Google has come up with a way to stop people sending embarrassing e-mails when they are drunk - Mail Goggles.
Having sent many drunken e mails himself, top Gmail engineer Jon Marshall wanted to come up with a system to stop people sending messages they might regret in the morning when they have sobered up.
Talking to our science and technology correspondent Marshall 46, said: "This really is a widespread problem. I remember writing an email to a girlfriend back in 2004 thanking her for being so open minded about my penchant for sado masochistic sex and sending it by mistake to my Auntie Pauline in Stoke on Trent. Worse still I'd attached a picture of myself dressed in a gimp mask and 'Jennings gag' [*]. You can imagine the embarrassment I felt in the morning. I haven't received a Christmas or birthday card since. You could have cut the atmosphere with a knife at my nephew's christening last year. It was then I decided to design a piece of computer software that would prevent this kind of thing ever happening again".
The 'Google Goggles' make somebody answer some basic questions before allowing them to send a message. PMR has managed to obtain a sample questionnaire detailed below. If a user cannot solve the problems, then they will not be allowed to send mail.
a] Who is the current leader of the opposition?
b] What is the capital of Bulgaria?
c] Who played in goal for Germany in the 1990 World Cup Final and what tropical disease was he harbouring at the time?
d] What has Dolly Parton got two of that Patrick Kielty is rumoured to have one of?
e] Should Millwall F.C be allowed to have dog fighting as part of their pre match entertainment?
Mail Goggles, currently in a testing phase, can be activated by Gmail users clicking 'Settings; at the top of a Gmail page and then going to the 'Labs' section.
The facility is only available late at night or at weekends - the time that Google believes people are likely to want to use it.
Writing on a Google blog, millionaire Mr Marshall said: "I anticipate that this will prevent a lot of unnecessary stress in people's lives. I can guarantee that if my wife goes out with her friends on a Saturday night I will receive a drunken e mail saying that she finds me physically repulsive and that she goes dogging with our Algerian chauffeur when I'm away on business trips. You should see her face in the morning when I print it out and show it to her over the breakfast table".
[*] 'Jennings gag' - Mouth gag designed in 1973 by Arsenal, Tottenham and Northern Ireland goalkeeper Pat Jennings as a way of keeping the noise down in the dressing room at half time. Now used by sado-masochists around the world as an implement of both pleasure and pain…the weird bastards.