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Shopping on Black Friday costs you more than you thought

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Going shopping on Black Friday and in the few weeks prior to the last Friday of November can be considered a global tradition – or rather craze. The problem is that we, unknowingly, spend more money due to Black Friday shopping deals than we would have at any other time of the year. Moreover, we are actually buying inferior quality products sometimes. Let me tell you what Black Friday is actually about.

Black Friday deals usually start two or even three weeks ahead of the proper day, and if you monitor prices for items on various shops, you will notice that they don’t really change much during the entire month of November. Now mind you, I’m mostly going to refer to online shopping, because the mysterious ways of Black Friday deal searching in malls is not my specialty. Online shopping isn’t, either, but I can’t help doing a lot of that anyway. Over the last 5 years, I’ve always shopped on Black Friday and was always searching for the best deals weeks ahead of time. I’ve accumulated a good deal of disappointment and a few pleasant surprises in that time. Let me tell you about them in a clamshell.

One thing I’ve found when Black Friday shopping ahead of the date is that products’ prices don’t really change on the actual day. I’ve been eyeing a Nikon D3300 for a few months now and I thought it would be a neat personal experiment to monitor its price until Black Friday. I regret not snapping screenshots, but at the time I didn’t realize what I would stumble upon. So I searched for Nikon D3300 deals and found that I could get my hands on a simple bundle with a few accessories, an extra battery and a bag for about $450 in various different shops. If you do a quick search, you’ll notice that you can find the same camera as part of various Black Friday deals – costing $500 without any accessories. The kit that I found is no longer available, but a similar one with an extra lens costs $700. What a great Black Friday deal!

If I had ordered the camera in September, when I was first checking it out, I would have been much happier than ordering it now. The same tendency to not actually change any prices but count on customers not having the time or the means to research their purchases is evident with almost all retail shops. While this is a prominent issue when online shopping, it might not be when in store. Online, it’s actually a bummer to notice that these massive Black Friday sales everywhere are in fact ripping you off. Let me give you another example.

I found a pretty neat Canon compact camera, pretty entry-level and basic, which I thought would be a nice addition to my travel pack. I had a camera fever to satisfy, so I checked its price in September and in October as well, and both times it was around $50. I thought to myself that I would wait for Black Friday sales to go live and buy it at a lower price to save myself some money. Checking back on Black Friday I discovered that the camera I had picked was actually slightly more expensive at $60. What a great Black Friday deal, right? I might have more, though.

Last Black Friday, I bought an LG HDTV, 31-inch large, almost no bezels, a sweet investment I don’t regret. I got it for a good price at $210 and didn’t see anything wrong with it, until I wanted to mount it on the wall. I found that the small hinges that were needed for a mount were used and missing, the retail shop from where I bought it explaining that it was a refurbished device from their aisles. When asked why they didn’t mention it in the Black Friday listing, I was treated to a cold shoulder and looked at like I didn’t appreciate all the good things that “new” TV was giving me. Although I haven’t had other problems with the TV and don’t regret buying it, the incident revealed to me, once and for all, that Black Friday is a scam. It’s a way to swindle people out of their money, by giving them “huge discounts”. They’re not discounts, most of the time you are going to pay the same price you would have a month or two prior to Black Friday.

As part of the editorial team here at Geekreply, John spends a lot of his time making sure each article is up to snuff. That said, he also occasionally pens articles on the latest in Geek culture. From Gaming to Science, expect the latest news fast from John and team.

Bionics

Redwire Space produces human knee cartilage in space for the first time

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Redwire Space has “bioprinted” a human knee meniscus on the International Space Station, which could treat Earthlings with meniscus issues.

The meniscus cartilage was manufactured on Redwire’s ISS BioFabrication Facility (BFF). The BFF printed the meniscus using living human cells and transmitted it to Redwire’s Advanced Space Experiment Processor for a 14-day enculturation process for BFF-Meniscus-2.

SpaceX’s Crew-6 mission returned the tissue to Earth after culturing. UAE astronaut Sultan Al-Neyadi and NASA astronauts Frank Rubio, Warren Hoburg, and Stephen Bowen investigated.

Redwire collaborated with the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences Center for Biotechnology, which studies warfighter remedies, for the trial. Meniscus injuries are the most prevalent orthopedic injuries in U.S. service members.

In recent months, Redwire Space has advanced biotechnology. The subsidiary of Redwire Corporation launched a 30,000-square-foot biotech and microgravity research park in Indiana this summer.

Redwire EVP John Vellinger called the printing “groundbreaking milestone.”

He stated, “Demonstrating the ability to print complex tissue such as this meniscus is a major leap forward toward the development of a repeatable microgravity manufacturing process for reliable bioprinting at scale.”

The company has long-term bioprinting and space microgravity research goals. Redwire will fly microgravity pharmaceutical drug development and cardiac tissue bioprinting payloads on a November SpaceX Commercial Resupply trip to the ISS.

Sierra Space agreed to integrate Redwire’s biotech and in-space manufacturing technology into its Large Integrated Flexible Environment (LIFE) space station module. Orbital Reef, a private space station designed by Blue Origin, Boeing, and others, will include LIFE.

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Industry and Service

Best Practices for Using Composite IBC Totes

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According to the International Organization for Standardization (IOS), totes are classified into two categories. Let us take a closer look: 

First, there are intermediate bulk container (IBC) totes that are described as rigid. These are often made from metal, wood, or fiberboard. They are designed as a single unit and do not call for additional support when they are filled up. 

Then there is the composite kind. These are made up of a cage that supports and protects the inner lining when weight is added. As a result, the lining and the cage work in tandem as one unit. 

 

In this read, we are going to dive into the gist of things and explore practices that you should implement when it comes to using your 330 reconditioned IBC totes. Keep in mind that these are general requirements and you should seek specific advice from your supplier as your needs may be different. 

-If you intend to store products meant for human use, ensure the totes are food grade. This helps ascertain harmful interactions or reactions do not happen during transportation or storage. 

-When handling items with extremely low flashpoints, store them in totes that are explosion-proof. Some materials, however, will need permeation barriers to prevent them from diffusing through the lining. 

-In regards to hazmat transit, the container’s material as well as filling material compatibility should undergo thorough testing. These tests, however, can differ between European and American regions. They are put into place to determine the best material to use for your situation and so, is imperative to allocate enough time for comprehensive testing. 

 

The Best Practices for Filling & Handling/Shipping IBC Totes

 

  1. Filling

In order to fill a tote, the following three things should be done: 

-Close the outlet valve

-During filling, the process should be performed at atmospheric pressure, and shouldn’t go beyond 70ºC/158ºF. Therefore, the tote should not be pressurized. 

-During the cooling stage, the receptacle should be vented. This is to prevent vacuum deformation from occurring. Once this is done, ensure the cap is screwed in tightly. 

 

  1. Handling or Shipping

-The totes should be well-secured to make sure no damage occurs during transit

-Never use tie ropes on the totes with the intention of moving them this way. 

-If you are using a pallet jack or a forklift to handle the IBC totes, the forks should reach the pallets’ entire length. 

 

  1. Storage or Stacking

-Prior to stacking, it is imperative to identify the plate for stack testing. This helps determine whether the IBC totes are stackable. 

-Always put nesting into consideration. It means arranging the totes in a way that they fit closely together. An effective way to do this is by using a two on two configuration. 

-During transportation, the stack should not go beyond two layers

 

  1. Emptying

-When emptying a tote, only do it through the lower outlet valve. 

-Open the top before emptying to avoid a vacuum collapse

-If you are emptying through a pipe or a pump, make sure that it is supported and does not rely on the cage. If you use the cage to support the pump or pipe, the vibrations are likely to cause damage to the cage. 

 

The Takeaway

These are some of the general practices when handling composite IBC totes. It is also important to note that these practices are just the tip of the iceberg. As such, we recommend forming a relationship with a supplier that has been in the field for years to ensure that you always make informed decisions.

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Artificial Intelligence

The Matter standard is now supported by Google’s smart home appliances

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Only if goods truly support it can the Matter standard facilitate the use of smart home appliances from different brands. You don’t even need to download or install any updates because Google has just announced that it has enabled Matter compatibility for its Nest and Android devices. This means that Matter can now be controlled by the Google Home speaker, Google Home Mini, Nest Mini, Nest Audio, Nest Hub (1st and 2nd gen), Nest Hub Max, and the new Nest WiFi Pro.

Additionally, Google has made Matter compatibility available for Fast Pair on Android, which will let you to connect Matter-enabled devices to your home network “as rapidly as you can pair a set of headphones.” This functionality will make it simple to integrate your devices with apps and smart home ecosystems once they are linked. The tech behemoth has also upgraded the Nest Wi Pro, Nest Hub Max, and Nest Hub (2nd gen) to include Thread border router functionality. In this manner, you can utilize them to link items that support Thread, the networking standard for low-power gadgets like smart locks.

Since 2019, the Connectivity Standards Alliance, of which Google is a member, has been working on the Matter standard to address the fragmentation issue in the smart home market and make it simpler to use products from various manufacturers. It had to postpone Matter’s release a few times before it was eventually able to roll out the standard’s version 1.0 definition and product certification program this October. It had originally planned to introduce the standard in 2021. Soon after Matter was released, Samsung said that it is collaborating with Google to make it simple to add devices that are already configured with SmartThings to Google Home and vice versa. One of the other founders of the Alliance, Amazon, also provided a list of the 17 Echo devices that will support the standard as of this month.

The number of products that are Matter-enabled is now somewhat small, but according to Google, this holiday season and early 2023 will witness an increase. With the exception of the aforementioned Google items, all devices that implement the standard will be identified by the Matter badge and will function with all other Matter devices right out of the box.

 

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