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Microsoft Frowned at for Smiley Patent 369

theodp writes "ZDNet UK reports on criticism of Microsoft's attempt to patent the creation of custom emoticons. 'I would have expected to see something like this suggested by one of our more immature community members as a joke on Slashdot,' quipped Mark Taylor of the Open Source Consortium. 'We now appear to be living in a world where even the most laughable paranoid fantasies about commercially controlling simple social concepts are being outdone in the real world by well-funded armies of lawyers on behalf of some of the most powerful companies on the planet.'"
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Microsoft Frowned at for Smiley Patent

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  • We've all seen the shocking bombings in London recently caused by extremist muslims who, quite frankly have nothing better to do with thier time.

    But what about the 'normal' muslims, I hear you cry - how can they go about our lives in this post 7-7 world?

    Hi, I'm The_Fire_Horse [slashdot.org] and you might remember me from such posts as
    Cheese - what does it mean to the average Muslim, and
    Islam - what *is* the point? I mean... really!

    Today, we are going to discuss how the average bright eyed, yet naive mulsim can go about their lives following the devastating and shocking bomb attacks on London.

    Step 1 - Dont be ashamed
    You are a muslim - you have chosen your religeon freely because you parents told you to and despite nagging doubts in the back of your head that it is all a bit 'silly', you will continue to follow whatever interpretation of the koran anyone happens to talk about. Dont feel dumb - it isnt your fault - remember, that you have millions of others thinking just the same way, so you must be right!

    Step 2 - Pack up your camping gear
    You are going out to the country, so you will need lots of supplies! Get yourself a nice big backpack and fill it will pots, pans, food, clothes and spare copies of the koran because you will be out in the wilderness for several days.

    Step 3 - Heading for the train
    The train trip will take a while, so you will want to listen to some 'koran on tape' cassettes - put your walkman in your rucksack and feed the headphone wires out the top so you have access to the music.
    OK, IT'S TIME TO GO!!!
    With your headphones hanging out of your rucksack and your teatowel wrapped around your head, you can now proudly walk out the door of your hovel to the nearest train station to head off to your camping trip.

    Step 4 - Dealing with the Police
    If the police take an interest in you, simply screech "ALLAH BE PRAISED" and reach for your headphones so that you can let them hear the magical insight of the 'koran on tape'.
    Should the police then reach for their guns, you will need to quickly remove your student id from your inside jacket pocket and show it to them. Dont worry - everything will sort itself out (Allah will know what to do)

  • Uhoh (Score:5, Funny)

    by Drathus ( 152223 ) * on Saturday July 23, 2005 @09:17AM (#13143526)
    I can see it now:

    =( (r)

    * Disclaimer: "=(" is a registered Trademark of Microsoft Corporation of Redmond, WA. Used without permission.

    (Please don't sue)
  • by aendeuryu ( 844048 ) on Saturday July 23, 2005 @09:17AM (#13143527)
    'I would have expected to see something like this suggested by one of our more immature community members as a joke on Slashdot,'

    I don't know. These days it seems like the editors don't comment as much as they used to...

  • by Anonymous Writer ( 746272 ) on Saturday July 23, 2005 @09:17AM (#13143529)
    about this is :P
  • by v_1_r_u_5 ( 462399 ) on Saturday July 23, 2005 @09:19AM (#13143534)
    Well, they can kiss my ( | ).
  • by fudg3tunn3l ( 883722 ) on Saturday July 23, 2005 @09:20AM (#13143538)
    Owned! oh well i hate smileys anyway, damn nuisance things.... Bill Gates can eat my =========8
  • by rylin ( 688457 ) on Saturday July 23, 2005 @09:21AM (#13143548)
    .,|,, -_- ,,|,.

    Lameness filter encountered. Post aborted!
    Reason: Your comment looks too much like ascii art.
  • by mediumcool ( 869201 ) on Saturday July 23, 2005 @09:22AM (#13143551)
    !-( Black eye !-) Proud of black eye #-) Wiped out, partied all night #:-o Shocked $-) Won the lottery, or money on the brain %(|:-) Propeller-head %*} Inebriated %+{ Got beat up %-( Confused %-) Dazed or silly %-6 Brain-dead %-\ Hung over %-{ Ironic %-| Worked all night %-} Humorous or ironic %\ Hangover >>:-- Female >-> Winking devil >--) Devilish wink >:) Little devil >:-> Very mischievous devil >:-:-:-( Annoyed >:-) Mischievous devil >=^ P Yuck Devilish expression Devilish expression .. ) alienated (( )):** Hugs and kisses ((())) Lots of hugging (initials or a name can be put in the middle of the one being hugged) () Hugging (-: Left-handed smile, or smiley from the southern hemisphere (:& Angry (:- Unsmiley (:-& Angry (:-( Unsmiley (:-) Smiley variation (:-* Kiss (:-\ Very sad (::()::) Bandaid, meaning comfort (:| Egghead * Kiss *--->--- A dozen roses 2B|^2B To be or not to be 5:-) Elvis 7:) Ronald Reagan 7:^) Ronald Reagan 8 Infinity 8 :-) Wizard 8) Wide-eyed, or wearing glasses 8-# Death 8-) Wide-eyed, or wearing glasses 8-o Shocked 8-O Astonished 8-P Yuck! 8-[ Frayed nerves; overwrought 8-] Wow! 8-| Wide-eyed surprise : ( Sad : ) Smile : [ Bored, sad : | Bored, sad :( ) Loudmouth, talks all the time; or shouting :* Kiss :*) Clowning :**: Returning kiss :+( Got punched in the nose :,( Crying :- Male :-# My lips are sealed; or someone wearing braces :-& Tongue-tied :-> Smile of happiness or sarcasm :-> Puckered up to kiss :- Very sad :-( Frown :-) Classic smiley :-* Kiss :-, Smirk :-/ Wry face :-6 Exhausted :-9 Licking lips :-? Licking lips, or tongue in cheek :-@ Screaming :-C Astonished :-c Very unhappy :-D Laughing :-d~ Heavy smoker :-e Disappointed :-f Sticking out tongue :-I Pondering, or impartial :-i Wry smile or half-smile :-J Tongue in cheek :-j One-sided smile :-k Puzzlement :-l One-sided smile :-M Speak no evil :-O Open-mouthed, surprised :-o Surprised look, or yawn
  • by rylin ( 688457 ) on Saturday July 23, 2005 @09:29AM (#13143580)
    I dunno.. I always think of the 8 as being boobs.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 23, 2005 @09:30AM (#13143585)
  • by tsa ( 15680 ) on Saturday July 23, 2005 @09:30AM (#13143588) Homepage
    Lawyers live in an alien world. They make a great fuss about many things `normal' people (as far as they exist) will never even think about, let alone worry about, and they get paid enormous amounts of money for it too. They must be even more `out of this world' than your regular scientist.
  • See? (Score:4, Funny)

    by Rick Zeman ( 15628 ) on Saturday July 23, 2005 @09:45AM (#13143645)
    Microsoft DOES innovate! No one thought of patenting smilies before them!
  • You forgot one: XP

    Or did Microsoft beat you to it?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 23, 2005 @09:53AM (#13143676)
    I do believe emoticons are for those who lack the skills to express themselves with words and the intelligence to understand what others have written.

    And I do believe you're one the kind who like to talk too much.
  • by slashflood ( 697891 ) <flow AT howflow DOT com> on Saturday July 23, 2005 @10:05AM (#13143722) Homepage Journal


    Look, I can lick my nose!
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 23, 2005 @10:14AM (#13143759)
    Dear Sir

    We believe you may have been enaging in the illegal use of the following copyrighted emotions, which are the property of GlobalTech MegaCorp Holdings, LLC:

    Happiness, Suprise, Bewilderment, Outrage, Despair, & Suicidal Depression.

    Please cease and desist all current feelings of the above copyrighted emotions.

    Please be advised that this letter is not and is not intended to be a complete statement of the facts or law as they may pertain to this matter or of MegaCorp's positions, rights or remedies, legal or equitable, all of which are specifically reserved.

    Very truly yours,

    Copyrighted Emotions Department
    Internet Anti-Piracy Team
  • by PhrostyMcByte ( 589271 ) <phrosty@gmail.com> on Saturday July 23, 2005 @10:24AM (#13143800) Homepage
    I, for one, welcome our new smiley [microsoft.com] overlords. (prior art?)
  • by Maluvia ( 901915 ) on Saturday July 23, 2005 @10:33AM (#13143828)
    In it, the Almighty spoke to me and said:

    "This is God, and I have already patented every thought you have ever thought, or ever will think
    - and I've got one hell of a lawyer!"
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 23, 2005 @10:54AM (#13143912)

    I saw where Microsoft has patented their new emoticon for their Linux strategy.

    /\/\ /\


  • by kahanamoku ( 470295 ) on Saturday July 23, 2005 @10:55AM (#13143918)
    if they patent those, people will be (_O_) for being such a (_._) not paying for it use!
  • by Urchlay ( 518024 ) on Saturday July 23, 2005 @11:31AM (#13144059)
    Big guy got all the chicks because he could provide and defend them. Little guy invented "the Almighty" (and the idea of priests) so he could instill fear in the big guy and be able to get some chicks, too.

    Big guy retaliates by enforcing celibacy on little guys who become priests, so they can't get any chicks?

  • Re:Uhoh (Score:3, Funny)

    by fr0dicus ( 641320 ) on Saturday July 23, 2005 @01:57PM (#13144786) Journal
    I think he's kissing someone whilst wearing opera glasses.
  • Re:Uhoh (Score:1, Funny)

    by Seumas ( 6865 ) * on Saturday July 23, 2005 @03:20PM (#13145195)
    In Korea, only old people patent smileys.
  • by RedLaggedTeut ( 216304 ) on Saturday July 23, 2005 @04:10PM (#13145443) Homepage Journal

    Microsoft Frowned at for Smiley Patent

    Now you frown, till we patent that
  • by Master of Transhuman ( 597628 ) on Saturday July 23, 2005 @07:27PM (#13146445) Homepage
    "suggested by one of our more immature community members as a joke on Slashdot"

    Bill Gates is running Microsoft.

    Has he ever read a biography of Gates?

    "Immature" doesn't describe him adequately.

    "Asshole" does pretty well, though.
  • by Alsee ( 515537 ) on Sunday July 24, 2005 @12:55AM (#13147721) Homepage
    No no.... you didn't properly violate the patent. You need:
    A method, comprising: selecting pixels to be used as an emoticon; assigning a character sequence to the pixels; and transmitting the character sequence to a destination to allow for reconstruction of the pixels at the destination.

    Note that if you happen to use a 19x19 group of pixels it not only violates the primary patent but claims 2 and 3 as well (and maybe others). I will select a 19x19 emoticon and a 2 character sequence and I will transmit it to you through this post such that it can be recontructed at the destination:

    M$ [andrejgontcharov.com]


...there can be no public or private virtue unless the foundation of action is the practice of truth. - George Jacob Holyoake