Gmail's Mail Goggles prevents drunken emailing – it will be big in the UK

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Wherever I go to Continental Europe, the locals always say that the Brits are great fun – but they drink too much. As far away as Dubai, hotel waiters are regularly fishing people out of the swimming pool late at night. They are invariably British ex-pats. We have a strange relationship with booze, which goes back to Gin-soaked “Mother’s Ruin” era of the 18th Century and the rowdy London Mob (see “The London Mob: Violence and Disorder in Eighteenth-century London“). I’ve seen people more drunk in Helsinki – the Finns are big beer drinkers – but they are rarely rowdy with it. Not so the Brits. (And, BTW, I’m not exempting myself, on the rare occasion…).

Which is why Google’s new feature for drunks will play well here. To stop you sending that late-night email, pissed out of your mind, to your entire company, boss, or girlfriend, Gmail’s new Mail Goggles feature (no, it’s not April Fool’s day) will, in the words of Google’s official blog:

“…check that you’re really sure you want to send that late night Friday email. And what better way to check than by making you solve a few simple math problems after you click send to verify you’re in the right state of mind? By default, Mail Goggles is only active late night on the weekend as that is the time you’re most likely to need it. Once enabled, you can adjust when it’s active in the General settings.”

Thanks Google. You just saved a lot of Brits from even more failed relationships than they already have, and a few jobs.

  • http://www.scred.com/ Kristoffer Lawson

    Finns drunk? Never!

    You have to hand it to Google, though. They always know exactly where to innovate.

  • Sam B

    Can someone with a Gmail account tell us what the highest difficulty is like? To not be able to solve 69 – 38 I’d have to be so blotto I couldn’t even operate the keyboard in the first place (my internal abacus has been honed by years of Killer Sudoku). But Google’s other screenshot shows a difficulty level option.

  • http://www.sendible.com Stuart

    Why not just schedule the message to be sent in the future with tools like Sendible.com? That way if you schedule it to be sent the next morning, you still have time to fix your mistakes! Sendible works with email, twitter, SMS etc.

  • http://ontechnology.wordpress.com Robleh

    Where would we be without Nanny Google to take care of us?

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    […] Wow.  I’m not even sure what to say about that.  You can read more info on TechCrunch. […]

  • http://tapaninaho.com/blog kristian

    This is pretty funny. Having just tried it, I can imagine that after 6-7 pints it might be quite hard to send emails. On the hardest level it presents five problems, i.e. 16/2, 12*8, 88/8, 281+87, 3*16. To make it more difficult, you only get 60 seconds to answer them. Could we also get this for adding comments on youtube?

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  • http://twitter.com/richardbotley Richard Botley

    Hats off to the smart marketing/PR cookies who helped make the most of this post by Google engineer Jon Perlow. Would love to see the worldwide AEV figure.

    A shining example of the importance of a sense of humour in business.

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  • http://www.bedroompublishing.com Nick

    Great feature, I’m sure this will get used loads here in the UK

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    […] now you can take advantage of that delay to “undo” the message. (Not to be confused with Gmail Goggles, which is geared more at preventing drunken emails from ever being sent out in the first place). […]

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