Sunday, November 11, 2007

Do no evil. We have server farms for that. (GoogleWatch'07)

I was shocked last month to find out that when I clicked the "Share this calendar" button in Google Calendar, a personal e-mail, in the first person, appearing to come from me, was written to the person I designated without any dialog box or confirmation of any sort by me.

I just received a similar notification and it seems that the poorly worded and implemented old message may have been retired; Google Calendar has changed their old obnoxious first-person impersonation notification e-mail to one less offensive. Either that, or their invitation e-mail from members to non-members is written by a moron, (engineer;-), or cyborg, and their letters from members to members are written by a human or more sophisticated cyborg. Either interpretation could be correct, and I wouldn't know for sure unless I sent a test invitation to someone to find out.

Note also the abrupt change from first person to third person, as if the google microchip implanted in my brain wasn't satisfied with just forcing me to write and send the mail, but had to override and repeat in its own voice that the being formerly known as "I" was recommending this service.

The old message:

Subject: XYZ recommends that you use Google Calendar
Date: October 11, 2007 6:53 PM JST

I've been using Google Calendar to organize my calendar, find interesting events, and share my schedule with friends and family members. I thought you might like to use Google Calendar, too.
XYZ recommends that you use Google Calendar.

To accept this invitation and register for an account, please visit:


Google Calendar helps you keep track of everything going on in your life and those of the important people around you, and also help you discover interesting things to do with your time.
Here's the newer style message:
Subject: J has shared a calendar with you
November 10, 2007 10:10 PM JST


We are writing to let you know that J has given you access to view events on the Google Calendar called "J's… ".

We have automatically added this calendar to your Google Calendar account. You can hide or completely remove this calendar at any time.

- The Google Calendar Team
View Your Calendar .

No comments: