He’s al­ways been pre­pared to go where oth­ers fear to tread, and now that Zy­gote has a dog poo de­tec­tor he no longer risks putting his foot in it

Computer Shopper - - CONTENTS -

We can all fi­nally sleep easy, as Zy­gote un­veils a com­put­erised glove that helps to con­trol your dreams, and com­puter anal­y­sis con­firms that Hitler’s still dead


Dormio is a magic mit­ten de­signed to help us con­trol our dreams. The tech­nol­ogy is open source, the com­po­nents are avail­able on­line, and you can plug it into a mo­bile phone for some in­stant mind-con­trol.

The com­put­erised glove tracks a range of sim­ple bio­met­rics, in­clud­ing sweaty bits and twitchy bits, and the data is then crunched to cal­cu­late what stage of sleep we are in. The vi­tal pe­riod is the one when we tran­sit from semi-con­scious­ness into deep sleep, which is how the in­trigu­ing state of lu­cid dream­ing is de­tected. And that’s when a whis­per­ing ro­bot starts to make sug­ges­tive re­marks. For ex­am­ple, if the syn­thetic voice mur­murs the words ‘cal­en­dar’ and ‘car crash’, then it is highly likely that our lu­cid dream will fea­ture these items. In which case, Zy­gote looks for­ward to the gov­ern­ment is­su­ing ev­ery one of us with a free unit in time for Brexit day.


The Rus­sian author­i­ties have au­tho­rised a team of French boffins to ex­am­ine frag­ments of a hu­man skull and teeth, which have been stored in a lab­o­ra­tory for 72 years. Com­puter anal­y­sis proves that the de­ceased was male, a veg­e­tar­ian and prob­a­bly com­mit­ted sui­cide by shoot­ing him­self. DNA anal­y­sis has been used to com­pare frag­ments of teeth with a set of false chop­pers known to have be­longed to a Herr Adol­phus Shickl­gru­ber from Linz in Aus­tria-Hun­gary.

So there we have it. Thanks to the lat­est tech­nol­ogy, we now know that Hitler is still dead.


The Crown Prose­cu­tion Ser­vice is the most im­por­tant agency in Eng­land and Wales for fin­ger­ing crim­i­nals and bang­ing wrong ’uns to rights. In which case, it is most un­for­tu­nate that the CPS has been fined £320,000 by the In­for­ma­tion Com­mis­sioner’s Of­fice for fail­ing to pro­tect the iden­ti­ties of vic­tims of child sex­ual abuse, abu­sive per­pe­tra­tors and key wit­nesses. A man in a suit said “a new dig­i­tal sys­tem is be­ing rolled out to al­low the se­cure trans­fer of ma­te­rial be­tween the CPS and the po­lice”, and Zy­gote notes that sim­i­lar words were blath­ered the last time an iden­ti­cal in­ci­dent hap­pened.

Read­ers may be in­ter­ested to note that this most re­cent breach of the Data Pro­tec­tion Act by the CPS was caused when two DVDs of wit­ness videos were sent by courier be­tween of­fices out­side of work­ing hours. They were sim­ply left in re­cep­tion and got nicked. As a re­sult of these un­der­stand­able mit­i­gat­ing cir­cum­stances, the fine has been slashed by a third.


At last, a sen­si­ble use for so­cial me­dia has been found, and it’s a pos­i­tive con­tri­bu­tion to the well­be­ing and hap­pi­ness of so­ci­ety.

Amanda Car­lin, a for­mer par­ish coun­cil­lor re­sid­ing in the Cam­bridgeshire vil­lage of Wim­bling­ton, has cre­ated an on­line map­ping sys­tem to track dog poo. She has stepped up to the plate with #doo­doowatch, al­low­ing of­fended cit­i­zens to pin­point pooch plops via Face­book and Twit­ter, and cre­ate an in­ter­ac­tive map of doggy doo hotspots.

“A lot of chil­dren were walk­ing to school with poo on their shoes,” said Ms Car­lin. “It’s a health and safety is­sue.”

The ex­cre­men­tal data is re­layed to the coun­cil, which then dis­patches a pooper-scooper snatch squad to deal with the prob­lem. The sys­tem has proved sur­pris­ingly suc­cess­ful, and sim­i­lar mess maps have been adopted in over 60 lo­ca­tions, from York­shire to Corn­wall.

Zy­gote looks for­ward to ad­vances in tech­nol­ogy whereby the sys­tem can be au­to­mat­i­cally trig­gered by the ca­nine com­mu­ni­ca­tions sys­tem we all know as wee-mail.


In pure busi­ness terms, it is prof­itable to in­dulge in prac­tices where mar­ginal costs such as elec­tric­ity, com­puter hard­ware and cool­ing sys­tems are lower than the mar­ginal prod­uct, es­pe­cially when it comes to bit­coin min­ing. Be­cause the value of bit­coin has risen from $40bn a year ago to way over $1tn to­day, the amount of elec­tric­ity needed to keep the bo­nanza go­ing has in­creased at a sim­i­lar rate.

But al­though the rel­a­tive costs of con­jur­ing up bit­coin is sur­pris­ingly sta­ble, the en­ergy re­quired is start­ing to drain re­sources needed for more mun­dane things, like the needs of hu­man be­ings. There’s no need to panic, though. Only 0.5% of the world’s en­ergy sup­ply is cur­rently be­ing used to mine bit­coin, and the rate of in­crease is only run­ning at 300% a year.

To save the per­sonal en­ergy of get­ting your cal­cu­la­tors out, Zy­gote has done the maths for you. All the rest of the world’s en­ergy will have been har­nessed to keep bit­coin alive by 26th Fe­bru­ary 2023.


Af­ter hack­ers breached the se­cu­rity of a ma­jor casino by hi­jack­ing a dec­o­ra­tive fish­tank in the lobby, cor­po­rate aquar­ium own­ers have be­come ex­tremely ner­vous about in­te­gral Wi-Fi de­vices such as ther­mostats, au­to­matic feed­ers and oxy­gen mon­i­tors. The crooks gained ac­cess via an in­ter­net-con­nected ther­mome­ter and then ex­ploited the in­ter­nal net­work to in­fil­trate the casino data­base. They man­aged to slurp 10GB of video se­cu­rity footage, along with sen­si­tive in­for­ma­tion about the iden­ti­ties and gam­bling habits of high rollers and big spenders.

Zy­gote would very much like to take all this se­ri­ously, but is un­able to do so. This is be­cause the fishy hack­ers have now been traced to, wait for it, Fin­land.

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