The Super-Humans Who Read Addresses Computers Can't Figure Out

Email has eaten most of snail mail's lunch, but computers are cutting into what's left by parsing the addresses of your packages and letters. When they can't figure out your scrawl though, it's squinting and guessing to the rescue, and the New York Times tracked down the few people left with that job. » 5/04/13 10:31am 5/04/13 10:31am

How the Post Office Sniffs Out Anthrax Before It Hits Your Mailbox

The Amerithrax case of 2001, in which letters harboring Anthrax spores were delivered to media outlets and a pair of US Senators' offices, killed five people and sickened another 17. In the wake of these attacks, the US Postal Service (USPS) installed a system of electronic noses in mail processing facilities around… » 4/18/13 11:37am 4/18/13 11:37am

Why Paid Email Will Never Beat Gmail

Much has been said over the demise of Google Reader and what it should mean to users. A popular position advocated by many tech bloggers is that you should pay for services rather than trust your data to companies offering services for free. They argue that paying for services will give you more control over your data… » 3/26/13 10:34am 3/26/13 10:34am

Five Days of Mail a Week Is Still Too Much

The United States Postal Service announced plans today to end Saturday mail delivery later this year, as part of its spirit quest to become something other than a $16 billion sinkhole. Good! But it's not enough. In an age where we've already started to leave email behind, five days of bulk catalog and sweepstakes… » 2/06/13 10:27am 2/06/13 10:27am

Mailing Recorded Messages Was Once an Actual Alterative To Long Distance Phone Charges

Sherman, set the wayback machine to ridiculous because back in 1967, Smith-Corona—best known for its typewriters—actually sold a device called the Mail Call. What did it do? Let users record messages on small cartridges and mail them to anyone with a matching device. » 10/01/12 4:40pm 10/01/12 4:40pm