Comments
Amazon Prime Goes Drone
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Kristin Burnham
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Kristin Burnham,
User Rank: Author
12/2/2013 | 4:22:11 PM
30-minute shipping
I watched the special last night -- very cool stuff. That tidbit about offering 30-minute shipping to areas within a 10-mile radius of the fulfillment warehouses will be a huge perk for people living in cities. Most probably can't make the trip to the store and back for their purchase in 30 minutes or less as it is right now.
Thomas Claburn
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Thomas Claburn,
User Rank: Author
12/2/2013 | 4:41:34 PM
Re: 30-minute shipping
Cool though it may be, I can't help but think a bike messenger would be more efficient.
WKash
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WKash,
User Rank: Author
12/2/2013 | 4:46:55 PM
Bezos
Got to give Jeff Bezos credit for using 60 minutes to project leading edge innovation.  Of course, it may take FAA years to resolve domestic drone rules. 
melgross
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melgross,
User Rank: Ninja
12/2/2013 | 10:07:46 PM
Re: Bezos
Please, this is a really nutty idea. I'm not sure he even is serious. He's good at generating publicity though.
RobPreston
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RobPreston,
User Rank: Author
12/3/2013 | 9:46:42 AM
Re: Bezos
Yeah, Bezos is a master. There's a reason Amazon has a market cap of about $120 billion with very small profits. It has a leader who thinks long term, takes risks, but is always customer-focused. These package-delivery drones may turn out to be a nutty idea, but so was the concept of a self-driving car a year or two ago. 
Gary_EL
IW Pick
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Gary_EL,
User Rank: Ninja
12/2/2013 | 5:12:56 PM
What Problem does it Solve?
It sounds really impressive and forward looking, but it doesn't solve either of my two major problems with online sales:

The first is cost of delivery. Say I buy a $20 shirt or computer accessory - I have to pay a few bucks for delivery. This makes buying little things a bit impractical for me. I can't imagine having it "delivered by drone" will make it any cheaper.

The second is theft. So many people buy from Ebay, Amazon etc that my building lobby is starting to look like a postal substation, and even in our low-crime area, packages are starting to turn up missing.

Solve those two issues, and I'll probably never buy anything other than shoes and pants in a brick 'n mortar again.

 
Thomas Claburn
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Thomas Claburn,
User Rank: Author
12/2/2013 | 5:16:00 PM
Re: What Problem does it Solve?
You're right about theft. It's already a problem for packages left at people's doors. Drones won't be able to do drops unless met by the buyer.
ChrisMurphy
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ChrisMurphy,
User Rank: Author
12/2/2013 | 5:24:40 PM
Re: What Problem does it Solve?
Harry Potter showed us this is perfectly feasible. And delivery by owl would solve the noise problem.
Ariella
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Ariella,
User Rank: Ninja
12/3/2013 | 9:34:09 AM
Re: What Problem does it Solve?
@Chris But would they do day deliveries? Seriously, people used to use pigeons, and they were even specially outfitted by Maidenform for World War II.  See http://blog.americanhistory.si.edu/osaycanyousee/2013/09/pigeons-in-bras-go-to-war.html
Whoopty
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Whoopty,
User Rank: Ninja
12/3/2013 | 12:23:07 PM
Re: What Problem does it Solve?
You jest, but Waterstones jokingly brought this up in response to the Amazon story:

 

http://www.waterstones.com/blog/2013/12/introducing-o-w-l-s/
Shane M. O'Neill
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Shane M. O'Neill,
User Rank: Author
12/2/2013 | 7:12:12 PM
A great idea but too many negatives
I'm on board with speedy delivery and using tech to make life easier. But I have visions of packages landing in the bushes and on roofs. Accuracy is hard and it's so easy for a package to get stolen in the city. Drones buzzing around could also distract drivers and just create general noise pollution. Add the potential for privacy violations (drones gathering data) and I'm dubious about delivery drones (How's that for alliteration?). I'll keep an open mind though; if the drones are cleared by the authorities as quiet, safe and perfectly accurate, this may become a society-changing thing. But right now there is just too much to poke fun at ... and also fear.
Ariella
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Ariella,
User Rank: Ninja
12/3/2013 | 9:39:34 AM
Re: A great idea but too many negatives
@Shane Have you seen this? 

Not quite as popular, but another possible illustration of what can go wrong is:



And here's one on the post office's response:

Shane M. O'Neill
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Shane M. O'Neill,
User Rank: Author
12/3/2013 | 9:55:36 AM
Re: A great idea but too many negatives
A drone rebellion against mankind is a concern. Have we learned nothing from Battlestar Galactica?
virsingh211
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virsingh211,
User Rank: Strategist
12/5/2013 | 4:29:10 AM
Re: A great idea but too many negatives
This is new to me, i read more about it, they'll initially carry items up to five pounds, which is roughly 86% of all deliveries Amazon makes, one of concern area i see is eligibility criteria for using drone service.
cbabcock
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cbabcock,
User Rank: Author
12/2/2013 | 7:25:08 PM
Launch drone, eclipse privacy
Physical privacy in your own yard will become a thing of the past once a digital camera is a routine attachment to an easily acquired drone. To keep any privacy, you may need surveillance drones at each corner of your property, on guard for flying intruders. But Harry Potter would be grossed out by the octocopter. Why use one of those when a mere broom will do?
Thomas Claburn
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Thomas Claburn,
User Rank: Author
12/3/2013 | 9:36:24 PM
Re: Launch drone, eclipse privacy
I suspect drone downing will become a popular if not entirely legal sport in certain parts of the US.
Kristin Burnham
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Kristin Burnham,
User Rank: Author
12/4/2013 | 8:36:22 PM
Re: Launch drone, eclipse privacy
Drone Dynasty. I smell a reality show already.
Thomas Claburn
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Thomas Claburn,
User Rank: Author
12/4/2013 | 8:40:20 PM
Re: Launch drone, eclipse privacy
That's a show I'd watch.
Ariella
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Ariella,
User Rank: Ninja
12/5/2013 | 8:51:39 AM
Re: Launch drone, eclipse privacy
@thomas ha, like skeet shooting, only it would be drones instead of clay disks.
jurowski
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jurowski,
User Rank: Apprentice
12/3/2013 | 10:06:19 AM
do we need this level of instant gratification?
I'll admit that last week while sitting in Chicago rush-hour traffic, I fantasized about a drone-based pizza delivery service to those in traffic.

But what have we become as humans when we need to satisfy every whim instantaneously? Our strength comes in part from patience, and that is deteriorating with each passing day and each technological leap. At some point we need to ask if always bigger better more faster compels us toward becoming a new generation of grown adults acting like spoiled brats.
Ariella
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Ariella,
User Rank: Ninja
12/3/2013 | 11:58:31 AM
Re: do we need this level of instant gratification?
@jurowki 

"But what have we become as humans when we need to satisfy every whim instantaneously? Our strength comes in part from patience, and that is deteriorating with each passing day and each technological leap. At some point we need to ask if always bigger better more faster compels us toward becoming a new generation of grown adults acting like spoiled brats."

I agree. We have become more and more of an instant generation.  We always want things faster. I remember seeing someone showing his grandmother an electric kettle and said, she'd get her water boiled faster. She wasn't impressed because she didn't mind waiting a few minutes.

 Consider how much we want everything "on demand" and that means at the instant I demand it. And the more that surrounds us, the more we expect it. While I have FIOS now for my internet, it still moves slowly at times, and I find myself impatient about it. But several years back, I had dial-up and had to wait far longer for things to load. 


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