Palm Pre "Oops I'm Late" Feature Sounds Kind of HorribleS

The Palm Pre is shaping up to be OMFGtastic, except it's "Oops, I'm late" feature sounds more like a fatal flaw: It automagically tells people you're gonna be late for a meeting.

What takes the Pre beyond other smartphones is that integrates all of your contacts, data and messages—like from Facebook, IMs, texts and email—into a single flow, and this super-calendar feature draws on that. The absolutely amazing part is that it downloads all of your calendars for the day, along with all the relevant info for your meetings, like maps and even Wikipedia pages about who you're meeting with.

Here's how the scary automatic "HAI I'M LATE" part works, according to Elevation Partners' Roger McNamee (the venture capital firm that's plunged nearly half a billion dollars into Palm):

When you're late it — remember, this thing has GPS; it has a clock; and it has your calendar. So it not only knows where you are, it knows where you're supposed to be and when....so when it realizes you're going to be late, it says, 'Hey, not only are you going to be late, but I can take care of it for you. I'll send an email to your assistant or to the people in the meeting, which would you prefer? And oh, by the way, here's the map.'

Does that not sound like an idea that seemed really cool in some bright young designer's head, but would be absolutely terrible in real life? The proper way to handle being late is to make it seem like your presence is imminent, no matter how far away you are. Then it's like you're in rush and really, really trying to get there on time, so the guy you're meeting with thinks that you think it's a super important meeting, especially since you've obviously got so much going on you're late even though you're trying incredibly hard to get there.

Unless, however, you're going to be absolutely egregiously late. But then you're kind of a dick if you have a robot send a canned message for you. [Yahoo Finance via Precentral via PhoneScoop]