Apple to act like Monty Python?

OK stop it now!  This is getting too silly!

I see that Apple has patented something – one of many zillions of things – that is surely already in the public domain – and has been for ages!

Universal interface for retrieval of information in a computer system

“Abstract: The present invention provides convenient access to items of information that are related to various descriptors input by a user, by means of a unitary interface which is capable of accessing information in a variety of locations, through a number of different techniques. Using a plurality of heuristic algorithms to operate upon information descriptors input by the user, the present invention locates and displays candidate items of information for selection and/or retrieval. Thus, the advantages of a search engine can be exploited, while listing only relevant object candidate items of information.”

Last December the US Patent and Trademark Office granted the iPhone maker intellectual property rights to the idea of gathering search results from a variety of sources using different techniques, and then presenting them in “a unitary interface”. The firm uses the innovation to power Siri.

Apart from the fact that the language is soooo vague (that’ll be the lawyers then!) the concept of having a screen displaying a range of your chosen or prefered information when you switched on your computer has been around for yonks – from memory one iteration was called Microsoft Active Desktop . (The introduction of the Active Desktop marked Microsoft’s attempt to capitalize on the short-lived push technology trend led by PointCast. Active Desktop placed a number of “channels” on the user’s computer desktop that provided continually-updated information, such as news headlines and stock quotes, without requiring the user to open a Web browser.) – hey come to think of it I’ve been using igoogle for ages – indeed it’s been around so long that they’re phasing it OUT next year!).

This idea is now back on the radar as Google’s new roll out of Android (Jelly Bean 4.1) is introducing Google Now – according to their information – “Jelly Bean makes everything feel fast, fluid, and smooth. Notifications are expandable and actionable, widgets are magical and the keyboard is smarter and more accurate:

Jelly Bean also features a redesigned search experience, with a new user interface and faster Voice Search. You can type your query or simply ask Google a question. Google can speak back to you, delivering a precise answer if it knows one, in addition to a list of search results.

Google Now is also part of the updated Google app, getting you just the right information at just the right time. Google Now tells you today’s weather before you start your day, how much traffic to expect before you leave for work, or your favorite team’s score as they’re playing. There’s no digging required: cards appear at the moment you need them most.”

Sounds great – but it don’t sound nuffin too radical – innit!

Someone famous once said if you have a good idea at least 10 other people have had the same idea already – if it’s a great idea the number is 100.

Just because Apple’s got enough money to buyoff most of the western hemisphere it shouldn’t allow them to bully innovation also happening simultaneously at other companies – I means seriously is anyone going to rip off an idea from Apple? No I didn’t think so.

Should a company be allowed to use it’s financial clout to stop other companies from trading – no of course they shouldn’t and if they try to then we should all follow San Francisco’s lead.

..and we all hope that our friends in Cupertino don’t start to behave like a certain UK footballer .

Tootle pip!

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