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Jul 19, 2007

Donovan Walker and EAW Banner

A while back, I wrote about a community activist in Boston whose anti-violence programs were generating noise complaints.

I just wanted to post a quick update. I got involved with Showdown and proposed using directional PA speakers to point the music at the activities while reducing the sound “leakage” that would spill over to the complaining residences. Matt Moore pointed me to contacts at local professional speaker manufacturers. Matt’s recommendations in turn led me to Joe Fustolo and Karen Anderson at EAW.

To make a long story short, EAW made an extremely generous contribution and donated a pair of self-powered commercial loudspeakers. Because of their generosity, we’re in good shape to set up a music program that will keep the sound only where we want it.

I hope to have more to talk about when we finally get everything up and running, but in the meanwhile I wanted to acknowledge both EAW’s contributions and Matt Moore’s assistance. From a practical standpoint, this is a win for everyone - Donovan’s kids can enjoy the music, the neighbors can enjoy their homes, and EAW gets positive recognition - and I’m happy that so many people came together for a good cause. Kudos to Karen Anderson who jumped through all kinds of hoops to make it happen. I certainly won’t forget it.

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Oh look, the FTA has posted the Transit Noise Impact Assessment Spreadsheet (Excel, but it should work on FOSS Excel-compatible spreadsheet programs) on their Transit Nose Noise and Vibration website.

I hear that the guy who wrote the spreadsheet is as handsome as he is brilliant.

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Jul 18, 2007

The military continues to be the catalyst for advances in acoustic technologies:

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A product you don’t see everyday: Phonofone II, a new product that acoustically amplifies the output of headphones - it basically turns your headphones into a speaker. The site is short on technical details, so there’s no indication of how well it actually works. More to the point, there’s no information about whether the Phonofone II compensates for the diffuse-field frequency response produced by most headphones (as opposed to flat frequency response).

For $800+ USD, I wish they’d offer more data. All the same, I’d love to check it out.

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Jul 15, 2007

If by chance you’ve come to this site by way of an ad I placed in local event program, please let me explain.

In buying the ad, I was asked to supply a camera-ready document for publication. I supplied a physical document as well as a 300-dpi graphic file for use in the publication. For unknown reasons, the publisher decided not to use the provided document, and instead created a new ad. I can’t say I’m in love with the fonts they decided to use, but I can live with it.

However, in creating the new ad, it was the publisher that misspelled my title. Indeed, I do know the difference between “Principal” and “Principle.” Please don’t think that I’m an idiot.

That is all.

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Jul 09, 2007

If you’re a Simpsons fan, please take a moment out of your day to visit the The Simpsons Movie Hometown Premiere Contest and cast your vote for Springfield Massachusetts.

Besides being the birthplace of Basketball and Dr. Seuss, it’s also the first and largest of all Springfields in the U.S. We’re also the poorest, and frankly, we could use the boost.

As an added attraction, I’ll also point out the the Map of (the Simpson’s) Springfield corresponds nicely with the “real” Springfield.

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“Transforming” Movie Sound:

“I mean, you watch a movie without sound or bad sound, it changes it, the whole kind of vibe,” director Michael Bay told CBS News correspondent Bill Whitaker. “Sounds are so important to making a realized picture. I mean, these robots are made out of thin airŠbut it’s so realistic and what makes it so realistic is the sound.”

I saw Transformers this past Friday at a cinema in Cambridge MA. Highly recommended if you like watching big robots and things blowing up. However, this particular cinema had the sound system cranked up past 11 - to the point where the sound was noticeably distorting and I had to break out the ol’ ear plugs. C’mon guys - I can deal with “loud”… do we really need “ear-splitting”?

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