Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
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."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Apple Awarded Anti-Sexting Patent

Comments Filter:
  • Oh come on... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by geminidomino (614729) on Wednesday October 13, 2010 @12:27PM (#33883718) Journal

    A Favre jab on slashdot? Seriously?

    I knew this place was going down the crapper, but I didn't think it had hit the "E! TV" level of low yet...

  • Parenting skills? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by iamwhoiamtoday (1177507) on Wednesday October 13, 2010 @12:28PM (#33883730)

    News flash, dearest parents. Controlling everything that your child does is not good parenting. Yes, the kids will mess up every now and then. So do we all. If you impose a lot of rules, monitor every little thing that your child does, then all they will do is find a way around whatever blocks / rules you have in place. They have a LOT of energy, and endless free time.

    tl:dr - Being a good parent does not mean monitoring every little action.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Thanshin (1188877)

      Controlling everything that your child does is not good parenting.

      Unless you want your children to become great liars, a necessary skill for any management position.

      Or spies.

      Or ninja!

    • by Darkness404 (1287218) on Wednesday October 13, 2010 @12:32PM (#33883784)
      Exactly. Heck, strict parenting has your kids go wild later in life. The people who control their kids lives in middle and high school either have a massive rebellion in high school, or if they put them in the college that the kid doesn't want to go to, they will rebel later in life.

      If you don't let your kids do little things (watch R rated movies, hang out with friends, read what they want to, etc.) and then whenever they do realize that those things aren't really harmful, they will question your judgment on things that are harmful, such as drinking and driving.

      When parents cry wolf at every little silly harmless "moral panic" they lose credibility with their kids.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by joebok (457904)

        Being a fairly new parent (17 months), I think there is a balance. I believe a responsible parent needs to be involved and sometimes that means observing or monitoring. That is different than controlling. A tool like this could be helpful if used wisely.

        From my recent life - my daughter learned how to climb onto the couch. The first thing she did after that was to leap off headfirst. Mommy was there to catch her and that became a great game. Next phase was pillows on the floor and letting her learn a

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by cptdondo (59460)

          At some point, though, you have to let her jump off the couch and whack her head. And stand by and let it happen.

          Because if you always catch her, she never learns that there are things in this world that will hurt, will main, will destroy her life.

          My kids have gone through their share of bruises, head whacks, and such. If they make a bad decision, and it won't hurt them permanently, I let it ride.

          "Good judgement comes from experience. Experience comes from bad judgement."

          • by geekoid (135745)

            And if she catches a corner, it will be a great lesson to the surviving children.

          • by joebok (457904)

            That is exactly what I said - we stopped catching her; we provided a safe environment into which she could fall. Result is she learned how to get off the couch on her own without any spilled blood. It is not necessary to learn every lesson at the school of hard knocks. A good parent is actively engaged, dynamically balancing protecting their kids and allowing them to grow and learn so they can take care of themselves.

            • by DJRumpy (1345787)

              Well said. The knee-jerk reactions in here aside, parents have always tried and partially succeeded in controlling what their children see and hear. It is as much a part of parenting as feeding and clothing them. The electronic age took a huge chunk of control away from parents. Prior to wide availability of the internet, a child's exposure to such was limited to the occasional glimpse in a porn magazine, and what passed for risque on TV. When web sites started hitting wider audiences, early sites even had

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by CecilPL (1258010)

          When I was 5 I leaped off the couch headfirst onto a pile of cushions. Except I underestimated my strength and flew right over the cushions, headfirst into the corner of a solid oak liquor cabinet.

          It hurt like crazy but you know what? Agony is inescapable in life, and you have to learn how to deal with it through experience.

          Two stitches later I had learned a pretty valuable lesson.

        • by pnuema (523776) on Wednesday October 13, 2010 @02:42PM (#33885644)
          A piece of advice, from an older parent to a new parent: you are not raising a child. You are raising an adult. You should spend your daughter's entire life as if you will drop dead when she turns 18. When you look at things from this perspective, things completely change. You are not protecting your child from the world; you are preparing them for it. They can handle a lot more than you think they can - including falling off a couch.
          • by cptdondo (59460)

            Hehe. My standard rant to overprotective parents:

            "Kids are the progeny of the most successful predator to ever walk the face of the Earth. They're pretty tough; they don't break easily."

            I like your perspective; I'm not sure that I wouldn't lower that age to 16, though. Kids are pretty much grown up by 16, or at least think they are.

      • by cptdondo (59460) on Wednesday October 13, 2010 @12:50PM (#33884014) Journal

        Absolutely. We have some friends who micro-managed their daughter. Now she's 13, has already been thrown out of 2 schools, and on and on. Kids need room to be kids.

        Teach your kids to do the right thing. To do that you have to actually live that way too - it does no good to preach the evils of drunk driving, then have 4 beers with dinner and drive home.

        Set the example, trust your kids to do the right thing, and talk to them.

        Bringing your kids up right is all about respect. I encourage my kids to keep their passwords private, I don't snoop on them, and I encourage them to talk to me.

        That's much harder and much more effective than some stupid filter.

        • by Putr (1669238) on Wednesday October 13, 2010 @03:35PM (#33886532)
          I agree.

          On one hand let's take my parents: They never told me i cant do anything, just warned me of the concicuances, like alcohol, when i was 16 my parents sat me down and told me how to drink, and whant no to mix and how to party. THey ASKED me not do do drugs and explaind why. My mom smokes and she said "You know what cigarettes are doing to me, smoke if you whant". --> I have never even tried to smoke or any drug what so ever. I only drink on parties and i only get buzzed.

          On the other hand maney of my female frend's parents: They were 18 and they still had to be home by 10pm on Fridays (legal drinking age here is 18). So sinc the time they were 13 they would go out at 6pm, get Drunk, smoke and do drugs, than throw up and clean themselves up by 10pm to go home.

          So if you think you can force a kid to do something your MORONIC and just plain dumme. The only way to make a child do something you whant for certain is convincing them it's the right thing to do and let them decide for themselves.

          So parents: Warn your kids, then let them do what ever they whant and than help them pick up the peaces. After a while they'll lurn that your just looking out for them and they'll actually listen to you. Respect must be urned, not forced.

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Aeros (668253)
        Im just thinking more and more that maybe the movie 'Idiocracy' might really be our future after all.
      • On the other hand, lack of discipline is also troublesome. If a parent decides to praise the good with the bad, rather than just the good, doesn't this breed sociopaths? I hyperbolize, but sometimes it really is alright to say "that is not good... don't do that."
    • by s73v3r (963317) <s73v3rNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Wednesday October 13, 2010 @12:40PM (#33883892)
      I don't care. As long as they live under MY Roof, they will use correct grammar and spelling when they send nudie texts.
      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        I don't care. As long as they live under MY Roof, they will use correct grammar and spelling when they send nudie texts.

        Easier said than done.

        I'm in a predicament. Should I punish the child for spelling it "cumming" instead of "coming"?

      • Technical hurdles (Score:3, Insightful)

        by einhverfr (238914)

        It is very difficult to define correct grammar, to start with. (Note false positive for preposition stranding)
        Moreover, spelling corrections may disrupt the vital Cupertino between parent and child. (Note Cupertino effect)
        Thus I would expect such controls to have no effect, once or ever. (eggcorn)
        Because of times when splitting the infinitive is required, I would never expect demand to more than double from where it is today.
        Should the passive voice be allowed?

        etc.

        Technology can't enforce grammar rules e

      • by antdude (79039)

        I hate your rules. I am running away from this place. :P

    • by BJ_Covert_Action (1499847) on Wednesday October 13, 2010 @12:43PM (#33883920) Homepage Journal

      If you impose a lot of rules, monitor every little thing that your child does, then all they will do is find a way around whatever blocks / rules you have in place...

      The unintended consequence of this, and, dare I say, hidden advantage of it, is that such measures create generations of kids that are good at hacking their way out of oppressive measures whom have little respect for authority. In a world where governments seem to see their role, increasingly, as using any and all means (including technology) at their disposal to trample on human rights, this combination of skills and attitude will be a valuable weapon in the hands of the citizenry.

      • I sometimes wonder if society is stuck in some kind of sine wave.
        just as fashions come around again and again so might rebellion and conservatism generation to generation.

      • Or... (Score:5, Interesting)

        by BetterSense (1398915) on Wednesday October 13, 2010 @01:36PM (#33884642)
        "He noticed that she never used Newspeak words except the ones that had passed into everyday use. She had never heard of the Brotherhood, and refused to believe in its existence. Any kind of organized revolt against the Party, which was bound to be a failure, struck her as stupid. The clever thing was to break the rules and stay alive all the same. He wondered vaguely how many others like her there might be in the younger generation people who had grown up in the world of the Revolution, knowing nothing else, accepting the Party as something unalterable, like the sky, not rebelling against its authority but simply evading it, as a rabbit dodges a dog."

        From 1984 by George Orwell
      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by mysidia (191772)

        create generations of kids that are good at hacking their way out of oppressive measures whom have little respect for authority.

        Either that or kids who have learned that 'oppressive measures', micromanagement, and overbearing authority are normal.

        You are assuming the parents don't break their children down and force them to comply with oppressive measures.

        Resulting in kids trained to be docile, even later in life, when the government starts to further trample on inalienable human rights.

    • Re: (Score:2, Flamebait)

      by mapkinase (958129)

      "Controlling everything that your child does is not good parenting"

      It is never about controlling "everything". It's always a battle, trying to achieve balance. The technology increasing freedoms develops very fast, but technology that curbs them does not develop as fast: naturally children get more and more freedoms in obtaining the questionable material.

    • by Abstrackt (609015) on Wednesday October 13, 2010 @12:49PM (#33883994)

      Good points. Being a good parent means not just teaching your kids how to act properly when they are unsupervised but also instilling the desire to do so.

      The biggest problem I've seen with parents putting their kids' lives on rails is that when the kid is ever exposed to a new problem they have a hell of a time reasoning out the solution based on previous experience because they've never been allowed to fail.

      • by Kozz (7764)

        Good points. Being a good parent means not just teaching your kids how to act properly when they are unsupervised but also instilling the desire to do so.

        Actually a good comment, and reminded me of a quote, summarized:

        (Character|Integrity|Morality) is how you act when you think nobody is watching.

    • Re:Parenting skills? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by kungfugleek (1314949) on Wednesday October 13, 2010 @12:49PM (#33884004)
      Not monitoring anything isn't good parenting either.
      • by houghi (78078)

        Do not try to solve a social problem with a technical solution.

      • Not monitoring anything isn't good parenting either.

        Monitoring should not be equated with controlling. If you don't attempt to micro-manage your kids' lives, they'll have less motivation to conceal stuff from you. And that means that you'll be better-informed about your kids, their classmates and other buddies, and their activities (naughty as well as nice). You'll also be more likely to know when intervention is needed - before disaster strikes - and your advice is more likely to be heeded if it's given sparingly but clearly.

        Our teenage daughter is actua

      • And shockingly, both controlling and failing to monitor is right up there with the worst things you can do. Crazy I know, but they're really not opposites.

        "The world is strict and senseless, so cheat, the fuck do I care?"

      • by swillden (191260)

        Not monitoring anything isn't good parenting either.

        Very true.

        Also, believing the same parenting approach works with every kid is also bad parenting. Different kids require different degrees of supervision. With some, parents need to exercise significant control over their environment because the kids make such bad choices that left to their own they wouldn't survive to adulthood. I have a daughter who would not be alive today if we hadn't intervened and taken complete control of her life. Of course, she's not normal. In fact she suffers from a seriou

    • tl:dr - Being a good parent does not mean monitoring every little action.

      While it's true that you can't (and shouldn't) monitor everything, I think there are instances where text messages are one of those things that should be monitored, only because of the severity of what could result... such as (possibly revealing) pictures of your kid being put on the internet where they will stay forever. But I'm not a parent, so I'm just supposing that if such an event could be prevented that it would be a very good thing.

      Either way, I think it's fairly obvious that monitoring everythi

      • In that case, don't bother so much about 'monitoring' the content of the text messages. Instead try teaching responsible behavior.

        My kid is far too young to do anything like this, but I do have a nephew who is older and I'm teaching him about online privacy.
    • by avandesande (143899) on Wednesday October 13, 2010 @01:04PM (#33884184) Journal

      Buying a child an expensive unnecessary useless gadget to improve their peer status is bad parenting.

      • by Tikkun (992269)
        I'm pretty sure that if a child today doesn't have a cell phone and isn't amish, they have no friends. Parents, feel free to correct me if I'm wrong here.
    • Well, apparently in your case your parents didn't monitor enough. Look, now you're on slashdot!

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by geekoid (135745)

      Newsflash childless limp dicks: It's about moderation. I am not the parent of all the kids, just my kids. How other children are raised impacts my child. So how about we educate them., use moderation, and help them understand instead of just letting them go willy nilly?

      I know my kids will find a way around. In some cases I know exactly how they will do it.

      • by hondo77 (324058)

        I know my kids will find a way around. In some cases I know exactly how they will do it.

        +2 Insightful

      • Newsflash childless limp dicks

        That's some level of maturity you got there. Must be a great parent.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by LordKronos (470910)

      If you impose a lot of rules, monitor every little thing that your child does, then all they will do is find a way around whatever blocks / rules you have in place.

      I saw a story on the local news a few weeks ago. This mother had been monitoring her daughters text message and call logs to see what she had been up to. Nothing suspicious ever came up. Then she learned of a service that the cell carrier provided that would let her log on and monitor the communications that had taken place with the account. She did that and found out that there had been lots of sexting going on among a half dozen or so of her friends. It turns out her daughter had been outwitting her all t

    • by mcgrew (92797) *

      Controlling everything that your child does is not good parenting.

      It depends on how old they are. When they're really small, NOT controlling everything they do is bad parenting. The older they get, the less supervision they require.

  • I wonder, what will the next great "moral panic" be? Quite honestly, I hope this is the last one, because every "moral panic" only harms the world, does nothing to benefit it and there was never any harm to begin with.

    Why is it that the masses and the media can't differentiate between real threats and panic?
  • Whew! There is *no* way kids will find a way around this. Problem: SOLVED! /s

    I've said it before, but you can't always solve social problems with technological solutions, and here's a perfect example of that. Teenagers need to be informed about the permanence of the internet, the value of trust, and what the consequences of actions are. Beyond that, society needs to be more forgiving when kids screw up (which they can't help but do) and not brand them for life because of early mishaps.

    Those are social s

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Jeremi (14640)

      I, for one, am looking forward to the wave of creative new euphemisms this is going to spawn.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Darkness404 (1287218)
      What needs to happen is that managers need to stop grading people on their behavior and focus instead on things related to work. Just because someone had a few drinks once and has some pictures on Facebook with them holding a beer doesn't make them not qualified.

      When managers finally pull their head out of their buzzword-laced asses and realize that we are all humans, and that personal and private lives rarely are similar and simply give jobs to people who are qualified, this will be a non-issue.

      If
      • by xaxa (988988)

        In Britain so long as you don't turn up to work drunk I don't think anyone cares.

        In America do you ever go out with your colleagues after work? If so, do people drink alcohol? It's normal here to all go to the pub if a colleague is leaving, or just on Friday. Typically the boss will pay [hrmagazine.co.uk] for at least some of the drinks.

        I've seen my manager, his manager and the CIO drunk (usually when someone's retiring, as that's probably a better excuse for their respective partners). And also all the childless colleagues -

  • Will it still intercept those messages when kids start inventing new words to have sexual meaning?
    • by Pojut (1027544)

      "So what happend with you and Suzy last night?"
      "What else? We did the finances."

    • Will it still intercept those messages when kids start inventing new words to have sexual meaning?

      Child #1: Yo, man, that party last night was freakin', Smurf!
      Child #2: You bet your smurf it was!
      Child #1: Hey, I saw you leaving with Sheila.
      Child #2: Yeah. Right when we left the party, she started smurfin' me.
      Child #1: Shut the smurf up! Right in the smurfing parking lot?
      Child #2: Oh, yeah.
      Child #1: That's freakin' smurf!
      Child #2: You betcha.
      Child #1: Freakin' smurf.

      (stolen from Family Guy [youtube.com])

    • Why do you think the slang changes every generation?

    • by Abstrackt (609015)

      Will it still intercept those messages when kids start inventing new words to have sexual meaning?

      I propose the following new word: instead of a blowjob they could call it a SteveJob.

      • by c6gunner (950153)

        I propose the following new word: instead of a blowjob they could call it a SteveJob.

        No, that should be reserved for "rimjob".

  • They could have let their iPhones keep replacing 'fuck' with 'duck'. :)
  • Huh? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by areusche (1297613) on Wednesday October 13, 2010 @12:34PM (#33883804)

    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.

    • See, /. knows that people don't read TFA, so they were thinking about licensing this technology to put the summaries in Spanish so we'd read TFA.
    • 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

      • by areusche (1297613)
        Thanks for the reply to my post. I read the article, but I can tell you know I would be really annoyed if some kids started sending me text messages in Spanish.
    • by Abstrackt (609015)
      Based on your comment and the title of TFS I think it's safe to assume kids are sexting in Spanish to get around a parental control application patented by Apple.
  • It seems that with some things, people just don't learn. Online chat sites and forum sites, not to mention spam filters, have tried for years and years now to do exactly what Apple is trying to do, but determined people will just obfuscate censored words, use completely different words, euphemisms, or use leet-speak. Combine all the above and they may as well be speaking in Navajo (and I wouldn't put it past them to try that, too). Aside from practical considerations, isn't this just treating the symptom ra
  • by recoiledsnake (879048) on Wednesday October 13, 2010 @12:39PM (#33883882)

    "If you're parenting skills aren't up to snuff, Apple's got a patent on the device that will allow you to control what you child sends and receives.

  • Let people raise their kids. Unless they are some of the mentally ill who are an actual danger to their kids, they will do a better job of it than the government or a corporation. They know their kids better than you or I do and most parents intend at least to do the best for their kids. If they want to censor their kids' communications and monitor it to some extent, I'm fine with that. There is some point you have to teach your kids to have some integrity and to be trustworthy when you can't verify all the

  • Brett Favre just traded in his iPhone for an Android phone, story at 11. :)

  • Human sexuality terrifies Steve Jobs.
  • Parenting... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by citoxE (1799926)
    When it came to how I grew up, it was very lax, to say the least. I could go where I wanted, do what I wanted, and I never ended up getting in trouble, ever. No drugs, no nothing. It's when parents try to start controlling every little thing their kids do that they want to start lying and doing the things their parents tell them to do. PROTIP: Let them have some freedom once in a while. If you notice your child starts to become evasive when you ask them questions or just evasive in general, then it's time t
    • Not to dump on your message per se, but it turns out children are people. They have personalities. Each one is different.

      Some children will want more freedom, and will be better off for it. I suspect that many children need strict boundaries, and will benefit from that. Some kids will thrive with a more middle of the road approach.

      I had a Chinese Mom and a Caucasian Dad. She was strict as hell, he was a bit more laissez-faire. That worked for me and my sister. I had friends with two Chinese parents, and for

  • by esme (17526)

    I really don't understand why any discussion of a new technology that might possibly be used to limit children in any way is accompanied by an immediate assumption that only terrible parents would use it. This seems like a very simplistic false choice between total freedom and BOFH-style lockdown.

    It seems much more reasonable to me to give children freedom appropriate to their age, but also use tech to limit that freedom where that makes sense. Of course technology is no replacement for supervision or for

  • Just a quick info on a product that is from a woman in my town here in Norway. I think this has a huge potential and is targeting parents with kids from 7-10 years old.

    Bipper.com [bipper.com] is a simple sim-card with a the code included in the sim-card that makes you monitor and select who can call and text your children etc. There is also a code the child can call and then the phone will call persons in a ring until one answers. The location of the phone will also be sent. Since it's all on the sim-card it will work o

  • Since almost every word in the English language can be used in some sexual reference, I suppose this patent just blocks all text. For example, "I want to go logging up your canyon until you landslide all over my boulders." Now, that is not even cleaver, and I am sure that anyone who really can write will suggest prose that make my slight example seem corny. The point is that such censorship is futile and moronic. However, it does get a lot of press...
  • Please let me automatically filter out every text message I receive that has "u" or "k" as a standalone word, or "thx".

  • "increasing the number of Spanish words your child receives so that they can better learn Spanish."

    Um, like, how does that work? Add in some Spanish words? Make sh*t up?

    If they are getting Spanish already, 'increasing the number' sounds stupid. If they are not, 'increasing the number' sounds stupid.

    Sorry, but the idea that they can 'increase the number', that was stupid.

  • How does this patent not get smacked down like a narc at a biker rally?
    It's no different than the 'profanity' filters on forums and chat systems in video games.

  • http://dilbert.com/strips/comic/1996-01-23/ [dilbert.com] They're trying to prevent teenagers from talking about sex. Teenagers. Sex. Good fucking luck.

I don't want to achieve immortality through my work. I want to achieve immortality through not dying. -- Woody Allen

Working...