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Facebook Patents Pokes-Per-Minute Limits

samzenpus posted about 2 years ago | from the stop-touching-me dept.

Facebook 143

theodp writes "The USPTO lowered the bar again on Tuesday, granting U.S. Patent No. 8,296,373 to four Facebook inventors for Automatically Managing Objectionable Behavior in a Web-based Social Network, essentially warning users or suspending their accounts when their poking, friend requesting, and wall posting is deemed annoying. From the patent: 'Actions by a user exceeding the threshold may trigger the violation module 240 to take an action. For example, the point 360, which may represent fifty occurrences of an action in a five hour period, does not violate any of the policies as illustrated. However, the point 350, which represents fifty occurrences in a two hour period, violates the poke threshold 330 and the wall post threshold 340. Thus, if point 350 represents a user's actions of either poking or wall posting, then the policy is violated.'"

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Well I'm going to patent this poke then. (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41758787)

POKE 53281,0

Re:Well I'm going to patent this poke then. (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41758863)

POKE 53280,0
What are you going to do now, huh?

Re:Well I'm going to patent this poke then. (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41759161)

10 POKE 16384,76
20 POKE 16385,64
30 POKE 16386,0
40 SYS 16384
RUN

Guys, guys guys! Hey guys! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41759203)

These young'ins have no clue WTF you're talking about.

To them, 6502 assembly is the instruction book for an IKEA furniture product or the access key for some 'i'something or another from Apple.

Re:Guys, guys guys! Hey guys! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41759897)

You apparently don't either. That's C64 Basic not 6502 assembly.

Re:Guys, guys guys! Hey guys! (5, Informative)

tragedy (27079) | about 2 years ago | (#41761013)

The code in question is basic code, but it's basic code that loads assembly instructions into memory at 16384, 16385, and 16386, then hands the cpu over to the program inserted at 16384. The 76 is a jmp command and the next two memory addresses contain 64 (0x40) and 0 (0x00) combining to 0x4000, which translates to 16384. In other words, it's assembly code for an infinite loop.

Re:Well I'm going to patent this poke then. (3, Insightful)

marcansoft (727665) | about 2 years ago | (#41759733)

I'm afraid you've got the wrong endianness. Next time try programming for the 6800 instead ;)

Re:Well I'm going to patent this poke then. (4, Interesting)

Time_Ngler (564671) | about 2 years ago | (#41759893)

I think you meant:

10 POKE 16384,76
20 POKE 16385,0
30 POKE 16386,64
40 SYS 16384
RUN

c64 is little endian

Re:Well I'm going to patent this poke then. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41760947)

POKE 53272,0

OWW...my screen hurts

Re:Well I'm going to patent this poke then. (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | about 2 years ago | (#41758923)

If you patent that poke I won't be able to write zeros to my cassette tape.

Total Garbage (5, Funny)

NFN_NLN (633283) | about 2 years ago | (#41758817)

No wonder the USPTO is overloaded. If this is the garbage that qualifies as patent worthy.

I'm going to patent ass-wiping thresholds now. Once you've wiped your ass 10 times in one sitting and you're still not clean then something has gone wrong...

Re:Total Garbage (5, Funny)

MightyMartian (840721) | about 2 years ago | (#41758903)

Hah, Mark "Fucking" Zuckerberg here. I've already patented ass wiping thresholds, as well as asses and assholes. In fact, since Steve "Rotting Corpse" Jobs finally bit the big one, I'm even closer to cornering the asshole patent market.

Look and be in awe of my might patented asshole!

Re:Total Garbage (3)

similar_name (1164087) | about 2 years ago | (#41759825)

Every time I see your sig I picture Jesus riding down the highway on a moped.

Re:Total Garbage (4, Funny)

guttentag (313541) | about 2 years ago | (#41760605)

I've already patented ass wiping thresholds, as well as asses and assholes. In fact, since Steve "Rotting Corpse" Jobs finally bit the big one, I'm even closer to cornering the asshole patent market.

You can't patent asses and assholes. They're human interfaces with rounded corners. Apple would sue your ass off!

Re:Total Garbage (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41759585)

Agreed, can I patent the slow death of the us trade economy by systematic patenting of any possible new idea? Oh yeah, I have to include "with a computing device' in there somewhere. If you can't beat em, join em.

Surely money has changed hands here (1)

multiben (1916126) | about 2 years ago | (#41758821)

Facebook inventors don't tend to be short on cash and that's one of the weakest patents I've ever heard of.

Re:Surely money has changed hands here (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41759567)

I don't know, IBM's "colour in inter-office e-mails" patent still tops my list; but this one definitely makes my top 10.

Re:Surely money has changed hands here (1)

wbr1 (2538558) | about 2 years ago | (#41760875)

Facebook inventors don't tend to be short on cash and that's one of the weakest patents I've ever heard of.

Sure money changed hands. Facebook paid lawyers, lawyers filed patent.
The USPTO doesn't get paid off. They just rubber stamp things.

Genius (5, Funny)

Dan East (318230) | about 2 years ago | (#41758833)

Man, that is some hard core stuff right there. Is there anyone frequenting Slashdot with genius-level IQ that could possibly break down this unbelievably complex, non-obvious behavior and explain it to the rest of us? This is what having billions of dollars of capital can do for you - bring the brain power to a company that is required to make these kinds of amazing discoveries. What I'm looking forward to are the physics and mathematical papers that can expand on these newly found principles and constructs. It's really the stepping-off point to marvelous things for humanity. In fact, I do believe this may even bring us a step closer to the Grand Unified Theory.

Re:Genius (1)

Synerg1y (2169962) | about 2 years ago | (#41758925)

Pokes are a stupid concept to begin with. Does anybody use a phone to make calls anymore?

Re:Genius (2)

linear a (584575) | about 2 years ago | (#41759073)

"Phone"?

Re:Genius (2)

oodaloop (1229816) | about 2 years ago | (#41759211)

I dunno. Maybe he meant phablet.

Re:Genius (2)

dfm3 (830843) | about 2 years ago | (#41759655)

Yeah, you know, that handheld device you use to browse Facebook.

Re:Genius (1)

hawguy (1600213) | about 2 years ago | (#41759201)

Pokes are a stupid concept to begin with. Does anybody use a phone to make calls anymore?

Only if I'm calling my mom. For just about everyone else, about the closest I come to a phone call is a text message.

"Poke Suggestions" (1)

Smirker (695167) | about 2 years ago | (#41759427)

As the subject implies. Thank Facebook for the existence of this concept.

Re:Genius (3, Funny)

Cryacin (657549) | about 2 years ago | (#41758937)

Thanks pal, my sarcasm meter just exploded.

Re:Genius (5, Funny)

Dan East (318230) | about 2 years ago | (#41759299)

Okay, then what is needed is a patent for limiting the amount of sarcasm in a commenting system. I'll lay the groundwork:

For example, the point 360, which may represent fifty units of sarcasm in a five hour period, does not violate any of the policies as illustrated. However, the point 350, which represents fifty units of sarcasm in a two hour period, violates the sarcasm threshold 330. Thus, if point 350 represents a user's actions, then the policy is violated.

Now it can never be said that I didn't contribute to Slashdot in a positive way after all these years.

Re:Genius (2)

JustOK (667959) | about 2 years ago | (#41760225)

You didn't contribute to Slashdot in a positive way after all these years.

Re:Genius (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41759597)

It seems your sarcasm meter could have done with a poke threshold.

Re:Genius (1)

cvtan (752695) | about 2 years ago | (#41758999)

Let me explain the IF,THEN statement to you...

Re:Genius (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41759187)

Dennis Ritchie is probably turning in his grave on these "ideas".
Patenting the possibilities a computer language enables its users to use is probably too much, just because some lines of code can be arranged in a specific way does not raise the bar on what is considered an invention (i am in favor of calling an invention discovery anyway). Or education is just too bad, whatever comes first.

There is a good cause why copyright and patent system are separated.

Re:Genius (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41759333)

If this stops all the Sheldons in the world from poking the girl that'll never get on Facebook and get back to work it may very well bring us closer the the GUT.

Re:Genius (3, Informative)

TheEffigy (2666397) | about 2 years ago | (#41759511)

I think it is more likely a defensive patent, otherwise some douche will patent it first and troll them for cash.

Good strategy (1)

aNonnyMouseCowered (2693969) | about 2 years ago | (#41759969)

Much as I hate Facebook with a passion, I think this is the "right" strategy for them to survive in a litigious patent regime. In a patent war, you need every weapon you could get. Frivolous patents like this may well be more effective in a patent war than essential patents where you can get sued for abusing FRAND licensing:

http://apple.slashdot.org/story/12/10/24/2033252/doj-investigating-samsung-for-patent-abuse [slashdot.org]

On hindsight, Google's acquistion of Motorola Mobility doesn't appear to have benefited it much in its court cases with Apple and Microsoft, two companies with a large chest of non-essential, even frivolous patents.

Corporate moral: Patent everything, even if a two-year-old child can build it.

Re:Good strategy (1)

Nerdfest (867930) | about 2 years ago | (#41760687)

Google hasn't directly been the victim of their abuse yet. They've been going after the phone manufacturers so far.

Slow down cowboy (3, Funny)

sjames (1099) | about 2 years ago | (#41758887)

We might know of some prior art somewhere...

Re:Slow down cowboy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41759135)

Apparently patent reviewers never hang out on IRC.

Re:Slow down cowboy (2)

reve_etrange (2377702) | about 2 years ago | (#41759873)

As far as I know every instant messaging client I've ever used has this functionality. Even AIM could do it. Presumably, all of those simply took the idea from IRC.

Re:Slow down cowboy (1)

Nerdfest (867930) | about 2 years ago | (#41760697)

They may even want to check out the definition of the standard HTTP 420 status code.

Re:Slow down cowboy (1)

Sigma 7 (266129) | about 2 years ago | (#41760243)

Apparently patent reviewers never hang out on IRC.

And even if you don't count IRC... there were still message boards that did rate-limiting based on posts per day. Glasscode [slashdot.org] (now disappeared) did that, and would even auto-adjust based on the user's trust level. At least one other forum exists like that too, even if the readership is low. Users wouldn't be auto-banned, but prevented from posting more until later.

Patent reviewers haven't even heard of websites, let alone know whether or not something is obvious. Quite bad with a first-to-file system.

Re:Slow down cowboy (-1)

Desler (1608317) | about 2 years ago | (#41760569)

Well, you know, except that "first-to-file" has fuck all to do with your complaint Obviosness, prior art, etc. still apply when it comes to determining patentability. "First-to-file" has to do with who gets awarded a patent if multiple, independemt parties seek to patent the same idea. In fact, the act that made the US patent system match the rest of the wod in the previous respect actually made what could be considered prior art to reject a patent more broad. But you would actually have to know anything about the system ti have known this rather than repeating stupid shit you saw other idiots say.

Re:Slow down cowboy (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | about 2 years ago | (#41759193)

But not patented prior art.

Re:Slow down cowboy (1)

sjames (1099) | about 2 years ago | (#41759561)

That's the best kind. No matter what the patent office might think, the law doesn't distinguish between patented and unpatented prior art for the purpose of patentability criteria.

Re:Slow down cowboy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41759863)

Until you pay some lawyers, judges and politicians enough money, that is.

Re:Slow down cowboy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41759611)

Yip first to file = lots o' money, first to actually build and implement = a reason to cry because the other guy patented it first so you now owe him millions.

Re:Slow down cowboy (2)

Desler (1608317) | about 2 years ago | (#41760601)

No, first-to-file has no bearing on prior art. You realize that the rest of the world uses first-to-file systems and prior art is used in the same way to reject and invalidate patents, right? No not likely. To know that you'd need a clue.

29th Amendment (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41758889)

The Right To Be Annoying shall not be abridged by the federal government, it's legislation or it's keepers, the newly created class of citizens who now oversee our political affairs, the corporations.

Prior Art (2)

RdeCourtney (2034578) | about 2 years ago | (#41758897)

Hmmmm, my social networking site, which has been around for many many years, has had this since 2008 - I wonder if I should contact the USPTO?

Re:Prior Art (1)

RdeCourtney (2034578) | about 2 years ago | (#41758949)

Actually, my mistake, looking at the dates from the comments in the script files, those modules were originally scripted in 2006!

Re:Prior Art (1)

cheater512 (783349) | about 2 years ago | (#41759035)

You just drew attention to yourself and admitted that you are infringing.

Prepare to be sued!

Re:Prior Art (1)

someones (2687911) | about 2 years ago | (#41759055)

Do it! post results.

Re:Prior Art (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41759139)

Actually, my mistake, looking at the dates from the comments in the script files, those modules were originally scripted in 2006!

This makes a major difference the patent was "Filed: February 2, 2007"; if you published your work before then then it sounds to me like you do have prior art. However, that word "published" is going to be very important; you need to put it where other people can read it. A web site will do fine (especially if you can prove the date - archive.org is your friend). Open sourcing the code is likely to be perfect. If you kept this information secret and didn't somewhere explain how your system worked then you may just have admitted to patent infringement (or maybe not - sometimes separate inventors are allowed to continue; I don't remember the details - ask your lawyer).

Posting a comment on Groklaw might be a good way of bringing attention to your prior art.

Re:Prior Art (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | about 2 years ago | (#41759179)

No thats not on facebook.

Limit of Pokes per minute (5, Funny)

HockeyPuck (141947) | about 2 years ago | (#41758951)

At what point does pokes per minute turn into a tickle fight?

Re:Limit of Pokes per minute (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41759403)

That's an intriguing question, and one that will probably go all of the way to the Supreme Court.

Best. Patent. (0)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about 2 years ago | (#41758977)

EVAR!

Showers (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41758995)

Claim 1-If two showers in an apartment building with common hot water supply are turned on, hot water is provided to both. But if four showers are turned on each automatically receives a reduced amount of hot water. Claim 2-If a toilet is flushed while a shower is turned on, the reduced cold water supply changes the mix of hot and cold water, making the shower water temperature hotter.

Re:Showers (2)

rtfa-troll (1340807) | about 2 years ago | (#41759163)

Claim 1-If two showers in an apartment building with common hot water supply are turned on, hot water is provided to both. But if four showers are turned on each automatically receives a reduced amount of hot water. Claim 2-If a toilet is flushed while a shower is turned on, the reduced cold water supply changes the mix of hot and cold water, making the shower water temperature hotter. whilst the apartment building has an internet connection

Don't think you fully get this. You patented hundreds of years old technology for which there is clear prior art. I fixed that for you. Your patent should now stand up in court.

Finally (4, Funny)

Herkum01 (592704) | about 2 years ago | (#41758997)

It is about time someone solved this poking problem! I am sure NASA will be licensing this technology right away!

Talk to your Mom (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41760413)

From what I understand, "The female anatomy has ways of shutting that whole thing down."

Prior Art owned by AOL (4, Insightful)

Khyber (864651) | about 2 years ago | (#41759023)

AOL already implemented this with rate-limiting certain actions on AIM, and beefed it up even further with the warning system.

Blizzard was even earlier. (3, Funny)

Pyrus.mg (1152215) | about 2 years ago | (#41759317)

Orc peons in Warcraft II had a poke limit in 1995.

Re:Blizzard was even earlier. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41761059)

Thank you. I came to this thread looking for that.

Bitch Slap Patent (0)

theshowmecanuck (703852) | about 2 years ago | (#41759031)

I'm going to file a patent to automatically bitch slap the wankers on slashdot who automatically make the stupid fucking "Oh yeah, well I'm going to patent xyz retard joke" whenever one of these stories shows up. And I'll file another patent to send those who automatically respond, "oh yeah well you'll have to get around my patent of your patent" lame jokes to the goatse guy for their punishment.

Prior Art Part 332040450... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41759061)

We used to configure eggdrop bots on IRC to auto-kick users that performed X behavior X times in a time period of X. *sigh*

Re:Prior Art Part 332040450... (4, Insightful)

Areyoukiddingme (1289470) | about 2 years ago | (#41759507)

If I'm not mistaken, Eggdrop comes configured out of the box with rate limits. You can customize them, but you don't have to. If the bot is oped, it will defend the channel from morons by default.

Which is even closer to the patent, apparently, where the policy it babbles about amounts to defaults.

Re:Prior Art Part 332040450... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41759831)

Performed poke behavior poke times in a time period of poke?

Dude, you need more variables in there.

Hire Software Engineers to Vet Bullshit Patents (1)

theshowmecanuck (703852) | about 2 years ago | (#41759085)

Can't they hire some decent software engineers to look at shit like this and automatically label this as obvious and not innovative? Maybe even on contract basis so they rotate people through so they don't eventually go crazy trying to filter the overwhelming onslaught of bullshit Facebook, Apple, Amazon, and Google patents. Right now even Microsoft is looking good compared to these guys, and that's saying something.

Re:Hire Software Engineers to Vet Bullshit Patents (1)

Manfre (631065) | about 2 years ago | (#41759435)

The problem is that many of the larger companies pay bonuses to employees when one of "their ideas" is filed as a patent. There is a monetary incentive for programmers to generate this crap. IBM is another company that does this and I know a few of their employees that try to get IBM to patent anything and everything for the extra cash in their pay check.

  I still blame the USPTO for granting stupid patents, such as this one. Rate limiting is not a new concept.

Stack exchange - ask patents (1)

Cutting_Crew (708624) | about 2 years ago | (#41759645)

If you go to stack exchange , google and the ustpo have gotten together so that 3rd party members and others can invalidate patents in crowdsourcing effort and look at other patents that have not yet been accepted. I have tried to submit this story twice now and was declined. Check out patents.stackexchange. If you think that certain patents should be invalidated then state your prior art and work with those that can help you research. By the way I have tried to start a thread on there about blizzard being sued by worlds inc.

Re:Stack exchange - ask patents (1)

theshowmecanuck (703852) | about 2 years ago | (#41759931)

Good one. I just checked that out on stack. I'll give it a regular read. Thanks.

Enough (1)

kvnslash (2292742) | about 2 years ago | (#41759089)

I don't know why I read these anymore, it just makes me so mad. How do you patent "if (x > threshold) then perform_action()" ???? I know this is a simplification of what has probably been implemented, but this seems to be what facebook is claiming is the patent-worthy invention here... What the fuck USPTO? Go away... Please.. Now...

Slashdot Patent Violation Test (5, Funny)

Dan East (318230) | about 2 years ago | (#41759115)

Poke. Poke. Poke. Poke. Poke. Poke. Poke. Poke. Poke. Poke.
Poke. Poke. Poke. Poke. Poke. Poke. Poke. Poke. Poke. Poke.
Poke. Poke. Poke. Poke. Poke. Poke. Poke. Poke. Poke. Poke.
Poke. Poke. Poke. Poke. Poke. Poke. Poke. Poke. Poke. Poke.
Poke. Poke. Poke. Poke. Poke. Poke. Poke. Poke. Poke. Poke.

Nope, Slashdot is not in violation of the patent. Investigation closed.

Slow down, Cowboy (5, Funny)

istartedi (132515) | about 2 years ago | (#41759183)

Slow down, Cowboy. You seem to have filed too many frivolous patents. Come back in 15 minutes.

False positives? What false positives? (2)

Shag (3737) | about 2 years ago | (#41759241)

I got back on Facebook in early September, after spending a while away from it. I'd been on it, on and off, since the .edu-address-required days, and have a lot of friends on there. I started adding them, and before long, Facebook decided I must clearly be a spammer, since no "new" user could possibly know a couple hundred people. It banned me from everything but posting to my own wall, accepting friend requests, and poking people, for a solid month.

An Alternative Suggestion (1)

nickspoon (1070240) | about 2 years ago | (#41759307)

Actions by a user exceeding the threshold may trigger the violation module 240 to take an action. For example, the point 360, which may represent fifty occurrences of trivial patents in a five year period, does not violate any of the policies as illustrated. However, the point 350, which represents fifty occurrences in a two year period, violates the stupid-patent threshold 330 and the blindingly-obvious invention threshold 340. Thus, if point 350 represents a user's actions of obtaining ludicrous patents for everyday things, then the policy is violated. Think I'm on to a winner here.

MSN (2)

wisnoskij (1206448) | about 2 years ago | (#41759377)

Reminds me of MSN messenger.
The messenger used to limit sending of too many pokes per time unit, but it did nothing to limit receiving pokes.
Catch the correct packet, and sent it 10,000 times a second on repeat; Good times.

Noooo (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41759569)

Doh. There went my startup...

Too much poking!!! (1)

CHIT2ME (2667601) | about 2 years ago | (#41759571)

Hey, If your poking more than 50 times in 2 hours your doctor needs to cancel your Viagra prescription and say; "GO OUTSIDE AND GET SOME EXERCISE YOU FAT SLOB!!!)

Re:Too much poking!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41759895)

If you're poking more than 50 times in 2 hours, you probably have the body of a Greek demigod.

Patents.... (1)

Cute and Cuddly (2646619) | about 2 years ago | (#41759673)

Has anyone bothered to patent limits on how often can a third party break wind?

Re:Patents.... (2)

JustOK (667959) | about 2 years ago | (#41760239)

Plenty of prior fart

Re:Patents.... (1)

Cute and Cuddly (2646619) | about 2 years ago | (#41760715)

Love it! You are a genius! Be careful or Apple will try to hire you for their intellectual property dept.

Fomenting disrespect (5, Insightful)

Just Some Guy (3352) | about 2 years ago | (#41759705)

You can't do insane crap like this, like grant patents on token buckets, and then complain that people don't respect others' intellectual property. You're teaching us to despise your claims to ideas.

I've seen this before (1)

EmperorOfCanada (1332175) | about 2 years ago | (#41759925)

I have seen this before. Various things that limit messages, signups, email checks, login attempts. I can't count the number of times that I have been told "You have exceeded the number of XXX, please wait X seconds before trying again."

Prior art (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41760011)

Three strikes.

More stupid software patent stories! (1)

Shavano (2541114) | about 2 years ago | (#41760027)

Where, exactly, is the originality?

Benefits (2)

Memroid (898199) | about 2 years ago | (#41760055)

If this helps to prevent one more product from implementing the concept of poking, the patent system may just be worth it after all.

Some prior art (1)

kaldari (199727) | about 2 years ago | (#41760077)

Wikipedia's AbuseFilter is prior art.

C-SPAN's 30-day limit (1)

Captain Smooth (563194) | about 2 years ago | (#41760207)

Same concept.

How many pokes does it take to screw a face? (1)

Penurious Penguin (2687307) | about 2 years ago | (#41760211)

Ask Douglas Adams:
But first: When will people finally get sick of being "poked" in their social fannies by Faceclamp? With just a little consumer discretion, these 'creative geniuses' could easily be patenting their own obsolescence and isolation. For fucks sake, my fellow primates; is this the Personality Banquet At The End Of The Universe?

Face7809904123: ""Good millennium," it lowed and sat back heavily on its Faceclamp poker , "I am the gullible Digit of the Day. May I interest you in the attributes of my psyche?"

It harrumphed and giggled a bit, shuffled its mind quarters in to a more accessible status and gazed submissively at them.

Its gaze was met by looks of startled bewilderment from Pokerberg and the NSA, a resigned shrug from the CIA and naked hunger from Marketers.

"Something off my children perhaps?" suggested Face7809904123, "compressed into a PDF and spreadsheet ?"

"Er, your whole family?" said Pokerberg in a juicy whisper.

"But naturally my family, Lord," mooed the Face eagerly, "no other is easier to offer."

The Marketers leapt to their hooves and started prodding and exploiting the Face's family salaciously.

"Or my Friends© are very good," murmured the Face. "I've been conversing and receiving lots of "likes", so there's a lot of personal data there."

It emitted a feeble mew, giggled again and started to divulge the data. and so on and so forth

*Theme borrowed from some writer who anticipated the future of social media.

FACEBOOK SLOVES humanities most IMPORTANT PROBLEMS (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41760267)

glad to know smart people like the creator of facebook and its staff are working hard at giving facebook users poke protection, the US economy is saved. folks, investors.. buy some shares in facebook today, your country depends on it.

IRC did it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41760327)

This, and even more elaborate implementations, have been in use in IRC clients and scripts for years.

Doesn't make sense... (1)

Culture20 (968837) | about 2 years ago | (#41760403)

To poke more than once, both sides have to willingly engage in the poking. If one side deems the poking annoying, they just have to ignore the poke.

Good - USPTO reducing patent values (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41760503)

I hope the USPTO keeps up the good work. Eventually the value of patents will be reduced to zero because there are simply too many ridiculous ones.

Poco Rit. (2)

guttentag (313541) | about 2 years ago | (#41760665)

In concert band in high school, the girl next to me used to poke me every time the sheet music said "poco ritard." I should patent that before Facebook does. You know, to protect the entertainment rights of band geeks everywhere.

Unfortunately this is all defensive (3, Insightful)

kawabago (551139) | about 2 years ago | (#41760669)

The current patent system makes it imperative that companies patent every line of code they write, so parasites like Intellectual Vultures don't come along and patent that thought and sue.

Re:Unfortunately this is all defensive (1)

black3d (1648913) | about 2 years ago | (#41760985)

Wish I had mod points. This really is the reason a lot of these "obvious" "prior art" patents come up, especially when the US is insanely moving to "first to file". Companies have to file, prior-art be damned, just to save themselves litigation down the track. That's also why a lot of major corps are filing patents with "no-sue" agreements. They're not patenting to litigate, they're patenting to prevent litigation. A patent is cheap compared to a day in court.

That's not to say they're not going to then use that patent abusively. They probably would vs another company producing a similar product. However, if you're producing a different product which uses similar technology based on decades-old prior art, you probably wouldn't lose a case as long as you could afford the lawyers. Patents are overturned in court all the time (except in Texas :p) because they're patently (I made a pun) invalid.

Limiting actions/time is novel? Innovative? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41760681)

I have prior art in an Elgg plugin I wrote about a year ago - and that is for a social network - so they can't even claim "* in a social network"

http://community.elgg.org/plugins/821368/1.5/spam-throttle-18x

I doubt I'm the only one, most likely every other social network framework has something similar. The patent is pure BS, lets just add it to the pile.

Re:Limiting actions/time is novel? Innovative? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41760713)

Before someone else points it out I didn't read past the abstract - filed in 2007, but still, that's definitely not novel or innovative

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