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ChatterBlocker — Block Distracting Speech at Work 204

An anonymous reader writes "ChatterBlocker is a PC program that uses digital audio technology to neutralize the sound of speech and other distractions so you can stay focused at work or elsewhere." Personally I just crank the tunes. Anyone know if this actually works or if it's a scam? Or is it just a white noise generator?
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ChatterBlocker — Block Distracting Speech at Work

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 22, 2006 @09:50AM (#16536126)
    I dunno. Sounds like it would have a chilling effect on free speech [] to me.
  • obvious (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 22, 2006 @09:50AM (#16536130)
    Nothing to hear here, move along.
  • Earplugs (Score:5, Funny)

    by owlman17 ( 871857 ) on Sunday October 22, 2006 @09:53AM (#16536154)
    This [] ought to work just as well, if not better.

    Cheaper too I'd suppose.
    • Re:Earplugs (Score:5, Interesting)

      by CRCulver ( 715279 ) <> on Sunday October 22, 2006 @10:17AM (#16536304) Homepage

      In his first novel World of Ptaavs (now part of the Three Books of Known Space [] omnibus) Larry Niven suggested that over the next couple of centuries people would evolve to be able to more powerfully focus on relevant conversation and filter out noise. The growing population, he suggested, would result in all public spaces being much more full of chatter than now. People would be driven mad if they didn't adapt.

      It seems a better solution than earplugs, which would block out everything, even useful sound. But the idea is fanciful, for instead of biological or psychological progress, it seems that these sort of technological advances as described in the article will serve to keep the world around us quiet.

      • Re:Earplugs (Score:5, Informative)

        by TubeSteak ( 669689 ) on Sunday October 22, 2006 @11:07AM (#16536630) Journal
        Using different densities & materials, earplugs can (to a degree) be tailored to block certain frequencies.

        Also earplugs are generally better at blocking high frequency sounds, while earmuffs are better for the low freq noises (or vice versa, but I think I have it right). And you should wear both if things are going to be really loud.
      • by cloricus ( 691063 ) on Sunday October 22, 2006 @12:51PM (#16537382)
        I'm interested in these results Larry suggested. My friends and I for the last year have been working on a skill, one that we wondered if it was possible while bored in a lecture one day, where as usual you filter all noise that is irrelevant (the venues in our cases include lecture theaters and filled refectories) and touch type on an assignment or other wise engaging task with the added difficulty of holding a detailed conversation on another topic with some one else. In the beginning it was rather impossible though surprisingly enough it is rather doable as we have found with only a little practice and then a lot of usage to get the words per minute ratio up.

        Laptops allow you to be anywhere and we know we can filter noise and information a lot better than is currently done (and with less effort than at least I expected) plus the human brain is perfect for multitasking. I wonder if this sort of thing is indeed the future of at least geekdom, maybe of office space in general?
        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          by vidarh ( 309115 )
          Whenever someone interrupt me when writing e-mails, I'll often continue to write the e-mail while turning to answer their questions. I don't think I could keep it up for a lot of time - I can type the e-mail out while talking about something else, but I'm not good at actually focusing on both the content of the e-mail and a conversation at the same time.

          For me at least it partially just began with getting to the stage where I can type fully without watching the screen or the keyboard as a side effect of u

      • In his first novel World of Ptaavs (now part of the Three Books of Known Space omnibus) Larry Niven suggested that over the next couple of centuries people would evolve to be able to more powerfully focus on relevant conversation and filter out noise. The growing population, he suggested, would result in all public spaces being much more full of chatter than now. People would be driven mad if they didn't adapt.

        Maybe I'm totally wrong but this has very little basis in terms of theory of evolution.

        You ne

        • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

          by lessthan ( 977374 )
          The chance of madness isn't a selection pressure?
        • by 1u3hr ( 530656 )
          In his first novel World of Ptaavs (now part of the Three Books of Known Space omnibus) Larry Niven suggested that over the next couple of centuries people would evolve to be able to more powerfully focus on relevant conversation and filter out noise.
          Maybe I'm totally wrong but this has very little basis in terms of theory of evolution
          Well, Larry really screwed with evolution in that novel anyway, in the idea that we're descended from (alien) Pak. But in this case I'd cut some slack and assume the word
          • by 1u3hr ( 530656 )
            Woops; I mixed up the story from Protector (Pak) with Ptaavs (Thrint). But the main comment still applies.
    • Re:Earplugs (Score:5, Insightful)

      by ahertz ( 68721 ) <> on Sunday October 22, 2006 @10:48AM (#16536480)
      Actually, as someone who works with a bunch of chatty people, I've found that earplugs do a pretty lousy job at blocking out conversations. The problem is that the best earplugs you can buy at your local drug store only attenuate noise by ~32 decibels. But a typical conversation, at close range, is ~60 decibels. You wind up just blocking out all the low-level background noise (computer fans, air conditioning, ...), leaving the voices even more distinct.

      I've found the best solution for me is a pair of headphones that seal pretty well, combined with music. The sealed headphones drop everything, so the music can be much quieter and still drown them out.

      I'm actually thinking of picking up a pair of Shure E2C [] earbuds for just this purpose. Has anyone got any experience with them? Will they do what I want?
      • Re:Earplugs (Score:4, Interesting)

        by parc ( 25467 ) on Sunday October 22, 2006 @11:13AM (#16536668)
        I have the prior generation of these earplug/headphones. A couple things I've learned:

        1) You have to stick them WAY inside your ears to get the full effect. It feals like you're poking your brain stem.
        2) They work incredibly well.
        3) You'll suddenly discover how crappy your home and car speakers are, and how REALLY crappy normal headphones are.

        If you're really serious, get a good set of musician ear-moldings. They'll fit the E2C earphones, IIRC, and they're much more comfortable from what I'm told.
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by Cederic ( 9623 )

          I find wearing ear moldings for more than a few hours a day irritates the insides of my ears.

          Which is frustrating, because I do notice the benefits from my hearing aids. And I can take the batteries out if I want to stop listening to people ;)

      • Re:Earplugs (Score:5, Informative)

        by Desult ( 592617 ) on Sunday October 22, 2006 @11:27AM (#16536760) Homepage
        I've got the E3c earphones, and I've had them for about a year and a half. I bought them for plane trips, and they're quite good at reducing the overall noise. It's not total silence when you put them in but it is definitely a significant reduction, especially in background noise/talking. As an example, I have to take them out to hear the flight attendant, or someone sitting beside me, but I can typically hear loud noises (e.g. the "ding" for the PA). With music or movies playing you can miss even louder sounds.

        As a general recommendation, I've found them to be OK sound quality and good build quality - the cable and connections are still in quite good condition even with regular use over the past 18 months. The E3c model came with a bunch of different "plugs". I find the gray soft rubber ones the most comfortable and best sound reduction, but the harder clear ones the easier to use (i.e. stay in your ears and keep clean). I don't know if the E2cs come with different plugs, I seem to recall that was one of the selling points for the E3cs. The E4cs were recommended to me as a better bass response, which at the time I didn't think was that big of a deal. I still think it might be better for my hearing to skip the louder bass, but that is one area where the E3cs are slightly lacking. The bass response is OK but never stands out (does not compare to even a low end set of good headphones imo).

        Just as an aside, I've found that they are somewhat inappropriate for office use. With music playing they will basically silence anyone who might be talking to you directly, potentially even your phone ringing if it's not loud enough. I have a cheap set of normal over-the-ear headphones that do NOT cut out direct noise that I use when I'm in an office environment, that's always been good enough for me.
      • Re: EarPhones (Score:2, Insightful)

        by TaoPhoenix ( 980487 )
        I second this approach. *Under the correct conditions*, I use an inexpensive pair of *very large* phones, and play the music.

        The problem is, "the distracting noise" consists of your Boss telling you to do stuff completely different from the "high priority" he gave you an hour ago.
      • Re:Earplugs (Score:4, Informative)

        by turtledawn ( 149719 ) on Sunday October 22, 2006 @12:56PM (#16537410)
        I also have the E2Cs, and I didn't have the problem of feeling like i was sticking things too far into my ear- of course, I've been shooting rifles since I was six which means that I've been using ear plugs since i was six, and am quite accustomed to them. In my work environment, there's a fair bit of background noise (about twelve computers, a large refrigerator, a fossilized air conditioner compressor, three centrifuges going on and off) and at the time i bought the phones, two coworkers whose constant, shrill, incredibly loud laughter reminded me of hyenas. The Shures saved my bloody sanity until i got the promotion and PHB said I had to "be available to answer employee questions at all times." Fortunately one hyena-woman had left by then... They worked really well for my needs, a mix of constant background hum and sharp high-frequency outbursts, though the high pitch stuff still came through enough to detect.

        My problem with the E2C actually was that in combination with my Rio Carbon I could not turn the music volume down _low_ enough to be 100% comfortable all the time. I couldn't listen to rock music with them, for example, because I found it painfully loud. This is not a problem for most people, I'm told :)
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by mrderm ( 685352 )
        Ive been using shure E3Cs for nearly a year now, on a train, and to block out a noisy office. Wearing the headphones I will usually not hear any train noise - not even the 'ding' for the PA - unless I lean my head back onto the train seat headrest and enough sound will conduct through the back of my skull.

        In the office environment there is really no doubt that they block *everything*. (Even telephones..... why do they put alarm bells on those things?). They score highly for comfort too, which is important i
      • A shotgun works pretty well too!
      • by ed1park ( 100777 )
        I bought the Shure's, but they become uncomfortable after sometime and they are pretty expensive so I don't use them any longer. I've been using the Sony Fontopia's for $30 which work awesome. Comfortable as hell. Nice soft rubber ear buds that go into your canal. Blocks out everything. Almost too well. a -Headphones/dp/B000095SB6/sr=1-2/qid=1161579540/re f=pd_bbs_sr_2/102-8822307-2042561?ie=UTF8&s=electr onics []
    • Since my days working in Asia where noise is a constant I have always had earplugs. I like the good ones that printers use in the pressroom. They are great on trains and planes. The only bad thing is that sometimes you don't have them when you need them. Recently I just bought a big assortment of earplugs from [] I seeded them into my carry-on and my shaving kit. Even gave some to my wife for her handbag. A lot cheaper to buy them in bulk. And as for those expensive kind they se
  • useless (Score:5, Funny)

    by gEvil (beta) ( 945888 ) on Sunday October 22, 2006 @09:54AM (#16536162)
    I downloaded the demo, turned on all the options, set the reverb to high, and now I can't concentrate on anything at all. This thing is totally useless.
  • by Snover ( 469130 ) on Sunday October 22, 2006 @09:56AM (#16536172) Homepage
    From the FAQ:

    How does ChatterBlocker work?

            ChatterBlocker masks unwanted office chatter using a soothing blend of nature sounds, music and anti-chatter voices.

    • by Fred_A ( 10934 ) <fred&fredshome,org> on Sunday October 22, 2006 @12:52PM (#16537388) Homepage
      So basically they charge 35 dollars for a bunch of wave files and some marketing on drool proof paper.

      You have to admit it's quite ingenious.
    • Which makes me think that it is nothing more than "Pink noise". Basically white noise (random) with a filter on it that limits it to common frequencies in human speech.

      We have this in our office on a PA system. It annoys the crap out of me. When the office is quite, it sounds like the HVAC is running. When there are people talking, I can still hear them, I just can't make out their words as clearly.

      • Yeah, they put a pink noise generator on our PA for a while, it mysteriously kept getting unplugged.

        To me, these things are like people using a lot of perfume to cover up B.O. instad of bathing.
  • perfect (Score:5, Funny)

    by gEvil (beta) ( 945888 ) on Sunday October 22, 2006 @09:59AM (#16536192)
    After playing with it for a few minutes, I think I've found the perfect setting to keep people away from my desk--turn everything off except for Cypress Goats.
  • pure snakeoil (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 22, 2006 @10:00AM (#16536200)
    snakeoil ...

    "ChatterBlocker includes bell sound loops that can be used as periodic reminders to breathe"

    now, come on ... people buying this may be stupid. But reminding them to breathe ?
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by suv4x4 ( 956391 )
      ChatterBlocker includes bell sound loops that can be used as periodic reminders to breathe

      Pretty cool right? In version 2.0 upcoming:

      - reminder to eat
      - reminder to drink
      - reminder to pee
      - reminder to blink ...

      the possibilies are endless
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by LordEd ( 840443 )
        - reminder to pee
        Don't forget the reminder to relocate yourself to the bathroom.
  • ChatterBlocker masks unwanted chatter using a soothing blend of nature sounds, music and "anti-chatter" voices. It also offers mindfulness meditation tracks intended to increase concentration, reduce distractibility and minimize the stress response to office noise.

    Right, I want to block out chattering voices with anti-chatter-voices! Brilliant!

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by raduf ( 307723 )
      Except it works :) Won't buy it, I work from home, but it looks like it works well enough. I think it's because distraction in noise comes mostly from our brain trying to understand what's beeing said/what the sound is. Once the chatter covers all inteligible speech, the brain just registers that people are speaking and doesn't try to understant what.
      • It's not perfect - far from it, but yes, it does have a significant impact. Pleasant enough, non intrusive.

        Am I going to buy it? Hrm. Doubtful.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by ectal ( 949842 ) *
      Do you have any idea what kind of energy is released when chatter voices come into contact with anti-chatter voices?
    • I want to block out my co-workers by using a soothing, rich, acoustmatic blend of Buddhist chants, tuvan throat singing, Aborigine chants, and the sound of Scotty's engines under heavy strain... (Stream in some Dorje Ling, Varuna Ghat, and "Three Variations on Plum Blossom"...)

      Maybe that could be a new KDE start-up sound? Quick, KDE! Get it before it shows up in vista! g&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8 [] []
      • by h00pla ( 532294 )
        ... the sound of Scotty's engines under heavy strain

        A sound blocking technique that I use - in all seriousness - is some of the sound effects from Star Trek TOS. I ripped a few of them to ogg (I find the shuttle craft sound the most effective) and then run:

        'mplayer -loop 0 Shuttle_Craft.ogg'

        Actually, sometimes I distract myself adding the voices of Commodore Mendez and Captain Kirk debating Spock's fate

  • Something else (Score:2, Insightful)

    Personally I just crank the tunes. Anyone know if this actually works or if it's a scam? Or is it just a white noise generator?
    Or maybe it's simply employer stupidity?
    People use to talk each other as an expession of being human for social relationshinps and for knowledge transfers.
    But those employers could be more interested in bodies rather than in minds.
    In this latter case, the software is very useful.
    • People use to talk each other as an expession of being human for social relationshinps and for knowledge transfers. But those employers could be more interested in bodies rather than in minds.

      Who said anything about employers? As an employee I'm interested in anything that cuts the noise level in my environment. Two days out of the week I'm in an office where the permanently-installed cube desk is right next to the server rack and the aircon unit, and since I'm IT support during class hours I'm supposed

  • Try the Demo! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Simon (S2) ( 600188 ) on Sunday October 22, 2006 @10:03AM (#16536222) Homepage
    Personally I just crank the tunes. Anyone know if this actually works or if it's a scam? Or is it just a white noise generator?

    Why did'nt you try the demo? I did, and this stupid program does nothing more than generate sound. This way you have even more noise around you.

    Really, worst article ever.
    • Article? (Score:3, Interesting)

      by rbochan ( 827946 )
      hmmm... only item on 'news' page: "10/20/06 ChatterBlocker 1.0 was finally released!"

  • Finally, speech recognition comes of age. This artificial intelligence recognizes 99.9% of incoming speech, and generates appropriate responses.
  • Personally I just crank the tunes.

    Good job, you boorish oaf. Now you've contributed to the problem, and your co-workers probably hate you. Or you're using headphones, and going deaf.

    • Simple and inexpensive solution:
      Get a set of old-fashioned, fully enclosed, around-the-ear headphones. It blocks a lot of the outside noise, so you don't have to crank it as loud. And it keeps most of your own noise from escaping.

      It used to be that anything short of the the hundred dollar + ones sounded awful. But there are now a few inexpensive ones [] that sound remarkably good.

      You might be thinking, "Why not use a more modern and lighter weight noise cancelling headphone?". Two reasons: 1) more expe
      • by Echnin ( 607099 )
        I sure hope people aren't wearing noise-cancelling headphones while riding their bikes to work! *That* sounds dangerous.
    • by suv4x4 ( 956391 )
      Good job, you boorish oaf. Now you've contributed to the problem, and your co-workers probably hate you. Or you're using headphones, and going deaf.

      If you can get away with cranking up tunes on anything by headphones at your job, the rest of us can't. So your assumption is incorrect.

      And how is going deaf contributing to the problem? I'd say it solves the problem pretty well, not to mention he didn't say he puts it so high as to go deaf... but anyway

      if you wanna rant you can always find what to rant for.
    • by n3k5 ( 606163 )
      Now you've contributed to the problem, and your co-workers probably hate you. Or you're using headphones, and going deaf.
      Or maybe he uses earphones at a sensible volume setting, thus neither disturbing anyone, nor going deaf? You just assumed he's an idiot, then you scold him for being an idiot, then you get modded insightful. Congratulations, you can now collect your merit badge for sphisticated trolling.
      • by Tim C ( 15259 )
        You just assumed he's an idiot

        Well, it is CmdrTaco...

        (I am so going to slashdot hell for that)
        • by n3k5 ( 606163 )
          Whoops, I had failed to realize that the quote was taken from the article, not another poster. Thanks for the correction :-)
  • From the web site: "ChatterBlocker includes bell sound loops that can be used as periodic reminders to breathe"!
  • by ConversantShogun ( 227587 ) <dengel&sourceharvest,com> on Sunday October 22, 2006 @10:19AM (#16536314)
    My computer came with a hardware version. It sits near the back and blows air out a vent to create speech-canceling noise.
  • Taco Taco Taco (Score:5, Insightful)

    by gEvil (beta) ( 945888 ) on Sunday October 22, 2006 @10:23AM (#16536334)
    If anyone has ever wondered if Taco and the other editors even bother clicking on the links in the summaries, here's your answer: "Anyone know if this actually works or if it's a scam? Or is it just a white noise generator?"

    Anyone who's taken even 15 seconds to look into this will instantly know the answer.
  • Free advertizing? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by mh101 ( 620659 ) on Sunday October 22, 2006 @10:46AM (#16536468)
    I don't suppose this 'Anonymous Reader' who submitted this is an employee of the ChatterBlocker company looking or free ad space on Slashdot...?

  • The article describes this software in all respects to be a Noise-canceling program, which it is most definitely not. I downloaded Chatter Blocker demo, and was greeted with this window []. This program may be for some people, but the article labels it as a completely different animal. And yes, it is a white noise (and other noise) generator
  • Not a scam, but.... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by 3seas ( 184403 ) on Sunday October 22, 2006 @11:04AM (#16536610) Homepage Journal
    ...when I'm irratated at work, even silence can be distracting.

    And there are those who have just the right irratating, cutting thru anything (even head phones blasting) voice sound, change in volume, starts to say something five different ways before they stumble it out, etc..that you just have to know ain't nobody going to custom create sounds to drown these unique voices out.

    But this is not a scam as I'm sure it is capable of smoothing over common chatter. I think what helps me to believe this is that I saw some short clip on TV about movie sound effects. Ever notice that background murmer of people talking in a scene where there are lots of people but you really only hear the actors in focus? This is only one example, but there is at least one company that does nothing but deal with teh talent that is hired for these background effects.

    My reasoning is that if you can create such chatter that is not so distracting, you probably have a good idea as to what is distracting and that should make for a good start at address the problem,

    Now if you check out the site, you'll see they are far from being new to the sound industry.

    It may not work as well as you like against those uniquly distracting voices but for alot of offices it probably would help.

    As to mind focusing sounds, this is also been researched. I myself sometimes listed to Yani to help life my mental state and I read something where during the playing of some mathmatically/logically correct classical piece (bach or batoveen sp?) it is difficult to lie.

    I suppose the trick is to take the distracting noice and add such pleasing noise to the mmix that blends the distraction into the acceptable.

    I've noticed some music works better than other at drowning out specific office noise.

    Someone saw me with head phones on and ask: Rocking Out? I said: No! Drowning out....
    • by Orp ( 6583 )
      ...when I'm irratated at work, even silence can be distracting.

      But it's never truly silent, is it? In my office right now it's three things: Outdoor construction noises, the ventilation system, and my AMD machine plus G5 mac. As far as what bothers me the most: I have sent back hard drives that put out a high pitched whine (10K RPM ones seem to be the worst) even though they were not defective. With those drives I can slowly feel my high frequency hearing melting away. I've gravitated towards the Seagate Ba
  • by slim ( 1652 ) <john@har t n u> on Sunday October 22, 2006 @11:50AM (#16536934) Homepage
    With music playing, I can't concentrate fully on anything else (I wish I'd realised this *before* graduating from university!)

    What I'd need to improve my concentration in a chattery environment, I guess is a constant background noise which is ignorable yet chatter blends into.

    But then, since I choose not to work from home because the chatter is condusive to productivity, I don't need it.
  • For whatever reason, either inside my office or right outside is a favorite spot for "heated discussion". Whenever I need to concentrate, I put on my pair of these: []

    set my music low and I can get some work done. Yeah, these aren't the fancy Bose $300 headphones but Wal Mart (used?) sells them for less than $30 and the DO work. They're light, (the noise cancelling stuff is mid-cord, not in the phones themselves), well padded, comfortable to wear for hours and if
  • This is wonderful, never hear those complaining people again. Make sure the entire technical call center has these.
  • ... we simply used walls for that.
  • Developer's reply (Score:5, Informative)

    by evickers ( 1016662 ) on Sunday October 22, 2006 @12:23PM (#16537204) Homepage
    ChatterBlocker uses nature sounds, music and background "anti-chatter" voices (or "walla") to mask the intelligibility of unwanted conversations. It does not use noise cancellation (which, as has been pointed out, would not work using speakers and has limited effectiveness at voice frequencies).

    It's obvious from your feedback that we did not make this clear enough. We discuss this in detail on our FAQ page, in the "More Info" page and in our white papers, but we have now added additional clarification to our home page. I thought I was doing a good thing by taking off my engineering hat and putting on my marketing hat, focusing on the benefits not the technology, but obviously this has derailed the discussion toward the topic of noise cancellation.

    Our testers felt the program was useful for masking unwanted conversations, and less distracting than listening to pop music. If you're interested, give the demo a try. We welcome your feedback.

    Earl Vickers
    The Sound Guy, Inc.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by saridder ( 103936 )
      I tried the demo at home just now. I used my TV as the 'office chatter' I wanted to block and then ran Chatter Blocker. I then browsed the web to try and read an article. I played with different volumes and I felt that the sounds were just as distracting as the TV and didn't make a difference. I just substituted one noise with another.
    • No, I'm pretty sure we all got it- the grumbling is at the editors and the off-precise-topic discussion of noise cancelling is just what Slashdotters _do_. :)
    • by raduf ( 307723 )
      This is Slashdot, so don't take the criticism too seriously. Like I said above, I liked it. I work from home and mostly at night, but remembering the days of office space I wish I had this around. Especially when trying to cover a coworker's heavy metal headphones with my own soft music headphones... didn't work :)

  • Unwanted information (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Dan East ( 318230 ) on Sunday October 22, 2006 @01:43PM (#16537714) Homepage Journal
    You know, this might actually help (at least to some degree). My wife and I went and saw Notting Hill (guess which one of us got to pick the movie that day) at the theater. I don't know why (we were the only ones in the whole theater) but they had subtitles turned on (English movie with English subtitles - obviously for hearing-impaired). For the next 90 minutes it took all my willpower to keep my eyes from shooting to the bottom of the screen and reading those blasted subtitles. It was really strange. My wife mentioned it too - she couldn't keep herself from reading them.

    Speech is very much the same thing. If we can hear conversations, even just partial bits here and there, our brains will immediately work at translating the speech into thought.

    So on one hand, I can understand how simply covering those frequencies with sounds that don't sound like speech could alleviate some distraction (assuming the sound it admits isn't blatantly annoying). During that movie if the subtitled text was replaced by white noise / static, I at least wouldn't have been trying to make sense of the extraneous information.

    Dan East
    • by raduf ( 307723 )
      I read some cognitive psyhology and it makes perfect sense. One, lower level thought processes are automatic. Lower it is, less "intentional". Understanding human speech is obviously pretty low.
      Then there is this thing called lateral inhibition. The closer two tasks are, the easier it is to get into conflict. Watching TV and listening the sound of the TV in the same time is ok, listening to the sound and reading the subtitles is a bit harder, listening/watching two TVs or reading two texts impossible.
      So whe
    • by Cee ( 22717 )
      I think it depends on how used you are watching movies with subtitles. In Sweden obviously all foreign movies are subtitled in Swedish. Nowadays I don't read the subtitles anymore (well, provided the movie is in English or another language I know).
  • "White noise", by Carl Friedrich Gauss. Best music ever!
  • Other solutions that actually work, but not exactly the issue?: If dealing with youths, and you are 'older', use a high frequency generating buzz(As we age, our ability to hear these higher frequencies diminishes). Numerous studies have found very effective. I beleive that cell hardware manufacturers are startuing to use these frequencies so they can tailor to the younger customers. And then there is the slice and dice method. This device, which I cant yet find link to, "encyrpts" your voice. Apparently i

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