Sunday, September 14, 2008

Re: A Thousand Tomorrows - Device Manners Policy

A Thousand Tomorrows write:

"Microsoft moves to patent technological means to enhance or enforce good manners on people with respect to their ways of using technological devices."

From the actual patent:

"The present invention includes methods and technologies for defining and administering device manners policy ("DMP"), propagating DMP, reception and recognition of, and compliance with DMP. Such policy may be used to communicate to various mobile and other devices the "manners" with which compliance is expected or required. Similar to some of the social manners honored among people, such as with "no smoking" or "employees only" zones, "no swimming" or "no flash photography" areas, and scenarios for "please wash your hands" or "no talking out loud", devices may recognize and comply with analogous "device manners" policy. "

Patenting corrective behaviour? What does that mean? Does the beeping noise when you don't fasten your seatbelt belong to Microsoft? I'm less concerned by judgemental technology then the patent issue. How do you define enforcing and enhancing behaviour? Does Bill Gates have to own everything?