Janet Jackson’s ‘Rhythm Nation’ crashes computers around the world

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Photo: Paul Warner/WireImage (Getty Images)

Looking for a way out of your Monday morning Zoom meetings to throw an old-fashioned dance party? Consider starting your day with this newly discovered problem.

According to the New York PostMicrosoft’s principal software engineer, Raymond Chen, revealed on his blog earlier this week that by Janet Jackson “Rhythm Nation” has the same sound frequency as the hard drives of some older laptop models, causing them to crash when the song is played from the device.

As crazy as it soundsthis example of resonance frequency is similar to glass breakage when exposed to certain sounds. Chen reported in his blog that it was discovered by an “unnamed computer maker” when nearby computers close to the original device playing the song began to shut down.

“I wouldn’t have wanted to be in the lab they had to set up to investigate this problem. Not an artistic judgement”, Chen wrote in his blog post.

“It turns out that the song contained one of the natural resonant frequencies for the 5400 RPM model of laptop hard drives that they and other manufacturers were using,” according to Chen.

The engineer also mentioned that now the makers added a “custom filter in the audio pipeline that detected and removed offending frequencies during audio playback”, which fixed the bug.

“And I’m sure they put a digital version of a ‘Do Not Remove’ sticker on that audio filter. (Although I’m afraid in the many years since the workaround was added , no one remembers why she is there),” Chen wrote.

“Hopefully their laptops no longer have this audio filter to protect against damage to a hard drive model they no longer use,” he added.

While Jackson’s Billboard hit came out in 1989 and has earned accolades over the years for its powerful lyrics and iconic video, I’m sure even the year 2000 believers couldn’t have predicted this one. .

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