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Outbox Brings Snail Mail Into Digital Age
incrediBILL




msg:4548925
 9:20 am on Feb 26, 2013 (gmt 0)

An Inbox for Snail Mail

That idea - a way to organize, in the cloud, every aspect of your physical mail - is the crux of the two men's venture, called Outbox, that is opening up to public beta in San Francisco on February 26 after a 6-month test in Austin, Texas, in 2012.

[readwrite.com...]

Seems too little too late to me as I wouldn't invest in it.

While I can see where this might've been a good idea 10 years ago it seems a bit late in the cycle to me as almost everyone offers electronic delivery of bills (eBills) and online catalogs thus bypassing USPS altogether.

I'd suspect many young green people get almost no snail mail at all while it's still the older 40+ landfill generation getting most of the USPS mail.

Always being ahead of the nay-saying foot dragging herd, I've got all my important mail on electronic delivery already so the only thing they would be scanning is garbage and I'm not paying $4.99 to scan stuff I toss in the trash. I live in a condo and for some reason our mailman isn't clever enough to figure out which of the 12 boxes belongs to the right person so I sidestepped the mailman years ago when their ineptitude almost cost me my credit rating and my wife, slower to adopt all paperless, had the same thing happen to her Amex this year. Therefore I've already trule moved my snail mail to the digital age, went all electronic, and it cost me nothing and saved me a lot of headaches.

Replacement credit cards are about the only other thing that comes in the mail and you most certainly can't scan those ;)


What would make more sense at this point in the digital age would create a service that can deliver electronic mail to an email address associated to a physical address.

For instance, sending an email to: san_francisco.ca.123_main_st@address.com

 

engine




msg:4548933
 10:22 am on Feb 26, 2013 (gmt 0)


What would make more sense at this point in the digital age would create a service that can deliver electronic mail to an email address associated to a physical address.


Nooooooooo, please, no. Imagine the opportunity for spam.

With snail mail, the spammers have to pay for delivery. If you made it electronic that email address would be spammed out in no time, imho.

Back to the thread OT, I agree, it does seem a little late. Out of the few items I get in snail mail, I agree, I would not want sales stuff scanned at any price.

piatkow




msg:4548938
 10:54 am on Feb 26, 2013 (gmt 0)

I keep utility bills on snail mail as so many things these days require Id with a recent one as evidence of residence as well as my drivers licence.

I can't say that I fancy an email linked to my address considering how many years it took to get rid of all the snail mail flyers for get rich quick schemes that the previous occupier signed up for (unsuprisingly I bought the house from his finance company)

incrediBILL




msg:4548940
 11:13 am on Feb 26, 2013 (gmt 0)

Nooooooooo, please, no. Imagine the opportunity for spam.


I've actually given this quite a bit of thought and anti spam would be pretty trivial really because a spammer would have to probe the addresses to find out if someone had a registered forwarding address so they would easily get caught. Plus the recipient could define the parameters of incoming content based on geography thus blocking the usual suspect spam sources.

Leosghost




msg:4548951
 1:06 pm on Feb 26, 2013 (gmt 0)

Plus the recipient could define the parameters of incoming content based on geography thus blocking the usual suspect spam sources.

Might be a problem there Bill, for those of you in the USA..
Apart from 419s..all the spam I see is pushing products or services of USA companies..

lucy24




msg:4549208
 9:31 pm on Feb 26, 2013 (gmt 0)

so many things these days require Id with a recent one as evidence of residence

So print it out. The electronic version still has your name and address on it.

If courtroom TV is any indicator (this may or may not be true, obviously) the law has been slow to figure out that a printout of an e-mail is not the same as an e-mail. A few minutes with a good word processor, and...

Yes, you can make a fake computer file too. But it involves a lot more work. Any idiot can fake a printout.

LifeinAsia




msg:4549210
 9:44 pm on Feb 26, 2013 (gmt 0)

Nooooooooo, please, no. Imagine the opportunity for spam.

I am assuming the SENDER has to pay for the e-mail to physical delivery service.

Although, if the service is cheaper than USPS, I can see that many bulk mailers would opt for that instead...

incrediBILL




msg:4549265
 12:30 am on Feb 27, 2013 (gmt 0)

Although, if the service is cheaper than USPS, I can see that many bulk mailers would opt for that instead...


Exactly, which would make a service like Outbox obsolete before it even got running and potentially put a major dent in the USPS which is a pretty lucrative pie.

Not only that, if implemented properly you could allow the recipients to specify what types of content they're willing to accept, if any, which would allow bulk mailers to optimize their delivery and save even more money getting a truly target market.

Yes, you can make a fake computer file too. But it involves a lot more work.


Actually it's easier to fake an original email on the server IMO as most mail systems use plain text files you can edit with anything from VI to notepad and then use the "touch" command to set the time stamp to whatever you want it to be. Make sure you erase the "history" file tracing all command line activity when you're done and VOILA! it's perfectly faked in someone's mailbox on the server.

Used to be possible in poorly configured SMTP servers in the early days of email to actually send an email embedded in another email and it would get delivered without a trace or origin whatsoever.

Don't know if that little bug still exists but it was fun watching people run around digging through log files trying to figure out how the "Supreme Mail Deity" sent email from what appeared to be inside the server! ;)

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