back to article What can you do with adult VR, some bronze gears and a robotic thumb? On a Friday?

A VR headset is pressing down on the bridge of my nose. The strap is pulling out strands of hair from the back of my head. I have bruised shins after walking into a coffee table. This, apparently, is "the closest thing to real sex". I must be doing it wrong. VR, that is. Or sex. Or both. Perhaps not expecting to get bruised …

  1. Dave 126 Silver badge

    "Sex was invented by the ancient Greeks, but it took the Romans to introduce it to women" goes the old joke...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Sappho of Lesbos would disagree.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      > "Sex was invented by the ancient Greeks..."

      Well, it did help them keep a tight phalanx...

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    No doubt someone will provide a VR texture of cracks in the ceiling.

    1. Alistair Silver badge
      Windows

      "No doubt someone will provide a VR texture of cracks in the ceiling."

      .... painted beige of course

  3. TheProf
    Joke

    Lazeeva?

    I fancy a cup of coffee.

    It's one of the stranger perversions.

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: Lazeeva?

      To go proper extreme, you need a cup of covefee

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "the Antikythera mechanism is the world's oldest computer for which physical remains exist"

    Shit, I thought I had that record with a Dragon 32 that's in my loft. Somewhere.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I fully expect to hold my own

    appreciate it, thanks! Sorry didn't have the ear for the rest! ;)

  6. Sam Jelfs

    For those of interested in the Antikythera, or machining, or general geeky-ness, I suggest checking out Clicksping on you tube, who is making a replica in his home machine shop.

    https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLZioPDnFPNsHnyxfygxA0to4RXv4_jDU2

  7. EddieD

    There is a limerick, concerning the inventive prowess of a young man named McClean which highlights the folly of such devices (automated sex toys that is, not the Antikythera mechanism which is definitely int the top 5 of my awesome things catalog), but, even given the liberal and relaxed attitude of El Reg, I'm a little reluctant to post it. It's a proper limerick.

    1. Arctic fox
      Joke

      Oh the hell with it - I'll post it and hope that Vulture Central does not send a hit squad.

      There was a young man called McLean

      Who invented a f**king machine.

      Concave or convex,

      It would fit either sex,

      And was perfectly simple to clean.

      1. EddieD

        Re: Oh the hell with it - I'll post it and hope that Vulture Central does not send a hit squad.

        on the forty fourth stroke

        the bloody thing broke

        and whipped his balls to a cream

        Was the slightly less pleasant version I knew...

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Oh the hell with it - I'll post it and hope that Vulture Central does not send a hit squad.

          Ah, now that's more like it.

        2. Glenturret Single Malt

          Re: Oh the hell with it - I'll post it and hope that Vulture Central does not send a hit squad.

          Rather than post all nine verses, you can look this up:

          http://myweb.tiscali.co.uk/navysong/Data%20Song/B0011.htm

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Oh the hell with it - I'll post it and hope that Vulture Central does not send a hit squad.

        Given the build-up, that was a lot less dirty than I was expecting. El Reg won't bat an eyelid.

      3. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge
        Happy

        Re: Oh the hell with it - I'll post it and hope that Vulture Central does not send a hit squad.

        Sorry, but I can't resist posting:

        There was a young man from Torbay,

        Who set sail for China one day.

        He was lashed to the tiller

        By a sex-crazed gorilla.

        And the Far East's a very long way...

        As for Mr Dabbs article, I only have two words to say: Oooooooh Matron!

    2. This post has been deleted by its author

  8. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    "Historians reckon the device was designed to calculate a variety of astronomical positions."

    Was that one you intended?

    Feynman, inevitably, had his own story about the Antikythera mechanism. Back in the days before the museum had realised just what they'd got he was visiting Athens and introduced to the director. Being Feynman of course the mechanism, stored somewhere in the reserve collection, was the one thing he asked about. The director couldn't understand why, given all the beautiful art objects he wanted to see some dirty old bit of metal junk.

  9. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge

    Not a computer , nut a similarly old clever clockwork gizmo:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/South-pointing_chariot

    1. Hans Neeson-Bumpsadese Silver badge

      I'd not heard of that before - what a fascinating device. Have an upvote.

    2. Paul Crawford Silver badge
      Linux

      And for us Linux lovers we have the south-pointing penguin:

      http://www.stirlingsouth.com/richard2/south_pointing_penguin.htm

      You can never have too many penguins =>

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge
        Coat

        Unlike windows. Too many of them will mean you are living in a greenhouse! And cost a fortune in curtains! (Unless you have nothing to hide, of course)

  10. Dr_N Silver badge

    Prosthetic Controllable Thumb

    If squirrels get hold of that we are doomed.

    DOOMED!

    1. Michael H.F. Wilkinson Silver badge

      Re: Prosthetic Controllable Thumb

      At ease, private Frazer!

    2. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

      Re: Prosthetic Controllable Thumb

      f squirrels get hold of that we are doomed.

      I'm just thankful that the cats haven't got the hang of this technology thing. Having opposable thumbs is my one advantage..

      1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

        Re: Prosthetic Controllable Thumb

        Here is a link to your nightmare fullfilled: linky to Youtube

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Prosthetic Controllable Thumb

        "Having opposable thumbs is my one advantage.."

        Only for opening the cat food tins as their humble servant.

    3. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken

      Re: Prosthetic Controllable Thumb

      Hmm... If an extra thumb is all that great, why don't we all have one already by default?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Prosthetic Controllable Thumb

        Actually we already do have one, more or less.

        The pinky finger is far stronger than it needs to be just to pick noses.

        1. h4rm0ny

          Re: Prosthetic Controllable Thumb

          I thought the extra thumb was marvellous. I loved that it appeared to be managed by sensors on the other fingers to provide a degree of independent movement in lieu of actual never connections. Genius, imo.

          Shame it had to be accompanied by the inevitable pan-pipe and drum machine soundtrack, mind you.

  11. Jason Bloomberg Silver badge
    Gimp

    "Let me introduce the Sex Gauge"

    Now you'll have to think up an El Reg unit of measurement for it.

    I am sure commentards will be along to lend a helping hand ...

    1. Paul Crawford Silver badge

      Re: "Let me introduce the Sex Gauge"

      Well El Reg already has already invented the "kilowrist" as a unit of bandwidth:

      https://www.theregister.co.uk/2008/11/12/arizona_boffins_grasp_fat_pipes/

      1. psychonaut

        Re: "Let me introduce the Sex Gauge"

        im sure british rail would be happy to adopt it.

        sex gauge, bit more interesting than standard or narrow i would think

        1. This post has been deleted by its author

  12. dav0id

    Thenkyou for the video clip at the end

    It was truly awful.

  13. Teiwaz Silver badge

    I mean, just 2,000 years ago, we were practically savages.

    Which reminds me of :

    If our forefathers had invented foreplay,

    Do you think they used their forehands or their foreheads.

    I just can't remember where it's from...

    Just think, by the time VR Porn is useful, it'll probably be a criminal offence in the UK.

  14. VinceH Silver badge
    Coat

    The Antikythera Mechanism...

    "even came with instructions embossed onto a plaque mounted inside the wooden lid."

    But they never did find the EULA.

    1. Kevin Johnston

      Surely that would have been on the hide wrapping which had to be shredded to open the box and included the phrase that damaging the wrapping is considered acceptance of the EULA

    2. EddieD

      It was three times as long as the instructions, also embossed onto bronze and thus sank without trace.

      Almost certainly clause DCLXVI stated something along the lines of "The manufacturers cannot accept liability for wrath of Gods if used to predict divine events including eclipses"

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    But...

    Did the ancient Greeks ever get Windows 95 booting on it?

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: But...

      No but it plays Crysis. At 0.0000000001fps

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What have the Romans ever done for us?

    The Antikythera Mechanism dates, I believe, from shortly before the Romans took over Greece and enslaved most of the intelligentsia. The Romans weren't interested in metal things unless they were good for stabbing, slicing or preventing someone doing the stabbing and slicing to them.

    But for the Romans, the Babbage equivalent might have happened in the 1st century BCE, and history might have been enormously different. The Greek problem was a lack of fuel making it difficult to manufacture large metal objects. If only they had access to oil, they could have had an industrial revolution by the 1st century.

    1. psychonaut

      Re: What have the Romans ever done for us?

      "If only they had access to oil, they could have had an industrial revolution by the 1st century."

      probably a good job that they didnt otherwise we'd all be computing on waterproof submersible tablets by now

    2. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken

      Re: What have the Romans ever done for us?

      "If only they had access to oil, they could have had an industrial revolution by the 1st century."

      Not that fast. You have to do a lot to the crude oil first until you have something really useful. They'd have to come up with a bit of petrochemistry. And to do that at a large scale, you'd need at least a budding metal producing and processing industry to build the infrastructure. It's less complicated if you start with coal.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: What have the Romans ever done for us?

        "Not that fast. You have to do a lot to the crude oil first until you have something really useful."

        Not if all you want to do is produce enough heat to produce a fair bit of bronze and other copper alloys. It's worth remembering that when the first petrol cars appeared, the fuel was bought from pharmacists by the quart. I suspect that the Greeks, who had already discovered how to use naptha to annoy enemy ships, would quickly have worked out basic petroleum distillation, since they were able to make vessels of both ceramic and bronze.

        Coal is convenient because it burns nicely in lumps, but the substance that really caused American expansion (and US/UK involvement in the ME) was oil. It's hard to believe that if oil supplies had been plentiful, locomotive makers would quickly have seen the opportunity to eliminate the fireman. Cutting out the coal phase could have speeded up development.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: What have the Romans ever done for us? (sorry for the late reply)

        Well, it was not so much the lack of fuel, the greek civilization was doing quite well technologically, but having become more complacent, they did something very modern... They outsourced!

        They outsourced one of the most important professions of the time, the profession of warrior...

        True to history, after a couple hundred years, the Eastern Roman Empire was practically greek... and lasted another thousand years...

        Anonymous Centurion

  17. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    With one of these robotic thumbs on each hand you'd be able to count to 4095.

  18. Phukov Andigh Bronze badge

    Mr. Dabbs has revealed to us, The Future

    ...and it frightens me! :P

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "Historians reckon the device was designed to calculate a variety of astronomical positions."

    Reminds me of the motif that was on lots of seaside souvenirs in the 1970s. Each sign of the Zodiac was represented by a silhouette of a couple - errr coupling***. Each was a different position loosely based on the Karma Sutra.

    There were matchboxes for each position with black silhouettes - and T-shirts with all twelve in shocking pink. Apparently no longer PC to wear in the street.

    Like the tattered one I have with a single picture - above which is "69" - and below it "Try it - you'll like it". That caused a neighbour to express puzzlement - until her 14 year old daughter went "oh mum!" and enlightened her.

    Wearing it even twenty years ago I did get harangued in the street by a woman basically saying "think of the children". To which I replied "if they can see the meaning then it's a bit too late".

    Nearest (NSFW) example picture is less subtle than the 1970s ones in the UK. Same shapes but with explicit delineation that removes the humour of the delayed reaction tease of observers.

    ***obligatory Frankie Howerd reference from the film "Up Pompei"..

    1. cdrcat

      > Each sign of the Zodiac was represented by a silhouette of a couple ... based on the Karma Sutra ... Like the tattered one I have with a single picture - above which is "69".

      Which presumably was ♋ cancer? Unlike the linked picture.

  20. Evil Auditor Silver badge

    Who needs all this hi-tech when a simple prosthetic wanker does all you need?

    https://youtu.be/FZ6kR_XKlwE

    El Reg, shouldn't there be an icon for (prosthetic) wanking? And don't come with think of the children and being a family friendly media outlet - even children do it, so what.

  21. Unicornpiss Silver badge
    Meh

    If it was a Microsoft app..

    ..it would get you to the brink and then "Something went wrong :( " If Apple, it would get you almost there and then ask you for another $9.99 to continue, or cause you extreme pain but keep going because a marketing survey showed that that's how users like it.

    1. saramakos

      Re: If it was a Microsoft app..

      If it was Apple and it was causing you pain they would just advise you that you're holding it wrong ;)

  22. IkerDeEchaniz

    Stelarc did it a long time ago but with an arm

    Stelarc did it a long time ago but with an arm

    http://stelarc.org/?catID=20265

  23. Jeffrey Nonken Silver badge

    Dabbsy, the series of accomplishment-cheapening double entendres is why we come here week after week. :)

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2019