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"Cone of Silence" Possible Say Scientists

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 6 years ago | from the is-leonard-bernstein-licensed-to-kill dept.

Science 90

Ponca City, We Love You writes "The 'Cone of Silence,' once a staple of 1960's television shows, is now possible say scientists at Duke University who first demonstrated a working 'cloak of invisibility' that works at microwave frequencies in 2006. Such a cloak designed for audio frequencies might hide submarines in the ocean from detection by sonar or improve the acoustics of a concert hall by effectively flattening a structural beam. Although the theory used to design such acoustic devices so far isn't as general as the one used to devise the microwave cloak, the finding nonetheless paves the way for other acoustic devices. 'We've now shown that both 2-D and 3-D acoustic cloaks theoretically do exist,' says Researcher Steven Cummer. 'It opens up the door to make the physical shape of an object different from its acoustic shape.'"

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Light on details... (2, Interesting)

ecavalli (1216014) | more than 6 years ago | (#22013320)

Sadly the article is sorta light on details.

Anyone have some insight on how exactly this sort of thing is accomplished, aside from the article's reliance on materials that seemingly don't exist yet?

Re:Light on details... (2, Funny)

pwrtool 45 (792547) | more than 6 years ago | (#22013682)

materials that seemingly don't exist yet?


I can see the conversation now...

Max: Actually they already exist.
Guy: No, it doesn't.
Max: Would you believe that they're inventing them tomorrow?
Guy: No, they aren't.
Max: Would you believe a pope hat covered with pillows we *call* the cone of silence?
Agent 99: *Kicks guy's ass*

Re:Light on details... (5, Informative)

thelamecamel (561865) | more than 6 years ago | (#22013832)

It seems they're importing ideas from photonics and metamaterials - light and sound, they're all waves. What's been done with light (in Britain and Germany IIRC) is some object has been surrounded by a 'cloaking device', and for one specific wavelength of light, the cloaking device and object become completely transparent and invisible. Light flows through the cloaking device and around the object that's being hidden (well that's the hand-wavy explanation). To do funky stuff like cloaking, you need (in optics) a material with negative refractive index (so light seems to travel backwards). People get this by arranging tiny (smaller than the wavelength of light involved) resonators in a regular pattern. The light wave "doesn't see" the individual resonators, but instead "sees" an overall medium. However, this medium can have quite abnormal properties (such as negative refractive index). Another way of looking at the device is that you surround the object with resonators that specifically cancel out any effect on the sound/light wave that the object makes. So you get no net effect on the wave, so it's as if the object wasn't there. Presumably the people at Duke have transplanted some designs for light and have worked through the corresponding acoustic wave equations to find "negative refractive index sound" (though i'm not sure what their resonators would look like, because light is more complicated than sound and most light metamaterial designs use properties of both E and H components of light. Maybe they can cheat because sound travels faster in, say, wood than air)

Re:Light on details... (1)

ccarson (562931) | more than 6 years ago | (#22018082)

/picky

Sadly this is not 100% possible. There's no way around particle tunneling and so complete silence simply isn't feasible -- at least for now.

Re:Light on details... (2, Funny)

tomhath (637240) | more than 6 years ago | (#22013864)

The details on how they do it are in the audio portion of the article. What? You didn't hear the audio? What?

Mod parent up!! (1)

Off the Rails (974457) | more than 6 years ago | (#22024602)

Got to be the funniest comment I've seen all year.

Re:Light on details... (0, Offtopic)

camperslo (704715) | more than 6 years ago | (#22014096)

Sadly the article is sorta light on details.

Aye captain, we'll knit ya a jockstrap of metamaterial and they'll never see ya coming.

Don't understand what that is do ya? Well write your own description [dack.com] .

The Cone of Silence [wikipedia.org] was one of many fun toys on that old show [wikipedia.org] ...

It seems the kids that watched shows like Get Smart, The Flintstones, Gumby, Lost in Space, and Bonanza didn't go around shooting up high schools and shopping malls. I wonder if it was because of the content of the shows, or just from having 9 minutes of commercials an hour instead of 18?

Re:Light on details... (1)

that this is not und (1026860) | more than 6 years ago | (#22014292)

I wonder if it was because of the content of the shows,

It's because their short-attention-span twitch instincts weren't finely tuned by programming like Sesame Street.

I'm serious. There was a major shift in children's television programming when that show, with it's bip-bip-bip approach, came on the air.

Re:Light on details... (1)

technomom (444378) | more than 6 years ago | (#22015118)

Would ya believe.....

Two plastic cups strapped over your ears?

If you don't get the reference [wouldyoubelieve.com] , you're too damned young.

Max vs. the Chief (4, Funny)

pipingguy (566974) | more than 6 years ago | (#22013372)

Max: What?
Chief: What?
Max: What?
Chief: What?

I've always wanted to build one of those, I even have a sketch, bill of materials, etc.

Re:Max vs. the Chief (1, Funny)

LordEd (840443) | more than 6 years ago | (#22015210)

I even have a sketch, bill of materials, etc.
I find that hard to believe

Would you believe a set of notes and a written shopping list?
Not really

How about a picture drawn with crayons?

Re:Max vs. the Chief (1)

pipingguy (566974) | more than 6 years ago | (#22015376)

Tee-hee! You know those old womens' hairdryer things? Take two of those and bingo! Well, sort of.

I've got 200 bucks to start creating one.

Re:Max vs. the Chief (1)

pipingguy (566974) | more than 6 years ago | (#22015902)

And, no, I'm not kidding. email me if you can find me and we'll start planning.

This wouldn't be the first time I've created something for no reason at all due to internet inspiration.

It'd be the dumbest thing I've ever attempted, but what the hell...

MOD PARENT UP, JOKE OVER HEAD (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22021686)

Whatever dipshit modded this troll has clearly never seen the show.

Would you believe a mob of angry boy scouts?

Re:Max vs. the Chief (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22019798)

TFA

The 'Cone of Silence,' once a staple of 1960's television shows,

I remember Get Smart just fine (yup, humming the theme now - it's as sticky as Katamari Damacy's) but don't recall another 60s show that used that prop.

Anyone? Was there even a single other show that used the Cone of Silence?

Re:Max vs. the Chief (1)

SL Baur (19540) | more than 6 years ago | (#22021696)

Anyone? Was there even a single other show that used the Cone of Silence?
Not to my knowledge and I watched Get Smart when it was new.

"Oh come on, Max! You know that thing never works."

Re:Max vs. the Chief (1)

stuntpope (19736) | more than 6 years ago | (#22022504)

I wondered the same. A staple of 1960's shows? Only Get Smart as far as I recall.

Bah! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22013374)

Isn't that something like a 2nd or 3rd level evocation spell? Amateurs!

Re:Bah! (1)

KiloByte (825081) | more than 6 years ago | (#22013450)

Isn't that something like a 2nd or 3rd level evocation spell? Amateurs!
Nah, it's illusion not evocation. And even then, it's sphere-shaped [d20srd.org] while the article wants a cone.

The invisible cone (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22013618)

Here is an image to explain it all:
http://icanhascheezburger.com/2008/01/12/funny-pictures-invisible-ice-cream-cone/ [icanhascheezburger.com]

Re:The invisible cone (3, Funny)

myth_of_sisyphus (818378) | more than 6 years ago | (#22021886)

That reminds me of trying to explain "I can has cheezburger" to my hairstylist.

While cutting my hair one day, she mentioned she loved taking pictures of her cats.

I said "You should check out this new craze. It's called "I can has cheezburger" and you take a picture of a cat doing something, and then you put a caption on it that is clever, then you post it on the internet."

She says "I already go to a site and upload my cat pictures."

I say "Well, it's not really cat pictures. It kind of 'transcends' cat pictures and becomes something else. Kind of a "meta-cat picture".

She says "....uhhhh...what?..."

I say "I can't really explain it, you kind of have to see it. Go to this website: 'I...can...has...cheezburger... spelled with a z and no 'e'"

She says "....uhhhh...what?...."

I say "I'll write it down...the site is named after the first cat picture called "I can has cheezburger". Now that cheezburger cat is famous in his own right. He's called 'Happycat'."

She says "the pictures are of cats eating cheeseburgers?"

I say "No, just captioned cheezburger."

She says "Ok"

She now thinks I'm completely insane and is silent for the rest of the haircut.

Finally, a solution... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22013624)

...to the problem of having to listen to moronic niggers!

When is acoustic shape same as physical anyway? (4, Insightful)

noidentity (188756) | more than 6 years ago | (#22013626)

'It opens up the door to make the physical shape of an object different from its acoustic shape.'

Since when has an object's acoustic shape ever matched its physical shape to begin with? It's usually more like a sphere.

Re:When is acoustic shape same as physical anyway? (1)

thelamecamel (561865) | more than 6 years ago | (#22013888)

I think the exciting thing here is that an object's acoustic shape could be tailored and even made smaller by surrounding it by another material. The more fundamental thing here is that we can have a whole lot of new and interesting "media" that sound can propagate through, and possibly (if this is like photonics) media where sound travels "backwards".

Re:When is acoustic shape same as physical anyway? (4, Funny)

neapolitan (1100101) | more than 6 years ago | (#22014240)

I had a girlfriend once whose physical shape was AWESOME, but her acoustic shape was terrible. Believe me, you don't ever want to be in that situation. Now, the ones that are nearly spherical are easily identified from a distance, and I tend to stay away from them.

Re:When is acoustic shape same as physical anyway? (1)

MandoSKippy (708601) | more than 6 years ago | (#22015848)

Ha! I call BS. A girlfriend...and slashdot poster? Likely story.

Re:When is acoustic shape same as physical anyway? (1)

pipingguy (566974) | more than 6 years ago | (#22018422)

Did the hole you were blowing into bear the words, "Inflate Here"? Don't be too embarrassed, I once blew chunks.

Re:When is acoustic shape same as physical anyway? (1)

DRAGONWEEZEL (125809) | more than 6 years ago | (#22037052)

That's akin to the Light travels faster than sound, that's why people seem atractive until you hear them speak?

"Cone of Nonsense" Possible Says Teckla (4, Funny)

Teckla (630646) | more than 6 years ago | (#22013630)

Researchers at the Teckla Institute for Scientific Advancement have determined that it's possible to have a "Cone of Nonsense" that remains stable for months, even years.

"Take, for example, the Cone of Nonsense generated at Slashdot, an online site dedicated to News for Nerds," says Dr. Teckla, a long-time scientist at the Institute. "We've identified at least two powerful Cone of Nonsense forces there, which we've named the 'Roland Piquepaille Effect' and the 'Ponca City, We Love You Force'."

Combine these potent forces with 'ScuttleMonkey Energy', and the result is a stable, if frightening, Cone of Nonsense.

"We're not sure what happens if you enter this Cone of Nonsense," commented Dr. Teckla, "But we're pretty sure it drops your I.Q. by 50 points.

Re:"Cone of Nonsense" Possible Says Teckla (1)

_merlin (160982) | more than 6 years ago | (#22013718)

What about the GNAA? Are they in their own cone of nonsense or do they coexist with Slashdot in its cone?

Re:"Cone of Nonsense" Possible Says Teckla (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22029330)

The GNAA is a worldwide organization, not just some fatties who post on slashdot while they're waiting for a slot on World of Warcraft

Re:"Cone of Nonsense" Possible Says Teckla (1)

_merlin (160982) | more than 6 years ago | (#22029710)

If it's worldwide, why is it called the GayNigger Association of America?

Re:"Cone of Nonsense" Possible Says Teckla (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22041450)

America is a state of mind, not a line on a map. Those who share the creed are all Gay Niggers of America, regardless of color, sexual orientation, or location.

bad news for bats (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22013692)

"It opens up the door to make the physical shape of an object different from its acoustic shape."

Bat army (1)

EnsilZah (575600) | more than 6 years ago | (#22022072)

Makes me wonder.
Has anyone ever equipped bats with headphones that control them remotely?

A staple of 60s television shows? (2, Interesting)

Chess_the_cat (653159) | more than 6 years ago | (#22013708)

The only show I can think of that featured the Cone of Silence was Get Smart! What other shows featured this technology?

Re:A staple of 60s television shows? (1)

SirBruce (679714) | more than 6 years ago | (#22013740)

There was one in an episode of Mission: Impossible. I also wouldn't be surprised if The Man from U.N.C.L.E. didn't flirt with the concept at some point.

Re:A staple of 60s television shows? (1)

DonChron (939995) | more than 6 years ago | (#22019354)

I think Chess is right - the Cone of Silence [wikipedia.org] originated with Get Smart and was completely useless. I mean, it's a joke, and Mission: Impossible wasn't (intentionally) funny, though they did use the idea. But calling it a staple is an overstatement - laugh tracks, harried husbands, adorable children and perfect housewives were staples of 60's TV. Not like our modern, thought-provoking entertainment products...

Re:A staple of 60s television shows? (1)

Antaeus Feldspar (118374) | more than 6 years ago | (#22022060)

Mission: Impossible. 3rd season episode "The Play", IIRC.

Already using one (5, Funny)

Whiteox (919863) | more than 6 years ago | (#22013758)

Every time my wife asks me to do something, I don't hear it.
Every time I ask her to do something, she doesn't hear me.

Can't find better references (4, Informative)

MonkeyBoyo (630427) | more than 6 years ago | (#22013806)

Here is the old theoretical paperOne path to acoustic cloaking, New Journal of Physics, v. 9, 45, 2007. [pdf reprint] [duke.edu] The Science Daily article is just a reprint of the Duke press release. [duke.edu] Steven A. Cummer [duke.edu] seems to provide PDF "reprints" [duke.edu] of all his papers but the new one isn't in that list. Nor can it be found on David Smith' page [duke.edu] , David Schurig's old Duke page [duke.edu] , or his new NC State page [ncsu.edu] , Sir John Pendry's page [ic.ac.uk] , or Anthony Starr's page [sensormetrix.com] .

Re:Can't find better references (1)

zerocool^ (112121) | more than 6 years ago | (#22014196)


You could link to the video by the duke scientists types:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ja_fuZyHDuk [youtube.com]

~wx

That video is microwave not acoustic cloaking (1)

MonkeyBoyo (630427) | more than 6 years ago | (#22014490)

so it is not relevant

Motels (2, Interesting)

Porchroof (726270) | more than 6 years ago | (#22013808)

Every motel room should have one.

Cone of Silence (0)

SendBot (29932) | more than 6 years ago | (#22013816)

Okay, I enjoyed way too many episodes of Get Smart as a kid (in the late 80's early 90's) to not comment on the Cone of Silence [wikipedia.org] . Invented by Professor Cone, this was a recurring gag in the show where Max (played by Don Adams, the voice of inspector gadget) and the Chief would engage in communicating sensitive information to each other only a few feet away in the same room. It would always malfunction, or the couldn't hear each other, or passersby could hear them (and relay the communication for them).

So no, it's not just "60's television shows", though some commenters may have the occasional exceptions (M.I.?). Give credit where it's due! And watch for the movie of Get Smart starring Steve Carell coming out this year.

You are kidding, right? (0)

kenh (9056) | more than 6 years ago | (#22014182)

The TV show Get Smart was created on the mid-60's, and sprung from the minds and talents of Buck Henery and Mel Brooks (among others). THe fact that you watched Get Smart in the '80s and '90s doesn't change the fact that this was a '60s television show! Next time you watch Get Smart, tivo the show and study the credits, especially the copyright date - though remember, it may be in tricky roman numerals [wikipedia.org] and represented by letters not digits.

Re:You are kidding, right? (1, Informative)

Rob the Bold (788862) | more than 6 years ago | (#22014558)

THe fact that you watched Get Smart in the '80s and '90s doesn't change the fact that this was a '60s television show!

Sorry about that, Chief, I think he just meant that that was when he was a kid, not that he thought the show was produced in that era. It was syndicated a lot more heavily in those years than it is now, at least on any channel I have access to.

I was just about to type that the series still wasn't available on DVD, but I checked Amazon and I was wrong, it finally is: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000LXTPDY/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top [amazon.com] . Looks like in the near future I'm going to be staying up for over fifty hours straight, living on caffeine and snack foods, not bathing, not shaving, while my body slowly atrophies, enduring potential cardiac arrest just to watch all 138 episodes in a row . . . And loving it.

Re:You are kidding, right? (1)

HTH NE1 (675604) | more than 6 years ago | (#22018204)

I was just about to type that the series still wasn't available on DVD, but I checked Amazon and I was wrong, it finally is:
Actually it's been available directly from Time Life Video [timelife.com] for awhile for a lot less, but also still quite expensive. I already have the full series box set (and automatically on their e-mail list). They have exclusive rights to sell it for now [wikipedia.org] , but it should become available from others quite soon (longer for Region 2). The listings on Amazon are people reselling it; none of them are sold by Amazon (notice no Preorder options).

The movie The Nude Bomb [imdb.com] can be found on cable as "The Return of Maxwell Smart". I have it sitting on my TiVo recorded in HD waiting for me to do a capture of it downcoverted to anamorphic and made into my own homebrewed DVD (to be replaced with the commercial version when it becomes available, naturally).

Re:You are kidding, right? (1)

Rob the Bold (788862) | more than 6 years ago | (#22018972)

The movie The Nude Bomb can be found on cable as "The Return of Maxwell Smart". I have it sitting on my TiVo recorded in HD waiting for me to do a capture of it downcoverted

Completist or glutton for punishment? ;)

Re:You are kidding, right? (0)

SendBot (29932) | more than 6 years ago | (#22014710)

Oh noes! I'm getting trolled with a straw man attack! I'll bite...

The TV show Get Smart was created on the mid-60's, and sprung from the minds and talents of Buck Henery and Mel Brooks
Buck Henry (not Henery) and Mel Brooks created the show. Your statement implies that it "was created" by others with their ideas and concepts. Creating a show takes a lot more work than just coming up with brilliant ideas.

THe fact that you watched Get Smart in the '80s and '90s doesn't change the fact that this was a '60s television show!
Huh, I guess that explains why max never drove a Miata. I mentioned the period of time I saw the show to clarify that I was not of the generation who enjoyed it during the original release. If you are implying that I stated it ran during that time, you are clearly incorrect.

tivo the show and study the credits
This being said to a guy whose girlfriend complains (lovingly) that I insist on watching the credits after movies. Also, I don't have a tivo, a television, or any sort of broadcast video reception.

though remember, it may be in tricky roman numerals and represented by letters not digits
That may be tricky for you, but I happen to excel in maths and numerical comprehension (and have an eerie talent for estimating quantities based on visual observation). You go ahead and remember that, and I'll remember how much fun I have reading roman numeral copyright dates with ease.

The summary of this story saying that the cone of silence was a staple of 60's television shows is not at all correct. It was a regular gag in a singular show, and I sure as hell don't recall ever seeing a CoS in flipper, the andy griffith show, or gilligan's island.

Go back under the bridge where you collect tolls and practice your awesome roman numeral skilz.

Re:You are kidding, right? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22014970)

So no, it's not just "60's television shows", though some commenters may have the occasional exceptions (M.I.?). Give credit where it's due! And watch for the movie of Get Smart starring Steve Carell coming out this year. Right, so we should give credit to later shows derived from earlier shows. Just shut up already, douche.

Re:You are kidding, right? (0)

SendBot (29932) | more than 6 years ago | (#22015272)

So it's a Saturday, I'm cool with replying to the trolls today.

The credit is due to Get Smart, not "60's television shows", thus the entire point of my posts. In giving credit to that show, it's a good platform to promote what will likely be a good movie, giving homage on top of giving credit!

Am I getting trolled for fun or are these people genuinely faulty with reading comprehension?

An AC telling me to shut up, calling me a douche, and obviously failing to interpret correct usage of the English language => Classic! :D

Re:Cone of Silence (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22014636)

(played by Don Adams, the voice of inspector gadget)
Sorry, but the canonical definition of Don Adams is Maxwell Smart, even if self referential.

Re:Cone of Silence (1)

HTH NE1 (675604) | more than 6 years ago | (#22018282)

He was also the voice of penguin Tennessee Tuxedo before Get Smart and of Brain in the Inspector Gadget movie.

Hide submarines? (2, Insightful)

barzok (26681) | more than 6 years ago | (#22013976)

Just change how you look for them. Instead of looking for signature noise, look for a "hole" in the background noise of the ocean.

Re:Hide submarines? (4, Informative)

thelamecamel (561865) | more than 6 years ago | (#22014132)

Nup. The really cool thing about this device (for the light cloaking devices that have been built, anyway) is that you don't block the noise behind the submarine. However as I commented below, I don't think these devices would hide the noise of the submarine or whatever was within the cloak, they would just allow sound to pass through the cloaked submarine as if the submarine was not there. The other problem is that these cloaks only work for a limited frequency range.

Re:Hide submarines? (1)

esper (11644) | more than 6 years ago | (#22015582)

That wouldn't be anything new. Although I can't provide references, I've heard from a number of sources that, late in the Cold War, US subs got to be too quiet and the Soviets did exactly as you suggested in order to find them.

Re:Hide submarines? (1)

DerekLyons (302214) | more than 6 years ago | (#22016590)

WYIAAS. (Why Yes, I Am A Submariner, or at least I used to be.)
 

Just change how you look for them. Instead of looking for signature noise, look for a "hole" in the background noise of the ocean.

Except - that doesn't really work all that well in real life except when the submarine is very close to those who would like to detect it. Much, much closer than those trying to dectect the submarine actually want that submarine to be. The background noise in the ocean isn't stable enough to routinely depend on detection by occulation - it varies on a short time scale. It's more of a generalized (and varying) background roar than point sources that can be individually detected.
 
It can be made to work under certain circumstances, you just can't rely on it.

Re:Hide submarines? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22017252)

That may already be happening. I've read that the Ohio-class subs are actually quieter than the surrounding sea when they're not moving, and the only thing giving them away is the "hole."

Of course, I probably read that on the internet, so it's quite possible someone just made it up and I fell for it. Not like the US Navy's going to correct any overstatement of their subs capabilities; heck, they've probably written their share of misinformation on the subject.

Re:Hide submarines? (1)

SL Baur (19540) | more than 6 years ago | (#22021788)

That may already be happening. I've read that the Ohio-class subs are actually quieter than the surrounding sea when they're not moving, and the only thing giving them away is the "hole."
That was a plot point in Clancy's The Sum of All Fears. The book contained a great deal of "technical detail" regarding submarines and the history of submarines. I have no idea how true any of it is (real specs would be classified above Top Secret), but it makes for interesting reading[1].

[1] And of course the line "Sir, he couldn't lead a three year old to the crapper" is worth the price of the book all by itself.

Re:Hide submarines? (1)

PPH (736903) | more than 6 years ago | (#22017746)

The Navy will need a new slogan: Silent But Deadly

Re:Hide submarines? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22030504)

hide submarines?
that's a pretty crap use for it, what about silencing every screaming baby or toddler at the mall?

I wish they woudl hurry up (1)

Frozen Void (831218) | more than 6 years ago | (#22013986)

The thumpa-thumpa (which neigbors are fond of)music is driving me nuts.

Re:I wish they woudl hurry up (1)

stjobe (78285) | more than 6 years ago | (#22014048)

How can you even say that line without proper references [xkcd.com] ?

Re:I wish they woudl hurry up (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22015464)

I wish they'd come up with the shoe phone already. I can't wait to speak to my doctor while walking... err, standing on one leg talking to my shoe. I do it now too, but other people recognize too easily I'm a basket case.

But thank god for hands-free - now I can have conversations with the voices in my head without being branded as a lunatic. Until I start to mimic the Sputnik.

Re:I wish they woudl hurry up (1)

HTH NE1 (675604) | more than 6 years ago | (#22018322)

Where are the shoe phones? I was promised shoe phones. I don't see any shoe phones. Why? Why? Why?

should be mandatory with every cell phone (1)

petes_PoV (912422) | more than 6 years ago | (#22014052)

so us "normal" people don't have to put up with some inconsiderate &as%@d yapping away at 100dB in enclosed spaces about things that are so inconsequential they make you want to rip your ears off to escape the inanity of it all.

If it needs a supermarket trolley to carry the equipment around in, well that's a small price to pay.

Re:should be mandatory with every cell phone (1)

WindowlessView (703773) | more than 6 years ago | (#22014270)

I believe it was optional in the Shoe Phone. Only available in the Wing Tip model, not loafers.

Not a cone of silence! (5, Informative)

thelamecamel (561865) | more than 6 years ago | (#22014102)

The devices the article talks about are not what you want from a cone of silence. What the researchers are proposing is something that will hide an object from external noises - as in the object will not affect any sound waves heading towards it, they will just pass straight through as if the object and cloaking device were not there. The proposed device WILL NOT contain noise created by whatever you're trying to hide, so the bad guys can still listen for a submarine's engines, they just won't be able to use active sonar to find the submarine.

If you want a cone of silence, then you put yourself in a noise isolation chamber. Or if you want something cooler, then you put yourself in the acoustic equivalent of a gap-defect photonic crystal, which is a series of cylindrical rods arranged in a hexagonal lattice with one removed. A particular wavelength of sound will be reflected by this lattice, so if you're in the middle of that gap and you sing at that frequency, no-one outside the lattice will be able to hear you. Of course, you will very quickly become deaf because the sound is all reflected within the defect rather than absorbed, so the noise from your singing builds up.

Re:Not a cone of silence! (1)

whorfin (686885) | more than 6 years ago | (#22015548)

That's exactly what the cone of silence in Get Smart did, too, if you've ever seen it.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KLZKEre3yJ0 [youtube.com]

Re:Not a cone of silence! (1)

Whiteox (919863) | more than 6 years ago | (#22020268)

Great sig and username!
LOL I Love that movie! Brilliant theme! The script! The Talent!!!!

John Smallberries! Pity there were no female berries in that lot.

Damn it that they didn't make the sequel!
The world is a poorer place....
Now I must go and watch "The Big Bus" to relive some more phantasies...

Re:Not a cone of silence! (1)

Sibko (1036168) | more than 6 years ago | (#22020188)

I wonder how this kind of technology would be affected by shockwaves.

This is dangerous technology (1)

camperslo (704715) | more than 6 years ago | (#22014382)

Beware, this metamaterial could be the technology of flatulent terroristas! Silent and deadly...

Cone of silence (1)

Don Philip (840567) | more than 6 years ago | (#22014574)

A similar sonar cloaking device was described in a Tom Swift novel I read when I was kid. I wonder if the researchers read the same book?

The must-have cellphone accessory (1)

punterjoe (743063) | more than 6 years ago | (#22014828)

This needs to be rushed-to-market and mandated for all mobile phone users. ...At least in restaurants, theaters, funerals and other public spaces! Maybe they could rename it the "courtesy cone" ;)

Shoe phone (1)

Xian97 (714198) | more than 6 years ago | (#22016238)

It should also help in keeping shoe phone conversations private.

Why is this news? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22014862)

Let's see.. a lightweight article about a 1960's technology that might be possible at some point..

hmm.. why was this even newsworthy?

ayup...

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0425061/ [imdb.com]

Can anyone say "Media Plant"?

Zeroi day hack here... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22015050)

... Detect the cone of SILENCE in the background noise :) Easy look for the unnatural quiest area :)

The point of camoflague is to blend in with the background so you appear to be the background if you are to quiet, then you stand out :)

Dune?! (1)

Mortiss (812218) | more than 6 years ago | (#22015054)

What?! Over 35 comments and no single mention of the cone of silence in Herbert's "Dune". Hand over your geek cards now!

Silence is golden (1)

Wowsers (1151731) | more than 6 years ago | (#22015934)

Just wait until the politicians hear about this, then apply it to campaign contributions...

Cone Silence and Cone of Ignorance (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22016536)

Well, given that the 'Cone of Ignorance' has been around for a while. why not the cone of silence, it seems more than feasible.

*not* a "staple" (1)

whitroth (9367) | more than 6 years ago | (#22016778)

There was one, and only one, sixties tv show that had the Cone of Silence, and if you don't know that, perhaps you should answer your shoe phone....

On the microwave invisibility front, "hiding subs"? Reality check time: my wife, back in the early eighties, was in the "Hunt for Red October" command. All you need is a school of fish, or a cold water current, and the hunters can't find *anything*. Detecting subs is vastly over-pr'd, and under-possible.

          mark

Re:*not* a "staple" (1)

HTH NE1 (675604) | more than 6 years ago | (#22018424)

No, a cone of silence [wikipedia.org] was first aired on television as part of George McFly's favorite TV program, Science Fiction Theater, episode "Barrier of Silence", written by Lou Huston and first airing September 3, 1955--10 years ahead of the NBC comedy. The original series Mission: Impossible also had an inverted form.

In the series Get Smart the Cone of Silence only worked as intended once [wikipedia.org] : "However, at the end of the conversation, the Cone malfunctioned leaving the Chief trapped within, with silent screams of frustration as Agent 86 walked away."

Re:*not* a "staple" (1)

netik (141046) | more than 6 years ago | (#22018650)

"Cone of Silence" was also featured in Max Headroom, circa 1987 or so.

hold on... three or more huge gotchas (1)

Ancient_Hacker (751168) | more than 6 years ago | (#22017546)

Ahem, the fine article describes something that has quite a few limitations>:
  • It's a 2-D device. Hard enough to build it in 2-D. It's not clear it is even theoretically doable in 3D. Even if doable in theory, it may prove impossible to manufacture.
  • It only works for waves approaching it at a certain azimuth. Usually you need a much wider front.
  • These devices are hard to design, even for a limited frequency range. Visible light has less than a 2-1 frequency range, and that's likely to tax these devices. For audio, its a 1000-fold frequency range. It's hard to imagine getting these synthetic metamaterials to work over a thousand to one frequency and wavelength range.

alternate reality game (1)

SoyChemist (1015349) | more than 6 years ago | (#22017560)

This better not be part of an ARG for the upcoming Get Smart movie.

could use one at my parties (1)

akirapill (1137883) | more than 6 years ago | (#22017792)

then they wouldn't keep getting busted up by the cops

99 (1)

Whiteox (919863) | more than 6 years ago | (#22020346)

I must admit falling in lust with 99.
Shows my age.

Don't forget that the whole premise was built on the early James Bond movies that also spawned James Coburn "In Like Flint" and Dean Martin's "The Silencers", but Get Smart beat them all by about a year I think.

Re:99 (1)

El_Oscuro (1022477) | more than 6 years ago | (#22021830)

I always thought 99 was hot, even when I was a kid. That being said, I have used the term "cone of silence" for the last 15 years as any technology we were forced to use which didn't work (FOCUS, Business Objects, Windows, Oracle Application Server/Reports server, Microstrategy, etc).
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