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Advertising OS X Patents Apple

Forced iAds Coming To OS X? 416

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the my-worst-nightmare dept.
mario_grgic writes "Apple insider brings a story about expansion and renewal of a current 'Advertisement in Operating System' patent that Apple's Steve Jobs and other contributors have. The patent describes in detail (with OS X screen shots) how the forced ads would work (they would disable some OS functionality until the ad is viewed), but apparently it also applies to any device with a UI, including phones, TVs, set top boxes, etc. With Apple's recent entry into the mobile ad business, and its ambition to own half of all the mobile ads served during the second half of this year, it certainly makes one wonder if Apple would dare and put something like this in its desktop OS. I wonder if this would push more people to open source alternatives?"
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Forced iAds Coming To OS X?

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  • by codeonezero (540302) * on Thursday July 22, 2010 @10:48AM (#32990028)
    I don't think this would be something implemented system wide, more than likely it could be iAds framework that developers could use when releasing free Mac Apps. Apple spends considerable time looking into user experience so something that would drive people away in droves is not likely to make it into OS X. Could also be a misleading patent that's really for iOS for Apple TV (which makes more sense to me). Something like free Movie/Music/Otherwise Paid content delivered via iTunes on Apple TV with need to watch the ads in order to keep viewing it, or pay up to download and have full access to that content. The same concept could apply to iTunes Store on Mac OS X.
  • WTF... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by NRP128 (710672) on Thursday July 22, 2010 @10:53AM (#32990084) Homepage Journal

    Wow. Way to spread the FUD.

  • by countertrolling (1585477) on Thursday July 22, 2010 @10:53AM (#32990104) Journal

    It won't push them to open source. It will push them to Microsoft Windows. It's like saying when the democrats screw up, people will vote third party, when in truth, they'll vote republican... again.

  • Prior art (Score:5, Insightful)

    by clone53421 (1310749) on Thursday July 22, 2010 @10:55AM (#32990136) Journal

    My DVD player disables certain functions while it is playing advertisements.

  • by VGPowerlord (621254) on Thursday July 22, 2010 @11:00AM (#32990218) Homepage

    Wait a minute - if Apple has the patent on in-OS advertizing, does this mean that Google will be unable to follow suit because Steve Jobs has ensured no one else but him gets to do it?

    FTFY

  • by PolyDwarf (156355) on Thursday July 22, 2010 @11:04AM (#32990296)

    I see what you did there. You made an unlikely assumption about how this patent would be used and then you turned it into an advertisement for open source. Well done. I hate Apple and Steve Jobs (smug bastard) vehemently but even I recognized that to be a highly contrived scenario and illogical statement.

    I don't see how you're able to say that it's "unlikely" and "highly contrived", considering there's a mockup of an osx-ish desktop in the article. The other portion you quoted about that it "could" be used for public kiosks, etc, doesn't say it *won't* be used for anything else. Especially when further in the article it specifically notes that it applies to anything with a UI, like set top boxes, smart phones, TV's, and others. Those aren't really public kiosk devices.

    What's next... having to sit through an advertisement on my smartphone to make a call? Or is that too unlikely and contrived, given that the article mentions this can be used on smartphones, with no further qualification?

  • by rinoid (451982) on Thursday July 22, 2010 @11:05AM (#32990310)

    I see what you did there. You made an unlikely assumption about how this patent would be used and then you turned it into an advertisement for open source. Well done. I hate Apple and Steve Jobs (smug bastard) vehemently but even I recognized that to be a highly contrived scenario and illogical statement.

    You lost me on "hate" and "smug bastard" and later on in your post "crApple" ... this kind of talk is nonsense and whatever else you said sounded like the other end of a phone call in a Charlie Brown cartoon.

  • Re:Prior art (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 22, 2010 @11:05AM (#32990322)

    Don't forget Microsoft IE4's "desktop enhancements" from back in 1997 that just stuck glorified little ads, promoted as a "hot bar" or something like that. The Channel screen saver qualifies as well. IE 5.5 and later dropped that.

    Silly boy. You forgot the First Rule of Apple Desktop Computing: "It's annoyance when Microsoft does it, innovation when Apple follows."

  • by mr_gorkajuice (1347383) on Thursday July 22, 2010 @11:07AM (#32990350)
    We're supposedly talking about a PC you didn't pay money for.
  • Pot, Kettle (Score:1, Insightful)

    by diamondsw (685967) on Thursday July 22, 2010 @11:08AM (#32990352)

    Interesting how people are quick to jump on Apple for this, when Android and Chrome are created by an advertising company.

  • by binaryspiral (784263) on Thursday July 22, 2010 @11:09AM (#32990372)

    I actually like this idea. It's an alternative for small application developers to make money on their hard work.

    Same goes for the iPhone iADs - it's not going to pop up ads in mail or calendar - it simply provides an API for developers to write in ad serving space on their free applications. This is an alternative to actually charging people money for the software.

    Way to incite a flamewar and bring out the fan boys...

  • Re:Prior art (Score:5, Insightful)

    by gstoddart (321705) on Thursday July 22, 2010 @11:10AM (#32990400) Homepage

    My DVD player disables certain functions while it is playing advertisements.

    Of course, the annoying thing about that is that advertising and previews wasn't why the DVD player has mandatory "no-skip" sections -- it was for the copyright notice.

    Then a bunch of marketing weenies at Disney and others decided to make all of the previews and crap as mandatory as well.

    I hope there's a special place in hell reserved for people who put mandatory ads into DVDs and other things. I'm pretty sure that if I bought a machine that locked me out until I watched an ad, I'd be taking it back to the store for a refund.

    If I bought the machine, unless you gave me a discount on it or are paying me to watch ads, I'm not part of your advertising revenue.

  • by gstoddart (321705) on Thursday July 22, 2010 @11:12AM (#32990420) Homepage

    Wait a minute - if Apple has the patent on in-OS advertizing, does this mean that Microsoft will be unable to follow suit because Steve Jobs has ensured no one else but him gets to do it?

    Sadly, it would likely mean that Apple would gladly license people to use their patent so they get paid no matter who is watching an ad.

    Companies like revenue streams.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 22, 2010 @11:16AM (#32990476)
    Judging by the idiotic statements made by many slashdotters (including you, obviously), y'all are just so stupid that you can't understand the simple fact that iAds is about allowing developers to give the option of paying for the app via watching ads. It is not about the OS randomly bombarding users with ads. Fucking idiot slashtrolls...
    --
    ...and the horse you rode in on!
  • by Archangel Michael (180766) on Thursday July 22, 2010 @11:22AM (#32990566) Journal

    It's like saying when the democrats screw up, people will vote third party, when in truth, they'll vote republican... again.

    And in four years, they'll vote the Democrats back, but with a (R) president (or Hillary) knowing exactly what to expect, but hoping they are wrong.

    I really wish third parties got together, setting aside their differences and pooling their national campaigns into a "status quo (D) and (R) sucks, vote third party" type campaign.

    Two party system sucks, and one party cannot represent the constituency it is supposed to represent.

  • Re:Pot, Kettle (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Nerdfest (867930) on Thursday July 22, 2010 @11:31AM (#32990700)
    ... that advertising company has gone out of its way so that you are *not* locked into their services. The work required to dump Apple, especially if you're computer+phone+medial player is quite a lot.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 22, 2010 @11:32AM (#32990722)
    Just like we don't have to pay to watch cable thanks to ads?
  • by joeyblades (785896) on Thursday July 22, 2010 @11:41AM (#32990848)

    Apple's margins on their computers is the highest in the industry

    This may be technically correct with respect to the hardware, but Apple subsidizes their OS and application development costs with some of that margin. When you buy a Mac, you get the hardware plus OSX, iTunes, Time Machine, Mail, iChat, Safari, Front Row, GarageBand, iPhoto, iMovie, iDVD, etc....

    Now you might be inclined to think that this is true of any PC you buy, but I think if you look at the software that's in the boxes and compare you will see that Apple provides much more commercial quality software than the typical PC you might buy. That software cost money to develop and a large portion of that money comes from hardware sales.

    Not trying to beat you up - merely pointing out that you are comparing Apples and oranges... so-to-speak.

  • Re:Prior art (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Infonaut (96956) <infonaut@gmail.com> on Thursday July 22, 2010 @11:42AM (#32990874) Homepage Journal

    So true. I, for one, am SICK AND TIRED OF APPLE'S ADS BOMBARDING ME EVERY DAY I USE MY MAC!!!! When, when will it stop?!

    Here's an idea: Bash Apple *after* they actually implement something you hate. It's so much easier to muster evidence that way.

    Silly boy. You forgot the First Rule of Apple Desktop Computing: "It's annoyance when Microsoft does it, innovation when Apple follows."

  • by rjstanford (69735) on Thursday July 22, 2010 @11:44AM (#32990896) Homepage Journal

    Not sure how it'd hurt apple to offer a free version of their operating system that is ad supported. I bet schools would even jump on this to start saving some money. Hell maybe Apple would cut them in on some fo the revenue for advertising to their captive teen audience.

    It would hurt Apple in the same way that it would hurt Mercedes to offer a cheaper car with in-dash advertising. Apple is not going after the low-cost market, they're going after the quality-integrated market; minor cost-savings don't help them do that.

  • by geekmansworld (950281) on Thursday July 22, 2010 @11:48AM (#32990974) Homepage

    Pretty much. Nobody is forcing you people to use a Mac. If you don't like Apple products, don't use them. There's no need for OS crusades and spreading FUD.

  • Re:Pot, Kettle (Score:3, Insightful)

    by farble1670 (803356) on Thursday July 22, 2010 @11:50AM (#32991000)

    Interesting how people are quick to jump on Apple for this, when Android and Chrome are created by an advertising company.

    neither android or chrome forces advertisements on the user. even the google apps in android are ad-less. even google search on android is ad-less.

  • by Bing Tsher E (943915) on Thursday July 22, 2010 @11:54AM (#32991076) Journal

    When you buy a Mac, you get the hardware plus OSX, iTunes, Time Machine, Mail, iChat, Safari, Front Row, GarageBand, iPhoto, iMovie, iDVD, etc....

    I don't think anybody here is going to deny that due to the paucity of third party apps for their platform, Apple has felt obligated to provide an entire desktop stackup of apps to get people to buy their machine. It's good of them to not give people the 1984 Mac experience when MacPaint and MacWrite were about it. (and neither was a free bundle with the system)

  • by betterunixthanunix (980855) on Thursday July 22, 2010 @11:57AM (#32991098)

    They need to know there are alternatives

    Every Mac OS X user on this planet knows that there is an alternative -- Apple's entire marketing strategy is based on conveying the idea that the choice is between Windows and Mac OS X. Now, whether those user are aware of the dozens of other alternatives out there is another story.

    They need to be able to run their applications on them, in exactly the same way they already run those applications

    Not in my experience. I have seen people with no technical expertise at all switch from Windows to Fedora (GNOME) and have little difficulty after the first day or so.

    The real impediment to people switching away from Apple's products is the amount of effort Apple has put into their marketing campaign. People are convinced that Apple's desktops and laptops are in a completely different category from every other company's desktops and laptops, and that Mac OS X is the greatest operating system in the entire world (never mind that PC-BSD is considered the easiest operating system to learn how to use, and that Mac OS X is routinely cracked faster than its competitors at pwn2own). People are willing to pay a substantial premium for Apple's computers and software, and that adds to their belief that they are getting something better than anything else out there.

    Apple's customers also do not care about the issues that gave rise to the GPL -- just look at iPhone and iPad sales. Telling an Apple customer that switching to a libre operating system will free them from Apple's tactics is pointless, since they do not perceive Apple's tactics as a problem. All they see is software that they are convinced is better than everything else, and someone who is telling them that they should switch to be free of a problem they don't think they have.

  • by Lumpy (12016) on Thursday July 22, 2010 @11:59AM (#32991134) Homepage

    Major insightful..

    dell pc comes with - 3 buckets of crapware, to bags of trialware, and 1 spoon of real apps MS Works...

    Everything else is junk from the Mcaffee internet panic attack to the MS office 30 day nag trial to all the games that are nothing more than junk to get the machine full of ad's.

    A OSX machine, even the lowest mac mini comes with a music editor, video editor, DVD video authoring app, Photo manager and basic editor, Backup solution and media organizer. None are cripple ware or 30 day trials... thay all are full retail versions.

    The windows guys really want you to ignore that fact.

  • by qazwart (261667) on Thursday July 22, 2010 @12:01PM (#32991158) Homepage
    This patent was granted about two years ago. The main point of the patent is to give Apple a way of including ad services in the core of its OS. That service, iAds, is now part of the iPhone OS.

    The illustrations and scenarios are probably bogus to make people think this will apply to Mac OS X and for a completely different purpose. Read the patent carefully (patent #20090265214), and you'll see it applies directly to iAds.

    Claim 1. A computer-implemented method for operating a device, the method comprising: disabling a function of an operating system in a device; presenting an advertisement in the device while the function is disabled; and enabling the function in response to the advertisement ending.

    When you view iAds, the functions of the OS are "disabled" (that is, until you dismiss the iAd). The OS is reenabled once the iAd is dismissed.

    Claim 5. The computer-implemented method of claim 1, further comprising selecting the function among a plurality of functions before each advertisement presentation.

    Sounds like iAds.

    Claim 12. The computer-implemented method of claim 1, further comprising presenting in the device a user-selectable control that when activated triggers at least one selected from the group consisting of: causing presentation of a page from an advertiser associated with the advertisement; recording a user rating of the advertisement; again presenting the advertisement; sharing the advertisement with another user; initiating a transaction for user purchase of a product that eliminates the presentation of advertisements on the device; postponing presentation of the advertisement; causing the advertisement to be presented ahead of schedule; causing a previous advertisement to be presented; causing a preview of a subsequent advertisement to be presented; causing an overview of all available advertisements to be presented; and initiating a transaction for user purchase of a product or service to which the advertisement relates.

    Yup, iAds.

    If you've never applied for a patent, you don't understand this weird world.

    • When you apply for a patent, you must keep the patent broad enough that no one else can make a slight modification and get around your patent. For example, I come up with a totally new and cool device. Let's say a holographic sex robot. I use the term "keyboard based control pad" to define how this device works. Someone copies my holographic sex robot, but doesn't use a "keyboard based control pad". My patent is useless.
    • You also need to keep the patent defined tight enough to avoid prior art. Imagine this time I take care of defining my holographic sex robot as a mere electronically enabled sex device, that way, no one could build a similar device, but make it less robotic and thus avoid my patent. In this case, someone could show prior art by showing that there are already electronically enabled sex devices on the market.
    • When you apply for a patent, you are showing intentions of future directions and thus alerting potential competitors. Imagine if you're an electronics gaming company and you're thinking of building a holographic sex robot. You come up with some unique features and want to patent them. But, you must be careful not to alert your potential competitors what you have in mind. They could try to throw up their own patents in front of your efforts, or come up with their own sex robots before you get a chance with your holographic sex robot. Instead, when you file your patent, you pretend the patent covers a new unique touch interface with a certain responsive IO. You draw console screens to illustrate how your device works. You never mention the words "holographic", "sex", or "robot". Now, when you come out with your holographic sex robot at CES in Las Vegas, you've taken the market by complete surprise.

    Of course, there is the case that Apple will never use this patent. Most patents applied for are never used

  • by dzfoo (772245) on Thursday July 22, 2010 @12:17PM (#32991360)

    Yes, and how is that working out for you in your iPhone?

    JailBreaking is something different, as it requires basically patching the kernel after a buffer-overrun attack.

            -dZ.

  • by dzfoo (772245) on Thursday July 22, 2010 @12:37PM (#32991708)

    The point is that the same "BSD-Based" OS is in those devices as in the current Mac computers, so its lineage has little to do with how the hardware is adapted to support a version of the OS where ads are forced.

          -dZ.

  • by selven (1556643) on Thursday July 22, 2010 @12:57PM (#32992032)

    His post was a very rational and cogent argument and in this discussion it was even taking the pro-Apple side. There is nothing wrong with hating Apple, Microsoft, the US government or any other organization, and the fact that you disregarded the rest of his post because he dared express his opinion shows that you're either too lazy to read the post and prefer focusing on whatever single words stand out or you yourself are an intolerant pro-Apple fanatic.

  • by incer (1071224) on Thursday July 22, 2010 @01:34PM (#32992670)
    You don't know what you're talking about. My main computer is a Macbook, my desktop at home and at work are running Sabayon Linux, the file server I set up there runs Ubuntu server, my eee runs Arch (and others, depending on the mood I'm in). I'm not a programmer, but I spend a lot of time tweaking and administrating computers.... Still I need a reliable pc for everyday and work use, and nothing beats a Mac. My previous Macbook died after 4 years of abuse (didn't actually die, let's say that the screen is almost gone and only one RAM slot works now), probably more than half a million kilometers on car, motorbike, plane and more, being used between 6 and 10 hours a day (often more), being tossed everywhere while inside my backpack, falling on the ground and more. I'd like to see another non-toughbook computer do that. And do that without ever missing a shot, too. I never had to reinstall the OS or any application, only minimal maintenance required. You sound like one of those people who criticize what they don't know. Guess what they're called.
  • Re:What's this? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by pandrijeczko (588093) on Thursday July 22, 2010 @07:31PM (#32997842)

    Ahem!

    1) "I am not an Apple fanboi" != "I am an AOL user".

    2) Who are AOL anyway?

  • by Tom (822) on Friday July 23, 2010 @03:42AM (#33000440) Homepage Journal

    iAds is about allowing developers to give the option of paying for the app via watching ads.

    It is about allowing developers to sell their users to ad companies instad of pleasing them with a good product so they're willing to pay for it.

    At least say it how it is.

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