Wednesday, May 07, 2003


Somebody PLEASE tell me that this is a joke! I came across this news item from the MSN Web site about a new experimental portable toilet (a.k.a. "port-a-john," "port-a-potty") under development by Microsoft that features -- get this -- full Internet connectivity!

"MSN UK is creating what Microsoft calls the world's first Internet outhouse, or iLoo, complete with flat-screen plasma display, wireless keyboard and broadband access. MSN UK spokesman Matthew Whittingham described the portable toilet as the first 'WWW.C,' referring to the term W.C., or water closet."

I can think of about a zillion jokes to make about this, but all you have to do is read the article to bust a gut laughing! Some of the most notable quotes are [my comments in italics]:

"MSN UK is negotiating with toilet paper manufacturers for special rolls with Web addresses, or URLs, printed on them."
What Webmaster wouldn't be proud to have his URL end up you-know-where?

"Reading in the loo, or the bog, is a traditional English pastime..."
Hmmmm. I always thought that was soccer.

"This is another demonstration of Microsoft moving into new product areas to expand its revenue base..."
Is there NO aspect of our lives Microsoft isn't involved in?

"Davies also raised concerns about the long lines. 'Like my father always said: Get in, get it out, get out,' he said."
Okay, that's just crude.

"Security is another issue. Because of the expensive hardware inside, Microsoft plans to post a guard to protect the iLoo."
Hopefully, the guard will be OUTside the loo.

The sad thing is, somebody got paid to think this thing up. Or, as one of my friends at Microsoft paraphrased, this was a case of "Money for nothing, and your cheeks for free!"


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