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Bill Gates Wants To Reinvent the Toilet

Soulskill posted about 2 years ago | from the flush-with-ideas dept.

News 338

redletterdave writes "Bill Gates, the man responsible for bringing software to the masses with Microsoft and Windows, has plans to reinvent and popularize another industry: Sanitation. Gates, whose philanthropic efforts have helped bring clean water and resources to developing countries via the foundation created by he and his wife Melinda, said at the 'Reinvent The Toilet Fair' in Seattle on Wednesday that he plans to build a toilet that's better suited to developing countries in an effort to cut down on disease and death in those regions. 'Inventing new toilets is one of the most important things we can do to reduce child deaths and disease and improve people's lives,' Gates said. 'It is also something that can help wealthier countries conserve fresh water for other important purposes besides flushing.'" Science Insider has some information on the winning designs from this year.

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Reason: (5, Funny)

Niris (1443675) | about 2 years ago | (#40999311)

So we have something new for Windows 8 to go down.

Re:Reason: (5, Insightful)

Niris (1443675) | about 2 years ago | (#40999327)

But on a more serious note, good for him. I'm glad he's at least doing something productive with his time and money, and for a humanitarian cause.

Re:Reason: (0, Troll)

drodal (1285636) | about 2 years ago | (#40999473)

It's my understanding that when he "helps" he does it in a very "for profit" way. Like buying expensive medicine for poor people, when they could have been helped in a less profitable way......and more sustainable way.....

So he is still being bill gates........ and not that humanitarian....... (see what happened with OLPC)

Oh, this info i got, i got from the net, at a place called slash dot.

Re:Reason: (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40999535)

What happened with OLPC, then? And with did Bill Gates do wrong in that matter?

Re:Reason: (3, Insightful)

nukenerd (172703) | about 2 years ago | (#40999577)

He, or someone at Microsoft, put some kind of pressure on the project to use Windows rather than a free OS. He did not want the kiddies growing up being accustomed to Linux.

Re:Reason: (1)

rainmouse (1784278) | about 2 years ago | (#40999561)

Is this the new font that the iPhone /. app?

"Green" toilets sometimes have problems... (5, Interesting)

Geoffrey.landis (926948) | about 2 years ago | (#40999531)

Let's hope he does something better than the Stockholm "green" toilets they tried in Mongolia:
http://www.theatlanticcities.com/neighborhoods/2012/07/toilet-tuesday-death-worlds-largest-eco-toilet/2783/ [theatlanticcities.com]
http://www.chinadialogue.net/article/show/single/en/5068-Eco-toilet-scheme-ends-in-failure [chinadialogue.net]

Re:"Green" toilets sometimes have problems... (1)

cayenne8 (626475) | about 2 years ago | (#40999789)

Hey...I guess anything is better than shitting in a hole in the ground, eh?

[We were evicted from our hole in the ground....]

Re:"Green" toilets sometimes have problems... (5, Insightful)

Alain Williams (2972) | about 2 years ago | (#40999821)

Better to try and fail than to never try at all. They can always have another go.

Re:Reason: (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40999847)

Yeah, it's a good decoy for his vaccination eugenics programs in Africa.

Re:Reason: (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40999369)

I think Windows 8 is the toilet.
Captcha: perhaps

Re:Reason: (0)

smooth wombat (796938) | about 2 years ago | (#40999587)

So we have something new for Windows 8 to go down.

I was going to say Windows 7 since it came first, but to each their own.

Re:Reason: (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40999599)

But didnt they got rid of the start button in Windows 8? How is any body going to the toilet without the start button?

Re:Reason: (1)

niceworkthere (2708753) | about 2 years ago | (#40999807)

At least it looks like they found the new name for Metro.

Well why not (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40999333)

he's spent all these years making crap.

Re:Well why not (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40999717)

Why not? BFOD.

(Brown Flush of Death).

Great.... (2)

Laserfuzz (157714) | about 2 years ago | (#40999339)

can't wait to see for the BSOD on that.

Re:Great.... (3, Funny)

Idbar (1034346) | about 2 years ago | (#40999443)

Well, on the bright side, it's not Apple. I don't know if I could handle a slippery shinny device with fingerprints all over.

Let me clarify, not fingerprints but buttprints. But you have a point, I hope its well protected from overflow attacks.

Re:Great.... (1)

Sulphur (1548251) | about 2 years ago | (#40999763)

Well, on the bright side, it's not Apple. I don't know if I could handle a slippery shinny device with fingerprints all over.

Let me clarify, not fingerprints but buttprints. But you have a point, I hope its well protected from overflow attacks.

The BSOD keeps me regular, and DDoS doesn't help.

Re:Great.... (4, Insightful)

wild_quinine (998562) | about 2 years ago | (#40999485)

can't wait to see for the BSOD on that.

Let's just hope it doesn't ship with Windows 8, because Joe Average is going to shit in his pants trying to find the button that lets you lift the lid.

Re:Great.... (2)

djl4570 (801529) | about 2 years ago | (#40999553)

can't wait to see for the BSOD on that.

Would that be the Brown Screen of Death?

Re:Great.... (3, Funny)

AragornSonOfArathorn (454526) | about 2 years ago | (#40999591)

can't wait to see for the BSOD on that.

Would that be the Brown Screen of Death?

Brown Spray of Death.

Re:Great.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40999645)

I'm more worried about the EULA than the BSOD. You agree that "All your shit are belong to us!"

Great... (5, Funny)

juanfgs (922455) | about 2 years ago | (#40999345)

plans to build a toilet that's better suited to developing countries

toilet starter edition...

Wipe with $100 Bills (1)

RapidEye (322253) | about 2 years ago | (#40999349)

At his house they wipe with $100 bills - they are going to install similar dispensers around the world!

The toilet... (0)

pr0nbot (313417) | about 2 years ago | (#40999367)

Oddly, that's the one place I've always wanted to put Windows.

iPoop (5, Funny)

InvisibleClergy (1430277) | about 2 years ago | (#40999381)

I'm just going to wait for Apple's competing product. The toilet is a perfect example of an Apple product. It has one button, one function, and it needs to be clean and durable.

Re:iPoop (5, Funny)

wild_quinine (998562) | about 2 years ago | (#40999469)

I'm just going to wait for Apple's competing product. The toilet is a perfect example of an Apple product. It has one button, one function, and it needs to be clean and durable.

And incredibly it will be the first toilet ever to have a seat with smooth, rounded edges. Not like all those barbed wire versions the rest of us have been using for 20 years.

Re:iPoop (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40999827)

And incredibly it will be the first toilet ever to have a seat with smooth, rounded edges. Not like all those barbed wire versions the rest of us have been using for 20 years.

Upon seeing it, Apple-haters will immediately start screaming about how all those who sit on the Apple toilet seat are stupid wimps who aren't strong or smart enough to use a "real" barbed-wire toilet seat (a.k.a., "DOS": Definition Of Suffering).

Right up until the point that someone other than Apple starts selling a comfortable toilet seat, at which point the same Apple-haters will immediately adopt it, proclaim its superiority over barbed-wire toilet seats, and claim that since a non-Apple non-barbed-wire seat exists, Apple is now redundant and should go die.

Re:iPoop (1)

DickBreath (207180) | about 2 years ago | (#40999487)

You mean you're going to wait for Apple's patented competing product.

Once they enter the market, despite decades of existing players in that market, nobody else should be able to participate in the smart toilet market. The entire market is God's gift to Apple.

MCCCXXXVII intellectualis proprietas pupillam est magnum sacculum canis stercus

Re:iPoop (3, Funny)

idontgno (624372) | about 2 years ago | (#40999783)

And then, there'll be the inevitable design flaw that crops up once the iCrapper becomes the market darling. And the cover-up of the design flaw. And the extensive silencing of forum discussion of the design flaw. And the "You're sitting on it wrong" email. Then the threatened lawsuits, and the announcement of free toilet seat covers to help remedy the problem.

Re:iPoop (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40999559)

So long as the iPoop 2 doesn't have a retina display...

Re:iPoop (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40999697)

not to mention...it comes in a white version.

Re:iPoop (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40999755)

No, if it were an Apple product there would only be three models available, it would be expensive as hell, and you would only be able to get it from one store.

Re:iPoop (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40999757)

You forgot to mention:
a) Most are already white in color
b) There's already all kinds of accessories that can be sold, like lid covers and colorful carpets
c) While there aren't apps or tunes, toilet paper comes in dozens if not hundreds of different patterns, plies, sizes and they are all white too!

Pass (5, Funny)

zill (1690130) | about 2 years ago | (#40999385)

I'm sick and tired of all these Windows 8 ads on slashdot.

Reinvent the toilet (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40999387)

And I thought that's what the Windows 8 team was already doing!

Cleaning the toilet today dear? (0)

SuperKendall (25149) | about 2 years ago | (#40999391)

No hon, the toilet just crashed again.

Just press down on the seat while you toggle the handle and urinate at the same time.

Way to state the bleeding obvious. (5, Insightful)

gallondr00nk (868673) | about 2 years ago | (#40999393)

"Bill Gates, the man responsible for bringing software to the masses with Microsoft and Windows..."

Fucking hell, this is Slashdot, not Readers Digest.

Re:Way to state the bleeding obvious. (1)

mcmonkey (96054) | about 2 years ago | (#40999803)

I like how some nobody blogger who no one has ever heard of can get a post on the front page of /. (submitted by some "A/C" most likely the blogger him or herself) with just a name and no introduction.

But Bill Gates, oh better explain that one! No one's ever heard of him.

Plan B for the Gates Fund? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40999395)

Apparently genital mutilation wasn't preventing disease.

Why reinvent the wheel? (1)

Krojack (575051) | about 2 years ago | (#40999401)

So lets spend millions to reinvent the wheel while we're at it!

Re:Why reinvent the wheel? (5, Insightful)

gstoddart (321705) | about 2 years ago | (#40999471)

Well, in this case, taking into account the water and sanitary needs of developing countries, this makes perfect sense.

Not everybody has the luxury of municipal water which takes such things away to be handled by Someone Else.

Doing it in a way that is portable, cheap to operate, doesn't require a massive infrastructure, and doesn't spread disease ... well, for a lot of people in the world, that would be a huge improvement.

From TFA:

About 2.6 billion people around the world don't have proper access to safe and suitable sanitation, and as a result, more than 1.5 million children die each year from diarrhea-related diseases or illnesses caused by consuming dirty water.

So, really, what wheel are you insinuating is being reinvented here?

Re:Why reinvent the wheel? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40999787)

In Hong Kong, they have separate plumbing and use sea water for flushing toilet.
I can see using untreated water for the toilet.

Re:Why reinvent the wheel? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40999571)

Wheels are reinvented all the time. Goodyear will spend millions on that this year, for a variety of reasons, including safety and performance.

Maybe you just want us to stick with round logs.

Goodyear makes tires, not wheels (1)

Chirs (87576) | about 2 years ago | (#40999819)

get it right. :)

Re:Why reinvent the wheel? (1)

crazyjj (2598719) | about 2 years ago | (#40999639)

Oh yes. Why would you need to reinvent the toilet when all rural areas in third world countries obviously have the same access to municipal water and sewer systems just like we have here in the first world?

Why? (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40999407)

There are already a multitude of solutions available, eg. bio-friendly bags that turn poop into fertilizer and just need you dig a hole. Seems to me that if he really want to reduce disease and improve lives he should aim to develop soap which doesn't require water. or something.

Re:Why? (1)

Hijacked Public (999535) | about 2 years ago | (#40999673)

There are already a multitude of solutions available

Then why are people in Monrovia Liberia shitting on the beach right now? Might it be that the problem requires a solution yet to be devised?

Re:Why? (1)

crazyjj (2598719) | about 2 years ago | (#40999679)

The problem is that you have to be careful how you use fecal matter in a lot of rural areas, or it can end up in the water supply. It's not as simple as collecting shit in a bag and using it as fertilizer. If you're not careful where and how you use it (and how it's composted), it can wash into rivers and seep into the water table.

Lessons to be learned [Re:Why?] (4, Informative)

Geoffrey.landis (926948) | about 2 years ago | (#40999769)

There are already a multitude of solutions available, eg. bio-friendly bags that turn poop into fertilizer and just need you dig a hole.

And the "multitude of solutions available" don't always work.

Here's a "lessons learned" article on the Daxing Ecological Community [chinadialogue.net] toilet experience; hope the Gates foundation is willling to learn from other peoples' failures: http://www.chinadialogue.net/article/show/single/en/5068-Eco-toilet-scheme-ends-in-failure [chinadialogue.net]

Deja Vu (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40999415)

Why do I feel like we've talked about this before [slashdot.org] ?

Oh, yeah. Because we have [slashdot.org] .

Better design for Europe (5, Funny)

Sepodati (746220) | about 2 years ago | (#40999425)

Can you please design one that doesn't leave shit streaked all the way down the back when you take a dump? I thought a toilet was a toilet, until I saw all the kinds they have in Europe. You have to scrub every one of them down after a dump. The worst was one that had a flat shelf to dump on and the water would wash it off. Yeah, good luck getting that loaf to wash away. What the hell? Sorry for the shitty post, but this is the topic we were presented with.

Re:Better design for Europe (4, Funny)

crazyjj (2598719) | about 2 years ago | (#40999545)

I think the toilet superiority scale goes something like this:

Japan > U.S. (pre low-flow) > U.S. (post low-flow) > Europe > Third world

Re:Better design for Europe (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40999701)

Japanese toilets send it straight to a vending machine :)

Re:Better design for Europe (4, Insightful)

gstoddart (321705) | about 2 years ago | (#40999727)

Maybe so, but if I was confronted with this [wikipedia.org] , I would be quite baffled. I mean, 38 buttons on a toilet control panel?

I'm betting a lot of Western visitors find themselves with a big "what the heck do I do now" moment. :-P

Re:Better design for Europe (4, Funny)

fiannaFailMan (702447) | about 2 years ago | (#40999815)

Maybe so, but if I was confronted with this [wikipedia.org] , I would be quite baffled. I mean, 38 buttons on a toilet control panel?

I'm betting a lot of Western visitors find themselves with a big "what the heck do I do now" moment. :-P

Whatever you do, don't press the button marked "ATR". It's the Automatic Tampon Remover.

Re:Better design for Europe (1)

Deadstick (535032) | about 2 years ago | (#40999811)

I like the ones in Autobahn gas stations. You drop a one-euro coin in a slot to get in. When you get up, the toilet senses the loss of your weight and flushes itself; then a nozzle and a brush swing down onto the seat. The nozzle spritzes, the brush spins, the seat rotates 360 degrees, and then a dispenser gives you a receipt you can use to get your money back if you buy anything.

But quite a few small restaurants in Paris still have "Turkish Bombsights"...

low flow superior (1)

Chirs (87576) | about 2 years ago | (#40999849)

Most of the pre-low-flow toilets just waste all the water rather than putting it to good use actually flushing stuff. I have a 4.8 liter (1.26 gallon) toilet that is designed well and it does a great job--big tank for water pressure, big valve between tank and bowl, it just doesn't drain the whole tank on every flush.

Re:Better design for Europe (4, Informative)

X0563511 (793323) | about 2 years ago | (#40999707)

The worst was one that had a flat shelf to dump on and the water would wash it off. Yeah, good luck getting that loaf to wash away. What the hell? Sorry for the shitty post, but this is the topic we were presented with.

That's a German thing. It's intended to let you inspect it for health reasons. [wikipedia.org] ... I'm shocked that I know this. What the hell!?

Re:Better design for Europe (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40999733)

I think the problem is... you. You need to eat less, and better food.

Reminds me of a story (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40999429)

There was an item long ago where one of our troops (possibly as part of a UN peacekeeping or rescue effort) was deployed in an impoverished place, and he pointed out a simple everyday 'creature comfort' thing we take for granted: What do they do for toilet paper? Although it seemed such a callous reaction at first, it seemed he was right on the money after all. Clean water, hygiene, good health...everything follows. It would take a man like Bill Gates to jumpstart the program. Thank $DEITY he's retired and can look at other essential things beyond the desktop.

Todays captcha: conserve =)

Good for him (4, Insightful)

crazyjj (2598719) | about 2 years ago | (#40999445)

I know the typical /. response is to either make a "Windows Sucks!" crack or to launch into some conspiracy theory about how this is part of some secret agenda to foist MS-brand proprietary toilets on the world. But I'm going to applaud his efforts instead.

But if you have to have a crack, here's one: This beats the crap out of anything Steve Jobs ever did for the third world.

Re:Good for him (1)

thomasw_lrd (1203850) | about 2 years ago | (#40999737)

But Almighty Steve gave them Jobs building all the iDevices. This was an area that they were lacking in before.

Fertilizer (1)

lobiusmoop (305328) | about 2 years ago | (#40999451)

The best use for human excrement is fertilizer really - high phosphorous and nitrogen content, ideal for the fields. It's certainly more environmentally friendly than fossil-fuel based fertilizers (and not just in the third world either).

Re:Fertilizer (2)

h4rr4r (612664) | about 2 years ago | (#40999565)

Great way to spread disease too!

Without proper composting or another method of heating it to kill all the nasties using excrement as fertilizer just continues to current problem of spreading disease.

Re:Fertilizer (5, Informative)

idontgno (624372) | about 2 years ago | (#40999693)

Night soil [wikipedia.org] , un-composed, is a health risk because pathogens are returned un-treated to the food production cycle. Composting it into "humanure" [wikipedia.org] is a good way to regain the nutrient value in a local closed system while reducing artificial fertilization inputs.

Composting toilets exist, so I'm not really sure what role Gates would have, except maybe simplifying design and streamlining manufacturing and distribution so that they can become cheap and common in the areas of interest. Or else using some other technique besides composting for sanitization.... but that would require some kind of energy source to Pasteurize the waste. Hard to beat just letting composting microorganisms crank up the heat using just the nutrients in the waste.

Good for Bill. And: read "The Big Necessity." (5, Interesting)

dpbsmith (263124) | about 2 years ago | (#40999453)

This is great and I applaud and respect him for doing this. After you get done cracking jokes, go read The Big Necessity by Rose George. I never fully understood just how privileged we are.

"2.6 billion people don't have sanitation. I don't mean that they have no toilet in their house and must use a public one with queues and fees. Or that they have an outhouse, or a rickety shack that empties into a filthy drain or pigsty. All that counts as sanitation, though not a safe variety. The people who have those are the fortunate ones. Four in ten people have no access to any latrine, toilet, bucket, or box. Instead, they defecate by train tracks and in forests. They do it in plastic bags and fling them through the air in narrow slum alleyways.... Four in ten people live in situations where they are surrounded by human excrement because it is in the bushes outside the village or in the city yards, left by children outside the backdoor...

In 2007, readers of the British Medical Journal were asked to vote for the biggest medical milestone of the last two hundred years. Their choice was wide: antibiotics, penicillin, anesthesia, The Pill. They chose sanitation."

More important: energy efficient air conditioning (0)

mveloso (325617) | about 2 years ago | (#40999573)

Toilets are great. Poor sanitation has arguably killed more people than wars.

That said, cheap, energy efficient air conditioning should be next on the list. AC is practically required for any kind of modern economy. Building a low-power AC would benefit millions - and reduce the amount of power infrastructure needed in developing countries, which in general would be a good thing.

Re:More important: energy efficient air conditioni (1)

kesuki (321456) | about 2 years ago | (#40999793)

there is a cheap ac system it's called an ammonia absorption unit. the downside? it's extremely toxic in usable concentrations. the plus side? it can cool a room to -20 F(or below) in 100 F weather. if you eat meat it is ammonia cooled.

Re:Good for Bill. And: read "The Big Necessity." (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40999813)

Isnt this a problem of extreme poverty? Those countries have the capability to make cheap toilets, just that the people are so poor that they can't afford it. So what they need is money to help making those cheap toilets and money to buy a plot of land they can put up these toilets in. Re-inventing the toilet is really not needed here. The money spent on R&D into this toilets can easily be used to create such toilets.

Why do toilets break? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40999459)

I've often wondered why, compared to other harware in the home, toilets are so unrealiable. I've never had to replace a door. I've had to replace a sink once. But the toilet needs constant repairs. Why? What is the design flaw in toilets?

Re:Why do toilets break? (1)

Teresita (982888) | about 2 years ago | (#40999691)

One sheet of single ply ought to be enough for everybody.

Shells... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40999465)

I think he'll probably inventing a system that involves shells. Sylvester Stallone will be angry.

This story has already been posted before. (1)

dingo_kinznerhook (1544443) | about 2 years ago | (#40999495)

At least, I think. There are some minor differences. http://tech.slashdot.org/story/11/07/13/1527242/bill-gates-looks-to-reinvent-the-toilet [slashdot.org]

Re:This story has already been posted before. (1)

dingo_kinznerhook (1544443) | about 2 years ago | (#40999527)

And I didn't mean to be redundantly redundant. Title should read "This story has been posted before."

Re:This story has already been posted before. (1)

neminem (561346) | about 2 years ago | (#40999583)

Before I looked at the date of the post you linked to, I thought you were joking about the "minor differences", and were instead going to have linked to something like this: http://slashdot.org/story/03/05/02/188215/microsoft-rolls-out-iloo [slashdot.org]

Cause that's what -I- thought of, when I saw the thread title: "maybe he decided it was a good idea after all?"

Buy one today (0)

Chemisor (97276) | about 2 years ago | (#40999497)

We already "reinvented" the toilet. It's called the composting toilet [amazon.com] . You can buy it on amazon, or find plans on google and make one yourself. Now, if more people would buy them, mass production could get the cost down. The SunMar one must be assembled by hand or something, with the price as high as it is.

Re:Buy one today (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about 2 years ago | (#40999735)

Why would I want to deal with this instead of using the normal toilet? Assuming I still have access to the normal unit.

Re:Buy one today (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40999761)

Yeah, just what the developing world needs! A toilet that is so expensive ($1700!) that it actually makes more sense to buy a flush toilet that costs $50 and spend the 20 bucks or so a year it will cost in water bills for the rest of your life, even if that 20 bucks is more money than you will make in a month.

BRILLIANT!

We already "reinvented" the toilet. It's called the composting toilet [amazon.com] . You can buy it on amazon, or find plans on google and make one yourself. Now, if more people would buy them, mass production could get the cost down. The SunMar one must be assembled by hand or something, with the price as high as it is.

Kudos to Bill... (4, Interesting)

wermske (1781984) | about 2 years ago | (#40999515)

When and where humans gather, their waste accumulates. If this waste is not appropriately (safely) disposed of the health and general wellfare of society suffers. According to WHO/UNICEF, water and waste-related diseases are killing millions of people each year and preventing millions more from contributing to society through reduced health and productivity.

2.5 billion people live without the "minimum necessary" sanitation services. Access to safe, clean and effective human urine and feces disposal facilities is the most basic definition of sanitation. Improvements sanitation and hygiene has demonstrated positive effects on health. Unfortunately, many people are denied access to sanitation technology and/or infrastructure and thus lack the means of disposing of their waste. The challenge scales with population and can reach critical mass of non-functionality in areas of high population density in developing countries.

There is no single solution. The answer to the challenge requires management of fresh water and access to sanitation technology that mitigates today's risks while scaling with a determined uplift of infrastructure. This kind of massive-scale civil and social architecture requires great resources (fiscal, intellectual, and moral) directed in a continual and strategic ways. I believe Bill, Warren, and others are well positioned to drive success in this area...

Re:Kudos to Bill... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40999611)

Bill G is the fucking devil who thinks that because he's in the 1% he can tell the rest of us what to do. Fuck him go OWNS, as far as I'm concerned hes one of the rich banksters!

based on his record (0)

frovingslosh (582462) | about 2 years ago | (#40999519)

Just what the world needs, a toilet that clogs up and over flows twice a day. No wonder this man is one of the richest in the world. At least its not something that is the basis of the productivity of the country this time.

Re:based on his record (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40999805)

You're an idiot, and you know nothing about what the Gates' and their foundation has already done for the world.

Why wasn't parent modded to oblivion?

Didnt do already do that (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40999555)

With Windows? All Windows users are potty trained now.

I can't resist... (2)

Omega Hacker (6676) | about 2 years ago | (#40999593)

He's looking for somewhere to put Windows 8. Normal toilets that sufficed for previous versions of Windows just aren't capable of handling Metro. God help you if you run across one of these new toilets and don't know where to "Start".....

Licensing fee (2)

na1led (1030470) | about 2 years ago | (#40999603)

What will the licensing fee be, to use this new toilet?

But most of "flushed" water is recovered (1)

PeterM from Berkeley (15510) | about 2 years ago | (#40999615)

There's a difference between "consumed" water and "flushed" water.

Water that you use in your house and return to the sewers can be cleaned and re-used.

Water that you put on your plants or waste on golf courses evaporates and is consumed.

A new toilet attacks the small part of the problem: the flushed water that is reused. Instead, Bill should focus on reducing water consumption.

--PM

patents? open source? (1)

quantic_oscillation7 (973678) | about 2 years ago | (#40999625)

does it have some patents? will it be open sourced so everyone could extend it?

or as usual it's just another way to make a buck by selling it to 3rd world countries?

Good job? (1)

mwfischer (1919758) | about 2 years ago | (#40999661)

He might be a tactical genius and raped computing for a few generations of humanity, but at least Commodore Gates is trying to make mends with the planet by doing good deeds.

The next Thomas Crapper? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40999667)

Maybe 100 years from now, people will talk about "Flushing the Gates."

Perfect guy for the job (1)

gnu-sucks (561404) | about 2 years ago | (#40999683)

...given his legacy with windows.

Windows toilet commands (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40999723)

I'm sure it'll have "Are you sure you want to flush?" on the tank instead of a handle. It might also have "Advanced" options like a water volume slider bar, the ability to schedule an automatic cleaning, & maybe even a fancy sound when flushing(AKA.The Windows start-up/shutdown sound). Of course, there'll be drawbacks, like becoming unusable while receiving updates, it will be vulnerable to viruses(real & code), & finally can you imagine having to De-frag "Windows Commode"

They censored my comment (1, Interesting)

nukenerd (172703) | about 2 years ago | (#40999739)

A few minutes ago I placed a comment (apparently the first) on the linked website (International Business Times) which was not 100% worship of the God Gates. It appeared, but when I checked a few minutes later it had gone. They seem very touchy.

I thought my comment was perfectly reasonable. Here it is :-

Gates said :- "The flush toilets we use in the wealthy world are irrelevant, impractical and impossible for 40 percent of the global population, because they often don't have access to water, and sewers, electricity, and sewage treatment systems."

Why does a flush toilet need electricity? Mine doesn't; moreover, although I live in a wealthy rural part of the UK I have no main sewer connection. The toilet flushes to my own septic tank where the stuff decomposes - it is little more than a masonery tank set below the ground and looks after itself apart from my getting the solids pumped out once a year. It isn't rocket science.

It uses water, but doesn't most of the World's population live near water? Far more than 60% I'd wager. It does not need to be drinkable. Yes, there are regions that do not, but we have plenty of it in the UK, so no thanks Gates, this "wealthier country" does not need to your stinking toilets to conserve water. Take your concerns elsewhere.

Why not a closed loop? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40999749)

It would be simpler to filter and reuse the same water in the system rather than drawing on fresh supplies.

Africa (3, Insightful)

Thelasko (1196535) | about 2 years ago | (#40999791)

I have a friend working on water quality in Saharan Africa. She sent me this picture [ct.fra.bz] which I find hilarious. However, it's true. There are parts of the world where there is barely enough water to drink, let alone crap in. I think it's a noble cause.

Also, this story is a dupe. [slashdot.org]

butt (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40999851)

I don't want to pay licenses for my toilets.

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