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English DJ Claims Wi-Fi Allergy

samzenpus posted more than 4 years ago | from the TV-gives-me-hives dept.

Wireless Networking 515

path0$ writes "British Ex-DJ Steve Miller claims that his Wi-Fi allergy is making his life one big misery , forcing him to live in an iron-clad home far from any neighbors. According to the article, more and more people are suffering from an allergy like his. The only positive side to this is that at least Miller didn't think of suing anybody yet, like these people did, who claim to suffer from the same condition and were mentioned in a Slashdot article in 2008."

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515 comments

Crazy people (5, Insightful)

Hatta (162192) | more than 4 years ago | (#28838123)

Crazy people are everywhere. Stop giving them attention.

Re:Crazy people (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28838183)

I wonder if he has a microwave in his place...

or even a bluetooth adapter somewhere.

Re:Crazy people (1)

Dr_Ken (1163339) | more than 4 years ago | (#28838437)

I agree. I am just asking here but have the people that claim to suffer from this malady ever been medically tested to see if their claims are valid?

Re:Crazy people (5, Interesting)

canajin56 (660655) | more than 4 years ago | (#28838709)

Yes, they've tested it many times. No correlation found. The way they tested it was easy. They wheeled a scary looking device covered in antennas, and the people reacted in pain whenever the green light came on. The only trouble is, it was a big inert piece of metal. The only electronics in it were, well, the LED to show it was "on". Meanwhile, under the dropped ceiling there was an actual massive wifi antenna that would randomly blanket the room in "evil radiation", and they were completely unaware. In other words, they only react to wifi at all if they "know" it's there, even when it isn't.

Re:Crazy people (3, Insightful)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 4 years ago | (#28838825)

And can he walk outside? Why haven't power lines played havoc with him?

Either the guy is a liar, or he has some mental problems.

Re:Crazy people (4, Insightful)

sunderland56 (621843) | more than 4 years ago | (#28838913)

I wonder if he has a microwave in his place... or even a bluetooth adapter somewhere.

Or, racks and racks of electronic DJ gear....

Test This Claim: (3, Insightful)

popo (107611) | more than 4 years ago | (#28838987)

This is an incredibly easy claim to test.

First: See if he can identify when the "Wi-Fi" is on or off.

Second: If he can (which would be highly unlikely and scientifically amazing)... see if he can differentiate between Wi Fi, Bluetooth and his Microwave.

Why do we report bizarre claims to Slashdot without requiring the scientific method to be applied.

If I claim to be psychic and to be able to use ESP to read emails out of thin air, does qualify for the front page of Slashdot?

Re:Test This Claim: (4, Funny)

EasyTarget (43516) | more than 4 years ago | (#28839283)

Why do we report bizarre claims to Slashdot without requiring the scientific method to be applied.

If I claim to be psychic and to be able to use ESP to read emails out of thin air, does qualify for the front page of Slashdot?

If you have to ask... you must be new round here.. :-)

Re:Test This Claim: (1)

Ollabelle (980205) | more than 4 years ago | (#28839403)

"Why do we report bizarre claims to without requiring the scientific method to be applied [?]"

Because this is Slashdot, and the story is amusing all by its lonesome. We can debate its authenticity and ridicule the poor sap.

Re:Crazy people (2, Insightful)

ls671 (1122017) | more than 4 years ago | (#28839093)

Well many syndromes have just been recently identified, for many centuries people suffering from them were considered crazy.

This guy problem might be psychosomatic, but I would be prudent before drawing any conclusion and keep an open mind. Further research on the topic could bring new knowledge. Wi-Fi is pretty new by comparison with man evolution ;-)

Re:Crazy people (0)

hedwards (940851) | more than 4 years ago | (#28838191)

It's not crazy, that sounds a lot like what happens to me around the TV aisle of stores, well before the digital switch I haven't been in one since, as well as certain stores that use those metal detector looking devices to check for tagged goods being snuck out of the store.

And yes, it's extremely uncomfortable to say the least. I'm personally somewhat skeptical though of Wi-Fi being high enough energy and plentiful enough to do that though.

Re:Crazy people (5, Informative)

adonoman (624929) | more than 4 years ago | (#28838321)

Most people with decent hearing find TV aisles uncomfortable - it's either too many random TVs putting out the same audio minutely out of synch, or the high-pitched squeal that comes from any CRT being multiplied by a couple dozen. The EMF signals are hardly the most irritating thing that a TV can put out.

Re:Crazy people (4, Funny)

the_humeister (922869) | more than 4 years ago | (#28838521)

Most people with decent hearing find TV aisles uncomfortable - it's either too many random TVs putting out the same audio minutely out of synch, or the high-pitched squeal that comes from any CRT being multiplied by a couple dozen. The EMF signals are hardly the most irritating thing that a TV can put out.

O RLY? I guess you haven't sat through an episode of 'Fringe' then?

Re:Crazy people (1)

Culture20 (968837) | more than 4 years ago | (#28839391)

Most people with decent hearing find TV aisles uncomfortable - it's either too many random TVs putting out the same audio minutely out of synch, or the high-pitched squeal that comes from any CRT being multiplied by a couple dozen.

What's a CRT, and what does it have to do with a TV aisle? Not joking; you _can't_ find one in stores any more, neither in TV nor computer monitor form.

Re:Crazy people (5, Informative)

amliebsch (724858) | more than 4 years ago | (#28838329)

Personally, I'll start taking it seriously when at least one so-called sufferer can reliably report the appearance or disappearance of his symptoms in coordination with a randomly cycled emf source in a credible, double-blind experiment.

Re:Crazy people (1)

Andy Dodd (701) | more than 4 years ago | (#28838787)

Yeah, this DJ carries a wi-fi detector with him at all times.

Bet he doesn't get sick until AFTER it goes off or he sees someone using a laptop.

Re:Crazy people (1)

jandrese (485) | more than 4 years ago | (#28838341)

In other words its completely psychosomatic? Or maybe you were misinterpreting the high pitched hum of a flyback for something more sinister?

If you want to verify if it's all in your head, try a blind test. Make friends with someone who has authority to turn those tag sensors on and off. Then set up a test where you walk through them several times, and tell your friend if it is on or off (it should be obvious to you right?). Obviously he will randomly decide (flip of a coin) if it's on or off each time, and then mark the results down on a piece of paper. If you score better than random guessing, then maybe it's not all in your head, but I wouldn't count on it. Make sure you run this test a few dozen times so you don't go flying off of the handle after getting 2 out of 3 right by chance.

Re:Crazy people (1)

Barny (103770) | more than 4 years ago | (#28838485)

Not sure what being around TVs has to do with RF transmission, but hell, if that's your problem, its not like you HAVE to go to electrical stores?

I am on medication that makes me sensitive to bright lights, but you don't see me visiting tanning salons for shits and giggles do you?

As someone else points out, if the 2.4Ghz RF at .2W is causing big problems, a common microwave that produces (internally) 700+W at similar frequencies should drive him bat shit insane (yeah I know not much of that gets out, but I know enough to completely kill my Wi-Fi while it is on, does).

Wait, lets think about the "bat shit insane" comment again, and re-read what he has to say... oh...

Re:Crazy people (2, Insightful)

TheCarp (96830) | more than 4 years ago | (#28839345)

> Not sure what being around TVs has to do with RF transmission, but hell, if that's your problem, its not like you
> HAVE to go to electrical stores?

Actually, he was referring to the high pitched sound that CRT tubes make. It is quite a bit more noticeable when they show a blank screen than when they show a video. The Sound track of most shows blots it out completely, but there is definitely a high pitched whine from TV sets.

We used to have a TV, if someone watched a movie on the VCR (yes this is going back a bit) and turned off the VCR but not the TV, I could tell that the TV was still on, reliably, from about 2 rooms away. (that one was particularly loud)

These sounds rarely bother me (that TV would bug me, because it was so loud), but I could see someone being sensitive to it, especially to a lot of them together.

Course I have never heard this from an LCD or projection TV, which makes sense. However, I am also 31 now, so my days of hearing that pitch at all may be over soon anyway. Its right up in that range of hearing that most people lose as they get older.

-Steve

Re:Crazy people (4, Informative)

Andy Dodd (701) | more than 4 years ago | (#28838761)

Some of the RFID units operate at extremely low frequencies - down in the kilohertz range. The lowest I've seen is in the 130-140 kHz range though.

These units usually use a LARGE coil as an antenna. There's a good chance the coil changes shape slightly with the duty cycle of the signal (lower than the carrier frequency) - this probably results in some audible energy coming from the security system coils. It may be such a low volume or at a frequency just outside of the normal human hearing range so that it can be "felt but not consciously heard". (This is a similar phenomenon to the well-known "GSM bleeps" - You can't hear 900 MHz or 1900 MHz RF, but you CAN hear when something in the environment rectifies it and low pass filters the signal envelope, because the GSM TDMA frame repeats at around 440 Hz.)

Similarly, CRT TVs often have horizontal refresh rates in the 15-16 kHz range, right in the upper end of the human hearing range. If the transformers in these TVs malfunctions slightly, they'll vibrate at this frequency. Really cheap/defective/failing monitors and TVs will make enough noise at hsync to be heard. I remember we used to have a monitor we had to junk because you couldn't use it for more than 20 minutes without developing a headache - it started squealing softly at hsync frequency.

Re:Crazy people (1)

JCSoRocks (1142053) | more than 4 years ago | (#28838259)

Oh, you mean like the millions spent on a certain pop star's memorial in LA?

Seriously though, according to TFA it actually affects about 2% of the population. Which seems insane because I've never heard of it before.

Re:Crazy people (3, Insightful)

jeffasselin (566598) | more than 4 years ago | (#28838421)

Seriously, this is 100% psychosomatic.

Put these people in a faraday cage with a WiFi router without being able to see the unit, and have them report when it's on/off, double-blind the test and report and see if they're more than 60% reliable over a good number of tests. We'll see if it's real.

Re:Crazy people (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28838747)

I would rather call it psychotic. Or rather, schizo-paranoid.
Put them under medication. Fast.

Re:Crazy people (5, Insightful)

samkass (174571) | more than 4 years ago | (#28839357)

Crazy people are everywhere. Stop giving them attention.

This attitude is unhelpful.

The symptoms this man describes sound similar to anxiety disorder with agoraphobia. It's not uncommon, and is very treatable with cognitive behavioral therapy and an anti-anxiety medication such as an SSRI. Sufferers of this have physiological symptoms which are subjectively-- and sometimes objectively-- indistinguishable from anything from allergies to more serious medical conditions. The body creates a feedback loop in the endocrine system and the mind assigns causative correlations with anything that was happening at the time. It can result in anything from hot flashes to stuffy noses to a full-on asthma attack.

Calling such a condition "crazy" just exacerbates it, and attention to it is something that has to be managed carefully to try to break the feedback loops.

Disclaimer: I'm not a psychotherapist, just a patient.

Seriously (4, Insightful)

His Shadow (689816) | more than 4 years ago | (#28838219)

What's left to say? Isn't this just a matter for psychiatrists and sociologists now? Engaging these idiots in discussions would just make your own IQ drop without affecting their worldview in the slightest.

Cordless phones? (4, Insightful)

bluefoxlucid (723572) | more than 4 years ago | (#28838233)

From the 70s, man. Cordless phones. And baby monitors. And cell phones. RC cars are in the 2.4GHz band. And walkie-talkies like security guards use. Also power lines, radio stations, and other things cause EMI on other bands besides 2.4GHz. Man this guy's entire life must suck.

You forget the analog/digital part... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28838557)

...cordless phones (DECT) are digital, but they emit different waves. All the analog stuff, furthermore, is not emitting any digital character and your body will resist these waves. However, the digital "Wi-Fi" waves are evil.
These waves emit the digital zero and one codes, and as such constantly irritate and invade the human organism. Added on that, if the user of said "Wi-Fi" network starts downloading material not to be viewed by a younger audience, the data fragments will even be more invasive. In more ways than one.

Trust me, the only way to get rid of the "Wi-Fi" waves is to use ones "Hi-Fi" headphones !

Now, please excuse me while I let the nurse in for my daily treatment regime.

Headphones, turntables, amps, lights, etc. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28838249)

No EMF there, just that evil wi-fi.

I'm allergic to BS (5, Funny)

burtosis (1124179) | more than 4 years ago | (#28838251)

And I got a nasty rash just reading the summary.

Re:I'm allergic to BS (5, Funny)

fridaynightsmoke (1589903) | more than 4 years ago | (#28838513)

I'm allergic to BS.. And I got a nasty rash just reading the summary.

For the love of god; DON'T CLICK ON THE DAILY MAIL LINK!
There's levels of BS on there that scientists haven't yet been able to measure.

Re:I'm allergic to BS (1)

odflyg (1593171) | more than 4 years ago | (#28839185)

Yeah, that's the reason for his allergy too: his brain has developed an ability to interpret the data from the radio waves. That much BS will make just about anyone sick ;-)

Re:I'm allergic to BS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28839233)

I used to have a similar problem as a teenager. My braces would pick up AM radio stations. Sorta sucked because it would only play RUSH Limbaugh stations.

Easy to test (4, Interesting)

Eisenstein (643326) | more than 4 years ago | (#28838271)

Put him into a room. Randomly switch on and off a WiFi-net and ask him to tell if it is on or off. If he manages to get more than 50 % right there might be something to it. He would also be the first person to manage this in years and years of testing.

Re:Easy to test (5, Interesting)

Reziac (43301) | more than 4 years ago | (#28838551)

This comment following TFA says it all:
=====
The problem with this claim is that WiFi uses the 2.4 gigahertz frequency spectrum along with Bluetooth phones, cordless home phones, and just about any other consumer wireless device. If he really had an 'allergy' like that, he wouldn't have been able to leave his house for the past 15 years. He should try to promote himself a different way than this.

- Dr. Black, Los Angeles, CA, 24/7/2009 14:30
=====

Not to mention that cosmic radiation doesn't conveniently omit some portion of the EM spectrum. Has he ever been outdoors??

There have always been people who claim that some particular class of witchcraft is making their lives hell. In days of yore it was the evil eye; during the hippie era it was Bad Vibes; today it's some portion of the EM spectrum, because that's the Newly Widespread Thing That We Know Is There But Can't See, So It Must Be Causing Our Ills.

Crank these people's tinfoil hats one notch tighter, and they'll claim it's thoughtwaves from aliens instead. Oh wait, we've already had that one!!

Re:Easy to test (5, Funny)

commodoresloat (172735) | more than 4 years ago | (#28839315)

He should try to promote himself a different way than this

Yeah seriously; he should just start a band and try promoting himself under his own name. Call it the Steve Mill... umm, never mind.

Re:Easy to test (4, Interesting)

Yvanhoe (564877) | more than 4 years ago | (#28838577)

It has been done with other electro-sensitive subjects : the sight of a fake cellphone gives them headaches. All the symptoms usually listed are those of psychosomatic diseases. But MPs are never the wisest and the "precaution principle" keeps popping up. Apparently it is admitted that a medical study can prove the existence of a risk but not disprove its existence. Which is a real problem.

Re:Easy to test (5, Informative)

Dmala (752610) | more than 4 years ago | (#28839171)

I'm embarrassed to say that I've experienced this. I was horrified to learn that they were installing a cell tower on top of an apartment building I was living in at the time. The day it was supposed to go online, I could "feel" it; I started getting dizzy and nauseous going up in the elevator. A few weeks later, I learned that there was a delay and they hadn't even powered the thing up until a week later. Fortunately, finding this out "cured" me of what was essentially a phobia and I haven't had a problem since.

Re:Easy to test (4, Informative)

timholman (71886) | more than 4 years ago | (#28838699)

Put him into a room. Randomly switch on and off a WiFi-net and ask him to tell if it is on or off. If he manages to get more than 50 % right there might be something to it. He would also be the first person to manage this in years and years of testing.

Quite right. People who claim to be "allergic" to modern technology invariably fail to prove it in properly designed double-blind scientific tests. In extreme cases, you find people who claim to be allergic to anything "artificial", be it synthetic fibers, plastics, electronic equipment, automobiles, or any one of a thousand other modern conveniences. Their complaints are real, but the root cause is psychological, not physical.

Some EHS (electro-hypersensitivity) sufferers go so far as to line their rooms and clothing with aluminum foil to supposedly "shield" themselves. In the most extreme cases, they move out into the country and adopt a 19th century lifestyle to completely divorce themselves from the modern world. Of course, they're still being exposed to EM radiation even in remote areas, as AM and shortwave radio transmissions span the globe, not to mention the EM radiation emitted by the sun. But once they believe they are safe from EM radiation, their symptoms abate.

Re:Easy to test (4, Funny)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 4 years ago | (#28839151)

But once they believe they are safe from EM radiation, their symptoms abate.

Whoa, that's weird. I believe I'm safe from EM radiation too, and I've never had any EM allergy-related symptoms. Coincidence? I think not!

You know what this means? The allergy is real, but believing it doesn't affect you is a cure! It makes sense, too -- allergies are an auto-immune response of the body, which can conceivably be affected by the central nervous system, if not consciously then subconsciously. People can learn to control their heart rates or body temperatures, maybe we unknowingly control our immune systems to respond or not respond to things it shouldn't. Thus the luddites fear of technology creates the very allergy that makes them fear technology. A vicious cycle!

But hopefully we can make use of this, and I can believe my way of of this annoying mold allergy -- THAT I DON'T HAVE BECAUSE I'M SAFE FROM MOLD. I KNOW I'M SAFE I KNOW I'M SAFE.

More Seriously (0, Troll)

glebovitz (202712) | more than 4 years ago | (#28838279)

I'm allergic to stupid and annoying people with silly medical claims, but I'm not moving to an desert Island to avoid them.

Re:More Seriously (1)

Dr_Ken (1163339) | more than 4 years ago | (#28838501)

Nope. That's where those allergic to modernity can take up residence. Seems fair to me.

Re:More Seriously (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28838559)

My reaction causes my physical discomfort as my teeth grind together uncontrollably, as well as eyestrain from involuntary rolling. All that and I also strain my vocal cords from repetitive muttering under my breath. I probably should sue for health and psychiatric care costs.

It's still real... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28838315)

Even if it's only real in your mind.

Re:It's still real... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28838443)

No. You're confusing the symptoms with the ailment. Although his symptoms may be real, the condition he claims to suffer from is most decidedly not. This has an important effect on what treatment should be used to alleviate or cure his symptoms. What he needs is psychiatry and Cognitive Behaviour Therapy. Indulging his fantasies of "WiFi Allergies" will just make his symptoms worse.

He can probably earn $1M bucks if legit... (3, Interesting)

nweaver (113078) | more than 4 years ago | (#28838373)

He should contact the James Randi foundation for their 1M prize for paranormal proof [randi.org], as they might very well consider "WiFi sensitivity" paranormal behavior.

Re:He can probably earn $1M bucks if legit... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28838797)

He should contact the James Randi foundation for their 1M prize for paranormal proof, as they might very well consider "WiFi sensitivity" paranormal behavior.

It certainly isn't paranormal. Humans are sensitive to many, many types of electromagnetic radiation. UV will burn your skin, visible spectrum is registered by your eyes, too many X-rays can give you cancer, etc.

Many of these effects are not sensed though - your body doesn't feel X-rays. I really, really doubt this guy is sensitive to low-power transmissions in the 2.4 GHz band.

It's also trivially easy to test in a double-blind study.

Steve Miller allergic to Wi-Fi? (5, Funny)

hal2814 (725639) | more than 4 years ago | (#28838407)

Some people call him the space cowboy
Some people call him the gangster of love
Some people call him Maurice
Because he has to stay in a Faraday cage to block out the wi-fi signals he's allergic to...

What about Microwave Ovens? (3, Interesting)

slifox (605302) | more than 4 years ago | (#28838449)

Microwave ovens tend to have a lot of emissions in the 2.4GHz band, the same frequencies that most Wi-Fi uses.

If he were really allergic to Wi-Fi, wouldn't he have an extreme allergic reaction to microwave ovens too?

Re:What about Microwave Ovens? (1)

mikael (484) | more than 4 years ago | (#28838625)

Microwave ovens have a cage (the sheet of metal with all the small holes) that reflects the microwave energy back towards the food.

Whenever I have the wi-fi network unit on my laptop (or a GPRS/3G modem), I do feel a certain dryness in my eyes, and a slight metallic taste on the underside of my tongue.

Re:What about Microwave Ovens? (1)

Vanders (110092) | more than 4 years ago | (#28838741)

Well that should be nice and easy for you test. Sit with your back to a friend who has your laptop, and they can switch the WiFi on and off. You can then tell them if the WiFi is on, or off. If you get a statistically significant result, you should call your local university for further, more rigorous, study.

Re:What about Microwave Ovens? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28838763)

do feel a certain dryness in my eyes, and a slight metallic taste on the underside of my tongue

That's just residue from all the lead paint you ate as a child.

Re:What about Microwave Ovens? (1)

Duradin (1261418) | more than 4 years ago | (#28839385)

Try running a spectrum analyzer when you fire up the microwave. Microwaves are very noisy on 2.4ghz.

Mine basically obliterates about 3 channels when you turn it on.

Re:What about Microwave Ovens? (4, Interesting)

timholman (71886) | more than 4 years ago | (#28839139)

If he were really allergic to Wi-Fi, wouldn't he have an extreme allergic reaction to microwave ovens too?

Absolutely. Yet if he does use a microwave oven, and you were to point this out to him, he would quickly declare that the WiFi transmissions must have some additional quality that makes them "bad" as compared to microwave oven radiation.

You must always keep in mind that you are dealing with people suffering from a psychological disorder. Logical arguments means nothing to them; they'll simply ignore what you're saying, or rationalize their behavior in one way or another. I've heard that some drugs for treating obsessive-compulsive disorder can be helpful in extreme cases, but these people are completely convinced that their ailments have physical causes, and will reject any suggestion that "it's all in your head".

Yeah, let's do the math... (3, Informative)

zjbs14 (549864) | more than 4 years ago | (#28839181)

Exactly. Microwaves are allowed leak up to 5 mW/cm2 at 5 cm according to the FCC. Half that leakage (2.5mW/cm2), is almost exactly the same output as a typical wi-fi access point. Which means if he can stand next to the microwave while he nukes his burrito, he shouldn't have any issues with wi-fi.

So unless he's actually 802.11b/g sensitive, I call BS.

Close Mindedness (0, Flamebait)

stwf (108002) | more than 4 years ago | (#28838549)

I mean I probably think the guy is a kook, but can any of you really guarantee he is wrong? No, the history of science is of people being proven wrong. You are all just biased because you love wifi.

In the Seventies a bunch of people built everything out of asbestos because they hated fire, and thought that anything that didn't show up in a 3 month test was non-existent. In fact history is littered with seemingly innocuous devices that ended up causing great harm. And for those asking for proof, I believe people are markedly crazier than they were 5 years ago, so yes I think it is plausible.

Birds have been shown to react to magnetism, why not humans?

Re:Close Mindedness (3, Insightful)

Rycross (836649) | more than 4 years ago | (#28838735)

No, we're biased because, to date, double-blind studies done with people who are "WiFi sensitive" have turned up nothing. It is up to the people making the claims to prove their claims. If they are sensitive to WiFi signals, this can be trivially proven by a double-blind experiment. Yet, no-one has produced one.

Re:Close Mindedness (2, Interesting)

skrolle2 (844387) | more than 4 years ago | (#28838785)

Electrohypersensitivity is nothing new, and people claiming to have it is also nothing new. In Sweden there's been a lot of research on the subject since there's been a lot of cases of it over the last 15 years. There's no evidence for it, noone has been able to show it exists in a controlled experiment, and the science of its proponents have been thoroughly debunked.

The guy from TFA is undeniably sick and needs help, but shielding him from wifi is not the solution to his problem.

Re:Close Mindedness (2, Insightful)

amliebsch (724858) | more than 4 years ago | (#28838893)

I mean I probably think the guy is a kook, but can any of you really guarantee he is wrong?

Since such a condition is facially implausible, the burden of proof is on you to prove that he is not wrong, particularly because it would be a relatively simple matter to do so.

Re:Close Mindedness (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28839123)

Well that is just as close minded a response as I'd expect. Just because someone can't identify when a signal is turned on and off doesn't mean he isn't affected by it. Maybe the effects are delayed or cumulative.

If they turned off all the wifi and a week or two later you started dreaming again, that wouldn't show up in most tests. But you seem fine with the fact that it takes 2 weeks for the pizza you ate to show up as weight.

Anyway my original post mentioned that no one really knows anything, and the road of science is paved with the carcasses of numbskulls who believed themselves able to declare anything unequivocally.

Re:Close Mindedness (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28839289)

Well that is just as close minded a response as I'd expect.

They see me trollin'
They hatin'
Gonna turn my WiFi on and be sick.

Re:Close Mindedness (1)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 4 years ago | (#28839025)

The problem here is that there all sorts of things that transmit near those frequencies, and long have been. It's ludicrous to claim that WiFi, in particular, other other radio transmissions at similar frequencies, is somehow responsible for health problems.

The guy is either nuts or just lying to get attention. Double blind studies and the sheer stupidity of singling out WiFi pretty much demonstrate it.

Re:Close Mindedness (2, Insightful)

TheP4st (1164315) | more than 4 years ago | (#28839059)

Birds have been shown to react to magnetism, why not humans?

Sensitivity to magnetic fields are rather important for birds to navigate [alaska.edu], for humans it is not. 99,9999999% of pigeons survive getting dropped from 500 meters above a parking lot, why not humans?

Re:Close Mindedness (3, Insightful)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 4 years ago | (#28839065)

I mean I probably think the guy is a kook, but can any of you really guarantee he is wrong? No, the history of science is of people being proven wrong. You are all just biased because you love wifi.

Uh-huh. Well I have a pretty solid theory that he's wrong based on the evidence that he has doubtless been bombarded with EM radiation of the same frequency and equal or greater magnitude for years with no complaints due to the vast numbers of other electronic devices and cosmic radiation entering our atmosphere.

So frankly I can't "guarantee" he's wrong (well okay I can -- he's wrong or your money back) but as far as I'm concerned the burden of proof is on you/this kook to give a plausible reason why Wi-Fi is different.

You're just biased against science, and think that because scientists have been shown (by other scientists!) to be wrong in the past means that any random arse thing you make up on the spot with some half-assed casual observation behind it has an equal or greater chance to be true than something studied via the scientific method.

why does he need a 'wi-fi detector'? (3, Insightful)

deisher (188389) | more than 4 years ago | (#28838561)

"Steve navigates normal daily chores with the help of a âwi-fi detectorâ(TM) which spots areas he should avoid."

Let's see, if someone could sense WIFI why would they need a separate detector??? Hmm...

Re:why does he need a 'wi-fi detector'? (1)

mooingyak (720677) | more than 4 years ago | (#28838851)

I think the guy is either full of it or imagining it, but if we pretend for a minute that he's legit, then it could be more of something like "Am I sneezing because of a cold or is there some wifi nearby?"

Think of it like radiation. It affects us badly, but we still use detection gadgets to find it.

Re:why does he need a 'wi-fi detector'? (1)

ODiV (51631) | more than 4 years ago | (#28838939)

Apparently him sensing it causes "dizziness, confusion and nausea". Maybe his sensor has a longer range than his "allergy"?

There's a lot of things in this article and this condition to be skeptical of, but I don't think this is one of them.

Re:why does he need a 'wi-fi detector'? (1)

RedK (112790) | more than 4 years ago | (#28839437)

Reminds me of one of my friend's ex-girlfriend. She claimed she was allergic to chicken and that just the fact that chicken touched her steak would make her sick. She also claimed this was psychological because it had happened to her before. She went in the house and of course, I proceeded to rub a big fat piece of chicken all over her steak, on both sides. My friend laughed. She never got sick. We never told her about it, so it's a safe bet to assume she still thinks she's allergic to chicken.

DJ's DDs (1)

rdmcfee (1606581) | more than 4 years ago | (#28838623)

Good DJ's are a necessity in this world but like many minor music celebs they enjoy recreational drugs. I suspect this DJ needs a new prescription!

Lets try to be helpful (4, Insightful)

Useful Wheat (1488675) | more than 4 years ago | (#28838705)

I've heard of this before, and I've always been skeptical of it. Not because that I think it's impossible for people to absorb electromagnetic radiation, but because the first people to expose me to this sensitivity believed pyramid shaped crystals could fix them. I really blame them for killing all of the credibility this condition may have had with me, but it's their own fault. This always struck me as a powerful example of the placebo effect. People want to feel sick when electromagnetic waves are around them, so they do. I've had a few friends deeply wrapped up in holistic medicine, and you could pick any random ingredient on your soda (anything man made) and they give you a story of how they feel sick when they are in the room with that ingredient.

I'm not going to sit here and bash the people who think they have this symptom. You're going to get 50 posters who have done that thoroughly by now. Instead I'm going to offer them a suggestion. Find a person who exhibits a visible symptom when they're exposed to the types of radiation you object to. If we can take a person and reliably give them a rash with a wifi router, then we're in business. Until then you're...well this lady who had her house covered in tin foil.

"But beneath the coats of magnolia paint, she points out, the walls are lined with a special paper that contains a layer of tin-foil; and upstairs, the windows are hung with a fine, silvery gauze."
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-450995/The-woman-needs-veil-protection-modern-life.html [dailymail.co.uk]

Re:Lets try to be helpful (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28839307)

You never tried pyramid shaped crystals. Did you?

Its in the DailyMail! (1)

thatjavaguy (306073) | more than 4 years ago | (#28838767)

The Daily Mail is on a mission to separate all known substances into those that may cause Cancer and those that do.

So they are now trying it on with other stuff as well. I'm surprised that they didn't claim it causes Cancer and Birth Defects as well.

You think its funny? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28838783)

Wi-Fi also causes me pain. Every time I jack up the power output of a laptop or my PC at home the wireless starts to give me a headache, it also bothers my wife, child and brother-in-law.

We also ended up taking the microwave out of the house because every time my wife would use it while pregnant the baby would go crazy and start lashing around in the womb. Shes 5 months old and still cant use it, her brother is the same it gives him an instant migraine if hes near a microwave in use.

Re:You think its funny? (1)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 4 years ago | (#28839167)

I think you're claims are funny as well. You and your family need to seek pyschiatric help. In short, your fucking lunatics.

Myth (0)

Pedrito (94783) | more than 4 years ago | (#28838981)

Electromagnetic hypersensitivity doesn't exist. It's a sham. There's absolutely no science to back it up and in studies, participants who claim to have it are unable to distinguish between real electromagnetic devices and fake ones.

The daily mail (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28839019)

The Daily Mail is always full of eschatology bulls**t.
Why is it being posted on slashdot?

Daily mail? (0, Redundant)

cwike (1481913) | more than 4 years ago | (#28839201)

how did an article like this manage to get onto slashdot when it was spawned from the daily mail, in britain second only to the sun for stuff like this

Electromagnetic Sensativity (3, Insightful)

David_Hart (1184661) | more than 4 years ago | (#28839261)

Like others, I seriously doubt that the cause of his symptoms have to do with Wi-Fi. One of the the the things not mentioned in the article is whether he has explored other possibilities. The highest concentration of Wi-Fi signals are in urban areas. By its very nature, there are environmental factors tied to urban areas that go hand-in-hand with Wi-Fi. For example, urban areas tend to have higher concentrations of pollution, noise, etc., any one of which, or in combination, could cause his symptoms.

David

My E&M professor refuses to use a cell phone (1)

shadowofwind (1209890) | more than 4 years ago | (#28839273)

I'm agnostic on the subject, but I think that if you calculate the energies involved when something like a phone is held right up to the side of your head, its not completely ridiculous.

Some people are afraid of living or driving under power lines also of course, but in that case if you do the same calculations it doesn't amount to much.

This being /., and this being a physics or EE topic, there will be hundreds of strongly opinionated postings by people who don't know squat about electromagnatism, and hopefully a handful by subject experts who know what they are talking about.

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