Posted by T. Greg Doucette on Feb 28, 2011 in Technology
Another day on the internet, another day with no access to anything Google-affiliated
Now at least it says Google is trying to fix things...
After sporadically checking Gmail throughout Trial Practice and Business Associations this morning, I finally just gave up. Still no email. Still no docs. Nothing. Nil. Nada.
At least Google was kind enough to put a new redirect in place when I tried to access my account. Now it tells me explicitly why I can’t access my account, instead of sending me to a page saying I violated their Terms of Service.
After winging AAJ trial team practice tonight since I didn’t have any of my docs, I made my way home from the law school around 11ish when I discovered I now at least (it appears) have access to my non-Gmail services.
I also noticed Google had posted an update on their blog making it out like there was never really an issue. Here’s the copy/paste, but you can read the original at this URL:
Gmail back soon for everyone
Monday, February 28, 2011 | 6:30 PM
Posted by Ben Treynor, VP Engineering and Site Reliability Czar (24×7)
Imagine the sinking feeling of logging in to your Gmail account and finding it empty. That’s what happened to 0.02% of Gmail users yesterday, and we’re very sorry. The good news is that email was never lost and we’ve restored access for many of those affected. Though it may take longer than we originally expected, we’re making good progress and things should be back to normal for everyone soon.
I know what some of you are thinking: how could this happen if we have multiple copies of your data, in multiple data centers? Well, in some rare instances software bugs can affect several copies of the data. That’s what happened here. Some copies of mail were deleted, and we’ve been hard at work over the last 30 hours getting it back for the people affected by this issue.
To protect your information from these unusual bugs, we also back it up to tape. Since the tapes are offline, they’re protected from such software bugs. But restoring data from them also takes longer than transferring your requests to another data center, which is why it’s taken us hours to get the email back instead of milliseconds.
So what caused this problem? We released a storage software update that introduced the unexpected bug, which caused 0.02% of Gmail users to temporarily lose access to their email. When we discovered the problem, we immediately stopped the deployment of the new software and reverted to the old version.
As always, we’ll post a detailed incident report outlining what happened to the Apps Status Dashboard, as well as the corrective actions we’re taking to help prevent it from occurring again. If you were affected by this issue, it’s important to note that email sent to you between 6:00 PM PST on February 27 and 2:00 PM PST on February 28 was likely not delivered to your mailbox, and the senders would have received a notification that their messages weren’t delivered.
Thanks for bearing with us as we fix this, and sorry again for the scare.
A “scare”? Really??
I realize Google has a vested interest in downplaying this situation — after all, they’re trying to convince major corporations to entrust their networks to The Cloud — but I’m almost offended that they’re acting like (i) losing access to my email for 2 days now (potentially permanently), complete with (ii) redirects to a page saying I violated the Terms of Service, alongside (iii) cryptic and thoroughly uninformative status updates on the Google Apps Status Dashboard, and (iv) no substantive response from the company until after the media catches on to what’s going on, is all merely a “scare.”
Then there’s the rest of the content in this non-apology apology. They’re backing up my email from tape archives but it’s somehow still all there? I call bullsh*t: the sheer volume of tape cartridges they’d need to use to back up all their users is too huge to believe they do these backups daily. A more likely explanation is that they’ve got a monthly or quarterly tape archive that they’re going to use to restore my account (assuming they actually restore it), which would mean I’ll have permanently lost anything recent.
We’ll see what happens over these next 48 hours that they’re supposedly working. But for now I’m drifting toward becoming one of those anti-GOOG partisans…
[Postscript: And to those of you thinking “But TDot, Gmail is free! You shouldn’t complain!”: I’ll stop complaining about losing my access when Google decides to give me the advertising $$$ they made from ads targeted based on heuristic analysis of my email messages All the “free” users are paying for Gmail service, exchanging the privacy of our email correspondence for cloud storage and reliable access.]
Posted by T. Greg Doucette on Feb 27, 2011 in Technology
[Update @ 10:00am on 02/28/11: Still locked out of everything. Now on Day #2 of no Gmail… no Gchat… no Google Docs… no Analytics… no Feedburner… no Calendar… ]
Take a look at this photo. It’s a screenshot from the Gmail account that I’ve been using for about 5 years now.
Buzz is there, but my emails aren't. And no ninjas.
Notice anything unusual?
That’s what I saw when I logged in earlier today. First thing I noticed — no ninjas. I’m not a fan of the bland white default, so I switched things over to the Gmail ninja background.
Next thing I noticed: the privacy-invading Google Buzz is turned back on, even though I cut it off the day it came out.
It was at about that point I realized the biggest issue — 100% of my emails before this morning were completely and totally gone. So were my chat logs. So were my settings.
After probing around online in a panic, I discovered this thread in the Gmail forums and a cryptic entry in their Apps Status dashboard that they were “investigating”. Along with a reassurance that it only affected 0.08% of Gmail users… which doesn’t reassure me at all since I’m one of the people affected
Access Denied. To everything...
Then, just to add insult to injury, as of about 20 minutes ago my entire Google Account has been disabled. Meaning I can’t just get to my Gmail — I also can’t get to Google Docs (including my homework), Google Scholar, Gchat, Analytics, Feedburner, Webmaster Tools, and all the other G-stuff I’ve gotten into the habit of using.
I’ve disliked “cloud computing” ever since it was created. When N.C. State announced plans to migrate from its own mail servers to Gmail, I was skeptical. Likewise during my second term as NCSU’s Senate President, where the (otherwise phenomenal) Student Body President I worked with still reigns as the biggest Google Docs fanboy I’ve ever met.
Maybe it’s my libertarian-leaning political beliefs. Maybe I’m a neo-Luddite. But personally I prefer having all the data coming to my home network where I’m responsible for my own backups and not subject to the failures of someone else.
Then I got lazy trusting in Google’s reliability and set my cron jobs to download/backup my Gmail on the last day of each month. And of course this all failed today, hours before that cron job was supposed to run
The only saving grace is that I didn’t lose all my stuff — I’ve still got a not-quite-a-month-old archive stored locally at home. But my distrust for the cloud has been affirmed, and I will now redouble my neo-Luddite ways in trying to avoid cloud computing as much as possible.
Posted by T. Greg Doucette on Feb 26, 2011 in Law School Roundup
Katie has the latest law school roundup over at katieluper.com — make sure to check it out!
And it’s back here at law:/dev/null next week
Past Law School Roundup entries:
Posted by T. Greg Doucette on Feb 25, 2011 in The 2L Life
Good evening y’all!
I’m currently blogging from the confines of a hotel room here in Williamsburg Virginia, home to the William & Mary Law School that will be hosting the ABA Law Student Division Spring meeting for the 4th Circuit this weekend.
I’ll be filling in for NCCU Law‘s SBA President, who is currently in Washington DC battling the lawyerly hordes as part of the Luke Charles Moore Invitational. It works out well for the both of us — he’s got the brains to do moot court, and after 2 tours as UNCASG President I’ve got the experience in sitting still in the same room from 8am-4pm listening to people
Not sure if anyone from any of the 4th Circuit law schools happen to read law:/dev/null, but if you do and you know anyone coming to this meeting, let me know so I can introduce myself
More tomorrow. Until then, have a great night!
Posted by T. Greg Doucette on Feb 23, 2011 in In Case You Missed It
After spending most of the past week preparing for or competing in the TYLA NTC regional competition, I finally worked my way through the blog entry backlog — just in time for me to disappear again the rest of this week so I can prep for AAJ as well as study at some point for my Business Associations midterm
If you have a few minutes to spare, below are the posts from last week just in case you missed them — please enjoy during my pending absence
In chronological order:
Enjoy, and have a great night y’all!
Posted by T. Greg Doucette on Feb 22, 2011 in NotFail
Amid all these posts about my TYLA exploits in Charlotte this past weekend, I realized that I completely forgot to update y’all on how the NCCU Law 1Ls did in this year’s Kilpatrick-Stockton Mock Trial Competition last month!
Let’s just say the finals triggered flashbacks from 2010
The info’s a bit dated, but I wrote a summary for the law school’s website you can read at this URL. Here’s the copy/paste:
NCCU 1Ls TAKE 2ND PLACE, TIE FOR 3RD IN ANNUAL K-S MOCK TRIAL COMPETITION
Home > News and Announcements > Student News
Posted January 21, 2011
In only NCCU Law’s second year of competition, the Trial Advocacy Board’s 1L trial teams once again dominated the annual Kilpatrick-Stockton 1L Mock Trial Competition hosted by the UNC Chapel Hill School of Law on January 13-16, 2011.
Pictured (from left to right): Cheri Hamilton, Helena Kirland-Werts, Nikia Williams, Kevin Boxberger, Jennifer Turner (Team Captain, "1L of a Team"), Susan Dow (Team Captain, "The Whole Truth"), Deyaska Spencer Sweatman, Diane Carter; Not Pictured: Anna Love
The “1L of a Team” squad advanced to the final round and earned a 2nd place finish, getting edged out by Duke Law after an intense and hard-fought trial by both sides. There were also 35 NCCU Law students, professors and alumni in attendance, a 10x increase over the audience for last year’s competition. The other 1L team, “The Whole Truth”, successfully advanced to the semi-final round and tied a separate Duke Law team for 3rd place.
Not only did NCCU Law’s 1Ls take half of the spots in the Final Four, this now also marks the 2nd year in a row that NCCU Law has made the final round of the competition — setting a 100% track record of NCCU Law 1Ls advancing to the final round.
28 teams participated from 6 North Carolina schools (all schools except Charlotte School of Law), and NCCU Law’s 1Ls successfully beat teams from Campbell, Duke and UNCCH at various stages of the competition.
Everyone delivered an exemplary performance, and the Trial Advocacy Board looks forward to watching these 1Ls blossom into even stronger advocates over their next two years!
A belated-but-much-deserved congratulations to the NCCU Law 1L Trial Teams!
Posted by T. Greg Doucette on Feb 21, 2011 in The 2L Life
I swear I’ve got one of the most profoundly blessed lives a guy can have — it makes me worried I’m going to use up all my good fortune before I hit 30!
No sooner did I get back to the Bull City from the TYLA regionals than I got a phone call from Madame Prosecutor. Turns out one of the members of NCCU Law‘s 2L AAJ trial team had to step down due to family issues, leaving the team 1 person short of the 4 they need to compete in Atlanta on March 3rd-6th.
So they asked me to fill in!
That means I’ve only got 1.5 weeks to completely learn an entirely new fact pattern (a civil case this time), develop a direct, cross, closing, etc — but it also means I’ll get to develop even more experience plus help out some of my colleagues in the process
Definitely a win-win situation, even though I’ll probably have to scale back on the academics a little bit more We’ll see how it goes… but for now, I’m excited!
Posted by T. Greg Doucette on Feb 20, 2011 in NotFail
On the ride home from the TYLA regionals in Charlotte this afternoon, I got a text message from one of my 3L colleagues with the ranking results for the 2Ls.
Apparently we came in 9th!
Only the top 8 teams got to advance to the semi-finals — including both teams from Charlotte Law and the Emory Law team that beasted us on Friday — but to make the Top 10 of a 30ish team field, in the first full-scale competition any of us 2Ls have had (and my very first ever as counsel) sounds pretty damn good to me
To the folks who made the semis this go-round: be prepared next year, because you’ll be seeing me again
Posted by T. Greg Doucette on Feb 19, 2011 in The 2L Life
Today was the 2nd and 3rd rounds of the TYLA regionals in Charlotte, and I’m glad to say the Legal Eagles of NCCU Law bounced back from yesterday’s shellacking just fine
Both rounds today had myself and a 1L K-S team colleague who I’ll dub Christie as the Defense counsel. The morning session had us up against a Georgia State Law squad as Prosecution.
The NCCU Law TYLA trial teams -- our coaches are on the far left and right, and then from left it's me, Christie, Co-Counsel, and the 3Ls
TYLA provides the witnesses for each round, and unfortunately for the GSU folks their star witness (the detective who conducted the homicide investigation) was a sweet elderly lady who couldn’t remember a single thing they told her during witness prep. Their direct examination of her dragged on and on, with counsel having to refresh the witness’s recollection repeatedly throughout. It was their very first witness too, so it not only threw them off their game for the rest of the round but also let me build my entire case off my very first cross-examination — a judicious nodding or shaking of my head, and what should have been a hostile witness gave me the exact answer I wanted without hesitation
It was a lucky break for us, but one that provided a much-needed confidence boost for the afternoon round against WFU Law. Christie and I could tell during the back-and-forth on pre-trial motions that the presiding judge was more friendly than the ones we had gotten in the two previous rounds, so we adjusted our demeanors accordingly. The WFU team did a solid job on direct and with witness prep; their detective was the most challenging for me to control out of any of the witnesses I crossed in the competition. But he could tell I wasn’t going to let him venture outside of his box, so to trip me up he started inventing facts — and did so at precisely the wrong time.
As background, you can go to the TYLA NTC website to read the fact pattern (State of Lone Star v. Robert Duffie), but essentially the only forensic evidence tying the Defendant to the crime scene was 1 latent fingerprint found on a piece of tape taken from one of the victim’s bodies. My line of questioning on cross-examination included a closing crescendo designed for maximum drama and impact — basically building up how thorough the investigation was and then pointing out all they found was that single latent print — and at the beginning of that sequence I ask if the Detective found any packaging for the tape. The answer of course is supposed to be “no”, and then I argue in closing that they found no packaging because it was the roll of tape used by the store personnel to make repairs so of course my client’s fingerprint was on it.
Well this particular detective was getting annoyed that I had kept him in the box where I wanted him for the past 7ish minutes, and doubly annoyed that the judge had been responsive to my occasional objections to his non-responsive answers. So he decides he’s going to invent facts. I ask him if he found any packaging on the roll of tape. He pauses to think, looks at me, and goes “No I didn’t. It’s my understanding from my investigation that it was the role of tape the employees used to make repairs around the store.”
I have no earthly clue how he thought that was going to trip me up, but I look at him with my jaw almost-but-not-quite on the floor. I turn to look at Christie, who looks at me like she’s not quite sure he just said what he just said but maybe he said it after all. I look at the jury members, who are giving me raised eyebrows. I look at the judge, who’s giving the witness a raised eyebrow. And in a voice that ended up cracking because I was still in total shock, I go “Well in that case sir, no further questions!”
The look on the detective’s face when he realized where I was going with it was priceless.
At that point the wheels came off for the WFU crew. Their star witness had just flamed out and their next witness had nothing substantive to add. Then we got part of their expert forensic testimony excluded on 403 grounds. Then both of our defense witnesses were phenomenal under cross-examination. Then came closing arguments, where I reminded the jury of broken promises made by the State before hammering home my “Wrong man. Wrong place. Wrong time.” theme the whole way through
It was a beginning-to-end shellacking of our own, and a fitting conclusion to our performance.
Since only the top 8 teams proceed to the semi-finals, and those top 8 get determined based on their performance on both Friday and Saturday, we learned at the banquet a couple hours ago that we didn’t score enough points to advance to the semi-finals tomorrow. But to beat 2 out of 3 teams in my very 1st competition as an advocate is a solid first step
Going to enjoy the rest of the night with my colleagues before packing up to head back to the Bull City tomorrow. It’s been a great experience, and I’m looking forward to what happens next year!
Posted by T. Greg Doucette on Feb 18, 2011 in The 2L Life
Well that certainly didn’t go as planned
First round of the TYLA regionals ran from 6pm-9pm tonight. I wasn’t prepared last night but thought I was where I needed to be by today. Co-Counsel and I represented NCCU Law, facing off as the Prosecution against a pair of 3Ls from Emory Law on Defense. And there’s just no other way for me to describe it…
…they completely kicked our ass
Evidence we expected them to oppose, they let in without objection. Stuff we just knew was coming in, they managed to get excluded. My normally-10-minute cross-examination of the Defendant was pared down to 5min because of all the evidence that didn’t come in
The only thing keeping it out of “unmitigated disaster” territory — just in merely “disaster” range — was that my opening statement was on-point and Co-Counsel’s closing was flawless. But beyond that I was totally thrown off my game and the two of us got beaten like rented mules.
None of that has anything at all to do with the post title of course The main point for tonight’s entry is a reminder of how surprisingly small the world can be sometimes.
After the competition was over, the guys and I went to a small restaurant on the same block as our hotel for some soul food. No sooner do I walk in the door of the restaurant than I hear my name being called from a few feet away. I turn to the right and see one of my college roommates from my N.C. State years
Now I’ve only been to Charlotte twice in the past year, and the last time I was in the downtown part of the city was over a decade ago with QuietStorm. And yet somehow, out of the 8,760 hours in a given year, on the one weekend I’m downtown, in a city of almost a million people, I ended up being at the same restaurant at the same time as one of my closest college friends.
It’s a small world out there folks! Keep that in mind when you’re interacting with your law school colleagues who you just might bump into in a random restaurant a few years from now — and remember, don’t burn your bridges