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Man Sues Neighbor Claiming Wi-Fi Made Him Sick

samzenpus posted more than 4 years ago | from the bad-waves dept.

Medicine 574

OrangeMonkey11 writes "A Santa Fe man who claims to suffer from 'electromagnetic sensitivities' has sued his neighbor after she refused to stop using wireless devices. 59-year-old Arthur Firstenberg claims his sensitivity can be set off by cellphones, routers and other electronic devices. From the article: 'Firstenberg, 59, wanted Raphaela Monribot to limit her use of the devices. "I asked her to work with me," he said. "Basically, she refused." So he sued Monribot in state district court, seeking $530,000 in damages and an injunction to force her to turn off the electronics. "Being the target of this lawsuit has affected me very adversely," Monribot said Friday in response to e-mailed questions. "I feel as if my life and liberty are under attack for no valid reason, and it has forced me to have to defend my very basic human rights."'"

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574 comments

the more attention you give morons... (5, Insightful)

Em Emalb (452530) | more than 4 years ago | (#31670060)

the more they'll act like morons.

I wish reporters wouldn't give this type of crap the time of day.

Re:the more attention you give morons... (1)

Vectormatic (1759674) | more than 4 years ago | (#31670120)

true, this nutjob should just go out and live in a shed in the woods

This is just one step away from sueing your neighbour because he refuses to paint his house green claiming that 'the wavelength of light emitted by his house is caussing me severe pain'

and WTF sueing someone for half a milion dollars for this? only in america

Re:the more attention you give morons... (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31670196)

>> I wish reporters wouldn't give this type of crap the time of day.

Yep - let's ignore this story and focus on the previous story, which is... let's see... A NEW APPLE PRODUCT RUMORS!!

Re:the more attention you give morons... (5, Insightful)

eparker05 (1738842) | more than 4 years ago | (#31670232)

"the more attention you give morons, the more they'll act like morons."

I disagree with your sentiment. If you publicly embarrass somebody for acting stupidly. They often think twice before acting stupidly again. What we need is more bad press for these types of people, like that town in Africa where everybody claimed to be getting sick from radio waves until they were told that the tower had been turned off two weeks prior. Also there is the guy who became violently ill only when cell phones rang (but not when they communicated with the cell tower silently). Yea. Lots of stupid people more need attention.

Scientology too... but that is another thread.

Re:the more attention you give morons... (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 4 years ago | (#31670280)

Africa? I thought that story happened in the U.S.

Re:the more attention you give morons... (5, Informative)

ElectricTurtle (1171201) | more than 4 years ago | (#31670542)

eparker05 is correct, it was Africa. [slashdot.org]

Which is not to say that similar events have not happened in many places.

Re:the more attention you give morons... (5, Interesting)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 4 years ago | (#31670512)

We had something similar happening here, where people started complaining about the electromagnetic field from a cell repeater tower.

PR statement from the telco: "Gee, wonder what it'll be like when we turn it on in a few weeks..."

Needless to say that the court tossed the suit without a hearing.

Re:the more attention you give morons... (4, Insightful)

JohnnyGTO (102952) | more than 4 years ago | (#31670790)

These people don't get embarrassed.

Re:the more attention you give morons... (2, Funny)

WrongSizeGlass (838941) | more than 4 years ago | (#31670588)

the more they'll act like morons.

I wish reporters wouldn't give this type of crap the time of day.

Not to defend Arthur The Human Antenna Firstenberg, but perhaps he is suffering from some sort of mental condition and genuinely believes what he is claiming? It doesn't make him right, and may only prove he's watched "Cartman Gets an Anal Probe" [wikipedia.org] too many times, but he might only be a mental case and not an asshat.

Never attribute to asshattery that which can be adequately explained by shit house rat crazy.

Re:the more attention you give morons... (5, Insightful)

TheSpoom (715771) | more than 4 years ago | (#31670830)

Just give the idiot plaintiff a double blind test, and we can move on with our lives.

In this litigious society... (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31670096)

In this litigious society, it's possible to sue anyone for anything. And, I'm sorry to say, probably win.

Re:In this litigious society... (5, Funny)

WrongSizeGlass (838941) | more than 4 years ago | (#31670178)

Blasphemy! I'm going to sue you for that statement, you insensitive clod!

Re:In this litigious society... (5, Funny)

Moryath (553296) | more than 4 years ago | (#31670202)

I'm going to sue you for insulting all of us insensitive clods, you insensitive clod!

Re:In this litigious society... (5, Funny)

Mitchell314 (1576581) | more than 4 years ago | (#31670702)

And what's with this discrimination against sensitive clods? I'll be seeing you all in court.

Ugh (4, Informative)

jav1231 (539129) | more than 4 years ago | (#31670098)

If this makes it into the courtroom the judge is the idiot.

Re:Ugh (3, Insightful)

arthurpaliden (939626) | more than 4 years ago | (#31670352)

if the SCO lawsuits can make it to court anything can.

Unfortunately... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31670358)

If this makes it into the courtroom the judge is the idiot.

Unfortunately, most that we ever read about in the news seem to be exactly that these days.

Picture in the summary has it right (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31670106)

It's the guy's problem, not his neighbour's. If he's got a sensitivity to it, he should don a tinfoil hat and live inside a Faraday cage.

I developed lactose intolerance late in my life. Should I sue the makers of all my favourite foods because they can't accomodate me?

Re:Picture in the summary has it right (5, Insightful)

IBBoard (1128019) | more than 4 years ago | (#31670364)

Are you in America and seeking large sums of money for no real cause?

Re:Picture in the summary has it right (4, Insightful)

beelsebob (529313) | more than 4 years ago | (#31670506)

Are the dairies pouring the milk into your house and forcing you to drink it?

Not that I think this case has any merit, but your analogy doesn't match up – if this guys claims were actually true, then his neighbour would be actively doing something that was harming him, not just passively sitting there holding something that could harm him if it were used against him.

Re:Picture in the summary has it right (3, Interesting)

oldspewey (1303305) | more than 4 years ago | (#31670596)

A more apt analogy would be somebody who develops extreme sun sensitivity late in life, and then attempts to sue the sun.

And as much as I'd like to believe this is a really, really stupid example, I somehow can not completely discount the possibility of this happening someday, somewhere.

Re:Picture in the summary has it right (1)

Joce640k (829181) | more than 4 years ago | (#31670826)

Yes, they pour apricot yogurt down my chimney every night when I'm asleep. Bastards.

Re:Picture in the summary has it right (5, Insightful)

mea37 (1201159) | more than 4 years ago | (#31670536)

I'm impressed. There are so many solid arguments against those who claim sensitivity to consumer electronics, I didn't think anyone could possibly come forward asserting such a poor one as yours.

If you tried to apply your "lactose intolerant" analogy, don't you suppose your opponent would point out that the makers of your favorite foods don't project those foods into your home against your wishes?

If these sensitivities were real (though I very much doubt that they are), he would have a point. Just because something has become socially common doesn't mean it's ok to do if it later turns out that it harms others in their own home. The key phrase is if they were real; so this point is moot unless someone can show some credible scientific basis for anything beyond the psychosomatic.

I don't know if this guy really believes he's sensitive or if he's just a complete asshat. It sure looks like he figured he saw a way to make a quick buck by convincing someone he knew uses electronics to move in to the next house over.

Re:Picture in the summary has it right (1)

japhering (564929) | more than 4 years ago | (#31670836)

If you tried to apply your "lactose intolerant" analogy, don't you suppose your opponent would point out that the makers of your favorite foods don't project those foods into your home against your wishes?

If these sensitivities were real (though I very much doubt that they are), he would have a point. Just because something has become socially common doesn't mean it's ok to do if it later turns out that it harms others in their own home. The key phrase is if they were real; so this point is moot unless someone can show some credible scientific basis for anything beyond the psychosomatic.

So where do we turn off the electronics.. radio silence for planes flying over New Mexico, no commercial radio or TV broadcasts with in what? a 1000 miles ? Going to ban all medical electronics as well ?

Sorry, in this day and age it is impossible to turn off all intentional and unintentional electronic signals. If he is truly sensitive (not saying he is), then suing the neighbor will not improve anything other than the contents of his bank account.

Personally, the lawyer that is taking this case forward needs to be disbarred.

Re:Picture in the summary has it right (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 4 years ago | (#31670568)

Mmmm... it's not that easy. When I play loud music past 3am I can't simply say that my neighbor should get some earplugs if he wants to sleep.

There's always (at least here, your country may vary) the question of reasonability. It's reasonable that I do not listen to loud music at 3am, at least more reasonable than to ask my neighbor to wear earplugs. It's not reasonable to ask the maker of your food to bend to your whim when the rest of his millions of customers are happy with the way it is.

At least... (1)

pushing-robot (1037830) | more than 4 years ago | (#31670118)

...we can hope that this will set a precedent. (Though it will probably just be dismissed.)

Re:At least... (5, Funny)

LingNoi (1066278) | more than 4 years ago | (#31670346)

Even if it makes it to court the guy won't. I'll be there with a grid of routers, cell phones and all type of other EM emitting radiation devices.

Re:At least... (1)

Cwix (1671282) | more than 4 years ago | (#31670526)

I think she should make a cantenna for her wireless router, and point it at his house.

No need (1)

Joce640k (829181) | more than 4 years ago | (#31670738)

The courthouse probably has wifi...

Onus is on you... (1)

rotide (1015173) | more than 4 years ago | (#31670126)

Onus is on you buddy... Good luck proving that one.. Enjoy those bills too, by the way!

Lucky for him (5, Funny)

Grashnak (1003791) | more than 4 years ago | (#31670136)

He's lucky he doesn't live in a universe where "electromagnetism" is everywhere, all the time. Oh, wait...

Re:Lucky for him (1)

Hoi Polloi (522990) | more than 4 years ago | (#31670762)

Whatever you do don't tell him about cosmic rays. *ouch!* *ow!!!*

Re:Lucky for him (1)

Mitchell314 (1576581) | more than 4 years ago | (#31670774)

And don't even bother telling him about the nuclear force.

Sounds like time for a countersuit (1)

Drethon (1445051) | more than 4 years ago | (#31670138)

With a major point showing how much EM radiation there is from the sun and then from all the TV and cell phone signals without this person using anything and then what little increase (if noticable) there is when this person's devices are turned on...

Re:Sounds like time for a countersuit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31670228)

would be just as easy to put out three boxes and have him pick the one with the phone in it... see if he can get results better then chance

Re:Sounds like time for a countersuit (2, Insightful)

Drethon (1445051) | more than 4 years ago | (#31670284)

Or if he can tell the difference between those wifi devices and the electric generators on the trains running behind his house (just actually read the article...)

The waves are everywhere! (5, Insightful)

COMON$ (806135) | more than 4 years ago | (#31670168)

Ok people, do you have any CLUE how many radio waves are going through your body at any given time? I mean seriously do people think that GPS's, Cell Phones, Watches, all have some kind of invisible tether? Your best hope is to find a cave in the mountains. Not a home in suburbia...

Re:The waves are everywhere! (3, Funny)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 4 years ago | (#31670338)

>>>Ok people, do you have any CLUE how many radio waves are going through your body at any given time?

I'm being irradiated right now.
By my CRT.
Tuned to playboy.

It tingles.

Re:The waves are everywhere! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31670724)

I heard the Space Station has a man cave now. Maybe that'll do.

Homeowner? His responsibility (5, Insightful)

Evardsson (959228) | more than 4 years ago | (#31670174)

If he is a homeowner, how he protects himself from his surrounding environment is his responsibility. If he really believes he is being made sick by electro-magnetic energies around him maybe he needs to wrap his house in a Faraday cage and shut the hell up.

You can't sue your neighbor when their cherry tree blooms and sets off your allergies. Same thing.

Re:Homeowner? His responsibility (0)

DoofusOfDeath (636671) | more than 4 years ago | (#31670454)

If he is a homeowner, how he protects himself from his surrounding environment is his responsibility.

So if your neighbor sets up a firehose and douses my front door non-stop, it's my fault?

The comlpaint isn't about a level of radiation that naturally originates from his neighbor's yard. It's about radiation that he alleges only comes from his neighbor's yard due to his neighbor's use of WiFi. That's pretty different from your cherry tree analogy, which is a fairly natural and expected source of pollin.

So actually, a better example might be not a cherry tree eminating pollin, but an up-wind neighbor who burns copious amounts of poison ivy.

Re:Homeowner? His responsibility (1)

HungryHobo (1314109) | more than 4 years ago | (#31670590)

no no.
You can cut down your cherry tree.

Re:Homeowner? His responsibility (1)

DoofusOfDeath (636671) | more than 4 years ago | (#31670682)

no no.
You can cut down your cherry tree.

Good point. What does the law say about the division of responsibility in cases like this?

I.e., if I have a tree that you're allergic to, do you have to suck it up, or to I have to deal with it? Is it based on some under-defined notion of "reasonable" accommodation?

Re:Homeowner? His responsibility (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31670600)

The problem is that he wouldn't blame his problems on the tree, he'd blame them on the small gnomes that sneak into his room at night and steal his underwear for profit.

Re:Homeowner? His responsibility (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31670694)

If my neighbor sets up a firehouse in his living room and douses his walls, why should I complain?

It's not like wifi signal can pass that easily trough walls....

Re:Homeowner? His responsibility (1)

juhaz (110830) | more than 4 years ago | (#31670722)

The comlpaint isn't about a level of radiation that naturally originates from his neighbor's yard. It's about radiation that he alleges only comes from his neighbor's yard due to his neighbor's use of WiFi. That's pretty different from your cherry tree analogy, which is a fairly natural and expected source of pollin.

A planted cherry tree - most likely Japanese or European species alien to the Americas - is no more "natural" than a WiFi AP. They're both there because a human put them there.

As for "expected", both are that - and that's exactly the point - we can and do expect EM radiation and pollen to be everywhere, and if you can't live with that, YOU deal with it instead of the rest of the society.

Re:Homeowner? His responsibility (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31670458)

Well, technically you can sue your neighbor for anything, you'll just lose (and be an ass).

Re:Homeowner? His responsibility (5, Insightful)

slim (1652) | more than 4 years ago | (#31670494)

For that to work, he'd have to believe that Faraday cages work.
Since he clearly has no truck with science, why would he believe that?

Re:Homeowner? His responsibility (0)

wisnoskij (1206448) | more than 4 years ago | (#31670496)

So if his neighbor was throwing broken glass and garbage onto his lawn and throwing rocks through his window you would say the same thing? it is his responsibility to defend his house?

The only thing wrong with the lawsuit is that 'electromagnetic sensitivities' does not exist, not that it is his responsibility to defend his house all by himself.

Re:Homeowner? His responsibility (1)

oldspewey (1303305) | more than 4 years ago | (#31670730)

If we lived in a world where rocks, broken glass, and garbage were constantly pummelling your house all the time (for example a world of constant category 4 hurricanes), then yes; he would have a responsibility to ensure his house could defend against what constitutes an ordinary everyday reality.

Re:Homeowner? His responsibility (1)

Courageous (228506) | more than 4 years ago | (#31670816)

Actually, you CAN sue your neighbor when their cherry tree blooms and sets off your allergies. Really, the deterrence for doing this should be more firm.

Oh yeah? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31670176)

I'd love to see this guy prove his malady in court. Let's see the test results.

Isn't his claims merely a psychosis? These claims all sound like they're coming from attention whores who are looking to cash in.

Re:Oh yeah? (1)

Cryophallion (1129715) | more than 4 years ago | (#31670534)

I was thinking the same thing after reading an article in PopSci a couple of months ago. It seems many are just willing to believe it is true. I think a nice double blind test would be in order (much like JREF does when having psychics, etc, prove their abilities). If they try and say it is a long term thing, where the issue is "build-up", then you can do a 5 day test for each. But first they have to list the symptoms....

Also, how much more interference is caused by the electrical wiring within the persons own house, not to mention tv, microwaves, etc. If you have to have a powered antenna to pick up the frequencies (which you do - hence the wifi card), then the frequencies are minimal compared to the tons of other interference out there. Can this person also never go to a concert where there are wireless mics (or a presentation, etc)? Frankly, how can they even work?

Actually this is a slippery slope. If one court finds that it is a real malady, it could be the next disability payment since the person can't work, can't go into supermarkets or any other store, etc. They just have to stay holed up in their house all the time.

So presumably a lawyer took this case (5, Interesting)

Labcoat Samurai (1517479) | more than 4 years ago | (#31670190)

This is the irritating thing about it. You can harass people with frivolous lawsuits, and, while the judge may throw them out, the lawyers still get paid. Provided the guy's lawyer asks for his fee up front, what is his disincentive to file lawsuits like this one? I really wish lawyers could receive some sort of punishment or censure for wasting the court's time and enabling harassment.

Re:So presumably a lawyer took this case (1)

PitaBred (632671) | more than 4 years ago | (#31670618)

They can. It only happens in egregious cases like Jack Thompson unfortunately. The garden-variety ambulance chaser still has a career to look forward to.

If there is an island for these people... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31670192)

I suggest they go to it.

Re:If there is an island for these people... (2, Funny)

pete_norm (150498) | more than 4 years ago | (#31670630)

If i can believe my TV, really strange things seems to happen all the time on islands...

Mercy (5, Insightful)

DoofusOfDeath (636671) | more than 4 years ago | (#31670200)

I suspect that the plaintiff is suffering from some significant mental health issues. Maybe paranoia or hypochondria or something. My guess is that this guy isn't suing because he's a jerk, but because he thinks the issue is real.

Hopefully the suit will be dismissed with a minimum of fuss and expense, and the guy can get the help he probably needs.

Re:Mercy (5, Insightful)

LingNoi (1066278) | more than 4 years ago | (#31670468)

No, the guy is simply a jerk. He knew before she even moved in that she uses these devices. He's trying to cash in and from reading the article this women is too afraid to even leave her house because of this dick and his friend.

From the article..

I have always made myself available to them at all hours," she said. "We communicate often through Skype, Gmail chat, video and audio sessions."

Firstenberg knew this when he mentioned to her that the Casados Street house was for rent, but after Monribot moved in, he and a friend insisted that she turn off her Wi-Fi router and other equipment. She tried to comply, but felt harassed.

Re:Mercy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31670756)

Hopefully the suit will be dismissed with a minimum of fuss and expense, and the guy can get the help he probably needs.

This is the US legal system we're talking about here, which has never been very good at recognizing basic scientific truths. Whatever happens, this guy's poor neighbor is going to go bankrupt trying to defend herself from this baseless lawsuit. And when the case inevitably goes to appeal, the Telegraph Operators Industry Association will get on board to say that not only do cell phones and WIFI devices make people sick, they're stealing profits from all the hard-working telegraph operators of this country. Suddenly it'll be a federal case which will take 10 years to work it's way to the Supreme Court and cost far more than the $500K this man is demanding.

In all of this, you can be sure that no one is going to question this guy's reasons for trying to follow the American Dream (It's "Get Rich Quick!!" isn't it?) and the only ones to come out better for it will be the lawyers.

Voodoo (1)

bobdotorg (598873) | more than 4 years ago | (#31670224)

Hmm. So I guess that instead of pins, stick your Firstenberg (plaintiff) voodoo doll in the microwave.

And yes, there have been cases of people being sued for practicing voodoo and placing curses on others.

She should have turned-off the devices (5, Insightful)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 4 years ago | (#31670238)

...without telling the Moron, and then let the moron keep insisting "your wireless makes me sick". It would be funny. Especially in court.

Re:She should have turned-off the devices (3, Insightful)

wjousts (1529427) | more than 4 years ago | (#31670416)

Or even better. Ask him how he knows the wireless devices are on?

Re:She should have turned-off the devices (1)

osgeek (239988) | more than 4 years ago | (#31670688)

I don't doubt that he uses a laptop or other wifi detecting device to know that his neighbor has wifi. He probably saw her using her iPhone and it made him feel sick. He has problems, but it's doubtful that the EMR is the direct source of them.

Human interest filler story (1)

kriston (7886) | more than 4 years ago | (#31670292)

Let's see, we are reading a generically syndicated human interest filler story from Santa Fe, New Mexico that was published in the Chicago Tribune two days ago.

This isn't the New York Times. It's pure silliness used to fill white space in newsprint as our other posters have agreed.

Re:Human interest filler story (1)

Attila Dimedici (1036002) | more than 4 years ago | (#31670394)

This isn't the New York Times.

So, there is at least a chance that it is true.

Um... (1)

hcmtnbiker (925661) | more than 4 years ago | (#31670360)

I really enjoyed the cell phone usage was one of the complaints. Someone better not tell this guy that cell towers are omnidirectional so he'll experience that radiation regardless.

If he truly had an EM sensitivity, the odds of it existing on a higher wavelength(like 2.4Ghz) than visible light and on the lower wavelengths(like UV which affects everyone) are incredibly low without visible light affecting him as well. If visible light did affect him as well I think it would be very hard for a successful law suit unless he wanted to sue the sun as well.(and oh yea, the sun gives off far more things then his neighbors wifi, like trillions of neutrinos that pass through your body every second.)

use UTP then (0, Troll)

dshk (838175) | more than 4 years ago | (#31670374)

As if it was so extremely difficult to use UTP cables... Maybe his neighbor really have physical problems, maybe only he think it. Good neighborhood worth such small thing. And UTP is safer, more reliable and faster. But no, they visit the court instead.

Re:use UTP then (3, Insightful)

PitaBred (632671) | more than 4 years ago | (#31670678)

I'm sorry... UTP is not the answer. The answer is to tell this guy to go fuck himself. I'm not responsible for changing my behavior because some other nutbar has a psychosomatic illness. That's for him and his doctors to deal with. Not me and his lawyers.

Re:use UTP then (2, Insightful)

HungryHobo (1314109) | more than 4 years ago | (#31670710)

being able to sit my laptop on the counter without worrying about tripping over a cable is worth more than the crazy demands of a delusional hypochondriac.
Good neighbours put up their own EM shielding when they suffer from imaginary conditions.

I think I have a solution (5, Funny)

Takionbrst (1772396) | more than 4 years ago | (#31670380)

Follow me here: The average household is somewhere around 2400 square feet. Let's assume for simplicity sake that it's a box measuring 49'x49'x10'. That makes for about 6800 square feet of interior surface area. The skin depth for gold at 2.4 GHz is pretty close to 200nm, but to be sure that the vast majority of the signal is stopped lets assume a coating of 1um thickness. 6800 square feet multiplied by 1um yields a volume of about 6e-4 m^3 of gold. Multiplying this by the density of gold (~20gm/cm^3) yields about 12 kilograms of gold. The last time I checked, gold was something close to $1200 dollars an ounce, which works out to be about $508k. So all the guy really wants to do is use the settlement money to WiFi proof his house. And have a gold plated interior. And a little bit left over for hookers and blow.

Re:I think I have a solution (1)

BarryJacobsen (526926) | more than 4 years ago | (#31670566)

Follow me here: The average household is somewhere around 2400 square feet. Let's assume for simplicity sake that it's a box measuring 49'x49'x10'. That makes for about 6800 square feet of interior surface area. The skin depth for gold at 2.4 GHz is pretty close to 200nm, but to be sure that the vast majority of the signal is stopped lets assume a coating of 1um thickness. 6800 square feet multiplied by 1um yields a volume of about 6e-4 m^3 of gold. Multiplying this by the density of gold (~20gm/cm^3) yields about 12 kilograms of gold. The last time I checked, gold was something close to $1200 dollars an ounce, which works out to be about $508k. So all the guy really wants to do is use the settlement money to WiFi proof his house. And have a gold plated interior. And a little bit left over for hookers and blow.

Bender: Ahh, screw the gold plated interior. And the blow.

Re:I think I have a solution (1)

Takionbrst (1772396) | more than 4 years ago | (#31670696)

Heh, I watched the episode last night as well. But seriously, this guy is crazier than a green snake in a sugar cane field.

Re:I think I have a solution (1)

PitaBred (632671) | more than 4 years ago | (#31670700)

And have a gold plated interior. And a little bit left over for hookers and blow.

In fact, forget the gold plated interior!

Ya know (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31670382)

Tobaco and cocaine were originally considered harmless too.

Basic Human Rights? (1)

wjousts (1529427) | more than 4 years ago | (#31670386)

From the summary:

"I feel as if my life and liberty are under attack for no valid reason, and it has forced me to have to defend my very basic human rights."'"

Ok, so the guy filing the suit is a moron and the suit has no technical merit at all. But really? Running a router is now a basic human right? A little melodramatic don't you think?

Re:Basic Human Rights? (2, Insightful)

DrMaurer (64120) | more than 4 years ago | (#31670502)

The actions of one inside one's house and freedom of movement and ability to do what you want within the law? That's not freedom? That wouldn't fall under their human rights? Seriously?

Unless you think just food is a human right. Then I think you would be OK with people going and stealing food because they have a right to not starve. Certain rights have implications beyond the obvious.

Re:Basic Human Rights? (3, Insightful)

Ephemeriis (315124) | more than 4 years ago | (#31670524)

From the summary:

"I feel as if my life and liberty are under attack for no valid reason, and it has forced me to have to defend my very basic human rights."'"

Ok, so the guy filing the suit is a moron and the suit has no technical merit at all. But really? Running a router is now a basic human right? A little melodramatic don't you think?

Well, some places are declaring Internet access a human right...

But I don't think that's really the point.

Generally speaking, you're allowed to do what you want within the confines of your own house. Of course you still can't murder people and whatnot... But it's a little unusual for your neighbors to be able to dictate what kind of telephone you use, and whether your Internet connection is wired or wireless, or whether you can own or use a cell phone. Those are all liberties that we pretty much take for granted.

Re:Basic Human Rights? (1)

cynyr (703126) | more than 4 years ago | (#31670810)

never thought of that, these devices talk at ~2.4GHZ, you can buy phones that use that same frequency, your microwave uses it as well. DOes this man have a cordless phone, microwave, or any other non shielded wiring in his home? if so, it's his own damn problem, also the amount of radation on an omni directional source goes down by the square of the distance, so even being 10 meters from the 5mW AP should make the radition around 50uW. I wonder what the level of radiation just the earth has, in the very helpful North/south poles thing.

Re:Basic Human Rights? (1)

wjousts (1529427) | more than 4 years ago | (#31670820)

Well, fair enough, but to play devil's advocate for a second here, what if it was really making him sick (it isn't)? Clearly you can't claim to be able to do whatever you want within the confines of your own house if it makes the guy next door sick?

Also, if I was your neighbor and, according to your argument, I can do whatever I want within the confines of my house, you won't mind if I play loud rock music at 2 AM in the morning every day? I think your right to a good nights sleep in your own home should trump by right to rock out at an unsocialable hour.

Re:Basic Human Rights? (1)

wisnoskij (1206448) | more than 4 years ago | (#31670528)

but a basic human right might be having the freedom to do whatever you want on your own property if it is not hurting anyone else.

Re:Basic Human Rights? (1)

Cwix (1671282) | more than 4 years ago | (#31670666)

She might have exaggerated a little, but no more then idiot next door has exaggerated about his "sickness".

Re:Basic Human Rights? (1)

Cryophallion (1129715) | more than 4 years ago | (#31670716)

The right to control what you do in your own home certainly is, and some may say that the pursuit of happiness may include youtube, etc.

Many use cell phones and remote internet access to do work, so being able to work to do your job is likely a right.

The concern comes when rights intersect - Playing loud music, putting a billboard in your yard, windfarm on the cape.... The issue here is that unless he can prove his malady, it is frivolous, and frankly, the power companies are going to be sued next, and they are going to contest this to death.

So, yes, being able to use your laptop in your own home can be considered a right that on your property, you can do what you want.

And didn't the Netherlands just say internet access was a basic human right?

How to tell if he's a liar (4, Insightful)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | more than 4 years ago | (#31670420)

1) Mount a satellite dish on the wall of a long room.
2) Place a chair at the opposite end of the room.
3) Have this guy sit in the chair for an hour.
4) See how much he complains about headaches, how much he acts up, how he has been brain-poisoned etc.
5) Show him that the dish is not connected to anything, and never has been.

If he doesn't react, affix it to a signal generator and see how he performs in an actual scientifically conducted test. But do it my way first, then make it into an amusing video montage so everyone knows how much of a tool he is.

Re:How to tell if he's a liar (0, Offtopic)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | more than 4 years ago | (#31670446)

Ugh, I had to post this right below the bleeding heart "he probably needs help, you insensitive clod!" post... Now I KNOW I'll get modded to hell.

Send that guy over here (2, Funny)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 4 years ago | (#31670460)

I have a few powerful crystals that absorb electrosmog here for sale. I also sell Bach-flower tinctures that strengthen you against the onslaught of those waves.

And if you buy that, I also have a beautiful bridge with a top notch view on SF for sale...

it's not so funny (1)

meflo (1546007) | more than 4 years ago | (#31670476)

...when you are the victim. Don't know for an Wireless AP but I go real headaches from a telco's base station. It was as close as 70 meters from my appartment and although it was 4 storeys higher than my home it still made me sick. And the most interesting part: while climbing the stairs to my appartment going through the floors when I was getting near my floor the nasty sensation was setting off. So the guy may be in his right. All he did was to buy a house and then waited till somebody started making him sick. Why don't you look from the other side - make the lady put her house in a Faraday cage if she insist on her wireless?

Re:it's not so funny (1)

ElectricTurtle (1171201) | more than 4 years ago | (#31670614)

How do you control for the possibility that your experience is psychosomatic?

Re:it's not so funny (2, Interesting)

PitaBred (632671) | more than 4 years ago | (#31670798)

Have you considered that what you're experiencing might be due to high frequency sound instead of EM radiation? There's a lot more evidence for that at least, and it's the only thing that could set the telco base station different from wifi. There is absolutely jack and shit for evidence that people can feel normal radio and other communications-style radiation.

The guy is not right. Period, end of story. And if you think he is, perhaps you should go talk to your doctor about the possibility of you suffering from a psychosomatic illness and treatment options.

Re:it's not so funny (1)

Game_Ender (815505) | more than 4 years ago | (#31670828)

How did you learn of the device? Do you know its power output? Radio drops off really fast, so it's completely possible that its signal strength is less in your apartment then all of your neighbors WiFi.

Your retarted accusations... (0, Flamebait)

undecim (1237470) | more than 4 years ago | (#31670532)

...and lack of any knowledge of what electromagnetic waves are/do is making me sick. I have "stupidity sensitivities" so please turn off your brain.

Re:Your retarted accusations... (1)

broggyr (924379) | more than 4 years ago | (#31670776)

Speaking of which, do you mind revealing what a retart is? Is it a dessert you eat twice?

Can you even sue your neighbor for this stuff? (1)

HockeyPuck (141947) | more than 4 years ago | (#31670578)

Can you successfully sue your neighbor for other types of activities that cross the border between the properties? If you cook with some strong stuff (curries, bbq, peanuts) and the fumes from these foods makes him sick, can he actually win against you?

to make a case out of that (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31670606)

the victim needs to quantify their health and then demonstrate there is a decrease in the health percentage after having been exposed to neighbor's wi-fi. just my two cents :)

mircea

Cell phone towers - sigh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31670608)

Cell phone towers put out more signal than wi-fi antennas and cell phones combined, add in FM/AM and VHF/UHF signals, people are bombarded by radio frequencies day in and day out.

Getting your neighbor to turn off their wireless might, *might* reduce this by 1 to 2% at most.

Agreeing with everyone else here - IDIOT!

She's an idiot... (0, Troll)

cyberjock1980 (1131059) | more than 4 years ago | (#31670612)

From the summary:

"Being the target of this lawsuit has affected me very adversely," Monribot said Friday in response to e-mailed questions. "I feel as if my life and liberty are under attack for no valid reason, and it has forced me to have to defend my very basic human rights."'"

She has a basic human right to wifi!? Her life and liberty are under attack because she has wifi!? Are you Fscking kidding me!?

Despite the fact that this EMF sensitive guy is crazy, she's not exactly a "winner" either.

If having wifi is a basic human right for life and liberty the world has gone to shit like I had never thought.

courthouse (2, Funny)

confused one (671304) | more than 4 years ago | (#31670736)

The fun part will be determining if he reacts to the wifi network that will most likely be present in some part of the courthouse. The wireless keyboards and mice on the computers. The sheriff's / bailiff's radio gear...

Nothing stopping him from moving (1)

kgroombr (608645) | more than 4 years ago | (#31670748)

If a person has an issue with his neighbors, it isn't a problem with the neighbors, it is that person. Easy fix....... get up a move away. I know a cave in the mountains that would fit this guy nicely.

Can he tell when it is on and when it is off? (1)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | more than 4 years ago | (#31670750)

Put him in a room. Set up a router in the next room. Randomly turn the router on and off. If the guy can't tell when it is on and when it is off, he is faking it.
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