The object has been behaving strangely ... even more so than usual ... during the past weeks. An opening appeared on one side, like a shop front, and for a few days at a time it appeared to behave like different kinds of public building. Over time it has been a restaurant, a bar, a book shop and an advice centre.
People were understandably wary of entering the 'buildings' at first but, apart from the lack of any staff, the stores functioned in the appropriate manner. Those adventurous enough to go in were able to 'buy' a meal or a drink or a book ... or get advice ... but did not have to pay for anything. The premises were fully automated and anything 'bought' simply materialised on the counter in a manner reminiscent of a Star Trek replicator.
Some observers in the Dog and Digitiser were suspicious and the most likely theory advanced was that the object was in some way finding out about people's taste and problems. Whether this was for altruistic reasons remains a mystery. However, several book publishers reported receiving quantities of used banknotes in brown envelopes labelled 'ROYALTIES' with statements listing the books sold by the object.
The object has now closed down its retail operations and, once more, is a featureless block.