Saturday, April 02, 2016

Sometimes I Think We'd Be Better Off If We Just Dropped The Mic On April Fool's.

So, did everyone survive April Fool's Day? I have to say, it is not my favorite day of the year. I quite like jokes that are funny, clever, and creative, and most importantly obviously jokes, and which have no consequences of any kind. Think Geek's fake products, for example, are always good for a chuckle. (And when those have consequences, they're actually the good kind. I mean, enough people loved the idea of the tauntaun sleeping bag that they ended up making it for real, and how cool is that?) Pranks and deceptions, on the other hand, I do not like. Even the most harmless ones are mildly uncomfortable, and the less harmless ones can be incredibly bad ideas.

On that note... Any of you guys get caught by the Gmail Mic Drop? In case you didn't and don't feel like clicking the link, they introduced this new "feature" supposedly for use when you were fed up with a conversation. It'd e-mail a gif of a Minion dropping a microphone and stalking off to all other recipients, then ignore the rest of the conversation forever. They yanked it pretty quickly, after a bunch of people accidentally hit the button on important work-related e-mail. Which isn't too surprising, as it was right next to the usual "send" button, and apparently actually replaced a "send and archive" button a lot of people habitually use. (I don't see that on my mail, myself, though. Maybe you have to deliberately set it up?)

I damned near got caught by this thing, myself, actually. I saw the button show up (on, it's probably worth pointing out, the evening of the 31st in my time zone), immediately figured it was an April Fool's thing -- Google's actually done some really great ones in the past, of the harmless and obvious kind -- and went to their blog to see what it supposedly did. Mildly cute, I thought, if not exactly up to their usual standards. And I went back to click on the thing, because I was curious to see whatever funny "Ha, ha, April Fool's, obviously we wouldn't actually do that!" box would pop up. I damned near did it on a conversation I was in the middle of with a friend, but common sense prevailed, and I tried it out instead as a reply to some link I e-mailed myself ages ago and did not care about. Boy, was I taken aback when I realized that it actually did what it said it did. "Huh," I thought to myself. "That seems... dangerous." And very, very carefully avoided it after that.

Making it all worse, even though they removed it quickly, once it was there for you it didn't go away unless you reloaded Gmail. I certainly saw it on mine all night, until I finally thought to try that.

Just say "no" to stupid April Fool's pranks, boys and girls. Especially if they involve screwing with services used by people all over the world for doing lots of serious and important things. I wouldn't think this would need saying, but there you go.

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