Most of You Probably Don’t Have This Problem…

…But some of you might.

Have you ever said this to someone:

“You know, it’ll be like one of those breathalizer things that they install in people’s cars, only it’ll be for the internet!  So you can’t chat/e-mail/blog when you’ve been drinking!”  I have.

I haven’t had this problem in a while, but I can’t say I’ve never had this problem.  I have the unfortunate talent/curse of having many important ideas and feelings and near-perfect written grammar (though increasingly imperfect spoken grammar) when I’m intoxicated.  If I’m near an internet connection at the end of a night, sometimes the words just pour into the ether that is the Internet, and are speedily sent away.  The next morning brings a hangover and guilt/embarrassment/remorse/sheepishness (usually nothing worse).

Anyway, the folks at Google have outdone themselves yet again, and created Mail Goggles.  Once you enable the feature on your Gmail account, you can determine when it’s active, say from  2 a.m. to 7 a.m. Saturday and Sunday mornings (they say nothing good happens after 2 a.m., anyway, and I think they’re right).  Should you attempt to send an e-mail during these hours, you will be asked to answer five math problems in a minute or less.  You can also set the level of difficulty, so this will even work for people who are smart enough to be good at math, but not smart enough not to send e-mail while their judgment is impaired.  I actually tried it out (while sober) this afternoon, and was not able to get an e-mail through because I apparently set the difficulty level too high (and these are addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division problems, folks — nothing I shouldn’t be able to handle, but anyway)…

And yes — I, too, thought it was another April Fool’s joke from Google, but today’s Columbus Day, not April Fool’s, and I tried it, and I think it’s for real.

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