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Latest happenings at L-Mail
L-Mail launches Romanian print/posting station
16th October 2004 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 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. 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.

Send letter API
08th October 2004
The L-Mail team are creating an API to enable users to send L-mail requests from their website or back office system. Contact for further information.
L-Mail introduces multi-currency pricing
04th October 2004
Prices for L-Mail letters are now displayed on the home page in Australian dollars, Japanese Yen, Euros, Pounds Sterling and US Dollars. Prices are updated daily inline with exchange rate movements.

When paying for letters, users can view the exact cost of
letters in their preferred currency.

Multi-currency will be implemented site-wide shortly.
Leicester Mercury reviews L-Mail
02nd October 2004
Babita Wakelin of the Leicester Mercury has produced a feature article on L-Mail describing how the new service is a telegraph with a 21st century twist, or bridges the gap between snail mail and net-mail.

The full article can be viewed here:
Government site reveals help is at hand thanks to L-Mail
01st October 2004
The UK government site for UK online centres ( recently featured L-Mail. Reporter Roy Bhakta commented on the service...

Writing letters can often seem like a chore rather than a pleasure. Most particularly when you can not find some or all of the following:

- Pen
- Paper
- Stamps
- Envelope

L-Mail offers a solution by allowing users to write a message online, the L-Mail service will deliver the letter to any valid postal address across the world (envelope, letter and postage are included). The service is likely to appeal mostly to those who frequently send letters abroad as the overseas rates tend to be very competitive.
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