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New in Gmail: the end of 'oops'

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Feed the meter. Move the laundry along. Attach that pesky file.

Last week Google made it a little easier to remember one of the easiest things to forget, rolling out a nifty little feature to its popular web email client Gmail: a forgotten attachment detector.

Talk about an embarrassment saver! With the feature turned on, messages that mention an attached file – but don't actually have one – pop up a reminder when a user hits send. The feature worked most of the time when I tested it out, but Amit at Pulse2.0 found flaws when he didn't use "attached" in the body of the email.

The feature, developed by Google intern and UC Berkeley computer science student Jon Kotker, is part of Gmail Labs, the company's sandbox for experimental new developments. As such, it's totally opt-in and could disappear or stop working anytime. I hope it stays. It's one of those "Duh, why didn't I think of that" features that make using the service that much more friendly. To enable it, Gmail users can go to Settings and click on the Labs tab.

Also available at Gmail Labs (and news to me) is a "take a break" feature that blanks out the Gmail window for 15 minutes and, in true Google fashion, encourages users to "Take a walk, get some real work done, or have a snack." Clever, especially since it was Google's policy of encouraging workers to take 20 percent of their time to work on projects away from their main concentration that gave birth to Gmail, which now ranks third in registered webmail users, behind Windows Live Hotmail and Yahoo.


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