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Making Your Room Quiet

Hemos posted more than 12 years ago | from the ssshh-SHUT-UP dept.

Technology 416

el_flynn writes "This may be a cure for those of you with loud computers, or perhaps those who spend lots of time in NOC rooms that generate lots of noise: NewScientist.com mentions about a "Silence Machine" that gets rid of unwanted noise. I want one to quiet down my neighbour's loud dogs. " These are also being tested in cars, to make the car quieter. I've got a pair of the headphones that the article alludes to - they make airplane travel much nicer, and having something like this to cancel machine noise would be excellent.

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Fist Sport (-1)

ringbarer (545020) | more than 12 years ago | (#3282298)

The only way to make your room quiet is to use iMacs. Obvious, really!

Re:Fist Sport (-1, Offtopic)

groman (535485) | more than 12 years ago | (#3282328)

Troll. My machine has 9 fans in it, yet it manages to be quieter than the office iMac(which tends to beep randomly from time to time, I'd fix that, but I just don't care all that much)

Re:Fist Sport (-1)

YourMissionForToday (556292) | more than 12 years ago | (#3282467)

it's christmas time for my penis.

Noise cancelling headphones (5, Interesting)

slithytove (73811) | more than 12 years ago | (#3282306)

I tried out a friend's pair of Bose noise cancelling headphones with an iPod in a crouded restaurant the other day.
I was absolutely amazed- I'd tried cheaper noise cancelling technology years ago and not really been able to tell the difference, but this time I was turning the noise cancellation on and off with glee!
I hope they catch on so we can get some volume pricing going:)

Re:Noise cancelling headphones (1)

AstroMage (566990) | more than 12 years ago | (#3282329)

Yep,

Definitly worth waiting for the prices to come down... :-)

Re:Noise cancelling headphones (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3282366)

I took some from the airport....they're alright, not too good tho

Re:Noise cancelling headphones (1, Funny)

Jucius Maximus (229128) | more than 12 years ago | (#3282399)

...and having something like this to cancle machine noise would be excellent.

Wow, you're almost good enough to be a slashdot editor!

...Wait

Re:Noise cancelling headphones (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3282522)

Wow. And you're almost as arrogant as one.

Really want to quiet the dogs? (0, Funny)

Beowulf_Boy (239340) | more than 12 years ago | (#3282308)

I want one to quiet down my neighbour's loud dogs.
I suggest a .22 in place of the quiet machine

Re:Really want to quiet the dogs? (0, Troll)

dperkins (63220) | more than 12 years ago | (#3282411)

I want one to quiet down my neighbour's loud dogs. Actually, since the .22 might be trouble if you're in town, try soaking a bunch of sponge in bacon/hamburger grease, tearing it into pieces, and feeding it to the dog(s).

After a little while, the sponge expands, the dog grows quieter, moves around a little less...

Re:Really want to quiet the dogs? (2, Funny)

guiding_knight (550855) | more than 12 years ago | (#3282458)

No, no no. That'll just create more noise, that of gunfire. We musn't add to the problem.

That said, used a silenced gun. No worries! :)

Hemos ... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3282310)

Hemos ... shut up!

Well, (0)

MattCohn.com (555899) | more than 12 years ago | (#3282312)

That might work, but then the sound of me killing myself because I would have to use a mac might defeat the purpose.

Re:Well, (1)

MattCohn.com (555899) | more than 12 years ago | (#3282331)

Sorry, that last comment was suppost to be a reply to the first comment.

It's alright... (-1, Offtopic)

ringbarer (545020) | more than 12 years ago | (#3282378)

Expect a -4 Karma hit soon.

Re:It's alright... (-1, Troll)

MattCohn.com (555899) | more than 12 years ago | (#3282387)

I realy don't think anyone who USES macs comes on /. enough to gain moderator priviliges

Re:It's alright... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3282520)

That's a lamer troll than the first post!

Re:Well, (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3282375)

You could use poison - that could be pretty quiet?

And stop mac bashing! they are great (well.. so long as you dont need to actually use it as a computer) - they make great ornaments, and the new iMac makes a great drinks table.

Re:Well, (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3282491)

I thought Jobs mainly designed the new iMac to use that pivot/swivel surface for snorting coke.

Re:Well, (-1)

YourMissionForToday (556292) | more than 12 years ago | (#3282534)

Everyone knows that Jobs and I take turns snorting coke off dead hookers' asses. Punk.

Re:Well, (-1)

YourMissionForToday (556292) | more than 12 years ago | (#3282497)

Note to pedophiles. Please visit "The Matt Dance [mattcohn.com] for perfect strokin' material. Then read matt's scintillating essay about what the government wants to put on your computer, complete with misuse of bold TEXT!

Obligatory -1 troll (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3282315)

Now to invent one that can invert Katz's articles and block them out completely.

Re:Obligatory -1 troll (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3282340)

Click here [slashdot.org] .

Oh yeah, you have to log on. Tough luck AC.

Dells (4, Informative)

rosewood (99925) | more than 12 years ago | (#3282317)

I am a PC consultant / PC Builder / Small time business OEM provider / AMD Fanboy

Anyhoo, a company I do a lot of work for recently gave all agents brand spankin new Dells. While they are the shities P4s available and they are paired up with SDR mem - they are REALLY REALLY quiet. My trick of the trade is to get 1.2 GHz Durons and take the voltage down and underclock them, then they run nice and cool and there are some quiet fans out there and I use a nice sparkle psu that has a quiet fan on it, but I can still hear them in a small office. This P4 however is damn near silent. They have not been in dusty office environment long enough for me to tell you if the fans go over time, etc.

I know the computer lab @ my school (in the chem library at least) has a bunch of the almost same Dells (same hardware, different case) and its whisper quiet in there

You can do quiet cases with full clocked AMD AXPs - look for the screw mountable Zalman HSF @ www.2cooltek.com - it comes with resistors to slow / quiet the fan down. Good airflow / tied down wires help a lot to keep the case quiet. Also, check out the sparkle PSUs -- lots of power, little noise.

PPS - Silent water rigs are popular since only one fan is needed for the radiator and you can get pretty big fans that run nice and quiet

Re:Dells (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3282409)

Dooood - you got a dell!!!!

Re:Dells (1)

Octorian (14086) | more than 12 years ago | (#3282416)

AMD AXPs? I didn't know AMD made Alpha processors.

White noise (5, Funny)

sparcv9 (253182) | more than 12 years ago | (#3282326)

I don't know about the rest of you guys, but I find it difficult to sleep at night without the whoosh of the fans from the handful of servers I keep in my room. What kind of geek likes quiet machines?

Re:White noise (1)

gerbache (540848) | more than 12 years ago | (#3282385)

hehe, it's just like people who run a standard room fan all the time, only my system is higher pitched. I have problems sleeping anywhere else anymore, though, just because the sound isn't quite right.

Besides, when I shut my computer down, the room is just so bloody silent that I can't stand it!

Re:White noise (3)

josh crawley (537561) | more than 12 years ago | (#3282394)

Actually, I was going to mention that. The fans put me in some sort of happy-trance.. soft of like self-hypnosis. It usually takes me about 30 minutes longer to go to sleep WITHOUT fans of some sort.

Even the sad thing with me, is that I know the particular pitch of the fans. I can tell which devices are on just by the pitch.

Re:White noise (2)

sparcv9 (253182) | more than 12 years ago | (#3282413)

Even the sad thing with me, is that I know the particular pitch of the fans. I can tell which devices are on just by the pitch.
Well, since mine are on 24/7, I don't have that kind of indicator. I do, however, enjoy the fact that the whooshes are not synchronous, so they produce a nice, ever-changing medly of white noise.

Re:White noise (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3282453)

With traffic outside whitenoise can be of great benefit.

Re:White noise (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3282475)

Yeah - I hate slim shady too.

Re:White noise (1)

oo7tushar (311912) | more than 12 years ago | (#3282493)

funny story to that. I have a lot of linux boxes in my room and it gets nice and warm (the heating bill this winter was the lowest ever). Any how, I got in a car accident a while back and had some minor head injuries. As luck would have it I had to get a new bed at the same time and was unable to sleep in my room. For the first few nights the head injury caused me to get tired and go to sleep, but after a few nights I couldn't sleep, I was always worried about the computers and everytime the cron.daily would start writing to the hard drive I wouldn't hear the customary hard drive sounds and I'd panic and wake up (sleeping in the room right next to mine).
That said, I swear that after a year in the room with the machines you get used to them and they're like your little babies. This story has not point to it, just thought I'd share.

And I thought I was the only wierdo (1)

shaldannon (752) | more than 12 years ago | (#3282539)

I had a monstor Supermicro 750A case with associated fans, plus two double-sized fans on each Celeron processor. The result was a fairly loud and steady buzz. The first few nights sleeping in the same room was difficult. The next year and a half or so, it was impossible to sleep if they weren't running (it just sounded unearthly quiet). I've got a (quiter) Antec case now with (smaller, quieter) fans on P3 chips. I've adjusted, but it's still wierd sleeping without my server running.

Cheap solution is near! (5, Funny)

itsnotme (20905) | more than 12 years ago | (#3282335)

try breaking your eardrums, then you cant hear diddly.. and its cheaper than buying these 'quiet' solutions!

I can say myself, I've been deaf since I was born ( I was born deaf ) so I can say that its the easiest solution since I cant hear diddly so all of my computers are supposedly "quiet" for me! Soundproof padding for my room? Nah! dont need it! :-)

Beyond! (3, Insightful)

aznxk3vi17 (465030) | more than 12 years ago | (#3282336)

I saw a similar invention used in "Batman Beyond" a while ago... I no longer watch it of course, but yeah the idea is intriguing. What worries me is the possible military uses. By cancelling sound, armies could cause mass confusion by making illusions of silence, deafness, the list goes on. I fear the day when I am sitting at home, and all of a sudden, the fan of my computer goes silent, and the clicking of my keyboard goes quiet. We wouldn't even hear the explosion.

busted!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3282440)

That episode aired a couple of days ago... I know because I saw it!!

Batman is fighting this super audio researcher guy, and the audio guy turns on the quiet thing. They're fighting in a factory, so batman is constantly being hit by machinery that he normally would have head coming. Bruce Wayne (in batman beyond, bruce is too old to fight and serves as a mentor to a highschool-aged batman, Terry) is outside the building and can't hear the fight.

Wouldn't work that way.. (1)

Zarathustra.fi (513464) | more than 12 years ago | (#3282452)

This method only works when you can create the anti-sound near the origination place of the real sound. You really need to kill that sound before it starts to reflect from other materials, get carried by the wind etc.. In practice, no one can do a remote quiet-down on you with this technology (although, I presume, it would be possible in laboratory environment).

If we want to think of possible military uses; this could be used for a kind of stealth technology. You could "case-mod" a military vehicle with a giant version of this anti-sound machine and make it virtually silent. Ofcourse, it would be pretty vulnerable and at the same time expensive and would only work when the environment is on your side. Thus, I don't think the military would ever implement this in their real designs. The expenses would be considerably bigger than the profits, simple.

Re:Beyond! (1)

Firethorn (177587) | more than 12 years ago | (#3282476)

It's military uses would be limited. There's no way this machine would be able to overpower an explosion. It has to make 'anti-noise' at least as powerfull as the sound you're trying to cancel out. So it wouldn't be able to silence an explosion. It works best on lower level sound sources. The target would also have to be surronded by speakers & mikes, and if we're able to place those, there's more usefull things to put in.

talk about old technology.. (1, Redundant)

Tairan (167707) | more than 12 years ago | (#3282337)

Everyone knows that sound is a wave. If you output the opposite negative waveform of a sound, the noise is cancelled out. It's the same with light. This has been demonstrated for the last 200 years. High school physics, people. Also, there have been devices to do this for years. Cosco has them installed near their refrigerators. However, they only work well when the noise is a constant humm - a noisy crowd would still be noisy, however a fan blade will be a bit quieter. Granted, interesting story, however old, antiquated boring technology.

Re:talk about old technology.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3282398)

It's the same with light.

PARTICLE!!!
PARTICLE!!!

Re:talk about old technology.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3282435)

Particle man, particle man
Doing the things a particle can
/etc

Re:talk about old technology.. (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3282425)

Yeah. I agree. And, if you go near the speed of light,
you can slow time and everything will look compressed.
Old technology. So, why don't we do it? Because it's not
easy.

Re:talk about old technology.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3282480)

You have NO clue how new this stuff truly is. What if, instead of a constant hum, there was a device that had a .. lets call it a rumble. This rumble was a chaotic function having about 7 varibles, which they then consist upon other varibles. Now, only using low power and low speed PU's (processing units: DSP's and cpu's) and using CAN's (controller area networks) , could you figure a way to actively cancel a chaotic sound function? Be aware, that latency is the ABSOLUTE BIGGEST FACTOR.

I have seen it done, but I cannot say on which device. Let's just say it's quite impressive.

Re:talk about old technology.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3282498)

People have been adding numbers together and doing other math for thousands of years. I don't know why slashdot has to post some lame article everytime someone figures out how to do it better, or with a faster machine (e.g. new CPUs). Old news, move along.

Stuff on ears? (2, Interesting)

limxdul (570562) | more than 12 years ago | (#3282338)

I have 24 boxes total in my house, 2 of which are mid to high range servers... When everything is on, noise is a huge factor. My room itself has 4 comps, and when they are all on i have to have some music playing to deafen them out. THen again, i don't want to look like a eskimo with devices all around my ear...

Re:Stuff on ears? (1)

Octorian (14086) | more than 12 years ago | (#3282430)

It's amazing how so many people complain about the noise of their one or two computers... Maybe it's just that a single machine's noise sounds out of place or something.

Well I'm the freak with 8 24/7 machines in his dorm room, and the whitenoise of them all together is quite audible. However, I actually like that noise. When I'm trying to sleep in a computer-less room, I often find it "too quiet", or a "deafening silence" of sorts.

Re:Stuff on ears? (2)

oo7tushar (311912) | more than 12 years ago | (#3282508)

I find that positioning the computers in a V format (kinda like chevrons as in a V contains two computers with the fans pointing in) helps reduce the noise. If you set them up in this fashion: >>>>>> then you get a nice breeze through the middle (air circulation) and the fans cancel each other out.

Airports (1)

chennes (263526) | more than 12 years ago | (#3282339)

I wonder if it would be possible to use this on a larger scale - say, on an airport runway. We have a lot of problems reducing the dB level coming out af a jet engine, and most research is focused on the engine design itself. Is it possible that we could at least reduce the amount of noise at ground level with something like this. I know the article says regular, predictable noise, but that in the future it could be expanded. How much power would this take, I wonder?? It would have tremendous implications for airport development, since one of the major impediments right now is neighbors' complaints about takeoffs.

Re:Airports (2)

laserjet (170008) | more than 12 years ago | (#3282420)

That's an interesting questions. I would guess you would need a TON of power to cancel out the sounds of a jet engine, but it would be an interesting question to ask an anti-sound engineer.

Re:Airports (1)

chennes (263526) | more than 12 years ago | (#3282444)

Yeah, I figured it would take an enormous amount of power, but given the increasing research costs into other methods (spraying water into the jet stream, using weird exit nozzles, etc.) it might be worth it anyway. While some of the noise reduction techniques actually increase the thrust of the engine, most of them cut into it pretty severely. And they're really, really expensive.

Re:Airports (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3282514)

The best method is several stinger missles.

You shoot down a few planes and people get to be too afraid to fly in them.

And then we bring back the dirigibles and life becomes more relaxing.

Make your own noise-cancellation device (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3282347)

1) Starts in some park (library). Max meets Tiffany on lawn.She is reading some erotic novel. Tiffany is what I consider very sexy; she is pretty, long sandy-brown hair, nice face and
she is big - NOT FAT, just a large sized girl. She's got a big butt which I also love. In this video she almost sounds like she has an accent (maybe not). They talk for a few minutes then go back to his place. He gives her a coke then... she reads an erotic story while he fondles her. She has nice full-sized REAL tits, nice legs/thighs, thin waist, red fingernails, nice large ass. He starts eating her pussy. Then he screws
her doggy; fingers her ass with her on her back. Then she fingers herself and he spreads her pussy open; I really like those shots. The he screws her while she on back; she leaves her black dress around her waist. Then he anals her on her back; no great views at first. They switch to anal doggy plunge with a nice butt view, good camera work. This is followed by more good closeups of insertions with good dilation shots of her wide open asshole! Max threatens to cum on her ass, and he cums through; he jerks off on her
open asshole and reinserts. GREAT! She then complains that he promised to cum in her mouth. She gives him a BJ ending with a facial in which he cums in her mouth and she almost gags.

2) Bikini Butt Bang. Francesca Le (called Maria here), nice tits, OK butt, though she has funny shaped legs, kind've ugly face (haggard looking), brown hair. She is outside sun tanning though there is no sun during the filming and there were no leaves on the trees. Max puts some lotion on her and then he fingers her pussy. They go inside to give her a screen test; he fingers her pussy and eats her. Then Max fingers her ass. This is followed by a short BJ. He then screws her vaginally. Bang, he cums in and on her pussy.
She pushes some cum out of her pussy, pretty cool. Then he recovers and anals her doggy then pulls out for a facial.

"Between he Lines" is an example of some of Max's finest work. His newer stuff doesn't quite measure up to this benchmark. In this older tape, he co-stars with some of the hottest entertainment of the time, has two cum shots with each actress. This movie has something for everyone; anal sex, vaginal sex, BJs, anal and vaginal cum shots with
excellent dilation shots plus facials (for those that like facials - as you may have heard, I don't).

Re:Make your own noise-cancellation device [WTF?!] (0, Offtopic)

limxdul (570562) | more than 12 years ago | (#3282374)

WTF? uh, we are tech people, nerds. We do not enjoy crap like this on our board. Remove it plz before some admin does.

Another science fiction become science fact (4, Interesting)

DreamMaster (175517) | more than 12 years ago | (#3282351)

The principle discussed in the article is exactly the way that, for years, the functioning of the translator has been described in the Star Trek series. In it, the translator device sampled an alien's voice, and quickly produced an out of phase sound wave to neutralise it. It then translates the voice and emits an English version of the speech.

Of course, this device isn't as sophisticated - it needs continuous deterministic sound, so it can anticipate in advance what sounds to produce. But it's still interesting - perhaps one day we will have the technology to produce Star Trek translators. Or at least primitive ones designed to automatically convert a single spoken language. :)

Re:Another science fiction become science fact (5, Funny)

LadyLucky (546115) | more than 12 years ago | (#3282438)

No doubt it also placed a hologram over the image of the alien that seemed to be very adept at mouthing the english words at the same time.

Why can't they just make like everyone else and put a fish in their ears?

STFU trekkie scum! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3282466)

You heard me!

Probably sooner than we think... (2)

rebelcool (247749) | more than 12 years ago | (#3282468)

Such a device is merely a combination of things we're working on.

It would require a reliable speech recognition system, combine that with a translator, then a speech generator.

Conceivably, using already available software you could program your computer to do it right now. Take a dictation program that can convert speech to text, run that through a translator, then reconvert it back to speech. It wouldnt be very accurate (as accurate as your translator is), but it would work roughly.

The only problem is that no system will ever be able to do it star-trek style in perfect real time. Different positions of things like verbs in some languages require listening to the whole sentence before translating. German comes to mind as a language which tends to shove verbs to the end of a thought. This at the very least will create something of a pause. Which isnt too bad really.

Where such a thing would be very beneficial would be carried by soldiers. If you put all those pieces of software in a carry-able platform, peacekeeping soldiers could use them to communicate more effectively with locals.

Older than Star Trek (4, Interesting)

shaldannon (752) | more than 12 years ago | (#3282515)

As far as I'm aware, this idea was proposed by Arthur C. Clarke in his series Tales from the White Hart. The story goes that some guy in England at college (a professor, iirc) develops a silencer device. A scorned young man whose ex-girlfriend is in the big play borrows the device for the big evening and sneaks it into the auditorium. What happens next, I'll leave to the inquisitive reader. Suffice it to say that you have to account for energy balances.

PC Speaker? (1, Interesting)

ClickWir (166927) | more than 12 years ago | (#3282352)

Would be really nice if the program could run as a background process (depending on cpu usage)with the mic plugged into the mic port on the sound card and the pc speaker as output. Maybe replace the pc speaker with something a little more robust. Would be really great if they could make something small enough to fit inside the computer to make it more quiet.

Re:PC Speaker? (1, Offtopic)

laserjet (170008) | more than 12 years ago | (#3282537)

moderators: why is this modded down? this has serious potential in the future and should not be discounted.

that's great! (1)

Skizamaskidz (306343) | more than 12 years ago | (#3282359)

Now I only wish they would invent something to block out all the flamebait posts(such as this). ;)

Frequency conversion (1, Interesting)

mar1no (559482) | more than 12 years ago | (#3282370)

It'd be a lot better if they somehow just upped the sound frequency which the cooling fans produced to a higher frequency out of the hearing range of humans. Although I don't think my dog would like that much.

this is cool! (4, Interesting)

laserjet (170008) | more than 12 years ago | (#3282373)

I would love to have one of these, as I am a very light sleeper.

That being said, the technology is the same thing as noise cancelling head phones (such as these [buy.com] , these [about.com] , or these [minidisco.com] ). These headphones simply rock if you have not tried them.

alternatively, you can use more traditional methods to quiet things down, like insulation. Putting some dynamat [dynamat.com] in your car will really dampen the noise and make it nice.


One thing I have always wanted to try for fun, is get a really sophisticated sound cancellation system with many microphones and many large speakers to broadcast the "anti"sound, and put it in a large area like a park or the mall.

then, don't tell anyone about it and watch the puzzled look on people's faces when they can't hear each other.

maybe it's not possible, but I sure do think it would be funny.

bass (5, Interesting)

astafas (232064) | more than 12 years ago | (#3282379)

I wonder if this will stop bass vibrations. I work nights and during the day when I try to sleep I get my neighbor playing his music real loud. I can't hear the music, but the vibrations from the bass keep me up until I get out of bed go over and knock on his door to get him to turn it down. This would help if it could block bass vibrations, but I don't think I want to spend a four digit sum on it.

Re:bass (2)

blakestah (91866) | more than 12 years ago | (#3282507)

Bass is easy. It is a slow waveform, relatively easy to cancel, and relatively hard to keep out with thick walls.

Geez - 4 digits sums ! This is really an undergraduate project that would involve two microphones, a low pass filter, an amplifier, an audio amp, and a speaker.

So this means I can.... (1)

unsinged int (561600) | more than 12 years ago | (#3282384)

...in the future surround my radio with something that selectively cancels out what I think is crap. Sort of like how I mute the television when some commercials come on because they're too annoying and there isn't anything else I want to watch, but this would be automatic. (Hehe...no comment on how this device could be used against that Celine Dion CD mentioned in the other article.)

Quiet Machines (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3282389)

I love having a quiet machine. I can actually sit in the room with it without it driving me batty. I have a new iBook which runs silent compared to my roomate's monster Dell Laptop which has a fan that runs all the time.

-dan

Sad day ... Stephen King dead (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3282395)


I just heard some sad news on talk radio - Horror/Sci Fi writer Stephen King was found dead in his Maine home this morning. There weren't any more details. I'm sure everyone in the Slashdot community will miss him - even if you didn't enjoy his work, there's no denying his contributions to popular culture. Truly an American icon.

Re:Sad day ... Stephen King dead (0, Offtopic)

Spazholio (314843) | more than 12 years ago | (#3282490)

I'm gonna need some backup on this one....I've been scouring the news sites, and can't find anything about this...what radio station did you hear it on? They have a website?

Re:Sad day ... Stephen King dead (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3282524)

WYHBT, Maine.

Re:Sad day ... Stephen King dead (-1, Offtopic)

Spazholio (314843) | more than 12 years ago | (#3282547)

Ah. Clever. Do you not have something better to do at 1:30 in the morning?

Cancles (2, Offtopic)

Anonymous DWord (466154) | more than 12 years ago | (#3282401)

I remember at the end of the NFL season, John Madden was going on and on about cankles. They'd zoom in on some guy's cankles, and he'd circle 'em. Pretty funny stuff.

Great... (0)

Faust7 (314817) | more than 12 years ago | (#3282410)

Do they have one that will cancel out the sounds of sex from the dorm room next to mine? Something anti-thump, anti-"Ooohh!!" perhaps?

Fix My Tinnitus (3, Interesting)

Boulder Geek (137307) | more than 12 years ago | (#3282412)

Perhaps these bright folks can come up with something to fix my tinnitus. I can't even stay in a truly quiet room without going half mad from the ringing in my ears.

Re:Fix My Tinnitus (1)

MrP- (45616) | more than 12 years ago | (#3282469)

that isnt tinnitus, thats the aliens in you're head. dont worry, you're not alone.

huh? kill my family? i dont want to! do it now? okay :(

Re:Fix My Tinnitus (1)

Zarathustra.fi (513464) | more than 12 years ago | (#3282500)

I have the same problem also (I blame my youth), albeit I can't say I would really suffer from it. Anyway, I hear with my good ear that they have invented these "hearing aids" for people really suffering from tinnitus. They are small gadgets, pretty much like those used by people with really bad hearing, except that they only reduce the constant whining of one's ears. I'm not sure if they used exactly this very technology, but I hear it works. Never tried one though. You might want to search the web for it.

Re:Fix My Tinnitus (3, Interesting)

ross.w (87751) | more than 12 years ago | (#3282538)

Jaycar Electronics in Australia have a kit for a white/pink noise generator that is supposed to help with this. The thoery is that the white noise drowns out the ringing but isn't intrusive. I don't know how effective it is. Jaycar Web site [jaycar.com.au]

Now I can hear when my roommate has a girl over (1)

Kasmiur (464127) | more than 12 years ago | (#3282421)

It used to be I would be sitting playing on my computer and hear a OOOOOOOO!!! in the background. now i can either filter it out or listen for my pleasure.

(/crude immature joke)

IBM Too (1)

The Fred (462778) | more than 12 years ago | (#3282424)

I work around IBM PC300GL workstations. They may be slow (P3s) but are pretty darn silent. In a general office environment, you cannot tell that they are on except for the lights. Unfortunetly, IBM doesn't seem to sell these dreams anymore.

Large Scale Lab Noise (1)

hyyx (447405) | more than 12 years ago | (#3282433)

I work 50% of my day in a computer lab. The room contains ~1000 machines (huge server types), all in a 50x50 [foot] room. The amount of noise is intolerable, and it's _other_ effects are even worse. I have to stand up and get myself straight sometimes, because a thousand fans humming can do strange things. I was just complaining about this to a group of people the other day.

I like white noise, especially noise created by industrial machines and computers, but a lot of people do not. I cannot imagine what it is doing to people who dislike it to begin with (white noise being pumped throughout my company's cubicle farms). I will definately keep a close watch on this... anyone else have any suggestions for this type of environment ? (headphones are not an option)

Re:Large Scale Lab Noise (2)

laserjet (170008) | more than 12 years ago | (#3282518)

Have you ever tried noise cancelation headphones? I also work in a large lab (filled with noise hard disk arrays) and have often thought about getting some noise cancellation headphones.

my problem is, i do not know how well they would work in that environment. I would think they would work well since the noise is constant and similar to a jet airplane, but i want to be sure before I buy some.

so if you or anyone has tried them in a noise server room/lab, let me know how they worked.

Re:Large Scale Lab Noise (2)

oo7tushar (311912) | more than 12 years ago | (#3282532)

yes I do, headphones aren't because people will talk to you right?

ok, you need fabrics, cloth that sort of stuff. Get cloth chairs, anything that will absorb sound. You don't want solids because they create that sound you get when you cup your ears.

Try putting up a cork board near your desk as well, you can post stuff to it. Try getting cubicle walls that are fabricy.

Batman the Animated Series thought this up... (1)

TheVoice900 (467327) | more than 12 years ago | (#3282445)

a long time ago. I rememeber one episode where a villain used all sorts of sound devices, one of which was a noise cancelling device that he used to move about undetected. He would activate the device which would emit anti-noise to the noise that he made while moving, making him move silently. I doubt that the technology is up to this level quite yet, but hey, it might be possible in the future.

Dogs (1)

Jucius Maximus (229128) | more than 12 years ago | (#3282446)

"I want one to quiet down my neighbour's loud dogs."

I spend a few weeks on the island of Trinidad (near Venezuela) and I swear I could hear every freaking dog on the island at night doing something like this:

[00] Dog 1: Arf!

[01] Dog 2: Woof!*

[02] Dog 1: WOOF!**

[03] Dog 2: Woof!**

[04] Dog 1: WOOF!**

goto 02;

*(Translation: Shut up!!)
**(Translation: No YOU shut up!!)

Multiply this by about a hundred thousand dogs.

To quiet down the dogs, whenever they get loud, throw a pork chop over the fence specially marinated in tobasco sauce. I am not a dog owner but I heard it may work.

The Cone of Silence! (2)

Vic (6867) | more than 12 years ago | (#3282450)

This was already done in the Get Smart! [cinerhama.com] T.V. series.

I can't hear you!!!! (2)

nickynicky9doors (550370) | more than 12 years ago | (#3282479)

How many early Monday morning lectures did I pray for something like this? Every teenager who reads about this is getting a read on their parent's voice(s).

Heard about this about ten years ago (2, Informative)

christopherjs (456957) | more than 12 years ago | (#3282483)

I remember hearing of this technology/idea about ten years ago on a technology show called "Beyond 2000" (anyone else remember that show?)

The suggested uses for the noise cancelling device was actually to place the device on the actual noise-making machine, not to create a device that "cleans" the area of noise, like the device mentioned in the article or like the noise cancelling headphones.

The idea was to create things like noiseless lawn mowers and noiseless vacuum cleaners. I always wondered why I never saw these devices.

This unit seems useful in that it can block out certain types of noise, but considering these people expect to charge over $1400 US for this, I can see why there never was a noiseless lawn mower...

In-box silencer (4, Insightful)

el_flynn (1279) | more than 12 years ago | (#3282484)

How about this idea: have an extra soundcard installed in your machine, hook it up to a small mic and speaker, and put the mic and speaker inside the PC casing.

Input from the mic would be fed to some app that could analyze the sound coming in, generate the appropriate cancellation frequencies and output via the speaker. Tada - quiet PC!

Of course you wouldn't want the mic to be on continuously - there would be feedback when the mic accepts signals from the speakers. But we could possibly run a cron job that turns on the mic while shutting the soundcard output, and perform the analysis once every minute/5 minutes/whatever your fancy. This would be a good way to make use of your spare cycles.

Howzat?

The real question (2)

morcheeba (260908) | more than 12 years ago | (#3282485)

is what happens at the finges of this "shadow of silence". Does it start to break down such that the anti-noise and the noise become in phase again, and you get an area of double-the-noise?

This is a lot more complicated than headphones. Headphones are relatively one-dimensional (one microphone, one speaker, one eardrum per circuit) - the only thing you have to worry about is not generating feedback.

This seems to be a more complicated 3-dimensional solution, and it'll have much more complicated problems. Does this cancel noise effectively in corners? Will a computer monitor cast a non-noise-canceled shadow? Is there a limit to the noise source (can it be all around you, or must it be generated in one specific place?)

questions... looking forward to the answers!

Save money (5, Interesting)

shepd (155729) | more than 12 years ago | (#3282486)

Build this [headwize.com] .

Cost? About $10 - $20 depending on how much you have lying around. Best thing? It lets you use any headphones you like instead of being stuck with the inferior quality of many noise cancelling headphones.

I've done it and it compares well to most sub $100 noise cancelling headphones.

Two Selwyn Wright's ? (1)

MarcoJROM (412323) | more than 12 years ago | (#3282494)

Apparently the inventor from the article is Selwyn Wright. Coincedentally, there's *another* Selwyn wright in the U.K., described in this article [thetube.com] .
It would be hilarious if these two were the same person, since this other guy is described as a thug "who has been the subject of almost daily calls to police over the past five years..."

linux! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3282499)

I really like linux! It runs good! But I also like windows too! They are both good so I use them both!

What about those of us... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3282506)

... that have a loud discotheque in our neighbourhood? Open the window, and you can't sleep because of the noise; close the window, and you can't sleep because of the heat.

Re:What about those of us... (1)

oo7tushar (311912) | more than 12 years ago | (#3282544)

Go there, get really drunk and start throwing up on the sidewalk when the police is watching. They'll have their licence revoked.

Dangerous : violates conservation of energy, (3, Funny)

0xB (568582) | more than 12 years ago | (#3282511)


So, there is a noise source producing sound energy and I have a so-called noise cancelling machine producing out-of-phase sound energy.

The end result is no sound, therefore energy has been destroyed.

This violates all the fundamental rules of nature.

I urge you not to build this thing ... you will destroy us all in a terrible singularity of destruction.

In this house... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3282527)

...we obey the laws of thermodynamics.

So, how does it know which sounds to block? (1, Interesting)

mikerackhabit (442545) | more than 12 years ago | (#3282516)

Perhaps someone with a bit more knowledge about this stuff can enlighten us all. How do I choose which sounds I want it block? It's all well and good for my computer to be ultra quiet but I don't want the scream of the platter as my hdd crashes and burns blocked out. It seems like it would take some pretty spiffy AI to figure out what are blockable sounds and what aren't. (this is more directed towards the 'advanced version' due out in a year or so)

This only works for low frequencies (5, Informative)

Animats (122034) | more than 12 years ago | (#3282535)

Noise-cancelling systems have been around for a while. Basically, they work only when the cancelling speaker is within a fraction of a wavelength of the listener. It's a speed of sound limitation. You can cancel 100Hz for several feet, but 1000Hz for only a few inches. That's why noise-cancelling headphones work well, but large-area systems don't.

You could build a system that cancels for a small target area from a distance, but it's going to produce twice the sound in other places.

Shut up! (1)

atika (570825) | more than 12 years ago | (#3282545)

Nice technology, I wonder if it would help me with those annoying voices in my head :)
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