Doug Tygar and his colleagues at the University of California, Berkeley, have developed a program for listening to keystrokes to decipher what is being typed. Accuracy is 96 percent. This could be good news for spies who know how to activate a computer’s built-in microphone.

The program for doing this can not only distinguish typed letters, it makes educated guesses. For example, if an “h” is typed, it knows that the next letter is most likely to be a vowel. It knows that many words often go together, like “for” and “example.”

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