Monday, January 2, 2012

Google grief

Don't get me wrong: I'm a fan of Google, particularly of its search engine and Gmail. But...

I'm not into secrets, and I have nothing to hide. I also understand why the system notes the names of those to whom I write. I can't prevent that. I often send emails to several addressees, and even more often send items to just one or two people. For some time now, Google has put a note on my draft of an email to (say) Tom, asking me if I also want to send it to Dick and Harry. I find this very irritating. I have no way of responding "Listen, Buttinsky, if I'd wanted to send it to them as well, I'd have added their names, already!" Also, I'm not enough of a techie to know whether I can eliminate this unwanted "feature", and (if so) how to do it. On only one occasion, after scores of emails, did I actually decide that I might as well add a cc. to "Dick", although this was far from vital.

I suppose I average about five emails a day from a very active church listserv. This has several hundred subscribers. Recently, all these emails have been prefaced by an unwanted message in a red font, warning me that maybe the message didn't actually come from the purported sender. I have yet to receive a message with that warning that wasn't from the named sender. I can usually spot a message from some hacker--including those ingenious ones that tell me a good friend has had all his money and his passport stolen in London, and begs me to send money to a "trusted" intermediary!

Why can't Google's clever programmers design an algorithm that picks up the fact that these are genuine contributions to the listserv?

No comments:

Post a Comment