We all understand Apple to a large degree, even those of us who don’t bow at the alter of Jobs.
We understand the egalitarianism of the Apple ethos.
We get that normally intelligent people can become raving fanboys at the drop of a new Apple gadget.
We realize that Apple gave the world a different way to look at those beige boxes we used everyday.
We understand that Apple has forever changed the way we perceive our mobile devices and how they are suppose to look and behave.
The problem is that none of this is inherent evil or anti-consumer. If anything it is ultra-consumer albeit in the vision of Jobs but even at that Apple has given us an alternative way to interact with our electronic devices.
Then we come to the iPhone App Store and the first inkling of evil or anti-consumer behavior. Nominally questionable apps, whether by design or intent, are being approved others that seem to run counter to some line of acceptance get tossed. There doesn’t seem to be any rhyme or reason but even with all the bitching we chalk it up to Apple being .. well .. Apple.
So it is with all this understanding and high hopes that Apple will still keep its ethos, its ability to turn sensible people into kool-aid sippers and think twice about ever using the most insidious idea for advertising delivery ever wrought on mankind, and yes even those lost Windows user’s souls.
I am, of course, speaking of a patent filed last year with Steve Jobs listed as one of the co-inventors (this has only happened four times in the history of the company) and made public last month.
Filing a patent application, of course, doesn’t necessarily mean that the company plans to use the technology. But the application shows, at the least, that Apple has invested in research to develop what it calls an “enforcement routine” that makes people watch ads they may not want to watch.
Its distinctive feature is a design that doesn’t simply invite a user to pay attention to an ad — it also compels attention. The technology can freeze the device until the user clicks a button or answers a test question to demonstrate that he or she has dutifully noticed the commercial message. Because this technology would be embedded in the innermost core of the device, the ads could appear on the screen at any time, no matter what one is doing.
The system also has a version for music players, inserting commercials that come with an audible prompt to press a particular button to verify the listener’s attentiveness.
Source:The New York Times
As anal retentive as Apple maybe this is not the sort of things your loyal loving devotees expect from their pie-in-the-sky company, and yes even us lost souls of the Windows world would expect better of you.
So please Apple, for all that is holy please re-consider ever using this patent. Lock it away within the bowels of Cupertino never to see light of day. It would be curse upon all mankind that could never be taken away if used.
Please Apple think of mankind like you never have before.