On 3/31, I noticed this new “New! Gmail Custom Time” notice on Gmail. Curious to know what it was, I clicked on it but the link didn’t work at that time. I was surprised that a Google link was not working, but didn’t take much notice beyond that.
Turns out this was an April Fool’s joke (The link started working on 4/1). I didn’t fall for it, because I heard about the joke before I got to the link on 4/1 (shown below), but I didn’t realize the joke on 3/31 either.
I can see how this feature could be used to abuse deadlines. But then again, I consistently get spam (on Yahoo!) that are future dated. That means that mailers (aka sendmail programs) don’t actually check the date field on incoming email. I can’t say for sure that spam filters don’t filter out future dated emails (apparently Yahoo! Mail doesn’t), but it would be mighty hard for filter out past-dated emails based on the time field.
So, the question is – why wouldn’t someone offer the capability to send past-dated emails? After all, there are plenty of companies that let you do all sorts of scams – from getting fake excuse letters (e.g. Print Doctor Excuses, Phony Excuses) to CallerID Spoofing.
Now that Google has made a fool of it, this just may be the catalyst for it. Let’s see if Google’s April Fools Joke becomes reality!