tellmarcosIn the age of rapid technological advancement, the concept of a quantum internet has captured the imagination of scientists and researchers worldwide. Unlike the classical internet we use today, a quantum internet promises to revolutionize communication by harnessing the strange and counterintuitive properties of quantum mechanics. In this article, we'll delve into the fascinating world of the quantum internet, exploring its potential applications, challenges, and the current state of research. tellhappystar tellgamestopWhat is the Quantum Internet? tellgamestop telldunkin.clickTo understand the quantum internet, we must first grasp the fundamental principles of quantum mechanics. Quantum mechanics describes the behavior of matter and energy at the smallest scales, where classical physics no longer applies. Key features of quantum mechanics include superposition and entanglement, which form the foundation of quantum communication. tellculvers tellcitybbqSuperposition: In quantum mechanics, particles can exist in multiple states simultaneously. This property allows quantum bits or qubits to represent both 0 and 1 at the same time, significantly increasing computational power. tellcaribou tellbrueggersEntanglement: When two quantum particles become entangled, their properties become correlated in such a way that the state of one particle instantaneously affects the state of the other, regardless of the distance separating them. This property is at the heart of quantum teleportation and quantum cryptography. tellbostonmarket The Quantum Internet's Potential Applications: Ultra-Secure Communication: One of the most promising applications of the quantum internet is quantum cryptography, which enables perfectly secure communication. Any attempt to eavesdrop on quantum-encrypted messages would disrupt the entangled particles, alerting both the sender and receiver to the intrusion. Quantum Teleportation: Although it won't lead to instantaneous transportation as seen in science fiction, quantum teleportation allows the transfer of quantum states between distant locations, making it a crucial tool for quantum computing and communication. Quantum Computing: The quantum internet will pave the way for quantum computing, which has the potential to solve complex problems exponentially faster than classical computers. This could revolutionize fields like drug discovery, cryptography, and optimization. Challenges and Current Research: Building a quantum internet is no easy task and is fraught with challenges. Some of the key hurdles include: Quantum Decoherence: Quantum systems are extremely delicate and susceptible to external interference, leading to decoherence, which disrupts quantum states. Researchers are working on developing error-correction techniques to mitigate this issue. Quantum Repeaters: As entangled particles lose their coherence over distance, the development of quantum repeaters is crucial to extend the range of quantum communication. This involves creating intermediate nodes that re-establish entanglement between distant qubits. Practical Implementation: Transforming theoretical concepts into practical, scalable technologies is a significant challenge. Researchers are exploring various physical systems, such as trapped ions, superconducting circuits, and photon-based approaches, to create viable quantum communication devices. The quantum internet holds immense promise for the future of communication and computing. While many challenges remain to be overcome, researchers are making rapid progress in developing the necessary technologies. As the quantum internet inches closer to reality, it has the potential to transform industries, enhance security, and unlock new frontiers in science and technology, ushering in an era of truly quantum communication.

Commentary: USPS Requests Second Postage Rate Increase in 2021 – Internet Philatelic Dealers Association Inc

On Friday May 28, 2021 the USPS filed with the Postal Rate Commission a very large postage rate increase. The request is for the rates to go into effect on August 29, 2021. The overall average price increase is 6.8%.

New pricing authority was granted to the Postal Service under three provisions of a PRC order issued last November. First, due to density loss, basically the number of pieces per mail box which was calculated at 4.5%. Then retirement since the USPS has an unpaid balance which was calculated at 1.062%. Finally non-compensatory which is a fixed 2% to be applied to cover postage rates that are not covering their costs.

The USPS is trying to close the gap on losses they have incurred over several years. They are increasing the first class stamp price from 55 cents to 58 cents. The price for first class meter is increasing to 53 cents. The non-machinable surcharge for letters will increase to 30 cents.

The additional ounce rate will remain at 20 cents. The average price increases for marketing mail are: 6.5% for letters and 8.8% for flats. Some of the steepest postage price increases are on flats and periodicals at a whopping 8.8%. For shippers using parcels the increase is 9.3%.

There are some savings to be had with the postal service announcement of the promotions for 2022, they are:

These increases equal about the past five years of increases combined. This is truly unprecedented since postal reform in 2006. The main issue other than the price rates is the fact that the increase is happening before the end of the year. The marketing budgets have already been set for 2021, so realistically this will mean businesses will mail less pieces to offset the postage increase until new budgets can be set.

Many businesses that use the mail have questions about this price increase. First of all, why are the prices increasing so much? In 2016 the PRC started a mandated review of the 2006 postal reform rate setting. In November of 2020 the PRC found that the 2006 rate setting requirements were not meeting the USPS needs. So, they approved an over the CPI cap rate increase.

Next, they ask why can’t the postal service reduce costs? Unfortunately, about 80% of their expenses are beyond their control. The largest expense chunk falls into insurance, employee compensation and retirement which goes to arbitration with the unions for contracts where arbiters have been siding with the unions. Then they have mail delivery costs which they are mandated by congress to deliver 6 days a week and maintain all retail post offices even if they are losing money at them.

So basically, the USPS is raising rates in order to stem the financial losses that have been occurring for several years. This puts the onus on rate payors which can backfire with a loss in overall mail volume. We will have to see what happens. We are awaiting approval by the PRC for these rates, but realistically we expect them to be approved. How will these new rates affect your planned mail campaigns?

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