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Microsoft's 'Naughty or Nice' Patent Application

CowboyNeal posted more than 7 years ago | from the diff'rent-strokes dept.

125

theodp writes "Those of you worried about Microsoft's stance on network neutrality won't find much comfort in the software giant's just-published patent application for systems and methods to facilitate self regulation of social networks through trading and gift exchange, which classify users as good or bad and call for network bandwidth to be reduced for those deemed 'less desirable.'"

cancel ×

125 comments

Ha, bloody ha. (1)

ettlz (639203) | more than 7 years ago | (#15976962)

"Nothing for you to see here, please move along." How very apt.

Re:Ha, bloody ha. (5, Funny)

Pharmboy (216950) | more than 7 years ago | (#15977039)

if ($comments =~ "linux" || $comments =~ "gnu"){
    $bandwidth--;
}

Re:Ha, bloody ha. (1)

GIL_Dude (850471) | more than 7 years ago | (#15977218)

Nah, just check the http headers and if it is FF, Konquerer, Opera, Safari, etc. they are "undesireables" so cut the bandwidth.

Re:Ha, bloody ha. (1)

ozbird (127571) | more than 7 years ago | (#15977245)

But FOSS is given away for free, so $good++ ?

Re:Ha, bloody ha. (2, Funny)

thePowerOfGrayskull (905905) | more than 7 years ago | (#15978281)

Don't forget: we're talking about MS script here:

If (Instr(Comments, "linux") Or Instr(Comments, "gnu")) Then
. . . Let Bandwidth = Bandwidth - 1
End If

(I haven't touched a BASIC-like language in a decade, so don't beat me up too badly if it's wrong.)

Re:Ha, bloody ha. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15978703)

You were close - with the advent of dot net, you could replace your let statement with Bandwidth -= 1

Re:Ha, bloody ha. (1)

thePowerOfGrayskull (905905) | more than 7 years ago | (#15978723)

You were close - with the advent of dot net, you could replace your let statement with Bandwidth -= 1

Ahh, the marvels of modern technology.

limitation (2, Interesting)

eneville (745111) | more than 7 years ago | (#15976969)

Can we have a limit please on the number of patents one company may have.

Re:limitation (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15976981)

Better limit them to just people :)

Re:limitation (2, Informative)

navyjeff (900138) | more than 7 years ago | (#15978073)

A corporation is a person, in the eyes of the law. That's part of the problem.

Re:limitation (3, Informative)

EXMSFT (935404) | more than 7 years ago | (#15977100)

Companies don't file for patents. Individuals who work at those companies do (the company just often picks up the tab, runs the process, and simply asks the signer(s) to sign over exclusive rights to the patent). So you would have to somehow constrain the ability for individuals at a company to be eligible for patents, even if their employer was willing to file them.

Re:limitation (4, Insightful)

SCHecklerX (229973) | more than 7 years ago | (#15977477)

How about we just eliminate software and business method patents, and require working models for physical devices within a certain timeframe of issuance of the patent?

Re:limitation (2, Funny)

discord5 (798235) | more than 7 years ago | (#15977949)

Can we have a limit please on the number of patents one company may have.

"Discord5 Industries" is happy to announce that it has recently aqcuired the patent to "limiting the amounts of patents one company may have". While one may wonder what my company could possible have invented (or will invent) with this patent, we are happy to report that we have opened a lawsuit against the company "Eneville Technologies" for infringing our intellectual property.

While we are certain that our ridiculous patent will not last long in court, we are certain that our legal team (this monkey we put in a suit) will scare off the offending company and will settle out of court for a few millions.

Re:limitation (1)

no_pets (881013) | more than 7 years ago | (#15978532)

How about every 100th patent automatically goes into the public domain?

Brilliant! (5, Funny)

Gothic_Walrus (692125) | more than 7 years ago | (#15976971)

I see someone's finally figured out how to have an entertaining Slashdot thread.

If you post a link to the patent instead of an article, you're virtually guaranteeing that no one will read the fucking article, let alone understand it! And just think of the wacky hijinks and hilarity that are bound to ensue from there!

Re:Brilliant! (4, Insightful)

AndersOSU (873247) | more than 7 years ago | (#15977057)

Not only that but also toss in a red herring about net neutrality - just to fire people up a bit. As far as I can tell the patent application (of which at least I read the claims, BTW) only applies to social networks. If you are on someone elses network I have no problem with them controlling quotas, content, etc.

Re:Brilliant! (1)

castle (6163) | more than 7 years ago | (#15977719)

The more important thing is that this kind of thing shouldn't really be patentable. It really seems obvious, but perhaps it's just a defensive patent (hahaha).

good/bad for microsoft i'm sure (0)

192939495969798999 (58312) | more than 7 years ago | (#15976974)

If you go to microsoft websites, then you get more bandwidth; if you go to google... bad user! no bandwidth for you!

A terrible idea (5, Funny)

damburger (981828) | more than 7 years ago | (#15976976)

Having the members of a community reduce a persons presence on an website? Slashdotters would never stand for such a thing, surely.

(PS pls mod me up!)

Not only that (3, Funny)

BlackCobra43 (596714) | more than 7 years ago | (#15977226)

As if I wasn't a total outcast before, now I get to be e-rejected by VIRTUAL people! Awesome!

Net neutrality ONlY for natural monopolies (4, Interesting)

interiot (50685) | more than 7 years ago | (#15976979)

The only thing net neutrality should ever be applied to are situations where a natual monopoly (last mile companies) or other monopolies exist. eg. Where you have one entity who has the power to degrade another entity's bandwidth simply because the other entity is performing better than them.

In most other situations, market/social forces will usually make the right result come out.

MOD PARENT DOWN (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15977165)

This person just copied another highly-moderated post from above, I'm surprised the mods didn't notice.

only if you're in econ 101 (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15977913)

only if you're in econ 101 do market forces "usually" make the "right" result come out.

there's a reason why phrases such as asymmetric information and channel management exist. and why poor people pay more for the same services as rich people. it's called marketing, appropriately enough.

weeeee. market forces!! they created the current patent system, moron, along with pro-business new jersey laws, and self-regulation schemes. not to mention redlining, and zipcode based insurance, and new products paying for space at grocery stores, and mail-in-rebates, and manufactured 'minutes' plans, and all sorts of other interesting little quirks and inefficiencies that occur when you don't have anywhere near perfect competition. Companies know and understand this and that, even in cases where the market will eventually 'deal' with problems, improvements in the market can be delayed again and again by managing the product and policies appropriately.

Will Slashdot be interested in this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15976983)

Probably this would put an end to the Trolls. Who knows? The one who would take the hit would be the AC.

Re:Will Slashdot be interested in this? (2, Insightful)

l3v1 (787564) | more than 7 years ago | (#15976992)

No, those would take the hit who don't agree with the crowd. Now go find previous bad examples for that.

Re:Will Slashdot be interested in this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15977025)

What about rewarding the 'bad users' with some gifts? For example "Chance to win $25 Zillion" (thru 419 Dept.) or low interest mortgage?

Re:Will Slashdot be interested in this? (1)

Lissajous (989738) | more than 7 years ago | (#15977277)

Hmm....don't agree with the crowd => victim of system.
Let's see if we can't find some prior art on this.

1. Nelson Mandela
2. Ghandi
3. Jean D'Arc
4. Jesus

I doubt even Billy G. is going to be able to rip this patent out from the hands of the Vatican ;-)

Re:Will Slashdot be interested in this? (-1, Offtopic)

skoaldipper (752281) | more than 7 years ago | (#15977103)

Probably this would put an end to the Trolls. Who knows? The one who would take the hit would be the AC.

This whole article is full of crap.

What I want to know is why Pluto is now a dwarf planet. But a dwarf planet is not a planet?? So, I guess a dwarf human is not a human????

I find this whole planetoid debate quite alarming, as it may be applied to future generations and give rise to new human sub classifications.

Re:Will Slashdot be interested in this? (1)

ATMD (986401) | more than 7 years ago | (#15977572)

Pssst... The planet debate's over there...

Took a while... (5, Interesting)

Macthorpe (960048) | more than 7 years ago | (#15976985)

...but I did find the part where bandwidth is mentioned as an asset that can be controlled via this system.

While you can look at it one way and say this is just a logical extension of rewarding 'good' users, the fact that the system can be used to punish 'bad' users and explains nothing about how this definition of 'good' and 'bad' will be determined makes me more concerned for the people using such a service.

I bloody well wouldn't.

Re:Took a while... (3, Informative)

glesga_kiss (596639) | more than 7 years ago | (#15977329)

While you can look at it one way and say this is just a logical extension of rewarding 'good' users, the fact that the system can be used to punish 'bad' users and explains nothing about how this definition of 'good' and 'bad' will be determined makes me more concerned for the people using such a service.

I bloody well wouldn't.

Never used p2p then? All modern p2p applications do this. For example, the ed2k protocol maintains a list of clients on each box. Whenever you download from someone, it remembers that. When it comes to uploading, the application checks the user against the file and jumps the queue if you have received from them in the past.

Rewarding those who give back is nothing new. The slashdot moderation system is an example of this. Jeez, even customer loyalty schemes are an equivalent in meatspace. There's a lot of prior art on this sort of thing.

Re:Took a while... (1)

Macthorpe (960048) | more than 7 years ago | (#15977731)

The difference between those systems and this one is that this seems to actively rate down bad users. Where as regular use in the schemes you noted above gives you perks, there's no punishment inherent in there if you don't use it properly like we are seeing here.

The only other system I can think of that actively rates down bad users is torrent-like applications that limit download bandwidth if you limit upload bandwidth.

Re:Took a while... (1)

glesga_kiss (596639) | more than 7 years ago | (#15978482)

The difference between those systems and this one is that this seems to actively rate down bad users. Where as regular use in the schemes you noted above gives you perks, there's no punishment inherent in there if you don't use it properly like we are seeing here.

Agreed, this does seem to be deliberate punishment. However, ed2k maintains queues exceeding 3000 users on you upload queue. Believe me, that's punishment! Actually, the numbers may actually go in the opposite direction on really bad clients. I think it tracks it as a ratio, so going negative is possible. You might get the first X amount of data as an average user, but then you drop to below average.

Re:Took a while... (1)

i.r.id10t (595143) | more than 7 years ago | (#15978524)

torrents too... download rates suck unless you are allowing some sort of upload...

Will it work on Linux/Mac? (2, Interesting)

pasamio (737659) | more than 7 years ago | (#15976989)

What happens if a lot of Linux/Mac users give Microsoft a bad rating. Doesn't this mean that they should have reduced bandwidth? What about all of those who still use Windows but hate MS because Word just ate their essay, Powerpoint destroyed the presentation that is about to happen in a few hours. I can see this raising very interesting prospects, just need a large enough group of people.

But MS probably have insulated themselves against it anyway...

Re:Will it work on Linux/Mac? (3, Insightful)

Fearless Freep (94727) | more than 7 years ago | (#15977132)


What happens if a lot of Linux/Mac users give Microsoft a bad rating.


I don't think enough Linux and Mac users could give enough bad rating to MS for it to matter

Neutrality of whom's network? (1)

Jugalator (259273) | more than 7 years ago | (#15976990)

With network neutrality, I mean resources allocated for you on a larger WAN scale than within a company's (in this case Microsoft's) own network, by the owners of that physical network infrastructure. Are we sure this is talking about affecting actual network neutrality where e.g. network owners are affected by a classification system by Microsoft, or is this patent just describing a method for Microsoft to reduce bandwidth of e.g streaming media (the patent explicitly speaks of audio and video) for abusive accounts on a new or existing online site of theirs?

Re:Neutrality of whom's network? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15977166)

"Neutrality of whom's network?"

Go straight to school, do not pass go, do not collect £200.

Confused? (4, Informative)

pubjames (468013) | more than 7 years ago | (#15976991)

What has this to do with net neutrality? They are talking about social networks. I don't see anything about reducing bandwidth in the article. Way to muddy the waters Slashdot editors!

Re:Confused? (3, Interesting)

Jugalator (259273) | more than 7 years ago | (#15977035)

It seems MS won't be negotiating with AT&T to reduce bandwidth for "bad" users or anything, so I can't say network neutrality is affected one way or another. As for some users on Microsoft's services getting less bandwidth from their own servers because Microsoft wants that, well, who cares? If you don't like their service (and given the quality of Microsoft's stuff, you likely won't), just don't use it?

I can't see anything in the article saying the network owner will start reducing your bandwidth for YouTube if you were a "bad" user on Microsoft Service X in this patent. You'd only be affected if using Microsoft Service X by Microsoft themselves. Like another way of punishing users than downmodding on Slashdot, but perhaps better applied to high bandwidth media content. Shouldn't Microsoft has the right to dedicate their server resources like they want?

My problem is mostly about companies paying actual network owners to get improved quality of service which could affect users in totally different ways than this.

Re:Confused? (2, Insightful)

Andy Dodd (701) | more than 7 years ago | (#15977052)

Yeah, it sounds like something that would be used on a Microsoft variant of MySpace (perhaps to automatically reduce privileges of predators?)

If it were ever applied to networking, it would most likely be a bandwidth reservation system that gives good uploaders more download bandwidth on a P2P network. That sounds kind of familiar, isn't there a P2P protocol out there that already does this? I can't remember what it's called, something about bits and torrents? :)

Re:Confused? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15977301)

Other good analogies -- AIM's warning system, Ebay's feedback ratings. There are plenty of examples of PRIOR ART, mind you, where this has been done... nothing really to see here... Thanks for the tinfoil hat posting about this item, though, editors.

Re:Confused? (1)

Andrewkov (140579) | more than 7 years ago | (#15977232)

Microsoft is all about innovation .. who are we to critisize?

Re:Confused? (1)

JustNiz (692889) | more than 7 years ago | (#15977782)

Net neutrality is all about different internet users getting allocated bandwidth based on some bullshit criteria.
The Microsoft patent is all about different internet users getting allocated bandwidth based on some bullshit criteria.

See?

It's not their fault (1)

andrewuwe (997499) | more than 7 years ago | (#15977000)

I hate microsoft as much as the next man but if they don't patent it then some other twonk will. Fix your patent system.

Slashdot infringes (5, Interesting)

LaughingCoder (914424) | more than 7 years ago | (#15977011)

Here is the first claim of the patent:

"1. A system that facilitates self-regulation of a social network comprising: a network monitoring component that watches user behavior on the social network; and an asset allocation component that allocates or re-allocates one or more assets among one or more network users based at least in part on whether the user behavior is desirable."

As I read that, the Slashdot moderation system infringes. The "network monitoring component" is the editors and the moderators. They "watch user behavior on the social network". The "asset allocation component" is the karma, which affects how broadly users' messages get seen. Lastly, "based ... on whether the user behavior is desireable" is obviously a big part of the moderation system (flamebait, troll, are ways to discoiurage undesirable behavior).

Re:Slashdot infringes (4, Informative)

kthejoker (931838) | more than 7 years ago | (#15977098)

Uhh - if something exists before the patent, it's called "prior art", not infringement.

Re:Slashdot infringes (1)

LaughingCoder (914424) | more than 7 years ago | (#15977111)

Exactly! Although it does also depend on the date of filing.

Re:Slashdot infringes (0)

skoaldipper (752281) | more than 7 years ago | (#15977296)

Uhh - if something exists before the patent, it's called "prior art", not infringement.
I believe in God. God created everything from nothing. God has prior art on every patent ever created. Since God has not sued anyone yet (by lightning bolt) for infringing on his prior art, every device under patent known to man must be ultimately non productive and worthless. Therefore, if you believe in patents as a means for intellectual progression and financial sustenance, your faith in God and his creation is circumspect at best. Consequently, if you do not believe in the practical efficacy of patents and consider yourself an atheist, in reality you believe in God and his majesty. Q.E.D.

Re:Slashdot infringes (2, Interesting)

the_arrow (171557) | more than 7 years ago | (#15977351)

Well... It is Microsoft we're talking about here, so of course /. infringes on their new patent. But then MS very nice blokes and wont use it against anyone, and that all MS patents are defensive patents. So it wont be used against /., unless /. bring a patent lawsuit against MS.

Re:Slashdot infringes (2, Interesting)

niceone (992278) | more than 7 years ago | (#15977452)

Uhh - if something exists before the patent, it's called "prior art", not infringement.

Surely that depends on how much cash you have for lawyers?

Re:Slashdot infringes (1)

kthejoker (931838) | more than 7 years ago | (#15977855)

No, you can submit prior art for free to the patent office, and if they agree with you (no lawyers necessary!), then the patent goes away.

Re:Slashdot infringes (2, Insightful)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 7 years ago | (#15977139)

I love the way ignorant people read patents. There's more than one claim you know. You can't just take one claim from the patent and say something infringes the patent because of that one claim. If that were the case every patent which starts with:

1. a stored sequence of commands for instructing a computing device,
2. such that...

would cover every program ever written. Which, btw, is how every software patent used to start.

Re:Slashdot infringes (2, Interesting)

LaughingCoder (914424) | more than 7 years ago | (#15977220)

Please don't call me ignorant. If you read the text of the claim, you will notice that it is an independent claim. You can indeed just read one claim if it is not dependent on prior claims. Note that claim 2 of the patent starts out with the statement (I'm paraphrasing) "A system as described in claim 1 ...". This is known as a dependent claim and cannot stand on its own. If claim 1 were knocked out, claim 2 automatically is knocked out. People who are not ignorant of patents realize this.

Re:Slashdot infringes (1)

91degrees (207121) | more than 7 years ago | (#15977247)

I don't think that is how it works. I think claim 2 is considered an entirely different invention. So a system as described in claim 1, but adding trading of mod points would not be covered by Slashdot's prior art.

Re:Slashdot infringes (1)

LaughingCoder (914424) | more than 7 years ago | (#15977268)

Hmmm, now you've got me thinking. Perhaps there is a patent attorney who could clarify this. I know claim 2 is dependent on claim 1. What I am not certain of is whether the composite of claim1/claim2 could be considered a valid claim even though claim 1 was deemed invalid.

Re:Slashdot infringes (1)

LaughingCoder (914424) | more than 7 years ago | (#15977808)

According to Wikipedia you are correct and I am mistaken:

"If the independent claim is determined to be invalid, however, a dependent claim may nevertheless survive, and may still be broad enough to bar competitors from valuable commercial territory. "

Re:Slashdot infringes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15977253)

for just about every patent system (u.s., euro, japan) you have to read the claims of the patent in light of the specification - you can't construe "social network" to mean whatever you think it does outside of the context of the application. ...that doesn't necessarily stop lawyers from arguing otherwise, however...

Bittorrent is prior art (1)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 7 years ago | (#15977304)

"r systems and methods to facilitate self regulation of social networks through trading and gift exchange, which classify users as good or bad and call for network bandwidth to be reduced for those deemed 'less desirable.'"

Sounds a lot like how bittorrent does bandwidth throttling - give away a lot of chunks, you get back a lot of chunks; be miserly in your upload rate, and get bit-slapped (no, that's not a type - its a pun :-)

MOD PARENT UP!! (1)

duerra (684053) | more than 7 years ago | (#15978151)

I was thinking the very same thing. Bittorrent is the ultimate prior art for this patent.

Re:Slashdot infringes (1)

Bob9113 (14996) | more than 7 years ago | (#15977836)

"1. A system that facilitates self-regulation of a social network comprising: a network monitoring component that watches user behavior on the social network; and an asset allocation component that allocates or re-allocates one or more assets among one or more network users based at least in part on whether the user behavior is desirable."

As I read that, the Slashdot moderation system infringes.


Indeed the Slashdot mod system is prior art. But there's a much more clear-cut example: Bittorrent. And if you want something more historic, how about going back to the BBSs of the 80s that had upload/download ratios.

Prior Art (1)

DingerX (847589) | more than 7 years ago | (#15977023)

Cf. Malinowski, 1915, 1922 [wikipedia.org] .
Come on, guys....

Re:Prior Art (5, Interesting)

Cruise_WD (410599) | more than 7 years ago | (#15977159)

And of course there's http://freenetproject.org/ [freenetproject.org] which added with 0.7 darknet mode - a network supposed to be based on an already existing social network, which automatically awards tokens to connections based on their behaviour, which controls their bandwidth and frequency of requests.

There's so many prior art examples of this it's just silly.

Re:Prior Art (1)

ZachPruckowski (918562) | more than 7 years ago | (#15977829)

There's so many prior art examples of this it's just silly.

OK, so how do you/I/anyone go about emailing the USPTO to that effect?

Re:Prior Art (2, Interesting)

juanzuluaga (970280) | more than 7 years ago | (#15978036)

Pareto [wikipedia.org] , Durkheim [wikipedia.org] , Kropotkin [gutenberg.org] , Simmel [socio.ch] , Tonnies [wikipedia.org] , Adam Smith [wikipedia.org] , Hobbes [wikipedia.org] , Jesus [wikipedia.org] , Confucius [wikipedia.org] , Democracy [wikipedia.org] , Golden Rule [wikipedia.org] . And bees.

Tyranny of the masses (3, Funny)

Colin Smith (2679) | more than 7 years ago | (#15977038)

Yay! That way we can stamp out anything but the average, the mediocre and the banal.

 

Re:Tyranny of the masses (2, Funny)

Goaway (82658) | more than 7 years ago | (#15977077)

And boy, have you ever come to the right place for that!

Re:Tyranny of the masses (2, Insightful)

BigFeetMedia (983532) | more than 7 years ago | (#15977205)

I believe you placed the space in the wrong location. When refering to M$, it should be "Tyranny of them asses".

Re:Tyranny of the masses (1)

JustNiz (692889) | more than 7 years ago | (#15977838)

Actually this is an issue with the slashdot moderation system too.
Ive noticed if anyone says anything too anti-establishment (especially anti-religion or anti-USA) it gets modded to flamebait, even if it was a valid argument.

It's a website moderation system. (5, Insightful)

Deathlizard (115856) | more than 7 years ago | (#15977049)

From what I've read from the patent, it sounds like it's some sort of moderation system for a website (social networks. Like myspace and MS's own Live Spaces site). Basically, it rewards productive users of a site while punishing trolls and spammers.

Although the patent is questionable, (it sounds similar to the Slashdot Karma System to me) it doesn't sound like something that will be used for net neutrality.

Re:It's a website moderation system. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15977075)

It sounds like bit torrent to me

Re:It's a website moderation system. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15977252)

I think slashdot should rig it so that if you have bad karma, your page loads slow down. They could just send more ads, with much larger gifs, from slow servers.

Taxonomy of obvious ideas (1)

RareButSeriousSideEf (968810) | more than 7 years ago | (#15977353)

Here's what we need if we want to preempt as many stupid obvious patents: Pick a friendly noble license everyone's most likely to agree on (Creative Commons, GPL, or whatever). Set up a site that allow two kinds of submissions: (1) Individual algorithms in a number of languages (and perhaps in pseudocode), (2)

Re:Taxonomy of obvious ideas (oops on parent) (1)

RareButSeriousSideEf (968810) | more than 7 years ago | (#15977551)

Dmn... hit "submit" instead of "preview." First time I did that.
-----------
Maybe some stupid obvious patents could be prevented like this: Pick a friendly noble license everyone's likely to be comfortable with (Creative Commons, GPL, or whatever). Set up a site that allow two kinds of community contributions under that license: (1) Descriptions of individual algorithms in any of a number of languages (perhaps pseudocode among them), (2) Descriptions of possible systems that can be derived from combinations and permutations of algorithms in the catalog.

The more robust the catalog becomes, the more likely it is that some system in the catalog will constitute evidence of prior art (or simultaneous / parallel art) in a future patent case. To get a robust system, it needs to be useful to programmers, i.e. searchable, easy to cobble together working code modules on the fly by wiring inputs & outputs together, etc. Just feed (bandwidth allocation algorithm 354) with the output of (peer behavior composite scoring system 12(peer action evaluation loop 18)).

This could actually be a worthwhile contribution to the community aside from its possible effects on private intellectual property accumulation. What "OWL" sought (seeks?) to be for classes, properties and relations, an endeavor like this could be for software systems.

AC (4, Interesting)

just_another_sean (919159) | more than 7 years ago | (#15977069)

So how long unitl Anonymous Cowards lose bandwidth on /.?

For that matter does this mean my karma might buy me more bandwidth?

Re:AC (1)

symes (835608) | more than 7 years ago | (#15977147)

I'm already counting my baud rate on one hand

Evil bits (3, Funny)

Gax (196168) | more than 7 years ago | (#15977091)

This seems like a variation of the old evil bit [wikipedia.org] idea.

Many ISPs and social networks already use similar criteria to guide subscribers on correct behaviour of the network. My ISP imposes restrictions on the bandwidth I can use every month and when I can use it during the day (a maximum of 10Gb@peak time every month). Many bit torrent communities also specify that you have to share at least the amount of data that you have downloaded, to deter leechers.

*clears throat* (1)

Nicaboker (978150) | more than 7 years ago | (#15977222)

[sarcasm] Yes please M$ take my bandwidth from me. No no, i wont mind at all. [/sarcasm] With that said, if this gets used on /. i'll have little bandwidth..must plot to raise karma.. mod how you will.

The Microsoft Tax (1)

Plocmstart (718110) | more than 7 years ago | (#15977223)

Didn't get down to the very details, but the summary sounds like any human social interaction in any given environment. If you consider your office a "network" the next time you give a co-worker you happen to like a gift be prepared to pay Microsoft some money on the side! They now would own how you interact!

Has anyone tried patenting oxygen lately?

Heh. Prior Art? You're read it. (3, Insightful)

TrebleJunkie (208060) | more than 7 years ago | (#15977234)

Somebody submit Slashdot's comment moderation system as prior art. Go ahead. I dares ya.

*chuckle*

Anyhoo, just what we need -- more technologically-enforced tyranny by majority.

The Mother of All Prior Art (1)

NetSettler (460623) | more than 7 years ago | (#15978105)

Somebody submit Slashdot's comment moderation system as prior art.

Presumably Microsoft's point is that this is bad patent claim feedback, so if you submit it, you'll get less bandwidth for submitting future patent claim feedback.

But seriously, yes, this is the Mother of all Prior Art, or rather, to untangle the metaphor properly, the Ungrateful Stepchild of all Prior Art. After all, creating a predicate for goodness and badness and then throttling bandwidth based on that seems to me to be a description of how, at some level, such organized theories as neural nets and such disorganized theories as Darwinian evolution are alleged to work. Can't you just paraphrase this application to say "survival of the fittest"? If you agree, there is quite literally no older theory of anything.

Even the notion of seeking to lock out competition by acquiring a monopoly on a critical resource from the government is, at the meta level, an example of trying to gain more (political) bandwidth by proposing that a given political theory (this patent) is better and that Microsoft should be rewarded with more control of the world around it. So this entire proposal itself, to be meaningful at all, presupposes that the system it alleges to "invent" is already in place and active.

Re:The Mother of All Prior Art (1)

TrebleJunkie (208060) | more than 7 years ago | (#15978357)

Except it's not, "survival of the fittest," it's "survival of those who best toe the line." Who's line? Whoever's in the majority. What line? Whatever their whimsy wishes.

I'm sure the hardline chi-comms would loooove something like this, but for those of us who want a free world and a free market, it's damned nearly the end of the line. Ah well.

Understanding Survival of the Fittest (2, Insightful)

NetSettler (460623) | more than 7 years ago | (#15978588)

Except it's not, "survival of the fittest," it's "survival of those who best toe the line."

If you think that evolution and neural nets are doing anything more grandiose, you're in for a rude awakening one day.

The phrase "survival of the fittest" should always cause you to ask "fittest for what?". You should not assume "fit" in this sentence means the kind of "fit" that your doctor (hopefully) proclaims you when you go in for a physical, meaning "fit in all ways". Fittest in the "survival of the fittest" means "capable of surviving whatever hurdle has been put before you today" with no regard as to whether there's any sense of continuity whatsoever to any other hurdle on any other day. Evolution is not cranking out things that are fit for all purposes, it's cranking out things that are fit for the moment, given history only as "how you got there", not proof that you deserve to survive further. The dinosaurs survived hugely longer than man has, and were by all accounts fitter than we'll likely ever be. But then they went away--poof.

Nature favors what's best at the moment, very much like the stock market favors the stockholders of the moment. Nature has no long-term theory of what it is trying to achieve. In a desert ecology, the best design might be the ability to survive without water, but nature can go millions of years designing that model and then if there's a flood one day, nature will favor for survival only those desert creatures that can swim (or maybe that find a cactus to float on), which is not really that different than a corporation buying another just because it likes what's in its bank account and then disassembling the rest for spare parts, even if the part it's disassembling has no long-term value to the population.

Nature always has a myopic view of what it is trying to achieve. It cares about surviving to the next moment, nothing more. Not a lot different than modern corporations caring about surviving to the next quarter, and failing to plan for the long term.

And even neural nets, which you imagine are struggling to be more general, are really hugely dictated in what the will become by what their experience is "growing up". The implicit allegation of the Microsoft patent claim is that they have invented "good parenting, which is the standing "best practice" for training a neural net. Things don't come to be "best practice" without being "prior art".

You might also allege that the claim is equivalent to a perceptron [wikipedia.org] , since the notion seems to be that by throttling the bandwidth based on isolated goodness/badness without coordinating activity with other goodness/badness that might operate in a sympathetic way that can generate good results even though it's been pretty well proven that this sort of simplistic system doesn't in fact result in such things.

The problem with patents is that they appear to be a credential. So even though this may be a proven-to-be-bad idea doesn't mean it won't get used. I've often thought of thinking up bad ideas myself and patenting those. They're easier to think up than good ideas, and their being bad doesn't seem to be a barrier to use. If you can get paid (through patent revenue) for other people being stupid, why wouldn't you? You'd think this would retard people moving toward the bad ideas (by making them more expensive) and so implicitly move them toward the good ones, but I fear that the number of bad ideas is so densely packed compared to the good ones that you'd not actually notice any beneficial effect of having lined out only a few of them.

Prior art. (5, Funny)

auroran (10711) | more than 7 years ago | (#15977396)

I'm sorry Microsoft but, Santa, has had prior art on this one for years.

high school again? (1)

chiger_bite (801427) | more than 7 years ago | (#15977411)

Is it just me, or does this sound like the stereotypical persona given to us involving the 'cool' kids vs. the bad kids from high school?

Do the users get to vote? (0, Flamebait)

RhysTheElf (995560) | more than 7 years ago | (#15977415)

Who VOTES good or bad?

I say the users should get to vote. 1 vote per user which can be modified when/if necessary.

Mary user see the Windows Genuine Advantage message come up and votes bad for Windows Update Website.

Ian user see the Windows Genuine Advantage message come up and votes bad for Windows Update Website.

Cathy user see the Windows Genuine Advantage message come up and votes bad for Windows Update Website.

Ralph user see the Windows Genuine Advantage message come up and votes bad for Windows Update Website.

Olivia user see the Windows Genuine Advantage message come up and votes bad for Windows Update Website.

Sean user see the Windows Genuine Advantage message come up and votes bad for Windows Update Website.

Olga user see the Windows Genuine Advantage message come up and votes bad for Windows Update Website.

Frank user see the Windows Genuine Advantage message come up and votes bad for Windows Update Website.

Teresa user see the Windows Genuine Advantage message come up and votes bad for Windows Update Website.

Sam user see the Windows Genuine Advantage message come up and votes bad for Windows Update Website.

Uma user see the Windows Genuine Advantage message come up and votes bad for Windows Update Website.

Charlie user see the Windows Genuine Advantage message come up and votes bad for Windows Update Website.

Kelly user see the Windows Genuine Advantage message come up and votes bad for Windows Update Website.

Sol user see the Windows Genuine Advantage message come up and votes bad for Windows Update Website.

. . .

Then, Microsoft Updates arrive slower, and the fixes for the fixes they send out can be fixed before you get them! ;)

Re:Do the users get to vote? (1)

RhysTheElf (995560) | more than 7 years ago | (#15977973)

I was trying to be funny.

Wouldn't it be funny if Microsoft went and initiated something that would decrease its bandwidth?

Sorry!

Of course, no one will get to see this now that my Karma has been changed to bad.

Poof, RHysTheElf disappears

network neutrality is BS from the start... (1)

sjs132 (631745) | more than 7 years ago | (#15977715)

Look, network neutrality doesn't make any sense (to me anyway...)

I PAY to have bandwidth on my ISP... THEY PAY to have LOTS of bandwidth to sell to the customers... the People that they get it from PAY some HUGE company (used to be Sprint I think... , Still is?) for that bandwidth to sell and they maintain those lines for ME. Everyone making profit on they way up the ladder.

Now YouTube comes along... And I want to watch a video... Gues what... SAME thing tracks back as above for YouTube. YouTube is paying for their bandwidth, one way or another. So, the REAL internet carriers that maintain the backbone for a FEE get to charge 2x for every site I visit!

First they eventually have revenue trickle back from me as a destination of content, and second they have revenue trickle back from the source of the content. That rule applies no matter WHERE the content comes from... This is NOT the FREE University internet that used to be! It was comercialized in the early 90's. (with advent of .com domains instead of just .edu's that used to exist.)

So If I go from my computer to Bittorrent site, they get paid 2x for that traffic... If I go to GOOgLE, they get paid 2x for that traffic... If I call out on IP fone like Vonage, they get paid 2x for that traffic!!!!

Someone pays to send, someone pays to recieve. JUST LIKE THE TELEPHONE! To have they say to me that they are gonna give my crappier service because I want to call a 1-900 # and they are gonna just use the phone lines to sell sex to me instead of me calling my grandma, would be outragous! This is all BS! We ALL eventually PAY for the service.

Who doesn't? Lots of .EDU folks? Maybe, but I sure that they even pay something to their backbone providers... and HOW many .EDU sites host large traffic sources like YouTube? (Bittorent maybe, by a good ADMIN can fix that if they REALLY want to.)

So it boils down in my book that it's all BS.. and there should be NO Throttleing of ANY content based on who you are... If someone wants dedicated IP Backbone on the empty fiber, thats different, but don't throttle my stuff just because I'm useing the service for what it was intended, passing information from point A to Point B.

Preferential Attachment (1)

blonddog (647414) | more than 7 years ago | (#15977741)

This looks like an attempt to patent a direct (and seemingly fairly obvious) application of the principle of preferential attachment, as presented by Barabási [tinyurl.com] in Linked: The New Science of Networks [tinyurl.com] and demonstrated everywhere. Prior art? Try, uh, nature...

Live Service? (1)

condorhauck (922708) | more than 7 years ago | (#15977851)

I can see where this would make sense and be a legitimate thing for Xbox Live aka. Live Anywhere. People on XBL who get reported consistently as bad by other gamers, or are caught cheating / modding would suffer for their actions. It would be kinda like Xbox Jail!. I for one would appreciate that self policing.

XBox live? (2, Interesting)

shaggy43 (21472) | more than 7 years ago | (#15977908)

How about XBox live's 'rep' system? Lower bandwidth for modded-down players, anyone?

How much of this is prior art? (1)

Vlad_the_Inhaler (32958) | more than 7 years ago | (#15977950)

Apparently P2P apps implement some of this, and RFC3514 [rfc.net] has covered some more since early 2003. I would just love it if that RFC torpedoed a patent like this.

failzors? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15978090)

Is slashdot prior art? (0, Redundant)

pcause (209643) | more than 7 years ago | (#15978133)

Gee, one could think of karma and moderator points as things that might match the description here. Slashdot is prior art!

I think this one is yet another example of the USPTO granting patents for things that are obvious.

And this is Novel, how? (1)

databank (165049) | more than 7 years ago | (#15978237)

How is this different from the Am I Hot or Not style of websites? Or any self-moderated website like slashdot? Where's the novelty?

Metamoderation? (1)

TheGreatHegemon (956058) | more than 7 years ago | (#15978312)

Isn't this just basically the same principle behind Metamoderation? Instead of rating the mods though, the community rates everyone else... I also DO like the type of way they punish poorly behaving people - it gives them a chance to shape up without outright banning them. HOWever, I'm somewhat troubled by this being patented. Metamoderation already exists, and to cripple it is rather risky, since the patent almost covers JUST metamoderation without the bandwidth control, too.

Anybody remember Alan Sokal? (1)

jthill (303417) | more than 7 years ago | (#15978543)

Is this intentional mockery of a broken patent system? These guys are patenting a system to reward people who tell some tracker they've emailed links and photos to friends? (And no, I'm not making this up. See pp 54,55.) A system that can forbid transfer *based on content or identity* (p 53)?

A system that can optionally run on your computer? (p 43)?

And these are the details?

um (1)

majortom1981 (949402) | more than 7 years ago | (#15978575)

Why is everbody complaining. All p23p applications do this. Example. Bittorrent limits your download speed if you dont have a good upload speed

Some other p2p systems do this too .Why is everbody upset?

Amazon beat them to it (2)

HTH NE1 (675604) | more than 7 years ago | (#15978594)

So basically Microsoft is filing for a "One Clique" Patent?

Is this not what Bittorrent does already? (1)

nairb774 (728193) | more than 7 years ago | (#15978610)

From my understanding of the Bittorent protocol this is what it does already with the "Choking" and all. How can they get a pattent on something with prior art that they do not own.

Or does this mean that they are going to buy Bittorent?
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