Wednesday, June 20, 2012

So We're Pests Too?

I've seen some pretty stupid apps before. Most phones and iPods have calculators, so why should anybody need a specialized app to figure out a sales price or even count for them? Yes, just tap the screen and the tally goes up one number. I'll assume it's made for single fingered people unable to count with their hands.
But this one is just downright annoying. It's called "mosquito sounds". Now, what could possibly be wrong with an app that drives away pests, especially if you can't hear it?

It's also known as "teen repellent". Can you hear it after the first few seconds? To me it barely has a sound later on. It's more of a presence in my brain, worming its way through crevices, barely touching the insides of my ears. But as I'm typing this, several minutes after I muted my computer, the inside of my right eardrum throbs. There's a ribbon of pain traveling a short way down my throat in that soft place where the neck meets the jaw.
My twelve year old brother has been yelling at me to stop as I've tinkered with the sounds. His sixth grade teacher, now retired, used to play a tone similar to this and he doesn't like it. My mom, who is somewhere in her forties, couldn't hear it at 14 khz.
It's also available in another form bluntly called "teen torture."

By the way, we don't all look like that guy.
Businesses use it to drive away young customers who just might be the type to loiter or vandalize or maybe shoot the cashier. Of course, older people are just as capable of those things.
Let's look at some of the problems with this:
1. You're scaring away business, morons.
2. Not all hearing is standard, plenty of adults can hear these tones.
3. Not all youth are up to no good.
4. Even if you have something against teenagers, don't forget that younger children can hear this-louder.
How many times have you seen a mother in a grocery store, out of her mind with a screaming baby?

There was a case in Wales where it was banned, but it's still mostly legal. Cruel and unusual punishment...for shopping?

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