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How software got so noisy, and why it's probably going to stay that way

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4397.T-JPThe wife of the photographer works in home office during the coronavirus pandemic on March 01, 2021 in Berlin, Germany. German authorities have confirmed the country has entered a third wave of the pandemic due to the spread of the B117 variant of the novel coronavirus. Meanwhile the pace of vaccinations has begun accelerating and some lockdown measures have been cautiously eased.Sean Gallup | Getty Images News | Getty Images

Connor Moore couldn’t take any more noise from his computer.

He uses Slack’s team communication software at his music-production company CMoore Sound in San Francisco, and the sound of notifications from the app kept interrupting his meetings. Sometimes the sound suddenly played when another user sent a message, and sometimes he heard it in the background while talking with people on Zoom video calls.

“It’s really intense,” said Moore, who has created sounds for products at Amazon, Google and Uber. He turned off the notification sound. And then he reached out to Slack. He wants to help the world sound better, he said, and he recognized an opportunity.

That’s probably a good idea, because Slack’s scratch-pop-pop-pop sound is one of the noises that people have been hearing a lot more lately.