Slashdot is one of many sources covering an expansion on one of Apple’s existing patents, ones that telling seems to use OS X screen shots to show how viewing of advertisements is tied to disabling of features, the presumption being they would form a sort of unskippable and hence highly lucrative channel for pushing sponsored messages.
Personally, I think this has more to do with Apple’s new mobile advertising platform. For Mac OS X, it makes far less sense. The availability of substitute goods without forced ads is too great and the switching cost is much lower than with a smart phone where you have to contend with termination fees and potentially incompatible carrier data networks.
Besides, hasn’t some form of this rumor already made the rounds?
If Apple wanted to ensure a solid exodus from their non-mobile, non-appliance products, the surest way to do it would be to tying accessing basic features of your Mac to spending attention on ads. Maybe if Apple is looking to divest itself of the Mac, then they would pursue such a scheme.