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Embedding Data Signals In White Noise

timothy posted more than 11 years ago | from the literally-subliminal dept.

Technology 239

Anemophilous Coward writes "ZDNet has the following article which describes a company that 'has devised a method for sending wireless signals over ordinary audio speakers so that humans can't hear them. With this same technology, radio stations can unobtrusively transmit ads, Web site URLs, or information about music and artists to in-car cell phones.'" Here is some further reading about the company, Intrasonics.

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239 comments

OK....Where's my tinfoil hat? (5, Funny)

Dutchmaan (442553) | more than 11 years ago | (#4620679)

We all know this is just a cover story for the REAL secret messages in the static!

Re:OK....Where's my tinfoil hat? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4620736)

A first post modded *UP*

I have a pain in my chest.

Re:OK....Where's my tinfoil hat? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4620799)

> We all know this is just a cover story for the REAL secret messages in the static!

Ironically enough, I went to visit slashdot's darling, Theodore Gray on Halloween (he made the periodic table table). I was wearing a tin foil hat (~99% aluminium, 1% iron and silicon), and offered it to him for the table, but he declined.

Re:OK....Where's my tinfoil hat? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4620822)

Oh sure, first you guys complain about MICROSOFT articles, then articles on non-free SOFTWARE, now some company MAKES a speaker whose only purpose is to control YOU, and you're HAPPY to praise it. But remember, every time you BUY a set of these speakers, MICROSOFT gets more money so they can create more of their crappy SOFTWARE. If you want to be free, stick with LINUX. Free software IS the answer, and using Microsoft is more like slavery or COMMUNISM.

Color encoded in black-and-white signal! (3, Funny)

Kaz Kylheku (1484) | more than 11 years ago | (#4621050)

A hot new startup in California has announced a technology for encoding color information in black-and-white television broadcasts. The extra signal is encoded such that black-and-white receivers don't notice it, using a proprietary technique referred to as a ``subcarrier''. Millions of Slashdot kiddies are smitten with awe.

cocks (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4620686)

homococks. slappity slap slap slap.

Re:cocks (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4620837)

imho, it needs more bass.

bandwidth? (1)

Profe55or Booty (540761) | more than 11 years ago | (#4620690)

what kind of bandwidth would this get? (early cop-out post)

enormous compression (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4620720)

I've often wondered if I could transfer PSX ISOs to people on newsgroups by finding the ISO data in the digits of PI and posting a message like "PI, offset 23094820394802394829384982736481723681736498237948 273948239482793847293847", read 187MB. Enjoy!"

Re:enormous compression (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4620812)

Join PiHex- A distributed effort to calculate Pi [cecm.sfu.ca] and you never know, it MIGHT happen one day.

But then, pi would be in breach of copyright, or at least calculating it would. Mathematics would be set back hundreds of years ;)

Re:enormous compression (2)

1984 (56406) | more than 11 years ago | (#4620871)

Nah. If you've got an infinite amount of data that's random (not saying pi is), then probability that any given string exists within it tends towards one. But the probability of any given string you select *being* that string tends toward zero. So you'd probably spend a very long time (not a finite time, even) looking for the offset. And then the person at the other end needs a function that generates the same "random" data, which'll take them an infinitely long time, too, if your offset is an infinite.

Now I don't know shit about maths (tends toward might actually be "1", for instance) but that's kind of how it seems intuitively. If someone's going to rip me a new one, at least answer the guys question with your superior knowledge.

hi (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4620691)

do me

FP)@#**@# (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4620692)

FP

poo on me!

Oh Great..... (5, Funny)

GeneralEmergency (240687) | more than 11 years ago | (#4620703)

....more invisible voices urging me to do bad things.
.
.

Re:Oh Great..... (2)

unicron (20286) | more than 11 years ago | (#4620779)

"Must..eat..at..Joes!"

Thank you, thank you... (1, Offtopic)

GeneralEmergency (240687) | more than 11 years ago | (#4620794)

I'm here all week.
.
.

Re:Oh Great..... (1)

ElMiguel (117685) | more than 11 years ago | (#4620932)

more invisible voices urging me to do bad things.

Do you mean there are visible voices? (when you're sober anyway).

Like I need any more SPAM (1)

Znonymous Coward (615009) | more than 11 years ago | (#4620704)

I only hope Mozilla can make a popup blocker for my phone.

SPAM solution for car phone (1)

sheWhoWalksWithToesL (606460) | more than 11 years ago | (#4621055)

Put earplugs in ears. Cover eyes with blindfold. Ah, the bliss of not seeing those pop-up ads or oncoming cars...... CRASH!!...

For those who don't know what white noise is (5, Informative)

pheph (234655) | more than 11 years ago | (#4620705)

Blow your mind [everything2.com]

Re:For those who don't know what white noise is (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4620934)

this isn't funny.

I think I know... (3, Funny)

nebenfun (530284) | more than 11 years ago | (#4621004)

isn't white noise like britany spears, nsync, backstreet boys,etc?

oh wait...you mean the OTHER white noise
nbfn

Hmmm (2)

ekrout (139379) | more than 11 years ago | (#4620725)

[A company] has devised a method for sending wireless signals over ordinary audio speakers so that humans can't hear them.

Yeah, but how much is dog insurance going for these days?

Re:Hmmm (1)

phreaknb (611492) | more than 11 years ago | (#4620877)

If you would read the article, it says it does not do that. It would instead put it in noises the ear filters out.

Re:Hmmm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4620980)

Close your web browser, shut down your fucking linux "b0xen" and go outside for
once in your life.

I think the fact that a site like slashdot, which caters to you fucking nerds
out there, can't even survive without having to charge you for reading it, says
alot about how much you fucks are worth to the rest of the world: ZERO.

This should serve as a wakeup call to all you nerds out there who think that
working on your b0xen in your one bedroom apartment, posting useless shit to a
useless web site like slashdot and reading about the newest version of OpenBSD
that can run on your fucking Dreamcast console is a good way to go through
life.

So wake the fuck up and DO something productive, something that makes money.
Stop wasting your time talking about open source fucking garbage that will
never amount to anything useful.

Why does spot keep beating his head on the ground? (5, Funny)

KnowledgeFreak (528963) | more than 11 years ago | (#4620729)

And life for all dog's everywhere will never be the same.

Re:Why does spot keep beating his head on the grou (2)

sweetooth (21075) | more than 11 years ago | (#4620804)

Except for the fact that the article SPECIFICALLY states that it doesn't work on the same principle as dog whistles as the sound couldn't be transmitted through ordinary speakers.

How is really works (1)

michaelfavor (537405) | more than 11 years ago | (#4620832)

from the article: Does the company's technology work on the dog whistle principle, using sound waves that are below the threshold of human hearing? No. If it did, you couldn't send the signals over standard audio speakers. Instead, the technology revolves around what's called psycho-acoustic masking. Humans tend to filter out what they don't want to hear, especially the pop, fizz and hum of white noise. Intrasonics essentially takes and digitizes recorded messages, and then masks them as nuisance noises. The signals are spread over the audible spectrum and then disguised into the soundtrack. During a crescendo, the signals can be louder than quiet moments and still remain undetectable. A processor, equipped with specialized software, in the receiving unit then reassembles the message and delivers it accordingly. Tests reveal that people don't hear the signals.

Re:Why does spot keep beating his head on the grou (2)

Dr Caleb (121505) | more than 11 years ago | (#4620954)

...and every time some RiceBurner drives by, spot tries to lunge into traffic...

Not based on frequency (5, Informative)

Jerf (17166) | more than 11 years ago | (#4621011)

Others have already observed that it's not a frequency thing, but let me expand on that.

Frequencies are already optimized for human hearing, and it's not usually possible to send, say, a 40,000Hz signal on most anything you can think of, analog or digital. Standard phones have a bandwidth of something like 3 K Hz. CDs of course top out around 20,000Hz, give or take a bit. (It's not a perfect cutoff at 22050, it's a curve, so there isn't quite a point you can say is "the limit".) I don't know for certain but I'd bet FM can't transmit those frequencies and be compliant with FCC regulations. (Of course the tech could do it in theory, but the radio station may have to leave their allocated frequencies to do it; I don't know for certain.) AM could do it in theory but based on the low quality of the signal I hypothesize that something is preventing high frequencies from getting through.

Finally, the coup de grace is that our speakers are optimized for human hearing, pretty much no matter what. Covering the bases from 20Hz - 20,000Hz is a hard enough problem without pushing the required range up another couple of octaves.

In fact, what the company is proposing seems to be in some sense the inverse of MP3 coding. MP3 coding strips the signal of things that you can't hear through by analysing what is psychoacoustically masked [mp3-converter.com] in the original signal. The MP3 encoding process can then focus on just the parts of the signal you do hear, which is obviously going to require less space, except in some pathological cases where the whole sound is perceivable (like a pure sine wave tone).

From what I understand of the marketing, the part of the signal that an MP3 encoder strips out is exactly where they would place their data. They can stick any data they want in there and we just plain won't hear it, but a computer+microphone doesn't have this problem.

Interesting corrolary: The time frame this will work in is limited, as digital transmission usually uses compressed audio, and the act of compressing the audio will preferentially eliminate this data. (Or does digital radio transmit an uncompressed stream?) They'd better get marketing this now, so that there's an installed base and they can try to later create receivers that will re-add their signal on the receiving side. Of course, if all anybody is using this for is advertising, I can't imagine we're going to go out of our way to buy "Advertising Enabled!" digital radio receivers.

The First Post Conspiracy (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4620731)

I checked Slashdot today, and lo and behold, a new article was up. I knew it was time to perform a first post maneuver, so I clicked on the article link [slashdot.org] that was provided.

The problem was, the link was dead. I thought it was odd...I mean, I know Rob Malda is an idiot, but that bad? Nah. But I noticed the little addition to the end of the URL. Notice that ?tid=126 remark? I removed the remark, and the link worked fine. Alas, the first post was achieved by a registered user.

So here's the conspiracy I'm seeing here. Could it be that Slashdot is purposely trying to throw off anonymous trolls who want to first post? It could make sense. If you're not logged in, you can't read any new articles until a certain amount of time has passed...preferably until some logged-in users post first.

Can any other trolls confirm this? If so, we have a conspiracy on our hands, and it's due time that Rob Malda answers up to it!

Re:The First Post Conspiracy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4620748)

insteading of worrying about first posts and slashdot and all that rot, focus on what's important. masturbation. go do it right now, you'll feel better.

Hey! (3, Funny)

gpinzone (531794) | more than 11 years ago | (#4620739)

I want an in depth analysis of the Beatles' White Album immediately! Charles Manson was right!

6th post (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4620740)

Ashanti was having a very hard night after losing to that hot bitch Shakira
in the MTV awards for best new female artist. At the after party she was
talking to another fellow loser to Shakira, Alicia Keys. She couldn't help
herself and kept looking over Alicia's hot body. She was getting wet just
thinking about the things she would do to the young artist. She was in a
daze looking at her fat ass as she bent over to get some punch when Shakira
came over to her. Shakira the stupid bitch that beat her out came over to
congratulate her on her nomination. Ashanti would've probably slapped her
silly if she wasn't already horny as hell from looking at Alicia. All she
could do was look at her tight stomach and pert little nipples showing
threw her two piece leather outfit. "You are a very good singer" said
Shakira . "I have your CD and I love that song "Baby" she said.

"Thank you" said Ashanti.

"Maybe we should get together sometime." She said.

This sent Ashanti's emotions wild she couldn't help herself anymore, she
had to fuck now!! She left the scene and Shakira thought she had upset her
so she followed. Ashanti got up to her sweet and pulled down her thong and
start to masturbate with her dress still on. She ferociously fingered
herself while thinking of licking Shakira's Latin pussy and getting eaten
by Alicia from behind. Just then the door slid open...

"Need some help?" said Shakira. "I usually use two fingers and work my way
up." she said.

Shakira had wanted to taste her hot pussy since she saw her in "Always on
Time" she wanted this more then Ashanti could've guessed. Shakira walked
over to the young singer and smacked her fat ass. She rolled Ashanti on her
back, leaned over to kiss her and slipped her hand up her dress. She
pulled and pinched at her nipples and shoved her tongue into her
mouth. Ashanti blindly tugged at Shakira's tight leather pants she wanted
her now. She tugged hard but couldn't get them off so Shakira figured she
could help again. She stood up and pulled down her tight pants revealing
her black lace thong. She continued her little strip show by pulling off
her leather top finally giving her hard nipples some air. She turned around
and slowly pulled the thong out of her ass and dropped it to the floor.

"Now take that dress off and lay on the bed." She said

Ashanti did what her fuck partner said and laid down legs spread. Shakira
walked over to the edge of the bed kneeled down and began to tease Ashanti
by licking around her navel and her thighs. Ashanti cooed with
anticipation, she wanted her now. Shakira went in for the kill; she dove in
to her hot lover's pussy and devoured her clit. Ashanti was already about
to cum; the masturbation made her close but it was really seeing her snatch
being eaten by the Latin beauty that really put her over the edge.

Shakira, meanwhile, ferociously licked at her new found lover's cunt. LINUX IS FOR GAYS. Her
own pussy dripped with her juices, she wanted Ashanti to cum now so she
could have her pussy licked, too. Shakira added a finger in her cunt and
started to finger fuck her brains out. Ashanti couldn't take it anymore,
her juices flowed out like Niagara Falls, and Shakira licked up every drop.

"OH YEAH, FUCK MY TIGHT CUNT, FUCK IT BABY, FUCK IT!!" Ashanti screamed.

Shakira did just that and kept fucking and sucking her lover until her
orgasm was over. She pulled her fingers out of her pussy and made her taste
her own juices. Then she kissed her full on the lips. Ashanti got up and
went to her dresser opened a drawer and pulled out her strap on.

"It's your turn now." Ashanti said. She bent Shakira over on the bed. She
guided it toward her pussy. "Where do you want it baby?" she asked.

"Fuck my tight ass!" Shakira exclaimed kind of surprising Ashanti.

But surprised or not Ashanti did just that. She shoved it in her ass and
held on to her back. She laid her head down on the bed and used her hand to
finger her pussy. Ashanti hammered away on her hot Latin ass and reached
behind herself and fingered her own ass with one finger while rubbing her
cunt with another.

"Smack my ass that gets me horny as hell." Shakira said. "And fuck me
harder, I love it fast baby." She added.

Ashanti did just that, she smacked her ass after every other stroke of the
dildo in Shakira's ass. She was riding Shakira like a pony. She was also
having a great time finger fucking her own ass and rubbing her pussy.

"O YEAH, HERE I CUM." Shakira said. "C'MON FUCK ME, FUCK MY ASS, FUCK IT
HARDER, HARDER!" She screamed.

Ashanti pounded her ass with all her might. Within a few strokes Shakira
came.

"Now lick my pussy, please lick my pussy Ashanti, I love how you fuck me."
Moaned Shakira.

Ashanti bent down and lapped up her partners juices. She sucked her clit,
which was as big as could be, and it was clear that she didn't want it to
be over yet. She licked her pussy lips and licked up to her ass. She rolled
Shakira over and mounted her face.

"Mmmmm... I think I love you." Shakira said.

"Then eat me!" Ashanti responded.

Then, as if trying to devour a huge steak dinner, they dove into each
others snatch. There was no teasing this time they both wanted to
fuck. Since both of their clits were huge and swollen it didn't take long
until they were both moaning with pleasure again. They both insert a finger
into each others pussy and finger fucked each other till they both
climaxed.

Shakira looked over at Ashanti "We should do this more often." she said
grabbing her tight ass.

"Yeah at least twice a day." She said.

Part of a complete breakfast [goatse.cx]

Ads" Unobtrusive"? (2, Interesting)

jhouserizer (616566) | more than 11 years ago | (#4620743)

"radio stations can unobtrusively transmit ads"

Is this really possible? - I guess so, as long as they're only "tansmitted", and never converted into a form that can be picked up by my eyes, ears, skin, tongue, nose, ...

Re:Ads" Unobtrusive"? (1)

stevejsmith (614145) | more than 11 years ago | (#4620918)

Unobtrustive? How is random voices on your cell phone unobtrusive?

Interactive CDs? (4, Interesting)

sirshannon (616247) | more than 11 years ago | (#4620754)

who will be the first artist to embed lyrics, trivia, etc in their CDs?

Re:Interactive CDs? (1)

cmallinson (538852) | more than 11 years ago | (#4620867)

who will be the first artist to embed lyrics, trivia, etc in their CDs?

It's already digital media. The "embedding" part is kind of redundant.

Is there no escape? (4, Interesting)

Malcolm MacArthur (66309) | more than 11 years ago | (#4620755)

Isn't it sad that one of the first things they think of doing is using it to send adverts?

Advertising everywhere... no escape. I remember reading a short sci-fi story about this many years ago. Unfortunately, it looks like somebody else read it as well...

Exciting! (5, Funny)

joebagodonuts (561066) | more than 11 years ago | (#4620759)

The pr0n industry should be all over this. You can watch a movie at home with a special "doll", responding to commands...

Where can I buy stock?

Re:Exciting! (2)

kin_korn_karn (466864) | more than 11 years ago | (#4620834)

forget the stock, where can I buy that pr0n??? This may finally make women obselete like vibrators made us obselete!

Re:Exciting! (2, Funny)

RobertB-DC (622190) | more than 11 years ago | (#4620897)

The pr0n industry should be all over this...

Actually, a pervasive peddler of socially repugnant (but widely used) products has already enlisted an unsavory character to respond to hidden broadcast signals: 2/7/1997: Microsoft Launches ActiMates Early Learning System, featuring Barney the Dinosaur [microsoft.com]

Oddly enough, both product concepts include playing "peek-a-boo".

Re:Exciting! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4621022)

Stock is swedish slang for dick.

Re:Exciting! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4621058)

+1 informative

Re:Exciting! (2)

evilviper (135110) | more than 11 years ago | (#4621029)

Great! It's not bad enough that real women can manipulate you, now fake ones can too!

Embedding Data Signals In White Noise? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4620764)

Is that like someone embedding the Goatse Guy's gaping anus in random ASCII noise, and posting it to slashdot? Think Different. [idge.net]

MP3s and Watermarking (5, Interesting)

Student_Tech (66719) | more than 11 years ago | (#4620767)

I wonder if this technology could be modified to watermark the source of the signal?
But if they are saying that it is random pops and cracks how will converting it into MP3s affect it?
I guess also, how would extra noise because one has a lousy stereo do to the signal?

Re:MP3s and Watermarking (5, Insightful)

outlier (64928) | more than 11 years ago | (#4620893)

how will converting it into MP3s affect it?

Depending on how this is implemented, lossy audo compression techniques used in MP3 or OGG may strip the info. One of the reasons that these formats can get such good compression rates is that they strip a lot of the acoustic information that people can't hear -- which is exactly where these guys are looking to put their signals.

My guess is that someone could come up with a lower bandwidth approach that would remain in the signal after compression. But they'd probably have to tailor their approach to the specific algorithms in a particular MP3/OGG encoder. If someone used a different encoder or the encoder was upgraded, a new solution would need to be created.

Of course if this technology is primarily used for advertising, then people would want to strip the information. If, on the other hand, the data were truly useful to users, there might be an effort to preserve it after compression.

Re:MP3s and Watermarking (2)

benwaggoner (513209) | more than 11 years ago | (#4620909)

The thing about perceptual codecs is that they only try to preserve the information that is perceptible. Thus, any imperceptable information, like white noise or watermarking, will tend to get stripped out. And even if a system can carry through a particular compression technique, it might not work with other, future, more advanced techniques.

This whole technology is based around sending full-bandwidth signals, which is definitely NOT the trend in digital communications.

Stegography-like stuff requires lossless compression ala GIF. Doesn't work well with JPEG!

And straight into our brains, man! (4, Funny)

burgburgburg (574866) | more than 11 years ago | (#4620771)

This is just like that time that the phone police were sending me those messages through the rings, man. Exactly the same, except different. Man.

further reading RE: straight into our brains, man! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4620922)

Embedding Data Signals In White Noise Posted by timothy on Thu Nov 07, '02 04:34 PM from the literally-subliminal dept. radio stations can unobtrusively transmit ads, Web site URLs, or information about music andescribes a compsignals over ordinary audio signals over ordinary audio any that 'has dedescribes a company that 'has devised a method for sending wsignals over ordinary audio ireless speakers so that humsignals over ordinary audio ansAnsignals over ordinary audio emophilous Coward writes "ZDNet has the following article which following article which describes a company that 'has devised a method for sending wireless signals over ordinary audio speakers so that humans can't hear them. With this same technology, can't hear them. With this same technology, radio stations can unobtrusively transmit ads,Coward wAnemophilous Coward writes "ZDNet has the following article which following article which describes a company that 'has devised a method for sending wireless signals over ordinary audio speakers so that humans can't hear them. With this same technology, rites "ZDNet has the vised a method for sending wireless signals over ordinary audio speakers so that humans can't hear them. With this same technology, radio stations can unobtrusively transmit ads,Coward writes "ZDNet has the d artists to in-car Coward writes "ZDNet has the following article which describes a company that 'has devised a method for sending wireless signals over ordinary audio speakers so that humans can't hear them. With this same technology, radio stations can unobtrusively transmit ads, Web site URLs, or information about music and artists to in-car Web site URLs, or information about music and artists to in-car cell phones.'" Here is some further reading about the company, Intrasonics. Embedding Data Signals In White Noise Posted by timothy on Thu Nov 07, '02 04:34 PM from the literally-subliminal dept. Anemophilous cell phones.'" Here is some further reading about the company, Intrasonics. Coward writes "ZD company that 'has devised a method for sending wireless signals over ordinary audio speakers so that humans can't hearNet ha company that 'has devised a method for sending wireless signals over ordinary audio speakers so that humans can't hears the following article which describes a them. With this same tec company that 'has devised a method for sending wireless signals over ordinary audio speakers so that humans can't hearhnology, radio stations can unobtrusively transmit ads, Web site URLs, or informa company that 'has devised a method for sending wireless signals over ordinary audio speakers so that humans can't heartion about music and artists to in-car

Unobtrusive? (1)

Snowgen (586732) | more than 11 years ago | (#4620776)

...radio stations can unobtrusively transmit ads...

How effective can an ad be if it's unobtrusive? And if an ad is ineffective, the who would pay for it?

I suspect that this will become a method to obtrusively transmit advertisements.

Overlooking the obvious usage (2)

wowbagger (69688) | more than 11 years ago | (#4620782)

This could be used to watermark audio, in order to try to track pirates. Granted, if they are actually using psychoacustics, then psychoacustic compression systems like MP3 or Vorbis would strip the extra data, but this would be good for basic audio.

However, I doubt this is "inaudiable" - rather I suspect it is "unobtrusive" - you would hear it, and if you know what to listen for would identify it, but you wouldn't find it objectionable in most cases.

But keep it the hell off my CDs!

we should use this on... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4620783)

sand niggahs so they only take the $2 per/hr jobs here in america!

Re:we should use this on... (0)

TarrVetus (597895) | more than 11 years ago | (#4620887)

[insert standard flame here]

How can this work? (1)

sirshannon (616247) | more than 11 years ago | (#4620786)

Wireless phones don't just pick up random waves in the air, they pick up signal being sent to their phone number only. So how will this work?

Re:How can this work? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4620869)

That's easy.

They hire a bunch of professional spammers, who will call every number they find in their phonebook.

Re:How can this work? (1)

great_flaming_foo (561939) | more than 11 years ago | (#4620910)

Its soundwaves, not electromagnetic wave that they are talking about. All the cellphone has to do is listen for the special static to come across the mic.

So? (4, Insightful)

shoemakc (448730) | more than 11 years ago | (#4620787)


Let me guess, by using the correlation of psuedo-random noise sequences summed with the signal. :::yawn:::

-Chris

first dead penis bird post (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4620789)

or something... i just wanted to shout out to all my dead penis bird homiez! yeah, old skool funk, borther!

Applications vs intentions (5, Interesting)

moebius_4d (26199) | more than 11 years ago | (#4620796)

This is an interesting idea, using psychoacoustic modeling to open a data channel in audio. The article describes some applications, and I'll certainly admit that some of them sound irritating or possibly dangerous (from a security standpoint.) Others sound better.

But not everything interesting to do with this will be done by the company involved, because it may not make good business sense or they may not have thought of it. I'd be interested in what slashdotters can think of to do with such a channel. The obvious use of embedding artist and recording information is mentioned, and I like that one a lot. It would be great to have a radio displaying those things, and to be able to scroll back and look at the last N songs. This would let you find out what that song you heard the end of was, or do a statistical analysis of a station's playlist, whatever you want.

A use that occurs to me is adding the information to advertisements so that adverisers can automate the task of making sure that they get what they pay for. Even performers could use an "ad id" check to make sure they get their voice-over royalties and the like.

Of course, voice of america and similar programs could use this right away. First they start adding this hidden content to all programming, using encrypted books, articles, or any other easily accesible source. They can then easily put a specific message with a specific key into a program that certain people can unlock. There's no entropy difference between the "real" message and the usual dummy ones to detect.

Hmmm lots of fun to be had here...

Screw advertising, obfuscation for crypto! (3, Interesting)

gr (4059) | more than 11 years ago | (#4620797)

Using a seemingly innocuous message as a carrier wave for a truly useful message you don't want other people to know about is an old-news crypto technique, of course. But here's a fun, new place to apply it.

And you don't even need to seem to be doing anything funny during decoding (the message would obviously have to be enciphered; pass it in the clear and anyone who owns a cell tower between the two points can read it); build that into the phone/PDA. With the ridiculous proliferation of the damn things, no one will blink if you receive a call, chat for a few minutes, and then tap a few buttons. For all they know, you're sending an SMS, even if you are entering your passphrase.

All it really takes to do 3DES or Blowfish in software in a reasonable period of time is a StrongARM or similar (my Newton's got one, you cell phone must), though you'd get far better performance doing it in hardware. (Watch out for escrow, though!)

Ignore the man behind the curtain (3, Funny)

M00NIE (605235) | more than 11 years ago | (#4620801)

Or rather...

Ignore the messages embedded in this whitenoise.

You will Loooooooove Microsoft
You will Haaaaaaaate Open Source
Linux is eeeeeeeevil
War on Iraq is goooooooood

Re:Ignore the man behind the curtain (2)

evilviper (135110) | more than 11 years ago | (#4621060)

... Vote republican.

Re:Ignore the man behind the curtain (5, Funny)

Dannon (142147) | more than 11 years ago | (#4621061)

"Can you hear me now? No? Good!"

Oh Great (4, Interesting)

Gudlyf (544445) | more than 11 years ago | (#4620802)

Now we'll have to worry about some sicko blasting tunes as he drives by my house, sending the latest ad for "When Animals Attack 7" to my cellphone.

Hm, could someone send a mass-broadcast virus this way?

Re:Oh Great (0)

TarrVetus (597895) | more than 11 years ago | (#4620956)

Oh no... now you've given them ideas!
The horror!

Simply encode the instructions to send the phone to an infected URL. Scary, indeed.

Depressing lack of imagination (3, Insightful)

migurski (545146) | more than 11 years ago | (#4620803)

I find it sad that everytime a new technology such as this is developed, the first instinct of the marketing people tasked with selling it is to figure out a way to make it push ads into my perceptual environment, almost guaranteeing an initial cynical reaction..

Re:Depressing lack of imagination (2)

plover (150551) | more than 11 years ago | (#4620885)

Kewl. To sum up:

Migurski's Law:
For every advertising action, there is an equal and opposite cynical reaction.

So, I wonder if there's money to be made advertising in the cynical marketplace?

Poor dogs (1)

jukal (523582) | more than 11 years ago | (#4620825)

Animal rights activists will surely love this "innovation" - even though the average human ear cannot hear these messages, it is very likely that we will see a large variety of animals go cracy if technology like the Intrasonics gets popular.

** And as it took 5 minutes to download PDF [thecommslab.com] with only marketing jargon, analysis of an Slashdot Effect [openchallenge.org] .

Really, somehow the Intrasonics thing sounds like even more outrageous marketing stunt than for example posting a link to a slashdot effect analysis. Or, if someone from the company is listening, please do provide some real technical specifications on the thing.

Re:Poor dogs (2)

binaryDigit (557647) | more than 11 years ago | (#4620967)

even though the average human ear cannot hear these messages, it is very likely that we will see a large variety of animals go cracy

Well the article says that they spread the encoded data throughout the spectrum, not that they place it frequencies that we normally can't hear. My understanding of animal hearing is that they hear frequencies that we can't. Assuming that this is the case, then animals shouldn't be too affected, if at all. I'm definitely not a scientist so I may be off base here, but my first thought too was that they were using inaudible frequencies, but the article seems to suggest that they don't. Which would make sense since your average oem car speaker would have a pretty tough time reproducing sound at frequencies high enough.

Re:Poor dogs (2)

jukal (523582) | more than 11 years ago | (#4621005)

oh, once again, feel free to moderate my previous post down. I missed the point, which is in this one chapter:

Does the company's technology work on the dog whistle principle, using sound waves that are below the threshold of human hearing? No. If it did, you couldn't send the signals over standard audio speakers. Instead, the technology revolves around what's called psycho-acoustic masking.

However, I would still like to have someone explain how this will work in reality. What kind of performance will be required to catch and decode these messages. It does not seem like a very light task.

I can hear the audiophiles now... (5, Funny)

dameron (307970) | more than 11 years ago | (#4620831)

"I can hear it, can't you?"

-dameron

will my pet hamster freak ? (2)

Brigadier (12956) | more than 11 years ago | (#4620852)


Will my pet Hamster Fred, freak out ? Inaudable usually means higher sound frequencies. If it is audible but comes off as white noise ... I hate white noise. The humming of all this equipment drives me MAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAD!!

Re:will my pet hamster freak ? (1)

davinciII (469750) | more than 11 years ago | (#4620937)

No, do you honestly think your speakers have infinite range? For the most part, a *good* speaker will have a frequency range of 20 - 20,000 hz.

A dog won't really get bothered until about 48,000 hz, well above the limits of your speakers.

I fail to see the usefulness of this technology (1)

matrim99 (123693) | more than 11 years ago | (#4620853)

Outside of Marketing meetings, I can't see how anyone would actually *want* their devices to respond to commands imbedded into audio noise. OK, a "Talking Tina" doll that acts the part during the airing of a Twilight Zone would be funny the first time around, but that's about all I can imagine the end-user wanting the technology to do (silly little tricks with "intercative" robots). I don't think that ANY consumer would want their cells to ring with the "ad of the day" transmitted over the air muzak at their favorite retailer.

Wait, I just thought of a use... a prankster's dream come true. Imagine 40,000 cells all ringing at the same time during the playing of a *special* version of "Black in Black" during a major sports event. Or even playing a *special* CD in a boombox, laughing as everyone within listening range has their cell ring and deliver them a message that has been imbedded into the CD sound. Good luck tracing that obscene phone message.

Re:I fail to see the usefulness of this technology (0)

TarrVetus (597895) | more than 11 years ago | (#4621025)

"a prankster's dream come true"

Of course, that's assuming that the average Tom Techie ever gets this technology for personal use. The coporations would just love this technology, and would probably fight for it in courts till the bitter end.

You mean that.. (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4620857)

...we will finally be able to get some actual information from slashdot?

Mirror (1)

RudeDude (672) | more than 11 years ago | (#4620860)

Here is the "further reading" PDF [mrhostbot.com] from the linked site.

Mirror provided by Mr HOSTBOT [mrhostbot.com]

Setti (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4620861)

Can someone test if setti@home can decipher these messages? ;)

Theres a message hidden (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4620862)

In this post

Linking unix to slashdot will fuck up the signal!

Theres another message hidden (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4621039)

That you missed

Linking unix to slashdot will fuck up the signal!

Hey - Wait a minute! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4620878)

My poor neurotic cat... (1, Offtopic)

RoadWarriorX (522317) | more than 11 years ago | (#4620912)

Last time my TV blast some uncomprehensible signal, my cat had nearly had a heart attack. For a while, I couldn't figure it out what was causing it!!

Finally, I just gave up watching this horrible show... [eonline.com]

Now, my cat is on the road to recovery.

Out My Ear (2)

unsinged int (561600) | more than 11 years ago | (#4620915)

Can someone please tell me how to remove this pop-up ad that's sticking out of my ear? Everytime I think I've gotten rid of it it comes back.

RDS has been around for ages (3, Interesting)

PineGreen (446635) | more than 11 years ago | (#4620916)

The Radio Data System [rds.org.uk] has been around for ages and it allows precisely that: transmitting extra information with normal radio signals... Because it works by putting digital signal into inaudibile frequency, it should do exactly the same, as long as speakers have any response at 20-40Khz.

Re:RDS has been around for ages (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4621070)

>inaudibile frequency

RDS signals are not only inaudible they are heavily filtered out before the audio stages of the receiver.

A european FM radio carrier has mono audio
at 0-15KHz, a pilot tone for the stereo decoder at
19KHz, a stereo difference signal around 20-35KHz
and RDS data above that.

question... (3, Funny)

vmxeo (173325) | more than 11 years ago | (#4620935)

"With this same technology, radio stations can unobtrusively transmit ads, Web site URLs, or information about music and artists..
Humans tend to filter out what they don't want to hear, especially the pop, fizz and hum of white noise."


So if I understand this correctly, the technology can transmit advertisements, spam, and pop music completely unheard by the human ear by disgusing them as advertisements, spam, and pop music?

Last time I checked... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4620939)

White noise was in fact something you can hear, it's just that it sounds like static. So what they're saying is they've found a way to add static to your music and give you pop-up adds to boot.

You will buy more Coke. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4620944)

This message brought to you by SublimiSonics, Inc., Ltd. LLC.

Other applications of white noise (2)

phorm (591458) | more than 11 years ago | (#4620948)

A long time back, I was reading some hardware reviews on sound cards. 1 of the reviews mentioned a card that was rather nominal, but came with a special set of headphones. In about a page of article, it glanced over the soundcard and then went into rave reviews of the headphones, which apparently used "white noise" to block audible frequencies except for the music/etc coming through the headphones.

My guess would be that this could be used to create a signal, and block it from human perception but perhaps still allow it to be picked up be electronics.

One question I have though, if they're making such advanced uses of white-noise technology now, and these headphones/soundcards came out over a year ago, why haven't I seen rave reviews on the technology and white-noise headphones available at every radio shack? From what I remember, including the price of the card the 'phones weren't that expensive.

If you think that is scary... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4620975)

I had a friend who worked for defense contractor..he worked on very high clearence stuff...they were mostly a software shop...he used to tell me about some of his projects...sometimes "crossing the line" in our conversations....he eluded to the fact that the government posseses very similar technology to this...but instead of cleverly piggybacking existing signals to plant ads...they are using much more subtle techniques to actually modify behavior on both small and large scale....some may laugh...but I knew this guy for a few years....he was uber...MIT graddy...he said they used to call going to work "dreamtime" because they were working with stuff hundreds of years ahead of what we have yet to see in the commercial marketplace...scary....

Re:If you think that is scary... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4621052)

check out this link: cool article [angelfire.com]

Just wait till someone cracks their algo (2)

binaryDigit (557647) | more than 11 years ago | (#4620988)

It'll get published by 2600 and then every kiddie will be encoding messages and sending them out through their little radio shack fm transmitters as mommy and daddy roll down the highway, making the technology useless (or even more useless)

It has to be said... (1)

Cervantes (612861) | more than 11 years ago | (#4621021)

Does this mean that driving around with my car stereo blasting would now be considered "advertising"?

OTOH, has anyone heard what compression this technique has? Is it just good for short text strings, or what? I'm picturing a time when a compressed ogg is broadcast along with the song... get replay, get your own copy... at a lower sample then digital, of course, but enough to encourage radio listeners and drop p2pers.

OTOH2, encrypt it, and then sell the decryption code.

*shrugs* it's been a long day. Don't blame me for the insanity, blame me instead.

This is novel? (2)

mbogosian (537034) | more than 11 years ago | (#4621036)

...sending wireless signals over ordinary audio speakers so that humans can't hear them....

Is it just me, or does embedding data in white noise "sound" like it's already happend? Every time I pick up the phone when someone else is using the line for a dial-up connection, I am abruptly reminded of the transmission of data using seemingly random noise....

$ # Patent pending...
$ bzip2 -c </lib/libc.so.6 >/dev/audio

And how is this diffrent from steganography + a pair of 2,400 buad modems?

Besides, elephants [csmonitor.com] have been doing this [about.com] for millenia (with their feet instead of over their THX system).

Educated Guess (1)

Czernobog (588687) | more than 11 years ago | (#4621043)

Without having read the article (Shock! Horror!), I think they'll probably be using "Spread spectrum" techniques.
These are techniques for mixing your signal with Additive White Gaussian Noise (AWGN) for two purposes:

a) When the communication is intercepted, the signal is so intentionally, but randomly, garbled by AWGN, that it is almost impossible to be recovered, unless
b) The intended recipient knows exactly what AWGN to remove, from which parts of the signal to remove it and how to go about it.

These techniques are very widely used in the military, especially by the US military, for wireless communications.

There has been research lately, examining whether these techniques can be used in conjuction with 3rd and 4th generation communication systems, to improve the quality of mobile communications generally, for all.

Good! (1)

r3volve (460422) | more than 11 years ago | (#4621045)

I'd rather listen to white noise than the crap they put on the radio these days anyway!

Crappy Speakers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4621048)

Good thing my speakers can barely play music let alone sounds I can't hear.

Doesn't work reliably (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4621057)

I tried sending this image [std.com] to a friend but here [yimg.com] is what he got.
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