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Thought Recognition 182

Hap Nesbitt writes "Microsoft has a nine year old boy named Rupert working 13 hour days to develop their next breakthrough OS interface -- thought recognition " Apparently Microsoft already has some competition (thanks to pluteus_larva for this one). BTW: read the small print.
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Thought Recognition

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  • by Anonymous Coward
    They seem to have gotten the MS details right, like building 8 and vanstar, but the spelled Carnegie Mellon with a dash. Amateurs :)
  • by Anonymous Coward
    The SeattleTimes magazines mentioned were rather obviously stacked up in the Red West buildings last thursday. Made for humorous exclamations from the out of town recruits who weren't familiar with the paper.

    I loved the photo of the granny with the remote hastily fastened to her head. Great stuff.

  • Thought recognition. Obviously the necessary prelude to their ultimate goal:


    Be afraid. Be very afraid.

  • Posted by A.W.O.L.:

    I think we're all pretty much sci-fi fans here. I myself really like near future sci-fi.

    I just read the story and I think it's a great fiction in the guise of an April 1st article. It's great how it's based in the current day and how the author used the name Microsoft... I'd count it among the best sci-fi I've read (not that I have time for books anymore).

    Of course it's scary contemplating such a reality...
  • Posted by NJViking:

    Heh.. yeah, if you aren't careful.
    It'll blow up into a giant blueberry just like in Willy Wonka.

  • Posted by The Mongolian Barbecue:

    or at least, he has yet to prove that he is anything other than a lucky market drone. where is any code that he's hacked? I'll tell you where- hidden from everyone because he is too embaressed.
  • As is normal, this "Microsoft" innovation is old-hat everywhere outside of Redmond. The DWIM instruction set was rumored to have been in several 1960's era mainframes, and the technology was even built into Soviet Fighters which the US, um, "appropriated" back in the mid-80's.

    This technology is, in fact, so easy a child of nine could do. It's good to see that Microsoft has finally hired a child of nine. What they hey- he's got to be more computer savvy than that herd of PhD's they've hired.
  • I saw a game at Tower Records a while back that was supposed to use thought recognition. It was a skiing game, and I guess you were supposed to think "left", "right" or "jump" ...

    I think thought-recognition may be fun at the OS level.. For instance, while using windows, you think "I ougtta just format C:" ... And, the thought-recognition just recognizes format C:

    At least if M$ gets any tech support calls about that, they can honestly say "that's not a bug, it's a feature, dammit!"
  • Yeah, it's a joke, but it's a well written joke. If only the real stories about MS & Linux were as well written. The author worked hard on this one.
    Grant Chair, Linux Int.
  • ``No thought detected, switching to point and drool interface. Think of the word OK to continue''.
  • Now THAT was a classic April Fool's joke.
  • I've noticed over the past couple of days that Slashdot seems to be getting fooled into thinking that these stories are serious. Nick Petreley's APril fools Infoworld column was listed on Slashdot for about 10 mins before being pulled, and now this one comes up.

    I think that the Slashdot contributors are engaging in some post-April Fools Day revenge for collaborating with Segfault, UserFriendly, and BeDope.

  • Didn't realize that Slashdot filed it under "humor." After being fooled by the guy who submitted the Petreley article, I thought Slashdot got fooled again.
  • There is a mentioning of the Netscape Navigator debuting in '96. I've been an avid internet user since mid.'95. I even have my first internet software installation discs floppies. What I have there among other interesting things is Netscape Navigator! (ver. 1.0 or 2.0).
  • We'll "Think Different" for you.
  • No, that kid was named Gibson (or at least that was his first name; don't remember his surname).
  • Publish the details, under an open-source licence. That way we can all hack on brainwave-driven computing.
  • "Bill Gates' greatest fear is not that some kid is brewing the next killer app in his garage in Kenosha,"

    Why is it that whenever people want to express something coming out of nowhere, they always name a small town in Wisconsin?

    Why not name some backwaters place in western Michigan? Nothing good ever comes from there.... :-)

  • Well I'm always finding the opportunity to bask and here's another reason:
    The front page articles on don't have the icons to tell you what a story is about. Therefore you won't see the foot icon saying this is humour and some people (OK perhaps they have a braincell loose) may take the article seriously particularly as it's NOT April 1st any more.
    Bad for RedHat's image more than Microsoft's as some people may consider it slander against Microsoft.
  • I find some of the implications for that boy very disturbing. It reads as though he has had his childhood robbed from his at 9. As for his mother agreeing to that because of the stock options, sickning.

  • Why would anyone want to disable me?

    Just because a guy was born on April 1st and his initials happen to be BS, y'all pick me to death! Jeez, give a guy a break!

    (Yes, I was born april first and yes, my initials are BS. Funny how things work out, eh?)
  • Pretty sure this was a april fools trick, when I read the paper version of this.
  • The one that says "A prodigy's Redmond isolation lab faces 'outing' over life secrets".

    Pay particular attention to the first letters...

  • I can't believe I thought this article was true. I read it several days ago, when it was linked to linuxtoday (I have been reduced to spending not less than 60% of my working hours going between /. and linuxtoday). I completely thought it was true, although I really skimmed most of it. Having re-read it, I can't believe I didn't get it.

    Maybe we all need to get out more and stop bashing micros~1 so much. I've even torn down the Bill Gates-as-Hitler poster with the "I want to believe - the Truth is out there" caption from my kitchen wall.

    ... nah
    KILL MICROS~1!!!



  • Read the article. The tone is way to jocular for it to be real. If you doubt, read the bit about rewiring the old Zenith with nothing but some hair clippers and a hunk of wire. Please.

    Oh, by the way, I was just listening to the radio and Orson Welles says that the martians are coming. I'm out of here.
  • Now, I'll give Microsoft some credit -

    The Human Resources department in ANY company is likely to be imbued with Satanic power.

    Their neither human, nor terribly resourceful.

    Then again, given that Microsoft in general is the way it is, it seems to me that their HR department may have won over the entire company. :>

    - Darchmare
    - Axis Mutatis,
  • Red Robin rocks. We have 2 in this area (Tri-cities WA).

    I really love those Bacon Burgers, and those fries.... Mmmm...

    Oh yeah, and the kid is right - Ephrata does suck. then again, so does Soap Lake.

    - Darchmare
    - Axis Mutatis,
  • Seems to me that they've accomplished that already, to some degree.

    - Darchmare
    - Axis Mutatis,
  • Geez, let's not go giving Bill any ideas, OK?
  • Humor-challenged, I see...
  • :: What in HELL has Gates done that is so brilliant?

    A backup unit for the MS Borg Queen *must* be available.
  • Wow, I'd have never seen that. Cool.

    Now I'm going to be looking at subheadings like
    that for weeks...crap.
  • I knew from the moment I saw the article that it was a hoax. After seeing The Truman Show everyone knows that Microsoft will start at conception, not with a 9 year old that's been exposed to so many outside influences. That's the only reasonable way they can accomplish their goals.



  • Think of it. The increasing number of missing children, the increasing rise in share price of Microsoft, the increasing desparation of Bill Gates as Microsoft works itself into the W2K corner....

    I think you're on to something (or *on* comething :-)

  • So this evening, like a lot of evenings, I turn on my computer, fire up the web browser and /. comes up because I choose it from my link list.

    Then I see this article, one of a dozen, and decide that it's not worth my time to view.

    Simple as that, I decide not to look at it.

    Problem solved. A dozen articles a day, view a third to a half of them, sometimes enjoy them and sometimes close 'em before I give up even thirty more seconds to them.

    And should I ever decide that /. has declined to the point that I'm bellyaching about it for the better part of seven paragraphs, I'll grab the source code and set up my own.

    "FFFishDot -- News for Five Fresh Fish. Stuff That Matters to Him."

    And the flocks will gather, just as they have for Rob. Of course, eventually some hardcase will fall in love with it, and then fall out of love with it because, hey, it's not "HardDot -- News for HardCase. Stuff That Matters to Him."

    Ce la vie.
  • Oh. My. God.

    We've got a live one here, folks! Someone who *ACTUALLY BELIEVES* what he reads on the news sites. Apparently swallows it all verbatim.

    Please, Lotek. It's the Internet. As the old saying goes -- "Believe half of what you see, a quarter of what you read and none of what you hear."

    Consider the Internet to be between "hearing" and "reading."
  • (Okay, that was slightly unfair. But, geez, it's not like people are being *forced* to read the news links!)
  • Yes, April and all... but an MS thought-control interface would be next to useless anyway, due to flooding by frustration and disappointment, wouldn't it?
  • Perl isn't exactly CPU-lite as a webserver. I'd say Mr Malda just runs nice hardware with a decent OS and webserver on it. But if the slashdotting of slashdot ever worries you, send him an Alpha or two. Then all you'll have to worry about is his uplink getting slashdotted...
  • 'Nuff said.
    Time flies like an arrow;
  • They're prob'ly running NT and IIS. Two PalmPilots and a Nokia cellphone can /. it.
  • Oh, you're one of those people...


    Seriously, some of us don't load images, especially since adfu seems to be the major slashdot bottleneck now.

  • When I read this I felt a small memory in the dim recesses of my literary background twitch...then it hit me (Which hurt. Memories aren't supposed to do that sort of thing, but it happens to other people so it must not be terribly unusual).

    Has anyone read the excellent book _Enders Game_ by Orson Scott Card? See any parallels?

    The scary thing is that if you throw the massive corperate power from Gibson books and _Shadowrun_ (oh, there's a difference? :-) together with the "trained from birth for a specific job" power of...say either _Enders Game_ or _Brave New World_, this scenario is likely to be entirely possible in...20? 30 years?


  • micros~1 --- HAHAHAHAHAHA!!!! gotta love
    lfn converted to 8.3!!

  • Microsoft staff assigned to Barcelona have but one task: Find the next Bill Gates.

    What in HELL has Gates done that is so brilliant?

    This HAS to be a joke!
  • How embarassing! I missed the "from the ... department" line and read it thinking it was news. Of course, I suppose the fact that M$ was doing actual ground-breaking research should have been an immediate giveaway that something was amiss with this story. Not that M$ doesn't have a great track record for innovation or anything ;-)
  • It's possible to add 'thought' macros to the computer w/ some cheap (under $100) hardware and a short program that can be programed to recognize occurances. Sure it takes some practice and a weird thing on your head and isn't always accurate but it still is really fun to use. My desire is to make a wireless unit that I can mouse around with and freak people out at work. *grins* I spend to much time working w/ devices for my handicapped sister, I have some really weird gadgets. :) Anyone think this beats a scroll mouse for web browsing? Might sell well off porn sites, hands free browsing.
  • It's against child labor laws.

    It's /.ed already... ???

    How doesn't slashdot ever get slashdotted??? Is it a secret illuminati or masonic conspiracy, or does Rob just have better hardware then everyone else? Or is it Perl? :)
  • I love this stuff. It keeps me on my toes when reading "real" news articles.

    Critical thinking is a habit and like all habits, benefits from periodic reinforcement.
  • Hi! I've got a slightly used life that you can have for a mere $.25! I haven't used it much lately, and it's apparent that you need it more than I do.

    It might surprise you to know that April fools jokes are run not only by news *sites*, but by the people that put out physical, dead news trees, too. It does back a wayz.

    To say that /. should only post true things is ludicrous. They post untrue things (in a sense) every day. Maybe there should just be a standing policy of marking everything with an exaggerated, satirical bent: "ATTENTION ALL MORONS: THE FOLLOWING ITEM IS *NOT* *TRUE*".

  • FYI - Red Robin is a real chain of restaurants. I ate at one the other night in the San Fran bay area. :)

  • So this evening, like a lot of evenings, I turn on my computer, fire up the web browser and /. comes up because it's my default home page. And I take a look at the little graphic that comes with the web page. It goes something like this: Slashdot: News for Nerds. Stuff that matters.

    Then I see this article...obviously it's a joke, and it's a pretty clever one.

    Then my brain engages. How is this "News for Nerds"? Exactly why is this "Stuff that matters"? The answer is...drum roll's not.

    What's going on with /.? This used to be a pretty hip place that collected a lot of good news that was really interesting, but lately it's turning into a place for tired old news to get a fresh spin before it goes back into the boneyard. It's a site to look over one more April Fool's joke page, a week into the month. It's where we can debate such important topics as how to moderate messages.

    In the meantime, I'm having a hard time seeing the news for all the noise. If I want to see junk on a web page, I can go over to CNN.

    Something's wrong with /.. Maybe it's that sad sort of decline that comes to an organization when it becomes so self absorbed that it forgets what its original purpose was. Or maybe it's that Rob is too busy doing other important things to keep an eye on the quality of the site. Whatever it is, I'm disappointed to see the road that we're traveling here.

    Maybe things will change. I hope so, because /. serves a good's like a giant distributed nerd made up of lots of little nerds. Let's make sure that the nerd doesn't get too wrapped up in himself and forget why he's here.

  • That is odd, but cool. Maybe you should auction them off on EBay. You never know what people tastes are. I mean people buy those tastless designer clothes.

    I would take one, but I live in a dorm. Ah hell, I would take one any way.

    And people keep old crappy software for nostalgia (video game emulation) or for the fact that they can't buy the new version, which isn't the reason for the Netscape thing.

    But think about it. They have old airplanes, cars, and other things. Why not old computer firsts?
  • Well, with mod_perl and stuff like FastCGI, it can get pretty fast. Something like a shell-script webserver with shell-script CGI would be slow.

    Actually, it is possible to write a webserver in bash, with netcat.
  • Why does the family dies? Do you care why?
  • If it were, it wouldn't surprise me one bit that Microsoft is so blatantly lacking in vision. No matter how big a commercial success a TR Windows-like system might turn out to be, it wouldn't change anything. It wouldn't be anywhere near revolutionary. I mean, come on. For starters, this is just an input modification, which is relatively easy to implement. They hardly need a child genius to do it - give the usual bunch of programmers a 2005 average home-control computer (I'm betting on something along the lines of a SMP system with 64 4-GHz RISC chips, linked to every other electronic thing on the house through inconspicuous digital lines with 2 Tb bandwidth) and _very_strong_, _very_small_ electric impulse detectors and they'll have this thing ready in a matter of months. Only problem is, we're not in 2005 yet. And again, this won't change anything.

    Now picture the situation another five years later, in say 2010. This is the optimistic estimate for the arrival of the early first-generation assemblers (probably built by protein-based machines). Once we have assemblers, we can have anything - nanobots for all, nanogrown materials, and eventually, artificial dry-carbon brains for the more liberal of us to get into. Now _this_ will be truly revolutionary... and the one who comes up with the first one will get it all - maybe not money, but certainly the gratitude of the human species.
  • I don't find it difficult to believe that Gates would hedge his bets. After all, who can predict what happened to the Gates genes when they were intermingled with another to produce his offspring?

    Ha!! Poor little (fictional) Rupert would get the boot if Gates could just clone himself without arousing suspicion...

  • Wasn't this an april fools day joke? I saw it at linuxtoday a few days ago..
  • >Even Sengen knows it's a joke, see the "april-one-nineteen-ninety-nine dept" line...

    of COURSE! so THAT'S why he gave it tthe humor icon! where would i be without the quick-witted analysis of slashdot commenters?

  • by cale ( 18062 )
    mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm alpha :)

    oh come everyone else wasn't thinking the same thing.
  • Quick thought for you to think about. What happens when Windows TR crashes. Do you die. Then Micro$oft can't take you money when they release WindowsTR 2007. Then I guess that this will never happen.
    Bad Move Bill
  • This is another example of why I really dislike April Fools' Day. Something reported on April 1st can be picked up by other media thereafter, and people take it seriously. Call me humour impaired, but I don't find lies all that funny.

    Basically, I ignored everything I saw here on Slashdot on April 1st (and therefore, I may have missed some bonafide news). Now I have to be cautious about stuff I read several days thereafter...
  • scary sh*t...i wonder how gates intends to cheat death?
  • Maybe Truman Burbank wasn't the first child to be legally adopted by a corporation...

  • I enjoy these jokes, it's funny. There is an option under preferences to exlude things from the It's a joke, Laugh category, which will keep the humor from getting through.
  • How's a computer going to understand the thought, "I want to look at my AOL stock quotes" when IT CAN'T UNDERSTAND THE ASCII STRING "I want to look at my AOL stock quotes"? Bill Gates should have stayed in college.
  • More April fool's crap? I thought the point of having editors was to *increase* the SNR.
  • I hear that in this one episode, Corky gets some!
  • Soap Lake, WA does exist, the zip code is 98851- look it up on the USPS web site if you're skeptical. Red Robin is very near the MS campus, and is very popular with MicroSerfs.
  • Isn't it a bit late for April fools jokes? Especially ones this bad? This never should've made it as a story.
  • Thats still to hard for today's average computer user!!
  • You know...I wouldn't let this article disrupt your sleep pattern. Its a left-over April fools joke. Hey, thanksgiving gets to last for a whole week with left-over turkey...why can't April fools have left-overs? By the way, I think you're an idiot.
  • Yeah, I'd call this one of the best short pieces of sci fi I've read in a long time.
  • Nice April Fool's joke, but I like this part - pretty good reason why this kind of software should be free software:

    What especially concerns privacy watchdogs like Heilman is the possibility that Rupert Tollefsen's TR operating system, if such a thing can be created, might contain not only the ability to pick up signals to the brain, but to feed them to
    the user's brain as well. Researchers who have worked on proto-TR projects say this capability--known alternately as "complete-loop functioning," or "reciprocity"--is the Holy Grail of 21st century information technology.
  • Definitely looks made up. First it talks about the kid being part of a top secret project that nobody knows about. Then it mentions the kid's office being two doors down from Bill's. Kind of a hard place to be inconspicuous, if you ask me.
  • What about milk, cheese, Tombstone pizza, the Violent Femmes, Garbage, Ghostview and Mesa. All from Wisconsin. Oh yeah, and Dahmer. :-)

  • follow up info: salon has it listed with other 4/1 tricks: log.html
  • Despite the fact that this article was a joke, it seems to me that this kind of program could give our existing educational system a run for its money. One child at a time, geek-potential will be traded in for stock options, and the US will become a technocracy ruled by company-educated mega-geeks. The most valuable resource will be their young, highly plastic neurons. The innovators will get younger and younger, and eventually the world will be controlled by a tempermental "little brother".
  • ...and a darned good AFJ it is!

    How often to AFJ's have SHELF LIFE? =)

    - quux
  • And I bet he's the evil genius behind this...ever since the end of his pitching career, well, I wondered what he was up to...I guess now I know

    Damn funny April fools article, I thought...reminded me a lot of the Sidd Finch thing...
  • Posted by F.A.N.G.:

    They had a 13 year-old named Corky working 9 hour days to design the last UI.
  • I bet if it wasn't a computer company but a biomedical or something company, the kid would be banned from working by child labor activists. It just shows how little people care about some computer company, while the role of inducible nitric oxide synthase in neoplastic apoptosis is on 60 minutes every weekend.
  • Why are you _STILL_ posting april fools jokes?
    And isn't it about time that you post retractions for the previous april fools articles?
    Joseph Elwell.
  • They're hiring CHILDREN to do their work for them? Have these monsters no shame? If nothing else, this should show the world the obscenity that Microsoft really is.

    On the bright side, this is going to ba a huge blow to their antitrust case, since I believe they're violating at least 40 different child-labor laws. With any luck this one will get them not just broken up but completely dissolved.
  • Very cute Kaz.. Almost wana steal it for my sig :-)

    I think that if the world did come down to thought recognition we would all lose our fine motor skills and develop larger minds, therefor evolving into large headed alien type people with large eyes, and little, weak arms.. WHOA! Thats what happened to aliens!!!

    Stan "Myconid" Brinkerhoff
  • This old, and an April fools joke (last I checked April fools was a day not a month).

    Even Sengen knows it's a joke, see the "april-one-nineteen-ninety-nine dept" line...

    Come on guys, it was funny for about an hour, but even 04/01 has to end sometime.

    Then again, maybe I'm just getting old and crotchety...

  • What, you thought MS actually does software research?
  • I know they won't recognize my thoughts,
    (maybe one: "Damn, windows sucks", that's a very common thought)
    but I would hate to bluescren my brain.
    I can imagine talking to someone, and he will say "Illegal operation, I must be shut down".
    And what about slowness?
    That would be rather funny, to see people to see thinking "as fast as windows".
    "hello" - "h.. e... llo..."

    About language recognition,
    ever heard the phrase "there is one computer language, the microsoft language"?
    Be afraid, be very afraid.

    And yes.
    I'm terrified of Microsoft.
    that one day i will have to use their products,
    that they will steal the internet.
    I want to be free, and Microsoft's goal is to take freedom from people.
    (GUIDs, no choice in products, bill brother IS watching you!)

  • Think.
    Microsoft has the money, and the will to pull such a thing.
    Check the milk cartons...

  • Remember this was the April 1 edition, and it contains some pretty bogus sounding names. Not to mention the tone was very tongue in cheek. I read it yesterday and I thought it was pretty funny.
  • Sigh.

    This is the kind of stuff that makes it so hard for the average person to take internet news sites seriously. April fools jokes SHOULD NOT be started by news sites. And if they are, the sites need to make it damn clear on April 2 that they were not real.

    I wouldn't be surpassed if Sengan had just skimmed the article, gotten the impression that it was a real deal article, and slapped it up here, all without realizing that he was getting taken for a ride. Having run a news site on my companies infonet for a couple of years now, I would bet the farm that this is exactly what happened.

    News sites, even if they are for Nerds, should only post things that are true. When fluff like this gets posted it makes it harder to take the rest of the news (which is probably real) seriously. Faking news for an April Fools joke and not posting a retraction the next day is a disservice to the entire online news community. After all, We already have one Onion.


  • I don't like MS because of its software and commercial practices. This article is not related to poor software or monopolistic practices. The article is absolutely not true. I'm very dissapointed that is got posted on /. It's simply not apropriate to post articles that don't have any proove underneath words, on any day other than April 1. It absolutely can't comply with "etiquet rules", it's just not ethical and very low class post.
  • by Millennium ( 2451 ) on Tuesday April 06, 1999 @08:19PM (#1946600)
    I can't believe I fell for that one.

    Then again, I suppose I deserve it; this year I told another messageboard I frequent that my girlfriend (who also frequents it) and I were actually the same person; several people fell for that one too. We aren't, by the way.

    However, this does strike me as something Microsoft would do, given the chance...

God helps them that themselves. -- Benjamin Franklin, "Poor Richard's Almanac"