Thanks Google, you're the best /s
Dell recently did this to about half a dozen people on my team. 'Q2 Budget Review', which sounds official, but is really a Dell rep trying to sell you junk that magically pops up on your calendar _even if you mark their message as spam_.
Dirty way to get by executive assistants, too.
If you put this shit on my calendar, I will never purchase a product from you. I will additionally, at my own discretion, use it as proof that you have had a data breach and are unable to keep your accounts safe since no real company would really do this on purpose.
Don’t you get it?! They wouldn’t do it if it didn’t work, and you are vastly outnumbered. It’s not right, it’s bloody annoying, but it’s there and it’s not going away.
Google needs to fix the root problem, so that the spammy behaviour is not possible.
It is quite possible that the successes are more visible than the failures and thus it seems like it works. Or it "works" for the sales rep because he gets more leads and thus a bigger bonus, while hurting the company - but the company hasn't figured that out yet. Or it works in the short term but isn't worth the reputation damage in the long term.
Of course it's also possible that it just works, just pointing out that reality shows that people and companies often do things that are just stupid.
And what of the efficacy compared to the negative reputation gained from such practices? How do they measure that?
The number of times I've managed to convince someone not to use a service because of data breaches or poor security settings is precisely 0.
If people are OK with banks and retirement accounts that follow poor security standards, they won't really care about Dell.
Sales droids don't think the same way regular people do. A lot of them really believe everybody is as extroverted as they are and introverts are just pretending. And that everybody would be as excited about their product as they are, if they only knew about it. The best sales people can adopt the point of view of their prospects; mediocre ones cannot.
I definitely wouldn’t call any of them sales droids. Usually they’re just given really tough goals and quotas to hit.
And while none of the salespeople I’ve worked with would book unsolicited appointments, I could see it happening at companies who don’t have a very mature sales org and just throw their account managers to the sharks and expect them to make it rain.
From experience, I suspect that most salespeople who resort to invasive tactics really don’t expect everybody to be excited about their product. They are just desperately trying to keep their heads above water to avoid getting fired - a very human, non droid like thing to do.
That doesn’t excuse it, of course.
I'll outweigh your anecdote with mine, because the only two companies where I had to work with sales people, in both places the sales people were exactly as the parent described.
One cheated on his bride-to-be just to make a sale.
Not sure there's a distinction there.
Booked a flight, got the receipt through Gmail. Google then auto-populated my calendar with the flights - fine. They also populated it with a hotel reservation, and a link saying I hadn't yet confirmed the reservation for Hilton. I was going to stay with family, w/no intention of staying in a hotel. I couldn't believe the blatant hijacking and spamming involved here from my private info - bad enough if they'd merely spammed a hotel advert for those dates.
Contacted Google, no way to turn it off without turning off the entire feature. Done. Permanently.
I couldn't believe anyone could think this was a good idea.
I lambasted them for it and instantly cancelled all such features, which are otherwise potentially quite helpful.
I hope this means that enough others had the same reaction that they quit that nonsense.
Now, if the confirmation email contained this upsell in text or in schema.org metadata or whatever and Google pulled it over, that feels very much like something they would do.
In fact I'd adventure to say this is an exploit by the airline upsell team, not Google.
Google definitely made clear that if I wanted to accept them auto-populating my calendar with the flights in my email, I also had to accept the fake hotel bookings and lying "...confirm?" messages and manually delete them.
I'd be mildly ok with Google sending an offer email resembling: "Here's a potentially good hotel for your trip, would you like to book this, confirm, and insert in calendar?" (ya, it's spam, but at least sort of on-topic).
But what Google was doing is highly offensive and dishonest.
They presume to make a booking, populate it into my calendar, then send an email & alert in the calendar claiming that I failed to confirm the booking that they claim that I made -- flat-out lying to me, hoping I'm just in too much of a rush to notice that their booking was not one that I'd intended.
That was just so far beyond crossing the line that I want nothing to do with any such feature.
Sadly, it is also another bad example to magnify the stereotype of technology people with no ethical grounding (broadly, I don't think it's true, but it happens enough that it smears all of us).
That's still Google's fault to a degree, since that's pretty predictable behavior they'd need to account for, but it wouldn't be the major intrusion that you're interpreting it as.
Items 1, 2, and 3 are ok, and are the feature
The fake reservation and "confirm" requests are straight-up deceptive trade practices - an attempt to steal money and change my travel plans by deceptive means.
For a moment, let's go with your idea that Google didn't do #4 & #5.
First, questions: When did I give Google permission to open up my calendar for anyone in the world to populate? Considering the levels of spam in email, telephony, & text, what idiot thought that was a good idea?
Aside from the deceptive trade practice, this is also a massive security risk - with everyone's calendar open to the world, and without advance warning, it'd be straightforward to route a person into a variety of dangerous situations if they aren't extremely careful - this is way beyond 'click the link ransomware', and up to 'go to the appointment in your ostensibly secure calendar and get kidnapped'. These are just a few quick examples.
So, either Google themselves is directly implementing deceptive trade practices, or they are stupidly enabeling all kinds of new cybercrime.
In short, if Google is actually enabling this kind of access for random 3rd parties, it is a WORSE intrusion than if they are merely doing it themselves.
Either way, I'd expect far more responsible thinking from such a supposedly mature company.
A long time ago, in an internet far, far away, Gmail was brand new. The big feature? No spam. Back then we'd hide our email addresses in cryptic text and images. It was a private thing, shared between friends. If the light of the internet were to ever shine upon your unobfuscated email address, woe be onto you as the plague of SPAM descended. There were even entire websites dedicate to the purpose of "email address images". It was ... a wild time.
Then, GMAIL! For the first time since the dawn of SPAM we could post our addresses in plaintext, in the light of day. We didn't hide them like dirty underwear. The whole WORLD could see our email addresses, and we didn't have a care in the world. The smell of fresh email was in the air, unbesmirched by SPAM.
Perhaps the young ones forget. Perhaps Google has forgotten. Lost to the sands of Calendar spam...
To me it seems pretty clear what the behaviour should be. If flagged as spam, do not add to calendar.
This will sound facetious, but I mean it sincerely. Change email provider. I was an original "invite only" user of GMail. Eventually, I got so sick of Google's complete u-turn on their original philosophy that I changed, despite the cost in time and effort that decision entailed. It's worth it. But I will recommend you choose providers carefully. If you're not paying for it in some way (e.g. Fastmail), be concerned. Also, the ability to use your own domain is a huge boon (you'll never have to go through the excessive email-change pain again).
I wish I could turn off the feature entirely, but I still occasionally get Russian spam events on my calendar. They also try to notify me at ~3am (fortunately I turn notifications completely off at night).
The emails themselves land in my spam folder... but no one said "hey, maybe calendar events shouldn't be created from the spam folder" at inception, so I guess it'll never be implemented.
I report them as spam when I get them, but I also discovered that I can't report calendar events as spam in the mobile app.
It was awhile ago, but that looks like the right link and jives with my current settings. I don't get any more spam on my calendar, but obviously need to manually respond Yes to any email invites to get them to show on the calendar.
Oh. That's bad.
I never logged my account out of an device so fast. Google needs to fix this crap.
They fixed it very quickly.
Showing "eat my pussy baby" to a young kid is obviously not as bad. /s
They don't even have an option to show you how much space folders take up, when they charge you based on space usage.
I tried uploading a title image to my YouTube channel, and somehow doing so created an entire Google Photos account (even though the channel image is not a photo!). I dragged-and-dropped several replacement images because the YouTube UI for layout preview/cropping is so terrible that I didn’t get it right the first few times. Except the images are not replaced, they’re added, and there is nothing in YouTube to delete them. You have to go into Google Photos, and several screens later “delete” your “photos” of useless uploads. Except they’re not deleted, they’re in the “Trash”; etc. etc.
These are basic things that wouldn’t be stupidly hard to do if anyone there had any power over, or concern with, the full flow of using their products.
It's comical to read when it's someone else's problem.
HP is the same, but occasionally you will get an employee answer, but it will be just as useless.
My assumption is all the big tech companies don't want to give support away for free when you should be paying for a support contract for it.
And yes, there is for some unknown reason, a legion of people who will give this fake support for free for internet points.
1. A word-for-word copy of generic support steps (e.g. try restarting, try clearing your cache, log out of iCloud and back in again, etc)
2. Have you reset your PRAM?
3. Wow you have? Then you'll need to reset your NVRAM.
“Look we got one guy keeping the system alive, we’re not paying for another one.”
"Can I get that support that I paid double for?"
"Oh no, for that you need enterprise support, that's extra!"
With Google, more often than not, community "support" through their forums is the only option. Where official phone and email channels exist to get support, they're generally restricted to paying customers only, on the business side of their business only-- users of their general consumers services have no options.
Note, MVP is a quite valuable achievement, including licenses to pretty much all Microsoft products and access to product teams within Microsoft. Many partners will hire MVPs favorably, as well.
Reminds me a little of the scenario where people bizarrely ask a forum if they can bring their dog to a hotel, some random person says "yes" and then you wonder if the hotel declined to accept the dog if the owner would say "well Bob off the internet said it would be fine"
Well I was going through and approving the reviews (just for stopping spam reviews), and I found a guy leaving a review explaining that he's very sorry but he hasn't had time to use the product as his wife has come down with a bad case of the shingles - I seem to remember he went into quite a lot of detail and obviously hadn't realised this review could have been made public.
So, the reward for helping with the forum are some badges and a chance to be Google's beta tester, and it appears to be working? Maybe they can launch some sort of mechanical turks service in the future where the workers are paid with this "rewards" instead of money.
Explaining it to users is a nice bonus.
Sometimes that means minimalism. Sometimes it means that you have ease of use. Sometimes you realize that your users are actually not your customers, and you need to make the product attractive to the customers, not the users. That way lies madness and enterprise sales.
At a less dire level, it also affects the ability to acquire and retain customers. If a product does not offer the features a person needs or fails to reflect how they use it, the product becomes more trouble than it is worth. Compare Google's and Microsoft's office productivity applications. There are many things that you simply cannot do with Google's product that are addressed by Microsoft's product, or even in the often criticized LibreOffice.
Most Google products exist solely for the benefit of the Google engineers who use them for resume padding & career growth. They lose money for Google the company and they infuriate loyal customers up until they are capriciously surprise decommissioned.
iirc unlike Dropbox, files shared with you do not count against your quota on Google Drive as long as you don't add it to your drive.
Of course the data is available to download if I pay, but my previous 2 years of payment didn't count. (mysterious)
Will literally never pay Google for anything ever again after that, its actually evil.
Compare that to the new service hey.com which claims you can download/export forever.
Fuck Google. Just bought a new MacBook Pro yesterday and I will never install or use any Google products on it ever.
I guffawed. I don't understand who thinks it's a good idea to have a bunch of clueless volunteer fanboys represent your first line of support. So many forums are like this though. Microsoft is especially polluted with it last I checked. It screams "so big we're officially completely out of touch".
See also "lifetime passes".
And SiriusXM "lifetime subscriptions."
Anyway, any recommendations for QNAP gear?
I ended up adding one of the disks to my PC and the other to a home server.
I must admit though that the QNAP solutions look very helpful if you disregard the abusive disk R/W activity and the inconsistent UI. You may be able to set up complex backup schemes quite fast with it.
If you are interested in virtualization and advanced usage, be sure to get one with an ARM processor at least, because it may be difficult to get packages for it on other obscure architectures.
I've just found too many odd limitations with the device to use it for much more than that. For example, you can set up VLANs and you can bind services to specific physical network interfaces, but you can't bind a service to a VLAN interface. This is what made me give up on the added features.
Also, be aware that some added features have moved to a subscription model. And, if you expose your QNAP to the internet, there's a risk of getting malware. On the plus side, this has made them open up a tiny bit.
You can then use rclone to sync deletions, which uses their API.
Then I run rclone sync:
rclone sync --dry-run gphotos:media/by-year /local/storage/path
Even if it’s as simple as having 50 votes on the bug tracker, there should be some way for forum mods to synthesize and share feedback to the dev team for what to build.
I personally hate how there’s never a feedback loop on these posts noting how a change was made. Microsoft is pretty bad about this too.
“Please submit a suggestion” is a really unsatisfying experience to a user. Especially for really basic functions. Especially when not implementing makes the company money.
I think that if there was consideration, that would be in the mods scripts and posted on the forum.
I understand it’s hard to prioritize features but I’m familiar with so many years old common sense suggestions that don’t have any explanation of why it won’t be fixed.
Maybe an employee could chime in. The problem I've seen with responding "I'll work with the dev team" is that some users at least will then have some timeframe expectations on the order of weeks based on what they imagine a fix to look like. But they don't really have a good idea of the system complexity, and realistically, these kinds of issues can linger for years because either it turns out most users actually care about other issues more, or the business needs to focus on making money, or some other complication shows up; and people end up being disappointed more often than not. I think it's unfortunately better, in this realm, not to say anything until you have the fix implemented, tested, and ready to roll out.
All the free online services that I can think of have this kind of annoying issue that advanced users run into. (And unfortunately the paid ones often have that kind of issue too, but at least they have much more reason to be responsive to support calls.)
I don’t think it’s better to go from recommendation, to X years of silence, to rollout. I’d rather know if something is prioritized and in progress. I’d like to plan for rollout. Maybe it changes my upgrade and purchase planning.
My main point is the current technique sucks and makes me want to use products less. I’ve used support forums for decades and they can be non frustrating when I feel I am part of a community.
The current method seems “us vs. then” with neglect for any meaningful change. They should just do better. Not perfect. Just not horrible.
I agree, completely unironically.
Some things just don't belong in "work" chats, sorry.
At the same time, an operation which works like this is certainly extremely flawed. I doubt there’s one engineer working on GDrive that doesn’t think a folder size feature wouldn’t be useful and relatively simple to implement. So that’s more of an argument towards the operation going bad, instead of the engineers.
Maybe this slipped through the cracks but this thread already contains a bunch of examples of stuff like this happening.
They can be architecting Tensorflow really well and that certainly is impressive but when GMail takes 3 seconds to load the main page and downloads 10MB during that process you know something is going wrong.
3 seconds to download 10 megs.
I remember when using a 300 baud modem each letter would slowly appear.
Question: We have a G Suite Enterprise account. We used to share documents with a contractor. They no longer contract with us. How do we remove that contractor from every shared document.
Answer 1: Run this report to get a list of every document shared with them. Manually visit each document and un-share it.
Answer 2: Our API docs are at...
FFS, Google. I really don't think this is that unusual of a request. I refuse to believe that we're the first company ever that wanted to remove people from our Google Drive. Why do you make it so difficult?
For years, you had to turn of 2fa enforcement for the whole org, or do janky hacks with special groups and policy exceptions for groups to onboard new employees because they hadn't gotten around to a first time login flow that had a mandatory 2fa enrollment; instead they'd just prompt for the 2fa code you couldn't have setup.
There's no way to merge two separate G Suite accounts, in case your company merges with another company. You're just supposed to setup new users in the new org and close the old org account. Even more fun to be had if you want to keep the same usernames (I can't imagine the collosal pain it would be if you also wanted google handling the email during that transititon).
Oh yeah: there's no way to stop people from trying to setup consumer google accounts on your corporate domain. Most of those are spammers or idiots that won't get confirmed, but some of them are employees doing things wrong, and can confirm them, but then you have things like two accounts with the same name that are different because one is a g suite (but you can't register the domain for two different organizations, because three accounts with the same name would be too much)
That's still the case. We require 2FA, and 2FA setup on first login, but then you can't log in the first time because you don't have 2FA. We have a group we put new employees in so that they can set it up, then we remove them afterward.
Look for a setting like "New user enrollment period"
You're definitely not the first company to want this!
Otherwise it's better to use something like Box.com which is actually designed for enterprise-level features including complex access controls and user management.
Yeah, we're going to Box for everything outside our organization for exactly those reasons. If Google Drive lived up to the "enterprise" label they stick on accounts, we would stick with it. It's just not business-ready in its current form, though.
How you verify access is something else entirely, but the same advice helps in that case too.
It’s not. folders don’t actually exist in google drive. files are shared individually. there’s a very complex interaction between imaginary folder ACLs and file ACLs. if you depend on the folders as being hierarchical (which they aren’t), this will bite you through unexpected leftover sharing.
The exceptionally stupidly names Shared drives (used to be called Team Drives) fix this.
Otherwise, ‘gam’ is the best tool out there for managing this.
Some of the paid tools are like VPNs. you end up giving full access to the tool developer. be very careful if you go with a paid tool vs ‘gam’.
What do you mean? Drive has UI for folders, shows folders hierarchically, and allow sharing of folders with a single dialog-box interaction. There are instructions online that explain how to use folders for organizing and sharing:
For a software engineer, it may help to understand how folders are implemented when dealing with tricky ACL situations, but for all practical purposes, and for the majority of (non-engineer) users, folders definitely exist in Drive.
Generally, you would disable an account to revoke sharing. Are you sharing these outside your domain? That could be part of the problem. I agree there should be an easier way to remove sharing for everything for a particular user (and there may be). Have you checked out GAM?
When I search to:firstname.lastname@example.org it shows all the documents shared with that person, then I can Ctrl+a and click "share" and remove that person from all of them at once.
It can be really difficult for non-power users to even understand why this is happening or what to do to fix this.
They're all Google's.
(/s: not condoning doxxing here)
This particular issue happens (at least that's my recollection a few years ago) frequently enough at Google that there were memes about it internally. Not sure giving additional feedback would help.
Here's one simple one: the number of volume steps in Android is only 16: https://issuetracker.google.com/issues/37035441 . This means that the difference between off and the lowest level volume can be pretty big if you're trying to be quiet, e.g. avoid waking someone in the same room. I almost wish they would just close issues with a "We don't give a shit" resolution status.
I don't think Google (if we can anthropomorphize it at all) is blind to this general phenomenon though--it's a trade-off you have to make about what company you want to be. Is it better for you to invest resources into incremental improvements to polish the final 2% or try again and maybe make a breakthrough. You have to look it from multiple angles too: are you going to attract the most talented people giving them such gruntwork or will they quit? Is there any meaningful incremental business you could get from polishing Android (remember, polished Android is more expensive and has to compete head-on with a company whose focus is to polish and is best set up to do so). It's complicated. There's a place for multiple models.
I would argue that maybe they should try Option 1, instead of sunsetting their Nth chat app, or migrating everyone from Google Music (which would very much benefit from some polish) onto Google Youtube Music (which I don't understand the value of for me as a listener.)
They quite simply don't incentivize teams to fix this shit.
Then, more responsible developers have to waste their lives maintaining code that was designed to be orphaned from the start.
This is a common narrative about Google. There is some truth to it but the blanket "nobody gives a shit about anything other than launches" claim is bogus.
Now they embrace, extend, extinguish, and sometimes just shut it down cause it's not being marketed for a price at all.
Google eventually added an option to change this behavior. Guess it will take a critical mass of complaints to get something similar for Google Drive.
iCloud had a similar problem in 2016.
I've had to dump phone numbers due to SMS, voicemail, and phone call spam. My spam box on my e-mail address (not hosted at Google, but still) is littered with bogus calendar invites, fake invoices, file sharing attempts, and so on.
I'm a little surprised spammers aren't putting ad messages in fields that get logged in HTTP access logs just so admins will trip over them somehow.
It's been a long time since I last had reason to look at an Apache access.log file, but Referer spam used to be very common (IIRC, the default Apache access.log format logs the content of the Referer header, and analytics reports based on these logs often showed these as live links; it was not rare for these analytics reports to be publicly visible, so these Referer links could be used to spam the Google index).
This spam is possible from the console.log output of npm packages as they get installed.
I do notice Spam occasionally in the 'shared with me' menu - but it seems to get cleaned up.
I already have all 99% notifications turned off in apps.
Sounds like the real annoying part is getting the notification with the spammy sexual titles.
If you didn't get notifications then likely the spam detection would delete before you ever noticed it in your 'Shared with Me' menu.
Android needs to default to opt-in notifications like on IOS.
And they have great export via Google Takeout which I do regularly to some giant tarballs (and ironically put on my otherwise empty dropbox)
I've been living with another issue since 2011: https://issuetracker.google.com/issues/35889152
When people say that Google "doesn't seem to give a shit" about their users, this is what they mean.
This is the understatement of the century.
Whenever i think I might be stupid for missing what should be obvious functionality I submit a ticket to only realize that the functionality not only doesn't exist but somehow my really basic suggestion is a "unique" or "profound" idea.
Honestly who is hiring these product managers? Who is coming up with these features? Why are what should be no-brainer obvious functionality items missing?
Is there something about product management and design I don't understand? Why is it that you can't get notifications on group calendars or background images on Google docs or lots of other things I'm forgetting now that at the time I was like "wow I can't believe you can't do that"
I'm using GSuite for my private domain after having too much reputations / emails reaching spams issues.
Somehow it was getting worst over the years and 1+ of 10 emails were ending into spam. :(
Of course, this doesn't absolve them of the matter of it being the only way to get support.