Monday, January 16, 2012

Want To Avoid Minorities? There's An App For That

Want To Avoid Minorities? There's An App For That

So you're some white kid who just moved into the city and now you're afraid to leave your house because of all those scary minorities. Well, don't worry about that. There's an app to help you avoid all of them.
With the grant of their US Patent #8090532 Microsoft may be attempting to corner the market on GPS systems for use by pedestrians, or they may have opened a fertile ground for discrimination lawsuits. We won't really know until actual devices incorporating the designs in this patent begin to appear.

Described as a patent on pedestrian route production, the patent describes a two-way system of building navigation devices targeted at people who are not in vehicles, but still require the use of such a device to most efficiently route to their destination. Microsoft feels that this patent addresses an unmet need for assisted navigation on foot.

Loosely the patent breaks down into three categories; gathering data, analyzing data and user requirements, and route generation. For example, the user inputs their destination and any constraints or requirements they might have, such as a wheelchair accessible route, types of terrain they are willing to cross, the option of public transportation, and a way point such as the nearest Starbucks on the route.

Any previously configured preferences are also considered, such as avoiding neighborhoods that exceed a certain threshold of violent crime statistics (hence the description of this as the "avoid bad neighborhoods" patent)
, fastest route, most scenic, etc. The system then analyzes potential routes, considers constraints, compares data sources, and delivers the appropriate instructions in the form selected by the user, such as a scrolling map, turn-by-turn direction, or spoken guidance.
I have to wonder, who the fuck is this shit useful to? People who just moved to Manhattan and are dumb as fuck and terrified of black people? I can't see a whole lot of people using an "on foot GPS" and I hope Microsoft gets bankrupted with this new venture of Patent squatting.

Because really, I can't really see much of any use for this other than basically doing some lawsuit-ing against Google or Apple with their phone mapping and navigating apps. But when you think about it, this App doesn't do shit for avoiding free roaming minorities.
Trapped in Starbucks, send backup
-Sent from my Windows Phone.
In reality, Patent law need to be fucking hamstrung for all the evils that they are. For example, Microsoft also has a patent on double-clicking a touch screen with a stylus. Which is why you don't see many stylus out there in the market these days. Oh, don't believe me? The onion has it right.

I should probably patent "A method whereby surplus value is extracted from laborers by means of an exchange of labor time for a wage" and refuse to give out licenses to people. Cause, you know, that's how I roll.

Or maybe, just maybe this would be good with people in Brooklyn and no one else. People who just moved to Brooklyn are the perfect target for this. They're the only bad neighborhoods in Manhattan are in places where white people would never live or go anyway.

I can see it now. "Okay guys, only ten more minutes until my friends band goes on at the silent barn, the L-train is on shuttle service from Morgan ave. So I think we'll have to huff it a bit. I've got this sweet new app that will make sure we find the safest way.

*app shows a sea of red around the mckibbin lofts*

Though this can lead to the most common situation for this:
Twenty yards... fifteen... ten
What?! that's inside the fucking coffee shop
*all eyes slowly turn upwards to look at vent system*

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