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  • Maximus Clarke
  • The Book of Sand
  • 2013.01.15


    » TECH  

    The nation that brought us the BBC Radiophonic Workshop has now engineered another advance in electronic sound processing. It seems forensic experts on London’s police force have been recording the ever-fluctuating hum of the national power grid for the past seven years.

    Why? Because almost any audio recorded in the UK during that time will have the same hum embedded in it… so the cops can use their reference track to find out precisely when recordings entered into evidence were made — and whether they’ve been edited:

    Any digital recording made anywhere near an electrical power source, be it plug socket, light or pylon, will pick up this noise and it will be embedded throughout the audio. …

    Comparing the unique pattern of the frequencies on an audio recording with a database that has been logging these changes for 24 hours a day, 365 days a year provides a digital watermark: a date and time stamp on the recording. …

    “Even if [the hum] is picked up at a very low level that you cannot hear, we can extract this information.”

    That’s right: the UK now has nationwide audio timecode.

    (Via The New Aesthetic)