Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Google Mail Introduces New Feature: Time Is On My Side

After extensive beta testing, Google releases an all new "wonder technology". Now everyone can say, "Time... IS on my side".

In a world where tech break-throughs (see the BrooWaha article, You've Heard About Web 2.0, But What About E-mail 2.0 by Gary Wells) come faster with each passing day, Google announced today the release of an all new tool that the company says will finally let you "Be on time, every time". According to beta user testimonials, Gmail Custom Time will let all Gmail users to back date any e-mail sent through Gmail since the service began in 2004. This will allow any electronic mail the user has sent to be re-dated to any appropriate date the user requires, essentially eliminating lateness forever.

"The entire concept of 'late' no longer exists for me," exclaimed customer Miriam S., a delivery girl by trade. "That's pretty cool. Thanks Gmail!"

Utilizing what Google calls the "Grandfather Paradox", Custom Time allows Gmail customers to utilize "an ensemble of parallel universes" to make sure that no e-mail to arrive late again.

"I just got two tickets to Radiohead," paralegal and beta tester Robbie S. told a gathering of media, "by being the 'first' to respond to a co-worker's 'first-come, first-serve' email. Someone else had already won them, but I told everyone to check their inboxes again."

A nervous Robbie concluded, "Everyone sort of knows I used Custom Time on this one, but I'm denying it."

With interest in cutting-edge ways to advance purpose-driven business strategies, even in the highly scrutinized world of corporate relations, Custom Time is not without its ethical "gray area".

Todd J., an investment banker with a major international firm explained his dilemma like this.

"I used to be an honest person; but now I don't have to be. It's just so much easier this way. I've gained a lot of productivity by not having to think about doing the 'right' thing."

The ethical dilemma experienced by Todd J. is not confined merely to the business world. Apparently, it is a concern in the esoteric world of spirituality as well.

"This feature", reasoned Michael L., a professor of Epistemology at a Midwestern Jesuit university, "allows people to manipulate and mislead people with falsified time data." The scholar went on to say, "Time is a sacred truth that should never be tampered with."

As for the creator of this new technology, Google puts it in a way it feels its customers will best understand in a series of FAQ's.

How do I use it?

Just click "Set custom time" from the Compose view. Any email you send to the past appears in the proper chronological order in your recipient's inbox. You can opt for it to show up read or unread by selecting the appropriate option.

Is there a limit to how far back I can send email?

Yes. You'll only be able to send email back until April 1, 2004, the day we launched Gmail. If we were to let you send an email from Gmail before Gmail existed, well, that would be like hanging out with your parents before you were born -- crazy talk.

How does it work?

Gmail utilizes an e-flux capacitor to resolve issues of causality.

How come I only get ten?

Our researchers have concluded that allowing each person more than ten pre-dated emails per year would cause people to lose faith in the accuracy of time, thus rendering the feature useless.

Their findings:

N = Total emails sent

P = Probability that user believes the time stamp

φ = The Golden Ratio

L = Average life expectancy

So there you have it. Another multi-billion dollar company takes advantage of a few loopholes in the space/time continuum (and various Federal regulations) and now offers a new service at no additional charge to its customers. Life is good, and as the month of April begins today, you can be sure that all is right with the world.

And The Butterfly Effect was just a movie.

For more information on Gmail Custom Time to Http://mail.google.com/mail/help/customtime/index.html.

For more information on the inherent gullibility of human beings, ask Dr. Traci.

Copyright © 2008 Bill Friday