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Thread: A device that would enable people to talk secretly in public..?

  1. #1
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    A device that would enable people to talk secretly in public..?

    I was thinking about how there could be a device that would enable two or more people to talk in public, say at a cafe, and have their conversation without anyone being able to listen in.
    I thought it could be a small headset, that the people could wear, that would do something similar to the noise cancelling headsets that are available no, but instead of cancelling the voice sounds, it would add to it in such a way that people, close by, couldn't understand what they were saying. The actual conversation voice sounds could be transmitted, encrypted, via radio.
    The encryption information could be exchanged mechanically, by touching electrodes of the head sets.

    Anything like that on the market?
    Last edited by Mudskipper; 2017-Apr-08 at 03:07 AM.
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    No. But a simple mask over the mouth could do the trick. Cover sound emissions while still connecting by mic and wire to the other person's earphones.
    "I'm planning to live forever. So far, that's working perfectly." Steven Wright

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    There was some form of Cold War spy gadget used to have secret conversations where each individual wore a mask with a sort of tube in-between then that supposedly made it impossible for any bugs in the room to pick up on the conversation. I've seen pictures of it in documentaries, but I can't remember what it was called and Google isn't helping.

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    A device that would enable people to talk secretly in public..?

    Maybe the Cone of Silence? (Portable version shown).
    https://goo.gl/images/8er7Zd


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro

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    Quote Originally Posted by Frog march View Post
    I was thinking about how there could be a device that would enable two or more people to talk in public, say at a cafe, and have their conversation without anyone being able to listen in.
    I thought it could be a small headset, that the people could wear, that would do something similar to the noise cancelling headsets that are available no, but instead of cancelling the voice sounds, it would add to it in such a way that people, close by, couldn't understand what they were saying. The actual conversation voice sounds could be transmitted, encrypted, via radio.
    The encryption information could be exchanged mechanically, by touching electrodes of the head sets.

    Anything like that on the market?
    Texting?

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    Quote Originally Posted by swampyankee View Post
    Texting?


    But, the texts have to go through the phone network, and you can't really be sure that that won't be spied upon.

    I suppose they could write on bits of paper, but then you might have to destroy the messages.
    Last edited by Mudskipper; 2017-Apr-08 at 07:28 AM.
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    A complicated solution would be to create a language that nobody else understands.
    As above, so below

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    Quote Originally Posted by Frog march View Post


    But, the texts have to go through the phone network, and you can't really be sure that that won't be spied upon.
    Many messaging apps are encrypted end-to-end. So you can be fairly sure they won't be spied on.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jens View Post
    A complicated solution would be to create a language that nobody else understands.
    I thought of that once. A cyber incorporation into the brain, that let you speak thousands of secret languages, or I suppose when you met someone you could exchange encryption information and then you could speak to each other in a secret language.
    Formerly Frog march..............

    “One is never alone with a rubber duck.” The Golgafrinchan Ark B captain

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    Quote Originally Posted by Frog march View Post
    I was thinking about how there could be a device that would enable two or more people to talk in public, say at a cafe, and have their conversation without anyone being able to listen in.
    I thought it could be a small headset, that the people could wear, that would do something similar to the noise cancelling headsets that are available no, but instead of cancelling the voice sounds, it would add to it in such a way that people, close by, couldn't understand what they were saying. The actual conversation voice sounds could be transmitted, encrypted, via radio.
    The encryption information could be exchanged mechanically, by touching electrodes of the head sets.

    Anything like that on the market?
    The thing about that is that two or three people using a secretive device draw attention to themselves, so presuming there is a reason to be secretive, they already blew 90%. Surely the answer is to disguise the secrets in anodyne conversation? It looks like the phone revolution is already there, you see loads of people apparently ignoring each other, busily texting, whatsapping, so it's here.
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  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Jens View Post
    A complicated solution would be to create a language that nobody else understands.
    Teenagers accuse mathematicians of this. Most mathematicians I've met think the same of teenagers. Pity the teenage mathematicians faced with learning both languages.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jens View Post
    A complicated solution would be to create a language that nobody else understands.
    Sign language. Semaphores could work, too.

    semaphores.gif

    Solfe, Dominus Maris Pavos.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Solfe View Post
    Sign language. Semaphores could work, too.

    semaphores.gif

    Spread spectrum walkie-talkies? That's probably overkill for discussing one's kidney stones. I ride public transport; The problem is people who think that shouting into a cell phone is confidential.

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    Actually they can't: "Heavier-than-air flying machines are impossible." - Lord Kelvin, president, Royal Society, 1895.



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    A string, and two cans...
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    When in public, Doc Savage used to converse with his sidekicks in Ancient Mayan, which they all learned in his first published adventure.

    (How you'd discuss strategies involving advanced science of the 1930s in an ancient language is not explained.)

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    I just like the idea of carrying two giant poles and a collection of flags.
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    Quote Originally Posted by DonM435 View Post
    When in public, Doc Savage used to converse with his sidekicks in Ancient Mayan, which they all learned in his first published adventure.

    (How you'd discuss strategies involving advanced science of the 1930s in an ancient language is not explained.)
    If there can be Latin words for "pumpkin" and "automobile", and all sorts of other things that the Ancient Romans didn't know about, and if the WWII Navajo code talkers could adapt existing words to refer to military things ("whale" for "battleship"), then I suppose a combination of repurposing existing words and creating new ones based on appropriate stems and endings would not be beyond a genius like Doc Savage.

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    I think that The Vatican used to maintain an office whose task was updating the Latin language to include words for "television" and such, so that bishops and priests could discuss such things at international conferences without language barrier. Don't know if they still do that, nor if other sects follow suit.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DonM435 View Post
    I think that The Vatican used to maintain an office whose task was updating the Latin language to include words for "television" and such, so that bishops and priests could discuss such things at international conferences without language barrier. Don't know if they still do that, nor if other sects follow suit.
    I think Latin is the official language in Vatican City. Coptic Christians use Aramaic as their religious language.

    Information about American English usage here and here. Floating point issues? Please read this before posting.

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    Actually they can't: "Heavier-than-air flying machines are impossible." - Lord Kelvin, president, Royal Society, 1895.



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    Quote Originally Posted by KaiYeves View Post
    If there can be Latin words for "pumpkin" and "automobile", and all
    sorts of other things that the Ancient Romans didn't know about,
    and if the WWII Navajo code talkers could adapt existing words to
    refer to military things ("whale" for "battleship"), ...
    Navajo has a word for "whale"??? Curious!

    Quote Originally Posted by DonM435 View Post
    I think that The Vatican used to maintain an office whose task was
    updating the Latin language to include words for "television" and such, ...
    The word "television" pretty much *is* Latin, with the "tele-" part
    borrowed from Greek long ago, and maybe the "n" at the end added
    on by French speakers. I'm no language expert, but that's what my
    dictionary seems to suggest.

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    Sign language?
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    Short range pigeons or using something that was described in Dune, Distrans which was giving a voice message to a modified bat which stored it to be repeated to its receiver after a coded phrase was given to the bat.
    Just because you're a genius doesn't make you a smart guy

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    Blinking in morse code?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Amber Robot View Post
    Blinking in morse code?


    Reminds me of Sheldon wanting to teach Leonard Morse Code at 3 o'clock in the morning.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Buttercup View Post
    Sign language?
    Sign language is surprisingly rich. Most deaf people sign one way, while people who can hear sign a completely different way. ALS is a language unto itself. Invariably, people who can hear can't or don't learn American sign language. They learn a pidgin, called "contact sign" and a negotiation happens with every round of signing. This is opposed to SEE-II, Sign Exact English 2, which is used to teach deaf people to read books. It uses the motions from ALS, but instead of the hand gestures, they use sign for the first letter of each word. They literally sign every word, instead of following the syntax of ALS or contact sign.
    Solfe, Dominus Maris Pavos.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Solfe View Post
    Sign language is surprisingly rich. Most deaf people sign one way, while people who can hear sign a completely different way. ALS is a language unto itself. Invariably, people who can hear can't or don't learn American sign language. They learn a pidgin, called "contact sign" and a negotiation happens with every round of signing. This is opposed to SEE-II, Sign Exact English 2, which is used to teach deaf people to read books. It uses the motions from ALS, but instead of the hand gestures, they use sign for the first letter of each word. They literally sign every word, instead of following the syntax of ALS or contact sign.
    I've known a person (as a teen) who learned it fluently, so that he could "sign" during church sermons.

    Which reminds me of another friend, who related the tale of "signing" a lady speaker to a small group of hearing-impaired folk ... and at one point turning around to see the speaker making all sorts of weird facial expressions during her speech.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Buttercup View Post
    I've known a person (as a teen) who learned it fluently, so that he could "sign" during church sermons.

    Which reminds me of another friend, who related the tale of "signing" a lady speaker to a small group of hearing-impaired folk ... and at one point turning around to see the speaker making all sorts of weird facial expressions during her speech.
    I worked at a school where all of the teachers and staff were taught ALS over a period of three days to accommodate a single deaf student. This is akin to saying you learned Chinese, both Mandarin and Cantonese in three days. In any event, I started working there in the middle of the year, so I was unaware of this attempt to use sign in the classroom. One day, I was working in a classroom and the teacher signed to me to use the bathroom. I stood up and took her place at the front of the class. She looked confused, but left to take care of business. I simply assumed someone mention I knew sign and she was testing me.

    I had several people test my knowledge of sign, which is admittedly bad, but I guess am passably good at it.

    After a few days of this, I noticed that there was a pattern to this signing, no matter the teacher or classroom. The classroom would get very loud and the teacher would suddenly sign to go to the bathroom. When I acknowledged this request, they would look confused and then after a brief moment would leave the room.

    One day, I was sitting on the floor with a child that was throwing a fit. She didn't like her hearing aid. She said it made her feel uncool and unbalance because she just had one. The teacher signed to go to the bathroom. I asked the child a couple of questions:

    Me: They don't know you can hear with the other ear?
    Student: No.
    Me: They don't know you speak Spanish?
    Student: No.
    Me: Do you know what the teacher signed?
    Student: No.

    All of this was occurring with me speaking and signing Spanish. The punchline was, the teachers had been taught the sign for "toilet" mean "Attention!" or "Quiet!".
    Solfe, Dominus Maris Pavos.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Solfe View Post
    I worked at a school where all of the teachers and staff were taught ALS over a period of three days to accommodate a single deaf student. This is akin to saying you learned Chinese, both Mandarin and Cantonese in three days.
    Yikes!

    All of this was occurring with me speaking and signing Spanish. The punchline was, the teachers had been taught the sign for "toilet" mean "Attention!" or "Quiet!".


    Why can't sign language be a universal language? But maybe that's a hefty topic.
    Dip me in ink and toss me to the Poets.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Buttercup View Post
    Why can't sign language be a universal language? But maybe that's a hefty topic.
    Contact sign requires a lot of repetition of signs and is a pidgin language, but might be close enough to a universal language. It is very specific to the users needs.

    Spanish Sign Language is inherently different than ALS or Venezuelan sign, even though Spanish is spoken in Spain and Venezuela, and both are based on ASL. A lot of times, you just learn what you need. Obviously, if you are deaf, you need a lot more knowledge, but that doesn't impart a skill to the person you are speaking to.
    Solfe, Dominus Maris Pavos.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Root View Post
    Navajo has a word for "whale"??? Curious!
    "LO-TSO", according to this Navy webpage.

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