Addressing the Problem of Addresses


Futurist Thomas Frey:  When Hurricane Katrina hit the city of New Orleans the US Post Office was faced with a major dilemma. For countless centuries, the modus operandi for the post office was to deliver mail to a location, and the individuals who lived at that location would stop by and pick up their mail. But following the hurricane, the floods had destroyed all of the “locations”.


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Turning Mail Trucks Into a Data-Producing Nationwide Sensor Network Could Save the USPS


Turning Postal Trucks into Mobile Sensor Arrays

It may deliver in snow, rain, heat, and gloom of night, but the U.S. Postal Service can’t seem to deliver a net-positive operating budget. Even after drastically cutting personnel last year, the USPS still went $8.5 billion into the red, a budget gap that could lead to insolvency this year. But in an op-ed in Saturday’s NYT, Chief Counsel to the Chairman of the Postal Regulatory Commission Michael Ravnitzky proposed an interesting idea to help the Postal Service get back in the black: turn mail trucks into a data-producing nationwide sensor network.


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Virtual Permanent Address for Mail and Package Delivery


Featured invention at the DaVinci Inventor Showcase 2010

The V-Mail Address is a permanent address that will stay the same no matter where you live or move. It can be an email address,domain name, or even a phone number. It is simple to say, type, and store. No more: street number, street, apt #, city, state, and zip. 


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Finland Postal Service To Open Mail And Send Scanned e-Mail Copies




Finland’s postal service is to begin opening household mail and sending scanned copies of letters by email to cut down on costs and pollution. Not even the most intimate love letters, payslips, overdue bills and other personal messages will be spared under the controversial scheme.

The service, aimed at cutting the number of postmen and reducing CO2 emissions in the sparsely-populated country, is being offered on a voluntary basis initially. Volunteers will receive an email or a mobile phone text message as soon as their paper mail has been opened, scanned and sent as an electronic image to a secure digital mailbox, to which only the intended recipient has access.

The “highly automated” process of converting of letters into electronic documents will be conducted in “special, secured premises” where staff are bound by strict confidentiality obligations…


Urban Mole: Robot Delivers Packages Through Sewers


The Urban Mole

It’s 2020, and cities are so overcrowded that it’s impossible to deliver packages. UPS trucks have nowhere to double-park, and obnoxious bike messengers can’t even ride on pedestrian-jammed sidewalks. How, then, can important parcels reach their destinations in a squalid megalopolis of the future?


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Strange But True Business


I Hope the Mail Man Doesn’t Get Hungry When This Passes Thru Processing

The strangest business idea of 2008 has been awarded to Dollar Hot Dog! This concept is so wacky; it’s hard to believe it’s not a hoax. A company that cooks and ships fully-dressed hotdogs in standard white envelopes to south-facing mail boxes in the US for only $1…can they be serious?

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The Battle of the Botnets

The Battle of the Botnets

New Scientist is reporting on a University of Washington project aiming to marshal swarms of ‘good’ computers to take on botnets. Their approach – called Phalanx – uses its distributed network to shield a server from distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks. Instead of that server being accessed directly, all information must pass through the swarm of ‘mailbox’ computers, which are swapped around randomly and only pass on information to the shielded server when it requests it.

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