×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

GSM Association Slams Euro Call For Ban On Wireless In School

Soulskill posted more than 2 years ago | from the don't-cloud-this-issue-with-facts dept.

Wireless Networking 271

jhernik writes "The ongoing debate over the supposed dangers posed by mobile phone usage and wireless signals has exploded once again. An influential European committee has called for a ban on mobile phones and Wi-Fi networks in schools – the GSM Association has denounced the report as an 'unbalanced political assessment, not a scientific report.' The report made its recommendation to reduce mobile and wireless use in schools, despite admitting that there is a lack of clear scientific and clinical proof. However, it said the lack of proof was reason enough to restrict use, just in case, comparing mobile phone radiation to other things whose dangers were once unknown, such as asbestos, leaded petrol and tobacco."

cancel ×
This is a preview of your comment

No Comment Title Entered

Anonymous Coward 1 minute ago

No Comment Entered

271 comments

Can we get some peer review? (3, Insightful)

blair1q (305137) | more than 2 years ago | (#36147546)

So we have politicians making a political point with "data", and an industry lobby making a political point with "data", and nobody unconnected to the politics and the money doing any analysis on the other parties "data".

How about someone comes up with something scientifically significant without proving to be in bed with one side or the other?

Re:Can we get some peer review? (1)

WrongSizeGlass (838941) | more than 2 years ago | (#36147596)

How about someone comes up with something scientifically significant without proving to be in bed with one side or the other?

Maybe because no one outside of the "beds" is concerned about this issue? If you get a research firm or university to study this matter they will be biased by the existence of, or lack of, wireless in their facility.

Re:Can we get some peer review? (1)

causality (777677) | more than 2 years ago | (#36148422)

How about someone comes up with something scientifically significant without proving to be in bed with one side or the other?

Maybe because no one outside of the "beds" is concerned about this issue? If you get a research firm or university to study this matter they will be biased by the existence of, or lack of, wireless in their facility.

There's one thing I haven't seen anyone mention. The omission of it in this discussion is amusing.

Banning wireless phones and other devices won't halt exposure to the radiation. If your cell phone has reception, you are already being exposed to radiation from the cell towers. Turning off your phone or not bringing it to the building won't change that. Not only is this ban not supported by any scientific study, it wouldn't even accomplish its stated purpose even if all studies were unanimously in support of it.

Re:Can we get some peer review? (2)

bane2571 (1024309) | more than 2 years ago | (#36148480)

I think the idea is that the transmissions from the devices are the target. I had someone seriously tell me I should take my phone out of my posket when I can so to avoid cancer risk from 8 hour a day exposure of the same body area.

Without "bed" there is no funding (2)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#36147624)

How about someone comes up with something scientifically significant without proving to be in bed with one side or the other?

Without "bed" there is no funding to do studies.

Re:Without "bed" there is no funding (1)

blair1q (305137) | more than 2 years ago | (#36147836)

Sure there is. As long as you don't organize your government's scientific policies to serve corporate interests, the way America has increasingly done since the Reagan adminstration.

Re:Without "bed" there is no funding (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#36147870)

As long as you don't organize your government's scientific policies to serve corporate interests

Take out the industry lobby "data" and you still "have politicians making a political point with 'data'".

Re:Without "bed" there is no funding (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36147886)

more importantly, everyone knows there is no effect to be found, which means that the only reason anyone would look is if they want to find something or want to reassure people that theres nothing there.

Cell phone radiation, being modulated on GHz frequencies, is too high in frequency to mess with brain signals and too low in energy per photon to mess with molecules.

A different kind of frequency (3, Funny)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#36148070)

Cell phone radiation, being modulated on GHz frequencies, is too high in frequency to mess with brain signals

Sometimes the frequencies have to get even higher to get into the brain. Radiation from the display runs in the 400 to 800 THz band [wikipedia.org] , but think of the effect that the phone's display has on its user's concentration.

Re:Can we get some peer review? (1)

Man On Pink Corner (1089867) | more than 2 years ago | (#36147844)

How about someone comes up with something scientifically significant without proving to be in bed with one side or the other?

Scientists have tried very hard to do just that, and they have failed. You can't prove that something is "safe," but repeated studies have consistently shown no harm.

It's outrageous that unqualified pseudo-governmental bodies like this committee have so much power over the rest of us.

How about: Don't need cellphones/wifi in school (2, Insightful)

s-whs (959229) | more than 2 years ago | (#36148144)

Who gives a damn about peer review!

There is no need for cellphones in school. Parents want to contact a kid: Call the school. kids want internet: use internet via wires.

Therefore, banning wireless when there is no (or not enough) data to be certain of anything, is a good precaution.

Re:How about: Don't need cellphones/wifi in school (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36148366)

Yeah. There's an emergency and a relative is dying. Those few minutes between the school getting the call and the kid actually being able to get to the phone to respond to the call could mean the difference between the relative seeing the kid before he/she dies.

Screw you, stop thinking of yourself and "the rules."

Re:How about: Don't need cellphones/wifi in school (3, Insightful)

Missing.Matter (1845576) | more than 2 years ago | (#36148798)

I don't know how I went through 12 years of schooling without a cell phone or wifi and never even considered this possibility!

Re:How about: Don't need cellphones/wifi in school (4, Insightful)

caitsith01 (606117) | more than 2 years ago | (#36148854)

Yeah. There's an emergency and a relative is dying. Those few minutes between the school getting the call and the kid actually being able to get to the phone to respond to the call could mean the difference between the relative seeing the kid before he/she dies.

Screw you, stop thinking of yourself and "the rules."

And of course, everyone before 1997 had their lives ruined by the absence of instant notification of every significant event in their lives... sigh.

Re:How about: Don't need cellphones/wifi in school (1)

zach_the_lizard (1317619) | more than 2 years ago | (#36148414)

Cell phones are safety devices; you can call for help if, say, someone shoots up your school, or you sibling goes missing, or your child goes missing, or endless other permutations. It also saves resources; because I could text my brother, I could find out he's got a meeting at school for a couple hours he forgot to tell me about and not call on a manhunt because the incompetent school staff can't find him.

As for plugging in, my former high school used mobile computer labs to save on costs; now they didn't need as many computer labs (which were reserved mainly for tech classes). With a wires only policy, the setup and teardown time for 30+ laptops would be higher (wasting class time), the equipment cost would be higher (2 switches or so vs 1-2 wireless APs), and the benefits nonexistent. I bet the Fire Marshall would love the rats nest of wires created every time they use a mobile lab.

Re:How about: Don't need cellphones/wifi in school (1)

reasterling (1942300) | more than 2 years ago | (#36148630)

Cell phones are safety devices; you can call for help if, say, someone shoots up your school

I realize that this is off topic, but a cell phone will only get people there after the fact. What is really needed is that there be laws in place that require schools to allow sensible, well trained, responsible adults to carry firearms in schools. Nobody likes a shoot out, but if people intent on doing others harm are going to make schools a target then they need to be able to defend themselves.

Re:How about: Don't need cellphones/wifi in school (1)

Falconhell (1289630) | more than 2 years ago | (#36148786)

"Cell phones are safety devices; you can call for help if, say, someone shoots up your school"

Better still move somewhere where idiots dont have easy access to guns. I dont recall ONE school shooting in.au.

Re:How about: Don't need cellphones/wifi in school (1)

zach_the_lizard (1317619) | more than 2 years ago | (#36148990)

Monash University Shooting. There are places on this planet that are heavily armed and have low crime, and heavily armed and high crime. Australia is more heavily armed than Pakistan, for instance, but I know where I'd feel safer. Iraq and Finland have very close gun ownership rates.

Re:How about: Don't need cellphones/wifi in school (2)

cheater512 (783349) | more than 2 years ago | (#36148902)

Except wifi at schools is becoming more and more common and useful.
I agree with you for mobiles, but not laptops.

Re:Can we get some peer review? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36148622)

http://speedtest.co/videos-radiation-rf-emr-from-dect-phone-%5BEG8pqi9sS7U%5D.cfm
http://www.wireless-precaution.com/main/precautions.php
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rY0O8SIassc
http://eon3emfblog.net/?p=382
http://seahorsecorral.org/ehs1.html
http://www.norad4u.com/emr-reduction/Limiting-the-use-of-wireless-networks
http://www.norad4u.com/emr-reduction/using-pcs-and-laptops
http://www.rense.com/general56/rad.htm
http://eon3emfblog.net/?p=2539
http://eon3emfblog.net/?p=2180
http://health.groups.yahoo.com/group/eSens/message/22256
http://www.magdahavas.com/

Nice (1)

tripleevenfall (1990004) | more than 2 years ago | (#36147578)

It's good to see schools succumbing to tinfoil hattery like this...

I happen to think that Star Wars: Episodes I-III present a serious health risk, can we ban those within 1,000 yards of a school too?

Re:Nice (-1)

xTantrum (919048) | more than 2 years ago | (#36147834)

i think u should head back and do some chem 101 and physics: electromagnetism. Radiation is radiation, if its at a low frequency for a long period of time you will have molecular activity, specifically what is called molecular jitter or vibration. If you're exposed to a higher frequency for a shorter period of time, you'll just get activity sooner. I say activity because its based on where your're applying the radiation - may not necessarily be adverse. For a human body either one is dangerous. I really wish people would understand this. Radiation is Radiation.

Re:Nice (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36147958)

I really wish people would understand this. Radiation is Radiation.

Yep. Turn off your lights and stop staring at your computer screen. Don't go outside. Radiation is radiation. It's not like there's any difference between alpha, beta, gamma, microwave, and visible. Kind of like the no difference between liquid nitrogen and gaseous nitrogen. Both completely lethal/safe if inhaled.

Re:Nice (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36147962)

Anyone fucking moronic enough to fail to capitalize the correct letters in a sentence, capitalize other letters instead, use "u" instead of "you" and commit multiple logical fallacies in a single paragraph post has no business telling other people to head back to school. Anyone making a comment as asinine and tautological as "radiation is radiation" does not get to suggest other people need to study physics.

Fix your own damn idiocy first. Then you can point fingers.

Re:Nice (1)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 2 years ago | (#36147972)

So I guess we need to block the largest radiation emitter. Anyone has a tinfoil hat the size of the Sun? No child shall have to suffer the effects of radiation.

Re:Nice (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36147996)

I think "u" should head back to highschool English.

Re:Nice (2)

Ironchew (1069966) | more than 2 years ago | (#36148010)

Radiation is Radiation

Which is why we should ban sunlight within a school zone, right?
Turns out, different portions of the electromagnetic spectrum have different effects, and are classified as such (Thermal, ionizing, etc). Saying radiation is dangerous without first analyzing power levels and the band of radiation emitted is knee-jerk and anti-science. We've had to deal with a nuclear fusion reactor above our heads for the whole of human existence, and it didn't kill us yet.

Re:Nice (1, Flamebait)

xTantrum (919048) | more than 2 years ago | (#36148254)

Actually I specified that it's based on the frequency and the duration of exposure to that frequency, if you'd read that comment again. And yes, the sun actually does kill you. It is in essence a pharmakon, a cure and the cause in a way. We're saved from more damaging effects by the ozone layer - an electromagnetic shield it just so happens to be - but over time and exposure to it our skin degrades. this is manifested in collagen, elastin and cartillage degradation in our faces. which lo and behold is what is mostly exposed to the sun. FYI, the yellow in your eyes that comes with age is a result of exposure to the sun as well.

If our planet was just a few units further or closer to the sun there would be no life on this planet. Which again leads me back to, its based on how long you are exposed to that radiation and the frequency of that radiation. the point is that individuals are still divided over whether there there is damage done or not, doesn't mean radiation from your phone doesn't cause activity to where it is pointed [eurekalert.org] . People wake up and think for yourselves, each generation is the succesive's one guinea pig. Once the lobbying has been done and enough people have died I suppose then the truth will be out. In the interim, i use a wired connection when talking on my cell phone, I don't keep it in my lap and I don't quickly dismiss individuals who say they are sensitive to wifi signals either. Think for yourselves.

for the person pedantic enough to pic on my grammar and punctuation i was on my iphone but just for you...i'll keep writing this way. take that stick out your ass. if i was a world renowned physicist who couldn't speak english much less write and was posting on here would that make u take me less seriously? if you answered yes, we have nothing less to discuss.

Re:Nice (5, Informative)

snookums (48954) | more than 2 years ago | (#36148106)

i think u should head back and do some chem 101 and physics: electromagnetism. Radiation is radiation, if its at a low frequency for a long period of time you will have molecular activity, specifically what is called molecular jitter or vibration.

If you're exposed to a higher frequency for a shorter period of time, you'll just get activity sooner.

That's quite wrong actually. You will get very different types of activity depending on the frequency, because the frequency determines the energy per photon, and a molecule can only absorb a photon of electromagnetic radiation if its energy corresponds to the energy gap between two quantum states.

For microwaves you're talking about the rotational states of things like water molecules, and for infra-red, the vibrational states of covalent bonds. What we feel as temperature. Over time, the temperature can rise to the point where a chemical change will occur, but those changes absolutely will not occur unless the irradiated area actually gets hot. The human body is also really good at spreading and dissipating excess heat.

Higher frequency radiation can to act on the electrons in molecules directly, starting with visible light which can interact with electrons in the large orbitals of highly conjugated long-chain molecules and bring about conformational changes (this is how your eyes work). Ultra-violet light can break a covalent bond directly, damaging tissue and DNA or creating free radicals which then go on to do this damage. X-rays and gamma rays can blow an electron right out of an atom, creating interesting and exotic ions which could wreak all kinds of havoc in the body.

The first category of electromagnetic radiation, which includes wi-fi and mobile phones, is only dangerous if it is intense enough do deliver energy to your body faster than you can dissipate it. For example, if you're standing near a large fire. The latter type can trigger a cancer with a single "lucky" photon, which is why you should always wear a hat and sunscreen to minimise that chance.

I really wish people would understand this. Radiation is Radiation.

No. It's not. Really. This is true even without getting into the differences between electromagnetic radiation, particle-based radiation (alpha and beta rays), and radioactive material -- all of which are referred to as "radiation" in the popular media.

Re:Nice (0)

xTantrum (919048) | more than 2 years ago | (#36148378)

snookums. I value your time you took to reply and quote. I tend not to do that too much on /. saying that however. You're not really proving me wrong here, just getting specific about electromagnetism and its interactions and - no offense - using a bunch of $5.00 dollars words that the casual reader on here will just immediately mod up on a cursory glance. Which coincidentally is what happened.

That's quite wrong actually. You will get very different types of activity depending on the frequency, because the frequency determines the energy per photon, and a molecule can only absorb a photon of electromagnetic radiation if its energy corresponds to the energy gap between two quantum states.

C = lambda times nu...big deal, it's what I said without explaining how it works. You still haven't told me how an adverse effect is inversely proportional to a longer lambda. see I can use big words too. but still...explain if you want.

The first category of electromagnetic radiation, which includes wi-fi and mobile phones, is only dangerous if it is intense enough do deliver energy to your body faster than you can dissipate it. For example, if you're standing near a large fire. The latter type can trigger a cancer with a single "lucky" photon, which is why you should always wear a hat and sunscreen to minimise that chance.

and if your standing near a particle emiter - such as a cell phone - you should wear proper shielding as well then right? if one lucky photon can on the off chance give you "cancer" what's the likely hood that prolonged exposure to radiation at a similiar frequency won't get you "lucky" again. really?

I really wish people would understand this. Radiation is Radiation. No. It's not. Really. This is true even without getting into the differences between electromagnetic radiation, particle-based radiation (alpha and beta rays), and radioactive material -- all of which are referred to as "radiation" in the popular media.

its called Electromagnetic Radiation for a reason. its Radiation whether that radiation is bad or good for you depends ...once again on exposure, wavelength and frequency....and I will give you the type of matter you're exposing it to. This is why the sun is both good and bad for us, why chemo is both good and bad etc. etc. etc. I already posted the fact that molecular Jitter occurs as a result of exposure, why would you risk the chance of being a guinea pig when you already know the fundementals? No offence, I'm very glad you took the time to read and respond to my post and I do aplogize if i did do it off my Iphone while en route, but its not enough to go to school and cram facts into your head, you have to employ critical thinking and read numerous sources and then formulate your opinion. You have to think for yourself given certain axioms from which you can deduce. and for the record I am a graduate student in Cell and Molecular Biology changed over from Electrical Engineering.

Re:Nice (2)

ustolemyname (1301665) | more than 2 years ago | (#36148442)

I think the problem here is that your definition of "lucky" is on the scale of all atoms on earth spontaneously decaying. Hey, did you know oxygen atoms decay, producing exactly the same kind of radiation found at Fukishima? Maybe to avoid getting "lucky" you should avoid oxygen.

Re:Nice (2)

Osgeld (1900440) | more than 2 years ago | (#36148744)

"You're not really proving me wrong here"
um, yea he kind of owned you, ps celphones are not particle emitters, there is no physical bit of matter leaving your antenna, think of it as being shot in the face with an airzooka, vs being shot in the face with a bullet

Re:Nice (4, Informative)

snookums (48954) | more than 2 years ago | (#36148830)

C = lambda times nu...big deal, it's what I said without explaining how it works. You still haven't told me how an adverse effect is inversely proportional to a longer lambda. see I can use big words too. but still...explain if you want.

The thing is that there is a threshold. It's not just a direct proportionality. Photons with energy below the threshold of breaking chemical bonds aren't "a little bit dangerous" they're just not (individually) dangerous at all. Enough of them to cause heating can be dangerous, hence not standing near open furnaces nor putting oneself in the microwave, but at low intensity they just will not have the same effect on chemical substances that high frequency photons will have, no matter how long the exposure.

and if your standing near a particle emiter - such as a cell phone

A cell phone is not a particle emitter (in the sense of a particle being a thing with mass, not something with a localized wave-function). In general, high-velocity particles with mass (alpha and beta radiation) are much more dangerous than the photons you encounter in your daily life because they have vastly more energy.

if one lucky photon can on the off chance give you "cancer" what's the likely hood that prolonged exposure to radiation at a similiar frequency won't get you "lucky" again. really?

Similar frequency, sure. The longer you're exposed to UV radiation the higher the chance of something bad (e.g. melanoma) happening. However, if the photons are below the threshold of causing chemical change, as those from radio transmitters are, the length of exposure doesn't matter at all. None of the photons have enough energy to do anything significant.

If qualifications are important, I have a degree in physics and physical chemistry, but I got it a few years ago so I'll apologize in advance if the facts I "crammed" in there have faded a little.

Re:Nice (1)

Macrat (638047) | more than 2 years ago | (#36148506)

>

I happen to think that Star Wars: Episodes I-III present a serious health risk, can we ban those within 1,000 yards of a school too?

It has already been proven to be harmful too!!

Let's ban school sports then (4, Insightful)

Ken Hall (40554) | more than 2 years ago | (#36147580)

A high school football player just last week died during practice. MANY kids are hurt doing team sports in schools. There's a KNOWN, DEFINITE health threat, proven beyond a shadow of a doubt!

If they can ban stuff based on the vague possibility of a problem, why not ban what is PROVEN to be one!

Re:Let's ban school sports then (2)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 2 years ago | (#36147680)

A high school football player just last week died during practice. MANY kids are hurt doing team sports in schools. There's a KNOWN, DEFINITE health threat, proven beyond a shadow of a doubt!

If they can ban stuff based on the vague possibility of a problem, why not ban what is PROVEN to be one!

No, we need to BAN EVERYTHING!

It's the only way to be sure.

How to ban everything (2)

syousef (465911) | more than 2 years ago | (#36147822)

A high school football player just last week died during practice. MANY kids are hurt doing team sports in schools. There's a KNOWN, DEFINITE health threat, proven beyond a shadow of a doubt!

If they can ban stuff based on the vague possibility of a problem, why not ban what is PROVEN to be one!

No, we need to BAN EVERYTHING!
It's the only way to be sure.

The trouble is if you ban bans, then you can't then ban anything else.

So you must ban everything, then ban bans.

If anything new comes up, you then refuse to acknowledge it exists. Shutting your eyes and covering your ears while yelling lalala at the top of your lungs is very helpful there....except that at that point, it's been banned.

The ban on breathing also places an upper limit to the effectiveness of the strategy, and the reign of any regime adopting it. For more information see Origin of Species (also banned unfortunately).

Re:How to ban everything (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36148310)

It's already been done man. The stuff we are considering banning now *is* all the new stuff since the last ban.

Re:How to ban everything (1)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | more than 2 years ago | (#36148562)

The trouble is if you ban bans, then you can't then ban anything else.

Congratulations, you have rediscovered Russell's paradox.

For extra credit, explain the solution.

Re:How to ban everything (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36148714)

ban it

Re:Let's ban school sports then (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36147750)

Students generally can opt-out of sports. They can't opt-out of being bombarded by EM radiation.

Re:Let's ban school sports then (1)

bky1701 (979071) | more than 2 years ago | (#36147788)

No, they can't. But wait! It's worse! Banning wireless internet and cellphones doesn't allow them to. You see, the planet is bombarded by EM radiation constantly...

Re:Let's ban school sports then (1)

c0lo (1497653) | more than 2 years ago | (#36147796)

Students generally can opt-out of sports. They can't opt-out of being bombarded by EM radiation.

Tin-foil hats are already proven to work.

Re:Let's ban school sports then (2)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 2 years ago | (#36147808)

An interesting point. Perhaps students should be put at the bottom of salt mines. Of course, we can't prevent interaction with neutrinos and other pesky particles, but what else can we do?

Re:Let's ban school sports then (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 2 years ago | (#36147826)

I know that in Canada, high school football is quite rare. Mostly stick to basketball, volleyball, and track. Some wrestling. Football and hockey are quite dangerous in terms of head injuries, and schools tend to shy away from these sports. You can still play these sports outside of school settings, but very few schools that I know of have teams. I had a gym teacher in highschool who told us they used to have football but dropped it because of insurance costs. I can't believe high schools in the US have football. I guess they only thing they love more than litigation is football.

Re:Let's ban school sports then (1)

BitterOak (537666) | more than 2 years ago | (#36147986)

I know that in Canada, high school football is quite rare.

I live in a Canadian city and as far as I know, every high school in town has a football team (certainly most do).

Re:Let's ban school sports then (1)

Mashiki (184564) | more than 2 years ago | (#36148352)

Yeah I live in a smallish city and the 3 public highschools, and catholic highschool have a football team. Sadly though my graduating year year was the last for wrestling, one of the few sports I really enjoyed. I hated everything else.

Re:Let's ban school sports then (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36148092)

The only reason us Americans love football is because of the rich, tasty litigation it generates.

Re:Let's ban school sports then (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36148330)

I know that in Canada, high school football is quite rare. Mostly stick to basketball, volleyball, and track. Some wrestling. Football and hockey are quite dangerous in terms of head injuries, and schools tend to shy away from these sports. You can still play these sports outside of school settings, but very few schools that I know of have teams. I had a gym teacher in highschool who told us they used to have football but dropped it because of insurance costs. I can't believe high schools in the US have football. I guess they only thing they love more than litigation is football.

I never understood why academics and sports are always put together under the same institution. It never made a single bit of sense to me. No point in mentioning obesity because we've been doing this "school and sports" thing for a long time now and there's still fatties everywhere.

If you want state-sponsored athletics that's fine. Why not give them their own separate facility with their own separate address, run by separate staff who do not also work for the schools?

Then there wouldn't be this bullshit like my high school where most of the teachers were also coaches and no one on the football team could ever do any wrong. Oh, not to mention chemistry and literature classes that did not have the funds for laboratory materials and books meanwhile the football and baseball teams always had shiny new equipment to use every year. Turns out this isn't so unheard-of.

Fact is 99.9999% of high school students who play a sport are never going to become professional athletes. Meanwhile the USA's schools are a fucking joke when compared academically to anywhere else in the first world. And schools are always complaining about how they need more money. I think I see an easy way to address all three of these facts.

I personally think there are better uses for money taken by threat of force due to confiscatory taxation, but again if you really want state-sponsored athletics go for it. I just want one good coherent explanation for why it absolutely must be the schools when the schools are failing to recognize their core purposes and could allocate the resources elsewhere. To me, tying together a classroom and a football team makes about as much sense as insisting that a dentist and an auto mechanic must share and work out of the same building. The two really have nothing to do with each other.

Re:Let's ban school sports then (1)

RobbieThe1st (1977364) | more than 2 years ago | (#36149038)

I think it started being a way to make sure children got enough excercise, so they'd be fit to go into the army many years back.
Now, I think it's certainly got out of hand, though.

Re:Let's ban school sports then (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36148340)

I am not a Canadian, but you can't fool me with your talk of basketball, volleyball, and track.

I know for a fact that the only sports Canadian youth go for are beating each other up with hockey gloves, beating each other up with hockey sticks, beating each other up without gloves, and occasionally playing hockey.

Re:Let's ban school sports then (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36148186)

Two points to show your argument is not a good one:

1) Playing sports does not hurt anyone...actually there is a health benefit, among other things. Injuries are exceptions to team sports and we try to mitigate them with rules.

2) If you do not want to participate in sports, that is your choice. However, the same cannot be said about a student who does not want to be exposed to cell phone and wi-fi radiation and that is the problem. Similar to second hand smoke, which we have almost eliminated through bans of various kinds. Car pollution is also a problem that has to be addressed and some areas are taking steps to curb exhaust emissions as well. In both of these examples, there was once no "evidence" according to the corporations that knowingly propagate false information.

Don't get me wrong I enjoy the freedom of cell phones and wireless Internet but not at the cost of someone else's freedom to not participate. Why can't we come up with some solutions such as local wi-fi hot-spots that are insulated against radiation emissions (maybe like a smoking room) and probably many other ideas that we as a society could come up with if we made a decision to do so.

But to continue ridiculing others who do not share your faith in the corporation's argument is, well, ignorant.

Re:Let's ban school sports then (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36148230)

Exactly. Also, loads of kids get killed or seriously hurt just getting TO school! I think if we banned school all together, everyone would be much safer.

Re:Let's ban school sports then (1)

Jonner (189691) | more than 2 years ago | (#36148430)

A high school football player just last week died during practice. MANY kids are hurt doing team sports in schools. There's a KNOWN, DEFINITE health threat, proven beyond a shadow of a doubt!

If they can ban stuff based on the vague possibility of a problem, why not ban what is PROVEN to be one!

It's as simple as fear of the unknown, a basic feature of human nature. Why do people fear plane crashes and terrorist attacks and mostly ignore far greater risks to health and life like car crashes and hear disease?

Re:Let's ban school sports then (1)

Charliemopps (1157495) | more than 2 years ago | (#36148690)

But sports have a know, quantifiable benefit to the students that participate. Overall children are healthier because of them. Cellphones on the other hand, have little if any benefit to children. Their affect on their lives is detrimental in almost every respect. Do they give them cancer? That's still up for debate. But does it really matter? The only thing your child should be taking into a school are books and pencils. Everything else is a distraction.

Prove it!!! (1)

icebike (68054) | more than 2 years ago | (#36147582)

TFA: However, it said the lack of proof was reason enough to restrict use, just in case, comparing mobile phone raditation to other things whose dangers were once sunknown, such as asbestos, leaded petrol and tobacco."

It would seem they want to hold off using anything until somebody proves the negative....

Re:Prove it!!! (1)

TemperedAlchemist (2045966) | more than 2 years ago | (#36147688)

I believe we should kill the advocates of this. They may be hiding weapons of mass destruction. My proof? The lack of proof that they aren't is proof enough.

The GSM Association? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36147590)

Isn't the GSM Association a bunch of greedy, monopolistic corporates that corrupt the government for profit? We're supposed to support them? I'm so confused. :(

Oh, and when did Europe abandon science? I thought this sort of thing was reserved for Idaho. Next thing you know they'll have creationists. [usatoday.com]

Re:The GSM Association? (1)

zippthorne (748122) | more than 2 years ago | (#36147714)

Agreed, there's an obviously unbiased source.

But the schools shouldn't ban cell phones. They should install micro-cells that allow them to control what numbers are allowed to call in and out and when. For instance, anyone should be able to call 911, but do you really want people to be able to call the students other than the parents and fellow students?

Re:The GSM Association? (2)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 2 years ago | (#36148240)

But the schools shouldn't ban cell phones. They should install micro-cells that allow them to control what numbers are allowed to call in and out and when. For instance, anyone should be able to call 911, but do you really want people to be able to call the students other than the parents and fellow students?

Yes, obviously the right thing to do is condition our teenagers to believe that authority figures have absolute control over their ability to communicate.

Re:The GSM Association? (1)

Obfuscant (592200) | more than 2 years ago | (#36148436)

Yes, obviously the right thing to do is condition our teenagers to believe that authority figures have absolute control over their ability to communicate.

Authority figures already have control, that's why they are called "authority figures" and not "random people off the street.".

Control how they communicate? From kindergarten, they are taught "Raise your hand if you want to ask a question." "Five pages double spaced for your report." "Typed, not handwritten". "Billy, stop passing notes to Susie." "Minus five points for the use of the word 'ain't'." "Minus two points for putting the period outside the quotation marks".

Which is better, a complete ban on cell phones in school because the "authority figure" cannot control them at a finer grain, or a local cell that allows finer grained control and the ability for some communications and doesn't require confiscation of the phones themselves?

Interphone anybody? (2)

eparker05 (1738842) | more than 2 years ago | (#36147600)

Except the "dangers" of cell phone radiation aren't unknown. Acording to the largest, longest, and most methodologically sound study on the matter, there is no elevated risk of cancer due to cell phone radiation.

http://www.rfcom.ca/programs/interphone.shtml [rfcom.ca]

perhaps they haven't read the report.

Re:Interphone anybody? (3, Insightful)

c0lo (1497653) | more than 2 years ago | (#36147820)

Except the "dangers" of cell phone radiation aren't unknown. Acording to the largest, longest, and most methodologically sound study on the matter, there is no elevated risk of cancer due to cell phone radiation.

http://www.rfcom.ca/programs/interphone.shtml [rfcom.ca]

perhaps they haven't read the report.

They read it all right and discarded it... doesn't match with their set of beliefs.

Re:Interphone anybody? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36148788)

and perhaps you want to read something different

http://www.magdahavas.com/

and if you have a chance then maybe you can find the "Full Signal" documentary

That makes perfect sense! (1)

carvalhao (774969) | more than 2 years ago | (#36147668)

Lets ban everything we can't prove it's harmless just in case. Like... I don't know... most food... drinks... gases... and surely politicians!

Re:That makes perfect sense! (1)

c0lo (1497653) | more than 2 years ago | (#36147846)

Lets ban everything we can't prove it's harmless just in case. Like... I don't know... most food... drinks... gases... and surely politicians!

Please add lawyers to the list... and, well, just in case, statisticians, they found way too many correlations.

Let's go back to 800AD where everything is safe! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36147686)

Someone else said it but I repeat it "Anti-nuclear, anti-powerline, anti-wireless people are ... "Idiots, pure and simple. Technologically ignorant, fact-dismissing, data-defying morons" Carl Sagan said the problem is "that we live in a scientific age where most people don't understand science"

Re:Let's go back to 800AD where everything is safe (2)

bky1701 (979071) | more than 2 years ago | (#36147806)

No, some of us live in a scientific age, but many choose to live in a self-inflicted medieval age. Problem is, they want us all to.

Re:Let's go back to 800AD where everything is safe (1)

fast turtle (1118037) | more than 2 years ago | (#36148202)

Yep. I love to get medieval on everyone's ass. A Trebuchet works nicely for that and of course my trusty sword helps get my point across to them idiots. Last but not least, there aren't any lawyers because "Might Makes Right" now back to work serfs

I hope they're banning all those others things (2)

nedlohs (1335013) | more than 2 years ago | (#36147716)

that lack clear scientific and clinical proof.

Fruit and vegetables, they might cause cancer.

Reading and writing, who knows what damage they might be doing to people's eyes and wrists.

Wearing clothing, who knows what such an unnatural activity does to our skin.

Re:I hope they're banning all those others things (1)

syousef (465911) | more than 2 years ago | (#36147838)

that lack clear scientific and clinical proof.

Fruit and vegetables, they might cause cancer.

Reading and writing, who knows what damage they might be doing to people's eyes and wrists.

Wearing clothing, who knows what such an unnatural activity does to our skin.

12 year old boys everywhere would rejoice!!!!

Re:I hope they're banning all those others things (1)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | more than 2 years ago | (#36147966)

Tobacco smoking is the leading cause of death in most countries and yet we do nothing to restrict distribution of tobacco. Some countries even subsidize it's production.

And we get this baloney?

head censors slam censorialism (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36147720)

not that there's much to be afeared about? maybe the 'weather'?

the chosen ones' holycost could never continue without a whole bunch of bogus fear hate& deception generated by fictional dilemmas while overlooking world wide massacres.

disarm. no kidding. terrifying tuesday is being executed as planned.

Sent from my iPhone
-- This message has been scanned for viruses and dangerous content by MailScanner, and is believed to be clean.

Due to excessive bad posting from this IP or Subnet, anonymous comment posting has temporarily been disabled. You can still login to post. However, if bad posting continues from your IP or Subnet that privilege could be revoked as well. If it's you, consider this a chance to sit in the timeout corner or login and improve your posting. If it's someone else, this is a chance to hunt them down. If you think this is unfair, please email moderation@slashdot.org with your MD5'd IPID and SubnetID, which are

Bet there's proof that (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36147850)

playing with yourself is detrimental to your taking part in class (if it happens at the same time). We don't need cancer scares to realise that children, on their own computers (or phones), all the time) with no interaction with other children at all, is bad.

Is this what's happening, though?

I'll be happy to be proved wrong, but let's have the science in place before we make policy changes via guesswork, please.

Most likely explanation (1)

theurge14 (820596) | more than 2 years ago | (#36147856)

Instead of having to explain to students that excessive cell phone use, such as texting, during class is a large distraction to the educational process they would rather have the easier option of frightening them into submission with tales of "you'll get testicular cancer of the face!".

Or maybe they're right and we're all going to die of WiFi poisoning during class.

Re:Most likely explanation (1)

macshit (157376) | more than 2 years ago | (#36148960)

It seems like they could address problems like texting with a "technical fix" though, e.g. special cell/wifi access points that only allow calls to 911 or registered parent phone numbers, etc. That way they'd avoid all the political problems (parents would probably even be in favor of it).

OTOH, then they'd have to spend some money (and would probably end up being cheated by shady vendors)...

Does Anyone Know How This Works? (1)

bky1701 (979071) | more than 2 years ago | (#36147872)

Does anyone really, really, I MEAN REALLY, understand how this EM crap works? I mean, just a few years ago, they discovered that effect, whatever they call it, friedsnell or something, where the stuff bounces back and hits other stuff. I think. And now they want to shoot RADIATION at us? BAN IT!!! What's next? Chernobyls on every street corner? Will someone PLEASE think of the children????

/s

Re:Does Anyone Know How This Works? (1)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | more than 2 years ago | (#36147924)

Ban EM radiation, eh? So how are you going to turn off the Sun?

Re:Does Anyone Know How This Works? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36148324)

It's going to be exploded [memory-alpha.org] using a trilithium weapon and the ensuing level-12 shockwave will obliterate the rest of the solar system - turning off everything else and also getting rid of the problem.

Re:Does Anyone Know How This Works? (4, Funny)

Ironchew (1069966) | more than 2 years ago | (#36148052)

Will someone PLEASE think of the children????

It's gotten so bad by this point that children are emitters of infrared radiation.

New Study (1)

BuckaBooBob (635108) | more than 2 years ago | (#36147894)

Someone should Visit a Mensa how to Hack your Cell Phone workshop and do a conclusive study to prove that wireless signals boost your IQ..

A priori nonsense. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36148004)

The precautionary principal is absurd.

Nothing has ever been conclusively proved not to cause harm
Nothing can be proved not to cause harm, as the absence of effect cannot be proven.

Therefore, according to the precautionary principal, as all things are potentially harmful, all things must be prevented from coming into contact with persons, including other persons. Moreover, as it has not been proven that the effect of any individual, object, or force material or immaterial, upon itself is not harmful; then the precautionary principal mandates self-exclusion and is self-negating.
Therefore the precautionary principal is invalid, a priori.

So, there is no need to dispute the validity of any argument based upon the principal as the argument is inherently invalid.

Besides, its just plain stupid.

Does not go far enough!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36148086)

They should also ban witches in school. And dragons (very dangerous, can cause fires). Also, north-facing doors (very bad feng shui). Then, they need to get rid of anything red (causes emotional stress). And try to keep the Virgos away from the Leos. I'm sure I can think of more if some industry group would pay me.

Jordan Shoes (-1, Offtopic)

Emilywiwi (2165412) | more than 2 years ago | (#36148122)

Air Jordan is the brand which own a large luxury products.such as Air Jordan 1,Air Jordan 13.These high-quality products are available in hundreds of beautiful styles and colors.In addition, We provide Air Jordan Shoes which are receive high warm price form customers.Welcome to visit our website to select any products you prefer. http://www.airjordan113.com/ [airjordan113.com]

Air Jordan Sale (-1, Offtopic)

Emilywiwi (2165412) | more than 2 years ago | (#36148146)

Air Jordan Outlet Online has many kinds of commodity,such as Air Jordan 12Cheap Air Jordan and so on.And Air Jordan Sale these for you with low price. Believe me, there is nothing wrong to Air Jordan. Very happy to welcome Air Jordan Sale Outlet. http://www.airjordan123.com/ [airjordan123.com]

Peer review and the literature - EMF heath effects (2)

ThePackager (562279) | more than 2 years ago | (#36148262)

In the early 1990's I had the opportunity to work on a project developing calibrated, sensitive microwave thermocouple sensors to study the intensity of microwave radiation inside 'human head models generated by cellphones'. It is of possible interest that the work was funded by a major cellphone manufacturer, however, the source of the funding did not influence the integrity of the work. I also spent considerable time comprehending (at least, giving it a good try!) the mountain of literature of the epidemiological effects of electromagnetic fields. It is of particular relevance to the 'European committee's action that the following summary statement, from a review article by James Jauchem, published in the International Microwave Power Institute (Vol. 28, No. 3, 1993) is directed: "In fact, the absence of both a mechanism of interaction and a dose-response relation do not support classification of EMFs as a probable carcinogen" Also, citing Petersen (Bioeffects of microwaves, J. Occup. Med. (1983) and Foster (Health effects of low-level electromagnetic fields, Health Phys. 62:429-435 (1992) "effects" are not necessarily "hazards". Although moderate-intensity ELFs may be capable of producing biological effects, the distinction between these effects and health effects is important. Also it is important that in epidemiological studies, an association of a factor with a health outcome often does not reflect a causal relationship. Strong independent associations can arise solely as a result of the lack of control over confounding. Some authors even suggest that some over-hyped studies are really "scaremongering made respectable by the use of sophisticated statistical methods."

Re:Peer review and the literature - EMF heath effe (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36148338)

In the early 1990's I had the opportunity to work on a project developing calibrated, sensitive microwave thermocouple sensors to study the intensity of microwave radiation inside 'human head models generated by cellphones'. It is of possible interest that the work was funded by a major cellphone manufacturer, however, the source of the funding did not influence the integrity of the work. I also spent considerable time comprehending (at least, giving it a good try!) the mountain of literature of the epidemiological effects of electromagnetic fields. It is of particular relevance to the 'European committee's action that the following summary statement, from a review article by James Jauchem, published in the International Microwave Power Institute (Vol. 28, No. 3, 1993) is directed:

"In fact, the absence of both a mechanism of interaction and a dose-response relation do not support classification of EMFs as a probable carcinogen"

Also, citing Petersen (Bioeffects of microwaves, J. Occup. Med. (1983) and Foster (Health effects of low-level electromagnetic fields, Health Phys. 62:429-435 (1992) "effects" are not necessarily "hazards". Although moderate-intensity ELFs may be capable of producing biological effects, the distinction between these effects and health effects is important. Also it is important that in epidemiological studies, an association of a factor with a health outcome often does not reflect a causal relationship. Strong independent associations can arise solely as a result of the lack of control over confounding. Some authors even suggest that some over-hyped studies are really "scaremongering made respectable by the use of sophisticated statistical methods."

I would think any "effects" at all would be cause for concern, since we don't know enough to say when "biological effects" turn out to be "health effects."

Except (1)

w0mprat (1317953) | more than 2 years ago | (#36148350)

Electromagnetic waves can interfere constructively, in fact it's rare a given volume of space the dimensions of the wavelength has a single photon of that length in it. Any "safe limits" are very nominal, you could have harm occuring with much lower intensity EM.

Re:Except (1)

MachDelta (704883) | more than 2 years ago | (#36148816)

Here's how my physics prof explained this to me years ago:

A woman who is 4.5 months pregnant is traveling east.
Another woman who is 4.5 months pregnant is traveling west.
When they meet, the local "intensity" of babies is momentarily doubled (eg: 2)
But when they meet, they will not instantly produce one baby.

Same thing with photons - they don't merge, but if you measure their waveforms they might appear to.
At least that's how I understand things - IANAP.

So why only in schools? (1)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | more than 2 years ago | (#36148678)

Europeans seem to have bought into this precautionary principle twaddle where everything that cannot be proven to be safe must banned.

Of course that is utter rubbish, as there is no possible way to prove anything is safe. All this really means is that anything new is forbidden, a new form of Luddite-ism.

Anyway, if low frequency EM is to be banned in schools, why isn't it banned elsewhere too? After all if we are going to protect children from this danger we must do it correctly. Mobile phones and WiFi are ubiquitous in the modern environment, and children surely spend less than 1/4 of their lives in school over the course of a calendar year.

Therefore to be actually useful Europe must now ban all low frequency EM emttters,

GSM Association Slams Euro Call For Ban On Wireles (1)

jackie8612 (2071074) | more than 2 years ago | (#36148822)

It's funny how in this article calling for ban on wireless can be the same as "comparing mobile phone raditation to other things whose dangers were once sunknown, such as asbestos, leaded petrol and tobacco.". I found this to be hilarious to say the least!
Load More Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Sign up for Slashdot Newsletters
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...