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back to article Apple seeks OS-jacking advert patent

Apple has filed a patent application for an intrusive ad-presentation system that requires users to acknowledge adverts before getting on with their work. The recent patent filing carries the unusually straightforward title "Advertisement in Operating System." The described system would be buried deep in a device's OS - so deep …

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Grenade

I know...

this will probably never implemented, unless someone else tries it and then apple can licence the "tech" - and take their cut of the ad revenue - but I'd love to see the fanbois try to defend this action.

Pineapple? Well sometimes Cupertino deserve several.

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Advertising

I suspect we are going to see a bunch of apps that are free with advertising until you buy it.

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Boffin

At last! A reason to use rootkits!

To suppress such nasty OS behavior.

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Silver badge

Time to Change

"...and you'd not be able to complete your job until you, as suggested in the filing, performed one of many possible actions."

One of the many possible ones being to ditch the device/OS and pick one that doesn't have the embedded forced advertising.

Or start a campaign to get people to boycott anything that they see advertised on the device.

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Unhappy

Please lord, grant me the strength...

The only thing that keeps me from driving out to 1 Infinite Loop and introducing a large wrench (that's a "spanner" to you Brits) to the heads of several of Apple's employees is the idea that this patent exists *solely to prevent anyone else* from ever doing the horrible, horrible things described within.

Oh Lord, *please* let my optimism be rewarded!

Bonus Horrible Thought: Using the built-in iSight camera and microphone, the computer would be able to visually or auditorily verify that you actually took the time to read the entire ad before clicking on the dismiss button.

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Grenade

Shoot if you must this old gray head...

but spare my Apple systems! I swear that if they so much as start the implementation of this crapola, I will ditch my beloved Mac and iPhone and use nothing but Linux!

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Gates Halo

I like the idea of ads popping up during coding

IF Big Big Savings on Cheap Flights!!!!

GOTO Majorca

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Flame

Value addled content

Steve's wallet getting thin?

Oh, and think about a server, blocked because a) there's noone at the console to acknowledge the ad, and b) firewall rules block it from sending the ack (had it been given) out to whoever wants to have it acknowledged.

Fuckers.

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Great!

I'm so f-ing happy Apple got this patent! Since I don't own anything made by them that means I will not be interrupted this way by the stuff I do own. For once I find myself cheering for Apple. Hopefully they keep this crap all to themselves.

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Jobs Horns

Very evil

First of all, they are patenting a general (and evil) idea, sounds like from the article -- I will never be arsed to look up a patent application to check. Is that allowed? I thought it wasn't.

Anyway, it's not as if Apple distributes their stuff for free and then makes money off of ads, as per Google, for example.

Down with Apple if this is ever implemented in their products.

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Jobs Horns

Tablet for media uses and advertising?

Did they say they were going to revolutionise print media with their tablet by providing magazines and so on with a content delivery system? All those newspapers losing money because people can read information online for free will be interested in a tablet that allows them to plug unblockable advertisements.

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Headmaster

Depending on it's use this is good and bad.

Bad:

Users and workers who have paid the Apple tax for their devices get ads shoved in their faces at regular intervals. If this is the case, then the future will be belong to Microsoft, Google (Either one of these may licence the forced-ad patent) or Linux (unlikely, users looking to migrate away from an OS which disables itself while an ad displays will go in this direction).

Good 1:

Apple start providing a budget line of Macs with the Adware integrated in to the OS in order to get more people interested in the platform. (Psystar not so legal -> legal (and therefore fully supported officially) converts?)

Good 2:

This stops Microsoft or Google (Chrome OS) slapping their users with Ads and is designed purely to prevent developers and corporations going in this direction.

It's all about how the patent is meant. Steve Jobs is probably having a heart attack right about now because this patent might just be freaking people out and scaring them away from Apple.

I'm no fan of the Mac platform, however I consider it like hard drugs. Everyone is curious but very few actually try it. It's outside my budget and I would like one just to have a play with rather than for serious work.

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FAIL

Fail

Nothing else to add, just big FAIL written all over it. Idiots!

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Alert

Chrome OS, Kiosks, etc. Already Infringers

Wow. Talk about a broad-based patent.

Just about any OS that can be rigged to boot directly into a browser that has all of its pop-up blocking, script protection, and other privacy settings disabled can be labeled as "infringing."

A Windows-based kiosk with IE set as the default shell, Google Chrome OS w/ pop-up blocking turned off, a Linux and Firefox/Iceweasel-based thin client, and a GPS unit with ad-supported real-time traffic updates would all qualify under the patent as written.

Not that I hope the patent finds actual use, of course...

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Jobs Horns

Damage?

How many shiny iThings will be thrown at a wall when people get pissed off with such embedded ad shit. I'd certainly throw mine. The f*ckers.

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Do this and it's goodbye Mac OS X

I utterly detest advertisements.

I don't watch television ever (I don't even own one) in large part because of advertisements. I only ever use a web browser with adblock. I quickly skip over advertisements in newspapers.

If Apple started pushing out advertisements in the manner described ever under any circumstances I would kiss Apple goodbye forever. I love Mac OS X, but I hate advertisements more.

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Flame

They'll never do it.

They'll never do it - it's stupid. How to piss off your users in 1 second flat. Actually who am I kidding, sounds just like Apple...

/flamebait

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Linux

And next in line

Is the patent stopping you from blocking said adverts and other crap that Microsoft & Apple (amongst others) decide to use to interrupt your use of the device be it phone or Computer.

When this becomes prevalent people will get mightily fed up with it and move to systems that don't mess with their user experience. Perhaps then it will be the year of the Linux Desktop.

On the otherhand if this patent is a blocking one then I applaud their action but the cynic in me says that it is a futile hope.

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Coat

Oh, this should be good...

I suspect it's for an iPhone or an iTablet; running some kind of cut-rate service. They wouldn't be silly enough to do this on a desktop.

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Silver badge

Modal popups on the server

You've gotta love 'em.

Yep, I've seen server-side code from junior devs that contains modal popups on the server. Back in the fun days where that meant a walk into the server-farm, with all the signing in and out, forms and justifications etc that it meant. Just think, now you could do the same to dismiss an advert ;-)

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Great...

Just what the world really needs, more advertising! I mean seriously, don't these people understand that the more they try and force this down our throat, the more likely they'll be a backlash.

If advertisers are worried about the decline of their field then they damn well need to realise that people don't *care* any more. It's already so pervasive on the internet that people really do switch off from them, otherwise how else can you explain the popularity of things like "No-Ad's" or similiar plug ins...

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FAIL

JOBS

what a wanker!

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WTF?

paving the way for much more

So, I am busy doing my work when all of a sudden i am hijacked by an advert from Apple telling me to do one of many things, but will one of them be to close the advert? also what is preventing potential hackers and hijackers from recreating these ads and invariably asking me to click close which then initiates something that enters my computer and gives them the control of it, or possible access or even destroying my computer? Surely this is a breach of my own rights to ignore adverts? when i am watching a program on TV i have the right and the means to mute the adverts or change the channel, so why must i be forced to acknowledge the adverts existence. Will Apple soon be forcing me to believe in one of the many religions out there or i will NEVER be allowed to use the internet again???

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FAIL

"Resent"?

Yes, I do deeply.

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work?

"...requires users to acknowledge adverts before getting on with their work." You're implying that Apple users are actually doing work on their "device" in between the adverts?

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Jobs Horns

Oh, FOAD, Steve!!!!!

I've been using Macs for 25 years now.

This would spell, "SAYONARA."

Fail, fail, fail, fail FAIL!!!!!!!!!!!1!1!!!

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Abandon ship!

Wow. I believe that I've finally laid eyes on something that would actually convince ordinary users to switch to linux. Behold the Holy Grail!

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FAIL

Or.............

"....and you couldn't get back to work until you somehow acknowledged the ad by, for example, clicking as directed."

Or by depositing $1,000 in the bank account of St Steve?

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Headmaster

@Steve Davies 3

It could be a very clever ploy. Apple cross-licenses this to MS and ChocFac. They all turn it on, and people all over the world get Mightily Pissed. Downloads for Linux distros and the *BSDs go through the roof. Web stats show browser usage for IE, Chrome and Safari dropping to low-single-digit percentages. Then Steve Jobs rips off his mask and reveals himself to be a robot, remotely controlled by Richard Stallman.

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Win for Linux

If my OS generates an ad - i will delete the OS and move to a non ad based OS, which would probably be Linux of some form at that point.

I love my MacBook, but damned if I'm going to chased around the screen by ads.

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Go

Does The Phrase ....

... "Preemptive Strike" have meaning for you?

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Unhappy

Double edged sword?

Hmm ... part of me is hoping that this is being done purely to prevent others from patenting the tech/idea, thereby presenting ad-free operating systems for the rest of my natural life at least.

However, part of me is really quaking in fear at the abuse that a patent such as this allows the OS manufacturer to get away with.

Let's be quite clear ... any (and I mean any) OS that starts to push asvertising in my direction as part of the OS will in no short order become an OS that I will never - repeat - never consider using in any of its myriad guises at any point from there onwards. The day I run out of ad-free operating systems is the day that I finally become a true Luddite and renounce anything electronic at all.

If it's free - then fine, support it by advertising. If it is paid for then fu*k off ... I've paid for the privilege of having a fully paid up, ad free copy of the OS/software in question. Anything else is purely taking the piss..

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Had to Happen

Whenever Apple is on the road to success, someone has a moronic idea which will blow it. Clutching defeat, as they say, from the jaws of victory.

Apple dominate the mobile music market, are on track to dominating the smart phone market, and people are starting to notice the Macintosh again. What could possibly go wrong? What if some idiot should make their OS awkward, inconvenient and just plain annoying? That should do it.

Linux, anyone?

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Terminator

Dear God ....

Personally, I think that people here are thinking small,

what about projecting life insurance advertisements to people on life support machines that disables the function of the machine until they agree ....

Dial 999 on your phone and have to agree to 10% off voucher at Starbucks before you can connect ...

Start a presentation in front of your latest client, with the boss present, and have to purchase Viagra before you can get to slide 3 ...

Would you like to download the latest Codec, before you can launch that nuke ... Actually that may be a good thing.

I have a feeling that the next upgrade to the Mac OS (White Weasel, or whatever it will be called) may be free if you agree to a lifetime subscription of Encylopedia Wikipedia, hardback version

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A chance for fame...

Right I'm just off to start a website where disgruntled users can record the identity of the vendors who advertise using these in "your face adverts". Next step boycott ....

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Grenade

let's think about this for a second...

Our time is worth money, be it at work (at an apple shop) or at home. I'd actually consider that IF and only if Apple equipment and ALL of it's software (first party or second party) were free. If not, keep that shit off my machine. Period.

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Jobs Horns

I hope this will only be used

for people who download apps and OS at low/no cost in return for having to watch advertising.

But I sure would like to see what would happen to Apple's business if they hard-coded this so that every time you saved or auto-saved a document you were working on it served up an add for Viagra or something :)

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Paris Hilton

It won't stand up in court

A friend of mine here in Melbourne (the capital of Victoria, Australia for the more ignorant of us) started up a company called "802!" which provided free open wifi in certain areas which was funded by a scheme like this. That must have been at least five years back, probably more. Sorry Jobs, you were beaten to the punch.

Paris because even she'd know enough to avoid a device with this sort of thing installed.

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FAIL

Not just Apple ...

MS are mulling a similar "business model" I hear.

But you see, this is how the economy of the West now works. No one actually *makes* anything (only China makes things) -- we just consume, spend, drink disgusting StarFucks coffee and buy grossly over-inflated property. THIS is only supportable by making us buy more and more shit we don't need and can't afford without credit anyhow. We must have adverts pumped up us 24/7.

I fear for the future of mankind.

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Bronze badge

Thanks...

...for making my laptop selection easier.

(strikes out any alternatives beginning "Apple")

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FAIL

Almost cool!

If only they could integrate it with an iAnalProbe that delivers high-voltage shocks if you dismiss the ads!

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Thumb Up

Fantastic!

Yes, please do patent it. Then whichever operating system uses this patent I'll avoid like the plague.

More adverts? Please, leave me a little screen space for what *I* want *my* computer to do.

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Troll

how is this any different...

than the nag screen of so many shareware (or similar) apps? (winzip springs to mind)

or the please donate screen of vuze/azureus?

or those annoying flash ads that cover what your trying to read? until you click to close.

(thankfully disappeared since the installation of noscript circa firefox 2- are those ads still about?)

the list of prior art goes on...

i suppose its making the whole device useless instead of just the 1 program that makes this "innovative"... and i thought there was already a word for programs that prevent the user from using his/her device...

<insert troll answer - anything by ms, itunes, linux, bong! Times up, the answer i was looking for was in fact MALWARE (i would also have accepted virus/i)>

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Linux

Yet more proof

that Jobs is more evil than Ballmer. Bring it on!

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FAIL

Missed trick

What Apple haven't thought of is that with this Microsoft and Google can just spend a little advertising money and directly cause Apple's products to be just that little bit worse for the end user.

They wouldn't even have to advertise themselves; all it would take is make up enough false products/companies per day to fool Apple's ad censor and get them served up, et voila; a whole bunch of pissed off Apple users. Advertiser's dream of that kind of thing!

I can just imagine it; MS putting out false adverts like "Are your ducts tired and grey? Try Central Services' new line of ducts in three different colours."

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Big Brother

Sounds like Apple will be the ad-Police.

In iTunes, there's a watermark ad in the Visualizer; it fades in and out on occasion. So if any outfit outside of Apple does this (MS, SAP, etc.) without Apple's permission and Apple hears about it, it's cease-and-desist or go to court time. Or if an outfit wants to do this, Apple automatically gets a cut each time the ad is clicked - ka-ching! -because it's their patent. MS could stick one in if it's a boot-leg copy of their OS forcing you to pay-up or continue being interrupted -ka-ching!

(AutoCAD would love this.) Nobody wants to pay that kind of tax going to a third party - Apple.

The return of 'clippy':

It looks like you're using an improperly licensed copy of <insert>. What would you like to do?

1. Register.

2. Buy a license.

2. Continue using this improperly licensed copy of <insert>.

. . . Ka-ching!

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Jobs Halo

Not going to happen.

There is no way that Apple are that stupid and in all honesty, 99% of the above posts are nothing more than pure conjecture based on the worst case scenario.

It will either be a feature to counter the "content must be paid for" complaint of the media on the forthcoming tablet, or it'll be much cheaper Macs to counter the "only for the elite" complaint of the not-so-well-off..

It would be commercial suicide to inflict compulsory adverts on the existing customer base.

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Joke

Meh

Windows has had this for years... They just call it a BSOD

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Anonymous Coward

Knee-jerk commenters (part 2)

At least Apple fans are just as impulsively daft as Microsoft fans when it comes to reading something into a patent, wildly extrapolating all kinds of horrible scenarios, then berating said vendor for their non-existent crime. El Reg could save a bit of time here by simply copying the comments from the "Microsoft sold my desktop" article and pasting them here and doing a find/replace.

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WTF?

Prior art by MS

Haven't MS already implemented such a feature? Theirs pops up adverts for MS itself, but otherwise is pretty similar. I think it's called UAC or something like that.

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