What's This?Want to see a net trick?
Image: Open Road films
The truth about microwave ovens is not that they can be used for spying. As you're about to see, it's quite the opposite.
But in this brave new world where world leaders forcefully insist that left is down and right is up — often by distorting something they saw on a TV screen moments ago — it's not too much of a stretch to think that Kellyanne Conway may have recently screened Snowden.
In an interview with her hometown paper published Sunday, the senior counselor to President Donald Trump was asked point-blank whether she had any evidence that Trump Tower had been "wiretapped."
Her now-infamous answer:
There are many ways to surveil each other now, unfortunately. There was an article this week that said you can surveil someone through their phones, certainly through their television sets — any number of ways. ... and microwaves that turn into cameras, et cetera. We know that this is just a fact of modern life.
There was indeed that WikiLeaks dump earlier this month suggesting that smartphones and TVs could be hacked. But it mentioned nothing whatsoever about microwaves. Where could Conway have possibly gotten the kernel of an idea about microwaves that she would later misrepresent, whipping up another nonsensical viral moment.
Have a watch of this clip from Snowden, which comes courtesy of Open Road Films. Yes, it features a paranoid Edward Snowden and there's a microwave, but as you probably have guessed, the microwave isn't doing any spying:
Snowden puts his visitors' cell phones in the nuker not to make iHotPockets, but because "It blocks UHF frequencies." If someone was hacking the journalist's phones, there's no way to get a signal in or out.
Pretty clever. And based in fact.
That's because a standard microwave oven acts as a Faraday cage, the fancy name for any enclosure that blocks the passage of electromagnetic fields. A little home test proved this to be effective.
I called my cellphone from Google Voice on my laptop, and it worked as usual:
Lose my number.
Image: mashable/josh Dickey
And again, inside the microwave, as my Google Voice dials it. Nothing doing — in fact, it went straight to voicemail, every time, as if I were off the grid:
Who is photographing whom here?
Image: mashable/josh dickey
Now then, a senior White House adviser boning up on the ins and outs of wiretapping for a big interview by watching Snowden on a DVD or streaming service like iTunes — where it's been available since Dec. 27 — and still not getting it would have seemed like a ridiculous thing, oh, 50 or so days ago.
But nowadays you serve up the most rubbery, undercooked stuff in a flash and some folks will just eat it up.Topics: Donald Trump, edward snowden, Entertainment, Movies, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, kellyanne conway, Snowden