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Microsoft The Almighty Buck

Microsoft Will Stream Ads To Grocery Carts 484

Posted by kdawson
from the do-you-want-fries-with-that dept.
dptalia writes "Later this year, at ShopRite supermarkets in the eastern US, Microsoft will be rolling out computerized shopping carts. These carts will allow people with a ShopRite card to enter their shopping list on the ShopRite site from home, and then pull up the list on their grocery cart when they swipe their card. The new carts will also display advertisements depending on where in the supermarket the cart is, using RFID technology to help locate it."
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Microsoft Will Stream Ads To Grocery Carts

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  • obligatory (Score:2, Funny)

    by sltd (1182933)
    yeah, but will it run linux?
  • by seanadams.com (463190) * on Tuesday January 15, 2008 @12:03AM (#22046006) Homepage
    I went to a Shell gas station a few months ago and they had 19" flat screen TVs above every pump, playing the news and running commercials at an ear piercing level. It was unbelievable. I left, and figured that was an idea that couldn't possibly last long. But lo and behold, just a few days ago I drove by and the damn place was PACKED with customers listening to that shit, half of them staring blankly at the telescreens because they can't stand for three damn minutes to be alone with their thoughts while their tank fills.

    I thought the same thing about savings cards. YOU SAVED $18.43 MISTER LIVESTOCK! Surely people can not be this dumb, and this idea will fail... but no.

    The vast majority of the population just eats this shit up. They actually read their junk mail. If it weren't for them you wouldn't get junk mail, because it wouldn't be worth mailing in the first place.

    It is so sad. I do my part by avoiding these establishments, but I'm afraid it's not doing a damn bit of good.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 15, 2008 @12:06AM (#22046032)
      Couldn't have said it better myself.

      Amazes me, the shit that people will support. Give them a credit card and they'll buy their own golden cage and cheerfully lock themselves inside.

      ObCaptcha: "Stress".
    • by MichaelSmith (789609) on Tuesday January 15, 2008 @12:11AM (#22046082) Homepage Journal

      I went to a Shell gas station a few months ago and they had 19" flat screen TVs above every pump, playing the news and running commercials at an ear piercing level. It was unbelievable. I left, and figured that was an idea that couldn't possibly last long. But lo and behold, just a few days ago I drove by and the damn place was PACKED with customers listening to that shit, half of them staring blankly at the telescreens because they can't stand for three damn minutes to be alone with their thoughts while their tank fills.

      As a subscriber you are probably not aware that /. has started inserting banner ads after some posts.

      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward
        So that's what those are! I kept seeing all these huge white spaces and I thought that slashdot or one of my extensions had a bug. ** Hugs adblock plus
      • As a subscriber you are probably not aware that /. has started inserting banner ads after some posts.

        Gasoline and groceries are commodities that you can buy wherever you like, with or without the BS. The point is that people _choose_ to buy them from places like I mentioned because they PREFER to be bombarded with advertising and promos.
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          Gasoline and groceries are commodities that you can buy wherever you like, with or without the BS. The point is that people _choose_ to buy them from places like I mentioned because they PREFER to be bombarded with advertising and promos.

          I just usually say I left my shopper's card at home. The cashier simply scans a "store card" and I get the benefits. However, I do lose the ten cents per gallon gas discount I get for every $50 spent. It's not hard for a family of four to generate $500 of grocery spending in a short time and get $1 off per gallon of gas on their next fill-up.

          As for advertising, the grocery story sends all sorts of stuff to "resident" in this area, anyway. The only difference would be I get my name on the To: address.

      • Oh, gawd... (Score:4, Interesting)

        by beadfulthings (975812) on Tuesday January 15, 2008 @12:54AM (#22046524) Journal
        Have you not had adverts blaring at you while taking care of business in a public washroom? Or is that form of torture reserved for the female of the species, since we're confined to stalls while we're in there? Of course, the possibilities for wide-screen above a row of urinals do come to mind, so they'll get you eventually if they haven't already. First time I saw this was in the ladies' at a beachfront bar--actually a pretty respectable establishment--where they blared commercials for waterfront properties. That was a couple of years ago. Most recent sighting was a couple of months ago at a favorite Chinese restaurant in a city 200 miles inland. It gives new meaning to the term "captive audience."
        • by CodeBuster (516420) on Tuesday January 15, 2008 @01:19AM (#22046706)

          Of course, the possibilities for wide-screen above a row of urinals do come to mind, so they'll get you eventually if they haven't already
          I doubt it, for the simple reason that it is easier for us men to "target" (if you get my drift) the source of our annoyance (unless they mounted it really high up on the wall) for immediate destruction via electrolytic liquid. That and women are probably less likely to completely trash the washroom, write on the screen with a grease pencil, or take any number of other destructive actions against the furnishings and fixtures.
          • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

            by FireFury03 (653718)
            for the simple reason that it is easier for us men to "target"

            I remain unconvinced that I want to urinate on a plasma screen, given the voltage that they run at...
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      The gas station on my way home from school has something similar. It blares audio only ads, but it has a mute button on it so I have no problem. Hitting the mute button has been as much of my gas pumping routine as hitting "no" for that car wash they are always trying to pimp.
    • They have full video billboards. The same effect works miracles on drivers.

    • Advertising has ALWAYS been with us. When commerce became viable the person selling something has always had to attract people to buy their wares. Not just the actual product but to buy it from them.

      And it works, you fall for it too. How else do you know it was a SHELL gas station? If you were imune to it and not a sheep you would just tank at any gas station. (but without any advertising whatsoever, how would you know it is a gas station?) You obviously saw Shells adversting, yes even the sign that says S

      • by ZorbaTHut (126196) on Tuesday January 15, 2008 @12:22AM (#22046210) Homepage
        And it works, you fall for it too. How else do you know it was a SHELL gas station? If you were imune to it and not a sheep you would just tank at any gas station. (but without any advertising whatsoever, how would you know it is a gas station?) You obviously saw Shells adversting, yes even the sign that says Shell is part of advertising.

        I did the same thing that the GP did, and the only reason I know it was a Shell station is because I explicitly checked once the ads started so I'd know which gas stations to avoid in the future. I wouldn't have known it was Shell if they hadn't made me care.
      • by glindsey (73730)

        And it works, you fall for it too. How else do you know it was a SHELL gas station? If you were imune to it and not a sheep you would just tank at any gas station. (but without any advertising whatsoever, how would you know it is a gas station?) You obviously saw Shells adversting, yes even the sign that says Shell is part of advertising.

        So feel all high and mighty, the advertisers know your kind and they target you most succesfully.

        Hmmm, let me check my dictionary... no, wait, I'm sorry, I don't see "piss the fuck out of me so much that I consciously remember which gas station this is so I can avoid it like the plague, even if it means driving five miles out of my way" as a definition for "successful". You must be using some sort of mystical marketing dictionary.

        As for saving cards, good don't use them. Supermarkets are sure to care that they do not have to give you that discount. Teach them a lesson, pay more!

        Me: "Oh, I'm sorry, I seem to have forgotten my card at home!"

        Clerk: "Don't worry, I got it." *keys in the "store card"*

        I have only once had a clerk who wouldn't give me t

    • by Dirtside (91468) on Tuesday January 15, 2008 @12:29AM (#22046262) Journal

      I do my part by avoiding these establishments, but I'm afraid it's not doing a damn bit of good.
      The "damn bit of good" that you can do (and is easy) is to write pen-and-paper letters to those establishments explaining why you will not shop there. One person's letter usually won't thwart a multi-million dollar campaign, but it could be the straw that breaks the camel's back; and simply avoiding the establishment doesn't tell them why. That's the critical thing; avoiding a store for reasons you haven't explained to them doesn't help them change.

      The best thing to do in such a letter is to be polite, precise, and calm. Insulting them or railing at them will just make them throw your letter away. Here's a sample letter, feel free to mangle it to your needs:

      "I'm a long-time customer at Shell, and I almost always get my gas there (at your Main Street location in Los Santos) because it's so convenient for my drive to work. But ever since those flat-panel TVs have been installed out in the pump area, it's nearly unbearable to pump gas. Not only is the audio loud and distracting, but the TVs seem to cause people to take significantly longer to pump their gas (they just stand around staring at the TVs), meaning I end up waiting to get gas. As a result I've decided to start getting my gas at [insert local independent gas station here]. Maybe if the TVs are removed I might come back to Shell, but for now it's just not worth it.

      Sincerely, Soandso"

      And be sure you do this on PAPER, signed in pen, and mailed to their corporate headquarters. From a customer-service standpoint, this is the kind of letter companies tend to love, because 1) it's not insulting, rude, demanding, or insane; and 2) it provides actual useful feedback from actual customers. As a bonus, sometimes companies will send you free stuff, or gift certificates, or coupons, or whatever, usually worth more than the letter cost you to write and mail ;)
      • by plover (150551) *
        Not that they'll remove the on-pump TVs (that must have been a huge capital investment) but our local Holiday store at least turned down the volume after enough people complained.

        I still take the opportunity while pumping gas to clean the windows and/or check the oil, and make it a point to ignore the extra commercials. But the original reason I switched to this station is they are the only ones in the neighborhood to offer low-sulfur gas. As far as I know that hasn't changed, so they'll keep my business

      • by sporkme (983186) * on Tuesday January 15, 2008 @02:15AM (#22047080) Homepage
        I would also add (to your letter) that you used to get your morning coffee, pack of cigarettes and package of decongestant there every morning as well. Profit margins on gasoline are actually surprisingly low; retail locations rely on those ridiculously marked-up impulse buys, mostly made by the morning/evening commuter. Prepay (pay inside, then pump) at gas stations was not instituted because a few jerk-offs gas-n-go. They want those cash customers in the selling environment! Either skip to the last paragraph for the point, or allow me to elaborate:

        Mega chain retailers, gas stations included, rely on conformity to "plan-o-grams," actual required product placement blueprints, at which the minimum-wage dregs while away the hours in some attempt to conform. The aspirin goes near the coffee and next to the gum, because the hangover crowd will be there in the morning. Useless crap lead-containing toys are placed at knee-level next to the lines for the registers, because the little scamps will invariably demand the purchase of such items, just when impatient mommy has her wallet out--that is if the yuppie parents of said scamps have not left them in a still-running, unlocked car in an unattended parking lot. The tire gauges are near the motor oil, but just around the bend from the tampons; men buy them (both even), but single moms concerned about highway safety do as well. The expensive cigarette lighters are on the counter for easy theft, but the equally capable ones are behind it, hidden, where they are only stolen by employees. You practically trip over Red Bull and Coca-Cola on the way in, but god help you to find the generic cola. Just scratching the surface here, but you get my drift.

        These plan-o-grams change frequently, as trends are explored and exploited. The monitors are another campaign in the impulse buy campaign, and I have only addressed gas (petrol) stations. I have multiple experiences as a retail manager, and as a gas station employee, and I am somewhat fascinated by these ploys.

        Moving to other sellers, specifically electronics.... Next Christmas, or at any competitive sale time, closely examine the "loss leaders" employed by retailers. The idea is this: sell item X at near or below cost, knowing that it will trigger increased revenue from accessory items Y and Z, either instantly via the marketing miracle of "batteries not included" or continuously via "games sold separately." Barbies need outfits. Xboxen require games. My favorite, from my Radio $hack days, was to sell the remote control car at my cost exactly (which I revealed), so that I could easily demand that the poor sucker dad buy two rechargeable batteries (gotta have a spare, especially at well over 90% margin) and all the 9-volts he could carry (insane low cost, insane standard market price fixing), all the while coming out smelling like a rose. This is standard procedure, so you know the more devious schemes are way more insulting, such as video screens on your shopping cart.

        As for grocery stores, we have always realized that kid cereal is on the bottom, bargain cereal is at waist level and receives limited shelf real estate, and that premium cereal is highlighted with "sale pricing" (also known as standard mark-up) and is at shoulder level, as far as the eye can see. Frankly, grocers endure painfully low profit margin percentages, but thankfully for them, humans cannot live without food (particularly for rural markets, the choke price for milk and bread can get pretty ridiculous). Closely examine the items in the advertisement from week to week. When ground beef is on sale, regularly priced hamburger buns are generously placed right in the meat market, with a slammin' pyramid of regularly priced ketchup and pickle slices opposing; lettuce and onions are not on special either. The same gas station methods are employed at the registers, and it is no accident that toys and school supplies come right after cereal, aisle-wise. You'll also notice t
    • seriously. There well done. Its not all ads, there are news and wheather shorts as well. I listen to sirus radio all day and surf the web w/adblocker, so they are jsut aobut the only ads I see. And also the only local tv I see either. I have all of the day to spend with my thoughts I don't mind being entertained briefly.

      Now if you want to see advertising at its most crass, and annoylingly blatant I suggust you look at miejers ( never know how to spell that, what the heck is a J doing in the middle of the
      • When they installed those checkout ad spigots at the Ralph's I used to go to when I lived in LA, I quit going there. Drove me nuts. As it so happened I was able to walk just a couple more blocks to a Trader Joe's, so my grocery bill went down, as did my ad input, and I started eating a bit healthier, too.

        Ultimately I was pretty glad they installed those vile things. I never did write to Ralph's and thank them for making me leave the path of least resistance.
        • Yeah, but Mejiers has low prices on almost everthing. There like the less evil version of walmart or target. Or the up and comming evil beast. The one you don't understand its danger until it has you by the throat kind. Its the 4 mangos for a buck in the middle of winter in Illinois evil. Rarely seen, difficult to resist.
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward
      How the hell is that funny? It's depressing, that's what it is. The only consolation is that the shopping carts will probably be very hackable. I long to see the face of the attentive customer when he learns about goatse.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by ruiner13 (527499)
      The only part of your rant that was missing was the part where you yell at the kids to get off your damn lawn.

      I don't fully understand what your problem is. Savings cards? Some people like saving money, and aren't so fucking sad and lazy that they can actually _gasp_ walk to the garbage/recycling can and just throw it away? Using a card you can save hundreds of dollars a year! What fools!

      I think part of this is a good idea. Being able to have your shopping list instantly seems like a good idea to me.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by daem0n1x (748565)
      I have always hated how they fill bars with huge TV screens, sometimes several of them, showing MTV or VH1 or something. People go to bars to have a drink, chat and dance. Not to watch TV. But when I point this out, people say I'm crazy. I quit complaining because some people started looking at me as if I'm weird. What's the point of going out for a good time with other people and having to put up with distracting TV screens all around? The same in restaurants and cafés, just turn that shit off!
  • Fucking spammers (Score:5, Interesting)

    by taustin (171655) on Tuesday January 15, 2008 @12:06AM (#22046028) Homepage Journal
    If these fucking things make the slightest bit of noise, I swear I'm going to light it on fire, and start growing my own food.
    • by MichaelSmith (789609) on Tuesday January 15, 2008 @12:13AM (#22046100) Homepage Journal

      If these fucking things make the slightest bit of noise

      With the volume up: Thank you for buying ansell condoms. People who purchased this product also bought...

      • by nacturation (646836) <nacturation&gmail,com> on Tuesday January 15, 2008 @12:20AM (#22046190) Journal

        With the volume up: Thank you for buying ansell condoms. People who purchased this product also bought...
        ... diapers, usually after about a nine month delay.

        Speaking of that, when I initially glanced at the title I thought it read "Microsoft Will Stream Ass to Grocery Carts". I don't know whether to be relieved or disappointed.
         
        • by Basehart (633304)
          I thought it said Microsoft Sucks.

          But seriously folks, after mapping out our local store and the kind of items in each aisle/section, it was pretty easy to generate the most efficient route to take through the store after entering all the items we needed to pick up. To make things easier a pulldown list of menus for each day throws all the ingredients required into the list so we don't miss anything.

          It's super quick to get through the store now.

          We suggested to the store management that they provide
      • "Please place your EXTRA SMALL TROJAN CONDOMS on the belt. Thank you for shopping at MegaMart, PHILIP J. FRYE!"
    • You could just stick your kid(s) in the trolley with a few indestructible toys and encourage them to pound on it a little bit too.
  • oh great (Score:5, Interesting)

    by ILuvRamen (1026668) on Tuesday January 15, 2008 @12:08AM (#22046042)
    So now when I put stump remover and sugar together on my list I gaurantee I'm gonna be put on some sort of terrorist list (cuz you can make a bomb out of that). Not to mention any other privacy concerns. I don't even want someone to so much as see my list before I get there. They'd have to password it. Then people forget their passwords. Or someone rigs it to record your password. Then you can't log in to your cart cuz the system is down and you have no idea what you were supposed to buy. I can only imagine how many rings of hell it would be to have Walmart employees support that high tech of a system.
    • Between two year olds yanking on the electronics, and, um careless, types tossing those 10 for a dollar cans of soup against it, they won't stay operational for long.

      Seems like it is hard enough to find a regular old analog-wheels-to-hold-my-stuff cart that has all the welds intact. Imagine trying to find some wi-fi thingy that is working, charged up, etc.

      Bah. When I was a kid we had to kill our own food. And we liked it!

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Acromion (753478)
      Is this really any worse than shopping online? I sometimes get grocery items delivered to my home. I'm sure their security is no better than that of the supermarket.

    • Because the stump removed and sugar don't show up in their system when you check out anyway?
  • by russotto (537200) on Tuesday January 15, 2008 @12:09AM (#22046060) Journal
    ...just pick the shopping card displaying the Blue Screen of Death.

    Actually, given how shopping carts are treated (banged around the parking lot, slammed around by the cart-pushers, left in the rain, cleaned with a high-pressure hose), I suspect quite a few of these will be broken shortly after introduction.

    • by snl2587 (1177409)

      I suspect quite a few of these will be broken shortly after introduction

      What if they used the sapphire-crystal displays we say here a few weeks back?

    • by Divebus (860563)

      I suspect quite a few of these will be broken shortly after introduction.

      No bumping necessary. It's the only OS I know that will crash by itself if you leave it alone long enough.

    • by penix1 (722987)

      Actually, given how shopping carts are treated (banged around the parking lot, slammed around by the cart-pushers, left in the rain, cleaned with a high-pressure hose), I suspect quite a few of these will be broken shortly after introduction.


      Well, at least the homeless will get to see what they can't afford as they pass by the store with the stolen cart.
    • There products never break when you want them to. With my luck the shopping cart will be the one product they make that never breaks, probably due to three stooges syndrome [google.com].
    • by Deadstick (535032)
      You forgot "deposited in vacant lots and drainage ditches".

      rj
    • I suspect quite a few of these will be broken shortly after introduction.
      I suspect quite a few of these will be running Linux shortly after introduction (and theft).
  • by infonography (566403) on Tuesday January 15, 2008 @12:10AM (#22046072) Homepage
    Now you can have a shopping cart thats wired for the internet.

  • It could be good! (Score:3, Interesting)

    by cbreaker (561297) on Tuesday January 15, 2008 @12:10AM (#22046078) Journal
    I for one welcome the opportunity to rip one off of a shopping cart in the parking lot and seeing what's inside!
  • by Seumas (6865) on Tuesday January 15, 2008 @12:12AM (#22046086)
    It's 2008 and people are still going to the store? Do people have so much disposable time and so little else they could do with many extra hours a month that they still go shopping in an actual store? Do they look forward so much to driving around, dealing with parking, shopping carts, lines, people, their bratty kids, aisles, noise and lugging things around?

    It's 2008 and the big innovation is a shopping car that spams you while it directs you around a bunch of aisles essentially the same way we did in 1945, but with more targeted marking and shelving placement than ever? Really? That's the best we can do?

    Maybe it's a generational thing, but I have not shopped in a grocery store in almost my entire adult life. The last time I went into a grocery store was 1999. I get my groceries delivered to me with the click of a button. I decide what time I want my groceries, they come to my door and carry them into my kitchen. I spend almost zero time involved in groceries. While this is probably only available in big cities like the bay area, Portland, Denver and others, this is something that should be both available *and* used everywhere by almost every one. You don't still go out and butcher or milk your own cow. You don't go out and pick your own oranges. So why wheel a cart around like some sort of trained monkey in a store full of fluorescent lights and elevator music and snotty whining kids grabbing things off the shelves and throwing tantrums in the middle of the aisle?

    Hell, I haven't bought shoes in person or tools or entertainment in person in years, either. Except for rare instances involving things like my car that can't be otherwise addressed, I have reduced actual physical shopping to something I no longer "have" to do. For years, the only shopping I've had to do is that which I *choose* to do. Things that make it a luxury. Places and things that I can enjoy going to and shopping for (such as home entertainment stuff). I farm the crap shopping off to the wonderful services that Albertsons, Safeway, Kingsoopers and others now offer (and before that, Webvan, etc).

    So that there's a new little attachment to a shopping car that more efficiently delivers shit to your eyeballs while supposedly easing up your shopping situation -- IN 2008 -- is the least impressive thing I've heard this year.
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Gyga (873992)
      So it is more evolved to be lazy? I prefer to get up walk around the store talk with my friends that work there. Guess in a smaller town you get to meet people outside of your sphere of laze.

      I'm sure one good wack into the side of an asile will disable these damn things. Or dropping a 50lb bag of chicken feed on it will do.

      "butcher or milk your own cow" I get eggs from my chickens, does that count?
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by springbox (853816)
      Shoes and clothes are something that almost always require me to go to a store. Not only is the experience of browsing fun but it's hard to judge how things will fit without physically trying them on. Online shopping is not going to replace things like this for the most part.
    • by Turn-X Alphonse (789240) on Tuesday January 15, 2008 @12:36AM (#22046328) Journal
      Some people like to check the quality and pick produce themselves. I prefer shopping online too, but lets be honest, I don't know what I'm ordering exactly until it arrives, it could just as easily be poor quality as good.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      Dude, first of all the dot com bubble ended a few years ago - It has generally be accepted that things like mail order pet shops are just not viable. Don't you want to try on shoes first - damn sizes are always screwy and feet are different widths?

      Secondly, you sit in you house waiting for deliveries? - how quaint - just like the milk vendor used to in the old days. Just go to the shop and pick stuff up, why is that so hard. With the time you save not sitting around for the delivery illegal alien, you could
    • Because going to the store I usually don't know what I will cook until I get there and see what's fresh. I don't want some random person picking the first piece of produce out of a box. I want the one that's actually ripe. I want to season it with the fresh herbs not the wilted ones. I want to choose the exact cut of meat, not any random old chunk. Is the fish fresh? Not going to touch it if it's not. I've been in Albertsons and safeways and I've found if the food is not packaged mass market stuff then it's
    • by phillymjs (234426)
      It's 2008 and people are still going to the store? Do people have so much disposable time and so little else they could do with many extra hours a month that they still go shopping in an actual store? Do they look forward so much to driving around, dealing with parking, shopping carts, lines, people, their bratty kids, aisles, noise and lugging things around?

      Food is pretty much the only thing I *don't* buy online, but I've got it down to a science. I go food shopping at 11pm on Friday or Saturday night... p
    • by dlevitan (132062) on Tuesday January 15, 2008 @12:48AM (#22046464)

      Maybe it's a generational thing, but I have not shopped in a grocery store in almost my entire adult life. The last time I went into a grocery store was 1999. I get my groceries delivered to me with the click of a button. I decide what time I want my groceries, they come to my door and carry them into my kitchen. I spend almost zero time involved in groceries. While this is probably only available in big cities like the bay area, Portland, Denver and others, this is something that should be both available *and* used everywhere by almost every one. You don't still go out and butcher or milk your own cow. You don't go out and pick your own oranges. So why wheel a cart around like some sort of trained monkey in a store full of fluorescent lights and elevator music and snotty whining kids grabbing things off the shelves and throwing tantrums in the middle of the aisle?
      Then don't shop in traditional supermarkets. Yeah, I agree, they're annoying. But I very rarely go there. I do almost all of my shopping at Trader Joe's, the farmers markets, Whole Foods, and Costco. I doubt you can get stuff delivered from any those stores. Why do I actually take the time to shop at these places? First, quality products. I cook a lot, and I like cooking quality food. For that, you need fresh, quality ingredients. I'm not going to trust someone else to pick out the fruits, vegetables, and meats I use - I doubt they really care about the quality of the food. Second, cheap prices (for the most part). Trader Joe's has amazing products that cost very little. Costco forces you to buy in bulk, but they have very good products that are very cheap compared to most stores. In fact, oftentimes people say that some of the best foods can be found there. The farmers markets in my area (Los Angeles) have amazing deals on many fresh fruits and vegetables. I can buy 25 pounds of oranges for $10. Instead of drinking orange juice from the store, I now make fresh squeezed orange juice every day for almost the same price (just slightly higher than the sale prices of good bottled orange juice). And Whole Foods has a lot of really nice stuff that I can get at any of the other places and, while expensive, is of very high quality.

      In short, if you care about what you eat, you need to find it yourself. You might not need to butcher the cow or catch the fish, but you need to be able to look at what's for same and decide if its good quality or not. I doubt what you get is any good.

    • by skeeto (1138903)

      I have not shopped in a grocery store in almost my entire adult life.

      During the winter months, is it warm enough down there in your parent's basement?

  • by cygtoad (619016) on Tuesday January 15, 2008 @12:13AM (#22046094)
    Hmm... Just what I always wanted.
    So the shopping cart will beg me to buy something as I go near it.
    My daughter already does this for me. I am good.
  • by snl2587 (1177409) on Tuesday January 15, 2008 @12:13AM (#22046102)
    ...Will they be more streamlined for my shopping-cart races?
  • by Alexx K (1167919) on Tuesday January 15, 2008 @12:15AM (#22046122)

    It looks like you want to buy a loaf of bread. Would you like some help?

    Want to get the best out of your bread? Visit the Windows Wheat Live web site today!

  • A better idea (Score:5, Interesting)

    by springbox (853816) on Tuesday January 15, 2008 @12:17AM (#22046148)
    Enter list online and have the cart calculate the shortest distance to each item in the store based on its current location
    • by springbox (853816)
      That should be shortest path. Clearly ice cream is not helping me think.
      • Being able to search for stuff on line, when my wife sends me to the supermarket for something obscure, would actually be handy to have.
        • by mikesd81 (518581)
          That would be great, and when you get there, it would tell you what aisle and maybe what section (ie: Aile 5 Section 3 Top Shelf (well maybe not THAT specific)). I've walked around a Walmart already trying to find something that logically would be somewhere, but it's not. I'm a man and I hate stores. I'll admit it.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by nguy (1207026)
      More likely, it will compute the longest path it can get away with without pissing you off so much that you just leave, making sure to pass by all the items you're most likely to buy.
    • It's a great idea, but stores arrange their shelves and produce specifically to get people to impulse shop. That's why the candy is near the cash machines - so your kids will freak out while you're standing there waiting, in the hopes that you'll cave in and buy them the candy so they'll shut up. The less time you spend in the store, the less changes for you to impulse buy something.

      Stores would never do anything that would decrease your time being exposed to their products.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by plover (150551) *
        Oh, it's not nearly that simple. Sure, the counter candy (along with the other profitable stuff near the cash registers) is there for impulse purchasers, but there is a much bigger science to laying out a store than just "make people spend time", and a much more complex set of rules.

        A lot depends on the store: some stores strongly believe the Piggly Wiggly model that says you make more money by putting "necessities" (diapers, toothpaste, whatever) at the back so that you'll impulse buy your way to and f

    • by initialE (758110)
      Conflict of interest - Microsoft is here to help you find the path around as many items as possible, so that you might wanna pick something up.
  • "right I want a... WTF!!! my shopping cart has shutdown to prevent damage to my food?"
  • by GrahamCox (741991) on Tuesday January 15, 2008 @12:21AM (#22046204) Homepage
    Modern elevators are strange and complex entities. The ancient electric winch and "maximum-capacity-eight-persons" jobs bear as much relation to a Sirius Cybernetics Corporation Happy Vertical People Transporter as a packet of mixed nuts does to the entire west wing of the Sirian State Mental Hospital.

    This is because they operate on the curious principle of "defocused temporal perception". In other words they have the capacity to see dimly into the immediate future, which enables the elevator to be on the right floor to pick you up even before you knew you wanted it, thus eliminating all the tedious chatting, relaxing, and making friends that people were previously forced to do whist waiting for elevators.

    About this time someone rediscovered an old patent for an ancient device called a "staircase" that let people simply walk from one floor to another, thus dispensing with the whole tedious need for elevators at all...


    Quick, someone patent the paper and pencil shopping list!
  • Goody (Score:5, Funny)

    by Robber Baron (112304) on Tuesday January 15, 2008 @12:23AM (#22046216) Homepage
    Oh goody. Now I finally have a real good use for all those hard drive magnets I've been collecting.
  • THANK GOODNESS! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by glindsey (73730) on Tuesday January 15, 2008 @12:26AM (#22046236)
    Finally! I was getting sick of only experiencing advertisements on television, radio, newspapers, magazines, websites, video games, Tivo menus, Xbox 360 menus, Comcast guide screens, airplane TVs, billboards, T-shirts, sweatshirts, hoodies, movies, movie theater lobbies, stock cars, buses, bus stops, park benches, taxicabs, license plate holders, restrooms, posters on airport and train station walls, checkout lanes, grocery carts*, and shaved into the back of the occasional head.

    Thank GOD somebody has found a way to exploit this obvious adver-hole in our lives. But this is only the beginning, dammit. I want my dishwasher to leave streaks on my dishes in the shape of a Whirlpool logo. Red traffic lights should be replaced with reminders that Goodyear tires would help you stop more quickly, and green with reminders to buy Amoco Ultimate gasoline. Each light bulb should cast the logo and name of a popular pharmaceutical against the floor, ceiling, or wall (talk to your doctor about it!). When I'm calling somebody on the phone, I shouldn't have to listen to some boring "ring" sound -- not when I could hear about the virtues of Domino's pizza! We must not rest until every single person is being sold something every second of every minute of every hour of every day from every square meter of the globe. Together, we can do it.

    This message brought to you by The Association of National Advertisers [ana.net]. Raping your eyes and ears, over and over, and you can't stop it.(tm)

    * Static photos already there -- obviously insufficient
    • by Vengance Daemon (946173) on Tuesday January 15, 2008 @12:54AM (#22046528)
      When we in Qwest's area call a telephone number that is busy, we don't get a busy signal, we get an advertisement for us to dial a code and the system will call us back when the other line is free. This complex and highly difficult process only costs 95 cents! I wonder when we will pick up the phone and hear a cheery voice selling something instead of a dial tone. Maybe each button on the phone could speak a product name rather than sound one of the tones: My number would be Pepsi Ford Ford - Prilosec Zantec Lunesta Zantec.
  • Good Grief! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by deep_creek (1001191) on Tuesday January 15, 2008 @12:32AM (#22046288)
    I thought Self-Checkout lanes were ridiculous... now this. The grocery store I mostly shop at has I think six Self-Checkout lanes. Very few folks use them. The "traffic monitors" are always trying to urge folks to go there, as there is no line. I might try one if I got a discount for it (passing the savings along to customers for not having staff, etc...), but what is the point as there is no discount or incentive? I'm a bit old fashioned I guess I want to be taken care of as a customer and fully use the services the store is providing for my convenience, not theirs!
    • by ConanG (699649)
      I don't use them when I have a lot of stuff. However, if I only ran in to grab one or two things, it beats having to wait in line. Especially when the "10 items or less" line has three people who clearly have more than 10 items...
  • the makers of the non-abrasive cleaning product called "The Blue Screen of Death" saw an unexplained spike in sales.
  • by 4D6963 (933028) on Tuesday January 15, 2008 @12:33AM (#22046306)

    Customers with a ShopRite loyalty card will be able to log into a Web site at home and type in their grocery lists; when they get to the store and swipe their card on the MediaCart console, the list will appear.

    ..will appear on the screen for all to see, yay! I can't wait until people take peeks at my grocery list on my hi-tech shopping cart.

    -Strawberries.. Check
    -Whipped cream.. Check
    -Cucumbers.. Check
    -Whiskey.. Check
    -Vaseline.. Check
    -Bullwhip.. Check
    -Laxative suppositories.. Check
    -Making people who read my grocery list look embarrassed.. Check

  • Who? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by BradleyUffner (103496) on Tuesday January 15, 2008 @12:36AM (#22046330) Homepage
    It sounds to me like ShopRite is the one doing the streaming, not microsoft.
  • So long I have waited to check 'grocery list' off my 'things I need a pencil for' list.
  • I guess I just found a new use for my shopping bag ... upside down, right over the bloody LCD screen.
  • Theft (Score:5, Interesting)

    by lullabud (679893) on Tuesday January 15, 2008 @12:40AM (#22046368) Homepage
    These shopping carts are just asking to be stolen. It's widespread enough as it is that simple shopping carts go missing. Carts with gadgets? Hell yeah. Just wait until somebody finds a way to make them into a digital picture frame, then they'll all be missing.
  • Part of the joy of grocery shopping is the mindless meandering around the store. I don't want my grocery cart to make me more efficient.
  • I for one welcome our new ice cream promoting overlords!
  • Hey, it looks like you're making a salad! Would you like some help?
  • I'll just need to scan for a cart that's showing a blue screen, like the advertising display in the elevator I just got out of.

    -jcr

  • ...milk, bread and goatse, OK?

    rj
  • ... and start showing unsuspecting shoppers "advertisements" for goatse, tubgirl, 2girls1cup, etc etc etc.
  • by no-body (127863)
    Aren't all those "humans" dreaming this up in one way or another control freaks?

    What do they have in their mind about the "humans" on the receiving end?

    Are we machines - button pushed here, response there? Probably that's what it is - objects to be "guided" and "lead".

    If I want to see something, I also want to be the one having some kind of choice what and how to select it.

    The only explanation I have is that all this information "rain" pouring down has some kind of subliminal effect and pays in $$'s - or fa
  • 1. we already have enough advertising in our lives.

    2. I've got a few uses for smallish lcd screens, looks like i'll be taking a few home with me!

  • by His Shadow (689816) on Tuesday January 15, 2008 @02:04AM (#22047020) Homepage Journal
    Apple gives us the iPhone.


    Microsoft gives us an annoying shopping cart.

  • by seven of five (578993) on Tuesday January 15, 2008 @09:44AM (#22049300) Homepage
    How long do you think it will be before these things get hacked into playing gore and porn on Aunt Nellie's shopping cart? And if that happens, how long do you think the stores will keep the system?

A CONS is an object which cares. -- Bernie Greenberg.

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