Worst or best app ever?

When a program is described by some as the "Worst App Ever" ([1],[2]) and - rather fewer - others as "genius" (sorry no link - but apparently Nigel Powell of the Sunday Times said so), it clearly needs investigating.

Enter...3D Mailbox, a program so beautifully executed that its own website has a lengthy defense from the program's author that it is indeed not the worst software ever created.

As you might guess from its name, the software deals with that ever-more necessary computery task - your email. You may recall that that now people have forgotten how to talk to each other or find a stamp, this is the primary method of human-to-human communication - at least whenever Facebook is down for maintenance.

Billing itself variously as "free 3-dimensional email software", the "world's coolest email program", "the most technically advanced e-mail program on the planet", "the complete opposite of any email program you've ever used" and many, many more show-stopping phrases, it opens a new epoch of email experience. The first hint of special newness arrives when you see that, despite not being a Microsoft application, the initial program file download is 72 megabytes in size.

Your email when downloaded by this program (works with any POP account) is rendered into beautiful 3-D polygon-tastic graphics courtesy of DirectX. And don't think that just means futuristic envelopes flying across the screen willy-nilly, oh no. Rather, what you see depends on what level you are playing. Currently the one you get is based on the opening scene of James Bond's Goldfinger film - a nice Miami hotel from the 60s.

When you receive an email, it appears on-screen as a 3D person. Generally a hot Hollywood-sexy bikini girl or trunk guy no less. Your queue of, say, 10 people is depicted trying to get into the afore-mentioned hotel paradise, their way blocked by a bouncer.

If the bouncer lets them in (more on this later), they go for a nice refreshing shower, and then wander up to the hotel pool's - yep, no 1 star cheapness here - diving board. They then plunge into the hotel pool (aka your inbox) and swim around seductively until you go a-clicking on them. Once clicked 'n' read, they need a bit of a rest so go for a nice lie-down on nearby sunbeds. Yes, your unread email goes for a bit of a tan.

But remember the bouncer! Not all the beautiful people get to play in the exclusive hotel, oh no. Should the bouncer guy decide they look like spammy individuals he reserves the rights to refuse them entrance. They then develop the physique of a sumo wrestler get sent to the spam folder, which may well look like a nice wander around on a sunny beach, but it's a trick. Should you click to finally empty this paradisal-spam folder, a bunch of sharks will come and gobble up the offending individuals. Harsh.

No, the Poorhouse has not taken any recreational drugs during the time of writing this article. Don't believe it? Check this incredible - and incredible is exactly the right word - trailer.

One name spells entertainment. One name spells excitement. One name spells email. That names is 3D Mailbox. Have the adventure of your life. Go where no email has gone before.

Hilarious, no? It must be said it must be approximately the most resource-hogging, annoying, timewasting, bewildering way of checking mail for anyone who receives more than maybe 2 messages a day and/or has anything important to get on with in their life, but for a few minutes it might seem like the Next Big Thing. At least it has one useful feature one supposes, unlike say Second Life. It is also free to use if you don't mind being restricted to one level and a rather obnoxious advert on the bottom of each mail sent, so fill yer boots

The Poorhouse has absolutely no intention of using the software for any important (i.e. personal) mail he gets. However it has serious potential in the workplace. Level 2, not out yet, is going to be a recreation of LAX - Los Angeles International airport. Here your incoming mail will be in the form of jumbo jets flying in and out of the airport. In a spurt of cleverness, the software will also decide from what country each of your emails was sent in and ensure the plane that delivers it is that of the appropriate national airline. UPS will drop your attachments in and so on.

It's not just a visual treat - and this is where it excels in the workplace annoyance factor the Poorhouse so loves - including with it audio tracks of engine noise, air traffic chatter and so on. For those of us that receive minute by minute email demands from the corporate machine throughout the day, just imagine how annoying that will be to your detested colleagues.

Still, whatever you may think, Robert Savage, the author of 3D Mailbox does own a few private islands (that's real, physical islands, in the real world) so he's clearly doing something right.


will viruses board these

will viruses board these jumbo jets in the guise of t*rrorists? and if there's an unstoppable exe can it crash the airport? will there be b*mb dogs like in the real LAX?

PS we're in our fancy new house now and furniture is imminent. (6-8 weeks imminent). come for a visit?

I am amazed by you! I

I am amazed by you! I figured you'd have to slip at least one fully fledged reference to the twin towers in there, but you just managed to come close rather than directly offend the world. Congrats.

I assume as well as the features you have described so well, your email will be muddled in with everyone else's' and you'll have to go look for in on a conveyor belt. In the rare case you find it it will be bashed in and only every other word will be readable. You will also have to put it in a fake clear plastic bag before allowing it to emerge from a printer. Oh, the possibilities!

Yay for the house. I meant to email over w/end for catch up but was too lame. But now you've given me an invite I might just hurry it up!! Yes I would love to come see the empire, see ya in a bit!!

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