KUALA LUMPUR — Janet Jackson’s 1989 hit Rhythm Nation has been blamed for causing older laptops to crash.
The matter was first revealed by Microsoft’s principal software engineer Raymond Chen on his blog The Old New Thing but the technology company had since declared the song as a security vulnerability, Daily Mail reported.
According to Chen, the song’s frequency matched the frequency given off by the laptop’s hard drive, called a resonate frequency, which is the natural frequency of an object.
The crashing laptop is similar to how glass shatters when exposed to certain sounds – sound released from a source carries the invisible vibration through the air and onto the glass.
The unique frequency in Jackson’s song was discovered by an unnamed ‘major computer manufacturer’ that also found laptops nearby the computer playing also crash.
“Playing the music video on one laptop caused a laptop sitting nearby to crash, even though that other laptop wasn’t playing the video,” he wrote.
“It turns out that the song contained one of the natural resonant frequencies for the model of 5400 rpm laptop hard drives that they and other manufacturers used,” he added.
Chen noted that the issue was only resolved after manufacturers added a custom filter in the audio pipeline that detected and removed the offending frequencies during audio playback.
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