Story 2014-09-19 2SKC Quietnet: a simple chat program using inaudible sounds

Quietnet: a simple chat program using inaudible sounds

Anonymous Coward
in security on (#2SKC)
story imageImagine being able to chat with another user using what's in effect a modem program that transmits sounds at near ultrasonic frequencies. Now imagine your cat or dog being royally pissed off by your conversation.

The future is now. An anonymous Pipedotter wrote it to direct out attention to quietnet, a program that does just that. It is a simple chat program that works without Wifi or Bluetooth connections and won't show up in a pcap. You need a good pair of speakers to make it work: If you can clearly hear the send script working then your speakers may not be high quality enough to produce sounds in the near ultrasonic range.

Quietnet is dependant on pyaudio[1] and Numpy[2].


The same Anonymous Coward notes: "Quietnet is just a toy! Take a look at minimodem[3] or gnuradio[4] if you need something robust."


[Ed. note: looks pretty interesting. Time to test out my cat's audio frequency sensitivity, that fuzzy bastard.]
Reply 10 comments

Re-Morse? (Score: 0)

by Anonymous Coward on 2014-09-19 14:45 (#2SM2)


So this is essentially morse code generation with the dial turned up into the ultrasonics?

That's it? Okay, cute enough toy I guess.

Re: Re-Morse? (Score: 1)

by on 2014-09-19 18:49 (#2SM7)

Hmm, hadn't thought of it that way, but now that you mention it, yes, perhaps! It's still an interesting project that has ramifications elsewhere, like packet networks transmitted over audio, or equivalent. Perhaps it's not that useful, unless you want to annoy the cat. I was glad to hear of those other projects though - minimodem and numpy, since I hadn't heard of them.

I spent the better part of Feb-March playing around with an old Pentium 4 I wanted to turn into a dial-up machine. I got way into the details of serial connections, modems, Getty, ttys, PPP, and the like, and never even really got it working before I finally gave up and admitted defeat. I used a program called minicom for a long while to chat with the modem, and was impressed by just how hard the days of modems and SLIP/PPP connections really were, how much magic really went into negotiating a PPP chat session. Seems like minimodem would be fun to play with too, if only for the change.

Re: Re-Morse? (Score: 0)

by Anonymous Coward on 2014-09-19 19:17 (#2SMA)

If you don't know what "atdp" means I don't want to know you. ;)

I love when that feature is still available on a modem. Actually came in handy once or thrice.

SLIP and PPP are a whole 'nother layer of kludgery of course. The first time I had the Internet actually work over dialup and saw that URLs worked from one site to another I was smiling in amazement. You're right, no one appreciates that enormous underlying complexity.

I wonder what happened to Hayes and USR anyhow.

Re: Re-Morse? (Score: 1)

by on 2014-09-19 19:42 (#2SMD)

They seem to be around. A Speedster at 56K can still go for $100 on I bought a Trendnet for about $30 just to reduce my investment. I still have this nerd dream where we go back to the old days and only the truly neckbearded are prepared ... a fantasy, i know, but I know my Hayes command set just in case the revolution happens ... :)

Re: Re-Morse? (Score: 0)

by Anonymous Coward on 2014-09-19 21:17 (#2SMH)

Well that's why we appreciate sites like this one. We're communicating primarily via text, and that works just fine at anything much over 110 baud.

(I used to be one of the wackos constantly correcting people because I knew that 1200 bps modems were still 300 "baud". Or something like that.)

A lot of the territory has gotten rehashed as mobile computing has tried to grow up along the same struggling bandwidth path. SMS/Blackberry to 3G and 4G and WiFi, all to send dumb little 139 character tweetenings.

Re: Re-Morse? (Score: 2, Funny)

by on 2014-09-23 04:38 (#2ST5)

I could hiss down a handset and make my modem connect to me at 1200bps, couldn't really determine the data being hissed back at me though.

Re: Re-Morse? (Score: 2, Interesting)

by on 2014-09-20 02:16 (#2SMW)

For the post-apocalyptic future, you should stock-up on low-power computer and ham radio equipment, in a bunker and sufficiently EMP shielded. Shortwave radio would definitely be the fastest and cheapest way to bootstrap regional, national, and international communications systems again.

In the longer term, as long as people are around who remember which technologies worked out and which ones were dead-ends, and which feats were possible and which were never realized, the world would be rebuilt from the dirt, to largely-modern standards, pretty quickly. First farming the most successful crops, then engines and electricity, then information exchange. I

f you're going to lay a wire, you wouldn't resort to dial-up, at least not for long, but would jump up to something faster, like DSL or right to fiber optics.

Re: Re-Morse? (Score: 1)

by on 2014-09-20 16:32 (#2SNC)

Hmm, you've either thought more deeply about this, or are way smarter than me, or probably both.

In that case, anyone want to buy a used Trendnet 56K dial-up modem, cheap? :)

Hang on, I've been planning on building either a BBS or a gophernet site. Maybe I'll hang onto it a bit longer.

Re: Re-Morse? (Score: 0)

by Anonymous Coward on 2014-09-20 17:13 (#2SNF)

My "landline" is VoIP and I can hardly squeeze through a FAX 20% of the time, let alone a nice 56k session. :(

Re: Re-Morse? (Score: 2, Informative)

by on 2014-09-25 15:05 (#2SNG)

Probably just a question of specialty... I've got a background in EE and telecommunications. I have occasionally thought about what it takes to restore modern services to disaster areas after events hit the news. For instance, it's a shame New Orleans didn't follow the model of Sacramento:

"From 1862 until the mid-1870s Sacramento raised the level of its downtown by building reinforced brick walls on its downtown streets, and filling the resulting street walls with dirt. Thus the previous first floors of buildings became the basements... Most property owners used screw jacks to raise their buildings to the new grade." --

Modems are still finding use for sending and receiving faxes, and those seem to have a few more years of life in them. They're also still useful as out-of-band management for routers... Why cellular modems with RS-232 aren't more popular and widely available, I don't know.

Hmm... Testing Karma.