Feeds

Holy f**k, Microsoft covers up ‘undesired’ words

Patents new audio censoring software

New hybrid storage solutions

Microsoft has gained patent rights to a technology for censoring speech.

An automatic censoring filter, available in real-time mode or a batch mode, processes an input audio data stream containing speech and then alters “undesired words or phrases” to make them “unintelligible or inaudible”.

The software giant was awarded patent number 7,437,290 by the US Patent and Trademark Office last Tuesday (14 October).

Presumably the tech is intended to soothe the ears of sensitive souls who prefer a beep to a word such as ‘fuck’ slipping out during a live broadcast. Or in call centres, if a shirty employee goes off the rails and starts swearing at the customer, the software could censor anything deemed offensive or to not be toeing the company line.

This tech in fact moves on from the crude beep sloppily employed to mask what Microsoft repeatedly refers to as “undesired words” heard in live recordings.

Instead, the auto censoring filter uses a lattice comprising either phonemes and/or words derived from phonemes for comparison against corresponding phonemes or words included in undesired speech data.

“If the probability that a phoneme or word in the input audio data stream matches a corresponding phoneme or word in the undesired speech data is greater than a probability threshold, the input audio data stream is altered so that the undesired word or a phrase comprising a plurality of such words is unintelligible or inaudible,” said MS in the USPTO filing for the new patent.

It's not entirely clear where Microsoft's interest in this technology lies. But such a move could be looked upon favourably by the Chinese government, which consistently attempts to censor much of the web.

Indeed, in August 2007 the company, alongside Yahoo!, inked a web pact with the People's Republic government in which it agreed to record the identities of bloggers and censor content. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
'Windows 9' LEAK: Microsoft's playing catchup with Linux
Multiple desktops and live tiles in restored Start button star in new vids
Not appy with your Chromebook? Well now it can run Android apps
Google offers beta of tricky OS-inside-OS tech
New 'Cosmos' browser surfs the net by TXT alone
No data plan? No WiFi? No worries ... except sluggish download speed
Greater dev access to iOS 8 will put us AT RISK from HACKERS
Knocking holes in Apple's walled garden could backfire, says securo-chap
NHS grows a NoSQL backbone and rips out its Oracle Spine
Open source? In the government? Ha ha! What, wait ...?
Google extends app refund window to two hours
You now have 120 minutes to finish that game instead of 15
Intel: Hey, enterprises, drop everything and DO HADOOP
Big Data analytics projected to run on more servers than any other app
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.