The Daily Telegraph is quite excited about Apple's newly filed patent which will allow iPods to automatically lower their levels to protect hearing:
Apart from, you know, when it has before and when it launched the sound limiting software.
This is, however, a new idea:
It states: "Since the damaging effects on users' hearing is both gradual and cumulative, even those users who are concerned about hearing loss may not behave in a manner that would limit or minimise such damaging effects."
So, the longer you listen to your music player, the less you'll be able to hear it. Which is, of course, the same thing that happens if you don't have this technology built-in to it.
There is a broader question, though: if this is such an important, humane idea - and it is - why are Apple patenting it, rather than sharing it for everyone's benefits? Do people with Zunes deserve to lose their hearing or something?