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Jun 17, 2010

Movity is a Bay Area startup with a goal of making it easier for people to move by identifying compatible neighborhood characteristics so prospective renters and buyers know “what it is REALLY like to live there.” One of the characteristics they have identified as being important to buyers and renters is noise. To that end, they’ve produced the TenderNoise Project, a demo that shows measured noise levels in and around San Francisco’s Tenderloin neighborhood.

The data were collected using Reed ST-173 logging meters (also sold as the CEM DT-173) deployed at various intersections in the neighborhood. The levels are high, but they are consistent with what I remember measuring in and around downtown San Francisco.

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Jun 14, 2010

Via the Nissan LEAF blog - Nissan has unveiled the sound it’s Nissan LEAF electric car will make to warn pedestrians of its approach. Check out the vids below:

The blog calls is “the worst sound on earth” - I personally don’t think it’s all that bad. It’s fairly high frequency which will make it noticeable (and potentially more annoying at a given sound level) but on the other hand it should be easy to focus in the direction of travel and minimize wayside noise. I guess we’ll have to wait and see.

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Jun 10, 2010

Web Urbanist has depictions of the acoustic detection apparatus used by armies to indentify enemy airplanes before the days of radar.

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Jun 03, 2010

Synaudcon published an article a couple of months ago that discusses the use of personal digital media players (iPod, etc) for acoustical measurements. The article focus primarily on the electrical characteristics of the PMP outputs (maximum voltage levels, distortion, and so on). The article also measures the performance of of several PMPs playing STI-PA and swept sine test signals where proper clock timing is crucial to obtain acceptable results. Good stuff.

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Jun 02, 2010

As Mary Ellen Eagan notes, the release of a trio of books on noise in our society has put noise in focus in a variety of sources:

I’m about halfway through Garret Keizer’s The Unwanted Sound of Everything We Want - it’s a great book, and what’s even better is that fact that I’m in it! I’ll write more about it when I finish but I can tell you that it’s a very insightful take on noise from a perspective of power (or more accurately, powerlessness) and it’s historical effects on society. I hope that Zero Decibels: The Quest for Absolute Silence and In Pursuit of Silence: Listening for Meaning in a World of Noise are similarly enlightening.

A couple of recent stories that are directly linked to these new books:

A couple of links that aren’t directly linked, but are apropos:

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