If you’ve ever given the excuse that “you’re going into a tunnel” or “there’s bad reception” to break up a dull phone call, then you understand what Zoom Escaper is for.
With this free web widget, you can use the sounds that would usually get in the way of important meetings – crying babies, construction riot, and.. a crying man? – as an excuse to get out of the needless ones, scot-free. Other audio effects that you can add to your next Zoom meeting include barking dogs, an annoying echo, a choppy connection, noisy gale winds, and if things get really drastic, the unsettling sound of urination. If these sounds are too unrealistic for your circumstance, you can also upload your own noise to the site!
And it’s pretty easy to use too! You just need to download an audio software called VB-Audio to generate the virtual sound to your microphone. Then, before your Zoom call, head to “Settings.” Under “Audio,” set your microphone to VB-Cable, then set the “Suppress background noise” option to “Low.” Then, head on to Zoom Escaper, hit “Start,” and choose the sound that will sabotage your tedious team meetings.
You can watch this guide made by the tool’s creator himself, Sam Lavigne:
Be careful when using the widget, though, as the sound is heard by all participants except you.
Of course, there are other situations to skirt around too, like when the group requests to see your baby or dog on camera or asks where the crying man is on your next Zoom meeting. Before you know it, you’re spinning a whole story.
If Zoom Escaper sounds too troublesome to use, maybe Lavigne’s Zoom Deleter is a quicker fix. Its task is even simpler: it’s just a small program that deletes the Zoom program once it detects it. No Zoom, no work, no problem.
Lavigne, who works as an artist and educator, has also built other programs that deliberately defeat the need to work. In 2017, he built The Good Life which let users register to receive a staggering 225,000 e-mails confiscated from the disastrous Enron bankruptcy scandal in 2004.
Then in 2016, he started Slow Hot Computer for those who want to “decrease their productivity” by running “processor intensive tasks” that will slow their computer “to a near halt while remaining minimally usable.”
Lavigne explains to tech website Verge that the principal ethos for his unique portfolio is “deliberate slowdown, reducing productivity and output, self-sabotage, and others.” That’s one way (or few) to stick it to “The Man.”
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