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Canada Considers Cellphone Jammers 384

Posted by timothy
from the in-movie-theaters-*please* dept.
Mark Cappel writes: "Computerworld reports the Canadian equivalent to the US FCC is considering licensing the use of cellphone jammers. One person quoted in the article says, essentially, if a property owner does not want people to use cell phones on his property, then why not jam 'em?"
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Canada Considers Cellphone Jammers

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  • Over and over and endlessly over, I read these inane scenarios where cellphone jamming might cause someone to die in a theatre because his wife's baby was being delivered and the doctor couldn't contact him.

    Come on, people. What the fuck did you do *BEFORE* cellphones were invented? Was all of humanity grubbing in the mud, unaware that unendurable hardships were being placed on them?

    Christ. If your wife's having a baby, wear a pager and use the cellphone. And if you're likely to keel over dead from a heart attack... well, hell, you're toast anyway. No cellphone is gonna do you good.

    --
  • Dear god, let's take out the bathrooms too. Damn peeers. Don't they know they're wrecking it for all of us!

    Kevin Fox
    --
  • The problem needs to be solved, and jammers would help solve it, but with several drawbacks. In addition, it could create a market for unjammable phones (or at least, phones that diminish the effective jammed area produced by a jammer).

    We've seen many examples of cell phones sellers incorporating new technology standards (eg the next generation is apparently required to have location tracking tech, so emergency services can find people via their phone), so perhaps a "Silent Mode/Off Mode" signal detector couldbe added (ie instead of a jammer, you use a transmitter in the theatre, which tells all phones in the area to switch to silent mode (if you're lenient about phone use in your theatre) or to switch off (if you're hardline about it).

    The obvious shortfall in such a system is not implementing it (I don't consider cost much of a factor - these days in this industry it ain't a high tech solution), but complacency - people will assume that it's no-longer their responsibility to turn the phone off - "if the proprietor doesn't want phones going off, he can damn well buy a phone silencer for his premises" sorta thing.

    Actually - that does make jamming sound good precisely because of it's drawbacks - it's saying to people "start using your phones responsibly NOW or you WILL lose their capabilities". Of course, while few will listen, everyone will bitch when they get their just rewards...

    And social etiquette does not seem to be working. Much like smoking, it only takes a few inconsiderate people to make the considerate behaviour of others meaningless. Smoking in public is more stigmitised than cell-phones will be in the forseeable future, yet social etiquette hasn't solved that problem, so what hope for success against rude cellphone use?

    Are there any solutions, or have we just added yet another permanent irritation to our lives?
  • There are a few problems I can see with bluelinx's device. First, lest they be slashdotted, the general shtick is that if your phone comes within range of their device, it sends a bluetooth message to turn the cell ring volume down, or to vibrate or whatever. When you leave the radius, cell volume returns to normal.

    Great notion, in theory. Practically, a number of issues come up.

    1. It requires universal acceptance by cell manufacurers. Universal acceptance is one of the toughest requirements to meet, and this one requires it of a group that has reasons not to do so. The simplest of which is that Q-Zone phones will cost more to make. A couple tenths of a cent maybe, but still more. And that's a margin large enough to kill the idea dead.
    2. It requires acceptance by venue management. Why should I care about Q-Zone if my movie theater is satisfied with their "silence is golden" policy, over installing pricy electronics in their theater.
    3. It'll kill battery life. Now your phone has to poll the Q-Zone station about whether it's okay to wake up again, or register that it's still in the quiet zone, and that's enough juice to suck the battery dry that much faster. Is this a perk?
    4. American phone users are likely to resent the feature, and opt to buy phones where it isn't installed (another notch against universal manufacturer acceptance) or where it can be turned on and off (where venue acceptance takes a hit).

    Better still would be any largish region requiring all cellular devices to vibrate. That'd bring the availability of vibrating devices up, and keep interruptions down in the first place.

  • Actually, the quote is originally attributed to a 19th-century French socialist philosopher named Jacques Renault.
  • Dude, you've obviously never had a child.

    Your doctor is your doctor, and when your wife goes into labor at 4am, your doctor is going to deliver the baby, not the one who happens to be on call.

    Kevin Fox
    --
  • by holzp (87423) on Tuesday March 06, 2001 @05:14PM (#379774)
    as the cancer rate in canada mysteriously rises....
  • I personally would love to see the US allow this, especially in movie theatres and restaurants. I'm personally tired of hearing someone's phone ring in a movie or listening to other people's conversations while I'm eating dinner, but of course, here in the US, someone will consider it your right to have your cell phone ring anywhere and anytime you want.
    I think....therefore I am
  • Something else as well: I just saw an advert for the sprint PCS voice-dialling where it's available on any sprint phone. Well, that was avalable a little under two years ago on the Orange network (c.f. Wildfire).

    This really is an area where the USA is playing catchup with the rest of the world (along with HDTV)

    Rich

  • Yeah, like there'd be anything you could do about it.

    But I bet you'd sue anyways. A few million from a deep pocket organization... turn a 'tragedy' into a holiday. Sounds like Susan Smith.

    Besides, this thread was about telling phones to vibrate, not jamming them. If someone really wanted to jam them they'd just build fine mesh into the walls and ceilings. No overt device needed, no lawsuit liability. ("No, we didn't do it to jam cellphones, we did it to block potentially harmful EM radiation.")
  • by raju1kabir (251972) on Tuesday March 06, 2001 @07:48PM (#379791) Homepage
    If someone had a heart attack or something, and a cell phone jammer prevented someone else from dialing 911 (or its equivalent), could the owner of the cell phone jammer face legal liability?

    Yes, they almost certainly would.

    In 1973, my uncle died in a Tulsa movie theatre after getting stuck to the floor in an awkward position that caused a bloot clot in his leg. It took several hours for help to arrive, because nobody could find a nickel for the payphone in the lobby. My aunt successfully sued the owner of the theatre for Operating a Public Venue Prior to the Widespread Availability of Lifesaving Cellphones.

    A few months ago a woman here in town slipped and fell in the French Cultural Center gift shop and punctured her spleen on a miniature Eiffel Tower. Nobody in the store happened to have a cell phone to call 911 with, and she sued every last one of them. A jury awarded her over $24m in combined damages.

    Just this morning I was walking down the street and a police officer ran up to me and demanded to use my cell phone to call his dispatcher because his car had been stolen. My batteries were worn down and he was unable to make the call. I was then arrested, and only got bailed out a few minutes ago.

  • If someone had a heart attack or something, and a cell phone jammer prevented someone else from dialing 911 (or its equivalent), could the owner of the cell phone jammer face legal liability?
    No.
    1. This is Canada we're speaking about. Those sorts of lawsuits nor the mentality behind them aren't common here. Indeed they're derided as a US thing.
    2. Cellphones aren't considered a reliable form of communication anyhow. There are numerous 'dead spots' so it's not as if this doesn't occur unassisted.
    3. Cellphones have indicators to signal when they're in contact and when not. It's up to their owners to monitor their reception and act accordingly. We have (well, several just closed) a number of cinemas in Montreal that are underground and thus cellphones are already not a problem in them - the signal simply can't reach. This would simply be creating artificial blocks.
    4. Finally, please folks don't start making statements based on "In this State or that State"; this is Canada, a separate & distinct country (visits to Toronto notwithstanding.) Here it's Provinces, decentralized government, social good & CRTC.
  • Unless you don't object to someone having a phone conversation in the seat behind you in a theatre? Or a regular conversation for that matter. It's all communication.

    And if cell phones stop annoying people, the jammers will not be used anymore.
  • I want to build a mobile one and attach it to my motorcycle

    Of course this probably won't have the effect you're looking for...

    ... as drivers whose phones mysteriously start cutting out on them decide to glance down at their phones to check the signal strength, look around for overhead power lines, or generally just get irate at the lost connection as they hang up and redial (dialing on a cell phone being one of the most dangerous things you can legally do while driving) all the while not watching you on your motorcycle.

    Driving a bike is hazardous enough with all the idiots on the road - I certainly wouldn't want to be on one with an interference device attached to it :)

  • Unfortunately, there are millions of people who are "too important" (at least to themselves) to be out of touch for one minute. But it's getting out of hand.

    I've seen people in the National Guard who feel the need to take their cell phone out in the field with them - never mind that even if Junior took his first step right then you're not going him till Sunday. Oh, and the phone probably won't work anyway. I just don't get it...
  • And if you talked to me in one of them there classes like you talked in that there post of yours, there would be a lot of things getting jammed.


    Up yer ass, that is. :o}
  • Darwinism hasn't worked with drunk drivers, it won't work here either, at least not on the road.

    Why? Because driving drunk is really not THAT dangerous, assuming you aren't totally blasted. Its an unnecessary risk, of course, and you shouldn't drive drunk, but its sure not the certain death that the propaganda makes it out to be. I don't drive drunk and I bitch at people that do it, but I am also realistic.

    But really, why all this talk about jamming cell phones. We really should jam people with loud stereos too, since they could potentially make it impossible to hear that rescue vehicle that is about to run the red light opposing your green.

    Luckily, it's apparently not as "cool" to have a stereo so loud that you can hear it miles away anymore. I'm glad.
    -

  • Ever heard of a concept called "intentional interference"? I am a ham radio operator, and as such pretty familiar with FCC regs, and this system would be very very very illegal. $10,000 fine and a bunch of nasty letters. (They usually waive the fine if you suck up to them and you aren't rich, but if they catch you doing it again, thats a different story.)
    -
  • Non-metallic things are invisible to radio waves. No glass will ever stop radio waves, unless it is doped with something metallic.
    -
  • "I'd also worry about the technical support calls from customers unaware of cell phone jammers."

    Probably the same people who can't set the time on their VCR's, or the same people who buy CD-RW's and can't figure out why their 10 year old 2x cdrom can write to it .....

    For cellphone jamming to be permitted it would have to be posted in the establishment that jamming is occuring. Imagine the confusion at an R&B club:

    Jamming in progress ....

    But, I believe in Japan jamming is permitted. It would be nice if the whole country had cellphone jamming, with the exception of a few one person sized sound proof boxes scattered around the country, we could call them phone booths or phone boxes or phone kiosks!

    On a more serious note: many cell phone users are annoying, they talk too loud and the ringing noise that most cellphones emit is obnoxious. Until society develops a suitable etiquette for mobile phone use we're stuck with the obnoxious side of it, or until better mobile phones are created. Obviously, not much can be done with obnoxious people who use cell phones!

  • i think you missed the point....

    the original poster was asking if the owner of the establishment (etc) would be liable for blocking the call to 911 (and all other calls) and preventing emergency medical attention from arriving (or arriving as quickly)

  • Or at least false communications, like the classic shouting Fire! in a crowded theater. And we place limitations at least on trivial communications, which is why I'm supposed to whisper in a library when I want to converse, instead of signalling by cannon.

    So, I'd object to jamming the President's cell phone, especially if we're pissing off China, but I think the vast majority of cell phone conversations aren't that d***ed important. Certainly not important to justify pissing off a whole ballet audience, esp. if the building's owners warned you that they'll jam cell phones inside their building. If the jamming extends beyond their building, then you might have a legitimate complaint.

    -----
    IANASRP- I am not a self-referential phrase
    -----

  • Freedom of speech impared. I don't know what the freedom of speech laws in Canada are, but here in the US you are (normally) allowed to say what you want. where you want, to whoever you want.

    Yeah, that would explain why I'm able to sue the New York Times whenever they refuse to publish my stories on their front page, as well as why I'm able to go to presidential press conferences and scream out my opinions without being ejected. You seem to be a little confused about the First Amendment.

  • No, they would most likely not be liable. In most states in the US, anyone who calls 911 or performs any other lifesaving measure during an emergency that does not permit them the ability to obtain the express consent of the person they are trying to help is usually covered by what's called the good samaritan clause.
    First off this is Canada, no states here.

    Secondly in the US most folks are not shielded by any Good Samaritan protection. Indeed that's the point of the article you referenced. If you collapse in front of me in a heart attack & I crack your ribs attempting CPR, or I pull you unconscious from a damaged car (in some TV-fueled belief that they all explode in a ball of flames) & permanently injure your spine in the process...

    I'm totally & completely liable for any injuries you suffer as a result of my actions.

    True there are some places in the US where these actions would be protected and even a fewer where my actions would be required but this is not the case in the majority of the US.

    But since the original articcle is all about Canada (big country to the north of continental USA, 2nd largest in world, #1 in UN livability ratings, bilingual, not-US) it's all moot.

    I am not a lawyer nor assert these statements to be accurate. You should obtain competent legal advice in your own jurisdiction.

  • Welcome to the wonderful word of Satire.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    What if the babysitter is trying to tell me there's been an emergency at home, and my phone doesn't even vibrate?
    Then you'll just have to find a babysitter you trust to dial 911, and then return home calmly after your evening out to find the police/EMS waiting to explain things, rather than rushing home in a panic to find a situation that is completely trivial, or that you can't do anything about anyway. It's easy to think of "what if"'s where a cellphone would be useful to have (not that you can't do the same for a pipe wrench or a ball of twine), but try to remember that people made it thousands of years without being in constant contact with the world.
  • by DzugZug (52149) on Tuesday March 06, 2001 @05:17PM (#379865) Journal
    While there is definatly opertunity for abuse, this is something I've been wanting for a long time. Good places to use:

    -movie thearter
    -classroom
    -Starbucks (probably wont happen but I can dream right?)
  • by JohnnyBolla (102737) on Tuesday March 06, 2001 @05:18PM (#379872) Homepage
    Cell phone users drive worse than drunks, by a long shot. I want to build a mobile one and attach it to my motorcycle.
  • I'd like you to show me the evidence that the use of modern cellular telephones in public-access areas of the hospital actually creates sufficient interference to cause a problem. Sure, if you're a few feet away from sensitive telemetry, I might understand. I've yet to see a conclusive, let alone sufficiently convincing study demonstrating significant disruption of hospital services by cellular phone usage.

    Something I wrote elsewhere once upon a time:

    This year, I've been wearing a pager in hospital, while my digital PCS phone sits either freezing or melting in my car... stashed safely in the parking lot. It's due to the familiar fact that hospitals have those gigantic signs posted everywhere, screaming about how any device that transmits RF might cause a massive explosion or result in patient deaths. We commonly have this explained to us by the fact that "cellular phones and other RF transmitters may interfere with sensitive medical equipment." Aren't these sensitive pieces of equipment RF shielded in any way to prevent this, let alone to prevent the multitude of walkie-talkie conversations and telemetry broadcasts permeating the hospital hallways from upsetting the various electronic doodads? I've even seen docs answer their mobile phones right in front of me, ON HOSPITAL PROPERTY, thumbing their noses at the dictum that "PHONE IN HOSPITAL BAD."

    I, procrastinating my own reading, did a quick search online for an answer to this question which has plagued me and my colleauges for some time now. Here are a few highlights from different points of view:

    Digital Cellular Phone Interference with Cardiac Pacemakers [hc-sc.gc.ca]
    Is There an Effect of a Cellular Phone on Pacemaker Function? [heartweb.org]
    Is it time for Cellular Bill of Rights? [wirelessweek.com]
    Medical Center Goes Wireless [attws.com]
    EM interference of external pacemakers... study [nih.gov]
    Effect of mobile phone on life-saving and life-sustatning systems [nih.gov]
    Interference to medical equipment form mobile phones. [nih.gov]
    Initial experience with a wireless PDA as a teleradiology terminal... [nih.gov]

    If I'm completely in left field, please let me know so I can finally get to the bottom of this.

    --- [DrPsycho [zombo.com]] Coping with reality since 1975.

  • by evilviper (135110) on Tuesday March 06, 2001 @05:19PM (#379878) Journal
    Because then you are interfering with public/private property. Just because a plane flies over your house doesn't give you the right to shoot it down for tresspassing. Think about it.
  • Ok, while part of my would like nothing more then to see cell phone jammed in movie thearters, classrooms, and other places that should be disturbance free (I don't really have a problem with starbucks), I also see potential problems with this.

    What happens to the doctor who gets an emergency call durring the movie? Or even just the concerned parents who are out and get an emergency call from the babysitter or kids? Isn't on of the main points of cell phones reachability? If someone has there cell phone on vibrate (so the ring doesn't annoy people), used caller ID to make sure its actualy a potentialy important call, and steps outside to have the conversation, I guess I dont really have that much of a problem with it.

    Of course I would be living in some sort of dream world to expect everyone to follow those rules of cell phone courtesy in public. Maybe if we start shooting those who don't comply.

  • The problem is the behavior that is associated with them - rude and inconsiderate when applied to theatres and fancy restaurants, potentially dangerous when coupled with moving vehicles. To actually get back on topic, though, jamming is not likely to be the answer, as other people have pointed out. The problem is behavioural, not technological, and we therefore should not be looking for technological solutions to it.
    The current prefered technique for dealing with behavioural problems is to legislate. But if people don't think it's much of a problem that won't stop them (e.g. speeding, jaywalking, smoking in non-smoking areas). A technological solution is more effective. Which is why the MPAA demanded DVD copy-protection.
    P.S. Why in hell did the original parent in this thread get 3, Funny, and my reply to it 3, Insightful? Neither was either.
    MOCA (moderators on crack again).
  • To expand your pathetic little horizon a bit, I go to class and I administer computer systems -- and I need to be contacted when systems need help. That's why I pay for the cell service. If my phone vibrating, and my taking it out of my pocket to read the message
    So why didn't you get a pager or something like this [compaq.com]. These devices are supposed to be unaffected by this sort of blocking. If you have a phone instead then clearly you mean to talk. I agree that the "quiet zone" idea where the phone is switched to vibrate is a better idea, but I don't see how your situation justifies not allowing cellphone blocking.
    And I hope someday the doctor YOU need for some emergency is in class where his phone has been blocked.
    Doctors have a contractual obligation to be contactable. If they go somewhere where they are not contactable then they will be responsible for the results. In what way does the case of the doctor going into a blocked area differ from doctor going out of signal range?
  • by Grue (3391) on Tuesday March 06, 2001 @05:21PM (#379894) Homepage
    Just because cell phones currently annoy people, doesn't mean they always will. I think ANY method of limiting communications is stupid and counter to civilization. I wholeheartedly agree that many people talk on cell phones today for the wrong reasons (status and image) but I see them as eventually becoming ubiquitous devices that will be used by almost everyone. Jammers only destroy, we want things that can create and facilitate creation here in our world.

    Josh

  • I'd worry about a smart thief who decides to jam a person's cell-phone just prior to mugging them.

    I'd also worry about the technical support calls from customers unaware of cell phone jammers.

    -B
  • by atrowe (209484) on Tuesday March 06, 2001 @05:21PM (#379898)
    Are a good idea. They're also useful for keeping the mind control rays out of your head. Much more fashionable than hats made out of aluminum foil. Keep up the good work, Canada!
  • Unfortunately so, the first amendment has been virtually twisted into a pretzel to protect the damndest things. Foolish me, I thought it was there to protect the right of citizens to criticize their government, but it seems to protect the right of a person to yak away on a cell phone, while placing others in harm's way or, at the least, distraction.

    The First Amendment has been held by courts to protect content, not the time, place, or manner of what you say. So you can say whatever you like, but you can - if a "compelling" reason is provided - be stopped from, for instance, screaming at people trying to get into the hospital.

    This is why public airports are able to have those "designated free speech areas". If they were required to give people blanket freedom to speak anywhere they wanted, why bother creating a designated area? Nobody would use it.

    Likewise, freedom of speech has nothing to do with being allowed to use a cellphone in a restaurant. Nobody is complaining about the content, just about the place and manner.

    So, back to your DeCSS point. DeCSS is a content issue, not a time/place/manner. People have tried to be flexible about it, printing it on T-shirts and singing it in songs. But The Man just isn't happy, because he doesn't like the content. And that's where the First Amendment comes into play. At least you'd hope it would.

  • i can see where jamming cell phone where they are horribly annoying is good... however it would be better if there was some kind of cell phone maker organization that setup somethign were you could buy a device that would make tell cell phones that they are in a 'quiet zone' and then they would not ring audibly and if their user doesn't pick up, inform the person on the other side that their use is in a 'quiet zone' and take a message...

    there could potentially be override ability for actual need (ie emergency type things) somehow (*shrug* i'm not going to actually make a device, i'm just throwing out ideas :)

  • by Ryu2 (89645) on Tuesday March 06, 2001 @05:23PM (#379904) Homepage Journal
    If someone had a heart attack or something, and a cell phone jammer prevented someone else from dialing 911 (or its equivalent), could the owner of the cell phone jammer face legal liability?
  • Sure it sounds nice to guarentee no interruptions in a movie theater, and while it seems like everyone has a cellphone, some people do, in fact, need them.

    Your wife (or you) go(es) into labor, and the hospital pages your doctor, only they're at a movie because labor is two weeks early and they have a baby expected during any 4 week span. They don't find out because their cellphone and pager are jammed.

    Also, unless you can build a farriday cage around your house, your jamming will affect people on adjacent properties. And if you could build a farriday cage around your house, then you wouldn't need a jammer to begin with.

    The deal here is the need for social rules. they're already here, and getting stronger. Now that most phones come with vibrate settings, and it's getting easier to switch between 'profiles', the problem will get better.

    Add bluetooth to the mix and soon you'll have devices that know when they're entering 'quiet areas' and they'll switch to silent operation automatically while they're in the theater.

    You don't want a speed governor on your car, and I don't want someone jamming cellphones. Sure it's annoying to be interrupted during a movie, and yes, I'm completely supportive of ways to prevent that, but it's obnoxious to assume that nobody has duties so important that they need to be interrupted during a meal, movie, or play, and it's closed-minded to think that there aren't more ingeneous ways to solve the problem than aggressive wholesale jamming of signals.

    We're smarter than that, and we can go beyond '50s technology.

    Kevin Fox
    --
  • I'd really like to see something like this on the bus. I can't tell you how many times I've wanted to strangle the lady two rows back that is having a loud conversation with someone about her self-actualization "techniques" and how people who don't practice such "techniques" are destined to failure and some other bullshit, or the person who is talking about their sex life in very graphic detail, or the guy who is completely in love with himself and is bullshitting some poor soul over the phone about his "excellent" career and about all the money he's making, or how about the lady that ...

    My only concerns would be about the radiation from the "jammer", and maybe the civil liberties issues of blocking communication. :)

  • by mbklein (86878) on Tuesday March 06, 2001 @07:23PM (#379927)
    For years, theaters (the live kind, not the movie kind) have been running a system whereby people with pagers can leave them with a clerk, who takes note of the seat number and unobtrusively alerts them if there is a page. The people with the pagers used to be doctors for the most part, and they often had the good sense and manners to book a seat on an aisle in case they had to get up unexpectedly. I'm sure they're doing the same thing with cell phones now. I'm also sure they could do the same thing in movie theaters if they cared (and checked on where you were sitting).

    I was in a Broadway theater a few months ago when a woman in front of me answered her cell phone and started gabbing away in full voice right in the middle of the show. Someone shushed her, to which she replied (loudly and angrily), "This is BUSINESS!" Fine, lady. Take your business outside.

    C'mon, people, how hard can it be?

    • Put it on vibrate!
    • Sit on the aisle!
    • If you need to make or take a call, leave the theater!
    Same goes for restaurants, to an extent. Basically, if you can talk on your cell as you would talk to a companion at your table, fine. If not, find some privacy.
  • > This means that when I get this vibrating
    > sensation in my pocket, it either startles the
    > hell out of me, or puzzles me.

    Or strangely excites you...

    On a related note, my sister got a mobile phone and so passed on to me her now defunct pager. I stuck it in my chest jacket pocket and more or less forgot about it. Never even bothered to give the number out. Then one day I was sitting in a bar and I kept getting these terrifying fibrillating motions around my heart. I thought I had finally overdone the old sauce and was about to croak it until I eventually twigged that it was the pager on vibrate mode - she had set it up to receive lottery results...
  • What if he's 200 feet underground in a mine? Is he going to sue the mine for not having cellphone transponders in the mine shaft? Get real.

    If it's clearly indicated that cellular phones will not work in the theater... so be it.

    Also.. consider this.

    I could, if I so wished, build my house as a farraday cage, so no radio inside can communicate with outside. I don't need a license to do this.

    How is active jamming within the bounds of my own property any different?
  • Now this pisses me off -- you guys who replied to flame me took an insightfull comment all wrong -- I made a point about the dangers of jamming cellphones, gave an example of a real experince I'd had in that area -- I pointed out the problem is a social one, not a technological one, but you saw past all that and managed to get offended over the least signifigant portion of the comment -- an anticdote.

    To the moderators who moded my comment down: use your heads don't listen to the trolls.

    To those offended by the use of the word FAG: get a grip, its just a word ...

  • Ahhh yes, but how would they make the call? :-)
  • "I'm having a heart attack- call 911!"

    "Sorry, it's not good etiquette here, we jam cell phone signals. You'll just have to die because we are just so offended by people talking on the phone."
  • It should be noted that no cell phone service provider guarantees constant receptiion anyway. If you are truly life-or-death on call, you should be by a land line.
  • Because then you are interfering with public/private property. Just because a plane flies over your house doesn't give you the right to shoot it down for tresspassing. Think about it.

    A) That's a bad example, because we're not talking about actively, purposefully causing permanent damage to property, nor are we talking about killing people.

    B) Your private lot does not extend upwards an infinite distance. At a certain altitude(can't remember the figure, but it's fairly low), you no longer own the airspace.

    If someone did land a plane on your property, just for the heck of it(it wasn't an emergency, and they had a licensed airfield nearby), you could do whatever you wanted to it. If you didn't have a tractor to haul it away, you could cut it up into little pieces and move it off your property.

    There are limits, of course(in this case, the owner of the aircraft has to have refused to remove it themselves, for instance), but you get the idea.

    Personally, I wouldn't use one of these directly myself. However, if there was a restaurant in the area which had a "no cell phone" policy, and enforced it with one of these devices, I'd frequent it regularily.

    Dave

    Barclay family motto:
    Aut agere aut mori.
    (Either action or death.)
  • by evilviper (135110) on Wednesday March 07, 2001 @12:22AM (#379944) Journal
    I was refering to Low-Flying airplaines, helicopters as well. If you don't think you own a lot of the sky, you need to take a look at a skyscraper some time and see how much airspace they've taken over above their property.

    Secondly, if you decide you don't like what's broadcast on Channel 4 you don't have the right to just interfer with that signal, and you sure can't broadcast over it. In fact, read the FCC note on any electronic device... It has been certified not to generate any harmful interference. If it does, it can't be sold in the USA.

    Despite what you may believe, you do not own the airwaves just as you don't own the airspace above your property. CB bands are open to whatever you want to do with them, but the frequency cell phones use was sold to the companies. If you block or interfere with it in any way, you are damaging their property.
  • Well, it's going to come down to either this or Darwinism for cell phone users on the roads. Those that can't hold a conversation and drive correctly (which seems to be a majority of them) will end up falling off the road and dying. Of course, they will probably take a few innocents down with them. :(

    Strangely, this is the one technology I've really avoided trying, for just this reason.

  • Sorry, but your property doesn't extend that far up. Now, if the plane landed on your front lawn, you're welcome to shoot the pilot for trespassing (assuming he survived impact).

    In the case of cellphones, if that radiation is passing through your yard, then I say it's yours. It's only one step from listening in (which is perfectly legal) to stopping them. If the users really want to use their phone, they can exit the yard first.

    Cheers,
    KdL
  • ...but it's gone on too long. (Thank you Ogden Nash.)

    I totally disagree with this idea. Cell phones will probably always annoy me, especially when wielded by clueless teenagers on crowded streetcars. Wait 'til you get home, you morons! Being free from the ubiquitous cheesy beeping classical music knock-off (or cutesy TV theme song, etc.) ringing, and brainless people's inane conversations for once without fear of legal reprisal from stomping the offending gadget into powder would be nice, as well.

    Of course, we all know how this one is going to go (unless the CRTC, in its infinite wisdom actually decides to grow a backbone), so my fond wish of actually obtaining and using a cell phone jammer is more than likely just a moot point.

    Ehhhh, shouldn't'a got me started. This is one of my sore points.

    Just out of idle curiosity, does anyone else out there see cell phones, pagers, etc. more as leashes and choke chains than anything else (gee, yeah, I want my boss to be able to get hold of me no matter where I am or what time it is--even though he doesn't have to? Sure...)?

    ?!
  • by Chuck Flynn (265247) on Tuesday March 06, 2001 @05:27PM (#379954)
    I'm an American, but I'll be the first to admit that Canada is leading the information-technology revolution and leaving the US in the dust. Thirty years ago, parts of New Brunswick still didn't have running water. Now they're hotbeds of technological innovation.

    Canada is ideal for two reasons: a small disperse population and a friendly regulatory environment. Unlike the US to the south, Canada's governments know how to spur economic and technological innovation by adopting stimulative regulations; a best-of-both-worlds approach where economic competition is suppressed in favor of great horizontal development. Monopolies become numerous, but the market is best served by maintaining control in the hands of the few where it can be best put to use. Take the Canadian health-care system, for example. The government has a monopoly on health care, but access is guaranteed to all. Perhaps the DOJ and its zealous persecution of Microsoft can learn something from this.

    The American film industry is moving to Canada, as are giants in the IT industry. Fifty years ago, technology like this would've had to have been developed and deployed in the US if it were to be taken seriously. Now, it can be developed, deployed, and perfected in Canada, where it can then be exported to the rest of the world. Canada is about to replace the US as the world's largest exporter of electronic and devices and will likely supplant the US as the world's biggest superpower within a few decades.

    Cellphone-jamming technology, whatever its moral and legal implications, is just another step in Canada's conquest of the twenty-first century. Expect more from Canada.
  • If that's your position, I suppose that's your problem to figure it out. Pay a doctor to sit by a phone all day or something. I still fail to see how it's my responsibility to keep your doctor contactable. As long as the "no cell phone" areas are very clearly marked, anyone entering them is doing so of their own free will, and they are responsible for the lack of cell-phone communication that ensues.


    Which of course brings us to the other respondent's point - women have been having babies for many years, and for most of those years there were no cell phones (hell even 20 years ago cell phones were very uncommon). Did you stalk the doctor and require to know where he was at all times so he could deliver your baby if necessary? If not, I don't see why that's required now.

  • It should be noted that no cell phone service provider guarantees constant receptiion anyway. If you are truly life-or-death on call, you should be by a land line.

    True, how else do you get out of the Matrix??


  • Can anyone comment on my opinion of why the rest of the world seems to be ahead of the USA in the area of mobile phones? Here's my reason: The USA has years of infrastructure behind the conventional telephone system.

    Basically, the phones are so damn good, that we didn't need to 'take to the airwaves' so soon.


    Several reasons, I'd say. Firstly make no mistake, the USA is in the prehistoric era when it comes to cellphones. I really do shudder at just how awful the handsets and quality of service you get over there.

    Firstly there is the lack of "calling party pays". What fuelled the growth of cellphones in the Europe (and, I assume, AsiaPac) was the tremendous volume of people saying "I'll just get one for emergencies, have it on all the time but not make any calls" which is difficult to pull off if you feel you as the cellphone owner are going to get charged if someone calls you.

    Secondly there is the "not invented here" which does seem to pervade thinking in the USA. (I'm thinking particularly about GSM) Perhaps not a biggie, but worth mentioning.

    Thirdly, and perhaps most importantly is the point you allude to in that the US was very progressive
    about RF spectrum allocation last century but because of the (relatively) primitive nature of equipment at that time huge blocks of RF had to be allocated to applications rather than the very narrow bands that modern equipment can stick within.
  • Nah, aluminum foil hats [zapatopi.net] rock for keeping the CIA out of your head..
  • It is probably the worst analogy I've seen.
    If someone came into my house and started yelling loudly, and woke me up from my nap, I would be in my full right to shove the bastard outside.
    It is _excactly_ the same here.
    If someone is so rude as to talk loudly, or answer calls during a movie in MY movie theater, I would be right in throwing them out.
    I could demand that people surrender cell-phones into my custody for their duration on MY property.
    If they don't agree, then they cannot visit my property. Jamming cell-phones is just a more convinient way, both for the property-owner, and the visitors.
    Of course, they should ADVERTISE that they jam cell-phones, so that people who really need to be available, can avoid visiting such places.
  • Yes, if you're planning on holding a cellphone up next to the ECG of a patient while the ECG is being taken... you're going to cause havoc. I can grant you that. Heck, *SNEEZING* can interfere with most ECGs! I don't contest the fact that phones belch out interference (enough to fry a pacemaker, but at CLOSE RANGE)... but I what question a global in-hospital ban on cellphones vs. a more selective policy of keeping them out of immediate patient-care areas.

    The study I linked to above as "Effect of mobile phone on life-saving and life-sustatning systems [nih.gov]" concluded:

    "Our results permit the conclusion that the ban on mobile phones in hospitals is based not on actual events, but on theoretical considerations in the absence of any practical information on the actual susceptibility of devices and their reaction to the electromagnetic fields involved."

    We would therefore recommend that all life-saving and life-support systems that can also be used outside the hospital should be made mobile phone-proof. When apnoea monitors and respirators are protected from such interference, hazardous situations could be avoided by establishing the rule: "No portables, and mobile phones only at a distance of at least 1 metre from medical devices". With regard to emergency telephones, the minimum distance to medical devices should be at least 1.5 metres."

    Much of the rest I've read on the subject more or less agrees. Granted, to fully enforce a 1.5 metre radius from sensitive equipment would probably involve drawing a lot of stupid red circles on the floor around patient beds (You'd have to do the hokey-pokey with your cellphone as you put your right foot in, the put you right foot out...). But where's the information that justifies the rampant verbal smackdown that goes on daily in hospital cafeterias, lobbies, and conference rooms? As near as I can tell, it's nonexistent.

    --- [DrPsycho [zombo.com]] Coping with reality since 1975.

  • if you don't want to hear other people's conversations, why are you out in public?

    To see a movie? A stand up comedian? Ballet?

    Besides, people tend to speak louder on the telephone and might end up in endless "yes, yes, oh no, yes" rituals for some people. Normal conversation usually is less irritating and more diverse so it falls back as background noise (in a restaurant for example).

  • The jamming system should be able to filter out a signal comming from a phone, and if the number dialed on the phone is one of the emergency numbers, it should let it through.
  • Well, has has often been noted, society functioned just fine for many years prior to the invention of cell phones. They are not a necessity, merely a convenience.

    Doctors and emergency service personnel who are on call have a responsibility to keep themselves contactable - it is not my responsibility to keep them contactable. As long as "no cell phone" areas are clearly marked, it is entirely their responsibility if they voluntarily enter them. For responsible people like parents, you do what has been done for a long time - let people (like your kids) know where you'll be, so if you need to be contacted in an emergency the land-line phone can be used (and the theater owner will page you over the intercom system).

    As for receiving messages about the death of a loved one, while that is tragic I fail to see how that is an emergency. Presumably if the person is already dead, not finding out for a few more hours doesn't have any significant effects.
  • I have begun lately when asked by restaurant hosts or hostesses my seating preference, to ask to be seated in the "no cell phone" section as opposed to the smoking or non-smoking areas. I am usually met with a blank stare.

    As a smoker, I will myself refrain from my habit at restaurants out of deference to others' sensibilities. Now if only we could get the cellphone addicts to do the same.
  • Just to add my $0.02USD...

    My cell phone doesn't *have* a vibrate mode. It's a Nokia 5160 -- the one that people like to give out for free with service -- and I need to buy a $100+ addon (actually a new battery, go figure) if I want it to be able to vibrate.

    Which I might do just 'cause the POS doesn't ring loud enough to be heard through a coat.

    (P.S. I do shut it off when going into a library, or movie theatre, etc. I have voicemail; if it's important, they'll leave a message.)

    --

  • My real question is this: if you don't want to hear other people's conversations, why are you out in public?
    Because I'm out in public to watch a movie, or have a nice meal. There are some times when people have the right not to be disturbed by other peoples phones. I think a better question is this: If you can't exist without a phone for a couple of hours, why don't you stay home?

    Which is exactly what I had to ask somebody last weekend as I was trying to see a movie with my friends. Some idiot couldn't stand to be parted from the electronic tether he calls a cellular phone and was incessantly talking on it, or it was incessantly ringing. I consider cellular phones in the wrong places (not just public places, many public places are fine) just as invasive and obnoxious as if the person behind me put their feet on the back of my chair.

  • but of course, here in the US, someone will consider it your right to have your cell phone ring anywhere and anytime you want.

    Unfortunately so, the first amendment has been virtually twisted into a pretzel to protect the damndest things. Foolish me, I thought it was there to protect the right of citizens to criticize their government, but it seems to protect the right of a person to yak away on a cell phone, while placing others in harm's way or, at the least, distraction. While I've been mildly amused at the attempt to protect DeCSS by wrapping it in the first amendment, the right to free speech is a serious matter, which IMHO does not extend to the right to have a phone or pager go off in a theatre. That's choice, the abuser chose to go into the restaurant, theatre or drive while talking. Personally, I have voice mail and use it. You want to talk to me, you will on my terms and they are when I'm not in a restaurant, theatre, and especially while driving.

    I suppose it would be a further twist to say my right to free speech is limited by any law which bars my making a political statement by running a cell phone jammer.

    Probably, though, a matter of my rights end where the other's rights begin, and visa versa.

    --

  • The jamming system should be able to filter out a signal comming from a phone, and if the number dialed on the phone is one of the emergency numbers, it should let it through.

    That's not how jammers work, unfortunately. Jammers just produce enough radio noise in the frequency band used by the jammed devices to prevent them from working. You either block everything or you block nothing.

    A 911 cell phone call looks exactly like any other call to someone snooping radio signals. There's no way that a jammer, no matter how smart, could tell the difference.
  • Some of my friends occasionally invited my girlfriend and me to gatherings at the San Francisco Yacht Club and one of the better golf clubs in the peninsula. My girlfriend discovered that mobile phones don't work inside the club houses at either location. They have a sign where they politely ask people to turn off their cell phones, and obviously have something blocking the signal going in or out of the building.

    I don't believe, though, that either place is using active jammers. I think they use some kind of passive technology, such as RF reflective material covering the walls and roof of the building. The RF silence, however, is total. Cell phones don't light up until you are well outside the club house, where you won't disturb others.

    Personally I think this is a good idea. It's always annoying having to deal with someone with a cell phone at the next table in a restaurant or during a movie or (worse!) during a play or ballet. As my brother says: "If you're so important that you can't miss a call, you usually have a chauffer waiting for you outside answering the phone in your limo." I haven't personally carried a mobile phone since 1997 (I was addicted to them before), and realized that there is no call so important that it can't wait. The best strategy for closing important business is good planning, not your ability to answer a phone 24 hours a day.

    Cheers!

    E
  • by outlier (64928) on Tuesday March 06, 2001 @05:43PM (#380020)
    people tend to speak louder on the telephone

    This irks me. Cell phones typically don't give the user appropriate auditory feedback. On a regular phone, you can hear yourself through the phone, on a cell phone you can't. I'm not sure why this design decision was made[1]. The result is that people can't hear themselves through one ear and talk louder to compensate.

    Providing the traditional feedback that a landline phone offers would undoubtedly reduce the volume that cell phone users spoke at.

    I get very annoyed by people using cell phones while driving or in relatively quiet public places, but there are concerns. Imagine a doctor on call going to a movie with his cell phone, when an emergency call doesn't make it through.

    From what I've read though (a NY Times article, I think), beepers aren't affected by cell jammers.

    I've also heard that you can put metal mesh in walls and ceilings to prevent most cell signals.

    [1] Possible reasons:

    • battery power
    • it may provide false feedback when there's a bad connection
    • some kind of half/full duplex mismatch problems
    • didn't consider it
  • Sure it sounds nice to guarentee no interruptions in a movie theater, and while it seems like everyone has a cellphone, some people do, in fact, need them.
    Your wife (or you) go(es) into labor, and the hospital pages your doctor, only they're at a movie because labor is two weeks early and they have a baby expected during any 4 week span. They don't find out because their cellphone and pager are jammed.

    Hm, I don't think this holds much ground. The jammer only makes "turning the volume down" mandatory, since the phone basically stops working -- but you were already supposed to turn the volume down, anyway, when going to a movie. I agree that for a doctor at a restaurant this would be a borderline case, and jamming probably inappropriate, but for a movie, the doctor isn't supposed to be there with a live phone in the first place, so jam away. In other words, anybody who needs to be reachable and has a bit of courtesy shouldn't show up at movies (or funerals or whatever) with a live phone in the first place.

  • No, they would most likely not be liable. In most states in the US, anyone who calls 911 or performs any other lifesaving measure during an emergency that does not permit them the ability to obtain the express consent of the person they are trying to help is usually covered by what's called the good samaritan clause [bergen.com].

    - tokengeekgrrl

  • Cell phones are already on some very crowded wireless bands. Anyone who has been in an ICU recently has probably seen the "No Cell Phones, Please" sign. The phones interfere with one of the wireless monitoring schemes out there. Presumably any jammer would do the same...

    What would be done so that outgoing cell calls can be sent in an emergency? I have worked as a theater (as opposed to cinema) usher where a 911 call during a heart attack saved a precious 35 seconds.

    Any jammer would need to be regulated for radius of jamming; this becomes especially important for those of us who have just given up on landlines, and have paid for a "no fees" monthly long-distance/surfing/local/no-roaming package of minutes.

    Last I heard, coverage and usage in U.S. was not nearly as bad as Israel, where members of Knesset take calls while in session.

  • I've got to say that having made quite a few visits to Canada, and the more I hear about it, the more it seems like a VERY cool country.

    OTOH, the more I hear about Australia - a country I've always had a soft spot for - the more the regulators there sound like a bunch of Nazis, and the less interested I become in ever going there for more than a vacation.

    The Canucks are all right, even if they're a bunch of hosers!
  • I spent 14 years in the military my carraer field was basicaly radar jamming but the pricipales are the same you can easily uild your own personal jammer just do a little research and you will never hear a cell phone ring again
    ...That just goes to show... You can teach a military man to jam radars, but you can't teach him to form coherent sentences.

    Shame on you suselaptop for your grammar!

    Can anyone comment on my opinion of why the rest of the world seems to be ahead of the USA in the area of mobile phones? Here's my reason: The USA has years of infrastructure behind the conventional telephone system. Basically, the phones are so damn good, that we didn't need to 'take to the airwaves' so soon. A friend told me this, but I don't know if I believe him. Either way, our mobile phone technology is probably a full year behind the rest of the world (Iraq included)!

  • by Webmonger (24302) on Tuesday March 06, 2001 @05:40PM (#380047) Homepage
    Already being invented
    http://www.bluelinx.com/products.htm
  • Foolish me, I thought it was there to protect the right of citizens to criticize their government, but it seems to protect the right of a person to yak away on a cell phone

    This annoys you too, huh? Unfortunately we can't campaign for DeCSS and Napster and not also make allowances for spammers, pedophiles and cell-phone scum. Irony sucks.

    IANAL, but I suppose they could get away with it if there are signs posted in movie theatres and restaurants stating that if you enter you agree to abide by their "no cellphone" policy (oh dammit, now I have to defend fascist EULA's too :-P Curse this foul beast).
  • ok here goes.

    First off, Canada is only talking about this right now, not actually doing anything. Any canadians that are reading this might want to tell Industry Canada as well as posting here. Now on to the arguments for and against.

    Good things:

    Keep cell phones off in certain places. Well, ok, but how? A field effect? Last time I checked, most buildings are not hemispherical so the field would probably extend into other buildings as well. These buildings might actually want their cell phones to work, so this might be a problem. A device installed on the phones themselves? This might work very well, including the problem of allowing select users (emergency services). The only problem with this is that people will probably just find a way to turn off the device or just buy a cell phone from another country. I don't know that much about cell phones, anybody know of another idea?

    The bad:

    Freedom of speech impared. I don't know what the freedom of speech laws in Canada are, but here in the US you are (normally) allowed to say what you want. where you want, to whoever you want. I don't know if this would be considered limiting this or not.

    Emergency Services. This is one of the biggest arguments against the ban based on the site listed. Because emergency services use some of the same frequency band that cell phones use, devices that block one would hinder the other. One way to change this would be to change the emergency services frequency, but this would be expensive, time consuming and difficult. A better sollution could be to make it so that whatever device they make sends a simple radio signal to all the phones in range, which have another device in them, which turns off the phones. The emergency equipment would not have this device, so it would not be effected.

    And before you say that this would only create a black market for cell phones, think about this: All cell phones still have to have some form of service provider. Just order the service providers to change their systems so that the phones will only work if the device is installed in them and working. As a bonus for PR, have existing cell phone users come in to some servicing station to have it installed at the government's expence (a small extra chip shouldn't be that expensive).

    I don't know if this would work, but it was the best I could come up with right now.
  • for your own personal fun...

    http://www.wave-shield.com/ [wave-shield.com] or http://bizbb.com/DPLSurveillanceEquipmentcom/offer /22/ [bizbb.com]

    I've seen other models but I think it would be cool to walk around with one of these...

  • Man, I wish I had some points to mod you up. I have one modem that gets 46k but craps out several times a day when line quality plummets and onother that is stable but never gets a better connect than 31200.

    When America broke up the telecomms industry, unfortunately, they didn't manage to get rid of the "don't give a damn about the customer" attitude.

    I went to move to ISDN recently and couldn't get the areaplus plan because apparently "It isn't technically possible". Oh, since when is it not technically possible to change billing policies?

    Rich

  • The best planning in the world doesn't take care of things like critical server and network failures. Sure you have methods of failover and such, but my company's clients demand an immediate response if at all possible. Of course, my phone has a vibration feature...and I use it whenever a ringing sound would be inconsiderate.

    Also, as others have brought up, what about doctors? Last time I checked there weren't a lot of failovers for organs...

  • by Richy_T (111409) on Wednesday March 07, 2001 @06:52AM (#380058) Homepage
    There's two reasons for the USA to be so far behind. (And it's more than a year. Most of the networks in the UK had 97% population coverage three years ago)

    Firstly, the coverage is so poor. Here in Tennessee, digital coverage is a 10-mile radius blob over Nashville itself, some 3-mile thick lines running along the interstates and some small blobs over the larger cities. Now, it's fair to say that the low population density makes it less financially attractive to cover the more rural areas but you have to remember that people buy cellphones so they can be contacted wherever they go. In the UK, it's annoying if you enter a deadspot for a few minutes in a day. Now imagine that it's like that 80% of the time or more in the USA for many people.

    Secondly, here in the USA, mobile numbers are real numbers. That means that someone calling a mobile pays a normal rate and the owner of a mobile has to pick up the remaining cost. Most of the rest of the world, it's a higher charge to call a mobile and the owner doesn't pay. This means the owner of the mobile is in charge of their expenses. This is both a deterrent to callers so essential calls only tend to get made (Not your mother talking about her friends dodgy knee) but also insures that if someone calls, you don't have to rudely ask them to stop talking to you as it's costing you too much.

    Rich

  • Cell phone users drive worse than drunks, by a long shot. I want to build a mobile one and attach it to my motorcycle.
    So what happens if there's an accident and someone needs to dial 911?

    True story - every day I walk (not drive) from my office about a mile into town to get lunch, along a fairly busy stretch of PA-145 which leads into Allentown, Pennsylvania. In the 2+ years I've been doing this, I've seen some nasty accidents, including one 4 car pileup. On the most recent accident, a vehicle got rear-ended coming off of US-22W, which happened about 20 feet from where I was standing(!), I was able to use my cell phone to dial 911 immediately and report the accident within seconds.

    Now, I was standing on the sidewalk when I did this, and my cell phone usage wasn't a hazard to anyone. What right would you have to interfere with my cell phone usage in this instance? Think about it.

    --

  • I'd worry about a smart thief who decides to jam a person's cell-phone just prior to mugging them.

    Sure, no thief would use a jammer if jammers are illegal... You could be fined for using a jammer while committing a crime :-)
  • -Starbucks

    Considering Starbucks is installing complimentary 802.11 wireless data networks for their patrons, I'm guessing cellphone jamming isn't on their to-do list...

    Kevin Fox
    --
  • Did you know it's rude to use a cell phone while being mugged? Muggers are on a busy schedule, they don't have time to sit around while you yak away. I bet if you tried to use your cell while being mugged, the mugger would be so offended they would just TAKE YOUR DAMN PHONE!

    I don't have a cell phone, and I'm afraid to go outside! What if I have a heart attack, or get mugged, or there is a 6.8 earthquake? Oh wait, no ones cell phone worked after the earthquake.. I wonder how we survived in the dark ages before cell phones? I'll have to ask my parents if they still have their smoke-signal blanket, from the primitive cell-less days of 1980s.
  • by yali (209015) on Tuesday March 06, 2001 @05:42PM (#380073)

    it would be better if there was some kind of cell phone maker organization that setup somethign were you could buy a device that would make tell cell phones that they are in a 'quiet zone'

    You mean something like this [bluelinx.com]?

    In my opinion, it's much better if cell-phone jamming is optional, rather than accomplished by brute force. What if the babysitter is trying to tell me there's been an emergency at home, and my phone doesn't even vibrate?

  • by stain ain (151381) on Tuesday March 06, 2001 @05:51PM (#380074)
    I find this jamming quite unacceptable.
    I want my telephone, I need my telephone and I have it ALWAYS ON unless I need to do some maintenance, just like a Linux box, you know.
    And despite beeing always on, it has never ringed on a movie theater, nor in a classroom nor in a restaurant; I have some education and in some places I have it in silent mode, if the call is important, I answer if I can or move to a place where I can talk freely without annoying people, if not, the call gets registered and I callback later.
    And I now that there's more people doing like me, don't harm us because of some miseducated; at the end, if they cannot use the phone on the classroom they will talk out loud to other classmates annoying you at the same level with different methods.
  • by LauraLolly (229637) on Tuesday March 06, 2001 @05:42PM (#380076)

    All that's really needed is good manners and consideration of others. Unfortunately, many people with cell phones suddenly become very important in their own eyes, or at least more important that other people deserving of consideration. If everyone followed the four simple rules of cell phone courtesy, we wouldn't need regulation or legislation or jammers. Many might consider the following four rules as infringing on their right to be jerks whenever they wish:

    1. Take not calls in class, theater, movie, concert, library, nor any other place where speaking in an ordinary voice would be considered disruptive.
    2. If thee must take calls, set the phone to vibrate, and excuse thyself before taking the call. If the caller has hung up, use thou thy messaging, and return the call.
    3. Take not calls while driving, operating a chainsaw, brushing thy child's teeth, playing an accordian, nor any other activity where concentration and motor coordination are needed.
    4. If a call is paramount, move thou to a quiet place, rather than asking all around thee to quiet. If the reception is bad, assume not that it is the other end, but look thou at the weather, or at thy own degrading battery before shouting. Shouts will not travel better to the cell tower than whispers.
    If people followed these rules, then jammers would not be necessary. I teach college classes; my students sometimes need cell phones on to keep track of family or situations at work. They need to take these calls, and can jolly well excuse themselves when the calls come in. If jammers were turned on, I expect enrollment in these classes would drop...
  • Umm, I've been in starbucks atleast once when lives could have been lost if peoples cell phones were jammed -> When it was robbed. You can't go jamming cell phones so no one interrupts your latte.

    This is a tech solution to a social problem. Social problems need social solutions. Everytime I'm in class and some guys phone rings during class I shout "FAG!" [its always a horrible ring to, like the scooby doo theme or the theme to rocky] ... the entire class chuckles, and guess what? A Lot less cell phones are ringing in Math 46 :)

  • Hm, I don't think this holds much ground. The jammer only makes "turning the volume down" mandatory, since the phone basically stops working -- but you were already supposed to turn the volume down, anyway, when going to a movie. I agree that for a doctor at a restaurant this would be a borderline case, and jamming probably inappropriate, but for a movie, the doctor isn't supposed to be there with a live phone in the first place, so jam away. In other words, anybody who needs to be reachable and has a bit of courtesy shouldn't show up at movies (or funerals or whatever) with a live phone in the first place.

    Umm:
    • The jammer doesn't turn down the volume on a phone, it stops a call from getting through at all.
    • A 'live phone' can be set to vibrate so the person can quietly get up, leave the theater, and answer the phone. This would enable someone with a 'live phone' to coexist with others in peace. Millions do it every day.
    • In regards to your comment that "anyone who needs to be reachable and has a bit of courtesy shouldn't show up at movies (or funerals or whatever) with a live phone in the first place." there are many people who, because of their job, need to be reachable at all times, and not simply for selfish reasons (doctors being the most salient example). They therefore can never go to movies?
    • Did you misunderstand the 'set to vibrate' concept, or am I missing your point?
    Thanks,

    Kevin Fox
    --
  • I've noticed I do have a hard time talking on the phone and driving, but it's no different from talking to a passenger. As for losing a little reflex time because you're holding the phone, just compare that to holding a cigarette or holding your french fries from the drive-thru. As for pulling over to use your phone, that can be even more dangerous in heavy traffic, or if you're in a bad neighborhood.
  • For sky scrapers to be built that high, they have to apply for the ability. It's part of zoning, but it relates tot he fact tha tyou can't just decide to put up a sky scraper beside an airport just because you own the land. Here in florida, there are a lot of laws concerning how high you can build, although a lot of that relates to safety and hurricanes. You are still retricted.
  • Three reasons:

    1) calling party pays. This has been covered already, so I won't ellaborate.

    2) No one standardised system. Europe had its share of incompatible standards, but it wasn't until they and most of the rest of the world standardised on GSM that it took off. This opens up the market for handsets much more. The competetion also means that there is effectively no lock-in. I can shop for the handset and the service separately. I can borrow people's handsets to try them out with my SIM before buying. A large part of the growth of GSMs in europe was the "my handset is cooler than yours".

    3) the biggest factor, which is slowly coming through in the US, is that when x% of a demographic has something (where x was around the 30 mark for GSMs among young adults in Finland, IIRC), it becomes a percieved draw-back not to have it. Europe's cell-phone chic of point 2 above probably inflated the perceived number of cell phones, hence lowering the real value of x needed. Have you ever tried to coordinate a few groups of friends to meet for a drink downtown without cell phones? it can't be done. People just don't sit at home waiting for the phone to ring. They don't make as predictable plans anymore. Why? because they don't have to; they have cellphones... the circle becomes when this is true for x% of the population.

    Europe never had pagers like common in the US, which probably has decreased the need for cell phones (ie raised the value of x).

    I'd expect the adoption rate to grow logarithmically over time, so that a small increase/decrease in x is a large change in the time needed to rise to the cusp of adoption.
  • Microwaves are just really short radio waves. LF below 300khz MF .3-3 Mhz HF 3-30Mhz VHF 30-300Mhz UHF 300Mhz-3000Mhz (3Ghz) SHF 3-30Ghz As you can see, even 3Ghz phones are just at the top of UHF. Microwave is a more generic term that refers loosly to anything above 1Ghz or so.
    -
  • Public airports have free speech areas? what? who? where?

    I have NEVER seen this. Smoking areas yes. free speech areas, no. Unless you mean the bathrooms?
  • What if the doctor receives the page, but is doing heart surgery at the moment?

    Wow, an obstitrician that also does heart surgery? Quite a jack of all trades.

    Yes, the signal does travel forever, but at a certain point it will no longer interfere with cell phones.

    Actually that's not true. there is no 'certain point' where the the signal stops interfereing. Rather, there is a very uncertain gradient, and if your house is next to someone elses, you would either have only spotty blocking on your own property if you tried to ensure no blocking on your neighbors, or spotty blocking on your neighbors property if you wanted to ensure blocking on yours, or more likely, both.

    (ie: If you take your pants off in public, expect to be talking to the police).

    Great, then make it illegal to talk on a cellphone in a theater (or to have one set to 'ring'). If they do it, they can talk to the police. that makes more sense than padlocking peoples pants on, and only giving keys to bathroom attendants, parents, and spouses.

    Yeah, I'm sure all those annoying people that talk on their cellphones in the theater are going to be just peachy about buying a new phone so they can't hear it ring.

    It's just a convenient way to adhere to a potential 'quiet zone' law. It's a convenience, not a shackle. I've had my phone go off in class more than I'd like (twice) and I'd welcome the tech.

    >You don't want a speed governor on your car
    Too late, you may already have one.


    Yes, but it doesn't keep you from going faster than 65.

    >and we can go beyond '50s technology.
    Today's cellphones are infact '90s technology.


    You missed the point. Jamming is '50s technology. We can go beyond '50s technology in finding a solution to the problem.

    God I wish this thread would die. People talking about th holy grail of watching a movie in peace regardless of others needs and finding middle ground is like people fighting tooth and nail about their right to drive in Texas with an open beer in their hand.

    Kevin Fox
    --
  • I live in Canada and I would also like to see this.

    At the University where I go to school, nary a day goes by when someone's cellphone does not ring in class. It's not a cacaphony or anything, but I personally would find it easier to concentrate without hearing the odd phone ring here and there. Some profs actually state their cellphone policy on the first day of their course. Something like..."And oh yeah, if your cellphone tends to go off in my class, I tend to go ballistic." And interestingly enough, I have NEVER heard a cellphone ring in classes whose prof has that policy.

    I'm all for cellphones as an essential communication tool--I carry one around from time to time, but I think that the broth of irresponsible cellphone owners has just gotten too deep. If they can't be responsible enough to turn their phones off and be considerate of others, them someone has to do it (by blocking the phones) for them.

    O'Toole's Commentary on Murphy's Law:

  • This seems extraordinarily unlikely - the only time a cell phone emergency call would be necessary is in remote areas without land-line phones, and these jammers are intended for use in precisely the opposite sorts of areas - crowded areas where cell-phone overuse is a problem. Such areas (movie theaters, etc.) are virtually guaranteed to have pay-phones (where 911 is a free call) or other land-line phones nearby.
  • I can see how a 'quiet zone' feature on cell phones could be a good thing, but brute-force jamming them is probably not a good idea.

    Let me relate what that would be like for radio waves: you don't want cars driving through your front yard so you encase your yard in a solid block of cement. It's just a bad idea. (Now sprinkling nails in the grass is different...)

This place just isn't big enough for all of us. We've got to find a way off this planet.

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