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Gmail adds Mail Goggles

Gmail adds Mail Goggles

The Mail Goggles extension to Gmail requires that you solve some simple sums before it'll send late-night e-mails.

If you've ever sent an e-mail while feeling 'tired and emotional' – read 'after a few too many' – that you've later come to regret, there is now hope for the future: Mail Goggles.

Named for the infamous 'beer-goggle' effect – although expressly designed to keep you out of trouble rather than to get you into it – Mail Goggles is the latest addition to Google's popular Gmail service.

Designed to prevent embarrassing e-mails from ever being sent, the system is fiendishly simple: when activated, the software triggers at certain times – late at night and on weekends by default – and requires the user to complete a series of mathematical questions within a set time limit. The idea, of course, is that if you're sober enough to achieve that then you're probably sober enough to mean whatever you wrote in the e-mail.

If you're particularly poor at mathematics, then you're probably best off not activating it at all.

Jon Perlow, Gmail engineer and author of the Mail Goggles extension, hopes that the software will prevent users from repeating his past mistakes – including “the time I sent that late night email to my ex-girlfriend that we should get back together.

While the feature seems pretty neat at first glance, it's obviously not the neatest solution to the problem – although I guess that monitor-mounted breathalysers would perhaps be a little intrusive. Still, anything that can prevent some of those 'oh-no' moments is a worth addition to the Google Labs stable in my opinion.

Will any of you be making use of the Mail Goggles feature, or do you say what you mean and mean what you say? Share your thoughts over in the forums.

22 Comments

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Jamie 9th October 2008, 14:45 Quote
Any drunk person could manage to copy and paste the questions into google and get the answers.
Tim S 9th October 2008, 14:49 Quote
Google goggles gets googled.
Bauul 9th October 2008, 14:49 Quote
Cool idea, although a simple coordination task I imagine is more suited to drunk people. A virtual hoop-around-the-electric-wire would be a better idea.
steveo_mcg 9th October 2008, 14:50 Quote
I seen this the other day, its funny if easy to get around. Although the way it reads on gmail is that it blocks access to the rest of the browser which would bugger up the copy paste solution.
liratheal 9th October 2008, 14:55 Quote
I would, but the only time I access gmail through their website is when at work, when I'm supposed to be sober/awake/switched on.
Redbeaver 9th October 2008, 15:16 Quote
lol nice idea.... thats actually pretty funny...

use it? no thanks.
TGImages 9th October 2008, 15:25 Quote
How about instead it holds those outbound messages in a queue and during a non "Goggle" time period prompting you to review the queue and decided if you still want to send them or not?
TheVoice 9th October 2008, 15:39 Quote
I can imagine a lot of sober people would get the answers wrong, these days.
mclean007 9th October 2008, 16:19 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheVoice
I can imagine a lot of sober people would get the answers wrong, these days.
LOL - yup. And, conversely, I'm sure many of the smarter among us could do trivial arithmetic like that even when absolutely paralytic - I'd fancy my chances at those 5 questions in 43 seconds even after eleven pints, assuming I could focus on the screen. I don't think arithmetic tests are a particularly suitable test of sobriety - as suggested above, a coordination test would be far more effective.
DougEdey 9th October 2008, 16:37 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim S
Google goggles gets googled.

Who's been feeding tim alcohol?
Jordan Wise 9th October 2008, 17:10 Quote
I'm guessing this is in beta right?
p3n 9th October 2008, 17:31 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by liratheal
I would, but the only time I access gmail through their website is when at work, when I'm supposed to be sober/awake/switched on.

Suprised anyway who uses gmail regularly doesnt use IMAP !
proxess 9th October 2008, 18:14 Quote
Something like this should be available for all messaging clients. Mobile phone calls, sms, MSN, ICQ, IRC, etc etc
Cthippo 9th October 2008, 18:22 Quote
I have to say I know a few people who need this!
Sparrowhawk 9th October 2008, 19:21 Quote
The goggles, they do nothing!
Aterius Gmork 9th October 2008, 20:06 Quote
I'll use it... but for other reasons. Good excuse to train my math skills, plus it's geek. Just imagine a friend sitting next to you: "What are you doing?`" "Uh, err, sending this email."

Oh yeah, s***, geeks don't have friends.
ToMMo 9th October 2008, 20:59 Quote
It might make me think twice rather than prevent me from sending an email and as mentioned before, it would be much better on SMS.
liratheal 9th October 2008, 21:18 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aterius Gmork
I'll use it... but for other reasons. Good excuse to train my math skills, plus it's geek. Just imagine a friend sitting next to you: "What are you doing?`" "Uh, err, sending this email."

Oh yeah, s***, geeks don't have friends.

I occasionaly email when I have friends over. Or text, usually to them, telling them to put the ****ing phone away.

Irony <3
ParaHelix.org 9th October 2008, 21:35 Quote
Perhaps if you want to send an Email out of rage you will disable Google Goggles to send it haha.
ParaHelix.org 9th October 2008, 21:36 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aterius Gmork
I'll use it... but for other reasons. Good excuse to train my math skills, plus it's geek. Just imagine a friend sitting next to you: "What are you doing?`" "Uh, err, sending this email."

Oh yeah, s***, geeks don't have friends.

Maybe you should try going to the pub, that somtimes works for gaining friends :)
liratheal 9th October 2008, 22:03 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by ParaHelix.org
Maybe you should try going to the pub, that somtimes works for gaining friends :)

Hahahahahah

Funny man :p
Cupboard 10th October 2008, 02:10 Quote
Also useful for when "friends" decide to "borrow" your gmail account, more time to pull the internet plug :D
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