How the Postal Sector is Helping Save the Planet

worldwide postal servicesAt this writing it is World Environment Day and the US recently bailed on the Paris Accord. World leaders have denounced the decision to quit, while affirming their own commitments. Mayors and governors across the US have vowed to carry on at the local level.

Meanwhile, postal services around the world steadily continue their collective efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in their sector, and do their part to protect the planet.

While postal services trail far behind the big polluting industries - aviation and maritime shipping, their impact is still huge. Postal services use nearly 2 million vehicles to cover the many billions of miles travelled for local and international delivery. They operate enormous facilities that gobble electricity and gas. According to the Universal Postal Union

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Addressing the World: what3words

what3wordsWhat3words set out to assign an easy to remember "address" to every place in the world. This system has divided the globe into a grid of 57 trillion 3 meter by 3 meter squares. Each square has been assigned a unique "address" consisting of 3 words. Infocore's address for example is daunting.result.lucky. There's a (randomly selected) Starbucks in Louisville KY at relishing.ballpoint.faxing.

What3words is based on latitude and longitude, and each 3 word square translates to lat,long coordinates. Lat,long coordinates are great for computers, but not human friendly says what3words. It is easier to remember 3 words.

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When Someone Says, "We Value Our Relationship", Duck.

relationshipThe four words I dread most in a client or partner conversation are: "we value our relationship". Instead of being the statement of solidarity, respect or appreciation that it would seem to be, this comment is anything but. It is in fact an early warning system that should get the urgent attention of business people the second it is uttered, and should produce an eye opening UH OH moment for the recipient of this damning praise. 

In my experience, this phrase is the equivalent of the light jab that snaps your head back a bit, presenting your chin at just the right upward angle, so that when the inevitable left hook is thrown just seconds later, you get dropped to your knees. You should put your guard up, because something’s going down. 

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Connected Cars: From Hacking to Bullying

Autonomous CarAs the worlds moves toward connected everything we grapple with the ramifications of connected devices, particulary those of us concerned with data privacy. Fitness bands, baby monitors, electric skateboards, and insulin pumps are but a few of the hacked or leaky devices. The fact is, if its connected, its vulnerable. But connected vehicles present a trunkful of unique issues to contend with. 

This is one of the first questions that come to mind when people imagine hopping into an autonomous vehicle. What if there's an accident? How about insurance? Or, what if you're driving your regular car and a driverless vehicle hits you, then what? 

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The OTHER Kind of Data Protection

google data center

As marketers or data collectors we spend lots of time thinking about data protection. And Privacy, and Compliance. As individuals we manage opt outs, read about government spying, and despite our best efforts can only make it through the first 2 paragraphs of most Privacy Policies.

From IT professionals securing a massive database against breach, to lawyers specializing in privacy law, to everyday people guarding against personal identity theft, data protection is a big deal in modern life. 

But what about the OTHER kind of protection - like, the phyical location where the data lives. How safe is that building, and where exactly IS it. And where the heck is my data when it's in "The Cloud".

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Brexit: A very complicated exit

BrexitRepercussions from Brexit continue to make headlines. The United Kingdom's vote to with draw from the EU will have profound and far ranging effects on everything from data protection to global markets to declining use of the english language. But the breakup has yet to take place. And leaving is not a simple matter.

No country has ever left the EU, and the UK's recent vote to leave has not officially set anything in motion. The recent Brexit referrendum resulted in a 52% Leave vs 48% Stay vote. But the referrendum was non binding, with no legal weight. Essentially it just assessed public opinion, and now the legalities of actually departing will begin.

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Privacy, Terror, Tor, and Anonymity

tightrope walkerThe balancing act between individual privacy and counterterrorism is like an endless walk on a tightrope. Sometimes it is steady and moving forward. And sometimes a gust of wind leaves the walker unbalanced, swaying from side to side in an attempt to remain upright.

The EU's perspective on civil liberties, privacy, and freedom of movement has met the brisk breeze of terror attacks and an influx of refugees. Let's look at 2 proposals, with strong arguments for each side, that are pending in the EU.


A hotly contested development in the EU is the Passenger Name Record (PNR) directive. The proposed directive, which has been introduced and rejected several times since it was first introduced in 2011, has been voted through committee as a draft law. It must still be ratified by the full European Parliament in early 2016. In the past the bill has been rejected because the proposed gains in security were deemed disproportionately small as compared to the loss of individual rights.

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cellphones, fingerprints, pakistan: Identity Management

fingerprintA recent report about verification of SIM cards in Pakistan has been picked up by news outlets and given wide spread coverage. It lends itself to some sensationalish headlines (e.g. "Pakistan’s New Orwellian Cell Phone Policy: Register Fingerprints or Lose Service") which added to the prevalence of the report.

There are many different slants on the story, from outrage at Big Brother tactics to hopes that the process will help thwart terrorist activity. Let's look past the headlines at some interesting aspects of identity management in Pakistan.

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Another view of Data Transfer - Submarine Cable

cable routes

While researching privacy law regarding data transfer we wandered off course and found ourselves reading about submarine communications cable. It’s engrossing stuff and we thought you’d enjoy a few fascinating factiods.  And be sure to check out TeleGeography’s super cool interactive maps depicting the world’s telecommunications geography. 

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