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Reading Your Postal Mail Online 173

An anonymous reader writes "Remote Control Mail gives us one more reason not to leave our computers. Their service lets you access your postal mail on the Web. They offer scanning of mail contents, shredding, recycling and shipping. There's a good writeup on Techcrunch, complete with a CAD animation showing some robotics technology (Flash Movie) that RCM is developing to automate mail handling. The service costs $25 to get started and $20 a month for individuals." Now if we could only reply the same way.
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Reading Your Postal Mail Online

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  • But.... (Score:2, Informative)

    by KeepQuiet ( 992584 ) on Monday November 27, 2006 @04:33PM (#17006534)
    Who is opening and scanning the mail? Automated machines? How do I know they don't read my mail? How do we know that they don't lose any mail? Also wouldn't there be an additional delay before I get my mail (wait to be scanned and then wait to be delivered to you physically)?
  • by Bastard of Subhumani ( 827601 ) on Monday November 27, 2006 @04:41PM (#17006648) Journal
    if this isn't a government sanctioned facility, is mail tampering still a federal crime
    Tampering is. Handling, i.e. processing someone's mail on their behalf and with their permission isn't. I remember way back when there were these people employed in normal offices called secretaries who used to do that for managers. And - get this - they were mostly chicks!

    would the risk/reward of ID theft be worth the lower penalty of base theft.
    Base theft? They are all belong to us anyway!

    Seriously, I think your foil hat's a bit too tight.

  • by Duggeek ( 1015705 ) on Monday November 27, 2006 @04:57PM (#17006870) Homepage Journal

    Sorry, but that's irrelevant. Those employees are bound directly by Federal Law to deliver the mail to you, un-opened.

    We trust the folks at USPS, and the UPS store (et al) to handle mail, not open and scan it. To me, that's a HUGE difference when you're talking privacy and secure correspondence.

    If there's a better example for your comparison, it would be payment-processing facilities. (a.k.a. lockboxes [])

    Their operations are strictly controlled, managed and audited, yet heavily automated with mail-opening and scanning devcies. Employees and contractors are often bonded for the sheer volume of currency they are apt to handle. OTOH, there's so much labor-intensive work that it's hard for such operations to turn a profit. Many organizations, especially cable-service providers and land-line telephone services, consider it a necessary evil, even though the entire department often shows quarterly losses.

    Despite all that, it only affects how your intended payment reaches the proper account; the model being proposed in TFA is a method to disseminate all of your incoming, private mail. Currently, we don't really have a model to compare; unless you're a butler.

    If a lockbox struggles to show a profit, just how would this business model work anyway?

  • by jyoull ( 512280 ) <> on Monday November 27, 2006 @05:02PM (#17006940)
    um, it might LOOK like $20 a month, but keep reading. The price schedule has ten dense footnotes! []

    Gotta learn all about mail induction, flats, storage days, document prep fees charged by the minute but billed by the second, the assumption that eveyr piece of mail weighs a minimum of one ounce for shredding-weight-per-day calculations.


    Thanks but I'll wait til I can figure out if this will cost $20 or $200 per month since I have no control over my inbound mail.
  • by ironicsky ( 569792 ) on Monday November 27, 2006 @05:37PM (#17007460) Journal
    I don't know about that... Up here in Canada(For those of you who don't know its that place north of you) our postal system has been doing that for years. We call it [] They will put all of our bills and registered mail online for us so they dont come to our house. They'll even do pay check stubs online. The only thing they won't do is personal mail.
  • Old news in Europe (Score:3, Informative)

    by carvalhao ( 774969 ) on Tuesday November 28, 2006 @08:10AM (#17014558) Journal
    In Portugal, where I live, this service is already provided by the postal office... for free!

Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it is too dark to read.