A new high, or low, at Gmail

     Yes of course they read your letters while you type them. We knew this.
Write ‘How now, brown cow?’ and you get ads for ‘Artificial Inseminators Near You! even before you hit ‘Send.’
But now it just got better. Or worse? Yes, I’m taking a ‘poll’. (Cue illiterate ‘poll-dancer’s‘ ads. Uh-huh, with the extraneous apostrophe. GIGO, as they say.)

See, I just wrote a short note to my friend/rental supervisor, and mentioned that I was ‘sending him a file.’
I hit ‘Send’ having blithely forgotten to attach the thing. And Google came creepily to my Rescue with this pop-up, a new one for me at least. Take a look:

The Reader needs to know that I routinely forget to attach the file I’ve just talked about. Half of my out-going messages start: ‘Oops, forgot to send the file, duh. But now, luckily, it shall never happen again. Neither will my cattle go un-bred, nor my poles be unadorned by topless dancers with bottomless whatevahs. Thanks, Google.

So you’re probably already asking “What’s next?”
Well yes, I do have a few more that I’ve heard are ready to be launched as we speak…

1) Let’s say you write: “I’ll tell you the story about my Mom and her new  gay Armenian lover in a second, but first:  Hasn’t it been warm lately, blah blah blah…?” Then try to send that without spilling all the gory details to your BFF. You’ll get THIS:

2) You begin a letter:
‘Dear PP&L, my trusted, caring partner serving my residential electricity needs for over 70 years:
Go fuck yourselves, and stick your incomprehensible on-line statements back up your ass where they came from!’

You can try to hit Send, but Google is there on duty. This pop-up reminds you not to send mixed messages, I guess:

3) And finally, as @blonde_apocalypse found out, (or will, after Xanga starts with the ‘smarter than y’all’ snooping over the shoulder), don’t expect to write THIS, without consequences:
“So anyway, I bought a book in the airport at Tel Aviv before a flight to the States. Three years later(!) when we finally landed, I’d finished the dumb thing seven times, the guy in the next seat had grown a beard, and my little daughter, born somewhere over Cyprus, was entertaining the passengers with Shirley Temple imitations.”
Google, partnered with Xanga, to the rescue:

There ya go. Brave New World, isn’t it.

Oops, forgot to add the pix. Thanks Goo-goo.

WU: So that’s what it was. I thought it was a virus, got a blizard of pop-ups!
Me: Whadya write, Wu?
WU: I wuz breaking up with my girl. Typed:  “My dear loving sweetheart! I’m attaching a picture of our cute little pussy-cat, but first I wanna tell you an amazing story about what happened this morning on the bus. Well, under the bus. You probably wouldn’t get the joke. In fact, now that I think of it, I’m pretty damn sick of you and your dumb-ass cat. I been feeding the thing for like, 150 years and do you ever thank me? I hate you, tell the truth. P.S: your cat is dead.”
Me: Yeah, you hit em all there, buddy. Sorry about that. At least you got the
dating-site ads now, right on the page.


34 thoughts on “A new high, or low, at Gmail

  1. we_deny_everything

    I see ads for Proactiv Acne Treatment, IMVU dolls, and Rhapsody Music. How did google connect them to “Cursorhead Dystopia?” When I displayed my “photovoltaic dreams,” google offered me Generators and Appliance Warrantees. This is goddamn creepy to say the least.

  2. dirtbubble

    Just wait until they crack the algorithms for telepathy and precognition. You’ll open up gmail and find drafts of emails you intended to write and uncannily targeted ads for all manner of things you don’t even realize you need yet. Everything will finally truly be just one click away. Don’t think about it, just buy with confidence.

  3. HappierHeathen

    The GooGod can kiss my hairy white heathen ass, but only after I’ve been dead 90 days. Until then my ass is too good for them. Not that I have any strong feelings on the matter.

  4. Roadkill_Spatula

    The other night I commented that I was going to go drink a six-pack, and when I got back to the computer sometime later, there was a message that said, “You wrote ‘drink a six-pack’ in the body of your message, but the number of flushes registered from your house reflects consumption considerably lower than that. Send anyway?”The worst was when I dreamed about fighting in WWII. In the morning when I went to check e-mail, the ads were all for vintage weaponry and D-Day history books.

  5. Lovegrove

    Me got Google butt know such advices cumming thru da aether. Maybee eye prezzed a rong buton sumware.Don’t be concerned,mon ami. Google Butt is not contagious.

  6. jsolberg

    @we_deny_everything – Simple; ‘cursorhead = blackhead, and topia cues Todd Rundgren’s Utopia. I’d put money on it. What hit me here was the direct quote from a sentence I’d typed just a second ago and intended to have been private. I can see why folks opt-out.

  7. jsolberg

    @Roadkill_Spatula – Wow, I count on you, Tim, to out-do my exact point tot a ‘T’. You got it, and as often happens, wish I’d chatted with you on the phone before I hit submit. The post would have had one more killer ‘faux’ pop-up example.

  8. jsolberg

    @elgan – Yes, El. I left you in the dark until I understood the full horror. My emails to you evoke ads for ‘Elegant Fashions for the Limited Budget’, along with ‘Elevated public-transit systems contractors.’

  9. scifiknitter

    Actually a reminder like that would be handy at times. Email in general is so leaky, there’s an increasingly long list of information we are not allowed to use it for at work. I’ve given up on the concept of digital privacy. No such beast no more. No state secrets here, though, except the ones I don’t write down.

  10. jsolberg

    @sometimestheycomebackanyway – Well, the first example is real, the other three are hypothetical spoofs, so far, but not far off. I think I’m just curious and alert, and so see the horror where it might go past others un-noticed. But my case is in no way unique. I hope not, ha

  11. jsolberg

    @scifiknitter – Yes, ‘leaky’ is a perfect word. Like pouring milk into a cracked cereal bowl, seeing half of it run onto the table-cloth, and then a man comes to the door selling new dishes 5 minutes later. He heard about it from a friend of a friend, he says.Thanks for the scary picture, my friend:)

  12. blonde_apocalypse

    I also spent a year in the denver aiport one night, froze my ass off and purloined a plastic trash bag off of a cleaning cart to serve as a sleeping bag/heat preserver. I defy the machine to prove otherwise.

  13. jsolberg

    @blonde_apocalypse – Hahaha! yes, your experience, remembered very well thank you in a 2-kilo cranium-housed meat-based processor created on a sunny day by God above trumps server-farm drones in quonset-huts. So glad you took my little joke here in good humor. I myself have spent weeks in Athens, Rome, and Larnaca waiting for service.

  14. jsolberg

    @miss_order – Hmm. We shall see who is brilliant: your current ‘serious’ piece on a real issue is nothing less than a triumph of clarity. About cried reading it, just to know that see someone with her head so resolutely above the muddy waters.


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