X-rated Twitpic images blamed on 'bug'

Plus human machines in five years in this week's Weird Tech roundup

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If you've been using Twitpic to upload your photos to Twitter, you might want to double-check they're still your images. The warning comes after a BBC journalist discovered a picture he'd uploaded for work had mysteriously changed into a woman modelling an "extremely post-watershed" pose.

A series of shocked messages on Twitter spurred Rory Cellan-Jones to inspect his uploaded images. He was stunned to discover the x-rated content: "I let out a startled yelp, and went into a flurry of action, deleting the 'Tweet', and the offending 'Twitpic'," he wrote.

Cellan-Jones isn't the only person to report the glitch in the third-party application – a number of Twitpic users have complained of their photos becoming mixed up with those of others.

Noah Everett, the man behind Twitpic, has expressed his apologies, describing the error as a "random bug".

Rise of the machines

In other news, scientists from the USA have claimed that artificial life could be created "within five years". It's hoped that the ability to build new lifeforms from scratch could produce everything from new drugs to biofuels and greenhouse gas absorbers. However, opponents of the controversial research claim the technology could lead to machines becoming "almost human".

So, is Sentience's intelligent cruise control one more step towards the machines taking over? Probably not, although the tech does herald the dawn of the driverless car, using GPS and mapping data to analyse the best route to your destination, and then controlling the acceleration and brakes to take you there.

Freaky gadgets

We've heard of hooks, and even gardening appliances, but if you lost a finger in a motorbike accident would you install a USB drive into your prosthetic finger? Jerry Jalava did. Now he carries a Billy Linux distribution and the movie Freddy Got Fingered everywhere he goes.

More importantly, could this be the world's most terrifying toilet? Dizzyingly decorated with a wrap-around mural depicting the top of a ski jump, simply position your feet on the painted skis, take a seat, and you're prime position for some high-speed downhill action. (Perhaps one to miss if you have trouble relaxing.)

And finally…

When American David Prager spotted a stranger breaking into his home at 3am on Wednesday, he did what any normal person would do – and posted the event on Twitter.

"A random dude just walked into my bathroom and I can't believe I haven't freaked out", wrote Prager, instead of calling the police. "I can't believe I'm tweeting about it while he is still in there."

Wondering how to react, Prager posted 15 more updates on the site asking for advice before setting up a live stream for his followers and confronting the intruder.

Viewers watched in anticipation as he entered the bathroom, only to reappear dragging the trespasser, who had passed out, intoxicated, behind him.

"Intruder is out - door is locked," he finally wrote on the site.