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USPS To Launch Line of Smart Clothing

timothy posted about a year ago | from the please-link-to-sketches dept.

Communications 206

SpaceGhost writes "The Washington Post reports that the United States Postal Service has contracted with Wahconah Group, Inc. to produce a line of USPS-branded smart clothing. Per USPS Licensing manager Steven Mills 'This agreement will put the Postal Service on the cutting edge of functional fashion... The main focus will be to produce Rain Heat & Snow apparel and accessories using technology to create 'smart apparel' — also known as wearable electronics.' USPS Spokesman Roy Betts reports that the line will be found in premium department stores and specialty stores starting in 2014. The Washington Post points out that the USPS had done a similar retail line in the 1980s sold exclusively at Post Offices, but the line was discontinued after lobbyists complained of competition with the private sector." I hope it has hidden pockets for lost letters, and a loop for the package smashing mallet.

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206 comments

FYI (3, Informative)

Sparticus789 (2625955) | about a year ago | (#42969935)

The package-smashing mallet has been outsourced to India. The USPS union said that it was not in the mail-carrier's contract.

Re:FYI (1)

gstoddart (321705) | about a year ago | (#42970121)

The package-smashing mallet has been outsourced to India. The USPS union said that it was not in the mail-carrier's contract.

Is that why mail is so slow? They ship it around the world so cheap labour can maul the packages?

Wouldn't it be cheaper to just skip the mauling step?

Re:FYI (3, Insightful)

drinkypoo (153816) | about a year ago | (#42970157)

Is that why mail is so slow? They ship it around the world so cheap labour can maul the packages? Wouldn't it be cheaper to just skip the mauling step?

It would be cheaper, but it is absolutely essential in order to provide feature-parity with UPS and FedEx. In any case, they must still be using local mallet-smashers for relatively local (regional) mail, because I still get stuff from within the state in two days or less.

Re:FYI (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42970243)

Wouldn't it be cheaper to just skip the mauling step?

The auditors wouldn't let them get away without it.

Re:FYI (5, Insightful)

PopeRatzo (965947) | about a year ago | (#42970577)

Is that why mail is so slow?

Slow? I can send a five pound text book from Chicago to California in 3-4 days and it's less than $4.

The Post Office consistently does a better job than FedEx or UPS. That's why when UPS sends stuff, they do it via the US Postal Service.

Re:FYI (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42970613)

Would you like your whoosh now or later? It's a joke doofus.

Re:FYI (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42971055)

Would you like your whoosh now or later?

I expect it to arrive in six to eight weeks.

Re:FYI (1, Insightful)

fuzznutz (789413) | about a year ago | (#42971007)

The Post Office consistently does a better job than FedEx or UPS.

I could agree with you if I didn't receive (portions of) mangled letters in plastic baggies with half assed apologies written on the sides. Or just not receive them at all. Or if I didn't regularly receive my neighbors' mail and packages. UPS and FedEx may not be perfect, but at least their tracking software works and I actually GET what is addressed to me delivered to me.

I had to have two paychecks reissued over the last 12 months because one never arrived and one arrived shredded. That's two out of twelve. I had to request my employer not mail them. (And before you ask, No. Direct deposit is not supported by them. Not that it would excuse it anyway.) And if you want to see Amazon blow their two day shipping, watch when they decide to ship FedEx Smartpost. The USPS leg always misses the deadline.

And next time you are standing in line at the Post Office, think about how much better it is than standing in line at the UPS Store. You'll have LOTS of time to think about it.

and they wonder why they dont make money... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42969945)

and they wonder why they dont make money...

http://tech.slashdot.org/story/12/11/16/1440224/usps-reports-159-billion-loss-asks-congress-for-help

Why the F is a postal service company making clothes ...

Re:and they wonder why they dont make money... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42969985)

To remedy their revenue shortfalls. Duh?

Re:and they wonder why they dont make money... (4, Informative)

kannibal_klown (531544) | about a year ago | (#42970065)

My understanding is, a lot of their financial woes are coming from a 2006 Congress mandate that the USPS start pre-paying into their retirement plan to fund future-future retirement. In short, they're asking them to pay more to handle people that won't retire for years now. And that Congress is dipping into that money for something else.

And from what I've heard, if they weren't asked to be paying extra into said fund they'd actually be making a small profit.

Re:and they wonder why they dont make money... (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42970411)

Actually funding lavish retirement obligations instead of letting unfunded obligations overwhelm the organization and then dumping it on the government.

That's some seriously evil shit right there. Good thing you pointed it out and farmed a bunch of karma from your well trained statists. Yay.

Re:and they wonder why they dont make money... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42970519)

Retirement plans for people who haven't even started working at the Post Office? Who potentially haven't even been born? 75 YEARS of retirement benefits! You're the dumbest fuck yet.

Re:and they wonder why they dont make money... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42970523)

False dichotomy. Prefunding is fine. Prefunding 85% is insane. No organization on the ENTIRE PLANET pre funds pensions to that degree. If they were merely matching the second highest rate on the planet, they'd be making a nice profit.

Re:and they wonder why they dont make money... (1)

clarkkent09 (1104833) | about a year ago | (#42970477)

So if I understand correctly the rules are: 1. you have to pay above market rate for salaries/benefits and you are not allowed to fire anybody 2. you have to charge less than a market rate for mail delivery 3. even though the government sets the rules that force you to fail, it is not allowed to bail you out. Oh but don't worry we'll set up some arbitrary rules that give you monopoly on certain types of mail so everything should be fine. Isn't it great how we have geniuses in charge in Washington who work everything out so perfectly for our benefit.

Just privatize the stupid thing. Apart from accident of history here is no reason for the government to be in charge of mail delivery any more than pizza delivery.

Re:and they wonder why they dont make money... (4, Interesting)

jo_ham (604554) | about a year ago | (#42970561)

So if I understand correctly the rules are: 1. you have to pay above market rate for salaries/benefits and you are not allowed to fire anybody 2. you have to charge less than a market rate for mail delivery 3. even though the government sets the rules that force you to fail, it is not allowed to bail you out. Oh but don't worry we'll set up some arbitrary rules that give you monopoly on certain types of mail so everything should be fine. Isn't it great how we have geniuses in charge in Washington who work everything out so perfectly for our benefit.

Just privatize the stupid thing. Apart from accident of history here is no reason for the government to be in charge of mail delivery any more than pizza delivery.

That's why they introduced the bill in the first place - private industry wants the USPS out of business. It was doing totally fine before the deliberately-crafted-designed-to-fuck-them 2006 bill was passed.

They put rules in place that no private company would ever be expected to adhere to, that were designed to do exactly this - to push it into financial crisis so that people will say "oh look, government post services don't work! the private sector will save the day!"

Re:and they wonder why they dont make money... (3, Interesting)

DutchUncle (826473) | about a year ago | (#42970619)

History and *legal* precedent suggest that you want to retain a government involvement in the mail. For some things you need *legal* proof that you mailed something on a certain day, perhaps to a certain address, especially when dealing with government dealings like taxes and property forms and legal paperwork. If anything, the question might be, Why didn't the USPS remain the most efficient transport service rather than allowing private companies to pass them? Who hobbled the USPS to allow "private competition"? (BTW - would you pay extra for air mail if you knew it was carried in the back seat of a fighter plane? Hey, they have to do some training flight time anyway . . . )

Re:and they wonder why they dont make money... (1)

hedwards (940851) | about a year ago | (#42971001)

That's not actually true. The USPS has always been at a disadvantage versus private enterprise. They're legally required to send a 1st class envelope anywhere in the country for the same price, regardless of actual cost to provide the service.

Re:and they wonder why they dont make money... (1)

EzInKy (115248) | about a year ago | (#42970633)

Just privatize the stupid thing. Apart from accident of history here is no reason for the government to be in charge of mail delivery any more than pizza delivery.

Pizza delivery is limited to profitable areas.

Re:and they wonder why they dont make money... (1)

clarkkent09 (1104833) | about a year ago | (#42970777)

All areas are profitable for the right price. Plus mail companies will average the cost out. Last I checked USP and FedEx will deliver packages anywhere in the country, not just in profitable areas.

Re:and they wonder why they dont make money... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42970829)

No
http://www.cnbc.com/id/45018432/The_Truth_About_The_Post_Office039s_Financial_Mess

Re:and they wonder why they dont make money... (4, Interesting)

jellomizer (103300) | about a year ago | (#42970241)

The real problem is the the USPS is designed as a letter carrier. Not a shipping company.
So electronic communication is reducing the needs for letters (envelope based mail), and online shipment of stuff is being processed by Shipping companies like FedEx and UPS, who are better organized for shipping packages. No so much letters.

They are going to need to move from Mail Men either walking door to door, or in small cars and trucks. To a larger trucking service where they can handle more boxes and less envelopes.

Re:and they wonder why they dont make money... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42970489)

The real problem is the the USPS is designed as a letter carrier. Not a shipping company.

Interesting, considering they do a better job of delivering packages than the private specialty package delivery companies like UPS or Fedex. And by better I mean several things. The USPS loses less packages than any package delivery company-- less lost packages by a huge margin. The USPS destroys less packages than any package delivery company. The USPS is less expensive than any package delivery company. Maybe UPS and Fedex et. al, should redesign their processes for the delivery of letters.... then maybe they can match USPS record for delivering packages exceptionally.

Re:and they wonder why they dont make money... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42970575)

where the hell are you coming from? my job is order fulfillment and everything you say in your post seems RIDICULOUS to me. if you are speaking from ACTUAL experience then, please, i am curious.

Re:and they wonder why they dont make money... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42970877)

The real problem is the the USPS is designed as a letter carrier. Not a shipping company.

Interesting, considering they do a better job of delivering packages than the private specialty package delivery companies like UPS or Fedex. And by better I mean several things. The USPS loses less packages than any package delivery company-- less lost packages by a huge margin. The USPS destroys less packages than any package delivery company. The USPS is less expensive than any package delivery company. Maybe UPS and Fedex et. al, should redesign their processes for the delivery of letters.... then maybe they can match USPS record for delivering packages exceptionally.

And yet the USPS is failing financially. UPS and Fedex are not. Go figure. Delivering mail requires FAR less manpower than delivering packages. If our mailman at work had to bring all the same packages that UPS did, he'd have to make a special trip for us most days. We'd fill that truck.

Re:and they wonder why they dont make money... (1)

motoservo (1327295) | about a year ago | (#42970869)

Congress needs to reinterpret the meaning of the requirement in the Constitution that provides for the USPS. The intent, I believe, was to simply to provide a channel of communication among the citizens. That in mind, the federal government should shut down the USPS as we know it and just provide net access to all. I read that the FCC is already working on that so shut down the letter operation, with all the brick and mortar, and problem solved.

Re:and they wonder why they dont make money... (1)

cayenne8 (626475) | about a year ago | (#42970255)

I wonder if the new clothing will contain kevlar?

You know...for that fashion concious govt. official what wants to look his best on the day he goes postal [wikipedia.org]?

:)

Re:and they wonder why they dont make money... (4, Interesting)

clong83 (1468431) | about a year ago | (#42970663)

They're losing money for a variety of reasons. The most important is that they are mandated to exist by congress, and are supposed to be financially autonomous, but are micromanaged by congress. You'd have to think long and hard to come up with a worse group of PHBs. Congress told them to pre-fund in full their retirement fund for the next 75 years. The USPS has basically said, "This requirement is bankrupting us. If you relax it, or let us make our own decisions we'll be fine." People wonder why they can't compete with FedEx, UPS, DSL, etc, and the answer is simply that those companies don't have to listen to Congress dictate details like telling them to pre-fund the entirety of a 20 year-old employee's pension right now. I'm all for fiscal responsibility and responsible funding of pensions, but is ten years of secure pension funding not enough? 20? 30? I mean, 75? How do you even estimate your pension needs 75 years in advance?

On another note, one idea I've heard that was intriguing would allow them to operate something like a bank. Not a financial investment house, but a low-end and low-cost branch bank. Sure, I might not switch all my finances over to it, and most people probably wouldn't either. But I might open an account and seed it with some cash if it were convenient. I could send mail and have it draw on the account without having to buy stamps or wait in line. Just drop it in a box at the post office and enter my account number/pin. It could work really nicely. There's already a branch in every city. And for a lot of working poor that have no bank affiliation, it might be the most convenient place to open an account, reducing the population of unbanked. Basically a public option for retail banking.

Believe it or not, it works like this in most other places, mostly with success. And this is the way it used to work in the US as well, but it was not FDIC insured, and was phased out in the 60s or 70s.

You're not going to get that loop (1)

compro01 (777531) | about a year ago | (#42969963)

That feature is exclusive to UPS-brand clothing. Also available from them are the UPS-band package punting boots.

Re:You're not going to get that loop (1)

Desler (1608317) | about a year ago | (#42970023)

Exactly. My packages from Fedex or USPS are usually near perfect condition upon receiving them. UPS employees on the other hand seems to willingly just beat packages to hell for the fun of it.

Re:You're not going to get that loop (4, Interesting)

PopeRatzo (965947) | about a year ago | (#42970741)

My packages from Fedex or USPS are usually near perfect condition upon receiving them. UPS employees on the other hand seems to willingly just beat packages to hell for the fun of it.

I don't know where you live, but here at my house, in Chicago, if a package of mine is lost or damaged, it's more likely to be FedEx or UPS than the Post Office.

Around here, FedEx especially has a habit of dropping a package on a doorstep, which is an invitation to theft. For the same amount that UPS or FedEx will send a package without recipient signature required, I can send something via USPS with delivery confirmation (less than a buck).

My wife's a book collector. She buys and sells rare or unusual mathematics books. She only uses USPS and requests that people sending her books us USPS, because we know we'll get it and it won't take a bit longer than UPS.

And we'll never get a little slip of paper telling us "We missed you, so now you've got to drive down to the UPS office to pick up your package".

When the Founding Fathers created the Post Office, there was a good reason that they believed it was necessary to have such a service (and yes, there were private companies already doing the same thing).

And now we've got a bunch of anti-government extremists trying to kill this important service, using poison pill benefit funding requirements and anti-competitive restrictions.

If the USPS goes away and this sector is left to two players, you can bet that there will be huge increases in consumer shipping costs, and people will have absolutely no alternative. Without the USPS, online commerce would have been badly hamstrung and we wouldn't see anything like the explosion in online shopping that we have today. There's a reason that the default shipping method for Amazon, Netflix, etc is the US Post Office.

Re:You're not going to get that loop (1)

gstoddart (321705) | about a year ago | (#42970921)

If the USPS goes away and this sector is left to two players, you can bet that there will be huge increases in consumer shipping costs, and people will have absolutely no alternative

But that's pretty much the end goal of all of these "everything must be private and for profit" things, isn't it?

As long as it's private industry screwing us over, it must be better, right?

Re:You're not going to get that loop (1)

gstoddart (321705) | about a year ago | (#42970245)

This is USPS, not UPS ... different entities.

Re:You're not going to get that loop (1)

Desler (1608317) | about a year ago | (#42970337)

Yes, they know that. They were saying that UPS is the one beating pacakages with a mallet not the USPS.

Re:You're not going to get that loop (1)

gstoddart (321705) | about a year ago | (#42970463)

Yes, they know that. They were saying that UPS is the one beating pacakages with a mallet not the USPS.

Doh, I see ... UPS has a patent on smashing packages, gotcha.

Re:You're not going to get that loop (1)

clong83 (1468431) | about a year ago | (#42970887)

I used to live in a stand-alone, single family home, in the middle of a major US city. The streets were gridded and well-marked, and my address was displayed. It was close to the heart of the city, not out in some suburban snake-pit of cul-de-sac roads.

I never had a problem with packages from USPS, or FedEx. But UPS... Oh holy god. I ordered something online, and waited. And waited. I checked the tracking only to see it was labelled as "undeliverable address" or something like that. I drove to some distribution point way out of my way to pick it up. I thought somehow I must have typed in a bad zip code or something, but when I picked it up, everything was correct. The driver just couldn't find it.

When it happenned a second time, I decided never to use UPS again, and damn the cost.

Hmmm ... (4, Interesting)

gstoddart (321705) | about a year ago | (#42970035)

The Postal Service inked a licensing agreement with Cleveland-based Wahconah Group, Inc. to produce the new line, which will include jackets, headgear, footwear and clothing that allows integration of modern technology devices such as iPods, according to agency spokesman Roy Betts.

What, like pockets?

I must say, after reading TFA ... I have no idea of what this is or why I'd want to buy it from the USPS.

I'm more baffled by this tidbit ... In 2006, Congress passed a statute requiring the Postal Service to pre-pay for 75 years worth of retiree benefits within 10 years. No other federal agency is forced to make such an investment.

Why only the Postal Service and no other agency? To make sure Fedex profits stayed high?

Re:Hmmm ... (1)

Sparticus789 (2625955) | about a year ago | (#42970083)

>I'm more baffled by this tidbit ... In 2006, Congress passed a statute requiring the Postal Service to pre-pay for 75 years worth of retiree benefits within 10 years. No other federal agency is forced to make such an investment.

::CLANG:: In the red corner, the libertarians. In the blue corner, the Keynesians. Round 1 FIGHT!

Re:Hmmm ... (2)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about a year ago | (#42970299)

::CLANG:: In the red corner, the libertarians. In the blue corner, the Keynesians. Round 1 FIGHT!

Two fruitcakes enter!

Half a dozen fruitcakes leave!

Re:Hmmm ... (1)

Sulphur (1548251) | about a year ago | (#42970495)

::CLANG:: In the red corner, the libertarians. In the blue corner, the Keynesians. Round 1 FIGHT!

Two fruitcakes enter!

Half a dozen fruitcakes leave!

There is only one fruitcake.

Re:Hmmm ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42970563)

::CLANG:: In the red corner, the libertarians. In the blue corner, the Keynesians. Round 1 FIGHT!

Two fruitcakes enter!

Half a dozen fruitcakes leave!

There is only one fruitcake.

I can see by the number of posts you all have been violating the First Rule of Fruitcake Club...

Re:Hmmm ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42970705)

THE (FRUIT)CAKE IS A LIE!!!

Re:Hmmm ... (1)

Applekid (993327) | about a year ago | (#42970711)

::CLANG:: In the red corner, the libertarians. In the blue corner, the Keynesians. Round 1 FIGHT!

Two fruitcakes enter!

Half a dozen fruitcakes leave!

There is only one fruitcake.

Does that mean Mathematicians are in the next title fight?

Re:Hmmm ... (5, Insightful)

Microlith (54737) | about a year ago | (#42970175)

Why only the Postal Service and no other agency? To make sure Fedex profits stayed high?

Yes, basically. They did it so that in the event that the USPS fails to meet the unfair obligation the GOP can point to it and cry about how the government fails at all things and that we should put our trust in private industry.

Up until this was forced on them the USPS was actually doing fine, fulfilling its constitutional obligation.

Re:Hmmm ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42970511)

This has been the SOP of the GOP for some time.

1. Leverage political gamesmanship to ensure something will fail.
2. Watch it fail.
3. ???
4. Profit!!!

Just take a look at what happened to the plan to close Guantanamo. New Demoncratic president says it will close, some things happen* and suddenly the pres' looks like a huge ass that breaks promises.

*The DOD delayed to keep their exceptional power. Facilities that were capable of accepting the prisoners where in areas of Republican governorship. Then the president calls on old allies in his home state to help him out but not before The Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2009- H.R. 2346 was passed, thus blocking funds to transfer the prisoners. Then the coffin nail was driven home by tying the fate of Guantanamo to the 2011 Defense Authorization Bill. If it was vetoed on something so politically minor as Guantanamo then the president would be committing political suicide, and quite possibly suicide by proxy as every Assault rifle toting soldier in the country would suddenly be unemployed and homeless.

Re:Hmmm ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42970749)

Just take a look at what happened to the plan to close Guantanamo. New Demoncratic president says it will close, some things happen* and suddenly the pres' looks like a huge ass that breaks promises.

*The DOD delayed to keep their exceptional power. Facilities that were capable of accepting the prisoners where in areas of Republican governorship. Then the president calls on old allies in his home state to help him out but not before The Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2009- H.R. 2346 was passed, thus blocking funds to transfer the prisoners. Then the coffin nail was driven home by tying the fate of Guantanamo to the 2011 Defense Authorization Bill. If it was vetoed on something so politically minor as Guantanamo then the president would be committing political suicide, and quite possibly suicide by proxy as every Assault rifle toting soldier in the country would suddenly be unemployed and homeless.

Maybe Obama Christ shouldn't have promised something he wasn't sure he could deliver? Just a thought.

Re:Hmmm ... (1)

operagost (62405) | about a year ago | (#42970761)

Yeah, it was cosponsored by those crazy right-winger Republicans, Henry Waxman and Danny Davis. It passed unanimously in the Senate and we don't know who voted for it in the House because they used a voice vote.

Re:Hmmm ... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42970789)

Not true
http://www.cnbc.com/id/45018432/The_Truth_About_The_Post_Office039s_Financial_Mess

Re:Hmmm ... (3, Informative)

jo_ham (604554) | about a year ago | (#42970635)

I must say, after reading TFA ... I have no idea of what this is or why I'd want to buy it from the USPS.

I'm more baffled by this tidbit ... In 2006, Congress passed a statute requiring the Postal Service to pre-pay for 75 years worth of retiree benefits within 10 years. No other federal agency is forced to make such an investment.

Why only the Postal Service and no other agency? To make sure Fedex profits stayed high?

That's exactly why. Lobbyists working for businesses that compete with the USPS basically want it forced out of business, or into a crippled state, so that they can ride in as saviours on private business horses to save the day. The problem is that the USPS was actually doing really well and was (and still is) totally self funded (no taxes pay for its upkeep), so they simply manufactured a no-win situation. The bill along will the extremely onerous restriction to fund retirement plans for employees who haven't even been born yet, specifically forbids them from putting up the price of stamps to raise revenue.

Re:Hmmm ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42970701)

http://www.cnbc.com/id/45018432/The_Truth_About_The_Post_Office039s_Financial_Mess

Re:Hmmm ... (1)

Urza9814 (883915) | about a year ago | (#42970729)

Yeah, that was my thought. I was given a similar seeming product as a gift once -- it was basically a hoodie, where the pockets had holes in the sides (behind a velcro flap so crap didn't fall out, so that was at least nice) which led to a series of velcro loops up the inside of the zipper that you were supposed to route your headphone cable through. Which is the dumbest idea ever -- I don't understand why anyone would want that. It takes 10 freakin minutes to get the damn cable routed, and then if you wanna take the hoodie off but still use the headphones you've gotta sit there taking them back out.

The one other nice feature -- totally unrelated -- was that the pockets sealed closed with rare earth magnets...but those ripped right out after a couple months.

Why? (1)

Liquidretro (1590189) | about a year ago | (#42970043)

Who has the perception that the USPS is A) A fashion designer B) Leading edge technology in anything (Just try using their tracking that updates once a day at best), especially clothing C) A logo people want to pay for and wear. I guess if it brings in money. . .

Get the ones with the forever inseam (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42970057)

They promise to fit no matter how big your ass gets.

I can see why they're so successful... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42970067)

...what with all the sticking to their core competencies and whatnot.

Don't blame the carrier. He's just the public face (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42970071)

I hope it has hidden pockets for lost letters, and a loop for the package smashing mallet.

UPS doesn't carry their "Ground to Dust" equipment with them, so why should UPS? What happens at the hub, stays at the hub.

I ride, all 4 seasons (2)

way2trivial (601132) | about a year ago | (#42970075)

I ride a really old honda pacific coast in the dark, the bitter cold, and snowshowers.

if'n they have come up with some good heated gear, I'm intrigued....

Re:I ride, all 4 seasons (1)

oic0 (1864384) | about a year ago | (#42970103)

I know you heard smart and all weather, but I think youll see crap like ipod docks and solar chargers instead of useful stuff like heaters.

is it time for a whitehouse.gov petition (1)

way2trivial (601132) | about a year ago | (#42970089)

asking WHAT THE HELL the fed seems to have as a hard on for breaking the USPS into dust?

Re:is it time for a whitehouse.gov petition (5, Informative)

NekoYasha (1040568) | about a year ago | (#42970387)

Yes:
Release the Postal Service from the draconian Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act of 2006
https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/release-postal-service-draconian-postal-accountability-and-enhancement-act-2006/Gz6MrsBy [whitehouse.gov]

Re:is it time for a whitehouse.gov petition (3, Informative)

NekoYasha (1040568) | about a year ago | (#42970527)

Not that this is the first petition [whitehouse.gov] to ask to remove the postal office from the requirement of pre-paying 75 years of retiree benefits.

(For the record, I'm not a U.S. citizen and have not created or signed either petition.)

Re:is it time for a whitehouse.gov petition (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42970403)

It does seem that way--I'd sign a petition to support the USPS.

Where I live (Buffalo, NY suburbs), the USPS does an excellent job. Nothing smashed in years and generally fast delivery. Counter service is friendly and usually fast except at times of peak demand (ie, just before tax filing day). Media Mail is very reasonably priced, lately I've sent out about 100lbs/40kg of books to a specialized archive. Occasionally a letter is delivered to a neighbor or vice-versa, nothing major. Other package delivery companies are not so good.

Privatize! (1)

nbauman (624611) | about a year ago | (#42970191)

This sounds like one of those dumb ideas that government services come up with when they're forced to privatize.

In come the corporate consultants, they toss around buzzwords, they brainstorm, they come up with brilliant ideas, and they get paid and get out before anyone can see whether their advice worked.

Re:Privatize! (2)

Desler (1608317) | about a year ago | (#42970313)

The USPS hasn't received direct taxpayer money since the 80s. Their revenue shortfalls are due to a Republican Congess passed bill that put the ridiculous retirement obligation on them.

Re:Privatize! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42970779)

There's always an excuse isn't there for you dumbass statists.

Cliff Clavin - smart USPS clothing model (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42970263)

Ehh, Normie it all started back with the Babylonians....

The USPS is intellectually bankrupt (1)

hsmith (818216) | about a year ago | (#42970301)

I mean, clothing? Instead of focusing on issues which will actually solve their problems, they want to make clothes?

Does anyone at USPS in a leadership position have a frickin brain?

Re:The USPS is intellectually bankrupt (1)

Desler (1608317) | about a year ago | (#42970361)

The USPS has revenue issues purely because the GOP Congress and Dubya in 2006 put the ridiculous retirement obligation on them. Before that Act was passed they were doing fine.

Re:The USPS is intellectually bankrupt (0)

operagost (62405) | about a year ago | (#42970801)

Again, passed unanimously in the Senate and cosponsored by two left-wing Dems.

Re:The USPS is intellectually bankrupt (1)

DutchUncle (826473) | about a year ago | (#42970667)

They won't focus on this distraction, they'll just license the logo to it. Give them props for using it before someone else did.

Re:The USPS is intellectually bankrupt (0)

jo_ham (604554) | about a year ago | (#42970671)

I mean, clothing? Instead of focusing on issues which will actually solve their problems, they want to make clothes?

Does anyone at USPS in a leadership position have a frickin brain?

Well, their first suggestion was "add a few cents onto the price of a stamp", but the legislation that forced them to pre fund 75 years of retirement plans also forbid them from raising the price of stamps, so they had to come up with something else.

It's really hard to win when the rules are deliberately stacked against you and the rule makers want you to fail so the lobbyists who paid them to make it happen can signal the all clear for private industry to come in and "save the day".

Seems random but, (1)

ddd0004 (1984672) | about a year ago | (#42970321)

I can't wait for more random commercial ventures from government agencies. Maybe the FDIC can make an energy drink or the Coast Guard can start a cosmetics line.

Re:Seems random but, (1)

DutchUncle (826473) | about a year ago | (#42970693)

Be sensible. If the Coast Guard made a deal with one of the sunglass companies for "even better than thermonuclear protection", it could have a WAY cool ad campaign. The FDIC can start the cosmetics line, particularly lipstick for pigs.

Edging Rustler and Gymboree out of the market (1)

portwojc (201398) | about a year ago | (#42970325)

When you think of the post office you think of clothes. They missed the boat to be a service like paypay which would have made more sense than this because of the postal money orders. Might as well hit this front so they don't make that mistake again.

So how much $ was wasted in development for this (1)

splatter (39844) | about a year ago | (#42970419)

I have to say, I hope the best for the USPS and it's workers, but the first thing that came to mind is a getting a start-up off the ground isn't cheap. Seems like a clothing line would be even more since there are goods involved meaning clothing stock, building, machines, workers, management, marketing etc... I know you need to spend money to make it, but unless someone is sure this is an idea that is worthwhile and not a pipe dream, it seems risky. How much money for all these things have been dumped into this idea that could have been used to keep the agency afloat for that much longer. Seems like one more piss poor idea after another coming from the USPS.

Re:So how much $ was wasted in development for thi (1)

Microlith (54737) | about a year ago | (#42970529)

The Postal Service inked a licensing agreement with Cleveland-based Wahconah Group, Inc. to produce the new line

So the USPS is essentially getting royalties for this, with Wahconah Group making the venture here.

How much money for all these things have been dumped into this idea that could have been used to keep the agency afloat for that much longer.

Probably not much.

Seems like one more piss poor idea after another coming from the USPS.

No, it sounds like the USPS is looking for any avenue it can to raise revenues to survive the GOP's attempt to destroy the agency.

Re:So how much $ was wasted in development for thi (-1)

jo_ham (604554) | about a year ago | (#42970753)

That's the problem - they're hamstrung and are running out of ideas. The 2006 bill that was designed to cripple the USPS (bought and paid for by private industry package carriers) has worked exceedingly well.

They can't do the simple and "non risky" things like raising revenue etc because the bill forbids it - the lobbyists thought of that ahead of time! Remember, it was designed to kill off the USPS. They didn't ban clothing sales though - I guess they thought that by the time they got that desperate, it would be an easy sell to claim "duh, look, government services don;t work, time to privatise!"

Any money that is being "dumped" into these schemes is simply not going to help much to keep them afloat - the bill was carefully crafted to see to that. Unless something is done, the USPS is going to sink, and it has been inevitable since 2006 as the ink started to dry after the bill was signed.

Just privatize it... (1, Insightful)

Darkness404 (1287218) | about a year ago | (#42970469)

Just privatize the USPS or remove the monopoly and let the free market take its course like it should have back in 1844...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_Letter_Mail_Company [wikipedia.org]

Re:Just privatize it... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42970687)

remove the monopoly and let the free market take its course

So, higher prices and shitty customer service, if the history of other privatized public utilities is anything to go by.

They need a catchy slogan (2)

wytten (163159) | about a year ago | (#42970493)

Since they are trying to strengthen their brand awareness, they should have a catchy advertising slogan for this new clothing line.
I'd suggest "Go postal!"

uhhhh (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42970543)

I hope my tax dollars are not actually going to fund this. Taxation without representation to the fullest. Was there even a vote? What the fuck!?!??!?!

Dear republitard, (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42970695)

The USPS has been self funding for a long time; no taxes are used. They are also not losing money that was a corrupt law in 2006 to fund their pension for unborn children. (Some employee's are not even born yet but their pension is being setup for them... the excuse is to undermine the USPS while helping prop up the investment fund... will somebody please follow the money trail on this one? any reporters left?)

ahh ok (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42970765)

Well that makes sense. Honestly, good for them if they can fund pensions for their unborn children. The only other concern left is their special privilege and how that relates to loans and things like that. If they are going to be starting clothing lines, their line of credit should be the same as the average business.

Unfortunately no weekend wear in their lineup... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42970739)

Seriously, they should have eliminated Monday mail service and kept Saturday.

Revnenues? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42970857)

Maybe they can get a refund on the Team USPS sponsorship?

It's a Licensing Deal (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42970931)

This appears to be purely a licensing deal...USPS licensing their trademark to generate another income source. Lots of private sector companies do this (Cat, Harley). When seen from that perspective, it's not such a dumb idea. The licensee is taking on the risk on whether the line will sell or not. Whether the sales are good or bad, USPS still collects royalty fees according to the terms of the license.

This a joke right? (1)

pubwvj (1045960) | about a year ago | (#42971019)

This a joke right? The USPS needs to focus on doing their job well. They loose and damage all too many packages. Their postal clerks are all too often poorly trained and give wrong advice. They make excuses for their poor service citing regulations. Then they wonder why people are switching to UPS and FedEx for packages and email for letters. Service.

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