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Gmail is back up, but are Google outages getting worse?

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(Read caption) Reports flooded in from Twitter.

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Gmail down! Anyone trying to check Gmail this afternoon came face-to-face with a "Server Error."

"The server encountered a temporary error and could not complete your request," the page says. "Please try again in 30 seconds."

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Hours later, Gmail's millions of users were still waiting. Service returned (at least for the Monitor's office) shortly after 5 p.m. EST. The company warned of scattered outages earlier in the day and that they were working to restore access to the popular web mail site.

"We're aware of a problem with Google Mail affecting a small subset of users," said an official company post at 2:12 p.m. "The affected users are unable to access Google Mail. We will provide an update by August 31, 2009 2:30:00 PM UTC-4 detailing when we expect to resolve the problem."

The subsequent update said some service had returned, but problems persisted throughout the afternoon.

Reports of Gmail going down seem to have grown increasingly frequent as the service gains popularity.

Mixed outages struck on May 8 and May 14. A large-scale problem in February led to Google formally apologizing and extending subscriptions for some of its premium services. "Other notable Gmail outages occurred last year in April, August, and October," reports Information Week. And, as the site stated wryly, "Last month, Google's Gmail has surpassed AOL as the third most visited e-mail service in the U.S."

Is Gmail back up for you? Let us know below.