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December 16, 2012 Leave a comment

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Technology against vuvuzelas

June 24, 2010 Leave a comment

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I want be sincere with you: I must secretely confess that I hate those irritating vuvuzela sounds everywhere. With the advent of the FIFA World Cup and every single spot in the city being giant-flat-screen-crowded, you hear the vuvuzela tune way too often. I tried to watch the match without sound, kind of boring… I needed to get rid of vuvuzelas.

If you’ve never seen a vuvuzela, just look at the picture on the right or click here to listen to it. The fact is that I was looking for a way to kill that sound from my own TV. As many of you know, I have all my computers running on Linux. Also my TV runs on Linux (home theater solution on an old Athlon AMD box). So I started thinking about how to kill the humming 120dB sound that is transmitted live with every soccer match.

The solution I found is quite simple: vuvuzelas emit a B-flat tone, at a frequency of about 233 Hz. You need to kill not only that frequency, but also its main octave harmonics (frequency x2, x4, x8). That is: the audio software should filter the frequencies at 233, 466, 932 and 1864 Hertz and also their nearby frequencies, to included those de-tuned hell’s horns. This will automatically mute all “well-tuned” vuvuzelas.

The Linux world has already provided wonderful implementations of this concept:

An example of VuvuzeLautlos implementation:

Windows also got one filter:  Stardock have made an application which wraps our plugin and automatically filters your web browser’s audio output. Get it here.

Do you think I just exagerate and you absolutely love the sound? No problem, we will also get you some satisfaction: YouTube has included a Vuvuzela-include button on some videos. If you click on the football like button, it turns red and you can hear vuvuzela background tunes.

Anatomy of a stick figure

April 27, 2010 Leave a comment

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A couple of days ago I landed on Betsy Streeter’s site and found this very refreshing match-stick men drawing tutorial.

It includes not-so-obvious tips to make your paper-based presentations on the whiteboard much more funny and effective, especially when showing user interaction.

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