This Week in Sound: PKD, Zoom Privacy, Botany

A lightly annotated clipping service

These sound-studies highlights of the week are lightly adapted from the February 14, 2022, issue of the free weekly email newsletter This Week in Sound (

As always, if you find sonic news of interest, please share it with me, and (except with the most widespread of news items) I’ll credit you should I mention it here.

Rick Prelinger has located what he thinks may be the inspiration for the character of Hawthorne Abendsen in The Man in the High Castle, the Philip K. Dick novel. It’s a Siegfried Wagener, “who lived on a mountaintop in Estes Park, Colo. and monitored Nazi radio broadcasts.”

Reportedly, since December Zoom could still access mics “even after ending a Zoom conference” on Apple computers. The privacy issue has been addressed in a new software update.

Litigation is being pursued in the Indian state of Gujarat “seeking a ban on using loudspeakers in mosques.” Perhaps not surprisingly, the pursuer of the legal matter may not be solely concerned with sonic matters: “Sources said the petitioner may also move an application asking for a ban on wearing hijabs in educational institutions.”

You don’t need ears to suffer from noise pollution, says botanist Ali Akbar Ghotbi-Ravandi.

A judge on the Ontario Superior Court has ordered truckers to cease “the horn honking and air horn blowing that has echoed through downtown Ottawa since demonstrators arrived in the city on Jan. 28.”

The Digital Humanities Lab at MIT has developed a “Sonification Toolkit” that helps people tranform data, images, and other sources into sound.

AI Music is the name of a firm acquired by Apple: the firm’s “soundtracks are dynamic and can change based on user interaction in real time. As an example, a song can have a different tone during more intense parts of a workout.”

A player of the Gran Turismo racing games the sounds over the course of the franchise’s nearly quarter century history.

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