An iPad or a Kindle can go a long way to helping a deployed soldier pass the dull, dull downtime while away from home. But if you want to send a gadget-stuffed care package to your favorite GI, you won't be able to use the USPS much longer. It's banning the shipment of all electronics with lithium-ion batteries.
The ban, which starts May 16, comes because lithium-ion batteries that are charged too fully, improperly stored, or improperly packed can explode, which is horrifying if it happens to an iPhone in your pants, but a potential catastrophe if it happens to a crate full of phones 30,000 feet in the air. You'll still be able to ship with UPS or FedEx, but the international rates are much higher than the USPS, and those services cannot deliver to APO or FPO boxes, which overseas troops use.
The USPS says that customers will probably be able to ship specific quantities of lithium-ion batteries starting January 1, 2013, but that's also not set in stone. Until then, you've got less than a week to ship readers, tablets, or other lithium-ion-powered gadgets to US soldiers overseas. [Fast Company]