01 April 2008

GMail sending email back to the past

Seen at GMAIL 01 APR 2008, Gmail Custom Time:


Gmail Custom Time

Introducing Gmail Custom TimeTM

Be on time. Every time.*

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 (see Grandfather Paradox).

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

Beta User Testimonials

"The entire concept of 'late' no longer exists for me. That's pretty cool. Thanks Gmail!"

Miriam S., Delivery girl


"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."

Robby S., Paralegal


"This feature allows people to manipulate and mislead people with falsified time data. Time is a sacred truth that should never be tampered with."

Michael L., Epistemology Professor


"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."

Todd J., Investment Banker


*The term "Every time" is used loosely here to represent the number 10.


Mark said...

the problem with the premise is that I have to remember to send an important note years after I forgot to at the time? humm....

A Jacksonian said...

Yes, thats the ticket!

I assume they got some of that 'UFO' technology on this one...