Entirely Too Appropriate (5/5/03)

Employees must wash hands before going offline! Just when you thought it was safe to go back to the john, faithful viewer Josh Lewis pointed us toward a Webuser article about Microsoft's upcoming MSN iLoo, a porta-potty equipped with a Windows-based Internet terminal so that people can surf while, er, "indisposed." Finally, a place to use Windows where the ensuing onset of violently explosive diarrhea isn't a major inconvenience!

Frankly, this one smelled so much like a hoax we almost didn't even bother checking it out. But a little digging revealed that the story had appeared at MSNBC, who wouldn't be too likely to run a fake story about its own parent company, and pretty soon we uncovered the official Microsoft press release. So, sorry, folks-- we did our best to debunk this one, but unfortunately it looks like the end of the world is nigh, after all. Make sure to hug your loved ones before the universe blinks out of existence.

Not surprisingly, the subject matter has spawned plenty of pithy titles at Microsoft's expense. We ourselves had planned on going with something along the lines of MacObserver's "Microsoft's MSN's Business In The Toilet" or Neowin's "Microsoft's Gone Potty," but Standards & Practices apparently frowned upon our own suggested title of "Microsoft Execs Have Heads Packed Full Of [expletive deleted]." Oh, well.

Get this: Microsoft actually touts the fact that, thanks to wireless networking, the iLoo has "no unsightly telephone wires." Pardon us, but it just seems to us that when you're talking about a computer installed in a public porta-potty that will by handled by 100,000 pooping Glastonbury attendees, as far as aesthetics are concerned, visible phone lines should be just about the least of Microsoft's worries. Plus, the thing's running Windows, so we figure roughly 40% of iLoo users are going to have trouble distinguishing what's on the screen from what's in the commode and will spend an inordinate amount of time trying to flush the display.

All we can say is, unless there are unspecified plans to autoclave the mouse and keyboard after every visitor, the whole idea strikes us as the worst thing to happen to hygiene since excrement-flinging was all the rage amongst our collective evolutionary ancestors. Trust us-- we're hardly germ-phobic neat-freaks over here, but about the only way we can see using a public toilet-fitted computer is if it's controlled entirely by voice and/or telepathy. Perhaps Apple can get right on making that improvement.

SceneLink (3930)
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From the writer/creator of AtAT, a Pandemic Dad Joke taken WAYYYYYY too far


The above scene was taken from the 5/5/03 episode:

May 5, 2003: Will miracles never cease? The new iPod has an undocumented recording feature, currently buried in Diagnostic Mode. Meanwhile, Apple's senior veep of retail hints that store closings aren't entirely out of the question, and Microsoft has yet another brilliant idea: stick a public Internet terminal in a porta-potty in what is apparently an "Up With Teeming Bacteria" campaign...

Other scenes from that episode:

  • 3928: Feature Creep Kicks Butt (5/5/03)   Pardon our French, but we have to push the limits of our TV-PG rating for a second here and say "aw, fudge muffins." (Alert the FCC and parent watchdog groups everywhere.) Just when we'd finally rationalized not blowing several hundred bucks on third-generation iPods because we'd rather have the extra battery life of our original 5 GB models than any of the new features, faithful viewer Alberto P. Oyarvide Cano had to go and crush all our hard-crafted denial into dust...

  • 3929: 53 Going On 55 Going On 50 (5/5/03)   Listen up, consumer monkeys, 'cause it's time for yet another Apple retail store update. The company recently revised its official retail page to indicate that its Bellevue Square and Walt Whitman stores are now slated to admit marauding hordes of shoppers starting this coming Saturday, May 10th...

Or view the entire episode as originally broadcast...

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