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Gmail Adds 5 Second Send Rule

CmdrTaco posted more than 5 years ago | from the still-good-still-good dept.

Communications 281

theatrecade was one of a few folks to note that Google Labs has added the five-second rule to email. Once upon a time this rule only applied to delicious foodstuffs dropped on the floor, but at long last you can change your mind on that email to your boss or ex. We shall see peace in our lifetimes.

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This may be the (1)

Theoboley (1226542) | more than 5 years ago | (#27340987)

Best thing ever, Or you could type up that nasty email in notepad, and keep it forever to review when you feel like giving the ultimate F*ck you to you boss or whoever.

That makes no sense (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27340989)

This sounds inherently stupid. How many people send an e-mail, just to think: "oh no!" 2 - 4 seconds later.

Re:That makes no sense (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27341067)

I suffer from decision anxiety you insensitive clod!

Re:That makes no sense (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27341339)

Are you sure?

Re:That makes no sense (4, Funny)

sakdoctor (1087155) | more than 5 years ago | (#27341621)

There is no such condition as "decision anxiety".

You must choose either Cognitive dissonance [wikipedia.org] OR Multipotentiality [wikipedia.org]

Re:That makes no sense (5, Funny)

telchine (719345) | more than 5 years ago | (#27341107)

I used to work for a company where The Managing Director frequently used to send (usually offensive) emails to the wrong people by accident. His usual error was to insult someone behind their back and accidentally include them in the cc field!

Whenever this happened, he used to come hurtling down the stairs and rip out the Ethernet cable from the mail server in an attempt to stop the mail going out!

At first I thought he was trying to outrun the electron charge as it traversed through the network cabling, but it turns out that at some point in the past, someone had reconfigured the mail server to delay all mail by 30 seconds, just so he had time to rip out the Ethernet cable in an emergency!

Re:That makes no sense (5, Funny)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 5 years ago | (#27341355)

Whenever this happened, he used to come hurtling down the stairs and rip out the Ethernet cable from the mail server in an attempt to stop the mail going out!

At first I thought he was trying to outrun the electron charge as it traversed through the network cabling, but it turns out that at some point in the past, someone had reconfigured the mail server to delay all mail by 30 seconds, just so he had time to rip out the Ethernet cable in an emergency!

It occurs to me that if you laid the Ethernet cable for the mail server across those stairs you could allow him to accomplish his goal of preventing the mail from going out while providing endless amounts of humor for the rest of the office ;)

Re:That makes no sense (5, Interesting)

discord5 (798235) | more than 5 years ago | (#27341557)

That reminds me of a company I used to work for. A woman there, usually very kind and agreeable, was fed up with one of her contacts feeding her a lot of excuses why he wasn't able to make a deadline for the 3rd time. She thought she forwarded a nice e-mail to her manager containing some very choice words expressing her opinion that matter.

Oh how quickly that send button was smashed without carefully verifying who was in the To field, only to discover that instead of forward she had pressed reply to all. When the deed was done and the mailserver had delivered her incredibly inflammatory experiment in vocabulary she stood at my desk nearly in tears asking me if I could stop her mail from reaching its destination.

Alas, it had reached its destination, and there was nothing to do but push the "retract message" button in Outlook, which is about as useful as the mail that usually precedes it.

Surprisingly though, that person never missed a deadline again.

Re:That makes no sense (4, Insightful)

eln (21727) | more than 5 years ago | (#27341279)

It happens more often than you think. I've had plenty of times when I've clicked send and almost instantaneously realized I had a mistake in the email. This will save me from having to immediately reply to my own email to make that correction, thus looking like a fool (I have plenty of other ways to make myself look like a fool, thank you very much).

Now, if they could just add a feature that held any emails sent after 2am for 12 hours, aka the "sober up first" rule, thus preventing me from waking up after a bender thinking, "oh crap, did I really send that email confessing my true feelings to that girl I had a crush on in high school but hadn't talked to in 15 years?", life would be just great.

Re:That makes no sense (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27341401)

You mean Mail Goggles [blogspot.com] ?

Re:That makes no sense (4, Funny)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 5 years ago | (#27341411)

did I really send that email confessing my true feelings to that girl I had a crush on in high school but hadn't talked to in 15 years?"

Yes, you did. Now cut it out before I get a restraining order ;)

Re:That makes no sense (1)

Kozz (7764) | more than 5 years ago | (#27341467)

Now, if they could just add a feature that held any emails sent after 2am for 12 hours, aka the "sober up first" rule, thus preventing me from waking up after a bender thinking, "oh crap, did I really send that email confessing my true feelings to that girl I had a crush on in high school but hadn't talked to in 15 years?", life would be just great.

I thought Slashdot already had an article on this feature. It's called Mail Goggles [blogspot.com] . It won't stop you from sending the email, but it may slow you down.

Re:That makes no sense (4, Funny)

eln (21727) | more than 5 years ago | (#27341539)

I thought Slashdot already had an article on this feature. It's called Mail Goggles [blogspot.com] . It won't stop you from sending the email, but it may slow you down.

Unfortunately, I have a Masters Degree in Drunken Calculus, so that feature won't help me :(

Re:That makes no sense (2, Funny)

jebrew (1101907) | more than 5 years ago | (#27341881)

Drunken Calculus...wasn't that a Jackie Chan movie?

Re:That makes no sense (1)

Malevolyn (776946) | more than 5 years ago | (#27341595)

Mail Goggles tries to prevent drunken emailing. This feature delays mail from sending for five seconds.

Re:That makes no sense (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27341541)

What is this "girl" you speak of?

Re:That makes no sense (3, Funny)

digitalunity (19107) | more than 5 years ago | (#27341559)

My old mail server was setup to queue mail from 9 PM to 8 AM. This was to prevent me from emailing after drinking at the bar.

Re:That makes no sense (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27341811)

I'd be willing to install some sort of breathalyzer interlock device on my computer. Over 0.10, it won't send. A lower threshold would be used for emails to my ex-wife and boss.

Re:That makes no sense (1)

222 (551054) | more than 5 years ago | (#27341711)

In my experience, you're better off confessing. Even if it never amounts to anything, who wants to keep something like that bottled up inside?

It sounds like you need to drink more than you need an improved email system :- P

Re:That makes no sense (1)

Professor_UNIX (867045) | more than 5 years ago | (#27341725)

Measure twice, cut once. Seriously now, don't send stuff out you're not prepared to send! Maybe instead of a 5 second send rule they should just add an annoying "Are you SURE you want to send this message?" verification box. 5 seconds isn't enough to doublecheck a message... they should maybe let you queue it up for 5 minutes which would be more useful.

Re:That makes no sense (3, Interesting)

Tiger4 (840741) | more than 5 years ago | (#27341727)

We use Outlook/Exchange. It had a message recall button, but the function wasn't enabled. Which meant about once a week you could see a message with a followup THAT ASKED THE READER if the previous message could be recalled. Even if you said yes (after reading the mistaken message of course) the bad message did not disappear.

This worked great a flag for screwed up mail to be read first. Thanks Microsoft!

Re:That makes no sense (1)

xaxa (988988) | more than 5 years ago | (#27341897)

Now, if they could just add a feature that held any emails sent after 2am for 12 hours, aka the "sober up first" rule, thus preventing me from waking up after a bender thinking, "oh crap, did I really send that email confessing my true feelings to that girl I had a crush on in high school but hadn't talked to in 15 years?", life would be just great.

Just don't turn the PC on when you get home at 3am. Once I worked that one out, I had much better mornings after -- mostly because I'd not spent an hour (or more) messing about on the web after returning home late, and was asleep by 3.15 rather than 4.45.

Re:That makes no sense (2, Funny)

Hordeking (1237940) | more than 5 years ago | (#27341387)

This sounds inherently stupid. How many people send an e-mail, just to think: "oh no!" 2 - 4 seconds later.

A lot. I've had this happen. It happens no /. to.

Re:That makes no sense (4, Funny)

Malevolyn (776946) | more than 5 years ago | (#27341569)

A lot. I've had this happen. It happens no /. to.

Like the times when one typos a two letter word.

Re:That makes no sense (1)

kestasjk (933987) | more than 5 years ago | (#27341403)

I get that.. And I remember a lot more errors in posts before the mandatory /. Preview button

Re:That makes no sense (2, Funny)

houghi (78078) | more than 5 years ago | (#27341967)

waht button/?

Re:That makes no sense (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27341517)

This sounds inherently stupid. How many people send an e-mail, just to think: "oh no!" 2 - 4 seconds later.

You have fallen victim to marketing hype.

What this "feature" does is place your sendmail into a pending outbound que, which has limited size. Thus, its primary effect is to restrict your ability to spam/flood email out of the gmail servers.

The 'undo send' option is just for show.

Re:That makes no sense (1)

YttriumOxide (837412) | more than 5 years ago | (#27341889)

If it were mandatory, that may be the case... but as it's optional, it wouldn't really be so effective at what you're suggesting.

Re:That makes no sense (1)

Big Hairy Ian (1155547) | more than 5 years ago | (#27341553)

I think their Gmail Goggles option that makes you do maths before sending an Email is a better idea as not only does it make sure you are compos mentis but also it's slightly educational (or at least keeps the grey matter on it's toes)

Re:That makes no sense (2, Insightful)

loutr (626763) | more than 5 years ago | (#27341951)

How many people send an e-mail, just to think: "oh no!" 2 - 4 seconds later.

Sometimes when I want to type an "A" I end up hitting TAB (french keyboard). If I'm at the end of a word, and I'm not paying attention to what's on screen, I'll hit space while the focus is on the "Send" button, and the email will be sent.

You don't get sober in 5 seconds! (4, Funny)

sohmc (595388) | more than 5 years ago | (#27340991)

I understand the rationale on this but the hold time needs to be much longer...like 12 hours for it to be effective.

Or it should be combined with the beer goggles add-on.

Either way, this won't stop my ex-girlfriend from drunk-calling me...

Re:You don't get sober in 5 seconds! (5, Funny)

noundi (1044080) | more than 5 years ago | (#27341103)

12 hours? That seems a bit rough. The whole point is to maintain the perks of emailing, such as speed.

But you're right, this won't stop your ex-girlfriend from drunk-calling me either...

Re:You don't get sober in 5 seconds! (1)

Kelbear (870538) | more than 5 years ago | (#27341205)

This would still be handy, there's been plenty of occasions where I've fired off an e-mail and after the window closes I still have the after-image of the text fresh in my mind...and that's when I see the typo/missing attachment.

I even send a correction less than a minute later, but when I hit send/receive and the message goes out, I simultaneously get an e-mail back pointing out my mistake.

Re:You don't get sober in 5 seconds! (1)

mea37 (1201159) | more than 5 years ago | (#27341693)

Right, I'm pretty sure that's what this feature is for -- correcting the mistakes you inevitably notice just as you hit Send. (Of course, a little discipline about doing a final proof-read would have nearly the same effect.)

In particular if you hit Reply to All when you mean Reply, this is meant to let you recover; I don't guess any amount of proof-reading would help with that.

I think TFS misses the point when it talks about "changing your mind" in that 5-second window. YMMV.

Re:You don't get sober in 5 seconds! (1)

JustinKSU (517405) | more than 5 years ago | (#27342013)

Does anyone know if you close the browser if the message still sends? In other words, is it a client-side wait, or a server-side wait for an AJAX cancel message?

Re:You don't get sober in 5 seconds! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27341603)

"Mail Goggles" by Jon P is available in Google Labs features in GMail. Gives you math problems to solve of your chosen difficulty during your chosen schedule.

If you mean beer goggles literally, images in the e-mails aren't shown unless you click the link to show images anyways.
That would be an interesting idea though, to have some kind of image filter to superimpose a brown bag over the head in images.

Even so, what does that have to do with your ex-gf calling you, wouldn't beer goggles make you more enticing in your pictures?
The brown bag over your head wouldn't help either, making it seem as if you may have more than you actually have.

Re:You don't get sober in 5 seconds! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27341915)

There is a GMail feature for this, "Mail Goggles":

Google strives to make the world's information useful. Mail you send late night on the weekends may be useful but you may regret it the next morning. Solve some simple math problems and you're good to go. Otherwise, get a good night's sleep and try again in the morning. After enabling this feature, you can adjust the schedule in the "General" settings page.

My Idea (5, Interesting)

potpie (706881) | more than 5 years ago | (#27340999)

My idea for preventing the submission of blank e-mails or e-mails lacking that attachment you were going to remember:

put the recipient address field below the message field

would that be helpful for anyone besides me? y/n

Re:My Idea (1)

home-electro.com (1284676) | more than 5 years ago | (#27341155)

what's a point? I never type in the email address, I always seem to do REPLY-TO

Re:My Idea (1)

Theoboley (1226542) | more than 5 years ago | (#27341193)

That's not a terrible idea. There have been a number of times that I've sent an email with the body of text saying "here's the report you asked for" and forgot to attach it. which made me feel like an idiot.

Re:My Idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27341331)

Idiot!!

Re:My Idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27341365)

Shit, Slashdot doesn't have a five-second rule!

Re:My Idea (5, Informative)

Knuckles (8964) | more than 5 years ago | (#27341427)

That's not a terrible idea. There have been a number of times that I've sent an email with the body of text saying "here's the report you asked for" and forgot to attach it. which made me feel like an idiot.

Gnome's Evolution optionally warns you if your email contains words like "attachment" (it also seems to apply other heuristics), but no attached file exists. Works surprisingly well.

Re:My Idea (1)

AvitarX (172628) | more than 5 years ago | (#27341657)

So does gmail,

but it hasn't helped me a single time yet.

as the GP's message is generally how mine would go.

Re:My Idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27341905)

Email clients have been doing that for many years, not just the abysmal Evo.

Re:My Idea (4, Informative)

growse (928427) | more than 5 years ago | (#27341459)

There's a Gmail labs plugin that alerts you if you write the word 'attach' in the email and then don't attach anything. Useful.

Re:My Idea (1)

Red Flayer (890720) | more than 5 years ago | (#27341765)

There's a Gmail labs plugin that alerts you if you write the word 'attach' in the email and then don't attach anything useful.

Fixed that for me.

Unrelated I know, but is anyone else currently experiencing problems with Gmail? I can't seem to send any mail.

Re:My Idea (2, Informative)

xaxa (988988) | more than 5 years ago | (#27341919)

Some mail clients (well, KMail) scans the message body for words like "attached". If it finds one, and there's no attachment, it pops up a warning like "Did you mean to add an attachment?". Excellent feature, it's just a shame it's so slow to use IMAP with GMail.

Re:My Idea (4, Insightful)

dfm3 (830843) | more than 5 years ago | (#27341421)

It could be handy for those times when you _accidentally_ hit the send button instead of some other UI button, as has happened to me before.

Thunderbird for one places the address book button right next to the send button (at least on my system) and I've never bothered to change it. Same thing with the dropdown box that lets you choose which address you want to send your email from, which has caused me to send at least one blank email from my personal address to a colleague.

Re:My Idea (1)

Timmmm (636430) | more than 5 years ago | (#27341481)

KMail and gmail have missing attachment detectors.

"One of the few" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27341003)

"one of a few folks to note"

You mean, along with everyone who read it on The Register last friday.

5 seconds isn't long enough (3, Insightful)

rolfwind (528248) | more than 5 years ago | (#27341007)

Some people can barely react in that time. Although I can appreciate that a pop-up should not last longer, would a settable delay of 1-10 minutes really kill the medium? Perhaps with a "Send now" option on pending emails for urgent communication.

Re:5 seconds isn't long enough (4, Funny)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 5 years ago | (#27341317)

Some people can barely react in that time

Yeah, but most of the people who can't react in <5 seconds are on the roadways in Florida, not behind a computer screen ;)

One Minute Rule (2, Informative)

SterlingSylver (1122973) | more than 5 years ago | (#27341633)

I personally added a "Delay Sending by One Minute" rule into Outlook at work. It saves me a lot of embarassment when I hit send without adding my attachments (happens a lot). I wouldn't mind a similar gmail holding pen.

Re:5 seconds isn't long enough (1)

patro (104336) | more than 5 years ago | (#27341785)

I wonder if there is some technical limitation, so they set this 5 second limit.

Storing the pending mail on the client side with Javascript would explain it. The mail can be delayed for 5 seconds safely there before sending. It's not likely anything bad happens in that particular 5 seconds.

If the mail does get to the server side then it is not clear why they used only a 5 second delay which is far too short. It could be a killer feature with a delay of, say, 5 minutes.

Mail Goggles (2, Interesting)

modestgeek (1449921) | more than 5 years ago | (#27341015)

They've also had a Mail Goggles feature for a while. It makes you do some simple math problem to determine if you're sober enough to send the email. This might be useful for those who drunk mail now instead of drunk dial. http://gmailblog.blogspot.com/2008/10/new-in-labs-stop-sending-mail-you-later.html [blogspot.com]

Re:Mail Goggles (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27341111)

Google Goggles?

Re:Mail Goggles (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27341377)

They do nothing!

Re:Mail Goggles (1)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 5 years ago | (#27341815)

What if you're not bright enough to do the simple math problem?

Good Idea, but (1)

olddotter (638430) | more than 5 years ago | (#27341019)

Thats a good idea, but is 5 seconds really long enough to go "DOH!"?

Re:Good Idea, but (1)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 5 years ago | (#27341123)

If we use that clip where Homer says "D'oh!" a lot of times, 5 seconds is enough for approximately 12 "D'oh!"'s.

Re:Good Idea, but (5, Funny)

Mushdot (943219) | more than 5 years ago | (#27341139)

No, but it's certainly enough time to stop the mail and add another 'FUCK YOU' to the end.

ooh baby... (5, Funny)

Red Flayer (890720) | more than 5 years ago | (#27341027)

a/s/l?

I want you to tweak my nipples with a grapefruit spoon.

Ooh baby... (5, Funny)

Red Flayer (890720) | more than 5 years ago | (#27341071)

Oops, wrong channel.

Dammit. When is slashdot going to implement the five second rule?

Re:Ooh baby... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27341267)

by Red Flayer (890720) on Thursday March 26, @09:33AM (#27341027) Journal

by Red Flayer (890720) on Thursday March 26, @09:35AM (#27341071) Journal

Sorry sis, you're in trouble regardless.

Re:Ooh baby... (1)

Red Flayer (890720) | more than 5 years ago | (#27341499)

Sorry sis, you're in trouble regardless.

Sis? I'm a man, baby.

And even if I was a girl, I'd actually be a 40-year-old man.

FYI the 2 minute delays was the "slow down cowboy" period for posting a successive message.

Re:Ooh baby... (1)

discord5 (798235) | more than 5 years ago | (#27341667)

FYI the 2 minute delays was the "slow down cowboy" period for posting a successive message.

For some reason "Slow down cowboy" were the exact words in my mind when I read the part of your initial message going:

I want you to tweak my nipples with a grapefruit spoon.

Re:Ooh baby... (1)

British (51765) | more than 5 years ago | (#27342039)

FYI the 2 minute delays was the "slow down cowboy" period for posting a successive message.

And it was easily the stupidest feature of the slashcode ever incorporated. For legit users(ie non-trolls) it punished fast readers & fast typists. I utterly despised that feature. It's like a reverse dead man switch(which dead man switches are all over the place on the web).

Re:ooh baby... (1)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 5 years ago | (#27341323)

I hope you realize that you are going to get a -1 troll or a +5 funny. There will be no middle ground with your comment ;)

Omega13 (1)

TaoPhoenix (980487) | more than 5 years ago | (#27341031)

{Galaxy Quest}
(Paraphrased)
"What's the Omega 13?"
"Opinions vary. Some think it's a doomsday device. But I think it rolls back time."
"What do you mean?"
"13 seconds is enough time to fix one costly mistake"

{/Galaxy Guest}

5 seconds is enough (4, Informative)

pzs (857406) | more than 5 years ago | (#27341087)

I use Thunderbird, which has an "are you sure you want to send?" confirmation by default. Since I use the ctrl-return hot key to send, I usually just blast through this message so at one stage, I switched it off.

However, I found that in the half second between pressing ctrl-return and return to confirm, my brain was actually doing some checking to make sure I should send that message.

I sent a reply to a whole message board asking for more information about a job - not a disaster, but not what I had intended. I realised almost as soon as I had hit the button, but I'd switched off the confirmation by this point. I rapidly switched it back on. Since then, I've noticed quite a few occasions on which I've hit ctrl-return and then realised I should tweak my message in some way before I send it.

In conclusion: 5 seconds may not seem like a lot, but it could make all the difference.

Try changing habits instead (4, Insightful)

Mascot (120795) | more than 5 years ago | (#27341407)

Another solution is to always sit back and read through the entire message (and recipient list) before hitting send.

I mean that quite literally. Remove hands from keyboard, sit back and just read.

That habit has saved me a lot of trouble in the past.

Re:Try changing habits instead (1)

pzs (857406) | more than 5 years ago | (#27341721)

I suppose so. Still, like many people I send a lot of Emails. I have to weigh the time it takes me to be quite this careful against the damage that the one-bad-one-in-a-hundred does to me.

Re:Try changing habits instead (1)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 5 years ago | (#27341935)

In addition, I'd also say that if you're the type to write impulsive hatemail flames (like I did last night in my journal ;), you could try something I used to do: the 1 hour rule.

Go ahead, type your message, but do not click send, instead save it as a draft. After 1 hour (hopefully you've calmed down by then ;), you decide if you still want to send it as is or not. If you do, go into the drafts folder and send it, otherwise delete or tweak the message.

Unfortunately, Slashdot does not have a drafts folder. :(

5 seconds won't be enough (1)

MikeRT (947531) | more than 5 years ago | (#27341095)

Generally, if you are stupid enough to send a flaming email to your boss without a serious desire to quit that predates your immediate rage, 5 seconds won't be enough. For every boss that is so bad they'd make a saint froth at the mouth like someone with Tourrette's, there are 20 cases where the employee who does that is just being an immature douchebag. For those people, 5 seconds won't be anywhere near enough time to come to the realization that they just shot their employment in the back of the head, and personally, I say good riddance in this economy. My wife works for a real fiend, and even she is still glad that she has her job.

Re:5 seconds won't be enough (4, Informative)

Red Flayer (890720) | more than 5 years ago | (#27341167)

There are other reasons why you'd want to recall a message sent to your boss.

Say, you forgot to attach the required document. Or you realized you made a typo in dollar amount. Or you forgot to copy someone important on the message (and because of CYA or whatever, your boss needs to see that you cc:ed the person).

At least once a month I send an email I wish I could recall, because I would have liked to have made a small change... and instead I end up sending a followup email, which is just unwieldy and annoying.

Biology... (1)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 5 years ago | (#27341105)

How long does it take an Adrenaline to come down on your system. Enough to stop the fight or flight instinct. That mean time should be the proper period plus some response time.

Great (1)

CSHARP123 (904951) | more than 5 years ago | (#27341189)

I think this is a great feature. It has happened to me lots of time. Forget to add an attachment or forget to add an other statement or something and you remember about that as soon as you sent it This way it helps quite a lot of folks like me. But 5 seconds is a shot time I hope they up it to 10 seconds to give slow responders like me to turn around and stop the damn send.

Re:Great (2, Informative)

IAmGarethAdams (990037) | more than 5 years ago | (#27341511)

The setting in question can be changed to 0, 5 or 10 seconds, but defaults to 5 if you turn the feature on. See your Labs area in GMail for more details

I could use that (1)

v1 (525388) | more than 5 years ago | (#27341225)

I know more than once I've fired off an email (or made a post in say...a forum somewhere, ahem...) and twitched a second later saying NO thats NOT what I meant to do!

For example, 30 seconds ago I accidentally modded a comment here Offtopic when I intended to mod it Insightful. So here I am doing the next best thing to Undo... posting to undo my errant moderation. Guess slashdot could use some Undo too eh? Too bad there's no similar trick for email.

Re:I could use that (1)

jfim (1167051) | more than 5 years ago | (#27341493)

If you use Outlook and Exchange, there is a message recall feature [microsoft.com] . Of course, for those who don't, we just get an annoying two line email saying "Foo would like to recall message blah". Even funnier is that in French, the word they use for recall can mean either of recall or highlight/remind.

It took me a while to understand why some senders always wanted to remind me of some silly email.

Remember AOL? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27341287)

On AOL, you could un-send mail after any amount of time as long as:

the recipient was also an eol user.
they hadn't yet opened the email.

Saved my butt more than a few times.

This isn't new? (1)

CHatRPI (627527) | more than 5 years ago | (#27341293)

Didn't AOL have a feature like this a while back? Not that I ever used AOL *cough*

Oops... sorry, you fail. (2, Informative)

nwanua (70972) | more than 5 years ago | (#27341299)

A popup. How lame, lazy, and dangerous: (I realize it's an optional setting)

- First, it's NOT undo... this is a delay tactic. A real undo would have the system hold the mail in your "outbox" for a user customizable time, from where you can snatch it, but only when you need to.

- Second, you now have to wait, EVERY time you send an email. Because "email regret" happens only now and then, it's likely to get turned off. Back to square one.

- Third, if there ever was a "Send now" button, you'll get so customized to pressing it, that you're again back to square one.

I appreciate the effort, but this gets an F. Please, head back to the labs, make something really sensible (i.e. not lame), and try again.

RFC (1)

bickerdyke (670000) | more than 5 years ago | (#27341363)

why not promote that Outlook-"Please dear mailserver, delete my last email"-Follow-Up (don't know how it's called there) to a real RFC?

Someone predicted this (1)

Slashidiot (1179447) | more than 5 years ago | (#27341389)

A spanish blog I read blogged [infames.org] about this... three years ago. And it is freakish that he posted a screenshot of how this should look like, and Google have implemented this in that exact way.

All of this has happened before... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27341397)

This is in no way a new idea, it is just that they refinished it and expanded the capability.

While AOL may be reviled as the internet-on-training-wheels, they did have some interesting ideas. In this case, the "unsend" mail feature that allowed the user to pull-back email that hadn't been read yet. Granted, it only worked within their system and it helped that they owned the mailboxes and servers, but the concept is far from new.

Google has done nothing more that take the concept and add a delay. Nothing innovative here, move along.

I could use it (5, Funny)

Chrisq (894406) | more than 5 years ago | (#27341405)

The other day I felt so generous that I sent an email telling someone that I would pay 2,000, 000, million billion US dollars to anyone who would help me get my dead father's money out of Nigeria.

A second later I thought "you know I could just keep the money myself", but it was too late. Keep looking, you might be the lucky one getting my email.

Re:I could use it (1)

Dionysus (12737) | more than 5 years ago | (#27341941)

2,000, 000, million billion US dollars

That's, what, 200 â these days?

CNN? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27341419)

Really guys? You're linking to the CNN article instead of the official gmail blog's article? What, Al Jazeera didn't have an article up for this, too?

http://gmailblog.blogspot.com/2009/03/new-in-labs-undo-send.html

May be a confirmation box is good enough (1)

sam0737 (648914) | more than 5 years ago | (#27341551)

most of the times the ctrl-enter confirmation box of thunderbird saves me some typo or whatsoever minor mistake.

Amazing (1, Insightful)

Dan East (318230) | more than 5 years ago | (#27341579)

It's good to see Slashdot reporting on technological achievements of this magnitude. I can't wait to hear the next GUI tweak for some other application. Perhaps the repositioning of a button, or a change in the font size of some GUI element will be next.

Truly advancements of this sort can only be achieved by a think tank of the best minds Google could recruit from top universities.

Re:Amazing (1)

BobReturns (1424847) | more than 5 years ago | (#27341783)

I hear there're some new firefox themes out this week ;)

In WoW terms (1)

torrija (993870) | more than 5 years ago | (#27341663)

so 5 seconds after you send an email you start regenerating mana.

I hate you all (1)

SpaghettiPattern (609814) | more than 5 years ago | (#27341723)

I hate you all and I think you all will never appreciate VI in half as deep a level as I do. Yeah? Go to Windows hell for all I care. Yeah?

No, wait, I didn't really mean that. Yeah? I wanted to say how much I love you guys. Yeah? And how much I think you connect with me on a VI level. Yeah?

Dear /., could we have a 5 seconds rule here as well? Yeah? Also, could all my foes and freaks get a 5000 second rule? Pleeeeeaaaase? Yeah?

Labs required! (1)

pha95mlb (716234) | more than 5 years ago | (#27341779)

You have to enable this feature in GMail Labs before it works.

Re:Labs required! (1)

bdenton42 (1313735) | more than 5 years ago | (#27341949)

And for some reason Labs isn't even an option on my screen. It's one of those weird things that shows up sometimes and doesn't most of the time.

They should just enable it by default. Even better they (and all other mail servers on the planet) should enforce a 5 second rule to slow down spammers. Maybe even 30 seconds.

Real purpose is to retract an early "Send" hit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27341803)

To those who are claiming that 5 seconds is not enough to regret hitting Send, that's not the purpose of the function. It's aimed at the times in which you are in the middle of writing the message and accidentally hit the Send (maybe while trying to hit Save).

I started using that immediately (1)

blind biker (1066130) | more than 5 years ago | (#27341933)

I am a big Google Labs user. I think they have a few really excellent little toys. Then there are others that are rubbish, but I like to focus on the good things in life :)

Anyhow, the 5 second delay is just perfect for me. I am an emotional person, I admit. I have often sent an e-mail and regretted it the next second. 5 seconds sounds about right for me to change my mind.

Another labs I use is the "notify of missing attachment". That's pure gold - basically, if I mention attachments in my e-mail, but don't provide it/them, I am notified when I try to send the e-mail.

Now, if they only added the option "reply or resend with full text (NO quoted text hiding)", that would be wonderful.

confirmation is better (1)

hey (83763) | more than 5 years ago | (#27341977)

It would be better if it showed you the mail you can just written and asked you to confirm.
Like Slashdot comments. Perhaps a delay so people can't automatically click on confirm.

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