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Google Businesses The Internet Communications

Google Introduces Gmail Paper 134

slashdottit! tm
nacturation writes "Everyone loves Gmail. But not everyone loves email, or the digital era. What ever happened to stamps, filing cabinets, and the mailman? Now with Gmail Paper, you can request a physical copy of any message with the click of a button, and it'll be sent to you in the mail. Photo attachments are printed on high-quality, glossy photo paper, and secured to your Gmail Paper with a paper clip. And it's totally free: the cost of postage is offset with the help of relevant, targeted, unobtrusive advertisements printed on the back of every print."
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Google Introduces Gmail Paper

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  • What? (Score:5, Funny)

    by Opportunist ( 166417 ) on Sunday April 01, 2007 @07:40AM (#18565689)
    No Google stamps?
  • Google TiSP (Score:5, Funny)

    by rchatterjee ( 211000 ) on Sunday April 01, 2007 @07:41AM (#18565695) Homepage
    Remember that your requests for Gmail Paper go through faster if you're a subscriber to Google TiSP [].
    • by NZheretic ( 23872 ) on Sunday April 01, 2007 @07:50AM (#18565751) Homepage Journal
      When your finished reading, just select the amount of Google paper you require and tear along the pre-perforated line ...

      Frankly, I cannot wait to tell my boss what I did with his last memo.

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by saskboy ( 600063 )
        "I cannot wait to tell my boss what I did with his last memo."

        I've gotta tell my boss to hurry up with their memo writing, I HAVE TO GO!

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by julesh ( 229690 )
      The best part of Google TiSP...

      "Insert the TiSP installation CD and run the setup utility to install the Google Toolbar (required)" :)
    • This is freaking hilarious stuff. From the FAQ:

      You can also choose to request our professional installation service, which dispatches an army of factory-trained, sub-contracted nanobots from the TiSP Access Node. The nanobots travel with exhilarating nano-speed through the sewer system and into your home to perform the installation service, which should be complete within 15 minutes. Note: For your own physical safety and emotional well-being and in consideration of the nanobots' working conditions, please

    • by Anonymous Coward
      From the FAQ []

      What are the system requirements?

      Windows XP/Vista (Mac and Linux support coming soon)

      Linux doesn't even get any love as during an April Fool's joke...
  • by MSRedfox ( 1043112 ) on Sunday April 01, 2007 @07:44AM (#18565711)
    I caught a nasty virus when I got a paper cut from a piece of Gmail paper spam.
  • weird quotes (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Takichi ( 1053302 )

    "It's paper, plain and easy. I sometimes find myself wondering: what will Google think of next? Cardboard?" Bill K., Armchair Futurist
    This must be an April fool's.
  • by clifgriffin ( 676199 ) on Sunday April 01, 2007 @07:45AM (#18565717) Homepage
    This is the second time I've been fooled since getting to work an hour ago.

    I can't be discerning at this ungody hour.
  • by Kelson ( 129150 ) * on Sunday April 01, 2007 @07:45AM (#18565719) Homepage Journal
    ...for people who don't have photo printers.
    • by Aladrin ( 926209 ) on Sunday April 01, 2007 @08:36AM (#18565923)
      Seriously. I -have- a photo printer, and with dealing with low-ink, misprints, misalignments, streaks, etc, I'd -gladly- let them put advertisements on the back of the photo. I'd even promise to look at them. Most of the time, I simply don't print any more, because it's just too much hassle. If a family-member asks me to print a picture, I just glare them down until they give up.

      It's too bad this is a joke, because I think it might actually work. -sigh-
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        Photo printers, like all inkjets, are a scam. The companies gouge you for the ink. The quality is piss poor compared to real photos. The photo paper is seriously over priced. The very expensive ink runs and smears when it encounters any moisture. Etc.

        I fell for this once, but never again. What I do now is have my digital photos printed. Snapfish does it for $0.15/photo. Walmart does it for $0.12/photo and you can upload it online and pick it up at a local store. What you get is a photo that looks e
        • I dunno about you, but using an HP photosmart with their vivera ink (which is admittedly expensive) and their sample photo paper, my prints came out looking amazing. Of course, I don't print that many pictures that actually need special photo paper, I usually go with regular printer paper :P
        • The whole "printed ads on the backside" reminded me of a wish I've had for a while:
          Does anyone know of any (online) photo printing services that will print text on the back side of the photo? Either a caption that is manually typed in when you upload the photo, or the file name, or something to that effect?
      • by Germik ( 955292 )
        I know it would work. I do help desk-type work for a small center at Harvard where it's not uncommon for a professor to never touch a computer, though work with people who use e-mail every day. His assistant will print out the email and all related documents, leave it on his desk, wait for hand-written edits or replies, type it up, and send an e-mail back on his behalf.

        With a service like this, they get high-quality printouts automatically. The only trick now is a service that will take hand-written text
      • This is why I never bought a photo printer. I have a monochrome laser, but that's about it. I've ordered prints from online services a few times, and always been happy. It wasn't instantanous, but it was better than hassling with the printer. I still drool over large-format pro-level printers, but the truth is that I wouldn't use one if I had it.
  • Hint (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward
    Watch the calendar: April 1st...
  • Proposal (Score:4, Funny)

    by ceeam ( 39911 ) on Sunday April 01, 2007 @07:49AM (#18565741)
    May we have 32 days in March and then April, 2nd, please?
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by suv4x4 ( 956391 )
      May we have 32 days in March and then April, 2nd, please?

      That's probably what they thought when introducing the daylight saving change "with a change in the calendar, we'll eradicate stupidity worldwide". Didn't work.
      • by miro f ( 944325 )
        well it would be more useful if daylight savings began on april fools day. At least then it'd go for one hour less...
    • No... (Score:2, Funny)

      by Sirch ( 82595 )
      ... because then I wouldn't have a birthday.

      Which means no new gadgets for me.

      Which means no more joy for me.


      Did I mention I've got a kidney stone?

      Is there a Mod +1 Needs Sympathy?
      • by thegnu ( 557446 )
        Did I mention I've got a kidney stone?

        Is there a Mod +1 Needs Sympathy?

        Ouch. I hear that it helps to eat watermelon with seeds and everything. And vicodin helps, too, I hear. ;-)

        Good luck. Don't let anybody cut anything out of you. By "anybody" I mean "doctors"
        • Yes, because he should let someone who _isn't_ a doctor cut things out of him.
          • Yes, because he should let someone who _isn't_ a doctor cut things out of him.

            That's one interpretation. Most people use enough discretion with other random people, so I qualified my statement for greater clarity. People tend to be blinded by credentials, and think that the certified know enough to be right 100% of the time. I'm suggesting that people investigate anything that anyone suggests that involves the removal of anything:

            your left arm
            your child's foreskin (fucking 50% of males
    • by BluBrick ( 1924 )
      I've actually seen that as an easter egg in a taxi fleet management program I used once. From Midnight until Noon on AFD, the date and time display in the top right corner of the screen read 32/03/19xx. I nearly called the help desk to report the "bug" until I realised what the date should have read.
  • This is real (Score:2, Informative)

    by Aqwis ( 1063190 )
    This is no april fools joke (you heard it here first).
  • I love the testimonials on google's page: "Now that I have Gmail Paper, I understand the difference between labels and folders. I had one message with two labels, but when I tried to stick the paper version into two filing cabinets at the same time, it just wouldn't go." Mayumi M., Associate I'm so sending this link to everybody complaining about anything digital. You've got to admit, google sure makes cool april fools; the page looks really professional.
    • Yeah, real professional...

      Except for maybe the cheese-ball pictures. Every one of them is completely over-the-top and satirical.
      • Did you notice how in one of the pictures theres an attractive girl delivering the Gmail paper package to a fat guy? Google is playing slashdot's weaknesses against it.
    • Actually, that brings up a very good point about the nature of digital vs. paper files and storage. -Athene (Currently avoiding doing research for her Electronic and Digital Records Management class)
  • Can someone please send me an invitation to
    • by vulgrin ( 70725 )
      To get an invitation to Google Paper, you must send a SASE (Self addressed, stamped envelope) to Google at:

      1600 Amphitheatre Parkway
      Mountain View, CA 94043

      Once you get accepted to Google Paper, you will have 5 invitations that you can send out to your friends and family. You will receive these invitations as coupons in your first Google Paper shipment. You then simply mail these invitation coupons out to your family and friends (the coupon postcards MUST be postmarked for security purposes) and the
  • by zaguar ( 881743 )
    Can I get an insightful mod for nothing? Come on...
    • Can I get an insightful mod for nothing? Come on...
      This is Slashdot! You can get insightful comments for almost nothing any day of the week - especially when a MAFIAA story is posted.

      Come on people, it's April fools day! Have a sense of humour!
  • Moo (Score:2, Funny)

    by Chacham ( 981 )
    Quoth the article:

    "Now that I have Gmail Paper, I understand the difference between labels and folders. I had one message with two labels, but when I tried to stick the paper version into two filing cabinets at the same time, it just wouldn't go."

    Of course, Google Filing Cabinet, soon to be announced, does allow double filing by creating an ethereal copy for the second cabinet.
  • by joe 155 ( 937621 ) on Sunday April 01, 2007 @08:18AM (#18565853) Journal
    I just wanted to say that I had forgot that today was the 1st but I got the joke (even without the OMG PONIES!!!!) or opening TFA (hell, I wouldn't do that on a regular day) - there was one massive tell; it was already ou of BETA, less than 100 years after they thought of the idea...

    come one guys, this has to be believable
  • I know people who really will benefit from GMail Paper. For example, Farmer Files has always been uncomfortable with normal Email and prefers paper mail. This will really help him.

    From memory, he farms spaghetti on a farm in Switzerland that was featured on Panorama in the 1950s... :-)
  • by linebackn ( 131821 ) on Sunday April 01, 2007 @08:30AM (#18565901)
    I know of some State Government agencies that would LOVE this! Of course they would most likely get talked in to using Microsoft paper instead, which locks you in to using only Microsoft Pens, Microsoft Staplers, etc.

    On a side rant, it boggles my mind how everybody think putting something "on a computer" or worse yet "on the web" magically makes things better. Sometimes paper and pencil is the best solution.
  • by Channard ( 693317 ) on Sunday April 01, 2007 @08:42AM (#18565949) Journal
    No, not this one, but while we are on the subject of April Fools, the BBC's article on April Fools reported that

    "In Romania, during the Ceausescu era, one newspaper printed an article as an April Fool's joke saying all political prisoners were being freed. People started turning up at prisons and waiting for family and friends to be released. It didn't go down well when it was revealed to be a hoax."

    I checked this wasn't a fool with in a fool, and it wasn't. This really happened. Jesus Christ, can you imagine that? A mother and her kids rushing along to the prison, the kids skipping along.. 'Yayy! We're going to get Daddy back!' And then to be told it was a joke. Easily the most depressing thing I've read about in weeks.

    • I checked this wasn't a fool with in a fool, and it wasn't. This really happened.

      Lemme guess... you clicked on this link [], right? And then did a page search for "Ceausescu"? And there it was, almost verbatim:

      "In Romania, during the Ceausescu era, one newspaper printed an article as an April Fool's joke saying all political prisoners were being freed," says Wainwright.

      "People started turning up at prisons and waiting for family and friends to be released. It didn't go down well when it was revealed to be a

      • Yes, I did happen to see the date. Though you apparently didn't happen to actually read it. This is a list of past April Fools, not an April Fools itself. The Opinia hoax is referred to elsewhere, not just on that page.
      • I think you ought to read his post one more time.
  • Must be US only initially. ;)
  • The best thing about this very profesionally done April fools joke is that it's almost believable. Can advertising as described make for a viable business model? Why not? In any case kudos to the G people for a job well done: the photos of people smiling as they receive their packages had me spilling tea over my keyboard, almost.
  • Remember, it was April 1st when GMail itself was announced--leading myself and a few others to think it was a hoax. Of course, now I use GMail exclusively so I am very happy to be wrong. :)

    This didn't immediately set off my hoax radar, either, until I read the details. At first I thought perhaps Google had improved the printing functions of GMail to look better when printed out; it wasn't until I saw others talking about it that I actually saw the details and knew immediately it was a joke.

    What's scary? 10
    • It probably was funded by some idiotic venture capitalist. There are companies that will print out files and send them in the mail. That's a viable business model insofar as they print out something that my Canon MP780 can't do, and they charge enough to cover the costs of doing so.
    • Not only was gmail an april fools joke, but the year after they announced that everyones gig of email was upgraded to infinity+1 (with your max space growing all the time)

      Guess what? "You are currently using 229 MB (8%) of your 2835 MB." Still got that extra storage space.

      As jokefilled as the page is(much like the formulas for how they can manage to store infinity+1), it wouldn't surprise me at all if this ended up being a new service.
  • damn, I got nothin, this is just...

  • I'm still holding out for Apple iPaper :)
  • and today is april 1st!!!
  • Now I can get my spam to my bed and read until I slept.

    How much cost print 500 e-mails spam?
  • In India, there are actually services which print out email and deliver it. The infrastructure is a wonderful blend of electrons and meat-based delivery systems. Even the state postal service prints out email and delivers it [].
  • TiSP for Enterprise
    We're actively developing a higher-performance version of TiSP specifically tailored to small and medium-sized businesses, including 24-hour, on-site technical support in the event of backup problems, brownouts and data wipes.

    And because they'll probably remove it once Mrs. Grundy complains about the scatological humor.
  • for those that still didn't get it: []

    besides that, i think that, if actually implemented, it would not only surelly find it's own market niche, but also would become as cool as terrifying. not terrific, but terrifying. think google 'absorbing' not only a big chunk of email, but also another big chunk of snail mail - or the postal system if you want. add government mandated custom 'filtering', china style. cool, huh? :S
  • "For every Gmail Paper we produce, the environment gets incrementally healthier." What is up with Google and shitty April Fool's Day jokes?
  • Where did they get that hottie shown in step One (Click)? Is this a Gpr0n star?
  • Wasn't GMail itself also released on April Fools' Day...?
  • by caryw ( 131578 ) <> on Sunday April 01, 2007 @12:27PM (#18567183) Homepage
    Trolling around the "upcoming" section of digg last night I found this:

    "Oh this is so funny!!! Google tried to release an April Fool's joke today about Google Paper
    - the ability to have your emails printed and sent via snail mail!

    The problem they didn't realise is that in the latest issue of Fast Company, this ACTUALLY HAPPENS in India!!!

    It's called the ePost service from the Indian post office. Now you have a Billion Indians who are thinking that this is a legitimate alternative to their ePost service - nice try Google, but next time, make sure your PR people read Fast Company!!"

    Link to blog: -blunder-seriously-read-this.html []
    Link to article: -class.html []

    And no this definitely isn't my blog. And wtf, people being modded insightful just for asking? This must be April Fools day.
    Northern Virginia? Fairfax Underground! [] Forums, Wiki, and database of arrests and traffic tickets
    • by tkw954 ( 709413 )
      I think Canada Post used to offer this service also. I only received one and it was before the general adoption of email. Unfortunately I can't find a link to describe it.
  • Gmail can smell sometimes. When you press the back button to return to the inbox and it logs you out.

    I hate to think of the Google web "operating system" where daring to press the back button turns it off.
  • And in other news readers notice that (once again) every Slashdot posting on 4/1 is an April Fool's joke. Since April Fool's jokes arn't funny when you see them coming, no one is fooled. Commander Taco continues to laugh.
    • there actually seem to be a few legitimate storties sprinkled around, most of which alot of people seem to think right off are april fools jokes. i wonder it that's not the real joke?
  • The summary should actually link to the main page [], as there's no way back to it from that subpage.
  • OK 8000 messages is equal to about 550 megabytes (including some attachments) Most people have multiple accounts - lets say 3 per person Most people have filled theirs up anywhere from 300 - 1000 megabytes (excluding attachments)(probably not true, but lets just say) so lets say that they have filled theirs up at about 800 megabytes per account so that is 2400 megabytes, or 34000 or so emails problem a. Where would you store it? problem b. How would they ship it easily? problem c. How many printers would th
    • Slight problem with your "problem": most people don't use 300-1000 megabytes. The only reason I do is because I've uploaded multi-megabyte files. I only have about 15MB of actual email.
      • really? then i guess doing it through megabytes isn't good but if you just do an estimation of about how many messages per account, then the numbers should work out, right?
  • I really thought they had something good going, until I read this:

    MP3 and WAV files will not be printed. We recommend maintaining copies of your non-paper Gmail in these cases.

    Well, that pretty much makes this new service worthless. Someone let me know when they start printing audio attachments, and I might reconsider.

    Dan East
  • Dartmouth's Blitzmail system included a similar mechanisms (which was finally retired in the past couple years)

    Email on Paper
    Even at Dartmouth some people do not have personal computers or for other reasons do not receive email electronically. But everyone can receive conventional printed mail through campus mailboxes, called "Himnam boxes" after the name of the campus post office.

    Once again the Dartmouth Name Directory is the key to reaching these people since everyone has an entry in the DND - even

  • Well, I think if any email (containing audio files or video files) send to paper archive. Google should deliver an iPod to listen up to it :)
  • What's really bad is that I got logged out of my gmail account, and when I logged back in it came on with a splash screen telling me all about this fancy new paper gmail service for chats and whatnot. Unfortunately, I hadn't logged on to slashdot yet, so I didn't realize it was an April fools joke.... alas, no massive shipment of paper logs are coming my way!
  • There is a startup called potsful [] which is doing something like this for real -- you can tie an email address to a postal address, and they'll print and mail to the postal address anything you send to the email address.

  • are they even trying anymore?

Logic is the chastity belt of the mind!