increasing evidence (in China) that maybe the competitive advantage is with highly limited freedom and fake democratic 'reforms'. Obviously, from a corporate perspective, they want to constrain your choices to whatever that corporation is selling, and the only meaning they are interested is whatever means more profit for that selfsame corporation.

    Proof of the proposition "Google is EVIL": As it has worked out in America, most businesspeople just want to play by the rules, but the game is defined by laws written by the most cheaply bribed professional politicians working for the greediest and least ethical businessmen. Google is now the leading lobbyist among high-tech companies. QED. (Yeah, the bit about most businesspeople, though true, is an extra premise.)

    In ultimate conclusion, the most likely resolution of the Fermi Paradox is human extinction. Or, as Bruce Stirling put it in "The Swarm", there is no evidence that intelligence is a survival trait.

    Have a nice day--on the short term.

    1. Shannon Jacobs
      Holmes

      Re: EVIL is as google does

      Whops, I forgot to note the obvious EVIL in this particular imposition from the google. It goes back to the new motto:

      "All your attention is belong to the google."

      We do not need more email (even apart from the increased spam), or tools to handle larger volumes of email, even though the google wants to use that email to demand larger amounts of our attention for more ads. What we most need now are better tools to take control of our own time, and dare I saw it, LIMIT the amount of email we have to deal with.

  26. JeffinLondon
    WTF?

    The GOOG

    Me thinks folks protest-eth too much.

    Any sort of a professional has their email account 'out there' already, is on many lists, etc.

    So what if someone emails me from G+?? I don't have to respond.

    I just don't get the problem with this.

  27. Vociferous

    Google is doing a Microsoft...

    ...throwing their current users under the bus to position themselves for a brave new world of mobile phones where all that matters are social media. You don't like the changes to Youtube and Gmail forcing you to Google+? Tough, it's because Google see Google+ as strategically important, while Youtube and Gmail are important only as link-providers for Google+.

    Also, regarding The Reg's advice that "you should zombify <your gmail account> by deleting your profile": Google really doesn't want you to delete your profile, so if you do, you will be punished by losing pretty much everything beyond basic functionality on both Gmail and Youtube. All your comments, lists, history, likes/dislikes and anything else you have or do besides mail and watching videos, disappear permanently. It is a hearty "FU!" from Google to those who try to avoid Google+.

    1. JohnG

      Re: Google is doing a Microsoft...

      "Google really doesn't want you to delete your profile, so if you do, you will be punished by losing pretty much everything beyond basic functionality on both Gmail and Youtube. All your comments, lists, history, likes/dislikes and anything else you have or do besides mail and watching videos, disappear permanently."

      The thing is, Google may care if all my comments, lists, etc. are all lost when I delete my Google+ profile but I don't. I only care about Gmail and Drive, as I use these for relatively serious things and Google+ is just a toy to me.

      1. James O'Shea

        Re: Google is doing a Microsoft...

        "Google+ is just a toy to me."

        It's not even that important to me.

    2. James O'Shea

      Re: Google is doing a Microsoft...

      "Also, regarding The Reg's advice that "you should zombify <your gmail account> by deleting your profile": Google really doesn't want you to delete your profile, so if you do, you will be punished by losing pretty much everything beyond basic functionality on both Gmail and Youtube. All your comments, lists, history, likes/dislikes and anything else you have or do besides mail and watching videos, disappear permanently. It is a hearty "FU!" from Google to those who try to avoid Google+."

      Interesting. My g+ 'profile' consists of a nice pic of a snarling wolf (they wanted a pic, they didn't specify who or what the pic was to be of...) and 'none of your business' or similar as answers to the various questions. Except that I live on Moonbase Alpha.

      I use just the basic email and watch some videos as it is. I have never made a comment, or even been tempted to, on youtube. I don't keep track of a viewing history; I don't watch enough videos for that to matter. I have no lists. I have no likes/dislikes. If Google were to kill my 'profile' today 'cause I didn't give 'em the info they wanted, I would not care. I suspect that anyone who reads my 'profile' could figure that out fairly quickly. (Well, Wacki Jacqui might need to be led by the hand, but she's a special case.) i further suspect that rather a lot of 'profiles' are like mine. (Note that my 'profile' is 'invisible', whatever that means to Google, so it might be difficult for people other than Google to see it. Which is how I want it. Pity if that's not the way Google wants it.)

      As for being 'active'... I have my gmail piped to IMAP and collect it using an ordinary email client, as God intended. I very, very, VERY rarely use Google's web interface. I suspect that I'm not particularly 'active'.

      I have no 'circles' and am not a member of anyone else's 'circle'. Every now and again I get a little note from Google asking if I know any of around a half dozen people. To date I've known two of the, in total, several dozen would-be 'circlers'. Actual phone and email exchanges with those two indicate that neither had requested that I join their 'circle', in large part because neither had a 'circle' to join. One had received a note from Google wherein the Chocolate Factory wondered if _he_ wanted to join _my_ (nonexistent) 'circle'. (He didn't.) They also periodically let me about the least boring -- ah, sorry, that should be 'most popular' -- posts on g+. None of them have seemed particularly interesting.

      I am thinking seriously of setting up my own email servers and scrapping gmail and have done.

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    You can opt out.

    I received the gmail email alerting me to this new option to link Google+ to my gmail account. Personally I just opted out since I could, so at least for me it's business as usual. This was not a case of take it or leave it, they offered an option which some might actually want while others (like me) would definitely not.

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