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Japan's Melody Roads Play Music as You Drive

samzenpus posted more than 6 years ago | from the someone-has-watched-stupid-human-tricks dept.

Music 335

Krishna Dagli writes "The road works by using grooves, which are cut at very specific intervals in the surface. Just as traveling over small speed bumps or road markings can emit a rumbling tone throughout a vehicle, the melody road uses the spaces between to create different notes."

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As in (5, Insightful)

renegadesx (977007) | more than 6 years ago | (#21346225)

An oversized viynal? But what if you dont like the song?

Re:As in (1, Interesting)

calebt3 (1098475) | more than 6 years ago | (#21346273)

Should be an interesting way to gauge your own speed. Besides using an odometer.

Re:As in (5, Funny)

omeomi (675045) | more than 6 years ago | (#21346847)

Should be an interesting way to gauge your own speed. Besides using an odometer.

A lot of people find the speedometer easier to use than the odometer for determining their speed...

Re:As in (5, Funny)

Farmer Tim (530755) | more than 6 years ago | (#21346431)

But what if you dont like the song?

Change lanes.

"No officer, I wasn't driving dangerously, I was in shuffle mode".

Mod Parent... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21346851)

FUNNY, not Insightful! SHEESH!

Re:As in (4, Funny)

LordEd (840443) | more than 6 years ago | (#21346451)

But what if you dont like the song?
Fast forward?

Not songs (4, Funny)

Harmonious Botch (921977) | more than 6 years ago | (#21346505)

What is the motive for playing songs? Maybe the Japanese, with their radically different sense of aesthetics, will play songs. But Americans will have advertising:

rummmble...rumbble..Today's...screee...special...rummble...at..Wal-Mart...rummble...voice...suppression...rummble...tires!

Re:Not songs (1)

mijkal (309880) | more than 6 years ago | (#21346905)

Reminds me of this link [archive.org] from 2003 (no pics on the archive though :-( ).

insults (4, Funny)

MikeFM (12491) | more than 6 years ago | (#21347031)

I've thought of using the grooves along the road to make a menacing voice for years. 'Get your ass back on the road stupid!' or some such thing. I think it's more American than playing music.

Re:As in (4, Insightful)

sound+vision (884283) | more than 6 years ago | (#21346667)

I've seen the word "vinyl" fucked up in several different ways, but "viynal" is by far the worst.

It's in the grooves (1)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 6 years ago | (#21346787)

Must be Paul McCartney's road, it's bloody long and winding and leads to your fecking door!

Re:As in (5, Funny)

Debug0x2a (1015001) | more than 6 years ago | (#21346815)

Sir, do you realize you were traveling at over 300 bpm? I'm going to have to ticket you for driving at prestissimo speeds.

Is it (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21346227)

NIGGER music? Yo yo yo, hoes and pimps, crack pipes an all dat yo! In japan! Represent!

Whimsy (4, Interesting)

BWJones (18351) | more than 6 years ago | (#21346245)

I have to say that after just getting back from Japan that they do have a certain affection for the whimsy even on large scale publicly funded projects that is just awesome. One of the things I saw was a huge platform with a glass top and water on top that served nothing more than a spaceship like cover for a courtyard down below and an attraction. Pics here [utah.edu] .

I would have loved to have traveled on these roads while I was there...

Re:Whimsy (1, Insightful)

sfjoe (470510) | more than 6 years ago | (#21346361)


Yes, it's amazing the things you can afford when you're not paying for another war every few years.

You mean like... (4, Insightful)

tjstork (137384) | more than 6 years ago | (#21346635)

you mean like:

Space Station [howstuffworks.com]
Space Shuttle [answers.com]

or

Las Vegas [photo.net]

or

Lincoln Financial Field [seatdata.com]

and... yeah, it is cool that the good old USA can muster up a few of these bad boys:

F-22 [defenseindustrydaily.com]

So I guess we're just totally broke?

Re:You mean like... (1, Flamebait)

megaditto (982598) | more than 6 years ago | (#21346649)

Not yet. But your kids will be trying to sneak to Canada, I can guarantee you that.

Re:You mean like... (5, Funny)

tjstork (137384) | more than 6 years ago | (#21346665)

Not yet. But your kids will be trying to sneak to Canada, I can guarantee you that

More people have snuck into the United States in the last thirty years than live in Canada, I can guarantee you that!

Re:You mean like... (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21346687)

Remember when Great Britain ruled the world? Things change buster and the US will be the Canadians' future Mexico; demograpically as well as metaphorically.

Re:You mean like... (2, Interesting)

tjstork (137384) | more than 6 years ago | (#21346785)

Remember when Great Britain ruled the world? Things change buster and the US will be the Canadians' future Mexico; demograpically as well as metaphorically.

The USA doesn't rule the world. The USA is the market of last resort. As the world economy expands, those forces that presently drain the USA will balance out, improving the overall USA position relative to the rest of the world. Even in these times, USA exports are now at a record high, and the trade gap is actually closing.

Canada isn't going to rule anything. Canadian birth rate dooms the nation. In the end, population wins, and the USA population is growing, and rather dramatically.

Re:You mean like... (4, Insightful)

Knuckles (8964) | more than 6 years ago | (#21346891)

In the end, population wins

Oh yes? Then I hope you have already sent your regards to your new Chinese and Indian overlords.

The USA will ALWAYS be #1 (1, Interesting)

tjstork (137384) | more than 6 years ago | (#21346971)

Oh yes? Then I hope you have already sent your regards to your new Chinese and Indian overlords

The hope is that the USA can continue to ramp up its population while sustaining a good rate of growth, such that China and India don't ever really catch up. Check this out.. This is a Census department population forecast for the USA.

Census Population Projections 1998 [npg.org]

Notice that it was the high series had the US population at below 300,000,000 in 2006, and we've exceeded that. Thus, assuming the high series continues, the USA population will hit 500+ million by 2050. That's a population doubling time of 75 years. Assuming the same doubling time, we're talking about a billion Americans by 2125...

Re:You mean like... (1, Insightful)

loganrapp (975327) | more than 6 years ago | (#21346981)

When Great Britain ruled the world, it didn't have thousands upon thousands of tons of instant world-killers.


There's a reason why Russia survived the collapse of the Soviet Union and remains an enormous power. They still had a reset button.

Different world, different rules. Maybe when we go galactic we'll see some power restructuring. For now, power is still in order of the size of your clear and present ability to render the globe a smoking ruin. And it's going to remain that way for a long, long time.

Re:You mean like... (1)

JonathanR (852748) | more than 6 years ago | (#21346875)

Porous borders and associated large foreign populations might have somewhat to do with your assertion. What Mexico equivalent does Canada have within walking distance?

Re:Whimsy (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21346481)

That platform is in Nagoya. It's called the "Area 21". The glass "pool" on the top collects rain water to nourish the grass areas around the area.

The area beneath is used for a lot of purposes, from concerts to street soccer championships.

Nagoya (and Japan) has a huge number of projects with the sole purpose of making the city life more fun and less stressful. Like the lamp posts playing smooth jazz in the evenings, or the carousel attached to a building close to Area 21.

There are virtually no street vandalism, so they can put a lot of statues and art on the streets, and it stays untouched and unharmed.

Of course it's not heaven on earth, there are problems, but in the lat 2 years it became my most favorite city.

I lived in many places, Midwest, west coast, east coast, europe, singapore, new zealand, but so far, the city life in Japan is the best I have ever experienced.

Re:Whimsy (1)

piratesyarr (1117287) | more than 6 years ago | (#21346769)

Sorry, that's not Area 21.
It's Area 21-A.

Re:Whimsy (2, Informative)

TheVoice900 (467327) | more than 6 years ago | (#21346839)

That's "Oasis 21". Man I miss Nagoya..

Re:Whimsy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21346497)

Impressive photos - good eye. Did you really see all of that in just five hours?

Slack in Japan (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21346501)

Far out, you seem to have found Bob Dobbs [utah.edu] there in that coffee kiosk / snack shack.

Tire wear? And more importantly, road wear? (1)

compumike (454538) | more than 6 years ago | (#21346255)

In Massachusetts, they are continually working on roads... I'd love to know the secret that makes them think that they'll be able to keep these strips around for more than a year or so. Beyond that, I'd think that it places greater stresses on the outermost pieces of tire, because of the uneven loading. Doesn't seem that smart to me...

--
Educational microcontroller kits for the digital generation. [nerdkits.com]

Re:Tire wear? And more importantly, road wear? (4, Interesting)

www.sorehands.com (142825) | more than 6 years ago | (#21346509)

Forget tire wear. What about the uneven coefficient of friction? That can get you killed. Predictability of your vehicle's reaction in all situations -- especial in emergencies -- is important.

Re:Tire wear? And more importantly, road wear? (1)

Falladir (1026636) | more than 6 years ago | (#21346869)

I've been living in China for two months and I haven't seen any car accidents (being cleaned up, even). I don't think it's such a big deal here...maybe people are better drivers? Most of the population doesn't drive, though. If there's a difference, that's probably why.

Re:Tire wear? And more importantly, road wear? (4, Insightful)

Solandri (704621) | more than 6 years ago | (#21346517)

I'd love to know the secret that makes them think that they'll be able to keep these strips around for more than a year or so.
Maybe they're not built by the lowest bidder?

I remember an interview with the chief engineer of a road construction company. He claimed that if the state was willing to pay about twice as much, he could build them a road which could last 100 years. But if he did that he'd be underbid for every contract and would go out of business. So the state ends up with roads which need to be resurfaced after 5 years and rebuilt after 15-25. Essentially the longevity is enough to span one politician's career in that office. After that it'll be someone else's problem, so why spend extra money on it?

Re:Tire wear? And more importantly, road wear? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21346699)

Turn it around, and there's virtue in the tune-strips wearing off: sell the rights to lay down an ad jingle to the highest bidder. The life-span of the strips is the cue to put it out for bid again.

Re:Tire wear? And more importantly, road wear? (4, Interesting)

ScrappyLaptop (733753) | more than 6 years ago | (#21346915)

Out in California you get a chance to see and feel the various levels of road quality that very nicely prove your point. Up in the Sierras, I-80 is concrete due to the winter conditions and chains. Wonderful to drive on any time of year. Down in Sacramento, and around the Bay Area, the freeways are often asphalt (asphalt concrete, not mastic asphalt) over dirt, baby. Great if a little slippery when it's brand new, just adequate when it's mature and really bad when it's still five years out from being replaced. At the local street level all the money from the boom years has been spent so it s gravel-over-tar every five years. Cars go through windshields at an alarming rate, but hey it was the cheapest bid. Interestingly, the decreasing level of quality is also mirrored in the reduced level of traction, so not only are better roads nicer to drive on, they're safer, too.

I'm afraid this is what happens when there just isn't enough cash to go around. The amount the States get from the Federal taxes in various forms is reduced and so local infrastructure expenditures drop. However, it's not like the Federal government is spending more than it takes in on something that benefits only a select few and has quietly hidden the true costs here and there. There is a war going on; how can we complain about the state of our roads when on the other side of the world there are roads actually getting blown up daily? We have to rebuild those first, along with the electrical distribution, water supplies, schools and hospitals...the list goes on and we haven't even started. Once we have rebuilt Iraq in our image, then and only then can we talk about fixing things here with a clean conscience.

Traffic Jams (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21346259)

"driving around 12mph has a slow-motion effect, making you almost car sick."

So it makes traffic jams/being stuck in traffic even worse, then?

I would like to try it here... (1)

RuBLed (995686) | more than 6 years ago | (#21346263)

but all I could get are big drum beats and the occasional pick screech...

Re:I would like to try it here... (1)

professional_troll (1178701) | more than 6 years ago | (#21346277)

like the occasional prick up your butt?

Re:I would like to try it here... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21346545)

You're actually a fucking idiot, aren't you?

Tires? (3, Interesting)

theReal-Hp_Sauce (1030010) | more than 6 years ago | (#21346271)

It's my understanding that the rougher the road surface you drive on, the faster it wears out your tires. Not just a small amount either, I seem to recall reading that it could shorten the life span of your tires by 50%.

I don't know about anyone else, but I think tires are expensive and hate spending money on them. I would not enjoy having them wear out quickly so that I can listen to the same damned song every day on my way to work... The radio already does that for me, and it doesn't ruin my tires.

-hps

Deterrence (5, Funny)

pavon (30274) | more than 6 years ago | (#21346611)

While it looks like these were done just for fun, one idea I have heard is to place them only in the passing lane, at regular intervals. This would discorage people from staying in that lane any longer than they need to, else be forced to listen to "It's a Small World" at increasingly annoying pitch the faster they drive :)

Reverse (5, Funny)

pete-classic (75983) | more than 6 years ago | (#21346289)

If you drive up that road in reverse it says, "Paul is dead."

-Peter

Re:Reverse (1, Troll)

FlatCatInASlatVat (828700) | more than 6 years ago | (#21346423)

OMG, someone mod this up. This is the funniest thing on /. ever!

Re:Reverse (5, Funny)

noidentity (188756) | more than 6 years ago | (#21346675)

If you drive in reverse, someone's going to be dead pretty quicky.

Re:Reverse (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21346807)

But it only works for people named Paul.

Re:Reverse (1)

halcyon1234 (834388) | more than 6 years ago | (#21346817)

And you just know some dumbass is going to ruin a perfectly good transmission trying to scratch/rap to the song.

Re:Reverse (1)

broken_chaos (1188549) | more than 6 years ago | (#21346857)

And you have to go thirty kilometers below the speed limit. Which is still probably more than most cars can do in reverse gear...

So you'll be *facing* the wrong way too!

I wonder? (1)

edwardpickman (965122) | more than 6 years ago | (#21346291)

What does Born to Be Wild sound like in Japanese?

Re:I wonder? (1)

wanderingknight (1103573) | more than 6 years ago | (#21346339)

Boruno tsu bii wairudo!

Re:I wonder? (1)

wanderingknight (1103573) | more than 6 years ago | (#21346367)

Ugh... my mistake, it should be "BOHN tsu bii wairudo!"

Re:I wonder? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21346353)

>> What does Born to Be Wild sound like in Japanese?

"Born to conform, consume, and die."

Catchy isn't it?

Re:I wonder? (1)

404 Clue Not Found (763556) | more than 6 years ago | (#21346647)

What does Born to Be Wild sound like in Japanese?

"Born to conform, consume, and die."

Catchy isn't it?
Sounds like the Japanese are speaking our language now.

Re:I wonder? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21346949)

I don't know but if it's anything like a bad karaoke singer, I don't want to know.

RIAA (1, Insightful)

phalse phace (454635) | more than 6 years ago | (#21346297)

Watch out... the RIAA is going to demand that drivers pay them royalty fees each time we drive on said road and play a song.

Re:RIAA (1)

renegadesx (977007) | more than 6 years ago | (#21346317)

Road toll?

Re:RIAA (3, Funny)

innerweb (721995) | more than 6 years ago | (#21346561)

Troll Road?

InnerWeb

Not RIAA, RIAJ (3, Informative)

enoz (1181117) | more than 6 years ago | (#21346679)

This may come as a shock, USA is not the World.

Many other countries have their own recording industry associations that are perfectly good at collecting royalties and prosecuting file sharers.

Disney beat them by years. (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21346301)

Disney beat them to it. There was pavement that played zip-a-dee-doo-dah.

http://www.allearsnet.com/aa/aa100807.htm#ques5 [allearsnet.com]

speed limit? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21346303)

You'd hear the pleasant melody only if you were going exactly the speed limit. When's the last time you did that?

Wanna Bet... (1)

The MAZZTer (911996) | more than 6 years ago | (#21346309)

...companies will buy sections of road and carve their theme jingle in them?

Roadside advertising (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21346713)

This is old hat. I remember when I was a kid and went on road trips, my old man used to joke that it would only be a matter of time before corporations started carving messages into the horizontal grooves on the sides of the road that buzz when you veer out of your lane with messages like, "Wake up with a refreshing Coke!" or "Don't drive without some No-Doz!"

Hopefully, this will be well thought out (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21346313)

and the road doesn't play The End by the Doors. Or Detroit Rock City.

Re:Hopefully, this will be well thought out (1)

renegadesx (977007) | more than 6 years ago | (#21346329)

Highway to Hell?

Been done before... (1)

Techman83 (949264) | more than 6 years ago | (#21346347)

I'm pretty sure I've seen on some technology shows they have on TV that this has been in development or at least around for a while. No surprises that the Japanese have it in place already, it seems there culture isn't so against change and new ideas. Unlike most western societies.

Re:Been done before... (1)

Tweekster (949766) | more than 6 years ago | (#21346417)

western culture simply demands a payoff for implementing these technologies.
This is rather pointless at this point, let someone else waste the effort, money and failed attempts to come up with a useful version that actually does something besides the "oh cool" factor and it will be adopted.

Re:Been done before... (1)

snl2587 (1177409) | more than 6 years ago | (#21346427)

This is true. When I was reading about wearable disguises a few weeks back, the point was made that in Japan no idea is ridiculed and, thus, new and interesting things are produced there regardless of practicality. As long as they don't start using the musical road idea for advertising, I consider it cool, if impractical.

the song (1)

ohzero (525786) | more than 6 years ago | (#21346379)

would it happen to be the goodyear theme? I'm sure these roads destroy tires

Proud Japanese tradition: (1)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | more than 6 years ago | (#21346397)

Sounds like a form of chindogu [wikipedia.org] .

Old Japanese Dup? (3, Informative)

Phrogz (43803) | more than 6 years ago | (#21346407)

From over 2 years ago on slashdot.jp: http://slashdot.jp/article.pl?sid=05/02/02/0340256 [slashdot.jp] (pseudo-english translation [altavista.com] )

Re:Old Japanese Dup? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21346543)

Yeah, definitely something that's been done before

Re:Old Japanese Dup? (2, Funny)

Rebelgecko (893016) | more than 6 years ago | (#21346701)

I was kind of hoping to see a translated page full of people saying "All your roads are belong to us." However,

When it adjusts to the key of the taste, (score: 3, it is strange funny)
and

The placebo effect that "Hirai it is said hard",
You deduct amount, certainly Hirai hard the Poka is.
Increasing the refresh rate of Hirai hard tune conversely, one blue
Whether or not it becomes, just a little it is not understood, but.
made up for the lack of Zero Wing.

Re:Old Japanese Dup? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21346957)

What I don't is get that the idea of letting the tires with the road make noise is already old..
It is used to keep the drivers awake: http://www.patentstorm.us/patents/6547484-description.html [patentstorm.us]

So what is the big deal.. making a song of something that can make noise is just a step further,
there are many who do so with strange devices, like:

- a HP Scanjet: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FHcV8vZ96OM [youtube.com]
- a hard disk: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=61dv64sZWnA [youtube.com]

financial oporunity (1)

n3r0.m4dski11z (447312) | more than 6 years ago | (#21346415)

Wow that would make someone VERY rich selling customized mansion driveways. What you DONT rotate your driveway music as often as you change songs on your ipod? pleeb!

Speech synthesis? (2, Interesting)

lindseyp (988332) | more than 6 years ago | (#21346437)

That is awesome. I wonder if you could manipulate the harmonic quality of the hum, and take it as far as synthesized speech. "welcome" or "yokoso" as you enter town. That would be jaw-droppingly awesome.

Re:Speech synthesis? (1)

TheSpoom (715771) | more than 6 years ago | (#21346593)

I don't see why not. That reminds me of those action figures from the 80s / early 90s that had plastic notched strips you pulled quickly to get them to "say" something.

Re:Speech synthesis? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21346637)

Until they start running ads.

Top Gear (3, Interesting)

bi_boy (630968) | more than 6 years ago | (#21346467)

Saw this on Top Gear (on Discovery Channel) a couple of years back. Not sure if it was Japan, I think it was a European country. I think they used bumps though instead, so that at certain sustained speeds it would play a nice melody but if you went too fast it would sound horrible and scarring.

Re:Top Gear (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21346937)

I was just thinking, when I read the article summary, that would be a perfect psychological tool for getting drivers to maintain a certain speed.

alt.pave.the.earth (1)

ageoffri (723674) | more than 6 years ago | (#21346475)

Something very similar was discussed back in the early 90's in the newsgroup alt.pave.the.earth! Wonder if someone might use these posts for prior art even.

http://groups.google.com/group/alt.destroy.the.earth/browse_thread/thread/969522c2a9463f53/743868a735db695a?lnk=st&q=#743868a735db695a/ [google.com]

Re:alt.pave.the.earth (0)

ClassMyAss (976281) | more than 6 years ago | (#21346885)

It's been a long time since I thought of alt.pave.the.earth...
 
I remember trolling there quite often, they really hated the suggestion they team up with the alt.chrome.the.moon people - go figure, I always figured the nutters would want to band together.
 
Seriously, though you've gotta love Japan. Once I was driving over some of those awful annoying hum generator strips on the highway here in the US (you know, the ones that wake you up if you fall asleep and start to swerve off the road), and it occurred to me that someone with enough time and money could make simple melodies by changing the spacings between the things. Typical music dork fantasy. As impractical a person as I usually am, even I laughed at the thought; the Japanese went ahead and built the damn thing! Fantastic, I really gotta go there some day. Gotta work out that whole language barrier thing first, I fear...

Not that new (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21346485)

This is an old idea. I remember several years ago reading someones essay about doing this to play the opening notes of "Dark Star" when driven over at 40 mph. I can't find it now. It may have been on the now-defunct GDlive.com

Youtube link (4, Informative)

1u3hr (530656) | more than 6 years ago | (#21346499)

See & hear it in action: Video here [youtube.com]

Disney tested this out years ago... (4, Interesting)

testtrack321 (863249) | more than 6 years ago | (#21346507)

Years ago the Walt Disney World was looking for additional magical things to add to the roads for their upcoming Millennium Celebration. On a desolate piece of road on property speed warning indicators were tested (the kind you encounter on the side of the road or before a toll road) that played a song. That song was "Zip A Dee Do Dah", and for years it stayed there. There were problems with it. First, was the fact in order for it to work, you would have to be driving a VERY specific speed, not faster, not slower, or it would seem like a random assortment of rumbles. And when someone would go the wrong speed, they'd think there was something wrong (veering of the road, toll soon, etc), and would try to break, get the car back on the road, etc, that it became dangerous. Since it was dangerous, no one would drive the correct speed, and the fact they'd need to tear up the roads just to install it, Disney mothballed the idea.

Re:Disney tested this out years ago... (1)

enos (627034) | more than 6 years ago | (#21346933)

It seems that's the reason for the giant musical note symbols on the Japanese road. It lets you know that something odd and perhaps musical is supposed to happen so you don't freak out when it does.

Those Japanese think of everything..

Speed warning (1)

greg_barton (5551) | more than 6 years ago | (#21346567)

I thought of something similar to this when I was a kid. (Ya, I know, should have patented it, would have made a killing, yada, yada...)

Anyway, my idea came from the speed warnings in the road driving up to the airport in Dallas: about fifty 1cm ruts, perpendicular to the direction of traffic, caused a loud noise and strong vibration in the car. I thought, "If this can make noise, why not speech?" And the faster you went, the louder, more high pitched, and more strident the voice would be. It could say, "ssloooww doooowwn..." if you were going 30mph, and scream "SLOW DOWN!!" at 60mph.

Ah, the folly of youth.

Only in Japan (1)

Crypto Gnome (651401) | more than 6 years ago | (#21346583)

There are three musical strips in central and northern Japan - one of which plays the tune of a Japanese pop song.

In America the RIAA/MPAA/??AA want to sue you for umpteen bazillion dollars because you were HUMMING A TUNE in your mind without a license.

In Japan the roads themselves play music for you.

I know where I'd much rather live.... Even without the 100Mbps ethernet-over-fiber Internet services to your home (for less than I normally spend on coffee each week), "japanese schoolgirls" (ahem), tentacle-porn, etc - the list goes on and on. The Land of Sushi/Sake and Asahi truly is DisneyLand for Geeks.

Re:Only in Japan (1)

sqrt(2) (786011) | more than 6 years ago | (#21346871)

Too bad they hate whitey. And I read that they're finger printing and documenting all foreigners now, so you can enjoy being officially discriminated against by the government in addition to unofficially discriminated against by the general population. And it's a shame too, they have a lot of cool stuff--you mentioned a few examples ;) . I suppose it wouldn't be so bad to visit, but I wouldn't want to live there.

Re:Only in Japan (1)

freedom_india (780002) | more than 6 years ago | (#21346955)

Well... so does the USA. It too fingerprints and takes photos of all Aliens entering the USA.
But i agree with you on one count: They DO discriminate against all non-japs. Even in train cars they consider you Alien and stand/sit separate.

not really my favorite arc. . . (2, Interesting)

calice (570989) | more than 6 years ago | (#21346587)

. . . but Achewood [achewood.com] predicted this.

In the arc's defense, the robot did dress up his hair like Pete Rose.

I thought of this more than 20 years ago (1)

scottgfx (68236) | more than 6 years ago | (#21346621)

Seriously! As a young teenager in the backseat of the car for a long family trip, I had the idea that either music or, more importantly, warnings could be modulated as a sound onto a road bed. Combine the knowledge of those thing they used to put on balloons that would make a sound when you ran your fingernail over them with the creepy sounds that would sometimes come from the tires when riding over grooved pavement and you have an idea. If only I had patented it.

These are annoying (2, Insightful)

Gurezaemon (663755) | more than 6 years ago | (#21346681)

Ruts cut in roads, or slightly raised areas are all over the place in Japan, with the former usually to provide better traction in ice/snow, and the latter to warn of sharp curves, etc. They are annoying as hell, and noisy. They also have a tendency to wake up my toddlers in the back seat, even when driving quite slowly. Sure, use them for better grip on slippery roads, but just for novelty value? Yet another waste of public funds in a country that is notorious for it...

I thought about this when I was 10... (1)

Belial6 (794905) | more than 6 years ago | (#21346831)

I thought of doing this when I was 10. Since then, I have seriously hoped that the government never realized it. I really don't think that the unwashed masses could withstand the constant hum of the road telling them "Personal firearm ownership is wrong."..."If your not guilty, you've got nothing to hide"..."Voting third party is throwing away your vote."..."War is peace"..."Slavery is freedom"...

Shizuo Shinoda (1)

piotru (124109) | more than 6 years ago | (#21346859)

Take the story of Mr. Shizuo Shinoda and his bulldozer with a grain of salt (simply bullshit for those not politically correct). I have been driving through the northern Japan for ages. The area is mainly hills and mountains, and as far as I remember the roads always had stretches, especially at turns or steep slopes, that were cut by little perpendicular grooves that cause the car vibrations at acoustic frequencies. More, the side strips on highways have tiny bumps that cause the same effect. I used to amuse myself by the tones that my car played on them, never a distinct melody though.

Potential for abuse? (1)

gbobeck (926553) | more than 6 years ago | (#21346867)

I wonder how long it will take before some disgruntled municipal worker will grind in some really annoying song, or even better... the Brown Note.

Re:Potential for abuse? (1)

Vegeta99 (219501) | more than 6 years ago | (#21346877)

They already got the brown note. Next time you see a sign that says "Center Line Rumble Strips", give it a try.

Probably as close to brown note as is possible :P

Obligatory AC/DC (1)

CrazyJim1 (809850) | more than 6 years ago | (#21346899)

As cool sounding as the song is, I'm not sure I'd really I'd want to drive on a road that plays,"Highway to Hell".

Sounds & smells on Montreal Metro (4, Interesting)

maggard (5579) | more than 6 years ago | (#21346909)

In Montreal a generation of Metro subway cars electric motors [wikipedia.org] were tuned to perfect fifths, coincidentally the first three notes of Aaron Copland's "Fanfare for the Common Man". The tones were even part of a TV ad campaign [youtube.com] when the line was opened.

Technical Explanation PDF [stcum.qc.ca] (in French.)

However the Montreal Metro offers another treat to the senses: Smell.

The train brakes are two part, electromagnetic over ~10km/h and birch wood injected with peanut oil slower. Thus when a train comes to a hard stop the station smells faintly of burnt popcorn. If you have to smell your public transit this is about as good as it gets!

"Music as you drive" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21346947)

The road works by using grooves


Really.

What's next? Musical condoms? (1)

Joce640k (829181) | more than 6 years ago | (#21346985)

Imagine a condom which says "Ay, papi!" as you go to work.

And now I think of it... that's almost a palindrome! Perfect!

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