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Quick Bit Notes is running on Google App Engine. The advantage of using this service is that users do not need to create yet another account for Quick Bit Notes and Quick Bit Notes doesn't need to store or deal with passwords - this is handled by Google. The disadvantage is it requires a Google Account email address. All @gmail.com email accounts are Google Accounts and will work with Quick Bit Notes. This is not necessarily true for Google Apps email addresses. If you're not sure, send to your friends @gmail.com address.
In general, Quick Bit Notes doesn't use email addresses for sending email, but only as an "identifier" for authentication purposes. Users drop off a Quick Bit Note for a specific person, indicated by valid Google Accounts email address, such as any @gmail.com email address, and only the recipient can see those messages because they must log-in with that Google Accounts email address to pick up Quick Bit Notes left for that email address. They cannot get access to other Quick Bit Notes left for other email addresses and no one, not even the sender, can get access to a Quick Bit Notes left for an email address, unless they sign-in using that email address.
The Google authentication system never exposes your password to Quick Bit Notes - it works sort of like oAuth in that regard.
Quick Bit Notes doesn't use your address to send spam or other email. The only email Quick Bit Notes ever sends is the notification email, if you select that option when dropping off a note. Here's an example of a notification email:
Date: Fri, 16 Oct 2009 17:12:14 +0000 Subject: Your New Bit Note From: firstname.lastname@example.org To: email@example.com I sent you a new Bit Note. You can retrieve it by clicking the following link: http://quickbitnotes.appspot.com/mybitnotes
Note that the notification email does not contain any of the content of the Quick Bit Note message, neither subject nor message body. It's simply a notificaion to your friend that they have something waiting for them to pick-up at the Quick Bit Notes site.
Quick Bit Notes is open-source so feel free to validate our claims by taking a look at the source code.
Here's how Google explains it:
If you're able to sign in to Gmail and Google calendar, but not the Google Accounts homepage, you may be using Google Apps, but not Google Accounts. If you're able to sign in on the Google Accounts homepage, you have a Google Account.
In simple terms: If you're not sure what kind of address your friend has, send to their @gmail.com address to be sure it will work with Quick Bit Notes. Thank Google for all this confusion.
Traditionally, email messages are sent from your computer through a series of email gateways on to the recipient service mail servers where messages are held until the recipient picks them up (the message may stay on the servers even beyond that). While passing through these servers and gateways and while being held for pickup, the email is in a form that is readable by these machines (computer software) as words - spam filters, for instance, are robots that scan messages and determine whether they look like spam. They can do this because your message is passed in a form that is easy to read by the machine where words can be recognized as such.
With Quick Bit Notes, the contents (subject and body of the message) are not kept as text in a machine readable form but instead are stored in images. To computers that may be watching the traffic, these images look just like any other graphics, the same as those found on just about any web page. But to humans, Quick Bit Notes are easily recognized as the message content.
Quick Bit Notes never fly around the Internet through email gateways. One person drops off the note at Quick Bit Notes and another person later picks it up. When the note is dropped off, a secure sockets layer connection is used to accept the original (machine readable) data and it is immediately converted to image data, readable by humans but not, in any traditional way, by machines. The note is held in this form, never as machine readable text - even Quick Bit Notes cannot read/scan/examine or retrieve the text - when the note is picked up, the contents are delivered to the recipient's browser in this image form, appearing like any other random image or picture on a website to machines, but still completely readable by the recipient.
Well, not really. Nothing is really secure. Assume everything can be decoded and picked up by a sufficiently sophisticated technology. Assume such technology exists.
On the other hand, Quick Bit Notes can certainly be considered more private than email. Email passes through many servers/gateways in plain text that can easily be scanned for keywords and such by servers and network sniffers along the way, at the ISP or in the network. Quick Bit Notes adds significant overhead to such snooping tools without complicated cryptography, sharing of secret keys, and other end-user hassles. All each user needs to use the service is a browser and a Gmail email address. What's more, Quick Bit Notes tend to "sneak under the radar" in that they appear to be just some random images within a website so they don't attract attention.
Coded by @mrblog