Everyone hates junk mail, but I find myself hating the regular mail more and more as well. Bills can be paid and viewed online. I can see my bank statement from my phone. Magazines have online editions. Why are we still wasting paper sending physical copies of things? A new startup that just launched in San Fransisco wants to take the burden of physical paper off your hands by digitizing all your snail mail and emailing it to you. Sure, the physical mail still exists, but you won't have to deal with it. You have people for that now.
Look, we're all in favor of progress here at Geekosystem. We're scientifically inclined folk who believe that most technological development is, ultimately, for the good, and to be celebrated. That doesn't mean immune to nostalgia. We're going to miss the United States Postal Service, which continued it's death throes today, announcing that it would cancel mail delivery on Saturdays. While this doesn't come as a surprise -- USPS has been warning for some time that steps like this one were in the offing -- we're just going to miss the post office being a thing, which it won't be in, at this rate... I dunno, five years seems like a good over/under. We're in mourning, and also taking all bets.
It's about to get a lot harder to mail most tech gadgets overseas. Starting May 16, the USPS is banning the overseas shipping of all kinds of lithium-ion batteries. The reason for this is that lithium-ion batteries, when fully charged or improperly stored, can burst into flames, which isn't good. The ban doesn't sound too bad when you put it that way, but when you realize that tablets, smartphones, laptops, portable gaming devices, and MP3 players frequently use lithium-ion batteries, it starts to sound a little more intense.
It's no secret that the United States Postal Service has seen better days. While it used to be veritable king of the world, providing what was pretty much the only form of communication, now it's sort of stuck in the past, providing only what is pretty much the most outdated form of communication. You can't expect a huge, historic, national institution to go down without a fight though, can you? Of course not, and that's why the Postal Service is starting to run subtle attack ads against the scourge of email. Although it may be true that a refrigerator has never been hacked (yet) and that a corkboard has never been attacked by a virus, the arguments don't seem to weigh the relative importance of speed. Sure, snail mail is infinitely safer from a cybersecurity standpoint, but email is also practically instantaneous. Worthwhile trade off? Probably. As mentioned in one of the ads, USPS does, however, send packages -- a service that the Internet has made all the more important -- and it tends to keep other courier services in check price-wise. It's easy to poke fun at snail mail, but until someone designs a replicator, physical mail delivery does have a place even if it's a smaller one than before. Video of the ads after the jump.
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Watch All The Emmy Nominees for Best Main Title Sequence (Motionographer)
They Are Making A Calvin & Hobbes Stamp (USPS)
If The Expendables Were Women (ScreenRant)
5 More Mythical Things Bella Swan Should Fall In Love With (NPR)
Battlestar Galactica: The Board Game (Little Bo Beep)
The Life of Nikola Tesla in Animated Form (jeremiahjw)
(image via ToughPigs.)
The United States Postal Service, like just about everyone, is seeing some hard times. Among the proposals being considered to help get out of debt is the discontinuing of all Saturday mail service by the USPS. According to AOL News, the cut of Saturday mail delivery could save around $3.1 billion dollars per year. The USPS would lose $230 billion over the next decade if things continue as they are. Increased use of the internet for bill-paying and other transactions and communications are largely to blame for the deficit. Hallmark and CVS have both come out against the proposal to discontinue the service. But perhaps its most adamant opposition is Amazon, which insists that Saturday delivery is a vital part of the service they offer and something that people have come to expect from the epic marketplace.