Samsung and Rambus???

I am having a very hard time trying to understand why Samsung would want to buy Rambus? I can't seem to wrap my head around this idea.

The only thing that makes sense to me is: somebody was sitting on a big inventory of RMBS (like PRIMECAP Management) and wanted to move some of it.

This makes more sense to me:

ARM Holdings plc (ARMH)

ARMH and RMBS walking down the isle I can get my head around.

Two CDIP shops in two different areas that complement each other and cut their back-offices needs in half.

That I can wrap my little mind around...

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USPS....Time for a new Business Model: The Last Mile

It is time for the USPS to get a new business model.

Over this summer we have heard news reports of how the United States Postal Service is hurting and must cut their budget. They have talked about dropping Saturday mail delivery and laying off personal.

After labor, the cost of energy has really bent the financial postcard for the post office.

For years now I have advocated that they do away with door-to-door (D2D) service in all areas, except for people with disabilities and people over the age of seventy (70). When they came up with cluster boxes they grandfathered in people already receiving D2D service. I thought this was a dumb idea from the first I heard of it. But, as a taxpayer entity they didn't want to layoff anybody who still had a pulse.

In rural areas, like far western Kansas, or southern Utah, the mail is driven miles and miles by the letter carrier. All of that gasoline being used up everyday and all of that foot leather being used in cities to go door to door. I thought that they should only have cluster boxes, and no individual delivery (except where noted above).

For the past 100 years the USPS has continually closed and consolidated rural post offices all over the land. For the most part, the only new post offices have been in large cities, usually fast growing ones, like Phoenix, Las Vegas, etc. (there have been selected re-adjustments, but this has been minor).

I now believe that they must go a lot farther, a leap frog skipping to something even more drastic. With this downturn running DHL out of the country, and the Post Offices press looking for cost-cutting moves, it is time for an entire new business model.

So, here it is, not only should they get rid of all D2D (e.w.n.a), they should now get rid of all cluster boxes.


Yes, they should change to opening up more post offices instead, and get rid of 80% of their small delivery vehicles and about half of the letter carriers (LC). (That idea ought to piss off somebody.)

They should instead open micro and mini post offices branches about two miles apart. Take half of those old LCs and have them man these new branches.

So, the average urban person only has to travel two-miles at the most to retrieve their mail. Right now, if I miss a registered or signature required piece of mail, I have to drive over eight miles to pick it up. All the while I have a closer post office not in my zip code.

When the cluster boxes came out I thought they where a good answer, and if fuel prices where low, they might still be. But with all of the incidences of crime on individual mailboxes and now increasingly on cluster boxes, we should just scrap them. I had originally thought that consolidating smaller cluster boxes into larger ones (take the three on my short block and put them all at the entrance to the street) might work. But, that would probably only increase crime because nobody would want the ugly things in front of their house, so they would have to move it to a larger artery and try to place them spot that didn't blight the view.

Nope, now just get rid of them altogether. Really big ones, like a CB that has 100 boxes at a large apartment building I will concede can stay. The LC that delivers the mail to the disabled and people over 70 can just service these super-clusters at the same time.

The rest of us who can still do it, can just pick up our mail when we get our groceries.

The "Last Mile" will thus be shifted from the LCs (for the most part) and the USPS to the customer. This brings the USPS business model more inline with United Parcel Service (UPS) and Federal Express (FedEx).

Anybody who wants to pay extra can get his mail delivered right to his door. Just like FedEx and UPS do now. Try getting those two to bring you a piece of mail to your door for less than fifty cents. (Maybe the USPS can have a service where the collect your mail in a box for a week and then drop off that one box on Saturday with a week's worth of mail in it?)

The USPS has never had the best business model anyway, and this current economic downturn only makes it more apparent. It is time that they bite the bullet and at least make it a break-even entity. They can wait until the economy turns up before laying off about 40% of their personal (because tax payers pay for it one way or another), but then they need to get on with it.

The advantages of this Last Mile model are:

1) less crime, external postal theft at mailboxes, and internal theft and neglect. While most postal crime is external, there is also internal theft, or more often, just plain neglect. The old episode from Seinfeld where Newman just hid some mail in a closet because he didn't feel like delivering it. It does happen. The Last Mile model would eliminate about 80% of both internal and external crime and neglect.

2) less trash flying about and better use of the trash that isn't blowing down the street (they can put recycling bins right in the post offices for people to put their junk mail in as the get it, instead of driving all those millions of pounds of junk mail that last mile and back out again in the form of trash. How much fuel is used to bring in all of that paper, billions of tons, and then move it back out again in a waste management truck? If people could recycle it immediately at the point they pick up the mail [and the USPS should promote this effort] instead of dragging it home and then back out again X amount of days later. The net effect is "the planet better.")

3) Billions of gallons in saved fuel. The USPS will use billions of our taxpayer dollars to convert the LC fleet to electric vehicles over the next 10 or so years. But what if they just eliminated 80% of those vehicles instead? Not only would that also save billions of gallons of fuel it would save use millions of used batteries to dispose of.

This Last Mile model will bring back some of the rural, urban, and suburban, post offices that have been closed over the years. Half the LCs will move from their vehicles to these micro-branches.

I know this hurts. Lots of people will not be needed and their jobs eliminated. But, we are all (those of use who pay taxes) shareholders in this current business. If this where UPS or FedEx we could submit a shareholder proposal at the next annual meeting.

It is clear that the USPS's current business model does not work. They are losing money now and have been for sometime. Our shareholder money. This Last Mile business model would at least give them the opportunity to break-even.

It is not like 90% of people don't go out anyway. They are already getting in their cars and driving to the store. They can just pick up their mail then.

If you want your mail so bad, you'll go that last mile.

PS: Don't tell the post office that this was my idea.

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