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E-mail, Feeds, 'n' Stuff

Friday, September 5, 2008

They scan your snail mail to a web page for you

And apparently, they do it from right here in Oregon -- Beaverton, to be precise.

Comments (4)

It is a brilliant idea to move the "paper-less" office to the home-front, but I have doubts it is worth it for most folks. I wish I'd had this service in college when I was moving every few months, but now, I don't get much mail anyways at home.

This system will not take off until secure e-mail is more common and easier to use. But, once that happens, most of the mail you want to receive but not touch (i.e. bills, business correspondence) will already been sent by PDF. The only things in your average mailbox should be junk mail and personal letters and cards. And, if I knew my friend had all his mail scanned, I'd just send the e-card rather than drop 5 bucks on hallmark only to have it converted into an e-card.

Biggest question I have is why is it so slow? Why doesn't the mail go directly to the processing center to be scanned? I've seen some automated mail scanners (those at the OR Dept. of Revenue), and they're crazy fast (and do not require much more than an employee feeding the stack into the machine. It reads the address and TIN, associates those with the scan, and plows through the stack like the machine it is.

The biggest challenge for me is having a system. Hard copy bills are in the "to do" pile on my desk until they're paid. E-bills arrive, scroll off, and damage my FICO score. E-mail is too much oriented to immediate attention for it to work for this for me.

Homeland Security of course can (and maybe does) open and read your snail mail - especially to/from international destinations. But the sheer volume of it, and the logistics needed to attack even a small portion of it, makes it quite impractical to go about it on a large scale. Unless you've been targeted, there's safety in numbers.

But this approach sure makes it much easier to do it efficiently, and without leaving traces.

If you have MOJO on your cable (HD Channel 788) they have a series on this company which is interesting. It does a day-day profile of what goes on in it. THey were HQed in Oregon, but it looks like they moved to Seattle.

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