Gmail “Goggles” to Prevent Drunken Emails. Seriously.

I’m pretty sure this is one idea that started as an April Fool’s joke, but new in Gmail Labs is a filter to prevent you from sending out drunken, late-night or otherwise ill-advised emails.

gmail has mail goggles

When you send an email during your specified time, it prompts you with various mathematical equations which you have to solve before it will send out your email. If you’re too out of it to fire up the calculator, your email will have to wait till another day.

Oh, and the one catch: your math test is timed. Takes me all the way back to third grade.
timed math tests for mail goggles in gmail

By default, the mail goggles kick in late at night on weekends, but you can change the active times once you enable the goggles, if you so desire.

Advergames: Fun Is Not Enough

File this in the “science confirms common sense” folder — although this may be a surprise to many ad agencies.

University of Missouri researchers found that advergames that have a thematic connection to the brand work better to create a relationship with the consumer.

In the study, participants played two advergames, both with either high or low thematic connection to the brand. … For example, the travel company Orbitz designed a game, “Find Your Hotel,” that has a theme related to the company’s travel services. Another Orbitz game, “Paper Football,” does not have a thematic connection to the company’s services.

Trackur Netbook Winner is….

…Rick Galan, who’s following suggestion was selected at random…

"Build website popularity tools into the interface – allow tracking URLs with these tools as well as search terms."

Acer Aspire One NetbookRick was one of a few smart entrants who realized that the contest allowed multiple entries–so long as they were up to par–and so increased his chances of winning the Acer Aspire One.

Thanks to all who took the time to provide feedback about Trackur. Your suggestions will be carefully considered as we make updates.

Thanks also to SuggestionBox for hosting the contest!

eBay Execs Start Social Network for Life Stories

Tokoni, is social network started last year by former Skype President Alex Kazim and former eBay execs including Mary Lou Song and eBay founder Pierre Omidyar. It’s also backed by eBay. The site has been picking up content, building up to a formal launch this week.

The social network gathers people’s stories. Tokoni is a Tongan word for “help,” and the founders hope that reading other people’s life will help enhance your life. There are 19 categories and you can add a photo or video to your story. You can comment on stories, link to them, and even reward people for their stories.

The site has added new features (from Tokoni):

Linky Goodness, October 6

Linky linky goodness, readers, dear
Linky links will come to you all year
If I had one wish, then it would be
A post full of good links to you from me.

Oh, look, my wish came true!

Hakia Redesigns: Is It Enough?

Hot on Ask’s heels, the semantic search engine Hakia launches a redesign today, too. Aside from the new SERP layout, Hakia is testing the use of peer-reviewed “credible sites” and a personal start page.

As a tab on the redesigned SERP, Hakia offers an option to refine your results to sites that have been peer-reviewed to meet strict noncommerciality and credibility standards. The results from credible sites, however, are limited to only queries in the areas of health and the environment—and even then, not all of them:
health care apparently is not part of health.

However, for queries where they do have results, it’s definitely nice to know the information is coming from a site you someone can trust, even if the first two snippets here are terrible:
hakia credible sites results

eBay Adds Two Companies, Eliminates a Thousand Jobs

When auction revenue falls, eBay decides to bank on payment processing and online classifieds. eBay is buying online bill pay service Bill Me Later and two other companies which are based in Denmark.

They’re also spending quite a bit of cash – around $1.3 billion including Danish companies Den Bla Avis and BilBasene. Total spend comes to about $1.3 billion.

Bill Me Later is an online layaway program where you can make payments on a purchase. eBay will then use PayPal to process the payments. As of last month eBay stopped taking money orders or checks for payment in the US – essentially forcing everyone to use PayPal.

Today, Walmart.com announced that they are accepting PayPal as an option to pay for purchases on the site.