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AudioAcoustics

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December
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Dec 29, 2008

Two interesting, but completely unrelated news articles:

First, from the Minneapolis NBC affiliate: “Yacker Tracker reducing noise at Regions Hospital

He says hospital staff often, “Come in at three in the morning, take blood and then come at six and take blood. Those are distractions you can’t control. But the noise level is something that could be controlled.”

The use of a traffic light-type noise warning device isn’t particularly new (I’ve recommended a similar device for a local school), but I do like how the article points out some of the simple and inexpensive steps the hospital took to curb noise. Noise control does not always need to be expensive.

Next up is an article from Riverside CA Press-Express: “Neighborhood noise tolerable, most say

At first, it took earplugs, a handy volume button on the remote and a good deal of patience.

But Inland residents living near train tracks, shopping malls and other sources of constant noise say, eventually, they get used to it.

I’d be curious to know if those are residents really are “used to it” or whether the exposure to noise shows up in less visible ways (increased stress levels, low grades for children, etc) but if the residents are satisfied, I suppose this is a win-win for everyone. Of course the other issue is that (as pointed out in the comments) the train tracks were likely there for dozens of years before the homes were built so I’m sure the railroad feels no obligation to provide noise mitigation.


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Dec 25, 2008

Another year has flown by. For those friends, colleagues and clients that normally receive a holiday card from me but didn’t this year: back in November, I had picked out a design from a printer and was all set to order them…

… and then I kinda forgot to order them.

By the time I remembered and tried to order, the delivery times were past Christmas, so no cards for anyone. Sorry!

But life goes on. This year’s holiday message is a pointer to Hartford blogger Julie Dixon’s essay, The Sounds of the Seasons. Here’s a relevant snippet (and I hope that you click through to read the whole thing):

Winter is mostly silent in the city. Children are bundled up and stare at the ground as they walk to school; car windows are rolled up. The most reliable birdsong is the caw of crows. Perhaps a hard wind will break the quiet, or the sound of shovels scraping the sidewalks in the early morning. Maybe the snow will crunch underfoot, or sleet will beat against the windowpanes. But if I go outside, I feel alone and small and cold. The tags jingling on Gracie’s collar are comforting in the hours before dawn when we’re outside together.

Have a happy, safe, peaceful and quiet holiday season.


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Dec 22, 2008

Following up on the latest Monster Cable fiasco, it looks like Noel & Co. are finally willing to show a little common sense and let Monster Mini Golf have the “Mini Golf” trademark. Posters on the Audioholics forums are encouraging the Monster Mini Golf owners to demand legal fees. I hope Monster Cable does the right thing. Sigh.

The next time you’re on the lookout for audio/video cables and you’re tempted to buy Monster Cable, do yourself a favor and don’t. Instead, head over to MonoPrice and get the quality cables for much, much less.


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Dec 21, 2008

So let’s check out what’s been happening in the world:


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Dec 10, 2008

It’s not news, but it bears repeatings: All That Noise Is Damaging Childrenšs Hearing:

According to the American Academy of Audiology, about one child in eight has noise-induced hearing loss. That means some five million children have an entirely preventable disability that will stay with them for life.


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Dec 09, 2008

Now this is funny: Airbus A380 pilots are complaining that the new jumbo jet is too quiet

Is the Airbus A380 too quiet?

Yes, according to pilots for Emirates Airlines, who say they can’t get a good night’s sleep on the world’s biggest airplane because their sleeping quarters pick up too much noise from the passenger cabin, like crying babies. They would rather hear the plane’s four engines drowning out those sounds with white noise.

We gotta be careful what we wish for.


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Dec 05, 2008

Savant pointed me to Faber Acoustical a software company that is making an iPhone-based (but non-ANSI/IEC standard) sound level meter.

I’ve noticed that the iPhone has become quite the development platform for audio applications. Wired has a writeup on a four track audio recorder for the iPhone. I also have it from a good source that a well-respected sound level meter developer is working to make a line of iPhone-based sound meters and real-time analyzers.

We live in interesting times - Br üel & Kjær has been making waves with their $5-$10k Windows-CE based sound meters. Now Apple comes out with a platform that was basically designed for games and widgets and developers are using it as a base for a sub-$1,000 sound analyzer. Of course obstacles need to be overcome (namely the lack of a precision/calibrated microphone), but that’s not a $5,000/unit problem. I can’t wait to see how this turns out.


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Dec 03, 2008

Monster cable is at it again, this time dragging Monster Mini Golf into court for using the monster name:

Audioholics has some more info.

Futhermore, the owners of Monster Mini Golf are attempting to raise money for their legal fees by auctioning “pieces” of their legal defense. I hope you can contribute a dollar or two, this seems like a worthwhile cause.


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