Alternatives to icky polluted snailmail, was Re: fighting Anthrax w/ Dr. Strangelove

From: Michael M. Butler (
Date: Fri Oct 19 2001 - 00:28:05 MDT

This resembles something FedEx was pushing a decade or more ago.
"ZapMail" is described by one author as follows:

                Fred Smith, founder of FedEx, modeled ZAPmail after FedEx's highly
                successful overnight delivery system, but ZAPmail would be delivered
                in 2 hours! The problem was the business model didn't fit the
                technology ZAPmail used fax machines located in FedEx office to
                achieve its two hour delivery miracle. Now we all have a fax machine
                and FedEx lost millions on ZAPmail.

(I've lost the URL to the source, but Google is your friend...)

The basic idea was, yes, somebody scanned your paper and "made it appear" somewhere else.


Dan Clemmensen wrote:
> Mike Lorrey wrote:
> > A solution to the 'anthrax in the mail' problem is rather obvious:
> > irradiate the mail. This would eliminate any threat of bacteriological
> > biowarfare through the mail, and may actually be useful against viral
> > contagions as well.
> >
> > "Gamma Rays: Give your mail a tan."
> >
> > Mike Lorrey
> >
> >
> Almost all mail except packages can be eliminated: just use
> e-mail or fax, and of course arrest all junk mailers as
> potential terrorists :-)
> Until we can train everybody that mail is an unfriendly and
> unwanted anachronism, places such as congress that get a
> lot of mail should invest in automated equipment that
> opens the mail under remote supervision and then stores and
> forwards an electronic copy: the mailroom need not be
> within a thousand miles of the addressee. This approach
> probably makes economic sense even in the absence of
> a terrorist threat. WHen fully implemented, the remaining mail
> volume would be so much smaller that we could afford the
> extra cost of additional protective measures, such as affirmative
> identification of the sender via telephone prior to opening any
> package.

My moronic mnemonic for smart behavior: "DICKS" == 
diplomacy, integrity, courage, kindness, skepticism.

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