Beta

×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Cube Privacy Via Gibberish

samzenpus posted more than 8 years ago | from the electronic-gibbering-mouther dept.

Privacy 151

fury88 writes "CNN is running a story on a new device created by Herman Miller to help with lack of privacy in the cube life. It's apparently a device that will spit out gibberish when you are talking on the phone. You record a few words as instructed by the device and when you are having conversations that may be private, it will spit out sounds that sound like a clone of yourself all talking at once. Frankly I have to think this would be annoying after awhile. As if dealing with your project manager sitting next to you wasn't enough, now you get to hear several versions of your Project Manager talking at once. Talk about insanity!"

cancel ×

151 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

Welcome to the chambers of death (0, Offtopic)

Adolf Hitroll (562418) | more than 8 years ago | (#14107185)

Welcome to the chambers of death [watchingamerica.com]

By Jamal Mudhafar

Azzaman, November 20, 2005

The U.S.-led occupation, that was forecast to end dictatorship and introduce democracy, seems to have been a harbinger of more violence, more oppression and more killings.

Terrorist attacks are surging and suicide bombers mushrooming. And there seems to be no end to abuses and atrocities whether by U.S. troops, government security forces or the secretive and fearful militias.

In the aftermath of U.S. occupation, there is no Iraqi family or home without a tragic story to tell or a calamity to moan.

Acts of violence and terror taking place in Iraq are unprecedented in their horror and barbarism.

These are perhaps the ugliest crimes and most appalling human rights violations in the history of mankind.

Not every thing reaches the outside world. Even international media representatives based in Iraq are not aware of them as they, for security reasons, spend their reporting stints in fortified hideouts in Baghdad.

Horrendous crimes are being committed in Iraq in addition to major bombings the terrorist launch to attract international media attention.

Mass killings and liquidations have become the norm with kidnapping a way of life and identity card murder a daily practice.

Mutilated bodies thrown on roadsides and garbage dumps have become a common sight. Amid the gloom and uncertainty about the future, reports surface of prisoner abuses and squandering of millions of dollars by government ministries.

Death counts have lost their significance in Iraq with fatal incidents, bombings and trigger-happy militia gangs killing hundreds and even thousands very week.

In the midst of this horror, assassinations of Iraqi professionals, former army officers, Baathists, clerics and Iraqis of note continue with impunity.

Some Iraqis may understand that it is beyond the power of the government and the mighty U.S. army to put an end to the insurgency.

But they cannot understand why atrocities like those of Abu Ghraib and most recently those of the secret jail run by the Interior Ministry could happen.

They cannot understand why Iraqi and U.S. forces cannot put an end to the abduction of innocent people and the assassination of university professors, medical doctors and other professionals.

Every now and then the government sets up an investigation committee to look into incidents like these but to no avail.

We know that these committees are formed but we are never told about their outcome.

So the killers, the torturers, the kidnappers, the corrupt officials, the liars and the cheats are free. We the innocent people have become their prisoners.

This is exactly the reality of the current situation in our country, the ominous harbinger of even much worse to come.

Dupe (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14107188)

Already been posted within the last 2 months.

Re:Dupe (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14107197)

It's doing like the summary says - we get to hear several versions of the same story at once

Re:Dupe (1)

elliott_p (933606) | more than 8 years ago | (#14107380)

Not only that, it seems to be running out of stories to dupe and has resorted to self-advertising. Seriously, if you start using this, you may notice your colleagues staying back real late and hanging suspiciously around your cubicle one evening. The next morning, when your manager walks past you, your phone rings and Mr Duper kicks in: you know what, screw my boss he's such a scum..

Yeah... (4, Funny)

Rosyna (80334) | more than 8 years ago | (#14107192)

"Did you get the memo about the TPS Reports?"

I can imagine them all saying that by default.

Audio Spam (0, Redundant)

suiside (910651) | more than 8 years ago | (#14107247)

I'm afraid of what a Beowulf cluster of these would do to my hearing... not to mention my sanity.

Re:Yeah... (0, Redundant)

ozbon (99708) | more than 8 years ago | (#14107374)

It's obviously dupe week on /. [slashdot.org] - this one was done back in May...

Re:Yeah... (1)

VATechTigger (884976) | more than 8 years ago | (#14107481)

do you search for all articles that are greenlit to see if they are dupes, or does your brain actually have room to store slashdot articles from May in it.

Re:Yeah... (5, Funny)

AndroidCat (229562) | more than 8 years ago | (#14107414)

Switch on the Tourette's Syndrome option to liven things up.

Re:Yeah... (2, Funny)

flyingsquid (813711) | more than 8 years ago | (#14107744)

Switch on the Tourette's Syndrome option to liven things up.

I have Tourette's Syndrome, you #$@*& #@! @2©å#oe%, @!$%Ò £@f!* *&%(! &**$ &%$@# &%*!$ insensitive clod!

Your Rights Online: (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14107573)

I am glad that a gibberish talking machine will protect my rights as I surf the 'Net.

Say it after me (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14107193)

Dupe de dupedy dupe!

Re:Say it after me (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14107219)

fsck off, needle dick - 1st time i've seen it. some of us have real lives and can't spend their entire lives fscking around on /.

Re:Say it after me (0, Redundant)

DrSkwid (118965) | more than 8 years ago | (#14107385)

yeah, let's just repost everything on a 2 week cycle

Or - a random example of even newer technology...? (1)

beh (4759) | more than 8 years ago | (#14107241)

Maybe it's not a dupe...

It could be some experimental product - posting old junk on slashdot to divert attention from the fact that samzenpus is on IRC / chatting with office-mates / on the phone / ? ;-)

Dilbert (1, Funny)

cool_number_9 (825274) | more than 8 years ago | (#14107194)

How long before Scott will think of a joke for this? A PHB thinking there are several Wallys and Dilberts walking around?

Re:Dilbert (4, Funny)

AndroidCat (229562) | more than 8 years ago | (#14107257)

I can imagine the PHB being convinced by Wally to use it--when talking on speakerphone.

Re:Dilbert (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14107309)

OOH, so we're on a first-name basis with Scott Adams, are we?? "So I sez to Scott, I sez hey, Scottie baby..."

Re:Dilbert (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14107468)

Umm... does his "best of wally" joke count? (wally had annoying sounds of ...a personal nature... recorded and played them to annoy the female engineer)

Cellphones (5, Funny)

se2schul (667721) | more than 8 years ago | (#14107196)

Almost everyone has a cell phone. When I need privacy at work, I just walk out of the building and talk on my cell. Scrambling my voice would be annoying to me and to my coworkers.

Re:Cellphones (2, Insightful)

JPriest (547211) | more than 8 years ago | (#14107339)

I have found that IM is also great for this. Most of my coworkers and I IM each other stuff rather than say it to avoid world+dog hearing everything we say. Where I can't use IM I try to use email, and when I HAVE to make a personal phone call at work I walk out of the building and use my cell phone.

Re:Cellphones (1)

benzapp (464105) | more than 8 years ago | (#14107543)

But that means you work in a suburban office.

I work in midtown Manhattan. I can go outside to talk to friends who won't care, but what about serious phone call?

Re:Cellphones (1)

se2schul (667721) | more than 8 years ago | (#14107826)

Office bathroom.

Re:Cellphones (4, Funny)

Pope (17780) | more than 8 years ago | (#14107693)

Just don't do what people around my office do: take their phones into the bathroom stalls and make calls to their girlfriend/wife while taking a dump.

When I hear someone in the next stall doing this, I make sure to fart extra loud. For fuck's sake, if you want to talk in private to your woman, go into one of the small meeting rooms and close the damn door. I doubt she wants to hear you or anyone else dropping a deuce.

Gibberish box (2, Funny)

gcnaddict (841664) | more than 8 years ago | (#14107198)

I saw this on Good Morning America six months ago. This is definitely old news!

I want this thing now!

Re:Gibberish box (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14107231)

Actually, it's a dupe [slashdot.org] . Although the last article was from NYT, and not CNN.

Old news (4, Interesting)

glesga_kiss (596639) | more than 8 years ago | (#14107202)

This idea has been around for years; it's why many banks and governments offices that deal with the public play musak over a speaker system. It's not for the listening pleasure; it's to make it hard to overhear other customers private conversations.

Doubtful... (1)

ArsenneLupin (766289) | more than 8 years ago | (#14107256)

Considering that musak is most often purely instrumental "music" (no song, i.e. voice), and usually not played loud, it's doubtful that it would be disruptive enough for this purpose.

For masking conversation, they should play the sound of a roomful of people chattering all at once...

Re:Doubtful... (5, Interesting)

Imsdal (930595) | more than 8 years ago | (#14107326)

"Muzak" is actually a registered trademark by a company with the same name, and not "general background music".

The idea behind it isn't to stop people from listening in on private conversations, but rather to put people in a suitable mood. The latter tends to mean "willing to shop" in department stores, which I would guess is the main use of it.

Personally, I hate the idea behind this. Either it doesn't work, in which case it is annoying as hell, or it does work, in which case it's, if not unethical at least provocative (to me, YMMV).

But what I hate even more is that a lot of public places thought that playing "mood music" was a generally good idea without any other thought behind it. Stop polluting my ears now, please!

Also, Muzak has a website that is even more annoying than their sound pollution. Use at your own risk. (No, I won't provide a link. I hate them.)

Re:Doubtful... (1)

Digital Vomit (891734) | more than 8 years ago | (#14107581)

"Muzak" is actually a registered trademark by a company with the same name, and not "general background music".

"Muzak" is already well on its way to join the ranks of "thermos" and "zipper".

Re:Doubtful... (1)

Imsdal (930595) | more than 8 years ago | (#14107734)

I agree that it is "well on its way", but it isn't quite there already, IMHO. An wikipedia bears me out. Please note that I didn't even have to edit the page for it to say so! :)

Re:Doubtful... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14107795)

If you really hate them so much don't you think the best revenge would be to post their link on /. ? :)

Re:Old news (1)

beh (4759) | more than 8 years ago | (#14107270)

I can see the added bonus of the gibberish box over background music - you don't have much problems picking out the singer over most music, do you? Simply because his/her voice is so different from the music, the brain doesn't have much of a problem separating it.

If it's just random gibberish made up from your own voice, it makes it harder for you to decipher the actual words spoken.

What I might think could possibly be a weakness, though, is the fairly limited base of gibberish it's taking into account (namely - what you read in a script). I wonder whether it would be possible to write a computer program recording the whole thing analysing the repetitive parts of the gibberish and trying to extract the rest...?
Also, some conditions might actually change your voice pattern - e.g. colds. If your voice becomes sufficiently different from the gibberish - would it become easier to listen to you again?

In that sense, wouldn't it be "better", if the machine constantly updated its own gibberish? (i.e. the machine would record your part of the conversation, always keeping say the past 5 minutes [including time from previous calls] in its memory and then starts garbling up data picked from random time windows in it (plus maybe even with some transformations - reversing parts of the sounds it plays, ...). Granted - it will likely be more complex to achieve - but in the end, depending on how many products you'd expect to sell, there shouldn't be much of a problem.

Re:Old news (2, Funny)

1u3hr (530656) | more than 8 years ago | (#14107281)

Old indeed, CONTROL [tvacres.com] was using a more sophisticated version in the 1960s.

from the electronic-gibbering-mouther dept (2, Informative)

Alien Being (18488) | more than 8 years ago | (#14107209)

Indeed, another dupe.

Re:from the electronic-gibbering-mouther dept (1)

lisaparratt (752068) | more than 8 years ago | (#14107307)

Obviously the editors use such a device when posting stories!

Only for cubes? (4, Insightful)

AndroidCat (229562) | more than 8 years ago | (#14107212)

Could they make a portable one for people's cell phones? There are some calls that I'd rather not hear even half of. (As Ren and Stimpy would put it, "Repugnant, yet strangely compelling".)

Re:Only for cubes? (2, Funny)

saskboy (600063) | more than 8 years ago | (#14107608)

Think of a whole new ring tone:
"I'm sorry my cell is ringing, I'm a doctor of quantum physics and if I don't take this call the Universe could implode. Please excuse the intrusion into your day..."

Not only polite, but it puts other people at ease.

Fill Your Site with Gibberish (4, Funny)

boa13 (548222) | more than 8 years ago | (#14107214)

In other news...

boa13 writes "There's a new device to help with lack of contents on your web site. It's apparently a device that will spit out dupes when you don't have time to properly read the stories submitted by your users. You post a story once and when you're running short of stuff to publish, it will spit out a rehash that sounds like it's new and fresh, but is actually quite stale, so that casual users will not notice that you don't do a proper job of moderating submitted stories. Frankly I have to think this would be annoying after awhile. As if dealing with improperly written and biased stories wasn't enough, now you get to research the linked articles to discover if it's that old AP story rehashed one more time. Talk about insanity!" ;-)

Re:Fill Your Site with Gibberish (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14107369)

A new device has been designed which not only helps with lack of content and apparently can also fill your site with dupe comments when you don'e have time to read and dupe subiteed reader stories. You post a comment once and when you're running out of responses it will rehash the freshness and produce new content that is actually stale but which will not be noticed by casual users who are unlikely to be aware of story moderators not doing a proper job. Frank, my mate, thinks this would be interesting after a while because of subject drift, but then he's dealing with improper substances likely to cause insanity. d-;

400 bucks?!? (2, Insightful)

BushCheney08 (917605) | more than 8 years ago | (#14107223)

Ahh, yes, $400 is the magic price point -- the price people will pay to try obscure their meaningless conversations. If you're job is so important that it requires privacy like this, they'll probably have put you in an office by now anyways.

Re:400 bucks?!? (1)

AndroidCat (229562) | more than 8 years ago | (#14107277)

The guy in the next cube will buy one (if he can't get the company to spring for it) just to show what an Important and Vital job he's doing.

preemptive strike (1)

BushCheney08 (917605) | more than 8 years ago | (#14107279)

you're your yer yr...it's early and i'm just starting my coffee...

Re:400 bucks?!? (2, Insightful)

NitsujTPU (19263) | more than 8 years ago | (#14107351)

If you're job is so important that it requires privacy like this, they'll probably have put you in an office by now anyways.

I don't know what you consider to be important, but plenty of software engineers work in cubicles while management sits in comfy offices. I once was on a site where engineers who worked on classified information sat in an open room at a big round desk with computers... kind of like a campus computer lab. They certainly seemed to require privacy, but lacked it.

The simple fact of the matter is that most successful companies would probably do what you're talking about. Most companies, however, are run by people who are just ahead of "trying to get by," and populated by engineers who are "just getting by." In those companies, the execs walk around with high powered computer that they don't need, while the engineers work at 5+ year old machines. Certainly, the average programmer needs something better... though this solution IS annoying.

There are headphones that cancel noise (2, Insightful)

rolfwind (528248) | more than 8 years ago | (#14107225)

so couldn't there be speakers that cancel incoming and outgoing noise planted at the edge of cubicles to make a field of silence?

I'm not sure it's feasible, but it'd be a cool idea.

Re:There are headphones that cancel noise (1)

Morgahastu (522162) | more than 8 years ago | (#14107323)

Noise cancellers only work with repetitive sound. Noise cancelling works by emitting the opposite of sound at the same time so it has to be able to predict what's coming. They work well in airplanes because the humm of the engine is predictable and somewhat constant.

It would also work at home if you're furnace kicks in/

Re:There are headphones that cancel noise (1)

t_allardyce (48447) | more than 8 years ago | (#14107392)

What if you have a microphone close enough to the noise source so that the system has time to process it and is synchronized to output to your noise cancelling speaker at the same time the original noise arrives at the speaker.

Re:There are headphones that cancel noise (4, Funny)

Taladar (717494) | more than 8 years ago | (#14107347)

I have this cool idea, kind of a low-tech version of your idea: Imagine some big rectangular pieces of some material that doesn't transfer sound (or does it badly) and place them between cubicles. Ideally those pieces should reach from the floor to the ceiling of the room with you cubicle. Now your privacy should be okay.

Re:There are headphones that cancel noise (1)

rolfwind (528248) | more than 8 years ago | (#14107401)

Thanks smartass^_^

But the only problem with rooms is that the wall tend to be hard to move, unlike cubicles.

At least if you use wood framing and the electrical wiring as it is here. AFAIK, I think in germany, they use very lightweight bricks for inside walls (they are like a cross between styrafoam and pumice in texture and weight - very light). And they put wiring in PVC-type pipes, even inside wiring, so it's relatively easy to move rooms around compared to wood framing. But nowhere near the ease of cubicles.

Re:There are headphones that cancel noise (5, Insightful)

frdmfghtr (603968) | more than 8 years ago | (#14107547)

Imagine some big rectangular pieces of some material that doesn't transfer sound (or does it badly) and place them between cubicles. Ideally those pieces should reach from the floor to the ceiling of the room with you cubicle. Now your privacy should be okay.

Those are called "offices." Some time ago, when you got an office job with a large company, you were assigned one of these "offices" to do your work. They even had these other novel things called "doors" which were like small wall sections on hinges that could be swung in and out of the opening used to go into and out of the "office." Imagine, your own space where the walls extended from the floor all the way to the ceiling, and a door to boot! These were popular in times where one also would frequently work for the same company for a long time and get additional perks such as "health care" and this other neat thing called a "pension" where the company continued to pay part of your salary after you worked for them for thirty or so years and stopped working, called "retirement."

(Yes, that is sarcasm you smell)

Re:There are headphones that cancel noise (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14107757)

Those are called "offices." ...

(Yes, that is sarcasm you smell)

WoooooOOOOOOooooooosssssshhhh!

Re:There are headphones that cancel noise (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14107777)

"(Yes, that is sarcasm you smell)"

Oh. Phew!
I thought the fact I haven't had a bath in four years could be causing that funny smell.

Re:There are headphones that cancel noise (2, Informative)

mikael (484) | more than 8 years ago | (#14107659)

In some of the offices I worked in, they had white-noise speakers mounted at regular intervals across the ceiling (the technical term is a "sound masking system"). When they weren't being used as a public-broadcast system to announce that the pizza arrived or that someone had left their car lights on, they would be used to generate white noise that would reduce the range that conversations would be heard. It was freaky to see two people chatting at a distance of three workspaces away and not actually hear what they were saying.

If you want to talk privately (4, Funny)

Aceticon (140883) | more than 8 years ago | (#14107226)

Pick up your mobile phone and go to a quiet corner.

Actually do this anytime your talking on your mobile, confidential/private call or not, that way nobody will notice when you actually DO go out to talk privately

Also mastering the art of smoothly changing subjects when somebody walks in is very usefull:

You (on the phone): Tell me what you're wearing
She: I have my black silk negligee on ..
You: If i was there i would pull the straps, slowly let it fall down and then ...
*somebody walks in*
You: ... would have a mechanic check it out. You never know when a car starts making funny noises - you might end up with an expensive to fix problem.

Re:If you want to talk privately (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14107413)

You (on the phone): Tell me what you're wearing
She: I have my black silk negligee on ..
You: If i was there i would pull the straps, slowly let it fall down and then ...
*somebody walks in*
You: ... would have a mechanic check it out. You never know when a car starts making funny noises - you might end up with an expensive to fix problem.


She: You PERVERT! I'm not into swinging you kinky bastard! What sort of a slut do you think I am? The phonesex crap was wierd enough but this is the last straw! I'm breaking up with you!
You: Bbbbut honey......

Re:If you want to talk privately (1)

Aceticon (140883) | more than 8 years ago | (#14107436)

Methinks ur just jealous ;)

New? (1)

dancingmad (128588) | more than 8 years ago | (#14107233)

New? I saw a story about this over the summer (when I was still in the US!) on CNN!

Dupe (4, Funny)

mwvdlee (775178) | more than 8 years ago | (#14107237)

I can imagine a device which translates Slashdot articles into spoken word, but I'm afraid my boss would notice if it talked about the same subject again and again and again and...

They should be shot... (1)

arock99 (612650) | more than 8 years ago | (#14107244)

First of all if you don't want people hearing your private conversations then do them in PRIVATE not at work like this. Odds are your co-worker doesn't want to hear it and might even find it distracting and annoying to begin with as he/she is actually doing WORK at WORK. Who would have believed? This thing makes it even more annoying and believe me I would first warn and then report someone using such a thing.

Re:They should be shot... (1)

MooUK (905450) | more than 8 years ago | (#14107266)

Cow-orkers actually WORKING? Never gonna happen.

(I think we can safely blame that view on the fact that a previous job was part-time duty manager at a local convenience store.)

Re: can also help at work about work problems (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14107585)

I get this all the time...I'm talking to a user at some site talking them through the troubleshooting process (turn the power-bar off, count to five, turn it back on -kind of conversation) and another co-worker with nothing better to do overhears my talking and comes into my cube and starts making suggestions...usually things I've already done or am about to do.
This device will help me AT WORK.

Already Done with White Noise Generators (4, Interesting)

Griim (8798) | more than 8 years ago | (#14107246)

We already have white-noise generators in the ceiling of my dept, a call centre for a major corporate communications company. They do a nice job of dampening office echo, and creating a nice background noise that's also ideal for falling asleep to.

Other departments sound so quiet after this one. I prefer it.

Invented by Danny Hillis et al at Applied Minds (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14107250)

Aloha!

The machine was invented by Danny Hillis (of Thinking Machines and Long Now fame) and the other good folks at Applied Minds:
http://www.appliedminds.com/ [appliedminds.com]

Good interview that among other things describes the device in question:
http://msnbc.msn.com/id/9558120/site/newsweek/ [msn.com]

For additional security and convienience... (5, Funny)

saskboy (600063) | more than 8 years ago | (#14107252)

To add a feature, any time you do math, it starts yelling out random numbers too add security:

8! 23! 42! 5432!

Re:For additional security and convienience... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14107313)

Why would you want it yelling out about factorials?

Anyway, who does math on the phone in anything but hex? I mean, come on, save me some time.

Which reminds me... When at work and you're talking in private to your "girlfriend" why dont' you just use Klingon or Quenya? Most of the socially inep.. I mean, most of my coworkers understand one or another...

Sounds like rubbish to me (2, Interesting)

wellybog (933647) | more than 8 years ago | (#14107255)

Let me get this right - if you play two conversations from the same person, people listening in will not be able to make head or tail of it?

All you would need to do is see the lips of the person talking and your brain would do the rest for you...

Unnecessary for anyone with a brain (1)

external400kdiskette (930221) | more than 8 years ago | (#14107259)

This is the kind of thing that has manual solutions. If you actually need a device to be with you all the time to stay "private" you have bigger problems, namely a low IQ. And realistcally if your discussing anything that you don't want other people to here then for good reason you should be discussing these things when your off on lunch break on your cell or something. Under no circumstances should you talk about stuff that you don't want other people to here with other people around. And if it's some company secrets I'm sure your allowed to take a private room or something for that kind of discussion.

Smells like... (3, Informative)

worf_mo (193770) | more than 8 years ago | (#14107262)

... a dupe [slashdot.org] . Although TFA back then [nytimes.com] called the device an "Electronic Silencer" it seems to be the same product.

Re:Smells like... (1)

SpectralDesign (921309) | more than 8 years ago | (#14107437)

If I didn't think it was extremely hypocritical to complain about posts that have nothing to add except yelling "Dupe!" I might say something about how annoying they are.

Oh, did I say that out-loud? Damn!

(Hey, at least you did your footwork and gave a link to prior article, instead of just bitching and moaning though!)

We need some sci-fi to come to fruition (1)

RollingThunder (88952) | more than 8 years ago | (#14107274)

While this may be a dupe, I still think that it just underscores what we really need from sci-fi.

The dermal subvocalization mike. Talking without making (audible) sound. What a blissful office that would make for.

Yes I remember... (1)

xtracto (837672) | more than 8 years ago | (#14107275)

yep, I remember this story from before on slashdot, and I rembmer a comment from one person that made a lot of sense to me: (it said something like these)

Nowadays, I have to stand the meaningless and stupid conversations of the persons shouting at the phone in my office, imagine the *party* there will be when all off them start using these things.

Nope, there is really not a need for more noise at the office. Please just get your cellphone and go to the freaking toilet.

Wait a sec... (3, Funny)

Wellspring (111524) | more than 8 years ago | (#14107276)

It's apparently a device that will spit out gibberish when you are talking on the phone.

Wait a sec, so you're saying that this magical device will spit meaningless gibberish completely free of intellectual content, designed to drown out anyone making any sense of what I'm actually saying?

What's the big advance? Isn't that what managers are for?

Re:Wait a sec... (1)

beforewisdom (729725) | more than 8 years ago | (#14107495)

It's apparently a device that will spit out gibberish when you are talking on the phone.
Wait a sec, so you're saying that this magical device will spit meaningless gibberish completely free of intellectual content
It seems like that is what I overhear in cell phone conversations anyway.

What I'd rather have... (1)

pupdog311 (617396) | more than 8 years ago | (#14107283)

Is a box that intercepted people near my cube and carried on a conversation with them. That way I wouldn't have to worry about them hearing me on the phone, or even talking to them. Just program it to recognize a few standard topics - weather, sporting events, news, and if it's actually someone asking for tech help, it could automatically spit out 'Put in a ticket and we'll call you' so I wouldn't have to 20 times a day...

2nd Use (2, Funny)

Elitist_Phoenix (808424) | more than 8 years ago | (#14107291)

You could use this device for when your talking to your mother inlaw. Just set it going and walk away, half of them wouldn't know the difference!

Re:2nd Use (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14107621)

never underestimate the powers of a Mother-in-law....

Cube Privacy Via Working (1)

Obvius (779709) | more than 8 years ago | (#14107296)

The best lesson I ever learned was to use my work email account solely for work emails and my private accounts for the private stuff.
Similarly, work phone's for work stuff, private phone's for all those communications better kept 'out of earshot'.

This makes life a ahole lot easier without needing any slapstick digi-voice box.

Not annoying? (4, Funny)

Knx (743893) | more than 8 years ago | (#14107299)

From TFA:
The effect is strange, though not as annoying as one would think.

Not so annoying, really? I'm somewhat skeptical...

Clone #1 : That sounds like a crazy idea.
Clone #2 : And that's $395!
Clone #3 : Isn't that old news?
Clone #4 : Geeeez...
Clone #2 : And that's $395!
Clone #4 : Geeeez...
Clone #3 : Isn't that old news?
Clone #1 : That sounds like a crazy idea.
Clone #3 : Isn't that old news?
Clone #4 : Geeeez...

We already have it (1)

mustafap (452510) | more than 8 years ago | (#14107308)

All of our project managers talk gibberish when they are on the phone.

It's not hardware based - they just went on a special training course. I think it had MBA in the title...

If you need and want privacy.... (2, Insightful)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 8 years ago | (#14107320)

If you need and want privacy, and it's work related, you should probably set up a meeting in a place where you have some privacy. Or use email or instant messaging if that will suffice. Encrypted if necessary. If it's just some family business you don't want spreading around the office, take a little trip away from your cube. If it's taking up too much time and you're worried that your boss won't like you spending so much time from your cube, then maybe you should take a day off to get your private business in order.

Gibberish box (1)

ndb (536827) | more than 8 years ago | (#14107325)

Wasn't there a 'cone of silence' on Maxwell Smart? Now that would ensure total privacy. Or you could simply walk out of the office and use you shoe phone!

"I want to go to the green room" (1)

Psx29 (538840) | more than 8 years ago | (#14107327)

Don't tell me I'm the only person that thought of the movie "Cube" reading this headline?? Maybe it's just too early for me

Nice (1)

t_allardyce (48447) | more than 8 years ago | (#14107382)

I think I do something similar when I want to cross out something written on paper - write over the words a few times with some gibberish, its much safer than just scribbling over those comments you wish you hadn't committed to paper. Of course, anyone sitting in a cubicle is obviously not considered important enough to have anything private to say, cubicles are the most retarded invention known to the business world, a way of pretending to care but inadvertently insulting your employees - its like giving everyone a company car except the cars are 30 year old skodas which can't actually run for more then 10 minutes at a time and cant overtake pedestrians. Cubicles are essentially pieces of cheap board that just get in the way and only become useful when they double up as exhibition displays in ultra-stingy organisations.

Re:Nice (1)

Eternauta3k (680157) | more than 8 years ago | (#14107529)

I do that too! However, I like to write naughty words and scribble it horizontal, vertical and diagonally.

Re:Nice (1)

Eevee (535658) | more than 8 years ago | (#14107609)

cubicles are the most retarded invention known to the business world

Yes, I'm sure everyone would prefer an office over a cubicle. However, this is what life without cubicles [zap2it.com] would look like. Cheaper than installing cubicles, taking up less floorspace per person, and no privacy.

Only one thing more annoying than a dupe (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14107398)

Are the commenters lamely pointing out that the story is a dupe! Look, genius, if you recognize the story is a dupe, then you can probably count on the fact that the majority of the commenters have also detected a dupe, and will post some goddamn stupid comment reminding everyone of the utter dupeness of the story. There's absolutely no reason to post your two cents worth. For those that don't know it's a dupe, then it's likely the story may be new to them, so they don't really give a fuck that you went to the lame effort to find the actual link to the initial article.

Moderators, you should treat these lame comments about dupes like fp posts. Mod them to oblivion!

Ah, so they finally discovered it! (1)

roman_mir (125474) | more than 8 years ago | (#14107402)

NATURE'S HARMONIC SIMULTANEOUS 4-DAY TIME CUBE [timecube.com]

Singularity education begets evil, for you were born as an opposite, between opposite sexes & the opposite Earth poles. You are educated as a stupid android slave to the evil Word Animal Singularity Brotherhood. Your analytical mind is lobotomized and you cannot think opposite of lies you are taught to think. You build the hell 'they' teach.
      Dr.Gene Ray, Cubic and Wisest Human

You have opposite brains to think opposite, but Big Brother icepick academic lobotomy has destroyed your mentality to think opposite of the evil singularity you are taught. The 4 days is above your godism and you don't even want to know. Universe is composed of opposite hemispheres and opposite sexes - equating to + / -, a zero existence, depicted by Pyramid's bare coffer. Your 1Day God Makes You Evil. 4 Corner Days Are Absolute, but ignored by stupid/evil educators. Until cornered, word is fictitious. God is product of fictitious word. 4Day Cube Disproves 1Day God All creation within the universe is composed of opposite hemispheres and opposite sexes - with opposite races, opposite seasons, opposite luck, opposite directions and opposite perspectives - equating a harmonic rotating zero value existence.
"To know all, is to know nothing".

Gibberish (1)

Loquax (921849) | more than 8 years ago | (#14107405)

As a native Gibber, I resent the implication that anyone can simply computerize the Gibberish language. While seemingly chaotic, Gibberish has complex linguistic features unique among the Indo-Iranian-Ubangi language group that simply do not fit neatly into computer generation. While Gibberish may be a near dead language, I remind you all that it is the official language of the U.S. Congress and would point all of you towards our greatest orator Donald Rumsfeld for an example of the beauty found in the known unknowns in this complex language. In closing, I'd like to say that two ducks making wine may find rabbits in unexpected places. Thanks.

Hindi is a good option.. (2, Interesting)

ayjay29 (144994) | more than 8 years ago | (#14107408)

I worked on a team with a bunch of Indian programmers, and they used to call the build team in Mumbi a lot. The conversations basically went likt this:

Aapko achaa lagaa?
Usse mat Sql Server chuuo.
Tumhein chhot lag Visual Studio sakti hai.
Sone kaa samay ho stored procedure gayaa hai.
Hum humeshaa tumhaaraa parivaar rahenge out of memory exception.
Hum tumhein kabhei nahin email chodenge sourde safe.
Kyaa tumhein tatti karni hai?
Tumhein kahaan dard ho breakpoint rahaa hai?

We never really new if it was business related or id they were just chatting with their mates and throwing in a bit of tech lingo here and there.

Re:Hindi is a good option.. (1)

Franciscan (720329) | more than 8 years ago | (#14107502)

Main bhi aisa hi hoon. I am not indian, but I think Hindi is a fabulous language. If you want to pass coded messages to your friends, write them in french, but use the Hindi (Devanagari) script. Warren

Re:Hindi is a good option.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14107626)

bah write them in the kling skript english pig lattin. Dont forget correctp capitalization.

Re:Hindi is a good option.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14107504)


Klaatu barada nikto.

Re:Hindi is a good option.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14107631)

Klaatu barada nik*cough*o. Alright, then.

Chief, activate the Dome of Silence..... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14107416)

C'mon, Agent 86 had a pefectly good answer to this, what, 40 years ago? And it worked so well...

Umm (1)

beforewisdom (729725) | more than 8 years ago | (#14107447)

Ummm.., why not just take your cell phone and step out into an empty portion of the hallway?

Probably cheaper too.

(pant) (pant) (schlip schlip) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14107459)

So does this mean if a guy were to stop to "pleasure himself" in his cube, it would sound like ... A roman bath house?

White noise (1)

spectrokid (660550) | more than 8 years ago | (#14107474)

I saw on TV a bank with a huge cubicle farm. The roof contained a large number of speakers which constantly spread white noise (think radio in between channels). Because your brain can't "lock in" on pure noise, you end up not noticing it anymore. In the mean time it still "overrides" other peoples sounds, and the end impression is a quieter background.

That's what conference rooms are for (1)

nsayer (86181) | more than 8 years ago | (#14107563)

Granted, my employer may be a bit more enlightened than some, but we have a bunch of conference rooms and there's always people in them (when they're not being used for real conferences) alone on the phone. I rather suspect in a lot of cases that it isn't even a privacy thing as much as it is to keep the cube areas quieter.

Cursing clones (2, Funny)

lildogie (54998) | more than 8 years ago | (#14107567)

Imagine initializing this thing with offensive language.

this makes no sense (1)

FruFox (911705) | more than 8 years ago | (#14107602)

Ok, am I the only person who thinks this would just make the phone conversation nearly incomprehensible? I mean sheesh, if you want total privacy, just blow raspberries at each other. Then nobody will know what you are talking about...not even you! I bet this guy also thinks the best lock is a door that is welded shut. This has got to be the most retarded technology I've heard of all year! :)
Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?
or Connect with...

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>