And Now, The Fake Poop News.


PoopSci: What's the special recipe for fake feces?

Emma Allen-Vercoe: It contains things like the indigestible cellulose that's left after a meal has passed through your digestive tract and down to your distal gut, the end of the line for digestion. It's pretty nasty-looking. It's a brown sludge, it's got lumps of starch, and it's kind of gloopy. It doesn't look or smell very appetizing.

PS: How do you turn that sludge into a fecal transplant?

EAV: Robogut. Robogut is made of six big beakers full of that sludge that are warmed to body temperature. And we add the bacteria from a small amount of human feces. Since oxygen is poison to anaerobic gut bacteria, each vessel is sealed to make it airtight, while sensors monitor temperature and acidity.

PS: What's the worst part about working with synthetic poop?

EAV: Because of regulations, we can't just flush the waste down the toilet. So we have to sterilize it by cooking it at a very high temperature and then throw it out. That means we have to do it at night when no one is there, because the whole building starts to smell like poop.

Robogut, you guys. Robogut.

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Oh noes, Apple has patented Big Brother

Facebook is blowing up with re-posts of several halfassed link-bait articles claiming that Apple has patented the ability to make your phone be unable to take pictures of cops.

I know it's too much work to double-click the patent number, select "Search", and actually read it, so here's the patent: 8,254,902: Apparatus and methods for enforcement of policies upon a wireless device. It's a patent on making the behavior of a device reactive to its environment, like forcing "silent mode" in a theatre or forcing "airplane mode" in a plane. Like all patents, it's written in an inverted cascade of clauses of the form, "And if you don't buy that, then also this. And if you don't buy that, then also this."

The part the link-baiters are freaking out about is a single sentence in the middle of the "background" part that says:

Covert police or government operations may require complete "blackout" conditions.

The context that nobody is quoting is that the surrounding paragraph makes it clear that they're talking about screen brightness.

Because someone else already has the patent on turning off cameras in "sensitive areas".

If you want to be angry about this, what you should be angry about is that patents on this shit were granted at all, not because of the creep of big brother but because it's fucking obvious behavior to implement and it is not an invention at all. The granting of patents like this makes the world objectively, measurably worse.

"Inventors" Michael Bell and Vitali Lovich should be ashamed of themselves for participating in their corporate overlords' abuse of the system in this way.

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A light has gone out on the web.

Some killjoys have removed the <blink> tag from Firefox.

Dropped blink effect from text-decoration: blink; and completely removed <blink> element

Of course, <blink> still works on my sites. And with proper MILSPEC 3 units on, 1 unit off timing, as is right and proper, and which I believe the non-Unix versions of Netscape Navigator never got right, back then.

Their tags shall blink until the end of days.

But "rumble" and "shudder" are the new hotness.

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Oversight: Thank You For Volunteering, Citizen

"Click to apply for a search warrant. It will normally be granted within 15 to 30 seconds. In most cases, this won't be necessary."

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