Informed Delivery.

It sounds like a film noire movie title, but it's actually a new service for the U.S. Postal Service to regain some of the street cred and market share it's lost in recent years. Informed Delivery gives you an advanced sneak-peak digital preview of your mail before the hard copies arrive in the box at the end of your driveway.

The specifics of Informed Delivery include availability of greyscale images of the exterior of packages (or address side of letter-sized mail pieces) and easy tracking of packages.

Where the service is offered and where it's not is the basis of a game we've been playing on the USPS website. Just punch in a zip code and take a shot:

  • 99835 (Sitka, Alaska). The town where Ryan Reynolds and Sandra Bullock fall in love in The Proposal DOES offer Informed Delivery.
  • 99950 (Ketchikan, Alaska). Even though it has an international airport, THIS Alaska town does NOT offer it yet.
  • 30525 (Clayton, Georgia). Yup. The remote region where Deliverance was filmed offers the service.
  • 89405 (Empire, Nevada). No dice. The former gypsum mining town is virtually empty.
  • 79789 (Wink, Texas). Singer Roy Orbison grew up in Wink, but it has no Informed Delivery.
  • 96598 (Admundsen-Scott South Pole Station). Nope. Who knew the South Pole even HAD a zip code?

All the Central New York zip codes we tried (and even the most remote New York areas) have the service. The big question: Do you care?