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Man Sues Neighbor For Not Turning Off His Wi-Fi

samzenpus posted more than 4 years ago | from the have-you-never-wondered-why-I-drink-only-distilled-water-or-rain-water-and-only-pure-grain-alcohol dept.

Wireless Networking 428

Scyth3 writes "A man is suing his neighbor for not turning off his cell phone or wireless router. He claims it affects his 'electromagnetic allergies,' and has resorted to being homeless. So, why doesn't he check into a hotel? Because hotels typically have wireless internet for free. I wonder if a tinfoil hat would help his cause?"

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428 comments

tinfoil condom... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30743732)

Trojan, please.

Retard. (5, Insightful)

XPeter (1429763) | more than 4 years ago | (#30743740)

You can't be "Allergic to wi-fi"

Put him in a room, and turn the wireless on and off. Guaranteed he won't be able to tell the difference.

Re:Retard. (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30743946)

you sound like a troll..
can you tell a difference after being xrayed at hospital? yet it would be dangerous to your health if you did it all the time.

I'm not saying that wifi is unhealthy, but we should be careful

Re:Retard. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30744028)

i can feel the xrays as they go through me... and there is a definite effect i feel for about 30 minutes afterward....

Re:Retard. (1)

XPeter (1429763) | more than 4 years ago | (#30744138)

Being X-rayed emits much more radiation as opposed to a household router, plus the single dies down tremendously as it passes through walls (especially siding)

It's inevitable he'll encounter wireless singles wherever he goes...from a cell tower, or just driving around and passing hot spots.

Re:Retard. (4, Funny)

Rei (128717) | more than 4 years ago | (#30744020)

That can't stop you from suing. Look at Jonathan Lee Riches [wikipedia.org] . This is a guy who sued the Guinness Book of World Records for listing him as the man who's filed the most lawsuits in the history of mankind. ;) He's among others, he's sued Bill Belichick, George W. Bush, Martha Stewart, Jeff Gordon, Michael Vick, Steve Jobs, Perez Hilton, Somali pirates, Britney Spears, Benazir Bhutto, Pervez Musharraf, the Immigration and Naturalization Service, Adolf Hitler's National Socialist Party, the 13 tribes of Israel, Plato, Nostradamus, Che Guevara, James Hoffa, "Various Buddhist Monks", the Lincoln Memorial, the Eiffel Tower, the USS Cole, the book Mein Kampf, the Garden of Eden, the Roman Empire, the Appalachian Trail, Plymouth Rock, the Holy Grail, the dwarf planet Pluto, and the entire Three Mile Island.

Re:Retard. (5, Funny)

interkin3tic (1469267) | more than 4 years ago | (#30744420)

It's worth noting that the French, acting on behalf of the Eiffel tower, settled out of court for an undisclosed sum of money.

Re:Retard. (2, Insightful)

Leebert (1694) | more than 4 years ago | (#30744040)

Put him in a room, and turn the wireless on and off. Guaranteed he won't be able to tell the difference.

That's all well and good, and I'm sure the guy is full of it, BUT...

Many allergic reactions (like my own seasonal allergies) don't come and go like a light switch in the presence or absence of the allergen.

I could sit in a clean room for 2 or 3 days after getting really spun up from my tree allergies until the symptoms really begin to diminish.

Re:Retard. (1)

PPH (736903) | more than 4 years ago | (#30744402)

So, test to see if this guy's symptoms correlate with the beginning of exposure. And if that isn't definitive, there's another problem: Prove that its actually exposure to e.m. fields that trigger his symptoms. If their onset is slow, it may take months or even years to actually isolate the environmental factors to which he is sensitive. Months or years living in a controlled environment.

Perhaps he's just allegic to living in rooms without rubber walls.

Re:Retard. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30744096)

Don't be so quick to judge.

There are some strange phenomena that exist with regard to people and E-M. I'm not saying this guy has any such behavior, but don't dismiss the entire human race outright.

There exist unexplained observable physical behaviors, and effects with regard E-M, in a very small number of humans. And no, I'm not talking your comic book X-Men. These are real live people scattered around the world. It's perplexing to say the least, and a very very interesting development.

Re:Retard. (1)

Narcocide (102829) | more than 4 years ago | (#30744168)

Isn't the brain essentially an electrical logic system that like any other example of such systems we have (computers) certain frequencies of e-m radiation can interfere with it's basic operation at the right power levels and proximity and such?

I don't know much about it but it sounds possible. It also doesn't sound like it'd quite fall under the category of allergies. It also sounds far more likely to be an excuse to sue a neighbor you don't like than it is to be actually happening to this guy.

Allens (2, Interesting)

FrigBot (1459361) | more than 4 years ago | (#30744296)

One time, um, I read this trilogy of books by Timothy Zahn called Conqueror's Pride, and the aliens in it were susceptible to radio waves. So they thought the humans were attacking them, but really we were just communicating with radio waves, but it was hurting them so a war started. It was mostly a good trilogy. Mostly.

Re:Retard. (1)

MobyDisk (75490) | more than 4 years ago | (#30744414)

Yes, but not these frequencies. Google for "non-ionizing radiation" 2.4Ghz radiation is absorbed by water, and technically it does affect him: it warms him up. But only about as much as an LED.

Re:Retard. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30744382)

Aye, He is from Santa Fe, Just a bunch of freaking weirdos live there.. After all it is called the 'city different'.

Re:Retard. (3, Insightful)

AmigaMMC (1103025) | more than 4 years ago | (#30744416)

What next? Is he going to ask radio stations to stop broadcasting? Or is he allergic only to frequencies used by Wi-Fi routers?

We live in a world that is constantly bombarded by radio waves, can't really hide anywhere.

These stories.. (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30743744)

These stories come up once every couple of months and are always bullshit

Microwave Ovens? Cordless Phones? (1)

PhrostyMcByte (589271) | more than 4 years ago | (#30743754)

Does he sue neighbors for nuking food too? What about talking on cordless phones? Using bluetooth headsets or wireless console controllers?

Re:Microwave Ovens? Cordless Phones? (3, Insightful)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 4 years ago | (#30743832)

He clearly needs to sue the Sun for giving such a constant stream of high energy particles. Then, of course, there's the galaxy, with those awful cosmic rays. Hell, there's the blackbody radiation.

I hope this guys has a lawyer with a pretty clear schedule.

On a more serious note, this guy needs to be sued into bankruptcy.

Re:Microwave Ovens? Cordless Phones? (1)

DemonBeaver (1485573) | more than 4 years ago | (#30743994)

He could sue anyone with a light source for using it. This guy needs his own dark little faraday cage... for his own safety, of course. Electromagnetic allergies? Seriously?

Seems oddly like... (3, Interesting)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 4 years ago | (#30743756)

Re:Seems oddly like... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30743954)

In that case buy goods at the Californian site that is constantly on fannation!

(CAPTCHA is irrigate and it should be ?)

Don't live there (4, Insightful)

DeadPixels (1391907) | more than 4 years ago | (#30743766)

Even if we were to assume that these "electromagnetic allergies" did exist, no one is forcing that man to live there. As an example, I'm allergic to dogs, but I'm not suing my neighbor for owning one. It's my choice to live where I do and it's not my prerogative to tell him that he can't own a dog.

Re:Don't live there (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30743890)

Your neighbor's dog doesn't radiate through the walls though. :P

Re:Don't live there (1)

IndustrialComplex (975015) | more than 4 years ago | (#30744238)

Your neighbor's dog doesn't radiate through the walls though. :P

He is very good at using tunneling to get past them though. ;)

Re:Don't live there (1)

jejones (115979) | more than 4 years ago | (#30744386)

Are you sure? I would bet the dog contains a modicum of carbon-14 and potassium-40. (Of course, so do we all.)

Re:Don't live there (1)

seanadams.com (463190) | more than 4 years ago | (#30743936)

Even if we were to assume that these "electromagnetic allergies" did exist, no one is forcing that man to live there. As an example, I'm allergic to dogs, but I'm not suing my neighbor for owning one. It's my choice to live where I do and it's not my prerogative to tell him that he can't own a dog.

That's not how it works - homeowners legally entitled to some degree of peace and quiet. There are local ordinances for that sort of thing, as dogs are a potential disturbance. Your neighbor probably can't legally keep six dogs in a suburb backyard, for example, although a reasonable neighbor wouldn't complain unless they were barking all night or something. The point is, it's not the free-for-all you're imagining.

In this case the emissions are regulated by the FCC and if the guy's router is operating within the limits for the unlicensed band then there is simply no actionable offense.

Re:Don't live there (1)

snowgirl (978879) | more than 4 years ago | (#30744086)

Even if we were to assume that these "electromagnetic allergies" did exist, no one is forcing that man to live there. As an example, I'm allergic to dogs, but I'm not suing my neighbor for owning one. It's my choice to live where I do and it's not my prerogative to tell him that he can't own a dog.

The law provides that it is unreasonable for someone to create a nuisance to another person that impinges upon their ability to enjoy their property.

You could sue your neighbor complaining about the allergies, but you likely wouldn't because it's not worth the legal effort. However, let's take a different example, your neighbor is now a manufacturing plant that came in after you bought your property, and has begun polluting the air. Guess what? They're not allowed to unreasonably pollute, and if it causes health effects upon you or your family, or even your guests, then it's their fault for causing those damages.

Pollution laws are built upon the same legal principles and standards as noise pollution, and allergy aggravation. As a prime example, suppose a person Alice is living in a house, and her neighbor Bob decides to plant peanuts, and make homemade peanut butter. Everything is fine, until some of the peanut dust floats into Alice's home and causes a severe anaphylactic shock response in Alice, who then has to be rushed to the hospital, where she recovers. She is now unable to return to her home, until the peanut dust has been removed, and the neighbor stops growing the peanuts.

Guess what? The law stands with Alice. She could sue Bob, and receive an injunction forcing him to stop growing peanuts, and potentially receive compensation for the damages caused (medical bills, hotel stays, etc.) This is of course all contingent upon Alice being able to take reasonable precautions to mitigate those damages. Namely, is there any way that she could reasonably prevent the nuisance without imposing on Bob. In this example? No.

In your case, you can put up a fence, and take drugs to prevent allergic reactions.

Re:Don't live there (1)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 4 years ago | (#30744256)

And in the case of EM, he could simply cover his walls with anti-EM wallpaper.

Re:Don't live there (1)

snowgirl (978879) | more than 4 years ago | (#30744336)

And in the case of EM, he could simply cover his walls with anti-EM wallpaper.

Is the cost reasonable though? One could argue that the person with the peanut allergy could put in a HIPA air filter system and wear a biological suit outside of her house... such things are unreasonable though for not only being annoying (bio suit) but as well, for being expensive (HIPA air filter).

Someone below posted something about EM-blocking paint, but it's about $400 for 5 liters. That's pretty obviously an unreasonable cost, when the barrier to his neighbor is just shutting the devices off.

Re:Don't live there (1)

DMiax (915735) | more than 4 years ago | (#30744142)

But his dog does not enter your house, right? and you expect your neighbour to ansure that he does not. So *if* (and it is a big if) wifi can be considered dangerous to this guy he can ask his neighbour to prevent EM waves from entering his house. Like, by covering the walls in metal.

More likely, if the currently harmless spectrum could be proven not harmless then a new one will be tested and allocated and old routers will be outlawed.

litmus test (5, Insightful)

MaXintosh (159753) | more than 4 years ago | (#30743768)

I have a way to be fair to this guy, as well as punish people abusing torts. It's very simple:
a) If he can demonstrate his ability to detect electromagnetic fields under reasonable experimental conditions, they'll consider his case.
b) If he can't demonstrate his ability to detect electromagnetic fields under reasonable experimental conditions significantly more than chance, he owes the plaintiff the same amount he's seeking.

I call this the `put up or shut up` principle. Although, it might be more widely known as the `Let's not be flaming idiots` principle.

Re:litmus test (4, Insightful)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 4 years ago | (#30743914)

Or let's actually be very fair.
Using WiFi is totally legal and within the other home owners rights. Even if he has this alergy it isn't up to his neighbor to do anything about it.
May his health insurance provider will offer to build him a Faraday cage. All he would need to do is cover his house with chicken wire, paint and stucco over it and connect it to ground.
That would protect him from not only WiFi but also radar from planes flying over head, TV and Radio broadcasts, and even Satellite transmissions.
Of course he would have to give up electricity all together to really have an EM free home but that is his problem.

Re:litmus test (1)

MaXintosh (159753) | more than 4 years ago | (#30743928)

That thought had occurred to me. If he's really having that hard of a time sleeping, he could easily build a faraday cage around his bed, at the very least. It's not like they're incredibly complex. And he'd get some respite, and the ability to catch some Zs.

Unless, that is, he's not sensitive to squat.

Re:litmus test (1)

DMiax (915735) | more than 4 years ago | (#30744036)

faraday cages do not block elecromagnetic waves. lhc will not create a black hole. antimatter cannot be transported in a suitcase. homeopathy has no scientific evidence. earth is not flat.

we are on slashdot for god's sake!

Re:litmus test (4, Insightful)

IndustrialComplex (975015) | more than 4 years ago | (#30744214)

we are on slashdot for god's sake!

You know what? You are right. Lets give that the Slashdot treatment.

faraday cages do not block elecromagnetic waves.
Depends on the meaning of the word block.

antimatter cannot be transported in a suitcase. Of course it can, just not transported very far. And it has the side benefit of transporting everything around it immediately afterward.

homeopathy has no scientific evidence. Of course it has scientific evidence. The evidence suggests that Homeopathy is bunk, but there is plenty of evidence.

earth is not flat.
You just need to look at it on the right scale.

Oh, Please .... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30744146)

"...he could easily build a Faraday cage around his bed..."

YOU go and try it, really, STF up and go do it, see how "easy" it really is.

You FAIL!

Re:litmus test (2, Interesting)

snowgirl (978879) | more than 4 years ago | (#30743924)

I have a way to be fair to this guy, as well as punish people abusing torts. It's very simple:
a) If he can demonstrate his ability to detect electromagnetic fields under reasonable experimental conditions, they'll consider his case.
b) If he can't demonstrate his ability to detect electromagnetic fields under reasonable experimental conditions significantly more than chance, he owes the plaintiff the same amount he's seeking.

I call this the `put up or shut up` principle. Although, it might be more widely known as the `Let's not be flaming idiots` principle.

There's a few issues here. First, the man may just be suing for equity, as in suing to obtain an order of restraint requiring his neighbor to disable his EM emissions. As well, there are situations where a court considering some complex issue where an order of restraint may result in unfair damages against the other party to have the initiating party place a bond against such damages.

This guy faces an uphill battle, since he has to prove to a better than 50% confidence that his neighbor's EM emissions are causing him injury. That's the important thing, the law does not require him to prove 100%, or to a reasonable scientific certainty that his claims are valid. He has to prove to either a judge or a jury that it's more likely that his claims are true than his opponent.

Should we punish people for suing? (1)

jonaskoelker (922170) | more than 4 years ago | (#30743948)

b) If he can't demonstrate his ability to detect electromagnetic fields under reasonable experimental conditions significantly more than chance, he owes the plaintiff the same amount he's seeking.

Why the amount he's seeking?

Wouldn't it be more fair to compensate the defendant for court fees (if any), lawyer salary, lost income/time and compensate the defendant for undue emotional distress? That is, make repairs exactly for the damage or losses you have caused, no more and no less?

Or should there be a disincentive towards filing suits? We all hate litigious bastards, especially the well-funded kind, but disincentives towards filing suits also impacts the little man.

I'm not saying I know the answer. I'm just suggesting that we should consider all the options (or at least a handful).

"An idea is a dangerous thing to have if it's your only idea." (I can't remember who said it, but I think David Allen quoted that person in Getting Things Done.)

Re:Should we punish people for suing? (4, Informative)

MaXintosh (159753) | more than 4 years ago | (#30744010)

The plaintiff is a serial litigant. He's sued just about everyone and his uncle before [overlawyered.com] . While I agree, there needs to be protection for those with less extreme claims, there also needs to be more teeth to punishing those who abuse the system. A nice place to start is to punish those with outlandish or vindictive claims.

repeat offences: exponentially increasing fines? (0)

jonaskoelker (922170) | more than 4 years ago | (#30744082)

While I agree, there needs to be protection for those with less extreme claims, there also needs to be more teeth to punishing those who abuse the system.

Another thought pops into my head: abusers tend to be repeat "customers" at the court (and non-abusers don't). Or so I'm lead to think; I don't for sure (somebody collect some numbers...).

But if I'm right, why not make repeat offences carry exponentially increasing punishments---base 2, or base something larger than the average economic growth rate times k, or ...?

Re:Should we punish people for suing? (1)

snowgirl (978879) | more than 4 years ago | (#30744210)

b) If he can't demonstrate his ability to detect electromagnetic fields under reasonable experimental conditions significantly more than chance, he owes the plaintiff the same amount he's seeking.

Why the amount he's seeking?

Wouldn't it be more fair to compensate the defendant for court fees (if any), lawyer salary, lost income/time and compensate the defendant for undue emotional distress? That is, make repairs exactly for the damage or losses you have caused, no more and no less?

Or should there be a disincentive towards filing suits? We all hate litigious bastards, especially the well-funded kind, but disincentives towards filing suits also impacts the little man.

I'm not saying I know the answer. I'm just suggesting that we should consider all the options (or at least a handful).

"An idea is a dangerous thing to have if it's your only idea." (I can't remember who said it, but I think David Allen quoted that person in Getting Things Done.)

If a judge dismisses your case because it's frivolous, he will typically do two things, dismiss the case with prejudice (meaning the plaintiff/petitioner cannot ever bring the same facts into court again) and require the plaintiff/petitioner to pay reasonable legal fees incurred by the defendant.

The problem is that a lot of cases that people think are frivolous are based upon a lot of facts, where they do create a question of law.

Re:litmus test (3, Informative)

91degrees (207121) | more than 4 years ago | (#30744220)

He's not really abusing torts though. At least not deliberately. He does suffer from a genuine medical condition. The fact that it's psychological rather than physical doesn't make it any less of a problem.

Re:litmus test (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30744306)

Applying your test to the real world would immediately introduce a lot of dangerous stuff back. Can you detect the evil cancerogenity of asbestos on your own? Can you "detect" radioactive exposure before the effects of radiation sickness strike? There are a lot of things that bring harm and cannot be felt, proposing to make "what you feel" a standard is more stupid than what this guy is trying to do.

i'll half-assed troll this one (1, Insightful)

ClintJCL (264898) | more than 4 years ago | (#30744340)

Can you demonstrate your ability to detect asbestos?

If not, it must not be harming you.

Re:litmus test (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30744436)

If only it were that simple. But it's not. It never is. There's really very little sense in testing him. This man is convinced he is allergic, it's likely that no simple test will convince him he's wrong, only that the test is wrong. For example, it might be a question of prolonged exposure. Maybe it takes eight to ten weeks for his symptoms to manifest. Will the court order that over the next few years, his neighbor randomly activate and de-activate his for months at a time? Maybe it's an amalgamation of symptoms; he only gets his allergies when exposed to the wi-fi, the specific pollen of his neighborhood, and the sound of cars passing by. Or, most probably, any administered test will simply be another part of the vast radio-wave cover-up by the government and big pharma.

I'm not saying you're wrong, I'm just saying that there's no reason for the court to test. We know it doesn't happen and we (probably) won't be able to convince him otherwise. It's similar to people who think that every health issue you have can easily be explained by your diet ("Too many toxins!"), and yet still go to the doctor for a broken leg. "Your eye is dry? It's all those preservatives!" Every health issue is a direct result of what chemicals you're putting into your body, except H1N1, that's different. Oh, and AIDS. Etc.

Get off my Astral Plane! (5, Funny)

kclittle (625128) | more than 4 years ago | (#30743772)

And stop eating meat OR veggies -- I can hear the carrots scream!

Re:Get off my Astral Plane! (1)

Psyborgue (699890) | more than 4 years ago | (#30744202)

And the angel of the lord came unto me, snatching me up from my place of slumber. And took me on high, and higher still until we moved to the spaces betwixt the air itself. And he brought me into a vast farmlands of our own midwest. And as we descended, cries of impending doom rose from the soil. One thousand, nay a million voices full of fear. And terror possessed me then. And I begged, "Angel of the Lord, what are these tortured screams?" And the angel said unto me, "These are the cries of the carrots, the cries of the carrots! You see, Reverend Maynard, tomorrow is harvest day and to them it is the holocaust." And I sprang from my slumber drenched in sweat like the tears of one million terrified brothers and roared, "Hear me now, I have seen the light! They have a consciousness, they have a life, they have a soul! Damn you! Let the rabbits wear glasses! Save our brothers!" Can I get an amen? Can I get a hallelujah? Thank you Jesus.

From Disgustipated by Tool.

Late... again. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30743776)

http://www.engadget.com/2010/01/12/santa-fe-wifi-foe-strikes-again-sues-neighbor-for-using-wireles/

He will have a hard time proving his case (1)

presidenteloco (659168) | more than 4 years ago | (#30743802)

You can be sure that if any harmful link had been scientifically established to this point, even just on the
balance of probabilities, a class action lawyer would already be in there pursuing a billion dollar
case for the class of "neighbours of wi-fi basestations.

I'm still open minded about all this. I don't really think cell phone radiation is bad for me, but
I would move or protest if someone put up the cell transmitter on my roof.

And I ain't superstitious, but a black cat just crossed my path.

To the defendant: Make sure a judge hears the case, not a jury.

Re:He will have a hard time proving his case (1)

MaXintosh (159753) | more than 4 years ago | (#30743866)

To the defendant: Make sure a judge hears the case, not a jury.

It's a sad indictment of the US's critical thinking skills that this is true. Juries are too willing to take personal testimony uncritically. "Well, Jane said she got better after rubbing her head with a ferret, so it must be true." Or something like that.

Re:He will have a hard time proving his case (1)

mapsjanhere (1130359) | more than 4 years ago | (#30743960)

Unfortunately, the right to demand a jury trial is with BOTH the plaintiff and the defendant. All the defendant can hope for is to succeed with a summary judgement motion to dismiss, but if the judge finds that there's a chance that there is something like electromagnetic allergy, that's a disputed fact to be decided by a jury if requested.

Re:He will have a hard time proving his case (4, Funny)

tsm_sf (545316) | more than 4 years ago | (#30744136)

Ferrets are widely known to promote blood circulation, asshole. One of the landmark studies compared the orgonocephalic health of a man with a ferret strapped to his head against that of a control subject*, with many interesting results.

* tube sock full of mice

Re:He will have a hard time proving his case (1)

Artifakt (700173) | more than 4 years ago | (#30744392)

I'm reasonably sure the health (the general health, not just the 'orgonocephalic' health) of a tube sock full of mice goes down when they are strapped to a ferret. While the ferret will promote blood flow, this will be one way flow, not circulation. Alternately, the health of a ferret will decrease if it is strapped to Zombie Dr. Reich. That's probably the cephalic effect you were thinking of.

Re:He will have a hard time proving his case (1)

Man On Pink Corner (1089867) | more than 4 years ago | (#30743952)

I'm still open minded about all this. I don't really think cell phone radiation is bad for me, but I would move or protest if someone put up the cell transmitter on my roof.

That's OK -- they can put one on my roof anytime they want. It will be nice to have the carrier sending me money every month, for a change.

Re:He will have a hard time proving his case (1)

phayes (202222) | more than 4 years ago | (#30744312)

Cell phone transmitters are directional and the direction where they transmit the least is usually straight up & straight down. Assuming that a cell tower on your roof will assemble a number of antennas to give 360 coverage, the spot with the least intesity is just about always the building just beneath it. This fact amuses me no end every time some nut blames his insomnia/impotence/mental imbalance/other ill defined ailment on the cell tower implanted 6 stories above his bedroom...

Re:He will have a hard time proving his case (1)

rrhal (88665) | more than 4 years ago | (#30743986)

To the defendant - counter sue for this blatant disregard for your allergy to small minded ass-holes.

Simple test... (2, Insightful)

Loki_1929 (550940) | more than 4 years ago | (#30743824)

I think this guy's full of it, but there's a pretty simple test. Blindfold him and drive him out to a nice, open, quiet country setting. Something with lots of fresh air, birds chirping, no cars, no people, etc. Somewhere where you can smell flowers from a mile away and it feels like you're on a country road in the middle of nowhere. Park under high tension lines. Then ask him how he feels. If he's not on the ground doubled over in pain, he's a POS and full of it.

And if this guy really does have that severe a reaction to all technology, then Darwin says he should go stuff. Let him join an Amish community and live the rest of his life in peace. He has no right to shut down every invention of the past hundred years everywhere he goes simply because he's a genetic disaster.

Re:Simple test... (1)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 4 years ago | (#30744058)

That reminds me... at Cape Lisburne, we had a really old navy Beacon for the airstrip which gave off enough EMI to light a florescent tube (no really, there was one on the wall). I swear, you really could feel it when you were in the shack. So I think it is highly possible that some people could detect being under high tension lines (I think lower frequency is easier to detect). High tension lines are also known to be able to light up florescent bulbs at a distance. I think sitting him next to the router and seeing if he can tell when it is off or on would be a much better test.

Re:Simple test... (1)

IndustrialComplex (975015) | more than 4 years ago | (#30744372)

That reminds me... at Cape Lisburne, we had a really old navy Beacon for the airstrip which gave off enough EMI to light a florescent tube (no really, there was one on the wall). I swear, you really could feel it when you were in the shack. So I think it is highly possible that some people could detect being under high tension lines (I think lower frequency is easier to detect). High tension lines are also known to be able to light up florescent bulbs at a distance. I think sitting him next to the router and seeing if he can tell when it is off or on would be a much better test

Obviously this isn't a wifi router, but as a kid I used to be able to walk under a transformer near my house and 'see' something weird. Like a wavy black at the edge of my vision.

It wasn't discomforting or anything, but sometimes I would just be walking around, and notice it, then I'd look around and find a rather large transformer or other piece of power equipment. Typically those that were just about to fail. This particular transformer had a consistent buzzing as well, and if you looked up you could see electricity arcing. I'm doubting it was in spec, but the effect on my vision was real.

But again, a transformer with arcing electricity is a slight bit more extreme than a wifi router.

I want to sue as well... (5, Funny)

mldi (1598123) | more than 4 years ago | (#30743826)

Is he crazy? I wanna sue my neighbour for not turning his WiFi back on!

Re:I want to sue as well... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30743974)

Ahh so you're the one leeching off my broadband account!

Re:I want to sue as well... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30744062)

Any one else think the summary said this at first?

Lost Money (1)

b4upoo (166390) | more than 4 years ago | (#30743834)

I am so certain that this poor jerk's investment in a law suit will bring him good results. The settlement will be delivered in a car driven by Elvis with Jimmy Hoffa representing the defendant.

Only the ones he knows about. (1)

Bender Unit 22 (216955) | more than 4 years ago | (#30743850)

So the popular radiowaves he knows/thinks about bothers him but not all the other sources.
Lets hope he does not park his car close to a cell tower, a tv or radio transmitter etc.

Better yet, give him a Wi-spy and let him scan 2.4GHz for all the other crap there like car alarms, baby monitors, etc. He well never find a place to sleep.

phobia (2, Insightful)

wizardforce (1005805) | more than 4 years ago | (#30743868)

If the neighbor's house was emitting dangerous levels of gamma radiation then the suit would definately have merit but this is a severe phobia not a physiological reaction to wifi "radiation." There is zero evidence what so ever that anyone has any adverse reaction to wifi and even if there was. it would not be an "allergy."

Don't sue, get $1M instead... (5, Insightful)

nweaver (113078) | more than 4 years ago | (#30743888)

As has been mentioned by others, WiFi sensitivity should easily count for paranormal under the James Randi Educational Foundation's $1M paranormal prize. http://www.randi.org/site/index.php/1m-challenge.html [randi.org]

Re:Don't sue, get $1M instead... (2, Informative)

Qzukk (229616) | more than 4 years ago | (#30744118)

WiFi sensitivity should easily count for paranormal

I suspect that Randi would call it "abnormal" rather than "paranormal", after all, WiFi scientifically exists, and there are various mechanisms for detecting electromagnetic fields throughout nature.

Re:Don't sue, get $1M instead... (1)

snowgirl (978879) | more than 4 years ago | (#30744290)

WiFi sensitivity should easily count for paranormal

I suspect that Randi would call it "abnormal" rather than "paranormal", after all, WiFi scientifically exists, and there are various mechanisms for detecting electromagnetic fields throughout nature.

I believe that if one were able to prove their paranormal activities in controlled conditions that it would simply be "abnormal" in the first place. If the guy has Wi-Fi sensitivity and can detect it without the use of a device, I believe that would qualify as paranormal... and hell, if such a person does exist, I think they deserve $1M just for being able to prove it in laboratory conditions.

Re:Don't sue, get $1M instead... (2, Informative)

RapmasterT (787426) | more than 4 years ago | (#30744298)

WiFi does exist, but that's not the paranormal claim, being allergic to it (no less just being able to SENSE it) most definitely IS a paranormal claim. The JREF makes no requirement that the person taking the challenge believe the claim is paranormal, they handle that part for them. In fact the most common claim they receive is plain old water dowsing. Water can be "detected" through many different processes, a forked stick just isn't one of them.

Re:Don't sue, get $1M instead... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30744324)

Theoretically, it might be possible that a mutation reactivates a sequence of "junk" DNA which happens to be an electromagnetic detection organ operating in the 2.4GHz space...

Solution: Switch to 802.11n

Re:Don't sue, get $1M instead... (1)

MobyDisk (75490) | more than 4 years ago | (#30744440)

By that reasoning, nothing could ever count for paranormal because as soon as there is evidence for it, it is no longer paranormal. :-)

Time some one catered to these people (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30743932)

There seems to be a desperate need for Faraday Burka. That way they can feel safe and we don't have to look at them. Also they'll have the added benefit of it protecting them from the sun's rays which I'm sure most sufferers aren't used to seeing. A mesh lined Burka has got to be more stylish than walking around in tin foil.

live in a faraday cage (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30743942)

how about this guy turns his house into a giant faraday cage?

not that i believe his 'allergy' has any merit.

Two Words (2, Interesting)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 4 years ago | (#30743950)

Faraday Cage

Intel has equipped entire floors at Jones Farm with these (even coatings on the Windows). Yes, it makes cell phones unusable on those floors.

Easy solutions (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30744024)

Turn off SSID broadcast on the router and tell the neighbor the WiFi is off. It may be slight nuisance since you will have to configure your WiFi clients manually instead of picking the network from a menu, but most of them will remember the network, so you only have to do it once.

Alternately, install a few thin metal poles or strands regularly spaced along the fence between the two properties and tell the neighbor it is a Faraday shield that will keep radiation from crossing the fence.

Re:Easy solutions (1)

compro01 (777531) | more than 4 years ago | (#30744234)

Turn off SSID broadcast on the router and tell the neighbor the WiFi is off. It may be slight nuisance since you will have to configure your WiFi clients manually instead of picking the network from a menu, but most of them will remember the network, so you only have to do it once.

That will not have the effect you think it has. It still shows up fine for clients, it just shows as "other network", "unknown network" or similar.

Maybe this is a dumb question, but... (5, Insightful)

lemur666 (313121) | more than 4 years ago | (#30744076)

...how exactly did he know his neighbor had a wireless router running, unless he used some sort of wireless device (all of which produce their own EM emissions) to specifically detect the EM emissions coming from his neighbor? And no, divining rods don't count, regardless of what Iraqi bomb squads are doing. [nytimes.com]

Re:Maybe this is a dumb question, but... (1)

RapmasterT (787426) | more than 4 years ago | (#30744322)

Over confidence in fake bomb detectors is a problem that quickly takes care of itself.

The dude's a moron (1)

killmenow (184444) | more than 4 years ago | (#30744126)

And quite possibly a douchebag.

If he really had "electromagnetic allergies" he could've painted his whole house (walls, floors, ceilings, everything) with this stuff [lessemf.com] and been fine. He's just an attention seeker, a possible nutbag, and like I said, a moron.

Re:The dude's a moron (1)

snowgirl (978879) | more than 4 years ago | (#30744266)

And quite possibly a douchebag.

If he really had "electromagnetic allergies" he could've painted his whole house (walls, floors, ceilings, everything) with this stuff [lessemf.com] and been fine. He's just an attention seeker, a possible nutbag, and like I said, a moron.

At about $404 for five liters, that's an unreasonable cost. He's just trying to get an injunction having the neighbor turn it off until the case can be heard. At that point, he could potentially get the neighbor to foot the costs for the paint.

I doubt such a thing would happen though...

It'll be interesting to see if this goes on long. (2, Interesting)

jafo (11982) | more than 4 years ago | (#30744132)

Last I knew, the FCC was pretty clear that they were the only ones that had the power to regulate RF emissions. I wonder how easy it would be to get the FCC to tell the plaintiff to retract his case or face FCC fines.

I mean, hey, my neighbor was just fined tens of thousands of dollars by the FAA for launching a homemade balloon. They're serving jail time now. I don't want to mess with organizations matching the F[A-Z]{2} regex. :-)

Sean

If I was the person being sued I'd do this... (1)

Quarters (18322) | more than 4 years ago | (#30744282)

I'd turn my electronics off at random times and for random intervals. I'd log every time I did that and for how long I had them powered down. Then, if the case went to court I'd throw the log out there and say, "I had my stuff powered off at these times, did you realize this and go back into your house?" When the paranoid litigant said "Uh, no." I'd ask for a case dismissal since it's pretty obvious the guy can't tell when his allergic reaction is kicking in or not.

Man Sues Neighbor For Not Turning On His Wife!!! (3, Funny)

master_p (608214) | more than 4 years ago | (#30744356)

That's what you get when you read /. at 2 am and you are falling asleep on the keyboard...

Yeah right... (1)

tyroneking (258793) | more than 4 years ago | (#30744404)

... he could really be suffering from this illness couldn't he? I mean, it's not beyond the bounds of reality that he has a weird physical make-up is it?
The county should test him properly and if he really is a sufferer they should paint his walls with metal paint.
On the other hand, if he is not found to be sensitive, then he should STOP PUBLISHING BOOKS ON THE SUBJECT, STOP CAMPAIGNING TO BAN WI-FI , AND LEAVE HIS NEIGHBOUR (an ex-friend of his I gather) THE F**K ALONE.
Also, if you street-map the address in the article you'll see that the place is strewn with overhead power lines (power lines in the US right?) so how come he didn't get sick beforehand?

Du-u-u-ude... (1)

Mr. Firewall (578517) | more than 4 years ago | (#30744406)

There's only one thing that can alleviate the symptoms of electromagnetic allergies...

he needs MEDICAL MARIJUANA!

If he lives in Oregon or California, I'm sure he can find a doc to write him a 'scrip...

The PM says it's the WiFi (3, Funny)

theNAM666 (179776) | more than 4 years ago | (#30744408)

In other news, the Prime Minister released a press release today, explaining that recent government scandals were the result of "problems with the WiFi" which caused "mass delusions among Parliamentarians" which "made them do it." Mr. Brown promises that henceforth that the Parliamentary floor, retreats and other events will be WiFi-free in order to combat corruption. No word on Browning Street.

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