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#238936 - 01/09/12 01:11 AM Microsoft to identify 'bad neighborhoods' for gps
GarlyDog Offline
τΏτ
Old Hand

Registered: 04/05/07
Posts: 776
Loc: The People's Republic of IL
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#238951 - 01/09/12 06:17 AM Re: Microsoft to identify 'bad neighborhoods' for gps [Re: GarlyDog]
haertig Online   content
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 03/13/05
Posts: 2219
Loc: Colorado
It makes me sick to hear what tripe the US Patent Office is willing to grant patents for. "Take the subway rather than walk because it's raining outside". "Don't walk through crime infested neighborhoods for your own safety".

What, did Microsoft just patent common sense? This patent was granted by people with the least common sense. Maybe they're hoping to get a kickback from Microsoft granting them some common sense.

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#238953 - 01/09/12 01:41 PM Re: Microsoft to identify 'bad neighborhoods' for gps [Re: haertig]
hikermor Online   content
Geezer in Chief
Geezer

Registered: 08/26/06
Posts: 7367
Loc: southern Cal
I would think the point would be, that if you are in unfamiliar territory, you would not have the local knowledge that would enable you to avoid bad places. Years ago, I was attending a conference in Boston, a nice scholarly meeting on historic preservation. For some reason, I walked to one of the sessions, thereby traversing Boston's Combat Zone, about which I knew nothing. It was not your typical walk in the park....
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#238955 - 01/09/12 02:56 PM Re: Microsoft to identify 'bad neighborhoods' for gps [Re: GarlyDog]
GarlyDog Offline
τΏτ
Old Hand

Registered: 04/05/07
Posts: 776
Loc: The People's Republic of IL
Local knowledge is less than reliable. There is a notion that the East side of my city has far more crime than the West side. "It's practically a war-zone." The truth is crime is about equal on both sides. This misinformation is perpetuated by the paranoid residents of West side of the city.

I see all sorts of problems with this.

1. What does 'bad' mean?

2. Is it updated in real time? Crime happens in spurts and a temporary danger zone can crop up anywhere.

3. If I get mugged on a route deamed 'safe' by Microsoft, can I sue Microsoft for leading me into danger?

4. Can business owners listed as a being in an 'unsafe' area due to an isolated crime incident be damaged? I see groups of businesses filing class action suits for damages caused by misinformation.

5. It's not the place that's dangerous. It's the people that are dangerous. Crime happens where opportunity meets criminal. Criminals don't stay in one place waiting for Microsoft to identify them and put a mark on a map.

6. Do you really need an app to manage your walking route because of the weather?

7. Your wits and your own situational awareness are far more effective tools for keeping you safe than any electronic gizmo that pushes information to you.

8. The distraction your smartphone creates might be enough opportunity for a criminal to get the advantage over you.
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#238973 - 01/09/12 05:55 PM Re: Microsoft to identify 'bad neighborhoods' for gps [Re: ]
bws48 Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 08/18/07
Posts: 831
Loc: Anne Arundel County, Maryland
Originally Posted By: IzzyJG99
I cannot help but think this will never really see the light of day for long. People will sue Microsoft for saying their neighborhood is bad. Real Estate companies will be annoyed that property in "bad neighborhoods" will be priced down. . . .


It sounds something like what is called "redlining" in the financial industry, and is a strict "no-no."

Also, besides the list of people who will sue listed in Izzy's post, add the folks who followed the directions and had something bad happen: "I followed your directions and (fill in the blank) happened and you are responsible."

Based on the little we know, it could really backfire. Some ideas should remain just that.
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#238976 - 01/09/12 06:47 PM Re: Microsoft to identify 'bad neighborhoods' for gps [Re: bws48]
Arney Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 09/15/05
Posts: 2485
Loc: California
Originally Posted By: bws48
...besides the list of people who will sue listed in Izzy's post, add the folks who followed the directions and had something bad happen: "I followed your directions and (fill in the blank) happened and you are responsible."

Well, that has happened numerous times already when people get stuck out in the boonies because the GPS map database was out of date or else the quality of the road (dirt fire road vs paved road) is not what the user expected. I'm not aware of any of them successfully suing the GPS unit manufacturers, unless they were all quietly settled out of court.

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#238981 - 01/09/12 07:11 PM Re: Microsoft to identify 'bad neighborhoods' for gps [Re: GarlyDog]
Bingley Offline
Veteran

Registered: 02/27/08
Posts: 1450
Shouldn't the GPS take into consideration user-dependant "bad areas"? Let me give a few examples:

- You are wearing a red shirt with a red bandana. Should the GPS warn you away from Crips territories?

- You are the paragon of the mindless MTV generation, and you worship Paris Hilton. Should the GPS warn you against clubs frequented by Goths, who might hurl insults at you? Though vacuous that you are, you may still feel the sting of words!

These are, I hope my readers realize, tongue in cheek. The more "serious" (if the term applies) scenarios may include areas with a history of intolerance of various sorts (race, sexual orientation, creed, etc.).


Edited by Bingley (01/09/12 07:27 PM)

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#238982 - 01/09/12 07:17 PM Re: Microsoft to identify 'bad neighborhoods' for gps [Re: Bingley]
Arney Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 09/15/05
Posts: 2485
Loc: California
Originally Posted By: Bingley
The more "serious" (if term applies) scenarios may include areas with a history of intolerance of various sorts (race, sexual orientation, creed, etc.).

I was thinking this exact thing just now. There are multiple sides to this issue. For example, without getting political, I'm sure there are GPS users who would prefer NOT to be routed through certain "safe" areas because there's a good chance they would be pulled over by the police just because they looked "suspicious" in that neighborhood.

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#238987 - 01/09/12 08:04 PM Re: Microsoft to identify 'bad neighborhoods' for gps [Re: GarlyDog]
GarlyDog Offline
τΏτ
Old Hand

Registered: 04/05/07
Posts: 776
Loc: The People's Republic of IL
Excellent point Arney. I guess the app will need to know your race, sexual orientation and clothing preferences to work properly.
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#238988 - 01/09/12 08:24 PM Re: Microsoft to identify 'bad neighborhoods' for gps [Re: hikermor]
Mark_R Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 05/29/10
Posts: 856
Loc: Southern California
Originally Posted By: hikermor
I would think the point would be, that if you are in unfamiliar territory, you would not have the local knowledge that would enable you to avoid bad places. Years ago, I was attending a conference in Boston, a nice scholarly meeting on historic preservation. For some reason, I walked to one of the sessions, thereby traversing Boston's Combat Zone, about which I knew nothing. It was not your typical walk in the park....


Locally, I know the bad spots to avoid and on what streets your car will drive away without you. In a new city, not so much. As a visiter, I'd value information, even of less then perfect reliability, on these spots.
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