Google launches ‘Story of Send’ to illustrate how your e-mails get delivered

Story of Send e-mail network

Ever wondered what happens to each e-mail you fire off Gmail between the moment you hit Send and the second it reaches the recipient’s inbox? If the answer’s yes, Google has released The Story of Send to share a timeline of how your e-mails travel between computers and networks, and how Google aims to keep your information private and secure.

As part of the Google Green initiative, the story follows an unspecified e-mail that travels through your roof, antennas, your neighbor’s walls, Google’s data center, and more. At some points of the nine stations, you can watch videos to learn more about Google’s data center to see how the system filters for spam, viruses, all while maintaining an energy-efficient environment and utilizing renewable power. You can see in a video how extra security measures are taken with its own staff when an employee has to scan his work ID card and his eyes to authorize passage, then watch another video of how the data centers are powered by local wind farms. Of course, the illustrations are all in classic Google style, with cartoon employees roaming about the timeline passing by in scooters, checking up on the network system, and looking over the cloud computing center — all with a smile on their little faces.

 “Our servers work together to process your data, including duplicating your message to create backups, scanning it for viruses, and filtering for spam,” the Hard-working machines page states. “To cool the equipment doing all this work, we use energy-saving methods inspired by the natural environment around us. We also custom-build all of our servers so they are 93% efficient.”

Duplicating messages? This kind of made us pause on sending those confidential e-mails.

Clicking through the process and learning about how Google attempts to deliver an efficient email system definitely makes you think twice about using Gmail; it’s as if we take the technology for granted. Some people shoot e-mails off without really taking the time to proofread or make sure their attachments are even there, yet the data center has to process ever single one of our e-mails — silly, mistaken, extremely private, or extremely unnecessary.

If you’re more curious of how Google attempts to maintain sustainability, you can also check out the Google Green site for more of the company’s footprint information. The little site might not mean much to the average person, but it can show you how much work gets put into the few seconds between Send and Received.

Emerging Tech

Smarter cities need smarter addresses. And you just need 3 words

To make really smart transportation choices, more precise location data will have to be integrated with citywide transportation data. Here’s how one company is mapping the world by using just three words.

Want to use one drive between a Mac and Windows PC? Partitions are your best bet

Compatibility issues between Microsoft Windows and Apple Mac OS X may have diminished sharply over the years, but that doesn't mean they've completely disappeared. Here's how to make an external drive work between both operating systems.

The 100 best Android apps turn your phone into a jack-of-all-trades

Choosing which apps to download is tricky, especially given how enormous and cluttered the Google Play Store has become. We rounded up 100 of the best Android apps and divided them neatly, with each suited for a different occasion.

Is your PC slow? Here's how to restore Windows 10 to factory settings

Computers rarely work as well after they've accumulated files and misconfigured settings. Thankfully, with this guide, you'll be able to restore your PC to its original state by learning how to factory reset Windows.

These cheap laptops will make you wonder why anyone spends more

Looking for a budget notebook for school, work, or play? The best budget laptops, including our top pick -- the Asus ZenBook UX330UA -- will get the job done without digging too deep into your pockets.

Don't use streaming apps? These are the best free players for your local music

Rather than using music streaming apps, you may want something for playing your local music. Good news! There are some good alternatives. These are the best media players you can download for free on Windows.

Style up your MacBook Air with one of these great cases or sleeves

Whether you’re looking for added protection or a stylish flourish, you’re in the right place for the best MacBook Air cases. We have form-hugging cases, luxurious covers and padded sleeves priced from $7 to $130. Happy shopping!

How to easily record your laptop screen with apps you already have

Learning how to record your computer screen shouldn't be a challenge. Lucky for you, our comprehensive guide lays out how to do so using a host of methods, including both free and premium utilities, in both MacOS and Windows 10.

Want to gift a Steam game so you can play with a friend? Here's how to do it

The holidays may have passed, but it's always a good time to give the gift of gaming (especially when there's a Steam sale)! Here's our quick guide on how to give a Steam game as a gift.

Multi-monitor issues? Here's how to resolve them

If you're running into multi-monitor problems, you're not alone. Two screens are very useful, but they can present some difficulties. Here are some common multi-monitor problems and how to fix them.

Capture screenshots with print screen and a few alternative methods

Capturing a screenshot of your desktop is easier than you might think, but it's the kind of thing you'll probably need to know. Here's how to perform the important function in just a few, easy steps.

Black Friday 2018: The best deals so far

Black Friday is the biggest shopping holiday of the year, and it will be here before you know it. If you can't wait until November 23 to start formulating a shopping plan, we've got you covered.
Emerging Tech

Microsoft’s friendly new A.I wants to figure out what you want — before you ask

Move over Siri and Alexa! Microsoft wants to build a new type of virtual assistant that wants to be your friend. Already making waves in Asia, could this be the future of A.I. BFFs?
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: A.I. selfie drones, ‘invisible’ wireless chargers

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!