Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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toob

Food Tubes
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Ok, so we've all been to the bank before and seen those drive-up tellers with the tubes that suck up the little container full of money. Well let's say you're sitting at home one night, and you're hungry, but everything is closed or whatnot. So you IM your buddy a few timezones behind you, he buys you food, puts it in his FoodToob, sends it down to you via the tube system, and you send him back the money you owe him. (in theory, heh) Operates on a system of vacuum-tubes. To prevent unsolicited food at odd hours of the morning, each delivery point would have a "confirm/deny" button to accept the package, with an auto-fail timer as well. Routine checkpoint computers could be built along the tube-ways to check for any contraband or harmful items.
Valak, Jul 14 2007

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       would you be restricted to meatballs?
po, Jul 14 2007
  

       Different sized tubes for different items. Either that or dehydrate the stuff then add water later to make it regain size.
Valak, Jul 14 2007
  

       A quick glance finds that pneumatic tubes typically deliver cargo at 25 feet per second. That calculates out to 17 miles per hour.   

       Even if you could crank that up by an order of magnitude to 170mph, delivering your food from the next time zone is still going to take some time to arrive.
Galbinus_Caeli, Jul 14 2007
  

       //Different sized tubes for different items. Either that or dehydrate the stuff then add water later to make it regain size.// wouldn't it be easier to make a sandwich?
po, Jul 14 2007
  

       "Even if you could crank that up by an order of magnitude to 170mph, delivering your food from the next time zone is still going to take some time to arrive."   

       Yes but if it's in a vacuum, less friction, and less friction means potential for even higher speeds.
Valak, Jul 14 2007
  

       Well, the drive up teller type systems are pneumatic, not vacuum. But hey, you want to put delivery pizza out of business, what business is it of mine. One flash frozen Croissant.
Galbinus_Caeli, Jul 14 2007
  

       When I 1st seen the name, it looked to me like "Boot" backwards (what, an anti-boot?) the vacuum will not prevent friction from the walls of the tube. Also, the more weight you add, the more power you'll need. That's why banks ask you not to but in rolls of coins in the canisters.
the great unknown, Jul 16 2007
  

       Friction?. I'll tell you about friction!. Do you know the biggest cause of friction in pneumatic tubes?.
Meatball Sauce!. I'm telling you.....
BTW, how on earth are you going to get a pneumatic tube network that spans //a few timezones//?
Never mind the fact that it is *apparently* *magically* connected to every houshold.
A bit light on implementation here, mate!.
gnomethang, Jul 16 2007
  

       Pneumatic tubes work because there is high pressure behind them and low pressure in front. That doesn't scale particularly well - you can, in effect, only have one tube in there at a time. Not insurmountable, but consider: You start with an evacuated tube. A blast of air behind your container pushes it through the tube. Now you need to pump the air out again before you pass the next container through.
david_scothern, Jul 16 2007
  

       "... BTW, how on earth are you going to get a pneumatic tube network that spans //a few timezones//? Never mind the fact that it is *apparently* *magically* connected to every houshold. A bit light on implementation here, mate!." -gnomethang   

       Could just keep it between you and your friends. This actually started as a random joke between myself and some other friends, and we just kept talking about it and trying to conceptualize it.
Valak, Jul 16 2007
  

       Screw pneumatics. It's well known that you can get from any place on the planet to any other in less than an hour (by falling through an evacuated tunnel through the center of the earth.)   

       The end point delivery is more of a problem. There are some leftover pneumatic tube networks, but not everywhere. Maybe we should look towards ballistics. A robotic tennis racket that dispatches the meatball just as it pops out of the vacuum tube? OK, you'd have to have a capture mechcanism at the end point, but think of the satisfying thwacks. "Dinner is served."
jutta, Jul 16 2007
  

       Probably a better idea!
gnomethang, Jul 16 2007
  
      
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