Tag Archives: mapquest

How to Track Your Mail with Google Envelopes

Many years ago, my mother wrote out a check for the rent of our house at the time, stuffed it into an addressed envelope, slapped a stamp on it and tossed it into a mail box. The letter was picked up the next day by our neighborhood mailman, and mom assumed that it would reach the rightful person in a day or two. A week later, however, she received a call from the landlady asking why the rent hadn’t been paid. Mom checked with the bank… the check hadn’t been cashed. She spoke with the post office. They didn’t have a damaged envelope on hand. No one could figure out where the mail had gone!

Mom canceled the check, and sent out a new one. Lo and behold: the original envelope was delivered to our house a week or so later. Our rent check had decided to go to Vegas without us, apparently. There were postmarks on there for our home town – and for Las Vegas. What happened to it in between the two dates is a mystery to this day.

While this may have happened many years ago, we still do see lost mail at times. It happens. Think of how many boxes and envelopes the post offices handle each day. It’s mind-boggling to try and add it up. This is why I feel the Google Envelopes (still only a concept at this point) could be a great idea.

If these were a reality, you would type your address and the address of the person you’re mailing something to into the program. Print your envelope and SEE the route right there in front of you. No one can get lost this way. Both addresses are clearly displayed along with a map between the two points.

There is one slight problem, though. This will only work so far if the sender’s address is west of the recipient’s home. I’m sure there’s a workaround for this, but I haven’t figured out yet what it would be.

What do you think? Would you print these fun little envelopes and use them for yourself? Or… would you rather have the ability to say “Gee, I don’t know where the check is. It must be lost in the mail.”

New Google Earth Beta

It’s out, but I’m very sad to report that the new version of Google Earth is still calling on Arial as the default Window UI font (not the internal 3D mapping font, which is fine). Why do developers insist on using this instead of Tahoma (or Segoe UI, in the case of Windows Vista)?! Sorry, Google – if this is your first beta of v4.0, you’re already failing miserably in my book.

I posted more about this in tonight’s report, You Live on Google Earth – including stating that this really is a tremendous app that has amazing potential, but I just refuse to look past something as simple as using Arial as the default font in the non-3D experience. At least Google Talk allows you to change the font throughout the entire app!

I am sick and tired of playing the UI heavy around here. Would someone smack the appropriate person over at Google and tell ’em to get their app act together? It’s great that they’re acquiring great software left-and-right, but it’s not great that they’re not conforming to a single user experience. I’ve given Microsoft hell for this – but they certainly don’t have a monopoly on inconsistent software experiences. I catch hell for stating that Google Earth is still calling on Arial throughout their entire Windows UI (non-nav) – but I’m not going to sit here and say that their software is amazing just because it’s free and it comes from them (Google). It doesn’t look like Google Talk, it doesn’t look like the Google Toolbar, it doesn’t look like Google SketchUp, it doesn’t look like Google Picasa… none of these freakin’ apps look like the other!!! I’d accept that from a startup company, but Google rakes in big bucks and can afford to spend some time on spit and polish. They’re not, and I find that beyond forgivable. I expect better from Google.