I use the USPS service Informed Delivery and highly recommend it. I get a daily email from USPS with a scanned picture of most of the mail that will arrive in my mailbox that day. Occasionally the email will say that there were items that could not be scanned, but it’s very useful since I don’t check my mailbox on a daily basis, but don’t want to have important items sit for extended times.
My mailbox is fairly secure, but I’ve also read that Informed Delivery has both good and bad features for people related to mail theft or identity theft.
I’ve been getting Netflix DVDs in the mail since 2000. I’ve always been slightly fascinated with the efficiencies the post office and Netflix have worked out. If I take a DVD mailer to my local post office here in Seattle, Netflix recognizes it has been returned the next business day. If I drop a DVD at the local post office on Tuesday, Netflix acknowledges it on Wednesday, and I’ve usually got the next DVD delivered Thursday.
Until recently the Netflix DVDs were scanned like all other mail.
It appears to have changed at the beginning of September. Now there’s a pair of fixed images arriving with a link that will take you directly to Netflix.
The new behavior isn’t bad since all the Netflix disk scans look very similar, but are interesting to note. I wouldn’t be surprised that the new full color image reduces bandwidth over individual scans along with added benefit of the link to Netflix.