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Erotica 2011 stands firm against rise of the sex machines

Old-school tools hit of leather and vibes bash

Eight steps to building an HP BladeSystem

The 'interactive' fleshlight

Last up, and scariest of all, are the simulated touch mechanisms. One seriously hyped – but so far quite successful – incarnation of this technology is the Real Touch, billed as "teledildonics from a former NASA engineer".

One end of this device hooks into your PC's USB port, where it syncs with your choice of videos: the other end wraps itself lovingly around your private parts and then... allows you to simulate having sex with the porn star of your choice. So long as nothing shorts out – or catches fire!

If that sounds a little direct, simulated touch technologies – from body suits to nerve implants – are emerging on an almost daily basis, allowing wearers to experience anything from a full-on sexual encounter, to a gentle touch on the forearm.

Does this need spelling out? Put it all together – automation, teledildonics, artificial touch – and some folks may never leave the house again.

Sadly, though, if you are looking for the latest developments in this area, Erotica is probably not the place for you. Instead, you might consider Arse Elektronika, an annual conference on sex and sexual technology, taking place in San Francisco. Too late for this year ... maybe next. ®

Reducing security risks from open source software

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