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Cell Phone Jamming Devices Enjoy an Increase In Popularity

timothy posted more than 2 years ago | from the can-you-hear-me-carrier-lost dept.

The Internet 805

rullywowr writes "A story run by local new NBC10 of Philadelphia last Friday illuminated the fact that this particular rider of the pubilc bus system is packing a cell phone jammer and is not afraid to use it. Going by the name of 'Eric,' whenever he sees someone being 'rude' on the bus and talking loudly on their cell phone, he screws the antenna on and flips the power switch. Regardless of the steep civil penalites levied by the FCC (up to $16,000 USD), many (such as 'Eric') are still interested by these devices which can be bought on the internet for $40 to over $1000. Opponents of these devices say that not only do they interfere with mobile phones, they often can interfere with 'behind the scenes' communication, Wi-Fi, etc. Despite being illegal, TFA points out that they are readily available on the internet (what else is new?). Do you have an instance where you experienced the positive (or negative) effects of a cell phone jammer?"

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I approve (5, Insightful)

WillyWanker (1502057) | more than 2 years ago | (#39262297)

This guy is my new hero, even though he later backed down and said he wasn't going to use it anymore. I for one am fed up with the constant assault of cell phone conversations from people who have no idea how to be considerate to those around them.

Re:I approve (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39262357)

Because your good at judging who should be on the phone and who shouldn't.

Re:I approve (2, Insightful)

Dunega (901960) | more than 2 years ago | (#39262395)

Because his good at judging who should be on the phone and who shouldn't? Try that again in something resembling English please.

Re:I approve (5, Funny)

zrbyte (1666979) | more than 2 years ago | (#39262467)

I think I need a jammar for you're bad grammar!

Re:I approve (0)

trevorrowe (689310) | more than 2 years ago | (#39262573)

The parent post was making fun of its parent... "Because his good" is possessive, just like "Because your good". He was being absurd to make a point; You missed it.

Re:I approve (4, Funny)

tom17 (659054) | more than 2 years ago | (#39262667)

I think someone has a 'whoosh' jammer switched on near you.

Re:I approve (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39262553)

You're missing the comma before "please", and your user ID begins with an odd number, ergo your rebuttal is false and your face has an unusual smell.

Re:I approve (3, Insightful)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 2 years ago | (#39262539)

if everyone else is trying to sleep on the bus/ train and you are loudly using your cell phone about an obviously nonurgent matter (your sister's crazy marriage, your kid's report card, your dog's diet, etc.) then you deserve to be jammed, with my full support, and with the support of everyone else trying to get some shuteye

Re:I approve (1, Insightful)

Desler (1608317) | more than 2 years ago | (#39262595)

Yeah and the side effect of it blocking the person trying to make a wireless 911 call. Who cares about the innocents caught in this, right?

Re:I approve (5, Insightful)

duguk (589689) | more than 2 years ago | (#39262643)

Yeah and the side effect of it blocking the person trying to make a wireless 911 call. Who cares about the innocents caught in this, right?

Why would anyone be making a private 911 call on a bus? Especially without any of the other passengers knowing?

I mean, I'm not agreeing with this; but that's a ridiculous claim under this scenario.

Re:I approve (5, Insightful)

Almandine (1594857) | more than 2 years ago | (#39262747)

The peeple making the emergency calls may not necessarily be on the bus, just within range of the jammer. For example, maybe the bus is stuck in traffic due to an accident and people outside are trying to make emergency cals.

Re:I approve (2)

Desler (1608317) | more than 2 years ago | (#39262759)

Because someone gets assaulted, someone has a seizure, etc and police/ems are needed? And why did you construct this "private 911 call" nonsense? Who said anything about it being private?

Re:I approve (5, Insightful)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 2 years ago | (#39262785)

There may be other urgent calls a person would like to be able to receive. Business calls, family emergency, but who knows now right? Because this selfish asshole has decided that nobody on the bus should be able to make any calls because he can't deal with the reality of living around other people in the 21st century.

I hope all these morons get caught and have the book thrown at them.

Re:I approve (1)

stanlyb (1839382) | more than 2 years ago | (#39262749)

You forgot to mention the kids. Who does not wanna to kick the baby!!!

Re:I approve (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39262657)

Why does your right to sleep trump his right to talk? Both are acceptable activities on a bus or train, so why should everyone else be expected to bend to your will? How many people have to be sleeping before it's no longer acceptable to talk on a bus? Is it half? Is it required to conduct a survey before making a call? I get as annoyed as anyone when people talk too loud on their cell phones, but it's definitely a hazy line. You claim that it's not fair that someone elses talking interferes with your desire to sleep, but the implication of that is that it somehow would be fair for your sleeping to interfere with someone elses desire to talk.

Re:I approve (-1, Troll)

stanlyb (1839382) | more than 2 years ago | (#39262779)

So, you would not mind if he lights on a cigarette? It is his right to smoke, right? Am i right i mean? Which means that you are left. Oh, nevermind.

Re:I approve (1)

Richard_at_work (517087) | more than 2 years ago | (#39262787)

And if one of those people sleeping starts snoring loudly, do they deserve to get thwacked around the back of the head to make them shut the fuck up?

Re:I approve (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39262391)

This guy is my new hero, even though he later backed down and said he wasn't going to use it anymore. I for one am fed up with the constant assault of cell phone conversations from people who have no idea how to be considerate to those around them.

I hope you buy one then, and get your dick slammed in the cop car's door as they arrest your silly ass.

If your idea of "being considerate" is to break everyone else's communications infrastructure, buy a pair of earplugs. Or better yet, get a screwdriver and insert until the problem goes away...

Re:I approve (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39262565)

I'd get in bigger trouble for "inserting" a screwdriver into the rude ass using a cell phone than for using a jammer.

Re:I approve (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39262405)

I agree. One can only hope a jammer will be in use when you or someone else on your behalf is calling 911 from a cellphone and you die from being unable to get emergency care in time.

Re:I approve (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39262521)

Terribly unlikely, but possible. These jammers don't have ranges measured in miles.

That said, it could happen, in very bizarre circumstances. Easy to mitigate (walk a few feet in one direction), or otherwise... that's not something anyone wants.

So the question remains, "What do you do about shitbags using their phones when it's inappropriate?" Given that we've long ago decided that assholery is acceptable while confrontation is not, I'm not sure there's another working solution.

Re:I approve (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39262663)

So the question remains, "What do you do about shitbags using their phones when it's inappropriate?" Given that we've long ago decided that assholery is acceptable while confrontation is not, I'm not sure there's another working solution.

http://www.devicemag.com/2012/03/06/now-a-speech-jammer-that-can-silence-humans-within-30-ft-without-killing-them/

Re:I approve (1, Informative)

Desler (1608317) | more than 2 years ago | (#39262695)

What you do is put in some earplugs and ignore them. Not act like a passive aggressive douche and block communication for everyone. This just in: you have no right to not be annoyed.

Re:I approve (2)

geminidomino (614729) | more than 2 years ago | (#39262715)

No, they have ranges measured in meters... say, the 10 meters from where the bus idling at a stop light to the cafe on the corner where OP is, hopefully, having a heart attack.

Re:I approve (3, Interesting)

danomac (1032160) | more than 2 years ago | (#39262413)

I generally don't use my cell phone where I think you shouldn't. This includes restaurants, theatres, public transit, etc.

If it rings, I may look at it to see who is calling. I won't answer it and sometimes just leave the phone on vibrate.

I don't understand why people think they must be able to talk on the phone everywhere. I find it more annoying now with a cell phone, as people pretty much expect you to answer it as they're calling you directly and not your house.

Re:I approve (5, Interesting)

tlhIngan (30335) | more than 2 years ago | (#39262729)

I generally don't use my cell phone where I think you shouldn't. This includes restaurants, theatres, public transit, etc.

If it rings, I may look at it to see who is calling. I won't answer it and sometimes just leave the phone on vibrate.

I don't understand why people think they must be able to talk on the phone everywhere. I find it more annoying now with a cell phone, as people pretty much expect you to answer it as they're calling you directly and not your house.

I do it in degrees. If it's a casual group of my friends, I will excuse myself and leave the group to take the call outside, so I don't subject them to my conversation, then return back when I'm done.

If it's a more formal event, phone's on vibrate and only in dire emergencies would I answer. And even then I'd politely excuse myself from the group.

And texting/emailing is a no-no unless there's a very good reason - all live conversations have priority over a texted one except in emergencies. Surfing the web is limited to only if it's something the group requires (e.g., resolving an argument or looking something up).

And no, I don't have voicemail.

Anyhow, yes it's illegal, but if you do it right, it can be hard to detect (the only way to track a jammer is to triangulate its position - there's no magic CSI GPS beacon). Perhaps when the bus reaches a certain intersection implying a dead spot for signals, and never more than neessary to break the connection (should just be a few seconds).

I suppose the bigger question is - why have manners deteriorated to the point that the general public feels it's necessary to take technological measures to fix social problems? The purchase and use of jammers is just a symptom of an underlying societal problem

Re:I approve (1)

ElmoGonzo (627753) | more than 2 years ago | (#39262755)

I'm in the same frame of mind. I almost always remember to silence it in public places. Besides, when it's in my pocket or anyplace but in my hand, it generally goes to the voice mail (that I didn't want) because there's no option to configure the time before it goes to voice mail and it takes me forever to get it out of the pocket it's carried in which is zipped so it won't slip out.

Cell phone call on the bus (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#39262801)

I generally don't use my cell phone where I think you shouldn't. This includes restaurants, theatres, public transit, etc.

When I'm visiting a relative who doesn't live near a bus stop, I occasionally take the bus halfway and have the relative pick me up and drive me the rest of the way. In order to coordinate this, I need to make a cell phone call: "I have boarded the bus. In fifteen minutes, I will be at the bus stop where we agreed that you can pick me up." The rest of the conversation waits until I'm picked up. Would the majority consider this use of a cell phone impolite, and if so, how should I arrange these rides more politely?

Re:I approve (1)

Uthic (931553) | more than 2 years ago | (#39262433)

Well assuming they are indeed talking too loud and he's not just being a dick about it. Nice passive aggressive way of dealing with it though, heh, on my bus routes telling them to pipe down could be indeed risky.

Re:I approve (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39262505)

When people are talking really loud, my friends and I will begin a side conversation about whatever the person is talking about. If we can hear you clearly 15 feet away over background noise, you're too loud.

Re:I approve (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39262437)

Are you this much fun at parties? Or are you the stay at home and be fat and bitter type... I'ma guess the latter.

Re:I approve (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39262511)

The problem comes in when there's no plan to deal with an emergency. Someone on the bus has a heart attack and he panics and forgets his jammer is on. I think there is an argument for the idea of having places where cell phones may be temporarily jammed or disabled. However, in doing so, you need to make that clear, so if I'm waiting to hear about my relative who's in the hospital, or trying to call my child's daycare, then I can step away. Otherwise, you're just being a different kind of dick.

Re:I approve (4, Interesting)

DigiShaman (671371) | more than 2 years ago | (#39262519)

My proposal for movie theaters and restaurants. By default, these facilities should have cell phone jamming technology enabled with a clear sign stating as such. Also, the sign will point to a red painted receiver designated for 911 use only. Think of the emergency concept of a fire extinguisher and apply that to wired phones and you get the idea.

Re:I approve (5, Insightful)

pedrop357 (681672) | more than 2 years ago | (#39262601)

The other problem is that many times the person claims the jamming signal is confined solely within their property/building/domain, yet the jamming signal affects those outside of the jammer's property. That becomes a huge problem.

Those who wish to stop cell phone use should first STOP installing indoor repeaters, then use some form of radio wave blocking paint/building materials. Whatever method they use should be passive and not directly interfere with other property's cell phone signals.

Re:I approve (1)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | more than 2 years ago | (#39262633)

Great. Instead of teaching society to be considerate, you'd rather teach them that if they're a jerk it's technology's fault for not stopping them. And... we can reduce public safety, to boot!

Brilliant.

Re:I approve (2)

DigiShaman (671371) | more than 2 years ago | (#39262773)

I contend that as public etiquette is concerned, we've already reached rock bottom. Anything else would be an improvement.

Re:I approve (3, Insightful)

Hentes (2461350) | more than 2 years ago | (#39262591)

But sadly that is only a partial solution. There are also jerks on the bus who dare to talk to each other. Sadly, in this case phone jamming doesn't work, you have to gag them individually. But that still isn't enough, most buses/subways have engines that are even louder than talking people. I still haven't figured out a way to stop those engines, but I'm working on it...

Illegal Toys for Passive-Aggressive Cowards (0, Insightful)

RobotRunAmok (595286) | more than 2 years ago | (#39262691)

If the caller is speaking too loud, you get up, go over to him, and politely ask him to tone it down. When I do that, the caller is inevitably embarrassed, apologizes, and more often than not, hangs up promptly thereafter.

Stop living in Nerdly Passive-Aggressive Panties-in-a-Wad Anxiety and join the Human Race.

Re:Illegal Toys for Passive-Aggressive Cowards (4, Funny)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 2 years ago | (#39262793)

You must take classier buses than some of us...

Re:I approve (1)

darronb (217897) | more than 2 years ago | (#39262741)

Oh yeah... turning on a jamming device that probably interferes with devices well outside your immediate area, has likely unpredictable effects on other wireless equipment, and is produced by an unscrupulous person with questionable skills to get it right is SO considerate.

Why not just go with an EMP cannon? "Stoopid iPhone guy, I'll show you for bothering me with your... conversation with someone else. Oh, sorry pops... didn't know you had a pacemaker"

Re:I approve (1)

Johann Lau (1040920) | more than 2 years ago | (#39262757)

"This guy is my new hero"

Yeah, asking people if they can keep it down is totally for whimps... instead make them think their connection is breakingm that will surely teach them. It's what a hero would do.

Find them, hit them with the $16k fine (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39262299)

...problem solved. Low resolution spectrum analyzers can be inexpensive and the jammer signature is easy to identify.

Re:Find them, hit them with the $16k fine (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39262477)

In the UK, shortwave - the only means of truly free peer-to-peer worldwide communication - is being jammed by regulator Ofcom's allowing the ex-telecoms-monopoly BT, and other providers, to sell "Ethernet over powerline" devices which turn house mains wiring into a massive unshielded antenna. What the USSR did with dedicated jamming stations and a ~$500,000,000/year budget, the UK does via a cheaper abuse much harder to rein in.

As long as this happens, I see no moral problem with citizens fighting back and doing the same. Either everyone is licenced his spectrum and respects his allocations, or those with less power must be stopped from being squeezed out by those with greater power.

It's not as if the authorities wouldn't jam cellphone signals if the interests of the powerful demanded it, is it?

Jammin (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39262305)

Do you have an instance where you experienced the positive (or negative) effects of a cell phone jammer?

No, not that I can think of.

Can we get something... (2)

owenferguson (521762) | more than 2 years ago | (#39262307)

...to jam first posters?

A good jamming (0)

moondo (177508) | more than 2 years ago | (#39262309)

Let's just say the last jamming my friend experienced was... unpleasant.

They're illegal? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39262317)

For everyone that is not a corporate entity or government agency or every everyone?
Because I thought movie theaters used them.

Re:They're illegal? (2)

Desler (1608317) | more than 2 years ago | (#39262507)

It's illegal for private use without a permit from the FCC and law enforcement can only use them in certain circumstances.

Re:They're illegal? (2)

Matt_Bennett (79107) | more than 2 years ago | (#39262533)

In the United States, jammers are illegal for everyone.

I wish they'd put them in theatres (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39262329)

Films, concerts, hell even live performances it seems like there's always some knob on the phone.

If something is an emergency go to the lobby, if you're just bored LEAVE.

I support any technology that enforces this particular basic common courtesy.

Re:I wish they'd put them in theatres (2)

pedrop357 (681672) | more than 2 years ago | (#39262623)

I support removing and barring a person who talks during one of these performances, regardless of how they're doing it.

Re:I wish they'd put them in theatres (1)

Jawnn (445279) | more than 2 years ago | (#39262719)

I agree with the sentiment, but not the extreme response of installing jammers. Far better to publicly humiliate the inconsiderate fuck and toss his ass out the door. That's why [youtu.be] I patronize The Alamo Draft House cinemas exclusively now. They don't tolerate rude behavior.

I use my iPad on the train (3, Interesting)

darjen (879890) | more than 2 years ago | (#39262335)

If someone was doing this while I commute to work, and I wasn't able to use my 3g connection, I would be pissed.

Re:I use my iPad on the train (4, Insightful)

Hnice (60994) | more than 2 years ago | (#39262447)

Yeah -- I mean, this is the problem. Like, frequently -- most of the time -- I sort of wish that talkers would, you know, die, but there's lots of unobtrusive usage that's nobody's business.

I'll tell you what I really think is going to happen: I think in 10 or 15 years, we're going to look back on this time period, and be sort of aghast at how people behaved with regards to their phones. I don't accept that things are moving in a more-talk-is-OK direction, I think that there's the possibility that this is a manners-haven't-caught-up-to-tech blip. There's going to be a certain amount of soul-searching as we deal with the driving issue, and I'm hoping that what will come out of that will be, 'Wait -- is what I have to say really important enough to need saying, now, in these circumstances?'

And I'm not generally optimistic about human nature. But cell phone usage, I just don't see how this can go on very much longer as it is -- I mean, it's raw uncut assholishness, all the time, and everyone KNOWS it, but for now, they all DO IT anyway.

My fingers are crossed for what alcoholics refer to as a 'moment of clarity'.

Re:I use my iPad on the train (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39262563)

You see manners getting BETTER in the future!?

Re:I use my iPad on the train (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39262659)

How is talking on the phone more rude than talking to a travelling companion? Is not loudness the real nuiscance?

Re:I use my iPad on the train (4, Insightful)

foo1752 (555890) | more than 2 years ago | (#39262683)

I mean, it's raw uncut assholishness, all the time, and everyone KNOWS it, but for now, they all DO IT anyway.

Actually, the point is that the assholes don't think what they're doing is assholish at all. This will never change.

Re:I use my iPad on the train (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39262531)

Boo-fucking-hoo, widdle baby can't pway on the intewnet on his way to work.

It's bad enough seeing enough of those fidgety fuckers in class, and how tolerated it is to rock back and forth and twitch and jerk in the absense of overstimulation.

Makes me want to smack the fuckers in their mouths with a rolled-up newspaper.

Re:I use my iPad on the train (0, Flamebait)

darjen (879890) | more than 2 years ago | (#39262653)

Hopefully when you graduate and get a real job, you will become a little more mature. Until then, go back to your mom's basement and please shut the hell up.

Re:I use my iPad on the train (1)

meloneg (101248) | more than 2 years ago | (#39262693)

Um, you should perhaps not attend classes with so many meth-heads?

Re:I use my iPad on the train (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39262725)

You must still be stuck trying to browse on your blackberry. I'd be bitter too.

ladyada (3, Interesting)

AtomicAdam (959649) | more than 2 years ago | (#39262371)

I saw designs on Limor fried's Site years ago that she made for her thesis I believe. It's a good read. Either way it's funny how long these things took to become popular http://www.ladyada.net/make/wavebubble/index.html [ladyada.net] TFL for anyone who can't google

As a Philadelphian who rides SEPTA Daily... (3, Interesting)

christoofar (451967) | more than 2 years ago | (#39262377)

I can tell you with what joy it is to live in a city where listening to B-grade hip hop music on tinny cell phone speakers is the norm. That you can't stop, but when I have to be subjected to a very lengthy screaming match between baby-momma and her baby-daddy, with a push of a button I can cut that nonsense out. If you want to do that nonsense, then get off the train at the next stop and have your bitch fest there.

I can't do much about the panhandlers that pass through the trains hocking bootleg DVDs, scented oils or begging for quarters, but I CAN do something about the chaff of society who can't keep their Jerry Springer drama to themselves, and so I shut them down with a jammer. If an emergency crops up, I turn the device off.

Re:As a Philadelphian who rides SEPTA Daily... (4, Insightful)

ceoyoyo (59147) | more than 2 years ago | (#39262469)

If you've got an issue with a particular person talking on her phone, sit down beside her and make snarky remarks until she shuts up or hits you. Don't interfere with everyone else in the area just for your personal convenience. Hey... that's what you're mad at baby mamma for doing isn't it?

Re:As a Philadelphian who rides SEPTA Daily... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39262687)

Are you that prepared for a ChimpOut?! What your asking for is war with pack of animals. Ya ya, racism whatever. Actually, it's a cultural issue. Don't deny the truth.

Re:As a Philadelphian who rides SEPTA Daily... (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39262499)

It's public transit. Deal with it, or find private transportation - you don't have the right to a bitch-free ride on SEPTA. Anyone using a jammer is just being an asshat, not to mention breaking the law which exists for a good reason.

Re:As a Philadelphian who rides SEPTA Daily... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39262503)

Oh, you mean an emergency on the train. Do you have a method to detect other emergencies, such as the emergency room of a hospital trying to get in touch with a family member WHO HAPPENS TO BE ON YOUR TRAIN?

Re:As a Philadelphian who rides SEPTA Daily... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39262761)

So, what, like twenty years ago when approximately zero of those riders would have had cellular telephones there was then some magical method for detecting these "other emergencies"?

Re:As a Philadelphian who rides SEPTA Daily... (5, Insightful)

SJester (1676058) | more than 2 years ago | (#39262525)

I ride the infamous A train in NYC and my jammer is a relief. I experience much the same - hellfire preachers, drunks pissing on the floor, and stoned thugs arguing about which court they're supposed to be in today. The train is held at the station about once a month for police to search it. My ride is nearly two hours and a jammer makes it a bit quieter. I don't even turn it on for most of the ride; why would I interfere with Words with Friends or a quiet phone call? But when someone starts screaming into their phone they discover there's no service anymore.

Re:As a Philadelphian who rides SEPTA Daily... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39262651)

Drunks stop pissing on the floor when they can't get a signal?

Re:As a Philadelphian who rides SEPTA Daily... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39262577)

What a jerk you are. If you don't like it go get a car and you won't have to put up with it. Why does everyone else need to put up with what you want in a public space? Get over yourself, jerkweed.

Re:As a Philadelphian who rides SEPTA Daily... (1)

pedrop357 (681672) | more than 2 years ago | (#39262637)

The music issue won't be stopped by a jammer.

Re:As a Philadelphian who rides SEPTA Daily... (1)

Nimey (114278) | more than 2 years ago | (#39262703)

Ringtones. Streaming music. Those will be dealt with by a jammer.

Re:As a Philadelphian who rides SEPTA Daily... (1)

Anne_Nonymous (313852) | more than 2 years ago | (#39262661)

So how's that Chamber of Commerce gig working out, then?

Re:As a Philadelphian who rides SEPTA Daily... (4, Insightful)

QuasiSteve (2042606) | more than 2 years ago | (#39262739)

I can tell you with what joy it is to live in a city where listening to B-grade hip hop music on tinny cell phone speakers is the norm. That you can't stop

You can't, or you won't?

but when I have to be subjected to a very lengthy screaming match between baby-momma and her baby-daddy, with a push of a button I can cut that nonsense out.

I see...

I can't do much about the panhandlers that pass through the trains hocking bootleg DVDs, scented oils or begging for quarters,

really? you can't? hmm

but I CAN do something about the chaff of society who can't keep their Jerry Springer drama to themselves, and so I shut them down with a jammer

Oh okay, I see what you're saying now.

If you could turn off all the B-grade hip hop music with the push of a button, you would.
If you could shut the panhandlers down with a jammer, you would.

In essence, if you could do something about X in practical anonymity with an easily concealed device with little to no chance of getting caught, you would.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not calling you chickenshit. Certainly it's much better to avoid conflict with the baby-momma and her posse by just letting her call drop instead of confronting her in person.

Unfortunately, however, it also means you're affecting the person just quietly talking, the person just doing some texting, the person just browsing the web, and - provided that the bus isn't a magic faraday cage for your outgoing jammer signal - anybody in the vicinity of the bus.

Not to mention that...

If an emergency crops up, I turn the device off.

...it's impossible for you to determine that. For one thing, you can't magically know about remote emergencies that require a person to be called.

For another, what if you are the emergency? You're on the highway, you get a heart attack, you fall down, your jammer's still on - nobody can call it in.. they flag down another driver, their phone doesn't work either, they figure it must just be reception there, so (rather than asking another drive to call from somewhere where they can get a signal) they drive the bus further to get a signal again, but still nothing.

I know, society survived without cellphones, I'm sure it will when somebody misses, or can't place, an important call just as well.

But please do choose your jamming moments wisely, and consider the unintended consequences - be that your own untimely demise (I <3 my contrived example!) or somebody's casual game of Wordfeud being cut short.

Da Bomb (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39262403)

You know in the movies when the bad guy has a cell phone trigger to his remote bomb attached to "enter hero's name here".... yeah those times.

Need to be used in certain places. (3, Interesting)

JustAnotherIdiot (1980292) | more than 2 years ago | (#39262407)

Movie theaters come to mind at first, granted I don't go all that often, but still.
They always have that announcement that everyone ignores to turn off your phone
This way they don't have to ask, they just stop working.
If there's some sort of emergency, I'm sure the theaters have a wired phone somewhere they can use quickly.

Re:Need to be used in certain places. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39262797)

If there's some sort of emergency, I'm sure the theaters have a wired phone somewhere they can use quickly.

Well, as long as a random internet commenter is sure, it must be A-OK.

negative effect (5, Funny)

girlintraining (1395911) | more than 2 years ago | (#39262475)

Do you have an instance where you experienced the positive (or negative) effects of a cell phone jammer?"

Yeah. I was having a stroke and nobody could understand why I was flopping about with half my face looking like it was ready to melt off. I reached for my phone, dialed 911... and nothing happened. Then I died. I had to submit this as a ghost because nobody thinks about what blocking a communications medium does to innocent people, they just want to get at the one asshole amongst the dozens or so in the area abusing it.

Re:negative effect (4, Informative)

janeuner (815461) | more than 2 years ago | (#39262655)

In fictional settings, people retain enough dexterity to dial a phone while having a stroke.

Re:negative effect (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39262783)

In fictional settings, people retain enough dexterity to dial a phone while having a stroke.

Unless it's necessary for the plot, then all bets are off. I wonder why the poster is whining about it on slashdot though, instead of going and haunting the shit out of the guy with the jammer. That's what I'd do!

Right to not be annoyed? (4, Interesting)

John Napkintosh (140126) | more than 2 years ago | (#39262479)

Audio pollution isn't something you get to have control over. Feel free to tell someone they're being annoying, but sometimes you're just going to have to deal with someone talking on their phone in a way that annoys you. If it's not that, it will be someone talking loudly to the person standing next to them. Or a person honking their horn to much or for no reason. Or someone with their cell phone's speaker turned on as they listen to MP3s. Or jackhammers or machinery or the buzz of a refrigerator. How are you going to jam that?

Re:Right to not be annoyed? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39262625)

Audio pollution isn't something you get to have control over. /.../ How are you going to jam that?

With this [slashdot.org] ?

Re:Right to not be annoyed? (4, Interesting)

Jawnn (445279) | more than 2 years ago | (#39262805)

True, we do not have the right to not be annoyed, in public places. The bus/train arguably qualifies as "public", but I will never understand why, for example, restaurants and movie theaters (most of them) tolerate behavior this is, to say the least, boorish and disruptive to the experience of the other customers. Just once, I'd love to see the dumb-ass at the next table have her meal removed and shown the door, with the explanation that manners count and those without them are unwelcome.

Here is what I believe... (1, Funny)

wbr1 (2538558) | more than 2 years ago | (#39262493)

(Posting from android) For my part I think that this may actually be aW%W$%%#$^&CARRIER LOST

Charming (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39262497)

Stalking someone who might panic and ring a relative or the police? With a cell phone jammer you can stop worrying and get down to the business of assaulting your victim, safe in the knowledge that they can't possibly raise the alarm, joy!

Re:Charming (1)

moondo (177508) | more than 2 years ago | (#39262671)

I agree. That's why it's a jam for the ladies and the superstars.

Effect on rude driving (3, Interesting)

Matt_Bennett (79107) | more than 2 years ago | (#39262509)

I've seen the effect upon drivers talking on their phones while driving. While talking on the phone, their speed is erratic and inconsistent, they wander around their lane. Once in range of such a device, they look at their phone for a second or two, put the phone down, and start to pay attention to the machine that they are controlling. Once their conversation ends, they have become much more responsible drivers, aware of those that are sharing the road with them.

Just an observation. I understand that jammers are illegal for very good reasons, and their abuse can lead to much more harm than good.

Up the penalties (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39262545)

Obviously the potential penalties are not high enough. This is naked vigilanteism and should be stopped cold and hard.

YOU don't have RIGHT to interfere in MY liberty. If I'm being an asshole and talking loudly on the bus, then call a cop. That's how law and order works.

What's next, you firing an EMP gun at my house because my lights are interfering with your desire to stargaze?

Are you going to poison my dog because he barks too much or shits too much?

This one's a real slippery slope people.

Re:Up the penalties (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39262807)

Obviously the potential penalties are not high enough. This is naked vigilanteism and should be stopped cold and hard.

YOU don't have RIGHT to interfere in MY liberty. If I'm being an asshole and talking loudly on the bus, then call a cop. That's how law and order works.

What's next, you firing an EMP gun at my house because my lights are interfering with your desire to stargaze?

Are you going to poison my dog because he barks too much or shits too much?

This one's a real slippery slope people.

Your excessively loud behavior in a cramped public space is assholish behavior. Obviously the penalties are not high enough. In the meantime, you should be stopped cold and hard. YOU don't have the RIGHT to interfere with MY liberty (or peace).

Oh, I get it now (1, Flamebait)

radiumsoup (741987) | more than 2 years ago | (#39262567)

Problem - I'm slightly annoyed. Solution - Interfere with someone else's right to liberty. Gotcha. I'll have to remember that the next time I see someone wearing a t-shirt in public of a band I don't like. I'll just spray paint over their shirt, and I won't be slightly annoyed any more. Perfect solution to the problem.

Jammin' (3, Funny)

Kenja (541830) | more than 2 years ago | (#39262603)

Ooh, yeah! All right! We're jammin': I wanna jam it wid you. We're jammin', jammin', And I hope you like jammin', too. Ain't no rules, ain't no vow, we can do it anyhow: I'n'I will see you through, 'Cos everyday we pay the price with a little sacrifice, Jammin' till the jam is through.

Inadvertent jamming (2)

Cytotoxic (245301) | more than 2 years ago | (#39262629)

I haven't run into a cell phone jammer - as far as I know - but I do have a pirate radio station nearby that is pretty annoying. They are some kind of Hatian radio station that moves around the area. Their transmitter is low power, so it only covers a few square miles - but it is extremely noisy, so it stomps all over 3-4 stations when you are in the area. Missing the end of an interesting story on NPR because I'm driving through their broadcast zone is more annoying than I would have thought.

I can only imagine that getting knocked off of my phone would be even more annoying. Heck, I've considered firing an anti-radiation (HARM) missile at the Hatians, and I only missed out on hearing the end of "This American Life".... Cut off my wife and who knows what might happen?

Jammed? (2)

darkpixel2k (623900) | more than 2 years ago | (#39262631)

Do you have an instance where you experienced the positive (or negative) effects of a cell phone jammer?

The problem is bigger than you realize. I'm constantly dropping calls. If anyone is actually able to complete a call, tell AT&T their network is constantly being jammed.

(Maybe tell Blackberry their service is frequently jammed for days on end too)

Coward's way of (not) saying "SHUT UP" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39262641)

You accomplish nothing with this, the person will assume a malfunction and resume ASAP. You're simply sweeping dirt under the carpet and avoiding human contact.

A policy issue, not a hardware issue. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39262677)

Most public transit systems ban food, liquids, and music without earphones. Many long-haul trains have "quiet cars". The challenge in this case is to convince the transit system that use of cell phones for non-emergencies is a public nuisance like food, liquids, and music. Given the relative ease of gathering interested parties via the internet, perhaps you should start a petition for your local transit system. You can probably get some nice news coverage once you hit a few hundred supporters.

Now, I do think that a useful hardware solution would be to standardize the broadcast of "quiet zone" signal over bluetooth or the like. Phones receiving said signal would automatically turn off their ringers (vibrate is okay), and perhaps refuse to accept calls until you leave the area. Really smart phones could send audio to the caller indicating that you are in a quiet zone, and will be on the line in a moment or can't take the call. That would work nicely for theaters and the like.

One more thought: IANAL, but it strikes me that the speech silencer at a distance technology might be more appropriate and legal. They attack you with a phone call, you attack them with a speech silencer. Stand-off ensues. Works better for you if you've gotten that policy through first, though.

"Should Be Banned" (2)

djdbass (1037730) | more than 2 years ago | (#39262727)

I like the comments at the end of the article. There are people who recognise this may block someone's 911 call and say it's just collateral damage and the people talking on the phone should be blamed. Holy shit - blame the law abiding people, not the law-breaking?

The closest thing I saw to common sense was a comment that said "These things should be banned." I agree. So does the FCC. Which is why they are banned, ie illegal to own, sell or use!

I want the people in my office to shut-up, but I don't get to tell them to. I just put in ear buds. Duh.

People are just a-holes (1)

DnemoniX (31461) | more than 2 years ago | (#39262763)

I cannot count the number of times I wish that I had a cell jammer. Obnoxious folks who are so self important that they have no regard for those around them are everywhere. They are in line at the airport, the table next to you at dinner, oh and lets not forget in the movies! Some days I would just love to flip that switch and drop that call. On the other hand I would also be disabling the ability of anyone within range to call 911 in case of an emergency. Or to receive a truly important call or text message, maybe somebodies significant other goes into labor. Any number of things could potentially be disrupted. OK, so maybe flipping that switch isn't such a great idea. I mean don't get me wrong, I am a total a-hole myself, I realize that, but I don't think I would feel very good if I were causing a disruption and something legitimately bad happened and nobody could get a call through. Now if I had a jammer with a momentary switch that would only allow jamming for a couple of seconds, just long enough to drop a call, and it was on a timer so I couldn't mash the button....hmmmm Yup still an a-hole.

They shouldn't be banned. (1)

Oswald McWeany (2428506) | more than 2 years ago | (#39262775)

It shouldn't be illegal to own a jammer- or to use one. It should be illegal to operate without the permission of the owner of the property you are on (or that is affected).

If I run a cinema or entertainment venue- I should be allowed to block cell phone signals. If on my private property I want to block cell signals on my private proerty I should be allowed.

The problem is when such devices are used in public- or on private property of someone who did not give you permission. Yes, people talking loudly in public places is annoying- but everyone should be allowed to communicate in public places.

The guy who hasn't bathed in a week is annoying.
The goth- folk look annoying.
The redneck muffin-top girl showing her flabby belly to the world is annoying.
The couple making out on the sidewalk are annoying
The college girls talking too loud- squealing and being obnoxious are annoying.

Everyone is annoying at some point in their life out in public. Deal with it. YOU, mr signal blocker have no doubt been rude or annoying. By blocking the loud talker on the bus- you may be blocking the daddy on a business trip trying to call his little girl to wish her luck on her recital he is unable to make. He may be blocking someone calling their wife who unexpectedly went into labour three months early while he was out of town. He may be blocking the executive who has to make an important call now.

You do not have the right to not be annoyed by rude people in public- you do not have the right to interfere with their speach or disrupt others pursuit of happiness and possibly work.

Who neeeds cell phone jammers... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39262799)

When the signal is effectively blocked in most areas anyway? Seriously, the Verizon network out here around Denver is full of holes.

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