Thursday, 31 December 2009

WTF - IBM patent LOL

OMG! As circulated on the Association of Internet Researchers mailing list, IBM have patented a method that allows expressions such as LOL found in IM and SMS to be turned into their longhand brethren. To restate the abstract:

"Electronic messaging systems, a machine-accessible medium, and methods for text-based electronic communication. In one embodiment, a plurality of databases are provided. The databases each define shorthand terms with one or more longhand terms. A shorthand term is targeted within a text message, and the databases are searched for corresponding longhand terms. The longhand terms are selected for display according to factors such as user preferences, the identities of participants to the text communication, and the context of the text message. Abbreviations, shorthand, and other jargon sent by one user is thereby interpreted. For example, one of the longhand terms may be substituted in-line with the text message. Alternatively, all matches for the shorthand term found in the databases may be listed in descending order according to relevancy."

Patent details here

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I am director of the Media and Persuasive Communication (MPC) network at Bangor University where I also lecture on political-economy of the media. I am currently working on a book provisionally titled Deconstructing Privacy for Peter Lang and leading two empirical projects in connection with privacy perception and the use of new media for smoking cessation. I am author of Creativity and Advertising: Affect, Events and Process (Routledge, 2013); The Mood of Information: A Critique of Behavioural Advertising (Continuum, 2011); and Digital Advertising (Palgrave-MacMillan, 2009). Please contact me at if you are interested in Ph.D supervision or consultancy services.