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U.S. Patent No. 7,069,308? wadda crap!!

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Sorry readers, I've got little time recently due to studies n problems setting up my LAMP server. Ok, this is what I found today, 7,069,308 & obviously it's crap. Friendster invented it? I doubt so.

What is claimed is:

1. In a computer system including a server computer and a database of registered users that stores for each registered user, a user ID of the registered user and a set of user IDs of registered users who are directly connected to the registered user, a method for connecting a first registered user to a second registered user through one or more other registered users, the method comprising the steps of: setting a maximum degree of separation (Nmax) of at least two that is allowed for connecting any two registered users, wherein two registered users who are directly connected are deemed to be separated by one degree of separation and two registered users who are connected through no less than one other registered user are deemed to be separated by two degrees of separation and two registered users who are connected through no less than N other registered users are deemed to be separated by N+1 degrees of separation; searching for the user ID of the second registered user in the sets of user IDs that are stored for registered users who are less than Nmax degrees of separation away from the first registered user, and not in the sets of user IDs that are stored for registered users who are greater than or equal to Nmax degrees of separation away from the first registered user, until the user ID of the second registered user is found in one of the searched sets; and connecting the first registered user to the second registered user if the user ID of the second registered user is found in one of the searched sets, wherein the method limits the searching of the second registered user in the sets of user IDs that are stored for registered users who are less than Nmax degrees of separation away from the first registered user, such that the first registered user and the second registered user who are separated by more than Nmax degrees of separation are not found and connected.

2. The method according to claim 1, wherein the step of searching is first carried out in the sets of user IDs that are stored for registered users who are directly connected to the first registered user.

3. The method according to claim 1, further comprising the step of transmitting a profile of the second registered user to the first registered user for display.

4. The method according to claim 3, further comprising the steps of: storing a connection path between the first registered user and the second registered user, the connection path indicating the one or more other registered users through whom the connection between the first registered user and the second registered user is made; and transmitting the connection path between the first registered user and the second registered user to the first registered user for display.

5. The method according to claim 4, wherein the connection path transmitted for display includes a hyperlink for each of the one or more other registered users through whom the connection between the first registered user and the second registered user is made.

6. The method according to claim 1, wherein the maximum degree of separation is set by an operator of the computer system.

7. The method according to claim 6, wherein the maximum degree of separation is set as four.

8. The method according to claim 1, wherein the database further stores for each registered user, e-mail addresses of individuals who are not registered users and identified by the registered user as friends.

9. The method according to claim 8, further comprising the steps of: sending out an invitation to become a registered user to friends of a registered user; receiving an acceptance from a friend to whom said invitation was sent; and adding said friend to the database and storing for said friend, a user ID and a set of user IDs of registered users who are directly connected to said friend, the set of user IDs stored for said friend including at least the user ID of said registered user.

10. The method according to claim 9, wherein said invitation is sent out by electronic mail.

11. The method according to claim 9, wherein said invitation is resent a number of times prior to the step of receiving.

12. The method according to claim 9, further comprising the step of notifying said registered user that said invitation to said friend has been accepted when said acceptance is received.

13. The method according to claim 9, further comprising the steps of receiving inputs from said friend and storing said inputs in the database, wherein said inputs include descriptive data about said friend.

14. The method according to claim 1, further comprising the steps of: prior to the step of connecting, transmitting brief profiles of registered users, including a brief profile of the second registered user, to the first registered user for display, each of the brief profiles including a hyperlink to a corresponding full profile; and receiving a hyperlink selection from the first registered user, wherein, upon receiving the hyperlink selection for the full profile of the second registered user, the full profile of the second registered user is transmitted to the first registered user for display.

15. The method according to claim 14, wherein brief profiles of those registered users who are more than Nmax degrees of separation away from the first registered user are not transmitted to the first registered user for display.

full details: http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO1&Sect2=HITOFF&d=PALL&p=1&u=/netahtml/PTO/srchnum.htm&r=1&f=G&l=50&s1=7,069,308.PN.&OS=PN/7,069,308&RS=PN/7,069,308

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