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Has Apple made a costly miss-step?

fyngyrz (762201) writes | more than 7 years ago

Technology (Apple) 4

With the recent news about cellphone activity allegedly being the underlying cause for the sudden loss of large numbers of bees, an insect that forges an absolutely critical and irreplaceable part of the food chain, is Apple's iPhone doomed to enter the market just as cell phones face severe clampdowns, or even wholesale replacement?

With the recent news about cellphone activity allegedly being the underlying cause for the sudden loss of large numbers of bees, an insect that forges an absolutely critical and irreplaceable part of the food chain, is Apple's iPhone doomed to enter the market just as cell phones face severe clampdowns, or even wholesale replacement?

Cell phones operate at microwave frequencies for a pretty good reason; basically, microwaves enable small equipment. They also do a decent job of penetrating many types of structures, if not through the walls, then at least through the windows. However, there are other frequencies available, lower frequencies that have been busy for many decades without any significant observed effect on bees or other life. People already understand how useful cell phones are, and there are manufacturers with significant experience in VHF radio, to name one technically possible replacement band — so an interesting market shake-up is certainly feasible. Excellent VHF transceivers are marketed by amateur radio manufacturers, for example.

Normally, we would assume that an established, profitable market similar to the cellphone market would be stable and have a long, healthy life expectancy based on the functionality offered to the market. However, if the bees go, we will too - and that, ladies and gentleman, is an outcome that not even Steve Job's legendary reality distortion field can deal with.

Perhaps Apple should get back to working on OSX, and forget the iPhone. I have this nagging feeling that the iPhone is going to be this year's "politically incorrect" device. I know I've stopped using my cellphone for anything but emergency calls; how about you? Seen any bees lately?

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No mis-step (1)

stinerman (812158) | more than 7 years ago | (#18830063)

Bill Maher made the interesting observation that if we had to give up the remote control to stop global warming, we probably wouldn't do it. I agree with him.

So in this case, I think we'll just cope without the bees rather than give up or cell phones (even though that gives us some serious trouble down the line).

Re:No mis-step (1)

fyngyrz (762201) | more than 7 years ago | (#18845241)

If the options were (a) give up cellphones or (b) keep them, then I'd agree unhesitatingly. It'd take government regulation, and that would be highly unwelcome.

But I think there is an option (c), which is move cell phones to a new band, lower, that will not aggravate anything. Or at least, not bees. That is, of course, if cell phones turn out to be the culprit. We've seen many scares along these lines before that have turned out to be less than 100% accurate.

Yes I have... (1)

Miguelito (13307) | more than 7 years ago | (#18879315)

how about you? Seen any bees lately?
Yes I have, every morning over the last few weeks while walking my dog. Tons of them around where I'd expect them... rose bushes on a few houses, other flowering plants on others.

I haven't seen any perceptible drop in the bee population in my area (San Diego). In fact, there have been 2 hives started in my neighborhood in the last year that ended up having removal services called to get them out of places too close to people. I'd be willing to bet it's more human use of more lands and people calling exterminators more often to kill off hives then cell phones.

Re:Yes I have... (1)

fyngyrz (762201) | more than 7 years ago | (#18894073)

Interesting. I've noticed a real trend towards "panic now, get the data later" that extends across things as diverse as global warming, lawmaking, and news reporting in the last decade or so. Hysteria — or "fuckarosis", as Steven King puts it so delicately — seems to be a lot more fun for the general population than actually engaging their minds.

It is still too cold here (Montana) to really certain how the bees look this year; keeps dropping back down to freezing. I'm going to at least make it a point to look at the hives I'm familiar with this summer.

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