back to article Google takes aim at drunken messaging

The forward-thinking folks at Google have implemented a novel solution to prevent regretful drunken digital correspondence to friends, family, co-workers, and loved ones. Gmail engineer Jon Perlow is introducing Mail Goggles, a new feature that will tease the bean before ill-conceived late night and weekend emails can be sent …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    This is useful

    I have been debating doing this myself.

    Too easy to pen off some bizarre rant, after suckling at the teat of hopee goodness.

    And some people just don't share the same sense of humour, that a few pints or glasses of vino insist is universal.

    Though, I would say that most net communications unless accompanied with a Card number should be taken with a pinch of salt, it is just a bunch of nerds seeing what is possible using long distance, immediately available written communication, I don't know why everyone else takes it so seriously.

  2. Michael Xion

    How about implementing this for Reg Authors....

    seriously, half the article made no sense to me. Was it written between 10pm and 4 am on a Friday?

    "tease the bean"?

    "offers the constitution a checkup" - what, no more bill of rights

    "Sarah, Hideous, and Bent are less likely to be conjured from the painful past due to an inadvisable excess of spirits" - wtf!

  3. sauerkraut
    Thumb Down

    and another piece

    and another piece of personal information google is trying to steal from me: am i likely to get drunk and how badly do i booze... nice try, google, but...

  4. rasputinsDog

    beer goggles?

    seems to be the worng term to use. Drunken messaging and beer goggles both invovle a liberal consumption of alcohol and both can lead to more than just a hangover, but they are not equal.

  5. A. Lewis
    Thumb Up


    I like this idea. But to be honest, I don't think it'll be that useful for me.

    Now if they could make an app for my phone to stop me sending those texts that I always regret, I'd buy it!

    It surely wouldn't be hard to make the phone recognise when it takes me more than four attempts to spell each word, and just quietly ignore my requests to 'send' and instead consign the message to a holding area for my mortified review the next morning.

  6. KenBW2

    Maybe I'm jut being a spoilsport

    but this is why I don't see the appeal of getting myself out of my head and then not realising I'm gonna do something stupid

  7. Ian

    @Michael Xion

    Are you, perchance, one of our non UK contributors? Personally I enjoy the way the article was written. Something quite Wodehouse about it

    Toodle Pip old sport

  8. Narlaquin

    Not a problem for me...

    I don't have the "embarrassing posts to ElReg when drunk" problem. I simply change my username to "amanfromMars" and I'm good to go.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    Unfortunate, old bean

    Those enlightened by Cosmopolitan (rather than PG Wodehouse) are going to read a whole different meaning into "tease the bean".

    Nice of Google to offer to do this for me, though, especially late at night when I'm tossing and turning.

  10. GrahamT

    We must be told...

    "Sarah, Hideous, and Bent are less likely to be conjured from the painful past "

    Does Austin know something about our Moderatrix that we haven't BEEn told? Or, is "painful past" actually a loyal gimps compliment?

  11. Ken Hagan Gold badge

    37 divided by 19

    Might be quite challenging to fit an exact answer into the available space.

  12. Andy Shaw

    Email? Pah

    A proper drunkard types his late-night laments on IRC. And nobody understands them.

    To wit:

    <^RaK^> argh

    <^RaK^> athiue giy who lkills em all?

    <^RaK^> fgtmop the insiden and wqsway

    <^RaK^> tsrust my self with you

    <Turkey> WHAT?

  13. Anonymous Coward

    Isn't Austin Modine ...

    ... based in the US? Trying to write in (what looks like) English style without the upbringing can be fraught with danger. I agree there's a few terms there that don't look to be fully grasped by the author, or, he may indeed have been under the influence.

    Then again, I can't complain - there's been a few comments of mine written under the influence of "hopee goodness" ...

    Boffins - 'coz it's easy to confuse beer goggles with boffin goggles when you're pissed.

  14. yeah, right.


    So it's not a test of drunkeness so much as a test of arithmetic ability. Why the fuck do they think I started using computers in the first place? Tossers.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I'm not sure El Reg...

    ...should really be recommending the stopping of drunken, pathetic or stupid messaging.

    After all, it would be the end of the Comments section as we know it.


  16. arran

    when will this

    become available as an add on for exchanges and black berry servers.... just wondering... cos'....

    I mean, its not like i spend all night in the pub p*ssed and drunk emailing clients or anything....


  17. Steven Raith

    Can they open source it please?

    So I can pay a proper geek to write it as a text input parser on all applications to stop me emailing drunken hate mail, and posting utter toss here, and on other forums etc, when I have had one more beer than is strictly necessary? Likewise with text messages. And speaking - we could get Captain Cyborg involved.

    Quite literally a case of 'engage brain before opening mouth'.

    That would save me so much trouble on Saturday, Sunday and Monday mornings....

    Actually, this is probably one of the *better* ideas to come out of Web 2.0 - at least it's potentially useful, eh?

    Steven R

  18. andy

    Default settings

    The default setting of it stopping working at 4am will need changing for most people in the UK, as this is about the time I normally come home on a Saturday/Sunday morning. I'd say it needs to work until at least lunchtime the following day.

    Great idea though. Would certainly stop a few people getting into trouble.

  19. Adam

    A great idea with room for expansion...

    Google should install a breathalyser into their andriod phones next to prevent texting in much the same way.

  20. Chris Judd

    @Ken Hagan

    Check again, it's 37 + 19 methinks

  21. Chris Campbell
    Thumb Up

    FF addon

    We need this as a Firefox addon that prompts you on form submit, would cirtainly have helped me in the past!

  22. Sooty

    nevermind mail

    i wish there was something similar to prevent drunken internet purchases.

    you wouldn't believe the weird things i have bought myself before without knowing it. usually i geta delivery of something strange and then have to think back to when i've ordered it.

  23. Andus McCoatover

    69 - 38 -huh?

    Well, I know what "69" is (don't we all, snick, snick) but does "38" represent lying next to a fat bird, after a night with the beer goggles while sporting a Large Hadron?

    OK. Gorrit already.

  24. Scott
    Paris Hilton


    As i only right forum post that make sense when i'm drunk can this be revese engineered so its stops me writing on the interweb when i'm not drunk?

    now wheres that half finished bottle of vodka i got an e-mail to write to my local MP about me owning a bank.

  25. Andus McCoatover

    @@Michael Xion

    Erm, Xion doesn't exactly sound like a UK surname. Unlike "Angus McCoatup, Mahatma Kote, or Muhammed Mustavadump." So, be kind to that damn bloody foreigner, will'ya? Shi*te.


  26. Mark

    Far reaching effects...

    I hope this fails, quickly, and hard. Imagine what this could do, if it were to catch on. Not only would we lose most of the comments, we'd lose almost all Friday articles on The Reg, and probably half of the rest!

  27. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

    Re: 69 - 38 -huh?

    How I wish they'd do something equivalent for website comments.

    "You're an idiot. Are you sure you want to broadcast this to the internet? Answer these simple questions to verify."

    Followed by basic enquiries as to how much Jeremy Kyle you watch and whether you know your 'your' from your 'you're'. Might cut down the field a bit. We long for the day.

  28. Andus McCoatover


    (The 'offending' mail hasn't appeared yet, but---)

    No, I'm not an idiot. Mensa member for 30- odd years. IQ 179.

    Watch NO jeremy whatsisface, 'cos we don't get it (receive or underststand) here in Oulu. Get Emmerdale and similar 'downware', like "Heartbeat".

    Oulu? No, it's not a village in Hawaii. It's in Finland. Cupid Stunt (not at you, Sara)

    Oh, yes, The poster is obviously a "kusipää" = Pis*h-ead.

    Doesn't know his ars'se from his elbo'w. And can't spel, ether. Nor punctuate. Greengrocer's appostrophe's, anyone

    Think (s)he didn't like the Mohatma or Muhammed reference.

    -Happy days! ;-)

  29. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)


    Well, yes.

    I'm sure you're not an idiot, but I am still duty bound to point out that a) there are many kinds of idiot, including an awful lot of ostensibly clever ones, and b) please restore my H in future or I shall be obliged to address you as 'Angus'.

  30. KenBW2

    @Sarah Bee

    +1 for "basic enquiries as to [...] whether you know your 'your' from your 'you're'."

  31. Vladimir Plouzhnikov

    Four times four equals...


    in base 4 - I'm fine!

  32. Andus McCoatover


    <<"please restore my H in future or I shall be obliged to address you as 'Angus'.">>

    So, it's no longer "Andus McCoatover" but "Angus McCoatup". Couldn't resist. Nah...

    'Shore fing. (Shorely shome mishtake </Sean Connery>)

    By the way, at the bottom of the page, here's the missing "H". Sorry 'bout that. Muvver said I always drop my 's (Damn, done it again! it's below.)


    Here's also the missing "N" from the command "umount". Can you pop it in an envelope, and send it back to AT&T labs? Ta muchly. They've been missing it since before the PFY was a nipper.

    H N

  33. Peyton

    ahhh, good old mensa...

    Spanish for "dumb"

  34. Andus McCoatover


    Thought the Spanish for "Dumb" was "bobo", and the English for the Spanish word "mensa" was "message" as in "dejar un recado or mensaje a or para alguien" - leave a message for someone.

    Obviously, I'm both. Or, one of us is.

  35. Peter

    Flaw in their plans

    Think I'm not going to get any emails sent anymore.... can't do the maths sober, let alone "tired and emotional" .

    That's a modern British Secondary education for you.

  36. mittfh


    So the Spanish for Dumb is "bobo" - are you sure the first o isn't an e?

    Just wondering, as in my attempt at IT teaching a couple of years ago, the pupils spent a great deal of time and energy trying to find anonymous proxy servers so they could use a certain website that was blocked in school, but they found more interesting than spreadsheets and databases themed around "Five a Day"...

    ...Can't imagine why, I've always found spreadsheets and databases highly entertaining...

    (You're looking at a guy who inputs his car mileage and fill-up details on a spreadsheet to track fuel economy / fuel prices)

    (And who has created a Sudoku helper Excel...without macros...)

  37. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    Could lead to deeper doo-doo

    So you're off your face and manage to get through the basic math and send innapropriate love/hate letters involving an egg whisk, a beach ball and a hosepipe.

    The receiver KNOWS you weren't kidding since you passed the goggle-test and were therefore sober and in your right mind when you sent it.

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