Media Hype Can Raise or Lower Hopes


All too many negative (sensationalism) headings, designed in purpose to sell newspapers, can bring down many an institution.

We read these days headlines such as: the “RECESSION IS HERE”…or that “THERE IS NO CLEAR END IN SIGHT”.

As a former student of journalism I easily spot these paper selling headlines and just shudder. You see, all my life I have heard people say: “Don’t believe what you read.” But, most everyone does; sad, but true.

CNN’s headlines on their website this morning state that there is a “Cautious Mood on Wall Street“. This is not sensationalism, it is fact, and that is what should be reported. No intention of selling anything, just a case of reporting.

The real art of reporting is lost somewhere between ego and the bottom line of the media. Unfortuately, the public swallows much of this media hype and crap; they use this as fodder at the workforce water coolers. All-too-many people these days, due to having little time, scan only the headlines and thus lose out on the article’s part where the author points out: “…however…” and shows some sort of upness, some hope.

Barack Obama says about hope: “We’ve been warned against offering the people of this nation false hope. But in the unlikely story that is America, there has never been anything false about hope.”

Too many of us have lost a lot of money with investments. We have lost ground on pensions, school savings, and dreams. Hope is all we have left now; hope that the leaders of this planet can come together, in harmony, to work on this very global financial problem.

I believe, pray and hope that this current economic crisis will turn around; it will take time; it will turn around.

“Oh no, I didn’t send that e-mail, did I?”

Reprint from First Monday magazine (Nov. 08 Issue)

“Oh no, I didn’t send that e-mail, did I?”

by Gregory West

Are you terrified of waking up Sunday morning wondering whether or not you SENT that terrible, demeaning e-mail to your boss or ex-girlfriend?

Most of us have sent out an e-mail wishing we hadn’t. Albeit, some e-mails are fired out  after all-too-many drinks, late Friday and Saturday nights. Those people using only find out after the fact or on Monday morning as they are given their walking papers at work.


The e-mail was sent to their boss explaining how they would run the company better didn’t go over very well. Nor did the e-mail sent to an ex, announcing that you still love her, fly very well with the new spouse who happens to read all mail.

If you fall into this group of “tipsy” weekend e-mailers, be assured that help is only a few clicks away. Those who are over the “e-mailing normal sending limit” are now safe from themselves. There is a new application within Google’s Gmail program called: “Mail Goggles” that protects you from sending out regrettable e-mails.

Time writer, Claire Suddath, gave Goggles a test run and concluded, after several drinks, that “As a purely dissuasive tool, then, Mail Goggles works as advertised.” (

Goggles is a application program within Gmail that blocks you from sending those “RED Hot” e-mails to your boss or ex-girlfriend.

It works like this…

Late Friday or Saturday evening, after you have kicked back and downed a few “cold ones”, just maybe you should not be online sending e-mails to everyone on your list. You may just live to regret pushing that SEND button.

Therefore, before you can SEND that damaging e-mail out to your boss or ex, Goggles pops up with math problems for you to solve. It you cannot solve these tasks in 60 seconds the program will not allow you to send an e-mail.

Of course, as you awake in the morning, terrified, you dash to the computer and it is still running. Your heart dives down into your stomach and then lands in your throat as you try to remember if you actually sent any e-mails last night…You look, and there it is: The damaging e-mail still in your DRAFT e-mail box, unsent.

Test drive this new Google program and see how you can protect yourself from yourself.  You will need an account with Google and must be using Gmail in order to get this program. For a Gmail account: then go to to see how to set it up. If nothing else it could serve as a fun test at your next late night party.

Thank you Google Goggles, you may just be our Sunday morning salvation.


Gregory West can be reached at Gregory is the Editor for the Sarnia Computer Users’ Group [SCUG], a non-profit computer help group that is open to the public for Newbies and Geeks. For more information: