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Tuesday, May 31, 2005
  Reality finally catches up to fantasy
For those in need of a quick pop history refresher click here
No privacy? Try an electronic silencer | CNET News.com: "Two people in an office here were having a tete-a-tete, but it was impossible for a listener standing nearby to understand what they were saying. The conversation sounded like a waterfall of voices, both tantalizingly familiar and incomprehensible.

The cone of silence, called Babble, is actually a device composed of a sound processor and several speakers that multiply and scramble voices that come within its range. About the size of a clock radio, the first model is designed for a person using a phone, but other models will work in open office space.

The voice scrambling technology used in Babble was developed by Applied Minds, a research and consulting firm founded by Danny Hillis, a distinguished computer architect, and Bran Ferren, an industrial designer and Hollywood special-effects wizard.

Babble, which is intended to function as a substitute for walls and acoustic tiling, is an example of a new class of product that uses computing technology to shape sound. Already on the market are headphones that can cancel extraneous noises and stereo systems that can direct sound to a particular location."
 
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