July 18, 2007

Charming new idea...

John McBride, at Ars Technica:

...Microsoft has filed another patent, this one for an "advertising framework" that uses "context data" from your hard drive to show you advertisements and "apportion and credit advertising revenue" to ad suppliers in real time....

....The application, filed in 2006, describes a multi-faceted, robust ad-delivering system that lives on a "user computer, whether it's part of the OS, an application or integrated within applications."

"Applications, tools, or utilities may use an application program interface to report context data tags such as key words or other information that may be used to target advertisements," says the filing. "The advertising framework may host several components for receiving and processing the context data, refining the data, requesting advertisements from an advertising supplier, for receiving and forwarding advertisements to a display client for presentation, and for providing data back to the advertising supplier."

....It would inspect "user document files, user e-mail files, user music files, downloaded podcasts, computer settings, computer status messages (e.g., a low memory status or low printer ink)....

....The patent makes no mention of any method by which an actual user might exert control, nor does it mention very real privacy or security concerns....

Such an exciting future we have ahead of us. Any day now our computers will just buy stuff for us (printer ink! drugs that enhance!) and then every day will be a wonderland of surprises. But alas, not for me. I'm just too parochial and stick-in-the-mud. A cyber-Mennonite. Maybe I should purchase one of those "Windows" machines, and get a life!

Posted by John Weidner at July 18, 2007 6:08 AM
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