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    Re: GPS for chickens and spinach
    From: Brad Morris
    Date: 2019 Feb 24, 11:56 -0500
    A QR code is just another form of printed barcode.  The berries, according to the journalist, was tracked with a QR code.  No indication what type of tracker used with spinach (Walmart), but a printed bar code is obviously cheaper than any electronic receiver and memory.

    Having worked for the corporate giant in barcode technology, when all of the basic patents were still in force, permits insight.  The cost is only associated with the reader, not the barcode.  It's just basic graphics in your packaging design.  That is exactly why the design is so incredibly pervasive.

    How a GPS receiver is going to compete with that is beyond me.  Even RFID isn't competitive with a barcode and that is a far simpler device.  Under the assumption that folks would be willing to see "Colin's" path by paying extra, how would the average consumer be able to distinguish an actual path from a random walk inserted by a computer into the memory. 

    I wish the gps chicken people well.  They are going to need lots of it

    On Sun, Feb 24, 2019, 11:33 AM Frank Reed <NoReply_FrankReed@fer3.com> wrote:

    GPS tagging has become cheap enough that it's being used to track poultry and farm produce. The idea here is that you can put a GPS tracker on a chicken's leg, and this will guarantee the farm-produced quality of upmarket organic poultry. Thus you may be able to decide whether your chicken was "happy" before you ate him. People worry about these things... In fact, people have been worrying about such things so long that it was a subject of parody in the pilot episode of "Portlandia" eight years ago (watch the scene). But back then they did not anticipate GPS-chickens. Here's the full story at npr.org

    In many respects, the article strikes me as an exaggeration. Or is it? They talk about tagging farm produce, like spinach, so that it can be tracked back to a specific origin in the event of an E. coli problem, for example. But there are cheaper ways to do this, like barcoding. Are GPS tags that record position every ten seconds or so really necessary? Could GPS tags be cheaper than the hardware for barcoding? It's not as if spinach is going out for a walk in the barnyard to forage for its lunch. And could any of this tracking tech be cheap enough for the spinach market??

    Frank Reed
    PS: Here are two of my backyard neighbors here on Conanicut Island. I'm thinking of teaching them a basic course in celestial navigation so they can compete with the GPS-chickens. I may need to develop a modified sextant for thumbless observers. 


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