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Comment: Re:Cost (Score 1) 550

by g1powermac (#47526275) Attached to: Laser Eye Surgery, Revisited 10 Years Later

Also, having worn glasses for so long I've gotten used to the built in "objects flying at my eye" protection they offer. My glasses have caught more than a few flying objects and/or children's fingers.

That is so incredibly true with myself as well. I can't count the number of times I would have to go to the hospital to remove something from my eyes. (And the time I did wear proper eye protection, I ended up getting concrete dust in an eye when removing the safety goggles as the dust was sitting on the goggles. I had to get the stuff scraped out, not fun at all.)

Plus, I absolutely love having transition lenses. Nothing beats having automatic sunglasses while outside. Then, of course, they'd probably have to knock me out to perform the surgery, as I have a real hard time letting anything near my eyes. With that concrete dust, I needed three nurses to hold my eye open. . .

Comment: Re:What with all the other debris? (Score 1) 200

by g1powermac (#47392419) Attached to: The View From Inside A Fireworks Show
I agree as I actually seen an almost pretty bad accident this 4th with amateur fireworks. Since it's legal to shoot off amateur mortars in this state, at least half the households here were shooting them off this year. The neighbor behind us had something go wrong and the mortar went a partially curved trajectory and ended up hitting a power line which caused it to redirect straight for where my other neighbor was shooting his fireworks off. Of course it exploded when it hit the ground and if he was there at that time, it would have been pretty bad.

Comment: Re:or don't trust the Internet (Score 1) 191

by g1powermac (#47367445) Attached to: 30% of Americans Aren't Ready For the Next Generation of Technology
I do have to add there's a few more attack venues than just at the receiving end of a check payment. There is literally no security at your mailbox, and practically nothing in the mail trucks that pick up your checks. Anyone can take the check right out of the box, and everyone knows something's in there with the little flag being up. And then there's no cameras or security in the mail trucks themselves. Besides federal law, there's nothing stopping a carrier from pocketing a check, which I think is pretty unfortunate. Your best bet if paying by check is to deposit the envelopes directly at the Post Office. There's plenty of security inside the office and processing centers that at least there's a much less chance of anything happening once inside the system.

Comment: Re:simple (Score 1) 113

by g1powermac (#47272091) Attached to: US Wants To Build 'Internet of Postal Things'
The USPS has been swapping in LLVs for owner owned vehicles, but usually that only goes for routes that are under 25 miles or so and have a large number of boxes. My main route was one of these, consisting close to 25 miles with 750 boxes. What seems to be happening is what was considered 'rural' back 15 years ago isn't really rural anymore but is still being delivered by rural carriers. So in higher density areas, they're turning what was traditionally a real rural route into a sort of city/rural route with LLVs. I do have to say there is generally a fight with the carriers to get them to go over to LLVs. Most like to use their own vehicles because they're more comfortable, ie air conditioning and just better interiors. Plus, them dang LLVs are horrible in the snow with rear wheel drive and non-equal axle spacing (front tires are closer together than back for easier maneuverability around cars in good weather) vs a true 4 wheel drive jeep. It's quite fun trying to stick mail in a box while you slide by it.

Comment: Re:First-class mail down but parcels up (Score 2) 113

by g1powermac (#47267111) Attached to: US Wants To Build 'Internet of Postal Things'
I can't give much perspective from the city carrier side, but as a former rural carrier, I didn't see much push to violate safety protocols from management. Actually, my manager was particularly up on new safety info coming from higher up and made sure we all knew about it once a week. However, I do have to say a few things on the incentives to break safety codes. All rural carriers are paid via route evaluations. So, if your route evaluates for 8.5 hours to complete, you will get paid for 8.5 hours no matter how fast or slow it takes you to complete it. So, the faster you complete, the 'more' you get paid per hour and the chance to help other carriers complete routes if there's problems. I had a time where I finished my route early and worked on a second route while still being under the evaluated time for the first route. So I was getting paid twice, evaluated time for the first route, hourly for the second. That really brings an incentive to get your route done as fast as possible despite safety rules or accuracy.

Comment: Re:simple (Score 2) 113

by g1powermac (#47267025) Attached to: US Wants To Build 'Internet of Postal Things'
Actually, the rural runs aren't that particularly expensive to the USPS. I was once a rural carrier, and most rural routes actually require the driver to use his/her own vehicle (with a paid stipend on vehicle use). This is actually a cheaper arrangement for the USPS than sending LLVs around. Plus, with the rural routes, you don't get that much of a drop in box count. They just add more miles to your route. The PO I worked for had a rural route that had over 100 miles on it.

Comment: Re:22.6 billion pieces..... (Score 2) 113

by g1powermac (#47266991) Attached to: US Wants To Build 'Internet of Postal Things'
Nah, 'bulk' mail is never sent first class. They got a rate class of their own, usually marked as 'standard'. Having a bit of inside knowledge of the post office as a former carrier, I can definitely say they make a pretty penny on all that bulk mail. This is why they won't do anything that would disrupt that revenue stream especially with the massive drop in first class (which was mostly comprised of business correspondence, ie bills and checks going back and forth).

Comment: US Mail Carriers Rejoice, Maybe (Score 1) 113

by g1powermac (#47266951) Attached to: US Wants To Build 'Internet of Postal Things'
As a former rural carrier, I can tell you those blasted scanners the USPS gives the carriers are a total pain. They can't scan barcodes in full sunlight, which is absolutely crazy considering we're either outside or in a truck that has full windows. So next time watch your poor mail carrier try to scan your next package, especially if there isn't a cloud in the sky. You'll see us try to hide the thing in the shade, move the scanner around, and generally get aggravated at it. Something like NFC would be a godsend if its implemented correctly. Of course, however, how much of a chance is it that the USPS would actually implement it correctly?

Comment: Re:Shame this happened (Score 1) 136

by g1powermac (#46786459) Attached to: Plant Breeders Release 'Open Source Seeds'
There's actually a bit more to this. As a really avid home grower (albeit, getting closer and closer to actually selling some stuff), I've seen another type of patent that growers need to watch for, besides just the GMO stuff. It's called plant variety protection. Now PVP IP is definitely less restrictive than general patents, but it is still another hurdle that growers need to look out for. Also, as described in that wikipedia article, there are true plant patents for asexually produced varieties. I've seen this specifically when buying raspberries. They had clear warnings on them that the variety was patented and no reproduction of the plants were allowed, though exactly how that is suppose to be accomplished I have no idea since raspberries spread and reproduce greatly on their own. And, btw, these patented plants can all be readily purchased through home grower catalogs, and there's a lot more of these patents and PVP than you would think. You also don't need to sign any licensing paper. The patented varieties are basically EULA licensed for home grower/non propagator use only. And also to clear up a bit of a gray issue, you definitely can replant seed from F1 hybrids. They will grow and not have any crazy seed termination stuff that Monsanto was playing with. The only thing is you won't really get the vigor and some of the other properties of the F1 even if you make sure there is no cross pollination between varieties. And if you play with it enough, you might even be able to gleam a new heirloom variety from the F1 after stabilizing the genetics via standard plant breeding tactics.

Comment: Re:Slightly misleading. (Score 2) 226

by g1powermac (#45669615) Attached to: Canada Post Announces the End of Urban Home Delivery
As a former carrier, I can tell you that carrier was acting as legally required. They're not allowed to throw away mail at all, even at the request of the resident. Doing so will get you fired and/or in handcuffs very quickly. A carrier can only set aside undeliverable bulk mail that a clerk will later throw out. And only standard rate mail without a "Or Current Resident" endorsement going to a resident who doesn't live at the address (or all bulk mail going to a vacant address that doesn't have 'forwarding service requested' endorsement) can be given to the clerks as undeliverable. The rest is either forwarded, sent back as unable to forwarded, or delivered. Btw, some post offices will let you sign up for a list to stop delivering 'boxholders'. Those are the things that either weekly newspaper or flyer type things that have coupons and such.

Comment: Re:Slightly misleading. (Score 2) 226

by g1powermac (#45669549) Attached to: Canada Post Announces the End of Urban Home Delivery
As a former rural carrier, I can say that the 'bulk business mail' (not allowed to say junk mail when you work for the USPS) does make up a good portion of the volume. However, the volume of bulk mail is barely staying stable. A steep rise in cost may cause it to plummet like first class. What is really keeping the doors open at the USPS, especially after talking with some of my friends at the local post office is the insane increase of packages. Amazon has shifted a tremendous amount of package volume to the post office, either directly, or via UPS SmartPost type things. Package volumes at my former post office are so high right now that they've had to send substitute carriers just to help deliver packages that the normal carrier can't fit in their vehicle. I've never seen that before when I worked there.

+ - AMD Unveils New Family of GPUs: Radeon R5, R7, R9 With BF 4 Preorder Bundle->

Submitted by MojoKid
MojoKid (1002251) writes "AMD has just announced a full suite of new GPUs based on a new, evolved version of its Graphics Core Next (GCN) architecture. The Radeon R5, R7, and R9 families are the new product lines aimed at mainstream, performance, and high-end gaming, respectively. Specs on the new cards are still limited, but we know that the highest-end R9 290X is a six-billion transistor GPU with more than 300GB/s of memory bandwidth and prominent support for 4K gaming. The R5 series will start at $89, with 1GB of RAM. The R7 260X will hit $139 with 2GB of RAM, the R9 270X and 280X appear to replace the current Radeon 7950 and 7970 with price points at $199 and $299, and 2GB/3GB of RAM, and then the R9 290X, at an unannounced price point and 4GB of RAM. AMD is also offering a limited preorder pack, that offers Battlefield 4 license combined with the graphics cards, which should go on sale in the very near future. Finally, AMD is also debuting a new positional and 3D spatial audio engine in conjunction with GenAudio dubbed "AstoundSound," but they're only making it available on the R9 290X, R9 280X, and the R9 270X."
Link to Original Source

Comment: Is this actually new? (Score 2) 187

by g1powermac (#44421401) Attached to: Nitrogen Fixing Bacteria That Can Colonize Most Plants Discovered
I've read the article and have researched this before for my own farm. There are products already on the market that seem to do what the article talks about so I'm not really sure that this is anything new. However, if they are using Azotobacter bacteria, I'm curios how they are making it symbiotic as it generally isn't.

Today's scientific question is: What in the world is electricity? And where does it go after it leaves the toaster? -- Dave Barry, "What is Electricity?"