« February 2010 | Main | April 2010 »

March 2010 Archives

March 4, 2010

Why the USPS is running a deficit

The USPS is in the news lately, complaining they'll be running some 200+ BILLION in deficits in the next 10 years unless they cancel Saturday delivery, raise rates and do a number of unpleasant things, none of which entails laying off personnel or improving their service.

I had a taste of why the USPS is so inefficient recently that I wanted to share. The USPS, like all government agencies, is subject to FOIA (Freedom of Information Act) requests. The FOIA is a great tool for individuals and businesses to get information from their government.

I recently used FOIA to try and obtain the database that drives the USPS's mailing location website. I wanted the data to add to our sites to make it easier for people to find the "blue box" collection spots that are scattered about virtually every city in the country. There are hundreds of thousands of these collection points in total and the current USPS website is pretty poor and difficult to use. Adding this data to our sites seemed logical and productive.

I sent a FOIA requesting "a list of addresses and and last pickup times of all USPS collection box locations in the United States." - this is precisely the information that their website uses, so it has to be an existing, fairly easy to access table on a server somewhere.

Here's their response in a nutshell: (some verbiage left out for brevity)

Dear Mr. Coryat,
Our IT Department has estimated the computer processing and personnel costs associated with your request to be approximately $2,732.00

$1600.00 - 8 hours of IT specialist Time
$180.00 - 3 hours Operator Time
$100.00 - Electronic Delivery Set-up
$6.00 - 6 gigabytes data delivery
$140.00 - PC Usage
$706.00 - Mainframe/Open system usage
Paul C Sullivan
Delivery Systems
475 L'Enfant Plaza SW
Rm 5821
Washington, DC 20260-5821

8 hours of IT specialist time and all those other fees to extract a single, existing database that sits in a publicly facing webserver? 6 gigabytes of data? There are 238,000 (+/-) collection box locations in the US, at 6 gigabytes, that means each collection box location consumes a whopping 25,150 bytes! An address and a last collection time should require about 150 bytes at the most.

This is typical of the way the USPS does business. It's no wonder they can run a 200+ Billion dollar deficit over the next 10 years.

March 11, 2010

New Zipcodes - 2010/02

There are five new Zip Codes for February, 2010.

09813 DPO
09816 DPO
96220 APO
96259 FPO

March 13, 2010

New Zipcodes - 2010/03

Nineteen new Zip Codes for March, 2010.

34060 DPO
34061 APO
34062 APO
34063 APO
34064 APO
34065 APO
34067 APO
34068 APO
34069 APO
34080 APO
34081 APO
34082 APO
34083 APO
34084 APO
34085 APO
34086 APO
34087 APO
34088 APO
34089 APO

March 28, 2010

New Zipcodes - 2010/04

There is one new Zip Code for April, 2010.

34066 APO

March 30, 2010

Google Device Seeding Program

Today I received a free DROID (Verizon) phone from Google's Device Seeding Program for Top Android Market Developers.

This is a great thing that Google is doing for developers. My first Android device, the Google ION was also a gift from last year's Google IO, which I used to develop "Radar Now!", "What Zip Code?" and two others. Without this seeding program, many developers, including myself, wouldn't have jumped onto the Android bandwagon.

Now all I need to complete the set is a nice Nexus One, which I hope to receive when I check in at Google IO 2010! Sorry to all of you who didn't pre-register!

I will be using this nice DROID to upgrade "Radar Now!" and also to work on adding AdSense into the app. USNaviguide was accepted into the AdSense Beta for mobile devices last month and I've been waiting on this device to include it.

Again, Thanks Google for being such a great company!

About March 2010

This page contains all entries posted to maps.huge.info / USNaviguide LLC in March 2010. They are listed from oldest to newest.

February 2010 is the previous archive.

April 2010 is the next archive.

Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

Powered by
Movable Type 3.31