Not Exclusive: Google employs a great many very odd people
Today I tried (several times) to create and use a new gmail circle. All I wanted to do was communicate a change of telephone number to close personal friends.
Sadly, I’ve just had the hip-hop-happening Google Contacts preview thrust upon me. I am here to tell you that it makes Windows8 seem like Dick & Jane Learn to Breathe by comparison.

What Google mail’s new Contacts App will do:

Nope. Sorry. Nothing to report on that – beyond raise your bp to 197/123, and waste hours of what restricted lifetime is left to you.
But wait a minute, I tell a lie….and it is important in my line of work to be fair both sides, even if one of them believes in blazing chariots full of heavenly virgins, and the other clings to the bonkers idea of trickle-down wealth.
There is something rather novel Google’s Contacts App will do: that is, it will say ‘get help to find friends for your new circle’….then take you to a page showing you people who are already in the new circle. When you drag a person into the circle anyway, it will say, ‘This person is already in your circle’. Do that twice and it will say ‘All the people on this page are already in your circles!’
That screamer, doncha love it? ‘Haha – we gotcha again – Yo!’

What Google mail’s new Contacts App will not do under any circumstances unless you make explicit bomb threats using known CIA warning codes:

1. Work, do something useful, or cure your conviction that tecchies are recruited from the Emotionally Disturbed Space
2. Enable one to simply write the Circle title in the ‘bcc’ box
3. Save the ticked contacts to your circle by simply going through ‘all contacts’
4. Allow you to bcc the Circle rather than ‘to’ it (see earlier for further info on this one)
5. Let me put myself in the ‘From’ box
6. Avoid telling me in a superior fashion that I haven’t filled in the ‘From’ box
6. Represent a scintilla of improvement on the old system which worked well enough anyway.

Lest we forget, Gmail was the one that introduced invisible cc and bcc boxes seven years ago. I remember thinking I’d wandered into a Spot the Ball symposium by mistake. Where had they gone, I mused? Had they been hoovered up into some virtual, diabolic vacuum cleaner along with the reverse last action box? Only by idly hovering around with the mouse after a few hours spent in the Chateau D’If (aka, user forums) did I by pure accident find the Ball in a light-grey flysh*t typeface on the far right of the address box…which is of course where all we ageing emailers not yet into Mind Texting always go to write stuff, because this is a kibbutz OK, and we all write from left to right, oy veh.

Meanwhile, explorers from around the world continue to search for the Long Lost ‘reverse last function and thus evade loss of entire email’ facility of legend. My own view is that it’s on a par with the Loch Ness Monster in terms of credibility, but I’d love someone to prove me wrong. Even better, I’d be their friend for life if they would just tell me how to find it.
There is a serious point to this diatribe, and it does not involve Irritable Ancient Male Syndrome. The Oxbridge/BBC test tells me I have an IQ of 134, so if I struggle with this crap (having been a very early adopter of New Media) then the chances are it’s the software designers, not me. I’m very happy for Silicone Breasts Inc to keep on using the binary-damaged bananas among us to have ideas, but we need some new rules here:
1. The tecchies must stay in the attic at all times, and the lock combination be changed every six hours because people like these folks cracked the Enigma code machine and they are a danger to themselves and others
2. The idea when hatched must be sent to those who have real Marketing experience as opposed to a 1 year degree from Harvard.
3. The blokes in Marketing will use a simple piece of paper with these headings only:

* Does the current product need any ‘improvement’?
* How many complaints have we had about the product this decade?
* If and only if the answers above are Yes and Lots should you proceed to read the idea in front of you
* Having read it, please now translate the design into English, as most consumers have yet to master the numerical dialect of Alpha Centauri 5598/2M/ZV (recurring).

Shortly after I had in desperation sent the email out with people’s names in it for all to see, a message appeared on the panel above the inbox to say that my preferences had been saved. I have no idea what preferences Gmail was on about, but if they were sexual then all I can say is I owe whoever managed this feat a vote of thanks.

Yesterday at The Slog: The Paedofile gets fatter, but the Truth is wasting away