Yet Another Ridiculous Software Patent

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From KSTW in Seattle:

Microsoft Patents ‘Avoid Ghetto’ Feature For GPS Devices

A GPS device is used to find shortcuts and avoid traffic, but Microsoft’s patent states that a route can be plotted for pedestrians to avoid an “unsafe neighborhood or being in an open area that is subject to harsh temperatures.”

You may decide for yourself whether to be outraged by the idea of Microsoft developing a ghetto-avoidance feature. Either way, though, you definitely should be outraged that they can get a patent for it. What’s next? A patent for an app that allows you to find city hall? Or avoid city hall?

I know this patent hasn’t been tested in court and may well be worthless. I don’t care. It should have been tossed out of the patent office with extreme prejudice, and Microsoft should have been warned not to waste their time with this kind of thing ever again. Ditto for every other company that engages in this nonsense. It really needs to stop.

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Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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