Tuesday, April 1, 2008


I'm sure you Gmail users (aka, smart people) have seen the red link at the top of the homepage announcing "New! Gmail Custom Time." Being the curious person I am, I clicked it and started reading the testimonials after skimming the blurb about what it is and looking at the pictures. Basically the testimonials were hysterical. It is like people's ticket to cheat and lie and feel okay about it. Here are a few of my favorites:
"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."

"I just got two tickets to Radiohead 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. Everyone sort of knows I used Custom Time on this one, but I'm denying it."
There you have it. Gmail is fostering the falsifying of, as one testimonial calls, "a sacred truth that should never be tampered with," or in layman's terms: time. (And a Jimmy Eat World song just came on my iPod as I was writing that last sentence and is now piping, I'm finding out that cheating gets it faster in my ears. Granted, it's taken slightly out of context, but it was definitely an ironic moment just now.) They have, however, quantified the number of dishonest emails you can send in a year. The number? 10. They report,
"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

Good ol' Gmail. Keeping us mostly honest, 10 emails at a time. (April Fools?)

1 comment:

Michelle said...

Definitely April fools.

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