Bitter Grounds - espresso fueled ramblings

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Gmail IconI’m not a fan of April Fool’s. I find the entire concept contrived and tired. Very rarely are the jokes amusing and they often seem to be built around the concept of embarrassing people.

Someone in the Google Empire thought it would be a brilliant idea to put a fake Send button onto Gmail accounts. People who tapped it, sent off a joke gif called Minion mic drop instead. So potentially, that important client or crabby assed boss received an animated gif instead of your report. Ha ha, right? There are reports a person losing their job, job interview acknowledgements not delivered and some contracts jeopardised. I believe this has happened.  I’ve dealt with pain in the ass employers who fired people with little provocation. I’ve also dealt with employees so harried, they may not have noticed anything different on their screen and would have tapped the button without hesitation. You don’t expect a corporation like Google to screw around with something as essential as a Send button.

Google pulled the button and issued a statement today saying a bug in the system went awry causing the problems.

Google MicDrop apology

I disagree. A bug may very well have been an issue, but the real flaw lays with the people who authorised the prank. I think Google forgot how many people use their email for business and this type of email hijacking would never be appreciated. Prank the main page or the search engine, but don’t tamper with email – never ever prank a person’s email program.

According to Google, users were warned about the pending prank by way of a message when the user logged on.  The big problem with this is not everyone reads the endless stream of crap messages that float by their email.  Users may very well have dismissed the message, intending to read it when they had time.

The other irksome thing about this is the claim people could use the “undo send” feature. Again, um .. no… that’s not a solution. The sender has to be aware their email was hijacked and it’s time limited. By the time most were aware of the issue, it was too late.

Next year Google, leave essential services alone.

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“We are stuck with technology when what we really want is just stuff that works.”

 ― Douglas Adams, The Salmon of Doubt

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