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Bill Gates Knows What You Did Last Summer

samzenpus posted more than 4 years ago | from the tell-us-everything dept.

Microsoft 303

theodp writes "Give Bill Gates your 'pictures, videos, documents, e-mail, instant messages, addresses, calendar dates/scheduling information (e.g., birthdays, anniversaries, appointments), voice mail, phone logs, RSS feeds, subscriptions, bookmarks, mail lists, project management features, computing device data, tasks and location data,' and he'll improve your 'quality of life.' That's the promise behind a patent issued Thursday to Bill Gates and his 20 co-inventors for 'Personal Data Mining', which Microsoft notes 'can include a monetization component' that 'could initiate an auction to sell information to the highest bidder.'"

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Privacy (5, Interesting)

Hatta (162192) | more than 4 years ago | (#31024230)

Is not privacy essential to a high quality of life?

Re:Privacy (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31024268)

If evolution is real why couldn't you stop 9/11?

Re:Privacy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31024628)

Because Osama bin Laden evolved into Seaking. [encycloped...matica.com]

Re:Privacy (1)

InsaneProcessor (869563) | more than 4 years ago | (#31024278)

This is why most of that data resides in devices that cannot be mined (like never connected to a network).

Re:Privacy (3, Funny)

Hijacked Public (999535) | more than 4 years ago | (#31024288)

Not for everyone.

The way to combat this is to kill the monetization component. The way to do that is to beat Bill to the punch and give all your data to everyone before he does, so they have to motivation to buy it.

Re:Privacy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31024480)

Brilliant! We'll destroy the advertising economy by GIVING our private details away! Open source marketing demographics, here we come!

Re:Privacy (2, Interesting)

causality (777677) | more than 4 years ago | (#31024526)

Not for everyone.

The way to combat this is to kill the monetization component. The way to do that is to beat Bill to the punch and give all your data to everyone before he does, so they have to motivation to buy it.

Another way to combat this is to gather such information on Gates, other high-profile corporate figures, and politicians. Then publically post them onto highly visible Web sites. I mean after all, they think no privacy is such a great idea, right? Let them be the pioneers.

Like the notion that if the average Congressman knew that he had to depend on Social Security for his retirement, it would have been fixed (i.e. made sustainable) a long time ago.

Re:Privacy (4, Interesting)

DancesWithBlowTorch (809750) | more than 4 years ago | (#31024698)

Okay, I'm confused. Whenever privacy is discussed around here, we say "wouldn't it be great if we could retain personal control over our data, and could willingly decide whom to sell our data to?"

So know someone with a great deal of economic leverage is trying to push exactly such a system, and all of slashdot goes "Oh my god, how evil! Quick, everyone give your data away for free, so nobody can monetize them any more, not even yourself!"

Guys, Bill Gates stopped being the most evil man about five years ago. I care much less about the shortcomings of Windows than I care about Google and Facebook knowing more about me than I do myself. At this point, I'd be willing to pay Bill Gates if he offers to secure all my personal data.

Re:Privacy (2, Insightful)

causality (777677) | more than 4 years ago | (#31024772)

Okay, I'm confused. Whenever privacy is discussed around here, we say "wouldn't it be great if we could retain personal control over our data, and could willingly decide whom to sell our data to?"

I think I can dissolve your confusion.

Real privacy would mean you get to decide whether this data is collected in the first place. If it's going to be gathered anyway and you might get a little discretion over how it is used once amassed, that's not real privacy. Sort of like the way that the ability to choose your master is not real freedom.

Re:Privacy (1)

fatherjoecode (1725040) | more than 4 years ago | (#31024292)

There is nothing higher than that of the party and big brother.

Re:Privacy (2, Funny)

Gerafix (1028986) | more than 4 years ago | (#31024310)

Privacy is to quality of life as hookers are to blackjack.

Re:Privacy (1)

electricprof (1410233) | more than 4 years ago | (#31024332)

errr ... expensive? ... essential?

Re:Privacy (2, Funny)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 4 years ago | (#31024468)

Essential? What kind of blackjack do you play? I want in on that action.

Bender just loves hookers (1, Redundant)

TiggertheMad (556308) | more than 4 years ago | (#31024666)

You seem to be referencing the episode of Futurerama(sp?) where Bender is visiting the moon. Bender is suggesting they start their own moon theme park, 'with blackjack and hookers', only to pause and add that the blackjack isn't really essential.

Ironic, no?

Re:Privacy (1)

goldaryn (834427) | more than 4 years ago | (#31024348)

Is not privacy essential to a high quality of life?

It's helpful for a "high" quality of life..

Re:Privacy (1)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 4 years ago | (#31024880)

You are probably poking fun about it, but its not actually as bad as everyone makes it out to seem. My girlfriend for example, she isn't exactly a computer programmer like you or I, but she's more than affluent in its usage. I don't know where you set the standard for the average user, but she's reformatted her hard drive herself, reinstalled the OS and drivers for a fresh start, nothing particularily difficult for anyone who browses this site, but I'd go as far as to say more than the average user. Anyways so she would look up the latest video games, and look at jewelry online, look at clothing, etc.

One day Facebook showed her an Ad for Shanalogic. Those of you not familiar (which I imagine is about 99% of you) its a story generally targetted at females - they go for cute little animals in a sort of Toki Doki Japanese animation style, and they also use some tech pop culture. For example, their Valentines day jewelry they've got on sale right now is the internet famous "Less than three" kind of heart (<3). They put it on rings and necklaces. This just so happens to appeal to my girlfriends taste. Now she had never seen or heard of it before a facebook ad that seemed to be perfectly aimed at her. She has made numerous purchases already. She is happy that she discovered the site.

I don't doubt a bit of data mining went into that. I don't see the harm it could have produced. I only see a successful result, both her and the companies are happier for it.

You may now proceed with the stereotypical "GF? Ya rite!" comments.

Re:Privacy (1)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 4 years ago | (#31024370)

How do you figure? I could see a very high quality of life where you have very little privacy.

Perhaps you should take a moment to define what sets the quality of your life - I define it by clean drinking water, warm shelter, and having access to entertainment.

Re:Privacy (3, Insightful)

Hatta (162192) | more than 4 years ago | (#31024490)

Being free from the manipulations of other people who think they know what is best for me is an absolutely indispensable part of a quality life. Be it marketers or moralists, I don't care.

Re:Privacy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31024540)

I define it by clean drinking water, warm shelter, and having access to entertainment.

All of which can be found in prison. Way to shoot for the stars, champ.

Re:Privacy (1)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 4 years ago | (#31024606)

Hey, when you look at the lives of the people across the globe, being in a North American Prison is a pretty sweet gig. You don't have to worry about starving, land mines, unlawful execution, etc.

If Bill Gates selling your browser history for marketting reasons is something that serious deters from your quality of life - you have some ridiculously high standards and need to take a look at what is actually happening in the world.

Re:Privacy (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31024776)

If water, shelter, and access to entertainment is all it takes for you to remain happy, you have some ridiculously low standards. Settling for less just because others go without is a hollow gesture, and speaking down to others about it from a soapbox is more than a little disingenuous. Think the rape victims in Darfur will be able to sleep well at night because of your 'sacrifices'?

Re:Privacy (0)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 4 years ago | (#31024928)

Do you think they sleep better because you are afraid of Bill Gates Data mining?

I'll stand on my soap box because I donate to Amnesty international and other such organizations that try to stop such attrocities. Yeah I still go to movies and play video games which doesn't help them much - but at least I'm not complaining when someone wants to patent a marketting ploy.

Re:Privacy (1)

Teun (17872) | more than 4 years ago | (#31024896)

Hey, when you look at the lives of the people across the globe, being in a North American Prison is a pretty sweet gig. You don't have to worry about starving, land mines, unlawful execution, etc./quote>With US insistence on continuing with capital punishment most of the civilised world would disagree about the last.

Re:Privacy (1, Insightful)

vux984 (928602) | more than 4 years ago | (#31024754)

Perhaps you should take a moment to define what sets the quality of your life - I define it by clean drinking water, warm shelter, and having access to entertainment.

Ah, so for you 'Brave New World' was utopia.

And Microsoft Loses to Google AGAIN! (2, Interesting)

RobotRunAmok (595286) | more than 4 years ago | (#31024432)

Come on, Bill, what's all this "Ask" crap about? In a Man's World, you just take someone's data, you don't "Ask" like some panty-waist privacy advocate! You think Sergey Brin would "ask" before he takes my data? Hell, no! Sergey will just take it, sell it to the NSA, and then create an Android app that will let me dial in and get it back again -- for a fee.

Seriously, Bill... first combating world hunger, then curing disease, and now ASKing me before you breach my privacy? You're getting soft. Time to turn that Borg implant in your Slashdot avatar over to Sergey, I'm afraid...

Re:And Microsoft Loses to Google AGAIN! (1, Interesting)

thehostiles (1659283) | more than 4 years ago | (#31024848)

He's a man who represents last generation's corporate strategies.

He still sells products to people, rather than selling people to each other.

Re:Privacy (1)

megamerican (1073936) | more than 4 years ago | (#31024502)

If you have something that you don't want anyone to know, maybe you shouldn't be doing it in the first place,

-Eric Schmidt, Google CEO.

I'm guessing Google has prior art for all of this. Although Google claims all of the information it has on you is for serving you ads, I've yet to see an ad that didn't have something to do with what was being searched for at the time.

No (1)

spun (1352) | more than 4 years ago | (#31024534)

Privacy is not essential to a high quality of life. Having other people merely know everything you do will not decrease your quality of life. To do that, others would have to act on that information in a way that hurts you. If you are confidant that others can not use personal information against you, then there is no need for privacy. For instance, if everyone knew everything about everyone, then everyone would know that someone was using your information against you, and could act against that person.

However, your question does not really address the situation in the article. We all share information with others. If we choose to do so, it is in no way a breach of our privacy. This patent outlines an 'opt-in' method, meaning, there is no breach of privacy, in theory.

However, I am picturing this in action, and the only recommendation I can see a system like this making to people, based on their personal information and the fact that this would be Bilgatus of Borg and the Microsoft Collective producing the software, is: "We think you would enjoy dropping your trousers, bending over, and presenting your lubed up butt hole to Microsoft." So, in practice, I do see this reducing people's quality of life rather than improving it.

Re:No (3, Insightful)

Hatta (162192) | more than 4 years ago | (#31024846)

If you are confidant that others can not use personal information against you, then there is no need for privacy. For instance, if everyone knew everything about everyone, then everyone would know that someone was using your information against you, and could act against that person.

You don't think that a guarantee of privacy would have made, say, Alan Turing's life much better? If you do things that are not morally wrong, but other people think they are then privacy is very much essential for your quality of life.

Not for bill (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31024590)

He needs YOUR privacy to be gone. That is why he has been mining the info for MANY MANY years off of the PCs.

Re:Privacy (1)

CodeBuster (516420) | more than 4 years ago | (#31024654)

Is not privacy essential to a high quality of life?

According to Mark Zuckerberg [guardian.co.uk] , the answer is "no". The really sad part is that most of the general public will blithely go along with this asinine assertion.

Re:Privacy (1)

ascari (1400977) | more than 4 years ago | (#31024686)

Nope. Considering how many people are willing to give up personal data for a chance to win a $100.00 gift card or some free iTunes, it doesn't appear to be the case.

Re:Privacy (1)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 4 years ago | (#31024690)

Privacy is like the answering "No" to a request. It will keep you out of trouble, and avoid risk. However it will avoid a lot of reward.

For example having you information public or more public will help better targeted adds to you (Yea sound bad at first but... If you are in a market for say a new computer and the computer you were looking at happen to have an add with a 15% off coupon then you are better off getting 15% off then not.

Or knowing what type of food you like. You go to an area and it will show what food places that you would eat at that are near by say on your iphone... Vs. say a search for Sushi and end up getting flatworm.

One key think you need to remember. Most people really don't care about you. Just as long as you have protection against Identity Theft most people really wont bother digging into your details and causing problems in your life.

Even so we do have more privacy with all this electronics today then we ever did.
Back in the old days you go to the local store engaged in the local gossip in general you know everything that everyone did. Today the information we get about people are statical in nature and jumping to conclusions is much more difficult.

The old days. George bought a steak he must be doing rather well. Today. George Smith personID 294881992929111. 294881992929111 bought qty 3 of item 10020011, item 10020011 is called steak. 10020011 price is $4.00 per unit. 294881992929111 payment was via Credit Card number 9222-1222-3221-1233, credit card number 9222-1222-3221-1233 belongs to 294881992929111.

Almost everyone who look at the data will probably will not try to link everything together as it will create too much information for them to handle. So they will only look at things that they care about... How Many Steaks did they sell during this period of time... How Many should I buy. Who has shown a trend in buying steaks should they get a coupon. How many steaks are sold at $4.00 per unit vs. $3.59 per unit. It is more profitible to sell the cheaper or more expensive steaks...

For the most part people don't really care about you today. So yes we are spreading more information about ourselves however its aggregation makes it hard to make any real calls that could really effect your quality of life.

That is of course you take out Identity Thief which is still a problem.

Want privacy, be very very boring (1)

Shivetya (243324) | more than 4 years ago | (#31024818)

being so boring and uninteresting as to induce coma in people looking into your life is all you need.

We are a social society, far many will decry privacy loss and turn around post to internet sites and the like

Re:Privacy (1)

Thaelon (250687) | more than 4 years ago | (#31024946)

Your privacy isn't essential to his quality of life, no.

And you were worried about Google? (1)

Zarf (5735) | more than 4 years ago | (#31024254)

Isn't this basically the engine inside Clippy only writ large?

Re:And you were worried about Google? (5, Funny)

MozeeToby (1163751) | more than 4 years ago | (#31024412)

It looks like you're getting married, would you like to...
() Perform background check on your fiance
() Take out a loan to pay for the reception
() Invite Clippy... Please? I'm so lonely...

Re:And you were worried about Google? (1, Insightful)

twidarkling (1537077) | more than 4 years ago | (#31024506)

Parent will inevitably be modded funny, but I'd like to point out there's a lot of people who'd benefit from doing number 1, and would like assistance in number 2. And hey, everyone loves a giant anthropomorphic paper clip, bring him along!

It's only Evil when Microsoft does it (4, Insightful)

You'reJustSlashFlock (1708024) | more than 4 years ago | (#31024286)

When Google does it, it's okay.  Thats why Slashdot has the evil Borg for Bill Gates and the friendly Google logo for Google.

Re:It's only Evil when Microsoft does it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31024322)

At least when Google does it, we get something of value in return. Google services are actually useful. Microsoft services are, well, Microsoft services. They speak volumes for themselves...

Re:It's only Evil when Microsoft does it (1)

CannonballHead (842625) | more than 4 years ago | (#31024492)

Yes. Their Live Mesh is actually quite useful. Their SkyDrive is 25gb, one of the larger free online drives I've found. Their Microsoft Sync appears to work fairly decently. Hotmail has been improving. Outlook Live is actually pretty decent as well. And yes, Windows 7 is pretty nice so far, IMO.

Google's products are good, too. A lot of them, anyways.

Re:It's only Evil when Microsoft does it (1)

nschubach (922175) | more than 4 years ago | (#31024798)

Sure, those Microsoft products work fine... if you are using them with Microsoft products. Try to use them with the anything else and they don't work so well. One can find a ton of articles describing problems with Sync and the iPhone, LiveMesh and OSX, Outlook and anything but IE...

Compare that with Google. How many different systems do the Google products work with again?

Re:It's only Evil when Microsoft does it (1)

causality (777677) | more than 4 years ago | (#31024596)

When Google does it, it's okay. Thats why Slashdot has the evil Borg for Bill Gates and the friendly Google logo for Google.

I don't really understand how either of them could patent this idea. Haven't companies discovered decades ago that the personal information (names, addresses, phone numbers) of their customers can be collected, "monetized", and sold to various advertisers advertisers (junk mailers, telemarketers) for a fee? This is starting to look like one of those "somehow completely different when a COMPUTER is involved" sort of patents.

Re:It's only Evil when Microsoft does it (4, Insightful)

EzInKy (115248) | more than 4 years ago | (#31024598)

For the most part that is because Google doesn't require using Google software on your personal computing device to access Google services. Microsoft, on the other hand, seems to take offense if you are not using their platform.

Re:It's only Evil when Microsoft does it (3, Insightful)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 4 years ago | (#31024722)

Microsoft, on the other hand, seems to take offense if you are not using their platform.

I guess it's why e.g. Office Live Apps officially support [msdn.com] Firefox (including on Linux and Mac), and Safari.

You could say that using IE (or at least Silverlight) is nonetheless suggested, but then again, every time I log into GMail with my favorite browser (Opera), I see the ad urging me to try out Google Chrome...

Re:It's only Evil when Microsoft does it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31024858)

Wow, so you are saying that MS making one product support other browsers is as good as Google making almost all their apps usable on any platform.

Your logic is impressive.

Re:It's only Evil when Microsoft does it (1)

slimjim8094 (941042) | more than 4 years ago | (#31024894)

How long did that take them? Look at Outlook Web Access - it still doesn't allow you to use the useful interface if you don't use IE, despite the fact that Firefox handles it fine. (try switching your useragent)

They've just *barely* started supporting other browsers. I guess that's cause for some praise, but Google has supported other browsers since the beginning.

Re:It's only Evil when Microsoft does it (1)

kabloom (755503) | more than 4 years ago | (#31024866)

Actually, it's not OK when google does it either. You raise a good point though. Maybe we should "Borg" Google as well.

Isn't that called Google? (5, Interesting)

nweaver (113078) | more than 4 years ago | (#31024294)

Isn't that already called Google, where you give them your email, your pictures, your videos, your calendar, all your documents, all your web searches, and about half of your total web surfing (*cough* analytics *cough* doubleclick *cough)?

Re:Isn't that called Google? (1)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 4 years ago | (#31024420)

Yeah, well, Microsoft did it first, Google just did it better.

And for the first time ever, no one had a patent on it before two major companies started these methods.

Re:Isn't that called Google? (0, Troll)

ideivid (1737726) | more than 4 years ago | (#31024464)

i trust Google but i don't trust (and i never will) M.S.

Re:Isn't that called Google? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31024552)

Trust no one, especially not a publicly traded, for-profit corporation.

Re:Isn't that called Google? (3, Interesting)

amicusNYCL (1538833) | more than 4 years ago | (#31024608)

What exactly did Google do to earn your trust that Microsoft never could?

Re:Isn't that called Google? (1)

Jeng (926980) | more than 4 years ago | (#31024742)

What exactly did Google do to earn your trust that Microsoft never could?

Unobtrusive ads.

Re:Isn't that called Google? (1)

Jeng (926980) | more than 4 years ago | (#31024476)

My MSN email account is so clogged with spam that it is unusable.

My Gmail account is filtered well enough that I have no problem with receiving it on my phone. If I was receiving a few spam per hour like on the MSN account it would drive me buggy.

Both MSN and Google are trying to do the same thing, I trust Google more than MSN with my information. MSN will sell all the information to anyone they can. Google sells information stating that I may like (insert variable here).

Re:Isn't that called Google? (1)

twidarkling (1537077) | more than 4 years ago | (#31024518)

I've had my MSN account 4 years. I've gotten about 5 spam emails in that entire time, and they've all been from "friends" who had their accounts pwned and spam came through their address lists.

Re:Isn't that called Google? (1)

fpophoto (1382097) | more than 4 years ago | (#31024482)

This is why it pays not to be a zealot. I mix Linux, OSX and Windows systems at home and work. I try to select and use software because it works, not because it's part of an ecosystem, and I try to do as much of the work myself, despite my poor coding skills. It's not perfect, but I think it's the best you can do these days without spending inordinate amounts of time hustling to protect every tiny last bit of data from becoming 'known' to the big corporations.

Re:Isn't that called Google? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31024498)

But wait, there's more!

Where you live/work/party: Google Maps/Earth
Your credit card details and purchase history: Google Checkout
All your phone conversations: Google Voice
Your medical records: Google Health
Your investments: Google Finance

Plus quite a few others [google.com] .

Re:Isn't that called Google? (4, Insightful)

rdavidson3 (844790) | more than 4 years ago | (#31024600)

Isn't that already called Google, where you give them your email, your pictures, your videos, your calendar, all your documents, all your web searches, and about half of your total web surfing (*cough* analytics *cough* doubleclick *cough)?

That's why double-click and google-analytics are on my blocked no-script list.

Re:Isn't that called Google? (2, Interesting)

Inda (580031) | more than 4 years ago | (#31024652)

I do all that with Google and more. They send me snail mail and they have two of my phone numbers. I don't block JS. I don't use ad-block. I'm from the UK...

So what advert do they choose to show me on this page? "Chicago Patent Lawyers" --Which is better than the normal "Tidy your SQL" type adverts.

I don't code any more. I don't live in Chicago or even the USA.

Most of my RSS feeds on my iGoogle home page are to do with football. Surely that must be the biggest clue for them?

Google fail. They fail so hard with all their adverts.

Pictures ... (1)

electricprof (1410233) | more than 4 years ago | (#31024298)

I think I have a few moonshots just for MS ...

Hmm (5, Funny)

goldaryn (834427) | more than 4 years ago | (#31024308)

Gates can have all that stuff, but there's no way I'm giving him my chair

Re:Hmm (2, Funny)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 4 years ago | (#31024618)

You must be thinking of the current Microsoft CEO. Bill Gates only jumps over chairs [youtube.com] .

Digital blackmail worm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31024312)

1. Collect user's information
  2. Offer that information to the highest bidder
  3. Include the person of interest in the bidding
  4. Profit!!

Title Correction: The N.S.A. Knows What You Did (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31024356)

today after Microsoft partners with the N.S.A. for "help" to
stop the "China hackers".

Encrypt EVERYTHING.

That's all for now , hackerz.

Yours In Minsk,
Kilgore Trout

P.S.:

010001100111010101100011011010110010000001000010011101010111001101101000

Re:Title Correction: The N.S.A. Knows What You Did (1)

biryokumaru (822262) | more than 4 years ago | (#31024496)

Your negative comments about former President Bush are not very well encrypted...

Re:Title Correction: The N.S.A. Knows What You Did (1)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 4 years ago | (#31024650)

Yeah, he should have shifted the ASCII values by one. Nobody would have been able to decode that!

Re:Title Correction: The N.S.A. Knows What You Did (1)

clone53421 (1310749) | more than 4 years ago | (#31024702)

He could bitwise XOR it with “the Spanish inquisition”.

Re:Title Correction: The N.S.A. Knows What You Did (2, Informative)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 4 years ago | (#31024756)

Nobody would expect that!

Re:Title Correction: The N.S.A. Knows What You Did (1)

amicusNYCL (1538833) | more than 4 years ago | (#31024640)

today after Microsoft partners with the N.S.A. for "help" to
stop the "China hackers".

That was Google wanting to partner, not Microsoft. Keep trusting Google and fearing Microsoft, though.

Choice? (2, Insightful)

Chris Lawrence (1733598) | more than 4 years ago | (#31024366)

So I guess the real choice is whether you want Bill Gates to have all your data, or Steve Jobs. But either way, google already has it. :)

Re:Choice? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31024486)

with Apple switching to Bing as a default for web searches, it's likely Billy Boy will end up with that data anyway. So, not much of a choice there.

Your existence as you know it is over (1)

pedrop357 (681672) | more than 4 years ago | (#31024396)

You will adapt to service us. We will add your biological and technological distinctiveness to our own.

We only wish to improve quality of life...

He wants to recreate you virtually!! (4, Funny)

vivin (671928) | more than 4 years ago | (#31024422)

'pictures, videos, documents, e-mail, instant messages, addresses, calendar dates/scheduling information (e.g., birthdays, anniversaries, appointments), voice mail, phone logs, RSS feeds, subscriptions, bookmarks, mail lists, project management features, computing device data, tasks and location data,
 
... and then he will use your virtual avatar and put it into a military robot... we know where that goes!

Cylons? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31024428)

So Gates ends up creating the Cylons right?

Minor correction (1, Interesting)

dtmos (447842) | more than 4 years ago | (#31024444)

This patent did not issue on Thursday. US patents always issue on Tuesdays. This one issued on 2 February.

The USPTO publishes patent applications (18 months after filing) on Thursdays.

Re:Minor correction (1)

crsuperman34 (1599537) | more than 4 years ago | (#31024762)

not if it's upside down.

There's only one thing to say (1)

c0d3g33k (102699) | more than 4 years ago | (#31024448)

Fuck. That. Shit.

Re:There's only one thing to say (1)

Darkman, Walkin Dude (707389) | more than 4 years ago | (#31024982)

This whole thing, the glorious promise, the free internet, is turning into some sort of totalitarian nightmare alright.

Will nobody rid us of these troublesome companies?

Awesome! (0, Redundant)

KiwiCanuck (1075767) | more than 4 years ago | (#31024460)

Thanks Big Brother! (1984)

I also have a patent (1)

Itninja (937614) | more than 4 years ago | (#31024462)

All Bill has to do is give me a book of signed, blank checks and I will improve his 'quality of life'.

Re:I also have a patent (1)

wtbname (926051) | more than 4 years ago | (#31024718)

You can't buy a conscience dude.

why is this only evil if Google does it :) (1)

viralMeme (1461143) | more than 4 years ago | (#31024554)

Who pioneered the WEB [slashdot.org]

Re:why is this only evil if Google does it :) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31024948)

why is this only evil if Google does it :)

Because sopssa [slashdot.org] was apparently sleeping when this article was posted... he wasn't able to get here with his minions to defend Microsoft and bash Google.

Yea yea, just another one (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31024568)

so what? apple and google have been doing this for over a decade

If this isn't.... (1)

Slash.Poop (1088395) | more than 4 years ago | (#31024644)

If this isn't a sign of the coming apocalypse I don't know what is.
Make preparations for the rapture now. I mean, am I right or am I right?

awesome! (1)

MagicM (85041) | more than 4 years ago | (#31024674)

Here's to hoping that they'll take anyone to court who tries to infringe on their patent!

We know something about Bill Gates too (4, Funny)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 4 years ago | (#31024676)

He started watching Caprica.

Wait... (1)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 4 years ago | (#31024700)

When they sell my info to the highest bidder, I get all the proceeds from that sale, since I'm the owner of the information, right? Couldn't somebody game the system by mass-creating virtual identities?

Re:Wait... (1)

thehostiles (1659283) | more than 4 years ago | (#31024804)

Nothing is your own except the few cubic centimetres inside your skull.

And if you know what I'm quoting, even that's questionable.

surprised (1)

crsuperman34 (1599537) | more than 4 years ago | (#31024748)

...and you're surprised why? Afterall, he can be considered a brilliant ruthless pioneering cut-throat rober baron of the 21st century.

Re: Bill Gates Knows What You Did Last Summer (2, Interesting)

element-o.p. (939033) | more than 4 years ago | (#31024824)

Ummm...used Linux? :P

Re: Bill Gates Knows What You Did Last Summer (2, Funny)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 4 years ago | (#31024950)

Ummm...used Linux? :P

The reprogramming task force is on the way to you.

anything Google isn't doing already ? (1)

obarthelemy (160321) | more than 4 years ago | (#31024856)

would be kinda funny if MS came up with an original idea ?

Help me be social (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31024862)

Seriously.

I'll let an algo troll through all my personal data if it does the following:

a. helps me to become more social
b. helps me to meet people who can expand my views
c. help me to engage in consensual sexual activities [between another human and myself]

If it succeeds on at least two of the three areas, I'll lead a richer, fuller life. And if it can do all three, hell. Sell the data, make as much money off of it as you want! I'll be too busy enjoying my new relationships with real people in the real world.

Back to the shell.

Facebook (1)

rxan (1424721) | more than 4 years ago | (#31024884)

I thought we already had Mark Zuckerberg to thank for this.

But don't they have that already? (1)

edxwelch (600979) | more than 4 years ago | (#31024918)

I thought Windows media player has being doing that all along since Windows xp came out?

If only UFO aliens would abduct Billly (1)

uassholes (1179143) | more than 4 years ago | (#31024926)

Give him anal probes for 70 years, then inject him into Uranus.

Even better for life on Earth is if they would go back in time and do it 30 years ago.

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