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Cellphones Censorship Communications Patents Apple

Apple Awarded Anti-Sexting Patent 184

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the don't-do-that dept.
eldavojohn writes "If your parenting skills aren't up to snuff, Apple's got a patent on the device that will allow you to control what your child sends and receives. Entitled 'Text-based communication control for personal communication device,' this patent uses examples like increasing the number of Spanish words your child receives so that they can better learn Spanish. You could even use it to control your child's grammar and spelling in outgoing text messages. But news sources seem to be focusing on the censorship issue that Apple has been criticized for before: 'The control is in line with earlier efforts adopted by Apple like Playboy which entered into a deal with Apple to censor its content to secure a place in App Store.' Perhaps the wives and agents of popular athletes would be more interested in this technology? Apple is certainly sending a message opposite to the one Microsoft advertises."
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Apple Awarded Anti-Sexting Patent

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  • by eldavojohn (898314) * <eldavojohn.gmail@com> on Wednesday October 13, 2010 @12:48PM (#33883982) Journal

    So the summary went from an anti sexting patent, some parental control application, to learning Spanish by changing the phone's default language, and finally to close a way to protect our celebrities from their antics.

    I don't tend to complain about the summaries, but man I guess I am going to have to go and read the article now to make sense of this summary.

    Well, I apologize for the apparently incomprehensible summary. I didn't say anything at all about changing the phone's default language. The phone would just ensure that the child is sending or receiving messages with a certain amount of Spanish in them to ensure the child learns Spanish. Basically this patent could be used for censorship and/or replacement. That entails a lot of things and the patent itself alludes to a lot of possibilities. The media jumps on the 'think of the children' point of view but I tried to point out adults need it just as well. This could include anything from blocking certain folks from seeing certain words to replacing English words with Spanish in order to facilitate learning.

    You're not going to read the patent but if you read the summary:

    Systems, devices, and methods are provided for enabling a user to control the content of text-based messages sent to or received from an administered device. In some embodiments, a message will be blocked (incoming or outgoing) if the message includes forbidden content. In other embodiments, the objectionable content is removed from the message prior to transmission or as part of the receiving process. The content of such a message is controlled by filtering the message based on defined criteria. The criteria may be defined according to a parental control application. These techniques also may be used, in accordance with instructional embodiments, to require the administered devices to include certain text in messages. These embodiments might, for example, require that a certain number of Spanish words per day be included in e-mails for a child learning Spanish.

    Of course given Apple's history, we can only wonder what kind of censorship they're trying to facilitate. It's about filtering text messages and e-mails (which I guess are starting to blend on smart phones). Sorry to stymie you with specific possibilities of what the patent could be used for.

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