Cordless keyboard wrote on neighbor's computergreenspun.com : LUSENET : Current News - Homefront Preparations : One Thread
While a Stavanger man typed away at his desktop computer his text was also streaming in on his neighbor's machine in a building 150 meters away. Hewlett-Packard have never received a complaint like it.
A cordless keyboard is not the best choice if you are going to be typing sensitive information. PHOTO: TOM A. KOLSTAD RELATED ARTICLES # Experts warn against cordless keyboards - 31.10.02 Newspaper Stavanger Aftenblad had an inside track on the weird tech story since the incident involved two of their graphics workers.
Per Erik Helle got a jolt when his home computer suddenly seemed to develop a life of its own.
"About 10 pm I was sitting and watching TV when the computer, which was in sleep mode, suddenly began to buzz. I looked over and noticed it was waking up. I also saw a red light on the keyboard's receiver box blinking as if I was writing something," Helle said.
A game which he could not remember using that day appeared on the screen. When Helle went over to shut it off the screen displayed a message asking him if he "really wanted to delete this file?". Not knowing what it meant, he answered no to play it safe.
The machine was not finished. A series of beeps and clicks that hinted at error messages came so quickly that Helle again got the impression someone was writing. So he turned on his word processor.
He saw text ticking in live, and could tell from the message that it was his neighbor Per Arild Evjeberg, also his boss at Stavanger Aftenblad, who was writing. A phone call quickly confirmed that Helle was watching Evjeberg type live.
"If HP can't find a decent explanation for this I don't dare use this keyboard. I changed the signal channel and now Per Erik doesn't get it. But now I don't know who might be reading what I write as I write it," Evjeberg said.
Evjeberg and Helle had received new HP machines from the same company and Helle had one time earlier noticed a registration form appear with his neighbor's information in it.
HP product manager Tore A. Särelind believes that only a combination of unusual circumstances could result in the keyboard signal traveling 150 meters and through one wooden and one concrete wall.
"With the conditions and distance described we have no logical or technical explanation for how this is possible. The keyboard should have a theoretical radius of about 20 meters - assuming a clear path from keyboard to receiver," Särelind said.
Särelind said the next generation of keyboards would use a new technology which would choose randomly between 256 available channels, and promised to send both Evjeberg and Helle a copy.
Stavanger Aftenblad reported that another company using the equipment claimed that a user managed to type on two computers on different floors.
-- Anonymous, November 03, 2002
talk about backing up your files!
-- Anonymous, November 04, 2002
Our IT folks, if you call with a problem on your computer, can reach out over the network and take control of your cursor. Very strange to be sitting there and stuff is happening on the screen and on your hard disk. It's like on Outer Limits - we have control of your vertical, we have control of your horizontal.
-- Anonymous, November 04, 2002