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Comment Harder than it sounds (Score 1) 136

This is a fun idea, but its harder than it sounds.
Pay attention next time you're in a grocery store. Damn near everything is different shapes and sizes. Sure, canned goods have *some* standardization, but there are no less than 3 styles of cans, (nesting, non nesting, and pull top) in a dozen or more sizes. And that's just canned goods, don't even think about things like sugar and flour, which come in fucking paper bags that can be punctured by a fingertip, let alone a robot arm. There are dozens of styles of salad dressing bottles, etc. My point is, having a robot stock/select these items from a shelf, or even pick single items from a case on a pallet is, at this stage, still not really that feasible. Quite a few advancements need to be made in robotic arms to be able to universally manipulate the erratic spectrum of shapes, sizes and weights of grocery items.
So, automatic delivery is one thing, what with your self driving delivery trucks and truck to door drones that everyone keeps raving about, but at the other end is still going to be some poor bastard rushing around a warehouse, throwing your selections into a box. maybe his job will turn into the guy who re-fills the giant soda-machine like dispenser that deals with *most* grocery items, and troubleshoots the inevitable jams it suffers from, but the level of automation this idea requires is an insanely complex system, dealing with literally hundreds of thousands of unique shapes, and this does not even address the varying degrees of durability. A plastic jar of peanut butter neatly handles a fall from 4 feet up onto a hard surface. A glass bottle of beer from the same height becomes a hilariously large mess.
Its a fun idea, and in small scale/limited selection (like any vending machine) its probably fairly operable, but to scale it up to grocery store level is an engineering nightmare/marvel waiting to be built.

Comment Holding Back Progress (Score 1) 77

I think that it is crap like this that is going to delay the release of decent VR well past the point it becomes viable and enjoyable, and maybe even tank the entire endeavor. All these companies trying to be first out the gate, by hook or by crook, and ultimately holding the entire technology back.

Comment Re:Carbon fiber is plastic (Score 1) 149

I looked at some of the linked article, and watched the damn video there, and the takeaway i got from it was that when they fused the flakes of graphene to form this fantastic new non-2D material, they fuse in a rather geometrically unique way.
Then; being scientists, they wondered if the magical properties this new strong, light graphene material possessed where due entirely to the nature of graphene, or if perhaps this unique geometric shape it had taken was partially responsible.
Thus; the science wizards took other, simpler materials, (plastic) and using "THREE DIMENSIONAL PRINTING" they duplicated this intricate new geometric structure, and Lo! verily, the materials they had wrought into this twisted new form (plastic) performed marvelous and wondrous new feats of strength and durability, so bolstered by their newfound shape.

Sorry, I'm a bit sleep deprived. But yeah, thats the gist of it.

Comment Re:amazon deforestation (Score 1) 125

You know, I hear about this horrendous 'Banana Blight' about twice a year, for the last decade. On and on about how its going to end the cavendish banana, but you know what? I've yet to see an increase in the price of bananas, or shortages, where they are unavailable (I work in a grocery store, so we'd notice).

Not saying that the blight is not a thing, but perhaps the people who raise bananas are not as fucking stupid as the news makes them out to be, and have been careful, and able to mostly control the spread of it?

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