Google's Mail Goggles Nips Drunken Emails in the Bud

Last Updated Oct 8, 2008 9:33 AM EDT

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Late-night Tequila spammers, help is at hand. Google's launched a new feature for Gmail users called "Mail Goggles" -- automatically activated software to temper that urge to send drunken, ill-advised email to old flames, your aged parents, crush objects -- or your entire company.

Mail Goggles acts as a quick sobriety check -- a bit like asking you to count to 10 before speaking, it gives users a quick, timed maths test before it allows them to fire off inebremail.

The sympathetic Google engineer behind the tool knows that morning-after feeling all too well, says Brand Republic (free registration). "Sometimes I send messages I shouldn't send. Like the time I told that girl I had a crush on her over text message. Or the time I sent that late-night email to my ex-girlfriend that we should get back together."

Mail Goggles is activated late at night and at weekends -- "when you're most likely to need it" -- but once it's up and running you can adjust the timings to catch you when you're most vulnerable. Workplace "flame mailers" may just want to keep it on all the time.

Google Labs has yet to tackle the drunk dialling, but it's only a matter of time. To activate the Goggles, go to Settings, then Labs.

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(Photos, from top: Kencfo618 and Thomas Roche, CC2.0)