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Network-Monitoring Data Put to Music

Zonk posted more than 8 years ago | from the way-more-entertaining-than-graphs-and-charts dept.

Networking 165

StrongGlad writes "Building on the idea that people are naturally attuned to sound, the Sheridan College Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning has created software that translates network and server activity into music. And, their IT department operators can interpret the music to detect problems in the system." Talk about finding the beauty in Spam. From the article: "Last Friday, IT department operators began listening to what sounds like classical music but is actually a precise audio model of system metrics. They are trained to recognize instruments, chords, tempo and other musical elements of music as a translation of e-mail activity from 15 servers over three subnets. Every aspect of the music correlates to information. Probes detect server activity and send about 20 summaries a second to the iSIC sound engine. The data is aggregated and transformed into an audio format."

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Recent findings from the GNAAU prove that Dr. Mart (-1, Flamebait)

timecop (16217) | more than 8 years ago | (#14676781)

Recent findings from the GNAAU prove that Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was gay
Monday January 16, 2006

Jmax (GNAP) - Miami, Florida, USA - Recent findings from the GNAAU (Gay Nigger Association of America University) prove that the famed Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was, indeed, a homosexual. Dr. rhoppenrath, the head of Gay Nigger studies at the GNAAU, reports that "I am not shocked at all.

"These findings were how I, and my colleagues, had originally hypothesized. We have determined that Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., of civil rights fame, was not only a gay nigger, but a gay nigger of great magnitude. His homosexuality and niggerdom exceeded that of any average gay nigger.

"Many findings have proved our theory. Our research began in 1998, during the trial to determine his cause of death." The professor went on to explain how he, and his colleagues, were requested to perform an autopsy on King in order to determine a cause of death.

"Our first clue was that his anus was irregularly torn and bruised. From there, we hypothesized that he took nigger dong inside him on a regular basis. We then took a DNA sample, which showed an enormously large similarity to that of lesser primates, known commonly as apes. The DNA sample also showed that he was stricken with GRIDS, the leading killer of Gay Niggers everywhere. At this point, my colleague, head of the Law Department at GNAAU, dj28, investigated further."

In a classified report by dj28, released publicly today, The Gay Nigger Investigative Unit reported that not only had they determined that King had a harem of Gay Niggers, but that they had met and spoke with several of them. Only to learn that the rest had died of GRIDS, and that Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, was a great Gay Nigger; Possibly the greatest of all gay Niggers.

About the GNAAU:
GNAAU (GAY NIGGER ASSOCIATION OF AMERICA UNIVERSITY) is the first all-gay all-nigger university in the world. It is sponsored and funded primarily by the GNAA, SCO, and many other fine organizations; and is world-renowned for its Gay Nigger studies department.

About GNAA:
GNAA (GAY NIGGER ASSOCIATION OF AMERICA) is the first organization which gathers GAY NIGGERS from all over America and abroad for one common goal - being GAY NIGGERS.

Are you GAY [] ?
Are you a NIGGER [] ?
Are you a GAY NIGGER [] ?

If you answered "Yes" to all of the above questions, then GNAA (GAY NIGGER ASSOCIATION OF AMERICA) might be exactly what you've been looking for!
Join GNAA (GAY NIGGER ASSOCIATION OF AMERICA) today, and enjoy all the benefits of being a full-time GNAA member.
GNAA (GAY NIGGER ASSOCIATION OF AMERICA) is the fastest-growing GAY NIGGER community with THOUSANDS of members all over United States of America and the World! You, too, can be a part of GNAA if you join today!

Why not? It's quick and easy - only 3 simple steps!
  • First, you have to obtain a copy of GAYNIGGERS FROM OUTER SPACE THE MOVIE [] and watch it. You can download the movie [] (~130mb) using BitTorrent.
  • Second, you need to succeed in posting a GNAA First Post [] on [] , a popular "news for trolls" website.
  • Third, you need to join the official GNAA irc channel #GNAA on, and apply for membership.
Talk to one of the ops or any of the other members in the channel to sign up today! Upon submitting your application, you will be required to submit links to your successful First Post, and you will be tested on your knowledge of GAYNIGGERS FROM OUTER SPACE.

If you are having trouble locating #GNAA, the official GAY NIGGER ASSOCIATION OF AMERICA irc channel, you might be on a wrong irc network. The correct network is NiggerNET, and you can connect to as our official server. Follow this link [irc] if you are using an irc client such as mIRC.

If you have mod points and would like to support GNAA, please moderate this post up.

| ______________________________________._a,____ | Press contact:
| _______a_._______a_______aj#0s_____aWY!400.___ | Gary Niger
| __ad#7!!*P____a.d#0a____#!-_#0i___.#!__W#0#___ | [mailto]
| _j#'_.00#,___4#dP_"#,__j#,__0#Wi___*00P!_"#L,_ | GNAA Corporate Headquarters
| _"#ga#9!01___"#01__40,_"4Lj#!_4#g_________"01_ | 143 Rolloffle Avenue
| ________"#,___*@`__-N#____`___-!^_____________ | Tarzana, California 91356
| _________#1__________?________________________ |
| _________j1___________________________________ | All other inquiries:
| ____a,___jk_GAY_NIGGER_ASSOCIATION_OF_AMERICA_ | Enid Al-Punjabi
| ____!4yaa#l___________________________________ | [mailto]
| ______-"!^____________________________________ | GNAA World Headquarters
` _______________________________________________' 160-0023 Japan Tokyo-to Shinjuku-ku Nishi-Shinjuku 3-20-2

Copyright (c) 2003-2006 Gay Nigger Association of America []

The Simpsons Already Did It (2, Funny)

Bin Naden (910327) | more than 8 years ago | (#14676791)

He's a loser Marge, dump him! :sings: I travelled the world and the seven seas, I am watching you through a camera!

This idea is absolutely bunk! (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14676980)

Incredibly frelling dumb. More in one way like Smithers than SMITHERS himself. What kind of person calls a SYN packet meaning F# and an echo a middle C. Just because you can make notes doesn't mean that it's music...
If you get a zebra to jump on a keyboard and play notes, how is that music?
Much training can cause interpretation of anything. There are people who can understand speech from a frelling frequency diagram. The nerve.

Hugo Chevez Did It: +1, Inspirational (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14676981)

and his advice would have been more inspirational had he extended his invitation
to The World's Most Dangerous Leader []

Courtesy of The Guardian []

When Tony Blair left the Commons chamber after question time, he probably thought David Cameron's accusation that he was "flip-flopping" over school reform was the worst verbal jab he would face this week.

Hugo Chávez, the Venezuelan president, had other ideas. In a characteristically forthright tirade, he described the prime minister as "a pawn of imperialism" and told him to "go right to hell".

Mr Chávez was inveighing against comments on Venezuela's attitude to democracy made by Mr Blair in the chamber. The prime minister's observation that Venezuela should abide by the rules of the international community if it wanted to be respected by it showed that he believed "we're still in times of imperialism and colonialism", Mr Chávez said.

Kilgore Trout, C.E.O.

Been done before? (2, Interesting)

Narcissus (310552) | more than 8 years ago | (#14676792)

I swear I remember reading about something like this years ago but for the life of me, I haven't been able to find it mentioned anywhere.

Although it wasn't email / spam related, the system I'm thinking of used jungle sounds (birds, rivers etc.) but had things like lion roars when the firewall detected a hack attempt.

Am I just dreaming this, or can someone give me any more information?

Re:Been done before? (1)

Jahaza (933245) | more than 8 years ago | (#14676816)

Windows 95 had a Jungle Sounds sound theme. You might have been able to set up your firewall to do that in that system.

Re:Been done before? (5, Informative)

Control6 (247510) | more than 8 years ago | (#14676817)

Re:Been done before? (1)

Narcissus (310552) | more than 8 years ago | (#14676850)

Hmmm... I reckon that's the one, yes.

Man the Slashdot collective is impressive. I've seriously been trying (on and off) for over a year to find that package. One comment and three minutes later.... and I'm shown that lions had nothing to do with it. Oh well, maybe v2 :)


Re:Been done before? (1)

JPribe (946570) | more than 8 years ago | (#14676829)

I seem to remember a toy someone built back in the Win 98 days that did the same thing, translating network traffic into MIDI tones....the noise it produced was hardly melodic though.

Re:Been done before? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14676844)

Yeah you're right I remember a similar article maybe from a SANE/LISA conference ?

Re:Been done before? Like 30 Years Ago (3, Funny)

RobotRunAmok (595286) | more than 8 years ago | (#14677159)

By a buncha Germans calling themselves Kraftwerk [] . And I still can't get that damned "Autobahn" outta my head. Damn you, Ralf and Forian! Damn you to Hell!!

Re:Been done before? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14677183)

yup, your memory serves you well grasshopper. its called Peep more info here [] .

Very cool. (4, Insightful)

Raven42rac (448205) | more than 8 years ago | (#14676800)

It sounds kind of hokey, but it probably works very well, certainly better than looking at a bunch of hex. This probably depends on what you're using to monitor your traffic. After all, the best morse code transcribers do 250 wpm.

Re:Very cool. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14677032)

Can they really transcribe 250 wpm. Assuming an average of 3 dots or dashes per character and 5 characters per word (no word separators) would amount to 62.5 dots or dashes per second. Sounds amazing.

Re:Very cool. (1)

Raven42rac (448205) | more than 8 years ago | (#14677154)

Yes, I've seen it, the human brain is amazing.

Who let this idiot in? (-1, Offtopic)

Fe11Drake (945093) | more than 8 years ago | (#14676806)

In a rush to reach first post, this moron above goes off about MLK Jr? Anyone got some mod points?

Re:Who let this idiot in? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14676842)

Hi, are you new here?

Fe11Drake, meet the GNAA.

GNAA, meet Fe11Drake.

Maybe we can finally answer the age old question.. (5, Funny)

BeardsmoreA (951706) | more than 8 years ago | (#14676821)

Just what does a slashdotting sound like?

Re:Maybe we can finally answer the age old questio (4, Funny)

a_nonamiss (743253) | more than 8 years ago | (#14676854)

More importantly, if your site gets slashdotted in the woods and nobody's around to hear it, does it make a noise?

Re:Maybe we can finally answer the age old questio (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14676932)

No- the correct way to say that is:
If a man speaks in the forest, and there is no woman there to hear him, is he still wrong?
Posting as an AC because I know so many slashdotters are not married yet/ in serious relationships, and would not understand the humour in the above statement...

Re:Maybe we can finally answer the age old questio (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14677149)

We get your intention, it's just not funny.

Some women are too arrogant, thinking they're little princesses and that it's their god-given right to do whatever.

Re:Maybe we can finally answer the age old questio (1)

bennomatic (691188) | more than 8 years ago | (#14677286)

it's not the woods, it's a server farm :-)

Re:Maybe we can finally answer the age old questio (1)

om3ga (675900) | more than 8 years ago | (#14677413)

No, you just see it up in flames 10 miles away.

Klingon Opera (1)

jabber (13196) | more than 8 years ago | (#14676882)

It has to be. Or maybe Wagner.

Re:Maybe we can finally answer the age old questio (1, Funny)

john83 (923470) | more than 8 years ago | (#14676884)

Just what does a slashdotting sound like?
Ever hear cats in heat?

Re:Maybe we can finally answer the age old questio (2, Interesting)

Janitha (817744) | more than 8 years ago | (#14676941)

Well to listen to slashdot, you could send it into a audio device. As root wget -nv [] && cat index.html > /dev/audio Or you could ghetto rig the machine to output the network dump such as from tcpdump directly to a audio device, not as nice music as the original post, but it will work.

Re:Maybe we can finally answer the age old questio (1)

Janitha (817744) | more than 8 years ago | (#14676967)

Ok, somewhat weird commenting to my own post, but a comment [] says how to do this in a more crude way.

Re:Maybe we can finally answer the age old questio (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14676970)

Dude! We just got Rocked!

probably like (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14677043)

fingernails on a blackboard

Re:Maybe we can finally answer the age old questio (1)

FirienFirien (857374) | more than 8 years ago | (#14677142)

A slashdotting doesn't need to sound like anything, most admins notice anyway when the server catches fire...

Re:Maybe we can finally answer the age old questio (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14677175)

I'm guessing a Funeral Dirge set to Dante's Inferno

Re:Maybe we can finally answer the age old questio (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14677835)

How about, fingernails on a chalkboard.......

Re:Maybe we can finally answer the age old questio (1)

ch-chuck (9622) | more than 8 years ago | (#14677849)

Sounds like on-hold music: "Your HTTP REQUEST is important to us. Due to an unexpected increase in HTTP traffic we cannot serve your web page at this moment. Please hold, and a process will serve your page in the order it was received, as soon as it is paged back into memory from swap. Thank you, and have a nice day."

Thanks guys! (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14676837)

It wasn't bad enough that my cube-mate eats cereal by the handful from the box with his mouth open, or that there are 6 cell phones and 5 desk phones in a five foot radius of where I try to concentrate on difficult computational problems.

Now there is an entire orchestra of uncomposed dissonance playing at all times that I'm responsible for listening to.


Just Grand.

Re:Thanks guys! (1)

robgamble (925419) | more than 8 years ago | (#14677570)

You need an MP3 player and a good set of ear-covering headphones, brother. I could not survive without one. I sit directly across from tech support personnel and they have no idea how loud they are. Chopin or Rachmaninov doesn't distract me from my work but it does muffle out the surrounding junk noise.

./ to music (4, Funny)

BennyB2k4 (799512) | more than 8 years ago | (#14676839)

I'm imagining cannons firing and drums crashing as their site gets slashdotted.

Re:./ to music (0)

jabber (13196) | more than 8 years ago | (#14676910)

There is no way a /.ing sounds like the 1812 Overture. No way.

Re:./ to music (2, Funny)

Cylix (55374) | more than 8 years ago | (#14677391)

I rather prefer flight of the bumble bee for a good slashdotting.

Re:./ to music (1)

c6gunner (950153) | more than 8 years ago | (#14677634)

More like Ride of the Valkyries. Complete with rotor-noises and machine-gun bursts.

OK, OK, it's fun... (2, Insightful)

Noryungi (70322) | more than 8 years ago | (#14676840)

... but, frankly, can't anybody think of something better?

(I can imagine the dialog right now: wait, is the oboe a sign something is wrong, or is it the violin? Err...)

After a couple of weeks installing and configuring net-snmp, cacti and nagios, I seriously think music is NOT the way to go. Real-time graphics are a lot more informative and easier to understand. Music is fun, sure, but way too complex to understand.

Besides, I don't really like music entirely made by computers. And I am a Kraftwerk fan. Go figure.

An aid, not a replacement (4, Insightful)

CharonX (522492) | more than 8 years ago | (#14677031)

I think you misunderstood the purpose of this project.
They don't want to replace all those graphic displays with music, but they intend to use sound in addition to graphics.
If you rely purely on a graphics display you would have to hire someone who has to babysit the monitor, in case something odd starts to happen. He can't really work if he has to stop every 5 minutes and check the monitor (and there are probably "false feeling of safty" effects to be countered too, after all, checking the monitor for X weeks and nothing big popping up might make the person(s) realax too much)
With the music you don't have to check at the monitor all the time, you notice when the music changes (and can go check) but as long as it remains the same you can get some real work done.

Re:OK, OK, it's fun... (4, Insightful)

bfree (113420) | more than 8 years ago | (#14677225)

Real-time graphics require you to sit there watching them constantly. If this audio was not too distracting (and I suspect no matter what you would learn to tune out the normal operational sounds) you could actually hae people working on something while monitoring the network, rather then simply employing people to act like a desk security guard wathing the screens. Of course is anything sounds funny it time to have a look. I wonder if they have done any work with time-compression on this audio generation technique, so people could produce a X minute audio clip every Y minutes, could be handy to listen to a 5 minute track every day to get a quick outline of how a day went.

Re:OK, OK, it's fun... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14677260)

Oh, we have all that too (I am one of the aforementioned admins at Sheridan). But none of that negates the fact this is 'just cool'.

If the music corresponds (2, Funny)

m93 (684512) | more than 8 years ago | (#14676841)

to specific patterns of network activity, then I would love to hear the Barry White-like sounds that the system would produce by monitoring all the pr0n coming through my Exchange server at work.......

wasn't this done in ~2000 = peep (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14676857) ings/lisa2000/gilfix/gilfix_html/ []

Peep (The Network Auralizer): Monitoring Your Network With Sound
Michael Gilfix & Prof. Alva Couch - Tufts University

"Activities in complex networks are often both too important to ignore and too tedious to watch. We created a network monitoring system, Peep, that replaces visual monitoring with a sonic `ecology' of natural sounds, where each kind of sound represents a specific kind of network event. This system combines network state information from multiple data sources, by mixing audio signals into a single audio stream in real time. Using Peep, one can easily detect common network problems such as high load, excessive traffic, and email spam, by comparing sounds being played with those of a normally functioning network. This allows the system administrator to concentrate on more important things while monitoring the network via peripheral hearing."

"This work was supported in part by a USENIX student software project grant. "....

Uh oh (4, Funny)

faloi (738831) | more than 8 years ago | (#14676881)

The server farm is playing Taps again. It's going to be a LONG weekend.

Re:Uh oh (5, Funny)

db32 (862117) | more than 8 years ago | (#14676986)

And on Patch Tuesday it plays Darth Vader's theme.

Re:Uh oh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14677276)


Re:Uh oh (1)

Dragoonmac (929292) | more than 8 years ago | (#14677237)

Hello, is this tech support?
Well my server seems to be playing Metallica...
Yes I'll hold.

Re:Uh oh (1)

redheaded_stepchild (629363) | more than 8 years ago | (#14677790)

So should I be listening for Creeping Death or Blackened? Hmmm....

The idea itself definitely sounds familiar... (1)

greyspk (949248) | more than 8 years ago | (#14676883)

It would make a much better story though if suddenly the same trained people start recognizing what's wrong with this whole world simply by listening to most popular chart hits :) Seriously though, while the approach itself sounds like fun, it will never prove itself more useful than the textual data we all rely on as there will be no easy way for you to quickly find the necessary piece of information in the audio stream... Fast forward, anyone?! ;) I don't think so :) It's still much easier to Ctrl+F things...

Re:The idea itself definitely sounds familiar... (2, Insightful)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 8 years ago | (#14676990)

recognizing what's wrong with this whole world simply by listening to most popular chart hits :)

Well, since it's generally agreed that the music studios stopped listening to their customers decades ago, all that would tell you what is wrong with a bunch of their executives. And we already know what is wrong with them.

Problem (1)

numbski (515011) | more than 8 years ago | (#14676888)

Classical/Baroque music styles have a tendency to put me to sleep. They don't bore me, it's just one of the few things in this world that is peaceful enough to make me nod off.

That said, when a problem is found, does it start playing Hyden? ;)




(Suprise Symphony, if you don't get the joke.)

Re:Problem (1)

numbski (515011) | more than 8 years ago | (#14676908)

Wow I'm tired and ashamed. Haydn. Not Hyden. Sheesh.

Audio clips (5, Informative)

sco08y (615665) | more than 8 years ago | (#14676891)

I figured you'd all want to hear what it sounds like:

Listen page []

Re:Audio clips (1)

ettlz (639203) | more than 8 years ago | (#14677053)

It sounds like the kind of "muzak" they play in DIY stores.

Pah, I'm going to back to Art Of Noise.

Gordon Way - Douglas Adams (4, Informative)

Alystair (617164) | more than 8 years ago | (#14676899)

How come no one else here is reminded by the system made by the Gordon Way in the book by Douglas Adams, "Dirk Gently's holistic Detective Agency"? There was an application he helped create called Anthem which turned financial results and various other pieces of company data into jingles and music.

Re:Gordon Way - Douglas Adams (1)

toQDuj (806112) | more than 8 years ago | (#14676959)

I remembered, I just checked the responses to be sure I didn't post a redundant post :).

So now there are two. I guess the people nowadays just don't read classics anymore...


Re:Gordon Way - Douglas Adams (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14676960)

man, I was gonna reply this too... was a little bit surprised to find that no-one had mentioned it and wanted to be the wiseguy, but you beat me to it!

Re:Gordon Way - Douglas Adams (1)

quintinie (620999) | more than 8 years ago | (#14677030)

Ha! same here, we are now 4

Re:Gordon Way - Douglas Adams (2, Informative)

Sheriff Fatman (602092) | more than 8 years ago | (#14677002)

That was my first though as well... to quote Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency:

"But the silliest feature of all was that if you wanted your company accounts represented as a piece of music, it could do that as well. Well, I thought it was silly. The corporate world went bananas over it."

Reg regarded him solemnly from over a piece of carrot poised delicately on his fork in front of him, but did not interrupt.

"You see, any aspect of a piece of music can be expressed as a sequence or pattern of numbers," enthused Richard. "Numbers can express the pitch of notes, the length of notes, patterns of pitches and lengths. . "

"You mean tunes," said Reg. The carrot had not moved yet.

Richard grinned.

"Tunes would be a very good word for it. I must remember that."

"It would help you speak more easily." Reg returned the carrot to his plate, untasted. "And this software did well, then?" he asked.

"Not so much here. The yearly accounts of most British companies emerged sounding like the Dead March from Saul, but in Japan they went for it like a pack of rats. It produced lots of cheery company anthems that started well, but if you were going to criticise you'd probably say that they tended to get a bit loud and squeaky at the end. Did spectacular business in the States, which was the main thing, commercially."

RIP DNA. The world makes less sense without you.

Hows about... (1)

propertechdotnet (932592) | more than 8 years ago | (#14676907)

Server noise doesn't bother me. Is there a program that will translate incessantly chattering coworkers into something via headset? Maybe music, or silence or it could add a point to whatever they are rambling about. That would be cool.

network overhead?? (1)

slackaddict (950042) | more than 8 years ago | (#14676913)

What kind of overhead do these monitors incur? 20 times a second for *every* server on a network? This sounds like it's a neat use, but is it practical... And what about the human brain's ability to become desensitized to input over time?

Something like this (2, Interesting)

db32 (862117) | more than 8 years ago | (#14676915)

I have seen something about a similar project that used graphical patterns and colors/intensity/patterns indicated potential problems. I think this would probably be alot nicer since it doesn't leave you staring at a monitor all day (yes I know most of us do this anyways). With networks getting larger and more complex things happening on them, projects like this are definetly an interesting avenue for monitoring. I know people that can read tcpdump screens at a truely disturbing rate, but being able to sit and "watch" all the logs of everything in their multitude of formats and indicators is going to be a huge leap forward in detection and prevention. Most intrusions aren't caught until well after the fact, if at all. Having something like this that could potentially alert admin and security folks of trouble on the network, malicious or not, would be awesome.

Been done before... (3, Interesting)

Linker3000 (626634) | more than 8 years ago | (#14676934)

Safety systems in some installations handling radioactive materials broadcast a background sequence of notes/clicks (*not* anything like a geiger counter) through loudspeakers in critical areas - the 'melody' is designed to be unobtrusive under normal conditions (your mind 'tunes it out'), but the notes change under alarm conditions or when certain monitored values start moving and even minute variations in the sound are immediately obvious to those in earshot. This has been in use for tens of years. ..and some of us just have to stare at a Nagios Web page or wait for an email that triggers a 'beep' sound.

sheridan's website (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14676958) []

So what does it mean... (1)

rayh911 (700608) | more than 8 years ago | (#14676969)

When your servers start playing Rob Zombie? I can hear the support calls already!

what's that sound? (1)

kevin.fowler (915964) | more than 8 years ago | (#14676975)

It's the tiniest violin playing DoS attack concerto no. 3

In all reality, I'd love to do a Brian Eno-ish sort of "found art" album with music like this. [] has a pretty cool function that turns pictures into ambient music, I'd love to hear server traffic in a similar manner.

Doing this with light (1)

_pi-away (308135) | more than 8 years ago | (#14676992)

I've been wanting to do this same thing with one of these Ambient Orbs [] .

They have a pretty complete spectrum range and can also pulse at varying speeds. I figured it could be cool (and useful) having color represent server health and pulsing equal load. The only problem is you have to transmit your info to ambient, who then transmits it to your orb 15-20 minutes later; I would prefer a more immediate local solution that didn't involve me transmitting somewhat sensitive information.

I know I know, I can make one myself, but who has the time?

Network Adagio (1)

digitaldc (879047) | more than 8 years ago | (#14677021)

They are trained to recognize instruments, chords, tempo and other musical elements of music as a translation of e-mail activity from 15 servers over three subnets. Every aspect of the music correlates to information.

Bob, why is our network so slow?

I'm not sure Frank, but it may have something to do with the terrible cacophony of sounds eminating from the server room.

Tried this (4, Funny)

anticypher (48312) | more than 8 years ago | (#14677045)

My network sounded like a couple of trains crashing into each other, in the middle of a field of empty rusting bathtubs, with a cold, harsh, north wind blowing at hurricane force. And that was on a good day :-)

the AC

Hmmm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14677063)

So this is what elevator music for hackers sounds like.

silence vs multitasking (3, Interesting)

DeveloperAdvantage (923539) | more than 8 years ago | (#14677096)

Demarco and Lister's Peopleware book has a good section on the importance of a quiet workspace. In a study they quote (this one from Cornell in the 1960s), researchers split a group of computer science students into two groups, the first group listened to music through headphones and the second group was in a silent room. Each group was given the same programming problem, which consisted of a series of mathematical operations, to implement from a specification. The speed and accuracy of the programming was about the same in each group, but, the assignment itself was a trick question - the end result was that the output number was the same as in the input. And, of those that realized this, the overwhelming majority came from the quiet room.

Most "technical" work uses the left side of the brain, I suppose leaving the right side of the brain free to listen to music to monitor the system. But, every so often, even in what is considered "technical" work, a person needs to be creative, and it would be unfortunate if at that point in time your right side of the brain is off monitoring the system.

Of course, if multitasking is so important, audio content is really the only content which has the potential for effective multitasking.

Re:silence vs multitasking (1)

greg_barton (5551) | more than 8 years ago | (#14677796)

For me this is different. Not to toot my own horn, but I'm both creative and intelligent. I find that if I don't have some sort of distraction to "siphon off" some of my creativity I can't focus. It's like I've got to dangle something shiny in front of my right lobes so that 100% of the left and 50% of the right can work on a the problem at hand. Many things can serve as a distraction, including music, tv in the background, or physical/mental fatigue. (I tend to do my best programming at midnight after a full day of work, for instance.)

Irrational Numbers (1)

sbillard (568017) | more than 8 years ago | (#14677128)

It might sound weird (yes, pun intended), but I've been wanting to put Pi, Phi, e, and other irrational numbers through different interpreters, including audio-generation.

My basic idea is to run calculations of of these values in base2 and then see what it "looks" like or hear what it "sounds" like when the stream of bits is interpretted in different ways.

I like the idea of a never ending song or story that never repeats. I fully expect gibberish and static when interpreting the bitstream, but I'd still like to try.

I have no idea how to go about such a thing, but it has been a curiosity of mine for a while now. Does anybody know if this has been done yet. Can anyone point me to relevant links?

Re:Irrational Numbers (1)

ChristW (18232) | more than 8 years ago | (#14677205)

Take a look over here... []

Port scan (2, Funny)

drZool (896605) | more than 8 years ago | (#14677137)

Will a port scan sound like playing the scale?

Orcestral synthesis (1)

blechx (767202) | more than 8 years ago | (#14677152)

Ow, synthesized orchestral music is not the most pleasant thing to listen to, even when it is real classical music. However, i have just the idea they need. Why not use a real orchestra?

Just make the network monitors output sheetmusic on little screens for all the musicians.
This will lead to a few seconds delay in the music, but nothing beats the real thing you know!

IT budget (1)

skiman1979 (725635) | more than 8 years ago | (#14677155)

How long will it take for IT departments to request budget increases to purchase the hardware/software needed to play this music? I like listening to music at work, and now this gives a justified business reason to do so.

Re:IT budget (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14677214)

Remember those Mazda commercials for the rotary engine (RX-7)?
I already know the sound of a Blue Screen of Death...
Windows OS goes -boing boin da-boing boing-
but my Linux desktop goes - hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm....-

Monitor network traffic by audio = Solaris ~1996 (1)

WidescreenFreak (830043) | more than 8 years ago | (#14677190)

Solaris has had this same type of function for almost ten years. snoop [-d device] -a would divert network traffic to /dev/audio. The more noise you heard, the more network traffic was going off that particular interface. I remember playing with this with an old SPARCstation 10 in the mid-1990s.

No, it wasn't as complex as what this one does with chords and so forth, but the idea of using audio to listen to network traffic is nothing particularly new.

Now, if it could be customized so that specific sounds play when problems are detected, that would be cool.

High contention/high traffic: "Cap'n, me engines can't take much more o' this!"

Attempted hack: "Warning! Warning! Danger, Will Robinson!"

Feel free to continue the list. My brain hasn't had its morning load of caffeine yet.

Marlin Mason (1)

alexmipego (903944) | more than 8 years ago | (#14677323)

I wonder if a DoS attack would sound as bad as Marlin Mason.
And if the system if really good how will porno sound like... "ah ah uuuuuhhuhuuhuhu... ah ah ah uhhhhhhh"... or not? lol

However (2, Funny)

Toreo asesino (951231) | more than 8 years ago | (#14677279)

I wonder what delightful number would be produced should something like the Blaster virus be unleashed on the network?

A death metal remix of Mozart perhaps?

Yet another reason to not run Windows Servers folks - think of your poor ears!

Hey guys... (2, Funny)

raddan (519638) | more than 8 years ago | (#14677344)

...what does it mean when Wagner comes on?

Re:Hey guys... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14677437)

That we must invade Poland!

*Sorry, old Woody Allen Joke*

Wow... (1)

Odin_Tiger (585113) | more than 8 years ago | (#14677352)

I'm a huge music freak, I listen to all kinds of stuff all through my workday nonstop. And listening to those samples...geez. If they could make that software into a truly effective network monitor (for instance, add an instrument for Snort rules going off), I could so spend my day just listening. It's actually quite nice, relaxing music.

Dude! If you play it backwards... (1)

jar240 (760653) | more than 8 years ago | (#14677368)

...while watching The Dark Crystal your head will explode!!


Dirk Gently (1)

mswope (242988) | more than 8 years ago | (#14677379)

I recall something like this from the mind of the late, great Douglas Adams. One of the protagonists in one of the two Dirk Gently books wrote a program that lets people hear information as music - I think it was spreadsheet data or something like that. The premise was that good data sounded "good."

Sounded (no pun intended) like a great idea at the time. I thought it was pretty original...

Used in medicine? (1)

localman (111171) | more than 8 years ago | (#14677402)

I can't find an online mention at the moment, but I remember reading about this technique used in medicine in Discover magazine about a decade ago. The idea was that the program would translate blood work and other medical data into well known melodies, offset by the difference between the patient's data and what was considered "normal". Doctors were able to more readily notice abnormalities that were out of range, and they were able to do so even when distracted or not able to pay full attention, I believe.

Or something like that. But I've joked about setting this up with our monitoring tools at work. Neat stuff.

ballet dancers... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14677436)

From TFA:
'music has got nothing to do with work, dude, and I work.' It's kind of like saying I have a bunch of ballet dancers, and I'm going to bring them into your workplace.

Almost everyone I know listens to music at work, so I'm not sure why he feels people don't "get it". The ballet dancers OTOH is an awsome idea. I could really use a dozen or so athletic women in skin tight clothing bouncing around in the server room. If something goes wrong, they can glissade their butts over and tell me about it.

I'm gonna go talk to the CEO now...

1997: NET SOUND wins Ars Electronica prize... (1)

fantomas (94850) | more than 8 years ago | (#14677544)

The 1996 Sensorium project NET SOUND [] did this, won a 1997 Ars Electronica prize at Linz.

The home web page text:

The most significant aspect of the Internet

Is its being alive

Isn't it?

What would it sound like if we listened to it?

After creating the beta version in 1996, Net Sound members agreed they wanted to listen to a greater variety of Net sounds not only those of Ohno Research Lab. Anybody who wants to make sounds over the Net, please let us know--and increase our links via Net Sound "CENTRAL."

Note: Ars Electronica Center is a media art museum in Linz, Austria, where in addition to 40 staff members working via the Net, visitors (half of whom are children) use Web terminals located throughout the museum. Approximately 300,000 people a month also access AEC's Web server from countries around the world--this is the sound source. By network terms, Austria and Japan are distant (20-25 hops) and packet loss is extensive, which at times prevents the sound from being heard.

douglas adams, anyone? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14677546)

Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency : althought the software there was a financial package, the character's interest extended to making music from everything in the world....

Reminds me of Information Society + 56k (1)

masterpenguin (878744) | more than 8 years ago | (#14677598)

Reminds me of Information Society's bonus tracks which had data tracks in the form of sound which you had to hook up to a dumb termanal to get the text.

Also reminds me of the ole days of aohell 4.0 when i use to hum along with the modem connections.

Been doing this for years.. (2, Interesting)

stevied (169) | more than 8 years ago | (#14677745)

Anyone who's been sat next to a noisy server has probably been doing this for years. I found I became rapidly attuned to normal disk activity patterns, and could detect unusual goings on very quickly.

I also used to be able to recognise the connect speed of analogue modems by listening the negotiation, but that was many moons ago..

Noise (1)

PhYrE2k2 (806396) | more than 8 years ago | (#14677752)

SOunds like it's just noise to me...
Realistically, with all of the talk of people listening to music all day damaging their hearing, wouldn't silence be golden? Maybe some sort of light beacon flashing red could do the exact same thing, or a projector with a few graphs on the wall?


After listening for a while... (1)

Jaxoreth (208176) | more than 8 years ago | (#14677762)

...I don't even hear the music anymore. Just blonde, brunette, redhead...

Kind of like in Space Odyssey (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14677773)

...where Dave Bowman, attuned to the hum of the ship, hears one of the doors open.

I hate doing graveyard shift by myself. Whenever I hear something like that, I'm reacting like Shatner seeing things on the wing of the plane he's on.

Been there, done that... (1)

cswiger2005 (905744) | more than 8 years ago | (#14677859)

While this this sounds like a fine idea, people have been doing the same thing with modems, for, oh, 30-plus years. And then there's "ping -a"...
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