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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FACT:

Mother Jones was founded as a nonprofit in 1976 because we knew corporations and the wealthy wouldn't fund the type of hard-hitting journalism we set out to do.

Today, reader support makes up about two-thirds of our budget, allows us to dig deep on stories that matter, and lets us keep our reporting free for everyone. If you value what you get from Mother Jones, please join us with a tax-deductible donation today so we can keep on doing the type of journalism 2020 demands.

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