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Microsoft Patent Aims To Curb Obnoxious Employee Behavior

Soulskill posted more than 2 years ago | from the your-cubicle-is-not-soundproof dept.

Microsoft 312

theodp writes "GeekWire reports that a pending Microsoft patent for monitoring workplace behavior would do Dwight Schrute proud. Three Microsoft inventors propose curbing obnoxious workplace habits in an equally obnoxious fashion — using a computer device for monitoring and analyzing workers' interactions over video conferences, telephone, text messages and other forms of digital communication to look for patterns of negative and positive behavior, and assigning behavior scores to employees based on what the system finds. Bad behavior, Microsoft explains, might include wearing dark glasses in a video conference, wearing unacceptable clothing to a business meeting, cutting off others during conversation, prolonged monologues, and even how one nods one's head in agreement, shakes one's head indicating disagreement, and makes hand gestures."

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wrong logo (5, Insightful)

marcello_dl (667940) | more than 2 years ago | (#38097812)

The Borg Gates would have been more apt.

Re:wrong logo (5, Funny)

TWX (665546) | more than 2 years ago | (#38097890)

He doesn't really work there anymore...

The world turned upside-down when dearly-beloved Steve Jobs started locking down hardware to prevent any non-Apple-Approved changes, and Kommissar Gates went to Africa to kill disease-carrying mosquitoes...

(with apologies to Jon Stewart)

Re:wrong logo (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38098080)

Some of you haters are way over the line into mental illness.

Re:wrong logo (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38098254)

Isn't white-washing fun?

I'm all for it - start at Microsoft HQ! (1, Insightful)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 2 years ago | (#38098258)

After all, if bad behavior can be so easily detected, Bill Gates and Steve Balmer would both be flagged - and having been flagged repeatedly, be the target of employee lawsuits for creating a toxic work environment. Bring it on!!!

Re:I'm all for it - start at Microsoft HQ! (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38098448)

No, there's an Easter Egg -- each piece of furniture launched over 5 feet gets you +1000 behavior points.

Re:I'm all for it - start at Microsoft HQ! (1)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 2 years ago | (#38098584)

People who blame Bill Gates for things that MS is doing today remind me of people who still make jokes about how "It's a Wonderful Life" runs 24/7 on TV around Christmas. Some people just don't pay attention.

Re:I'm all for it - start at Microsoft HQ! (2)

Anomalyst (742352) | more than 2 years ago | (#38098668)

The FICA commitments when putting attention on the payroll are way too burdensome.

Wow (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38097814)

I can hardly wait.

Too late Microsoft (5, Funny)

Dyinobal (1427207) | more than 2 years ago | (#38097818)

Sorry Microsoft but your patent has to be denied. I already patented having an annoying boss, if you persist with this you will be hearing from my lawyers.

Annoying boss? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38098044)

If this is generally applied to a workspace, I'm confident that the bosses will be the first to be red flagged! Maybe this can help reducing the amount of psychopathic leadership?

Re:Annoying boss? (5, Insightful)

zwede (1478355) | more than 2 years ago | (#38098124)

You don't seriously think managers will be monitored, do you?

Re:Annoying boss? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38098496)

Why do you think I put an "if" in the beginning of the sentence turning it into a purely hypothetical exercise of though? I'm not born yesterday you know :-)

Re:Too late Microsoft (4, Funny)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 2 years ago | (#38098078)

Sorry Microsoft but your patent has to be denied. I already patented having an annoying boss, if you persist with this you will be hearing from my lawyers.

They're claiming a patent on firing employees for insubordination. Dang. I knew I should have filed for that one.

Re:Too late Microsoft (5, Funny)

Tsingi (870990) | more than 2 years ago | (#38098208)

I tried to patent "The beatings will continue until morale improves." But Microsoft beat me to it.

Re:Too late Microsoft (2)

Stewie241 (1035724) | more than 2 years ago | (#38098360)

Ahhh, but they are doing it in a new and novel way.

This is a patent of being annoying using the Internet.

Re:Too late Microsoft (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38098398)

This is a patent of being annoying using the Internet.

I think, I got prior art on that one...

So... Balmer... (4, Funny)

Sfing_ter (99478) | more than 2 years ago | (#38097820)

So M$ is patenting being a dick? Well, they do have Balmer to prove their program theory works...

Re:So... Balmer... (3, Insightful)

oakgrove (845019) | more than 2 years ago | (#38098056)

Why doesn't Microsoft patent a way to curb their own obnoxious patent bullying?

Re:So... Balmer... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38098184)

So M$ is patenting being a dick? Well, they do have Balmer to prove their program theory works...

They are patenting a mechanism that uses AI to detect when you are behaving like a dick. Hook this thing up to a electric shocker built into to a collar fitted around every employee's neck and the possibilities are endless. Every time you criticize management, badmouth some oligarch, gaze too long in the general direction of a female coworker's posterior or simply engage in a combination of seemingly unrelated behaviors that trigger a match in this gizmo and tzzzzzzzzzt.........

Spoiler: It's you (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38098416)

Someone wasn't able to catch their Soap Operas this morning.

Hope it doesn't affect me. (2)

impaledsunset (1337701) | more than 2 years ago | (#38097830)

I usually put black and white paint on my face and put black metal clothing with lots of spines and an axe. I hope that's not included in the blacklist of obnoxious behaviours.

Re:Hope it doesn't affect me. (5, Funny)

TWX (665546) | more than 2 years ago | (#38097862)

Only if the face is all black except for a little bit of white around the mouth... That could get you sent to sensitivity training...

Re:Hope it doesn't affect me. (1)

Anomalyst (742352) | more than 2 years ago | (#38098702)

Only if the face is all black except for a little bit of white around the mouth... That could get you sent to sensitivity training...

Why? Is there some kind of unreported anesthetic quality to blackface?

Re:Hope it doesn't affect me. (5, Funny)

dkleinsc (563838) | more than 2 years ago | (#38097950)

I didn't realize Gene Simmons posted on Slashdot.

Re:Hope it doesn't affect me. (1)

mlts (1038732) | more than 2 years ago | (#38098580)

Depends on what type of sysadmin you are. I'd expect a proper corpsepaint application on the AIX and some of the BSD guys. The Windows admins, it just doesn't fit at all. The Linux guys, might get away with it, depending on their administration philosophy.

Other items, it depends. It does require black magic to get some networks working and keep them up, so seeing corpsepaint on the Cisco guys wouldn't be too out of the question.

But how can they tell? (5, Funny)

TWX (665546) | more than 2 years ago | (#38097836)

"...using a computer device for monitoring and analyzing workers' interactions over video conferences ... Bad behavior, Microsoft explains ... wearing unacceptable clothing to a business meeting..."

But how can they tell in a videoconference video if I'm not wearing any pants?

On another note, years ago I missed the annual staff meeting when I was out sick. One of the topics was dress code. I was called in to the director's office to hear that part as it was deemed important. When he got into specifics, he said, "no printed t-shirts with inappropriate expressions on them, no open-toed shoes, no thongs." I replied, "No thongs? But how can they tell?!" He thought for a minute, and once it clicked, his face turned white as a sheet as he burst out, "FLIP FLOPS! No Flip flops!"

It's funny to make a PHB turn white as a sheet...

Re:But how can they tell? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38097976)

There's this fit female coworker who wears g-strings and low waist trousers. Sometimes you can see the string over her trouser when she bends to pick up something from the floor. Nobody has complained............

Re:But how can they tell? (3, Insightful)

kryliss (72493) | more than 2 years ago | (#38098092)

The only ones that ever complain about something like that are the fat girls out of jealousy.

Re:But how can they tell? (5, Interesting)

TWX (665546) | more than 2 years ago | (#38098114)

I once saw another incident. A lady of probably 35 years was, for some reason, kneeling on her guest's chair at her own desk while talking on the phone. Her whale-tail was sticking up well above her pants. I looked at the other lady in the office, probably in her mid sixties, and once I had her attention, pointed at the whale-tail. She got up, walked over to the woman on the phone, grabbed the whale-tail, yanked it back about six inches, and snapped it against the woman's lower back. The younger woman immediately reacted by thrusting her lower body forward, got an incredulous look on her face turning beet red, and concluded her phone call quickly and left the room.

I was agog. After the victim left, I said to the lady, "You're the only person in this office who could get away with that!" to which she replied with a smile, "I know!"

Re:But how can they tell? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38098696)

I'm such an old fogey that I actually had to look up the term "whale tail". The term itself isn't shocking, but my jaw completely dropped when I read its Wikipedia entry: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Whale_tail. Suddenly I began to despair for our society's preoccupation with, and apotheosis of the mundane. Must have been like the fourth or fifth time this morning that's happened, and this is only the first /. post I've read so far.

Re:But how can they tell? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38098170)

Ahhh so you've spotted the ever elusive whale-tail have you matey?

Re:But how can they tell? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38098294)

Let me guess. Is that in Europe?
http://www.guzer.com/pictures/europe_vs_usa.php [guzer.com]

Re:But how can they tell? (1)

Applekid (993327) | more than 2 years ago | (#38098570)

Do they also throw objects on the ground in front of her?

Re:But how can they tell? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38098096)

But how can they tell in a videoconference video if I'm not wearing any pants?

Easy! From what they show us computers can do on TV:
Hmm, but is he wearing pants?
I don't know, unzoom, unzoom, unzoom
I'm still not sure if those are pants
enhance, enhance, enhance sector 12G
Oh, that thing's not in his pants all right!

Re:But how can they tell? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38098118)

The differences in English dialects can be positively delightful sometimes. I think the average time between an American speaker and Commonwealth speaker meeting and the first hilarious misunderstanding tends to be about one hour.

Re:But how can they tell? (2)

Canazza (1428553) | more than 2 years ago | (#38098274)

Aussies have Thongs on their feet, Americans have Fanny packs on their waist. Both are major clothing malfunctions in the UK.

Re:But how can they tell? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38098376)

Fanny packs are major clothing malfunctions, period, no matter what sort of fanny pack you're talking about. That is universal.

Re:But how can they tell? (1)

gl4ss (559668) | more than 2 years ago | (#38098548)

But how can they tell in a videoconference video if I'm not wearing any pants?

by the way you smile, obviously.

Orwell (4, Interesting)

AtomicSnarl (549626) | more than 2 years ago | (#38097858)

Cue the Big Brother - thoughcrimes comments.

So, really -- what's the point of this? PC enforcement? Social modeling? Productivity improvement? Lawsuit prevention?

If it isn't about productivity, it is probably a drag on the organization.

Re:Orwell (2)

theolein (316044) | more than 2 years ago | (#38098408)

I wish Microsoft lots of luck trying to find talented employees after they implement this.

Balmer Chair-a-Pult (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38097860)

Patent pending

Hang on.. this means... (5, Funny)

pieterh (196118) | more than 2 years ago | (#38097874)

that if anyone complains of my obnoxious behavior, I can cite them for violating Microsoft's patent claims. Microsoft, can I please get a license?

So then.... (3, Funny)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 2 years ago | (#38097876)

Flipping off the boss as he leaves the room, playing angry birds during the meeting, or putting the phone conference on mute and ignoring it completely while we talk about random crap is ok then? the detector is not flagging those.

Re:So then.... (4, Funny)

TWX (665546) | more than 2 years ago | (#38098164)

I just hope that the mute button works... Apparently my wife was once in one where it didn't, and their team's bursts of laughter at the incompetent statements were not well received by those making them...

Re:So then.... (1)

Aryden (1872756) | more than 2 years ago | (#38098618)

I don't bother muting, I just at the incompetent statements as they are making them in hopes that the meeting sponsor will actually have the balls to ask me what I find so funny...

Re:So then.... (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 2 years ago | (#38098234)

The first two would be detectable under "hand gestures" as mentioned at the end of the summary :p Putting the phone on mute sounds like a winner to me though.

Re:So then.... (3, Funny)

mlts (1038732) | more than 2 years ago | (#38098664)

Mute button stories are comedy gold sometimes. I just tell people to make sure the light is lit or the phone actually is in mute.

An example of this is when I worked in an internal IT department at a SMB. Someone called up from the field, got a cow-orker and she muted the phone (so she thought), then yelled, "Argh, I should just hang up on this guy. Anyone want to take him and put him on speaker so I can have a shot of Jaegermeister and snicker at him?" I took the call. Next thing the guy on the other phone asked: "Mind if I have a swig of Jaeger if any is left?"

Okay, sure. (1)

cmv1087 (2426970) | more than 2 years ago | (#38097888)

So I guess I can't pantomime planting bombs or firing weapons anymore.

Re:Okay, sure. (1)

Dyinobal (1427207) | more than 2 years ago | (#38097974)

You still can, but only if you work for Valve, I hear that is a job requirement to even work on the new Counter Strike.

Hand gestures? (3)

Chris Mattern (191822) | more than 2 years ago | (#38097912)

I've got a hand gesture for you!

wtb patent to curb obnoxious patents (1)

bulldog060 (992160) | more than 2 years ago | (#38097916)

Don't they have anything better to do?

Re:wtb patent to curb obnoxious patents (1)

Surt (22457) | more than 2 years ago | (#38098148)

Are you kidding? Every fortune 500 company will buy this, and pay through the nose to have it. This might be the most profitable idea MS has had in a decade or more.

Hand gestures, eh? (1)

Meneth (872868) | more than 2 years ago | (#38097918)

I have one for you.

Are You Sure? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38097924)

Are You Sure? It sounds more like a system for scouting new potential members of management. Of course, it could be for finding people that are both intelligent and principled in addition to being assholes. In which case, yes, it would be for finding "trouble makers."

they want to patent all of this? (4, Interesting)

mapkinase (958129) | more than 2 years ago | (#38097960)

"Bad behavior, Microsoft explains, might include wearing dark glasses in a video conference, wearing unacceptable clothing to a business meeting, cutting off others during conversation, prolonged monologues, and even how one nods one's head in agreement, shakes one's head indicating disagreement, and makes hand gestures"

I suspect for many of those they have no clue how to implement it, yet they are already patenting it?

Re:they want to patent all of this? (5, Funny)

Dyinobal (1427207) | more than 2 years ago | (#38098022)

These days you patent the idea, not how to do it. I already have patents on FTL, nuclear fusion, Robotic prostitutes, and teleportation. It doesn't matter that I don't know how to do it I just put 'a method of ________' at the start and then be as vague and no specific as possible and even throw in some buzz words.

Re:they want to patent all of this? (2)

TWX (665546) | more than 2 years ago | (#38098188)

"These days you patent the idea, not how to do it. I already have patents on ... Robotic prostitutes..."

I'm pretty sure that the Japanese have you beat on prior art there...

Re:they want to patent all of this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38098046)

I suspect you have obviously not read the patent, yet you are already complaining about it?

Re:they want to patent all of this? (1)

oakgrove (845019) | more than 2 years ago | (#38098166)

Considering what the GP is saying is par for the course for MS and the rest of the industry's software patents these days, it's a pretty likely supposition the the patent is on the "idea" of doing this and is as filled with as much broad all-encompassing legalese as possible. I mean who knows, some small business might base their model on something remotely related to this 10 years from now. How else do you expect to extort^H^H^H^H extract revenue from them without being as vague as possible?

Re:they want to patent all of this? (1)

Pope (17780) | more than 2 years ago | (#38098220)

and even how one nods one's head in agreement, shakes one's head indicating disagreement

Better fire all the Indians then.

Re:they want to patent all of this? (1)

Aryden (1872756) | more than 2 years ago | (#38098658)

I still can't figure out how to do the side to side bobble head thing, hurts the hell out of my neck.

Re:they want to patent all of this? (1)

mapkinase (958129) | more than 2 years ago | (#38098686)

And Bulgarians.

bosses should not be calling on lunch / after work (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | more than 2 years ago | (#38098006)

bosses should not be calling on lunch / after work in less that that call needs to be done now now lunch maybe it's a real quick thing like I need X for customer Y and it can be done after lunch or it's after lunch go to Z. Now it's for some in the field then it's a little bit more ok to call.

Come on Cmdr Taco, it is your moment! (0)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | more than 2 years ago | (#38098020)

Claim slashdot mod system is prior art, invalidate the patent, slay the dragon or at least one of its scales and show the skeptical slashdotters the stuff you are made of. Come on. Grab the moment. Seize the day.

Pointless (3, Insightful)

Hentes (2461350) | more than 2 years ago | (#38098028)

If anyone notices bad behavior, there is no need for additional monitoring. But if noone notices it, there is no harm done. What's the point?

Re:Pointless (1)

Surt (22457) | more than 2 years ago | (#38098178)

The point is that you're wrong about 'anyone'. It matters to many a PHB who notices.

The crux of the patent. (5, Funny)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | more than 2 years ago | (#38098126)

Like most famous inventions, the exact moment this invention happened has been very accurately recorded. It was exactly on the day a top sidekick of Ballmer decided to quit Microsoft to join Google. The CEO discovered the ballistic properties of office furniture and how effectively they can be projected to affect employee behavior and give feedback to the employees about the management's attitude towards them. But it was not a simple joy ride to the patent office. Much more serious development and testing took place. Tables were too heavy. Paperweights were too ineffectual. After a decade of hard work, the invention has paid off and now Microsoft has obtained a patent "for a tool that can give feedback to the employee about their actions and behavior which can also be sat upon to work when not used in that capacity."

Re:The crux of the patent. (1)

X3J11 (791922) | more than 2 years ago | (#38098246)

I was waiting for the inevitable chair throwing reference and you sir did not disappoint.

Re:The crux of the patent. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38098452)

Prior art: Bobby Knight.

Call me old fashioned... (5, Interesting)

RogueyWon (735973) | more than 2 years ago | (#38098134)

Ok, call me old fashioned, but why on earth would you need to have a piece of software to pick up on inappropriate behaviour from employees? Isn't this what a line manager is supposed to be for?

Now, ok, some of the behaviours mentioned in TFS might be considered inappropriate; but even these are situational. In fact, I remember one day last summer, when I was on annual leave and got a call from the office asking me to drop in urgently, because a senior manager needed some advice in a hurry on an issue that only I knew about. I was up in town already when I got the call, so I was able to get into the office in about 15 minutes. I was casually dressed (jeans and a t-shirt - it was a hot day) and when I went into the meeting, I gave a monologue. That was, after all, the whole point of me being there. But was any of that inappropriate in the circumstances? Of course not. In fact, I got credit for going into the office on what should have been a day off. But this little office-spy routine they've got going here would have flagged me up for at least two violations.

I've had to deal with staff conduct issues before. It's never a pleasant experience, but if you want to do it properly, you have to be clear about the impacts that the behaviour has had. So, for example, "You were rude to colleague x in a meeting. I know that she was being difficult, but you didn't handle this well. As a result of this, we haven't agreed any of the actions that we needed to and we've put objectives a, b and c at risk. We'll also need to get somebody round to extract the traffic cone and see if we can lure the weasels back out of the ventilation ducts." Something like that.

I suppose I can see where an IT system like this does come in - as part of the "ass-covering" section of a formal disciplinary process. I can see the attraction for risk-averse employers (particularly in the public sector), where it might be considered useful to have a print-out saying "Employee Y was inappropriately dressed for meetings on the following dates..." during a tribunal process. But that's about bureaucracy and process - you only find yourself in that kind of situation once the relationship between employer and employee has actually broken down. It's not about actually improving conduct within the organisation in any meaningful way.

Re:Call me old fashioned... (1)

Jeng (926980) | more than 2 years ago | (#38098458)

This reminds me of the story Manna.

http://marshallbrain.com/manna1.htm [marshallbrain.com]

Management costs more per person than the people they supervise, if you can get rid of management you can significantly improve your profits.

Re:Call me old fashioned... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38098636)

I agree.

I think this does fall under line Manager duty.

Often employees behave badly for a reason. If look at the problem the problem (and fix) this bad behavior may well cease to exist.

If you don't look at the root cause you may just be putting bactine on a broken leg.

I miss Army meetings sometime (5, Funny)

CPTreese (2114124) | more than 2 years ago | (#38098136)

The Army may like meetings and PowerPoint too much, but at least everyone wore the same damn thing and swearing at each other was considered an art form.

"training" the software (4, Funny)

mbone (558574) | more than 2 years ago | (#38098142)

I certainly hope that they use this video [youtube.com] to train the software.

So what about (1)

twoears (1514043) | more than 2 years ago | (#38098160)

So what about spitting on people (Gates) and throwing chairs (you know who)? And what about cursing?

Re:So what about (1)

Rogerborg (306625) | more than 2 years ago | (#38098222)

It's OK, the cameras always face away from the people giving the orders.

Eh? (3, Funny)

ledow (319597) | more than 2 years ago | (#38098172)

Is it just me that thinks that corporate influence has turned everyone into automated drones and actually feels quite relieved when the person on the other end of the line seems human? When you can joke about their products, when they curse the system in front of you, when they basically say "Yeah, but the guy who dealt with you before was an idiot, sorry." even if it's just with a gesture?

My boss regularly rings one of our suppliers for goods and they often chit-chat among themselves - he often works himself out a good discount while he's there, but that's how he operates - and it makes them seem altogether more understanding when you DO have a real problem rather than someone following a flowchart. They're also much more likely to get our custom than some robot who can't be made to smile, budge on price, or anything else that doesn't toe the company line EVEN IF they are more expensive than others.

Define "unacceptable" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38098210)

wearing unacceptable clothing to a business meeting

Unacceptable to who?

Re:Define "unacceptable" (1)

TWX (665546) | more than 2 years ago | (#38098262)

I'd bet that a "FUCK WORK" t-shirt will probably be found inappropriate by just about everyone, even those who share the sentiment...

Come to think of it, just about anything at T-Shirt Hell would be inappropriate in a business meeting, especially if it involves clients or customers...

Kinect-powered Spacely Space Sprockets computer (5, Funny)

fortapocalypse (1231686) | more than 2 years ago | (#38098224)

Security camera footage + Kinect technology + massive computational power and behavioral logic = "JETSON!!!!!"

Re:Kinect-powered Spacely Space Sprockets computer (0)

Locutus (9039) | more than 2 years ago | (#38098392)

I figure someone told some employees at Microsoft to start looking for things to patent which would require a Kinect type device. This is what they've come up with. More proof they are a bumbling bunch of idiots. IMO

LoB

Just wait for the flood of discrimination suits (3, Insightful)

petes_PoV (912422) | more than 2 years ago | (#38098228)

So it's "bad behaviour" to wear dark glasses during a videoconference. Is it also "bad behaviour" to bring your guide-dog into the v/c, too?

A lot of these attributes seem to be culturally insensitive and would be prohibited in many workplaces as being discriminatory

Microsoft discriminates against the handicapped! (2)

clickety6 (141178) | more than 2 years ago | (#38098272)

"Bad behavior, Microsoft explains, might include wearing dark glasses in a video conference..."

So take that you badly behaved blind person!

Re:Microsoft discriminates against the handicapped (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38098428)

Or employee who came in after getting their eyes dilated.

And they've the perfect test subject! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38098284)

Ok, so "Monkey Boy" Ballmer is gonna be the test subject o ensure tha dickness is thoroughly identified and flagged, right?

Lucky for them, Intel is coming out with a 50 core processor beast, cause when testing Ballmer, this app is gonna need LOTS of horsepower...

Does The Patent Also Cover.... (1)

tunapez (1161697) | more than 2 years ago | (#38098304)

The annoying hard selling of unnecessary softwares/licenses, too?

Oh, not that annoying behavior.

Suicide Mission (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38098316)

I don't believe that they will survive this one as a company, it's clearly a suicide mission by Microsoft.

What this actually means... (3, Insightful)

gnasher719 (869701) | more than 2 years ago | (#38098320)

Should your own employer use similar methods, then you can take revenge by ratting them out to Microsoft, who can then either sue your employer for patent infringement, or forbid them altogether to use methods infringing on this patent.

hand gestures? (1)

oneiros27 (46144) | more than 2 years ago | (#38098328)

Oh, sure, discriminate against the Italians.

um ... I'd make a hand gesture now, but it's hard to do while typing. It's much easier over video conferences.

mute! (1)

djchristensen (472087) | more than 2 years ago | (#38098368)

I for one would be happy to have a system that could detect the bozos who call into meetings, never say a word, and don't mute their phone. I can do without the loud breathers, dogs barking, kids yelling, typing, static, etc. I don't feel like I should be the mute-police, and the people running the meetings (at least at my company) rarely say anything. A little common courtesy would solve the problem, but an automated system is probably a much more realistic solution.

And if this particular crime isn't listed in the patent, then consider this prior art that I am contributing to the public domain in hopes of serving the greater good.

Smart (1, Insightful)

sgt scrub (869860) | more than 2 years ago | (#38098386)

This is a perfect disguise for getting patents on human behavior.

Prior art (1, Funny)

sorak (246725) | more than 2 years ago | (#38098456)

A patent on a device that tells you how to dress, how to talk, and how to carry yourself in public? I already have one.

I'm married.

dark glasses (1)

j2.718ff (2441884) | more than 2 years ago | (#38098504)

I guess when a blind person wears dark glasses, he is exhibiting obnoxious behavior.

Congress/Senate (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38098534)

Can we deploy this to the US congress and senate?

Pretty please?

Prior Art? (1)

Fnord666 (889225) | more than 2 years ago | (#38098646)

Microsoft patenting obnoxious employee behaviour? Aren't they their own prior art?

Does it reward me with chocolate when I do good? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38098648)

Bazinga! Mild low voltage shocks when I do bad, chocolate when I do good?
If I do real good for a month straight they put a person I am attracted to in the same cage...I mean cube for the night?

hahaha i got lucky (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38098708)

i would have studied CS... to be bullied by shit like this...

instead i life from social welfare now and nobody gives a fuck what i do because i am worthless.. true freedom :D

Snow Crash (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38098714)

Yours Truly ;-)

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