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Apple Patents "Enforceable" Ad Viewing On Devices 439

Rexdude writes "Apple has filed a patent that forces users to interact with an ad. FTFA: 'Its distinctive feature is a design that doesn't simply invite a user to pay attention to an ad — it also compels attention. The technology can freeze the device until the user clicks a button or answers a test question to demonstrate that he or she has dutifully noticed the commercial message. Because this technology would be embedded in the innermost core of the device, the ads could appear on the screen at any time, no matter what one is doing.'" We've been following this story for awhile now but it seems to have broken into the mainstream.
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Apple Patents "Enforceable" Ad Viewing On Devices

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  • Hello Apple? I have a problem with my iPhone. Every time it shows an advertisement, the screen gets smashed. Can you help?

    • by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 16, 2009 @10:50AM (#30115236)

      I was seriously starting to consider buying an iPhone. Then I see this patent, and think "I will never buy such a product".

      But your post gives me hope; if everyone called apple support every time they saw an ad like this, it would be awesome.

      "Hello Apple? I was dialing 9-1-1, but I only got 9-1 in, and then this screen popped up and asked me how many horsepower are in the new lexus, and now my house has all burnt to the ground, and I had to borrow the neighbor's phone because my iPhone is unusable until I answer this stupid question. BTW, can you give me the legal department's number?"

      • by fuzzyfuzzyfungus ( 1223518 ) on Monday November 16, 2009 @11:14AM (#30115564) Journal
        The trouble is, with Apple, that sort of thing wouldn't happen. That's what makes them more dangerous than their competitors.

        When somebody like Sony tries to pull an anti-consumer move, you get crap like UMD, or blu-ray players that need to spend 15 minutes downloading updates before your squalling brat can watch whatever disney tripe will satisfy their 15 second attention span. Or intel's ill-fated :Viiv" that nobody can pronounce and even the initial reviewers couldn't get working properly. And all this is not to mention stuff like cablecard or walmart's DRM server deactivation.

        Even if joe consumer doesn't know what DRM is, has never thought about its implications, wouldn't know "software freedom" if it bit him in the ass, things like that will piss him off anyway. With apple, though, it is different. Their anti-consumer moves are so shiny, so polished, so elegant, that even people who ostensibly do care about DRM and things will come out of the woodwork to defend them.

        That is what makes them problematic.
        • by TheRaven64 ( 641858 ) on Monday November 16, 2009 @11:24AM (#30115712) Journal

          People only care about DRM when it stops them doing something that they want. Few people care that they can't rip their DVDs (although a few more now that mobile devices capable of playing video are common) but a lot of people care about the unskippable segments at the start. Most people who use the iTunes store don't care about the DRM because it lets them do everything that they want. Same with Steam. The reason people hated the Sony versions is that they didn't work.

          If you want people to hate DRM, don't tell them 'DRM is bad,' encourage them to do things that DRM doesn't let them do. For example, copy their music and films to their mobile phones. Then explain why they can't do it in some cases because of the DRM.

          • Mod parent UP (Score:5, Insightful)

            by KingSkippus ( 799657 ) on Monday November 16, 2009 @02:35PM (#30118820) Homepage Journal

            I don't care that the post is already at +5. Petition CowboyNeal to make it +6, because that is precisely how to get average schmoes to understand how digital restrictions are hurting them.

            First of all, I don't acknowledge the term "DRM" or "Digital Rights Management," because that does not describe what it's used for. I call it a more layman-friendly "digital restrictions." The whole concept need to be reframed. When people hear "DRM," they think it's some kind of techno-jargon that they don't understand. Even if they find out what it stands for, they think, "Hey, it's to help me manage something, that's a good thing, right?" They need to understand that its sole purpose is restricting them from doing things with their digital stuff. Even if they choose not to do those things, they need to understand that DRM gives them nothing; its only function is to take away.

            I tell people all the time about how unbelievably behind we are because of digital restrictions. "Hey, wouldn't it be cool if we could watch television on our iPhones? Well, there's no technical reason we can't; it's just that digital restrictions are stopping us." "Did you know that it would be trivially simple to write some slick software so that you could store every CD and DVD you own on a hard drive that costs less than $200 so that you could watch or listen to anything you want, anytime you want, without having to fool with the physical media? Well, we could, if it weren't for digital restrictions."

            Now and then, I actually show people some of the stuff that I have and that I can do, given my technical know-how to rip DVDs and stream them to my television, load them on my iPhone, etc. When people "ooh" and "ahh" over it and ask me how they can do such things, I tell them, "Well, it's pretty hard right now, you have to really dig around to find the software and jump through a bunch of hoops to do it. Unfortunately, whenever anyone tries to write software to make it easier or publish such software in a legitimate way, they get sued out of existence by the people who don't want you to be able to do this without paying big bucks. (Or in many of cases, who simply don't want you to be able to do this at all.)

        • by JM78 ( 1042206 ) on Monday November 16, 2009 @12:28PM (#30116516) Journal
          With apple, though, it is different. Their anti-consumer moves are so shiny...

          Bull. Apple is evil, granted, but their rise isn't because the masses flock to shiny, polished, gemstones. It's because their products have a history being user-friendly and bringing the power of traditional tech-only gadgetry to those who either can't or won't learn a more complex device.

          I use all the mainstream platforms out there, in my work, on a daily basis. They've all got their pitfalls and suck in their own way. However, my iPhone, as a consumer device capable of doing most of the consumer-related things I want from such a device, freakin' rocks — jailbroken or not. And I am certainly not one who generally cares about shiny/polished. My complaints with my iPhone are 99.99% directed towards the telecom industry.

          If Apple borked my iPhone by a) hijacking my device and pushing advertisements to my phone or worse b) forced me to interact with said advertisements, you can bet your ass the damn thing would end up in the trash.

          Now, on the flipside, if Apple can implement such an action (although I don't see how seeing as how the first FF plugin I install is adblock) in a way that is non-intrusive and doesn't disrupt the joy in using a device then, who cares? Advertisements aren't inherently anti-consumer and are perfectly reasonable on the whole — anti-consumer only exists when consumers don't have a choice. As far as available devices are concerned, nobody can claim the iPhone is the only option available. The market is quite anti-competitive, as a whole, however it stems almost entirely from the telecoms; not device manufacturers.

          So, write your congressmen and the FCC and tell them to turn our mobile providers into utilities and stop their collusion practices because that's where your complaint should be. Apple couldn't compete if they implemented forced advertisements in a world where mobile provider choice was on the side of consumers.

          my 2 cents.
      • by stupid_is ( 716292 ) on Monday November 16, 2009 @12:03PM (#30116202) Homepage

        The patent itself [] has screenshots of a Mac desktop, so I'd imagine this is along the lines of "Here's a subsidised computer, but you'll have to watch our ads" - which has been done many times before. Here they present a "new" implementation.

        On the other hand, I'd hate to be in their legal team the first time someone comes unstuck using Skype (or equiv) from their computer for an emergency call, and obviously they've also written the patent to apply to stuff like phones & PDAs with reference to iTunes (see [0048] on p12). Odd that they didn't include language to be able to bypass this advertising for certain instances of the function being blocked (e.g. dialling 911 rather than dialling a chum).

        I wonder what would happen if you the advertising IPs in your hosts file? Conceivably you'd be bricking the box (while breaking the ToS you signed up to, too, no doubt).

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by skuzzlebutt ( 177224 )

          I was thinking more along the lines of their new tablet multi-function device rumored for the near future. Free games, cheap e-books & e-mags, subsidized & limited 'net access...all for the price of some horrible flash ads that make you want to put your fist through the screen. Makes the Sony Reader look even better.

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Altus ( 1034 )

          I suspect this would most likely be tied to content and not actual products apple produces. what if, instead of paying 2 bucks at the iTunes store for an episode of a TV show you could download it with for free with 4 forced 30 second ads (not that much different from hulu but you cant get around it at all). Would you consider that option? I think I would.

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by Lord Ender ( 156273 )

          You don't the advertising IP. You point them to a fake server which only serves up invisible ads.

    • by ThrowAwaySociety ( 1351793 ) on Monday November 16, 2009 @11:59AM (#30116166)

      Hello Apple? I have a problem with my iPhone. Every time it shows an advertisement, the screen gets smashed. Can you help?

      Yes. You signed up for the ad-supported $50 iPhone, instead of the carrier-subsidized $200 iPhone. Simply return it to your AT&T store, pay the $450 ad-supported-phone termination fee.

      You will then be given the option to pay $200 for the AT&T-subsidized iPhone which will not display ads. Monthly charges will apply.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Z00L00K ( 682162 )

      Any device containing such technology is going to get on a black or hack list very fast.

      I'm annoyed enough by all the splash screens thrown in the face every time I start a program.

  • Fortunately (Score:5, Insightful)

    by imamac ( 1083405 ) on Monday November 16, 2009 @10:42AM (#30115106)
    Like most companies, Apple doesn't use half of their patents. Hopefully, this will be one of those unused ones.
    • Re:Fortunately (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Amarantine ( 1100187 ) on Monday November 16, 2009 @10:44AM (#30115152)
      Let's also hope that they won't license it to others, so we'll never see this technology in action. Seriously, do they expect anyone to appreciate this technology? (Anyone that is not in the marketing business, of course)
      • Even somebody in the marketing business. I would assume that they do consider "negative consumer impact" or some similar variable. Coercion usually ends up associating bad feelings with the advertised products.
      • Re:Fortunately (Score:5, Informative)

        by commodore64_love ( 1445365 ) on Monday November 16, 2009 @10:58AM (#30115358) Journal

        This tech is already in use on,,, and so on. When you watch their streaming videos, they expect you to click "continue" after watching the advertisement. It's their way of verifying you seeing the ad.

        • Re:Fortunately (Score:4, Insightful)

          by Loonacy ( 459630 ) on Monday November 16, 2009 @11:13AM (#30115556)

          I actually prefer the sites that have a "continue" button after an ad to the ones that just go right back into the program. The continue button allows me to wander off and do something else while the ad is playing without having to worry about missing anything.

          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by L4t3r4lu5 ( 1216702 )
            Until they implement a 10s timeout on the button. Don't think that they won't until they cotton on to this little "exploit."

            Way to give the game away, by the way! Asshole.
          • Re:Fortunately (Score:5, Insightful)

            by amoeba1911 ( 978485 ) on Monday November 16, 2009 @12:26PM (#30116494) Homepage

            You can wander off, and come back to find:
            Thank you for watching the advertisement, please enter the advertised product's name to continue.

            On a bigger scale, does it bother anyone else that we live in a world where we pay for things by watching advertisements? The advertisers then charge us extra money for the products they're selling so they can pay for the advertisements, which in turn take up our time. So in a way these advertisements cost us double:
            1. we spend the time to watch them
            2. we collectively endure the cost of producing and distributing these advertisements
            ... and we don't enjoy either part!
            So, what is the purpose of an advertisement? If a new product is coming out, we can find out on the review sites to figure out what sucks and what rocks. Maybe the advertisement's purpose is to appeal to your weaknesses and make you get a product without looking at the reviews. In my experience I have discovered that usually the crappiest products/services are the ones with the heaviest advertising and the good ones are busy doing real work instead of wasting time/money on advertisements.
            I think advertisements have gone too far, and advertising is a drain on the resources of a world with finite resources.
            How about they don't waste? Don't waste time making the ad, don't waste money airing the ad, don't waste my time making me watch a stupid ad. Invest money in making a better product that you genuinely care about instead of trying to convince people to buy your tripe.

        • Click below for continuing NBC.COM coverage of the military response on Klendathu in the Quarrantine Zone.

          Citizen, would you like to know more?

      • Does the US require that a patent need to be brought to use to be kept valid? Quick scan of Wikipedia says that some countries require it, but doesn't list which ones do.

      • by Snocone ( 158524 )

        Yes. The content providers being lined up for the media consumption device commonly referred to as "the Apple Tablet".

        Or how would you go about cost-effectively bringing enough content providers on board to make said chimera a useful product out of the box and avoid a Kindle-like fate for it? If you do have any better idea than Messr. Jobs, send your résumé to Amazon immediately...

      • Who knows, maybe they are doing this to prevent 3rd party vendors from making software that does this on an Apple platform (and preventing patent based blockage of vendors on other platforms?)

      • Re:Fortunately (Score:5, Interesting)

        by realityimpaired ( 1668397 ) on Monday November 16, 2009 @11:23AM (#30115700)

        Depends on what the technology is being used for, doesn't it?

        As an example... let's say they wanted to offer a free cellular service. In exchange for your free service, you had to watch 1 ad every 48 hours of real time, or every 30 minutes of talk time. A technology like this could allow them a way to guarantee to their investors that the ads would actually be watched, and would make it easier to fund such a service, no? They could even program the towers to return ads for businesses in range of the tower itself, essentially using geolocating in order to target the ads to people who might actually buy from the businesses in question without having to actually spy on you at all. They could implement it to be essentially non-intrusive while you're using the service... for the free cell phone example, it could, for example, queue up an ad so that once you're done your current conversation you need to watch it in order to make another call (but wouldn't block incoming calls)... it doesn't have to interrupt you mid-sentence with advertising.

        It's all about how they use it that really determines whether it's an ethical patent. If they're using it as a way to guarantee funding for an essentially free service, then great. If they're using it to force advertising down your throats when you've already paid or are paying for the service, then bad.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by sconeu ( 64226 )

          you had to watch 1 ad ... every 30 minutes of talk time.

          "Yes, I understand. To close this deal, we need to... Hang on. I have to click on....
            Hello? Are you still there? My stupid phone interrupted the call to make me click on this ad."

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by mwvdlee ( 775178 )

        Apple will gladly license this technology to their competitors; what easier way is there to kill of your competitors than letting them do it themselves while paying you for it.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by oldspewey ( 1303305 )

      They can go ahead and use it if they want. It won't affect me one bit.

      I can see this blowing up in their face if they try to implement it broadly. For example, what happens if I am at a client site using a Macbook to drive a presentation to a C-level audience, and an "ad" for a competitor product (or some other inappropriate ad) pops up and I have to spend time fumbling with a multiple choice "quiz?"

      No Thanks.

    • by Chrisq ( 894406 ) on Monday November 16, 2009 @11:00AM (#30115394)
      If they had any sense they would have patented adverts that don't force user interaction, and thereby force all other companies to make their devices too annoying to use.
  • What has changed? (Score:4, Informative)

    by tepples ( 727027 ) <> on Monday November 16, 2009 @10:43AM (#30115126) Homepage Journal
    What has changed since the last story about Apple's advertising patent []?
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by TheRaven64 ( 641858 )
      The editors saw a Microsoft advert when they tried searching Slashdot for dupes and couldn't pass the quiz at the end and so didn't see the dupe.
  • Great idea (Score:5, Insightful)

    by T.E.D. ( 34228 ) on Monday November 16, 2009 @10:43AM (#30115128)
    Actually, I'm in full support of this particular patent. As long as they don't actually use it themselves, don't license it, and vigorously enforce it.
    • That's a wonderful notion, but I can't think of a time when a corporation patented something bad soley as a way of preventing someone from using it. Maybe they won't bother using it, but if somebody else does, you can bet they'll meet them at the licencing table rather than sue them into non-existence.

      • Re:Great idea (Score:4, Informative)

        by delire ( 809063 ) on Monday November 16, 2009 @11:40AM (#30115898)

        but I can't think of a time when a corporation patented something bad soley as a way of preventing someone from using it

        I think you'll find that a cursory look at Pharmaceutical patents will reveal a large number of cures that no big player in medical marketplace would ever want to see in the wild, let alone see a vast population of people in need have access to at affordable prices [].

        Look also at Microsoft research: they come up with some extraordinary technologies/solutions that would no doubt undermine the broader, stable market for their existing inferior products if available on a desktop near you.

        I believe that all these nonsense Apple patents relating to advertising may reveal that Apple may soon ship an ad-encumbered version of it's OS for Intel hardware more generic than that already in the Apple line.

    • Right,
      The only rational explanation of this patent, is that they are patenting the sociopathic behavior of the class which brought you singles adds on every telephone pole.

        - which of course suggests a disturbing idea that individuals could invent crimes, by patenting the activity.

      weird, if laudable in this case.

  • by olsmeister ( 1488789 ) on Monday November 16, 2009 @10:44AM (#30115146)
    Moreover, I would not purchase any product made by a company that produces this device. With a few compatriots, we'll solve this problem.
  • Annoyance ads (Score:5, Insightful)

    by bluefoxlucid ( 723572 ) on Monday November 16, 2009 @10:44AM (#30115150) Homepage Journal

    College Humor had Volkswagen ads I liked. They were amusing, and there was a 5 second "This video brought to you by Volkswagen" or something before the video.

    College Humor later had another sponsor that demanded a 35 second mandatory viewing BEFORE the video played. I don't recall who. I do recall they annoyed me and I didn't care for their product; I'd buy from their competitors if I did.

    If the ads piss you off, the product pisses you off. Fuck that. Don't buy shit that's advertised through irritation.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      I find that there is very little content that interests me enough to view a mandatory ad. I would imagine there's even less content for which I would waste my time answering a question before being able to view it.

      I predict most content "protected" by Apple's new mandatory ad system will go unwatched.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by residieu ( 577863 )
      What annoys me is sites which have an ad before each video that they make you watch. But it's the SAME AD EVERY TIME. And I still don't know what they're advertising.
    • Maybe you meant the piano stairs [] commercial? That one is amazing! The Swedish ISP Comhem is also running a hilarious commercial [] right now!
    • I don't recall who. I do recall they annoyed me and I didn't care for their product; I'd buy from their competitors if I did.

      Patronizing an advertiser's competitors isn't always practical because not every market is competitive. For example, if an energy company advertises in such an annoying manner, and that company provides electricity or natural gas to your city, where will you get your energy? If both the local cable company and the local phone company advertise in such an annoying manner, how do you plan to get Internet access?

  • by KreAture ( 105311 ) on Monday November 16, 2009 @10:47AM (#30115176)
    - This is 911.
    * Help, I am being attacked!
    - Hold on sir, I will <click>

    Video of security-spray followed by the question "Would this product have helped in your situation?"
    Ansver: Yes

    - <click> Sir, are you still there?
    - Sir?
    - hello?
    * gurgle, gurgle.  (bloody mess on ground...)
    • by Phroggy ( 441 ) <slashdot3&phroggy,com> on Monday November 16, 2009 @11:32AM (#30115828) Homepage

      This is 911.
      Help, I am being attacked!
      Hold on sir, I will--

      Sir, are you still there?
      Sir? Hello? Gurgle, gurgle.
      (Bloody mess on ground...)

      Congratulations, you win our haiku contest!

  • Yes, this can be done. Technically quite easily (perhaps circumventable by a few). The real question is whether a seller/advertiser would _want_ to. The purpose behind advertising to to attract customers and stimulate sales. This requires creating a positive buzz (feelgood) about the product or service. Locking a machine is unlikely to do this.

    OTOH, this technology could easily be used in cases where goodwill is less desired (less user choice) like corporate computed-based training requirements.

    • There is often a psychological gulf between US and UK advertising. Often US advertising is based around insecurity and fear: if you don't buy this you will continue to smell/have bugs grow in your crotch/put off the opposite sex/have your neighbors laugh at you/be unAmerican. One can imagine all too well that a sizeable part of the population, forced to view such ads, will react as desired. It is less likely to work in Europe, where there is far more distrust of corporations and official-sounding messages (
      • by redelm ( 54142 )
        Of course some will: Everything that is not physically impossible, _must_ happen given enough opportunity. And with the internet and starved, rabid media (incl /.), we will hear about it.

        My point is this is unlikely to be come a dominant marketing mode.

    • Next thing you know, Apple will be lobbying Congress to pass a law that requires you to view and respond to 5 or more ads a day.

      You know, for the good of the economy and such. I cringe.

  • by TejWC ( 758299 )

    This is basically the same story that was posted some time ago [] or am I missing something?

  • It increasingly seems like the major software companies are determined to use any CPU cycles wrung out of Moore's law beyond 2005 levels exclusively for their own benefit, leaving us with our 3 ghz 1 gb machine, and quite content. This sort of nonsense removes the primary benefit of a computer, which is its ability to do things for you without your input. Now it does things for someone else, and it requires your input.

  • I saw this last week, and I am trying to figure out why. It destroys all usablity of the device. Can you imagine to dial 911 and have an AD block it. Or watching a video and having it interupted by ads that you have to click through

    so I am scratching head as to why apple patented this. If they ever used it they would lose whatcustomers they have.

    • Can you imagine to dial 911 and have an AD block it.

      Oh give me a break. As horrible an idea as I think this patent is, you and I are both fully aware that no one would ever block a 911 call with ads. Even if Apple were completely, 100% evil (and that looks more and more possible every day), they'd still want to avoid lawsuits caused by their devices blocking emergency calls.

      So lay off the "ZOMG what if they block 911 calls?!" FUD, because only an idiot would consider that to be an actual possibility.

  • I'm sure that apple will stop putting this annoyware into their products if enough people get angry about it. I'm sure as hell not going to buy any product that contains this junk.
  • but I swear, that if Apple puts a "feature" into the iPhone which lets Big Media lock up my device on paid content a la a DVD player, I will break my AT&T contract, throw the device in the trash and buy a Droid. I don't think it's an exaggeration to say that many technical and semi-technical iPhone users would do likewise.
  • by SharpFang ( 651121 ) on Monday November 16, 2009 @10:55AM (#30115318) Homepage Journal

    Buy a campaign of competitor's product using this technology to advertize it.
    Massive profit.

  • They will probably just use this to offer 'alternative revenue models' to things like Ipod software updates. Instead of paying $10 every six months to keep your Ipod Touch software current they will offer you the 'opportunity' to download the ad-supported version which will quiz you periodically about the 'zinger' at the end of the most recent Mac Vs PC ad spot.

    See, what's the harm in that?

  • Apple is evil (Score:2, Insightful)

    by onyxruby ( 118189 )
    Why can't people see that Apple is evil? Seriously, at what level of bend over and take it does it start to hurt enough to want it to stop? What is the line that will get the fanboy's to realize that they do just as much evil stuff as microsoft or any other company in tech? Does shiny and simple really outweigh everything else? I expect to get flaimed and modded down, but I really want to know, how much is too much, what would it take for the iMasses to see the real iJob and wake up?
    • Apple is different in that they do care about the user experience, almost to the detriment of all else. Microsoft is happy to bombard you with prompts, popups and whatnot, and that's just the operating system! Just this morning I get to my computer and I've got a "there are unused icons on your desktop" message that simply will not go away until I click on it, which then starts the "cleanup wizard" that I can cancel. I can prevent this from happening with a registry tweak, you're right, but why do I need to

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by mcgrew ( 92797 ) *

      Why can't people see that Apple is evil?

      Not evil, but amoral. All corporations are by their very nature.

  • Story: "Apple has filed a patent that..."

    Reality: "Apple has filed a patent application..."

  • I don't see this technology as being bad at all.

    Suppose Apple would like to give away a free or reduced-price iPhone, for instance. A user not willing to pay for the ad-free iPhone would now be a potential customer if they were willing to deal with periodic advertisements with Apple recouping the lost hardware profits from the advertising. From a consumer's point of view, this is just another option: if you don't want to pay for or use ad-subsidized hardware, pay for the ad-free version or buy something

    • if you don't want to pay for or use ad-subsidized hardware, pay for the ad-free version

      I have relatives who pay for cable television, yet there are still ads. What's the ad-free version of cable news or cable sports?

      or buy something else.

      If an ad-subsidized product undercuts the market to the point where everybody else either licenses Apple's patent or leaves the market, what should I buy instead? At some point, to avoid being annoyed by advertisements, one has to leave behind most of the twentieth century, let alone the twenty-first.

  • by L4t3r4lu5 ( 1216702 ) on Monday November 16, 2009 @10:58AM (#30115362)
    There's no app for that.
  • Great, patent it, the less companies actually USE this crap, the better :) And I never used any Apple products so far so I'm FREE! Yay.
  • Guess why I don't play DVDs on a DVD player...
  • because I really am starting to see Apple in bed more and more with Hollywood.

    One of the few things that makes over the net movies more agreeable to me is that unlike blu-ray I do not have to skip past ads for eight other movies, if they allow me to skip. (fortunately some blu ray players don't enforce it)

  • Assuming your customers are advertisers, rather than the poor fools who are buying the devices. This is only a patent, not a product, so maybe they won't actually do it. I find it instructive, when looking at a company, to think to yourself "Who are the *real* customers?". The customer is "always" right. If you get a device that behaves like this, you know you're not the real customer and you can't expect to be taken seriously by the company you bought it from.

  • That would certainly turn me away from using Apple products in a hurry! Here's hoping Apple filed that patent only to block others from doing this. This is the kind of thing that I would expect to come out of Micro$oft, MPAA, or RIAA.

    The very people that use Apple's products do so to get away from this sort of intrusion. While I'm writing, I don't want to be interrupted at all by anything! To have this sort of intrusion into my my workspace on a regular basis would cause a loss of productivity on my part. A

  • ...there will be a quiz later.
  • The technology can freeze the device

    flash, pdfs ...

    Heck, even Microsoft has prior art - system modal dialog boxes have been around for ages. UAC is just the latest example.

  • I buy my phone, I buy my time to use the phone on someones network. An now some Smiling Show Off says no, not yet? I just have one question to Apple, "The 'Droid works on Sprint, the iPhone doesn't? No problem?"
  • Will it un-freeze if I throw it against a wall?
    How about if I return it to Apple for being defective?

  • by nimbius ( 983462 ) on Monday November 16, 2009 @11:14AM (#30115580) Homepage
    where failure to consume is frowned upon, if not outright treasonous.
  • After what they did to the tethering I don't think I'm buying any other Apple product. That really annoyed me. As if they weren't crippled enough right out of the box, the so called "updates" cripples them even more!

    Hi, I'm an Mac, (well, an iPhone) and I get more crippled every time you update the software so you can do less and less stuff every day! F0ck Them!

  • hacks and the like, such as jail-breaking etc, they are sure encouraging things that beg for it. One thing Apple should be learning is that their stuff is not as un-hackable etc as they would like to have people believe. Another thing they should be learning is that pissing people off is a poor business model.
  • n900 (Score:4, Funny)

    by dwater ( 72834 ) on Monday November 16, 2009 @11:28AM (#30115778)

    Does this patent mean Nokia can't use it on the N900 (and successors)? if so, "Good, well done Apple." Tough shit iPhone users though.

  • by Joe Mucchiello ( 1030 ) on Monday November 16, 2009 @01:33PM (#30117618) Homepage

    Awesome. I don't buy Apple products. Now no one else can do this without paying Apple. Who's going to do that? I'll never have to deal with this. Awesome. Thanks, Apple.

  • After bricking unlocked iPhones, kicking applications off the iPhone store that might even slightly compete with iTunes in the far future and filing a wave of patents on basic well-known computer science as well as some of the most obnoxious ideas for advertising ever invented, Apple Inc. today filed a Form 8-K with the Securities and Exchange Commission declaring that it was openly adopting Evil as a corporate policy [].

    “Fuck it,” said Steve Jobs to an audience of soul-mortgaged thralls, “we’re evil. But our stuff is sooo good. You’ll keep taking our abuse. You love it, you worm. Because our stuff is great. It’s shiny and it’s pretty and it’s cool and it works. It’s not like you’ll go back to a Windows Mobile phone. Ha! Ha!”

    Steve Ballmer of Microsoft was incensed at the news. “Our evil is better than anyone’s evil! No-one sweats the details of evil like Microsoft! Where’s your antitrust trial, you polo-necked bozo? We’ve worked hard on our evil! Our Zune’s as evil as an iPod any day! I won’t let my kids use a lesser evil! We’re going to do an ad about that! I’ll be in it! With Jerry Seinfeld! Beat that! Asshole.”

    “Of course, we’re still not evil,” said Sergey Brin of Google. “You can trust us on this. Every bit of data about you, your life and the house you live in is strictly a secret between you and our marketing department. But, hypothetically, if we were evil, it’s not like you’re going to use Windows Live Search. Ha! Ha! I’m sorry, that’s my ‘spreading good cheer’ laugh. Really.”

To do two things at once is to do neither. -- Publilius Syrus