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According to Microsoft, Janet Jackson’s song has the ability to destroy laptops even though she wasn’t playing them

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News Tech: Playing the music video prompted other laptops close by to crash as well, according to an inquiry into the strange system failures. The choreography and directing of Janet Jackson’s 1989 smash song Rhythm Nation made the music video a sensation. Numerous honours, including the Grammy Award for Best Long Form Music Video, were earned by it for its hazy noir-like aesthetic.

But the dystopian pop video had something else going for it too – the power to crash laptops according to Microsoft, and not just those that it was playing on. In a blog post this week, the company’s principal software engineer, Raymond Chen, said a colleague had recently shared a story with him from the days of providing product support for Windows XP. “A major computer manufacturer discovered that playing the music video for Janet Jackson’s ‘Rhythm Nation’ would crash certain models of laptops,” wrote Mr Chen.

Justin Timberlake and Britney Spears. Pic: AP. Justin Timberlake apologises to Britney Spears after documentary backlash. It didn’t even have to be the laptop that the music video was playing on. Simply playing the music video on one laptop could cause another close by to crash. “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,” explained Mr Chen.

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