The Death of the Letter?
BALTIMORE (AP) - Mailboxes are going the way of phone booths. More of us are paying our bills online and using the Internet to send our correspondence, so the U.S. Postal Service has decided it needs fewer mailboxes. (WTOP)
The first question that jumped to my mind is how does the USPS expect me to mail a letter when I cannot find a mail box? The second question is, will there be any letters twenty years from now? Or less?
This is not as trivial a concern as you might expect. Until September 11, 2001, mail boxes were a fairly easy object to find (outside of Washington DC that is – most of our mail boxes were removed following the Murrah Building bombing). Following September 11, many of the remaining mail boxes were put on trucks and hauled away for security reasons. You may find it strange, however, that less than a block from the White House, outside the vary agency I work at, there is a blue, USPS mail box. I wonder how long that will last.
The USPS is dealing with one of those chicken and egg problems. People are sending fewer letters, so, from a cost perspective, getting rid of unneeded mail boxes makes sense but if you get rid of them, how do people mail their letters?
Now there are those of you out there that are reading this that could not tell me the last time you mailed a letter, or even what the current price of a stamp is (it went up a couple of months ago by the way). But there are still some of us that have to mail letters. And by letters, I mean bills. My utility company, part of my city’s infrastructure only takes cash (at the window) or cheques (through the mail or at the window) and being a good bureaucracy, they are open between 0900 and 1700 Monday through Thursday and close at 1400 on Friday. Of course, I work for a living, like most people and I am at work pretty much during those hours, so I have to mail my payment to them if I want to keep the lights on and the water running. They have explained why they do not do electronic funds transfers – I believe they cited the costs and that is that. They are not alone by the way of the companies that I have to do business with, but the number of people that do not do “payment on-line” is becoming fewer and fewer.
My second problem is that I have family members. Some of them over the age of 12 and they like getting the occasional card from me. I am sure you are probably in the same boat – Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Christmas, Birthdays etc. It is very difficult to have a “Hallmark moment” (I am sure that phrase is copyrighted and registered etc) electronically (although you can). Finally, occasionally, I am required to put pen to paper (or electron to toner) and send a real honest to goodness letter. Usually it is of the “please donate to my cause” type but occasionally it is something else and this requires me to put a stamp (a small adhesive piece of paper indicating payment or credit of a specified amount for those that have never seen one) on an envelope and go looking for the little blue box (or a post office).
Are we going to see the death of the post? Like the much heralded death of books, I think the prediction of its demise is greatly exaggerated. Now if you will excuse me, it is that time of the month and I need to send a cheque to my utility…where did I put my stamps…
Practical Task Scheduling Deployment
One of the best things about the UNIX environment (aside from being stable and efficient) is the vast array of software tools available to help you do your job. Traditionally, a UNIX tool does only one thing, but does that one thing very well. For example, grep is very easy to use and can search vast amounts of data quickly. The find tool can find a particular file or files based on all kinds of criteria. It's pretty easy to string these tools together to build even more powerful tools, such as a tool that finds all of the .log files in the /home directory and searches each one for a particular entry. This erector-set mentality allows UNIX system administrators to seem to always have the right tool for the job.
Cron traditionally has been considered another such a tool for job scheduling, but is it enough? This webinar considers that very question. The first part builds on a previous Geek Guide, Beyond Cron, and briefly describes how to know when it might be time to consider upgrading your job scheduling infrastructure. The second part presents an actual planning and implementation framework.
Join Linux Journal's Mike Diehl and Pat Cameron of Help Systems.
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|SUSE LLC's SUSE Manager||Jul 21, 2016|
|My +1 Sword of Productivity||Jul 20, 2016|
|Non-Linux FOSS: Caffeine!||Jul 19, 2016|
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- The Firebird Project's Firebird Relational Database
- Stunnel Security for Oracle
- My +1 Sword of Productivity
- Non-Linux FOSS: Caffeine!
- SUSE LLC's SUSE Manager
- Managing Linux Using Puppet
- Murat Yener and Onur Dundar's Expert Android Studio (Wrox)
- Parsing an RSS News Feed with a Bash Script
- Google's SwiftShader Released
- Doing for User Space What We Did for Kernel Space
With all the industry talk about the benefits of Linux on Power and all the performance advantages offered by its open architecture, you may be considering a move in that direction. If you are thinking about analytics, big data and cloud computing, you would be right to evaluate Power. The idea of using commodity x86 hardware and replacing it every three years is an outdated cost model. It doesn’t consider the total cost of ownership, and it doesn’t consider the advantage of real processing power, high-availability and multithreading like a demon.
This ebook takes a look at some of the practical applications of the Linux on Power platform and ways you might bring all the performance power of this open architecture to bear for your organization. There are no smoke and mirrors here—just hard, cold, empirical evidence provided by independent sources. I also consider some innovative ways Linux on Power will be used in the future.Get the Guide