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Cordless keyboard types at neighbor's computer

By Chris V. Thangham     Feb 21, 2008 in Technology
A cordless keyboard made in Sweden can remotely type on a computer yards away. A man was shocked to see his computer automatically typing without his input. The product’s manufacturer Hewlett-Packard says they have never received such a complaint before
Per Erik Helle in Stavaner, Norway, was watching TV and his computer was in hibernation (sleep) mode. Suddenly his computer woke up on its own and began to type a series of texts on the screen like a science fiction movie.
Helle saw a game in process on the screen and he was sure he didn’t use the game that day. So, when he tried to quit, it asked him whether he wanted to delete the file. He clicked "no" and saved the file for future purposes.
Then he heard a series of beeps and clicks that hinted error messages. He realized that someone was writing, so he opened his word processor.
He saw the text appearing live and after reading the text messages, he realized it was his neighbor, Per Arild Evjeberg, also his manager at Stavanger Aftenblad. So he called Evjeberg and found out he was the one typing from his wireless keyboard.
Evjeberg lives in a building 150 meters (493 feet) away separated by concrete and wooden walls. Both Helle and Evjeberg received new HP machines from their company.
Evjeberg wants HP to find the solution for this problem. Until then, he said he has switched the channel so his neighbor doesn’t get disturbed.
HP product manager Tore A. Särelind told Aftenposten, a Norwegian newspaper:
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 (65 feet) assuming a clear path from keyboard to receiver.
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.
There was another complaint in Norway -- a user from a different company managed to type on two computers on different floors.
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