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We've seen people recreate the M from the Gmail logo out of dominoes and even sand, but until our colleagues in Google's Moscow office created this video, we're pretty sure no one had ever made a giant Gmail interface with:

- 162 meters of gray tape
- 45 lego pieces
- 32 sticks of plasticine
- 18 brushes
- 18 square meters of batten
- 12 cans of spray paint
- 10 liters of white paint
- 4 reams of paper
- 2 kilograms of millet porridge
- 1 printer
- 1 hair dryer
- 1 mop
- 1 saw



And the actual M at the end of the video? That's 3 sweaters, 3 balls, 3 pillows, 2 dumbbells, 2 pair of gloves, a set of child's plates, a hockey stick, a scarf, a paper folder, hats and slippers. All in red of course.

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Sometimes you need to chat with someone about an urgent project, but can't be bothered by anyone else. And going "busy" just isn't enough -- you might still get that unwanted ping. So, as some people have already noticed, we rolled out invisible mode for the latest version of Gmail chat last Friday. With this feature, you can appear offline, and still send and receive messages. If you're using AIM in Gmail, invisible mode also makes you appear signed out on the AIM network. Invisible mode is one of the most requested chat features and so we're happy to add this option, starting in Gmail Chat, and in the future all Talk clients.



As some of you have already noted, chat could be less useful if lots of people go invisible. We'll keep an eye on it and look for your feedback to be sure we're doing what's best for the community.

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Even though I've worked on the Gmail team for about six months and have been a fan for years, I continue to notice new things in the product all the time. Like the other day, when out of curiosity, I checked out my spam folder to see what kind of bank scams or enlargement pills were being filtered from my innocent eyes, and I noticed something below the search box. Was that really a recipe for spicy SPAM kabobs?



It sure was -- and it didn't end there. I found all sorts of SPAM recipes including savory SPAM crescents, SPAM primavera, and for the health conscious, a gingered SPAM salad. I figured this was either the result of savvy ad targeting or a few Gmail engineers had a soft spot for the canned meat (which wouldn't be entirely surprising given the team's copious consumption of canned energy drinks). I decided to do some reconnaissance.

At first I was told that these recipes "were placed there by elves when we weren't looking" (real cute), but Keith, one of Gmail's Product Managers, eventually divulged the real story. Turns out that when they came up with the idea for Web Clips, they didn't think it made sense to show these RSS feeds and ads in the spam folder. After all, these clips should be useful and fun, but spam (of the email variety) is neither of these things. Not knowing what to put here, Keith searched for "spam recipes" and decided to make a feed out of the results. As he said, "it was just one of those late night ideas" -- probably a consequence of too many said energy drinks.

After relentlessly scouring recipes for the most delicious sounding concoctions, they came to the conclusion that spam -- a painful phenomenon plaguing email inboxes -- can actually lead you to a delightful Sunday brunch. Who's up for breakfast burritos this weekend?

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Tonight, we're starting to roll out the new version of Gmail in 37 languages.* As we first announced when we launched in English, this version, available for IE7 and Firefox 2, has an entirely new code base, which allows us to add new features more rapidly and share components with other Google applications (we now use the same rich text editor as Groups and Page Creator, and the contact manager can be seen in several Google apps). So if you were using English, you can now change your default language from the Settings menu to take advantage of a bunch of features that have recently launched in your preferred language, including:


One side effect of this change is that it may disrupt some third-party Gmail extensions -- unsupported scripts that directly modify Gmail's code. If you don't use them, you don't need to worry about this. But if you do, we've contacted a number of the developers behind some popular extensions and many of them have updated their scripts, so make sure you're using the latest version or check back with them if you encounter any issues.

*The newest version of Gmail is not yet available for Croatian, Icelandic, Hebrew or Arabic, but you can continue using the older version in these languages. The newest version also is not yet available for Google Apps for your domain.

Updated 4/22: We're still rolling out the new version of Gmail to all languages, and we're working to have it out to all users as soon as possible.

Updated 5/5: The new version of Gmail is now fully rolled out to all users with Firefox 2 and IE7 in these languages.

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Gmail has a lot of great features, but maybe there's this one thing that you really wish it could do. Well, we'd like to know what it is. We're constantly building and testing new features, and many -- like free automatic forwarding, signature options, and IMAP access -- have been brought to you by popular demand.

So do you want colorful background themes? We'll look into it. Want Gmail to do your laundry? Well, it never hurts to ask. If you'd like to suggest a feature, click "Help" at the top of any page in your Gmail account. On the right side of the Gmail Help Center, you'll see a "Let us know" link in the "Suggest a feature" box. I work on the team that regularly reviews and analyzes the requests you make, and I look forward to seeing your ideas.