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Apple Seeks Patent On Operating System Advertising

kdawson posted more than 3 years ago | from the go-ahead-be-evil dept.

Patents 342

patentpundit writes "On April 18, 2008, Apple Computer applied for a patent relating to an 'invention' that allows for showing advertisements within an operating system. The first named inventor on the patent application is none other than Steve Jobs. The patent application published and became available for public inspection on October 22, 2009. If implemented, the invention would make it possible for advertisements to be displayed on a variety of devices, including desktop computers, cell phones, PDAs, and more. In one alarming aspect, the device could be disabled while the advertisements run, thereby forcing users to let the advertisement run its course before the system would unlock and allow further use. In an even more invasive scenario, explained in the patent application, the user could be required to do something, such as click to continue, in order to verify that they are actively watching the advertisement and haven't simply walked away while the ad runs. Whether Apple would implement such an invention is unknown, but it is possible that they think there are others out there who might want to implement such invasive advertising. It is possible Apple wanted to get ahead of the curve and file this patent so that if any company is silly enough to engage in Big Brother advertising, then Apple will get a royalty. I sure hope this is not the future of advertising."

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I sure hope they get this patent (4, Insightful)

AtomicDevice (926814) | more than 3 years ago | (#29847723)

I really hope they get the patent because then nobody else will be able to do it.

In other news, I use linux?

Re:I sure hope they get this patent (1)

CannonballHead (842625) | more than 3 years ago | (#29847771)

not be able to use it ... without licensing.

Re:I sure hope they get this patent (1)

mayko (1630637) | more than 3 years ago | (#29848369)

not be able to use it ... without licensing.

Which will hopefully reduce the incentive to include the advertising.

Pissing your customers off + License fees >(hopefully) The advertising revenue.

Re:I sure hope they get this patent (1)

FredFredrickson (1177871) | more than 3 years ago | (#29847783)

Yeah, stupid microsoft! what were they thinking!?

oh wait.. this is apple? Wow, this may actually be the final straw that made Linux win.

Re:I sure hope they get this patent (1)

amicusNYCL (1538833) | more than 3 years ago | (#29847855)

Wow, this may actually be the final straw that made Linux win.

What did Linux win, and how did it beat Windows 7?

Re:I sure hope they get this patent (3, Interesting)

icannotthinkofaname (1480543) | more than 3 years ago | (#29848365)

Yeah, stupid microsoft! what were they thinking!?

oh wait.. this is apple? Wow, this may actually be the final straw that made Linux win against Apple's Mac OS X.

Fixed that for you. It's still a long way off from competing with Windows, in terms of market share, regardless of how awesome it is.

Re:I sure hope they get this patent (5, Insightful)

geekmansworld (950281) | more than 3 years ago | (#29847985)

Does anyone in this thread really think that Apple, a company utterly obsessed with aesthetics, good design, and usability, would put ads in their operating system? Not likely. Remember when Apple switched to Intel chips? There were no "Intel Inside" stickers for Macs.

I think the poster and the first commenter have it right: this is a protection measure to make sure that any company stupid enough to try and set this precedent (advertising in the OS) will have to pay through the nose to Apple. It is in fact, the quintessential poison pill.

Re:I sure hope they get this patent (2, Interesting)

GerardAtJob (1245980) | more than 3 years ago | (#29848191)

Perhaps too much faith in Apple? I can easily imagine somes ads popping up in your iPhone soons...

Re:I sure hope they get this patent (2, Insightful)

k_187 (61692) | more than 3 years ago | (#29848209)

They might not put it in their desktop OSes, but sounds to me like this is made for the iPhone and an official ADs api for it.

Apple... maybe rotten to the (dual) core (-1, Troll)

klubar (591384) | more than 3 years ago | (#29848211)

Of course apple wouldn't do anything to spoil the aesthetics of the machine... unless it got in the way of a buck or two. Apple, the company who forced downloaded (until they got caught) safari as part of a "required" update, littered itunes with forced (until they got caught) ads for the itunes store and makes it nearly impossible to install the OS (or first boot) a mac without buying .mac.

Come on, ad supported operating systems are just around the corner. Just google it.

Re:Apple... maybe rotten to the (dual) core (3, Informative)

Dog-Cow (21281) | more than 3 years ago | (#29848309)

and makes it nearly impossible to install the OS (or first boot) a mac without buying .mac.

I have to experience with the former statements, but this is utter crap. I have installed 2 different releases on my Macbook, and never once did I see more than an ad for .Mac during the install. I was never prompted to create an account. It certainly never hindered my ability to book my machine.

Re:Apple... maybe rotten to the (dual) core (2, Informative)

DJRumpy (1345787) | more than 3 years ago | (#29848487)

Not to mention the utter lack of any shovelware on a Mac install. No McAfee adds, Quicken shortcuts on your desktop, Printer supplies, etc, etc. There is none of that on any Mac. You get the OS, and no 3rd party crap that has to be uninstalled as soon as you unbox it.

I just don't see Apple pushing any of this into any of it's products, but it can certainly prevent others from doing it as well.

Re:I sure hope they get this patent (2, Insightful)

CannonballHead (842625) | more than 3 years ago | (#29848249)

Apple, a company utterly obsessed with aesthetics, good design, and usability, would put ads in their operating system?

And marketing. Don't forget marketing. Maybe Apple wants to show their own ads?

Re:I sure hope they get this patent (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#29848255)

So I'm guessing you guys feel that domain name squatting is a good idea, considering that is essentially what Apple is trying to do (except with advertisements instead).

Personally, I'd rather Apple NOT get a chunk of any money that comes out of this - it will just encourage them to try to pull this kind of bullshit for other mediums.

Re:I sure hope they get this patent (1)

amicusNYCL (1538833) | more than 3 years ago | (#29848401)

Does anyone in this thread really think that Apple, a company utterly obsessed with aesthetics, good design, and usability, would put ads in their operating system?

Uh, yeah. One reason why I think they would do this is because they got a patent to do this. Weird, I know. I'm sure they'll come up with a wonderfully-designed, aesthetically-pleasing, usable* interface for showing advertisements.

It may shock you to realize this, but Apple is actually a for-profit corporation which, like other for-profit corporations, is focused on maximizing revenue.

*Usable for the advertisers, of course.

Re:I sure hope they get this patent (1)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 3 years ago | (#29848477)

Or could this be a patent to block MS? Think about it, MS software is expensive, with Windows 7 they actually have an OS that doesn't totally suck, perhaps Apple is just blocking MS from making an ad-supported Windows 8?

Re:I sure hope they get this patent (5, Insightful)

truthsearch (249536) | more than 3 years ago | (#29848445)

Does anyone in this thread really think that Apple, a company utterly obsessed with aesthetics, good design, and usability, would put ads in their operating system?

Yes, I think they would do it on iPods. I imagine in their talks with record labels they discussed many revenue streams. One could easily be free music downloads if you're willing to watch ads on your iPod.

They could also offer two revenue models for iPhone app publishers: the current cash model or advertising. The OS could block use of the app until the ad is run.

I don't imagine this coming to desktops, but it's definitely a possibility for their more specialized operating systems.

Re:I sure hope they get this patent (3, Interesting)

camperslo (704715) | more than 3 years ago | (#29848023)

This reminds me of the "free computers" of 1990 or so, with some of the screen space taken up by extra ads. I think that was just when running the browser though.

The same users that went for those "discounted" PCs with an AOL contract obligation might opt for other cheaper hardware with an ad hook-in subsidizing the purchase.

27" iMacs turning into billboards... hmmmm...

Re:I sure hope they get this patent (1)

clone53421 (1310749) | more than 3 years ago | (#29848043)

The only thing that gives me confidence is the fact that even the almighty Apple would be tarred, feathered, and run out of town on a rail if they tried to actually implement this.

Of course, I don't really see the need for a patent to prevent other people from doing it. None of the major OS vendors would be so foolish as to think they could actually get away with attempting to implement OS support for invasive ads such as described in the patent.

I dare them! (4, Insightful)

jhfry (829244) | more than 3 years ago | (#29847725)

So long as there is a Free (not $$$ free) alternative, all they will do is push users to it.

Re:I dare them! (2, Interesting)

NeutronCowboy (896098) | more than 3 years ago | (#29848105)

Pretty much. I've got limited real estate on my screen. Even more so on a netbook. To top it off, I have limited bandwidth, occasionally use metered bandwidth, and often play online games where any interruption is deadly.

I'll actually go one step further: as long as there is any alternative that does not display ads, I will use it. I will pay a significant amount of money (at least a few hundred dollars) and put up with other significant UI issues (including learning a brand new one) if I can get my hands on a OS that doesn't have ads.

Yes, I know. This will most likely be similar to a Netzero play: free OS, free software, as long as you watch the ads. It could even be a price differentiator, like the various editions of Windows Vista. But even Netzero abandoned the business model of supporting free product with ads. And I also understand that filing for a patent does not constitute a product announcement. But it's never too early to start the bitching when it comes to ideas as braindead as this one.

I know people have gotten used to having TV subsidized by ads, and I know that a lot of people use the computer as a glorified TV. But a significant portion of users have a computer because it is nothing like a TV. And those will abandon an ad-driven OS in droves.

Re:I dare them! (1)

tverbeek (457094) | more than 3 years ago | (#29848351)

I've got limited real estate on my screen.

You need to buy the new 27" iMac. :)

Re:I dare them! (2, Insightful)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 3 years ago | (#29848159)

I can imagine the Mac vs PC commercials reversing very quickly if they start doing things (like this) to annoy the user.

Re:I dare them! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#29848435)

I don't think Apple will integrate ads into OS X. It would seriously hurt Mac sales.

Logos (3, Interesting)

ewoods (108845) | more than 3 years ago | (#29847727)

Doesn't putting a logo or a brand name on a product constitute advertising? That's been done all over operating systems since the beginning of time - prior art?

Re:Logos (3, Informative)

amicusNYCL (1538833) | more than 3 years ago | (#29847899)

Branding isn't the same as advertising. For one, advertising involves showing ads for products that don't necessarily have anything to do with the one you're using. The tag on the back of your shirt that says who made the shirt isn't an advertisement for that brand, it's just identifying who made the shirt. The design on the front of the shirt, however, is an ad.

Re:Logos (1)

ewoods (108845) | more than 3 years ago | (#29848085)

By your logic, splash screens and boot screens displaying manufacturer and product are, in fact, advertising. They are not critical to functionality and only serve to advertise the product in question.

Re:Logos (1)

amicusNYCL (1538833) | more than 3 years ago | (#29848315)

No, a boot screen is a boot screen. Not everything that has any sort of branding on it is necessarily an advertisement. A boot sequence is indeed critical to the functionality of the computer, and frankly it makes sense to show what is booting, however stylized they want to make it.

Re:Logos (2, Informative)

tverbeek (457094) | more than 3 years ago | (#29848419)

If it's self-referential, it's branding. If it refers to other products, it's advertising.
 
While it is possible for branding to be just as obnoxious as advertising (e.g. a logo on the shirt bigger than the wearer's head), they are different beasts.

Re:Logos (1)

Amnenth (698898) | more than 3 years ago | (#29847947)

I can hardly consider the logos or branding on any OS I've used so far to actually be intrusive or advertising. I mean, (in the case of non-free OSes) you've already bought the darn thing, right? Right now they're more just like a reminder about what OS you're using.

There are other OS's (3, Interesting)

xs650 (741277) | more than 3 years ago | (#29847735)

Without collusion that would drive buyers to other OSs.

Not even MS would do something that doucebaggery on their own

Re:There are other OS's (1)

Devout_IPUite (1284636) | more than 3 years ago | (#29847981)

Microsoft could get away with doing it. No one else could. Now if Microsoft wants to do it, Apple will be making double profit (1) switching users (2) royalties.

Re:There are other OS's (0, Flamebait)

Linnen (735667) | more than 3 years ago | (#29848493)

Apple could get away with doing it. No one else could. Now if Apple wants to do it, Microsoft will be making double profit (1) switching users (2) royalties.

Fixed it for ya.

If Microsoft would do anything of this nature, they will get called on it. The only defenders that I can think of would be Ballmer and the rest of the MS marketing team.
Apple, OTOH, has the non-corporate defenders to get away with this. They could install this on every Mac, iPhone and iPod complete with 'you will brick your device if this is modded away' utilities, and Apple fans will still say combinations of "Jobs is brilliant!", "Apple needs this to compete." and "MS/LINUX Biter!"

Good (1, Flamebait)

amicusNYCL (1538833) | more than 3 years ago | (#29847741)

Confine advertising to OSX, sounds good to me.

Re:Good (5, Insightful)

camperslo (704715) | more than 3 years ago | (#29848343)

Confine advertising to OSX, sounds good to me.

It would be funny if the ads kicked in when OS X detected installation on non-Apple hardware.

Troll protection (1, Insightful)

omarch (1599035) | more than 3 years ago | (#29847751)

I think the majority of the stupid patents from the big companies are just to protect them from the patent trolls in the future

Re:Troll protection (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#29847859)

If you don't intend to put ads in your OS, why would you need to protect yourself from someone else patenting it? No, this is a patent to preempt "free" advertising-supported commercial operating systems by competitors, namely Google.

Re:Troll protection (1)

amicusNYCL (1538833) | more than 3 years ago | (#29847925)

I think the majority of the stupid patents from the big companies are just to protect them from the patent trolls in the future

Sounds like you're "thinking different".

another fine example (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#29847763)

another fine example on how patents promote innovation... nasty stuff.

Very impatiantly waiting... (5, Funny)

windex82 (696915) | more than 3 years ago | (#29847767)

.... for an explanation from the apple fan boys why this is so awesome!

Re:Very impatiantly waiting... (0, Flamebait)

xednieht (1117791) | more than 3 years ago | (#29847887)

Apple.... the new Microsoft

Re:Very impatiantly waiting... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#29847979)

Would it prevent google from putting links and ads in their OS, because Apple holds the patent? Could this be just a "preventive" measure?

Re:Very impatiantly waiting... (1)

clone53421 (1310749) | more than 3 years ago | (#29848111)

Wow, I hadn't even thought of that, but you're right. I can totally see Google trying to put ad support in the OS itself. I wonder if Apple is trying to keep them from doing this, or are they just trying to get their hand on the cookie jar so they can potentially license it and get royalties?

Re:Very impatiantly waiting... (1)

Mitchell314 (1576581) | more than 3 years ago | (#29848039)

You windows users wouldn't understand,

Re:Very impatiantly waiting... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#29848061)

From TFA:

There simply will be no escaping this high-tech advertising assault! Of course, this is an excellent drafting technique and illustration of what really needs to be done when you write these types of patent applications.

This is Apple dude.. you have NO IDEA if/what/when/where the implementation will be, especially from a well written patent description.

So.. there is really nothing to explain that TFA hasn't already.

M$FT (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#29847769)

Man, if Microsoft did this, everyone would be screaming bloody murder

Prior Art? (4, Informative)

Vandil X (636030) | more than 3 years ago | (#29847781)

I recall reading about "free" PCs running Windows 98 that required the user to click and view ads every 30-60 minutes of computer use.

There were also plenty of "free" dial-up ISPs that required you to click their advertising banner every so often for the connection to stay alive.

Re:Prior Art? (1)

clone53421 (1310749) | more than 3 years ago | (#29848141)

That is software on top of the OS, not the OS itself.

Re:Prior Art? (5, Informative)

Trahloc (842734) | more than 3 years ago | (#29848153)

I use to work for them. FreePC, loved the job, no one bitched about getting a free computer. But you didn't have to click on ads, you just had your screen permanently filled with them on the bottom and right side. The remaining area was left for you. They eventually got bought out by emachines and then it became a horrible place to work.

Scratching head over this one (1)

Anonymusing (1450747) | more than 3 years ago | (#29847839)

Maybe they're going to start giving away Mac OS X or iPhones for "free" -- if you allow advertising? It's the NetZero approach to OS distribution!

To turn off the ads, you just have to sign up for MobileMe at $99/year. That's all! Small price to pay to bask unimpeded in the Shekinah Glory of Macintosh. (Shekinatosh?)

Surefire way to make me not upgrade (1)

Darth Sdlavrot (1614139) | more than 3 years ago | (#29847841)

Or buy anything new that requires the new OS.

And let me throw in a gratuitous gripe for them not supporting PowerPC in SnowLeopard too while I'm at it.

Re:Surefire way to make me not upgrade (1)

Amnenth (698898) | more than 3 years ago | (#29848053)

That's like them not supporting 68k chips past OS 8.1. Technology moves on, and after a while it won't make sense to support the oldest models anymore.

Silly. (1)

RightSaidFred99 (874576) | more than 3 years ago | (#29847847)

First, there's prior art for this of course. Second, it's just like the old con of putting "on the internet" on the back of any old idea and claiming it's new.

Is Apple going to get one upped when some super-genius comes up with the amazing idea of Advertising on the OS...on a netbook! or Advertising on the OS...on a laptop! It's ridiculous. Advertising on _anything_ is inherently an obvious idea.

Re:Silly. (1)

Devout_IPUite (1284636) | more than 3 years ago | (#29848001)

A refrigerator that inventories your food and advertises custom tailored ads based on what you like to eat?

Clarification please (1)

xednieht (1117791) | more than 3 years ago | (#29847861)

Is an operating system not software?

Seems to be a patent based on semantics really

What distinguishes software named "operating system" from software named "web server" for example?

I Suppose This is Good (2, Insightful)

nmb3000 (741169) | more than 3 years ago | (#29847865)

As somebody who avoids Apple products I hope they are granted the patent and it is vigorously enforced. If a company wants to pursue such amazingly stupid advertising techniques like these, I'd be just fine with having them confined to the Apple product line. (What I find interesting is Steve Jobs being listed as the "inventor". Does he have nothing better to do than sit around and come up with ways to screw over his customers?)

Even better is requiring other companies (who also wish to shoot themselves in the face) to pay to license the technology. Stupid company + expensive licensing fees + lost customers = failed stupid company == the system works.

Re:I Suppose This is Good (1)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 3 years ago | (#29848073)

Having a patent doesn't mean you are going to use it. However Apple could use it against other firms for doing something similar and possible threatening their business model of selling hardware. Now selling adds and giving away the hardware would be a threat to Apples model so if someone does this apple could sue them to death.

Re:I Suppose This is Good (1)

jittles (1613415) | more than 3 years ago | (#29848427)

I was under the impression that Apple listed Steve Jobs as the first inventor on all patent applications they filed. Am I wrong?

Re:I Suppose This is Good (1)

amicusNYCL (1538833) | more than 3 years ago | (#29848457)

What I find interesting is Steve Jobs being listed as the "inventor". Does he have nothing better to do than sit around and come up with ways to screw over his customers?

In all fairness, turtlenecks don't buy themselves.

Re:I Suppose This is Good (1)

samkass (174571) | more than 3 years ago | (#29848533)

Since this patent pretty much describes Google's core business model, I assume Apple is simply doing it as a way of keeping Google at bay. Do you seriously think a company which is as minimalist with its design as Apple would scatter ads over the desktop? No, they're just adding an idea to a patent portfolio as a bargaining chip when/if Google tries to implement this idea.

I claim prior art. (4, Insightful)

brennanw (5761) | more than 3 years ago | (#29847867)

http://www.ubersoft.net/comic/hd/2000/12/next-logical-step [ubersoft.net]

http://www.ubersoft.net/comic/hd/2000/12/next-logical-step-ii [ubersoft.net]

Apple, if you really want to go forward with this please have your lawyers shower me with cash.

Re:I claim prior art. (1)

sigmoid_balance (777560) | more than 3 years ago | (#29848443)

No, I think it just makes parts of the patent invalid because there is prior art. Which might mean it won't stand in court.

Awww... (1)

brennanw (5761) | more than 3 years ago | (#29848467)

... go ahead and spoil my payday!

Really stupid move (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#29847869)

Shooting themselves in the foot?....pooping over their own food?...committing ceremonial suicide?. doing that only will alienate customers to move to another OS.

One reason more to stick with Linux....

I for one (2, Insightful)

idontgno (624372) | more than 3 years ago | (#29847883)

welcome our advertising-patenting overlords.

Seriously. I hope Jobs all the best in this patent pursuit. If Apple succeeds, then I can avoid occurrences of this amazingly offensive idea by the simple expedient of avoiding Apple operating systems, a course of action I'm already pretty much committed to for ample reasons of Apple's corporate citizenship and customer relations.

As far as I'm concerned, this patent will be the legal equivalent of encysting a noxious parasite for 20 years.

Re:I for one (1)

99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) | more than 3 years ago | (#29848219)

Seriously. I hope Jobs all the best in this patent pursuit. If Apple succeeds, then I can avoid occurrences of this amazingly offensive idea by the simple expedient of avoiding Apple operating systems, a course of action I'm already pretty much committed to for ample reasons of Apple's corporate citizenship and customer relations.

Your theory is flawed because it is based upon two unsupported assumptions. First, that Apple plans to implement this patent in their own products. Second, that Apple won't license this patent to other companies.

Re:I for one (1)

idontgno (624372) | more than 3 years ago | (#29848353)

Agreed. Let's just say I'm specifying a best-case scenario.

Another pretty good one is the "Apple as White Knight" playbook. Apple patents this technological obscenity for the sole purpose of locking it away, never to be implemented by their own operating systems, never to be licensed to another operating system, for 20 years.

I find this story less convincing to me, given my beliefs in Apple's corporate behavioral tendencies. But I concede that it is a plausible, if unlikely, alternate outcome.

The other obvious ending for this story: Apple gets the patent, licenses it to everyone who can afford it, and the cackles insanely over the piles of money it's making over the misery of everyone who uses such an OS. In which case, my primary escape is Open Source, just like now. But it would suck to be, for instance, a Microsoft user.

Re:I for one (1)

amicusNYCL (1538833) | more than 3 years ago | (#29848499)

First, that Apple plans to implement this patent in their own products.

The fact that Apple got a patent supports the assumption that they plan to implement it. Unless Apple is just a patent troll, which is another possibility. Both of those assumptions are supported. I find the former more likely.

Second, that Apple won't license this patent to other companies.

That doesn't imply that every operating system will have advertising.

End-run (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#29847885)

on a variety of devices, including desktop computers, cell phones, PDAs, and more.

...gaming devices. This is a reaction to all the similar crape being patented & implemented for games. Hardware lock-in is an Apple fixation, so this was just a natural, dare I say obvious, patent.

Go Steve! Finish your life "selling sugared water to children".

Oh please god no.... (1)

gabereiser (1662967) | more than 3 years ago | (#29847913)

I don't want my desktop invaded by ads. It's bad enough I have to sit through 30 seconds of ads when watching hulu videos or even sometimes youtube videos. Who ever came up with this idea needs a good 'ol shot in the face.

Big Brother advertising... (3, Insightful)

INeededALogin (771371) | more than 3 years ago | (#29847935)

company is silly enough to engage in Big Brother advertising

The Big Brother metaphor has finally been dealt its final blow. Big Brother advertising is propaganda. I think a better term for this new patent would be "Jerk Advertising"

Let them do whatever they want (1)

habib.moukalled (1662989) | more than 3 years ago | (#29847961)

If such a pointless idea succeeds, more people will begin using FreeBSD and Linux ;) But seriously... I like apple 0 % (The hardware is over priced and the operating system is derived from a free OS). No matter what they may say, they are a company trying to make money. Thus, apple is not an innocent party, they are just watching out for their own skin.

I say it's a good thing!! (1)

pablo_max (626328) | more than 3 years ago | (#29847999)

I would be happy to have someone patent this pile of crap idea!!
If other people would be forced to pay them money for adding annoying crap to my OS..then perhaps they are less likely to do it.

Oh yeah. (1)

PeanutButterBreath (1224570) | more than 3 years ago | (#29848005)

Whether Apple would implement such an invention is unknown, but it is possible that they think there are others out there who might want to implement such invasive advertising. It is possible Apple wanted to get ahead of the curve and file this patent so that if any company is silly enough to engage in Big Brother advertising, then Apple will get a royalty. I sure hope this is not the future of advertising.

Riiiiiight. Hey, anything is possible.

My first thought was "I wonder if it is possible to apply for a patent with a spoofed name", you know, to make someone look bad. But in view of the money grubbing BS that can no more be removed from the Apple Experience than missing features and brushed aluminum, I have not trouble believing that Apple is interested in this kind of "monetizing".

Call me a cynic. I got another word for anyone who believes that Apples is reserving this concept in order to protect users from someone else implementing it.

Re:Oh yeah. (1)

DesertBlade (741219) | more than 3 years ago | (#29848313)

Agree, Apple has been really ramping up 'alternative' revenue streams the last few years. The say it is for your convenience but they don't really give you options. Ipods (iphones) need Itunes. MobileMe is another example. There are no other real options.

Re:Oh yeah. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#29848581)

Ipods (iphones) need Itunes.

No, they don't [sourceforge.net]

I can see where this could be heading... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#29848021)

I can see a future OS (note, I'm not stating OS X explicitly, but perhaps an OS from someone who licenses this patent from Apple) ending up with multiple versions:

A version licensed at no cost (I'm not saying free because it is not free as in beer, nor as in speech) that has modal ads pop up and take control of the machine for 30-60 seconds at a time, perhaps demanding a click or two or they start back at the beginning.

A version licensed at some charge, but none of this "ad enhanced user experience" stuff.

Of course, there could be infinite gradients, the more someone pays for the license, the fewer ads blocking them from using the machine.

Now my concerns if someone actually put this into practice:

1: Security. A lot of reputable sites have been bitten by third party services putting up ads from blackhats, causing infections and other mayhem. If ads are pushed to the computer, with various code, it could be possible to just take over the computer, perhaps encrypting the user's files and then demanding a ransom.

2: Privacy. Usually with ad sites come infinitely persistent flash shared objects, scads of infinite life cookies, Java shared objects, and many other attempts to store stuff on a browser to identify that PC again.

3: Interfering with what a user is doing. Picture someone having to dial a number due to an emergency, and having to wait (and perhaps repeatedly acknowledge) some noisy ad spot about manhood supplements while a house is on fire, or there is a robbery in progress and the person is hiding under something. I'm sure virtually everyone has had to dial 911 due to something at least sometime in the past 10 years. Even if the number is not a 911 number, people do not have time to wait for an ad to dance on the screen before a call is connected.

4: Call me cynical, but I'm sure that if this ad "functionality" ends up in operating systems, there will be zero reduction in costs to the consumer. Such as how some ISP customers ended up with ads due to a transparent proxy, but their bill remained the same. Maybe this will make some cookie cutter MBA happy for adding another revenue stream, but in reality, it will just ensure that the OS platform gets abandoned by anyone who is able to, and the remaining customers are going to be very unhappy people and not willing to buy much, if anything, from that company again.

Blocking Google (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#29848025)

They are pre-empting Google by patenting this, that's all. It's coming anyway - they might as well get royalties.

I bet Google is pretty ticked off ... (4, Interesting)

LaughingCoder (914424) | more than 3 years ago | (#29848035)

After all, they are the advertising kings and now they may have to pay royalties to Apple for the right to embed ads in their own Android OS. How embarrassing for them.

Smart move by Apple (1)

hotcorrado169 (1662993) | more than 3 years ago | (#29848099)

I think this is a great move by Apple, I don't believe they would use these sort of tactics on Apple products. It looks to me like they want block or cash in on other companies like M$ or Google using such advertising in products such as Android. This really helps people like myself who have Android phones.

Re:Smart move by Apple (2, Insightful)

CannonballHead (842625) | more than 3 years ago | (#29848295)

Isn't that anti-slashdot-zeitgeist though? Patenting something simply so someone else can't do it? IMO, that sounds like a "patent troll," just not in the typical usage of the phrase.

And I have a hard time putting so much faith in Apple, which has done plenty to not deserve said faith, that they would not advertise - if nothing else, their own products. Apple is looking for money. Just like Microsoft and Google.

Re:Smart move by Apple (1)

amicusNYCL (1538833) | more than 3 years ago | (#29848555)

I like how you spell "M$" while defending Apple for patenting a method of advertising. Well done.

um.. (2, Insightful)

kev4573 (1663001) | more than 3 years ago | (#29848107)

Isn't this the definition of adware ?

Can't See this Happening on Any Apple Product (1)

strick1226 (62434) | more than 3 years ago | (#29848169)

Given Mr. Jobs' preference for minimalistic case and interface design, I really can't see this being implemented on *any* Apple-branded product. It's so contrary to his "vision" if you will. As others have pointed out... perhaps it was just to ensure Apple had called "shotgun" on any use of this technology by someone else.

Re:Can't See this Happening on Any Apple Product (1)

amicusNYCL (1538833) | more than 3 years ago | (#29848573)

Jobs' "vision" for Apple is a full bank account. This helps him achieve that vision.

Screw you apple (1)

Turzyx (1462339) | more than 3 years ago | (#29848235)

And screw all the pretentious Mac/iPhone/iPod/iFoTM users that got them where they are today.

Google not MS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#29848237)

If this is to prevent someone else from doing it, I would guess that's it's directed at Google's Android Desktop and not Windows.

Been There Done That...10 years ago (1)

ArhcAngel (247594) | more than 3 years ago | (#29848241)

There was a company ( here [pbs.org] is a link to a story Cringley did on it at the time) that gave away a desktop system with a program that loaded a "frame" around the Windows desktop that streamed advertising. You basically filled out a questionnaire about your interests and if you fit their profile you got a PC. A coworker checked everything ( I ridiculously actually put the things I was interested in) and got one of the first PC's. I think that venture lasted about six months.

Oh HELL NO! (2, Interesting)

kheldan (1460303) | more than 3 years ago | (#29848267)

..so software that creates unwanted advertising pop-ups is called "malware" and the authors of such are prosecuted, but then someone decides to write an operating system that does that by design!? What sort of Bizzarro universe did I wake up into this morning anyway? No fucking way, not even if the OS is free would I put up with that shit!

Late 90's (1)

future assassin (639396) | more than 3 years ago | (#29848285)

There were a lot of companies doing or trying to offer advertising in free computers or free Internet access. If someone has copies of The Computer Paper from Canada from the late 90's and early 2000 there should be ads in there for those kinds of offers.
http://usproxy.bbc.com/2/hi/business/275213.stm [bbc.com]

COOL! I have another idea for a patent, then. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#29848325)

I will file for a patent that allows me to record my computer usage before I use it so that I can replay it later and fast forward through the commercials! I will call it....

PiVO!

In other words... (4, Insightful)

Experiment 626 (698257) | more than 3 years ago | (#29848349)

It is possible Apple wanted to get ahead of the curve and file this patent so that if any company is silly enough to engage in Big Brother advertising, then Apple will get a royalty.

So, best case scenario, Apple is a patent troll?

Malware? (1)

colin_faber (1083673) | more than 3 years ago | (#29848357)

So is this possibly an attempt to establish a legal avenue to go after some of these malware venders? Interestingly also, could malware be consider prior art?

The device will rule. (1)

bodland (522967) | more than 3 years ago | (#29848363)

Traditional media advertising and our consumer based economy are joined at the hip. Content creators are looking for other ways to generate content and the way it looks is that the infrastructure that delivers the media will be the new "publishers" of content. Think of it like the display computers inside TV's, digital television services and telesmartphones will drive content creation rather than the networks and publishers. Because...that is who will have the money and that is where the point of contact is. Content creators will battle and be paid directly by apple to provide exclusive content. For advertisers it will be way cheaper to buy ads that display on a TV that displays hundreds of channels. Than buying ad space for hundreds of channels.

When the device trumps the content for advertising delivery you can kiss goodbye traditional media like network TV and print. Device makers with proprietary operating systems will own the white space. They will buy the content. They will discount the device in lieu of more advertising.

Content will be on-demand and/or subscription based. This I think will be a boon for creativity as the stranglehold mainstream media has on culture and content will finally be relinquished when they no longer have any advertisers to help create quality programming and content.

Google (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#29848383)

Could this be a pre-emptive blow against any Google OS? I wouldn't put it past Google to include targeted advertisements in some form in whatever desktop OS they're working on.

Fails the novelty test and prior art (2, Interesting)

shking (125052) | more than 3 years ago | (#29848385)

How is this not obvious? There are already devices that lock you out until you watch some advertising. DVD players, for example. This is just a case of grafting something like "in a computer operating system" onto the description of something that's already common. BTW - It could be argued that DVD players have a "primative" operating system

Re:Fails the novelty test and prior art (1)

beefnog (718146) | more than 3 years ago | (#29848571)

... BTW - It could be argued that DVD players have a "primative" operating system

Primitive indeed :)

excellent! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#29848451)

Finally a compelling reason to dust off my old abacus.

I for one... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#29848575)

would like to see the Retarded tag used more often.

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