The Null Device


Japanese War Tubas. I repeat, Japanese War Tubas:

Seen on this page. The war tubas look like a musical instrument (some kind of Dadaist/Futurist sound-art device, or perhaps a super-loud military-band instrument designed to strike terror into the hearts of enemies, much as bagpipes were), but they were actually devices for acoustically locating incoming aircraft. I wouldn't be surprised if the photograph in question has graced at least one CD of experimental music/noise-art.

(via The Athanasius Kircher Society) cool japan photos tuba ww2 1

The street finds its own uses for ultrasonic teenager repellants; now some enterprising hoodie-wearing troublemakers have apparently sampled them into mobile phone ringtones inaudible to teachers and authority figures, allowing them to text each other and organise happy-slapping parties and such in class with the teachers remaining none the wiser. Or so the Metro (a throwaway tabloid given out on public transport in the UK) says:

Schoolchildren have recorded the sound, which they named Teen Buzz, and spread it from phone to phone via text messages and Bluetooth technology.
A secondary school teacher in Cardiff said: 'All the kids were laughing about something, but I didn't know what. They know phones must be turned off during school. They could all hear somebody's phone ringing but I couldn't hear a thing.
I'm somewhat skeptical about this. Wouldn't the MP3 format's psychoacoustic compression algorithms wreak havoc with subtleties such as ultrasonic tones?

Anyway, I wonder how long until the Teen Buzz sound is heard in grime records, making the first form of teenage music that's actually (partly) inaudible to elders.

(via Boing Boing) gibson's law mobile phones mosquito 1