Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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RFID Postage Stamps

The Stamp is the Address, the address is the stamp...
  [vote for,

Instead of a sheet of postage stamps, you are issued a sheet of similarly sized RFID tags. You input the destination address and return address (if desired)into a small USB connected device on you computer and it flashed the RFID tag with its serial number and updates the Postal System's Database. Then, only the tag is affixed to the envelope. No human being can ever see who it from or where it's going. Machines do most of the sorting anyway, and this would increase the speed. You could check an option to have the addresses printed out onto the envelope once they reach the FINAL substation, making it easier on the actual letter carrier. Your home's mailbox could have a reader that could signal to the carrier if they've dropped a letter to the wrong address in your box. The tags could then be cleared by you, the entry deleted from the Post office's database, and the tag reused. Totally anonymity, except by choice, and then only to the last person involved, the letter carrier.
Novysan, Jan 07 2004

They will be happy to issue the stamps http://www.gogorill...com/html/what1.html
[kbecker, Oct 04 2004]

There goes that palming trick http://www.newscien...s.jsp?id=ns99994542
[theircompetitor, Oct 04 2004]

Microtag barcodes http://www.microtag...om/microtaggant.htm
Supposedly Pitney Bowes is considering using the technology [theircompetitor, Oct 04 2004]


       awww...but i like to see the hand written envelopes with the stamps on them...it means that someone other than people wanting money love me..:) but i still gave you a croissant..it is a very clever idea.
babyhawk, Jan 07 2004

       Not FRID, but PitneyBowes baked this anonymous-type mailing solution some while ago. Its you own at home or office postage meter. In theory, the only folks to physically touch you letter would be you, the delivery carrier and the reciepient.
Letsbuildafort, Jan 07 2004

       RFIDs for mail? Can you imagine? No more "check is in the mail". Every piece of mail is trackable.
theircompetitor, Jan 07 2004

       The link doesn't use RFID tags and still requires that you write the address on the envelope, which is what the idea is trying to avoid. Did I miss something, [letsbuildafort]?
Novysan, Jan 07 2004

       No, it was me ... rolling-back the link wagon ...
Letsbuildafort, Jan 07 2004

       You are both a scholar and a gentleperson.
Novysan, Jan 07 2004

       course the real goal should be to eliminate most mail, certainly letter mail.
theircompetitor, Jan 07 2004

       How about make a 3rd party letter-writing company. Kind of like online banking. Your choice of legal-type letter, personal, etc ... write it online, have it arrive hard-copy.
Letsbuildafort, Jan 07 2004

       How about web-based remote printing with addressibility to the house, like a fax machine, assuming you have a printer or a fax. That's very doable.
theircompetitor, Jan 07 2004

       Make the "stamp" a little bigger at least size of half a credit card. Instead of sticking it on just throw it into the envelope. That way the same stamp can be reused over and over again. To maintain privacy the USPS computer clears data after delivery or asks for your password to look at your own older shipments.   

       Stamps can carry little advertising messages so GoGorilla (link) will finance them and perhaps part of the postage.
kbecker, Jan 07 2004

       how about just using electronic communication?   

       the letter is dead.   

       continuing to refine it just seems like a waste   

       except for businesses with bulk mailings   

       but they have machines that automate the whole process already, so how much more efficient could it really get?
uriah, Jan 08 2004

       You don't get mail?
waugsqueke, Jan 08 2004

       Are you surprised?
DrCurry, Jan 08 2004

       The physical mail reduction process is already happening. Most junk mail is being replaced by spam.
theircompetitor, Jan 08 2004

       Eh ? the entire IT infrastructure would be strained to all hell bent under the load.The tracking of say 10 billion units would require transmitting an average of 50 megabits of data per second over the network-and a damn site more over peak periods.   

       Stress on databases.3,000 database transactions per second on the low and 30,000 on the high.If each stamp has 1,000 bytes of data associated,the RFID system would generate 10 terabytes of data per year.If stored over five years, you'll have a 50 terabyte database.   

       Have fun looking at that.   

       Once your data starts pouring in,what are you going to do with it in a bloated database ? You would have to take raw data from the readers and figure out how to get it into the inventory and other systems.Then replace assests that are not RF friendly.   

       Swoon....and...and...i can talk some shit...and...
skinflaps, Jan 08 2004

       If not in real life, I would think here, at least, we're allowed to assume that bandwidth and diskspace are limitless.
theircompetitor, Jan 08 2004

       [Skinflaps],systems are forced to grow when stressed. Perhaps it would initiate a quantum leap in networking, storage and processing power. I *REALLY* like the idea of putting the tag INSIDE the package, an even more eloquent solution. 'Cuz no one needs to know if my package is from Amazon or AdamandEve. That's my business. There, of course, would need to be very, very strict guidelines on who gets access to the data, encryption methods, deletion oversight, etc.
Novysan, Jan 08 2004

       //how about just using electronic communication?//   

       For many things that doesn't work. I actually see the biggest advantage of these RFID devices for packages. Instead of messing with sticky labels that always end up wrinkled, torn and illegible just toss in an RFID card as the last item and you are done.   

       Once the system is established customs etc. could also use it. You log onto the customs web site, check if your RFID shows up. When its there you pay the customs bill online and the shipment moves on. No more outrageous handling fees for dubious customs agents or long trips to one of the few customs warehouses.
kbecker, Jan 08 2004

       Too much money in the tag. Just use a barcode, and scan it like UPS and FedEX, the post office for some types of mail. But really, who needs total anonymity anyway? I'd rather have the address printed on it so when my mailbox scanner stops working, and I get 5 of my neighbors letters, I can walk over to their house and give them their mail. Good excuse for a chat. Wait, thet's how it works now. Great.
oxen crossing, Jan 10 2004

       //Too much money in the tag.// Not if you make them the size of a business card and reusable. No licking, no sticking, no printing, just put the tag inside the letter and use your computer to tell the postal service where to take it. Finance them with advertising messages on each tag.
kbecker, Feb 02 2004

       Would reduce the amount of people ripping open stock returns and such. If you dont know who its from, you wont know whats inside (theoretically). I dont think that snail mail is completely dead. It wont be used much for regular communication, but still needed for packages (i'd like to see the company email that shiny new motherboard to you)
excaliber, Feb 04 2004


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