Google Goggles – they might just save you an awkward phone call.

Everyone has received an inebriated email from an ex-lover or co-worker (or anyone you know, for that matter!). You know the type of email; too much information, confession-booth ‘I still love you’, and just plain not-thought-out ‘wow you’re drunk’ type of emails. Maybe you’ve even sent some of these emails yourself? Well the good people at google labs have taken steps to help stop the scourge of ‘drunk emailing’. Once you install the Mail Goggles you can set a time frame for activation (the default is Friday and Saturday 10PM – 4AM) and once activated, Mail Goggles will make you solve five math problems in a short period of time in order to send a message. The thought is, if you’re clear of mind enough to do math, you’re clear of mind enough to send an email without regret. So sorry, Laquanda, no more drunk emails from this admin about our tenth-grade missed connection. Now if only Google can make something similar for Android, maybe we could quell those ‘drunk-dials’ too.

Chrome Dome

I’ve been testing Google’s new browser, chrome, for quite a bit today (download it here). So far so good. The interface is simple and smooth while the settings are a breeze and easy to understand. It’s still in beta, but I did have a nice little chuckle when I couldn’t even install google’s own toolbar. Then again it’s not really nessisary as you can just type your search into the address bar. The majority of the firefox/ie keyboard shortcuts are the exact same, so switching over isn’t a hassle. You can also import your settings and bookmarks, although I opted not to do so for now. Since it’s an open source project, many of your favorite firefox and internet explorer plugins will probably be made availible in due time. I’ve noticed a bit of annoying lag when viewing/interacting with a rather heavy-handed flash based sites, but I’m sure that will smooth out with updates. All-in-all I’d say it’s worth a look-see; however, I don’t see if flat out replacing my highly tuned firefox setup just yet. Oh, yeah, and you must have a windows operating system to try it out.

Google Gets Lively

Ultra mega powerhouse Google announced Lively, a ‘build your own avatar’ animated chat program, yesterday. It’s currently only available for Windows XP/Vista users who are running Firefox or internet exploder. With me being the ever inquisitive connoisseur, I had to check this out. The first thing that crossed my mind after setting up my avatar (which is not a quick process) was “this is Google’s answer to second life”. Another thing you notice right off the bat is it’s slow; very, very, terribly slow. But, hey, it’s still in beta, so you can’t really expect all that much from it just yet. The controls are a little awkward and the help pages seem to leave out basic things like walking around (a task that’s still baffling me); but man oh boy, I sure can body slam people. Google tacked on a ton of interactive animations: you can kick, hug, dance, ‘kung-fu’, and yes, even body slam other people – just to name a few. You can also build your own chat room and embed it into your site or blog. All in all it’s a pretty nifty chat setup, but again, it’s still in beta and most people would probably ditch it just for the load times.