Thursday, February 12, 2009

An Inbox for Snail Mail - Sorta

Zumbox is neat. It's like Gmail, but for snail mail. To get an inbox (it's free!), all you need is your regular address. Then, when anyone who sends a letter to your address using Zumbox, it shows up in your inbox. Confused? This picture kind of clears everything up:
As you see, it gives you all your messages in neat little envelopes. When you open one, you read the message, then file it, delete it, or whatever. The cool thing, of course, is that its digital. You can set up filters, block senders, and more. Also, it is a lot cheaper than standard mail. Businesses can send out letters to huge mailing lists for just a few pennies each. Also, individuals can send a letter for $.05. Remember, this doesn't replace standard mail. It is only based off of it.

Overall, I'd say its cool, but there is an issue: Why would I pay to send a digital letter when I could just send an email for free? Now, there are some cool things that you can't do with either snail mail or email, like embedding flash, but these are things the average person isn't going to need this. My suggestion: get people to like this, and let them do everything for free, then make the corporations pay, since this is a lot cheaper and easier for them to connect to their customers.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Google wants to help you with your electricity

Google recently posted in their blog about their love toward smart power meters. Here's an excerpt:

Google’s mission is to "organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful," and we believe consumers have a right to detailed information about their home electricity use. We're tackling the challenge on several fronts, from policy advocacy to developing consumer tools, and even investing in smart grid companies. We've been participating in the dialogue in Washington, DC and with public agencies in the U.S. and other parts of the world to advocate for investment in the building of a "smart grid," to bring our 1950s-era electricity grid into the digital age. Specifically, to provide both consumers and utilities with real-time energy information, homes must be equipped with advanced energy meters called "smart meters." There are currently about 40 million smart meters in use worldwide, with plans to add another 100 million in the next few years.

This certainly makes sense, as their mission is to organize the world's data, and I would definately like a company like Google to graph my electricity usage in nice charts.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Google Sync for iPhone

The iPhone now supports Google Sync! I wasn't sure how they'd do it, but it seems they've converted every Google Account to a Microsoft Exchange Server account so their calendars, email, and contacts sync. That's a huge directory of Exchange users!

More info and instructions here.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Hulu Ad

If you missed the Superbowl, here is the big secret behind Hulu:

Tech Tip: Don't Tweet Your Secret Mission

This is hilarious! Don't tweet your arrival in Iraq if you're supposed to be on a secret trip.