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Microsoft Uses DDR Dance Pad To Stamp Spam 142

writertype writes "Apparently Microsoft researchers are also DDR enthusiasts, for their StepUI research project uses a dance pad to stamp out spam from email, scroll through photographs or perform other functions. 'People really like stomping with two feet to delete spam,' said Kevin Schofield, general manager of strategy and communications at Microsoft Research." Given my inbox, I'd be ready for the '08 Olympics. If only they would make Spam Stamping a sport.
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Microsoft Uses DDR Dance Pad To Stamp Spam

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  • by ExE122 ( 954104 ) *
    I wanna hire this guy [] to clean out my inbox!

    As stupid as this whole idea is, it would probably be a lot healthier if people actually had to get up off their duffs to check their email. (StepUI also could end up appealing to another group: Couch potatoes looking for a way to lose some weight while still surfing the Internet) But in all honesty, even though there will be a whole following of DDR nerds who would swear by this, I think it will end up about as popular as a Dvorak keyboard.

    Now if they ever fin
    • I wanna hire this guy [] to clean out my inbox!

      Speaking of content thieves and spammers...
    • Personally.. I'd rather have this [] guy... Not DDR, but they're being sued by Konami for putting out the game. Same concept, same machine, different title & songs.
    • I _am_ a DDR nerd, you insensitive clod!

      In all seriousness I am a DDR player and I think this is stupid and I would bet the rest of the DDR crowd would agree.
    • I was reading this going WOW! I need one of these things! I'm going to read down and see if people are already using them. Then I read your comment first, and realized the reason I was so excited about it was because I am typing this post on a Dvorak keyboard. A Finger Works (RIP) Touchstream LP, in fact. So I said "Oh. Heh."
      • Oh no, I'm a DDR freak and I've typed only on dvorak keyboards for the last 8 years.

        Now, a slashdot poster says that he's not as geeky as -- those DDR people -- who are almost as bad as those geeks who use dvorak keyboards.

        I suddenly realize my chances to ever get a girlfriend are actually negative.

        Actually, negative probabilities doesn't even make sense. As a nerd, I should know that. My probability to have a girlfriend is certainly positive, but it has an imaginary component to it. How complex!

    • That guy gets an F for that A. I had friends back in Carbondale, IL that would Double A "A" for fun.

  • From TFA:

    "People really like stomping with two feet to delete spam," said Kevin Schofield, general manager of strategy and communications at Microsoft Research. "And it raises your energy level and heart beat, which is good for sedentary health issues.

    After a thousand or so spams, this 'stomping with two feet' business is going to get mighty old.

    Also, when (it's only a matter of time) one of those couch potatoes suffers a coronary after attempting to delete endless floods of spam by 'stomping with two fee

    • Oh, stop it.

      All that you'd need are volunteers inside the company who need a stress reliever. Not only would they be able to work out their frustrations in a physical manner, it would also be good physchological help. Pent up frustrations have been proven to have negative, physical reactions, so this could be a great way for employees to work it off.

      Frustrated by your manager's micromanging? Dance it off (and help to get rid of spam).

      Frustrated by your spouse or family members to the point that

      • Frustrated by your next-door-cubicle-neighbor's incessant dancing?

        Pent up frustrations, indeed.

        • Oh, for crying out loud. You're just being argumentative now for the sake of being argumentative.

          Where is it written that there can't be a special area put aside somewhere for people to go to do this? Companies that have on-site gyms put them in their own room. So, I would expect any company that does a DDR-stress-reliever to do the same thing.
      • What we have here are two different functions. 1) Dancing or other phsical activity to relieve stress. 2) Deleting spam.

        I just don't see how combining the two adds anything to either activity.

        • It may not add anything to either activity, but it does recover some of the time you'd lose engaging in both activities sequentially rather than in parallel.

          Whenever you can do two different tasks at once, without losing significantly on either one, you gain value in terms of time saved.
    • Don't worry, it'll be the same company. Microsoft will buy a dance pad manufacturer, and make it a subsidiary. Spammers like to sign up for Hotmail/MSN accounts to send their spam. And who better than Microsoft to be responsible for bloat (of code, that is)?
    • So let me get this straight - in exchange for forcing me to exercise, I can sue Microsoft, the spammers, and the DDR manufacturers? Then I can go back to sitting down and my one-fingered approach, significantly richer? What's not to love?

      Oh yeah, I suppose that wouldn't work for me. I don't get spam. Ah well, back to reading only things I care about in my inboxes.

      Now if you had to input some DDR code to *send* spam, I'd love this. Nothing would entertain me more than blocking out spam because the o

  • Spammers report massive influx of new email addresses as people sign up on mailing lists in order to get their daily workouts and viagra for their 'other' daily workout.
  • ...if this could me made to work as a controller for World of Warcraft.
    • I hope so. That would take care of my addiction to that damn game _and_ the daily exercise at once. Where do i sign up?
    • On my PS2, the dance pad acted just like a standard controller; I could play DDR-style games with the joypad and play ordinary games with the dance pad.

      I see no reason why a dance pad couldn't be used with WoW (or other PC games) by using any of the converters available.

      You'd only need to configure WoW in a sensible way.

      You can buy a PS2 dance pad for $10 and and a PS2-USB converter for $7, so it isn't even that expensive.

      Be sure to post a video to /. when you've done it! ;)
      • That being the case, it should be easy enough to use flash or shockwave to create new variations of dance and directional games..... flash can listen for joypads as well as keystrokes.... interesting :o)

        Oh, combine that with flash's webcam ability, and you can maybe do something with your hands too :o)
      • I see no reason why a dance pad couldn't be used with WoW (or other PC games) by using any of the converters available.

        Yeah, because having one of our healers pass out from exhaustion is just what I want in the middle of trying to down rag.

  • by ceeam ( 39911 )
    Microsoft research guys really rock!

    And now if you ducktape Nintendo Revolution controller to a chair... the options are endless!
    • They wonder why Google steals their thunder. Google creates X, Microsoft comes up with a DDR device to delete emails.
      Microsoft needs to continue to copy good ideas instead of coming up with their own.
    • DDR Pad? Nah. Give me a little voodoo doll of BillG. A poke with a needle deletes spam, a good choking does an anti-spyware sweep and a virus scan, and a healthy stomp reinstalls WinXP.

      Problem solved. The Voodoo Doll Interface(tm). You heard it here first.
    • Personally, I'd prefer the Nintendo light gun so I could go all Cheney on the spam.
    • Microsoft research guys really rock!

      I knew something about this article smelled...

      When Roxor games wanted to make a DDR knock-off, they went to the linux peopule who helpd develop Stepmania []. StepMania is a sourceforge project, and has been the basis for almost all dancing-genre games since the original from Konami. Roxor's game, In the Groove [] is an excellent example of linux found in most arcades.

      Chances are, StepUI borrows more from StepMania than the name. StepMail and StepPhoto are other "innovati

  • Spam to a Eurobeat beat!
  • With 9 buttons, a DDR pad could provide 72 chorded input combinations -- more than enough for ASCII+Numeric+Controls.

    Although I wouldn't want to write a novel on a DDR pad, it might be a good way to get some exercise during shorter text messaging sessions.
    • 9 buttons... You didn't count the center, did you? It would be rather inconvenient to catch your breath and insert a stream of the letter r into the conversation. The typical mat actually has 10 buttons, 4 cardinal directions, 4 subcardinal, and select+start. My math reveals about 100 combinations, because you can include the double-foot possibility in the matrix.
      • OK, please explain this one to me. It is a 3x3 button mat right?
        • It looks like a 3x3 grid, but the middle button is inactive (in the game you stand in the middle in order to not press anything, which is useful during menu selection). You really wouldn't want to use select and start for normal letters in my opinion as a mediocre DDR player, because they are small and out of the way of your feet.

          Also as a mediocre DDR player, I think that DDR is way too slow to be used as an input device for text. Consider how fast you can move your fingers and then think if you had to p
    • I believe the correct formula would be ((n^2+n)/2) for figuring the maximum number of unique 1- or 2-button combinations. That would leave a 9-button mat with 45 unique combinations (given only two feet) or a 10-button mat with 55 unique combinations.

      However, your calculation (n^2-n) works if the mat has the ability to detect which foot (left or right) made contact (which may be the case - I don't know) In which case a better formula might be (n^2+n), allowing for a double-foot stomp on a single pad - an

  • This has to rate as one of the dumbest ideas so far this year.
    br> dumb dumb dumb dumb dumb dumb dumb dumb dumb
    • I think it's a great idea, if not specific to spam. People scoff at having sounds for desktop events, but I couldn't manage without them - I rely on them to know when things are happening. Likewise I like to be using as many monitors as possible - it just gives more space for outputting information to me. However, I only seem to be able to input information one way at a time - I don't have enough hands to use keyboard and mouse together, and voice recognition isn't good enough as yet for me to rely on my mi
    • br> dumb dumb dumb dumb dumb dumb dumb dumb dumb

      Yep, dumb, just like opening tags on html.

  • Always will be some ways to send SPAM... Police can not stop all killers, isn't right? The same thing with a SPAM. But here are some good thing: you always know who order this SPAM. Avery letter contains phone number and/or Internet address.
  • What if spammers are using the same method to send spam?
  • Given my inbox, I'd be ready for the '08 Olympics.

    I don't get it. Does everyone except me have that big a problem with spam? SpamAssassin deletes 99% of my domain spam and Gmail catches another 95% or so. I only see one spam message every month. Granted, I don't get many (about 20 a day) total, but I don't see any of those, and I would imagine that people that got 100x that would only see about one or two a day.

    Does anyone have a huge problem with spam getting through the filters?
    • In certain situations, like offices or campus computer systems, spam e-mails fester pretty well. Because all of my office is able to connect to one mailbox (we are a Career Center, so we get tons of jobs daily), if any spam gets sent to our job e-mail, everyone gets it. On top of that, because of the pretty insecure windows network the campus has, it is incredulously easy for one person to start giving the entire campus tons of spam.

      Now, my Mac back in the room does a nice job of catching all of this ju

    • Good job, let me congratulate you with a nice e-mail message.

      Just fill in your e-mail here: ____________________

      Don't forget to hyper-link the address!
    • I got 133 yesterday that got hooked by my Apple Mail filter, which is a fairly light day -- usually I get around 200. About 20 or 30 make it to my inbox each day, but I'm too lazy to tweak the filter. Every now and then they find a new way through, and I get a spike until I do a little filter training, after which, back to 20 a day.

      Then there are wierd floods of spam that occur every now and then. Sometimes I'll get like 500 in a few hours, all with almost identical subject lines.

      Granted, I have five email
  • While stomping out your spam, you can also chant repeatedly: "Developers! Developers! Developers!" MS Microphone attachment sold separately.
    • And for your upper body workout, the patented MS Chair (TM) can be yours for a limited time. It comes with a rope for easy retrieval, so that it can be utilized* again and again.

      * Not responsible for damage caused. Certain restrictions apply.
  • ... CTRL+ALT+DEL ?

    My back hurts having to bend over to press the third key with my hand...
  • a Strong Bad-style DELETED! [] button.
  • I was quite confused there for a moment... An East German [] Dance Pad?!?
  • Wasn't it a couple of years ago that Microsoft promised us that the SPAM problem would be fixed by now? This is their solution? {Hmmmm.}
  • onto a pile then two foot stomp to crush the spam.
  • Sounds like the joyboard [] that became famous in the Amiga circles. Instead of stomping on it to relive stress Amiga coders would try to sit as motionless as possible on it crosslegged.

    Guru Meditation #00000004.0000AAC0
  • I'm beginning to think that Taco is a bot. A few simple rules like "if subject like 'Mac' and subject like 'Intel' then insert.comment=$WOW_BENCHMARKING" and "if subject like 'spam' then insert.comment=$SIZE_OF_INBOX_WHINE" would cover it.
  • by lowe0 ( 136140 )
    I can't wait until my upstairs neighbor gets one of these.
  • Almost as good as the "Jump to Conclusions" mat...
  • Badger badger badger badger badger badger badger badger badger, MUSHROOM! MUSHROOM!...

    Do your jumping-jacks/squats with the badgers!
  • by crazed ( 811280 )
    The page was down for me; if you can't see the site, view the Coral Distributed Site [].
  • Don't bother putting any more effort into things like SenderID [], which could work towards a technological solution to the problem of spam.

    Keep working hard on letting us play Whack-A-Mole with our feet instead.
    • Dear god, why are you on slashdot? You could be out helping homeless people, or saving the whales, or working on a cure for cancer. Why are we doing anything aside from those things that will benefit the rest of humanity? Oh, yeah, fun. Maybe that is what is going on here. That or PR, probably some of both.
  • From the headline, I got excited that I might be able to break out my Rambus rumba to crank out status reports as well!
  • You and I both know that this is just a stupid, fun project that will never go anywhere with any type of consumer market. Most new ideas we see posted on /. are things that will never make it to a real consumer market. My issue is that if this was an opensource project, or maybe done by a group of MIT students it would be "neat". Since this has been done by Microsoft we immediately flame them etc etc etc. I think the entire /. community needs to look at things with a more open mind and less judgement to
  • SPAM you just got SERVED!
  • 1. Attach DDR dance pad to computer.
    2. Remap key codes for debugger commands "Step In", "Step Over", "Step Out."
    3. Actually step through code...

    • 1. Attach DDR dance pad to computer.
      2. Remap key codes for debugger commands "Step In", "Step Over", "Step Out."
      3. Actually step through code...

      This gives a new meaning to "stamping out the bugs".

      Personally I would rather see something like a large Wacom tablet that would record movement and output dance notation (labanotation). This would actually be an AI application worth doing.

  • Foot injuries are more common than hand injuries. I'm talking about short-term injuries.

    I have a possibly-broken toe right now; if it impaired my ability to work, I'd be even more pissed off at that Brazilian kid who bungled the right downward block than I already am.

    Not to mention the fact that I can work in substantially the same way sitting in my recliner at home with my feet up as I can sitting in my crappy desk chair at work; I don't have to learn a completely different set of muscle movements for wor
    • I have a possibly-broken toe right now; if it impaired my ability to work, I'd be even more pissed off at that Brazilian kid who bungled the right downward block than I already am.

      You are whining about a boo-boo you got from trying to kick someone? Grow some balls.
      • You are whining about a boo-boo you got from trying to kick someone? Grow some balls.

        I can see why a dork like you would be unable to comprehend a sports injury, but I figured you'd agree with my main point since I'm sure your DDR keypad is worn from constant use.
        • I can see why a dork like you would be unable to comprehend a sports injury,...

          Hmm, I can think of at least one muscle you apparently aren't working out. Try back when you can come up with a retort that does not involve generalizations and namecalling.

  • FTFA: "In fact, for those for whom hands are less of an option, as a result of disabilities or injuries, feet might be the optimal solution" So it looks to me like Microsoft is actually trying to do something useful. I for one welcome any attempt at making technology available to a wider audience. But of course, this is slashdot talking about microsoft, of course no one will say anything nice.
    • i belive that feet are already a commonly used method of computer using among those without usable hands, but granted, this would have a significantly shorter learning curve than learning to use a keyboard with your toes, for those who suddenly lose the use of their hands.
    • I suspect that they'll probably patent the hell out of it. And that means that a great innovation like this will be locked down to the whims of our favorite convicted monopolist.
  • You simply don't have the strength... []

    OK, I know that they say it's for those with disabilities, but it came to mind.

  • I could have endless hours of antispam amusement if they shipped my antispam dance pad with one of the bigger spammers tied to the top of it. Stomping away at a spammer would be much more fun than stomping away at spam. Heck, for that I'd probably even invites my friends over, it's more fun than 'twister' :-)
  • ...I get so tired of big companies sponsoring genuinely interesting research, but never actually using the results. The research departments seem to be window-dressing or public relations or vanity.

    Remember Xerox PARC?
  • If you're a hardware techie, you immediately thought, "how is Microsoft, a software company, using a type of memory to stamp out spam? Is it detecting spam and refusing to store those bits? WTF?"
  • Advertisements for quack remedies for fallen arches.
  • Before, I had to say my weight was due to not having to get up in order to admin the box, but now it's due to effective spam fighting techniques.
    • Before, I had to say my weight was due to not having to get up in order to admin the box, but now it's due to effective spam fighting techniques.

      So that could be a legitimate argument for a correlation between obesity and effectiveness as a system admin?

      I guess that means I could eventually effectively use the term "cheeseburger my way to a bonus" without some lewd connotation* being the first thing on people's minds?

      * Potential disgusting takes on that term are left as an exercise to the reader.

  • So... if I'm reading this right...

    Using Hotmail means the same thing as playing a 10-footer on Heavy?
  • was one of those bike machine things that would be rigged so that if you stopped pedaling you'd lose power to your PC. That'd give new meaning to Warcrack 'marathons'. Hehe.

    Only someone that still has a spam problem would dumb enough to but this. I spent 5 minutes setting up Gmail (with no other software) and get no spam, which gives me more time for kickboxing.
  • I see this linked to Microsoft's Origami Project. The iPod/cell phone/video player/messenging and all the other speculation may be getting some sort of e-mail.

    I really see people in the streets jumping in order to delete their mail, snapping to open it, touching their finger to their nose to create a new message...

    oh and tossing their Microsoft Origami across the room :)

  • I saw this on /. and could not stop laughing. I put this pic together for a dumb Vista parody last night and had no idea it was actually real- 25 []

  • does it again!

    Everyone always discusses the amazing stuff that comes out of MS Research. Why am I never, ever impressed?

    Perhaps they can design a "reclining throne-type waste receptacle that determines whether to delete or quarantine viruses based upon the volume of flatulence."

    MS Research produced vaporware, buzzwords, and toys. No interesting development, no pure-science research.

    IBM does loads of hard science.
    Apple has mastered product development.

    Why does MS, with a far, far larger budget, and arguable
  • According to time travelor john titor, there won't be a 2008 Olympics. You might as well give up now.
  • I did something similar a while back by running a ps2 ddr pad through a pc joystick converter. Set up joy2mouse joystick to mouse mapping with X then could use up/down/left/right to move the mouse. I mapped the bottom right and left corners to right and left click, so could move to select then double stamp. It worked well, with the only problem being that the chair legs got in the way. With a fixed mount chair and a slit in the pad, it would be another quite natural input method. Could be really useful
  • "Spam Stamping"? Isn't that the AOL/Yahoo! email initiative?
  • This has to be up there as one of the dumbest research projects ever.

    When will they get it? People are LAZY. They don't want to move their limbs to use software. It's the reason that "PowerGlove" interfaces failed, and it's the same reason this technology won't prevail.

There is one way to find out if a man is honest -- ask him. If he says "Yes" you know he is crooked. -- Groucho Marx