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Remember when GMail first came out?  1GB of email was unheard of, especially in a free service at the time.  One of Google’s big selling points was “you’ll never need to delete another message.”  It was right there on the home page.  If you compare the home pages from 2004 and today for Gmail you’ll note they still refer to it as being “Lots of space” but they no longer say you’ll never need to delete another message.  The message about never deleting email disappeared sometime between March, 2009 and December 2009.

Why did the message go away?  Because the users proved that 1GB (then 2GB, then 4GB, then 7GB) simply wasn’t enough to store EVERY email.  To combat this, back in 2007, Google released a means of purchasing more storage space at a rate of 6GB for $20/year, this storage would be shared amongst your Google Docs, GMail, and Picasa accounts.  Over time these prices got even better.  Yesterday you could buy 20GB of storage for $5 a year.

Today however, with the Google Drive release, the prices have changed from being yearly, to being monthly, while yesterday you could get 20GB for $5 a year, today the cheapest plan is 25GB for $2.49 a month (which comes out to $29.88/year).  This is a very significant increase, but it’s not what I find the most annoying:  GMail storage space is now completely separate than Google Drive (formerly Google Docs) and Picasa storage.  The 25GB you are purchasing is only for Google Drive and Picasa, not for GMail.

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This morning Google opened up a programming competition using the same system as Google Code Jam (they called it the Google Code Jam Sprint to I/O) to win the right to buy 1 of 100 tickets to Google I/O.  Normal Registration for the conference closed 20 minutes after it opened back on March 27th due to the incredible demand, so naturally those developers who couldn’t get in before were excited and ready to battle for the chance to buy a ticket.

The competition consisted of 2 problems, programmers could write their code in any language (as long as the compiler is free to use).  It would work like this, you would write a program according to their specifications of the problem, and then you would submit it.  When you submit it, google would provide you with a file of sample input data and then give you 1 minute to run your code against that sample data and then submit the output to them.  They would then run a validator across the output and tell you if you were correct or not.  If you were correct, it would accept your answer, if not, it would reject it.

The first question went like this (paraphrasing)