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News From The Future-4

Nate’s Tumble Log • United States Postal Service tries to compete with Google using fear:

What you need to do is embrace the future. Embrace what’s working. Figure out what the “box” is that you and electronic delivery are competing in, and create a few attributes that you bring to the market that aren’t in that box. And spend all your time, money, and energy outplaying everyone at those attributes.

Pt 597

I wrote a big ole’ article about how the post office could embrace new technologies and get back in the game, unfortunately this video/ad was the most sent in link :(

Phillip Torrone

Editor at large – Make magazine. Creative director – Adafruit Industries, contributing editor – Popular Science. Previously: Founded – Hack-a-Day, how-to editor – Engadget, Director of product development – Fallon Worldwide, Technology Director – Braincraft.


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Comments

  1. macegr says:

    Hehe…ride to work on a horse, because horses never blow a tire and skid into oncoming traffic at 70mph.

  2. johngineer says:

    meanwhile…

    “email spam doesn’t waste thousands of trees every year.”

    “if i encrypt my email, i know it won’t be opened if it’s delivered to the wrong address.” (this has happened several times)

    “email doesn’t have a minimum 24-hour latency to send a message one town over.”

    the USPS is still valuable for delivering physical goods, so why are they instead promoting their ability to deliver information? they lost that race a long time ago.

  3. zof says:

    A refrigerator has never been hacked? I know who ever made this ad hates the internet but a simple search on the internet will prove that point wrong….

    USPS is facing the same issue the RIAA and MPAA have been facing for the past decade, adapt or die. Sadly the USPS being a giant bureaucratic nightmare it is at the top is probably doomed to die, at least the RIAA and MPAA have profit to motivate them to adapt, although they are still kicking, screaming and legislating all the way trying to keep up their old business models.

    I’m going to hate the days when I have to deal with the sometimes rude UPS or FedEx guys instead of the pleasant local postman.

  4. AndyL says:

    I don’t understand, really.

    I’m having more stuff mailed to me than ever before, and almost always through USPS.

    Heck, just today I started having my COFFEE delivered via USPS. I never would have done that before the ‘net!

  5. Alan S. Blue says:

    If the Post Office -intended- to be bleeding edge…

    Every address in the US would have an email that’s basically just the ‘punctuation removed’ form of their ordinary address:

    Sally Doe
    123 Ford Street
    Nowhere, WA 98112

    ends up:
    Sally.Doe@123FordSt.Nowhere.WA.us

    (And DMV would too, so you could email people that they’re driving along with a blinker on. Ok, or that they have a light out.)

  6. Gene says:

    You know I like the USPS add. I hate that my credit card / banking companies are always trying to make me click on something that will make me stop getting paper statements. I want a paper receipt that I can’t accidentally delete, and I don’t want online only statements that only go back 6 months.

    Sometimes companies should do what they’re good at. If they had mail sorting technology perfected in the 70′s, maybe that’s a good thing, and we should keep using it instead of spending money to become something else.

  7. Jess says:

    As an argument to that video, nobody ever received a bomb, or anthrax, in their email inbox. Just saying.

  8. ameyring says:

    Regarding the original article Philip wrote about how we can improve the usefulness and financial state of the USPS, I totally agree with raising the postage for junk mail, but except those from non-profits.

    What the USPS could do is participate in recycling by collecting paper items customers leave for them. Junk mail is a good one – just put a few days’ worth in a bag and give it to the postman to take back to his hub for recycling. USPS then can make money from selling the paper to recyclers. (There unfortunately can be fraud in that the USPS just recycles the junk mail instead of delivering it, but that can be monitored.) This will improve recycling everywhere.

    I also like the ideas of using the USPS trucks for air pollution monitoring, updating online maps, downloading readings from water and gas meters, etc. I’ve got a postal worker from a distribution hub for a neighbor and I hope to learn more about what they’re trying to do to improve things and avoid eliminating jobs.

    1. ka1axy says:

      “(There unfortunately can be fraud in that the USPS just recycles the junk mail instead of delivering it, but that can be monitored.)”

      Personally, I’d see that as an improvement in efficiency (taking me out of the recycling loop), but then I’m not much of a coupon clipper…:-)

    2. Daniel Kim says:

      Using USPS trucks (the individual delivery trucks) for other purposes as they go their rounds is a good idea. They can be used to validate GPS maps, take wireless signal strength readings from cell towers, collect telemetry from smart meters, etc.