Thought for the month

“There is nothing noble in being superior to some other man. The true nobility is in being superior to your previous self.” Probably W.L. Sheldon, US lecturer on ethics (1858 – 1907) rather than Ernest Hemingway.

Thursday, 26 April 2012

Silence of Japan

Two Japanese researchers have developed the wonderfully named SpeechJammer. It actually does just that, it jams speech. Looking like a hand-held police radar gun, when pointed and "fired" it causes the speaker to start stuttering, then mumbling and finally stop speaking. The idea is based on the fact that in order to speak properly we need to hear what we are saying so that we can constantly adjust how we go about it. Difficulties arise when there is a slight delay between the time the words are spoken and the time they are heard. If that happens, people tend to get discombobulated and stop speaking. The SpeechJammer is a device that causes someone speaking to hear their own words delayed by 0.2 seconds. A must-have device for conference chairmen?

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