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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.

Comment: Re:nature and consumers (Score 1) 358

by g1powermac (#44408913) Attached to: GMO Oranges? Altering a Fruit's DNA To Save It
Ahh yes, I can see that with trying to compete against native plants. However, the interesting part is, with tomatoes anyway, that the whole nightshade family has very little representation in the native weeds here in the state of Kentucky. I've only identified a few different species growing on my land and the only one that has any strength to really compete is horse nettle. I've rarely seen black nightshade, and it seems to barely compete. So, I'm thinking the whole nightshade family doesn't compete that well over the long run in this area. Now, for the brassica family (ie, mustard, broccoli, canola, etc), I've got plenty of native brassica weeds. I have seen some of my kale going wild and easily establish itself as a weed. This family is much more 'weedy' and can easily compete. And of course, you got 'wild carrot', ie Queen Anne's lace, and its poisonous cousin, Poison Hemlock. These two will readily establish themselves in wild fields, and I can easily see regular carrots doing the same if we ever let them go to seed. So I think alot of competition ability of our regular crops depends on family basis.

Comment: Re:nature and consumers (Score 1) 358

by g1powermac (#44408125) Attached to: GMO Oranges? Altering a Fruit's DNA To Save It
Heh, no, not always. Have you ever grown a large plot of tomatoes? During harvesting you always end up losing a few, the tomatoes subsequently rot, and the seeds go into the soil for the following year. They then sprout in the spring, but only the hardiest remain after the late frosts and generally crappy spring weather (for tomatoes that is). These tomatoes sprouted in a field that I planted a cover crop over in the fall/winter and didn't do a thing to the field till just recently. No watering, fertilizing, or care. I even cut down these tomatoes with my lawn mower to kill off the over wintered cover crop. So, I ended up with over a dozen super strong tomato plants that look healthier than anything I got growing at the moment.

Comment: Re:Why not just cut the CDs and DVDs locally? (Score 1) 176

by g1powermac (#44401729) Attached to: Post Office Proposes Special Rate For Mailing DVDs
Sadly, this does happen, but really for social security and other gov't benefits checks, it takes a whole corrupt post office to pull it off. When I worked for the post office as a rural carrier, social security checks came in via a different system, outside of your DPS mail. It wouldn't take much at all to tell if a single person in the chain was stealing them. But, if the supervisor was in on it, then all bets are off. It would have to go through the postal inspectors only to try to catch it.

Comment: Re:US Post Office is messed up big time (Score 3, Interesting) 176

by g1powermac (#44401669) Attached to: Post Office Proposes Special Rate For Mailing DVDs
That's pretty difficult, actually, at least if you dropped the dvd's at the post office. The back room of a post office is pretty well secured to protect such things, with cameras everywhere. I've worked at a small/medium sized post office and have toured a processing plant, and there is quite a bit of interesting things going on to prevent stealing of mail. I especially liked the closed in catwalks with one way mirrors for the postal inspectors that go all the way around the processing plant. Even at my post office, there was a separate entrance with its own key going to a secured room for a postal inspector to enter only. The joke of the whole thing is though that outside of the post office/processing plants, there's pretty much no security. Most of the rural carriers drive their own vehicles, and there's no inspections to make sure you cleared out all the mail in your car. And for the postal trucks, there's no cameras or gps to track where you're going, but they at least check the truck to make sure everything is out. So, how difficult is it to take mail while on route? Sadly, incredibly easy. And many carriers have went to prison for it because of doing even more incredibly stupid things, like stealing tracked packages. Now, here is a possible reason why those dvds got there at different times. I was told that I needed to separate all netflix dvd's I picked up from the regular outgoing mail. The clerks then did something different with them compared to the regular outgoing mail, but I'm not sure what. I would happen to guess that they are sent through different channels. So, maybe some of your dvd's were separated, but not all. So some got there faster than others.

Comment: Re:How is this news? (Score 3, Informative) 176

by g1powermac (#44401527) Attached to: Post Office Proposes Special Rate For Mailing DVDs
And, as a former rural carrier, I can tell you that arrangement is quite profitable for the post office. The rural carriers have to go their routes anyway, so the extra package load costs quite little. The only costs are some time for the clerks/management to sort the incoming packages in the morning, and the slightly higher evaluations for the routes (which translates to a small bit more money to the carriers).

Comment: Re:Already happening (Score 1) 867

by g1powermac (#44380889) Attached to: Door-To-Door Mail Delivery To End Under New Plan
It's still there. I've had some fun times delivering mail on un-plowed roads with enough snow that a regular vehicle would have issues in. But, having to use an LLV with chains on the tires, rear wheel drive, and no anti-lock brakes (plus the front wheels are on a shorter axle than the rear for easier mobility on good days, but then the front doesn't cut into the snow for the rear), is quite challenging to say the least. . .You literally have to time the slide of the vehicle just right so you can stick the mail in the box before the truck slides past it. Of course the dang trucks love to slide right toward the mail boxes too. I'm really surprised I didn't take out a box or two in my day. . .

Comment: Re:Already happening (Score 2) 867

by g1powermac (#44377433) Attached to: Door-To-Door Mail Delivery To End Under New Plan
Well, I would suggest going to post office and have a little talk with the supervisor or postmaster directly if you're at a small office. That kind of behavior just isn't cool and something that makes the post office look worse than it already is. Both myself and my regular carrier (I was a substitute) tried our best to deliver well. As for security, yea, having mail stolen does happen, though if you're caught, it is a federal crime. If you're concerned about stolen mail, definitely talk with your postmaster, they'll jump on that fast.

Just a quick note on finishing routes early. . .for rural routes you get paid for evaluated time of the route. So, if the route is evaluated for 8 hours, you get paid for 8 no matter how long it actually takes you to finish. So, the faster you go, the more money you get per hour since you only worked for 6 but got paid for 8. Of course, the opposite is true too, especially during Christmas season. Now, for city carriers, it's a whole different thing that I have no idea how it works. It's quite funky and they don't teach it to you in rural carrier school (and yea, different training schools for different carriers :-)

At these prices, I lose money -- but I make it up in volume. -- Peter G. Alaquon