Skip to comments.You Won't Believe What My iPhone Did in the Car This Morning
Posted on 04/17/2012 11:11:21 AM PDT by Kaslin
RUSH: Now, if there is anybody in this audience listening that writes for an Apple or high-tech blog -- or if there is anybody listening to this program that works for or at Apple, Incorporated -- you have to hear what happened to me this morning. Sadly, I can't prove it. (interruption) Well, you'll hear why in a moment. I was so discombobulated by what happened that I didn't save what showed up on my iPhone. Now, let me describe my setup for you. I have a car that has a Bluetooth mating system in it. So my iPhone is paired with the Bluetooth system, which means that I can use hands-free operation. Everybody does this, probably. No big deal there.
I also drive around with a Verizon LTE hotspot because Verizon's turned on LTE here which is 20 megabytes down. So I don't use AT&T's 4G, I don't use cellular when I'm driving around. I use Wi-Fi. This hotspot from Verizon converts the LTE signal to Wi-Fi and that's how I connect the iPhone. So my system is my phone paired with the car's Bluetooth provided by the manufacturer, and it is also connected via Wi-Fi to a Verizon LTE hotspot. Now, the way Apple iPhone dictation works is you hit the microphone button on your keyboard, and that immediately establishes an online connection with Apple servers somewhere.
The dictation does not occur, the translation does not occur in the phone. What you say is transmitted at whatever connection speed you're using -- 3G, 4G, or Wi-Fi -- to Apple servers wherever they are. The speech is then transcribed to text by a company called Nuance, which makes Dragon Dictation, and that's the voice-to-text aspect of Siri in the iPhone. So you say, "Testing one, two, three" and hit the microphone button. Apple's servers then transcribe it and send it back to you, and it displays on your screen. This happens fast if you have a fast connection. That's why I use the LTE hotspot. This happens within a second and a half. What I've said shows back up on my iPhone or iPad a second and a half after I say it.
Now, the way my Bluetooth setup in the car works is -- if I'm listening to the radio, for example -- the moment I hit the microphone on the iPhone, the radio is muted, because a phone call is being made, essentially. The phone system via Bluetooth is used to send my voice transcription out to Apple and back. When it comes back and the connection is finished, then the audio from the radio resumes. Up until today, it worked flawlessly. The dictation, sometimes it's a 100% accurate, sometimes 95%. It's always close enough to just go ahead and hit the send button, except sometimes it doesn't get proper names right. Today after the hotspot established its connection with the iPhone and I got Wi-Fi going and everything's hunky-dory.
I'm maybe a quarter of a mile from home on the way in to work, I attempt dictation, and nothing happens. I hit the microphone button and I get the three beeps and no connection. It's not working. So I say, "Ah, damn it, the system's down. Something's wrong with the servers," but I keep trying. The third attempt... I was trying to respond to some stuff Kathryn had sent me. She needed an answer on some stuff. So I said whatever it was my answer was the third time, and what came back to me? This is what you're not gonna believe. What showed up on my iPhone was "Obama's minions are taking over and there's nothing you can do about it," and I hadn't said anything like that!
The audio on the radio did not un-mute. The audio on the radio never came back. The whole system was discombobulated. So I switched from satellite to AM just to see if there was something wrong with the satellite signal, and AM came in fine. So I tried it again. I deleted that. I did not save that. I thought, "Man, something's really not right." So I responded to Kathryn again. I don't even remember what it was saying. I was answering questions about some stuff we've got going on this weekend. I said it again, the same thing I'd said the first time.
What came back to me the second time was totally unrelated to anything I had said. It was talking about wind power and Obama and, "You don't have a chance." I am not making this up. And I said to myself, "You know, somebody's hacked Apple's servers. I'm gonna get in there." I said, "I can't wait to get to work and fire up some of these Apple blogs because I'll bet you this has been going on all morning and I'll betcha it's a big story that Apple's servers have been hacked." So I tried it again. The third thing which came back had nothing to do with politics.
It had nothing to do with Obama, but it was not anything close to what I had said. Then I started doing, "Testing one, two, three," and I would get back four sentences that did not have "testing" or "one, two, three" in them. So as I say, I didn't save any of these. I wasn't thinking. I was so curious. I didn't send them. It didn't make any sense. If I would have sent these things to Kathryn, she would have thought I'm losing my mind even more than I already have. (interruption) Wait, I'm not through with the story! So I get here. This happens two more times. I get here, the first thing I do when I get into the studio on our network system is start dictating, and it's flawless. It's perfect.
It was only in my car that this happened. It was only with my Verizon LTE hotspot and my Bluetooth. I got in here and I used our Wi-Fi network, and dictation worked perfectly. It's been working perfectly all morning. It was only in the car. I got so busy, I didn't have a chance to go back out to the car and try it again. I'll try it later when I leave. So I sent this story. I typed this story I just told you and I sent it to a bunch of computer people. I said, "What could possibly explain this?" And the answers I got back ranged from, "You've been hacked," to, "Somebody got into your car," to, "Somebody's tampered with the Bluetooth module."
It was, "Somebody's done something. They're sending you a message that they can do it," or, "Your Bluetooth module is so totally defective that you need a new one," or, "There's something wrong with the LTE hotspot." There was no answer that was satisfactory. This has never happened. But that first message that came back was: "Obama's minions are taking over." As I say, I can't prove this, because I didn't keep the transcriptions. I deleted them. I don't even know if I actually deleted them. I just didn't send them. (They not on the phone. I went and looked.) So when I finish here this afternoon and am on the way out, I'm gonna try this again.
I haven't changed any circumstances. I'm not charging the hotspot. I'm not gonna switch out the Bluetooth unit. I'm not gonna change. What I might do turn is off the hotspot if it happens again or just use the AT&T 4G and see if it happens that way. But to understand this again: When you use dictation on your iPhone or iPad, the phone is not doing anything. What you say get is transmitted to Apple's servers and then there's software on those servers made by Nuance, which does the voice translation to text. And that gets sent back to your phone, in whatever application you're using: E-mail, message. Whatever has a keyboard, you can use dictation. So what do you think of that, Snerdley? Who could possibly explain this?
Could it be that somebody at Apple can ID my phone, knows when I'm voice transcribing and can send something back? Could that possibly be? Who knows? I have no idea. I am not a power user. In the sense... I mean, I'm probably a consumer power user, but I'm not a power user in terms of people that can use a terminal, write code, and all that kind of stuff. I haven't gotten into it that much. I don't have any other theories, but I sent this off to two people who might, and none of them could believe it but they then started trying to explain it to me what various things could exist to explain this. But it was the first two that came back that specifically mentioned Obama.
So there's that. (interruption) The Martins didn't hack anybody! Snerdley just asked me... That grandfather and grandmother couple, they were driving around in I think either Tampa or Jacksonville somewhere. And like everybody, they had a cell phone radio in their Cadillac. They were able to monitor cell phone calls. Like a police scanner, theirs monitored cell signals and frequencies, and they overheard Newt having a conversation with John Boehner back in the nineties. And this grand-couple, big Democrat activists, thought that they were in on history. And they recorded it, too! They had a recorder in their car along with the cell phone radio in their car, and they recorded it. And they sent it to the New York Times, who published it. But they didn't hack anything.
They just had a radio that was able to monitor those frequencies. Well, I know that was years ago. It was like 20 years ago when that happened, and they've upgraded. But the first thing I thought of was somebody hacked Apple's servers. Because it's impossible for dictate -- for example, if you have Dragon dictate on your iPhone or your iPad, your iPad or iPhone, the hardware, software inside the phone is not doing the voice-to-text translation. That's happening off-site via servers and comes back to your phone via the network. ID'd by phone number, e-mail address, with the iMessage program you can set up five different e-mail addresses that people can reach you on. But in this case it would be IP, because this is Wi-Fi. This could be a combination phone number and IP address. Who knows. As I say, I'm not that much of a power user to be able to explain that, but this didn't happen yesterday when I parked the car in the garage. The only thing that happened to the car yesterday was it got washed, at home.
Now, I was in the library most of the night working. Somebody coulda come in, got the car, drove it somewhere, I would never know. The garage is about a half mile from my library. Just kidding. But I didn't check the security camera, so I don't know if anything happened to the car. I don't know if it left the garage and came back, I don't know. I have no clue. And of course if I start asking I know the answer I'm going to get. No, no, didn't touch it. But the most common suggestion I got from the people I sent it to was, "You've got a Bluetooth problem here. There's something wrong with Bluetooth." That may be, but for Obama and his minions to end up in a translated voice-to-text message when I didn't say Obama, I didn't say minions, I didn't say anything about any of that, the dictation's never been that far off. I don't take super-secret phone calls. That's the point. This wasn't super-secret. It was just to Kathryn. It happens all the time.
If it happens this afternoon I'm gonna keep whatever it throws back at me. I won't be able to prove what I say, you know, that's lost to the ether, but I will be able to show whatever it thinks I said in terms of the translation that comes back.
Sounded like a prank or a hack.
I’m surprised you didn’t post your Democratic Underground episode!
What came back to me the second time was totally unrelated to anything I had said. It was talking about wind power and Obama and, "You don't have a chance."
It sounds like Rush's iPhone is channeling some of the posters on FR...
Somebody has targeted Rush personally for hacking. Bluetooth, or whatever, they have gotten his phone hacked, by whatever means. They were jerking his chain, just to prove they could do it. Not only is this illegal, but dangerous. That means anybody’s iPhone/Bluetooth/WiFi setup can be hacked.
I’m betting that ‘Anonymous’ or ‘Occupy’ or some other Left-wing whacko group is responsible.
Remember some teenager son of a Dem lawmaker in Tennessee hacked Sarah Palin’s e-Mails.................
Love Rush but I’m skeptical of unreproducible tech problems that could actually be practical jokes.
My former boss’ iphone/email was hacked a couple of months ago; still getting weird emails from “him”...I won’t click on the links in the email, BUT I did get 2 this morning and I haven’t gotten one in a few weeks...hmmmmm....
I have a setup similar to what he describes. I had a similar error at one time - although different content. The system muted but when I tried to speak to it I would get bizarre text. After a few more tries I found out that although I was hitting the mic button it was taking the supposedly muted input from the Bluetooth and attempting to transcribe that. I eventually spotted the “gibberish” as morning DJ chatter.
I imagine Rush listens to political chatter rather than some inane “Morning Zoo” since he’s not trying to get info about Houston traffic.
There are many that hate Rush and wish him harm. so it is quite possible, who knows
Your’s is a plausible take on this bit of oddity.
I’m surprised that the iphone doesn’t have an internal speech recognition app. Android has an internal speech recongition software and there are apps that convert to text. Why would you need to go through the upload/download rigamarole to an apple server somewhere else? My first theory is that there was crosstalk, that is he got someone else’s transcribed data back. It is impossible for bluetooth to be hacked in a car, since it only works for short distances. Another theory is that the radio didn’t turn off.
Can’t reply on anything being “hack” proof....my tagline here was changed yesterday and not by me.
Can’t rely on anything being “hack” proof....my tagline here was changed yesterday and not by me.
Rush should perhaps be less keen on Apple. They aren't exactly friendly to conservatives, and with the re-immaculation of 0bama in doubt someone within the walls of Apple may be emboldened to try something desparate. I can imagine a scenario where a lot of show prep vanishes during a critical news cycle.
Another theory is that someone at Apple’s server group has been playing around and found Rush’s account links. Then they just intercepted the transmission and sent pre-written replies when he next logged on to use the system.........
It certainly sounds like someone has decided to hack Rush's toys to unnerve him.
This sounds exactly like the kind of crap they pull trying to intimidate you while at the same time trying to make you appear to be a nut if you report it to anyone.
They don't care if you know you are being followed, your phone is being tapped, they are reading your mail, etc. because that is the point, they want you to know. You just don't know who it is.
That could be since the system has to work with the radio muting/unmuting. Perhaps it grabbed a source off a radio station rather than Rush’s own words.
We all need to remember that smart phones and other apps like ONSTAR can all be activated remotely by another party, even when they are turned off. These devices can then be used to monitor conversations and more. Soon even our household appliances will be able to spy on us—if you think I’m just paranoid, check out WIRED magazine regarding new spying developments.
I can think that they can deal with s/w updates to the servers a lot better than continually pushing out files to each and every iphone. They can also test them internally and fix bugs before updating, and screwing up everyone’s iphone.
It could also be the licensing agreement they have with Nuance (Dragon Dictate folks).
Cloud computing, turning people's devices and boxes into thin clients, and fostering dependency on IBM's, M$'s, Apple's servers.
All your data are belong to us. Pay up -- we own the world, you're just renting.
That's what J. Edgar Hoover did to his best agent, Melvin Purvis, for getting too famous (he took down many bold gunsels, including Dillinger). Hoover wanted all the publicity to go back to the agency (him) and all his employees to be anonymous and faceless. The newspapers wanted a hero, and they destroyed Purvis when they lionized him.
Hoover fired Purvis, then persecuted him for years, bugging him and having agents call him up anonymously and giving him menacing messages. Purvis eventually committed suicide, which was what Hoover was apparently after. "The coward's way out" -- blackening Purvis for all time.
This sounds more like some juvenile hacker living in his mom’s basement eating pizza and drinking Monster................
That would be a step up from what the feds do to try and intimidate you.
One of the favorite things they liked to do was come into my apartment when I was gone, take a dump and not flush.
That would be a step up from what the feds do to try and intimidate you.
One of the favorite things they liked to do was come into my apartment when I was gone, take a dump and not flush.
I was under surveillance for the exact same thing. I had a run in with a cop that spouted his mouth off about being involved with a dope running operation involving corrupt cops and the CIA.
I thought the cop was a nut. He wasn't.
My dog does that all the time....maybe he’s an FBI informant?...............
GMail was down today for a while. Maybe this Internet thingy is starting to revolt.
“Not only is this illegal, but dangerous. That means anybodys iPhone/Bluetooth/WiFi setup can be hacked.”
Hate to break it to you, but anybody’s anything can be hacked. If man can make it, man can hack it.
I want my 6 minutes back. Get to the point, man! No one can make a short story long like Rush.
This is why I no longer listen to Rush. Between the 3 minute segues to life lock or whatever he’s shilling for, he goes way off on the boringest tangents ever.
This blather about his apple phone being down is rather interesting in comparison to his other ramblimgs
The NSA punk’d Rush this morning?
haha, those NSA guys are so funny.
You care to make a list of the Conservative Providers? It is pretty easy, there are none.
Maiden, NC -- Every use of Siri is analyzed, ostensibly to improve its implementation.
Whoever is doing it knows Rush's iPhone number, LTE & app usage. Occam's Razor suggests it is a hack done locally (who sold him the iPhone? that cat knows Rush's number and his iPhone serial/ICCID and his LTE info); but as an equal possibility, Apple in NC also gets that proprietary iPhone data.
If you're Rush, people know your voice. What gets to the NC data center is your voice and Siri responses, that's what Apple analyzes.
After buying an iPhone 4S, I gave that question some thought. I believe it all comes down to processing power. Rather than analyze your voice on the puny microprocessor, it is analyzed by powerful computers back at Apple, which should result in greater accuracy of the speech recognition. Siri is still in the beta test stage. As Apple continues its refinement of Siri, it is not necessary to push downloads of updates to your phone; instead, all updates to Siri happen on the server side.
All your WiFi are belong to us!
>> “my tagline here was changed yesterday and not by me” <<
Some of the mods do that crap. They’ve done it to me several times.
Reynolds wrap is on sale today...
Sounds like the old joke: I was having dinner with my mom and I meant to say, “Pass the salt,” but it came out, “You b****, you ruined my life.”
I suggest you stock up.
My tagline was "9/11/2001 NEVER FORGET"
Wonder what they didn't like about that?
The SIRI system is far beyond the speech recognition of the Android. It uses the mainframes on the Cloud to do far more than just recognize speech. The Apple iPhones have had speech recognition built in for some time and can do the basic stuff the Androids have done since then. SIRI is artificial intelligence... and requires more computing power than you can stuff into a phone.
If you want on or off the Mac Ping List, Freepmail me.
My wife found them.
Obama carries a Blackberry. But Mossad could never get inside of it. Nope, never.
They’re not following me (yet anyway).