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It's funny.  Laugh.

License to Sit 107

Xunker writes "It's the Next Big Thing(TM) in sitting. Okay, so it's a bit of satire from our own Prof. Steve Mann (of Wearable Computer fame). It's basically a time lock chair -- you must buy a 'seating lisence' to use the chair, and if your lisence expires while you're sitting, spikes pop up to remind you you are no longer allowed to sit there. Oh, yeah, dig the terms and conditions, too."
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License to Sit

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  • In theory, you're correct, but in practice, it happens all the time, and not just in Software. That's what frightens me.

    (Yeah, right, "Entertaining a Cat with a Laser Pointer" is a novel idea... need I say more?)
    pb Reply or e-mail; don't vaguely moderate [].
  • I think that there was some debate over the validity of copying to memory (whatever kind) in order to execute software. Congress rendered it moot; it's entirely legal to copy software as long as it's necessary to get it to run. (thus you can run Windows w/o agreeing to the EULA, as long as it's a legally owned copy; you can't make copies for all your friends, that's not a prerequisite of it functioning on your computer)
  • Sure. Which isn't protected.

    Remember Why precisely they got in trouble? It wasn't that they had the ability to store commerical, unlicensed mp3s and relay them back to you wherever you were.

    It was that they ripped the mp3s, and you got to listen to them*

    Had they required that everyone rip their own music and put it up, and that they stored all that music seperately, they'd've been in much better shape.

    *mp3 is a business, and what they did qualifies as a public performance. your right to listen to music in the comfort of your house with a few close friends is still fine, though the RIAA would surely like to eliminate it.
  • And I mean North American - your average European bathroom is nowhere near as nice as an average US/Canadian bathroom. (Heh. How's that for flamebait?)

    I'm British and sad as it is, one of the few things I really like about travelling to the US (*) is the bathrooms (in the english sense - shower & co included) - I wonder why they don't work the same way elsewhere? Is there some fundamental plumbing difference that stops it?

    (* Arbys and western deserts (AZ,NV,NM) are some of the other things - I'm easily pleased)
  • You would think if you were going to license sitting you would at least provide a cofortable seat...

    Ok, I'll take the bait, just in case some PHB didn't understand the subtle humor there. Translated that means: Of course, you'd think that if people were going to license software products, they'd expect better software.

  • Err... that's DCMA, right? Anyway, not only would it be illegal to make and posess ass-shields, it would be illegal to even *link* to blueprints for them. But the NY Times would still get away with it.
  • You would expect it, but so far I haven't been seeing it...hehe
  • You would think if you were going to license sitting you would at least provide a cofortable seat...
  • This is an artistic and humerous comment on patent law, something that interests and concerns many /. readers. Too bad you didn't get it.
  • Steve Mann, Felix Tang , Steve Dietz, PM Eller, Scott Draves, etc, you are all dumbasses [].

  • The instructions are clear. A user does not get up quickly enough, and Bam! Fees assessed for the cost of cleaning up!
  • Um, for those of us who haven't travelled much, what, exactly, is the difference?


    On a visible but distant shore, a new image of man;
  • if the NFL hadn't already thought of it. Minus the spikes, of course. Personal seat licence. To get season tickets at, say, PSINet stadium in Baltimore, you had to buy a PSL (something on the order of $1000) before you could spend the money on the tickets themselves. And of course you could only buy two at a time.
  • Weird.. I have two Blockbuster cards, one from Canada and one from Australia, and they are both bar coded
  • Off topic, surely, but this was my first thought.

    I too waited tables (and bartended) my way through college. The ones that sat the most almost always tipped the least, and they never thought about the money that I or the restaurant could have been making off that table.

    It was "we paid for a meal, and we're going to sit here until we feel like leaving". I actually had two people come in at 4:00 pm and leave after midnight. Tip? A wonderful $1.50.

  • They were the first to start this madness, charging people for a "License to Ill".
  • Now if only Universities could buy these things to wake me up during those long boring lectures... I'd buy a blanket license, then!

    I'd carry a sandbag with me to place on the seat first. Now _every_ class is a sandbag class.

  • This is inspired by the fun we have popping up and quickly killing xclock (and other mischief) on our neighbors' X windows sessions; we're using exceed, and the default is xhost+ .

    Can the device be hacked to make the spikes deploy and retract on demand?

    Can we have a variant of xkill or kill?
    (kill -9 deploys a 9-inch nail)

    Is there a Wake-On-Lan feature to wake up dozing neighbors?

  • Let me learn what I want to learn, not what you tell me I should know...
    You're perfectly free to do that at many, if not most, colleges. You can pay your money and take exactly and only whatever classes you want.

    Now if you want a degree, that's a different story.

    Tom Swiss | the infamous tms |

  • [i]I'm British and sad as it is, one of the few things I really like about travelling to the US (*) is the bathrooms (in the english sense - shower & co included) - I wonder why they don't work the same way elsewhere? Is there some fundamental plumbing difference that stops it?[/i] My impression, based on what my business partner (born and raised near London) has told me, is that the UK's water system infrastructure is, for the most part, quite old and unable to meet the demands of US/Canadian-style plumbing. He's told me that Thames Water (the main water supplier for Greater London) loses more than half the water it pumps, mostly due to leaks in their 100+ year-old pipes. If they were to make the investment in modernizing their system, it would probably be capable of delivering enough pressure & volume to support North American plumbing standards. FWIW, New York City suffers some of these problems, though not to the same extent.
  • points to the site of the Walker Art Center, located in downtown Minneapolis.

    As far as I can tell, that's not in San Francisco.

    I'm a bit confused. Maybe we both are?

  • Perhaps you didn't read this line from my original post:
    Another satirical jab at EULA

    Poking fun at the whole EULA situation is *NOT* funny anymore. Why you ask? It's been utterly done to death (along the lines of the whole "Wazzup!" thing). How could I have not gotten it, it's too fsckin' obvious anyway and it's a joke made almost daily around people who actually deal with Licence Agreement crap. "We could put a Licence on breathing air, hahaha" Geez Einstein, come up with that yourself? If you want a real laugh (or cry) actually read some of the stuff in any MS EULA, way funnier all by itself...

    So, beat me if you must but don't beat me over the head with a lame "one trick pony" joke.

    No the game never ends when your whole world depends

  • The inventor of this chair should seriously apply for a patent on this...

    if only to show how screwed up the USPTO is.

    Then they can expand their Terms and Conditions to notify user of patent-pending proprietary technology, etc.
  • ...I mean, come on. Anyone who can read already knows that this stinker was a troll from the getgo. I'd chastise you for not finding anything better to actually mod up, but odds are there won't be anything worth reading in here.
    Except for the unfunny anti-M$ article which rockets to +5.
  • "Seating" pirates?

    Please. If anything ever called out for the term, this certainly does:

    Butt Pirates. huh huh, huh huh. Yeah, Beavis.

  • a history of results for download...

    Whoah! What sort of results are we talking about? I don't think I want my toilet storing anything to 'download' at a later time. Jeez.

    Or, are do you have to aim to score 2 in your SAT's?

    (don't even think about joking about 'aiming' your number 2's)

  • your average European bathroom is nowhere near as nice as an average US/Canadian bathroom.

    I think the US will fall behind Canada soon. The US has banned decently sized toilet tanks, allegedly for environmental reasons. Americans have been buying them in Canada and trying with mixed results to bring them across the border. In some cases, customs has turned them back.
  • Actually, male-to-female transsexuals would LOVE this...much cheaper than paying for the surgery. :)
  • What!? You think my ass is made of money?
  • This makes me laugh about as much as I do when I see a picture of RMS.

  • nothing new

    That's right. All we ever hear from this 'Slashdot' is whining about EULAs and patents. Who needs fairness?

    By reading this post while having access to moderation, you agree to mark it as 'funny' and/or 'insightful'. Any failure to do so will void your login to Slashdot, and any karma you have accumulated shall be transferred to Hemos.

    You don't want that, do you?
  • They have that on Brighton Beach, in England, too. The beach is composed of rather large pebbles - not exactly comfortable to sit on. So they have chairs out that cost a pound to sit in. Of course, paying to sit in a public place is a totally unexpected concept to Americans, so when I was there with some friends, and the guy came around to inform us that there was a fee for sitting, most of us just told him to fuck off...
  • The sad thing is, if someone actually built this thing it would be just as legal as software EULAs.

    My mom is not a Karma whore!
  • So, with longer spikes, could something similar to this be used for capital punishment?
  • This already exists both in paris, and certain parts of Mexico City.

    They're in a lot of places. Most places I've seen, they exist mainly to keep homeless people from sleeping and/or shooting heroin in them. The ones I've seen are actually really clean...

  • Apparently, it only takes one or two users to slashdot it. How many people can sit in (on) the chair at once?


  • if somebody could sell one of these chairs to Hillary Rosen (RIAA) or Jack Valenti (MPAA).
  • >I wonder why they don't work the same way elsewhere? Is there some fundamental plumbing difference that stops it?

    I'm not certain what you mean, but if it happens to be related to fill time, or tank position, or pressure, some older WC installations in England used a gravity fed water system. Note that I'm taking this example from a house built between 1910-1930...

    This means that instead of directly taking water from the city mains, the water fills a tank similar to, but much bigger than, a toilet tank. This must be at the highest point of the water supply. When that tank fills, the mains water is turned off. When you use water, the tank is refilled (again from city mains) and the water will come out rather slowly (especially on top floors) in comparison to modern pressure fed systems.

    I don't know why this action was taken, but I'm taking a stab at a possible water pressure problem, since this would add gravity pressure (at the cost of running out of water) should the city mains become terribly overloaded.

    Here's another few fun British toilet facts (in comparison with N.A.): For some reason, many of the washrooms I've visited in Britain use separate hot/cold faucets (not just taps, but actual separate faucets). Light switches are upside down (well, to us) and are generally not installed inside the washroom.

    Which strange thing were you talking about? ;-)
  • broken or just /. ed? maybe i should just go back and hide in the corner.
  • And yet, if I was to post the very same joke with Linux substituted for MS, I would be modded down as a troll and/or flamebait, and probably generate at least one reply telling me how evil I am.

    Yeah, I know, consider your audience before telling a joke, but you gotta admit people lose their sense of humor real fast around here when Linux is the butt of the joke.
  • This bathroom had squat toilets only. It wasn't clean. There was no toilet paper. There was only cold water. There was no soap.

    This is pretty much the same way that I found things in Malaysia. It makes you wonder what you are indeed paying for. Especially, when you have to decide on whether to use the provided hole or the floor, cuz you can't figure out which one is dirtier.

  • I helped the prof with the chair a bit... and I mean LITTE bit. The program just looks for an alphanumeric code on the card.. any will do for this model :)

  • This is how I read that sentence the first time through.

    Like it or not, with the patent office in the sorry state that it's in, and the DMCA becoming the flaw of the land, this sort of ridiculous tripe is becoming a viable business model.

    I realized my mistake when I looked at it again, but I like my version better.

  • All you have to do is find some moron in the patent office to whom the idea isn't obvious. Judging by recent stories, many of the employees of the USPTO may have graduated from my high school.
  • But you obviously violated the intellectual property rights of the original chair's designers by reverse-engineering their product. You then proceeded to effectively circumvent the access control measures designed into the original product, by using a competing product which does not comply with the UseatA license conditions.

    You are hereby ordered to turn over all property, intellectual and physical, and rights related to the offending seating mechanism to SeatWorks. Faliure to comply will result in prompt legal action.

  • (a) directing an intense coherent beam of invisible light produced by a hand-held laser apparatus

    A much improved patent would be to build on this one, but use visible light. I think the cat would be much more interested in it if it could see the "bright highly-focused pattern of light" being produced.

  • Paying to sit in a public place is nothing strange. It is paying $0 to go, and $x to sit. If you go to a paid event, in many cases you have the option to pay $y to enter, and $y+x to enter, and have a nicce seat. I can see how unexpected that can be.
  • of course it's /.ed...
  • Well they do claim they scan for pillows, shields and such, BUT, can they detect kevlar underpants? And I wonder if those people who lie on the bed of nails are bothered much by this chair?
  • I came across this in Germany too, mostly in the big cities. They had people sitting in the bathrooms to take money. You could use most of them without paying, but they got pretty pissed. Also, some had gates in front you had to put a coin in to go through the turnstile, and some of them were actual standalone boxes on the street like I detailed in my other reply to this message.
  • this gives a whole new meaning to "Per Seat" licensing! its like i've been brained by "teh funney"
  • Let me learn what I want to learn, not what you tell me I should know...
    The whole idea of a major in college is to allow you to learn what you want to learn. Those required electives are for the sole purpose of educating you, which is the mission of most universities.
  • ... on
  • I would have given my right arm to find a place to sit that didn't have a gaming machine in front of it in Vegas. My feet hurt so bad. This idea would be alright if the chair was a little more comfortable, and it was somewhere nice... Say inside the Luxor... :-)

  • Yeah, you will get that movement going...the major problem is that your "proto-chair" only comes partially finished, and not "configured" to your siddown (mind the splinters--and the splinter factions!). This "proto-chair" will be called the "kernel," of course, and most models of the kernel will come in wood, don't you think?

    Sales of Kernel Sanders will therefore go way up. Of course, this Open Sores movement is therefore not for chickens.


    I knew a Unix Wizard once. We called him the Open Sourceror.
    Slurry-on-Waffles, UK

    A team of British scientists has announced that through a series of soon-to-be-patented technologies, the entire concept of sitting, licenses, sitting licenses, patenting, and British Scientists will soon be obsolete.

    There are three key technologies that comprise the system:

    1. Through a proprietary compression technology, everyday consumers will be able to shorten the phrase "Software As A Service" to simply "RIPOFF"

    2. 10^18 British scientists will soon be able to fit on a chair, provided the chair has no conventional moving parts, and the scientists are the size of credit cards.

    3. Although, regretably, they have yet to compress the chair down to the size of a credit card, they have been successful in making it taste like chicken, bringing "an incredibly powerful new metaphor to the computer software industry."

    I'm fine, why do you ask?

  • I had visions of straps from the chair locking you in until authorities arrive if you accidentally remain in the chair after the license expires.
  • OK, here's claim 1: What is claimed is: 1. A method of inducing aerobic exercise in an unrestrained cat comprising the steps of: (a) directing an intense coherent beam of invisible light produced by a hand-held laser apparatus to produce a bright highly-focused pattern of light at the intersection of the beam and an opaque surface, said pattern being of visual interest to a cat; and (b) selectively redirecting said beam out of the cat's immediate reach to induce said cat to run and chase said beam and pattern of light around an exercise area. Yeah, doesn't seem that this would have been too novel in 1993, except that any prior art probably wouldn't have been published and was difficult to prove. Anyway, there's not a chance in hell of enforcing this one. But your point is made.
  • You're really overstating the situation a bit. First of all, you can't patent "obvious" variants. A patent has to be for something that is novel and non-obvious. And I believe that pre-existing variants would be known as prior art. The real sorry state of the Patent Office is that they don't have enough qualified people in certain (i.e., software) art groups, and seemingly invalid patents are being issued. These will be invalidated in court if they are found to be obvious or pre-existing variants. On the other hand, the Patent Office is doing just fine in low-tech art areas, such as those that cover chairs. That's why the article is funny.
  • Hey, lasers are pretty high-tech. Besides, I've never actually read the claims for that one. Better check it out...
  • Pay toilets are part of the mayor's initiative to make newspaper rack space harder to get for free papers in San Francisco. In order to get the racks installed, the parisian manufacturer had to agree to put in for-pay public toilets.

    The toilets are nice, but with the ADA requiring that EVERY toilet be wheelchair accessible (not just one at each stand) there has never been enough room to make the sytem work.

    In the whole country of México most big bus stations have both free and pay toilets. They're both fine to use, but the pay ones have toilet paper (save NP$2 by bringing your own) and are cleaned somewhat more often.


  • The creators of pay-to-sit will file an injunction against people who can lay on a bed of nails since they don't need to pay in order to sit in the chairs. They will even go so far as to impose a entertainment fee on such people since they must enjoy it if they're crazy enough to do it!
  • Remember, you can always take an existing patent, and patent all obvious variants, and probably cover a few pre-existing ones.

    Although I doubt it'd be enforceable, I'm sure a company could come along, extend the existing chair patents, slap some businesses with lawsuits, and make some money.

    Like it or not, with the patent office in the sorry state that it's in, and the DMCA becoming the law of the land, this sort of ridiculous tripe is becoming a viable business model.

    I hope we can still laugh about this sort of thing in a few years, instead of having to buy 20-seat licenses for our chairs...
    pb Reply or e-mail; don't vaguely moderate [].
  • Technicaly you can continue to use your legacy seating equiptment, however since it is incompatible with the latest seting standards and worse yet dose not come with all these new enhancments to PROTECT *YOU* from legal exposure. Do you realy want to?

    My advise is to upgrade to the new technology and avoid being left with this primitive technology. Those chairs are practicaly from the Pree Cristian era. Get real.
  • you do realize the reason M$ will never go away...there are too many asses out there and they are breading like rabbits...I'm still waiting for the AOL OS, the OS for the completely mindless. Not only does it install itself it takes care of all your needs and you get the first 600 hours of use for free*.

    * After the first 600 hours, which must be used in the first month, there is a $100 per month connection fee and a 10 cents a minute charge for having the pleasure of us wasting all your time downloading all the pretty pictures it displays for your mindless enjoyment.
  • I made one of the biggest mistakes of my life.
    The man can so easily talk your ears off,
    that it's easy to be intimidated by him
    and walk off, which I did. Later I learned
    who he was, and soon he was en route to
    Toronto. Pity. It's well worth it to have
    your ears talked off by him. Glad to
    see he hasn't changed a bit.
  • It's people who pay for a chair once who are abusing the intellectual property rights of seat designers.

    No longer will you buy a chair, you will lease it.

    And get your feet off of there, young man.

  • government groups angered at homeless squatters may want to use the technology, or something akin to it. If something stands still in a certain place for too long, and it's scanned as human, a little jolt and up it moves?

    Man, sometimes I even make myself sick.
  • Hah! When I was in Morocco, in the main bus station in Fes, I paid to use a bathroom. "So what?", you ask...

    This bathroom had squat toilets only. It wasn't clean. There was no toilet paper. There was only cold water. There was no soap. While I was squatting, my wallet fell out of my back pocket... into the hole. I had to wonder... what am I paying for, here?

    Two weeks travelling in Morocco for cheap is enough to make you appreciate western style plumbing. And I mean North American - your average European bathroom is nowhere near as nice as an average US/Canadian bathroom. (Heh. How's that for flamebait?)

    Torrey Hoffman (Azog)
  • You obviously did not use any non-Western toilets. Traditional Japanese toilets are squat-over-the-hole types, although they are much, much cleaner (generally) than those the original poster had experiences with. I never used one but I saw a lot of them.

    I have to admit, the heated seats are nice! You'd probably only find those in homes and in nicer hotels, however.

  • Kinda clever, however, isn't there case law that indicates that "copying to memory" is fair use? I believe software companies tried to use the copying to memory to get copyright law to cover the use of the software and the courts told them to blow off.

    I also think that "copying to hard drive" falls under fair use, but less relevant to the satire.

    I do think that the cracks about the Government ID card are extremely funny and amusing. This is overall a good satire, thanks /.
  • by AMuse ( 121806 )
    Bloody wonderful satire.

    Not that it's far from the truth -- If chairs weren't in the public domain (Older than 1910), I have no doubt that the companies of today would try to license you to use their product for monthly or (slightly cheaper) yearly licenses.

    I have to ask myself --- is this an example of how art imitates life?
  • Since I left Ukraine 8 years ago, I know that they don't have water around the clock now, it comes at certain times. However while I was still in the country (10 years in Ukraine, 6 in Russia, and I travelled in the country a lot) all cities had much better water pressure that I find in Canada. The difference as I see it is in the standard for Canadian water pipes - they are tiny in diameter. In the former USSR republics the water pipes were probably 10 diameters of Canadian pipes, this way if someone flushes their toilet no one notices changes in water temperature in their showers. I find it really disturbing that in Canada (and likely in the US too) the standards are so low for the water transmission. I suppose the difference comes from the fact that here they actually had to cut down on the costs of piping to make as much profit as possible, while in the former USSR it was not one of the requirements.
  • This already exists both in paris, and certain parts of Mexico City.

    You basically pay a person in order to use the washroom. When I was in Mexico City, you could use the "public" bathroom (gag) or pay 2 pesos to use the one that had toilet paper and a place to wash your hands. This was in one of the bus stops, can't remember which one.
  • AOL OS wil have to wait for the Microsoft AOL/Time Warner merger, which will probably take place later this year.
  • Wait M$ will license the technology and introduce new Couch licensing.

    The couch components (CCOM) will unfortunately only interface with other M$ CCOM objects, like lamps, end table and ottomans.

    Developers will be allow to buy developer kits, M$ Furniture WorkShop 3.0 that will allow you to build middleware ( re-upholster) that will allow you to upgrade your old furniture.

    Additionally the MPAA has announced support for CCOM and will be building CCOM interfaces into new DVDs, this allows the use of couch license enforcement to protect Copywrited material.

  • Theres a mirror over on my site: Terms and conditions [] and the main page [] Still working on it, so be patient.

  • It's good to see that the concept of what is happening to our once-inalienable rights is becoming publicly, um, if not understood, at least promulgated. Artists can merge emotion and understanding and use their creativity to get a point across. I wonder how many people will actually 'get' the point? In San Francisco, maybe a majority, but how will (would) this play in Peoria?

    Oh, in his list of people who participated in this performance piece, there was this entry:


    (had to pull out the -'s for the junk filter)

    Can you put just any card through the reader, I wonder? I don't know card readers, but it looks like someone used his video rental card...

  • You would think if you were going to license sitting you would at least provide a cofortable seat..

    Don't forget, any attempt to bypass the inherent funtionality of the chair is piracy, and is prosecutable under the applicable copyright protection laws.

    Therefore, the use of, say, a good stiff section of planking, or several layers of heavy cardboard to sit in the chair without swiping the card would be considered theft of services.

  • and they are breading like rabbits...
    you should try some of those breaded rabbits. yum.
  • I looked at the main site and the utterly appalling companion site [] but couldn't find out where this installation is. I live in SF and would like to see this. Does anyone have a street address??
  • I'd definitely pay for an extra license to sit in this chair with YOU.
  • Didn't you hear? These folks were just issued a patent for "a device that allows a bipedal organism to remain in one position without relying on its legs for balance." Initially thought to apply only to chairs, it was later discovered that the patent also covers stools, beds, and floors. Further research indicates it may also cause the surface of the Earth to be in violation, but the patent holders are choosing not to enforce this violation at present because they are unable to determine the Universe's mailing address so that they can serve the appropriate paperwork.
  • I had this thought last night involving the travails of should they continue to have problems. Aassemle one of those goldfish-in-a-blender fish tanks so popular on greeting cards and suchlike. underneath it but not touching it in any way would be a touch sensitive monitor displaying a depiction of the blender control panel. This assembely should be placed in a public space, idealy a courthouse or an FBI recruitment waiting room. If anyone touches the screen a webcam would photograph them and email it to PETA for litigation and procecution. the subject should then be informed that as a producer of a depiction of animal cruelty (after all we didn't press the button) he is guilty of an offence precluding him from certain employment such as that of a judge or in the FBI.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 13, 2001 @10:09AM (#434887)
    ...if you fail to abide by this agreement, we the underwritten can and will remove one (1) testicle of our choice from your body...

    Well ladies, it looks like you can pirate all you want!
  • by Ektanoor ( 9949 ) on Tuesday February 13, 2001 @11:18AM (#434888) Journal
    Terms of Cease
    You will know that your license is about to be terminated from the moment you will fell a critical need to breath while you start heavily sweeting, your sightseeing turns blurry and dark and you hear a slight whispering. If can't manage to renew your license in less than 10 minutes maximum, then you may consider your license terminated, however such termination will be of less concern for you.
  • by Pig Hogger ( 10379 ) <pig.hogger@gma i l . c om> on Tuesday February 13, 2001 @02:37PM (#434889) Journal

    Still nothing new, there.

    For generations, parisian parkgoers were greeted by (litterally!) charwomen ("chaisières") that collected from them a pittance whenever they set their butts down on one of the many loose chairs that were provided for the visitors' convenience...


  • by underwhelm ( 53409 ) <> on Tuesday February 13, 2001 @02:56PM (#434890) Homepage Journal
    Here [] is the same point made in comic form, less the spiky chair.
  • by Tairan ( 167707 ) on Tuesday February 13, 2001 @10:27AM (#434891) Homepage
    my site, as usual. head on [] over, to check it out. Give it a whirl, and it'll eventually get finished. The terms and conditions [] are also there.
  • by Scytle ( 177442 ) on Tuesday February 13, 2001 @11:45AM (#434892)

    ...a few minor tweaks could make this design perfect. The current setup makes it too easy for "Seating Pirates", via the use a tough plastic cushion or piece of plywood, to steal unlimited usage of the Seat. By extending the spike length and having them extrude from the back of the seat pirates could be deterred. Still retribution by lawsuit against the offender would of course be more palatable than this minor design change, so never mind.


  • by puck71 ( 223721 ) on Tuesday February 13, 2001 @10:27AM (#434893) Journal
    There are pay toilets all over in Europe. Well maybe not all over, but I did see a few. And they looked pretty nice. They cost about 10-15 cents for a max of 15 minutes, and when you get out it goes into a cleaning cycle. It's quite a spectacle.
  • by Seinfeld ( 243496 ) on Tuesday February 13, 2001 @10:22AM (#434894) the coming generation of pay toilets - OUCH!
  • by rhenderson ( 306990 ) on Tuesday February 13, 2001 @10:15AM (#434895)
    Now if only Universities could buy these things to wake me up during those long boring lectures... I'd buy a blanket license, then!

    "If I wanted your lip, I'd rattle my zipper..."

  • by ivan256 ( 17499 ) on Tuesday February 13, 2001 @11:01AM (#434896)
    Would this make ass shaped pieces of metal shielding illegal under UCITA?
  • by kirby697 ( 109327 ) on Tuesday February 13, 2001 @10:45AM (#434897) Homepage
    No mom, I can't get off my ass and do something, I'm paying to sit here!

    What a perfect idea!
  • by SvnLyrBrto ( 62138 ) on Tuesday February 13, 2001 @12:38PM (#434898)
    ... but if you think American toilets are something, try visiting Japan sometime!

    The toilets there are something out of Star Trek. First, the seat is heated, so no freezing your butt when you get up late at night to do the #2. They sence when you sit on them, and TALK to you (in both Japanese AND English), giving instructions on their use. When you're done, you have the option of having the toilet wash and blow-dry your ass for you. And when you're done, they flush, clean, and disinfect themselves.

    And when I say they clean themselves, I don't mean they have that blue bisciut in the tank that drops some perfumed slurry into the bowl when you flush. Nope, toilets in Japan have built in scrubbers that automatically scrub the bowl for you to keep it in pristine condition.

    And that's just the low-end model they have in the hotels for us gaijin to use.

    I'm told that some of the higher end models in homes over there have on-board equipment that'll analyse your urine and feces for indications of health problems and automatically email your doctor if they detect anything seroiusly amiss, store a history of results for download, etc...

    Resistance is NOT futile!!!

    I am not a drone.
    Remove the collective if

  • by WombatControl ( 74685 ) on Tuesday February 13, 2001 @10:18AM (#434899)
    Already RAMBUS is claiming that they have a patent on this technology and have planned a lawsuit against the creators of the chair. Likewise Microsoft has also sued stating that they've pioneered giving customers the shaft and any technology that does the same is their intellectual property. :)
    1. Are they going to integrate it into microsoft's .net suite, or are they going to insist on their own protocol?
    2. Are the spikes going to result in a new Open Sores movement?

  • by Ronin X ( 121414 ) on Tuesday February 13, 2001 @10:09AM (#434901)
    More proof that shrinkwrap licenses are a pain in the ass....
  • They are both designed to be confortable for the majority of ASSES out there.

To do two things at once is to do neither. -- Publilius Syrus