I for one am not a fan of these "software" type patents. They are often so vague, and usually describe some type of "prior art". I think companies should spend more time making sure their products are "the bomb" and desired by all, versus taking the time to patent all types of frivolous actions to ensure that nobody else can do something similar without paying you a royalty for figuring out a way to do it better.
I mean seriously, this is the "first patent" abstract
A system and method causes a computer to detect and perform actions on structures identified in computer data. The system provides an analyzer server, an application program interface, a user interface and an action processor. The analyzer server receives from an application running concurrently data having recognizable structures, uses a pattern analysis unit, such as a parser or fast string search function, to detect structures in the data, and links relevant actions to the detected structures. The application program interface communicates with the application running concurrently, and transmits relevant information to the user interface. Thus, the user interface can present and enable selection of the detected structures, and upon selection of a detected structure, present the linked candidate actions. Upon selection of an action, the action processor performs the action on the detected structure.
So more or less, any system which presents a user with a screen soliciting choices and the user indicates choices and then the system acts upon those choices and updates the user interface to reflect those choices is infringing upon a concept invented and awarded to Apple. Really? So, when I go the Seven Forums, and I click on New Posts, and it changes the display to reflect the newly posted items since my last visit, this is more or less in violation of this same concept. Somebody should report this to Apple immediately.