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Apple patents enforced ad-interaction into OS

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November 23, 2009

Those irked by pop-up ads will not be placated if a recent patent filed by Apple ever sees...

Those irked by pop-up ads will not be placated if a recent patent filed by Apple ever sees the light of day

Anyone who has spent even a modicum of their time browsing the Internet over the last few years will be aware of how annoying pop-up and embedded ads can be, especially if they involve audio and video and particularly if it’s more difficult than it should be to find the ‘close’ button. Thankfully it doesn’t usually take too long to remove the offending source from our screens, but those who are particularly irked by this form of interruption will not be placated by a recent patent filed by Apple.

According to reports, the tech giant is seeking approval for a system that will effectively "force" the consumer to view an advert that may appear on any product that has a display. The real crunch here is that you’ll be quizzed on the content of the advert, in some form or another, with a wrong answer resulting in the device being "frozen" until such time as you’re willing to actually pay attention.

It gets worse. Since any such system will be embedded into the core of the product, an advert may appear at any time. There’s also talk of a penalty scheme that judges your receptiveness to viewing the adverts by making subsequent tests more difficult if you fail to perform adequately first time around. Typical actions requested might, according to the patent, involve "causing presentation of a page from an advertiser associated with the advertisement; recording a user rating of the advertisement; again presenting the advertisement; sharing the advertisement with another user; initiating a transaction for user purchase of a product that eliminates the presentation of advertisements on the device."

The only real upside to this intrusive new approach is that devices are likely to be offered with substantial discounts (or even free) to help outweigh this obvious inconvenience, though we can’t imagine that this will be enough to persuade the masses. It’s also been mentioned that those who find the process too annoying to live will could pay to have the ads removed, either temporarily or permanently.

Apple has been rather quiet about the patent thus far, though it does seem as though Steve Jobs was fully aware, being the first name on the list of provided inventors.

Of course it’s only a patent application and may never see the light of day, but we’d be very surprised if this sort of thing would ever be welcomed by consumers at a volume that would end up making the company money, never mind the damage it may do to its reputation.

Via NewYorkTImes

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18 Comments

Talk about a rotten apple....

Linux OS may just have a chance with odd-ball ideas like this...

matthew.rings
23rd November, 2009 @ 10:56 pm PST

Apple implements this and I'm outta there...it would likely drive me away from commercial systems altogether and into the arms of Linux.

ImpureScience
24th November, 2009 @ 04:04 am PST

Seems odd that computer terrorism could be patented . . .

steven127
24th November, 2009 @ 04:53 am PST

Unbelievable, but yet very believable. Corporate extortion at it's worst. Apple have long been associated with aggressive marketing where you will never get anything for nothing.

Apple would charge for the air that we breathe if they could get away with it.

But this is a new and rather insidious development and well within Apple's capabilities

Risso
24th November, 2009 @ 05:53 am PST

Wow! Can Apple possibly be that stupid? More to the point, can their partner advertisers possibly be that stupid?

Do advertisers REALLY want to "punish" viewers for not paying attention to forced ads? Is that REALLY the message they want to send?

I can see it now:

A) Millions of people are forced to watch a Kleenex ad, then punished if they don't get the answers correct about the ad.

B) Millions of people never buy Kleenex again.

C) Ten years from now, people no longer ask for a "Kleenex." They ask for a "Puffs." Kleenex no longer exists. They positioned themselves as the enemy via Apple's idiotic scheme and paid the price.

This is just an example and I'm not suggesting that Kleenex would ever subscribe to such a foolish endeavor, I'm simply showing the likely outcome if they did.

Dave Andrews
24th November, 2009 @ 06:20 am PST

The patent doesn't provide for protection of the display against a woman with a large hammer? She could ruin everything!

Paul Van Rompaye
24th November, 2009 @ 07:06 am PST

I'm not a Mac and that ain't very PC!

YukonJack
24th November, 2009 @ 07:16 am PST

I've been a Mac user from the 128k machine onward. This is the sickest concept I've ever heard. As it is, pop ups show up on my Mac despite the fact I've got pop ups supposedly denied in my preferences. Drives me batty. Could Steve really be so stupid?

TheRogue1000
24th November, 2009 @ 07:22 am PST

Could Steve be Out-Gatesing Bill? Very amusing. Realistically though, it's important to remember that corporations seek 'defensive' patents all the time, which are intended just to grab priority on an idea which they may not intend to market -but don't want anyone else to market either. Having said that, I'm certainly not one of those who thinks Apple is the 'kinder, gentler' corporation -they may well be prepared to pioneer yet another marketing "innovation"!

nautilus_mr
24th November, 2009 @ 03:05 pm PST

I've owned a Mac since they were released in 1984. I own and use three at the moment, and my phone is an iphone. I have been a mac evangelist for nearly three decades. If this pathetic idea gets patented and implemented, I will toss each and every one of them.

ducati_boy
24th November, 2009 @ 04:16 pm PST

If Apple does this they will NEVER have me as a customer. It would also give a reason for the media and graphic design industries to think long and hard about using Mac systems in the future, particularly with web designers who may need to do research online while working on projects.

Also, think about public schools that have been urged to use Macs because they are better suited for teaching students. I bet school districts would simply LOVE to have every Mac computer in their schools forcing students to answer and respond to ads or else they cannot use the computer. I am certain that would encourage repeat sales.

To be honest, if Apple wants to lose what market share they have, let them patent this technology. It will not only kill their market segment but make Windows look like a significantly better alternative.

I use Windows based technology because, while imperfect, at least I don't have to worry about Mac control freak garbage and higher costs for hardware and software. I don't care if supposedly Mac products have a higher value per dollar spent if the company is going to one up Microsoft in utterly idiotic ideas.

Freedom Glen
24th November, 2009 @ 06:47 pm PST

Hmmmm in terms of good customer relations, I used to wonder what the intention of porn sites who used to spew out 20 or 30 "pop-up" spammy adds onto your PC screen was.

I also used to wonder about people who spammed garbage via email......

I mean after one spammer got my email address and used to send me 2 or 3 emails a day, every day, about nutty women doing the nasty etc., and then my having to resort to very clever and indepth efforts to both stop the spam - which was "unstoppable"; and to then track back to the content owners that they were spamming for....

Well to put it bluntly, in the most passive of terms, I was only too happy to tell the site owners and their affiliate doing the spamming, that I was quite willing to personally demonstrate exactly what I mean by doing the nasty for them.

In respect to forced advertisments - given that for some unknown reason, a huge industry has sprung up in java script blockers, add blockers and other "sensible software" - given how this advertising is bad because not only do almost all people NOT want to see it; they will also have NO way of stopping it; I think in terms of the general theme of the Darwin Awards; I think some of these pushy advertising people and corporate types, really ought to slide under trucks and drown in their own blood.

Mr Stiffy
24th November, 2009 @ 08:12 pm PST

Somehow I've a feeling that Apple wants to secure this patent so no one else can use it. But being in control of it, they'd be super nice and not exert their new power. Something like a good dictator? Oxymoron maybe, possible nonetheless.

Muhammad Fawaz
27th November, 2009 @ 09:09 am PST

Apple = the new Micro$oft

splatman
27th November, 2009 @ 02:53 pm PST

Apple cannot be more stupid than that. It is terrorism. It is robbery, stealing at gunpoint of the most valuable resource you have: your lifetime - your attention.

Action asks for reaction. Of course I would dump/never ever bother with Apple. And I wonder what could happen to Steve after he makes people feel strong/nutty. Some of them will go for out lier measures. I do not want to post anything incendiary here. But sure you feel the vibes. There was a comment about trucks above.

Hope Steve reads and takes notice ...and acts like a benevolent dictator blocking the use of this weapon of mass destruction as some other reader suggested. Let's hope/pray for the good. Be good.

nehopsa
29th November, 2009 @ 11:52 am PST

There is the possibility that Apple got a patent on this technique to PREVENT anyone else from using it. Since they have the patent if someone else tries to do this they could demand horribly high royalties effectively pricing this technique out of use. Or at least I hope that's what they are thinking.

Ron Souliere
2nd December, 2009 @ 08:32 pm PST

Wow.

This is really weird reading all these comments. This scheme has already tried in the PC world. Five to 10 years ago they soldf PC's for $200.

It didn't have the punishing scheme but it was mostly the same.

As it was a rellay stupid scheme, it didn't have a log life.

Apple may try it but nobody will follow it. Somebody will crack the code.

Hired_help
6th December, 2009 @ 06:57 pm PST

Could Apple be applying for the patent to keep something like this off their systems?

just1jane
7th December, 2009 @ 12:53 am PST
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