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Microsoft Seeking Hot-Or-Not Patent

kdawson posted more than 5 years ago | from the getting-colder dept.

Patents 135

theodp writes "In its just-disclosed patent application for the Online Personal Appearance Advisor, Microsoft describes the 'invention' of its three Microsoft Research employees in these words: 'The contributor uploads self images for viewing and rating (or voting) by viewers who choose provide an opinion on different fashion and/or cosmetic looks of the contributor.' So what do you think — is Microsoft's invention really Hot or Not?"

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In other news (-1, Offtopic)

symbolset (646467) | more than 5 years ago | (#28324917)

In other news... there's a revolution [fark.com] going on in Iran and it's turned violent [youtube.com] .

But that's not Stuff That Matters, so yeah, let's talk about Microsoft's stupid patent applications because that's News For Nerds.

Re:In other news (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28324929)

In other news... fuck off?

Re:In other news (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28324943)

No. But here's the twitter feed [twitter.com] for a major reporter.

Re:In other news (0, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28324941)

It's not news, it's Slashdot.

I'm sure here are reams of sites with news on the Iran shenanigans. As important as the potential revolt may be, there *are* other things happening on planet Earth.

Re:In other news (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28324949)

Dude, you get your news from Fark. Take your holier than thou bullshit and stick it up your ass.

Re:In other news (-1, Flamebait)

symbolset (646467) | more than 5 years ago | (#28325015)

Y'know, I've earned a lot of Slashdot Karma up to now, and I'm ready to spend it all for this. I can always earn more. Maybe that's what slashdot Karma is really for.

Fark isn't where I get my news any more than slashdot is - they are two of many aggregators I use to ensure I get the widest exposure, and then I filter using neurons.

Here's Informed Comment's [juancole.com] spin. Here [google.com] is a nice pic. YouTube [youtube.com] has [youtube.com] a lot of videos.

Another cool pic [bbc.co.uk]

Re:In other news (-1, Offtopic)

wisty (1335733) | more than 5 years ago | (#28325041)

Y'know, I've earned a lot of Slashdot Karma up to now, and I'm ready to spend it all for this. I can always earn more. Maybe that's what slashdot Karma is really for.

Fark isn't where I get my news any more than slashdot is - they are two of many aggregators I use to ensure I get the widest exposure, and then I filter using neurons.

Here's Informed Comment's [juancole.com] spin. Here [google.com] is a nice pic. YouTube [youtube.com] has [youtube.com] a lot of videos.

Another cool pic [bbc.co.uk]

At least nobody says that the CIA stole this one.

Re:In other news (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28325089)

Um, no. Nothing's going to keep the freepers and the conspiracy theorists from commenting. I've seen half a dozen of these already.

Re:In other news (0, Offtopic)

Kreigaffe (765218) | more than 5 years ago | (#28325135)

You just wait.

Or don't you remember that the CIA was accused of releasing super secret spy squirrels into Iran?

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=12131243 [npr.org]
Best link I can find, but I seem to remember hearing Iran also claim they've caught super secret spy pigeons, too.

This sort of stuff is full-blown crazy, not just weird. Moon landing deniers would chuckle at this. SPY SQUIRRELS.

Re:In other news (1)

Sulphur (1548251) | more than 5 years ago | (#28325215)

Natashia, they re-elected squirrel.

HOT (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28324971)

I vote that news "HOT".

Re:HOT (1)

wisty (1335733) | more than 5 years ago | (#28325175)

Microsoft's innovation is that it allows you to give reasons for rating, right? Perhaps it runs of slashcode.

Re:HOT (1, Interesting)

theheadlessrabbit (1022587) | more than 5 years ago | (#28325281)

Microsoft's innovation is that it allows you to give reasons for rating, right? Perhaps it runs of slashcode.

but did they think to add a (-1 I disagree) option...
because, such an innovation would be incredibly new and very patent worthy....definitely not derivative of whats been going on here for 10 years...

Re:HOT (1)

icannotthinkofaname (1480543) | more than 5 years ago | (#28325183)

Well, I vote that news !. So there.

Re:In other news (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28325083)

Waaaaaah how can you run a story about Paris Hilton when people are being murdered in Darfur? Children are starving in Africa and you have the audacity to run a feel good story about the firemen rescuing a cat stuck in a tree?! Holy shit you act like you have never seen the news before.

Re:In other news (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28325157)

Do you know how slashdot works? Really? For the cost of 8 Karma points I've ruined a perfectly inane yet-another-microsoft-bashing thread and turned it to my own purposes.

And Darfur, Somalia, anywhere in central Africa, the solution is the same: Look down. If you see feet there, try and move one in front of the other. If you can get that done, try the other in front of the one. If that works, keep doing that until you get the hell out of central Africa. In the words of Sam Kinnison "GO TO WHERE THE FOOD IS!".

This thread is now the official Iranian Insurrection thread, and the mods might as well change TFS.

Re:In other news (4, Funny)

Ragzouken (943900) | more than 5 years ago | (#28325615)

(Score: -1, Delusions of Grandeur)

Re:In other news (5, Interesting)

wisty (1335733) | more than 5 years ago | (#28325195)

In other news... there's a revolution [fark.com] going on in Iran and it's turned violent [youtube.com] .

But that's not Stuff That Matters, so yeah, let's talk about Microsoft's stupid patent applications because that's News For Nerds.

Intellectual property is a serious point of discussion. China's monopoly on tea and silk caused empires to rise and fall.

If patents go to far, they can completely destroy the incentive people have to innovate, as all their innovations will be reliant on other patented processes. If Yahoo had owned a patent on internet search, then Google would never have had a chance to monetize Pagerank. But Yahoo would never have gotten so far, because previous companies would have patented the technology Yahoo used.

The medieval guilds arrested a lot of development, by guarding their secret knowledge. The Masons were not powerful because of their political connections, they had political connections because they simply knew how to build stone buildings. Sure, they had earned that knowledge from previous Masons, but the process of knowledge transfer was so opaque that corruption and inefficiencies were bound to creep in.

The printing press destroyed the monopolies of the guilds, because their knowledge could be cheaply and efficiently disseminated. Open source, the FSF, Wikipedia and other open movements are furthering this movement.

But patents are a way for the establishment to fight back, and try to create an environment in which they can reap more profits than a free market would allow.

So yes, it is Stuff That Matters.

Re:In other news (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 5 years ago | (#28326287)

In other news, which is offtopic here... oh wait, let's just stop there.

Slashdot is news for nerds. If we want news for everyone, we know where to look. Thanks.

29/m/Australia (5, Funny)

acehole (174372) | more than 5 years ago | (#28324977)

I hate sunlight, fresh air and physical activity. I'm pasty white and commonly sport cheeto stains on my shirt.

Am I hot or not?

Re:29/m/Australia (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28325101)

It depends. What is your annual income?

Re:29/m/Australia (1)

Midnight Thunder (17205) | more than 5 years ago | (#28325225)

This is a trick question? So, do you have air conditioning?

Re:29/m/Australia (2, Insightful)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 5 years ago | (#28325567)

I hate sunlight ... I'm pasty white ... Am I hot or not?

I think you'll be better off asking this question on a necrophile discussion group...

Re:29/m/Australia (4, Interesting)

PrescriptionWarning (932687) | more than 5 years ago | (#28326373)

Well assuming you have an Australian accent you can probably still melt panties in any American bar and/or club simply by saying a few key words made famous by the Crocodile Hunter

Re:29/m/Australia (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28326407)

Neither hot nor not. You simply watched too much Conan O'Brien. (When it was "late night with")

Re:29/m/Australia (1)

anexkahn (935249) | more than 5 years ago | (#28326671)

Not sure, but if you were Microsoft you would patent that look!

It's not really the same (3, Insightful)

jperl (1453911) | more than 5 years ago | (#28325019)

Well Hot or Not is mainly about breasts and not about fashion. This is what might differ.

Re:It's not really the same (4, Insightful)

syousef (465911) | more than 5 years ago | (#28325029)

Well Hot or Not is mainly about breasts and not about fashion. This is what might differ.

Hot or not is mainly about sexual attraction and self esteem. What do you think fashion is about? Did you think that plunging neck line was fashionable because it didn't accentuate breasts?

Re:It's not really the same (4, Funny)

symbolset (646467) | more than 5 years ago | (#28325235)

Plunging necklines and short skirts are about the things they've always been about: the stock market trends.

Re:It's not really the same (2, Insightful)

nitehawk214 (222219) | more than 5 years ago | (#28326805)

Posting a reply because I mis-moderated this post. I thought it was funny, not overrated.

It would be handy to be able to change your mods.

Re:It's not really the same (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28325061)

You're confusing Hot or Not with Rate My Rack [ratemyrack.com] .

Re:It's not really the same (3, Interesting)

kwiqsilver (585008) | more than 5 years ago | (#28325143)

Well Hot or Not is mainly about breasts and not about fashion. This is what might differ.

They're both about rating the visual aesthetics of a person. If a Hot-or-Not chick has a mullet and 'stache, she's going to get dinged no matter how top heavy she is.
This is close enough that the site that was created a decade ago, without any input from Microsoft, should count as prior art.
Hell, Miss America or every fashion magazine ever printed could be claimed as prior art. They look at images of people and rate the appearance. Just because MS uses computers to connect the people involved doesn't make it special.

There's also the "non-obvious" requirement for a patent. This is blatantly obvious.

That would be almost as lame as Apple patenting LCD technology and saying it's "new" because everybody else was using it on TVs and computer displays, but they're using it on phones and portable music players.

Now if MS created an algorithm for the computer to do the rating, that would be the level of innovation the patent system was intended for.

Re:It's not really the same (1)

Dragonslicer (991472) | more than 5 years ago | (#28326415)

The part that I thought might possibly be innovative (yeah, like I read more than the summary) would be if it did some complex image manipulations. Maybe it isn't just about rating the person's photo, but being able to alter their clothing, hair style, or makeup and then rating each change. If something like that is done well, I could see how it might qualify for a patent.

Re:It's not really the same (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28325297)

Well Hot or Not is mainly about breasts and not about fashion. This is what might differ.

Au contraire mon frere. Brest are very fashionable, no?

Re:It's not really the same (1)

Groggnrath (1089073) | more than 5 years ago | (#28325915)

I don't think that would change it enough to allow for a patent. Though I'm betting they will get their patent anyway, and we'll see this in court in a few years. In the interim, Microsoft will make a small fortune selling us some product strikingly similar to Hot or Not.

Monkey boy video uploaded (1)

syousef (465911) | more than 5 years ago | (#28325025)

...and rated not so hot by developers, developers, developers the world over!

Desperate for Future Income? (3, Interesting)

Jager Dave (1238106) | more than 5 years ago | (#28325027)

Does Microsoft realizes that nobody in their right mind is going to immediately switch to Win7 (if at all?)

They're trying to secure as many patents that could potentially bring them some sort of income NOW, lest they go bankrupt in the future.

The vagueness of this patent could easily cover someone's picture on Facebook if they said "Tell me how I look!", "What do you think of this makeup?", or "Do you think the pocket-protector goes with these pants?" Back off Microsoft - you're not IBM - leave the pointless patents to them...

Re:Desperate for Future Income? (2, Interesting)

RLiegh (247921) | more than 5 years ago | (#28325065)

Does Microsoft realizes that nobody in their right mind is going to immediately switch to Win7 (if at all?)

What are you basing that off of? I've heard nothing but good things about Win7 (except in Linux circles, and even there I've seen positive reviews) and I haven't heard anyone say that they're going to skip it.

Most people I've read have said the opposite, that they're skipping Vista in favor of waiting for Windows 7.

Re:Desperate for Future Income? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28325079)

What are you basing that off of?

Knowing Slashdot? Wishful thinking, most likely.

Re:Desperate for Future Income? (2, Interesting)

Jager Dave (1238106) | more than 5 years ago | (#28325187)

Mostly just knowing how people felt about Vista. Fool me once, shame on you - Fool me twice....ummm...dang, lemme get Bush on the phone to remember how this ended...

Other than the brave, and IT professionals (on their own machines}, I feel people will WAIT to switch to Win7, until they see how it performs, and how many bugs/security holes are revealed in the first month or two... SO many people jumped on Vista before they realized it was a steaming pile of....code... Granted, -I- do not have that many problems with Vista, but I usually only run it to play games, and Linux is on my laptop (Yeah, Wine is OK, but still a pain to get some games to run under).

Re:Desperate for Future Income? (2, Interesting)

RLiegh (247921) | more than 5 years ago | (#28325203)

I disagree, I think MS anticipated that and is using the Windows 7 release candidates to generate positive word of mouth -and if the forum posts I've read are any indication, it's probably going to work out pretty well for them. Most of the people I've seen say anything good about it have been non-IT types.

If they screw up the pricing (which seems likely) then they'll end up losing ground (probably to MacOS). I think if people end up skipping Windows 7 it will be because of price, not because of the OS itself (I'm running it instead of Vista on my desktop and laptop -it's nicer but I don't know if it's $300 worth of nicer).

Re:Desperate for Future Income? (1)

taoye (1456551) | more than 5 years ago | (#28327433)

That's what my position is. I use both Linux distros and XP on my machines and I've been pretty happy playing with the Windows 7 RC. If the price is right then I'll buy a copy, otherwise I'll just go back to XP. I'm not paying $300 for a flashy new taskbar!

Re:Desperate for Future Income? (1)

theheadlessrabbit (1022587) | more than 5 years ago | (#28325319)

I feel people will WAIT to switch to Win7, until they see how it performs, and how many bugs/security holes are revealed in the first month or two...

I think MOST people will have no idea what windows 7 is, and will just go with whatever comes pre-installed on their computer.

Re:Desperate for Future Income? (3, Informative)

hairyfeet (841228) | more than 5 years ago | (#28325467)

I've been telling my customers to wait until Win7 SP1, preferably SP2. Most have had me build them new XP machines with easy expandability so they can sit out Win7 if it turns out to be another Vista turkey. I personally used some of my profits to build a new AMD that will go up to quad Phenom II and 32Gb of RAM so I can hang onto XP X64 and ride out Win7 if it turns out to be a turkey.

So while I have been hearing lots of good things about Win7, I also remember all the good things I heard about pre release Vista. And never underestimate the "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" mindset either. The new Vista driver model broke a whole lot of apps, and I kinda doubt that Win7 will make that situation any better. After switching to XP X64 I personally have no desire to switch to Win7. I have tons of RAM, all my apps work, everything just runs smooth, so why switch?

I'll wait until SP2 when the bugs have been worked out like I did with Win2k to WinXP SP2. Let some other sucker be the beta tester. Me and my customers (most of whom aren't even using 2Gb of RAM in XP, so I doubt the 32bit RAM limit will be a problem) will wait until SP2. And talking with some of my friends running corporate networks many have adopted the same attitude. XP is easy to lock down with GPO, all the apps they need work, and XP will be supported until 2014. Most have site licenses so they can run what they want, so why deal with all the headaches of switching? By the time Win7 SP2 rolls out we will see most of the bugs squished, most of the problems with needing to install apps as an admin will hopefully be gone, and the users are quite happy with their XP machines. So I think in this case a wait and see approach is probably the most prudent one to take.

Re:Desperate for Future Income? (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 5 years ago | (#28326429)

I've been telling my customers to wait until Win7 SP1, preferably SP2. Most have had me build them new XP machines with easy expandability so they can sit out Win7 if it turns out to be another Vista turkey.

You mean, if it generally works well and efficiently? Or do you mean if it results in few complaints from those that know nothing of computers?

For all the whining and bitching about Vista, a contest between Vista and XP tends to be a non-starter when Vista creams XP in pretty much every way, including performance. Vista may not be as fast running at peak speed, but it doesn't bog down the way that XP and previous did when hard disk intensive tasks came up.

Re:Desperate for Future Income? (2, Insightful)

LoverOfJoy (820058) | more than 5 years ago | (#28327121)

The problem with telling people to wait is that there's a certain number that have already waited quite a bit. Even aside from new operating systems and service packs you'll always get a better computer for your $x00.00 if you buy a few months from now than if you buy now. Computer components keep improving and prices keep going down. But sooner or later the buyer has to bite the bullet and decide to act on a given sale.

I think there's a certain significant number of people who feel they are ready for and/or NEED a better computer than what they currently have and are only postponing because they've heard bad things about Vista and that Win7 is on the horizon. But tell those people who have already waited a year or more for this reason that they ought to wait a vague but significant amount of time more for a service pack or two to be released and they'll decide it's not worth the wait anymore. Their experience already IS poor. They are running ancient RAM that is pricey to upgrade. They don't have the processing power to play the games they want. Some component is on the verge of biting the dust or perhaps it already has. The number of people who have been waiting and waiting to buy that computer they would have long since bought if not for Vista are likely to flood to new computers once 7 is released. Perhaps not the day of release but just long enough to get some good reviews back and a decent sale to appear.

Sure, there will be a number of people whose computers aren't nearing their end of life just yet that can hold off until SP1 or even SP2 but telling someone who really is ready for a new computer now to wait that long is not very reasonable.

Why not (1)

toby (759) | more than 5 years ago | (#28327223)

just tell your customers to unhitch their wagon from Microsoft, which is heading ever-faster toward a cliff.

It's not as if there are no better alternatives.

Re:Desperate for Future Income? (2, Interesting)

FireFury03 (653718) | more than 5 years ago | (#28325503)

Does Microsoft realizes that nobody in their right mind is going to immediately switch to Win7 (if at all?)

What are you basing that off of? I've heard nothing but good things about Win7 (except in Linux circles, and even there I've seen positive reviews) and I haven't heard anyone say that they're going to skip it.

Microsoft is suffering from the fact that for most people, XP is "good enough" (incidentally, this is probably one of the factors stopping many people from considering a switch to Linux too). I'm sure that MS will sell Windows 7 to OEMs to be shipped on new PCs - there probably won't be as much resistance as Vista saw, but unlike many of the previous Windows releases, most XP users generally seem to be pretty happy with the status quo to I'm not really expecting to see huge numbers of people flock to the shops to buy upgrades for their existing systems.

Most people I've read have said the opposite, that they're skipping Vista in favor of waiting for Windows 7.

That's not really that surprising - if you're one of the people who is going to upgrade, it would seem silly to buy an upgrade that is about to be superseded, bad press or not.

Re:Desperate for Future Income? (3, Insightful)

Dogtanian (588974) | more than 5 years ago | (#28325929)

I'm sure that MS will sell Windows 7 to OEMs to be shipped on new PCs - there probably won't be as much resistance as Vista saw

(Which I'm taking to mean that you think most people will be mostly happy to keep Windows 7 on new systems).

but unlike many of the previous Windows releases, most XP users generally seem to be pretty happy with the status quo to I'm not really expecting to see huge numbers of people flock to the shops to buy upgrades for their existing systems.

That may be a red herring then; as far as I'm aware, the majority of new OS installations nowadays occur on new computers rather then existing systems. In other words, most people get the new OS when it's installed on a new computer (doing all their "upgrades" in one go by buying a new computer).

So if it's offered on the new computer and they're happy (enough) with that, then Windows 7 will eventually be a success.

Re:Desperate for Future Income? (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 5 years ago | (#28326267)

That may be a red herring then; as far as I'm aware, the majority of new OS installations nowadays occur on new computers rather then existing systems. In other words, most people get the new OS when it's installed on a new computer (doing all their "upgrades" in one go by buying a new computer).

You mean, doing all their "system repairs" in one go by buying a new computer. I got an Athlon 64 X2 4000 system with a 22" LCD for $120 (!) because some lady didn't want to deal with getting it fixed. She bought a new PC. XP's days are numbered. The best part for Microsoft is that they don't even have to pay anyone, all they have to do is fail to fix security issues in XP and the botnet owners will drive people right into their arms.

Re:Desperate for Future Income? (5, Interesting)

symbolset (646467) | more than 5 years ago | (#28325067)

Y'know they're filing shotgun patents all over the place. They remind me of a marketing geek who accidentally got reassigned to engineering once. Previously I had helped him design an air duct that put cool air where we needed it. When a subsequent design eliminated the need for the duct, he said "That's an important piece. We have intellectual property on that."

Without blinking I told him "The Romans had prior art. It's redundant, and out it goes."

Re:Desperate for Future Income? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28325069)

Long time Linux user and developer here.

Haven't found Mac to be as great as the fanbois think.

Windows 7 RC1 is pretty good.. no matter how much patents can suck

Re:Desperate for Future Income? (2, Insightful)

symbolset (646467) | more than 5 years ago | (#28325199)

Microsoft makes some products that include a great deal of utility. If their products contained less vulnerability, they would be interesting. As it sits though, unless you have some need they serve that's worth hooking into the abusive relationship they insist on with their customers, it's best to go with something else.

And yes, what we've seen of W7 doesn't look as bad as Vista. Until we see the product they release though, we know nothing. Often they've screwed the pooch at the last moment.

Re:Desperate for Future Income? (1)

FireFury03 (653718) | more than 5 years ago | (#28325513)

unless you have some need they serve that's worth hooking into the abusive relationship they insist on with their customers, it's best to go with something else.

The kicker here is that the "something else" is basically Linux, BSD, etc. - Apple seem to be more abusive to their customers than MS these days.

Re:Desperate for Future Income? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28325125)

Nobody's is getting Win7 as soon as it comes out?

I sure am! ...but the fact that it's free as part of the MSDN academic alliance might have something to do with that.

No, desperate the close the air supply of GPL (1)

Lorien_the_first_one (1178397) | more than 5 years ago | (#28325807)

That's right. If MS gets this patent it'll never be implemented as GPL software. Hopefully, IBM will *buy* MS for a pittance and merge it into a small division in Iceland somewhere, someday.

Re:Desperate for Future Income? (1)

ikkonoishi (674762) | more than 5 years ago | (#28326057)

It seems more like a queer eye for the geek guy type thing.

Re:Desperate for Future Income? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28326511)

I disagree.

I think Win7 will be a financial hit for MS. (Not saying I think it's great, but Vista has been such an obvious flop, such that a new OS name was mandated...and many companies who avoided Vista are ready for new computers and will probably get new ones in October, when 7 comes out...either to get something slightly better than Vista, or to get cheap ones that don't have 7 on them, and reload another OS on them..)

I predict a big financial win for MS. I think it will be as big a hit as the iPhone was. I should re-read this in November to see what happened.

Question (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28325031)

I hate Jews.

That is all.

Microsoft Can Suck My Nasty Balls (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28325055)

This is pure bullshit. Social interacting websites and dating websites have been using this feature for years and Microsoft thinks it can get a patent for something someone else has discovered or has been using for the past 10 years?

Motherfucking Microsoft can suck my nasty balls.

Re:Microsoft Can Suck My Nasty Balls (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28325237)

Microsoft can suck my nasty balls.

+10, Hot!

Does it matter? (1)

everynerd (1252610) | more than 5 years ago | (#28325063)

The site is 50% spam and 50% sexual predators.

Enjoy your home-grown product, Microsoft.

Re:Does it matter? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28325293)

The site is 50% spam and 50% sexual predators.

Oh come now, Microsoft.com is that bad.

non-obviousness? (1)

belmolis (702863) | more than 5 years ago | (#28325097)

I'm having a very hard time seeing how this is not obvious.

Re:non-obviousness? (1)

jo42 (227475) | more than 5 years ago | (#28325141)

Well, they got a trademark on "Windows", so getting a patent on "voting" or "opining" is a next step...

Re:non-obviousness? (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 5 years ago | (#28326441)

Well, they got a trademark on "Windows"

Citation please, MS does not have a trademark on that, never did, never even tried. They do however have a trademark on "Microsoft Windows." And other names like "Microsoft Windows XP."

Microsoft and Fashion (3, Insightful)

redkcir (1431605) | more than 5 years ago | (#28325103)

Like anyone in their right mind would take the advice from MS on fashion issues. They have a hard enough time trying to keep their OS running and that's their main job. If they can't do that I hardly think their fashion advice will be any better.

prior art (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28325109)

http://aminaked.com already allows you to rate porn photo hotness.

How many would it take? (4, Funny)

xianthax (963773) | more than 5 years ago | (#28325113)

I always preferred the approach of howmanywouldittake.com (now defunct)...

always seemed so much more realistic to rate attractiveness by required level of intoxication than some artificial 0-10 scale

Yo, Kdawson (1)

Jamie's Nightmare (1410247) | more than 5 years ago | (#28325161)

Can we get a summary without 'spin'?

AAAAAAAGH! (1)

PeerPressure (1190265) | more than 5 years ago | (#28325165)

A world full of Bill clones - the horror, the horror!

out of touch (4, Insightful)

speedtux (1307149) | more than 5 years ago | (#28325209)

I think a lot of these bogus patent filings from Microsoft simply show that the people at Microsoft have not the slightest idea of what is going on in the real world. Microsoft is designing software for the last century. Even Bing is merely a Google clone.

Re:out of touch (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28325479)

re: "not the slightest idea of what is going on..." I think they do. They see products canceled and layoffs. Some Softees are getting desperate.

Re:out of touch (1)

Lorien_the_first_one (1178397) | more than 5 years ago | (#28325833)

Yeah, but at least they could find a simple, distinctive, descriptive name for their search engine that isn't trademarked. I never would have thought of "bing" as a name for anything except while, um, cooking. You, know, like bada bing, bada boom [urbandictionary.com] .

Again? (1)

RabidRabbit23 (1576305) | more than 5 years ago | (#28325211)

Although I enjoy bashing Microsoft as much as the next Slashdotter, haven't we seen enough obvious patents? We get about one per week. Maybe we could hear stories about people trying to change the system? Anything constructive? Judging from what I've heard on slashdot, the patent office is run by retarded rodents that approve patents based on the applications' fiber content.

Re:Again? (1)

jack8609 (1217124) | more than 5 years ago | (#28326257)

Keep in mind, this is not about a patent - it is a patent application. The USPTO has done nothing with it except charge MS their filing fees. They may disallow all the claims. Regarding all the obvious patents that we do see, as with most everything else - blame the friggin lawyers... I, and most people that I know who work at larger companies, are not supposed to look at patents (at least at work). As it was explained to me, if a company infringes on a patent it pays damages. If a company knowingly infringes, it pays 3x damages. So company lawyers don't want to let the engineers do anything that would give the appearance to a jury that they knew about prior art. So engineers aren't allowed to look for prior art and neither are the patent attorneys. But managers hear something that sounds novel, so they tell their managers to file a disclosure. Companies don't trust engineers to judge each other's work, so they have some director-level decide which patent disclosures go forward - and we all know how incompetent they generally are.... The only person left in the whole process who is responsible for determining if there is prior art is the poor patent examinar who is swamped with idiotic patent applications...

Re:Again? (1)

radtea (464814) | more than 5 years ago | (#28326347)

Keep in mind, this is not about a patent - it is a patent application.

And the summary doesn't even tell us what's being claimed, which is the only thing that matters in a patent application.

The first few claims actually read: "1. A computer-implemented system, comprising:a presentation component for receiving and presenting media of a contributor, the media associated with personal appearance information; and a voting component for receiving a vote generated by a viewer selecting one of the media and presenting new media of the contributor to the viewer in response to receiving the vote, the new media associated with new personal appearance information.

2. The system of claim 1, wherein the media are presented as a pair of images, each image depicting a different instance of related personal appearance information and each image selectable by the viewer to provide the vote.

3. The system of claim 1, wherein the media are differentiated by a single change in the personal appearance information. "

Still sounds like HotOrNot and similar sites, but the least /. could do is present the actual claims, as opposed to some completely irrelevant information.

Microsoft and Hot? (1)

Z00L00K (682162) | more than 5 years ago | (#28325367)

Microsoft has passed the age of being Hot a long time ago, so this seems to be a feeble attempt to make money out of everyone else that's classed as hot.

To be fair... (1)

Pictish Prince (988570) | more than 5 years ago | (#28325375)

If I'd spent the last 25 years peddling shit to idiots for billions of $ I'd have too much time on my hands, too.

In other news... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28325413)

...Microsoft has just filed a patent on a revolutionary method for sending mail like messages over the Internet. They call it mmail.

Patents = $ for Employees (5, Interesting)

sogon (1222604) | more than 5 years ago | (#28325429)

Microsoft Employees get a $2500 bonus for every patent. They don't have to write it either, The patent lawyer does.
All you do is describe the idea and give any pertinent documentation and someone else converts it to a patent.

I have a few MS patents under my belt when I worked there.

Re:Patents = $ for Employees (1)

Tetch (534754) | more than 5 years ago | (#28326271)

My Large American Multinational employer has a similar scheme .... and every 6 months or so the scheme's administrators send out a company-wide rah-rah email talking up the scheme, its benefits for the company, and the m-o-n-e-y an employee will get for dreaming up a patent.

I just ignore them every time, cos it's i-m-m-o-r-a-l, and amounts to sickening bribery in an attempt to get you to participate in their thought-crime, and it isn't even clever - here's one my employer successfully filed : "A method for remotely administrating a computer by installing a web-server implementing a web form into which the sysadmin enters the commands to be executed using the web browser on her workstation" ...... oh please.

Propaganda :
http://www.softwarepatents.co.uk/intro/no_software_patents.html [softwarepatents.co.uk]
http://www.nosoftwarepatents.com/en/m/intro/index.html [nosoftwarepatents.com]

Paraphrasing the second link slightly :

"If [your country legitimises software patents], you will pay dearly. [The] software industry will fall victim to unscrupulous extortioners. A cartel of large corporations will crush smaller competitors. Consequently, we will all pay more money for less good and less secure software. You personally, your household, your company, your government, all of us."

I urge you to ignore these parasitic crooks in future, and refrain from taking their money. You'll feel better about yourself if you do.

Re:Patents = $ for Employees (2)

advocate_one (662832) | more than 5 years ago | (#28326799)

here's one my employer successfully filed : "A method for remotely administrating a computer by installing a web-server implementing a web form into which the sysadmin enters the commands to be executed using the web browser on her workstation" ...... oh please.

I think Webmin completely obliterates that one when it comes to prior art. How on earth did it ever get approved? have they got monkeys in the patent office just blindly punching approve/disapprove buttons?

Hot or not? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28325591)

Isn't the male brain prior art for this?

Wait a minute. Of course! The male brain can't be art! It's ugly and veiny (nervy?) all over. The only artistic brains are the female brains, which are beautifully curved with a consistent hue of light pink, and smell of jasmine. (How do I know these things, you ask? Just don't. Trust me.)

Microsoft, you cunning bastards!

It's a Natal tie-in. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28325633)

I thought that was obvious.

Prior Art (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28325685)

I would think the prior art of RateMyRack.com would destroy this patent.

Oh Jebuz... (1)

flameproof (1460175) | more than 5 years ago | (#28325707)

Only the dimwits at M$ could try and patent this kind of teen-aged bull$hite... Talk about lowest common denominator! What is this, a Limbo Line???

Patently stupid (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28325783)

I was told at school that patents were given to allow companies and individuals to recover the costs of the research necessary to create their product by granting a temporary monopoly on the product.

Now, people seem to be patenting anything they do regardless of research costs ($0 in most cases) and gaining monopolies for no reason save that they applied for it first. First come first served.

There will be no change though. Politicians and other shareholders want it this way to benefit themselves.

Gosh, you can really patent ANYTHING in the US... (2, Funny)

Klistvud (1574615) | more than 5 years ago | (#28325811)

I'm sure you could even patent "An apparatus and method for making farts noiseless", there's a wealth of prior (f)art in the US Patent system. Oops -- it's already patented as US47263879273672? I should have thought so.

Anonymous Coward (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28326089)

Prior Art...

I am married. When my wife asks me how she looks I always say "HOT". There is only one correct answer in my patent.

Maybe Microsloth thinks that there are 2 correct answers. Silly Company.

Too late (1)

kbmxpxfan (1251818) | more than 5 years ago | (#28326327)

Didn't Yahoo! already do this a few years back?

Re:Too late (1)

shentino (1139071) | more than 5 years ago | (#28326421)

Doesn't matter.

If you pay off the right people, you can do anything. Including get a bullshit patent.

Prior art??? (1)

kpoole55 (1102793) | more than 5 years ago | (#28326381)

I thought there was a hot or not website out in the wild a few years ago. Are they trying to patent that or have they made some significant change to putting your picture up and having people rate you not or not?

Re:Prior art??? (1)

kpoole55 (1102793) | more than 5 years ago | (#28326389)

Yeah, here it is ... http://www.hotornot.com/ [hotornot.com]

What a great "invention" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28326383)

Gee I think I'll plow my life savings into MicroSlop stock now.

Ahhh...I think it's been done (1)

motang (1266566) | more than 5 years ago | (#28326497)

Maybe someone should let these guys know it's been done already, years ago.

Not. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28326581)

See subject line.

Hot or Not prior art... (2, Insightful)

Theaetetus (590071) | more than 5 years ago | (#28326763)

I haven't read the full application, but just a clarification: Microsoft isn't completely out of touch. The background of the application - also known as Applicant Disclosed Prior Art - includes a description of Hot or Not:

[0003]A variation on this model is also applied to rating websites where users can rate other on physical appearance, pets, personality and other user traits and attributes. In voting sites, typically, it is a general purpose question posed to viewers, and once the viewers have answered the question they tend to leave the website to do something else. In other rating websites, when viewers have rated an image, the viewers are presented with a seemingly endless series of other images to be rated or voted on, the purpose of which is to generate a flow experience so the viewers will stay at the website to continue participating. This process can generate revenue for advertisers by presenting advertisements while the viewers are voting. Moreover, there is a fascination with anonymously critiquing the appearance of another person.

So, Microsoft is claiming this invention does something more than that. Now, l haven't read it, so I can't comment further, but the discussion should be "what's the supposed improvement", not "zomg Microsoft has never heard of Hot or Not!"

No, this is not HotOrNot (1)

DaveV1.0 (203135) | more than 5 years ago | (#28327471)

2. The system of claim 1, wherein the media are presented as a pair of images, each image depicting a different instance of related personal appearance information and each image selectable by the viewer to provide the vote.

But, I really don't think one should be able to patent this either. There is nothing innovative about showing a group of people two pictures of one's self dressed in different styles and asking them which is better.

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