Filching the Flushometer

By eweek  |  Posted 2003-05-13 Print this article Print

At the other extreme, the most surprising revelation came from a British inventor who claimed that Microsoft had stolen his idea. Andrew Cubitt writes, "I was just reading your article about the "new" Internet loo from Microsoft. I obviously thought it was a good idea as I made one and have been displaying it for a year and a half!! It sounds remarkably similar to my idea that was designed and made by me in 2001 and displayed at various shows, the most recent being the ideal home show, which finished in the beginning of April. It now seems that the clever people at Microsoft have cottoned onto the idea and even calling it the i-loo (again same as mine)! I have also read an article in a national newspaper, and the quote their spokesperson gave even resembled the quotes that I was making on the TV and radio a month earlier." In addition to such tyranny, there were the socioplotical ramifications of the iLoo concept. Really. RP writes, "The iLoo announcement is a cause for concern. We have been made aware now for years of the widening gap between those fortunate enough to have access and those deprived of even dial-up, let alone DSL access. And now we in the West are going to have access to spam and pop-up ads in the loo, of all places.
"It staggers the imagination to think of the millions, nay, billions of people in the world who dont even have a loo or care what one is, while we smugly send and receive whilst sitting and meditating. I say there should be a moratorium on "IP-creep" until the masses can have (1) a Western loo (2) a digital device (3) access to everyone else in the world all the time."
Im not sure the third goal is achievable or even desirable, but thankfully not everyone took their toiletries so seriously. At least one reader saw through the digital deception. Charles Burwell paid heed to Microsofts reputation for shipping late: "As usual, Microsoft missed the April 1 ship date for this announcement." Is there more to the well-appointed wireless home than the bathroom? Are there other projects that youve undertaken? E-mail me. Wireless Supersite Editor Ross Rubin is a senior analyst at eMarketer. He has researched wireless communications since 1994 and has been covering technology since 1989. More from Ross Rubin:


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