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This Blog Post Will Self-Destruct

Posted by TestOut Staff on

Some readers of the IT Insights Blog may recall being young (or at least younger) and watching the old Inspector Gadget cartoon series. At the start of each episode, the ever-intrepid Gadget would receive his instructions from Chief Quimby in the form of a note programmed — Can you program a piece of paper? Maybe we should just say booby-trapped? — to "self-destruct" after he read it.

This e-mail will self-destruct.

The reliable follow-up to this cheeky homage (more about that in a second) is that Gadget would always receive the notes from Quimby himself, popping out of a mail slot, or poking his head up from a trash can or potted plant, to make the hand-off. Wherever Quimby had just emerged from, Gadget would reliably discard the note by tossing it back in with the chief, a split-second before — KABOOM!

The whole business with self-destructing notes, of course, was a nudge-wink salute to the even older Mission: Impossible TV series. (Yes, Mission: Impossible was on TV before it became a Tom Cruise cottage industry.) The IMF team leader (first Dan Briggs, then Jim Phelps) would mysteriously receive instructions about each new assignment on a self-destructing audio tape.

The point of all of this, is that Google is apparently developing a new feature for its signature Gmail app that would let users send their own "self-destructing" notes to, oh, whoever you exchange e-mail with on a regular basis that you would prefer to disavow knowledge of. The e-mails wouldn't actually explode, of course, they would just disappear, or become unreadable gobbledygook.

What will they think of next, you ask? It's a good question. IT is a field where innovation and invention are standard operating procedure. If you want to be somewhere where cool ideas that used to be TV gimmicks are becoming reality, then you need to hone your IT skills. And there's no better way to get your IT career rolling than with courseware from TestOut Continuing Education.

Why sit around and wonder what cool things the future will bring, when you could be out there working in the industry and making those cool things happen? Start with PC Pro today, and you're bound to be amazed at where you end up tomorrow. If the only thing holding you back is knowledge, then your mission is to start learning — now. Choose to accept it.


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