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Latest happenings at L-Mail
L-Mail South Africa
02nd December 2004
L-Mail is pleased to launch a printing/posting location in Cape Town, South Africa. With a population of over 42 million, South Africa represents an ideal location to select when wishing to write to Africa's southern tip..
L-Mail reaches India
29th November 2004
For many, India is associated with snake charmers, Bollywood movie stars, maharajahs, rickshaws and computer geeks. It can now also be associated with being a location to send L-Mail letters.

L-Mail is an online letter writing service. In summary, users of the web based service can type their letter online through any web browser and select to have their letter printed and posted from one of 13 locations including Chennai (Madras) in India.

A three page letter costs GBP 0.78, or approximately USD$1.52.
L-Mail expands down under
20th November 2004
L-Mail, the online service that allows users to send real letters via the Internet, has increased its presence in Australasia.

The service now allows online letter writers anywhere on the planet to choose Melbourne or Sydney in Australia and Wellington in New Zealand as the posting location for letters.

With a three page letter to Australia costing only 32p (around US$0.63 AU$0.79) the system represents great value for money. The stamp alone from the UK to Australia would usually cost 68p.
L-Mail delivers in Slovinia
03rd November 2004
Whilst L-Mail users can send a letter to any address in the world via their Internet browser, they can now benefit from selecting Slovinia as the location their letter is printed and posted from.

This new L-Mail location means international letters destined for Slovinia and other Central European destinations could be delivered in just a couple of days compared to weeks by traditional mail.

Further L-Mail printing/posting locations are scheduled to come on line over future weeks.
L-Mail launches Romanian print/posting station
16th October 2004
L-Mail.com has today launched a printing/posting station in Romania.

With a population of 22 million and just 4 million Internet users, L-Mail could represent an ideal way Internet users worldwide to communicate effectively with the Romanian population.

A 3 page letter to Romania costs around EU 0.66 from anywhere in the world and, depending on time of entry and destination, could benefit from next day delivery.
L-Mail introduces worldclass security tests
15th October 2004
L-Mail.com is committed to providing customers with a secure transaction and have asked SquareTrade to monitor our website on a daily basis for vulnerabilities.

The daily SquareTrade security scan simulates an unauthorised user and seeks out over 200 of the most significant internet security vulnerabilities identified by the SANS Institute and the National Infrastructure Protection Center (NIPC) at the FBI.

In the event of any vulnerability arises we are notified and action is immidiately taken allowing us to stay on top of any new issues.

SquareTrade provide security services to many online businesses around the world including Ebay, Sony, Google, and Overture.
L-Mail launches online tracking system
14th October 2004
L-Mail users can now easily see the status of their L-Mail by simply entering the unique reference number provided when they send a letter in the tracking box on the L-Mail home page.

Users can see when their letter is queued, has been printed and finally when its on its way in the postal system. The L-Mail online tracking system is updated in real time.
Newsforge.com reviews L-Mail
10th October 2004
Email has gained acceptance as a quick, easy way to communicate. Some have even gone as far as to say that the time-honored custom of writing letters and sending them via postal mail (or snail mail, a reference to the lack of speed some perceive from the U.S. Postal Service's delivery times) is a dying one. For those who still need it, however, a new service based on open source software makes it possible to send actual hard copy "snail mail" directly from your Web browser.

Appropriately, it's called L-Mail, or Letter Mail. Launched this week by Web design and consulting firm QiQ Ltd., the service takes your typed-in message, prints it out on paper, puts it in an envelope, and stamps it and mails it, from any of eight locations in the U.K., Australia, Canada, Spain, and the United States.

Peter Harris, managing director of QiQ, said L-Mail is based on a completely open source infrastructure, including a Linux server, a Web site built in PHP, and a database using MySQL.

"We used open source solutions to help contain the cost of the development, not only from a software perspective, but also because of the high levels of support available," Harris said. "The continual improvement of the applications we chose assist us in ongoing enhancements."

Harris said the service is beneficial because it will save users "time and money." Instead of having to drive to the post office to buy stamps, customers will simply type a message, in much the same fashion as email. Instead of having to make that incredibly long journey to the mailbox, a quick click will have the letter on its way to the mail truck and eventually to its final destination.

For a computer user, the process is straightforward. A user writes a letter at the L-Mail site using a Web browser, then proceeds to the payment screen. L-Mail then routes the letter to the printing station nearest to the intended recipient, where it is printed, placed in an envelope, and mailed. The customer can request that L-Mail email a copy of the letter back to him. L-Mail also sends a confirmation email once it has posted the letter.

L-Mail will clearly save time compared to international postal mail. The claim that it will save money for everyone, however, is up for debate. It depends upon where you live. The cost for mailing a three-page letter to the United States via L-Mail, regardless of where you are physically located, is 64 pence (about $1.15), while the cost of the postage if you did it yourself from the United Kingdom would be 68 pence.

Harris said that there have been some unique challenges in the way of document management and formatting, but he said QiQ has been able to take advantage of free advice from the MySQL community in order to overcome "a number of obstacles" on the way to final delivery of the system.

SOURCE: Newsforge.com
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