I ran across one of the more interesting uses of a cell phone that I have come across. As I was watching one of the music channels, a commercial come on talking about a service to identify songs. You simply dial a number and point the phone toward loud playing music. After 30 seconds, the call automatically disconnects and you are then sent a text message with the song that was playing.
I walked over to the television, dialed the number given and waited. When the call disconnected, I got up and walked back to the sofa. Before I had finished sitting down, I got a text message correctly identifying the song as The Pet Shop Boys' "West End Girls". Of course, this was followed by a code to download a ringtone for the song (everything, in the end, always comes down to texting for an overpriced ringtone).
So how was this system able to identify a song so quickly just by listening to a small clip that was no doubt badly distorted by the phone?
I have a few ideas of some of the techniques that might be used, maybe enough to bluff my way through a creative problem solving interview question. But I really have no idea how this was done or where to even begin if I had to build a system like this myself.
Saturday, January 01, 2005
Do wild animals have a sixth sense?
By Sue Nelson
BBC Science correspondent
Wildlife officials in Sri Lanka have reported that, despite the loss of human life in the Asian disaster, there have been no recorded animal deaths. Waves from the worst tsunami in memory sent floodwater surging up to 3.5km (two miles) inland to the island's biggest wildlife reserve.
Many tourists drowned but, to the surprise of officials, no dead animals have been found.
It has highlighted claims that animals may possess a sixth sense about danger. Yala National Park in Sri Lanka is home to elephants, deer, jackals and crocodiles. Praised for its conservation, the park is also considered one of the best places in the world to observe leopards. It is now closed after floods damaged buildings and caused the deaths of tourists and employees of the park and lodge. Yet, surprisingly, none of the park's varied wildlife is reported to have perished.
Posted by arun T at Saturday, January 01, 2005