Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Microsoft Seeking to Patent Automatic Censorship

CowboyNeal posted more than 8 years ago | from the tom-petty-free-playlists dept.

187

theodp writes "Microsoft is back at the USPTO, this time seeking a patent for the automatic censorship of audio data for broadcast, a system and method for automatically altering audio to prevent undesired words and phrases from being understandable to a listener as originally uttered."

cancel ×

187 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

If only (4, Funny)

Travelsonic (870859) | more than 8 years ago | (#15267066)

Now if only Slashdot woild only patent all variants of the "First Post" s the ACs would fear lawsuits for posting them.

That's a ________ idea! (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15267069)

I ____ _____ that Microsoft would _____ ____ customers and _________ something like ______ ________!!!

Re:That's a ________ idea! (1)

Walt Dismal (534799) | more than 8 years ago | (#15267127)

"This is a $#&ing terrific idea, and I'll kill any $#^*w& who doesn't like it."

-- Steve Ballmer, dance instructor

I _ _ _'_ believe it! (4, Funny)

backslashdot (95548) | more than 8 years ago | (#15267208)

A few years ago _ _ I was having my dinner, I thought of this very same idea. Instead of c _ _ _inuing to eat, I should have put down my _ _ _ _ and got a sh _ _ _ of paper to write the idea down. Oh well, I _ _ _'_ do anything abou_ _ _ now. I got another great idea but this time my _ _ _ _ _ out of ink. ...

Won't ____ing work internationally (1)

EmbeddedJanitor (597831) | more than 8 years ago | (#15267240)

I don't know many languages, but quite a few languages contain soundbites that could easily be ____ out. Just picking our favourite four letter expletive: In Afrikaans there are vak (subject) or vakansie (vacation); in Maori there are various words with whaka ... and whakapapa sounds like a bit of incest.

With the number of false triggers one can expect, the default operating mode for such censoring is just going to be "off".

old tune, new grounds (1)

Yst (936212) | more than 8 years ago | (#15267746)

I bet they won't play this song on streaming audio
I bet you they won't play this new #$%& song
It's not that it's #$%& or #$%& controversial
Just that the #$%&ing words are awfully strong

You can't say #$%& on streaming audio
Or #$%& or #$%& or #$%&,
You can't even say I'd like to #$%& you one day
Unless you're a doctor with a very large #$%&

So I bet you they won't play this song on streaming audio
I bet you they daren't #$%&ing well programme it
I bet you their #$%&ing old audio censors
Will think it's a load of horse #$%&

Good! Maybe nobody will use it since its patented (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15267071)

This sounds like a good thing to me. Maybe we can help protect our freedoms by patenting the technologies that try to limit them.

In other news... (2, Funny)

DrEldarion (114072) | more than 8 years ago | (#15267072)

Radios have stopped playing the runaway hit by the Naval Boys, "Ship Funk", as half of the song was now inexplicably silence.

Well, sounds like a good idea (5, Insightful)

moochfish (822730) | more than 8 years ago | (#15267086)

Sounds like it will be used primarily for Xbox Live to make sure 9 year olds don't get cussed out by some pissed off gamers. Sounds like it'll be a feature most consumers will welcome.

This sounds a lot more novel than most of the other patents they get that tend to get highlighted on Slashdot. Is it totally novel? Well, I can't speak for any of the experts out there, but at least it's not blaringly obvious, commoditized technology.

Sounds very sick (5, Interesting)

EmbeddedJanitor (597831) | more than 8 years ago | (#15267132)

What kind of fucked-up parent lets their 9 year old play XBox Live in the first place?

Re:Sounds very sick (4, Insightful)

Maestro4k (707634) | more than 8 years ago | (#15267235)

What kind of fucked-up parent lets their 9 year old play XBox Live in the first place?

Let me change that just a bit, make that "play XBox Live unsupervised" and the answer is the same kind of parent who will buy their kid the latest Grand Theft Auto game even though it's rated Mature and the employee at the store points out them it's rated mature and explains what that means then let them play it unsupervised. Then they later discover what they'd already been told is true about the game and they raise hell about their kid being able to play it and blames the store, the game company, some vast conspiracy, aliens, etc. anyone but themselves.

And yes, I speak from experience, worked for a while at a Wal-mart between IT jobs back around the time GTA Vice City came out. Had plenty of parents that I explained to very politely what a Mature rating meant and what was in the game and had them shrug and say "Well he wants it" and them buy it anyway. The reason I modified that is because I ran into a few (very few sadly) parents who knew what the ratings meant and would take the time to read all the info on the game boxes, all the sub-warnings, etc. and decide whether or not they would buy the game. I saw one Dad look through 4 different games and tell his kid "you can't have this one or this one, but either of these will be fine, we'll play it together". Now if only more parents did that.

Re:Sounds very sick (2, Insightful)

i kan reed (749298) | more than 8 years ago | (#15267328)

you are aparently one of those people who doesn't know there's such a thing as games rated less than M. If they want to release a game that's rated E, like some kind of racing game, it'd be a nice feature to flip a switch and not have to worry about hearing "you're a gay nigger jew" from every 20th person. I'd further submit that the alogirthms to do this are not intuitive. If you think censorship is bad, make you you make it clear to microsoft that this technology should be able to be turned off.

Re:Sounds very sick (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15267850)

Congratulations, sir! You just got modded insightful by saying "gay nigger jew"

Re:Sounds very sick (1)

Krach42 (227798) | more than 8 years ago | (#15267363)

Personally, I'm worried about all the 16-year-old kids cursing up a storm.

My 26-year-old ears don't like it anymore :(

Re:Sounds very sick (1)

Fulcrum of Evil (560260) | more than 8 years ago | (#15267602)

Personally, I'm worried about all the 16-year-old kids cursing up a storm. My 26-year-old ears don't like it anymore :(

That's the thing - eventually, you grow up and 'fuck' is boring by itself. It takes actual wit to offend.

Re:Sounds very sick (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15267384)

I think you answered your own question. A fucked up parent will let their 9 year old on XBOX Live.

Re:Sounds very sick (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15267680)

What kind of parent doesn't let their kid play xbox live when they're 9? I'd hate to be your kids.

Re:Well, sounds like a good idea (2, Insightful)

Ian Action (836876) | more than 8 years ago | (#15267175)

Man, on X-Box live those 9 year olds are most likely the ones doing the cussing.

Re:Well, sounds like a good idea (1)

Karl Cocknozzle (514413) | more than 8 years ago | (#15267263)

Man, on X-Box live those 9 year olds are most likely the ones doing the cussing.
Is that before or after they wax my ass with a sniper rifle from the far corner of the map? Seriously, some of these kids--they are the reason that "Professional Video Games League" is not just a joke anymore.

There's a million bucks in the mix in this thing! To quote one of the 9-year-olds, Shit! You can't make this stuff up... [cplworldtour.com]

Re:Well, sounds like a good idea (1)

DeusExMalex (776652) | more than 8 years ago | (#15267211)

I think you mean so that people on Xbox Live for fun don't get cussed out by 9-year-olds who have way too much free time and a vocabulary remarkable only in that it contains more curses and racial slurs than most people even knew existed.

Re:Well, sounds like a good idea (1, Funny)

Alien Being (18488) | more than 8 years ago | (#15267247)

Fuck the Xbox.
Fuck Microsoft.
Fuck the 9 year-olds.

M.J.

Re:Well, sounds like a good idea (1)

soupforare (542403) | more than 8 years ago | (#15267329)

Fuck the 9 year-olds.
To /l/!

Re:Well, sounds like a good idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15267618)

"at least it's not blaringly obvious, commoditized technology"

It's not commoditized, but it's a pretty obvious solution. I'd actually say that it's the most obvious solution.

How do you prevent bad words on a text-based multiuser system? You replace them with *** or !$#@#. How do you prevent bad words on a speech-based multiuser system? Now can you tell me, honestly, that this isn't obvious?

It sounds like you sound like someone who sounds&a (1)

Mgns (934567) | more than 8 years ago | (#15267624)

..like someone who uses the same damn noun to often. Karma is for people with insight

Too late (4, Funny)

HTTP Error 403 403.9 (628865) | more than 8 years ago | (#15267088)

FoxNews already has prior art on that.

Re:Too late (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15267130)

No, that's the inverse filter.

So I guess... (5, Funny)

7macaw (933316) | more than 8 years ago | (#15267089)

...no more talking about Linux on the radio, eh?

Not so far fetched (0, Troll)

EmbeddedJanitor (597831) | more than 8 years ago | (#15267167)

grep -ir fuck * on the Linux kernel sources and you'll soon find that Linux is "objectionable material". Now all we need is some bible-belter congressman to push this technology and we're going to have a few issues.

Evil applications (1)

Beryllium Sphere(tm) (193358) | more than 8 years ago | (#15267417)

If you can bleep a bad word automatically, you can detect it automatically. If you can detect a bad word automatically, you can detect a word like "democracy" or "ACLU" automatically. If you can detect them automatically and have access to the telephone network, you can grep all phone calls for them.

Too late (2, Interesting)

criordan (733016) | more than 8 years ago | (#15267095)

I think someone already invented this a while back. They're called "highway overpasses."

Re:Too late (1)

Pudusplat (574705) | more than 8 years ago | (#15267361)

Well, as someone apparently finds this "interesting", I thought I'd throw in a few other prior art devices that fall under that category:

Cell Phone Rings
Unavoidable Tunnels
and of course, the ubiquitous crying baby.

"undesired words and phrases " (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15267104)

Like "Freedom of Speech" and "Freedom of the Press".

Move Along, Patriot, nothing to see here.

Re:"undesired words and phrases " (2, Informative)

MiKM (752717) | more than 8 years ago | (#15267661)

The Bill of Rights does NOT protect against censorship by non-government entities. If you are using some Microsoft service, Microsoft has every right to censor whatever you say.

Congratulate them.. (4, Funny)

Goalie_Ca (584234) | more than 8 years ago | (#15267108)

For geeks writting OSS this is absolutely harmless... in fact i can see this being a good thing. If they're the only company allowed to use super cookies and have auto-censorship then the world is a better place :D

Re:Congratulate them.. (1)

joshier (957448) | more than 8 years ago | (#15267332)

yes, and when microsoft falls, we will celebrate. I'm not being sarcastic either. Linux has come so far, it only needs to come on a little more (well quite a bit more.. But it will come) and when it comes (fully user-friendly, ubuntu is getting there) then so many people will switch.

BSOSPFCCMT (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15267115)

Blue screen of "Shit, Piss, Fuck, Cunt, Cocksucker, Motherfucker and Tits."

Re:BSOSPFCCMT (1)

pallmall1 (882819) | more than 8 years ago | (#15267412)

What did you say? I'm beta testing Windows Vista, and all I saw was:
"Blue screen of $3#@!, &^%$, ^$!@, %^##, @#&*$#@_!, $%&##@, and (o)(o)"

New Words (4, Insightful)

ZachPruckowski (918562) | more than 8 years ago | (#15267139)

The rest of the world will do what Battlestar Galactice does: Made up swear words. BSG can't drop the F-bomb much for administrative/ratings reasons, so they use the word "Frak". I could see a lot of new swear words popping up if this happens.

Re:New Words (2, Funny)

jbr439 (214107) | more than 8 years ago | (#15267180)

What the frell are you talking about?

Re:New Words (1)

Solra Bizna (716281) | more than 8 years ago | (#15267186)

Stop making up gorram profanities! Don't make me curse in badly mispronounced Chinese!

-:sigma.SB

Re:New Words (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15267237)

I think everyone's just smeg in the head!

Re:New Words (1)

Kelson (129150) | more than 8 years ago | (#15267285)

What the felderkarb is going on in this thread?

Re:New Words (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15267340)

QUELLISH! Ahhhhhhhhhhh the humanity! The rabbits! The humanity!

MOD PARENT DOWN (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15267557)

-1 Fribikid

Re:New Words (1)

Winlin (42941) | more than 8 years ago | (#15267381)

It's all these fershlugginer(sic?) people

Re:New Words (1)

Esion Modnar (632431) | more than 8 years ago | (#15267438)

fershlugginer(sic?)

Not sure about the spelling, but pretty sure of the what-me-worry? pedigree...

Smeg=smegma (1)

Gibbo (3044) | more than 8 years ago | (#15267679)

Just a note.
Smeg is actually an abreviation of smegma. Otherwise known as dick cheese :)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Smegma [wikipedia.org]

Re:New Words (1)

cbs4385 (929248) | more than 8 years ago | (#15267378)

Be careful or you'll be deemed Irrevocably Contaminated.

Re:New Words (1)

techno-vampire (666512) | more than 8 years ago | (#15267339)

Why don't you stop talking such Belgium, you Vogon!

Re:New Words (1)

FoXDie (853291) | more than 8 years ago | (#15267344)

Gorram it you just may be right!

Badly needed (1)

Beryllium Sphere(tm) (193358) | more than 8 years ago | (#15267441)

Comedienne Elayne Boosler pointed out that all the old crash-words have been worn out from overuse and they just don't provide any relief when you hit your thumb with a hammer.

She suggested reusing some existing words that still have an emotional punch. Someone cuts you off in traffic? Roll down the window and yell, with your face red, "Audit you!".

Re:New Words (1)

XMunkki (533952) | more than 8 years ago | (#15267485)

Well microsoft you, ballmer lover!

Re:New Words (5, Funny)

xixax (44677) | more than 8 years ago | (#15267511)

Someone ought to Gates those Clippys up the Allchin and kick them in the Balmers for coming up with an idea that's so WinFS.

Re:New Words (2, Informative)

OldManAndTheC++ (723450) | more than 8 years ago | (#15267625)

<nitpick>Well actually, "frack" was used on the original BSG, along with other made-up words (like the "centon" unit of time). So its use on the new BSG is more of a nod to the earlier show than a way of avoiding censorship.</nitpick>

But yeah, you're right that this will lead to new swear words to bypass the filters. After a while the old swear words will be passe and no one will use them, and Microsoft will start filtering the new words, and the cycle of swearing and filtering will continue ad infinitum.

Re:New Words (1)

ZachPruckowski (918562) | more than 8 years ago | (#15267705)

They can't drop the F-bomb everytime they say "frak" (that's the new series spelling), they get censored somehow. Personally, I think NBC wants the option to reshow on other networks before 10pm, which is why there's sex (though no nudity) and violence, but minimal "normal" swearing.

Re:New Words (1)

complete loony (663508) | more than 8 years ago | (#15267658)

<mutter> Smeg head </mutter>

Just a special case of speech recognition (3, Insightful)

ZOP (240653) | more than 8 years ago | (#15267160)

I doubt that the USPTO will bat this down, but there's prior art on all sorts of speech recognition. This one just happens to deal with censorship and adding metadata to the audio stream based on that.

As you all can see though this patent was filed back in 2004, so it's been around for a while. The idea isn't anything new, nor is the application. What would be interesting is the broadcast industry's response to this thing.

Passes the obviousness test? (0, Troll)

taniwha (70410) | more than 8 years ago | (#15267196)

surely the idea of doing that is, well, "obvious" to just about anyone. There might be particular ways of doing it that might be patentable, but just matching for sounds is exactly what a worried mother does when she puts her hands over her precious son's ears. Training a computer to do the same thing seems an obvious thing to do if it's outputting sound and you don't want people to hear 'bad words'

Awesome! (4, Insightful)

pestilence669 (823950) | more than 8 years ago | (#15267198)

I forsee a future where you cannot criticize Microsoft in podcasts created and streamed using Windows. "Microsoft Sucks", could be considered offensive.

an idea (2, Insightful)

filthy_mcnasty (958018) | more than 8 years ago | (#15267202)

hey now, if they'll just allow us to define what is worth censoring i'm all for this technology but the choice should be made in the home, not in washington.

the first thing i'd put on an explicitive list: commercials

Censorship (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15267262)

Let us take a fine example from the wonderful lore of Douglas Adams and simply replace every one of our cuss words with the galaxy's worst word: Belgium.

Belgium to those Belgiuming Belgiumers who censor our every Belgiuming word!

Re:Censorship (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15267545)

That would be the same as muteing the commericials.

Doesn't tvguardian already have a patent on this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15267275)

www.tvguardian.com. I didn't look at the patent app, but seems like this "prior art" already exists and is patented.

The All American Bubble Bouy (-1, Flamebait)

Quirk (36086) | more than 8 years ago | (#15267280)

One more for the gipper. My limited celluloid knowledge of Americana calls to mind a late, late, late night movie starring an American President winning one for the gipper in a tale of all american Knute Rockne [amazon.com] . I thought the film dripped but it did loudly tout the ideal of the All American Boy. The days of the All American Boy may have passed but dogged tenancity in the face of insurmountable odds has come to life in the All American Bubble Bouy, as patents and Ip and the war on terror for the children inflate the american economy, and, in the style of root'n toot'n Ronnie Regan, America seems intent on inflating the biggest bubble ever, bigger than a south sea bubble. We're taulkn a conteeneetal wide bubble. An All American Bubble Bouy as big as America image of itself and bigger. The presses are running overtime as value is pumped up from mere ideas.

The new american heros are corporations and law firms who, without thought for themselves as rational beings, submit one trival patent after another. The rest of the world can only watch in wonder as the U.S. economy goes from the work ethic of Knute Rockne to the crazed junkies punting patents under the All American Bubble.

Cingular, Sprint, Verizon... (2, Insightful)

cyfer2000 (548592) | more than 8 years ago | (#15267281)

Cingular, Sprint, Verizon are in trouble if MS get the patent, and if MS think the wireless phonce call is "broadcast".

Re:Cingular, Sprint, Verizon... (1)

joeybagadonuts (849172) | more than 8 years ago | (#15267711)

That isn't even close to making sense, but I guess anything that passes for anti-MS FUD passes for insightful here. It's a patent, not a law.

Look, this is great news. Patents slow innovation in the area they protect, right? So where's the problem?

A patent is like a statute (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 8 years ago | (#15267738)

It's a patent, not a law.

Every patent granted by the United States Patent and Trademark Office has force vested in it by the Congress of the United States. It's like a law with a 20 year sunset stating that no person may without authorization make, use, offer for sale, or sell a good or service that matches even one of the patent's claims.

No way... (1)

grumpyman (849537) | more than 8 years ago | (#15267283)

How can they patent 'beep' !!!

Re:No way... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15267358)

They've done it before - It's called the Windows Error box. BEEP!

Wait, does that mean they're going to capitalize on other commonly used onomatopoeias. Could your cat be involved in a patent lawsuit the next time it meows?

Is the the problem the patent or the censorship? (1, Insightful)

fortinbras47 (457756) | more than 8 years ago | (#15267284)

In other news, Company BlahBlah to implement search technology to automatically block offensive material from image search.... oh wait, that's already a feature of Google image search!

Automatically detecting the word !@#$ and bleeping it out doesn't seem to be like a bad feature to me, as long as its optional. Maybe it's dumb that they're trying to patent it, but the idea isn't a bad one.

Re:Is the the problem the patent or the censorship (1)

athakur999 (44340) | more than 8 years ago | (#15267348)

I think this COULD be a great idea, myself. This technology could be built into televisions. Then broadcasters could broadcast uncensored versions of the audio feed and it'd be up to the television owner if they want to bleep those words or not. As it should be.

Ciminals... (1, Offtopic)

KellyMann (557813) | more than 8 years ago | (#15267293)

"Censorship is the control of speech and other forms of human expression, it is often (but not necessarily) controlled by government intervention. The visible motive of censorship is often to stabilize or improve the society that the government would have control over. It is most commonly applied to acts that occur in public circumstances, and most formally involves the suppression of ideas by criminalizing or regulating expression." So what is going to happen to all the website that transmit or retransmit audio and/or video ( with http://www.phooty.com/ [phooty.com] currently my favorite )?

f--- that! (3, Funny)

raider_red (156642) | more than 8 years ago | (#15267317)

Why should I need that? I should be able to say whatever f---ing s--- I want too. Any A--hole who says otherwise can suck my d---.

Re:f--- that! (1)

FLEB (312391) | more than 8 years ago | (#15267609)

I'd like to solve the puzzle, Pat.

Musing on the subj (3, Insightful)

mapkinase (958129) | more than 8 years ago | (#15267319)

As some of the posters rightfully noted, this won't solve the problem. One of the symptoms of not solving would be "invented" cursive words. The problem lies deeper.

Think for a minute, why do we curse? We curse to express our emotions. Instead of using words that describe the emotion exactly, like: "I am very angry right now", we spit expletives. We do that to alleviate the anger (for example) caused by this situation. Emotiones expressed in this way help quickly release the pain caused by the anger. But.

But they do not remove the cause of the anger. Bad driver manners will continue, and there is little you could do about that whether with anger or without it.

So what would be a healthier reaction? Right. Anger management. You will train yourself not to react angrily, by channelling anger into correct actions, not emotions.

This is what we have to teach our kids spending on that much more effort than protecting them from hearing infamous seven words.

Re:Musing on the subj (1)

Therilon (961887) | more than 8 years ago | (#15267581)

Two responses, one funny, one serious:

1: Anger Management's [imdb.com] got prior art.

2: They'll probably use the technology with XBox Live. I don't know if you play many online games, but stress levels are quite high when playing intense competitive games. If you're serious, eliminating the cause would require eliminating the game. When Mario Kart can violent emotions [gamespy.com] , not to mention what more 'serious' games can do (see: chocolate milk), I think the only solution would be to make that zen game multiplayer. Call it a hunch but I don't see the CPL adopting that.

Re:Musing on the subj (1)

teebob21 (947095) | more than 8 years ago | (#15267583)

Cursive words, eh? Luckily for me, I haven't written in cursive since 6th grade. Dodged another MS bullet without even realizing it.

won't someone think of the children (5, Insightful)

soupforare (542403) | more than 8 years ago | (#15267345)

"Censorship is telling a man he can't have a steak just because a baby can't chew it."

Betatest is availble (1)

houghi (78078) | more than 8 years ago | (#15267359)

They are already beta-testing it. Example right here [dumpalink.com]

Gee this won't be misused... (1, Interesting)

slashname3 (739398) | more than 8 years ago | (#15267360)

Can you imagine the spin off technology? Instead of just censoring peoples speech you could alter it to say politically correct things. Imagine someone speaking in public and the system automatically changing their speech from one that makes the oil companies look bad to one that extols the oil companies virtues in the on going oil crisis. No one gets to hear the actual speech the person intended to deliver. Talk about being able to spin something before anyone gets to hear the damaging speech.

Re:Gee this won't be misused... (1)

Fulcrum of Evil (560260) | more than 8 years ago | (#15267644)

"After all, Caesar is an honorable man".

Humans can outwit machines every time.

Other possible uses (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15267372)

I know most of the replies here are thinking about this in terms of curse words. But the first thing I jump to is the issue of censorship in China. We already know that the search results are filtered over there (see Google, Yahoo, MSN, etc.). Seems like the next logical step.

No worries, eh? (1)

PatTheGreat (956344) | more than 8 years ago | (#15267373)

Seems to me this is more likely just a paranoid method of securing rights in the future.

As far as I can tell, this would be pretty tough tech to roll out. You'd have to cover all sorts of pitches, tones, garbled speech, and some weirdly pronounced words. So, I'm thinking Microsoft is just trying to get the trophy before the game even starts.

And besides, isn't automatic broadcast censorship just called "Interns?"

Re:No worries, eh? (1)

Zerathdune (912589) | more than 8 years ago | (#15267779)

it's a testement to the brokennesss of the patent system that no one thinks anything of someone patnenting something they don't actually know how to do. just think about that.

Perfect Storm (1)

DSLAMngu (715456) | more than 8 years ago | (#15267398)

This sounds like the unlikely topical confluence of Microsoft, censorship, and the often broken and abused US Patent system.

This actually sounds like a great idea if they could successfully apply it to Xbox Live. It's not like it doesn't happen already online in chat rooms and MMOs. I think there's an obvious fear that this would fall into the government's hands though, especially if they can play well-synthesized voice in place of something objectionable and do it transparently. Fortunately I don't think it's going to happen for a few more years.

This breaks two parts of the US Constitution (0, Offtopic)

GrapeSteinbeck (970275) | more than 8 years ago | (#15267402)

Hate to burst Congress's bubble, but I was looking through the constitution , and apparently Article I Section 9 Title 3 says:
No bill of attainder or ex post facto law shall be passeed
Meaning that even if congress wanted to, Congress can't make a law blocking somthing that's "going to happen" or already has happened.

Re:This breaks two parts of the US Constitution (1)

teebob21 (947095) | more than 8 years ago | (#15267604)

Oh I don't know about that...the DMCA and recent gay-marriage proposals seem to contradict your (correct) line of thinking.

Music and video copying and transfers were happening without a concrete legal barrier, so one was erected in the form of the DMCA.

Gay marriages started happening, so citizens and lawmakers started stumping to make it illegal, but it already had happened.

Never underestimate the power of America to turn the Constitution into a mere inconvenience.

Re:This breaks two parts of the US Constitution (1)

absoluteflatness (913952) | more than 8 years ago | (#15267619)

I'm not quite sure how Congress got involved in this, but I'll just make a few points anyway.

1. Bills of attainder simply declare people guilty without benefit of a trial, and ex post facto laws (in this situation) seek to punish people for acts that were legal before the law was enacted. Neither of them deal with blocking something that's "going to happen."

2. If you were looking for something that prohibits the government from blocking speech that's going to happen, the First Amendment's protection of free speech would be a good place, since the courts have ruled that there is almost no situation in which prior restraint of speech or publication is acceptable.

3. Microsoft is not the government. Yet.

Ballmer: going to !@#$ kill Google (1)

steve426f (746013) | more than 8 years ago | (#15267437)

"I'm going to FUCKING kill Google." [theregister.co.uk]

Good thing /. doesn't censor.

Re:Ballmer: going to !@#$ kill Google (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15267463)

Guess I should RTFA before posting. I saw censor and didn't realize it was for audio. Disregard the reference about /. censoring comments.

Most. Trollish. Slashdot. Article. Ever. (5, Funny)

Mr.Bananas (851193) | more than 8 years ago | (#15267443)

Wow, I didn't think it would be possible to bring together so many things that Slashdot readers love to hate into one single post, but this article has almost done it:

- Microsoft
- Software Patents
- Censorship

Now, if only Microsoft could extend or apply this patent to automatically censor the topics "evolution" and "open source" ...

Microsoft == Morons (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15267471)

Why do they even bother? This is the STUPIDEST THING SINCE W2K! If something is dumb, is worth patenting, and can do major damage to freedom of speech, M$ will do it! Somebody hunt down Mr. Gates and knock some sense into him

Don't worry about this (1)

Mr. Freeman (933986) | more than 8 years ago | (#15267500)

This seems just like those filters on online forums that replace bad words that users post with "****". As of yet, it doesn't seem that Microsoft is actually going to be able to use this to censor negative comments about Microsoft over the radio/podcasts/etc.

I mean, they have the capability to censor text but you don't see them replacing all of the "windows sucks" comments on slashdot with "*****".

Audio is more difficult than text (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 8 years ago | (#15267751)

This seems just like those filters on online forums that replace bad words that users post with "****".

However, it's much more difficult to recognize and replace banned words in handwriting or speech, and if a Microsoft researcher has discovered a novel and efficient method of doing this, then the company may deserve a patent.

Go for it! (1)

boris_jacobsen (972938) | more than 8 years ago | (#15267502)

I welcome the automatic banning of swear words in broadcast. Try it and see how swear words mutate and evolve so quickly. The swear-words we've got are tried and tested and even the six-year-olds know them. Let's enjoy the fun when swear words evolve more quickly than Microsoft's inevitably crap software.......

Excellent! (2, Funny)

siddesu (698447) | more than 8 years ago | (#15267513)

If that means that noone else will be able to implement automated censoring without paying a license fee -- I am all for it ;)

zOMG! Tagline of the Day Award! (1)

tjwhaynes (114792) | more than 8 years ago | (#15267569)

A new feature for Slashdot - Tagline of the Day Award (hereafter TotDA).

This is awarded for taglines for the news postings that actually manage to be thoughtful. A tagline that is witty, appropriate and insightful. That doesn't happen nearly enough and therefore the TotDA will not necessarily appear on a daily basis (despite the name).

I'm assuming that the Tom-Petty-Free-Playlists would be refering to the Last DJ, who plays what he wants to play. Not that that wasn't prescient - I can barely listen to the radio these days and find a real DJ. Internet radio is much better in that respect.

I should stick this in a Journal but I've written this here now. Bother. Oh well.

Cheers,
Toby Haynes

It's Wayne's world! (1)

Traiklin (901982) | more than 8 years ago | (#15267665)

Anyone else picture the scene where they are at the drive through and Wayne and Garth skip every couple of words while continuing to move their mouths but not say anything?

That's exactly what the patent sounds like, would broadcasters already have prior art though? seeing as how they censor every naughty word already.

Slashdot should patent...... (1)

pataloca (601979) | more than 8 years ago | (#15267706)

a Beowulf cluster of Ponies killing Linux in Soviet Russia, financed by Theo de Raadt!

Don't they already do this? (1)

NullProg (70833) | more than 8 years ago | (#15267786)

Your not allowed to post/share benchmarks for any product they produce. Free speech be damned.

Enjoy,
Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>