What's the bandwidth of a seal with a USB drive?
February 11, 2019 5:58 PM   Subscribe

Although it's been known for years that poop can be mined for the metals used in technology, researchers in New Zealand were surprised to discover a functional USB drive in leopard seal poop.
posted by Johnny Wallflower (30 comments total) 21 users marked this as a favorite
 
h/t to filthy light thief for the seal story and to Fizz for the request for more poop posts
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 5:58 PM on February 11 [9 favorites]


I'm gonna hurt you and Fizz.

GREAT POST JOHNNY.
posted by Homo neanderthalensis at 6:07 PM on February 11 [7 favorites]


Flash storage really is remarkably durable, huh?
posted by Anticipation Of A New Lover's Arrival, The at 6:16 PM on February 11 [3 favorites]


and to Fizz for the request for more poop posts

Oh shit.
posted by Fizz at 6:19 PM on February 11 [16 favorites]


Flash storage really is remarkably durable, huh?

ITYM Flush storage.
posted by Greg_Ace at 6:21 PM on February 11 [7 favorites]


Universal Seal Butt
posted by nickggully at 6:24 PM on February 11 [21 favorites]


I knew you'd drop in, Greg_Ace.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 6:24 PM on February 11 [1 favorite]


What a clever way to hack some researcher's computer. Put malware on a USB stick and feed it to a leopard seal.
posted by Xoc at 6:25 PM on February 11 [29 favorites]


I suppose you could introduce it to the seal by putting the USB stick in a fish..

Hackers would call this "seal fishing" obviously.
posted by some loser at 6:45 PM on February 11 [5 favorites]


Well, I'm off to see a man about a horse seal.
posted by nightrecordings at 6:45 PM on February 11 [6 favorites]


Leopard seals also are the front runners for the most menacing face of all seagoing mammals.
posted by Burhanistan at 6:46 PM on February 11 [1 favorite]


I'm glad they were able to unseal these records
posted by JDHarper at 6:59 PM on February 11 [20 favorites]


These viral GoPro ads are getting hard to stomach.
posted by TedW at 7:07 PM on February 11 [7 favorites]


If it still works, it means the drive was safely ejected from sea colon.
posted by L.P. Hatecraft at 7:17 PM on February 11 [63 favorites]


something something full of bells and smells like pepper
posted by flabdablet at 7:31 PM on February 11 [1 favorite]


Also: arse technica.
posted by flabdablet at 7:32 PM on February 11 [17 favorites]


Wait: they plugged an unknown USB drive into a computer? Who knows what viruses it picked up in that seal!
posted by MrGuilt at 7:35 PM on February 11 [4 favorites]


"Safely ejected from sea colon." I'm sorry. I'm done. That's. Puns are over. It's not going to get better than that.
posted by Xiphias Gladius at 7:36 PM on February 11 [20 favorites]


leopard seal poop

Apple is really getting creative with the names of its MacOS releases
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 8:11 PM on February 11 [17 favorites]


Wow, I know people are going to crazy lengths to protect their data but this is the first time I've seen anyone try a tamper-proof seal.
posted by BrotherCaine at 8:29 PM on February 11 [10 favorites]


I really hope they checked the poop for human remains. Leopard seals have attacked and killed humans.
posted by [insert clever name here] at 10:05 PM on February 11


Mayyyybe flash storage is really durable, or maybe, just maybe, USB drives are actually spontaneously generated by seal poop. Is this the deep dark secret so-called flash drive "manufacturers" don't want us to know?
posted by ckape at 10:27 PM on February 11 [3 favorites]


'Twas something that nobody knew
'Bout the features of leopard seal poo
We knew that it'd stink
(And when frozen, go *clink*)
But rated for USB2?
posted by allium cepa at 10:29 PM on February 11 [8 favorites]


I don't understand why everybody is making such a big deal out of a plain old data dump.
posted by Hairy Lobster at 11:56 PM on February 11 [10 favorites]


... seal stool samples are thawed and then sifted. “You put it under the cold tap, get all the gross stuff off, smoosh it around a bit and separate the bones, feathers, seaweed, and other stuff,” Jodie Warren, a volunteer with leopardseals.org, told NIWA.

As another volunteer, Jodie Magnan, worked with the seal poopsicle, she noticed an unusual object inside. After determining it was a USB drive...
So not so much a data dump as data ex-filtration.
posted by flabdablet at 12:33 AM on February 12 [4 favorites]


The Guardian is reporting that they've found the owner - the very same volunteer who reported a sick-looking seal and suggested its faeces be sent for analysis. Yes, those very faeces.

Doesn't she now have to sign the public key of a baron's son or something?...
posted by aihal at 4:25 AM on February 12 [3 favorites]


Niwa are convinced that a bird ate my USB stick, and the leopard seal then ate the bird, because he had a lot of feathers in the scat. And then bizarrely I come along and say ‘oh there’s a sample we should send to Niwa’,” Nally said.
Seagategull drives are known for ruggedness.
Nally said she had told Niwa they could keep the USB stick as she had the footage backed up in various places.
"backed up"
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 7:43 AM on February 12 [7 favorites]


bandwidth is pretty good depending on the size of the USB drive, but the latency is terrible
posted by crocomancer at 8:59 AM on February 12 [1 favorite]


It took a long time to move those files out of that particular system.
posted by thebotanyofsouls at 11:38 AM on February 12 [1 favorite]


I’m glad they found the usb drive owner, and that she’s not seal poo.

(I am seriously terrified of leopard seals extremely disproportionate to their actual threat to humans or myself.)
posted by [insert clever name here] at 7:21 AM on February 13 [1 favorite]


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