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Google Patents Privacy Your Rights Online

Google Patents Guilt-By-Association 199

Posted by Soulskill
from the but-it's-in-the-cloouuuudddd dept.
theodp writes "Guilt by association is defined as the attribution of guilt (without proof) to individuals because the people they associate with are guilty. It's also at the heart of U.S. Patent No. 8,306,922, which was awarded to Google on Tuesday for Detecting Content on a Social Network Using Links, the invention of three Googlers. In its patent application, Google argues that if an individual posts content to social networks such as Facebook, MySpace, Orkut, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, etc. 'that is illegal (e.g., content violating copyright law, content violating penal statutes, etc.), inappropriate for minors (e.g., pornography, "R" or "NC-17" rated videos, adult content, etc.), in contravention of an end user licensing agreement (EULA), etc.', then their friends 'may be likely to post content to their profile pages related to similar topics.' Google further explains: 'For instance, a first user and a second user that are designated as friends on a social network may be friends based upon a set of common interests (e.g., the first user and the second user are both interested in tennis). If the first user adds content to its profile page that is related to sports, then the friendship (link) between the first user and the second user can indicate that the profile page of the second user is likely to contain content related to sports as well.' By extension, the same holds true for porn, pirated videos and music, etc., right? So, would you feel comfortable being judged by the online company you keep?"
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Google Patents Guilt-By-Association

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  • by DaTrueDave (992134) * on Friday November 09, 2012 @11:15AM (#41931903)

    I don't see how it does anything to indicate someone's guilt or innocence. Can it detect trends and probabilities that should be investigated? Sure, but so does a 24-hour tip-line where anyone can call and report suspicious activity.

    This is just a tool that can be used and abused by law enforcement, just like their guns, their search warrants and their overall authority. Society has to give them a certain level of trust to fulfill the duties that we expect of them. Sure, sometimes we get burned. There are bad apples everywhere. But reining in the authority that law enforcement is entrusted with is OUR JOB, not theirs. We, as voters and taxpayers, are responsible for electing representatives who will determine the level of authority that law enforcement gets to use to enforce the law.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      It's also at the heart of U.S. Patent...awarded to Google on Tuesday for Detecting Content on a Social Network...

      Look, we've been over this again and again. Don't fucking social network. Are you really that starved for attention and distraction, that you have no friends you could call or text, that you're willing to give up what little privacy you have for 1,000 fake friends?

      Anybody who didn't learn those lessons during the MySpace days should be smacked in the mouth with a rolled-up newspaper.

      -- Ethanol-fueled

    • Police can just check your garbage to collect a lot more clues on your life.
      The problem with these sites it is near impossible to track everyone to make sure they are playing by the rules. However if you can filter down your rules to a smaller set than you can probably run more efficient. Sure if your friend posts a nasty pic, you may be on the watch list. It doesn't mean they are going to kick you off just because you made a watch list.

      However just like in real life, if your friend is a known criminal, c

    • by jedidiah (1196)

      It's already been done before. I worked on a system in 2001 that did this sort of thing. This seems like little more than one of those "but on the internet" kinds of patents that seem so prevalent these days.

      Replace "but on the internet" with "but on social media".

      • And interestingly those complaining don't see the irony. At every software patent story they shout:

        You can't patent that... it's the same thing as this physical device or existing process... only "with a computer".

        And then this story comes out and they're all:

        OMG...the man already does this in real life... if I hang out with drug dealers they think maybe I'm a drug dealer (or user). But this shouldn't be allowed. This this is different... it's "with a computer".
        • It's pretty hard to hang out with somebody and not know they're a drug dealer.
          It's pretty easy to have 400 'friends' on a social network and have no fucking idea where they currently live, work or how they spend their days.

  • Statistics (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Nerdfest (867930) on Friday November 09, 2012 @11:16AM (#41931917)

    So,they've managed to patent using statistics? Is anyone actually doing their job in the patent office?

    • Re:Statistics (Score:5, Interesting)

      by alphatel (1450715) * on Friday November 09, 2012 @11:18AM (#41931949)

      So,they've managed to patent using statistics?

      No, they patented labeling every teenager as a marijuana user - by association of course.

    • Re:Statistics (Score:5, Informative)

      by Dachannien (617929) on Friday November 09, 2012 @11:44AM (#41932325)

      No, actually, they patented this:

      A computer-implemented method comprising:

      receiving at a first server system information related to users of a social network site hosted on a second server system;

      determining by the first server system a social network graph for at least a portion of the social network from the received information, the graph comprising a plurality of nodes connected by links, each node corresponding to a user that is registered with the social network and that has a profile page on the social network;

      identifying first nodes from the plurality of nodes as including content associated with a particular subject of interest;

      seeding the identified first nodes with first scores that indicate profile pages for the identified first nodes are positively identified as including content associated with the particular subject of interest;

      determining second scores for second nodes of the plurality of nodes based on propagation of the first scores from the first nodes to the second nodes using the links of the social network graph, where:

                each of the determined second scores corresponding to a second node indicates a likelihood that a profile page for the second node contains content associated with the particular subject of interest,
                a particular second score for a particular second node is determined based on a combination of scores for neighboring nodes that are connected to the particular second node by one or more of the links, and
                a particular profile page that is associated with the particular second node is determined to have at least a threshold likelihood of containing content that is associated with the particular subject of interest when at least a portion of the scores for the neighboring nodes exceed a threshold score; and

      providing by the first server system the determined second scores for the second nodes.

      If you're dissatisfied with that, put your money where your mouth is, and join us [usptocareers.gov]. Currently, the available listings require someone with an engineering Ph.D. or equivalent industry experience, but we will probably have openings for people with 4-year engineering degrees soon.

      • by Nerdfest (867930)

        It's a little obvious, don't you think? If you described the problem to someone involved in the field, they couldn't come up with this? On the plus side, it does actually describe an implementation, which seems to be better than a lot of the 'software' patents we see.

        • Re:Statistics (Score:5, Informative)

          by Theaetetus (590071) <theaetetus,slashdot&gmail,com> on Friday November 09, 2012 @12:12PM (#41932617) Homepage Journal

          It's a little obvious, don't you think? If you described the problem to someone involved in the field, they couldn't come up with this?

          That's like saying "he's a little guilty, don't you think? I mean, look at him, isn't he guilty looking?"
          Obviousness is a legal conclusion that must be supported by evidence - currently, you have no evidence that it's the right conclusion, just a gut feeling that's based on hindsight. To show something is obvious, you need to show that one or more pieces of prior art that existed at the time of filing, alone or in combination, teach or suggest each and every element in the claims. So, for example, the claim quoted above includes "receiving at a first server system" - that's easy... here's [google.com] a patent from 1995 that shows a server system receiving information. It then says "information related to users of a social network site hosted on a second server system". That's easy, too - we can go back to the original Myspace or Facebook pages. So now, in combination, we've got the entire first line.
          Then keep going.

          If you can do that for everything in the claim, you can prove it's obvious, rather than just alleging it.

          • Excuse me, when you file a patent you have to prove THAT YOU HAVE A CASE (for getting a new patent awarded). You describe it the other way around, we (the PTO, whoever) have to prove that it's not a valid patent, with a default of "award it"???

            Nuts! (Sorry, but that's how I describe this reversal or who has to prove what).

            • Excuse me, when you file a patent you have to prove THAT YOU HAVE A CASE (for getting a new patent awarded). You describe it the other way around, we (the PTO, whoever) have to prove that it's not a valid patent, with a default of "award it"???

              Nuts! (Sorry, but that's how I describe this reversal or who has to prove what).

              Excuse me, but I am a patent attorney, and you're wrong. Maybe you're describing the way you'd like the law to be. It's currently the way I said.

              • by mha (1305)

                You are not saying much. If a file a patent, do *I* have to file proof, or does *THE PTO* have to prove me wrong, and if they can't/don't they have to award the patent?

                THAT is what you said - it is not quite clear, since it is a reply to a reply - so I would just like you to confirm.

                PS: Is slashdot so d$%&n slow for others too? Not just today, even loading the homepage takes 5-10 seconds, each time.

                • by Theaetetus (590071) <theaetetus,slashdot&gmail,com> on Friday November 09, 2012 @02:11PM (#41933895) Homepage Journal

                  You are not saying much. If a file a patent, do *I* have to file proof, or does *THE PTO* have to prove me wrong, and if they can't/don't they have to award the patent?

                  THAT is what you said - it is not quite clear, since it is a reply to a reply - so I would just like you to confirm.

                  The latter - the PTO has to prove you wrong, and if they can't, they have to issue the patent. It's because of 35 USC 102, which says that an applicant "shall be entitled to a patent" subject to the requirements of the Patent Act. It's similar to the "shall issue" firearms licensing statutes that require the police to issue a permit unless they can prove that you're unfit.

                  • by mha (1305)

                    In that case I still keep my "Nuts!" comment, but no longer point it at your comment, but at the patent law. And you have my sympathies - I think I like MY job even more now...

                    I don't believe in that patent stuff at all anyway - I'm German, after all, and the way we got to where we are was through COPYING (British machines). I would be a hypocrite to defend patents now, just because now WE have the machines and somebody else copies them. The whole world is nuts.

                    • In that case I still keep my "Nuts!" comment, but no longer point it at your comment, but at the patent law. And you have my sympathies - I think I like MY job even more now...

                      I don't believe in that patent stuff at all anyway - I'm German, after all, and the way we got to where we are was through COPYING (British machines). I would be a hypocrite to defend patents now, just because now WE have the machines and somebody else copies them. The whole world is nuts.

                      As a funny aside, Switzerland used to have no patents, and yet was in compliance with international treaties like the Paris Convention because they treated foreign inventors exactly the same as they did their local inventors: no patent protection for anyone. Their reasoning was that Switzerland had so few local inventors to protect, and they wanted to steal technology from other countries. It was in fact your country that first got pissed off at them and threatened all sorts of economic pressure if they did

                  • The latter - the PTO has to prove you wrong, and if they can't, they have to issue the patent.

                    I've just invented a knerbweg for throoling a morginated comdowuler via a plirkitwang.

                    Can you disprove that?

                    • The latter - the PTO has to prove you wrong, and if they can't, they have to issue the patent.

                      I've just invented a knerbweg for throoling a morginated comdowuler via a plirkitwang.

                      Can you disprove that?

                      Sure... It's unpatentable under 35 USC 112 because your terms are undefined, and you'd receive a rejection on those grounds. You can rebut it by providing explicit definitions.

                      I mean, really... You think the USPTO never thought of that?

              • by Khyber (864651)

                "Excuse me, but I am a patent attorney, and you're wrong."

                Considering I hold several patents, and the process has worked exactly opposite of how you describe in the seven years of filing for those patents, I think you might want to get a refund from your school.

                • "Excuse me, but I am a patent attorney, and you're wrong."

                  Considering I hold several patents, and the process has worked exactly opposite of how you describe in the seven years of filing for those patents, I think you might want to get a refund from your school.

                  Really? You're seriously claiming that you filed a patent application, and the only thing the USPTO said was "prove that your claimed invention is new, useful, and nonobvious" and they waited for a response from you before issuing it? That they didn't issue an Office Action that contained one or more rejections over prior art for you to rebut? That's what you're claiming?

                  If so, I'm calling you a liar. An easily provable one too: identify one or more of your patents. The file histories are publicly availabl

              • by Shagg (99693)

                Excuse me, but I am a patent attorney

                You'd probably have better credibility if you didn't share that bit of information.

      • by TheSpoom (715771)

        No offense, but I would hazard a guess that the smartest and most experienced engineers would avoid the USPTO like the plague.

      • put your money where your mouth is, and join us [usptocareers.gov]. Currently, the available listings require someone with an engineering Ph.D. or equivalent industry experience, but we will probably have openings for people with 4-year engineering degrees soon.

        That's your problem, right there. You should maybe weight common sense a little higher in your criteria.

        You don't need an engineering degree to spot when someone's describing wheels in obfuscated language or taking something that's existed since fo

    • by dywolf (2673597)

      Seems to me like patenting behaviour, and judgements based on it.

      Either way. More proof the USPTO needs complete rebuilding.

    • So,they've managed to patent using statistics? Is anyone actually doing their job in the patent office?

      Nah, they have managed to patent a logical fallacy [fallacyfiles.org].

      • by chrismcb (983081)
        The "guilt by association" in the article is NOT the 'guilt by association" in that logical fallacy.
        What Google is saying is, "birds of a feather, flock together" (its a saying, and they got a patent for it?)
        If you are on a basketball team, chances are all your teammates are your "facebook friends" (or whatever) What Google is saying, is you like basketball, so there is a good chance your friends do as well. It seems pretty obvious to me, although I don't quite understand the patent enough, but it doesn
    • by Shagg (99693)

      Depends on what you think their job is.

      If you think their job is to only approve valid patents, then no.

      If you think their job is to approve absolutely everything in order to encourage even more ridiculous patent applications (and the fees that go with them) in order to increase the revenue of the patent office, then yes.

    • The patent system is totally not broken, says the guy who wields the biggest arsenal of patents. [wired.com] No reform needed! ^_^

  • Well... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by anom (809433) on Friday November 09, 2012 @11:17AM (#41931929)

    "So, would you feel comfortable being judged by the online company you keep?"

    That is pretty much how people are judged in real life too (minus the word online).

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by macbass (868593)
      Except that my online company includes friends at locations thousands of miles away, kind of hard to keep up with them like the friends closer by. Additionally, while I haven't RTFA this appears to allow no room for error and assumes my friends are (mostly) mindless clones who automatically repeat or repost what I do. I don't know about you all, but I find this one step closer to welcoming our evil overlords. Whatever happened to innocent until proven guilty? Have I not lost my wide-eyed innocence yet?
      • Re:Well... (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Shotgun (30919) on Friday November 09, 2012 @11:51AM (#41932391)

        Except that my online company includes friends at locations thousands of miles away

        And yet, they are still friends. The association begs the question, "Why are they friends?" If you like and share their comments about the joys of smoking pot, even though you live in NC, it is an indication that you lean toward approving of the use of pot. No big deal, in and of itself, but if combined with an extremely large utility bill, and a propensity for buying large amounts of gardening chemicals, even though you live in a town home, and being caught with a large roll of cash, there may be a suspicion that you might be growing and selling pot. At least, that will be the argument used by the police to get a warrant to break down you door and pointlessly ruin your life.

        Birds of a feather, flock together, and you WILL be known by the company you keep. These cliches don't go away just because you keep the company digitally.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by stanlyb (1839382)
          Because, my friend, i may wanna to kill you, in my thoughts, but that does now make me guilty. It would, only if i explicitly express my desire, and/or actually do it. But what you say is actually that once that thought crosses my mind, i am guilty by association. Welcome Minority Report, it appears it was not science fiction.
        • The association begs the question, "Why are they friends?"

          No. I don't see any circular argument or self-referential reasoning there.

    • Informally, yes, but not formally: "Sure he is guilty, his brother is in prison for murder". And on and on.

    • Re:Well... (Score:5, Funny)

      by magic maverick (2615475) on Friday November 09, 2012 @11:40AM (#41932261) Homepage Journal

      I get around the problem by not having any friends. Either online or in real life.

      I really don't want to be judged by the company I keep on Slashdot. People's tastes around here are just bizarre. Natalie Portman? Covered in grits? Petrified? Let alone the obsession with wanting to Beowulf everything.

      • by Shotgun (30919)

        You only say that it's bizarre, because you've never had a Beowulf of Natalie Portmans trying to dig the petrified grits from your pants. Give it a try someday, buddy.

        8*)

      • I get around the problem by not having any friends. Either online or in real life.

        It's true: magic maverick (2615475) is all alone in the world. [slashdot.org]

        But he does have a fan [slashdot.org]

        • True friendship requires reflexive symmetric friending by both parties.

          :)

          Strangely, "friend"ing is not a symmetric/reflexive property on Slashdot/FB/most-other-social-or-sociallyinept-website. A friending is a one-way directed arrow. Which is closer to real life. I can claim "B" as my friend, by "B' may disclaim me and say that I am not a friend of hers. "A" Alice may claim that she considers me to be her friend, but I may claim that "A" is not my friend. So really, claiming that you consider someone

        • Who says I'm a "he"? ^_^
          (I'm pretty sure I've never stated whether I considered myself male, female, or other.)

          • Chalk it up to a combination of the language not having a gender neutral pronoun for a person, the fabled gender ratios among Slashdot members, and the unlikely chance that any female here is only going to have just one fan.
            • So conversely, having one fan right now means I not a female? And my gender-status will change once the number of fans I have changes? I know some people like to believe that gender is mutable, but sheesh, that really takes the cake! And I don't have any cake left!
          • Oh c'mon, this is the Internet. Where the men are men, women are men and kids are FBI agents.

    • "So, would you feel comfortable being judged by the online company you keep?" That is pretty much how people are judged in real life too (minus the word online).

      Yeah, when I joined linked-in I "connected" only to the most competent people I knew at first. I had just assumed people would judge me by the quality of my connections. Then the requests started coming in larger quantities. Not sure what to think, the more connected you are the more someone will find you but it seems like you'd be less relevant

  • by Remus Shepherd (32833) <remus@panix.com> on Friday November 09, 2012 @11:19AM (#41931959) Homepage

    Bwa-ha-hah. The porn I like is nothing like the porn my friends like, and vice versa. Not even my girlfriend and I agree on porn. I'm also willing to bet that the illegal activities I've done in my life are nothing like the ones my friends have committed.

    Where did Google get this correlation theory? It seems completely counter to my experience of human beings as individuals.

    • by swillden (191260)

      How many of your friends avoid porn entirely due to their religious beliefs? Many of mine do, but I suspect you have different sorts of friends than I do.

      I don't think the concept is invalid, just that you're applying it at too detailed a level, and confusing "more likely to" with "will". Perhaps someone you're friends with is 2% more likely than average to have an interest in something you like. To a human looking at the data without applying any mathematical analysis, such a weak indicator would be co

      • by stanlyb (1839382)
        Man, can you bet your life that none of your friends are watching porn!!! Are you really so delusional about your telepathic skills???
        • by swillden (191260)
          I never claimed telepathy. They say they don't, and I see no reason not to believe them. I don't watch it.
  • by eldavojohn (898314) * <[moc.liamg] [ta] [nhojovadle]> on Friday November 09, 2012 @11:20AM (#41931975) Journal
    Dear Slashdot,

    I'd like to ask you some questions about your ongoing involvement and interview with Hans Reiser [slashdot.org] ... I haven't seen any activity in CmdrTaco's wife's gmail account for quite some time!

    Sincerely,

    Googlock Holmes
  • by Fishead (658061) on Friday November 09, 2012 @11:21AM (#41931989)

    And that is why instead of Google Drive, I'm looking for an alternative that encrypts my family photo's rather than analyzes them.

    I don't THINK I have anything illegal in my photo drive, but you never know what may be spotted by a robot looking through my thousands of photos.

    • by Nadaka (224565)

      Your baby pictures.

      Chris Hansen would like you to have a seat over there.

    • Wuala is a service that provides this (cloud storage of client-side encrypted files). The UI is a bit ugly but it works fine. Oh, and at least you used to be able to pay for storage with Bitcoins!
    • by sabt-pestnu (967671) on Friday November 09, 2012 @12:35PM (#41932873)

      Nothing illegal in your photo drive?

      Do you have a flag of Taiwan [boingboing.net] in a picture? Perhaps you took a picture of your car [boingboing.net]? (Especially if you post it on your company's vanity page...) Or maybe there was a stranger in the background [yahoo.com]?

      It's not so much what is illegal in your photos, as it is "who takes offense at your pictures". And when anyone can sue (civil court) anyone for anything, there doesn't even have to be a law against it.

  • Oddly good news. (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    If Google didn't patent this someone else would and then any relationship-linking done by Google would be at the risk of patent infringment. That is a problem with the patent system, not Google in particular.

    This is one of those cases where decent behavior intersects poorly with mathematics. Most of the people I consider friends do share the same view of copyright that I do (i.e. Lawrence Lessig's view) and some of that is simply due to my recommending his book and advocating its principles. That said, M

  • What an absolute load of shite. Just because you are 'friends' with someone online does not mean you do exactly the same things. How many people have people on their Facebook friends list who they haven't actually seen for years? (fucking lots I'm guessing)
    • http://politics.slashdot.org/story/12/09/07/239239/poll-based-system-predicts-us-election-results-for-president-senate [slashdot.org]

      Given the proper algorithms, statistical analysis can produce very accurate results. I'm going to go out on a limb and say that it's not as simple as one friend you haven't seen in years posting something once correlates to you doing that same thing as well.
    • by PPH (736903)

      The police and other agencies have been doing this for decades. Google Joe McCarthy.

    • by nedlohs (1335013)

      The police already do this. And it works just fine.

      Sure there no guarantee that just becuase you have a friend who plays a lot of board games that you do. But there's a better chance that you do than that some random person does. If you have 20 such friends who all play board games the probability is higher still.

      In the police work field, if you keep associating with known criminals you'll be getting a closer look at than a random person. Doesn't mean you are a criminal and it certainly doesn't work as proo

      • by tragedy (27079)

        The problem with the theory that is "works just fine" is how you know it works just fine. The justice system in the US works on the principle of giving people a choice between a plea bargain with a relatively small sentence and a jury trial with a significant risk of a much harsher punishment, guilty or innocent. Oh, and that jury trial comes with a price tag high enough to destroy a person's life, guilty or innocent. The logical choice for most individuals, even the innocent, is to take the plea bargain. G

  • You see reports in business rags frequently about how dangerous social network sites are; with people getting canned or failing to get a job because of something a facebook friend posted. Your best bet is avoid the mess and don't use the social networks. Really, Google should be patenting simply considering users of social networks a criminal or deviant up front... seems to be the way things are going anyway.
  • by RNLockwood (224353) on Friday November 09, 2012 @11:33AM (#41932147) Homepage

    This shouldn't fly. Christians, and perhaps Jews, have believed in original sin in which guilt has been transferred from Eve for millennia. They published but didn't file for a patent.

    • by w_dragon (1802458)
      No, see, this is different because it's on a social network now. Take all the patents that were granted in the past 20 years that were obvious but had 'on the internet' appended and start appending 'on a social network'. That'll be the next 10 years of crap patents.
  • You hvae 0 friends (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Krneki (1192201) on Friday November 09, 2012 @11:36AM (#41932211)
    So, the more friends you have the bigger criminal you are?
  • by Sun.Jedi (1280674) on Friday November 09, 2012 @11:38AM (#41932229) Journal

    We have retarded patent, copyright, and trademark laws in the US. This is not news.

    DING fries are done

  • by Bob9113 (14996) on Friday November 09, 2012 @11:42AM (#41932295) Homepage

    "By extension, the same holds true for porn, pirated videos and music, etc., right? So, would you feel comfortable being judged by the online company you keep?"

    Definitely. Most of the people whose company I enjoy favor a liberal interpretation of the authority of copyright and prefer adult-oriented content to PG and lighter fare. They speak ill of their government when it is justified (and sometimes when it is not) and accept that the four boxes of liberty are all unfortunate necessities. And they believe that even suspected terrorists who worship the wrong deity are endowed by their creator with the rights documented in the Declaration, Constitution, and Bill of Rights.

    I rather like that sort of person, and hope that the world sees me as one of them. I think people who are not proud to fit that description tend to lie somewhere between pretentious and dull, and are detrimental to our advancement as a productive, open, honest, and self-aware society.

    • by geek (5680) on Friday November 09, 2012 @01:34PM (#41933495) Homepage

      "By extension, the same holds true for porn, pirated videos and music, etc., right? So, would you feel comfortable being judged by the online company you keep?"

      Definitely. Most of the people whose company I enjoy favor a liberal interpretation of the authority of copyright and prefer adult-oriented content to PG and lighter fare. They speak ill of their government when it is justified (and sometimes when it is not) and accept that the four boxes of liberty are all unfortunate necessities. And they believe that even suspected terrorists who worship the wrong deity are endowed by their creator with the rights documented in the Declaration, Constitution, and Bill of Rights.

      I rather like that sort of person, and hope that the world sees me as one of them. I think people who are not proud to fit that description tend to lie somewhere between pretentious and dull, and are detrimental to our advancement as a productive, open, honest, and self-aware society.

      Definitely. Most of the people whose company I enjoy favor a conservative interpretation of the authority of copyright and prefer family-oriented content to XXX and lighter fare. They speak positively of their government when it is justified (and sometimes when it is not) and accept that the four branches of liberty are all fortunate inheritances from our forward thinking founders. And they believe that self proclaimed terrorists who twist and contort their religion into a religion of hate instead of peace and wage a holy war on the West deserve to be rebuffed in the most forceful manner necessary.

      I rather like that sort of person, and hope that the world sees me as one of them. I think people who are not proud to fit that description tend to lie somewhere between naive and immature, and are detrimental to our advancement as a productive, open, honest, and self-aware society. However many of my close friends also fit this description and it doesn't affect my relationships with them because life is about more than politics, regardless of what the sitting President of the United States says.

  • The Google patent covers, in short, getting an expectation of a user's content by reviewing the content of their friends.It's a generalization of PageRank, but instead of looking only at a single numeric value for a site's worth, it looks at various other criteria.

    The only meaningful "guilt by association" reference is claim 12:

    12. The method of claim 1, wherein the particular subject of interest comprises at least one of the group consisting [of] adult content and illegal content.

    Claims that short are usually defensive, to prevent trolls from getting a patent of "do this prior art, but looking for porn". Now Google can use their algorithm for content filters,

  • by Nyder (754090) on Friday November 09, 2012 @12:40PM (#41932921) Journal

    Growing up I didn't smoke cigarettes (still don't, never got into that), but a lot of my friends did, buy this study, I would of been labeled a cigarette smoker.

    Later on, a lot of the people I knew had felonies, I never had, but I guess I would be guilty of that also.

    I have gay friends, so I guess I'm gay also (I'm not, but according to this I would be...)

    My friends are a lot of things I am not, but now, maybe I am...

    • MOST pedophiles (vast majority) abuse kids of friends or family.

      So, a teenager who is "abused" by a relative and was or is friends online with the pervert will then end up profiled and guilty by automated association when the pervert is caught.

      This extends to all sorts of things. As people become touchy wimps who tolerate less diversity among their friends (Americans are the worst as far as I know) the expectation that like minded people congregate will become stronger. This start with extremes like perver

    • by geekoid (135745)

      YO would be considered statically likely to smoke; which is true.

      "Later on, a lot of the people I knew had felonies, I never had, but I guess I would be guilty of that also."
      No. Assuming you were hanging around them when they committed the felony, you would be statistically higher chance of being a felon.

      and so on.

      Of course the number per example you give vary on many factors.
      If you are in a gay bar? there is a very high statistical probability that you are gay. Is it 100%? no.

  • I guess the whole world is guilty.

You can do this in a number of ways. IBM chose to do all of them. Why do you find that funny? -- D. Taylor, Computer Science 350

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