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Monday, October 20, 2008

Censorship comes with a software

The USPTO has granted the patent for real-time censoring of audio streams to Microsoft.
If for any chance you would like to yell random insults at strangers on the Internet or a TV network would like to broadcast live without fear of exposing the sheltered ears of their audience to a (possibly life altering) outburst or expletive, Microsoft will provide real-time (or batch) analysis of an audio stream that could recognize inappropriate language based on phonemes, and then overwrite objectionable words with bleeps, other noises, or silence.
And I wouldn't see any negative effect in this, but it could also have a sinister consequence in the hands of an authoritarian regime when applied for example to digital telephony.
China already controls web content and could go as far as stopping phones from antigovernment conversations.
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