Rush Limbaugh: You won’t believe what my iPhone 4S did in the car this morning

Mac, iPhone, and iPad user Rush Limbaugh yesterday discussed his iPhone 4S and Siri, since its inception on August 1, 1988, is the highest-rated talk radio show in the United States. The 3-hour Rush Limbaugh Show airs daily on a network of approximately 590 AM and FM affiliate stations. The program is also broadcast worldwide on the U.S. Armed Forces Radio Network. A November 2008 poll by Zogby International found that Rush Limbaugh was the most trusted news personality in the nation.

From the live transcript, Limbaugh said:

Now, if there is anybody in this audience listening that writes for an Apple or high-tech blog — or if there is anybody listening to this program that works for or at Apple, Incorporated — you have to hear what happened to me this morning. Sadly, I can’t prove it. (interruption) Well, you’ll hear why in a moment. I was so discombobulated by what happened that I didn’t save what showed up on my iPhone. Now, let me describe my setup for you. I have a car that has a Bluetooth mating system in it. So my iPhone is paired with the Bluetooth system, which means that I can use hands-free operation. Everybody does this, probably. No big deal there.

I also drive around with a Verizon LTE hotspot because Verizon’s turned on LTE here which is 20 megabytes down. So I don’t use AT&T’s 4G, I don’t use cellular when I’m driving around. I use Wi-Fi. This hotspot from Verizon converts the LTE signal to Wi-Fi and that’s how I connect the iPhone. So my system is my phone paired with the car’s Bluetooth provided by the manufacturer, and it is also connected via Wi-Fi to a Verizon LTE hotspot. Now, the way Apple iPhone dictation works is you hit the microphone button on your keyboard, and that immediately establishes an online connection with Apple servers somewhere.

The dictation does not occur, the translation does not occur in the phone. What you say is transmitted at whatever connection speed you’re using — 3G, 4G, or Wi-Fi — to Apple servers wherever they are. The speech is then transcribed to text by a company called Nuance, which makes Dragon Dictation, and that’s the voice-to-text aspect of Siri in the iPhone. So you say, “Testing one, two, three” and hit the microphone button. Apple’s servers then transcribe it and send it back to you, and it displays on your screen. This happens fast if you have a fast connection. That’s why I use the LTE hotspot. This happens within a second and a half. What I’ve said shows back up on my iPhone or iPad a second and a half after I say it.

Now, the way my Bluetooth setup in the car works is — if I’m listening to the radio, for example — the moment I hit the microphone on the iPhone, the radio is muted, because a phone call is being made, essentially. The phone system via Bluetooth is used to send my voice transcription out to Apple and back. When it comes back and the connection is finished, then the audio from the radio resumes. Up until today, it worked flawlessly. The dictation, sometimes it’s a 100% accurate, sometimes 95%. It’s always close enough to just go ahead and hit the send button, except sometimes it doesn’t get proper names right. Today after the hotspot established its connection with the iPhone and I got Wi-Fi going and everything’s hunky-dory.

I’m maybe a quarter of a mile from home on the way in to work, I attempt dictation, and nothing happens. I hit the microphone button and I get the three beeps and no connection. It’s not working. So I say, “Ah, damn it, the system’s down. Something’s wrong with the servers,” but I keep trying. The third attempt… I was trying to respond to some stuff Kathryn had sent me. She needed an answer on some stuff. So I said whatever it was my answer was the third time, and what came back to me? This is what you’re not gonna believe. What showed up on my iPhone was “Obama’s minions are taking over and there’s nothing you can do about it,” and I hadn’t said anything like that!

The audio on the radio did not un-mute. The audio on the radio never came back. The whole system was discombobulated. So I switched from satellite to AM just to see if there was something wrong with the satellite signal, and AM came in fine. So I tried it again. I deleted that. I did not save that. I thought, “Man, something’s really not right.” So I responded to Kathryn again. I don’t even remember what it was saying. I was answering questions about some stuff we’ve got going on this weekend. I said it again, the same thing I’d said the first time.

What came back to me the second time was totally unrelated to anything I had said. It was talking about wind power and Obama and, “You don’t have a chance.” I am not making this up. And I said to myself, “You know, somebody’s hacked Apple’s servers. I’m gonna get in there.” I said, “I can’t wait to get to work and fire up some of these Apple blogs because I’ll bet you this has been going on all morning and I’ll betcha it’s a big story that Apple’s servers have been hacked.” So I tried it again. The third thing which came back had nothing to do with politics.

It had nothing to do with Obama, but it was not anything close to what I had said. Then I started doing, “Testing one, two, three,” and I would get back four sentences that did not have “testing” or “one, two, three” in them. So, as I say, I didn’t save any of these. I wasn’t thinking. I was so curious. I didn’t send them. It didn’t make any sense. If I would have sent these things to Kathryn, she would have thought I’m losing my mind even more than I already have. (interruption) Wait, I’m not through with the story! So I get here. This happens two more times. I get here, the first thing I do when I get into the studio on our network system is start dictating, and it’s flawless. It’s perfect.

It was only in my car that this happened. It was only with my Verizon LTE hotspot and my Bluetooth. I got in here and I used our Wi-Fi network, and dictation worked perfectly. It’s been working perfectly all morning. It was only in the car. I got so busy, I didn’t have a chance to go back out to the car and try it again. I’ll try it later when I leave. So I sent this story. I typed this story I just told you and I sent it to a bunch of computer people. I said, “What could possibly explain this?” And the answers I got back ranged from, “You’ve been hacked,” to, “Somebody got into your car,” to, “Somebody’s tampered with the Bluetooth module.”

It was, “Somebody’s done something. They’re sending you a message that they can do it,” or, “Your Bluetooth module is so totally defective that you need a new one,” or, “There’s something wrong with the LTE hotspot.” There was no answer that was satisfactory. This has never happened. But that first message that came back was: “Obama’s minions are taking over.” As I say, I can’t prove this, because I didn’t keep the transcriptions. I deleted them. I don’t even know if I actually deleted them. I just didn’t send them. (They are not on the phone. I went and looked.) So when I finish here this afternoon and am on the way out, I’m gonna try this again.

I haven’t changed any circumstances. I’m not charging the hotspot. I’m not gonna switch out the Bluetooth unit. I’m not gonna change. What I might do turn is off the hotspot if it happens again or just use the AT&T 4G and see if it happens that way. But to understand this again: When you use dictation on your iPhone or iPad, the phone is not doing anything. What you get is transmitted to Apple’s servers and then there’s software on those servers made by Nuance, which does the voice translation to text. And that gets sent back to your phone, in whatever application you’re using: E-mail, message. Whatever has a keyboard, you can use dictation. So what do you think of that, Snerdley? Who could possibly explain this?

Could it be that somebody at Apple can ID my phone, knows when I’m voice transcribing and can send something back? Could that possibly be? Who knows? I have no idea. I am not a power user. In the sense… I mean, I’m probably a consumer power user, but I’m not a power user in terms of people that can use a terminal, write code, and all that kind of stuff. I haven’t gotten into it that much. I don’t have any other theories, but I sent this off to two people who might, and none of them could believe it but they then started trying to explain it to me what various things could exist to explain this. But it was the first two that came back that specifically mentioned Obama.

So there’s that. (interruption) The Martins didn’t hack anybody! Snerdley just asked me… That grandfather and grandmother couple, they were driving around in I think either Tampa or Jacksonville somewhere. And like everybody, they had a cell phone radio in their Cadillac. They were able to monitor cell phone calls. Like a police scanner, theirs monitored cell signals and frequencies, and they overheard Newt having a conversation with John Boehner back in the nineties. And this grand-couple, big Democrat activists, thought that they were in on history. And they recorded it, too! They had a recorder in their car along with the cell phone radio in their car, and they recorded it. And they sent it to the New York Times, who published it. But they didn’t hack anything.

They just had a radio that was able to monitor those frequencies. Well, I know that was years ago. It was like 20 years ago when that happened, and they’ve upgraded. But the first thing I thought of was somebody hacked Apple’s servers. Because it’s impossible for dictate — for example, if you have Dragon dictate on your iPhone or your iPad, the hardware, software inside the phone is not doing the voice-to-text translation. That’s happening off-site via servers and comes back to your phone via the network. ID’d by phone number, e-mail address, with the iMessage program you can set up five different e-mail addresses that people can reach you on. But in this case it would be IP, because this is Wi-Fi. This could be a combination phone number and IP address. Who knows. As I say, I’m not that much of a power user to be able to explain that, but this didn’t happen yesterday when I parked the car in the garage. The only thing that happened to the car yesterday was it got washed, at home.

Now, I was in the library most of the night working. Somebody coulda come in, got the car, drove it somewhere, I would never know. The garage is about a half mile from my library. Just kidding. But I didn’t check the security camera, so I don’t know if anything happened to the car. I don’t know if it left the garage and came back, I don’t know. I have no clue. And of course, if I start asking, I know the answer I’m going to get. No, no, didn’t touch it. But the most common suggestion I got from the people I sent it to was, “You’ve got a Bluetooth problem here. There’s something wrong with Bluetooth.” That may be, but for Obama and his minions to end up in a translated voice-to-text message when I didn’t say Obama, I didn’t say minions, I didn’t say anything about any of that, the dictation’s never been that far off. I don’t take super-secret phone calls. That’s the point. This wasn’t super-secret. It was just to Kathryn. It happens all the time.

If it happens this afternoon I’m gonna keep whatever it throws back at me. I won’t be able to prove what I say, you know, that’s lost to the ether, but I will be able to show whatever it thinks I said in terms of the translation that comes back.


MacDailyNews Take: Any ideas? Could whatever’s on Limbaugh’s iPod (sometimes vehicles default to iPod when plugged in) or satellite radio be playing and that is what Siri is “hearing,” instead of the microphone? Is it some sort of latency issue? Is it switching between the Wi-Fi and the iPhone’s cellular connection? Is Siri mixing up deliveries between users? Has anything similar happened to you?

[Thanks to MacDailyNews readers too numerous to mention individually for the heads up.]

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    1. You’re first getting hip to the obsession with Rush and the Right here? Frankly, I think he’s a schizoid racist and I have no desire to help him out. I certainly don’t have the patience nor the desire to listen to or read what he says, and of of course, the most frightening statement of all: “The highest-rated talk radio show in the United States.” If true, now or even before, we live in one hell of a sick country.

        1. Really Thelonious, you’re going to go with a Pee-Wee Herman, “I know you are, but what is Rush?”

          Come on, Rush has a long history of racist, sexist, homophobic, and bigoted rants. At least be honest about it, and accept that’s who he is.

          This latest word salad of Rush is painfully hard to read, but as I scanned over it, it seems like the TL;DR version is that Rush was too high on oxycodone to remember saying something that Siri dictated; or there was some bug that happened either in Siri picking up something from the radio, or something that was cached.

          1. Thelonius Mac is a true Patriot and infinitely correct. Unlike you Lib-Tard-Zombie-Lemming-Trolls.

            We conservatives far outnumber you nimrod Lemmings.

            You will lose in a landslide this November you Commies!!!!!!

            1. It’s pretty obvious that Rush was lying. Do you really think someone like him would erase or not save the text if it was obviously about Obama? That’s almost as ridiculous as the premise itself.

            2. @Reality,

              I’ve been a registered Republican since I turned 18 and first voted for Ronald Reagan. So no, I’m not a lib-tard, commie, or anything else you’ve accused me of.

              I’m also not an idiot. I’ve read Rush’s books, listened and watched his shows, and have experienced enough of his racists, sexist, homophobic, and bigoted rants to realize that he’s hurting the Republican party as a whole as well as the conservative agenda and party platform.

              He’s successful, and thus very well paid, for the clown that he is, but the GOP as well as the country would be better off without him.

            1. Wrong, dumbass.
              Nazism,a unique variety of fascism, was founded out of elements of the far-right racist völkisch German nationalist movement and the violent anti-communist Freikorps paramilitary culture that fought against the uprisings of communist revolutionaries in post-World War I Germany.

              Totally opposite ends of the political spectrum. Try reading it can be quite enlightening sometimes.

              Fascism, you know, where the US is headed.

            2. No Huya, you idiot, Rex hit the nail on the head you fool.

              You liberal-parasite-scum want to put us all in the ultimate misery zone.

              We freedom loving, US loving, Adults will stop your pathetic asses!

            3. @craigster
              Empty jingoism. You forgot to add flag waving, and chest thumping. You truly have your Head Up Your Ass™. You put yourselves in the “ultimate misery zone” by allowing Wall Street to strip the wealth out of middle class and give it all to the 1%. Whatever.

              Just get your facts straight and quit re-writing history.

              Fact 1- The Nazis invaded Russia, they were virulently anti-communist.

              Fact 2 – Nazism was presented by Hitler as being neither left-wing nor right-wing, however a majority of scholars identify Nazism in practice as being a far right form of politics.

              Fact 3 – there were many Nazi sympathizers in the US and it was a concern the US might enter the war on Hitler’s side.

              Fact 4 – Socialism takes many forms, (not just the limited definition you seem to put forth) numerous political movements which called themselves socialist often offering polar opposite definitions of the term. Like I said try reading, it can be enlightening.


            4. Huyu,

              You need to do some reading moron. Maobama and his hero Saul Alinski’s goals are to destroy the middle class. The Republicans, conservatives, and capitalism have done more for all classes than anything else on this planet, NUMB NUTS!

              Go crawl back under your rock now ahole.

              Wikipedia is a communist propaganda jack ass!

          1. Well there is a valid argument that Naziism and Stalinism were neighbours on a circle not opposites. Fundamentally Communism owns and runs the means of production while in Naziism it remains a capitalist state with privately owned means of production but effectively the political powers tell them what they can and cant do with little freedom to resist. So effectively despite their mutual hatred the two operate in a very similar manner and to those living with it there would be little or no difference with individualism, rights and freedoms totally oppressed by a central political dictatorship.

            One could argue indeed that China has moved from a Communist structure to a Fascist/Nazi structure without fundamentally changing much at all apart from becoming a little less extremist which could happen to either political structure. Russia has seamlessly moved in a similar direction to the point it is often described as a right wing country these days. Yet most of the supporters of their form of the centralist, nationalist oppressive ways are the same ones who supported it when it was a Communist regime. So more similarities than differences and on my scale you have oppressive dictatorships at one end and free democratic pluralistic ones at the other end, right and left are generally simplistic descriptions for the ignorant or entrenched.

            1. @spyintheskyuk
              Agreed. Left and right distinctions are simplistic at best. A movement can be called, or call itself “socialist” and be left, right or centrist.

              My posts are largely against ignorant spouting of emphatic statements that are sent forth without the slightest attempt to have any actual grounding in reality. As in calling Nazism “lefty” because it is also “socialist” that’s preposterous in the extreme. I also can’t stand the knee jerk “demonization” of words, in the US it is words like “liberal” and “progressive” etc. In Canada the Progressive Conservative party is in power, with very GWBush-like agenda. Go figure.

          2. Fluke mistake that won’t happen twice in a row.

            Rush is still on the air, Libs. Making millions, with tens of millions of listeners. Your bullshit campaign to silence him failed, failures.

            Eat shit and die.

        1. One can never discount the ability of the right and left wing supporters to denigrate the human race to the level of name calling. The lower the IQ, the more likely that they are limited to name calling.

    2. Wait, is this that guy on the radio who called a woman a slut for using the pill to manage menstrual cycles, then asked said woman to record herself having sex and send it to him?

      MDN, you seriously praising that guy?

      1. no g-stow away-Lemming, that’s not what happened. The entire thing was a set up by a Maobama regime operative. Why the F*CK should we be paying for her freaking birth control. Screw Her and SCREW YOU LIBTARDS!!!!!

  1. Pretty funny. He said the radio did not turn off so I bet Siri heard the radio playing and transcribed that. I’ve had that produce some wild results.

    Or maybe Siri did get confused between different users and sent him someone else’s text back. That seems very unlikely though.

    1. if the radio didn’t turn off, $5 says Siri was mixing the two.

      Over new years the same thing happened to me and my mom. Trying to show off Siri in a room full of people talking and laughing…. Siri had some hilarious things to say.

    2. No, he said the radio “did not unmute” after he finished his dictation, so it DID turn off. I’m wondering if Siri was still somehow listening to the radio even though it wasn’t playing in the car. Although I don’t know if Siri can receive information other than through the microphone itself. But unless he was listening to radio THROUGH HIS PHONE (like Wunderradio or something), I don’t know how that would happen either. All very strange.

    1. Fascinating that you say that cos i’m Australian and I’ve had superb results. The trick is to find the middle ground between fast casual speech and slow deliberate speech. I’ve found the latter can have a negative effect if you over-emphasise syllables. Any other Aussies got any feedback on their success or lack thereof?

  2. C’mon. What do you really expect from Rush? God bless him for picking Apple products, but really – the guy is around the bend. No sense to repeating his gibberish.

    1. citizen, Rush is far from “around the bend”. He is a freedom fighter taking you Commies out left and right.

      Rush, Mark Levin, etc. are heroes for the US. Libtards are the enemy. Pure evil, scum suckers.

  3. More than likely it was just a drug induced hallucination. If Rash Limburger is “the most trusted” of anything, then most people are stupider than they were 10 years ago. Wow America has become a Nation of Manchurian Candidates.

          1. You say you ‘cite’, but I see no citation. I see your statement. The definitions on are pulled from American Heritage, Random House, and Merriam-Webster. In this case, Random House Dictionary is cited for the use of “stupider”.

            If one reputable dictionary (such as Random House, which you claim to accept) lists it as correct, then it’s fine – it may be in contention, but that doesn’t make it wrong, except maybe to inflexible prescriptivists. I would also like to point out that I’ve typed that word into multiple sources that flag misspelled words (Word, Open Office, this post) and not one of them has marked it as incorrect.

    1. No Maobama is the ultimate Manchurian Candidate! Fake birth certificate, phony Social Security # from a dead guy from CT, hidden foreign exchange student college records, raised in a muslim country by America hating parents, best friends of commies-terrorist-and US haters…. What a pick for president Libtard-Parasites!

      Rush is awesome!

        1. I didn’t forget about that, just didn’t post it, but thanks for adding it. He also ate snakes and bugs supposedly. Seems fitting. Like a typical low life democrat.

      1. Oh, the dire pain of insult! I must really be a loser, because anonymous coward dickhead, oh sorry, ‘Willy’ says so! He has outdone me! His reason and logic have trampled me in the mud! How can I ever hope to…

        Seriously STALKER. You want to build your reputation on the foundation of junior high school name calling? At least I know how to be cuttingly descriptive of your object of lust. He promotes fascism, like it or not. He is a propagandist, which you probably enjoy, being a liar yourself.

        Kiddies with computers and no rational judgement, ordinary.

        1. Delusional Derek let out just long enough from the padded room by the men with giant butterfly nets to type his daily looney tunes post. What a nut job……

            1. No, I am a wolf who hunts for HATERS, liars and destroyers. I get along great with kind, caring and loving people, whom I consider to be gifts from god. I hope that doesn’t blow your twisted mind, stalker.

  4. Could he possibly been hallucinating?

    Isn’t there an Obama’s minions response built into SIRI for one of the gags? Road noise could have been involved and if he had a slow connection, LTE or not, there could have been a compression artifact that came back and twanged the Obama remark…

    Maybe Rush was speaking in tongues and Siri was responding with the voice of God. Not to be blasphemous, but you just don’t know and he just can’t remember and didn’t think to take screen captures. Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.

  5. Other than news clips, I’ve never listened to Limbaugh on talk radio, but if his broadcasts consist of anything like this bloated ramble, I don’t see how he stays on the air.

      1. ask alec baldwin.. he said the same thing. you should listen to the tape of him doing a 1 hour show… he had to CALL his mother to get a caller.
        the phone number was right in front of him and he had to have it pointed out to him constantly.

        here, it’s from Hannity. when he was on 1210 PHT trying to do a radio show.

        it’s a few years old, but hilarious. and no it’s not staged.. the only time cuts Hannity did was cut the phone number out. if you search you can find the entire show uncut.
        now the clip goes into more recent baldwin dumassness… but the first part is of him attempting to do radio, which you say isn’t hard..

  6. Finally. I had something kinda similar. A few weeks ago I was watching tv home alone, wasting time till I had do some other plans that night and about the time I had to go I looked at my phone clock and it was on the Siri page and someone had asked my phone this (I took a picture of it cus I wanted to google it when I got back to see if anyone else had something like this happen. And i would of never remembered it word for word) someone asked siri “My computer is on the present of the song download your free diagnosis to my” in which Siri said “I’d love to donwload that for you, Ryan, but im not permitted to. My sincerest apologies.”
    I was like that’s to much to be an accident. Some how it got hacked. I don’t jailbreak my 4s. Never have.
    I came home a few hours later and googled the hell out of it. Got nothing to where someone said anything like that ever happened. I was home and pretty sure I was on my wifi. Not a 100% though. That is kinda crazy shit.

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