Jason Hucks shares an anecdote that reminds us that duct tape can, in fact, be used for anything ...

I once worked on a platform which tied together speech recognition, text-to-speech synthesis, and telephony. Our flagship application emulated the functionality of Outlook, granting access to Exchange through a voice user interface. Dial into the system, authenticate, and then speak commands such as "read my new messages from Joe Schmoe" and the system would happily begin reading your email messages to you. The resources were valuable, so one of the platform features was that if the user was silent for an inordinate period of time, the call would be disconnected so as not to tie up those valuable resources simply because some ninny forgot to hang up the phone.

One day, I overheard a lady from our QA department saying that she was experiencing some difficulty testing that particular bit of functionality, and she needed some duct tape. Hearing those two statements so juxtaposed piqued my interest, so a few minutes later I walked upstairs to our QA lab. There I found the same lady speaking to one of her colleagues, saying "I think that should be enough to keep any background noise from interrupting the inactivity timer." In her left hand was a telephone handset, with half a roll of duct tape wrapped around the microphone end. I guess pressing the mute button never even occurred to her as a viable solution to her problem.