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Dec 27, 2003

Regarding my question from last week about NYC’s car alarm ban: it looks like the ban only applies to aftermarket car alarms. According to an interview with a NYC councilwoman, the city does not have the authority to enforce the ban with out-of-state manufacturers (read: all major auto manufacturers) so the ban only applies to car alarms installed by local dealers or aftermarket shops.

A team at MIT has developed a landing method designed to reduce noise on the ground. Unfortunately most aviation noise problems are caused by takeoffs, but every little bit helps.

The other big story making the rounds (see for example the Asheville (NC) Citizen-Times or the Cleveland Plain Dealer): the FRA has issued the Interim Final Rule for the Use of Locomotive Horns at Highway-Rail Crossings. Among other things, the rule provides for so-called “quiet-zones” as well as maximum levels for train horns.

If the new horn rules make your life a little easier, you might want to drop Lance a nice note.

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Dec 15, 2003

Chad Kirby has built some nice looking 2- and 3-ways. His bookshelf speakers in particular are very nicely done.

Another noise story making the rounds is the effort in New York City to ban car alarms. The goal is laudable, but (from what I’ve read) it’s a little unclear whether this applies only to aftermarket alarms or all alarms. Since many new cars come with alarms, will those alarms have to be deactivated?

An interesting dilemma: the city of Vancouver WA is up in arms over noise generated by Portland (OR) International Airport. The problem arises from the fact that PDX is operated in one state, but adversely affects another state. has published their list of the Top 100 Audio & Video Products of 2003.

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Dec 11, 2003

To the spammer who tried to hijack my mail script: If you just sent a few emails every once in a while, I probably wouldn’t have noticed. Instead you tried to use my account to send several dozen messages per hour to addresses in my domain.

To quote Homer Simpson: “You got greedy.” Try it again, and I may take it personally.

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Dec 10, 2003

The big news from yesterday is the announcement of the European Union’s effort to create noise maps of major population centers in Europe. One would hope that the U.S. would embark on a similar effort. In fact, such efforts on a smaller scale have been attempted in the U.S. (Nick Miller’s “Transportation Noise and Recreational Lands” (PDF) provides some examples of noise mapping done at a national level). However, my guess is that it will be a long time before we see a detailed effort in the U.S. simply because of all the different Federal, state and local noise polices that currently exist here. While it’s technically possible to develop detailed noise maps, I think it’s going to difficult to agree on a consistent methodology because of political concerns. Maybe I’m wrong. Please let me know if I am.

A Personal Observation: Missy Elliott is the best thing to happen to hip-hop in the bast 10 years. Reviewers are impressed when Madonna reinvents herself every five years or so. Missy reinvents herself with every song! If you listen to hip-hop or R&B, you should be listening to Missy. IMNSHO.

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Dec 06, 2003

The New York Times and Sound & Vision Magazine have published eulogies for Julian Hirsch.

The New York Times has also published an article about mysterious “hums” heard around the world. Jim Cowan, from Acentech, figures prominently in the article.

Talk about an overreaction: “Popping balloon leads to unreasonable noise charge

“Despite the dubious acoustics,” Keith Lockhart and the Boston Pops Esplanade Orchestra will perform a concert to commemorate the opening of the final leg of the Big Dig on December 19. I gotta find a way to get invited…

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