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Google's Comical New Social Networking Patent

Soulskill posted about 9 months ago | from the i-see-what-you-did-there dept.

Google 45

theodp writes "GeekWire reports on Google's just-granted patent on creating and sharing social network status updates in the form of comic strips, a la Bitstrips. Google also envisions an educational role for its new invention, which the search giant has dubbed the Self-Creation of Comic Strips in Social Networks and Other Communications. Google explains, 'Aside from humor, such comic strips are also usable for education, for instance in summarizing a real-time conversation between two political leaders as it is happening. By posting such a comic strip on a social network facility such as a social network blog or tweet, others may more readily follow the flow of the conversation than if it had been summarized in plain text.'"

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My posts on slashdot never go through (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45836291)

Fuck patents but this is actually pretty interesting

Re:My posts on slashdot never go through (1)

q.kontinuum (676242) | about 9 months ago | (#45836393)

Might be interesting, if it wasn't patented already...

Ancient commenter Solomon (1)

smitty_one_each (243267) | about 8 months ago | (#45836805)

The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun. Eccl 1:9 [blueletterbible.org]

Re:Ancient commenter Solomon (1)

FatdogHaiku (978357) | about 8 months ago | (#45838613)

I would point out that one way or another anything that's actually new gets stuck where the sun don't shine... and that's working out pretty well for Doc Johnson... [docjohnson.com]

Google Peanuts (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45836299)

Charlie Brown tries to kick a beta Google football. Lucy retires it right before Charlie Brown gets a chance to kick it.

Once again (1)

smitty_one_each (243267) | about 9 months ago | (#45836313)

Life imitates Dilbert.

microsoft comic chat? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45836307)

the world really doesn't need jerkcityr or jerkcity 2.0,...

What does Google get out of this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45836309)

Google gives us tons of "free" stuff. And as we know nothing is actually free: it means we are the product.

For example, with the info they gather from Search, AdWords, Analytics, Toolbar, and so much more, they are able to see where practically everyone goes everywhere on the net.

So ask yourself: what does Google get out of this one?

Re:What does Google get out of this? (1)

MickLinux (579158) | about 9 months ago | (#45836337)

You don't get to say what you want; you get to select from a list of what Google wants you to say. It's part of the new Corporate Free Speech (TM).

Free as in Freedom (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45836397)

Does make me wonder how many people have actually read Free as in Freedom. [wikipedia.org]

The book's free, ya know. In every sense of the word.

Re:What does Google get out of this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45836403)

I don't want Nintendo to blab about my HEROINE HABIT in Pokemon.

Heroine (1)

tepples (727027) | about 9 months ago | (#45836509)

Heroine habit meaning your habit of choosing to play as a female trainer?

Bit strips updates OTHER people's status as your o (1)

MickLinux (579158) | about 9 months ago | (#45836323)

I certainly hope they included in the patent 1) only letting people say what Google wants them to say, 2) Only including comics that are already predrawn with pre-existing text, only the name being different 3) not permitting the mention of anyone without an online existance.

Because those elements are key to their business model.

Re:Bit strips updates OTHER people's status as you (1)

MasterOfGoingFaster (922862) | about 8 months ago | (#45836581)

After I read TFA, I thought it might be a fun thing - like an XKCD version of Facebook. Then you mentioned Bit Strips, and my vision turned to horror.

God, I hate bit strips. Can't really say why, but it annoying really fast. I think it simply gave the masses yet another reason to say something stupid.

Re:Bit strips updates OTHER people's status as you (1)

Threni (635302) | about 8 months ago | (#45837249)

Lots of people say they hate them but they never give a reason either. Odd.

Microsoft Comic Chat (3, Interesting)

comm3c (670264) | about 9 months ago | (#45836325)

Seems like it did mostly the same thing?

Re:Microsoft Comic Chat (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45836349)

Last time this avenue of research was investigated, it didn't turn out well. Microsoft Comic Chat was responsible for giving the world Comic Sans [comicsanscriminal.com] .

Re:Microsoft Comic Chat (1)

gl4ss (559668) | about 8 months ago | (#45836565)

Last time this avenue of research was investigated, it didn't turn out well. Microsoft Comic Chat was responsible for giving the world Comic Sans.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comic_Sans_MS [wikipedia.org]
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Microsoft_Comic_Chat [wikipedia.org]

if you're too remember it yourself, the timeline doesn't match. so it existed before comic chat.

Google Legal Chief: Patent Reform a Balancing Act (1)

theodp (442580) | about 9 months ago | (#45836333)

Google Legal Chief: Patent Reform a Balancing Act [wsj.com] : "The U.S. patent system makes it too easy for companies to get patents on software."

Another way to dumb down and manipulate data (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45836335)

Apart from being a ridiculous patent, it will never work as intended. The mechanism for this trivial display method will never generate anything better than the online comic/animation engines already out there and those things produce some horrid flaccid generic tripe.
A true comic relies as much, if not more on the graphics to convey the story as it does on the text. It takes a pretty good artist to actually pull this off. The only thing this google pipe-dream will be able to accomplish is create generic pictures and half the story in text which amounts to information loss. This is the best scenario but Google will probably use this information gap to it's advantage to manipulate the content in it's favour somehow.

I remember this...15+ years ago. (1)

geekmux (1040042) | about 9 months ago | (#45836339)

What is described above is essentially MS Comic Chat, which I had fun with back in 1998.

Given the Patent Clone Wars, what I find comical here is that Microsoft hasn't cued up their lawyers yesterday on it.

Re:I remember this...15+ years ago. (1)

ledow (319597) | about 9 months ago | (#45836407)

Bloody thing - used to screw up the IRC channels that you tried to use it in (that was the IRC-based one, right?) by pumping tons of metadata about the comic into the channel.

Most places banned people using it.

Re:I remember this...15+ years ago. (1)

gl4ss (559668) | about 8 months ago | (#45836605)

yes.

#appears as a sexy dude

Re:I remember this...15+ years ago. (1)

geekmux (1040042) | about 8 months ago | (#45837485)

Bloody thing - used to screw up the IRC channels that you tried to use it in (that was the IRC-based one, right?) by pumping tons of metadata about the comic into the channel.

Most places banned people using it.

Yes, and today we handle that by crashing servers and building more infrastructure to handle all of the marketing dat, er I mean customers.

No one bans anything anymore. Too much money in buying and selling our private data these days, and zero regulations preventing it, by lobbyist design of course.

Re: I remember this...15+ years ago. (1)

hoifelot (798854) | about 8 months ago | (#45838877)

"No one bans anything anymore." Be careful what you ask for.

Re:I remember this...15+ years ago. (1)

MrDoh! (71235) | about 8 months ago | (#45840823)

Was a later version that allowed you to turn off that metadata sent at the beginning of everyline, and it still did a decent job of figuring out stuff and showing expressive characters. Was a neat and fun toy.

This could be huge, stick with me on this one ... (1)

Grindalf (1089511) | about 9 months ago | (#45836343)

Why this could bite Zuck and his “Face Book” wordo box ladder! It could be the fight of the century! Forget mobile wars, this is the big one! Think of the legal fees to be made! I can see it all now :0)

Thanks (2)

StripedCow (776465) | about 9 months ago | (#45836351)

Google engineers are brilliant!
They have found the cure against the number 1 killer disease in the US... boredom!

Thank you, Google, for saving us! As a gift in return, you may have a peek at all our personal affairs.

Re:Thanks (3, Funny)

DexterIsADog (2954149) | about 9 months ago | (#45836405)

Google engineers are brilliant! They have found the cure against the number 1 killer disease in the US... boredom!

Actually, I think what they are attempting to cure is literacy.

Because god knows Americans are too proud of their command of standard English, and lord their impeccable grammar and spelling over the rest of the world.

Re:Thanks (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45836875)

What is the language of the US now, Isn't it more Spanish than English now?

Re:Thanks (2)

QilessQi (2044624) | about 8 months ago | (#45838555)

Judging by the comments on certain internet fora in America, the most common languages currently appear to be:

1. Vitriol
2. Snarkese
3. ALLCAPSISH
4. $PAmm3R@ni@n!!
5. LOLspeak and Doge.

(I'm just kidding. No one speaks Doge.)

Give 'em the [patented comic strip] news they want (2)

theodp (442580) | about 9 months ago | (#45836421)

"nstead of giving people the news they need , why not give them the news they want ?"
--Ron Burgundy, Anchorman 2 [thecelebritycafe.com]

Re:Give 'em the [patented comic strip] news they w (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45842699)

"nstead of giving people the news they need , why not give them the news they want ?"
--Ron Burgundy, Anchorman 2 [thecelebritycafe.com]

Americans (and I am) are idiots and dont know what they want..

Google is giving people what they [want] people to see.

Okay, I'll say it. (1)

NekSnappa (803141) | about 9 months ago | (#45836445)

How is this patentable?

Re:Okay, I'll say it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45836477)

How is this patentable?

The patent office said so. I guess that wasn't the answer you were looking for eh ? ^_^

But I agree with you in thinking how is this shit even fucking remotely patentable ?

Re:Okay, I'll say it. (1)

Isarian (929683) | about 8 months ago | (#45837663)

Fair question. How is rectangle with rounded edges patentable? http://www.theverge.com/2012/11/7/3614506/apple-patents-rectangle-with-rounded-corners [theverge.com]

Re:Okay, I'll say it. (1)

rockmuelle (575982) | about 8 months ago | (#45837829)

The rectangle with rounded edges was a design patent (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Design_patent) not a utlitity patent, which the Google patent is.

I'm not saying the Google patent isn't bad, especially given the clear prior art with MS Comic Chat, but just that it's important to distinguish the types of patents when pointing out the inanity of the system. Design patents are a little easier to accept since they're closer to copyright on physical objects.

-Chris

Re:Okay, I'll say it. (1)

Theaetetus (590071) | about 8 months ago | (#45839565)

The rectangle with rounded edges was a design patent (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Design_patent) not a utlitity patent, which the Google patent is.

... Design patents are a little easier to accept since they're closer to copyright on physical objects.

Sort of... They're actually closer to trade dress: if you have a distinctive trade dress or a granted design patent, then you can stop someone from using the design, even if they aren't actually copying you and never even saw your design, unlike copyright, which requires actual copying.

I'm not saying the Google patent isn't bad, especially given the clear prior art with MS Comic Chat, but just that it's important to distinguish the types of patents when pointing out the inanity of the system.

Having read both the Comic Chat article linked earlier, and the patent claims (which you clearly haven't done), I don't know how anyone could say that Comic Chat is "clear prior art"... At least in any way more meaningful than saying that the Model T is "clear prior art" to the Tesla Roadster, since it's prior, and it's in the art, but it sure wouldn't invalidate any patents on the latter.

That's not to say the patent is necessarily valid... Just that Comic Chat, on its own, doesn't even begin to teach every element in the claims.

Is this an idea (1)

Mister Liberty (769145) | about 9 months ago | (#45836525)

or is it an implementation?

In unrelated news. Weren't you disappointed too in the New Year's Concert from Vienna?
I expected the NSA Polka and the Surveillance Waltz.

Happy New Year anyway!

Skip ahead (1)

Reliable Windmill (2932227) | about 8 months ago | (#45836695)

Why not skip ahead and just try to patent the evolution of culture and using the Internet, right away? Fuck you and your stupid patents!

Google Plus... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45836791)

... Fuck off.

Signed,

The Internets.

Ladies : don't use Bitstrip in your dating profile (1)

Dr_Barnowl (709838) | about 8 months ago | (#45836999)

.. having been separated last year, I've been hitting the internet dating, including Tinder.

Anyone who uses a Bitstrip as a profile photo gets rejected instantly unless they are very, very compelling otherwise. It just conveys a complete lack of honesty and originality to me..

Re:Ladies : don't use Bitstrip in your dating prof (1)

Theaetetus (590071) | about 8 months ago | (#45839445)

.. having been separated last year, I've been hitting the internet dating, including Tinder.

Anyone who uses a Bitstrip as a profile photo gets rejected instantly unless they are very, very compelling otherwise. It just conveys a complete lack of honesty and originality to me..

You assume, inaccurately, that they'd not want to be "instantly rejected" by someone that condescending.

What about xkcd? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45839481)

What about xkcd or jibjab? It seems like Google and others are going fairly 'general' in trying to copyright and patent all and sundry, but its dumb. They didn't create this, the idea isn't exclusive or novel. There are billions of examples of prior art. If they get this and they try to sue, all you need to do is either 1) point to any of the millions of pieces of prior art already on the net, or 2) patent mathematical computations on a social network, and demand billions daily from all and sundry --for doing nothing--.

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