The whole literacy thing is so-o-o second millennium The New York Times has an article on cell-phone readable bar codes (irritating registration required).
Maybe this will cut down drunken party photos on Friendster Already in use in Japan and Europe - the more technologically advanced parts of the world - the codes enable cell phones to read URLs and other info. So you don't have to.
The NYT notes that in Japan:
One of the most popular uses in Japan has been paperless airline tickets. About 10 percent of the people who take domestic flights of All Nippon Airways now use the codes on their cellphones instead of printed tickets.
Yasuko Nishigai, 22, used her cellphone recently to buy a ticket from Tokyo to the Japanese tropical island of Okinawa. To board her flight, she waved the code on her cellphone screen over a scanner.
“I didn’t use a single piece of paper, just my phone,