Juancameneses11 via Wikimedia Commons // Public Domain
Juancameneses11 via Wikimedia Commons // Public Domain

Gmail Adds Official 'Undo Send' Button

Juancameneses11 via Wikimedia Commons // Public Domain
Juancameneses11 via Wikimedia Commons // Public Domain

In some cases, email’s instantaneous nature can be more of a curse than a blessing. Sometimes you fire off a missive only to realize you spelled the recipient’s name wrong, or sent it to the wrong John Brown, or maybe shouldn’t have been emailing that ex in the first place. The feeling is one of lightning-fast dread. You can’t catch up to the e-equivalent of a mailman and demand to have your correspondence back—it’s already landed in someone’s inbox. 

Which is why Gmail’s “undo” feature can be such a lifesaver. Long relegated to the email service’s beta tested functions, the “I didn’t mean to hit send!” button has finally made it into Gmail’s official canon of correspondence resources. Instead of searching through the annals of Gmail Labs, it’s now available in the General tab of your email settings. 

Screenshot via Gmail

The button isn’t magic, so there is a tradeoff. Gmail delays sending your emails for just a few seconds, in case you’d like to stop the message from leaving your outbox. Just after you hit “send,” an option appears at the top of the email asking you if you want to undo the action. You can modify your “cancellation period” to allow between 5 and 30 seconds of lag time. Those who are already using the Labs version of the service will have it automatically turned on. For everyone else, the option should appear in your settings over the next two weeks

If you really do desire rapid-fire responses, it’s going to slow your roll just a little. But patience is rewarded; that 30 second wait time could be the difference between an embarrassing follow-up apology and a professional-sounding dispatch. 

[h/t: The Next Web]

Marshall McLuhan, the Man Who Predicted the Internet in 1962

Futurists of the 20th century were prone to some highly optimistic predictions. Theorists thought we might be extending our life spans to 150, working fewer hours, and operating private aircrafts from our homes. No one seemed to imagine we’d be communicating with smiley faces and poop emojis in place of words.

Marshall McLuhan didn’t call that either, but he did come closer than most to imagining our current technology-led environment. In 1962, the author and media theorist, predicted we’d have an internet.

That was the year McLuhan, a professor of English born in Edmonton, Canada on this day in 1911, wrote a book called The Gutenberg Galaxy. In it, he observed that human history could be partitioned into four distinct chapters: The acoustic age, the literary age, the print age, and the then-emerging electronic age. McLuhan believed this new frontier would be home to what he dubbed a “global village”—a space where technology spread information to anyone and everyone.

Computers, McLuhan said, “could enhance retrieval, obsolesce mass library organization,” and offer “speedily tailored data.”

McLuhan elaborated on the idea in his 1962 book, Understanding Media, writing:

"Since the inception of the telegraph and radio, the globe has contracted, spatially, into a single large village. Tribalism is our only resource since the electro-magnetic discovery. Moving from print to electronic media we have given up an eye for an ear."

But McLuhan didn’t concern himself solely with the advantages of a network. He cautioned that a surrender to “private manipulation” would limit the scope of our information based on what advertisers and others choose for users to see.

Marshall McLuhan died on December 31, 1980, several years before he was able to witness first-hand how his predictions were coming to fruition.

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Arthur Shi, iFixit // CC BY-NC-SA 3.0
The New MacBook Has a Crumb-Resistant Keyboard
Arthur Shi, iFixit // CC BY-NC-SA 3.0
Arthur Shi, iFixit // CC BY-NC-SA 3.0

Soon, you won’t have to worry about ruining your Macbook’s keyboard with muffin crumbs. The 2018 MacBook Pro will feature keys specifically designed to withstand the dust and debris that are bound to get underneath them, according to Digital Trends. The keyboard will also be quieter than previous versions, the company promises.

The latter feature is actually the reasoning Apple gives for the new design, which features a thin piece of silicon stretching across where the keycaps attach to the laptop, but internal documents initially obtained by MacRumors show that the membrane is designed to keep debris from getting into the butterfly switch design that secures the keycaps.

Introduced in 2015, Apple’s butterfly keys—a change from the traditional scissor-style mechanism that the company’s previous keyboards used—allow the MacBook keyboards to be much thinner, but are notoriously delicate. They can easily become inoperable if they’re exposed to dirt and debris, as any laptop is bound to be, and are known for becoming permanently jammed. In fact, the company has been hit with multiple lawsuits alleging that it has known about the persistent problem for years but continued using the design. As a result, Apple now offers free keyboard replacements and repairs for those laptop models.

This new keyboard design (you can see how it works in iFixit's very thorough teardown), however, doesn’t appear to be the liquid-proof keyboard Apple patented in early 2018. So while your new laptop might be safe to eat around, you still have to worry about the inevitable coffee spills.

[h/t Digital Trends]

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