GIGABYTE Launches the X399 AORUS Gaming 7 Motherboard

GIGABYTE TECHNOLOGY Co. Ltd, a leading manufacturer of motherboards and graphics cards, presents the newest AMD X399 equipped motherboard, the X399 AORUS Gaming 7. The critically acclaimed AORUS series extends its focus to the AMD platform and the new X399 AORUS Gaming 7 comes with a plethora of impressive features.

These features include high-end cooling solutions, digital lighting support, M.2 plug heat dissipation armor, 4-Way display output, a newly designed power source, GIGABYTE’s unique RGB Fusion and Smart Fan 5, which provide the user with high quality, innovative and high-performance motherboard.

In addition, GIGABYTE has partnered with WTFast to provide the best networking connection to consumers and allows the user to experience AORUS motherboard’s strong and stable network performance. Not only does it fulfill the user’s connection speed expectations, it complements the AMD RyzenTM ThreadripperTM‘s top-notch processor capabilities.

Vincent Liu, Senior Associate Vice President of GIGABYTE’s Motherboard Business Unit states: “Following the release of AMD’s newest X399 platform equipped with the RyzenThreadripper processor, GIGABYTE has provided consumers with a revolutionary new product.

Not only will our new motherboard provide high user compatibility and be paired with the top-notch quality of AMD’s processor, it shows our dedication to producing the best motherboards for passionate gamers and enthusiasts.” Senior Associate Vice President Liu further stated: “GIGABYTE’s X399 AORUS Gaming 7 motherboard is designed for passionate gamers and enthusiasts.

Through the utilization of our valued resources and professional research and development, the newest motherboard provides both stability and effective performance, giving consumers an amazing choice of a motherboard.”

AMD RyzenThreadripperProcessor  

GIGABYTE Launches the X399 AORUS Gaming 7 Motherboard
GIGABYTE Launches the X399 AORUS Gaming 7 Motherboard

The AMD RyzenThreadripperProcessoris the first AMD consumer processor to utilize a land grid array design. It uses a SocketTR4 power source with 4094 pins and is larger in volume compared to the AMD Ryzen7. The brand new AMD RyzenThreadripper processor uses a 14nm core and boasts a 16-core, 32 thread design, more than double that of the AMD Ryzen7.

The RyzenThreadripper also provides the consumer with a record-breaking 64 PCIe Gen3 lanes, improving its overall processing capabilities. The X399 AORUS Gaming 7’s unique design fully supports the RyzenThreadripper processor, three PCIe Gen3 x4 NVMe M.2 interfaces, and USB 3.1 Gen2 connectivity, providing high-quality display and efficient information processing/storage connectivity.

The X399 AORUS Gaming 7 motherboard utilizes a highly durable power equipment design, providing the best support for the RyzenThreadripper‘s exceptional processing capabilities. It is by far the best choice for AMD’s top processor on the market.

RGB Fusion with Digital LED Lighting

RGB Fusion with Digital LED Lighting

GIGABYTE’s newest X399 AORUS Gaming 7 motherboard is equipped with RGB LED Light selection. It comes with a brand new, completely redesigned RGB Fusion technology. The consumer will have the option to completely customize the selection to his/her own personal preference and style.

In addition, the X399 AORUS Gaming 7 supports the latest digital LED lighting. Each individual LED can be independently displayed with a wide range of options. Not only does GIGABYTE’s RGB Fusion software retain the previous generation’s acclaimed style, but it also adds more than ten digital LED lighting styles, giving the consumer more flexibility.

The X399 AORUS Gaming 7 motherboard simultaneously supports 5V and 12V digital LED lighting strips and up to 300 LED lights, providing the consumer with options to customize the lighting and removing many restrictions to lighting styles.

Smart Fan 5 with Effective Heat Dissipation Settings

Smart Fan 5 with Effective Heat Dissipation Settingsd
Smart Fan 5 with Effective Heat Dissipation Settings

The X399 AORUS Gaming 7 motherboard comes equipped with the newest Smart Fan 5 technology. Not only can the consumer customize different fan speeds and heat dissipation settings, but the consumer can also maximize the efficiency of the fan system by increasing/decreasing fan strength based on current computer processes and performance. The X399 AORUS Gaming 7 ensures that your system performs at optimal temperature settings.

M.2 Thermal Guard: Low Temperatures, High Effectiveness

M.2 Thermal Guard: Low Temperatures, High Effectiveness
M.2 Thermal Guard: Low Temperatures, High Effectiveness

The AORUS motherboard provides the consumer with the highest storage efficiency. With a 3 group NVMe PCIe x4 M.2 surge protection setting, it provides the consumer with the fastest 32 GB/s preview and transfer speed and allows the consumer to easily tune disk array settings.

Since standard M.2 drives may be affected by overheating during regular operation, GIGABYTE’s specially designed Thermal Guard Armor helps reduce M.2 drive’s operating temperature. GIGABYTE’s M.2 Thermal Guard can help keep M.2 devices up to 20 degrees Celsius cooler, protecting the components from being affected by overheating and allowing the board to run effectively.

Highly Durable Power Supply Unit

The X399 AORUS Gaming 7 has a significantly more durable power supply with its CPU (ATX12V) and a 24-Pin ATX power source. It has superior power transmission capabilities, a fourth-generation power source, a third-generation PowIRstage chip, and an industry-leading IR, providing stable and more than sufficient power.

The X399 AORUS Gaming 7 is highly durable and should provide at least 100,000 hours of power. The board also has USB port protection with Precision Digital Fuses, to protect against over-current damage and avoid unexpected voltage from external devices.

These important power management and protection features will ensure a stable and efficient AMD RyzenThreadripper operation on the X399 AORUS Gaming 7.

Improved Graphics Performance + High-Quality Audio

Improved Graphics Performance + High-Quality Audio
Improved Graphics Performance + High-Quality Audio

The X399 AORUS Gaming 7 motherboard provides 64 PCIe Gen3 lanes of which 48 PCIe Gen3 lanes are dedicated to graphics performance. The four PCIe Gen3 slots (16+16+8+8) support 4-Way AMD CrossFire™ and 4-Way NVIDIA SLI and provide 4K quality display, giving the consumer exceptional gaming experience.

The X399 AORUS Gaming 7 uses the Realtek ALC1220 engine, Smart Headphone AMP capabilities, and its audio settings can be optimized. The consumer doesn’t have to worry about the audio being too soft or too loud.

Adding on the Nichicon and WIMA audio options, the motherboard provides the consumer with top-notch entertainment quality. Regardless if it’s listening to music, watching a movie, destroying enemies in PC games, the consumer can enjoy high end visual and audio quality.

Killer E2500+ WTFast GPN Software Capabilities

The X399 AORUS Gaming 7 motherboard utilizes the Killer E2500 Network Ethernet Controller. Built-in with a network controller system, it enables the consumer to complete high-speed downloads, ensures a stable connection, and reduces network lag during gaming.

Killer E2500+ WTFast GPN Software Capabilities
Killer E2500+ WTFast GPN Software Capabilities

The X399 AORUS Gaming 7 motherboard has partnered with WTFast to provide GPN private networking functions regardless of where the consumer is and improves network quality and stability.

The X399 AORUS Gaming 7’s exceptional network performance with its free 14-day WTFast subscription will provide optimal internet performance to the consumer and allow him/her to use the fastest internet connections, up to 60 percent faster than other network connections.

Additionally, the X399 AORUS Gaming 7 is equipped with the Creative SoundBlaster 720. Not only does it provide top-notch quality sound effects for gaming but the addition of the ScoutRadar Display allows the consumer to utilize headphones and the display to easily recognize enemy positions by sound and gives them a competitive edge over other competitive gamers.

For consumers who enjoy streaming, the X399 AORUS Gaming 7 provides a year’s subscription of XSplit Gamecaster, which employs an easy to use interface for streaming and gives the consumer an opportunity to share exciting highlights with the rest of the world.

The X399 AORUS Gaming 7 supports the newest SocketTR4 powered AMD RyzenTM ThreadripperTM processor, DDR4, USB 3.1 Gen2 ports, USC DAC-UP2, Q-Flash Plus, and other unique GIGABYTE specifications. For more information on the specifications of this new product and the technical features, it supports,

Industrial Automation

Networking the industry

While the term „Internet of Things“ first turned up in 1985 (when the Internet as we know it today was not even a prospect yet), the need for an „industrial“ subset has been recognized only in the early 2000s.

Today, Industrial IoT is being implemented far more rapid than a more generic IoT, and – believe it or not – the key drivers for that came out of Europe.

Industrial Automation
Industrial Automation

When the term „Industry 4.0“ (Industrie 4.0) was coined back in 2011 at the Hannover Messe, the initiative was widely viewed as a buzzword creation project. Even more so, since Networking had become a key issue in industrial automation in the 1990s. Furthermore, a „high-tech strategy“ launched by the German government didn’t seem to be something that had to be taken seriously.

We will probably never know how much of its success was due to thorough planning and how much was sheer luck, but… well, it worked. Obviously, there was a need in Germany’s manufacturing industries for guidelines regarding this issue, and thanks to their global ecosystems of suppliers and subcontractors, the concepts spread to many parts of the world.

Similar activities in other key regions – e.g. „Industrie du Futur“ in France, IVI in Japan, China’s 2015 5-year-plan or the IIC in the USA, most of them incorporated the Industry-4-0-approach – have turned the „Industrial Internet of Things“ (IIoT) from concept to reality in a short time. Not as a subset of a general IoT, as used to be predicted, but as the pioneering technology. In fact, it is actually here while IoT is still more of an idea.

Industrial Automation
Industrial Automation

France’s Industrie du Futur has been conceived in close cooperation between French and German industry associations, accompanied by both governments and the European Commission, and became a model for Italy’s strategy „Fabbrica Intelligente“, Spains „Industria Conectada 4.0“ and, more generally, an EU-wide incentive for industrial digitization.

Actually, this approach is recognized worldwide as a locational advantage for the European Manufacturing Industries. The USA and China joined the effort of standardizing industrial digitization only in 2014/2015.

The Industrial Internet Consortium IIC, as well as China’s tech strategy in it, ’s five-year-plan, are very closely related to the European specifications. Obviously, the organizations have learned from mistakes of the past and are trying to avoid proprietary solutions.

Connecting robots

Industrial Automation
Industrial Automation

From a technical point of view, the interesting parts of Industry 4.0 are not the „cyber-physical systems“ – industrial robots and PLCs have been around for decades. What matters is the connectivity.

The major changes in connections between automation equipment have actually happened in the late 1990s/early 2000s when many more or less proprietary Fieldbus solutions became obsolete. Ethernet connections expanded from the administrative areas into factory floors, which opened up the automation market.

However, Fieldbusses were there for a reason – Ethernet couldn’t cope with real-time requirements, it just was not designed for predictability. Nevertheless, the trend toward simpler, more standardized connections turned out to be unstoppable, and so Ethernet and Fieldbus features were combined. Specialized industrial protocols and topologies include Profinet, EtherNet/IP, SafetyNET, SERCOS, and EtherCAT.

For the sake of interoperability, Ethernet standard connectors are in use everywhere today, even if they come in ruggedized housings and multiple form factors.

With the propagation of wireless connectivity, industrial robots are becoming more mobile. Many of the protocols mentioned work also with Wireless LAN, even though other transmission protocols and standards like LoRa, ZigBee or Industrial Bluetooth profiles are gaining a foothold.

However, most players in the manufacturing industries are aware of the danger that comes with the introduction of new, „smaller“ communication standards. After all the trouble the industries went to when standardizing wired industrial communications, hardly anyone wants to risk a new fragmentation of the market on the wireless side.

Design principles of Industry 4.0

Design principles of Industry 4.0
Design principles of Industry 4.0
  • Interoperability: The ability of machines, devices, sensors, and people to connect and communicate with each other via the Internet of Things (IoT) or the Internet of People (IoP).
  • Information transparency: The ability of information systems to create a virtual copy of the physical world by enriching digital plant models with sensor data. This requires the aggregation of raw sensor data to higher-value context information.
  • Technical assistance: First, the ability of assistance systems to support humans by aggregating and visualizing information comprehensibly for making informed decisions and solving urgent problems on short notice. Second, the ability of cyber-physical systems to physically support humans by conducting a range of tasks that are unpleasant, too exhausting, or unsafe for their human co-workers.
  • Decentralized decisions: The ability of cyber-physical systems to make decisions on their own and to perform their tasks as autonomously as possible. Only in the case of exceptions, interferences, or conflicting goals, are tasks delegated to a higher level.

As a Technical Content Specialist, Marcel is the internal contact person for technical questions in Mouser’s EMEA marketing team. Originally a physicist, he used to work as an editor for special-interest magazines in electronics.

In real life, he’s juggling two kids with too many chromosomes, a  penchant for electronic gadgets and a fondness of books and beer. Until now, none has dropped.

A Close Up Look at gopost

The gopost parcel lockers appear all but ready for live customer tests. Viewing one in person clearly showed to me how a customer thinking of using a gopost would interact and how it would work for both able and disabled individualsm, as well as adults of a full range of heights.

What a Customer First Sees

A customer interested in using gopost will have no trouble finding it.  The bright red and blue colors make it stand out, just like Redbox and Blockbuster kiosks do.    The use of color focuses the consumers attention right where they have to go, the center console. Given that it is both bright red and stands out a few inches from the lockers themselves, it is impossible to miss.

The Center Console

The center console appears to have four components.  In the top-center there is a security camera similar to what exists at ATM’s.  Clearly, this is how the Postal Service will ensure that the user of gopost is the authorized user and if not, they will have an image of the perpetrator.

Below the camera is a LCD screen that, more than likely, is a touch screen similar to what is commonly used on ATM’s today.  A touch screen would be needed if a person was to type in a shipment tracking number rather than scanning a barcode as noted below.

gopost  has a receipt slot for printing receipts.  Clearly a receipt provides customers added confidence when they tender a parcel to gopost .  It is unclear if receipts would be printed when a parcel is received.  Demonstrations of similar parcel lockers in Europe suggest that no receipt will be printed when receiving a parcel.

Finally, in the lower-left side of the console there is a laser scanner, similar to what is found in self-checkout lines at a supermarket.   This scanner clearly would be capable of scanning a printed barcode.  It is unclear if the scanning is needed for shipping or receiving parcels, as receiving parcels may only involve typing a tracking number.  It is unclear if the scanner could also scan a barcode image on a smart phone.

What cannot be seen from the console is whether there are any mobile telecommunications capabilities that would allow a person to send a signal from their mobile to open a locker.   My sense is that this capability does not exist, as it does not exist in similar lockers elsewhere.

The gopost center console differs from DHL’s packstation, as it does not have a credit card slot for either identification or the purchase of shipping services.   gopost differs from Amazon’s installation, as it has the laser scanner and Amazon’s design does not.

What the Screen Currently Shows.

As gopost is not yet live, the screen shows a placeholder.  The placeholder uses the same gopost logo with the “pick up – ship out – get going” trademarked tag line.   While the website introduced the the theme of the likely advertising campaign, ”Say hello to gopost, say goodbye to missed packages,” the gopost touchscreen adds a second advertising slogan, “The new place for 24/7 shipping and receiving.”

Size and Capabilities and Location Considerations

The original drawings posted on this site made gopost seem incredibly huge.  However, up close gopost clearly has human dimensions.  The large lockers at the top are 4 feet, two inches above ground, a height that most people taller than 5’2″ should have no trouble reaching.  For people that are shorter, gopost has two large lockers that are 23 inches above the ground.

The standard installations have a total of 80 lockers, in three sizes.

  • 34 small – approximately 18″ deep by 12″ wide by 3 1/2″ tall
  • 32 medium- approximately 18″ deep by 12″ wide by 8 1/2″ tall
  • 14 large – approximately 18″ deep by 12″ wide by 19″ tall

The gopost parcel lockers differ from designed used by DHL and Amazon, as only the Postal Service design has handles.  Both gopost and DHL’s packstation use unnumbered lockers and Amazon uses lockers with numbers.  By not having numbered lockers, it is clear that once the existence of a package is identified, a locker will pop open.   The use of unnumbered lockers has now been tested in a couple thousand sites world wide, so not having numbered lockers should not pose a problem.

With these three sizes, it would seem that the Postal Service would be able to handle a wide range of small parcels.  If the security is tight enough, one can imagine the Postal Service handling some small electronics that shippers have preferred using other carriers up till now.  Shippers that currently ship with the Postal Service, or use FedEx SmartPost, Equiship, UPS Surepost, or DHL Global Mail should all note the size of these lockers when they decide what size boxes they use.

The current configuration is a little under 21 feet wide and 4 feet deep including the awning on top.  For indoor installation, where an awning may not be needed or wanted, the depth is just under 2 feet.  Both the left and right sets of parcel lockers are 115″ and the center console is 20″  feet deep.  The front of gopost is 7’2″and the front of the canopy is 7’6″, so all but a few NBA centers will have no problem fitting under the canopy and using gopost.

The design is modular, which would allow the Postal Service to design smaller and larger goposts as demand adjusts.  Besides the red center console, there are right and left center locker modules, and right and left outer modules.   This suggests that gopost can be expanded if needed and smaller ones can be designed for use in smaller communities and rural areas.

As the installation at the South Arlington Post Office shows, the standard configuration would fit easily either outside a drug store, grocery store or one of the large convenience store/gas stations.  It is also easy to imagine putting them inside shopping malls as there is usually a lot of wall space where one could be placed, without impacting shop windows.

Looking at the gopost up close, there appear to be three considerations in deciding where it could be located.

  1. The location must have sufficient space behind the gopost unit to allow for ventilation.   Walking around the back of gopost , it is impossible not to notice the fan noise, as effort is made to dissipate heat generated by the electronics in the center console.
  2. The location must have access to electricity.  This should not be a problem.
  3. The location must have internet access, either through a mobile-based or wired connection to the Internet.  It was unclear from looking at the sites which type of connection was used in these installations.  For locations near Post Offices both hard wire and wireless connections are options.  For stand-alone location, the Postal Service may need an internet connection through a telecommunications carrier.

Conclusion

The Postal Service appears to have done a good job in designing their version of the parcel locker.   gopost is visibly attractive.  It is large, but the choice of contrasting colors has the effect of making it look less massive than it probably is.  The design should help advance acceptance of the concept.

The design appears well suited for installation in many types of locations.  Obviously, security and maintenance issues may affect where gopost is located.  Clearly, in higher security risk locations, indoor placement would be preferred.

The major maintenance concern relates to gopost’s need for ventilation.  When placed close to a wall, the 20″ gap between the back of gopost and a wall can act like a trap for leaves and debris.   The Postal Service may need to have wings designed to block the area behind goPost when it is installed close to a wall.  The other ventilation-related concern relates to ensuring that air vents have some form of a screen on the inside to prevent unwanted material being blown or dropped inside.

Overall, the project team that got this rolling should get some pats on the back from upper management for the visual design.   The next step is seeing how well it works in live tests. Let’s hope it succeeds as gopost could become a key component in ensuring the Postal Service’s survival..

Mail Model For Rural America

In previous posts, this blog has described the retail strategies in Germany, Sweden and Denmark. While northern Sweden has some rural areas which are as rural as any in the Continental United States, these countries have a urban-rural mix equivalent to a state east of the Mississippi with the most rural areas similar to rural areas in these states as well.

Australia is much more characteristic to the population density of mountain West and Great Plains. Australia has a number of large cities with population well over a million but most of the country is sparsely populated. Vast stretches of Western Australia is desert and much of the country not near the coast are home to ranches, farms, and mining villages.

Australia Post has a tighter universal service requirement for providing retail access than the United States Postal Service. Australia Post is required to have 4,000 retail outlets with 2,500 located in remote and rural areas. Given that the United States has nearly 14.47 times the population, the Postal Service would have to have nearly 58,000 outlets with 36,000 in remote and rural areas. The focus on remote and rural areas reflects the fact that Australia has a population density of 7.5 people per square mile compared to 82.9 in the United States. (For reference: Sweden is 53.7; Germany is 594.0; and Denmark is 331.7)

So how does Australia Post handle this burden and not go broke and in fact exceeds its mandate and operates 4,433 outlets? (Information from this post drawn and quoted from Post and Parcel. (quotes are in italics))

Corporate Owned Stores (827 locations, 19% of all outlets) are standard post offices offering the full range of Australia Post services in facilities owned or leased by Australia Post. Employees working in corporate owned stores are Australia Post EmployeesFranchise Outlets (28 locations, 1% of all outlets) serve small communities that have between 800 and 1,000 customers. These locations sell Australia Post products and services exclusively. Australia Post has the lease for all franchise outlets, pays for their fit out and owns the inventory. Franchises are set for a fixed ten year period. Operators pay a fee for the licence and receive an exit fee when they end the lease.

Licensed Post Offices (2,941 locations, 66% of all outlets) act as agents for Australia Post products and operate in large and small markets. Approximately half operate in association with another business. There is no fixed period for a licence and outlets are bought and sold on the open market. Licensees are responsible for the premises and own the inventory in the post office. They are independently owned businesses and their retail merchandise range is traded on a wholesale basis. Licensees are only obligated to stock a core product range which is primarily mail service-related.

Community Postal Agents (637 locations, 14% of all outlets) are small operations usually located in rural and remote areas. They provide mail delivery services and are also required by Australia Post’s community service obligations to sell stamps and accept mail from people living in rural and remote areas. These facilities are outsourced and operators receive payment based on their volume of activity.

Australia Post’s retail outlets offer a range of services that make them like a combination of a Post Office, an office supply store, and a card and gift shop. Some are co-located with coffee shops, making them more like community centers where people come to do business but may stay and chat over a cup of coffee or tea. In addition to postal products and mailing and shipping supplies, these outlets sell general merchandise such as CD’s and DVD’s books, souvenirs, gift cards, technology products, pre-paid cell phone time cards, and in some locations provide banking teller services under contract with one or more Australian banks.

A better picture of Australia Post’s dominant retail model, Licensed Post Offices, comes from advertisements for the sale of these businesses. A web search identifies a couple of outlets that are available for sale in small markets and illustrates that retail services can be provided profitably in even very small towns.

Currently on the market is a licensed postal outlet in Cloncurry, Queensland, Australia. The business is selling for 370,000 Australian dollars plus the value of inventory.

The advertising indicates that the business makes sense for a married couple working with one part-time clerk.

The outlet is in a town of fewer than 2,500 people (less than 4,000 in the county (shire) and 75 miles from the nearest postal outlet. The town and the surrounding area are populated by people working the mining and ranching.

The business that is being sold includes not just the retail outlet but the right to operate the 5 delivery routes that serve the surrounding territory. The pictures clearly show the type of stock that the outlet carriers that in addition to the stock that postal outlets generally carriers also sell soft drinks and Darrell Lea Chocolates.

The sale price also includes a building that includes two offices that are currently rented.
What Australian Post has done is show that even areas that are the most rural in the United States can be served profitably by contract operations. However, Australia Post’s approach is very different in setting up these contract outlets. Australia Post gives its outlets sufficient management support to make the contract operation a turn-key business solution including all non-postal and shipping supply inventory but also offers a full range of non-postal services at wholesale prices that its contractors can buy as well. Australia Post most likely advises its outlets on how to expand their business by expanding the breadth of products that they offer with the hope that Australia Post becomes the supplier of those products. Finally, it appears that Australia Post offers rural outlets to expand its revenue and profits by offering both retail and delivery services in a territory. In that way, a local business person becomes a partner because growing his business also grows Australia Post’s business.
Australia Post’s effort to transform its contract outlet business toward a franchise model further shows the difference between the approaches that the Postal Service and Australia Post have taken to expand retail access. The brochure on franchising is designed to allow Australia Post to compete with all other firms offering franchise opportunities and shows that creating a successful contract approach requires more than just allowing someone to sell postal products.
Transitioning to a contract model for rural service would be traumatic for employees now working in those offices. The Postal Service could ease the transition in one or two ways.
First, it could offer significant early retirement and/or severance packages to those employees that could be affected. As a rule of thumb, the cost of these packages, including transfers and training would be about equal to half a year’s salary.
Second, it could offer local postmasters the right of first refusal to buy the postal outlet moving from a corporate to a contract model. This is similar to what happens during a condominium conversion. The latter model would be less expensive for the Postal Service, even if the selling price was modest. This option would also give existing postmasters real opportunities to advance and remain in their community. As illustrated by what rural post offices do in Australia, postmasters that chose to buy the local postal outlet would have substantial opportunities to use their knowledge of their community to expand their product offerings to add revenue and profits to the outlet. It is foreseeable that these new contract postal outlets would be responsible for delivery routes originating from the outlet as well.
Changing to a contract outlet model would also require revamping the whole concept of managing retail. Instead of managing employees, the Postal Service would be managing a large number of independent businesses. Managers would then focus on and be rewarded for making the contract outlets and the local “postmasters” within their responsibility as successful as possible. Headquarters would have to create a Post Office University just like McDonald’s Hamburger University.
Fleshing out this model would be a substantial effort. Those looking at potential business models need a more detailed examination of this approach including the financial and organizational impacts on the Postal Service and the possibility of profits for those choosing to buy a local post office outlet. Postmaster Associations, whose members know their communities and their community needs better than anyone in Washington, could provide valuable input into what would be required to allow a postmaster to take over the local operation and turn it into a profitable business. Now is the time to begin this effort.

USPS Delivered 30% of FedEx Ground Shipments in FedEx’s Fiscal Fourth Quarter

For the twelfth consecutive quarter  FedEx has increased the proportion of shipments handled by its FedEx Ground subsidiary over the same quarter the previous year.    The continued rapid growth of FedEx Ground’s SmartPost service reflects the continuing increase in business-to-consumer shipments that FedEx transports for its customers.

The following chart illustrates the share of FedEx Ground shipments delivered by the Postal Service since 2009.  The increase in USPS share of deliveries reflects the faster market growth of FexEx SmartPost as compared to FedEx Ground’s delivery using other FedEx Ground or FedEx Home contractors. 

The fast growth rate of Fedex SmartPost reflects the need of B-2-C online retailers for a low cost delivery service that allows them to sell low-value and light weight products at prices sufficiently attractive to consumers to choose an on-line purchase.   As traditional  brick and mortar merchants continue to increase the share of their sales from stores to the web,  the USPS delivered share of FedEx’s ground delivery parcels should continue to grow.

Similar data on United Parcel Service’s use of the Postal Service to deliver light weight and low value parcels is not publicly available.   However, the Postal Service’s share of UPS deliveries is likely to be quite small as UPS has just begun serious marketing of its UPS SmartPost service.

In Past Decade, Congress Has Made Naming Post Offices a Top Priority

In the decade that the long-term financial problems of the Postal Service have been discussed openly, Post Office naming bills have become a focus of Congress.   In each of the past five Congresses over 15% of all bills passed and signed into law named a Post Office.

The increase in interest in naming Post Offices began in the Congress that served when 9/11 occurred.   As such, it is likely that most of those honored by having a Post Office named after them died in the terrorist attacks in the United States, or served their country in the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq that followed.  If Congress expected that the naming a Post Office would provide a long-lasting memorial, the financial problems of the Postal Service risk making the memorial an ephemeral one at best.  It is too bad that Congress does not understand the irony in its rush to name Post Offices to honor heroes when it has not taken steps to ensure the survival of the institution whose facilities are used to provide the memorial.

The following charts developed by Noah Veltman shows that the increase in the proportion of laws naming Post Offices is a recent phenomenon.  In the 26 years prior to the 106th Congress, Post Office naming bills did not represent more than 5% of the bills passed into law.  (The 106th Congress served during the last two years of President Bill Clinton’s 2nd term.)

FedEx Uses USPS for 30.4% of Ground Shipments

FedEx’s 2nd quarter earnings release illustrates its business focus on e-commerce and home delivery.   Highlights are as follows:

From the press release:

“Our improved performance was largely a result of effective yield management programs and strong demand for FedEx Home Delivery and FedEx SmartPost services,” said Frederick W. Smith, FedEx Corp. chairman, president and chief executive officer. “With the healthy growth in online shopping this holiday season, demand is increasing for these residential delivery services.”

Tidbits on FedEx Ground and FedEx SmartPost From the Statistical Book:

  • 30.4% of FedEx Ground shipments are delivered by the United States Postal Service.
  • 8.4% of FedEx Ground revenue is generated by shipments delivered by the Postal Service
  • Revenue per shipment for FedEx SmartPost is up 4.1%  In its press release, FedEx says the difference is due to fuel, suggesting that contract prices prior to fuel surcharges are nearly unchanged from 2010 levels. The challenge FedEx has raising prices confirms the price sensitivity of the small parcel market.
  • FedEx Ground Shipments delivered by FedEx grew by 3.5%.
  • FedEx SmartPost Shipments delivered by the Postal Service Grew by 17.0%

Tidbits on FedEx Express From the Statistical Book:

  • Express business is relatively weak, as U.S. domestic express volume is down 3.7% and international priority volume is down 2.7%  from 2010 levels.
  • The decline from 2010 levels are less in the 2nd Quarter than in the 1st.  Unclear whether this is due to a slight improvement in the economy or easier comparisons.
  • FedEx Express’s weakest product is the Envelope. Volume declined 7.0% from 2010 levels
  • The average revenue from an overnight envelope is $11.48; for an overnight box is $22.05.   These are the prices that the Postal Service’s contract rates must compete with.

Implications from FedEx Results

  • There are some questions about the future of the overnight envelope.  The volume decline suggests that e-diversion is having a greater impact than economic recovery.
  • FedEx appears to has made a conscious decision to focus on B-2-C shippers.   Its portfolio of services is tailored to these shippers.  Furthermore, its heavy use of the Postal Service for delivery indicates that it wants to provide a one-stop-shop for these shippers.
  • The growth of FedEx Ground will exceed the growth of UPS Ground for another quarter.  FedEx, including shipments delivered by the Postal Service, is taking market share away from United Parcel Service.
  • FedEx will have a very strong 3rd quarter, as it will have a higher proportion of home delivery shipments than is found in other quarters and on-line shipments are expected to grow in the mid to high teens this quarter while brick and mortar retail sales will be between flat and low single-digit percentages.

Xplora Box Review

What is Xplora Box?

Xplora box is a monthly subscription box which lets your kid learn through playing. This box will help your kid step into the world of fun learning. Activity focuses on various development areas like social skills, creativity, imagination, cognitive skills etc.

Xplora Box Review:

Things what I like about xplora box:

  • Activities help in enhancing various skills like motor skills, cognitive skills, social skills etc.
  • Activities are theme based which helps in enhancing numerous skills and boosts their creativity and curiosity in learning.
  • This box is a package of exciting projects, games, Do it yourself activities and a story book.
  • Each activity box contains 5 games and activities which helps in making your kid sharper and smarter.
  • This activity box is for explorers between 2 to 12 years of age.
  • Activities are age appropriate and you will notice the development changes in your kid.
  • Innovative activities help in boosting kids IQ and GK.
  • When your kid is happily engaged in activities, you can have some time for yourself.
  • You can even help your kid in few activities and spend some time together.
  • If you change your address in between the subscription, you just have to send an email to hello@xplorabox.com and your next box will be sent to the new address.
  • You can even change the age group in middle of the subscription.
  • The activities sent can be used many times.
  • All the materials are safe.
  • Every month has different themes, and hence kids won’t get bored repeating the same activity.

Xplora Box Themes:

Xplora box comes with different themes for different age group.

Some of the themes for age 2 to 4 years are given below:

  • Focus developer
  • Fun with transport
  • Healthy habits
  • Little explorers
  • Alphabet mariner…..

The box will contain five fun learning activities based on the theme.

Some of the themes for age 4 to 6 years are given below:

  • Little farm explorer
  • Little builder
  • Jungle explorer
  • Number fun
  • Little space traveler…..

The box will contain five fun learning activities based on the theme.

Some of the themes for age 6 to 8 years are given below:

  • Farmyard adventure
  • World traveler
  • Junior scientist
  • Space adventure
  • Prehistoric era…

The box will contain five fun learning activities based on the theme.

Some of the themes for age 8 to 9 years are given below:

  • Soil and multiplication
  • Food chain and fractions
  • Water cycle and measurements

Each box will contain 2 curriculum based activities, 1 fun working model, 30 curriculum based work sheets.

Some of the themes for age 9 to 10 years are given below:

  • World and fractions
  • Human body and roman numbers
  • Simple machines and multiplication…

Each box will contain 2 curriculum based activities, 1 fun working model, 30 curriculum based work sheets.

Some of the themes for age 9 to 10 years are given below:

  • Trebuchet wars
  • Aero plane launcher
  • Fun with hydraulics…

Xplora box vs Fintobox:

  • Flintobox contains 3 to 4 activities, whereas Xplora box comes with 5 activities.
  • Flintobox has activities for kids from 2 to 12 years of age and xplora box has activities for kids from 2 to 10 years of age
  • Both the boxes has 3 subscriptions (3 months, 6 months and 12 months)
  • Cost of xplora box is around 550 rupees to 750 rupees per box and the cost of Flintobox is around 650 rupees to 900 rupees.

Xplora box vs Magic crate :

  • Magic crate is for kids aged between 0 to 13+ years; whereas xplora box is for kids aged between 2 to 10 years.
  • Magic crate and xplora box both contains 1 book along with activities.
  • Xplora box comes with worksheets.
  • Magic crate and xplora box has 3 subscription plan (3 months, 6 months and 12 months plan).
  • Cost of xplora box is around 550 rupees to 750 rupees per box and that of magic crate is 650 rupees to 850 rupees.

Xplora box vs Einstein box :

  • Einstein box is for kids in the age group of 1 to 6 years; whereas xplora box is for kids aged between 2 to 10 years.
  • Einstein box contains two books apart from the activities and xplorabox contains 1 book along with activities.
  • Einstein box contains 3 to 4 activities; whereas Xplora box comes with 5 activities.

Big thumbs up to this innovative fun learning xplora box. I highly recommend this product.

Einstein Box Review

Are you thinking of investing in growing your kids mind? Are you thinking which activity box is better? Do you want to know the review of Einstein box and its comparison with other activity boxes like Flinto box, Magic crate, and Xplora box? Then read this article to know more!

“Every child is born a genius” said Einstein

As the above quote says, every kid is born genius. We just have to help in bringing the best out of them. Einstein box will do this job by helping you to bring out that hidden spark which every child has.

What is Einstein box?

Einstein box is India’s leading early learning activity box which helps in developing your child’s brain through different activities.

How is Einstein box different from other activity box?

Are you curious to know the difference between Einstein box and other activity boxes? If yes, then stay tuned..

  • Einstein box focus on creative learning; whereas other activity boxes focus on art and crafts.
  • The activity of the Einstein box helps in enhancing your kids IQ level, rather than just keeping them busy.
  • Through Einstein box, your kid will develop a liking for reading.

Einstein Box Activities:

Einstein box is for kids aged between 1 year to 6 years. If you subscribe to Einstein box, then each month you will receive a box with 2 books and 3 activities.

Einstein box themes for 1 – 2 year child:

Einstein activity box focuses on below mentioned theme for kids of age one.

  • Family, shapes, and animals.
  • Sleeping habits and about the things are seen around.
  • The human body, alphabets and about taking care of self.
  • Sounds that are heard around, how to greet people and about colors.
  • Good behavior and about places have seen around.
  • Toilet habits, numbers, and counting.

Through these activities and books provided in the activity box, your kid will learn new words, good habits, numbers, shapes and alphabets.

These activities help in improving their logical skills and thinking skills.

Einstein box themes for 2 – 3 year child:

This learning activity box focuses on below mentioned theme for kids of age two.

  • Vehicles, ore writing focusing on straight lines and healthy eating habits
  • The animal kingdom, sharing and pre-writing focusing on diagonal lines.
  • Jobs and professions, pre writing focusing on zigzag lines and also about safety habits.
  • Celestial bodies, coping with tantrum and colors.
  • Around the world, good manners and opposites.
  • Seasons and weather, caring for others and shapes.

Einstein box themes for 3 – 4 year child:

This educational activity box focuses on below mentioned theme for kids of age three.

  • The plant world, being independent and writing numbers from 1 to 10.
  • Places around me, not watching too much TV, writing a capital letter from A – M.
  • Bugs and beetles, honesty, writing a capital letter from N – Z.
  • Dinosaur world, not fighting, writing a small letter from a – m.
  • Birds, eating green veggies, writing a small letter from m – z.
  • Human body, keeping your word, actions, and emotions.

Einstein box themes for 4 – 6 year child:

This amazing activity box focuses on below mentioned theme for kids of age four, five and six.

  • Animal habitats, good manners, cursive writing – capital letters from A – M.
  • The universe, dealing with strangers, cursive writing – capital letters from N –Z.
  • Food and nutrition, respecting elders, cursive writing – small letters from a – m.
  • Countries and continents, not eating junk food, cursive writing – small letters from n – z.
  • Our environment, hard work, spelling.
  • Oceans and rivers, cleaning and tidying up, addition.

Einstein Box Reviews:

Things I like about Einstein box are listed below.

  • Though Einstein box child learns various concepts because it is themed based.
  • Games and activities are very innovative and apt for the age.
  • Quality of the product is good.
  • Books are colorful and children will develop a liking for reading.
  • Products are colorful and grab a kid’s attention.
  • Stories are relatable to the child.
  • This activity box can be given as a gift.
  • This amazing learning activity box focus on creative learning.
  • The activity of the Einstein box helps in enhancing kids IQ level.

Einstein box vs Flintobox

  • Einstein box helps the kids to learn and grow.
  • The box helps your kid to find the solutions to the queries through several activities.
  • There are multiple subscriptions available for your kids.
  • Flintobox comes with 5 activities, whereas Einstein box comes up with only 3 activities.
  • Einstein box is for kids between 1 to 6 years of age.
  • Flintobox is for kids between 2 to 12 years of age.
  • Einstein box contains two books apart from the activities.
  • Flintobox contains one book along with activities.

Einstein box vs magic crate

  • The magic crate activity box comes with 4 exciting and learning based activities.
  • Einstein box comes with 3 brain developing activities.
  • Einstein box contains 2 story books, whereas magic crate contains one storybook.
  • Magic crate activities are for children from 1 year to 12 years and Einstein box activities are theme based and are for kids between 1 to 6 years of age.

Einstein box vs xplora box

  • Einstein box comes with 3 brain developing activities, whereas xplora box comes with 5 activities.
  • Einstein box contains 2 storybooks, whereas xplora box includes one story book.
  • Xplora box is for children from 2 years to 8+ years and Einstein box is for kids between 1 to 6 years of age.

Einstein box is a great product and I had a delightful experience using it for my kid. I strongly recommend this brain developing activity box.

Magic Crate Review

Are you thinking about how to keep your child occupied and happy indoor, that too without watching TV or playing on mobile phones? Are you worried about your kid’s skill development and brain development? Then Magic Crate is the one for you. This fun learning activity box will solve all your problems.

Read this article to know everything about magic crate.

Magic crate was started in 2015 by parents from IIM, IIT and NID.

What is magic crate?

Magic crate is a skill-building activity box for the kids from 0 to 13+ years of age. This amazing activity box helps in developing your child’s motor skills, creativity, hand, and eye coordination and also improves their problem-solving skills.

This fun learning activity kit helps you to engage your kids at home.

  • Materials used in this activity box are of the best quality.
  • The toys inside this activity box are safe and hence it is just the best product for your child.
  • Activities inside this box focus on the overall brain development of your child.

Magic Crate Review

Below mentioned are some of the things what I like about magic crate

  • The products of the magic crate are of higher quality.
  • Kids get to explore various concepts with magic crate themes.
  • The activities of the magic crate are designed by a team of child experts and product designers.
  • The storybook contains rich illustrations and is packed with knowledge.
  • The age relevancy is absolutely accurate.
  • All the activities are super interesting and make sure that the kids learn something new.
  • Magic crate activity helps in improving kid’s creativity, problem solving skills and also helps them to express what they are trying to say.
  • Parental involvement is required in some of the activities and hence you can spend quality time with your child.
Magic Crate Activity with parent
  • The activities help your child learn different concepts in an interesting way.
  • Through the activities, kids learn new things every month.
  • They develop an interest in experiments and also in exploring new things.
  • Products do not contain sharp or rough edges.
  • Finishing of the products is brilliant.
  • Activity box for infants contains toys which provide hours of joy to your little one.
  • 100% natural and safe products are used in making the toys and they meet all safety standards.
  • For tiny tots, you can choose a single box plan or 2 box plan. Box contains high quality colorful toys.
  • This educational kit contains 3 activities and one storybook.
  • Helps in developing your child’s motor skills, creativity, understanding of the world, hand and eye coordination and also improves their problem solving skills.
  • Magic crate helps kids to learn different concepts in an interesting way.
  • It helps in bringing the best out of your child.
  • It can be used multiple times.
  • You can take either 3 months, 6 months or 12 months subscription plan and max you have to pay is around 600 rupees.

Magic Crate Activities

Magic crate activity box contains different activities for below-mentioned age group.

  • Infants (0 to 1.1 years)
  • Tiny Tots (1.5 to 2 years)
  • Toddlers (2 to 3 years)
  • Pre-kindergarten (3 to 4.5 years)
  • Kindergarten (4.5 to 6 years)
  • Primary school (6 to 8 years)
  • Elementary school (8 to 10 years)
  • Middle school (10 to 12 years)
  • Secondary school (above 13years)

Magic crate vs Flintobox:

  • Flintobox is also a learning kit for kids. This activity box contains several theme-based activities like Magic crate.
  • Flintobox activity box comes with exciting and learning based activities.
  • Magic crate activities are theme based for children from 1 year to 13 years of age.
  • These activities enhance Childs thinking capability and help in upgrading their knowledge.
  • If we compare the price, Flintobox is 500 to 1000 rupees costly than a magic crate.
  • Magic crate is designed by consulting and taking opinions of experts.
  • Both the boxes keep your child engaged and help in developing various skill sets.
  • Magic crate is subject oriented and kids learn it in a fun way.
  • Magic crate has 3 subscription plan (3 months, 6 months and 12 months plan).
  • Flintobox has 2 subscription plan (3 months and 6 months plan).

Einstein box vs Magic crate

  • Einstein box helps the kids to learn and grow.
  • The box helps your kid to find the solutions to the queries through several activities.
  • Einstein box is for kids in the age group of 2 to 6 years.
  • Einstein box contains two books apart from the activities.
  • Magic crate is for kids aged between 0 to 13+ years.
  • Magic crate contains 1 book along with activities.
  • Einstein box contains 2 story books and around 3 to 4 activities along with a guide for parents.
  • Cost of the Einstein box is around 400 rupees.

Magic Crate activity box is definitely magical, informative and works wonders for kid’s overall development. It keeps your child productively engaged and I highly recommend this amazing learning activity kit.