When Predictive Text Goes Wrong

An email from a co-worker writing on a BlackBerry Pearl left me a bit confused:

But we cannot pull rabbits from gays…

Turns out what she meant to say was “rabbits from hats” – the BlackBerry’s predictive text went a bit weird on her.

Vista Speech Recognition Exploit

I saw that George Ou is reporting a remote exploit in Vista based on it Speech Control functionality, wherein a malicious sound file (for example, on a web page) can trigger arbitrary commands.

For a second, I couldn’t believe no one had thought of this exploit before – and then I remembered this old chestnut dating back to at least 1997:

At a recent Sacramento PC User’s Group meeting, a company was demonstrating its latest speech-recognition software. A representative from the company 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.

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