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Sweet but Illegal
Old 11-04-2007, 07:54 AM   #1
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Sweet but Illegal

Ah, revenge is sweet!

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/11/04/te...gewanted=print

quote
Devices Enforce Cellular Silence, Sweet but Illegal

By MATT RICHTEL
SAN FRANCISCO, Nov. 2 — One afternoon in early September, an architect boarded his commuter train and became a cellphone vigilante. He sat down next to a 20-something woman who he said was “blabbing away” into her phone.
“She was using the word ‘like’ all the time. She sounded like a Valley Girl,” said the architect, Andrew, who declined to give his last name because what he did next was illegal.
Andrew reached into his shirt pocket and pushed a button on a black device the size of a cigarette pack. It sent out a powerful radio signal that cut off the chatterer’s cellphone transmission — and any others in a 30-foot radius.
“She kept talking into her phone for about 30 seconds before she realized there was no one listening on the other end,” he said. His reaction when he first discovered he could wield such power? “Oh, holy moly! Deliverance.”
unquote

I know that sooner or later somebody will be making an emergency call and be blocked and there will be hell to pay. But, this is delicious. If I had this device, I'd turn it on the minute I walked into the library; or the bookstore; or the museum, and maybe even in the restaurant if warranted.

Freedom without responsibility always invites retaliation. Usually when I get a call and I know it will bother other people, I tell my caller I'll call them back and go somewhere more private.
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Old 11-04-2007, 08:09 AM   #2
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For $50 I would consider one of these. I used to love to go to the library and read magazines in peace, but lately every time I've gone, someone has ruined the peace with long and chatty cell phone calls. The area is posted as a no cell phone area, but it is not enforced and trying to enforce it myself is not practical.
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Old 11-04-2007, 08:21 AM   #3
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There are restaurants that are installing these devises.

I think a better devise would be one that interrupts the conversation with a message such as "Your conversation has been monitored and found to be offensive to those around you and stupid. You will be disconnected now."
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Old 11-04-2007, 08:42 AM   #4
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I just want to know what all these people have to say to each other.

Looks like someone using a device like this is simply feeling that the other person has placed their priorities over his, so he'll do the same to them.

I dont get it either way, but most of my cell phone calls are about 25 seconds long and I go outside if it rings in a quiet place. If someone is yapping in a quiet place and being annoying, I make a point of standing as close as reasonably possible and take a very obvious interest in their conversation. That usually resolves the problem.
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Old 11-04-2007, 08:51 AM   #5
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When someone answers a cellphone when I am speaking at a meeting, I pause and wait for them to finish. Everyone stops and listens attentively to the cellphone conversation. This gives a clear message that (a) we cannot concentrate on our business while a cellphone user is talking; (b) the user is interfering with the work of multiple colleagues (c) if you want to bring your personal business into our meeting, expect it not to be confidential.
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Old 11-04-2007, 09:01 AM   #6
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What scares me are the people chatting away and driving . I almost got hit two days ago by someone on a cellphone who ran a stop sign.
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Old 11-04-2007, 09:39 AM   #7
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CFB.....

I am not placing mine over someone elses.... there are places you should not use a cell phone...

I have been in a movie theater many times with a cell phone ringing and the person answers and talks IN A NORMAL VOICE for minutes... and I have seen some 20 somethings flipping their phone open every 2 or 3 minutes to check out a text... well, that dang think lights up like a flashlight and is bothering everybody around...

I have gone up to some and have asked nicely for them to stop... and I try very hard not to have a sarcastic voice because I am trying to be nice about it... some do stop, some don't... but come on... get disconnected from the outside world for a couple of hours...
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Old 11-04-2007, 09:52 AM   #8
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I'm not disagreeing with you. There are places where its inappropriate to have a conversation. The cell phone part is irrelevant IMO.

But its not for other people. I know folks who go ballistic when someone is in line at a supermarket talking on the phone. Whats the difference between that and talking to someone you're shopping with thats in line with you, other than the phone?

I guess my point was that actively taking something away from someone because you decided it was inappropriate is no better than the original inappropriate behavior. Barring well accepted exceptions like libraries, movie theaters and so forth of course.

Sidebar on a stupid situation: a friend of mine went to the movies and had to contend with a bunch of kids yacking and getting phone calls. When my friend confronted the parent, the parent threatened to start a fight. When my friend complained to the movie theater management, the police were called and my friends group kicked out for their troubles while the original folks got to keep screwing up the movie for everyone else. Go figure.

On driving and cell phones, per capita per mile accident rates have dropped somewhat during the period between the mid 80's and today as cell phone adoption has skyrocketed. Which tells me that cell phones either have no impact on net driving or that people are bored when they drive and fill that boredom with one distraction or another and the phone is just the distraction du jour. And most people are lousy drivers that either dont know the rules of the road or dont care.

Rather than screwing around with legislating phone use, I'd rather see tailgaters and people who swerve across lanes trying to get ahead of traffic (that they'll never get ahead of) all get their licenses pulled for a month on the first infraction and permanently on the second one.

All that having been said, people walking around with little bluetooth headsets that look like they're talking to themselves are creepy.
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Old 11-04-2007, 10:18 AM   #9
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What puzzles me about this is that those who are supposedly in charge seem unable to adequately deal with those who annoy on their cell phones. Instead of the therapist secretly using a jammer to stop participants in a group therapy session from receiving calls, why weren't they just kicked out of the group, either for the remainder of that session or permanently? Obviously they weren't really into the session, so it seems like it wouldn't have caused drastic psychic harm for them to be disqualified from the group. And with the restaurant owner who was concerned that employees were spending more time on their cell phones than waiting on customers, why weren't they just fired? Yes, the cell phone was a distraction, but even if they didn't have them/couldn't use them, if they weren't inclined to do their jobs they could still find other ways to avoid it and the customers. It just seems like people are given too much slack and that rudeness/laziness are tolerated too much.

Travelover, I agree about cell phone use in libraries, but my library actually has signs that cell phone use is permissible, as long as it's not too loud!

CFB, it's hard to explain why it's more annoying for someone to be on the cell phone in a supermarket line than talking to another person. I guess it's been a long time since I was around people talking to each other in a supermarket line. Either people are by themselves or with someone else but not interacting, just fuming about waiting in line and wanting to rush out. But it seems more reasonable for people to be interacting when they are face to face, while it seems like a phone call could wait (anyone remember how we used to just do phone calls at home or occasional at a pay phone, without even answering machines for missed calls?).
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Old 11-04-2007, 10:20 AM   #10
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My library prohibits cell phone use and enforces it.

Our movie theatres do the same and I just saw a bunch of kids kicked out of a movie for talking.
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Old 11-04-2007, 10:40 AM   #11
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There's no technological reason today that cell phones couldn't be used on commercial aircraft. The "interference with the airplane electronics" is likely inaccurate (if the cell phone is operating properly), and the aircraft systems could be properly shielded at any rate.

Still, if cell phone use is ever commonplace on aircraft, I think there will be blood in the aisles before long. I can stand 2 minutes of loud, inane jabber in the supermarket checkout line, I don't think anyone could or should have to hear it for 3 hours straight.

My guess: A profit oriented airline will soon shield their aircraft electronics sufficiently to placate the FAA and the FCC and permit in-plane cell phone use. They will install a "mini-cell" on each plane to handle onboard cell calls and route them electronically to the terrestrial cell network. Then, they'll charge $1 per minute for cell phone use aboard the jet. Maybe there will be a "cell phone cabin" and a "non-cell phone cabin" (as we used to have "smoking and non-smoking"). To maximize revenue, there could be an extra charge for seats in the "privileged" non-cell phone area. Or, maybe there will be just one cabin and the airlines will rent out noise-cancelling headphones ($10 per flight) as a "service to our customers." It's a win-win-win scenario! Sure, we've sacrificed some civility, but everyone gets what they want.
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Old 11-04-2007, 10:48 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by tangomonster View Post
And with the restaurant owner who was concerned that employees were spending more time on their cell phones than waiting on customers, why weren't they just fired? Yes, the cell phone was a distraction, but even if they didn't have them/couldn't use them, if they weren't inclined to do their jobs they could still find other ways to avoid it and the customers. It just seems like people are given too much slack and that rudeness/laziness are tolerated too much.
A couple of years ago my former employer banned cellphone use during w*rk hours for all of the temporary summer help that they hired. They were required to leave the phones at home, in their cars, or in their lockers during w*rk hours....NO exceptions. They were informed of that fact at their hiring, and were given 1 warning if the rules were broken. After that it was termination. During the previous years there had been to many mishaps while the kids were busy gabbing on their phones and not paying attention to what the heck was going on around them.

Kids, cellphones, and machinery didn't mix well. We never had any problems with the full-time employees, because they were aware of the dangers, and wanted to go home at the end of the day with all of their limbs intact. For us cellphones were for emergencies only......or for the boss trying to track us down.
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Old 11-04-2007, 11:04 AM   #13
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love it. where do i get one?
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Old 11-04-2007, 11:07 AM   #14
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On the ferry one lounge is silent and the quiet is enforced by the passengers. The peace is so precious none dare violate it, even a snorer gets a gentle wake-up to shift position. It isn't a practice established by the ferry system - it's just tradition.
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Old 11-04-2007, 11:09 AM   #15
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There's no technological reason today that cell phones couldn't be used on commercial aircraft.
Agreed. If that measly half-watt from a cell phone is enough to interfere with the plane's systems, I'm not sure I want to fly anywhere. Imagine what someone with a land based kilo-watt amplifier and a directional antenna could do! I suppose they are just being extra-cautious, which is a good thing at 30,000 feet.

I've also heard that it is the cell network providers that are against cell phones in planes. The reason I've heard is that it messes up their towers with unexpected and excessive hand-offs. When you are several miles above a city, all the towers are about equidistant, so the handoffs are not the same as when you are land based, moving from one cell to an adjacent cell.

That reason may be all wet, but it makes some sense.

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Old 11-04-2007, 11:22 AM   #16
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I agree with everyone about the rudeness of folks who use cell phones inappropriately. But, despite the appeal and entertainment value of using a jammer, OP is correct that it is only a matter of time before an emergency call is blocked inadvertantly. Or, as the article states, "The carriers also raise a public safety issue: jammers could be used by criminals to stop people from communicating in an emergency."

The FCC needs to find one of the jammer owners and make an example of them with a prosecution resulting in jail time.........
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Old 11-04-2007, 11:33 AM   #17
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I just want to know what all these people have to say to each other.
Looks like someone using a device like this is simply feeling that the other person has placed their priorities over his, so he'll do the same to them.
I dont get it either way, but most of my cell phone calls are about 25 seconds long and I go outside if it rings in a quiet place. If someone is yapping in a quiet place and being annoying, I make a point of standing as close as reasonably possible and take a very obvious interest in their conversation. That usually resolves the problem.
I should point out that we're witnessing unusual thoughtful restraint here. I would've expected CFB to have already bought three or four of these devices and planted them in strategic locations around his daily routine-- for example both cars and the kid's stroller.

Last year I was at a local military retiree seminar. When a cell phone fired during the speaker's presentation the other members would immediately & loudly heap abuse on the offender. It wasn't pretty, either-- refer to the "crabby after early 60s" thread. In defense of the vigilantes, the offender was usually both functionally deaf and presbyopic so these phones would be banging out Glenn Miller tunes for 20-30 seconds before they'd figure out why everyone was yelling at them and fumble for the "vibrate" button.

At this year's seminar I didn't hear a single cell phone.

If a grocery shopper is blocking the aisle while they're obliviously yakking away on their cell phone, is it acceptable to run over them with your cart? Or does the judge have to declare justifiable homicide?
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Old 11-04-2007, 11:37 AM   #18
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Ref using cell phones on planes........

If a cell phone has a component fail or change value or is mismanufactured in some way, it can generate spurious emissions called harmonics or parisitics. This results is the radiation of RF energy on unintended frequencies. You can't shield against it, it's on the actual frequency you want to receive.

I can tell you that at least one major cell phone manufacturer had to recall and rework phones due to spurious emissions.

Although the odds of any specific phone being defective are low, I think the FCC would have to require each phone (not just the type accepted design or a sampling of the phones) to be certified clean before I'd be comfortable on an airplane with lots of folks yakking away at 30k ft.

Remember,many of the cell phones here in the states are brought to you by the same folks who brought you lead paint on children's toys.
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Old 11-04-2007, 12:07 PM   #19
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I should point out that we're witnessing unusual thoughtful restraint here.
Eh, I just dont have an irrational hatred for a device when its the persons behavior that I'm having a problem with. I also recognize that there are times when I may not be happy with what someone else is doing, but that its within their rights.

In the original example, there is nothing wrong with someone talking on a train. It is not a space where quiet is expected or causes undue problems for other patrons. Its not a movie theater, its not a library. Granted that someone yelling or screaming or being obnoxious would be unacceptable, phone or not.

We have a woman who has paid for a phone and the related service who wishes to use it to talk to someone that isnt with her. That the gentleman in the article has decided that her conversation is displeasing is pretty much his problem, not hers, and I dont feel he has any right to disable something that she owns because he would prefer to not listen to her. She's entitled to use a product that she has purchased, thats she's a moron and has poor use of the english language is irrelevant...and none of his business!

It had been my understanding (completely without any data whatsoever, just what I heard) that the cell company issues werent with excess switching load, but that the switching happened so fast that they were having trouble accounting for and charging for the minutes due to the fast switching.
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Old 11-04-2007, 12:23 PM   #20
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CFB...

That is why I made a distinction on my post... I do not have a problem with someone on the phone on a bus.. except when they are to loud, but I also am upset at someone talking to their neighbor if they are to loud...

As for driving.. there is evidence that driving and talking on the phone, even with hands free device, is like being drunk and there IS a decline in their driving... When I see someone cruising at 10 MPH below the speed limit, 90% of the time they are on the phone, the rest are usually old... when someone cuts into my lane and almost hits me... about 70% on the phone, the rest are just jerks.. but you can SEE the jerks easier as they are doing it all the time where the phone people just realize they need to turn NOW and do it without looking OR they can not see because they have their phone to their left ear and it is blocking their view...

And about the store... I am not upset at them talking while walking down the isle or even when checking out.. EXCEPT for the do it yourself checkout.. there was this lady the other day why was holding her phone in one hand and trying to scan her items and not doing a good job of either.. did it irritate me, YES, would I have blocked her call, NO... it is not a place where it is interfering with my enjoyment of something I paid to enjoy (like the movie).. or them trying to run me off the road..

The big problem is that people try to do the phone and something else and do neither well...
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