Saturday, 22 September 2007

Mail: the twilight years

A couple of days ago I told a friend of mine that I don't think there will be snailmail or a post office much longer. She replied that her mailman has told her the only reason he's still got a job is because of all the junk mail he has to deliver. So this headline in PC World magazine (the online version, needless to say) caught my eye: "Never Get Paper Mail Again". There is a company called Earth Class Mail that offers this service: you pay them $13 a month, and you fill out a change of address card at the Post Office that redirects all your mail to Earth Class Mail in Kirkland, Washington. They scan the outside of all the envelopes that arrive and you can view the scans online, and decide whether you want that piece of mail opened and scanned, archived, shredded, or even mailed to your address (a little more than half of the mail is discarded, with nearly a quarter of the mail opened and scanned.) PC World says "The service is targeted at people who travel a lot and at companies of all sizes that want more secure, efficient mail handling. But it's also ideal for anyone who thinks paper mail is silly and is looking for a better way."

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