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Old 12-02-2013, 01:13 PM   #21
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Watched to 60 min show... Was imagining little Mary riding her trike at the landing spot.
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I'm surprised the technology is there to support Prime Air. So, these drones know where my front door is as compared to another door or my roof or my pool, and know not to get stuck in trees, or drop down upon a person? They can also somehow avoid being shredded by a protective dog, as well as colliding with any other drones?
GPS is very accurate, you've seen the military strikes where they were sending missiles through doors and windows 10-20 years ago.

In the 60 Minutes segment, Jeff Bezos acknowledged same saying "The hard part here is putting in all the redundancy, all the reliability, all the systems you need to say, 'Look, this thing can't land on somebody's head while they're walking around their neighborhood.'"

But there are somewhat autonomous drones in existence already, and there's no doubt they'll develop further - sooner if commercial applications seem viable.

Google, Audi, Tesla, Nissan, Mercedes and others have already put hundreds of thousands of miles on (mostly supervised) autonomous cars. Google has approval in CA to operate theirs on public roads now with supervision (for now), so they're coming closer and closer to truly autonomous vehicles. Beyond other cars, people, animals, imagine the variation in terrain, permanent and impermanent obstacles, stationary and moving that an autonomous car has to deal with - it's mind boggling. I'd think perfecting a 2-ton driverless car traveling at 60 mph would be orders of magnitude more difficult than autonomous drones traveling 10 miles with a 5 pound package.
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Old 12-02-2013, 01:25 PM   #22
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On Christmas Eve they fly down your chimney, drink your milk and eat your cookies.
So put a 5.1 pound glass lid over your milk and cookies, problem solved. Amazon will sell you the lid, but it can't be delivered by drone...
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Old 12-02-2013, 02:04 PM   #23
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I can't wait for the drones. It's probably too rural where I'm at. I can imagine the conversation when the first 'good ole boy' shoots one down, cause it was upsetting his cows.

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Old 12-02-2013, 03:11 PM   #24
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Amazon will sell you the lid, but it can't be delivered by drone...
The thing should be able to deliver a couple of kilos...
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Old 12-02-2013, 04:13 PM   #25
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I am waiting for the Amazon drone to fly over my house at 2:30 in the morning to deliver a package to my neighbor. I intend to get in some good target practice.
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Old 12-02-2013, 07:55 PM   #26
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The thing should be able to deliver a couple of kilos...
And munchies! Taco Copter!
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Old 12-02-2013, 08:00 PM   #27
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Same with us. Now that they charge sales tax in Texas and pricing is competitive elsewhere, I am ordering things from other vendors. Plus, free shipping went to only after $35 in orders (and not all goods).
I live not too far from you (not the Woodlands, but same county) and I still order from Amazon all the time. The vast majority of the times their prices are competitive and almost always when you consider delivery. I'm an Amazon prime member (have made that cost up over and over) and it isn't just that delivery is part of the membership it is that you get your item in 2 days. So, let's say that another online vendor has the same item for a $1 less than Amazon and the shipping is free but they send it UPS ground and I'll get it in a week. I'm going to buy from Amazon.

I also from experience know that the things I order from Amazon arrive and I don't have problems returning things.

I will sometimes buy something locally if I can get it right then, but not if the price difference is a lot. I thought about buying a mouse at Best Buy the other day but I checked prices online and Best Buy was charging $30 more for the mouse. I was happy to wait a couple of days for the mouse from Amazon to save that $30.

That said, if the difference between Amazon and another reputable vendor is substantial then I'll buy it elsewhere.
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Old 12-02-2013, 08:03 PM   #28
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I was just discussing the advertising video with a family member who works with an outfit that develops the multirotor craft and other UAVs. According to him, autonomous delivery multirotors have been in use for quite some time, but the aircraft are quite a bit larger. He added that the drone in the video would (in his estimate) have a range of about 5 miles round trip, carrying a payload of ~5 lbs. And that would be taking it's batteries to the limits.

He suggested that the video drone was for advertisement mainly, and that a much larger version would be needed to accomplish what Amazon is proposing.
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Old 12-02-2013, 08:07 PM   #29
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I was just discussing the advertising video with a family member who works with an outfit that develops the multirotor craft and other UAVs. According to him, autonomous delivery multirotors have been in use for quite some time, but the aircraft are quite a bit larger. He added that the drone in the video would (in his estimate) have a range of about 5 miles round trip, carrying a payload of ~5 lbs. And that would be taking it's batteries to the limits.

He suggested that the video drone was for advertisement mainly, and that a much larger version would be needed to accomplish what Amazon is proposing.
According to one of the articles I read, the range is about 10 miles. I think the 5 lb. limit is pretty accurate. So unless you are within 10 miles of one of the 100 or so distribution center, no love. However, I suspect by the time the FAA gets around to setting up the domestic and corporate UAV regulations and standards, we'll be well into the Star Trek transporter technology and it will all be moot.
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Old 12-02-2013, 11:27 PM   #30
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I live not too far from you (not the Woodlands, but same county) and I still order from Amazon all the time. The vast majority of the times their prices are competitive and almost always when you consider delivery. I'm an Amazon prime member (have made that cost up over and over) and it isn't just that delivery is part of the membership it is that you get your item in 2 days. So, let's say that another online vendor has the same item for a $1 less than Amazon and the shipping is free but they send it UPS ground and I'll get it in a week. I'm going to buy from Amazon.

I also from experience know that the things I order from Amazon arrive and I don't have problems returning things.

I will sometimes buy something locally if I can get it right then, but not if the price difference is a lot. I thought about buying a mouse at Best Buy the other day but I checked prices online and Best Buy was charging $30 more for the mouse. I was happy to wait a couple of days for the mouse from Amazon to save that $30.

That said, if the difference between Amazon and another reputable vendor is substantial then I'll buy it elsewhere.
I just bought (today) a refurbished Roku 2 XS from Newegg for ~$20 less than Amazon wanted for it (refurbished also). Plus, Newegg, which I have been purchasing tech items from since they opened about 10 years ago, offered free shipping and if I recall, a free extended warranty for a year after the typical 90 days for a refurbished unit. Now I know this is not typical, but it shows there are cost effective alternatives. I have returned items to Newegg as easily as I have with Amazon. I very rarely buy tech items locally unless Fry's has a deal I can't refuse.

I should look into Prime though since my DW orders from them routinely.

The only real problem I have had with Amazon was on an item that ended being shipped from China as it took about two months to show up.
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Old 12-02-2013, 11:31 PM   #31
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I should look into Prime though since my DW orders from them routinely.

The only real problem I have had with Amazon was on an item that ended being shipped from China as it took about two months to show up.
For people who order from Amazon a lot, Prime really makes a lot of sense (well, it did for us). The thing to watch out for is that some things are sold and/or fulfilled by Amazon and others you are really buying from some vendor who is doing the actual shipping. The first is eligible for Prime shipping and is subject to their normal shipping times. Stuff you buy from other vendors isn't and can be slow to arrive. I rarely buy things that aren't fulfilled through Amazon. Really only do it for things that aren't easy to find otherwise and which I don't mind waiting for.

I do like Newegg also and sometimes buy things from them. Their prices are usually pretty good as well.
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Old 12-02-2013, 11:37 PM   #32
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For people who order from Amazon a lot, Prime really makes a lot of sense (well, it did for us). The thing to watch out for is that some things are sold and/or fulfilled by Amazon and others you are really buying from some vendor who is doing the actually shipping. The first is eligible for Prime shipping and is subject to their normal shipping times. Stuff you buy from other vendors isn't and can be slow to arrive. I rarely buy things that aren't fulfilled through Amazon. Really only do it for things that aren't easy to find otherwise and which I don't mind waiting for.

I do like Newegg also and sometimes buy things from them. Their prices are usually pretty good as well.
Yes, we have learned to watch the sellers' locations on Amazon. Even Newegg has started selling through other vendors like Amazon so one must be careful there too.
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Old 12-03-2013, 06:17 AM   #33
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The thing should be able to deliver a couple of kilos...
Already been done:
Special Delivery: Drone Drops Contraband into Georgia Prison Yard - Topix

And pizza delivery is on the way:
Drones Delivering Pizza? Venture Capitalists Wager on It - Bloomberg
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Old 12-03-2013, 07:35 AM   #34
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I have heard that items that have 'free' shipping are often priced a bit higher than those that aren't. But, nobody I know has actually offered any proof. Same with items ordered using a Mac are higher in price than items ordered using a Windows machine. I wonder how low the price would be if I ordered using a Linus machine?

Actually, I don't like Sunday delivery. When I was young just about everybody had Sunday off except for people in certain jobs like police, firemen, medical, and the occasional gas station attendant. We could ALL get together for a Sunday picnic in the park or other event. Today, to many people are scattered on various jobs. Opening on Thanksgiving to sell stuff is another example of lack of respect for our culture and traditions. Very sad.
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Old 12-03-2013, 07:37 AM   #35
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Actually, I don't like Sunday delivery. When I was young just about everybody had Sunday off except for people in certain jobs like police, firemen, medical, and the occasional gas station attendant. We could ALL get together for a Sunday picnic in the park or other event. Today, to many people are scattered on various jobs. Opening on Thanksgiving to sell stuff is another example of lack of respect for our culture and traditions. Very sad.
Frankly, I agree. There's something to be said for a little down time, and for a society that has a little patience. Instant gratification can be a rush, but IMO it comes at a fairly high social cost when it's expected as the norm. Not everything needs to be open 24/7/365.

DW and I have personally decided we will not buy anything for the rest of the year from anyone who was open on Thanksgiving Day.
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Old 12-03-2013, 07:50 AM   #36
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Same with items ordered using a Mac are higher in price than items ordered using a Windows machine. I wonder how low the price would be if I ordered using a Linus machine?
Explain how Amazon figures out what OS you are using and changes prices on their website instantaneously? That's a new one on me....
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Old 12-03-2013, 08:03 AM   #37
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Explain how Amazon figures out what OS you are using and changes prices on their website instantaneously? That's a new one on me....
Browsers send meta information to the server which identifies the operating system being used. That said, many browsers have settings and preferences that allow you to "lie" (for example, a Mac or Linux user could set the preferences to tell the world they are running, say, Windows 7). You don't see it as much today, but a lot of web sites used to *only* run with a Windows client, and accessing them with a Mac would give an error message to the effect of "this site requires Windows". They used this meta information to know what OS you were using.
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Old 12-03-2013, 08:15 AM   #38
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I suppose I could open up my Macbook Air and log onto Amazon and do the same with my Windows 7 desktop and zero in on the same item to see the price difference?

I can't believe Amazon or any online seller would have different pricing for customers with different OS's.
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Old 12-03-2013, 08:19 AM   #39
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Actually, I don't like Sunday delivery. When I was young just about everybody had Sunday off except for people in certain jobs like police, firemen, medical, and the occasional gas station attendant. We could ALL get together for a Sunday picnic in the park or other event. Today, to many people are scattered on various jobs. Opening on Thanksgiving to sell stuff is another example of lack of respect for our culture and traditions. Very sad.
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Frankly, I agree. There's something to be said for a little down time, and for a society that has a little patience. Instant gratification can be a rush, but IMO it comes at a fairly high social cost when it's expected as the norm. Not everything needs to be open 24/7/365.

DW and I have personally decided we will not buy anything for the rest of the year from anyone who was open on Thanksgiving Day.
I understand the POV, but for those who think Sunday and/or holidays should be a down day, just don't patronize stores on those days. I've never shopped on Black Friday or Thanksgiving, and I think it's crazy - but stores are just responding to the real feedback they get from shoppers. Why do you care what stores or other people do on Sunday?

No question our culture is rushing headlong toward more and more instant gratification. Our culture is NOT what it once was, but "we" changed it ourselves by our actions (despite what we "say"). It's hard to imagine we'll ever go back...
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Old 12-03-2013, 08:24 AM   #40
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Why do you care what stores or other people do on Sunday?
Because I care about the increasingly raw deal the American worker is getting and that the balance of power between labor and employer is out of whack, skewed way too far in favor of employer these days. If many workers realistically had much of a say about whether they accepted a job that required them to work on Sundays and holidays, I'd shrug and say, "whatever." But many of them went to work for places that always used to close on major holidays, so when they accepted the job they had that as a reasonable expectation. But now the rules have changed and it's not easy to respond by simply quitting and finding another comparable (or better) job that won't make them work on major holidays. There aren't many.

People can say that "you choose to work there", and that is technically true... but these days too many people work where they can find work and have very little leverage to find something else. Employers know that and they are (mostly) exploiting the hell out of it. I don't want to be part of encouraging that trend.

That said, I'm not criticizing others who shop on Thanksgiving Day, just that I disagree with it and I am free to vote with my dollars just as everyone else is.
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