Paul4 got it in one
Rep @ Paul 4 for correctly noting that it is not up to the USPTO to 'judge' the subject or merit of patent applications, only the novelty and obviousness (and industrial applicability) of what they disclose.
Epic Fail (as usual) at the rest of the USPTO/patent system-bashers, who would do well to read up about it some more, rather than regurgitating the same old uninformed rants (yawn).
For that one by IBM, I'll raise you with 6,293,874 by Joe W. Armstrong (the likes of which cause far more of a 'volume' problem for the USPTO than the IBMs of this world). Or US2009195392 by Sony, if you prefer corporate targets.
I can dig up another 50,000+ like it if need be... But you'd do well to factor in that the USPTO (like any other Patent Office) must consider and prosecute each application on an equal basis (regardless of whether the tech is to kick your own arse or split the atom), lest they be accused of procedural violations and add that unnecessary headache to the pile of unexamined applications.
So, I'm awaiting news of ire directed at Mr Armstrong for wasting the USPTO's time (just as much as IBM, in fact I daresay more so) with baited breath :-p
Hey, it's Friday! 1st beer.