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Nov 29, 2005

From The New York Times — a British inventor has developed a device that produces high-frequency tones to repel youngins:

Mr. Stapleton has taken the lesson he learned that day - that children can hear sounds at higher frequencies than adults can - to fashion a novel device that he hopes will provide a solution to the eternal problem of obstreperous teenagers who hang around outside stores and cause trouble.

Maybe it’s me, but this just seems like a really bad idea. Yeah, a lot of adults have high-frequency hearing loss, but then again, a lot of adults can hear just fine - do you really want to annoy paying customers?

The article also mentions that a more powerful unit may be developed to be used “when youths swarm into stores and begin stealing en masse, a phenomenon known in Britain as steaming.” Of course the article doesn’t that the device can be circumvented with a $0.25 pair of earplugs.

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Nov 20, 2005

Google has recently announced the availability of Google Base, a free service for storing your uploaded data:

Google Base will accept bulk uploads in TSV, RSS 1.0, RSS 2.0 and Atom 0.3 formats. This means that content providers who already have RSS feeds can easily submit their content to Google Base without requiring much additional work.

If you look at the above quote, you see that one of the supported file formats is RSS. Remember that RSS is a file format typically used for syndicated weblogs (like my own for example). But really, RSS can be used to store any type of data. Even noise measurement data (this link will look like garbage if you’re using a web browser that can’t handle XML).

Possibilities? Maybe, maybe not. But think for a minute. There are lots of noise measurement systems designed to monitor public events (airport operations for example). Some of these systems “phone home” to a computer server to store their data. This of course requires massive storage and redundancy to handle all the data. But what about storing the data (for free!) with Google? It reduces the need for heavy-duty storage on the producer’s end, and even provides an easy method for public distribution (I don’t know if this is a good thing).

That’s the good news. The bad news is that you would be putting your data in the hands of a multi-billion dollar corporation that’s trying to make money off your data.

But it seems worth thinking about… or does it?

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Nov 08, 2005

This article from Defense Tech summarizes some of recent news about using noise as a weapon:

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