US Patent Office exposes Apple secret plan

Cupertino's 'silence' landgrab


April Fool The US Patent and Trademark office published an Apple patent filing on Wednesday that analysts are calling a bold attempt by the Cupertino Fruit Company to protect its core corporate values and business practices.

Since the return of Steve Jobs to the consumer electronics giant and sometimes computer maker in 1997, Apple has become famous for its secrecy - so much so that many a journalist has programmed Microsoft Word's AutoText capability to replace brief key codes with the phrases "We don't comment on unannounced products" and "Apple declined to comment on this report".

Wednesday's patent filing endeavors to put a legal framework around Apple's paranoia secrecy by patenting procedures the company employs to maintain its renowned cone of silence.

One entire subsection of the filing is devoted to requests for information from its press contacts. For example, a voicemail system is described in which an outgoing message is provided and followed by the traditional beep, but any message left by the caller goes unrecorded.

A lower-tech system in which a series of steps to be taken when a ringing phone is detected by an Apple contact is also described. The steps include (and, as the filing states, "are not limited to") facing away from a ringing phone, rubbing one's hands briskly over one's ears, and loudly repeating "La-la-la-la-la!" until the "auditory signal" - patent-speak for "ringing phone" - is no longer detected.

Apple secrecy-patent illustration

One image accompanying the patent filing depicts phone-avoidance methodologies

The filing also details an automated system for intercepting and deleting email messages received from a broad range of domains, including *@macworld.com, *@appleinsider.com, *@macsurfer.com, *@macdailynews.com, *@theregister.com (and *@theregister.com), and hundreds of others.

Another subsection of the filing lists an "electronic device for the inculcation of data-denial modalities among front-line liveware". This iPod-like device can be securely locked into a trainee's ear canal, where it will repeat an infinite loop of denial vocabulary until switched off by a prequalified Apple HR officer.

According to the filing, the terminology implanted into a newbie's cortex "includes but is not limited to no, absolutely not, most certainly not, of course not, under no circumstances, by no means, not at all, negative, never, not really, nope, uh-uh, nah, not on your life, no way, no way José, ixnay, and I'll have to get back to you about that."

Perhaps unsurprising to long-time Apple watchers, a final subsection describes a "simulation-shaping and snookering solution system" into which is fed digitized renderings in Autodesk's Maya binary-file format (.mb) of upcoming Apple products, and which morphs those designs into similar-but-altered 3D-image files that the system then automatically posts on MacRumors.com's forums, thus engendering the buzz that always precedes an Apple product launch.

As described in the filing, this system can modify lighting in certain sections of the image so as to make them appear Photoshopped. It can also be set to reproduce a series of images with increasing accuracy - or, should the operator so desire, inaccuracy - as the known-only-to-Apple product-release date approaches.

Apple declined to comment on this report. ®

Similar topics


Other stories you might like

  • VMware claims 'bare-metal' performance from virtualized Nvidia GPUs
    Is... is that why Broadcom wants to buy it?

    The future of high-performance computing will be virtualized, VMware's Uday Kurkure has told The Register.

    Kurkure, the lead engineer for VMware's performance engineering team, has spent the past five years working on ways to virtualize machine-learning workloads running on accelerators. Earlier this month his team reported "near or better than bare-metal performance" for Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers (BERT) and Mask R-CNN — two popular machine-learning workloads — running on virtualized GPUs (vGPU) connected using Nvidia's NVLink interconnect.

    NVLink enables compute and memory resources to be shared across up to four GPUs over a high-bandwidth mesh fabric operating at 6.25GB/s per lane compared to PCIe 4.0's 2.5GB/s. The interconnect enabled Kurkure's team to pool 160GB of GPU memory from the Dell PowerEdge system's four 40GB Nvidia A100 SXM GPUs.

    Continue reading
  • Nvidia promises annual datacenter product updates across CPU, GPU, and DPU
    Arm one year, x86 the next, and always faster than a certain chip shop that still can't ship even one standalone GPU

    Computex Nvidia's push deeper into enterprise computing will see its practice of introducing a new GPU architecture every two years brought to its CPUs and data processing units (DPUs, aka SmartNICs).

    Speaking on the company's pre-recorded keynote released to coincide with the Computex exhibition in Taiwan this week, senior vice president for hardware engineering Brian Kelleher spoke of the company's "reputation for unmatched execution on silicon." That's language that needs to be considered in the context of Intel, an Nvidia rival, again delaying a planned entry to the discrete GPU market.

    "We will extend our execution excellence and give each of our chip architectures a two-year rhythm," Kelleher added.

    Continue reading
  • Now Amazon puts 'creepy' AI cameras in UK delivery vans
    Big Bezos is watching you

    Amazon is reportedly installing AI-powered cameras in delivery vans to keep tabs on its drivers in the UK.

    The technology was first deployed, with numerous errors that reportedly denied drivers' bonuses after malfunctions, in the US. Last year, the internet giant produced a corporate video detailing how the cameras monitor drivers' driving behavior for safety reasons. The same system is now apparently being rolled out to vehicles in the UK. 

    Multiple camera lenses are placed under the front mirror. One is directed at the person behind the wheel, one is facing the road, and two are located on either side to provide a wider view. The cameras are monitored by software built by Netradyne, a computer-vision startup focused on driver safety. This code uses machine-learning algorithms to figure out what's going on in and around the vehicle.

    Continue reading

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2022