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Robotic Bins and Benches in Cambridge

Zonk posted more than 9 years ago | from the my-bench's-name-is-jeff dept.

Robotics 138

OldBus writes "According to the BBC robotic bins and benches have been installed in Cambridge. According to the article, they 'move and chuckle' and 'sing when the sun comes out.'" From the article: "Mr Bogen hopes the cutting edge technology would help keep the bins and benches safe from theft. The Junction has a three year maintenance contract with Greyworld and plans to name all the bins and benches individually to make carrying out repairs easier."

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Less likely theft? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12788017)

I'd be more likely to steal a bin or bench that talks and makes 'rude noises'.

Re:Less likely theft? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12788050)

Yes. As I live nearby, I am going to find those later on today, and one or two may mysteriously disappear...

Re:Less likely theft? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12788093)

"Mr Bogen hopes the cutting edge technology would help keep the bins and benches safe from theft."

Yeah, cause we all know theives steer away from cutting edge technology. New technology is like a new car. Once it drives off the lot it takes a big hit in resale value. Theives are wise and only steel old technology because its depreciation has stabilied.

"They are what's called "generative" so that over time they develop more and more personality. You'll find that one bench may be particularly attracted to a particular bin. They will chuckle and giggle sometimes or make rude noises."

I think it's great that we're encouraging public displays of affection between innatimate objects as long as it's not gay bin on bin or bench on bench action. Hopefully the maintainers can successfully get them to succcessfuly mate in this native environment so the project can spread and more people around the world can be delighted by their rude noises.

"Artistic and executive director of The Junction, Paul Bogen, said: "They're great because they're fun and art should be fun and it should be something people enjoy and not just stodgy and theoretical.""

I know I really hate the boring task of throwing away my trash while in public. I've been waiting for the day that someone would invent a moving trash can I'd have to chase around while it giggled and farted. Don't even get me started on taking a relaxing lunch break at a park, enjoying nature just wishing the bench would talk to me.

"The project cost £110,000 and was funded by the Arts Council and the National Lottery. "

The Arts Council and National Lottery have been overlooked for bigger civic projects for too long. This will teach the world not to overlook the genious lurkin within it's own governments. Hopefully they'll start taking a more prominent roles in other public works projects. Just imaging highway offramps in more beautiful shapes like tulips, famous faces, zebra stripes, or fat naked ladies. I'm personally tired of the old clover. Stairs that go up but wind up bringing you down and sideways. An elevator where you push 6 buttons and it randomly pics six floors (and a supplemental) to let you off at. It's not fun to press a buton and know that's where the elevator is going to stop and open it's doors to let you out. Where's the thrill? Where's the adventure? Where's the FUN?

Re:Less likely theft? (1)

rsynnott (886713) | more than 9 years ago | (#12788701)

Are you an inanimate object homophobe? Tut-tut.

Re:Less likely theft? (4, Funny)

TummyX (84871) | more than 9 years ago | (#12788320)

Yes but when you try to steal the bench it screams and howls in terror.

Re:Less likely theft? (2, Insightful)

Cougem (734635) | more than 9 years ago | (#12788436)

I currently go to Cambridge Uni, Trinity college [cam.ac.uk] . The entire population here, practically, is student. In central Cambridge there are virtually no houses, and yet a massive collegiate university. Putting these here during the end of the exam season, when we're all incredibly drunk is NOT the best time or place to put expensive bins around.

I can smell numerous end of year scavenger hunts.

Re:Less likely theft? (3, Funny)

jacksonj04 (800021) | more than 9 years ago | (#12788829)

Given students in Cambridge, it's more likely to find them with modified voice circuits and a kitchen plunger stuck to the top wandering around going "EXTERMINATE!" and "DESTROYYYY!"

Hang about. (5, Insightful)

King_of_Prussia (741355) | more than 9 years ago | (#12788018)

Bins that sing and chuckle are going to be safer from theft? In what alternate universe does the article writer live in?

Re:Hang about. (1)

Televisor (827008) | more than 9 years ago | (#12788030)

Well, I suppose in the sense that nobody will want to steal a bin that answers back...

Re:Hang about. (2, Insightful)

StuffJustHappens (869989) | more than 9 years ago | (#12788034)

You beat me to it!

it's one of those things that you can look at and within 1 microsecond say to yourself 'I give them a week before they're stolen, covered in graffiti or vandalised".

There's a fairly sleepy seaside town near me and the shopping area (a 1 minute walk from end to end) has just sprouted an all-stainless-steel 'information point' with a 17" LCD screen - I looked at it and within 1 microsecond.....

Re:Hang about. (0, Troll)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | more than 9 years ago | (#12788045)

Yeah, I remember when they tried out that "yellow bicycle" concept in Austin. It worked great in Europe, evidently. However, Europe doesn't have Mexicans. Within a few weeks, most of the yellow bikes were nowhere to be found.

Re:Hang about. (5, Funny)

Saeger (456549) | more than 9 years ago | (#12788133)

So there's fewer desperate people in Europe stealing bikes, eh? Guess Austin needs more socialism first.

Less redneck, racist warmongering texans, too (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12788210)

Europe has plenty of it's own immigrant class, mostly from places like northern africa and eastern europe, on whom the local populace blames lots of bad things.

What I really like about Europe though, as an American, is not really the social model or anything like that, but that it has far fewer ignorant racist inbred hillbilly texan fuckheads.

Re:Less redneck, racist warmongering texans, too (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12788445)

By all means, don't come home. Europeans are much more at ease with rampant bigotry, such as you express. Feel the hatred flowing through you.

Re:Hang about. (1)

rsynnott (886713) | more than 9 years ago | (#12788706)

Did it work great? This was the one in Cambridge, right? I seem to remember hearing it was an expensive disaster...

Re:Hang about. (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12788787)

They were green bikes in Cambridge (city of the talking bins) and lasted about 3 days.

Re:Hang about. (1)

aCapitalist (552761) | more than 9 years ago | (#12788038)

The people that are already predisposed to stealing benches and bins would consider these things friends they can talk to at home....or in an abandoned building.

Re:Hang about. (1)

aerthling (796790) | more than 9 years ago | (#12788040)

I'm guessing they're counting on the annoyance factor of the bins to keep them safe. After all, would you really want a bin that kept chuckling creepily and trying to snuggle up to you?

R2D2, is that you? (4, Funny)

leonbrooks (8043) | more than 9 years ago | (#12788110)

Sorry, couldn't resist.

Re:Hang about. (1)

hey! (33014) | more than 9 years ago | (#12788100)

Bins that sing and chuckle are going to be safer from theft? In what alternate universe does the article writer live in?

Well, maybe they sing like my mom used to when she made dinner for her eight offspring (which believe me was a major production). It wasn't so much that she was off key (she was), but never sang an entire song. Oh, no. She'd just sing a snatch of the best bit, maybe just one line, over and over and over. And she used to chuckle -- at her own bad jokes and wisecracks.

Come to think of it, she used to nag us to tidy up too...

So speaking from personal experience, this is not going to make most people want to steal these things, although it may do quite a bit to combat loitering.

Re:Hang about. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12788195)

My mommy is exactly like a high-tech garbage can
Wow. Just wow.

Re:Hang about. (2, Funny)

Saeger (456549) | more than 9 years ago | (#12788146)

Bins that sing and chuckle are going to be safer from theft?

Sure, when the bot's inertial and GPS sensors detect that it's being abused, it'll switch to shrieking car-alarm mode: "Bot-beater! Bot-napper! Help! *KLAXXON* I have your picture! I have 1000volts! Help!"

Re:Hang about. (1)

tallniel (534954) | more than 9 years ago | (#12788149)

Bins that sing and chuckle are going to be safer from theft? In what alternate universe does the article writer live in?

For that matter, what kind of dirty skank steals bins anyway? Not got enough rubbish of their own? Bloody students.

Re:Hang about. (1)

drsquare (530038) | more than 9 years ago | (#12788252)

I'd have thought the same reason people steal cars: they can be gutted for the parts. All those electronics can probably fetch a nice sum for some broke student, and when you're carrying a bin around no-one suspects you of being a thief. You could probably return the bin afterwards as well so no-one would notice it was missing.

Re:Hang about. (1)

jacksonj04 (800021) | more than 9 years ago | (#12788795)

You're carrying around a bin which is probably giggling, people are going to want to stroke it and see what happens.

Re:Hang about. (1)

jurt1235 (834677) | more than 9 years ago | (#12788208)

Wonderland (like in "Alice in...")

Re:Hang about. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12788263)

Cambridge. It's not the real world.

Re:Hang about. (1)

badfish99 (826052) | more than 9 years ago | (#12788292)

But this is on the "real world" side of Reality Checkpoint (a lamppost in the middle of Parkers Piece).

Clippy bench! (1)

Spy der Mann (805235) | more than 9 years ago | (#12788715)

Bins that sing and chuckle are going to be safer from theft? In what alternate universe does the article writer live in?

HELLO THERE!!! LOOKS LIKE YOU'RE TRYING TO STEAL ME!!! Would you like to know more about: Stealing, Robbing, prison, the cops that are coming from the left and were just alerted by me...?

Yes, this is a wondrful idea.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12788022)

because NOT bolting them down will discourage theft.

And I for one (0, Redundant)

Televisor (827008) | more than 9 years ago | (#12788026)

I for one welcome our new robot overlords!

Re:And I for one (-1, Flamebait)

SteelV (839704) | more than 9 years ago | (#12788163)

Why doesn't Taco just build in a script that automatically makes a "I for one welcome our new ___ overlords" comment on each new post?

I guess he doesn't have to bother... these guys do it for him. Please, for the love of god, come up with your own jokes next time and save these trite, overused expressions for the times when they'll be really funny. Thanks.

Re:And I for one (0, Redundant)

richie2000 (159732) | more than 9 years ago | (#12788188)

I for one welcome our trite, overused expression overlords!

Re:And I for one (0, Troll)

Televisor (827008) | more than 9 years ago | (#12788240)

Well, at least you didn't miss the irony. Oh shit, there it is again. Don't take it seriously, I get pissed off at the overuse of that expression too, so I took the opportunity to deprive the people who do find it funny of the chance to do it ;)

Re:And I for one (0, Troll)

kfg (145172) | more than 9 years ago | (#12788555)

The only problem being in that this one was one of the actual funny ones. Well played.

KFG

Re:And I for one (0, Troll)

MattWhitworth (858990) | more than 9 years ago | (#12788423)

In Soviet Russia, electronic Dalek bins rubbish you!

ever better! (2, Funny)

LandownEyes (838725) | more than 9 years ago | (#12788027)

Seems like more activity than most slashdotters I know!

Re:ever better! (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12788054)

And most slashdotters you know don't push bullshit websites and spam either.

A good hack would be to give them Dalek voices... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12788035)

EX TER mi NATE!

DOC TOR!!

Re:A good hack would be to give them Dalek voices. (2, Interesting)

ettlz (639203) | more than 9 years ago | (#12788165)

This does have the makings of a Doctor Who episode. A bunch of cyberbins form a collective intelligence and stalk the streets of Cambridge in their murderous gangs. Only one Timelord can stop them...

Yes, but... (5, Funny)

Fallingcow (213461) | more than 9 years ago | (#12788036)

According to the article, they 'move and chuckle' and 'sing when the sun comes out.'

Yeah, but do they sigh contentedly when used?

Re:Yes, but... (0, Troll)

Televisor (827008) | more than 9 years ago | (#12788053)

Well, seeing as it's England they won't be singing much anyway ;)

Re:Yes, but... (5, Funny)

FrostedWheat (172733) | more than 9 years ago | (#12788211)

Yeah, but do they sigh contentedly when used?

Yes. And it's so depressing.

Re:Yes, but... (1)

mog007 (677810) | more than 9 years ago | (#12788313)

Life, don't talk to me about life.

Large-scale irritation (5, Interesting)

ettlz (639203) | more than 9 years ago | (#12788039)

Safe fom theft, yes. But this will not go down well. They're like twisted appliances from The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. These bins will be a certain target for vandalism --- especially after they've annoyed the hell out of all-and-sundry with their cheerful singing. Pah! It just confirms what people in the UK have known all along: local councils are full of rubbish.

Re:Large-scale irritation (1)

LiquidCoooled (634315) | more than 9 years ago | (#12788096)

I hadn't thought of HG2G creatures, instead I thought of the Talkie Toaster from Red Dwarf.

That little toaster put up with so much abuse.
All it wanted to do was toast things.

Re:Large-scale irritation (2)

ettlz (639203) | more than 9 years ago | (#12788135)

They will ultimately be used for advertising. Consider this extract from a little-known film-noir:

Week 1. A meeting with Marco in the high-street. I was a few minutes early, so I stopped in Starbucks and got a double mochachino with hundreds-and-thousands. I think there was some coffee in there somewhere. The street bins were out on patrol, and one of them trundled up to me. I dumped the empty cup in its receptacle.

Why thank-you! Isn't it lovely today? The sun is out, not a bird in the sky. Have a nice day!

Somehow, that made my day.

Week 2. Another meeting. Again, I was early so I got lunch at McDonalds. I felt slightly guilty about myself, yet strangely satisified: a regular fries with a double cheeseburger and strawberry shake can do that to a man. The little bin came up to me again. "Hello, little buddy," I said as I dumped the wrapper in its receptacle.

Why thank-you! Isn't it lovely today? The sun is out, not a bird in the sky. Ba-ba-ba-ba-da, I'm lovin' it!

That made me feel better about myself, sure, but I couldn't help but feel that the little bin had changed its tune somehow.

Week 5. The final meeting. I showed up early, as normal, and got lunch at one of those trendy sandwich bars. Turkey with mayo, raisins and Marmite. It tasted as weird as hell, but was somehow compelling. That little bin made its way over again. I dumped the empty sandwich box in its dutiful opening, and once more he sang out.

A-ding-ding-ding-dddding-bah-bah-pscht...
Get the Crazy Frog ringtone on your mobile! Text Jamster! on...

Later on the news, I heard Marco was found dead in the parking lot of the Grafton Centre.

Re:Large-scale irritation (4, Funny)

bhtooefr (649901) | more than 9 years ago | (#12788102)

Somebody needs to look for "Sirius Cybernetics" on these things. I just can't wait for the failed one that got Marvin's firmware ;-)

I've never been over there - I've been in the US all of my life....

Re:Large-scale irritation (4, Insightful)

hey! (33014) | more than 9 years ago | (#12788108)

These bins will be a certain target for vandalism

I wonder what it would be like if you programmed these things to squeal in agony like a baby animal being tortured. We have a tendency to fill in human characteristics to anything that exhibits behavior we can fit into a human patter -- behavior we can find a human explanation for. People who live with an old car for a long time tend to personify it's mechanial quirks.

Randomly breaking into song is just stupid elevator music, but singing to great the sunrise has a kind of charm to it.

In any case, I'd bet exhibiting pain would deter many casual vandals. The ones who aren't deterred may be people you want to keep your eye on.

Re:Large-scale irritation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12788481)

We need to arm our bins! Only then we will be safe from vandalism..eh..terrorism I mean.

Re:Large-scale irritation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12788506)

In any case, I'd bet exhibiting pain would deter many casual vandals.

Maybe it's just me, but I came into a totally opposite conclusion.

Re:Large-scale irritation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12788532)

People with above-average food consumption might object to making benches squeal in pain.

Re:Large-scale irritation (1)

One Childish N00b (780549) | more than 9 years ago | (#12788734)

It sounds like you're not from the UK, and haven't visited in the last four or five years.

You're ignoring the 'chav' mentality amongst many British youths, where the idea of fun of a Saturday night is to go out in a pack of about 30 and find actual humans to beat and hospitalize. If you've any spent any time in any reasonably large town in Britain after about 9PM, you'll know what I mean, and know that exhibiting pain is likely to draw more vandalism than it deters.

Sad state of affairs, I know, but that's what it's like here - any other UK Slashdotters want to back me up on this?

Re:Large-scale irritation (1)

Atrax (249401) | more than 9 years ago | (#12788801)

I'll back you up on that, even though I'm an expat. I went 'home' recently for a flying visit and the centre of town (Swansea) had morphed from the reasonably calm (ish) regional centre I remembered into some kind of mad alcohol fueled anarchic mental asylum, with gangs of nutcases beating random objects and people in an alcoholic haze, as if somehow hoping it'd impress the half-dressed drunk chicks.

I wasn't happy. I'm not used to feeling scared in my 'own' town (and I'm not a small defenseless lad either). I was relieved to take a night out in Sydney on my return and actually feel comfortable.

But back to the bins. The fact the bins move around and form relationships with the benches worries me. Picture this: hot summer day. some genius has slathered a bin in sugary drinks, and wasps are congregating, as they do. You take a seat at a handy bench and take out your newspaper and start the crossword. Two minutes later said bin wanders up and starts nuzzling the bench, unwittingly bringing its deadly cargo of waspdom with it. Engrossed in the crossword, you don't notice until it's too late and one of the stripey bastards has found its way down the back of your neck...

Aaaaaargh!!!

Re:Large-scale irritation (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12788838)

Perhaps the bins should squeal in 'pain' whenever used, and maybe even bitch and moan about people throwing all the garbage into them. And I don't just mean one line repeated over and over, I mean dozens, hundreds, maybe thousands of lines, partially randomized and partially keyed to the weight (or other attributes) of the items being thrown away.

I bet people would throw away every bit of trash they could find (and perhaps some things that aren't trash ;-) just to see how the trash can would react.

It's not a pleasant commentary on humanity, but I bet it would work better than singing to greet the sunrise!

Re:Large-scale irritation (1)

malsdavis (542216) | more than 9 years ago | (#12788646)

Well I think its admirable that they are taking the intiative to try and further improve the streets around Cambridge, although last time I visited Cambridge they already looked very good and clean (which is always the most important thing in my view).

I think a further improvement would be to make these robotic bins have 'patches' of pavement/sidewalks to maintain.

The vandalism problem shouldn't be too much a problem, Camrbidge already have ample CCTV cameras overlooking most of the centre streets and a decent casing would stop all but the most determined and persistant idiot (who could then be swooped on by police alerted by the CCTV). Some sort of tracking device could also help prevent theft.

What is the obsession... (2, Insightful)

hoka (880785) | more than 9 years ago | (#12788043)

with making everything hi-tech? I mean these days you can get just about anything that is wired, high-tech, and overdeveloped. Its technologies such as this that are nice as an art, but fail to really push the bounds of technology since they have limited applicability. Who wants to spend 110 grand on a set of garbage bins? Not me. Not anybody I know.

While I applaud the effort for making it artsy and cool, trying to say that the technology is useful for anything else preemptively is well, marketing bullshit and hype. It's nice to dream but sometimes we have to all keep our feet on the ground.

What next? (1)

spizkapa (198167) | more than 9 years ago | (#12788175)

How about robotic toilets to come next? You take a crap and the toilet goes "Thank you for shitting, have a nice day!"

For an extra few pennies, the toilet analyses your crap and says "dude, you really should eat more fiber, stop drinking alcohol and eat some fruit"

That would be a whole different meaning to "excremental humour"...

Re:What next? (1)

calibanDNS (32250) | more than 9 years ago | (#12788328)

Do you mean like the ones mentioned here [wired.com] ?

I just can't wait until one is hacked to complain about the pain in all of the dioeds down its left side.

This reminds me of... (1)

Caspian (99221) | more than 9 years ago | (#12788058)

...the doors on the "Heart of Gold" in the H2G2 movie... the ones that sigh.

Re:This reminds me of... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12788154)

It reminds me of the book. Some of us are happy enough having only read all the books, listened to all of the radio series, played to completion the game, watched the whole BBC tv series and subscribing to the fanclub magazine.

Actually, I think i want to go see the film too.... :P

Re:This reminds me of... (1)

Caspian (99221) | more than 9 years ago | (#12788169)

Jesus, calm down. The doors in the movie are a lot less intelligent-- more like these bins are going to be.

It's like... (4, Funny)

AstrumPreliator (708436) | more than 9 years ago | (#12788060)

It's like R2-D2's younger brother, R2-D3. He wasn't as successful as his older brother. He didn't get to travel the world with Jedi knights, instead he became a trash bin when he fell in love with a bench. He might not have the glamor of galactic battles, but he keeps the streets clean in his town!

Oh, great... (3, Funny)

adrianbaugh (696007) | more than 9 years ago | (#12788064)

Bins with Genuine People Personalities... I wonder if there isn't now at least one terminally depressed bench wandering around Cambridge. Life? Don't talk to me about life!

Re:Oh, great... (5, Funny)

hey! (33014) | more than 9 years ago | (#12788227)

This was my thought too. The thing about the GPP devices in Hitchhiker's Guide isn't just that they reproduce the worst characteristics of people. You can't really interact with them in all the ways you would a human being. YOu can't go to their boss or their mother when they're not being cooperative. YOu can't bargain with them. The only thing that has any chance of working with them is threatening. It does raise an interesting possibility. What if you could interact with the bench or bin; not to the degree that it's personality affected its cooperativeness. For example:

User: Bin, do yo have the time?

Bin: It's quarter past nine. By the way the bins down 3rd street say there's a rain squall heading this way; you might want to duck inside until it passes.

User: Is there a Starbucks around here?

Bin: No, but there's an independent espresso shop at 150, just half a block north of here. They left a promotional message on me, would you like to here it?

User: Uh, no thanks.

(Later, in a different part of the city.)

Joe: Bench, have you seen a girl named Mary?

Bench: Somebody was sitting on me for about five minutes earlier this morning, but I don't know if that's who you're looking for. That was about 8 am.

Joe: Well if she shows up, tell her that I waited for half an hour but I had to leave.

(later)

Mary: Was there somebody waiting for somebody here?

(Silence)

Bench: I'm sorry, were you talking to me?

Mary: yes, was somebody waiting for me here?

Bench: Well, somebody was here at about 8AM. About 10 there was a man who was here for five minutes. He left a message for somebody he was waiting for.

Mary: What was the message?

Bench: It might be personal; would you mind telling me your name, dearie?

Mary: My name is "Mary Moe."

Bench: Well, he said if Mary shows up, I should tell her he was waiting for her for half an hour.

Mary: But you said he was only here for five minutes? Around 10 AM?

Bench: Yes. He arrived here at 10 Am, four minutes and five seconds, and left at 10 AM, eight minutes and fifty three seconds.

Mary: Oooh. How can he be such a jerk!

Bench: I'm sorry dearie, I can't help you with that. You sound like you might be in trouble. If you need a real person to talk to, I can put you in touch with one. Are you in trouble?

Mary: Uh, no thanks, I'm fine.

Bench: Don't mention it.

(Later on that day Mary calls Joe)

Mary (on phone): Joe, you jerk! You stood me up!

Joe: No I didn't! I waited for half an hour! I left a message with the bench, the one that sounds like somebody's grandmother!

Mary: You idiot. The bench told me you were only there for only five minutes. And you were late. And you were supposed to meet me by the statue of Douglas Adams, not Lewis Carrol.

Joe: Which statue of Adams?

Mary: The Equestrian one you dope. The seats at the big monument are granite.

Joe: Oh, no! I hate that bench. It's so crabby.

Mary: Not as crabby as I am.

Joe: OK, look, I'm sorry. I'll make it up to you I swear!

Mary: Yeah right.

Joe: No, really. Meet me this afternoon at the bench by the pond.

Mary: Which bench?

Joe: The one that sounds like Barry White.

Mary: Oooh! I love that one.

How long will it be before.. (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12788072)

..someone 'borrows' one of the bins and hacks it so that it has Tourette syndrome [wikipedia.org] ?

It'd be hilarious to hear and see the bins going all over the place with random movements shouting out 'Fuck!', 'Shit!', 'Cunt!', 'Bitch!', 'Dickhead!', etc.

Even if someone didn't take it to this extreme, I bet it won't be too long before someone does hack them to do something different from their original purpose.

Re:How long will it be before.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12788164)

Yeah, sounds like you could have a lot of fun with these.

Re:How long will it be before.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12788260)

It'd be hilarious to hear and see the bins going all over the place with random movements shouting out 'Fuck!', 'Shit!', 'Cunt!', 'Bitch!', 'Dickhead!', etc.

Read your own Wikipedia link. Uncontrolled cussing (coprolalia) is only a very rare and unusual symptom of Tourette. In most cases its facial ticks, coughing/grunting/moaning noises, or other, much less interesting things.

hey real quick: what movie (3, Funny)

CloudDrakken (582681) | more than 9 years ago | (#12788075)

Pretty soon all the chairs will get bored and then yelled at for not acting surprised when someone tries to sit on them.

"Help, Help, I'm being repressed!"

...just because some stool that could sing handed you a sword doesn't make you king of the britons

dissuade gambling (1)

nietsch (112711) | more than 9 years ago | (#12788083)

This artsy project was financed by lottery money (I guess the state runs the lottery in the uk too). So these art failures can be a good example of why you should not waste your money on the lottery.

Re:dissuade gambling (1)

mwooller (888809) | more than 9 years ago | (#12788087)

Indeed - you may as well just tip your cash straight into one of these 'things'.

Re:dissuade gambling (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12788104)

No the lottery in the UK is privately run by a company that has to bid for the licence.

Re:dissuade gambling (2, Informative)

jimicus (737525) | more than 9 years ago | (#12788635)

I guess the state runs the lottery in the uk too

Well, it's not quite as simple as that. Running the lottery is outsourced to a company called Camelot. The companies wanting to run it had to submit bids explaining what they'd do with the money.

Camelot answered "Give some of it to arts projects, put some of it into the prize fund, use the rest to pay our directors absurd quantities of money", and they got the contract.

Re:dissuade gambling (1)

rsynnott (886713) | more than 9 years ago | (#12788713)

Oddly, when Virgin offered to do a fully non-profit lottery, they were turned down, and Camelot won the contract. In Ireland, it's a state thing (the Post Office runs it). Then again, we used to run a lottery to fund our HOSPITALS!)

Six (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12788088)

"...and plans to name all the bins and benches individually..."

Because lord knows they don't want one of them hollering, "I am not a number!"

I'll let you know what they're like... (2, Interesting)

Toby The Economist (811138) | more than 9 years ago | (#12788099)

Junction is five minutes bicycle ride from here.

--
Toby

Hmmhmh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12788106)

Im after a few flexible solar strips....
now I know where to get them from :)

Re:I'll let you know what they're like... (2, Insightful)

ettlz (639203) | more than 9 years ago | (#12788156)

Soon the beggars (and there are a lot of them in Cambridge) will have the run of these things. "Oi! Gizzus a fiver, or Dusty 'ere'll start on 'is Cliff Richard repertoire!"

Re:I'll let you know what they're like... (2, Funny)

rjw57 (532004) | more than 9 years ago | (#12788201)

And here, I'll be popping down later with my screwdriver set, breakout box and laptop to see if I can give them a reprogramming they'll never forget...

Screamers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12788109)

The should scream when you steal them, and continue to scream until you put them back. Then they can sob and cry until comforted by their janitor friends

No Comment (0, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12788112)

3.
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Re:No Comment (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12788148)

Actually, I prefer cake!

The real question is... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12788119)

Are they running on Intel processors ?

Mactel fanbois thought Apple+Intel was pretty cool, but the future is in garbage+Intel which is THE perfect marriage.

And rest assured these Intel bins will laugh and chuckle as you throw your worthless $3000 G5 into them.

what (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12788152)

what the fuck is a bin?

Re:what (1)

mwooller (888809) | more than 9 years ago | (#12788182)

Well, let's see, err it is a little more open that an sbin.

Re:what (5, Funny)

hey! (33014) | more than 9 years ago | (#12788251)

True story. In the late 80s, I worked for a company that used Macs. The guy before me set up the applications on Macs in a folder called "bin" because, well, that's what you do.

Later, I had a young go-getter working for me who decided this was too cryptic. Having learned about computers in the era of the PC, she had no idea where "bin" came from, so she relabelled all those folders to "Bin of Applications".

Re:what (3, Funny)

mwooller (888809) | more than 9 years ago | (#12788503)

When the mac was upgraded to OS X, did those old apps get relabelled again to 'Has bin applications'?

Prior Art (1)

tyrions (884908) | more than 9 years ago | (#12788158)

There's actually a guy here in Cambridge who sings and plays his guitar on the street. The thing is, he does it with the top part of a bin over his head. He's a real success with the tourists. I wonder if that's where these guys got the idea from.

£110,000!???! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12788220)

What a complete waste of money.

RTFA Everyone! (4, Informative)

bobbis.u (703273) | more than 9 years ago | (#12788234)

They are not being installed by the city council and they are not being widely deployed. It is an art display at The Junction, which is not really in the centre of the city anyway.

Apparently, this is just what constitues "art" today. This article [junction.co.uk] is straight from the horses mouth about it.

Thiefs wont want to.. (2, Interesting)

drspliff (652992) | more than 9 years ago | (#12788266)

steal pointless crazy stuff like this, they have no re-sale value (I doubt the components are that expensive, most of the £110k was probably development time and research etc.). Then I saw this: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2005/06/10/kidnapped_ dalek/ [theregister.co.uk]

Somebody stole a pointless crazy thing (e.g. a rare original dalek from the Dr.Who series) and their trying to ransom it back..

Putting £110 worth of equipment anywhere in most places in the UK and not bolting it to the ground is always a bad thing...

Re:Thiefs wont want to.. (1)

gstoddart (321705) | more than 9 years ago | (#12788691)

Thiefs wont want to.. steal pointless crazy stuff like this, they have no re-sale value

Ummm ... have you noticed the propensity of high-school kids (and drunk people) to wander off with almost anything?

Street signs. Planters. Traffic cones. Traffic lights. Stop signs. Anything really.

I've never seen any evidence that these things have any resale value either, but the damnedest things do get stolen.

oh dear... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12788287)

Cambridge is a student town you know...it doesnt matter if its bolted down and given whirling blades of death...

I live in Cambridge (1)

mumblestheclown (569987) | more than 9 years ago | (#12788298)

I've also made several benches, cars, and blades of grass that sing when the sun comes out here.

Which is to say never.

Today, I put on my SKI JUMPER at 12 noon for a short trip outside because it's cold and cloudy. At least it's not raining. Yet. In theory, this is June. In practice, this might pass for february.

In other Cambridge news, there was the recent environment-saving plan: just reduce trash collection frequency (with no corresponding decrease in council tax). This is why I throw my trash into the Cam at night.

You insensitive clod! (1)

madaxe42 (690151) | more than 9 years ago | (#12788396)

I live in the Cam!

Re:You insensitive clod! (1)

rokzy (687636) | more than 9 years ago | (#12788624)

lucky bastard.

there's 150 of us living in shoe box in middle 't road.

Re:You insensitive clod! (1)

madaxe42 (690151) | more than 9 years ago | (#12788716)

Shoe? Box!?! Back in my day we used to wear pigeons on our feet! And we thought we were lucky! And they came in a sack! Made of cat hair!

Don't feed the bins (3, Funny)

badfish99 (826052) | more than 9 years ago | (#12788303)

They aren't real bins (they're an art installation). You can't put rubbish in them. There are going to be signs saying "please don't feed the bins".

Don't talk to me about life! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12788421)

You watch this bin. Its bin is about to open again. I can tell by its intolerable air of superiority it generates. Thank you the marketing division of the Sirius cybernetics corporation.
I hate that bin. I'm not getting you down am I?

The benches will be singing all the time then? (1, Flamebait)

carcosa30 (235579) | more than 9 years ago | (#12788669)

After all, the sun never sets on the british empire, right?

The Japanese build robotic exoskeletons straight out of Mobile Suit Gundam.

The Brits build robotic dustbins and benches.

Typical.
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