Vibrating alerts are useful in situations when a loud ringer may be inappropriate or undesirable. Unfortunately, most phones have just one type of vibration alert. An Android app called Vybe - Custom Vibrations can help you create custom vibration alerts that you can use for different contacts. In doing so, it can help you identify callers, even if your phone is in your pocket.
Creating a custom vibration alert is easy to do in Vybe. You just tap the record button, create the vibration sequence you want, then save it. You can then assign contacts to use that particular alert.… Read more
Sometimes, there seems no way to get others to stop talking.
One might want them to be quiet because they are spouting nonsense, or merely because they sound like Woody Woodpecker.
And yet some people do go on, often at the most inappropriate moments for our ears and our moods.
Some Japanese researchers--Kazutaka Kurihara at the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology in Tskuba and Koji Tsukada at Ochanomizu University--have created the perfect solution for this painful dilemma: a gun. No, they're not suggesting you go Dirty Harry on those who annoy you.
Instead, this appealing firearm jams the vocal output of the unwanted up to a distance of 100 feet.
The technology behind it is deafeningly simple. The gun listens in with a directional microphone and plays it back to them with a 0.2 second delay. This creates an environment in which one is simply unable to speak. The technical term for this is Delayed Auditory Feedback. … Read more
Jeff's filling in for Natali Del Conte and "getting Loaded" all week while she's away on maternity leave, so our sincerest apologies to live listeners for this morning's late start.
Luckily, close fran (friend/fan) of The 404 Rana Sobhany drops by for a surprise visit to make up for lost time and tell us all about her new project as an iPad DJ and producer!
It's a noisy world and getting noisier all the time. No wonder sales of noise-canceling and noise-isolating headphones are booming.
Dwight Garner's New York Times article, "Meditations on Noise" reports on three books covering the impact of sound and noise on our lives.
Noise is usually classified as unwanted sound, but one person's noise is another's bliss. I've always been fascinated by electric guitar distortion, which can sound beautiful. Musicians such as Link Wray, Jimi Hendrix, Neil Young, and Jonny Greenwood mastered the art of noise. Why humans like such unnatural sound is a mystery to me, but it appeals on a primitive, strangely organic level. That, or it's noise, ugly, nerve-wracking, unwanted sound. Indulging in loud music can be risky business; if you occasionally experience "ringing in the ears" after exposure to loud sounds or concerts, you may be losing your hearing.
Garner looks at three books: Garret Keizer's "The Unwanted Sound of Everything We Want: A Book About Noise" (PublicAffairs); "Zero Decibels: The Quest for Absolute Silence" (Scribner), by George Michelsen Foy; and "In Pursuit of Silence: Listening for Meaning in a World of Noise" (Doubleday), by George Prochnik.
I never thought about it until I read the article, but noise exposure has social and political aspects. Garner put it this way: "You can judge a person's clout--his or her social and political standing--by witnessing how much racket he or she must regularly endure." Right, money can buy whatever degree of solitude you need.
Technology may be the source of much of the aural bombardment, but it also offers remedies. We can block out some of the din with our iPods and such, but using music to mask noise can be dangerous. When earbuds and other headphones don't hush outside noise you have to turn up the volume louder than the noise to hear the tunes, so you're compounding the problem. That's why noise-canceling and noise-isolating headphones are such a good idea; they let you turn the volume down and still hear more of the music.
Reducing background noise, in and of itself, lets you hear more deeply into the music. It's not a small, audiophiles-only distinction. Noise masks the subtle stuff, so you can't hear the reverberation surrounding a singer's vocal, or the gentle strum of an acoustic guitar. When the background noise level is high you only hear the louder sounds in the music. Listening "through" noise is stressful and fatiguing; mute the noise and you hear more and feel better. … Read more
A denial-of-service attack that limits the number of SMS messages that can be received by Nokia smartphones has been disclosed and demonstrated.
Dubbed the "curse of silence" by German security researcher Tobias Engel, the attack occurs when Nokia Series 60 phones are sent a malformed e-mail message via SMS (Short Message Service). Engel demonstrated the attack on Tuesday at the Chaos Communication Congress in Berlin, according to a blog post by security vendor F-Secure.
Next to the ability to light up and roll away, there are two features seen increasingly in computer keyboards: waterproofing and silence. The "ReallyCool Keyboard" manages to accomplish both at the same time.
And really, why shouldn't it? In this day and age, these should be standard specs for all models. Many are aimed specifically at such professional settings as courtrooms and medical facilities, as Dvice notes, but there's really no reason that they shouldn't be used everywhere. The ReallyCool Keyboard even has backlighting so you can type in the dark while spilling coffee on … Read more
Having gone a full 24 hours since we last complained about obnoxious loud-talkers on their Bluetooth headsets, we're feeling a pent-up need to vent. But instead, we may have found a way to exact delicious revenge instead.
Red Ferret has ferreted out the "T-1000 Cell Phone Jammer," which does exactly what its name indicates: This devilish device promises to surreptitiously "silence every other mobile phone in a 10-foot vicinity for up to an hour," kind of like a cellular version of the "Best Net Guard" for the computer or the "TV-B-Gone" … Read more
So in our excitement with the iPhone my friends and I all picked the "strum" ringtone on the iPhone. It's sunny, happy and seems to sound the best on the iPhone speakers. I think it's appealing to us since it sounds like the ads. With that, it's pretty confusing when our iPhones ring. A typical conversation: "Is it yours?" "No, it's my phone," followed by, "Oh, wait, no it really is my phone!" We're such geeks.
You can see where confusion lies. But this highlights the limited … Read more
The "Cone of Silence" finally comes to life! The "WhisperRoom" is created by attaching 1-inch-thick soundproof walls called "Seam Seals" that are designed to keep your conversations private from those snoops you're certain are listening in. (It will also provide much-needed sanctuary from the noisy brats next door when the Ritalin wears off.)
For added security, you can bolt on ceilings and floors as well, essentially creating a room within a room. Red Ferret says prices start at $2,760, but we know that cost is no barrier when it comes to keeping … Read more