Procedurally generated infinite CVS receipt

Sure, CVS receipts are farcically long, but they're not infinitely long: they could be, though, as Garrett Armstrong's CVS Receipt generator demonstrates, using nothing more than HTML, CSS and Javascript (Armstrong: "I even made a crappy web-scraper to get real product names from their site"). (via Kottke) Read the rest

Impressive upcycling of a CVS receipt

As we know, the absurdly long CVS receipts are due to the rise of data mining and target marketing. A fellow from Lakewood, Ohio recently Tweeted his ingenious upcycling of one of those ridiculous receipts. From News 5 Cleveland:

Andrew said he got the idea quite on accident – he bought a few items (less than 10, he said) from the Rocky River CVS, then laid the receipt out on his bedroom floor to take a picture of it to send to his friends.

He came back later and actually thought the receipt was one of the blinds that had fallen on the floor. “…they’re cheap blinds so they fall off pretty often,” he said in a chat with News 5.

“…and when I realized it was actually the receipt, I thought it would be funny to see if it fit in the window, and it happened to fit perfectly,” he said.

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Blame Big Data for CVS's endless miles of receipts

Buy a single item at CVS and you can end up with a 4'-6'-long ribbon of register tape, a kind of orgy of coupons and come-ons. Read the rest

"Spread Pricing" transparency reveals the millions CVS rakes in by gouging Medicare and prisons on prescription markups

CVS isn't just in the business of operating retail pharmacies: equally important is its prescription administration services, where it buys drugs from independent pharmacies, marks them up, and sells them to government-run programs like Medicare and prisons, using "spread pricing" to determine the markup that it applies to generic drugs. Read the rest

High-speed computer vision system beats you at Rock, Paper, Scissors every time

Researchers at UTokyo's Ishikawa Oku Lab have created an unbeatable Rock-Paper-Scissors robot that uses a computer vision system to analyze opponents' hand-shapes for precursors to their final move and form a winning response in a split second, so quickly that to the human eye, it appears that the robot has responded simultaneously:

It only takes a single millisecond for the robot to recognize what shape your hand is in, and just a few more for it to make the shape that beats you, but it all happens so fast that it's more or less impossible to tell that the robot is waiting until you commit yourself before it makes its move, allowing it to win 100% of the time. You might be thinking that you could fool the system by changing your mind halfway through, but my guess is that the hand and vision system are faster than your reflexes could ever be, and that it would be trivial for the robot to adapt to any creative moves that happens on the human end.

Robot Hand Beats You at Rock, Paper, Scissors 100% Of The Time

(via /.) Read the rest