Archive for June 12th, 2009

Can You Hear This? The “Mosquito Ring tone” Test

Friday, June 12th, 2009

I think it was 2007 when this “high pitched ring tone” craze kicked off – the idea being that older people couldn’t hear high-pitched frequencies, so younger people would put these high-pitched tones on their cell phones and they’d hear when their phone was ringing – or when they got a text message – but their teachers couldn’t. These same high-pitched tones would also be used by some businesses in an attempt to drive off younger people who were loitering in front of their establishments. I listened to one of these tones that I wasn’t supposed to be able to hear at my age, and I heard it just fine. I knew there was a scientific basis for this, but I figured since I could hear the tone my hearing was “perfect” – I’ve always gotten perfect hearing scores when I’ve had my hearing tested. I found a Web site today that shows how wrong I was about being able to hear tones I thought I could!

I cranked up my speakers and clicked on the preview buttons for each tone: I can hear the 16khz tone, but I can’t hear the 17khz tone or anything higher. I’m 34 years old, so the fact that I can hear the “30 and younger” tone means I have slightly better than normal hearing in terms of high-pitched frequencies (according to this scale at least). What about you? Where does your hearing drop off, and how does that relate to your age – are you better or worse than average? And if your hearing is worse than it should be, what band were you a roadie for in the ’80s? ;-)

Pacino and De Niro Go For Ice Cream

Friday, June 12th, 2009

YouTube Annotations…Why Didn’t I Think Of This Sooner?

Friday, June 12th, 2009

I’m kicking myself for not thinking of this sooner. You’ve seen me complain about having to answer the same questions over and over again in YouTube videos, and it didn’t occur to me until recently that a partial solution to my problem was right in front of me all along: the ability to annotate my videos! YouTube introduced this feature a while back, and it allows the owner of a video to create text overlay comments in the video – essentially adding information to the video after the video has been shot. I think I can cut down on 80% of the repetitive questions I get if I add annotations to my videos explaining that, no, that netbook doesn’t come with an optical drive. :-)