Experimental plugin lets computers share URLs with ultrasonic tones

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What frequencies does it use? Some people can hear higher frequencies than most other people. I have had trouble with ultrasound before. Will this mean even more pain for those of us with hyperacusis?

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They should call it BadBIOS.

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How ironic. The demo video is blocked because of a copyright claim by “Jon Paukune”, a man of infamous reputation.

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Air Gap jumping virus vector


Chirp did it first.

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Chirp here.

As other posters suggest, Tone is a clone of Chirp, more or less. Naughty Google! :wink:

Chirp is also available as a Chrome plugin. Coincidentally we launched on the same day! Chirp for Chrome sends but does not receive - you need one of our mobile apps to decode chirps.

For the technically-minded, Tone is a variant of DTMF. It uses some of the same frequencies, but there are more than eight frequencies, and the top frequencies are higher than standard DTMF.

Tone is 14 note pairs long, taking about 1.7 seconds. Note pairs are chosen to be enharmonic which is why Tone sounds like an old phone data system. We detected some energy in ultrasound, but it is not wholly accurate to say that Tone is ultrasonic: you can hear most of it, after all.

This is how we encode data for comparison:


Tone uses ephemeral codes, and we guess some timestamping, which means they cannot be recorded for use at a later date. We note that Tone is not super reliable either.

Anyway, it’s cool to see Google taking an interest in this area. Game ON!


would it be possible to make it sound like birdsong? I realize that beeps are (unfortunately) characteristic of modern technology, but just because an automatic grocery cashier flirts with the boundary between annoying and bearable doesn’t mean that such sounds are a welcome part of the background.

I rejoiced when the Nextel chirp disappeared into obscurity, and turning off my camera’s “beep” was one of the first things I did-- the mirror flip is loud enough thankyouverymuch.

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It probably depends on personality. The computer I sleep next to is announcing things that happen with speaker beeps, series of up to three tones that encode the event for me. It is quite soothing to hear everything is in order or that something requires my attention.

Sounds for the sake of sounds, that’s annoying.

But blue leds are cool! Why would anyone find them annoying?

Blue LEDs were cool when they were new. Now they are just overly bright, and screwing with scotopic vision and allegedly with sleep quality too.

There are places for blue (and white) LEDs. Sometimes you need the extremely low current the GaN based LEDs start to being visible at. Sometimes you need the piercing brightness. Sometimes you really need the color. Sometimes you need the high forward voltage (when using a LED instead of a low-voltage Zener - I did powering of a TV remote control with a white LED and a series resistor and a 1000 uF parallel cap, from 12 volts feed, when I ran out of batteries).

(Edit: in the same way you can use a yellow LED to limit a 5V solar panel voltage to comfortable 1.5 volts that a digital caliper can handle. No more finding it ate the last coin battery in the house. Now the circuit just needs a supercap and some tweaks…)

But usually you don’t need the current, the extra shine, nor the extra volt of forward voltage. Then it’s time for a soldering iron and a quick LEDoctomy and transplantation. Turning a blinding bright blue status light at my USB card reader to a muted green was one of my make-life-suck-less little hacks of recent weeks.

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That would be cool.

Why are any clock radios built with blue LEDs. Madness!

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My guess is to provide us with a simple, satisfying modding project to do.

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