Monday, June 30, 2008

"Manners," Microsoft style

Microsoft has filed a patent on something euphemistically called "digital manners," which will restrict the behavior of mobile devices in areas where it's being deployed. No more annoying cell phone calls in the middle of a movie! No more worries about some creep with a camera phone at the gym locker room! What could possibly go wrong?

Of course, it also means your cell phone will politely refuse to take a picture at a concert. Or during a police raid. Or your iPod will politely refuse to transfer music to or from any computer other than yours.

But we're not supposed to notice that. Does anyone really think end users will be able to set "manners" policies? Or that it won't be implemented for the convenience of the media companies?

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