Good Vibrations and Conversations

Discussion in 'Members Lounge' started by Lauri Cular, Jul 13, 2017.

  1. Lauri Cular

    Lauri Cular Well Balanced

    Joined:
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    We all know how sound is composed of vibrations in the air, and that sound recording is possible when these vibrations affect the diaphragm of a microphone. But what if the use of a microphone is a bit awkward, as in the case of spying?

    Among the scientific geniuses that we seemed to have a lot of years ago, Léon Theremin (inventor of the creepy-sounding musical instrument bearing his name) did not think a microphone was necessary; he developed a system called the Buran eavesdropping system for the Soviets at the end of World War 2.

    It would use an infra-red powered beam and when pointed at a window, it could detect vibrations in the window which revealed the sounds of the room behind it.

    Fast forward a few decades, and this technique has been improved upon somewhat. With the computer power available now, silent video recordings can be studied for tiny vibrations (100/th of a pixel), and the sound at the location can be reconstructed. The video below shows that this can be achieved, although it's not strictly hi-fi!

     
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  2. dalethorn

    dalethorn Obsessive Auditor

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2011
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    Location:
    Charleston South Carolina
    What makes these technologies interesting, particularly in the U.S. where I live, is that the federal (central) government employee who reads my postal mail and email, and collects transcripts of my Internet use, is not a thousand miles away in Washington DC - he lives in my neighborhood and works at the federal building in the centre of town. That's a byproduct of the size of government and the fact that half of the population are government employees at one level or another.

    Many savvy technology users are aware of these things, and try to block the "spying" et al with advanced software tools, which complicates things for law enforcement, since they often can't tell the difference between digital criminals and people who want 100 percent privacy.
     
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  3. Lauri Cular

    Lauri Cular Well Balanced

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2014
    Messages:
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    I pity them, they must have spent a lot on headphones by now!
     
    Oscar Stewart and dalethorn like this.
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