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595 comments

M$ doing physical mail? WTF?! (4, Funny)

Ignorant Aardvark (632408) | more than 11 years ago | (#6099554)

Ohhh no, e-mail's problems have now hit home.

It will now be possible to have your snail mail crash on you. Imagine opening up your mailbox and getting a BSOD. And naturally Microsoft will sell your snail address to the spammers, so you'll get about 50 junk mails per day. And a robotic Spam Assassin is a lot more expensive than its free software counterpart. Who thought this was a good idea anyway - Bill Gates, or maybe some of the other spammers?

Re:M$ doing physical mail? WTF?! (5, Funny)

Brett Johnson (649584) | more than 11 years ago | (#6099698)

Expect Microsoft to add hooks into your Address Book (so you can easily print envelopes with the correct zip code, of course). Then the next Outlook Macro virus with send junk paper mail to everyone in your address book. Once it is also integrated with eStamp, all hell will break loose. Your postal carrier will shoot you when he/she finds 1.3 million outgoing letters in your mailbox.

Re:M$ doing physical mail? WTF?! (-1, Flamebait)

The Bungi (221687) | more than 11 years ago | (#6099853)

HAHAHAHAHAHAHA! You so funny! HAHAHAHAHAHAHA! You so original! You make me laugh! HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! You funny man! I like you jokes! HAHAHAHAHAHAHA! Wow... my sides are hurting with that funny, funny quip you just threw down on us like some clever maniacal funny man! You so funny! HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! Someone will even probably mod you up as funny to show how funny you really are to the rest of us! Quip, quip says you! Everyone! Over here! Look at the funny man! He made a funny about crashing mailboxes! Get it? ...crashing...mailboxes... HAHAHAHAHA! It's a reference to BSODs... yes, in mailboxes... HAHAHAHAHA! Yes, I am not sure where this guy is from but boy is he funny! Who invited him to the party? We gotta have this guy over more often! Honey? Come down here a second and listen to this guy 'tell it like it is' in a really funny way. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAH! "snail mail crash", that's priceless. "robotic Spam Assasin." Gold. Just pure gold. How do you do it? I mean, so many people post on Slashdot but then you see a funny gem like this. HAHAHAHAHAHAHA! Pure hilarity. When's the last time you saw a BSOD and so wittily remarked about it? If you used Windows 2000 or XP in the first place this wouldn't actually happen and hence your joke would 'have no teeth' as it were. But the brilliance of you tying in snail mail with BSODs had me splitting my sides. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! You funny man. So clever, so very very clever. I'll bet you were the funny man in high school too. Wow. You still got it!

Re:M$ doing physical mail? WTF?! (1)

pjt48108 (321212) | more than 11 years ago | (#6099854)

More to the point, with M$ workin it, you'll have to block EVERYONE except who you want to get mail from, and you'd better hope they don't have any typos in the return address, cuz then it won't get through.

Call me a stick in the mud... (5, Interesting)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 11 years ago | (#6099555)

Phoo. Why not just use one of the GPS systems. The problem with oversimplifying like this (as idealists tend to do) is they rarely reflect the reality of actual routing, like, "Gee, it's only 12 miles 'as the crow flies'", yet the route in question winds all over the place.

If they really wanted to simplify postal coding/addressing they'd do something first about these damn addresses for people in South Korea, and a few other countries, which are like a whole paragraph long! Ever have to fill out those little customs forms? Yeah, you know how fun that can be.

Idealists are more trouble to logistics than would be required to just take them out back and drown them it a bucket of water.

"Hey, isn't that a quarter in that bucket?"

Besides, strong initial resistance to this plan, there's probably some disingenuous patent and royalty speculation riding on this.

Re:Call me a stick in the mud... (1)

Xerithane (13482) | more than 11 years ago | (#6099789)

If they really wanted to simplify postal coding/addressing they'd do something first about these damn addresses for people in South Korea, and a few other countries, which are like a whole paragraph long! Ever have to fill out those little customs forms? Yeah, you know how fun that can be.

Japan's addresses are easy enough to write, but hard as hell to find if you don't know the area. It's annoying as all hell, but from a western mind just doesn't make much sense.

I would prefer an address that is lat/long coordinates. I don't care what my street name is, that's handy for giving local directions. For delivery purposes, it seems so much easier to just say:
Mr. Bill
N47.52 W121.90

Re:Call me a stick in the mud... (5, Insightful)

FreeLinux (555387) | more than 11 years ago | (#6099811)

Why not just use one of the GPS systems. The problem with oversimplifying like this (as idealists tend to do) is they rarely reflect the reality of actual routing, like, "Gee, it's only 12 miles 'as the crow flies'", yet the route in question winds all over the place.

The real answer is that GPS wouldn't make any money for NAC Geographic Products, whereas this proprietary system would, through licensing to various governments around the world.

But, the fact of the matter is that the U.S. Postal Service likes its system just fine and will not change it to someone elses liking. Kinda like the metric system. Even if the new system is better. The same is true for the Royal Mail. We already saw how quick England was to jump on the EC bandwagon and adopt the Euro. Indeed far too many countries will be unwilling to change for this system to go global.

I'd have to sayto NAC Geographic Products; nice try but, no money for you.

Complex Codes! (5, Insightful)

krisp (59093) | more than 11 years ago | (#6099559)

For example, NAC Geographic Products' address in Toronto would be 8CNB5 Q8Z4R.

Try remembering that one. I'm happy with five numbers. Atleast I can make some sort of memory device of that.

Re:Complex Codes! (1)

konichiwa (216809) | more than 11 years ago | (#6099601)

Probably not something you'd need to write on your envelope; more likely used for mail sorting, etc

Don't you see? (1)

chosen_my_foot (677867) | more than 11 years ago | (#6099630)

It'd be far easier to pay MS for a program to look up the address of people as opposed to writing the address yourself. Easier for MS's bank account, that is.

Re:Complex Codes! (5, Funny)

UCRowerG (523510) | more than 11 years ago | (#6099645)

The article claims that these will be universal codes for all over the world, but what about for countries that don't use the standard western alphabet?

download and install the western font from microsoft i suppose.

Re:Complex Codes! (1)

Xerithane (13482) | more than 11 years ago | (#6099670)

The article claims that these will be universal codes for all over the world, but what about for countries that don't use the standard western alphabet?

Just so you know, even if they don't use the standard western alphabet (Let's actually call it "Latin" as that's what it is) they still have use of it. I've yet to see a computer that can't produce latin characters.

Not to sound cynical here, but are you an American hell-bent on being non-Americanized?

Re:Complex Codes! (1)

DHR (68430) | more than 11 years ago | (#6099654)

Read the article, 8CNB5 Q8Z4R is their entire address, not just their zip code.

Re:Complex Codes! (-1, Troll)

krisp (59093) | more than 11 years ago | (#6099699)

I read the article, and it says that the 10 digit code narrows it down to the square mile. Somehow I doubt that this company takes up an entire square mile. Please drive through.

Re:Complex Codes! (2, Informative)

DHR (68430) | more than 11 years ago | (#6099728)

Try again, mile is not spelled "metre"

Re:Complex Codes! (1)

Type_O_Negative (627577) | more than 11 years ago | (#6099764)

Square *meter*, speedy. You drive through.

Re:Complex Codes! (0)

jinglecat (673072) | more than 11 years ago | (#6099674)

I get dibs on 66666-6666.
All your Evil are belongs to ME!

Re:Complex Codes! (1)

Pope (17780) | more than 11 years ago | (#6099685)

Well, in Canada our postal codes are 6 characters long, and in the USA you have ZIP+4 which is 9 long. Like phone numbers, 7 is a good length for memorization for the average person, 10 is a bit too long.

Re:Complex Codes! (1)

ceejayoz (567949) | more than 11 years ago | (#6099795)

The 10 digits replace the entire address - number, street, city, state, and postal code all become 10 digits.

Re:Complex Codes! (1)

chef_raekwon (411401) | more than 11 years ago | (#6099808)

but you remember 50 with your street address, city name, and zip code.

your logic is a bit off.

these 10 digits represent your physical address in relation to the world. no need for the street name, city or anything else.
(unless ofcourse, you live in an apartment, where you would probably put 8r4e3 u2i5k - apartment 10)

Re:Complex Codes! (1)

cryptochrome (303529) | more than 11 years ago | (#6099735)

It ain't five numbers. It's one or more lines of street address, plus city and state.

In my opinion, something like this is long overdue. It is a great complement to the OTHER obvious improvement to the mail system - which is to allow people to register codes for specific people, companies, and offices, so that even if the person moves the "address" remains the same. Simple, doesn't say where you live, and so forth. In an ideal world you could use it for phone and email too. Just link that code to the street address, or in this case the universal location code, or any other denominator, and you're set.

Send it to a person, or send it to a location. Two great tastes that taste great together.

I see this as ... (1)

jmays (450770) | more than 11 years ago | (#6099574)

Global Denomination?

I can see it now... (5, Funny)

Marx_Mrvelous (532372) | more than 11 years ago | (#6099577)

With Microsoft in control of the system, Finland will mysteriously disappear from all the routing systems...

Yes! The New World Order is here!!!! (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6099579)

This should help nicely in controlling the masses.

Re:Yes! The New World Order is here!!!! (0)

jinglecat (673072) | more than 11 years ago | (#6099624)

No, Religion already does a good job at controlling the masses...
Gee Mah, Look at all the lemmings...

GPS (4, Informative)

charlieo88 (658362) | more than 11 years ago | (#6099586)

Why new postal codes at all? With cheap GPS, why not just start using longitude and latitude?

Re:GPS (1)

MerryGoByeBye (447358) | more than 11 years ago | (#6099745)

This is a damn good point...

Why on Earth is anyone interested in a non-intuitive 133+(@d3 instead of the oh-so-easy-to-grasp lat & lng? WTF?

What possible reason can there be to not use this must intuitive scheme, given that it's possible to look up the l&l of every zip code anyway? Certainly, it's not security...

Re:GPS (5, Informative)

ssdairy (550193) | more than 11 years ago | (#6099791)

...why not just start using longitude and latitude?
Good idea. My GPS receiver has a display mode called MGRS (Military Grid Reference System) [ucsb.edu] , which maps (with some calculation) to latitude and longitude.
Example MGRS coordinates:

16 T CP 12345 67890
where:
  • 16 = a 6-degree slice of longitude
  • T = a 8-degree slice of latitude
  • CP = letters indicating a 100 km x 100 km square inside the slices listed above
  • 12345 = "easting" in meters from the west edge of the square
  • 67890 = "northing" in meters from the south edge of the square
Actually kind of nice -- the military uses maps with the squares and easting/northing values pre-printed. Also really nice for quick rough calculations of distance and bearing. If someone wants to use an alphanumeric code representing geographic location, might as well use one that's (1) already standardized and (2) usable by a human.

Maybe just a rumour (5, Funny)

Giant Ape Skeleton (638834) | more than 11 years ago | (#6099587)

But I heard they were considering using l33t5p34k.

Which means that as a New Jersey resident, my postal code would be:

5h1+h0l3

INFORMATIVE?!?! Come on people. (1)

mhore (582354) | more than 11 years ago | (#6099663)

Funny yes, informative...no way.

Read the post.

Re:INFORMATIVE?!?! Come on people. (4, Funny)

TopShelf (92521) | more than 11 years ago | (#6099719)

well... maybe some readers have never been to New Jersey, and now they've learned something!

Re:Maybe just a rumour (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6099672)

Isn't that the postal code for your mouth you repulsive asshole?

Your kind makes me sick. I can't believe how many faggots like you prance around on Slashdot sucking each others' dicks singing show-tunes with the lyrics changed to refer to Linux. Please, just spend more time polishing your boyfriend's knob and less time polluting the world with your idiotic tripe that you consider humor.

I hope you all die slowly of a debilitating illness while your eyes melt out of your heads.

I hate everyone!

Re:Maybe just a rumour (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6099780)

George. You are suppose to be over at the G8 summit and in the middle east. What are you doing on Slashdot?
Still selling that great coke?

Re:Maybe just a rumour (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6099781)

Ah, that would make you exit 7A.

Well.. (1)

grub (11606) | more than 11 years ago | (#6099592)


Considering the problems they've had with IPv4 and the space, I hope they go right to Postal v6 for assigning their codes.

Nice thought (4, Insightful)

greechneb (574646) | more than 11 years ago | (#6099593)

The proposed 10-digit universal address could be used for both homes and businesses. Slightly longer than Canada's six-digit alphanumeric postal code, it would narrow down addresses more accurately. For example, NAC Geographic Products' address in Toronto would be 8CNB5 Q8Z4R.

Nice thought... but its like the metric system. Who will want to change what they have known for many a lifetime.

I know my 60 year old dad who does carpentry will never learn the metric system, even though it would be easier, why would he, or the millions like him want to learn a new addressing scheme?

Re:Nice thought (4, Insightful)

illusion_2K (187951) | more than 11 years ago | (#6099684)

Because not everyone lives in the US. You do know that outside of the US, pretty much everyone has accepted the metric system as standard I hope. Sure, many people (including myself) still use imperial measurements for many things, but on the whole metric is where its at.

The point here is this would provide a fix to the issue of standardized postal codes in the long term. Just because it's not status-quo doesn't mean it isn't a good idea.

Re:Nice thought (1)

greechneb (574646) | more than 11 years ago | (#6099768)

I didn't say it was a bad idea...

I'd much rather be using the metric system - I hate having to do all the conversions with a pencil and paper instead of just moving a decimal point.

I'm just saying there will be a lot of people who raise a fuss over it. We had a hard enough time when our county changed from the rural route system to actually having road names. That was over 5 years ago, and many people still will not use the new addresses, causing more work for the post office.

Re:Nice thought (2, Insightful)

NerveGas (168686) | more than 11 years ago | (#6099695)


Your statement is quite ironic, seeing as how the carpentry that you mentioned is one of the very, very few areas where fractional measurement DOES have some strong merits over metric. : )

steve

Re:Nice thought (1, Insightful)

Shenkerian (577120) | more than 11 years ago | (#6099734)

That's not really a reasonable comparison. Pretty much every time I send a letter, I have to look up the zip/postal code. I don't particularly care whether I have to write down "10011" (US) or "V3H 4Z6" (Canada) or whatever system they come up with, because I'll immediately forget it. On the other hand, your father remembers from childhood what an inch roughly is, so he's less inclined to memorize another system.

Re:Nice thought (1)

FroMan (111520) | more than 11 years ago | (#6099810)

Okey, this is nonsense.

How often do you remember the name and address and city and state, then forget the zip code?

My guess is that you probably have the whole address written down in an addressbook for something. Or the address is coming directly from a peice of paper directly in front of you.

Re:Nice thought (1)

dna_(c)(tm)(r) (618003) | more than 11 years ago | (#6099773)

You mean like changing from French/Belgian Francs, Dutch guilders, German Marks, Italian Lira, Spanish pesetas, ... to Euros ? Easy.

But why not use UTM coordinates ? Nato has done so for decades (well, not for classic mail, but for delivering bombs, artillery, etc...).

Might count as prior art ;-)

Re:Nice thought (2, Funny)

IO ERROR (128968) | more than 11 years ago | (#6099845)

With 10 characters, it can represent a specific area measuring one square metre. . . . For example, NAC Geographic Products' address in Toronto would be 8CNB5 Q8Z4R.

Is it just me, or does that look like part of a Microsoft product key?

Sure, using GPS for location is nicer, but this provides a much more compressed form of basically the same data. Just think, now you can be stranded on a deserted island in the middle of the south Pacific and still get your mail.

Sigh... in other news... (1)

deathcow (455995) | more than 11 years ago | (#6099594)


Microsoft announces that there are now 4.5 billion MSN PassPort accounts, making it the worlds chosen identity provider!

True, but.... (1)

SatanicPuppy (611928) | more than 11 years ago | (#6099855)

I've got like 10 because I'm ripping them for email.

BTW: I think hotCOWmail.com is much better than plain old hotmail.

...In the war of the l33t (2, Funny)

Jonsey (593310) | more than 11 years ago | (#6099599)

It's the war of the l33t-5cript kidd13s, and I fear they may be winning.

The only complaints I've seen about alphanumeric codes have been about the difficulty remembering them: I can't say they're much worse than US zip codes.

Simple? (3, Insightful)

hendridm (302246) | more than 11 years ago | (#6099602)

From the poster:

which could change all postal codes in the world to a simpler, more universal format

From the article:

For example, NAC Geographic Products' address in Toronto would be 8CNB5 Q8Z4R.

Um, is that encrypted? Simpler than what? An IPv6 address?

The NAC universal addressing technique not only makes for easier and more efficient delivery of mail, geography specialists can use it for making maps of specific areas, Mr. Shen said.

Oh, simpler for everyone except us those who aren't in the postal and geographic industries.

Santa's Address (5, Funny)

Dick Click (166230) | more than 11 years ago | (#6099604)

I suppose that will mean Santa Claus' Postal Code will change from the current form:

H0H 0H0

And thats too bad :(

Re:Santa's Address (1)

Tmack (593755) | more than 11 years ago | (#6099770)

It will probable just become
H0H0H 0H0H0

Tm

what wrong with the original? (4, Insightful)

mgs1000 (583340) | more than 11 years ago | (#6099605)

Is there something wrong with the current system? Why not let individual countries decide how they want to have their addresses represented?

Re:what wrong with the original? (1)

sporty (27564) | more than 11 years ago | (#6099839)

What's wrong /w it? It's not descriptive.

i.e. Why is 11214, 11215 and 11217 seperated by a few or evena couple miles of other zip codes?

scan me! (1)

sweeney37 (325921) | more than 11 years ago | (#6099606)

sweet, with any luck they can add the information to my VeriChip(TM) [adsx.com] !

Mike

I like this idea, but we all know... (1)

saskboy (600063) | more than 11 years ago | (#6099614)

We know that this won't be a universal standard unless we get the center of the universe to change too [the USA].

If they didn't have their wonky 5 OR 9 digit Zip code system and joined the rest of the Commonwealth, and who knows what other countries then we would have a nice system.

Too complicated for 99% of mail (4, Insightful)

gpinzone (531794) | more than 11 years ago | (#6099626)

For example, NAC Geographic Products' address in Toronto would be 8CNB5 Q8Z4R.

Granted, this is only one more digit than a "zip+4" here in the USA, but mixing letters in there is going to be a disaster for the postal service. Their OCR has a hard enough time with decoding zip codes. Now they have to figure out the difference between a Q and a zero. I hope this system is smart enough NOT to implement "O," "S," and "Z" as letters.

Besides, most mail is local. It's like dialing the country code and area code just to order a pizza.

Re:Too complicated for 99% of mail (2, Interesting)

bigpat (158134) | more than 11 years ago | (#6099709)

"Besides, most mail is local. It's like dialing the country code and area code just to order a pizza."

Here in eastern Massachusetts we have to dial the area code just to order a pizza.

Yeah, that'll work (5, Insightful)

ebh (116526) | more than 11 years ago | (#6099628)

Simplification: Trinity College moves from Dublin 2 to Dublin 1BF45S8I0A.

Precision: Swap two digits and your letter to Grandma ends up Beyond Rangoon.

Availability: MS owns the postal system. Can't wait to see the EULA ("By licking this stamp...").

Re:Yeah, that'll work (4, Insightful)

Alan Shutko (5101) | more than 11 years ago | (#6099729)

Precision: Swap two digits and your letter to Grandma ends up Beyond Rangoon.

That's a serious problem, since as the article mentioned, they want to use these codes to replace addresses, instead of adding them on.

ZIP codes in the US aid sorting (because they are based on carrier routes instead of simple geographic area) and provide redundancy in the address, so if you mess up something in the address or zip code, there's enough info for a human to correct it. If people switched to using only the new code, that redundancy goes away.

mod parent up (1)

daniel23 (605413) | more than 11 years ago | (#6099766)


as funny and insightful

~dp

thank god! (2, Interesting)

pioneer (71789) | more than 11 years ago | (#6099631)

thank god.... from a developer standpoint having to have 'n' different database table entries for all the countries you support is a pain in the ass...

Universal Coding? (5, Funny)

Jonsey (593310) | more than 11 years ago | (#6099636)

I can't wait for Universal Location Codes v6.

With 1.8e4806 possible locations, it will be worth everyone memorizing a simple 2Meg file.

N Case ./ fx (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6099637)

Universal address system gets Microsoft backing

By JACK KAPICA
Globe and Mail Update

E-mail this Article
Print this Article

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With backing from Microsoft Corp., a Toronto company's dream of a universal addressing system is taking a step closer to reality.

NAC Geographic Products Inc. is on the verge of launching a commercial version of its Mobile Location-Based Services Network with help from Microsoft's MapPoint Web location service.

The Universal Address System and the Natural Area Coding System have been developed by NAC Geographic president Xinhang Shen as part of his dream to rationalize and standardize the world's many and conflicting systems of addresses and area codes.

Based on latitude and longitude, the NAC system can represent an area the size of a province using two alphanumeric characters. A "universal address" with six characters will narrow down a search to an area measuring one square kilometre. With 10 characters, it can represent a specific area measuring one square metre.

The proposed 10-digit universal address could be used for both homes and businesses. Slightly longer than Canada's six-digit alphanumeric postal code, it would narrow down addresses more accurately. For example, NAC Geographic Products' address in Toronto would be 8CNB5 Q8Z4R.

A universal addressing system has been a "Holy Grail," according to Tim Evangelatos, Strategic Technologies and Policy Adviser for GeoConnections at Natural Resources Canada in Ottawa.

"The idea is not unique by any means, but this system is interesting and it builds on other things that have been proposed for more than a decade," he told Globe and Mail Update in a previous interview about NAC's addressing system.

The problem with universal addressing is basically how to promote one system as a standard. Most countries already use their own national addressing systems (the alpha-numeric Canadian postal code and numbers-only U.S. "zip" code system, for example), and it's difficult to get past the cultural barriers and bureaucratic red tape necessary to get them to adopt something new. It's a chicken-and-egg scenario -- most countries won't standardize on a specific universal address system until it clearly has international acceptance, but such a system won't earn that international backing until lots of countries or major logistics companies and mapping services start using it.

With Microsoft's data engine behind it, Mr. Shen thinks the NAC stands a better chance of gaining the necessary universal acceptance. Street address for 18 countries are listed with MapPoint. The system also lists 25 countries for driving directions, as well as complete addresses in 58 cities. With the launch of the Mobile Location Based Services Network, users can also get driving directions, maps and location-based search services in English, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish, Dutch and Swedish. The MapPoint system is designed to work with wired and wireless devices, from cellphones to desktop computers.

The NAC universal addressing technique not only makes for easier and more efficient delivery of mail, geography specialists can use it for making maps of specific areas, Mr. Shen said. Search and rescue operations could use the natural area codes, as well as municipalities trying to keep track of specific traffic lights and fire hydrants for maintenance purposes. At its basic level, individuals who want to track a route from one point to another or designate a specific meeting place can use the Universal Address System for accuracy.

What makes NAC Geographic Products' system particularly interesting it can work with electronic map software and VA Lunix is DYING global positioning systems that have been configured to recognize its alpha-numeric location system.

Moreover, the system is flexible. By adding characters, NACs can also represent a point in, around or above the earth, using the centre of the earth as a reference point. RobLimo and CmdrTaco got married in Hawaii. This is handy for pinpointing areas underground for mining companies, or in space for orbiting satellites.

The system also offers an economy of effort, Mr. Shen said. Slashdot moderators are fucking morons. It can reduce 80 per cent of the input keywork when setting up a shipment, because a universal address has only eight or 10 characters, and a Natural Area Code needs only two, four or six characters. In contrast, a typical traditional address needs 50 characters for the street name, country, zip code, and so on.

Change is bad (for software) (4, Insightful)

lightspawn (155347) | more than 11 years ago | (#6099641)

Some of the software we have now is too stubborn to let you enter anything else than a 5-digit zip code.

Somebody will have to convert all these fields to normal strings...

(though I do hope whatever system is chosen won't make use of both "0" and "O", or both "1" and "l" - let's 1earn something from 0ur mistakes).

Re:Change is bad (for software) (1)

BrainInAJar (584756) | more than 11 years ago | (#6099792)

In the rest of the world, where we use postal codes, there's no way you can mess that up, it goes X#X #X#. like, V5J 4T0 and the last character's the number 0 because it's in the right place for it

military-grade postal codes (3, Insightful)

zptdooda (28851) | more than 11 years ago | (#6099644)

With 10 characters, it can represent a specific area measuring one square metre. The proposed 10-digit universal address could be used for both homes and businesses.

I don't even like people knowing what side of a street I'm on from my current postal code.

mappoint.com (2, Interesting)

presearch (214913) | more than 11 years ago | (#6099647)

mappoint.com?

I just tried it with my address and got this:

- Maps & Directions
You have reached a page that is experiencing problems or a location where a page does not exist.
Try again later or visit our home page at maps.msn.com or maps.msn.co.uk

Great choice in location service providers.
Microsoft rules.

Directions to my address (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6099651)

Stop at #9 IRQL_NOT_GREATER_OR_EQUAL Lane. Look for the blue mailbox.

But Don't We Already Have This? (1)

Rick.C (626083) | more than 11 years ago | (#6099652)

123 Anyplace Place Apt 12
Los Gatos NM 30221 USA

Isn't that alphanumeric?

Re:But Don't We Already Have This? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6099843)

Yeah I guess, but at least that spells something. Closest I can get out of 8CNB5 Q8Z4R is maybe Bacon Quasar??

E Prefix (4, Funny)

bigpat (158134) | more than 11 years ago | (#6099655)

Let's not forget to use an "E" prefix, so that when we move to Mars or the Moon, then we can start using "M" and... oh... wait a second.

Chalk one up (1)

BrynM (217883) | more than 11 years ago | (#6099662)

Lookee! Another slam dunk government licencee for a Microsoft product ("With Microsoft's data engine behind it"). This could even translate into private sector sales so the masses will know to put "8CNB5 Q8Z4R" on an envelope instead of Address/Street/City. We should know better than to let MS have a hand in a "standard". We will all pay throught the nose for this someday.

Good thing... (1)

cioxx (456323) | more than 11 years ago | (#6099677)

..it didn't effect during the early 90's.

Beverly Hills 8BHB5 D8Z4R (90210) doesn't have the same ring to it.

Re:Good thing... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6099755)

You mean Beverly Hills B00B5-B00B5?

Hmm, maybe... (4, Interesting)

FroMan (111520) | more than 11 years ago | (#6099680)

Based on latitude and longitude, the NAC system can represent an area the size of a province using two alphanumeric characters. A "universal address" with six characters will narrow down a search to an area measuring one square kilometre. With 10 characters, it can represent a specific area measuring one square metre.

Wow, they want to reinvent latitude/longitude (sp?).

I have an idea, lets make this round thing and poke another round hole in the center. Then take this stick and put it through the hole. We'll call it a wheel.

Anyone with a globe can understand lat/long, why not fly with that if you think country codes and addresses don't work well enough. No sense in reinventing the wheel here.

Somehow... (3, Insightful)

johnnick (188363) | more than 11 years ago | (#6099689)

Having Microsoft power an address system that would let the BSA, RIAA, MPAA (or others) pinpoint the computer with the "unauthorized" copies of software, MP3s or DVDs on it does not make me feel comfortable.

Can you imagine the chip that has a GPS receiver and that can translate into this adressing system?

CHIP: "Dear BSA - Computer Serial Number 123456789 has the following software ...., and is located at coordinates 7XCD5 3RE66."

"Dear Ms. Rosen - Computer Serial Number 123456789 has the following MP3s ...., and is located at coordinates 7XCD5 3RE66."

Etc.

John

it would be funny... (1)

Jucius Maximus (229128) | more than 11 years ago | (#6099693)

...if this was implemented on a large scale before IPv6 had universal acceptance ;-)

They've had this in the military for ages.... (5, Insightful)

los furtive (232491) | more than 11 years ago | (#6099696)

...its called a 10 figure grid reference, and is accurate down to square meter.

Rubbish. (5, Insightful)

Boss, Pointy Haired (537010) | more than 11 years ago | (#6099697)

The purpose of a postal code is to provide an encoding system that allows the postal distribution network to route mail first between hubs, then down to a local sorting office, and finally into a postman's walk number.

The purpose is not to locate point X on a sphere, we already have a perfectly adequate global coordinate system for that.

What is the problem being solved? (1)

Old time hacker (302793) | more than 11 years ago | (#6099712)

When anybody ever proposes a radical new approach to something, you have to wonder what the underlying problem is. In this case, a uniform postal code means that forms can be standardized to have 10 characters for entering the code. This is clearly a huge win for software providers.

Does it solve any other problems? That is not clear -- consider what the current US postal zip code can do: zip codes are allocated by the amount of mail received (some large buildings have their own 5-digit zip). Some zip codes are used by the DoD for routing mail to overseas forces (i.e. the zip does not correspond to a geographical area, but a functional grouping).

Ah -- there is another problem it solves (if adopted) -- some dot-com gets to !!PROFIT!!

Postal Codes (1, Funny)

medham_the_keen (675439) | more than 11 years ago | (#6099727)

Are a tool of surveillance and domination. They make you feel like a number. I'm not a number. I'm a man.

Re:Postal Codes (1)

johnnick (188363) | more than 11 years ago | (#6099848)

I think you're number 6099727. ;-)

Number 6: Where am I?
Number 2: In the Village.
Number 6: What do you want?
Number 2: We want information.
Number 6: Whose side are you on?
Number 2: That would be telling, we want information, information information.
Number 6: You won't get it.
Number 2: By hook or by crook, we will.
Number 6: Who are you?
Number 2: The new Number 2.
Number 6: Who is Number 1?
Number 2: You are Number 6.
Number 6: I am not a number, I am a free man!

greeat (1)

bryanthompson (627923) | more than 11 years ago | (#6099737)

the numbers will correspond to your own memory address within the matrix.

Microsoft running this ? (4, Funny)

Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) | more than 11 years ago | (#6099743)

1 - Will the zipcode format change every odd years each time M$ feels like doing an upgrade ? with the current "non-universal" postal system, there are people who get mails and postcards delivered sometimes decades after they've been sent. Will posters senders get "can't resolve address" return mails if their postcards isn't delivered in time ?

2 - How much dya bet you'd have to use those longish cryptic zipcodes as registration keys in future Microsoft products ?

Check Bit (4, Interesting)

marklyon (251926) | more than 11 years ago | (#6099748)

I'm thinking there is going to need to be a verification digit in there as well.

It'd be quite easy for me to accidentally get an invalid character in there, and without a quick way to verify the authenticity of the string, it's likely there will be a lot of misrouted shipments.

And removing any letters that have similar sounds to other letters would be a good idea. And o, so it's not confused with 0.

Maiden Head grids (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6099754)

Geeez. M$ just reinvented maiden head grids.
http://www.stu-offroad.com/gps/maiden.htm [stu-offroad.com]

What will they think of next!?!

Wasteful? (1)

Waab (620192) | more than 11 years ago | (#6099760)

What with something like 70% of the surface of the planet being covered with water, won't this make for a lot of wasted address space?.

And how many packages will end up being delivered to watery oblivion because someone missed 1 character in a 10 character universal address code?

And what happens when the USPS, UPS, and FedEx all BSOD?

Stupid Idea (4, Insightful)

EisPick (29965) | more than 11 years ago | (#6099776)

This will never get adopted, since it is both unworkable and unnecessary.

It's unworkable, because, in the case of U.S. Zip Codes, the current codes are tied to post offices and carrier routes, which don't necessarily subdivide neatly into equally-sized geographic areas. Tying postal codes to arbitrary geographic regions would be a step backwards.

But it's also unnecessary. Why force each postal system to adopt a uniform coding scheme? Why not let them keep their coding schemes and append a country code to the front.

This works for phone numbers: Each national phone system need not have the same number of digits in their phone numbers. They simply need a unique country code.

Universal . . . ? (3, Insightful)

Vinnie_333 (575483) | more than 11 years ago | (#6099782)

. . . or global? Are we sending letters to Alpha Centauri now?

so... (1)

SkunkPussy (85271) | more than 11 years ago | (#6099797)

...why not use latitude and longitude then?

and why are they so arrogant as to think that people would get rid of an address and just use this code!!

and they reckon going from a 6 letter code to 1 10 letter code is only a small increase? pffff

Microsoft + Postal Service = .... (2, Insightful)

tbase (666607) | more than 11 years ago | (#6099802)

The DMV? Sounds pretty silly to me. With electronic bill paying and e-mail, I figure in another year or two I'm going to rip my mailbox out of the ground and be done with it. When they change zip codes in relatively small areas to add a post office, it's a nightmare for all the businesses and individuals that have to inform all their contacts, re-print stationery, new signage... imaging the cost involved in doing it on a global scale. You could probably feed a small third-world country for a year on what it would cost UPS alone. If you're going to go to that trouble and expense, replace the system with something more efficient that will have a good ROI, instead of just tweaking what already works. Or better yet, just wait for technology to make it irrelevant - someone mentioned just using longitude and latitude - if you're going to use mapping software anyhow, why not do that and then you wouldn't even need the address anymore.

In Europe (1)

Captain Pooh (177885) | more than 11 years ago | (#6099817)

I would think a system like this would best be implemented by the European Union [eu.int] . Unless something like this already exist in EU nations?

Universal? (1)

supun (613105) | more than 11 years ago | (#6099825)

Great!! Now my mail to my friends on Jupiter won't get lost!!

This Island Earth by Universal-International's 1955, MST3K - "Doesn't the fact that it's Universal make it International?"

I thought there was a solution... (1)

T3kno (51315) | more than 11 years ago | (#6099827)

Wasn't IPV6 supposed to solve this problem?

Uh-oh (5, Funny)

pmz (462998) | more than 11 years ago | (#6099828)

...could change all postal codes in the world to a simpler, more universal format.

What's that sound?

It's the sound of millions of database application programmers screaming in agony.

The Normalization Monkey says, "Who's laughing now! Bwahahaha!"

Will M$ address code be . . . (1)

UnknowingFool (672806) | more than 11 years ago | (#6099837)

UN1MA TRX01?

Just wait 'till you get the notice (3, Funny)

JohnnyBigodes (609498) | more than 11 years ago | (#6099841)

"This letter can only be opened in Microsoft Windows-enabled homes"

I like it! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6099842)

If I understand it correctly, it would completely replace the entire address, not just the zip code. So instead of:
JoeCo.
12345 Main St. Bldg 5 Suite 101
Indianapolis, Indiana 55555-5555
it would be:
JoeCo.
aoz10-334al

And for the people that just need an zip code for an area, just give them the first 5 characters. I think that would be cool.

Fake ZIP Code!!! (0)

JohnnySkidmarks (607274) | more than 11 years ago | (#6099844)

Whenever I am forced to fill out any online questionaire, I ALWAYS use 90210, for some reason I can usually match that up with a Netherlands address. I love it.

Evolution of the postal system (1)

Waab (620192) | more than 11 years ago | (#6099847)

<satire>This is obviously a step in the wrong direction. Postal mail and package delivery won't be an efficient, user-friendly system until addresses, like phone-numbers, become portable. We need to get beyond the paradigm of delivering mail to a place and start delivering mail to a person. That's the future of mail, man.</satire>

Address mapping (3, Funny)

Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) | more than 11 years ago | (#6099850)

Based on latitude and longitude, the NAC system can represent an area the size of a province using two alphanumeric characters.

That's a bummer for gypsies. Maybe there should be a service equivalent to dyndns for them, so they can upgrade their own postcodes themselves on the move ?

MS BAD, TROGDOR SAYS SO! (1)

tomstdenis (446163) | more than 11 years ago | (#6099852)

TROGDOR SAYS SO!

Hehehehehe,
Strong Bad
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