vendredi 22 août 2014

By mail
Diamond Head & Waikiki Beach,Honolulu, Hawaii
Addressing mail with a properly-formatted address will expedite its journey with the U.S. Postal Service (USPS). (Not to be confused with the abbreviation for private shipper UPS.) Most important is the ZIP code (postal code); you can look up ZIP codes and correct address formats online. ZIP codes were originally 5 digits; later they gained a hyphen and 4 extra digits, which are recommended but still optional, and used more commonly by businesses than by individuals.
Addresses should be written in three (sometimes four) lines like this:
Name of recipient
House number and street name
City or town, two-letter state abbreviation, ZIP code
or, as an example:
Barack Obama
1600 Pennsylvania Ave. NW
Washington, DC 20500-0001
There are recommended abbreviations for state names and terms (e.g. street = ST, avenue = AVE); the USPS address and ZIP code search uses them automatically. The USPS also recommends that addresses be written using only upper case letters and no punctuation (except the hyphen in the ZIP code and hyphens and slashes in some house numbers), but automated sorting machines accept mixed-case lettering and even cursive writing just as easily.
First-class international airmail postcards and letters (up to one ounce/28.5 grams) cost $1.15. (The lower rate to Canada and Mexico has ended.) All locations with a ZIP code are considered domestic, including the 50 states, U.S. possessions, Micronesia (FSM), Marshall Islands, and overseas military bases and ships (APO/FPO). Domestic postcards cost $0.34, and ordinary letters up to an ounce, $0.49. "Forever" stamps are available for the first ounce of both domestic and international postage, and protect against future increases. Mailing thick or rigid objects, or non-standard shapes increases the postage cost.
Poste Restante, the receiving of mail at a post office rather than a private address, is called "General Delivery." There is no charge for this service. You will need to show ID such as a passport to pick up your mail. You do not need to have mail addressed to a particular post office by its name--use only "GENERAL DELIVERY" in the second line. For example:
John Doe
General Delivery
Seattle, WA 98101-9999
The last four digits of the ZIP code for General Delivery are always "9999". If the city is large enough to have multiple post offices, only one (usually in the center of downtown) will allow General Delivery. For example, if you're staying in the Green Lake district of Seattle (a few miles north of downtown), you cannot receive your mail at the Green Lake Post Office, and must travel downtown to get it. However, if you're in an independent suburb just outside a large city having only one government post office you can have it sent there. Another option is to rent a post office box.
FedEx and UPS also have a "Hold for Pickup" option and have locations throughout larger cities in the U.S. Though usually more expensive, these may be a better option when receiving something important from abroad.
By Internet[edit]
Given the ubiquity of private Internet access, Internet cafés are rare outside major cities and tourist areas. However, you do have some options, except perhaps in the most rural of areas. Accessible WiFi networks, however, are common.
The most generally useful WiFi spots are in coffee shops, fast-food chains, and bookshops, though you may need to buy something first. Some cities also provide free WiFi across their downtown areas. Try to use only public networks. Using a private network (even one without a password), unless authorized to do so, is illegal (though enforcement is nearly non-existent), and it may also allow criminals to track your browsing and so defraud you. Even traffic on public networks may be logged.
A few less obvious WiFi spots may be found in:
·         Public libraries – Free Wi-Fi is almost always available, although you may need to get a log-in from the information desk. The network may even be accessible 24/7, so even if the library is closed you may be able to sit outside and surf.
·         Starbucks  all locations of the Starbucks coffee chain offer free Wi-Fi, as well as electrical outlets for your laptop.
·         Hotels – chain hotels will almost always have it in the rooms and the communal areas. Smaller independent hotels are less likely to. Generally a pricey option.
·         Colleges and universities – may have networks in their libraries and student centers that are open to non-students. Ask around.
·         Airports – even smaller regional ones offer Wi-Fi. It may cost though.
·         Paid WiFi chains – give you access to numerous hotspots for a small charge, e.g. Boingo.
Mobile broadband via a USB modem is also an option. Service providers include Verizon Wireless and Virgin Mobile (which uses the Sprint network). Make sure to check a coverage map before you buy, each company has large areas with bad or no coverage. Also, these plans are subject to data limits which are easy to exceed unknowingly! Avoid watching videos over a mobile network.
Public PC terminals[edit]
Internet cafés can still be found in some larger cities (e.g. New York and Los Angeles). Airports and shopping malls offer Internet access terminals for very quick use, although these are generally disappearing. Access typically costs $1 for 1–2 minutes of web time. Any public computer will likely block access to undesirable websites and log your Internet use.
You may also consider:
·         Public libraries — have PCs with broadband for public use. You will need to register with the library to get log in information, and may (rarely) need to pay a small fee.
·         Photocopy shops — will have computers available for public use (at a cost). E.g. FedEx Office (+1 800 463 3339/+1 800 GOFEDEX; when prompted by the voice menu, say "FedEx Office" or press "64") is open 24 hr and is nationwide. Some are also commercial mail receiving agents (such as The UPS Store) and offer fax service.
·         Smart hotels — have "business centers" replete with computers, printers, photocopies, and fax machines that you can use at a cost.
·         Electronics stores — the computers on display are often connected to the Internet. A quick email will be tolerated with a smile, six hours of Warcraft won't. The Apple Store is particularly generous and will allow browsing without intent to buy; however, some websites, such as Facebook, are blocked.
·         University libraries — while private universities may restrict entry to their students and faculty, public university libraries are generally required by law to be open to the public (at least as far as books go) and they may also have a computer or two for public use.

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