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An Approximation of What Life Sounds Like Through a Cochlear Implant

BEGIN TRANSCRIPT

RUSH:  Testing, testing, one, two, three.  Ha!  It's working fine!  Absolutely no alterations necessary!  No adjustments needed.  We don't need to change anything in the potentiometer, everything is just fine.  We are in Los Angeles, ladies and gentlemen.  We are out here on the Left Coast today and tomorrow.  It's time for a tune-up on my new right-side cochlear implant.  Have to do that frequently when they're new and get activated, and the fact that frequent tune-ups are necessary is a good sign.  It means that progress is being made and the program needs to be adjusted to accommodate the new progress. 

Basically, they're gonna be able to pump a bit more volume to it without everything sounding distorted.  I still have the chipmunk effect.  It's still amazing, folks. I was writing to some people last night updating them on this, and I'm amazed that new implant by itself on the right side is usable.  I use it.  It's gotten better.  I mean, it's usable now, but there's still no comparison the way the left sounds by itself.  The volume is still very much lower, it's fuzzier, and just everybody, the chipmunk speed, it's just incredible.  I put the left side on and magic happens.  It's a testament to my brain, it has to be.  (laughing) 
 

I forgot to send this up to Koko at the website.  I was perusing my tech blogs in a moment of idle hobby time, and there was a story at one of the blogs. Apparently some audiologists think they have found a way to let people who can hear normally hear what a cochlear implant sounds like.  It's about a five-minute video, and they use a series of tones, computer generated, that sound as they do to you, and then the same tones as they sound to an average cochlear implant user.  I listened to it. Of course I'm hearing everything through a cochlear implant.  I hear the difference in the two, but I will not hear it the way people who can hear normally will hear it, but there's a distinct difference. 

You know, it's one of the things that's always amazed me about these.  The inventors, the audiologists, the tech people that build these implants have never heard what they sound like.  They can all hear.  They have no idea.  It would be like designing a TV set and never having seen what it looks like and then being able to improve it every year and all you've got to go on is what shows up on a meter or a graph or the feedback you get from patients, which is gonna be all over the place.  I mean, most people are not able to describe things anyway. 

And then you add everybody that has an implant, you're gonna have that many different attempts to explain how things sound.  Like when I tell these audiologists that people sound like chipmunks, I can tell they don't believe me.  They can't comprehend chipmunks. There's only one thing that sound like a chipmunk, it's the chipmunks. And you have to do special things to make the chipmunk sound like they do and I'm telling you everybody sounds like a chipmunk to me. You can see they just kind of nod their head like I'm a little insane, just maybe two steps from the gentlemen in the white coats and the little bus.  But there's nothing they can do. 

It's always amazed me that they've been able to invent and design and perfect a product that they've never heard.  (interruption)  Well, they can appreciate it because they know it works.  They're able to communicate with people, but they have no idea what it sounds like.  And yet they invented it.  Anyway, the link I found -- I've got it here, I'll send it up to the website 'cause you might be interested in it.  It was at one of the Gawker websites.  You gotta be careful, folks.  Don't go anyplace else other than this one link otherwise -- (laughing) -- you're gonna think very bad thoughts of me if you start wandering around this site. 

This is the Gizmodo site.  The Gizmodo, you might recall, they're the ones that ended up with the stolen iPhone 4 way back when the Apple tech left it in a bar. Somebody found it in the bar and the guys as Gizmodo bought it and Jobs went on a crusade to get it back.  I think it was the 4.  Yeah, it was the 4, not the 4S.  So that's who these guys are.  They're part of the Gawker -- you gotta be real, real careful. I mean, I don't care.  I want you to know that my search term was "cochlear implants," how I found it.  (interruption) Come on, Snerdley.  I was not searching the deep, dark corners of this place.  Anyway.  I'll find it.  There may be some other places, might even be a YouTube link to this. And it's not captions, by the way.  It spells out what's being said.  So I'll send that up during the break and you can check it out when you have time. 

Anyway, we're here, telephone stays same, 800-282-2882.  The e-mail address, ElRushbo@eibnet.com

I have to tell you, folks, since I'm on this stuff, I have to tell you I'm kind of excited here.  Something's happened for the first time in nine months that has never happened before. And I've been waiting for it to happen for nine months, and it finally has and I'm so excited I'm afraid it's gonna break. 

You know, I'm fascinated with the Next Destination feature that's part of the new iOS 7 notification center.  This is their attempt at Google Now, where you collect enough data in the phone where you go, frequent locations, and after it learns enough of the data, it will think it knows where you're going next and tell you how long it will take you to get there. And if you click on that little message, it gives you a map of the fastest travel time. 

I've been coming out to LA since September when these new phones were released, coming out to Los Angeles since September, four or five visits, nine months, and some of the data is just now starting to show up.  I've always been amazed, it can't possibly have been designed to require nine months of data collection to work.  But yet that's been the case.  It took three weeks of going back and forth, home and office, for those locations to show up.  All of a sudden today my phones know where I'm going after the radio program.  But I haven't been to that location in a long time, so I don't know how it knows.  I'm hoping it's hooked into my calendar like Google Now has. I don't think it has. 

Anyway, I'm a little jazzed.  This is just a tiny little hobby of mine, and this tech thing is working for the first time as I think it was supposed to.  (interruption)  (Laughing) No.  I'm not going to TMZ.  No, no.  The location's not TMZ.  It's a doctor's office.  The phone knows I'm going to the doctor's office after the show.  I haven't been to the doctor's office out here in a month.  It hasn't been collecting data that fast.  (interruption)  What?  Yeah, I know. 

Well, they're talking about TMZ waiting outside restaurants and my friends stranding me there.  Yeah, they take an alternate exit.  I think they're right behind me, and they're not. I'm walking out and there are the TMZ cameras.  The phone's not gonna take me there.  I've already got that worked out. 

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: It's five minutes of an attempt by a professional audiologist, scientist, doctor -- guy wears a white coat -- to tell people who do not have cochlear implants what they sound like, what things sound like to people who use them.  I listened to it, and again, I'm hearing the whole thing through my implant so I really can't tell you how accurate it is. 

That's the thing.  I'm still hearing it all through the implant, but I did notice a difference in what they claim is normal speech and the speech that they have re-created, processed through a cochlear implant.  So I wanted to let you know that that is up there.  

END TRANSCRIPT

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