Missing Vowels from Gmail Login Page

April 1, 2010 12:46pm CST
I was just about to log in to check my mail from a lesser-used email account in Gmail when I suddenly stopped dead on my tracks. The Gmail login page looked as if it was written in txt language! wch mns tht th txt lkd lkd ths. And of course I kind of panicked, because I thought that maybe was internet browser was hijacked or Gmail or Google (gasp!) was hijacked by Chinese hackers in retaliation (a whole big backstory to that) or both. Usually I don't give much thought to the rest of the stuff on the logon page when I sign in to my email accounts. So this incident made me make a mental note to be more cautious the next time I log in... not just on email accounts but on other sites as well where you're required to sign in. Anyway, back to my story, i checked out the Gmail blog just to be sure. It turns out that Gmail is suffering from a "vowel outage", which arose from a failure in one of their frontend web servers in a datacenter to render the letter 'a', which then lead to subsequent failures in other datacenters servers. To prevent the rendering failure from spreading to other datacenters, Gmail tried to limit the damage to the letters a,e,i,o,u, and so the only letters rendered on their site are the consonants. Now that's a perfect April Fools coming from Gmail, don't you think?
1 person likes this
3 responses
• United States
16 Apr 10
well i was fixing to say that I have that happen to me a couple of times where it is just the text but nothing like thta. I guess they did it good.
• Philippines
19 Apr 10
Yeah... I even took a capture of the login screen, just for posterity. In case you're curious, you can find it in one of the posts in my blog (I have a link to it in my profile page). :)
@kaylachan (4776)
• Daytona Beach, Florida
15 Apr 10
I've never worried about it when I've come across that. As long as I can log in when I'm good and ready to, then that's what I do. Log in I deal with the rest later. Usually referashing my page resolves most problems.
• Philippines
16 Apr 10
Yeah, good for you. I'm pretty paranoid when it comes to login pages.. You know, always looking for the 's' in the https, etc. Ever since I've learned that malicious people spoof login pages to get account details it's been almost second nature. Pretty much like looking around the parking lot and the backseat of the car before getting in..
@Hatley (164450)
• Garden Grove, California
1 Apr 10
hi justdroppingby I wonder if it might have been deliberate as it is April fool's day. of course I really dont think G mail would go that' far, but its fun to ponder the possiblity. instead its a vowel 'outage. That must have been some funny looking email minus all the vowels.thats a perfect trick for sure he he he