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British Pizza Chain To Install Cones of Silence 122

Posted by samzenpus
from the sound-of-silence dept.
itwbennett writes "British pizza chain Pizza Express is installing iPod docks and soundproof domes in booths of their new iPizzeria stores. 'The idea is that you can plug in your iPod and play whatever music you like without disturbing other diners,' says blogger Peter Smith. 'But I'm sure it'd work for talking about government secrets and other spy stuff, too.'"


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British Pizza Chain To Install Cones of Silence

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  • Apple specific? (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward

    Will it work with other mp3 players too?

  • by santax (1541065) on Friday October 29, 2010 @02:24PM (#34065622)
    *looks at wife*
    • by camperslo (704715)

      Yes, I suspect there would be a market for the home-delivery versions of this. Whether it's a grumpy spouse, noisy kids, a barking dog, or just everyone watching/listening to different things at once, many would appreciate relief.

      - - -
      There is no confirmation that the recent Obama meeting had anything at all to do with an Apple-built Cylon being built for president in 2016.

  • Why? (Score:3, Funny)

    by drhank1980 (1225872) on Friday October 29, 2010 @02:24PM (#34065638)

    If you really care about what music you listen too while you eat your pizza, why wouldn't you just take it back to your place and eat it there?

    • by iYk6 (1425255) on Friday October 29, 2010 @02:41PM (#34065848)

      This may be hard for some Slashdotters to understand, but some people spend hours at a time outside of their basement. When they are away from home and haven't eaten, they might buy some pizza at a pizzeria and eat it there, even if they don't like the noise. They probably wouldn't even consider bringing it home. Unless they are intending to head home immediately anyway, it is quicker, more convenient, and saves gas to eat at the pizza place.

      No offense, but I find it hilarious that anybody would ask why somebody would eat their pizza in a pizzeria.

      • You're right. It was hard to understand.
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Straterra (1045994)
        How does it save gas when you have to drive back home anyway?
        • Since you calmly at the pizza at the pizzeria you 1) don't have the buildup of expectation as you drive home with the pizza in the passenger seat (you are obviously alone), and 2) do not have the anxiety of eating alone in the basement, both of which cause elevated gastric and colonic distress, which in turn produce more gas.
        • Unless they are intending to head home immediately anyway, it is quicker, more convenient, and saves gas to eat at the pizza place.

          How does it save gas when you have to drive back home anyway?

          By not starting the engine twice.

        • How does it save gas when you have to drive back home anyway?

          Not everyone drives, especially in cities.

      • Re: (Score:1, Flamebait)

        by geekoid (135745)

        That wasn't the question, dumbass.

        His question was about listening to music. If THAT's what's important to you, then why wouldn't you take home?

        He isn't asking why people would eat at a pizzeria.

        But you're stupid knee jerk reacting to try and make yourself seem funny and smart made you not actually understand the question. That makes you look stupid.

      • by sumdumass (711423)

        I think the point was more to the selfishness of imposing your music on the others in the Pizzeria.

        If you were so set on listening to your own music, why no simply buy the pizza and take it some place where you can eat it while listening to your own music without disturbing others. I can understand you not wanting to be cooped up in your basement/apartment with cheap rent, but does that desire override the establishment's desire to play it's own music to set a mood or some one else' desire not to listen to

    • by sconeu (64226)

      Maybe I don't want to hear the screaming baby two booths over?

      • by sumdumass (711423)

        There are quite a few restaurants that have a policy of making people leave if that happens.

        Heres a story about one of them.
        http://www.wect.com/Global/story.asp?S=13107715 [wect.com]

        It seems that it's happening in other countries too.
        http://www.irishtimes.com/blogs/pricewatch/2008/07/31/crying-babies-not-welcome/ [irishtimes.com]

        However, I would note there there is a slight difference between a child crying and some jerk blasting their radio. This is like the early 80's and the boom boxes thing all over again.

        • by TheLink (130905)

          There's also a difference between a child crying and a child screaming.

          "I've never seen a restaurant say, don't bring your screaming kids in here," said Ashley Heflin, who is a mom of two. "You can't help it if your kids scream."

          A very young baby that screams does not belong in a restaurant and might actually need urgent medical treatment.

          A toddler that screams needs to learn to shut up and not be a brat.

          If parents can't stop their children from screaming then that's good reason for some places to not welcome screaming children.

          They should go somewhere else which welcomes uncontrollably screaming children.

          Or vote for a gov that'll tax/ban such "screaming child"

  • What's wrong with take-out?
    • by MBGMorden (803437)

      Food gets colder (or warmer - if served cold) during the trip home. The ice in your drink melts (kinda associated there). Not to mention that though it's not much of a problem with pizza, with lots of take-out rather than having food more loosely distributed over the plat, it's tightly packed into some small container.

      For the most part, I can't stand take-out. If I want to eat at home, I'll cook it myself.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by jimicus (737525)

      This way, some other bugger does the washing up.

  • Why a dock? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by eepok (545733) on Friday October 29, 2010 @02:26PM (#34065662) Homepage

    Why limit the benefit to customer with iphones and ipods? Why not a 3.5mm and 2.5mm jack (much cheaper to install and replace) so that anyone with any MP3 player or cell phone media player can hook up?

    • by $RANDOMLUSER (804576) on Friday October 29, 2010 @02:41PM (#34065834)
      Why a chickens?
      Why a horses?
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by DigiShaman (671371)

      Because then it would no longer be hip now would it? Now, do you want your frappuccino now or after your meal while you read poetry from your iPad?

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      Why limit the benefit to customer with iphones and ipods? Why not a 3.5mm and 2.5mm jack (much cheaper to install and replace) so that anyone with any MP3 player or cell phone media player can hook up?

      Oh God! And allow the riff-raff to come in?!? They obviously don't want those kid of people in there.

      If you can't afford an Apple product, you can't afford to eat there. Nor do they want the folks who like to pretend to be riff-raff with their MP3 players and other non-Apple products.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by DittoBox (978894)

      Try teaching people to turn the amp down when you plug in the device. Pops and clicks can get pretty loud when you insert a TRS connector.

      I wish you luck in your endeavors!

      (PS: I think you're right, but there are some issues involved here that need some extra engineering.)

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Gordonjcp (186804)

        Here's a novel idea. I haven't seen anyone do this and it's probably patentable - except by posting here I have prior art ;-)

        I built a guitar fuzzbox. Plugging in a lead made all kinds of pops and crackles, so I modified the circuit so that when the plug was out it fed a small bias voltage to the amplifier stage. holding it muted. When you plug in a jack lead it disconnests the bias using the same contact you'd use to disconnect a loudspeaker on a headphone jack. The bias voltage slowly leaks away over

    • by edcs (1931354)
      I'm going to guess they either do have proper jacks as well (it'd be pretty foolish not to), or they're being paid by Apple. Apple doesn't seem to be the kind of company to do that type of promotion though.
    • And- plug in to what, exactly? The innernets? So you can d./l from that itunes deal? Ok.. I guess that's a draw. I think I'd have more fun with my linux netbook running kismet and the air*-ng suite, but whatever trips your trigger.
    • by Wiarumas (919682)
      Scope creep!
    • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      You can hardly scrape useful data off of people's phones through an analog audio port.

      Why would someone trust plugging their iPhone/Pad/Pod into someone else's port?

    • by hitmark (640295)

      i suspect this will show up in it place soon enough:
      https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/wiki/PDMI [wikimedia.org]

    • by ikeman32 (1333971)
      But the cone of silence is out dated they should have used "hover cover."
  • What? (Score:5, Funny)

    by JustOK (667959) on Friday October 29, 2010 @02:27PM (#34065672) Journal


  • Quoth TFA:

    Along with listening to music, Pizza Express patrons can use their iPods to activate a light at the table that tells the restaurant staff if they need a bill, drink refill or anything else.

    Damned if I know why you'd need an iPod to switch on a light. What's wrong with just pressing a button? Seems to work on planes. I hear they have this sort of thing in Japanese restaurants, just hit the button and summon the waiter instead of hoping you'll catch his eye.

    And why did /. decide to destroy my post by interpreting the delete key as a browser 'back' button a few seconds ago?

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Lumpy (12016)

      Pres a button... are you INSANE?

      It's far more convenient to make your customer connect to the apple app store, find your light app, install it, and then figure out how to use it to turn on the light than pressing a freaking button!

      Next you will tell me that making them use the iphone/ipod to flush the urinals is a bad idea....

      • by pearl298 (1585049)

        Next you will tell me that making them use the iphone/ipod to flush the urinals is a bad idea....

        Well in Singapore you could use the picture as evidence to prove that you really did flush! (S$100 fine for not flushing!)

  • ...is getting one of his headaches.
  • I can see Obama bin Laudin chatting with his sleeper agents in these!
    • Maybe. While I was swimming in a North London public swimming pool I witnessed the following:

      Two groups of hench Russians lined up on opposite sides of the pool, at the point where the water was shoulder depth. One person from each group walked to the centre of the pool.. A brief discussion took place. The two gentlemen withdrew to their own side of the pool. All persons then gradually departed, one at a time. Swimming resumed as normal.

      I dont know what was discussed, but I am certain no weapons were car

      • I forgot to mention: The pool plays extremely boring music, but quite quetly. No Pizza was involved, Italian or American (not even Lamacun - Turkish Pizza, which is quite popular in that area). No swimming was involved, either.
  • More than Music (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Sponge Bath (413667) on Friday October 29, 2010 @02:43PM (#34065878)
    I'd be happy to see this just to limit exposure to people who do not have an "inside voice".
    • by gillrock (517577)

      ...and let's not forget those cell phone users that need to scream how important they are and let us all know it.

  • by GNUALMAFUERTE (697061) <almafuerte@gmail. c o m> on Friday October 29, 2010 @02:44PM (#34065892)

    A device that allowed you to listen to music without disturbing others. Some kind of very small speakers that you can put very close to your eardrums. Oh well, we'll have to do with freaking cones of silence.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by DIplomatic (1759914)

      A device that allowed you to listen to music without disturbing others. Some kind of very small speakers that you can put very close to your eardrums. Oh well, we'll have to do with freaking cones of silence.

      The old micro-sized-speakers-in-close-proximity-to-the-eardrums ploy. That's the third time I've fallen for that this month!

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by DrgnDancer (137700)

      You know, sometimes people like to eat and talk with *gasp* other people while they listen to music that doesn't happen to be whatever the restaurant is piping in. Not to say that this idea doesn't have holes; I agree with several people that say it should use 3.5mm connectors so that it's not limited to iDevices (I use an iPhone, but really, why limit yourself to such a small subset of people when it would be trivial to expand the idea). Your objection just doesn't make sense though. Of course if you'r

      • by Amouth (879122)

        sorry but most people stop at 2 things at once


        as for your sig.. i would change that to single-mode fiber..
        • by TheLink (130905)
          Don't see the problem there.

          Person A: eat + listen to Person B (or music if Person B is boring)

          Person B: talk + ignore/listen to music.
  • Knock knock knock.
    Knock knock knock,
    Knock knock knock .
    Knock knock knock ,

  • Clearly they have not seen the research that shows that louder restaurants result in more people buying alcohol.

    • by cruff (171569)

      Clearly they have not seen the research that shows that louder restaurants result in more people buying alcohol.

      I believe you have the cause and effect reversed in your statement. :-)

  • 1. A high-tech anechoic chamber shaped like a transparent bubble? 2. A plastic deco gimmick? 3. How about a boy scout with a transistor radio and earphones?
  • You will also be free from hearing all the sarcastic comments being made about "The dork over there in the plastic dome."

    You might want a fan in there too if you order garlic and anchovies.

  • How about simple headphone cords instead so that everyone can use it? the 30 pin connector on the ipod is not the smartest design idea out of apple....

  • They use hover-cover.

    (Now to see if I'm the only person in the universe who still gets that reference.)


    • by mbone (558574)

      No, I got it. If I make it to that restaurant, I'm going to demand hover-cover.

  • your smartphone is located in your shoe?
  • At least they were smart enough to not make a completely isolated soundproof booth, otherwise people would have tested their soundproofing, but without the iPods.
  • didn't know they were ipod speakers, nice pizza and cappu though.

  • Make mine a 99!

  • Based off of the headline, did anyone else think this was about a new Warcraft spell?

    "Man, AoE silence, that's imba!"

  • Now this is an excellent idea. I went to the movies the other day and saw something I hadn't seen in years - a phone booth. But there was no phone in it. The idea was to use it for privacy when you made a cell phone call. This is the same concept.
  • Seriously. Have you ever been to a (real) Chinese restaurant? It's louder than a rock concert. Diners practically shout at each other across large round tables that I am convinced were arranged in various approximate solutions to the circle-packing problem. Sometimes I wonder what it would be like to eat har gow without the sensation that someone is screeching in my ear in Cantonese. Given recent research on the impact of ambient sound levels on the perceived intensity of food flavor, I imagine the exp

  • and they are gimmicky at best. They only have an iPod connector/dock, so other music players can't use them. Should have used a mini/micro USB port instead. Also, the transparent plastic "cone" is over a small, circular booth (only two cones in the shop near me), and you can still hear some sound from the booth if you're outside it. As was mentioned previously, the easiest/cheapest option for private listening is earbuds.
  • The domes have been around for a couple decades I believe. I recall seeing them back in early 90s at some conference. The parabolic dome works really well for playback sound isolation. They have been used in museums, music stores, etc to keep the playback very isoloated -- only those under the dome can hear. Reflecting surfaces like table tops, especially if sloped, might bounce the sound out of the column, but generally they were pretty good. However, they do NOT isolate conversation under the dome. Y
  • Rotate the pod, please, HAL... Hm, I don't think he can hear us.
  • At the risk of dating myself: "Right now a spinning wheel of death is poised to come crashing down on this restaurant!... Would you believe an abnormally large truck tire?... Would you believe a large pie with anchovies and feta?"
  • by danwesnor (896499)
    Whoahohoho there, Booger! Did you just say "British pizza"? I think I threw up a little in my mouth.
  • These aren't so much 'sound proof' as they are just small speakers in parabolic dishes to provide tightly focused sound. A number of companies make them:

    That first one I had set up at our office to evaluate and of course, we couldn''t resit calling them cones of silence either, but I just thought I'd post the links just in case people here might be interested in what the articl

  • This sounds like a much better idea than that Cone of Tragedy that my local amusement park introduced.

Real Users find the one combination of bizarre input values that shuts down the system for days.