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Microsoft Patents ‘Avoid Ghetto’ Feature For GPS Devices

WTF?

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Microsoft has been granted a patent for its “avoid ghetto” feature for GPS devices.

A GPS device is used to find shortcuts and avoid traffic, but Microsoft’s patent states that a route can be plotted for pedestrians to avoid an “unsafe neighborhood or being in an open area that is subject to harsh temperatures.”


Created for mobile phones, the technology uses the latest crime statistics and weather data and includes them when calculating a route.

The patent, written in a combination of tech-speak and legalese, was awarded to Microsoft earlier this week. It also described other uses for the new GPS technology.

One section of the patent mentioned that advertisers can use the technology to navigate a user through a newly set up ad campaign.

Microsoft declined to comment to CBS Seattle.

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7 replies »

  1. I dunno. I think that the danger associated with most bad neighborhoods is a bit exaggerated. I wouldn’t say they’re the safest places on earth, but I’ve spent a lot of time in some of America’s worst ‘hoods and never felt threatened (well, I’ve had gang signs flashed at me on numerous occasions, which is ridiculous because I’m obviously not in a gang.) Most junkies won’t actually mess with you if you don’t make yourself out to look like an easy score, and even then they’re more likely to try to bum some money or run a quick, non violent scam. I respond to the “bad guys” the way I was taught to respond to bears: don’t make yourself out to be prey by running, don’t make yourself out to be a threat, and fight like hell if they attack.

    Anyway, everyone knows that muggings happen in empty parking garages and in busy downtown areas were no one ever lifts a finger to help.

  2. I’ve been in bad neighborhoods — the worst was getting verbally abused by cops when I was delivering pizzas, and being threatened by a white gang (as opposed to black ones…) That was way back in the 80s. More recently I walked the mean streets of Brooklyn in the wee hours and nothing happened. Maybe just the way I was dressed at the time — I certainly wasn’t gonna be mistaken for a tourist at any rate!

  3. and northtown as “bad neighborhoods” and “a bad part of town.” When I lived over there I had never once heard the term “bad part of town” or “bad neighborhood” There were “rough neighborhoods” that we considered “poor neighborhoods” But like I said the people who live next door to me now are always talking about “bad neighborhoods” I know what they’re trying to say but it’s funny to me

  4. RJ, that reminds me of when I lived in Somerville, MA back in the early nineties. We went to some regional school gathering (don’t remember what exactly it was) that was mostly kids from the ‘burbs. They thought we lived in a bad neighborhood, but we didn’t think so. We had our own idea of what a bad neighborhood was. It’s all relative.

  5. Right for instance the working class neighborhoods in Las Vegas are poor but we saw other poorer neighborhoods as “lower class” neighborhoods even though WE were a lower class neighborhood, we didn’t consider ourselves a bad neighborhood but since we were a rather poor neighborhood we didn’t consider anything else a “bad neighborhood” at all. We just recognized that some neighborhoods were poorer than others. A lot of people who grew up in middle class or upper middle class neighborhoods (and never lived outside of these neighborhoods) just saw everything else as bad. Like, “well, that’s just a bad part of town.” But that’s not how it was. There were poor neighborhoods, poorer neighborhoods, and the poorest neighborhoods. The rich see everything from cheap motels, old hotels, certain shopping centers or Walmart locations, bad parks, it’s all bad. And of course we didn’t look at the higher class neighborhoods and say, “well those are good neighborhoods.” We said yeah those are the rich neighborhoods. But I know what people mean when they say bad neighborhoods as in lower income neighborhoods. It’s just funny because the term “bad neighborhood” is just non existent in “bad neighborhoods.” Rap music and the popularization of ghettos may have changed all that, but you know, whatever. I didn’t even view myself as living in a bad neighborhood. Even to this day I will say yeah I lived in a white working class neighborhood most of my life, and I lived in an even lower class black neighborhood for a few years, which was much poorer. But I wouldn’t say “I lived in a really, really bad neighborhood” for a little while, and a not so pleasant neighborhood for most of my life. I would say yeah that neighborhood was pretty tough. Good times. And that’s it.

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