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Microsoft Entertainment

Microsoft Patenting Celebrity-Shaped Bing'ing 123

theodp writes "GeekWire reports that Microsoft is seeking a patent on the concept of applying the persona of a celebrity to Internet searches, allowing people to see search results shaped by the personalities and preferences of Hollywood celebrities like Miley Cyrus, Taylor Swift, Megan Fox, and Jessica Lange. A search for an evening dress using the persona of Jessica Lange, explains Microsoft, would return dresses that reflect the actress's 'style and/or fashion preferences,' including 'color, fit, designer, cut, etc.' Your move, Google."
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Microsoft Patenting Celebrity-Shaped Bing'ing

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  • by WarwickRyan ( 780794 ) on Tuesday October 18, 2011 @06:06PM (#37755398)


  • People USE Bing?
    • by sconeu ( 64226 )

      All the time. Don't you watch Hawaii Five-0? There's no other search engine in the world! Just "Bing it!" (and, yes, they actually used the phrase on the show).

      • by h4rr4r ( 612664 )

        Hawii Five-0 aired from the late 60s till 1980, was Danno some sort of time traveler?

        • by corbettw ( 214229 ) <corbettw&yahoo,com> on Tuesday October 18, 2011 @06:21PM (#37755562) Journal

          Let me guess, you don't even own a TV?

          • I want to say "taste in what I watch"; but you're right, I have no TV. I'd used to watch endless hours of utter rubbish. Awful stuff. I've not had a TV since Feb and life is better. If I really "need" to watch something, it's all on-line legitimately. If it's not legitimately available, I don't watch it. I don't need it. Like a Newspaper pay wall, the content isn't worth the effort to see when there is so much else out there.
        • ...and was brought back on CBS last year. Damn, man, couldn't get cable under that rock, huh?

          • It's not like he missed much, from the looks of it.

          • Worse than not having cable. Unless he is in the middle of no where, it is being broadcast directly through his body every Monday night via terrestrial antenna.
          • by Anonymous Coward

            Damn, man, couldn't get cable under that rock, huh?

            You're making fun of somebody for not knowing about a knock off remake of a shitty old TV show, where the cast uses the phrase, "Just Bing it".

            I don't know what he's doing under the rock, but I'm pretty sure he should be making fun of you.

        • by Moofie ( 22272 )

          OK, there are two possibilities I can envision:

          1) You knew off the top of your head the air dates of Hawaii Five-0.
          2) You did a web search to determine those facts, and it didn't convey to you the fact that the show was rebooted last year.

          Which is more embarrassing?

          • 3) You actually watch broadcast TV and are aware of the series on the air.
            4) You think that remaking a show that went off the air when Nixon was president is a cool thing that's entirely appropriate.

            I know which I consider more embarrassing.

            • 4) You think that remaking a show that went off the air when Nixon was president is a cool thing that's entirely appropriate.

              Er, where exactly does Moofie say or even imply that? (Hint; he/she didn't.)

              Point (1) made fun of your knowledge of an old TV show, point (2) made fun of the fact that your leet search skills apparently weren't that leet.

              Either that was a blatant attempt to smear Moofie via strawman, or you're the type who assumes that anyone who makes a valid criticism of the manner in which you chose to argue a particular point can be automatically assumed to be taking the opposing position to you, not just on that sp

          • "Late sixties" doesn't count as a date.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        Cool product placement for a search engine nobody uses on a show nobody watches.

    • I'll bet there are more people using Bing than people using Google+.
    • by xclr8r ( 658786 )
      Yes. This happens when their only choice of browsers is IE at work due to IT policies and Bing is the default browser search box engine. The user could try and change the engine to google but try it... either you will soon find that changing the default engine requires you to scroll waaaay.... sideways (not down) or it will behind a second link once you bring up the search provider page in IE. This is something that a novice user can't find it if they are not being eagle eyed. I haven't done this rece
      • by DaneM ( 810927 )

        I changed the search settings in IE today in Windows 7 clean install, and I can verify that if you want to change your IE search engine from Bing to anything useful, you have to scroll SIDEWAYS (?!) through pages and pages of junk (specialized search engines that help you find stuff you don't care to find in any case) in order to find a real search engine of any kind--and that's even including things like Yahoo. If you want to find Google, you have to be VERY diligent, or use the tiny "Search" box above th

  • Google's move (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 18, 2011 @06:09PM (#37755440)

    Google's move? I'm pretty sure it'll be a bewildered gaze followed by a light chuckle.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Yes. This.

      Unless Microsoft is getting a April Fool's joke in reeeeeally early, TFA represents one of the most retarded ideas I've heard in a long, long time.

    • Yes, you mean like the time when google also started showing full size background images like bing.

      Or the right side summary bar.

      I think Google takes Bing more seriously than people think. I dont blame them since Bing is the only potential competitor.
    • There were similar reactions to the first iMac.

    • I read the summary. I've read some of the discussion. Haven't bothered to read TFA. I'm just sitting here, wondering. Would I rather have my searches shaped by the preferences of someone like Paris Hilton, or would I rather be caught blaspheming against Allah in Iran? Tough question. FFS - if there were any "celebrities" that I gave a damn about, I still wouldn't want my searches to reflect their preferences!

      Case in point - I happen to like Linus Torvalds. He's in my circle on G+. I've learned a few

      • by gtall ( 79522 )

        Don't miss out on the fun. Suppose your hits are shaped by Richard Nixon, let your neighborhood know you might be interested in their political skeletons. Or J. Edgar Hoover, lady's dresses and lipstick might make it for you. How about Red Skelton? Every hit a laugh. Osama bin Laden? Mass murder and a harem to boot. Mephistopheles? Learn how to value your soul. George S. Patton? Find your local Tanks-Are-Us store. Jeff Bezos? Learn how to patent the most obvious, insignificant things, say, farts.

      • by rtb61 ( 674572 )

        Time for a bit of celebrity reality. They are not whom they seem, they are a fabrication of their publication relations firms and marketing agents requirements.

        When let loose free of public relations image guidance, typical ego melt down into drug induced collapse is the typical outcome.

        So M$ is trying to patent asking public relations firms and marketing agencies, what you should wear, how you should behave, what you should like, and who you should hate, all based upon fabricated celebrity persona typ

    • Google's move? I'm pretty sure it'll be a bewildered gaze followed by a light chuckle.

      Followed by an hour of rolling around on the floor laughing!

    • I hope Microsoft gets the patent. I don't use bing and the patent fees will hopefully deter everyone else from doing anything similar
    • Google's move? I'm pretty sure it'll be a bewildered gaze followed by a light chuckle.

      Nah.. It'll be something else that will get a very high level of teen-tween interest, making MS' patent yet another dust-gatherer... waiting to strike. One day..... When you least expect it....

  • I doubt that will stop them though.
    • by blair1q ( 305137 )

      The only thing that won't stop is summary writers.

      Patent lawyers use weasel-words to get around the fact that they're patenting a concept every time.

    • No, but figuring out how to correlate a third party's interests into a given search? That definitely seems like something that could (and should) be patentable.

      • by h4rr4r ( 612664 )

        Why? Seems to fail the obvious test. Would people want to be able to search as though they were someone else, like say their wife to see what she would want for Christmas? Hmm, yeah pretty fucking obvious.

        How to do that, is a matter of code, and should be copyrighted not patented.

      • It would be funnier if they let you pick a celebrity and then it would give you the same ad stream that they see. I'm sure some of them get things I'd rather not know about...
      • by Nikker ( 749551 )
        It's actually pretty simple at this point. You know about all that data everyone siphons off of you? They have been using that profile to target ads using that for you. Now they are letting you pick an emaginary ego and punt you stuff from that.

        Clever eh !

        Now I bet you won't even get the privillage of returning results about top in class rehab centers and body mods but their clothing lines and calognes. Classy.
  • I feel a great disturbance in the Force, as if millions of celebrity stalkers are crying out in terror and suddenly silenced. I fear something terrible is happening.

  • by PPH ( 736903 ) on Tuesday October 18, 2011 @06:21PM (#37755560)

    ... original ideas as Steve Ballmer.

  • "It looks like you are going to a party. Would you like some help?
    * Help me choose my underwear
    * No, thanks, I'll continue to use the last week's one."
  • And you thought "Miserable Failure" Google-bombing was bad...

  • I would seem Microsoft is betting on at least the western world continuing on its trend of abandoning original thinking.

    Don Draper: People want to be told what to do so badly that they'll listen to anyone.

  • Lets see...
    Jessica Lange like evening dresses.

  • Although the average slashdot reader probably has difficulty imagining anyone dumb enough to want to use this service, I guess every click from those who do must be like pure gold to the advertisers.

  • Monkeys- all results are "banana"
    Kangaroo- all results are "jumping"
    Dog- "Snausages!"
    Australia & Drop Bear- "best deals on caskets"

  • Turning this patent around a bit, it sounds like just profiling someone, and predicting purchases based on that profile. Isn't this pretty much what all the "you might also be interested in..." pop-ups do, to some extent or other?
  • This surprises me not at all, especially after coming from (default IE page on a new Windows installation) where one of the lead stories is an embarrassing video of an elderly entertainer who fell asleep on live TV. Vapidity, voyeurism, and vanity are what sell in our culture.
    • by Eskarel ( 565631 )

      Based on some studies they've done with chimps, it's not just our society, but something deeply ingrained in our DNA, we're just wired that way. See the way Slashdot deals with RMS. There's articles in here about his opinions on things which have nothing at all to do with his areas of expertise or even FOSS. We all want to know about important people, some of us just have different definitions of who is important. Some folks like loud mouthed idiots who look good in a dress or a suit, others like loud mouth

  • I did a Bing search for "thumbs" using the Megan Fox shape, but all I got back was pictures of toes. Must be broken.

  • Seriously, who on /. cares about what a celebrity searches for?
  • To quote Bill Gates "that's the stupidest fucking idea I ever heard".
    • by DaneM ( 810927 )

      I've got to wonder why Bill Gates put Balmer in charge, to begin with. Could he have picked a worse candidate? I can't help but think that some office accountant who actually does real work on a computer (rather than just imagining how to change everything, and make it "prettier") would be a much better choice.

  • who hire others to shop for them because they don't even have the basic sense to dress themselves?


  • Something from a mirror site I guess.
  • Am I the only one who find the ability to search with the "persona" of another person rather disturbing?
    And, if you are sick enough in the head to use this service, how can you be sure that any "persona"is accurate? Wouldn't it be skewed by the celeb claiming to like XYZ and then trousering a nice pay-off for the promotion?
    Also, I assume that this "persona" is based on what the celeb make publicly available or how they wish to appear in public. But that's not them, that's just a veneer. So will the searc

  • And how do MS disavow any unfortunate search results as not in any way defamatory to the celebrity whose "personality" is being impersonated?

  • Miley Cyrus, Taylor Swift, Megan Fox, and ...Jessica Lange?!?!

    It's all i hear 15 year olds talking about nowadays, their favourite star, Jessica Lange. And I get sick of having to buy Cary Grant action figures, but I hear next year Douglas Fairbanks Jr. is coming into fashion.

  • So now instead of not finding what I want, I can not find what a celebrity wants. Awesome!
    • by wizzor ( 1321693 )

      So now instead of not finding what I want, I can not find what a celebrity wants. Awesome!

      In a way, on an abstract level it is sort of cool. That's basically enabling to run searches as someone else, enabling you to see things through another person's eyes. As for myself, I'd consider it interesting to see statistics based customized searches. We already know google uses records form past searches and clicks to determine what to show us in subsequent searches. What if you could, run the search and see results that an average Finn would? Or an average Ethiopian? Or an average Ethiopian woman, wh

  • ... for grasping at straws. Poor Microsoft, they just can't seem to catch a break.
  • Talk about an idea that sounds completely stupid...

    Therefore, I predict that it will tie in closely with Facebook, something I also think is dumb, and be a huge market success.

    I don't want to live on this planet anymore.

  • Less individuality and less development of personal preference

"If you lived today as if it were your last, you'd buy up a box of rockets and fire them all off, wouldn't you?" -- Garrison Keillor