New blog: panopticist


The digital anthem

A couple of sleep-deprived geeks figured out a neat hack: They used a simple Linux command to get their computers to “listen” to various bits of data the computer was generating — from random numbers to the hard-drive activity — and outputted it as audio files. It’s pretty wild-sounding stuff, much like the parrot-like squawk of an old-skool modem. Then they ran a few highly-structured bitmap images through, such as the American flag above. The results are oddly musically tenable: The digital anthem.

(Thanks to Jason Uechi for this one!)

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I'm Clive Thompson, the author of Smarter Than You Think: How Technology is Changing Our Minds for the Better (Penguin Press). You can order the book now at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Powells, Indiebound, or through your local bookstore! I'm also a contributing writer for the New York Times Magazine and a columnist for Wired magazine. Email is here or ping me via the antiquated form of AOL IM (pomeranian99).

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