Grocery delivery and pickup are changing how we buy food for the

first_img • 4 Shopping at Amazon Go is really freakin’ fast 1:19 Aug 31 • The best coffee grinders you can buy right now CNET Smart Home Tags Aug 31 • Alexa can tell you if someone breaks into your house Aug 31 • Best smart light bulbs for 2019 (plus switches, light strips, accessories and more) Aug 30 • Battling bot vacs: iRobot Roomba S9+ vs Neato Botvac D7 Connected Target Walmart Amazon Prime Amazon There’s no minimum order, so if you wanted to order a single bottle of soda just to see a self-driving delivery pod in action, you could. Nuro My grandmother loved grocery shopping. Raised on a farm in south Alabama, she spent decades dishing up three made-from-scratch meals every day and loved nothing more than casually perusing the aisles all afternoon. One generation later, my mom loathes it. A working woman in the city during the height of TV dinners, she just wants to get in, get out and get on with her day.  Me? For years I had a foot in both camps. Sometimes, the hunting and gathering of pushing a big, squeaky cart through tiny aisles feels soul-sucking. Check with me a week later, when I’m feeling less stressed and more creative, and I might sing the praises of browsing for interesting ingredients and great deals. But all of that is changing. I may never step foot in a grocery store again, and I’m 100% OK with it. Let me tell you why.Retail, reimaginedLike other retail industries touched by technology, online grocery shopping is transforming your weekly schlep to the store into just a few clicks. Stores like Kroger, Walmart and Target are harnessing in-house resources to power curbside pickup and turning to third-party providers like Instacart, DoorDash, Deliv, and Shipt for home delivery. We’re not fully automated yet, but we’re headed that way. Walmart rolled out robots to manage stores’ stock and even clean floors, and Kroger partnered with startup Nuro for autonomous delivery pods in Arizona. Even the smaller aspects of food retail are changing. When it comes to couponing, stores are finding ways to digitize and catalog deals. Target’s Cartwheel and Kroger’s ClickList both make it easy to see where you can save money and apply coupons online. I’ve tried Walmart, Target and Kroger for grocery pickup and each experience was great. When something wasn’t quite right, it nearly always came down to how I input my order. It’s a learning curve, for sure. In my early attempts to grocery shop online, I made mistakes like ordering a single banana instead of a bunch, or forgetting to apply coupons for items I wouldn’t have bought if the discount wasn’t offered. The good, the bad and the ugly fruitIt’s early in the digital grocery era, and we have pretty good options, but no perfect system. There are pros and cons to shopping in person, and just like shopping for clothes or a new car, doing things online will take some getting used to. Pro No. 1: Time savedShopping for groceries online saves time. Yes, you’ll still need to make a grocery list (if you really loathe that, consider meal kit delivery), but the process of typing in each item and adding the right brand or size to your cart is much faster than physically walking the aisles. Plus, you can do it in your PJs from the couch. Anything that lets me get work done from beneath a blanket with coffee in hand is a winner in my book.Pro No. 2: Convenience and general rage reductionI like people, but I’m an introvert. Humans are cool. We do a lot of nifty stuff, and some of us are actually pretty nice. But my shopping-cart rage is worse than my road rage, and most days I just want to avoid the grocery store at all costs. With grocery pickup, I park my car, dial a number and a hardworking store associate brings me my wares, even putting them in my trunk. I never unclip my seatbelt, I never lift a finger. It’s magical. Walmart’s grocery pickup is free, as long as you spend at least $35. Giant Eagle and the Albertson’s family of stores also offer free pickup. There are fees for pickup from some stores. Kroger charges $4.95, so check with your favorite grocery chain to find out if picking up curbside might cost you extra.  It’s important to remember that there are umbrella companies here. Kroger’s family of stores, for example, encompasses 31 brands like Ruler Foods, Harris Teeter, Fry’s and Mariano’s. The Albertson’s corporate family tree of 21 brands includes Jewel Osco, Safeway and Vons. Not all of these brands offer the same pickup and delivery services. Pro No. 3: Digital couponsRewards programs and digital coupons for many grocery stores are also available within the online shopping experience. With Kroger’s Clicklist platform, items with active coupons display a checkbox under the description. All I have to do is click to apply it and purchase the qualifying items. KrogerKroger’s app makes it easy to fill your cart, apply coupons and see your previous purchases.   Screenshot by Shelby Brown/CNET Some stores even add discounts for pickup customers only. With stores putting so much effort into curbside service, it’s no surprise grocery chains are incentivizing it with offers like free pickup when you purchase a specific brand or a certain number of items. I’ve taken advantage of it. It’s much nicer to add another item to my cart than pay a service fee. I get to keep something. I’ll take that deal every time. Pro No. 4: DeliveryDelivery is all the rage, and for good reason. Curbside pickup is great, but if you’re a busy parent, that means you still need to load up the kids and drive to the store. If you’re not feeling well or are in the middle of prepping for a big party, home delivery can feel like a life saver. It swipes a giant task off your to-do list for the day without even putting on your shoes. You can get food from almost anywhere with companies such as Postmates, DoorDash, UberEats, Instacart and Shipt. Like pickup, fees vary, but some waive the fee for your first order of reduce it if you spend enough. wholefoods-storefrontAmazon Prime members get discounts and free deliveries from Whole Foods.  Claudia Cruz/CNET If you’re an Amazon Prime member and choose delivery from Whole Foods, you can take advantage of free 2-hour delivery and free 1-hour pickup in some cities. Most grocery delivery fees range from $5 to $12. Depending on your personal budget, that may or may not be a deal-breaker.ConsCon No. 1: The produce problemThis is the first concern most people cite when I bring up grocery delivery and pickup. Not being able to pick out individual fruits and vegetables or even meats from the deli. Someone else is making that choice for you. I hear you. You won’t get to pick out your individual items, obviously. That’s what you sacrifice for convenience. Here’s the thing: I just don’t care. It’s a risk I’m willing to take. I know there is both emotional and quality-control value in choosing your own food. I won’t pretend for one second that food isn’t deeply personal to each of us. The foods we love grows with deep roots from our childhood memories, cultural backgrounds and most memorable travels.  I think that weight and value lies in recipes. So what if someone else picks out the sweet potatoes? I’m still going to make the sweet potato casserole scribbled in illegible cursive on that decades-old, stained recipe card written by my late grandmother. If having another person help me get the shopping done means I have more time to make and enjoy that recipe with my family, I support that. Con No. 2: SubstitutionsIn many cases, stores make an effort to give you the same or better if your requested item is unavailable. Just last week, I got a bag of coffee twice the size of what I ordered because the smaller size was out of stock and I didn’t pay a penny more. While many platforms allow you to review substitutions and accept or reject them prior to pickup or delivery, you don’t get the option to view every possible replacement. If I were physically in a store and had to settle for another brand, flavor or size, I’d want to look them over. I’d love to see a system where you can browse all similar items and choose your replacement from multiple options. Are grocery stores dying?Because so many people still prefer to physically choose their food, I don’t think online grocery shopping poses as big a threat to brick-and-mortar grocery stores the way online retail does to shopping malls. However, online grocery shopping, whether it’s pickup or delivery, is a new way of getting our food that is only going to gain momentum in our two-day (and now, one-day) shipping society. Grocery stores may begin to act more like fulfillment centers, but I’m optimistic those who want to will be able to shop in person. The pickup and delivery model rests on the shoulders of hardworking employees, and if it does indeed scale to a warehouse-style operation, what does that mean for that labor force? How do working conditions change?The Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union has voiced concerns regarding Amazon’s aims to cut shipping time in half for Prime members and the impact that will have on already difficult warehouse conditions. If there’s anything to keep a sharp eye on when it comes to automating these services, it’s how people are treated. No technology is worth the sacrifice of employees’ well-being. My suggestion? Give some type of online grocery shopping a try. If you want to pick out your produce or cuts of meat, do that. But first, park the car for curbside pickup of the duller things in life like garbage bags, toilet paper and dishwashing detergent. You’ll still need to pop into the store, but only for the items you really care about.The future of buying foodRight now, there are a handful of innovations being tested in the grocery retail space. Companies are trying different models for pickup and delivery, working in technology to identify where the supply chain is weak. Ford Europe has developed a self-braking shopping cart that just might solve my cart-rage issues. Amazon, which recently acquired Whole Foods, is reportedly planning a new, lower cost grocery chain. That’s in addition to the Amazon Go stores. Walmart’s Store No.8 incubator is working on AI-powered stores of the future, too. ford-sbc-001Safety first! Ford Europe’s self-braking cart aims to make the aisles safer.  Ford The way I see it, that means our entire grocery system is bound to become smarter and more efficient. It means I’ll have more time to spend with my friends and family and more time to cook and enjoy the foods I love. Who knows? Maybe someday AI and machine learning will train grocery shopping robots to pick me out the perfect bunch of bananas.  Appliances Tech Industry Mobile Apps Autonomous Vehicles Online Share your voice Now playing: Watch this: reading • Grocery delivery and pickup are changing how we buy food for the better See All Comments CNET Smart Homelast_img read more



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Dhaka city to see over 4000 new buses

first_imgDhaka North City Corporation (DNCC) mayor Annisul Huq on Monday said the government has adopted a plan to introduce 4,500 new buses in the capital to ease the existing transport sufferings of the city dwellers.“Government is going to replace aged and unfit fleet of buses from the city road with these new ones. It is also mulling the idea of deploying air-conditioned buses for women. Sufferings of women, school going children and office goers will be reduced significantly once these new buses come to the streets,” the DNCC mayor said.Annisul came up with observations while addressing a special general meeting of Dhaka Sarak Paribahan Malik Samity at DNCC Market in capital’s Mohakhali area.Presided over by Khandaker Enayetullah, general secretary of Bangladesh Sarak Paribahan Malik Samity, the meeting was attended by leaders of different transport owners association.“It is high time to introduce new policy to bring a change to existing transport system, but it is very hard thing to do. We are going to introduce it slowly. After implementing this policy, buses with different colors will run on the separate lane. White color buses will run on one lane, red color ones will run on another, green on the other,” Annisul said.The DNCC mayor said after introducing this system, there will be no chaos in getting down or in on the buses.“The buses will take in passengers orderly and will take them to their desired destinations. Apart from introducing this system, five new bus terminals will be built in the capital,” he added.The mayor said to make Dhaka a livable city, first the government has to bring back discipline in transport system.“Under new management, there will be not these many transport companies like now. Number of transport companies in Dhaka will be brought down to five to six,” he said, adding, “the city dwellers are not at all happy with the existing transport system.”last_img read more



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Autonomous quantum error correction method greatly increases qubit coherence times

first_img In order to flip the qubits back to their correct states, physicists have been developing an assortment of quantum error correction techniques. Most of them work by repeatedly making measurements on the system to detect errors and then correct the errors before they can proliferate. These approaches typically have a very large overhead, where a large portion of the computing power goes to correcting errors.In a new paper published in Physical Review Letters, Eliot Kapit, an assistant professor of physics at Tulane University in New Orleans, has proposed a different approach to quantum error correction. His method takes advantage of a recently discovered unexpected benefit of quantum noise: when carefully tuned, quantum noise can actually protect qubits against unwanted noise. Rather than actively measuring the system, the new method passively and autonomously suppresses and corrects errors, using relatively simple devices and relatively little computing power.”The most interesting thing about my work is that it shows just how simple and small a fully error corrected quantum circuit can be, which is why I call the device the ‘Very Small Logical Qubit,'” Kapit told Phys.org. “Also, the error correction is fully passive—unwanted error states are quickly repaired by engineered dissipation, without the need for an external computer to watch the circuit and make decisions. While this paper is a theoretical blueprint, it can be built with current technology and doesn’t require any new insights to make it a reality.”The new passive error correction circuit consists of just two primary qubits, in contrast to the 10 or more qubits required in most active approaches. The two qubits are coupled to each other, and each one is also coupled to a “lossy” object, such as a resonator, that experiences photon loss. “In the absence of any errors, there are a pair of oscillating photon configurations that are the ‘good’ logical states of the device, and they oscillate at a fixed frequency based on the circuit parameters,” Kapit explained. “However, like all qubits, the qubits in the circuit are not perfect and will slowly leak photons into the environment. When a photon randomly escapes from the circuit, the oscillation is broken, at which point a second, passive error correction circuit kicks in and quickly inserts two photons, one which restores the lost photon and reconstructs the oscillating logical state, and the other is dumped to a lossy circuit element and quickly leaks back out of the system. The combination of careful tuning of the resonant frequencies of the circuit and adding photons two at a time to correct losses ensures that the passive error correction circuit can operate continuously but won’t do anything to the two good qubits unless their oscillation has been broken by a photon loss.” Journal information: Physical Review Letters © 2016 Phys.org One possible implementation of the logical qubit. The qubits are in the blue boxes and the resonators are in the red boxes. Credit: Kapit. ©2016 American Physical Society Explore further The new method can correct photon loss errors at rates up to 10 times faster than those achieved by active, measurement-based methods. In addition, the passive method can partially suppress noise, so that there are fewer errors in the first place. In its current version, the method can correct only one error at a time, so if a second photon loss occurs before the correction is complete, the method cannot fix the resulting error.All of this error correction leads to a significant increase in the qubit coherence time. The new method can improve this time by a factor of 40 or more compared to without any error correction, and this improvement is greatly needed in order to construct quantum computers. As Kapit explains, qubit coherence times are currently so short that millions of qubits would be required to build a useful quantum computer. Increasing the coherence times can reduce this number to something more feasible.In the future, Kapit plans to integrate the new passive method with active, measurement-based methods to create a hybrid quantum error correction strategy, and investigate how the two methods might work together.He is also currently working with an experimental team to try to build, test, and optimize the device in the next few years. More information: Eliot Kapit. “Hardware-Efficient and Fully Autonomous Quantum Error Correction in Superconducting Circuits.” Physical Review Letters. DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.116.150501 (Phys.org)—It might be said that the most difficult part of building a quantum computer is not figuring out how to make it compute, but rather finding a way to deal with all of the errors that it inevitably makes. Errors arise because of the constant interaction between the qubits and their environment, which can result in photon loss, which in turn causes the qubits to randomly flip to an incorrect state. Scientists track quantum errors in real time Citation: Autonomous quantum error correction method greatly increases qubit coherence times (2016, April 29) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2016-04-autonomous-quantum-error-method-greatly.html This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more



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