Thursday, February 01, 2007

Joke becomes true...

Quite some time ago I’ve heard a computer joke:

Bill Gates was demonstrating his latest speech-recognition software. He was just about ready to start the demonstration and asked everyone in the room to quiet down.

Just then someone in the back of the room yelled, "Format C: Return."

Someone else chimed in: "Yes, Return!"

Unfortunately, the software worked.


I thought it to be hilarious, though highly improbable. Certainly anyone designing this kind of system would introduce some sort of protection against this kind of “accidents”, right?...

Well, today I’ve read the following:

Vista can respond to vocal commands and concern has been raised about malicious audio on websites or sent via e-mail.
In one scenario outlined by users an MP3 file of voice instructions was used to tell the PC to delete documents.
Microsoft said the exploit was "technically possible" but there was no need to worry.


The full text of the article is here, and here is a response posted on The Microsoft Security Response Center Blog.

Now I am trying to recall other computer jokes – I have to know what to be prepared for, after all…

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7 comments:

Adam said...

It used to be a joke to send someone an email or picture that says: "Displaying this message has infected your computer with a virus". Microsoft took the funny out of both of those a while ago.

Anonymous said...

This is NOT a joke (i.e. something like this has happened), and Bill Gates was NOT involved.

I believe you are referring to this (note, from 1994!):
http://www.netfunny.com/rhf/jokes/94q2/speechrecog.html

At a recent Sacramento PC User's Group meeting, a vendor was demo'ing
his company's latest speech recognition software. He was just about
ready to start the demo, and asked everyone in the room to quiet down.
Just as he was ready to start, someone from the back of the room
yelled, "FORMAT C : RETURN"

(This was mentioned in the Sacra Blue magazine, the monthly newsletter
of the SPCUG.)

kei said...

"NOT a joke" as quoted from a joke site ? I'm not convinced.

Anonymous said...

I don't buy it.Wouldn't they have to say something more like "Start...Run...Command Prompt...Format C : Return"

Anonymous said...

It's not a joke but hilarious!!!

Spx2 said...

Really really funny anyway :)

Anonymous said...

And only Microsoft would have the wisdom to have the feature enabled by default for all users.