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The joy of Microsoft's 'avoid ghetto' GPS patent

Pedestrians have sometimes felt neglected when it comes to GPS directions.Indeed, not so long ago, one lady sued Google because the directions its map offered led her (she believed) to be struck by a car.



Now Microsoft has been granted a patent that is designed to make its maps more pedestrian-friendly. Somehow, this patent has immediately been dubbed the "avoid ghetto" feature.



The gist of it seems to be that Microsoft's GPS--which will reportedly be inserted into Windows Phones in the future--will use input from more varied and up-to-date sources in order to create suggested routes.



Among these sources are crime statistics. Which has led some to the thought that this will somehow be an insult to poor neighborhoods.



What is unclear, at least from my reading of the patent--which isn't written by anything resembling a human hand or mind--is what kind of crime statistics the GPS might choose to use.



It's one thing to avoid areas where there might have occurred physical assaults and gunfire. It's another to avoid, say, places where burglaries are popular, as one suspects quite a few allegedly nice areas are subject to burglars' desires.



With some areas, past performance isn't a guarantee of future results. What if someone using a route from this system does get mugged, shot, assaulted, or robbed? Would they feel entitled to sue Microsoft because the route was supposed to be "ghetto-free"?



The patent talks about the quality of the information. But quality is a subjective notion, so one wonders just whose assessment of quality will be deemed significant.



The patent also holds within it some other little gems. It seeks to help the pedestrian avoid "harsh temperatures." Some people like harsh temperatures, but this system will also store people's pedestrian information to offer, one assumes, a more personalized heat-level for the route.



How personalized should it be, though? My eyes perform slightly odd twitches when I read this sentence from the patent: "Various features can integrate with route presentment, such as integrating an advertisement targeted to a pedestrian with a direction set."



Is this suggesting that Windows Phones will give pedestrians a route that will take them past specific ads? What a curious and slightly mind-altering thought.



One wonders whether those who use the system might also be offered an "avoid ads" option.

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source: http://news.cnet.com/8301-17852_3-57354445-71/the-joy-of-microsofts-avoid-ghetto-gps-patent/?ttag=fbw


Added: Jan-9-2012 Occurred On: Jan-9-2012
By: Pure_Adrenaline
In:
Science and Technology
Tags: avoid de ghetto, gps, crime
Location: United States (load item map)
Views: 5866 | Comments: 60 | Votes: 2 | Favorites: 5 | Shared: 4 | Updates: 0 | Times used in channels: 2
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  • How is using crime statistics to plan a route through or around some area RACIST? Crimes don't have a race! If a neighborhood has had 5 murders this year what's racist about avoiding it?

    Posted Jan-9-2012 By 

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    • @4-B-10-ZONE Yep. Typical of people who manage to ignore real racism and yet find it where ever there may be money to be had.

      If someone really had such concerns they should be working towards making those areas safer rather than looking to be offended.

      Posted Jan-9-2012 By 

      (4) | Report

  • Great idea!! Now someone doesn't have to feel threatened when the drive through cities....like south Chicago. (used to be a nice city. Still has the old architecture, but unfortunately the blacks moved in, the whites moved out, and now it's nothing but a big ghetto from 33rd St to 180th St. West is all Mexican. :

    Posted Jan-9-2012 By 

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  • Comment of user 'scubasteve075' has been deleted by author (after account deletion)!
    • @scubasteve075
      don't call 911 in Detroit.

      Posted Jan-9-2012 By 

      (2) | Report

    • Comment of user 'oldboy604' has been deleted by author (after account deletion)!
    • @oldboy604
      Here in FL we have a small community called Champions Gate. I called the Sheriff and they filed the report over the phone!!! they didn't even come out to my place!

      I asked her. I said, "Are you going to come by?" She was like, "I think I have everything I need."

      Posted Jan-9-2012 By 

      (1) | Report

    • @Dave556

      That's impossible from a physical point of view.

      Why can't you spell "negro" properly?

      Posted Apr-29-2013 By 

      (0) | Report

  • You could simply count how many Popeyes Chicken outlets there are in a given region.

    Posted Jan-9-2012 By 

    (6) | Report

  • fuck em, its not our fault they will car jack your ass or kill you for your laptop. this is their fuckin doing and im sick of all the pussies out there blaming everyone but the gang bangers themselves.

    Posted Jan-9-2012 By 

    (5) | Report

  • Funny stuff. The colors on the map are backward though. The more violent the area, the bluer it is. The "war zones" in America are all community-organized leftist utopias.

    Posted Jan-9-2012 By 

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    • Comment of user 'timerider2009' has been deleted by author (after account deletion)!
    • @timerider2009 *derp*
      You're severely brainwashed.

      Posted Jan-9-2012 By 

      (1) | Report

    • Comment of user 'timerider2009' has been deleted by author (after account deletion)!
    • @timerider2009 What a random bunch of gibberish that was.

      You made a stupid ignorant response, and you can't support it. Your random gibberish about parties and voting and what you would do if you got to be a dictator is all meaningless.

      Take away the bright blue community-organized war zones (liberal utopias), and there is less crime and violent crime in America than Canada or western Europe.

      Your gibberish about how you would have people vote, really doesn't have anything to do with anythin More..

      Posted Jan-9-2012 By 

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    • Comment of user 'IIVXTII' has been deleted by author (after account deletion)!
  • I hope its true. Im surprised no one created such a GPS map yet. However, there is a liability issue by claiming an area safe. There is also a liability in claiming anything other than crime stats as homes in some areas would loose value with homeowners filing a class action lawsuit.

    Needs avoid Puerto Rica Day Parade feature too.

    Posted Jan-9-2012 By 

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  • Love it! Agree with the "avoid liberals" option, too!

    Posted Jan-9-2012 By 

    (3) | Report

  • A well informed public = ethical dilemma for liberals.

    Posted Jan-9-2012 By 

    (3) | Report

  • Remember Chevy Chase when he made the wrong turn in St Louis?

    Posted Jan-9-2012 By 

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    • Comment of user 'Amusing' has been deleted by author (after account deletion)!
  • So if you need to get around in Detroit, will the GPS just overload and blow up?

    Posted Jan-9-2012 By 

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  • Great idea,put it into practice now.

    Posted Jan-9-2012 By 

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  • Comment of user 'vtxphantom' has been deleted by author (after account deletion)!
  • I'd want an Avoid Carjacking Areas app.

    Posted Jan-9-2012 By 

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    • Comment of user 'oldboy604' has been deleted by author (after account deletion)!
  • If only Clark Griswold had this app

    Posted Jan-9-2012 By 

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  • It's a good idea or app and screw neighborhoods that that make the list. Gang territories should be part of the app too it's all well known in most cities.

    Posted Jan-9-2012 By 

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    • Comment of user 'IIVXTII' has been deleted by author (after account deletion)!
    • Comment of user 'Amusing' has been deleted by author (after account deletion)!
  • Comment of user 'oldboy604' has been deleted by author (after account deletion)!
  • As a tourist from Europe you would like to have some information like this after all the movies and videoclips i saw in my youth. So bring it on and i might reconsider visiting the States again. (Love to anyway!).

    Posted Jan-9-2012 By 

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  • Comment of user 'KMA-LL' has been deleted by author (after account deletion)!
  • Great idea.
    No-one wants to take a wrong turn, and end up getting robbed, murdered and raped.
    I have nothing against (most Black people) but non-Black's get hurt or worse if they stop or walk in many Ghetto's.

    Posted Jan-9-2012 By 

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  • "Avoid part of route: The Whole Of The UK"

    Posted Jan-9-2012 By 

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  • awesome if it were real

    Posted Jan-9-2012 By 

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  • I used Google Maps + Social Explorer to avoid buying property in ghetto shit.

    Posted Jan-9-2012 By 

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  • Bleeding heart bullshit. That's what this is. The people angry about it I mean.

    Posted Jan-9-2012 By 

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  • Carry a gun you dont need to worry about it.

    Posted Jan-9-2012 By 

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