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Wide World of Pranks: Computer Pranks

Windows XP Voice Dictation

Some laptops running Windows XP have a built-in microphone and a voice dictation program. Lots of users do not seem to know about it. It doesn't work very well unless you train it.

Which makes it the perfect tool for a prank.

Turn on the program. As people talk, it will jot down what it thinks they said and type it out in whatever word processing program they use. It could be Microsoft Word, it could be Outlook Express.

The victim will start typing away and if someone else in the room is talking, or the victim is talking, the program will do it's best to dictate the words into the text editing program they are using.

I had one friend that was convinced that a hacker had somehow tunneled into her laptop and was mocking her by typing things that she said. She thought for sure it was copying down things like her bank account numbers. She called me on the phone in a panic and explained that she was worried that a hacker might find her bank account numbers, then the computer typed out, "find bank account numbers". So she asked me if she should call the Virus program people to see if they could so something. Suddenly the computer typed out, "virus people will do nothing".

By the time we explained it was just a prank, she had unplugged the laptop, removed the battery, pulled out the wireless card and was ready to wrap the computer in foil to stop this guy from getting to her personal financial records.

Try it yourself.

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