Tuesday, June 22, 2004

Tech Tips Tuesday 

Although it has been clearly established that it is not worth reading for anything resembling political coverage, we must admit that the No Yux Times (link fixed) still has merit for scientific and technical items. Therein we find the following discussion of G-mail, which does not pertain to scanty female undergarments (that's "g-strings") but rather to a new email system Google is preparing to roll out, to much hype.

A great deal of the hype relates to the fact that Google's system, while free to the user, is supported by advertising. This is done with software which reads the mail messages in search of words which will render the advertising "relevant" to the user:
Google is trying not only to analyze the content of messages, but also their tone. A message that said "I love Orlando" was accompanied by ads for resorts at Disney World. But the same message, with the word love replaced by hate, prompted no ads.

The company has built a negativity filter that is like the "tragedy filter" it built into its system that places ads on Web pages of many publishers (including The New York Times). The tragedy filter is meant to keep ads off pages describing catastrophic events.

Frederick Marckini, the chief executive of iProspect, an advertising agency that specializes in search ads, praised this approach. "There is no commercial application for hate," he said. "There are some words that advertisers are not going to want to be associated with."
So, should you decide to use Gmail once it's available, but do not wish to be pestered with ads, try this: Add a sig line, which goes out automatically with each email sent. (Most mail programs support this; check your specs.) We humbly suggest the following, which is morally uplifting, displays a bipartisan attitude, and works in the word "hate" not less than three times:

"Always remember, others may hate you. Those who hate you don't win unless you hate them. And then you destroy yourself." --R. M. Nixon

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