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'[OT] I wonder what company would let such a produc'
2006\12\08@140700 by Peter P

picon face

No, really:

http://groups.google.com/group/comp.arch.embedded/browse_thread/thread/cdba6e39df613775/7130460025be2ec3?hl=en#7130460025be2ec3

Peter

2006\12\09@004732 by Herbert Graf

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face
On Fri, 2006-12-08 at 19:06 +0000, Peter P wrote:
> No, really:
>
> groups.google.com/group/comp.arch.embedded/browse_thread/thread/cdba6e39df613775/7130460025be2ec3?hl=en#7130460025be2ec3
>
> Peter

The self checkout kiosks at my local Home Depot also run Windows
underneath.

Have seen them crashed a few times.

Aside from them running windows, I LOVE self checkout, since I know the
systems pretty well I don't have to wait for prompts, and I can get
through checkout MUCH faster then with a cashier, especially if I have a
boatload of items.

I've always found the "checkout" to be one of the STUPIDEST things in
the world. For example, when I go grocery shopping, I have to take
everything out of my cart, put it on the belt, have the cashier ring it
through, and right back into my cart it goes. What an idiotic way of
doing things. I CAN'T WAIT until RFID is finally implemented fully and I
can just push my full cart through a "scanner", have it tally the amount
instantly and off I go.

TTYL

2006\12\09@020836 by Matt Pobursky

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On Sat, 09 Dec 2006 00:47:29 -0500, Herbert Graf wrote:
> The self checkout kiosks at my local Home Depot also run Windows
> underneath.
>
> Have seen them crashed a few times.
>
> Aside from them running windows, I LOVE self checkout, since I know
> the systems pretty well I don't have to wait for prompts, and I can
> get through checkout MUCH faster then with a cashier, especially if
> I have a boatload of items.

I normally like self-checkout a lot too. I am, as I told a good
friend the other day, a verifiable "tool whore" and spend way too
much time in Home Depot and Harbor Freight Tools store. They are both
about 10 minutes away and that's a dangerous thing... Tim Taylor from
"Home Improvement" has nothing on me!

I spend a lot of time in Home Depot and know the self-checkout well.
It seems about half the time though, I'll have an item or two that
won't make it through the "weight-it-and-verify-you-bagged-what-you-
scanned" step of the checkout. Either it weighs incorrectly (really
light and won't register on the scale platform) or is so unwieldy you
can't even bag it or it won't fit on the platform (last item I
remember like this was a mop handle). You then get the "Please Wait
for Assistance" message and that can take some time, depending how
busy the once checkout assistant is at the time.

But for run of the mill items, which is probably a large percentage
of what most people buy, I really like the self checkout.

> I've always found the "checkout" to be one of the STUPIDEST things
> in the world. For example, when I go grocery shopping, I have to
> take everything out of my cart, put it on the belt, have the
> cashier ring it through, and right back into my cart it goes. What
> an idiotic way of doing things. I CAN'T WAIT until RFID is finally
> implemented fully and I can just push my full cart through a
> "scanner", have it tally the amount instantly and off I go.

I wonder though how long it well take them to iron out the
implementation bugs. Every once in a while I'll go through Wal-Mart's
checkout and have an item that has an anti-theft tag in it. I'll
watch the clerk scan it, get the "boing" sound and see them run it
over the tag reader/disabler. Then when I leave the store I still get
the warning for the anti-theft person to inspect my stuff. Not a big
deal but I could see problem items really slowing down a checkout
line for the exceptions that invariably will happen.

Matt Pobursky
Maximum Performance Systems


2006\12\09@030329 by William Chops Westfield

face picon face

On Dec 8, 2006, at 11:08 PM, Matt Pobursky wrote:

> I spend a lot of time in Home Depot and know the self-checkout well.
> It seems about half the time though, I'll have an item or two that
> won't make it through the "weight-it-and-verify-you-bagged-what-you-
> scanned" step of the checkout. Either it weighs incorrectly (really
> light and won't register on the scale platform) or is so unwieldy you
> can't even bag it or it won't fit on the platform

Yeah, really.  It's incredibly stupid for a place like Home Depot
to have a system that works that way...  I don't think I've EVER
been shopping there and left with a selection that didn't require
"assistance" at the self-checkout.

BillW

2006\12\09@055708 by Breesy

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face
What is potentially a larger security worry; the new self-checkout
machines at my local Big W store frequently have problems with the notes
trays jamming (perhaps not designed for Australian notes?). While it
doesn't take long for the assistant to fix it, it requires them remove
the appropriate draw and shake it about. Its about 40cm long. Also, the
modified user interface they added is less user friendly than anything
ive seen in a long time, never seen one crash but they are frequently
out of order, or displaying a hardware error screen (fwiw; they are
windows based).

William Chops Westfield wrote:
{Quote hidden}

2006\12\09@074903 by Tony Smith

picon face
> I've always found the "checkout" to be one of the STUPIDEST
> things in the world. For example, when I go grocery shopping,
> I have to take everything out of my cart, put it on the belt,
> have the cashier ring it through, and right back into my cart
> it goes. What an idiotic way of doing things. I CAN'T WAIT
> until RFID is finally implemented fully and I can just push
> my full cart through a "scanner", have it tally the amount
> instantly and off I go.
>
> TTYL


The cost of a bar code is essential $0.00.  RFID tags are $US0.20 per
million at the moment, and the price won't be coming down for a while
apparently.  Even 1 cent is too high.

Don't forget it's the manufacturers who will be adding the tags to the
products, not the supermarkets.  Some supermarkets are adding tags to some
high priced/easily stolen stuff at the moment, but that's more for security
than faster checkout.

Supermarkets forced the adoption of bar codes by simply refusing to order
any product that didn't have one.  The same will happen with RFID
eventually.

Now, if you can find a way to print RFID tags...  Product ID and a serial
number in one hit...  I can hear the excitement of marketing, survey,
privacy, warehouse, security, thieves and other riff-raff from here.

Tony

2006\12\09@111542 by Herbert Graf

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On Sat, 2006-12-09 at 23:48 +1100, Tony Smith wrote:
> > I've always found the "checkout" to be one of the STUPIDEST
> > things in the world. For example, when I go grocery shopping,
> > I have to take everything out of my cart, put it on the belt,
> > have the cashier ring it through, and right back into my cart
> > it goes. What an idiotic way of doing things. I CAN'T WAIT
> > until RFID is finally implemented fully and I can just push
> > my full cart through a "scanner", have it tally the amount
> > instantly and off I go.
> >
> > TTYL
>
>
> The cost of a bar code is essential $0.00.  RFID tags are $US0.20 per
> million at the moment, and the price won't be coming down for a while
> apparently.  Even 1 cent is too high.

Depends. Would I pay 1 cent per item to shove my cart through a scanner
instead of unloading it, having a cashier scan it and put it back in my
car? MOST DEFINITELY, without question, without hesitation.

> Supermarkets forced the adoption of bar codes by simply refusing to order
> any product that didn't have one.  The same will happen with RFID
> eventually.

Can't wait. TTYL


2006\12\09@142331 by Denny Esterline

picon face
{Quote hidden}

I've heard the rhetoric on this idea, but I can't imagine it actualy ever being implemented. Think about how hard it would be to steal something - damage the RFID tag, throw it in the cart, walk out. WAY to easy.

-Denny


2006\12\09@145949 by Peter P.

picon face
Denny Esterline <firmware <at> tds.net> writes:

> I've heard the rhetoric on this idea, but I can't imagine it actualy ever
> being implemented. Think about how hard it would be to steal something -
damage > the RFID tag, throw it in the  cart, walk out. WAY to easy.

Not so easy. The cart must be weighed first. Damaging the RFID tag is not
necessary. Just spill ketchup or conc. tomato juice on it and it's deaf (one
cannot justify walking about with a pot or can of conductive paint all the time
- but a small roll of 2 inch adhesive aluminium tape from 3M is not
unthinkable). This is why they want you to unpack everything one by one. Then it
becomes interesting for a cart that contains 20 items of average weight 1kg and
one valuable item that weighs 50 grams and is buried in ketchup. What would the
scale indicate (required accuracy is 0.12% - almost impossible in practice
normally, but not unthinkable) ?

A more likely system is that of 'smart shelves'. I have read that they would put
the sensors in the shelves and they would record the removal of the merchandise
(its departure from range I presume). This works better than a checkout aisle
sensor but it is interesting to see how it can cope with several persons using
the same shelf at the same time and what happens when the customer changes his
mind and leaves something laying in the wrong place. Also wiring a place like
this would be extremely expensive. I understand that some such systems already
exist, but they are used for restocking indication for staff.

Peter


2006\12\09@153302 by Herbert Graf

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On Sat, 2006-12-09 at 14:23 -0500, Denny Esterline wrote:

> > Depends. Would I pay 1 cent per item to shove my cart through a scanner
> > instead of unloading it, having a cashier scan it and put it back in my
> > car? MOST DEFINITELY, without question, without hesitation.
> >
>
>
> I've heard the rhetoric on this idea, but I can't imagine it actualy ever being implemented. Think about how hard it would be to steal something - damage the RFID tag, throw it in the cart, walk out. WAY to easy.

Stealing right now IS easy. Sure, eliminating an RFID tag would be
"easy", but how is it easier then putting on a shirt under your jacket
and walking out now? I don't really see the difference.

Sure, if you have a whole shopping cart full of stuff, and you eliminate
the RFID tag on ONE item you'd likely completely get away with that.
However, again, I don't see how waving an RFID eliminating device over
an item is any "easier" then just shoving that chocolate bar in your
pocket.

They could put checks in to curtail it. For example, the current self
checkout kiosks have a weigh scale, I see no reason you couldn't weigh
the cart.

Eliminating shoplifting completely is a pointless exercise, putting
guards in to minimize it is the best we can do. There will always be
people who can get around WHATEVER guards are in place. To completely
dismiss something new because it appears slightly easier to take
advantage of is IMHO not a good way to approach things.

TTYL

2006\12\09@173308 by TGO Electrónica SA de CV

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Have you ever heard of Microsoft???

----- Original Message -----
From: "Peter P" <spam_OUTplpeter2006TakeThisOuTspamyahoo.com>
To: <.....piclistKILLspamspam@spam@mit.edu>
Sent: Friday, December 08, 2006 12:06 PM
Subject: [OT] I wonder what company would let such a product out the door.
Naw,it couldn't be ...


>
> No, really:
>
> http://groups.google.com/group/comp.arch.embedded/browse_thread/thread/cdba6e39df613775/7130460025be2ec3?hl=en#7130460025be2ec3
>
> Peter
>
> --

2006\12\09@175752 by Jason

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face
From: "Herbert Graf" <mailinglist3spamKILLspamfarcite.net>
Sent: Saturday, December 09, 2006 8:15 AM


> Depends. Would I pay 1 cent per item to shove my cart through a scanner
> instead of unloading it, having a cashier scan it and put it back in my
> car? MOST DEFINITELY, without question, without hesitation.

We're talking about what it would cost the manufacturer.  If their cost goes
up 1 cent, they charge 2 cents more.  Then wholesaler chages 4 cents more,
and the retailer 8 cents more.  8 cents times the number of grocery items a
family buys in a week gets into some real cash.

Jason


2006\12\09@182054 by David VanHorn

picon face
>
> There are expensive items that light at my grocery store; flash memory
> sticks for example.


And they will be in bulky packaging, or behind the counter.

RFID is coming, and I for one will be glad.  I've seen the demos where a
cart full (and I mean FULL) of stuff is pushed through a gate, and
everything's totalled in less than a second.

2006\12\09@183343 by David P Harris

picon face
Jason wrote:

{Quote hidden}

Of course, the effect is bigger than that.  The store actually might
save more than 8 cents per item on less staff, and pass on the savings,
so it will cost you less for the groceries.  Then some number of your
neighbours will now be laid off and unemployed, and breaking into your
house to make ends meet, which might eat into those supposed savings.  
So whether this brave new world is a plus is debatable ;-)

David


2006\12\09@192251 by Herbert Graf

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On Sat, 2006-12-09 at 14:57 -0800, Jason wrote:
> From: "Herbert Graf" <EraseMEmailinglist3spam_OUTspamTakeThisOuTfarcite.net>
> Sent: Saturday, December 09, 2006 8:15 AM
>
>
> > Depends. Would I pay 1 cent per item to shove my cart through a scanner
> > instead of unloading it, having a cashier scan it and put it back in my
> > car? MOST DEFINITELY, without question, without hesitation.
>
> We're talking about what it would cost the manufacturer.  If their cost goes
> up 1 cent, they charge 2 cents more.  Then wholesaler chages 4 cents more,
> and the retailer 8 cents more.  8 cents times the number of grocery items a
> family buys in a week gets into some real cash.

Fine, but your 1 cent number is completely arbitrary, and will certainly
come down even farther.

Lets not forget that almost everything you buy today ALREADY has these
sorts of costs built in. The boxes, the packaging, the shipping,
everything adds something to the cost of an item. Heck, many items
prices are boosted a bit to cover the fact that people paying with VISA
cards incure a cost to the retailer to VISA. None of this is new. Heck,
those "security" tags that are in books and DVD cases probably cost a
bunch of pennies when they first came out

When that critical point is reached volume and competition WILL bring
the cost of RFID down to the "it doesn't matter anymore" price that the
box your item is in costs.

Look at things like DVD players. I can buy a BRAND NEW DVD player for
$25 now. That is incredible. There is a HUGE amount of technology in a
DVD player (I knew some people who's 4th year project in university was
the build a DVD player, the amount of work to just get data off the disk
was astonishing), it boogles my mind that they can sell it for so
little, but they do.

TTYL

2006\12\09@200425 by Rich

picon face
It is indeed a wonderful life when we can complain about such things.  Is it
not?

----- Original Message -----
From: "Herbert Graf" <mailinglist3spamspam_OUTfarcite.net>
To: "Microcontroller discussion list - Public." <@spam@piclistKILLspamspammit.edu>
Sent: Saturday, December 09, 2006 11:15 AM
Subject: RE: [OT] I wonder what company would let such a product out
thedoor. Naw, it couldn't be ...


{Quote hidden}

order
> > any product that didn't have one.  The same will happen with RFID
> > eventually.
>
> Can't wait. TTYL
>
>
> -

2006\12\09@224531 by Denny Esterline

picon face
> > > Depends. Would I pay 1 cent per item to shove my cart through a scanner
> > > instead of unloading it, having a cashier scan it and put it back in my
> > > car? MOST DEFINITELY, without question, without hesitation.
> > >
> >
> >
> > I've heard the rhetoric on this idea, but I can't imagine it actualy ever being implemented. Think about how hard it would be to steal something - damage the RFID tag, throw it in the cart, walk out. WAY to easy.
>
> Stealing right now IS easy. Sure, eliminating an RFID tag would be
> "easy", but how is it easier then putting on a shirt under your jacket
> and walking out now? I don't really see the difference.

The difference is in the apparentness (is that a word?) of the crime. Right now if you put a shirt under your jacket and walk out, that is a clearly abnormal activity, anybody witnessing it will know what is being done. With these futuristic checkouts, the normal function (as it's been described to me) is to push a whole cart full of stuff through without hesitation. If some/many/most of the RFID tags are 'defective'* how will anybody know? I don't believe scales are a practical solution at this level, there's too many variables on whole cart weight.  



-Denny



*'Defective' could mean a lot of things, certainly some type of EM zap could kill them, but so could dropping it on the floor and stepping on it with a hard shoe.

2006\12\09@232800 by Jake Anderson

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> The difference is in the apparentness (is that a word?) of the crime. Right now if you put a shirt under your jacket and walk out, that is a clearly abnormal activity, anybody witnessing it will know what is being done. With these futuristic checkouts, the normal function (as it's been described to me) is to push a whole cart full of stuff through without hesitation. If some/many/most of the RFID tags are 'defective'* how will anybody know? I don't believe scales are a practical solution at this level, there's too many variables on whole cart weight.  
>
>
>
> -Denny
>
>
>
> *'Defective' could mean a lot of things, certainly some type of EM zap could kill them, but so could dropping it on the floor and stepping on it with a hard shoe.
>
>  
simply bending the sticker based security tags stops them working pretty
often. My better half found this out when she was a "till jockey" and
the people tagging the items were breaking them

2006\12\10@002806 by Kenneth Lumia

picon face
>> *'Defective' could mean a lot of things, certainly some type of EM zap
>> could kill them, but so could dropping it on the floor and stepping on it
>> with a hard shoe.
>>
>>
> simply bending the sticker based security tags stops them working pretty
> often. My better half found this out when she was a "till jockey" and
> the people tagging the items were breaking them
> --

Oh, come on now.  How unimaginative :)

Zapping and crushing are so inelegant. This is the PIC list after all.
These RFID devices will need a writable location to indicate they are
"purchased/paid for".  Not that I'm suggesting that anyone do anything
illegal or unethical, but it would be trivial to build a small RFID
reader/writer that could fit into your pocket. Simply hold the item in front
of you to deactivate it - no smashing or zapping required.

>From what I've heard, the encryption on RFID is rather weak and not
too difficult to figure out.  I saw a demo last week on TV.  The
demonstrator
had a laptop with a small RFID reader (no writer) in a shoulder bag.
He casually walked behind  the host and stood about 12 inches from
the hosts back pocket.  The hosts wallet had a credit card with an RFID
chip in it.  The demonstrator then pulled out the laptop and showed that
the hosts name and credit card number were decoded (blurred out of course).

Not good.  Not good at all!!!

I don't know the RFID folks are going to make it secure and I'm really
unhappy that I could become a walking collection of marketing and sales
information.  As far as I know there are no laws against people "scanning"
you to collect information :(

Ken
____________________________
".... Do vector calculus just for fun"
KILLspamklumiaKILLspamspamadelphia.net


2006\12\10@005937 by Tony Smith

picon face
Cetainly is.  I wonder if the stress and anxiety caused by not being able to
buy crap fast enough has a name yet.  Maybe we can call it Rich's syndrome.
:)

Beats affluenza, although I've always liked puns.

Tony


> It is indeed a wonderful life when we can complain about such
> things.  Is it not?
>
> > > > I've always found the "checkout" to be one of the
> STUPIDEST things
> > > > in the world. For example, when I go grocery shopping,
> I have to
> > > > take everything out of my cart, put it on the belt, have the
> > > > cashier ring it through, and right back into my cart it

2006\12\10@010342 by Herbert Graf

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On Sat, 2006-12-09 at 22:45 -0500, Denny Esterline wrote:

> The difference is in the apparentness (is that a word?) of the crime. Right now if you put a shirt under your jacket and walk out, that is a clearly abnormal activity, anybody witnessing it will know what is being done. With these futuristic checkouts, the normal function (as it's been described to me) is to push a whole cart full of stuff through without hesitation. If some/many/most of the RFID tags are 'defective'* how will anybody know? I don't believe scales are a practical solution at this level, there's too many variables on whole cart weight.  
>
>
>
> -Denny
>
>
>
> *'Defective' could mean a lot of things, certainly some type of EM zap could kill them, but so could dropping it on the floor and stepping on it with a hard shoe.

So, putting a shirt under your jacket is considered "abnormal
behaviour", but dropping an item on the floor and stepping on it
isn't? :)

My point is what is considered "abnormal" behaviour will simply change.
The methods of defeating RFID are known, and new methods will be known,
so that just shifts what is "abnormal" behaviour.

On the other side, the former cashiers could simply be reassigned to
walk around the store keeping watch, you can NEVER have to many people
on the floor to help customers IMHO (as long as they aren't too pushy).

As for the weigh scale, that was just a suggestion. Another technique
perhaps is to put an RFID scanner and scale in the cart. The RFID
scanner continuously scans the basket, if there is a change in weight
and no change in the RFID inventory the cart will tag itself as
"problem" and signal the self check-out terminal that a manual check
should happen.

Again, just an idea, I'm just one person and I've come up with two, you
can get the people in the industry will come up with MANY better ideas
then mine.

TTYL

2006\12\10@010600 by William Chops Westfield

face picon face

On Dec 9, 2006, at 7:45 PM, Denny Esterline wrote:

> With these futuristic checkouts, the normal function (as it's been
> described to me) is to push a whole cart full of stuff through
> without hesitation.

Initial usage is going to be at big-ticket, low-quantity type places
where there's already some guy at the door comparing item counts of
receipt vs cart...

BillW

2006\12\10@022700 by Jake Anderson

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Kenneth Lumia wrote:
{Quote hidden}

I believe the general method of "deactivating" rfid stuff is to blow it
up, electrically speaking.
that or just mark those unique ID's as sold in the database.
the tags going into shops wont contain vast quantities of data, probably
just 256 bits worth of data
ie an ID

2006\12\10@032849 by Jason

flavicon
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From: "David VanHorn" <spamBeGonedvanhornspamBeGonespammicrobrix.com>
Sent: Saturday, December 09, 2006 3:20 PM

That's a huge waste to dump all that extra packaging into landfills as well
as the excess packaging raising prices.  Also, some people don't like to
shop in stores where everything is behind the counter so they have to ask to
see it.  I like to look at the packages while mulling over my purchase, and
I don't like asking a sales drone for help.

> RFID is coming, and I for one will be glad.  I've seen the demos where a
> cart full (and I mean FULL) of stuff is pushed through a gate, and
> everything's totalled in less than a second.

That less than a second figure is meaningless.  People aren't going to just
blindly pay the total shown without checking down the list to make sure
there's no extra items because the scanner picked up a stray tag.  Also,
don't you watch the prices as the cashier scans your items to make sure
everything is right?  Add the time to check your bill to the time waiting
for sales drones so you can see the good stuff begind the counter, and RFID
will slow things down.



2006\12\10@034429 by Jason

flavicon
face
From: "Herbert Graf" <TakeThisOuTmailinglist3EraseMEspamspam_OUTfarcite.net>
Sent: Saturday, December 09, 2006 10:03 PM

> As for the weigh scale, that was just a suggestion. Another technique
> perhaps is to put an RFID scanner and scale in the cart. The RFID
> scanner continuously scans the basket, if there is a change in weight
> and no change in the RFID inventory the cart will tag itself as
> "problem" and signal the self check-out terminal that a manual check
> should happen.

Put 2 items in the cart at the same time, one with a destroyed tag.

I understand what you're trying to say, my point is just that there's so
many loopholes in the system, and no real advantage.


2006\12\10@035903 by Denny Esterline

picon face
> That less than a second figure is meaningless.  People aren't going to just
> blindly pay the total shown without checking down the list to make sure
> there's no extra items because the scanner picked up a stray tag.  

I don't know how many people read this last week when Nate posted it:

http://www.natetech.com/?p=225

Among other things an old man had some 'fun' going around a walmalt
putting boxes of condems in other peoples carts. One more reason to
carefully check the contents of your cart before checkout.


-Denny


2006\12\10@041635 by William Chops Westfield

face picon face

On Dec 10, 2006, at 12:58 AM, Denny Esterline wrote:
>
> I don't know how many people read this last week when Nate posted it:
> http://www.natetech.com/?p=225
> Among other things an old man had some 'fun' going around a walmart

That's a bit of framing story around a rather old joke.  Google for
"fun things to do at the store" and you'll find many more, for instance:
www.liberator.net/humor/departmentstore.html
http://www.funny.co.uk/stuff/art_173-1448-50-Fun-Things-to-do-at-
Walmart.html
(this last list includes "Leave cryptic messages on the typewriters",
which should give you an idea how old the joke is.)

BillW

2006\12\10@070427 by Tony Smith

picon face
> > As for the weigh scale, that was just a suggestion. Another
> technique
> > perhaps is to put an RFID scanner and scale in the cart. The RFID
> > scanner continuously scans the basket, if there is a change
> in weight
> > and no change in the RFID inventory the cart will tag itself as
> > "problem" and signal the self check-out terminal that a
> manual check
> > should happen.
>
> Put 2 items in the cart at the same time, one with a destroyed tag.
>
> I understand what you're trying to say, my point is just that
> there's so many loopholes in the system, and no real advantage.


RFID isn't intended to save you mony, time or hassle, it's to help out
everyone else.  The loopholes exist in every other system, and are handled
the same way.  Like bar codes, adoption & alternate uses will take a while.

Supermarket checkout is the most visible use, but there are others.

At the warehouse level, incoming stock needs to be logged into the system.
For some items (electronics) this means recording their serials numbers, or
at least verifying that what's on the pallet matches what the manufacturer
said they sent.  This means scanning each item, or manually checking
serials.  If the RFID tag includes serial numbers, that's done in a few
seconds.  Stock can go straight from the truck to the bay.

Perishable items (canned food, etc) can have their expiry date in the tag.
This means the stock control system knows if there is old stock on the floor
and sends someone out to get it.  Currently you hire a bunch of temps to go
& look.  At checkout, an alert can be put up.  If course, the often
mentioned RFID fridge can do the same.

Sure, some items (fruit) may not have tags.  No reason not to, of course.
These can be handle like the deli section does, someone bags & tags it for
you.  Otherwise, non-RFID is handle at checkout much like now.  Smarter
shoppers will soon be trained to work in pairs, one runs the RFID stuff thru
the self-checkout and heads for the car, the other takes the fruit & vegies
the manual route.

Stocktake becomes a no-brainer.  Take a scanner up & down the aisle.  This
may also  eliminate the old "I'll hide this product over here and come back
for it tomorrow" game as it'll pick up stock that's in the wrong location.

Recalls are less of a problem.  You know exactly what part of your stock is
affected.  "Yes, we have 3 exploding Sony batteries".

Things get interesting when the RFID tag is embedded in the product, not the
packaging.  Great for thieves, they won't mug you for that iPod if they can
check the serial number is an early one, meaning the screen is probably
broken or scratched, or the battery is worn out.  Airports can spot Sony
batteries too!

Or you walk into an Apple store and the staff snigger at you for having last
years model, like how uncool, man.

The DataDot system can already do a lot of this.

Tony

2006\12\10@225946 by Zik Saleeba

face picon face
On 12/10/06, Denny Esterline <RemoveMEfirmwarespamTakeThisOuTtds.net> wrote:
> I've heard the rhetoric on this idea, but I can't imagine it actualy ever being implemented.
> Think about how hard it would be to steal something - damage the RFID tag, throw it in the
> cart, walk out. WAY to easy.

We have some guys doing RFID at my current contract location. They
tell me that the "rolling a trolley full of groceries through a
checkout" example is not realistic. It can be done for a demo but it's
much much harder to get working in real life.

The big problem is that RFID reception is marginal at the best of
times so a cart full of random items - some of which may be conductive
- is very hard to guarantee for a 100% read rate. And retailers don't
like having items not paid for. A few tin cans piled over other items
in a cart make a passable Faraday cage.

Cheers,
Zik

2006\12\10@235627 by Xiaofan Chen

face picon face
On 12/11/06, Zik Saleeba <zikEraseMEspam.....zikzak.net> wrote:
> We have some guys doing RFID at my current contract location. They
> tell me that the "rolling a trolley full of groceries through a
> checkout" example is not realistic. It can be done for a demo but it's
> much much harder to get working in real life.
>
> The big problem is that RFID reception is marginal at the best of
> times so a cart full of random items - some of which may be conductive
> - is very hard to guarantee for a 100% read rate. And retailers don't
> like having items not paid for. A few tin cans piled over other items
> in a cart make a passable Faraday cage.
>

I attended two RFID sessions in the (Rockwell) Automation Fair
(Baltimore). One company is using a dual approach (bar code +
RFID) for large pharmacy distribution center. Some of the small
items still need manually scanning. I think it makes sense to still
offer manual scanning for some items not so suitable for RFID.

Regards,
Xiaofan

2006\12\11@000228 by Xiaofan Chen

face picon face
On 12/9/06, Herbert Graf <EraseMEmailinglist3spamfarcite.net> wrote:
> Aside from them running windows, I LOVE self checkout, since I know the
> systems pretty well I don't have to wait for prompts, and I can get
> through checkout MUCH faster then with a cashier, especially if I have a
> boatload of items.

My recent experiences with the Giant Eagle in Cleveland area told me
the other story. It always took longer time to use "self-checkout". They
use Barcode scanner though.

Regards,
Xiaofan

2006\12\11@010326 by Herbert Graf

flavicon
face
On Mon, 2006-12-11 at 13:02 +0800, Xiaofan Chen wrote:
> On 12/9/06, Herbert Graf <RemoveMEmailinglist3EraseMEspamEraseMEfarcite.net> wrote:
> > Aside from them running windows, I LOVE self checkout, since I know the
> > systems pretty well I don't have to wait for prompts, and I can get
> > through checkout MUCH faster then with a cashier, especially if I have a
> > boatload of items.
>
> My recent experiences with the Giant Eagle in Cleveland area told me
> the other story. It always took longer time to use "self-checkout". They
> use Barcode scanner though.

Why did it take longer? Perhaps that self checkout was just slower (some
are woofully underpowered).

At the self checkout at my local Home Depot, I can "scan" my items at a
rate equal to the cashiers (I know the system well enough that I don't
have to wait for prompts). So I guess, if there were a free cashier I
would probably be equal in speed, but add one person ahead of me and I'm
out WAY quicker with the self checkout (assuming I don't have an item
that I need "assistance" with, which is usually very large items, very
expensive items or items from the "bin" section where you put them in a
plastic bag and write down the numbers).

TTYL

2006\12\11@160122 by gacrowell

flavicon
face
I don't mind the self-checkout, but I don't use it too often.  First
off, I don't bother if I know I have something that will require
assistance, e.g., a DVD.  Second, I don't bother if there is any kind of
a line, even one person, since it's always been my experience that
anyone ahead of you will require assistance.

Gary

> {Original Message removed}

2006\12\11@160616 by gacrowell

flavicon
face
The last time I saw someone shoplifting, two accomplices distracted the
cashiers nearest the door, while a third pushed a full shopping cart
straight out the door.  They got away, but left the loot.  What
impressed me was that this was a very well orchestrated and obviously
practiced operation - I'm sure it had worked for them many times before
(and probably since).

Gary

> {Original Message removed}

2006\12\11@235538 by Xiaofan Chen

face picon face
On 12/11/06, Herbert Graf <RemoveMEmailinglist3spam_OUTspamKILLspamfarcite.net> wrote:
> On Mon, 2006-12-11 at 13:02 +0800, Xiaofan Chen wrote:
> > On 12/9/06, Herbert Graf <RemoveMEmailinglist3TakeThisOuTspamspamfarcite.net> wrote:
> > > Aside from them running windows, I LOVE self checkout, since I know the
> > > systems pretty well I don't have to wait for prompts, and I can get
> > > through checkout MUCH faster then with a cashier, especially if I have a
> > > boatload of items.
> >
> > My recent experiences with the Giant Eagle in Cleveland area told me
> > the other story. It always took longer time to use "self-checkout". They
> > use Barcode scanner though.
>
> Why did it take longer? Perhaps that self checkout was just slower (some
> are woofully underpowered).
>

I beleive the self-checkout system is okay but the management of
system is not okay. Often the discount is not properly set up.

2006\12\12@114755 by Aaron

picon face


On Dec 10, 2006, at 12:58 AM, Denny Esterline wrote:

>I don't know how many people read this last week when Nate posted it:
>http://www.natetech.com/?p=225
>Among other things an old man had some 'fun' going around a walmart
>  
>
Humourous, but not true:
http://www.snopes.com/humor/letters/spree.asp



2006\12\12@125628 by Nate Duehr

face
flavicon
face
Aaron wrote:
>
> On Dec 10, 2006, at 12:58 AM, Denny Esterline wrote:
>
>> I don't know how many people read this last week when Nate posted it:
>> http://www.natetech.com/?p=225
>> Among other things an old man had some 'fun' going around a walmart
>>  
>>
> Humourous, but not true:
> http://www.snopes.com/humor/letters/spree.asp

I definitely figured that but didn't have time to do my usual snopes
troll to see.

I just liked the ideas.

:-)

Nate

2006\12\15@043817 by tachyon 1

picon face
Given that there are plans to implant very small permanent RFID tags in
just about everything, I've already given some thought to defeating them.
I don't much care to have everything I own become a tracking device once
I get it home. (I'm thinking 'Minority Report' here)
What I was thinking was if you took apart a disposeable camera, and put a
coil wrapped around an iron core where the film can used to be (possibly
with a diode).
Then put a larger cap in the film take-up space. Wire the cap up in place
of the existing one, and wire the coil to the flash output.
Instant mini-EMP device. I wonder how many gauss you'd need to actually
fry an RFID?
Anyone think this would work?

 {Original Message removed}

2006\12\15@045100 by tachyon 1

picon face
Finally someone hits the nail on the head. And it's not just cashiers,
it's less people in shipping, stock, warehousing, inventory, etc.
It's no wonder Walmart is a big proponent of RFID. Those cheap SOB's do
anything they acn to cut costs and eliminate jobs.

 {Original Message removed}

2006\12\15@051732 by tachyon 1

picon face
A cashier is needed every day, at every store, everywhere.
A few techs can install all these stores, once.
The same goes for repair techs.

In your scenario, the math doesn't work out.

Suppose 5 cashiers are eliminated at 1000 stores.
Maybe 10 install techs and 20 repair persons can manage all 1000 of these
stores*

Now let's do the math.

For the cashiers, let's take the middle between 24 hour stores like
Walmart, and other stores and say 06:00 to 0:00 daily.
That's 18 man hours per day, and 126 man hours per week. Times 5 cashiers
per store is 630 hours per store per week.
Times 1000 stores totals 630,000 man hours. Given wages between $5.50 and
$10.00 that's between $3,465,000 and $6,300,000 per week in wages
and $173,250,000 - $315,000,000 per year ( given 50 weeks per year)

Now if you figure on tech salaries between $24,000 and $72,000 per year
for 30 techs, that's $720,000 - $2,160,000 total per year.
I'd say this hardly even takes the edge off the salaries lost to the
cashier jobs, however, it's millions in the pockets of the retailer. And
you can bet it won't be given back to the consumer in savings. Retailers
like Walmart do NOT pass savings on to consumers. They only lower prices
to the point required to best compete with the competition and maximize
profits.
If Walmart can save 40 cents on something, but they only have to lower it
say 5 cents to beat Target's price, you can bet it will only be 5 cents
lower.
And those huge profits don't go back into the local communities much
either. Mostly into cheaper and cheaper foreign suppliers.

*(in my experience in POS, the numbers are much lower. During the brief
time I worked in the Point Of Sale division at IBM, I was responsible for
every store of a certain chain in 2 states! I had 3 other people on those
stores, but doing different jobs. We only covered the same duties during
emergencies.)

 {Original Message removed}

2006\12\15@053637 by William Chops Westfield

face picon face

On Dec 15, 2006, at 1:38 AM, EraseMEtachyon_1spamspamspamBeGoneemail.com wrote:

> Wire the cap up in place
> of the existing one, and wire the coil to the flash output.

Strobes don't really have a "flash output"; the cap is connected
directly across the flash tube.  The flash tube just doesn't flash
until it gets the trigger signal on its third electrode.  So getting
a high current pulse is somewhat problematic (most mechanics switches
don't do so well with short high current pulses.)

Fortunately, you can actually use the strobe tube itself as a
switch, which makes things pretty easy.

I don't know if the magnitude of the EMP is going to be enough to
fry RFID circuits, though...

BillW

2006\12\15@055233 by tachyon 1

picon face
Put your kid in the cart.

 ----- Original Message -----
 From: "Denny Esterline"
 To: "Microcontroller discussion list - Public."
 Subject: Re: [OT] I wonder what company would let such a
 productoutthedoor. Naw, it couldn't be ...
 Date: Sat, 9 Dec 2006 22:45:31 -0500


 > > > Depends. Would I pay 1 cent per item to shove my cart through a
 scanner
 > > > instead of unloading it, having a cashier scan it and put it
 back in my
 > > > car? MOST DEFINITELY, without question, without hesitation.
 > > > > > > I've heard the rhetoric on this idea, but I can't
 > imagine it actualy ever being implemented. Think about how hard
 > it would be to steal something - damage the RFID tag, throw it in
 > the cart, walk out. WAY to easy.
 >
 > Stealing right now IS easy. Sure, eliminating an RFID tag would be
 > "easy", but how is it easier then putting on a shirt under your
 jacket
 > and walking out now? I don't really see the difference.

 The difference is in the apparentness (is that a word?) of the
 crime. Right now if you put a shirt under your jacket and walk out,
 that is a clearly abnormal activity, anybody witnessing it will
 know what is being done. With these futuristic checkouts, the
 normal function (as it's been described to me) is to push a whole
 cart full of stuff through without hesitation. If some/many/most of
 the RFID tags are 'defective'* how will anybody know? I don't
 believe scales are a practical solution at this level, there's too
 many variables on whole cart weight.



 -Denny



 *'Defective' could mean a lot of things, certainly some type of EM
 zap could kill them, but so could dropping it on the floor and
 stepping on it with a hard shoe.

--

Search for products and services at:
http://search.mail.com

2006\12\15@095330 by Tony Smith

picon face
>   > > million at the moment, and the price won't be coming down for a
>   while
>   > > apparently. Even 1 cent is too high.
>   >
>   > Depends. Would I pay 1 cent per item to shove my cart through a
>   scanner
>   > instead of unloading it, having a cashier scan it and put it back
>   in my
>   > car? MOST DEFINITELY, without question, without hesitation.
>
>
>   I've heard the rhetoric on this idea, but I can't imagine it
>   actualy ever being implemented. Think about how hard it would be to
>   steal something - damage the RFID tag, throw it in the cart, walk
>   out. WAY to easy.
>
>   -Denny


You can do this now, or indeed for the last 50 years.  What's stopping you?

I've got a book somewhere that goes thru all these problems, and gives
solutions.  Ok, it was printed 25 years ago and calls RFID 'bar codes' for
some weird reason...

Actually, bring it on.  1-cent tags, hallelujah.

I can think of dozens of uses for RFID.  A product you can actually buy is a
motorcycle key.  You put the tag in your back pocket, the receiver is under
the seat.  Sit on the bike, ignition comes on.  Walk away, bike turns off.
Yes, I've left the keys in my bike.  I came back one day and found someone
had been kind enough to turn off the ignition.  Battery was flat, but ramps
make clutch starts easy.

Tools rooms, I've done these with bar codes, it's a bit of a pain.  RFID the
tool, it gets logged to you when you walk off with it.

Same for surgery.  RFID everything, scalpels, clamps, gloves, sponges.  Even
after doing a count, stuff gets left behind you-know-where.

Tag the remote.  That's the last time you vanish down the couch.  Unless the
'Stuff-B-Found' scanner is down there too.

Tony

2006\12\15@114942 by Harold Hallikainen

face
flavicon
face

{Quote hidden}

RFID is pretty neat. I designed a cow thermometer (for veterinarians) that
logs the cow ID (read from an RFID tag), the cow's temperature, the date
and time. Thousands of readings can then be downloaded later for analysis
and archive. Prior to this, the typical logging system consisted of
writing the date and temperature in chalk on the side of the cow...

Harold


--
FCC Rules Updated Daily at http://www.hallikainen.com - Advertising
opportunities available!

2006\12\15@121046 by Gerhard Fiedler

picon face
Harold Hallikainen wrote:

> RFID is pretty neat. I designed a cow thermometer (for veterinarians) that
> logs the cow ID (read from an RFID tag), the cow's temperature, the date
> and time. Thousands of readings can then be downloaded later for analysis
> and archive. Prior to this, the typical logging system consisted of
> writing the date and temperature in chalk on the side of the cow...

Is there a low-quantity way (low production numbers) to use an RFID to read
the state of a switch, i.e. no battery at the "sender" at the switch? Range
would have to be something like a meter, reliability rather good.

Gerhard

2006\12\15@135443 by Harold Hallikainen

face
flavicon
face

> Harold Hallikainen wrote:
>
>> RFID is pretty neat. I designed a cow thermometer (for veterinarians)
>> that
>> logs the cow ID (read from an RFID tag), the cow's temperature, the date
>> and time. Thousands of readings can then be downloaded later for
>> analysis
>> and archive. Prior to this, the typical logging system consisted of
>> writing the date and temperature in chalk on the side of the cow...
>
> Is there a low-quantity way (low production numbers) to use an RFID to
> read
> the state of a switch, i.e. no battery at the "sender" at the switch?
> Range
> would have to be something like a meter, reliability rather good.
>
> Gerhard


I haven't looked for anything like that, but it seems possible a standard
passive RFID could handle that. Whether such a tag exists, though, I
dunno! In my application, I just had to read the insternational standard
cow number (something like 10 digits) from the tag.

Harold

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opportunities available!

2006\12\15@161109 by Gerhard Fiedler

picon face
Harold Hallikainen wrote:

>> Is there a low-quantity way (low production numbers) to use an RFID to
>> read the state of a switch, i.e. no battery at the "sender" at the
>> switch? Range would have to be something like a meter, reliability
>> rather good.
>
> I haven't looked for anything like that, but it seems possible a standard
> passive RFID could handle that. Whether such a tag exists, though, I
> dunno! In my application, I just had to read the insternational standard
> cow number (something like 10 digits) from the tag.

Yes... I think it should be possible, the question (I think) is more about
where to get the tags and the reader module (FCC certified) for a decent
price for low volumes.

Guess I have to wait until I can reuse the tags from the grocery store :)

Gerhard

2006\12\15@173240 by Peter P.

picon face
Harold Hallikainen <harold <at> hallikainen.org> writes:

> > Harold Hallikainen wrote:

> I haven't looked for anything like that, but it seems possible a standard
> passive RFID could handle that. Whether such a tag exists, though, I
> dunno! In my application, I just had to read the insternational standard
> cow number (something like 10 digits) from the tag.

How come 10 digits are enough to tag all the cows in the civilized world ? That
would be far fewer than 10 billion (10^10 - is it base 10 ?) cows. I thought
they outnumbered humans. They should also rotate somehow, as their lifespans are
not that long (one could say, by design).

Peter P.



2006\12\15@174230 by tachyon 1

picon face
Yeah, how do they get pricing from the tin-foil and pie plates?

 ----- Original Message -----
 From: "Zik Saleeba"
 To: "Microcontroller discussion list - Public."
 Subject: Re: [OT] I wonder what company would let such a product
 outthedoor. Naw, it couldn't be ...
 Date: Mon, 11 Dec 2006 14:59:45 +1100


 On 12/10/06, Denny Esterline wrote:
 > I've heard the rhetoric on this idea, but I can't imagine it
 > actualy ever being implemented.
 > Think about how hard it would be to steal something - damage the
 > RFID tag, throw it in the
 > cart, walk out. WAY to easy.

 We have some guys doing RFID at my current contract location. They
 tell me that the "rolling a trolley full of groceries through a
 checkout" example is not realistic. It can be done for a demo but
 it's
 much much harder to get working in real life.

 The big problem is that RFID reception is marginal at the best of
 times so a cart full of random items - some of which may be
 conductive
 - is very hard to guarantee for a 100% read rate. And retailers don't
 like having items not paid for. A few tin cans piled over other items
 in a cart make a passable Faraday cage.

 Cheers,
 Zik

--

Search for products and services at:
http://search.mail.com

2006\12\15@183201 by Harold Hallikainen

face
flavicon
face

> Harold Hallikainen <harold <at> hallikainen.org> writes:
>
>> > Harold Hallikainen wrote:
>
>> I haven't looked for anything like that, but it seems possible a
>> standard
>> passive RFID could handle that. Whether such a tag exists, though, I
>> dunno! In my application, I just had to read the insternational standard
>> cow number (something like 10 digits) from the tag.
>
> How come 10 digits are enough to tag all the cows in the civilized world ?
> That
> would be far fewer than 10 billion (10^10 - is it base 10 ?) cows. I
> thought
> they outnumbered humans. They should also rotate somehow, as their
> lifespans are
> not that long (one could say, by design).
>


You're right! I haven't looked at that code in a while. The ID is 22
characters long. Some of it is a country code and various other
identifiers. I'm storing 22 characters, though.

Harold



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2006\12\15@184553 by Jinx

face picon face
> How come 10 digits are enough to tag all the cows in the civilized
> world ? That would be far fewer than 10 billion (10^10 - is it base
> 10 ?) cows. I thought they outnumbered humans

AFAICT, cow numbers are far less than humans. eg France has
human pop of 60m, cows are 20m, US has 300m vs 160m. I think
most countries would have cows but some, eg Iceland, will have
bugger all

Besides, you could use non-numeric characters. A-Z, a-z, Smiley
Face, Batman sign. Get you a good 100^10 easy. Handy if you
want to tag fish, rabbits, beetles, ants.........

2006\12\15@204511 by Tony Smith

picon face
> > RFID is pretty neat. I designed a cow thermometer (for
> veterinarians)
> > that logs the cow ID (read from an RFID tag), the cow's
> temperature,
> > the date and time. Thousands of readings can then be
> downloaded later
> > for analysis and archive. Prior to this, the typical logging system
> > consisted of writing the date and temperature in chalk on
> the side of the cow...
>
> Is there a low-quantity way (low production numbers) to use
> an RFID to read the state of a switch, i.e. no battery at the
> "sender" at the switch? Range would have to be something like
> a meter, reliability rather good.
>
> Gerhard


I've seen modules that can do that.  They either have an on/off switch (ie
the module transmits its ID or it doesn't), or a few inputs where that data
gets encoded into the stream, which is more like what you want.

That was a few years back, and a quick Google didn't turn up anything.

Tony

2006\12\16@050212 by Gerhard Fiedler

picon face
Tony Smith wrote:

>> Is there a low-quantity way (low production numbers) to use
>> an RFID to read the state of a switch, i.e. no battery at the
>> "sender" at the switch? Range would have to be something like
>> a meter, reliability rather good.
>
> I've seen modules that can do that.  They either have an on/off switch
> (ie the module transmits its ID or it doesn't), or a few inputs where
> that data gets encoded into the stream, which is more like what you
> want.

Yes, Microchip has passive RFID chips that can do that. But I'd need
something that is already certified...

Thanks,
Gerhard

2006\12\16@061530 by Tony Smith

picon face


{Quote hidden}

Certified?  What do you mean?

Shame the sample system got broken in Oz, I'd get a couple of those chips to
play with.  Probably only Farnell sells them.  Sigh.  They don't like
hobbyist types.

Tony

2006\12\16@153200 by Howard Winter

face
flavicon
picon face
Herbert,

On Sat, 09 Dec 2006 00:47:29 -0500, Herbert Graf wrote:

> The self checkout kiosks at my local Home Depot also run Windows underneath.
>
> Have seen them crashed a few times.

I found that my local Marks & Spencer food hall had installed self-checkout, and as I only had 5 items I thought I'd give
it a try.  The scanning went fine, but when I put my credit-card in (machines in the UK tend to absord cards for
reading, rather than swiping as seems to be the US way) and it said "Insert your credit card".  Do you know how loud
you have to shout "But you already have it!" at a machine before it understands?  Neither do I, I only know how loud
to get a member of staff to come over and help!  :-)

She tried everything she could, but without success.  Someone more geeky came over, and said "I've seen this before -
you have to unplug the card reader".  He proceeded to open the cabinet, pulled an RJ45 plug out of the card-reader
unit, then plugged it back in.  Out came my card!  Then they rebooted it, and lo and behold it was running Windows...
NT!  In a newly-installed system, they are running software that was superceded more than five years ago.  I'm not
saying that Win2k or XP are necessarily better than NT, but I was still a bit amazed by that.  I did mean to write to
their head office (I worked there a few years ago so I know the place rather well) and complain that it took 20
minutes to check out 5 items... but so far I've had better things to do  :-)

> Aside from them running windows, I LOVE self checkout, since I know the
> systems pretty well I don't have to wait for prompts, and I can get
> through checkout MUCH faster then with a cashier, especially if I have a
> boatload of items.

My local ASDA supermarket (now owned by WallMart) installed 4 self-checkout tills a few months ago, but they are
for hand-baskets only (where is it we're going? :-) and I'm fast enough at it that I can get out in half the time of using
a staffed till.  They seem to have solved a lot of the problems that Home Depot in the USA seem to have lived with for
some time (two years plus since I first used those, and they still make a pig's ear of it more often than not).

My local Sainsbury's supermarket has self-scan handsets, which you carry around with you and which presumably
communicate by radio.  Seems to be the fastest way to checkout at the moment, assuming they have some "fast track"
tills open!

I *hate* queueing to check out - I think RFID will be a Good Thing when they get it all sorted out.

Cheers,


Howard Winter
St.Albans, England


2006\12\16@161945 by Wouter van Ooijen

face picon face
> Then they
> rebooted it, and lo and behold it was running Windows...
> NT!  

Out of all the Windows variations that might be the best choice.

But you should not be surprised seeing acient hardware and software in
operation, even in newly installed systems. AFAIK 5 y ago the dutch
steel industry (hoogovens, now chorus, probably soon another name) still
used a bunch of PDP11's to run on of their processing streets.

Wouter van Ooijen

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Van Ooijen Technische Informatica: http://www.voti.nl
consultancy, development, PICmicro products
docent Hogeschool van Utrecht: http://www.voti.nl/hvu


2006\12\16@195857 by tachyon 1

picon face
I don't expect Walmart to sing songs and hold hands. However, I do
expect them to treat employees and customers fairly, and with respect.
Not doing so hurts you in the long run. I am part of a large and growing
group of people that shops at Walmart only when I can't find what I need
anywhere else. This has nothing to do with 'nice'. It's only good
business to be a good business. Customers and employees remember how they
were treated. Treating people well benefits business as much as brutal
cost cutting, but in less bean counter measureable ways. Though for long
time. Which would you rather have, everyone in the country shop at your
store once, or 10% of them shop for a lifetime?
Being 'nice' isn't all about touchy feely. It's about good business, and
it returns on you. There have been a lot of stories lately in the media
about the steady growth and profitability of companies that are praised
by their employees and customers for being good to them.

Personally, I'd like a medium sized local store, with well treated
employees that are happy, knowledgeable, and helpful. Who know my name
and my shopping habits than a self checkout machine.

Even animals learn the lesson "Don't sh** where you eat" so why can't
some companies?

 {Original Message removed}

2006\12\16@202553 by tachyon 1

picon face
Oh sure, it seems great till your evil cow cyborgs turn on us!

 ----- Original Message -----
 From: "Harold Hallikainen"
 To: "Microcontroller discussion list - Public."
 Subject: RE: [OT] I wonder what company would let such a product
 outthedoor.Naw, it couldn't be ...
 Date: Fri, 15 Dec 2006 08:49:33 -0800 (PST)



 >
 > You can do this now, or indeed for the last 50 years. What's
 stopping
 > you?
 >
 > I've got a book somewhere that goes thru all these problems, and
 gives
 > solutions. Ok, it was printed 25 years ago and calls RFID 'bar
 codes' for
 > some weird reason...
 >
 > Actually, bring it on. 1-cent tags, hallelujah.
 >
 > I can think of dozens of uses for RFID. A product you can actually
 buy is
 > a
 > motorcycle key. You put the tag in your back pocket, the receiver
 is
 > under
 > the seat. Sit on the bike, ignition comes on. Walk away, bike turns
 off.
 > Yes, I've left the keys in my bike. I came back one day and found
 someone
 > had been kind enough to turn off the ignition. Battery was flat,
 but
 > ramps
 > make clutch starts easy.
 >
 > Tools rooms, I've done these with bar codes, it's a bit of a pain.
 RFID
 > the
 > tool, it gets logged to you when you walk off with it.
 >
 > Same for surgery. RFID everything, scalpels, clamps, gloves,
 sponges.
 > Even
 > after doing a count, stuff gets left behind you-know-where.
 >
 > Tag the remote. That's the last time you vanish down the couch.
 Unless
 > the
 > 'Stuff-B-Found' scanner is down there too.
 >
 > Tony
 >


 RFID is pretty neat. I designed a cow thermometer (for veterinarians)
 that
 logs the cow ID (read from an RFID tag), the cow's temperature, the
 date
 and time. Thousands of readings can then be downloaded later for
 analysis
 and archive. Prior to this, the typical logging system consisted of
 writing the date and temperature in chalk on the side of the cow...

 Harold

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2006\12\17@074246 by Gerhard Fiedler

picon face
Tony Smith wrote:

>> Yes, Microchip has passive RFID chips that can do that. But
>> I'd need something that is already certified...
>
> Certified?  What do you mean?

If you want to sell something that emits RF, in most countries you need a
certification. I'm looking at the US market for this, so I need FCC
certification. From all I hear, it's too expensive to do it for these
low-quantity products, so the way to go is to buy the RF part already
certified.

Gerhard

2006\12\18@173653 by David VanHorn

picon face
>
>
> Besides, you could use non-numeric characters. A-Z, a-z, Smiley
> Face, Batman sign. Get you a good 100^10 easy. Handy if you
> want to tag fish, rabbits, beetles, ants.........


Fish are already tagged.

Fish hatcheries can use temperature variations to change the growth rate,
and give in effect, a "bar code" in the scales.  Good for tracking where
they end up, but not individualized.

2006\12\18@174213 by David VanHorn

picon face
>
>
> Can somebody document a bad experience at WalMart so I can get
> understand this?


My wife and daughter were detained there one afternoon, on suspicion of
shoplifting.

They had receipts for everything, but the security people weren't
interested.
They took my granddaughter away from my daughter,  went through EVERYTHING,
and managed to break something on the stroller.  The girls were not allowed
to call anyone.

In the end, we resolved it satisfactorally, the manager was unaware, and the
appropriate people were sacked.  If I'd been there, things would have gone
down VERY differently.  At the point where they tried to separate the
granddaughter, someone would have needed hospitalization.

2006\12\18@180212 by Mike Hord

picon face
> > Can somebody document a bad experience at WalMart so I can get
> > understand this?
>
> My wife and daughter were detained there one afternoon, on suspicion of
> shoplifting.

This is an individual experience, and NOT the sort of thing most people
object to when it comes to disapproval of Wal-Mart.

Generally, the problem people have is that Wal-Mart uses its status as a
huge manufacturer to bully other companies, far in excess of normal
capitalist business practices.  An example exchange with a vendor might
begin with Wal-Mart becoming a company's largest customer, so large
that the company cannot remotely afford to lose it.  Then, Wal-Mart may
demand to be that company's ONLY customer, to encourage people to
shop at Wal-Mart to get that product.  Now that Wal-Mart truly has this
putative customer over a barrel, they can demand any degree of price
reduction they want, and the vendor has to choose between compliance
and insolvency.

Add to that the volume of "Made in China" labels in the store, and you
get a very significant basis for complaint.

Top it off with a judicious helping of suppression of workers' rights, and
the picture is complete.

Note that I don't entirely agree with all of this, but I studiously avoid
shopping at Wal-Mart and Sam's Club because they leave a really bad
taste in my metaphorical mouth.

Mike H.

2006\12\18@182035 by David VanHorn

picon face
On 12/18/06, Mike Hord <KILLspammike.hordspamBeGonespamgmail.com> wrote:
>
> > > Can somebody document a bad experience at WalMart so I can get
> > > understand this?
> >
> > My wife and daughter were detained there one afternoon, on suspicion of
> > shoplifting.
>
> This is an individual experience, and NOT the sort of thing most people
> object to when it comes to disapproval of Wal-Mart.


I wasn't sure what the focus of the question was.

As a result of this incident, I talked to a lawyer about this sort of thing,
and was shocked to find out what a retailer can do.  Basically (at least in
indiana) they can take you into a back room, hold you with no real limits,
and beat a confession out of you.  The police can't do this, but the store
security guys can.

2006\12\19@015849 by Wouter van Ooijen

face picon face
> As a result of this incident, I talked to a lawyer about this
> sort of thing,
> and was shocked to find out what a retailer can do.  
> Basically (at least in
> indiana) they can take you into a back room, hold you with no
> real limits,
> and beat a confession out of you.  The police can't do this,
> but the store security guys can.

Sure? "can" means "are allowed to"? In that case I am glad I don't live
in the country of the free (obviously to be interpreted as "free
security people").

Wouter van Ooijen

-- -------------------------------------------
Van Ooijen Technische Informatica: http://www.voti.nl
consultancy, development, PICmicro products
docent Hogeschool van Utrecht: http://www.voti.nl/hvu



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