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Sounds like an abuse cool technology (5, Interesting)

ccguy (1116865) | more than 6 years ago | (#22761124)

The interesting part of the patent is not that they interrupt the video to show a commercial (surely there is prior art on that), but rather than the commercial breaks are determined automatically by analyzing the video and audio (detecting scene changes for example).

Also, they gather 'interaction data' with the first commercial, and use it for the following ones.

There's a bidding system to buy advertisement slots on specific video, so if there's a very hot video in say, youtube, you can put your commercial there almost inmediately... seems like the best way to maximize advertising costs.

Re:Sounds like an abuse cool technology (5, Insightful)

namgge (777284) | more than 6 years ago | (#22761200)

...so if there's a very hot video in say, youtube, you can put your commercial there almost inmediately... seems like the best way to maximize advertising costs.

Quite so. Far better to adopt VW's approach: make an entertaining advert and stick it on youtube in its own right. Then people can watch it without it being interupted by some film,

Namgge

Re:Sounds like an abuse cool technology (2, Interesting)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | more than 6 years ago | (#22761556)

That could backfire. If the ad weren't flagged as an ad, then we'd have to watch ads while watching an ad! Commercial breaks during a commercial! Shhhh....don't give them any ideas!
 
  Captcha: horrible

Re:Sounds like an abuse cool technology (1)

Tony Hoyle (11698) | more than 6 years ago | (#22762566)

Don't know if this idea has crossed the pond yet, but in the UK we have whole hour shows containing ads (albeit mildly amusing ones), with commercial breaks in between.

So they already had the idea.

Re:Sounds like an abuse cool technology (1)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | more than 6 years ago | (#22762952)

Good point. The more popular term for that is "product placement".

Re:Sounds like an abuse cool technology (1)

Brian Gordon (987471) | more than 6 years ago | (#22761226)

Sounds to me like I would never watch a video interrupted by commercials unless it was actually like hour-long (like hulu) so they'd be shooting themselves in the foot, losing their existing ad revenue. Also the autodetected scene changes would never work; the fashion in video editing these days is to use simple frame-to-frame cuts for scene changes.. how are you going to distinguish between the camera cutting around the scene in a fast-paced action scene and actual scene changes? People are going to get annoyed if their action scenes start getting cut up.

Re:Sounds like an abuse cool technology (1)

everphilski (877346) | more than 6 years ago | (#22761284)

Audio analysis, if it's a consistent scene, it'll have consistent features in the frequency domain, etc.

Re:Sounds like an abuse cool technology (1)

ccguy (1116865) | more than 6 years ago | (#22761288)

Also the autodetected scene changes would never work; the fashion in video editing these days is to use simple frame-to-frame cuts for scene changes..
The patent says they use audio analysis too.

Besides, this the google. Just because you (or I) can't think of an algorithm that works well all or most of the time it doesn't mean it isn't possible.

Re:Sounds like an abuse cool technology (1)

SL Baur (19540) | more than 6 years ago | (#22761564)

The patent says they use audio analysis too.
Yeah, that would make sense. Most videos have natural breakpoints built into them that would be suitable to inject advertisements into. Detecting that without a human involved would be innovative.

Books have natural breakpoints too, we call them "chapters".

Re:Sounds like an abuse cool technology (1)

rtb61 (674572) | more than 6 years ago | (#22763410)

Get real the concept is stupid, five natural break pints in five minutes of content and what, you show ten minutes of commercials. It is all just a marketing scheme targeted at the sellers not at the buyers. With the current adwords/spamwords budget advertising reaching the end of life due to a lack of actuall retail sale, google is forced to search for a new marketing scheme.

For video content, the typical length to allow an add in the content is a least 20 minutes, 10 to start then adds ten to finish, so adds at the beginning and you often lose the end viewer right there and of course an add at the end is a complete loss.

At least they a giving up of the B$ target the consumer by invading their privacy and focusing on the content.

The big fail is they are trying to make up for a lack of staff skill by automating the process, which of course in reality will not work. The whole process needs careful analysis of the product and careful analysis of the target audience as a group (not individuals), and then of course viewing and judging the content 'style' as well as various specific articles to assemble the complete marketing image. Time cost and effort, not cheap quick and target the sellers and forget the buyers.

The killer for all these 'great' add schemes is there is simply a huge amount of content competing for attention, poising the content with too many adds, or adds that are to intrusive and you lose market share, faster than that add can gain customers, so a pointless effort.

Re:Sounds like an abuse cool technology (1)

cheater512 (783349) | more than 6 years ago | (#22761984)

Other people pointed out audio analysis.

Another thing is action shots are fast and quick.
Thats easily detectable.

Re:Sounds like an abuse cool technology (2, Insightful)

dissy (172727) | more than 6 years ago | (#22761436)

(surely there is prior art on that), but rather than the commercial breaks are determined automatically by analyzing the video and audio (detecting scene changes for example).
I'm glad they just didn't take what TV broadcasters have been doing for decades and added 'on the internet' to the end. I suppose the automated part makes it unique.

My only hope, them being google, is that once the TV broadcasters DO try to automate what they do, google sends them cease and desist letters!

Re:Sounds like an abuse cool technology (2, Funny)

Hasmanean (814562) | more than 6 years ago | (#22761676)

So will the algorithm try to maximize the annoyance caused by the commercial, or minimize it?

 

Re:Sounds like an abuse cool technology (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22761794)

Re:Sounds like an abuse cool technology (1)

Foobar of Borg (690622) | more than 6 years ago | (#22763164)

[snipped link] prior art?
No, the filing date is too late. You have to compare filing dates, not publication dates (and then there is the whole mess about continuations and so on). Also, Google's "New Patent" is not a patent, but a published application for a patent. [mumbles something about slashbots not knowing the difference or understanding what a patent claim is]

Re:Sounds like an abuse cool technology (3, Insightful)

tambo (310170) | more than 6 years ago | (#22762034)

The interesting part of the patent -

Wait, stop right there. There's a discussion of a patent on Slashdot, and the first comment acknowledges that it's interesting, and not that software patents are the spawn of the devil?

If you took this exact same story and s/Google/Microsoft/'ed it, this thread would instantly fill up with "oh noes, Microsoft is patenting commercials in internet video" comments, and "there's no way that that's novel" comments, and "down with software patents!!!" comments. But I guess that since it's patented by Google, it's OK... or something... right? Help me out - my Slashdot Moral Compass is adrift at the moment.

I don't intend this as a trolling post - just an interesting reflection on the culture here at Slashdot. Don't get me wrong; I like this place - I've even got it tied to a "/." keyboard shortcut - but the community often appears very inept when discussing these sorts of issues.

- David Stein

Re:Sounds like an abuse cool technology (3, Funny)

Tony Hoyle (11698) | more than 6 years ago | (#22762576)

It could be worse.. it could be patented by Apple!

Then anyone who suggested it might be wrong would be modded into oblivion.

Re:Sounds like an abuse cool technology (2, Informative)

chromatic (9471) | more than 6 years ago | (#22762582)

... but the community...

There's the problem. You assumed that there's a single dominant opinion.

Re:Sounds like an abuse cool technology (1)

Headcase88 (828620) | more than 6 years ago | (#22763470)

You must be new here.

Re:Sounds like an abuse cool technology (1)

5of0 (935391) | more than 6 years ago | (#22763680)

Ever hear of groupthink [wikipedia.org] ? There is a single dominating opinion, and it involves:
1. Microsoft is evil
2. Google is not evil*
3. Patents are evil

Approximately in that order, so when 2) and 3) clash, 2) wins out. See how simple it is?

*Well...this one's complicated. But in any case, they're better than Microsoft.

Re:Sounds like an abuse cool technology (1)

layer3switch (783864) | more than 6 years ago | (#22762680)

premises of self-delusion in believing "Google Be Good; Microsoft Do Evil" rearing its ugly head once again when closer to true reality is neither of them are fucking Saints.

What did that skinny dude from India once said? "Action expresses priorities."

And we all know what Google's priorities are.

Re:Sounds like an abuse cool technology (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22762716)

If you took this exact same story and s/Google/Microsoft/'ed it

Quick, name an interesting thing Microsoft have patented. Can't think of anything? Maybe that's the difference.

Re:Sounds like an abuse cool technology (1)

Headcase88 (828620) | more than 6 years ago | (#22763514)

As opposed to this scintillating patent. Commercial breaks... but wait! It's commercial breaks on streaming video. And as if that's not enough innovation for you, the commercial breaks will be designed to happen between scenes by an algorithm. I had an idea for commercials on streaming video, but I was just thinking of having them interrupt the action randomly. I would have never thought of placing the commercials between scenes *hits head*. That's the difference between simple intelligence and utter brilliance I guess.

Re:Sounds like an abuse cool technology (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22763598)

Cleartype.

Now can you name anything interesting Google has patented? I cant, but maybe thats just me.

Re:Sounds like an abuse cool technology (1)

Headcase88 (828620) | more than 6 years ago | (#22763462)

If Microsoft made the patent, I'd actually be happier, because then it would be illegal for Google to put this annoying shit on Youtube ;)

Re:Sounds like an abuse cool technology (1)

kripkenstein (913150) | more than 6 years ago | (#22763526)

The interesting part of the patent -


Wait, stop right there. There's a discussion of a patent on Slashdot, and the first comment acknowledges that it's interesting, and not that software patents are the spawn of the devil?



If you took this exact same story and s/Google/Microsoft/'ed it, this thread would instantly fill up with "oh noes, Microsoft is patenting commercials in internet video" comments, and "there's no way that that's novel" comments, and "down with software patents!!!" comments.

Actually your knee-jerk reaction is just as bad. Perhaps more so, since presumably you believe you are above such things.

I don't see you saying that the patent isn't novel. To my knowledge it is - I can't think of any system that automatically places ads inside video based on some detection method to find where it would be appropriate. And algorithmically this is indeed an interesting question (in fact, I question how well this would work). So, if we treat the issue on its merits - and not as Google vs. Microsoft, which you are doing - then why should we be surprised there are no comments "this is trivial"? We shouldn't.

As for "software patents are bad" - well, those crop up generally when we discuss really really bad patents. Like say the 1-click patent. Or when patents are used to litigate. Neither appears to be the case here. So perhaps we won't see such comments in this story (or perhaps we will, who knows).

My point is that you blame Slashdotters for being automatically positive when Google gets a patent and automatically negative when Microsoft does. There might be a degree of truth to that, and to that degree it is indeed a shame. However, your reaction is just as bad - you are automatically negative regarding Slashdotter's responses to this topic. Both you and the thing you are arguing against are examples of knee-jerk reactions. When it would be better to instead discuss the specifics of the case.

Re:Sounds like an abuse cool technology (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22763644)

"I don't see you saying that the patent isn't novel. To my knowledge it is - I can't think of any system that automatically places ads inside..."

Oh come on. You have never heard of a commercial break before? You think that its some huge brilliant leap of logic to put a commercial break with targeted ads on youtube? You really think this rises to "novel and non-obvious"?

"...when patents are used to litigate. Neither appears to be the case here."

Why on earth do you think they patented it? Because their patent lawyers were getting bored? This patent may not make it to litigation but they are adding it to their arsenal for the same reason that MS and IBM add patents to their arsenal. By the way, to my knowledge MS has never actually sued for patent infringement (and if they have it certainly is less than 1% of their patent portfolio) does that make their BS patents ok?

Face it, Google patents obvious stuff the same way MS, IBM, Sun, and every other giant tech company on the planet does. I may be an MS apologist in some cases but at least I am consistent in my views. When MS patents something obvious I dont try to defend them the same way I dont try to defend Google when they do it.

Re:Sounds like an abuse cool technology (2, Insightful)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 6 years ago | (#22762182)

Also, they gather 'interaction data' with the first commercial, and use it for the following ones

So what are they going to do when most people's "interaction" is to click on "close", or to just go somewhere else, or tab over to another site while the ad plays (unwatched)?

And now, we can finally say it - "In the GoogleSphere, ADS WATCH YOU!"

Re:Sounds like an abuse cool technology (1)

STrinity (723872) | more than 6 years ago | (#22762400)

The interesting part of the patent is not that they interrupt the video to show a commercial (surely there is prior art on that), but rather than the commercial breaks are determined automatically by analyzing the video and audio (detecting scene changes for example).
That's prior art, as well. TV networks use software that looks for completely black frames as a marker for where ads go. When Joss Whedon did Firefly, he wanted to have a full second of blank screen at the end of an act so the story had time to breathe before going into commercial, but the software would always cut it out and start the commercial immediately. His solution was to use a leather-patterned frame instead of pure black, which fooled the program.

Interrupting Ads are very annoying (2, Insightful)

mysidia (191772) | more than 6 years ago | (#22762452)

Seems like Google patenting the video-equivalent to popup ads.

It doesn't matter if the popup ad only shows up when you scroll down to the next chapter.

Interruption ads are still interruption ads.

Video interruption with ads in the middle is just as evil as popup ads in the middle of viewing a website.

And here I thought Google's motto was to not be evil. Oh boy was I wrong...

I for one (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22761132)

welcome my new Google corporate overlords.

Ads (4, Insightful)

FredFredrickson (1177871) | more than 6 years ago | (#22761152)

I'm one of the few that don't care about ads, show 'em. Keep services free! But only under the following conditions:
1. There's a subscription service to get rid of ads. I use sites like YouTube enough that I'd pay to get rid of 15 second ads every video play.
2. Non interrupting ads only. At the beginning, at the end, what have you. But none in the middle, please.
3. Get a variety of ads. I'm sick of HULU playing the same 2 ads every three minutes. Seriously, it makes me want the product they're advertising even less.

Re:Ads (2, Funny)

MadFarmAnimalz (460972) | more than 6 years ago | (#22761354)

I use sites like YouTube enough that I'd pay to get rid of 15 second ads every video play.

Youtube finally found its (one person) market! Now if you can figure out how to cover a USD 1 billion annual subscription fee, we'll have sorted out the site's revenue model once and for all.

Re:Ads (1)

Samah (729132) | more than 6 years ago | (#22762496)

It's funny you know, I think I must be the only person on the whole intarweb who actually BOUGHT mIRC...

Re:Ads (1)

JeremyBanks (1036532) | more than 6 years ago | (#22762066)

4. Level the ads to have the same average volume as the clips themselves. Every time I play a video on IFILM and am deafened by ads that are twice as loud as the videos they are accompanying, I'm less likely to purchase that product that I've just seen advertised on every video I watch.

Re:Ads (1)

uranus65 (837545) | more than 6 years ago | (#22762472)

4. Have the actual content play as smoothly as the ad. On CNN.com the ad usually plays flawlessly but the news story may not play at all. So I find myself considering a Netflix subscription while forgetting what I was going to watch.

Re:Ads (1)

mbius (890083) | more than 6 years ago | (#22762500)

I'm a guy who doesn't mind cancer so much, provided it's curable, doesn't rearrange my DNA, has vitamin C, that sort of thing. If they need to give me a freckle or two to justify continuing to let me see things free, well, shucks, I'd be a jerk to complain.

It's not impossible after they invent silent, invisible, opt-in, informative advertising. From there we can talk to Satan about putting a day spa in Hell.

Re:Ads (1)

lavaface (685630) | more than 6 years ago | (#22763026)

to be fair, hulu only plays ads every 10 mins or so . . . .

Re:Ads (1)

DavidD_CA (750156) | more than 6 years ago | (#22763114)

RE #1: Agreed.

RE #2: I'm okay with interrupting ads if (and only if) the videos are quite long. If I'm watching something that's 5+ minutes, it's perfectly acceptable to show me an ad every 5 minutes or so. It's just like commercials on TV.

RE #3: Oh god yes.

New #4: As long as the download of the ad doesn't impede the actual video. I can't count how many times I've tried to watch a video online but became frustrated because the preceding ad took forever to load (or didn't).

New #5: The ad doesn't contain material that would be insuitable for me to forward to other people. There's been times where a funny video would be perfect to forward to a coworker, but a random ad might be "fire me" material.

New #6: The ad can't float in a layer above the video in a minimized-fashion at any time.

I hope they are patenting this to.. (5, Interesting)

the_rajah (749499) | more than 6 years ago | (#22761170)

just sit on the patent to keep anyone from doing it. They do promise to do no evil, right?

Re:I hope they are patenting this to.. (1)

cdrudge (68377) | more than 6 years ago | (#22761192)

Even if they do use it, this would be a good thing as it would prevent others from doing it (unless they paid the additional money to license it). Right?

Re:I hope they are patenting this to.. (3, Insightful)

yincrash (854885) | more than 6 years ago | (#22761302)

Except if companies have to pay to license it, they would probably have more ads to pay for the license fee in addition to the content being presented.

Re:I hope they are patenting this to.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22761748)

Do you really think they would hold back on ads because there's less of an initial cost?

"We could be making more money here, but we're really making enough now so we'll just stop."

Re:I hope they are patenting this to.. (1)

Infonaut (96956) | more than 6 years ago | (#22762358)

They do promise to do no evil, right?

I'd put TV-style advertising way down on the "evil" scale. Producing content doesn't just magically happen for free, and nobody is going to make the next Blade Runner without a profit motive. Certainly a patent on this sort of ad tech is (to name just one example) far below helping certain governments filter access to Web content.

Re:I hope they are patenting this to.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22763326)

Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.

I am sceptical it would be used as described (3, Insightful)

MLCT (1148749) | more than 6 years ago | (#22761176)

The history (and part of the reason for its success) of google's ad business has been that the ads they serve *aren't* annoying. No flashing banner ads, no "punch the monkey to win a prize", just small clean fonted textural links. That being the case I would be very surprised if they implement this patent as read - they are too smart to do something that daft.

The problem of delivering advertising with digital video is a real one for online activities, so I don't doubt google are working on it - but what is guaranteed is that they know if they annoy people then they will just go elsewhere.

They already have. (1)

Bored MPA (1202335) | more than 6 years ago | (#22763122)

This patent probably came from their youtube purchase, because youtube already does this in videos, or did at one point. I never really go there anymore due to the poor quality videos.

Google patents annoying users (2, Interesting)

edwardpickman (965122) | more than 6 years ago | (#22761178)

Google hearby patents all forms of advertising that annoys the piss out of users. All forms of pop ups and redirected ads will also fall under the user annoyance patent.

Re:Google patents annoying users (1)

Khaed (544779) | more than 6 years ago | (#22763386)

Man, when I read the title of this, I thought you were saying they were patenting "users that are annoying" by "annoying users."

That would be AWESOME...

Don't Be Evil (1)

localman (111171) | more than 6 years ago | (#22761202)

If they were truly going with "don't be evil", the only reason they'd patent such a thing would be so nobody could do it: patent it, then deep six the idea.

If they can keep it clean, fine (2, Insightful)

willyhill (965620) | more than 6 years ago | (#22761212)

I recognize the need for advertising to support valuable online services, so I'm not reacting in the usual "OMG THIS SUCKS" demeanor. But Google has been successfull where other ad pushers have not because they understand that users are annoyed by ads, and theirs are the least annoying so far. If they can keep this "clean" where it doesn't become an annoyance, more power to them.

It's a shame they have to patent it, but given today's IP climate I also understand why they have to go that route. Of course if anyone else had gotten a patent on this they'd be crucified, but this is Google.

Re:If they can keep it clean, fine (1)

Hatta (162192) | more than 6 years ago | (#22762244)

I recognize the need for advertising to support valuable online services

I think this is false economy. Where do you think the advertiser gets the money to buy the ads to support the site? From the people who use the site and purchase the services advertised. But if you're not exposed to the advertising, you're not going to spend so much money, and you'll have more left to support the site through donations.

Re:If they can keep it clean, fine (1)

chromatic (9471) | more than 6 years ago | (#22762594)

But if you're not exposed to the advertising, you're not going to spend so much money, and you'll have more left to support the site through donations.

Have you seen that business model work for anyone who wants more than $3000 a month in revenue?

rainy day patent (1)

epine (68316) | more than 6 years ago | (#22762334)

Their "this is Google" halo could be dented in short order rolling out something like this obnoxiously. I don't see Google wanting to explore that risk in the short term. More likely, this is a rainy day patent, if a revenue downturn in their existing business threatens their core competitiveness.

Another move is that they might deploy something like this, but on a very small scale, enough to recover their Youtube bandwidth costs and not actually lose money on this service.

It would be cool if some pharmaceutical compound was discovered to have the side effect of making a person impervious to commercial brainwashing, such that exposure to advertising had zero influence on future purchasing decisions. Botox against herd behaviour. Would western civilization survive?

Skinner completely missed the boat. The interesting academic paper was the emergence of a market to receive pleasure in response for subjecting yourself to a unit of behavioral conditioning to serve the interests of your corporate overlords, er, the people who sell you Coke and sneakers and a Dodge Ram so you can fit into society and manage to get laid and retain your alpha-male fantasy long into middle age.

If only Skinner had had McLuhan as his research advisor.

More Google Evil (2, Insightful)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 6 years ago | (#22761238)

What's more annoying? How about patenting a business practice? How about patenting SW?

Pretty goddamn "annoying".

And now, a message from our overlords (1)

mrbah (844007) | more than 6 years ago | (#22761282)

Maybe they should patent their user tracking system [google.com] instead, it makes the NSA look like a bunch of amateurs.

Re:And now, a message from our overlords (3, Informative)

rdradar (1110795) | more than 6 years ago | (#22761834)

I first modded this down as a troll, since Analytics is just a regular statistics scripts for webmaster. However, then I got it; its so clever. That Analytics service is used on millions of websites, almost every site uses it (slashdot aswell). Its a great tool, easy to use and free aswell. Theres no ads, and theres no any paid or premium user like service. And you know why? It brings more data to Google than anyone could ever imagine. Google Analytics script is now on almost every site on internet. They could and can easily track users movement on internet, from site to site. So what I can fastly see, they can track users both with ads and the more hidden (and cleverly disguised) Analytics. And you know even their file systems are designed so that the data takes months or even years to _really_ delete? And the best part is, they dont need any browser toolbar thingies to track users.. Ah silly me. They do have that aswell :) * If you dont hear anything back from me in 24h, you know I revealed their deepest secrets *

Re:And now, a message from our overlords (1)

mikael (484) | more than 6 years ago | (#22762020)

The only problem is that whenever a large slashdot discussion page fails to download and appear on the screen, the delay is invariably due to a file called 'http://www.google-analytics.com/ga.js' or something similar.

Re:And now, a message from our overlords (1)

LingNoi (1066278) | more than 6 years ago | (#22762266)

So what I can fastly see, they can track users both with ads and the more hidden (and cleverly disguised) Analytics.
You think this is a secret? I think you're the last guy to get this and it's not even that smart as all you need is no script installed and their puny user tracking ability simply vanishes.

Re:And now, a message from our overlords (1)

Jesus_666 (702802) | more than 6 years ago | (#22763044)

Google Analytics script is now on almost every site on internet.
Which means that every so often a site takes more than a minute to load because Google Analytics takes that long to respond. Also, it's an additional DNS lookup, which have been pretty slow for me the last few weeks.

I'm going to put GA into my hosts file under 0.0.0.0; the scary tracking ability is part of the decision but the tipping stone is the fact that GA makes the web slow. Well, even slower.

Good way to get rid of your users... (0)

drew_92123 (213321) | more than 6 years ago | (#22761308)

I don't know anybody who would bother watching videos online if they started having ads like television... Just seems like a great way to kill your user base... but then again, consumers have a habit of taking whats offered to them, not because it's the only thing that's available but rather because they really are that stupid. ARRRRRGGGGGHHHHH!!!! I hate the retarded masses that are letting this happen to our world.

Not necessarily evil... (1)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | more than 6 years ago | (#22761338)

This may not be as bad as it sounds as long as they utilize the "skip commercial" link included in the patent.

The suckfest would start if that link were disabled or omitted. Nothing is more irritating than being forced to watch a commercial which is almost as long as the video clip itself (I'm looking at you, cnn.com!). This could also suck for low-bandwidth users.

Isn't that called TV? (1)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 6 years ago | (#22761348)

Shows have been interrupted for commercials for decades...

Annoying as all hell, but nothing new.

I'll patent a method to strip Google's commercials (1)

seeks2know (702160) | more than 6 years ago | (#22761358)

It should be relatively straightforward to detect Google's commercials and strip them from the video stream.

Re:I'll patent a method to strip Google's commerci (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22761720)

That has already been pateneted.
Either suffer the commercials, or pay royalties for stripping them. Either way you loose!

If they're planning to use this... (2)

hyades1 (1149581) | more than 6 years ago | (#22761376)

...instead of using the patent to bury it in a hole so deep it's almost out the other side of the Earth, I'll stop having anything to do with Google.

Interrupting a video would only be the first step in taking us to that Trailer Park Nirvana where you will never, not even for one second of your waking life, be free of some kind of solicitation.

Re:If they're planning to use this... (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 6 years ago | (#22761610)

Unfortunately(I guess), that's their goal. If you don't want to look at advertising, they aren't worried about getting you to look at content.

I say "I guess" because somebody has to pay for something somewhere, and the way they do advertising in search, I wouldn't pay very much to get rid of it. For video of any length, they are competing against free(p2p) and $3 DVD rentals, so they can really only screw it up the experience so much before people walk away. For short videos, the ads better not exceed a small fraction of the length of the video.

This is new? (1)

eternalDRIVEL (740523) | more than 6 years ago | (#22761388)

How is different from what cbs.com [cbs.com] does with their videos?

Re:This is new? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22762054)

Over at cbs.com you can watch entire episodes of old shows like Twilight Zone and Star Trek and they've inserted commercials into the video at the same points where commercials appeared when they were originally broadcast on tv. This is pretty unobtrusive. But letting a computer decide where to insert commercials sounds terrible. Better to let a human editor decide OR just put all the commercials upfront.

Interesting patent (4, Insightful)

Coopjust (872796) | more than 6 years ago | (#22761408)

So, having read the patent filing;

-They're looking to dynamically take popular videos and put commercials in at points deemed good by the computer
-They put in something that they think you will like (based on your Google history/ad watching history/content of the video)
-They take your reaction to the newest ad and use it to better insert ads for both content and length. Maybe you like computing ads, or maybe you'll interact if the commercials are less often but longer (30 secs instead of 15 secs maybe).
-Ads are taken by bid amounts- it'll prioritize ads that pay more to Google.
-It'll automatically insert ads as it sees fit- if it can't find relevance, you don't get charged; if it finds people with interests similar to your ad, it will get inserted.

This falls into a huge debate under the "don't be evil" motto. On one hand, Google is trying to make advertising $ better spent and make ads that the viewer will actually like. On the other hand, it opens a whole can of worms on privacy. One big one I see is shared computers. Having more than one user can really mess with the profile building it is trying to do...

Personally, I see any implementation of this as a massive intrusion on my privacy- if YouTube implemented this, I'd stop going there. But Slashdotters aren't representative of the internet population as a whole; will people really mind targeted ads? Most people don't see adwords as an invasion of privacy, but this approaches a whole new level...

Re:Interesting patent (1)

mattinasi (649284) | more than 6 years ago | (#22762348)

There seems to be an assumption that this patent indicates that ads will disrupt video watching. That is probably not going to happen - people would hate it and stop watching. The ads will be alongside the video, much like the positioning of ads on web pages.

Stopping the video for a message from the sponsor would be stupid - I think we call that 'T.V'. The only reason people put up with that on television is because that is how it all started, we're used to it.

The patent looks like a great way to make money off of the huge investment in video archiving and serving (ala YouTube). Shit cannot be free forever, those servers cost money ;-)

Another badly issued patent (3, Interesting)

Whuffo (1043790) | more than 6 years ago | (#22761474)

Prior art on this goes back a long way. I helped develop studio end hardware for the "UPI Newstime" system back in the mid '70s - the commercial breaks in cable programming were marked by a touch-tone sequence and the local broadcaster inserted advertising at that point automatically.

That technology is still in use; ever hear a burst of fast touch-tone at a program break? That's this system at work. Other than that "using a computer" BS, what they're claiming is exactly what we were doing 30 years ago.

For what it's worth, reliably detecting and decoding those touch-tone burst sequences using the technology available then was more than a little challenging. The Signetics 567 was brand new and looked so promising - but turned out to be a time sink. Never could get those little PLL chips to lock up fast enough and reliably enough. The real solution was a big mess of discrete analog stuff; those were the days...

Re:Another badly issued patent (1)

DustyShadow (691635) | more than 6 years ago | (#22761950)

Can't even take the 10 seconds to read the summary? It's a patent APPLICATION. It has NOT issued yet.

Re:Another badly issued patent (1)

CaptainPatent (1087643) | more than 6 years ago | (#22762808)

Another badly issued patent
Zaa???
 
You are correct that prior art goes back a long way, however, this is a patent application, not a patent.

I highly doubt that Google will gain patent protection with the application as is and I agree that if this were to issue as a patent in current form it would be a mistake. I do think this is a good demonstration of the abuses attorneys put the patent system through though as most applications are exactly this general to begin with.

Re:Another badly issued patent (1)

sodul (833177) | more than 6 years ago | (#22763486)

Well your 'prior art' requires a human to decide where to "mark" the video. The patent here will have a computer find the best moment in the video to place that mark, without having a human watch the videos. Do you think there is a bunch of people hired to watch every single video, and apply filters/marks for YouTube?
I have not looked at the patent but it seems to be a novel technique to find the most effective time to place an ad. The thing that bothers me is that it might apply similar techniques as in the MythTV ad skipping algorithms.

Not a problem (1)

ZwJGR (1014973) | more than 6 years ago | (#22761476)

If the ads get more insidious, the ad-blockers will get better...
Within a few days (ish) of the introduction of such a "feature", the geek forums and technically-minded sites would be swarming with ways of blocking/limiting most of the ads or limiting the targetability.
Then an effective block will get be written into an ff extension and dumped on mozilla (or merged with adblock+ or some other adblocking ff extension) and the problem (for the tech-savvy) is gone (for a while).
Leaving Joe & Co. (the real user base), free to point their internet exploders elsewhere and/or complain about the shitty adverts being sprayed all over the videos people being imbeciles on camera...
Ultimately harming the less-savvy users and eventually the corporation.

Google would have to be either have to be stupid or very greedy (charging advertisers the earth) to implement such a thing.

Re:Not a problem (1)

encoderer (1060616) | more than 6 years ago | (#22763252)

You're probably right, it'll happen. But it won't be days or weeks after it launches.

There is enough desire to block these ads that the talent out there will develop solutions. But blocking these ads will be an order of magnitude more difficult than blocking EVERY OTHER KIND of ad.

In every case of existing ad-blocking, you're either blocking a piece of discrete content that matches a number of defined characteristics, or you're blocking a discrete event (like the creation of a pop-up) that matches a number of defined characteristics.

With this system, the ad-blocker is going to actually have to process a video stream.

And the blocker would mean a real trade-off for the user. Because these ads couldn't be blocked in real-time streaming. First because the JavaScript engine that powers FF extensions simply does not have the horsepower to do realtime video processing, but mostly because what would you do for those 15-30 seconds after it identifies an ad and blocks it.

The way to overcome that first hurdle, in my quick analysis, would be to reverse-engineer the Flash plugin itself, which would be complied C and it would at least give you the tools needed to do the job.

And the only way I see to overcome the second would be to:

1. Download the entire video
2. If it's long enough, buffer 2-3 minutes of video, but that risks not having content should there be more than a couple minutes of commercials
3. Simultaneously download multiple streams, each stream staggered by 30 seconds, and when an ad is encountered, swap which stream is displayed. When, say, stream A is swapped for stream B (which is A + 30 seconds), you can terminate A or FF it to be B + 30 seconds, which would be slightly more efficient.

In all cases, the user is going to be affected. The first would be highly intrusive to the desired user experience. The second would be a leaky abstraction -- it would fail often and it would leave users watching ads they're unable to skip.

The third option, the one with the most promise of sustaining the user experience, only does so if the user is on a FAST connection. If the user is on a slow connection (Slow being defined as broadband slower than 5 Mbp/s), you would completely degrade the user experience. Users often find themselves waiting to buffer a single stream, let alone 2 or 3.

Not to mention, the 3rd option would hurt the content providers the most. You'd be doubling and tripling the data transfer needed to watch any given clip. One could see the formation of an arms-race if that should happen: Content providers who have no choice but to up the ads in an attempt to keep it's head above water amidst rising bandwidth bills.

Bottom line is that this is not a trivial problem like identifying an iFrame loading from doubleClick and eliminating it, or detecting a window.open event that wasn't triggered by the user.

(Captcha: Remove. How apt)

boingboing tv does this (4, Interesting)

quiddity (106640) | more than 6 years ago | (#22761508)

See http://tv.boingboing.net/2008/03/12/goobees-animated-can.html [boingboing.net] which gets interrupted halfway through, completely ruining a short animation. idiots. what a hateful way to treat content.

Re:boingboing tv does this (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22762984)

Doesn't seem like THAT bad of a spot. I was even imagining in my head that yup, this would make a good commercial break. Not that I wanted one, but since you said there would be one, I knew it would happen sooner or later... and really, of all the spots near the middle, that was the best. What's the complaint again? That we shouldn't fund online TV shows like we do offline TV shows?

Ads in popular videos... (1)

Jesus_666 (702802) | more than 6 years ago | (#22763102)

Never gonna give you up / never gonna let -- We interrupt this video with a short ad relevant to your interests. "Ooooh, naughty girls with backup tapes. Only on DatacenterOfLove.com!" -- you down~

The followers of Rick Astley probably won't be the only ones displeased.


Of course things would be more interesting if they extracted meaning from the videos (or at least tried doing that) and used that to determine which ads to show. I wonder who'd then advertise in the 2G1C response videos... Charmin?

The perfect video mashup (1)

seven of five (578993) | more than 6 years ago | (#22761518)

Teenage girls dancing to the latest rap crap with a mortgage company commercial in the middle. Perfect.

Internet money-making scheme (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22761668)

1. Post some comments online
2. ?^Z

This comment brought to you by The Slashdot Lameness filter,
filtering your lameness since stardate^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H 1997.

"It just tells me I'm lame, in a calm civilized manner that I can appreciate." - Jimmy in Denver

"It sweeps my lameness completely under the rug." - Mervin^H^H^H^H^H^H Magnus Ver Magnusson from Irvine

~??
3. Profit!

This Comment brought to you by... (1)

coren2000 (788204) | more than 6 years ago | (#22761704)

Nestle Quick. Yummy yummy chocolate milk.

Now, back to our regularly scheduled flamewar.

The nice way of having ads on online videos... (1)

Warod (1136593) | more than 6 years ago | (#22761710)

Didn't read the patent text but my idea about having ads on online video without disturbing the watchers would be something like this:

1. Short ad at the end of the video.
2. Ads by user input as in showing ad video or flash-style animations while user has paused the video.
3. Allowing video uploader to mark where they'd like to have ad content on their work.
4. If keeping the time limits on videos, adding possibility for uploader to make video sequences out of them and show the ads when moving from clip to another.

That's about it. Anything else and I'd get annoyed when watching the video or having ads on my production published through the service. So, now I just have to hope that Google really have "Do no evil" with them on this.

Prior Art? (1)

thepacketmaster (574632) | more than 6 years ago | (#22761754)

Other than the fact the commercials might be dynamic based on the user watching, the whole idea of "advertisement slots" within a video is exactly the same as the good old TV shows/commercials we already know and love. This doesn't seem worthy of a patent.

Re:Prior Art? (1)

Vexorian (959249) | more than 6 years ago | (#22761792)

Yes, also other than the part for which your post is different to a previous post it is exactly the same as a previous post.

Re:Prior Art? (1)

CaptainPatent (1087643) | more than 6 years ago | (#22762834)

Other than the fact the commercials might be dynamic based on the user watching, the whole idea of "advertisement slots" within a video is exactly the same as the good old TV shows/commercials we already know and love. This doesn't seem worthy of a patent.
Is that perhaps why it's a patent application and has not issued as a patent?!

remember radio? (1)

meburke (736645) | more than 6 years ago | (#22761788)

As annoying as some commercials are, it might be good to remember that radio might not have developed beyond a government service if someone hadn't figured out that selling advertising time during the broadcast could pay for the service.

I occasionally watch tv shows on fox.com/fod, and I find the short interruptions of a single add to be more acceptable than dozens of ads during regular broadcast shows. A GOOD show might attract a high-bidding advertiser.

No, I did not RTFA (1)

kramulous (977841) | more than 6 years ago | (#22761810)

But is this a good thing? If you patent this type of advertising, then google can sue the crap out of anybody that uses it? If google doesn't use it then nobody does. Yah! I'm gonna patent bills in December.

Google's commercial patent (1)

arrowrod (1256976) | more than 6 years ago | (#22761846)

I am an old retired programmer. If this stuff gets too egregious, I will come out of retirement and Tiv*(patent pending) the content. Might create an amusing programming war with Google. I wonder if they are too fat and happy to respond with vigor?

Yeah... uh... (1)

Sitnalta (1051230) | more than 6 years ago | (#22762000)

Adult Swim Fix already does this. Each TV show is broken up into different segments, and there is often a commercial in the middle iof those segments. I smell a patent lawsuit already.

The Patent (2, Informative)

BIGELLOW (970109) | more than 6 years ago | (#22762100)

Didn't anyone read the patent? The ad doesn't fill the entire screen space. The ad is a thin banner along the bottom of the screen. The video will continue to play uninterrupted. If the banner is in the way of anything, you can click a close button to make it go away. If you are interested in the ad, and click the banner, the video will be paused and you will see the full version of the ad. Once you stop interacting with the ad, you will be returned to the video which will continue to play where you left off. This isn't a whole lot different than those banner ads that already appear across the bottom of the screen on NBC or MTV, etc... except for the fact that you can make them go away, can close them, and are given a fair warning when one is going to appear.

Re:The Patent (1)

Tony Hoyle (11698) | more than 6 years ago | (#22762600)

Firstly there's hugee amounts of prior art for ads at the bottom of the screen. This is not new (it's also illegal in some countries due to the implicit mixing of advertising/content that it causes, but probably not in the US where most of googles content will be generated).

Secondly that a heck of a lot *more* annoying than full page ads, because to skip it you have to fast forward past parts of the programme you actually wanted to watch.

Oh please, enough with the ads! (2, Interesting)

mrboyd (1211932) | more than 6 years ago | (#22762366)

Enough with ads, they have the whole page to display ad, and an insert at the beginning "sponsored by..." should be enough without them having trying to rape the content.

I come from a country where TV station are limited by law to one ad break per movie/tv show and where they don't pollute the screen with overlays of next weeks programming. Tv stations still make plenty of money don't worry. The difference is that our talk show host don't need to tell you they'll be right back every 8 minutes. It might be that they don't earn enough to buy back South Africa like Oprah but probably more than the majority of us here.

I find US tv simply unwatchable and if it is anything like the futur of googletube you can be sure that I'll be amongst the first to install "video ad block" or whatever the name will be. The cost of hosting video produced by other's can't be anywhere near the cost of producing a decent TV show so I don't see why they would need such an ad stream revenue to be profitable.

Re:Oh please, enough with the ads! (1)

pretenda (1217974) | more than 6 years ago | (#22762838)

What country is this? I want to move there. Our subscription TV here in Australia is horribly riddled with ads, and we still pay for the service. On top of that, our shows are generally a season or two behind (This is slowly being fixed, I think the Internet is making them understand that they need to get the shows out earlier.) Our free to air TV is even worse ...

Re:Oh please, enough with the ads! (1)

SanityInAnarchy (655584) | more than 6 years ago | (#22762996)

I come from a country where TV station are limited by law to one ad break per movie/tv show and where they don't pollute the screen with overlays of next weeks programming.

I agree with the other poster -- where is this country?

I find US tv simply unwatchable and if it is anything like the futur of googletube you can be sure that I'll be amongst the first to install "video ad block" or whatever the name will be.

I agree. Over here we call it "DVRs" or "BitTorrent", or, occasionally, "Rentals" -- it's very likely that I'll be able to buy a very good HDTV set soon, but if the networks don't catch on, the only service I'd be willing to subscribe to is Netflix -- and even then, I'd have to be stripping ads out manually.

Perhaps the most offensive to me is the "you wouldn't steal a car" bullshit. Look, if I'd pirated it, your "you wouldn't steal" ad wouldn't be there! Ergo, if I'm watching it, that means I'm a legitimate customer, and you're insulting me by calling me a pirate -- which really, really makes me want to pirate it!

Oh, come on! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22762766)

ABC, NBC and CBS can show prior art on this going back to the 50's (at least). And then radio had even before that. And, man, talk about OBVIOUS!

Google IS evil.

so much for "...Do no Evil..." (1)

yidele (947452) | more than 6 years ago | (#22762916)

motto. Never was much on creeds. Newman!

five nines of slowness (1)

rice_burners_suck (243660) | more than 6 years ago | (#22763196)

I have a great idea, and I'm going to take this one over to the monkey man to integrate into his company's newest over-bloated operating system, codename Excalibur.

Excalibur will be based on the fact that computer users want to wait as much as possible for their computers to do things. This already happens in the company's current flagship product (well, it happens if you can find a machine that's actually compatible with it). You push a button and the hard drive grinds and grinds and grinds and grinds until the platter is covered with scratches, and then, maybe, sometimes, once in a while, if it's not a Tuesday, the computer carries out some function, which is infrequently the one you wanted it to carry out. Then you push another button or move the mouse, and the same thing happens. You spend five nines of your time (that is, 99.999% of your time) waiting, and the remainder of the time is spent using the computer.

Ok, we've described their current flagship product which everyone loves. Now let's talk about the upcoming version, Excalibur, which they'll release after I take my idea to the monkey man. Excalibur will take this idea of making the user "please wait" as much as possible and run with it, or rather, slow to an even slower crawl. When you move the mouse or push a button, the hard drive will grind and grind and grind and grind and grind and grind and grind until the platter is covered with scratches, and then the computer will freeze and begin downloading commercial videos. Once it's finished downloading the videos, it will download them a second time to compare the files bit per bit to make sure that this critically important data was not corrupted in transit. Then you'll have a commercial break with about 20 commercials. Once the commercials are finished, it will delete the commercial videos off your computer and then one of two things will happen. Either the computer will crash (this will be about a 49% chance) so that you can enjoy the process or rebooting it, which many people have expressed that they love to do, and a testament to this is the fact that the majority of the world's computer users have been buying this quality product, or the computer will carry out the action for which you pushed the button or moved the mouse. And then the process will start over again. Productivity will shoot through the roof, as will the fine OS maker's eternal perpetually increasing profits, to which it is entitled by law.

They're playing with fire... (1)

Dash Hash (955484) | more than 6 years ago | (#22763686)

...and the match is getting short.

One of the biggest draws for me to watch stuff online instead of on TV is the lack of interruptions in the middle of a program. Breaking off the main content right at a critical point will keep me watching, yes, but it will also make me rather perturbed. I don't take undesired content well when annoyed. If stuff like this starts happening, then not only will I not bother with the ads, I'll be moving to an entirely different video site.

Of course, I'll be rather SOL if big companies who put their content online (far too few) begin to put commercials in the middle, but there's always the option to just wait until the stuff comes out on DVD.

Put a (SHORT!) commercial at the beginning of a program, and I am fine with it (though if it starts going over 15 seconds, I'll start being somewhat annoyed), or put one at the end and I'll probably decide to give the advertiser a click, just to keep some revenue going for the site/video, but start breaking the video with commercials, interrupting the flow of the video and the flow of the thought process in the brain, and you're going to end up with upset customers.

I don't know how many people are like myself, moving to stuff online simply to avoid the 5-10 minutes of commercials per 30-minute programs, but if I start having to put up with that online, as well, you'll lose me completely.
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