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Cart Locking System Released as Open Source

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the magic-tubes-and-pots-and-pans dept.

Toys 323

An anonymous reader writes "You may have noticed that over the past few years it has become increasingly common to find supermarket and large retail store shopping carts equipped with 'boots' designed to lock up if you try to take the cart outside of the store. Now, someone has discovered through some clever analysis the signal used to both lock and unlock carts, and has designed a portable system that locks up all carts within 20 feet of the emitter! They have released the schematics, software, and detailed instructions for assembling the systems on Instructables, an online magazine dedicated to releasing howto's for everything from rat taxidermy to Shopping Cart EMPs under a Creative Commons License."

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Oh Great (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19710817)

Just what I need... some snot-nosed kid locking up all the carriages in the parking lot.

Re:Oh Great (1)

Bodero (136806) | more than 7 years ago | (#19710935)

Did you see the plans? No snot nosed kid will be building these unless he's got an EE degree.

Trust me, I was tempted at first.

Re:Oh Great (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19710969)

In fact I did... I immediately noticed no solder mask on their PCB ... amateurs! :)

Re:Oh Great (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19711009)

Of course nobody actually read through the instructions, otherwise they wold have commented on the cutie modeling the finished product!

Re:Oh Great (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19711261)

I'd love to lick her asshole.

Re:Oh Great (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19711439)

That's great, but I would love to lick her snatch.

Re:Oh Great (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19711519)

I see no reason you and I cannot co-exist.

If only the Shia and Shiite could follow our example.

Re:Oh Great (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19711303)

I don't know, I figure I could have built one of these when I was about 15. I don't think I was snot nosed at the time, but I was definitely a kid and I didn't have an EE (nor do I now). I think you'd be surprised what smart kids can do when they're bored. I know at the time I had figured out how to turn my garage door opener into a universal garage door opener that would open all garage doors of the same model.

Re:Oh Great (0, Troll)

NoMaster (142776) | more than 7 years ago | (#19711401)

Yeah, read the article. EE? Maybe in the slashdot / linux world, where people are so afraid of actual electronics that they purposely redesign in software things better accomplished in hardware (see most of the open source IR-Blaster type projects for a really depressing example of this - no need to be afraid of filters and demodulators, guys!).

I was building stuff of that sort of complexity 30 years ago, when I was 10. In fact, after reading the how it works, I bet I could have built it back then without resorting to a black-box microcontroller - a couple of oscillators, dividers, and hex/decade counters would do the trick.

And no, she's not that good looking...

Re:Oh Great (3, Insightful)

Gibbs-Duhem (1058152) | more than 7 years ago | (#19711471)

Um, did you RTFA? Look at the signal, it's obviously an encoded byte. You would prefer to create a system where you have to rebuild the entire system if they change the code? She even explicitly mention that different stores have different codes, and that she included a simple switch to choose which signal to broadcast... seems like smart engineering to make your interface as easily modified as the system it's interfacing with.

Did you look at the hardware or read the descriptions of the design? It's pretty clear that she is not at all afraid of circuitry, and even included *many* disclaimers showing people places where if they didn't follow the electronics design properly they could be seriously injured.

I smell...... (3, Funny)

Elsapotk421 (1097205) | more than 7 years ago | (#19710825)

a fair amount of mischief about.....or maybe it's just cowboyneal.

Re:I smell...... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19710973)

I found the diagrams on the bottom of this page to be most informative.

http://www.instructables.com/id/SDIS7ALF3ER7V5W/ [instructables.com]

Re:I smell...... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19711181)

i'd lick her feet!!!

ROWL!

Re:I smell...... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19711281)

I know this is off-topic, but would you look at the size of those man-breasts on the geek demoing the device (Page 8 or 9).

Just sickening, really.

This sure sounds ... (4, Funny)

WrongSizeGlass (838941) | more than 7 years ago | (#19710827)

... like a lot more fun than an iPhone. Plus it doesn't require a 2 year AT&T commitment ;-)

Re:This sure sounds ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19711411)

Good point. And where were the iPhone stories today. I miss them.

I'm not big on security by obscurity, but... (5, Funny)

UbuntuDupe (970646) | more than 7 years ago | (#19710829)

Is it really a good idea to show all pranksters in the world how to lock up a bunch of innocent people's carts in a store?

I'd much prefer if supermarket pranksters stuck to less annoying pranks, like hiding a speakerphone and ketchup bags in a baby-less baby-holder, having it play "crying" sounds, and then publicly "beating" the "baby" until it "bleeds".

Re:I'm not big on security by obscurity, but... (4, Funny)

daeg (828071) | more than 7 years ago | (#19710955)

I don't know about you, but I prefer real babies for that authentic feel and sound.

Re:I'm not big on security by obscurity, but... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19710979)

Hell yeah its a good idea.

If they're showing you how to to do it with a 20 feet, someone will figure out how to do it over a 200ft range.

How about a snipers rifle kinda device that works over a longer range... THAT'D BE SO COOL...
or leaving smaller devices around supermarkets that pulse every few hours...
or hiding them on the carts themselves.

The possibilities are almost endless.

If enough people do it, the supermarkets will realize shopping cart DRM is a bad idea.

Re:I'm not big on security by obscurity, but... (4, Funny)

Goaway (82658) | more than 7 years ago | (#19711249)

If enough people do it, the supermarkets will realize shopping cart DRM is a bad idea.

Yeah, how dare they lock up our shopping cart culture with their technological barriers!

Re:I'm not big on security by obscurity, but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19711381)

That's right, shopping carts want to be free!

Funny or sick? You decide. (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19711069)

I'd much prefer if supermarket pranksters stuck to less annoying pranks, like hiding a speakerphone and ketchup bags in a baby-less baby-holder, having it play "crying" sounds, and then publicly "beating" the "baby" until it "bleeds".
It's all fun and games until some public-minded guy hauls you off the "baby" and beats you to within an inch of your life...

Reminds me somewhat of this [bash.org] quote from bash.org-

cag URL tara: When I was in high school, the school board decided that the biology students had to pay for the fetal pigs that were being dissected. After the course was done, my friend Amy demanded that she be allowed to take the pig, since she had paid for it. There was some WTF from the school, but she got her pig. That weekend, she and her brother dressed the pig up in some baby clothes and a blanket, drove down the street and lit a smoke bomb in the car. They were passing a couple walking down the street when Amy leaned out of the car and yelled "Save my baby" and tossed the pig at the couple. They were doing about 50 mph so she missed the couple. The baby/pig hit the sidewalk, skidded along the concrete, shedding parts and limbs before it impacted a mailbox.

She said she had never seen such a horrified look in her life.
I mean, yeah, it's funny, and I hate to say that I laughed at it a lot (and still keep doing so whenever I read it), but at the same time I'm thinking that they should have been locked up for doing something that would have been quite the opposite of funny- if not downright traumatic- for the pedestrians.

Re:Funny or sick? You decide. (1, Insightful)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 7 years ago | (#19711203)

Don't worry, it's only a matter of time before doing something which is "traumatic" to another adult is reason enough to lock someone up. Our society is turning into a bunch of cry babies who are "traumatized" by just about everything, so that will mean everyone will be in jail.

Oh wait, never mind, we're all treated like inmates anyway.

Re:I'm not big on security by obscurity, but... (4, Funny)

FirstTimeCaller (521493) | more than 7 years ago | (#19711207)

Or turning the boxes of pineapple upside down cake mixes upside down! That will show the man!

Redefining the shopping experience... (2, Insightful)

creimer (824291) | more than 7 years ago | (#19710853)

Why not have all the carts locked up when someone takes a cart outside the zone and have an alarm goes off on the offending cart. That way the perp can be lynched by the shopping mob before the carts unlocked. That should reduce the number of incidents.

Re:Redefining the shopping experience... (4, Funny)

The Great Pretender (975978) | more than 7 years ago | (#19711215)

All the carts in my local are already locked up, and they have no 'boot'. I was suprised to hear that a store in the world actually has functioning shopping carts, or at least ones without two wonky wheels out of four.

First Lock! (1)

IamScared (774266) | more than 7 years ago | (#19710855)

First Lock!

the unlock feature (3, Funny)

ksheff (2406) | more than 7 years ago | (#19710871)

will be of great interest to a certain inhabitant of the Sunnyvale trailer park.

a solution that works somewhat here..... (2, Insightful)

Elsapotk421 (1097205) | more than 7 years ago | (#19710875)

we have shopping carts that are all chained together...you insert a one euro coin to remove it and then take the cart back to the cart corral to retrieve your coin....it seems to work fairly well here.

Re:a solution that works somewhat here..... (2, Funny)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 7 years ago | (#19710899)

It works well until inflation kicks in. 10 years from now, kids and the homeless will be returning those carts by the dozen because everyone else couldn't be bothered walking back for a euro.

Re:a solution that works somewhat here..... (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 7 years ago | (#19710939)

In France, they used to be a ten Franc piece. When the Euro was introduced, it was worth about 6-7 Francs, so there's already been some devaluation. Here in the UK, they use a £1 coin, which is worth just under 1.5.

The same approximate denomination of coin has been used for about 20 years, and so I don't expect inflation to be a huge issue for a lot longer than ten years, unless Europe catches up with the US in terms of inflation.

Re:a solution that works somewhat here..... (1)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 7 years ago | (#19710989)

When I was a kid, they used 20c coins.. no-one returned the trolleys. Us kids used to collect them for pocket money, and the joy of outrunning the fat security guards who would chase us around the underground carpark.

Now the only few stores that do this use $2 coins and everyone returns them.

Re:a solution that works somewhat here..... (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 7 years ago | (#19711059)

...but nobody uses the carts anymore 'cause they couldn't find a $2 coin. Seriously, they exist?

Re:a solution that works somewhat here..... (1)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 7 years ago | (#19711071)

Australia.

Where our $2 coin is smaller than our $1 coin.

Kinda like how, in the US, your 10c coin is smaller than your 5c coin.

Re:a solution that works somewhat here..... (2, Informative)

cpt kangarooski (3773) | more than 7 years ago | (#19711443)

Hm. Well, in the US, our 10 and 25 coins used to be silver, with the former proportionately smaller than the latter. There used to be silver 5 coins, but they were impractically small. When the nickel replaced them, for some weird reason, the mint decided to make the coin 5g in mass (none of our other coins are metric), and made of less precious metal, and so we wound up with the current odd relative sizes.

What's the story with your coins?

Re:a solution that works somewhat here..... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19711507)

The designers were drunk at the time, I believe.

Re:a solution that works somewhat here..... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19710943)

That already happens (at least here in Ireland, where a euro ain't worth much anymore), and is considered a feature, not a bug. It doesn't really matter _who_ returns the trolley, so long as someone does.

Re:a solution that works somewhat here..... (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19710901)

At Aldi stores in the United States, you insert a quarter ($0.25). I think they have problems with cart rotation though.

Re:a solution that works somewhat here..... (1)

jollyreaper (513215) | more than 7 years ago | (#19710911)

we have shopping carts that are all chained together...you insert a one euro coin to remove it and then take the cart back to the cart corral to retrieve your coin....it seems to work fairly well here.
So if you don't return it, you bought a shopping trolly for one euro. Sweet! How much is that in American, $50? I hear the exchange rate has been sucking lately.

Re:a solution that works somewhat here..... (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 7 years ago | (#19711085)

It's just a bit more than a buck (I think 1.33 or something is the rate), but still, you get a farily cheap trolly.

But let's be serious now. Yes, it's common in some places here that people "drive" their groceries home in the cart, but they usually bring it back, sooner or later. The homeless people that could "profit" from the carts usually won't spend that Euro for something they can fairly easily get for free.

Maybe it works because people here already brought their carts back before they were "leased". Dunno.

Re:a solution that works somewhat here..... (3, Insightful)

demonlapin (527802) | more than 7 years ago | (#19710915)

That gets people to take it back to a cart corral instead of just dropping it in the parking lot... I think this is more aimed at people who try to steal carts (they're surprisingly expensive).

Re:a solution that works somewhat here..... (1)

Jafafa Hots (580169) | more than 7 years ago | (#19711437)

The Aldi stores do it not so much to prevent theft (a person who wants a cart would happily spend a quarter for it.)

The real reason is to encourage people to return the carts to the corral so that they don't have to employ teenage boys to round them up like all the stores used to.

Re:a solution that works somewhat here..... (1)

wjcofkc (964165) | more than 7 years ago | (#19710975)

I used to see those around here in Kansas City. Except of coarse we used quarters and not Euros. The system seemed to work just fine to me, but at some point it must have fallen out of favour because I have not seen them for quite some time.

Re:a solution that works somewhat here..... (1)

martinX (672498) | more than 7 years ago | (#19710977)

We have that at Aldi stores here (Australia) and it has been tried in others, but they dropped it. Sounds like a good idea, but you try and juggle all the shopping and two little kids, the last thing you are going to do is take the damn trolley back. So you get pissed off that you've been charged a dollar for the privilege of shopping there, so you go to the supermarket that doesn't charge that. You may end up paying more, but you're shopping somewhere that doesn't treat you like a delinquent for not returning your trolley. If it was 20 cents, I'd gladly leave it in the trolley for enterprising youth to claim, but a dollar is a tad high.

Re:a solution that works somewhat here..... (1)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 7 years ago | (#19711003)

the biggest problem i have with it is it requires me to lug change around. my convienence > trolleys worth to a grociery store.

Re:a solution that works somewhat here..... (1)

Incadenza (560402) | more than 7 years ago | (#19711199)

If it was 20 cents, I'd gladly leave it in the trolley for enterprising youth to claim

Australian youth must be really well behaved. 'Enterprising' youth here would rather have some fun and dump it in the canal than return it for a mere 20 eurocent. Of course the lack of canals in Australia might have something to do with it as well.

Re:a solution that works somewhat here..... (1)

martinX (672498) | more than 7 years ago | (#19711363)

Well, maybe I'm *hoping* they'd take it back for 20 cents. Chances are the return is too low for the youths old enough to push trolleys around safely, and shopping centres probably don't want 8 year olds pushing them around for pocket change. One flattened kid just isn't worth the hassle.

  Cue the "Back in my day, you could buy ... for 2 cents" speech.

Re:a solution that works somewhat here..... (1)

Belacgod (1103921) | more than 7 years ago | (#19711467)

When your kids get a bit older, you send them to put the trolley back to get them out of your hair for a bit. They have fun, pocket the $1, and then you go home.

Re:a solution that works somewhat here..... (1)

click2005 (921437) | more than 7 years ago | (#19710995)

If you use 2 coins, 2 trolleys.. flip them facing away from each other on the ground kinda like a reverse 69. This should allow you to get both coins back by putting the chain from one cart into the other.

If the chain is long enough, you can do this around a lamppost.

Re:a solution that works somewhat here..... (1)

PatrickThomson (712694) | more than 7 years ago | (#19711049)

The chain is tiny, too short for you to couple a cart with itself by one link. The ways trolleys nest makes them just fit.

Re:a solution that works somewhat here..... (1)

click2005 (921437) | more than 7 years ago | (#19711061)

I've done it with Aldi trolleys in the UK that take £1 coins.

Re:a solution that works somewhat here..... (2, Interesting)

kryten_nl (863119) | more than 7 years ago | (#19711101)

Like with most highly sophisticated systems, an unfolded paper clip will do fine.

I felt a great disturbance in the force (5, Funny)

PeeAitchPee (712652) | more than 7 years ago | (#19710883)

As if millions of homeless suddenly cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced. ;-)

Re:I felt a great disturbance in the force (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19710949)

that was totally unrelated; it was due to the cold snap last winter. Global warming, my ass!

Creative Commons is not Open Source. (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19710891)

Creative Commons is not Open Source. Creative Commons is not Open Source. Creative Commons is not Open Source.

Re:Creative Commons is not Open Source. (1)

heinousjay (683506) | more than 7 years ago | (#19710993)

Sure it is. It just doesn't line up with your particular prejudices is all.

Re:Creative Commons is not Open Source. (1)

sholden (12227) | more than 7 years ago | (#19711033)

Since it's a well defined trademarked term all that matters is what OSI thinks. They use it for their web content but don't list at http://www.opensource.org/licenses/alphabetical [opensource.org] so it would seem they don't think it is Open Source and hence it isn't by definition.

Re:Creative Commons is not Open Source. (1)

Kalriath (849904) | more than 7 years ago | (#19711147)

Open Source is not trademarked whatsoever by OSI. Open Source Initiative Approved License(r) is trademarked by OSI.

So no, it doesn't matter what OSI thinks, because they hold no trademark on "Open Source"

Re:Creative Commons is not Open Source. (3, Interesting)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 7 years ago | (#19711497)

It matters because they invented the term. Just like all those people in the 80s use threw around the term "object oriented" when they weren't even close (yes, I'm looking at you Oberon). Some words have meaning that is free to change with use. Other words are jargon and have very specific meanings which are defined by an authority, and are not subject to change.

One step further (1)

Mordok-DestroyerOfWo (1000167) | more than 7 years ago | (#19710907)

Now if only somebody could figure out a way to do this to automobiles remotely...oh the fun!

Don't speak too loudly (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 7 years ago | (#19711103)

I can already see the law&order freaks to demand something like that in every car so the cops needn't pull you over but can simply stop you.

Re:Don't speak too loudly (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19711185)

Police organizations are already talking about it. Most of the basics of such a system are already in place with modern vehicles, it would just take a law and some tweaking with the main computer. Of course, it wouldn't work on older vehicles (unless you're talking about something more drastic such as EMP), so it would take some time for it to be useful.

Here's a Guardian article discussing it [guardian.co.uk]

Re:Don't speak too loudly (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19711365)

http://baitcar.com/ [baitcar.com]

exists (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19711241)

That exists in some new cars already, remote engine stop. They can lock (they advertise "unlock") the doors on you for that matter.

license: Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike (0, Redundant)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 7 years ago | (#19710941)

Open Source it is not.

Re: license: Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike (1)

Gibbs-Duhem (1058152) | more than 7 years ago | (#19711035)

Hi,

Just because it's not the GPL or whatnot doesn't mean it's not "Open Source".

The complete documentation, schematics, and code is released. The only restriction is (as far as I can see) that it not be used in commercial products, and that any changes made stay under the same license. Just because they chose not to allow people to sell it (though it looks like that may have been because they were worried about people being sued) doesn't mean it's not open source, they just chose a different set of restrictions on their work than you might have.

Re: license: Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike (1)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 7 years ago | (#19711055)

Re: license: Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike (1)

Kalriath (849904) | more than 7 years ago | (#19711161)

The OSI doesn't own the term "Open Source". Technically, anyone can use it. Relevant trademark search: http://tess2.uspto.gov/bin/showfield?f=toc&state=o oaet0.1.1&p_search=searchss&p_L=50&BackReference=& p_plural=yes&p_s_PARA1=&p_tagrepl~%3A=PARA1%24LD&e xpr=PARA1+AND+PARA2&p_s_PARA2=open+source&p_tagrep l~%3A=PARA2%24COMB&p_op_ALL=AND&a_default=search&a _search=Submit+Query&a_search=Submit+Query [uspto.gov] . They can prohibit use of "Open Source Initiative Approved License(r)" but they can't say what "Open Source" is because they own no trademark on it.

Re: license: Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike (0, Troll)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 7 years ago | (#19711227)

I don't really give two shits about who owns what trademark. The OSI coined the term, therefore their definition is the correct one. If you want to use it in some weird esoteric way, go elsewhere.

Re: license: Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike (1)

jfedor (27894) | more than 7 years ago | (#19711067)

Just because you can see the code, it doesn't mean that it's open source (remember Microsoft's "shared source"?).

OSI's Open Source Definition [opensource.org] specifically forbids such not-for-commercial-use clauses.

Wacky Race (4, Funny)

Joebert (946227) | more than 7 years ago | (#19711011)

This 4th of July when both me & my neighbor get our lazy asses to the grocery store to get cookout supplies at the last minute, I will laugh evily when he flies over the handlebars & lands in his basket when we're both 10 feet away from the last case of beer.

Messing with the security barrier alarms (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19711017)

Fun with supermarkets and security strips:

1. If you're in the UK and you've bought region 1 DVDs, look inside the case and you'll most likely find one of those long thin security tags.
2. Peel off one of those security tags and stick it the underside of a shopping trolley.
3. Sit back and wait for some unsuspecting shopper to trigger the alarm, when going in nobody will really bat an eyelid, but if they walk out with a trolley load of shopping and it goes off, things will get interesting.
4. Tag as many shopping trolleys as you can for maximum fun.
5. ????
6. Profit!

Re:Messing with the security barrier alarms (1)

MrSteveSD (801820) | more than 7 years ago | (#19711133)

It's much more fun to hide them in the linings of coats of people you don't like :)

Re:Messing with the security barrier alarms (5, Funny)

poopdeville (841677) | more than 7 years ago | (#19711295)

I did that to a friend of mine when I was in college. The library had an alarm system in place so that books couldn't be taken out of the library without checking them out. A friend of mine worked at the library and gave me a bunch of active strips.

So I carefully unsewed part of my friend's back pack strap, inserted a strip, and sewed it back together. I also threw some strips in random pockets, just so he'd think it might be over once he found them.

You could always tell when he was leaving the library. The alarm would go off and he'd yell "FUCK! EVERY FUCKING TIME!"

I also put one in a friend's shoe. He became quite neurotic.

Mod parent funny! (1)

whativewanted (816615) | more than 7 years ago | (#19711505)

hilarious

Re:Messing with the security barrier alarms (1)

Technician (215283) | more than 7 years ago | (#19711337)

2. Peel off one of those security tags and stick it the underside of a shopping trolley.
3. Sit back and wait for some unsuspecting shopper to trigger the alarm, when going in nobody will really bat an eyelid, but if they walk out with a trolley load of shopping and it goes off, things will get interesting.


It is much more fun to stick them on the bottom of your shoe. Make a quick run into the stor to pick up a single small item such as candy. When they find the tag, you have plausable deniability. You must have stepped on it somewhere in the store. It can keep them busy for a while hunting for the tag and reviewing the security video.

The best place to get the stickers is from flea market items. they are in many packages besides DVD's and such. Electronics, watches, books, handbags, and such are likely to carry the tags. The tags are not de-activated in most cases. Have fun. Don't repeat the same store often, they will remember you after a while.

Re:Messing with the security barrier alarms (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19711475)

Sadly, around here nobody seems to bother when the alarm goes off as you walk out the door. Everytime I see it they just keep going like it doesn't apply to them and nobody seems to notice. I think those things are now like car alarms, just annoyances.

*shrugs* (1)

morari (1080535) | more than 7 years ago | (#19711031)

You may have noticed...
No, I can't say that I have.

other applications (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19711089)

finally i can shop without worrying about rogue carts hitting my car

This could make shopping a lot more interesting (1)

computerman413 (1122419) | more than 7 years ago | (#19711093)

It's bad enough your computer could lock up. Now your shopping cart? How exciting will this be?

sigh. (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19711135)

1. nerdy does not imply not-asshole
2. this was not actually designed by a competent engineer. a competent engineer would have put the transmit coil in an lc circuit tuned to the right frequency and thus made it way more powerful while consuming way less electricity. this is essentially an electric heater that radiates a small magnetic field.

Boots on shopping carts? Where are those used? (1, Funny)

Mr2001 (90979) | more than 7 years ago | (#19711139)

I've never seen one of these in use on the west coast of the US. Sounds kind of strange - why shouldn't you be able to take a shopping cart outside? Do you just have to eat all your groceries at the store, or only buy as much as you can carry at one time?

Re:Boots on shopping carts? Where are those used? (3, Informative)

AdmNaismith (937672) | more than 7 years ago | (#19711187)

These systems are used to keep people from taking carts past the store parking lot. Generally there is a painted line indicating how far you can go before the 'boot' will activate.
I don't understand how I keep seeing K-mart trolleys miles and miles from the nearest K-mart, but it explains the need for the 'boot' system.

Re:Boots on shopping carts? Where are those used? (2, Informative)

nonsequitor (893813) | more than 7 years ago | (#19711197)

They use them at the edge of the parking lots, like an electric fence, to keep homeless people from stealing the carts. It reduces the amount of shopping carts they need to replace each year and saves the store money.

Re:Boots on shopping carts? Where are those used? (1)

Libertarian001 (453712) | more than 7 years ago | (#19711453)

It has to do with how far you can take the cart from the store, since people who live close enough to walk have been known to take the carts home with them and keep them. Then there's the case of the assholes last night: They ran the cart as fast as they could and released it...out into traffic.

DMCA VIOLATOR (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19711149)

This is obviously a blatant violation of the DMCA provisions against reverse engineering a property protection scheme.

Locking was done differently in Australia (4, Interesting)

OzPeter (195038) | more than 7 years ago | (#19711183)

We didn't need some fancy electronic locking device to stop trolleys leaving the car park (translation to American: carts leaving the parking lot)

Instead each trolley stacked up in the waiting area had a small mechanical lock that attached a pin to the trolley in front by a chain. In order to release the next trolley in line you had to insert a $1 coin, which was retained in the lock. When you finished using your trolley, you locked it back up again and your coin was returned. No high faluting electronics, a built in incentive to return the trolley, and no mysterious lockups.

Of course trolley wheels have been designed since day one to lock up without any fancy electronics inside them ..

All done with magnets! (1)

hack slash (1064002) | more than 7 years ago | (#19711229)

My local supermarket has gone extremely low-tech with trying to stop the casual trolley thief (ie chav scum kids), one of the wheels of each trolley has a magnetic triggered brake and the pedestrian entrances to the grounds have a bunch of magnets embedded into the concrete.

Re:All done with magnets! (1)

Ajehals (947354) | more than 7 years ago | (#19711335)

Sounds like a bad place to drop your PDA, phone or credit cards...

Re:Locking was done differently in Australia (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19711257)

For a dollar, I'll take the $800 cart home, thanks.

Re:Locking was done differently in Australia (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19711447)

Low-tech solutions like that are all very well. They're cheap and functional. But what they don't do is create work for the high-tech industry.

I don't know for sure, but I'd be prepared to bet that the trolley-locking "shoe" was developed either with public money, or with support from a particular supermarket chain whose CEO happened to be friends with the head of an electronics company...

As for the poster who wants to take home an $800 trolley - for that sort of money, I'd be prepared to lift the damn' thing and carry it a couple of metres over the locking line.

Do I smell... (2, Funny)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 7 years ago | (#19711201)

...a new gadget for sale at ThinkGeek in the forseeable future? :)

Instructables? (1)

Randseed (132501) | more than 7 years ago | (#19711265)

From a quick scan of the site, it looks like ths is the most intelligent thing on the entire place. Other projects include "Boobs in a Box," and a straight hookup of a piezo-electric buzzer called "The Headache Machine" with some retard commenting in bad English that it seems "really hard to make."

Re:Instructables? (1)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 7 years ago | (#19711297)

agreed. the site is shit. it's like the youtube of diy, only much much worse.

Ridiculously complicated solution! (0, Flamebait)

Ancient_Hacker (751168) | more than 7 years ago | (#19711313)

WTF! Over 20 parts and hours of work to do *this*? All you need is a recording of the tones and $34 car CD player. No programming, soldering, or microcomputers required.

Re:Ridiculously complicated solution! (1)

Technician (215283) | more than 7 years ago | (#19711419)

WTF! Over 20 parts and hours of work to do *this*? All you need is a recording of the tones and $34 car CD player. No programming, soldering, or microcomputers required.

I was thinking even more descreet. A car CD player is a little strange to be carrying about with a battery. A better deal would be an I-pod with an amplified speaker amplifier with a tuned coil. The tuned coil will cut the power requirement greatly. The mp3 player is deniable as a hack device. The amp is for speakers, Duh, and the loop is an am radio antenna. Most non technical security folks won't be able to see it for what it is.

Building a loop on the end of a walking cane could prove fun.
When you return your cart in the parking lot, drop an item and have it roll under the carts. Use your cane to retrieve it. Wait for them to pick up the row of carts to return them to the store entrance...

Why doing these things by Tech (1)

kentsin (225902) | more than 7 years ago | (#19711325)

Oh, funny isnt it?

Why people try to do every thing by Tech? Why not some other way that proven effective?

Ethic, Law?

Are people lost faith with them? Or thec make them dead stuipd?

But, but, but... (1)

TodMinuit (1026042) | more than 7 years ago | (#19711513)

Ethic, Law?
You don't get it: It's ethical hacking! *ducks*

A Better Target (5, Funny)

iamnafets (828439) | more than 7 years ago | (#19711429)

I think a better target would be the vibrating coasters that signal "your table is ready". If you could somehow set up all of those to go off at the same time on a Friday night you might...have them all going off at the same time on a Friday night! Drive-by mayhem!
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