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Canada Considers Cellphone Jammers

timothy posted more than 13 years ago | from the in-movie-theaters-*please* dept.

News 384

Mark Cappel writes: "Computerworld reports the Canadian equivalent to the US FCC is considering licensing the use of cellphone jammers. One person quoted in the article says, essentially, if a property owner does not want people to use cell phones on his property, then why not jam 'em?"

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A better solution, or maybe there are none... (2)

-Harlequin- (169395) | more than 13 years ago | (#379738)

The problem needs to be solved, and jammers would help solve it, but with several drawbacks. In addition, it could create a market for unjammable phones (or at least, phones that diminish the effective jammed area produced by a jammer).

We've seen many examples of cell phones sellers incorporating new technology standards (eg the next generation is apparently required to have location tracking tech, so emergency services can find people via their phone), so perhaps a "Silent Mode/Off Mode" signal detector couldbe added (ie instead of a jammer, you use a transmitter in the theatre, which tells all phones in the area to switch to silent mode (if you're lenient about phone use in your theatre) or to switch off (if you're hardline about it).

The obvious shortfall in such a system is not implementing it (I don't consider cost much of a factor - these days in this industry it ain't a high tech solution), but complacency - people will assume that it's no-longer their responsibility to turn the phone off - "if the proprietor doesn't want phones going off, he can damn well buy a phone silencer for his premises" sorta thing.

Actually - that does make jamming sound good precisely because of it's drawbacks - it's saying to people "start using your phones responsibly NOW or you WILL lose their capabilities". Of course, while few will listen, everyone will bitch when they get their just rewards...

And social etiquette does not seem to be working. Much like smoking, it only takes a few inconsiderate people to make the considerate behaviour of others meaningless. Smoking in public is more stigmitised than cell-phones will be in the forseeable future, yet social etiquette hasn't solved that problem, so what hope for success against rude cellphone use?

Are there any solutions, or have we just added yet another permanent irritation to our lives?

Re:Make it optional, not mandatory (2)

Nyarly (104096) | more than 13 years ago | (#379740)

There are a few problems I can see with bluelinx's device. First, lest they be slashdotted, the general shtick is that if your phone comes within range of their device, it sends a bluetooth message to turn the cell ring volume down, or to vibrate or whatever. When you leave the radius, cell volume returns to normal.

Great notion, in theory. Practically, a number of issues come up.

  1. It requires universal acceptance by cell manufacurers. Universal acceptance is one of the toughest requirements to meet, and this one requires it of a group that has reasons not to do so. The simplest of which is that Q-Zone phones will cost more to make. A couple tenths of a cent maybe, but still more. And that's a margin large enough to kill the idea dead.
  2. It requires acceptance by venue management. Why should I care about Q-Zone if my movie theater is satisfied with their "silence is golden" policy, over installing pricy electronics in their theater.
  3. It'll kill battery life. Now your phone has to poll the Q-Zone station about whether it's okay to wake up again, or register that it's still in the quiet zone, and that's enough juice to suck the battery dry that much faster. Is this a perk?
  4. American phone users are likely to resent the feature, and opt to buy phones where it isn't installed (another notch against universal manufacturer acceptance) or where it can be turned on and off (where venue acceptance takes a hit).

Better still would be any largish region requiring all cellular devices to vibrate. That'd bring the availability of vibrating devices up, and keep interruptions down in the first place.

Re:911? (1)

awful (227543) | more than 13 years ago | (#379742)

The emergency call point is a good one, but step back for a sec: how did we manage before we all had cellphones? The answer is - we managed. A cinema has a landline, so no problems there. So too retaurants. As for highways - I can't see governments forking out money to fund the creation of jamming devices alongside all the highways.

Who says 'we' can't shoot em down.. (1)

paranormalized (278300) | more than 13 years ago | (#379744)

Just because a plane flies over your house doesn't give you the right to shoot it down for tresspassing. Think about it.
It depends on who the 'we' in question is. If you're a whole nation, (Switzerland in WWII) then it does seem that you do have that right. I mean, AFAIK we haven't tried to sue the Swiss for their aggressive protection and prosecution of their neutrality, have we? After all, if we did, then people would start demanding reparations for all damages incurred in war, which while interesting, is unlikely to happen. (successfully) Can you hear the complaints now?

Serbia: Damn you western Europe! You destroyed valuable equipment! We demand reparations!
World: Wait a sec- wasn't that equipment specifically designed to exterminate ethnic minorities?
Serbia: What of it? It was still private property!
World: Oh, go fsck a goat, you genocidal bastards. As long as you ignore the civil and human rights of Albanians, we're ignoring your d*** property rights. Hell, we'll ignore the rights of your soldiers, or at least those regarding 'life, liberty, etc.', even though we'll obey the Geneva Convention. And what do you say to that?
Serbia: We'll sue!
World: Tough s**t. We'll shoot.

(Hmmm, I think I've drifted offtopic enough to almost count as a 'troll'.) Well, anyways, if the jammer works on their property exclusively, and they warn you, don't they have the right to jam you? I mean, even though you own your phone, who the hell gave you those frequencies? You don't own them, you're a renter, if anything, and the real owner (The FCC, or its equivalent) should have the right to evict you if you're a true danger/nuisance. If your phone access is that d****ed important, don't go in the building! They aren't breaking/shooting your phone, they're just making it unusable on their property. And I think they have that right.

There. Am I back on-topic now? :)

-----
IANASRP- I am not a self-referential phrase
-----

Re:Legal ramifications in emergencies? (1)

Rudeboy777 (214749) | more than 13 years ago | (#379745)

No more than you could sue the cell phone company for being unable to get a signal at a 911-moment. Or the state of Alaska for not providing a pay phone at a close enough location to call 911 in a timely fashion.

Re:Blanket the freeways with them too! (1)

JohnnyBolla (102737) | more than 13 years ago | (#379748)

Mail me about it, this is a little off topic.

Re:Jamming is bad.. mmmkay? (1)

Rudeboy777 (214749) | more than 13 years ago | (#379749)

I think this would only be an issue if your car accident involved you driving through the front window of a restaurant.

Re:Public Transportation (1)

murphj (321112) | more than 13 years ago | (#379765)

This seems like more of an issue of courtesy than technology. Loud cell phone conversations are no more (or less) intrusive than loud face-to-face conversations. What we need is fewer rude people n- and there's already a device that creates those. It's called good parents.

Argh, stop thinking about yourselves for a second! (1)

CBoy (129544) | more than 13 years ago | (#379766)

I recently bought a cellphone because I have slowly degenerative hearing. This is a genetic defect. 90% of publicly available phones I _cannot_ hear adequately on due to my hearing loss. They simply aren't loud or clear enough. If it has any fuzz/distortion on it, I can't distiguish what the other person says to me. I wear two hearing aides, but they cannot correct my condition.

I CHOSE my cellphone because I _can_ hear on it as opposed to the publicly unreliable, soft, or non-working phones. All I want is the same basic life as someone who can hear properly. Why deny me, an innocent person (who _ALWAYS_ puts his cellphone on vibrate when in "quiet" places -- hopsitals, libraries, movie theatres, etc) because the rest of the cellphone users are idiots?

If it really bothers you all that much, SIMPLY ASK the person to shutup, leave, or wait. Is that so hard? If they refuse to do anything, talk to the management of whatever place you are in. I'm sure they'll support you. I know I would.

Just don't make life difficult for those of us who have a legitimate need for one.

There is no reason for Jammers. There is a reason to have both parties show respect to each other.

Re:At First I Was Weary, But This *Is* A Good Idea (1)

Rectal Prolapse (32159) | more than 13 years ago | (#379769)

It would be ironic if the accident was caused by a cellphone using driver!

more radiation! (3)

holzp (87423) | more than 13 years ago | (#379774)

as the cancer rate in canada mysteriously rises....

its about time (2)

wcb4 (75520) | more than 13 years ago | (#379775)

I personally would love to see the US allow this, especially in movie theatres and restaurants. I'm personally tired of hearing someone's phone ring in a movie or listening to other people's conversations while I'm eating dinner, but of course, here in the US, someone will consider it your right to have your cell phone ring anywhere and anytime you want.
I think....therefore I am

why bother, we're so polite anyway (1)

kawlyn (154590) | more than 13 years ago | (#379776)

what's up with that. Most poeple I know, or observe generally observer the "turn off your cellphone please" signs anyway.

Sounds good to me... (1)

kick3r (248219) | more than 13 years ago | (#379859)

Some people -- like my girlfriend -- don't know how to switch their phones to 'silent' mode. And she has the nerve to answer the phone and talk during the movie, AAAUUGGGH !

Precedent (1)

Kean de Lacy (92857) | more than 13 years ago | (#379861)

Wasn't there an article a while back about theatres in the US considering doing this?

Or maybe I'm on crack :)

Yippie!! (3)

DzugZug (52149) | more than 13 years ago | (#379865)

While there is definatly opertunity for abuse, this is something I've been wanting for a long time. Good places to use:

-movie thearter
-classroom
-Starbucks (probably wont happen but I can dream right?)

Yeah! (1)

Toothpick (23095) | more than 13 years ago | (#379868)

Jam 'em on the freeways!

Blanket the freeways with them too! (4)

JohnnyBolla (102737) | more than 13 years ago | (#379872)

Cell phone users drive worse than drunks, by a long shot. I want to build a mobile one and attach it to my motorcycle.

At First I Was Weary, But This *Is* A Good Idea (1)

ekrout (139379) | more than 13 years ago | (#379874)

I'm not sure about the majority of the Slashdot crowd, but I need more than my own two hands to count the number of times an annoying cellphone user has interrupted or disturbed others. For example, this technology could be well-used in such areas as concert halls, classrooms (yes, kids *do* bring cellphones to class), and maybe even certain stretches of dangerous highways in order to prevent accidents caused by drivers yapping on their phones too much to pay attention to the road.

Why not jam em? (4)

evilviper (135110) | more than 13 years ago | (#379878)

Because then you are interfering with public/private property. Just because a plane flies over your house doesn't give you the right to shoot it down for tresspassing. Think about it.

Re:its about time (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#379879)

The ringing complaint is valid, but could be easily solved if people would just use the vibrate feature on their phones. My phone is always on silent ring, and it never annoys anyone.

My real question is this: if you don't want to hear other people's conversations, why are you out in public? Where is the difference between hearing two people talk, and one person talk? Are you annoyed that you can't eavesdrop on the entire conversation?

problems? (1)

Moleman (74531) | more than 13 years ago | (#379890)

What if there were a problem on the premises if the phone lines go down? Would you want your cell phone jammed then? I'm all in favor of this I just thought I'd bring to light a hypothetical situation.

Colm Atkins

Good to see we're moving forward (3)

Grue (3391) | more than 13 years ago | (#379894)

Just because cell phones currently annoy people, doesn't mean they always will. I think ANY method of limiting communications is stupid and counter to civilization. I wholeheartedly agree that many people talk on cell phones today for the wrong reasons (status and image) but I see them as eventually becoming ubiquitous devices that will be used by almost everyone. Jammers only destroy, we want things that can create and facilitate creation here in our world.

Josh

Nice, but dangerous (2)

bjk4 (885) | more than 13 years ago | (#379896)


I'd worry about a smart thief who decides to jam a person's cell-phone just prior to mugging them.

I'd also worry about the technical support calls from customers unaware of cell phone jammers.

-B

Cell Phone Jammers (3)

atrowe (209484) | more than 13 years ago | (#379898)

Are a good idea. They're also useful for keeping the mind control rays out of your head. Much more fashionable than hats made out of aluminum foil. Keep up the good work, Canada!

this is a potentially good thing... (5)

toast0 (63707) | more than 13 years ago | (#379903)

i can see where jamming cell phone where they are horribly annoying is good... however it would be better if there was some kind of cell phone maker organization that setup somethign were you could buy a device that would make tell cell phones that they are in a 'quiet zone' and then they would not ring audibly and if their user doesn't pick up, inform the person on the other side that their use is in a 'quiet zone' and take a message...

there could potentially be override ability for actual need (ie emergency type things) somehow (*shrug* i'm not going to actually make a device, i'm just throwing out ideas :)

Legal ramifications in emergencies? (3)

Ryu2 (89645) | more than 13 years ago | (#379904)

If someone had a heart attack or something, and a cell phone jammer prevented someone else from dialing 911 (or its equivalent), could the owner of the cell phone jammer face legal liability?

Jamming is bad.. mmmkay? (1)

RAruler (11862) | more than 13 years ago | (#379910)

Granted, most use of cellphones are for personal reasons. But, say you get in a car accident, or somethings happened to your landline phone. But you can't call, because your being jammed. Something less prohibiting would be better, telling the cellphone not to use its ringer. Not as feasable, but alternatives are always good. I have a cell phone, and I usually keep it on silent mode, unless i'm at home or something.

---

911? (1)

theglassishalf (216497) | more than 13 years ago | (#379913)

I truth, I tell you, part of me really likes the idea. But, what about emergancy calls? Could the owner of a jammer be responcible for a missed call by a doctor? If you had one of these things, and someone was walking by, outside your store, and they missed a stock trade and lost $1M, would you be libable? Would the government (for issueing the license)?

However, the most important questin I have is....Where can I get one and do they have a car kit available??

-Daniel

P.S. I apologise if these issues were brought up in the article, my browser refused to open it.

P.P.S. I can't spell. Deal with it.

What about emergencies? (1)

Gandalf (787) | more than 13 years ago | (#379915)

If a property owner installs such a goodie, there should be legislation that he will provide telephone access in case of an emergency.

Sometimes a phone call from a theatre or restaurant can be life-saving. Of course most of these places have traditional phone lines available as well, but these should be easily accessible.

It would however be perfect if such a device could jam incoming signals but still allow people to make (important) phonecalls. (On the other hand, what if the doctor is in the theatre and he needs to come to the hospital ASAP because he is the only one who can... argh!)

It's about time (1)

SomeoneYouDontKnow (267893) | more than 13 years ago | (#379920)

If the summary of the article is correct (I can't say because it looks like the article is Slashdotted), I'm all for it. I have nothing against cell phones. Hell, I'm shopping for one right now. However, I do have something against the jerks who won't turn them off in places like restaurants and movie theaters, then insist on yakking away and disturbing everyone around them. It's too bad it's come to this because cell phones in places like restaurants wouldn't be so bad every now and then, if the call was really necessary, but it seems that some folks think it's cool to make everyone around them painfully aware that they're "connected". These are the same people who don't heed the signs asking them to turn off the ringers or set them to vibrate. These are also, I suspect, the same people driving along, ignoring everything around them, like the woman who smashed into a friend's new truck not long ago because she was so absorbed in her phone call that she ran a red light. IMHO, common courtesy should be voluntary, but if we need cell phone jammers to shut these boors up, so be it.

Your home, fine, but NOT public places. (2)

KFury (19522) | more than 13 years ago | (#379922)

Sure it sounds nice to guarentee no interruptions in a movie theater, and while it seems like everyone has a cellphone, some people do, in fact, need them.

Your wife (or you) go(es) into labor, and the hospital pages your doctor, only they're at a movie because labor is two weeks early and they have a baby expected during any 4 week span. They don't find out because their cellphone and pager are jammed.

Also, unless you can build a farriday cage around your house, your jamming will affect people on adjacent properties. And if you could build a farriday cage around your house, then you wouldn't need a jammer to begin with.

The deal here is the need for social rules. they're already here, and getting stronger. Now that most phones come with vibrate settings, and it's getting easier to switch between 'profiles', the problem will get better.

Add bluetooth to the mix and soon you'll have devices that know when they're entering 'quiet areas' and they'll switch to silent operation automatically while they're in the theater.

You don't want a speed governor on your car, and I don't want someone jamming cellphones. Sure it's annoying to be interrupted during a movie, and yes, I'm completely supportive of ways to prevent that, but it's obnoxious to assume that nobody has duties so important that they need to be interrupted during a meal, movie, or play, and it's closed-minded to think that there aren't more ingeneous ways to solve the problem than aggressive wholesale jamming of signals.

We're smarter than that, and we can go beyond '50s technology.

Kevin Fox
--

Public Transportation (2)

tekan (12825) | more than 13 years ago | (#379923)

I'd really like to see something like this on the bus. I can't tell you how many times I've wanted to strangle the lady two rows back that is having a loud conversation with someone about her self-actualization "techniques" and how people who don't practice such "techniques" are destined to failure and some other bullshit, or the person who is talking about their sex life in very graphic detail, or the guy who is completely in love with himself and is bullshitting some poor soul over the phone about his "excellent" career and about all the money he's making, or how about the lady that ...

My only concerns would be about the radiation from the "jammer", and maybe the civil liberties issues of blocking communication. :)

Re:At First I Was Weary, But This *Is* A Good Idea (1)

Evangelion (2145) | more than 13 years ago | (#379925)

and maybe even certain stretches of dangerous highways in order to prevent accidents caused by drivers yapping on their phones too much to pay attention to the road.


And to prevent the people who get in the accidents from calling for help?

Yeah, whatever.

--

I'd like one in my car (1)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 13 years ago | (#379926)

Too often I see people tooling along in the left lane, oblivious to the traffic trying to get around them. It would be nice to get their concentration off the phone.

It would also be nice if the CHP would do something about the SOB in the blue Ford F150 License 5K83179, who cut me off on the drive home today. I'll take this matter up with someone other than dispatch tomorrow. I'd like it if we could get some laws and enforcement of the no-deliberate jerks, though. Barring that, it would be nice to just cut their link.

--

Re:Nice, but dangerous (2)

quoll (3717) | more than 13 years ago | (#379938)

Ahhh yes, but how would they make the call? :-)

NOT funny, scary (2)

Voltage_Gate (69001) | more than 13 years ago | (#379940)

"I'm having a heart attack- call 911!"

"Sorry, it's not good etiquette here, we jam cell phone signals. You'll just have to die because we are just so offended by people talking on the phone."

Re:Nice, but dangerous (1)

themack (30148) | more than 13 years ago | (#379945)

worry about the technical support calls from customers unaware of cell phone jammers. Their cell phone is jammed... and they CALL tech support. Let's think about this one

As much as I like the idea .. (1)

kd5biv (129563) | more than 13 years ago | (#379948)

In a position paper released in November, the Mobile and Personnel Communications Committee of the RABC said, in part, "Denial of service of (especially emergency service) may have legal repercussions on the service providers, Industry Canada, the jammed provider and the public venue operator (concert hall etc.) where some perceived harm or loss has occurred, particularly in situations where lives could have been or were lost."

As much as I would enjoy seeing the obnoxious guy in the cinema get an earful of +20dB static, this could have some extremely bad spinoffs.

Say someone's having a heart attack or an anaphylactic shock episode in the theater, and their SO is trying to call 911 to get EMS to save their life. Oops -- can't do that, sorry ..

Or, say someone with a (gasp) *illegal* jammer decides to block cellphone calls, say, to facilitate a robbery. Robbery victim dials 911 and continues to hit SND-END-RCL-SND- until knocked unconscious or shot.

I could go on.

Here's a better idea: If you want to control cellphone use in your venue, don't indiscriminately block all cellphone access. Make the arena reasonably RF tight and set up microcell transceivers on the ceiling that accept emergency calls and reject all others. (Design of these things is left up to enterprising developers, but it is possible..) Presto -- no lawsuits, no interference with other services, and the best part is, when someone *does* call 911, they don't have to backtrace to the nearest tower, they know exactly where you are and can find you RFN. ;-)

Any takers?

Either this or Darwinism (2)

Fervent (178271) | more than 13 years ago | (#379950)

Well, it's going to come down to either this or Darwinism for cell phone users on the roads. Those that can't hold a conversation and drive correctly (which seems to be a majority of them) will end up falling off the road and dying. Of course, they will probably take a few innocents down with them. :(

Strangely, this is the one technology I've really avoided trying, for just this reason.

Re:Why not jam em? (2)

Kean de Lacy (92857) | more than 13 years ago | (#379952)

Sorry, but your property doesn't extend that far up. Now, if the plane landed on your front lawn, you're welcome to shoot the pilot for trespassing (assuming he survived impact).

In the case of cellphones, if that radiation is passing through your yard, then I say it's yours. It's only one step from listening in (which is perfectly legal) to stopping them. If the users really want to use their phone, they can exit the yard first.

Cheers,
KdL

Look for more to come from Canada (4)

Chuck Flynn (265247) | more than 13 years ago | (#379954)

I'm an American, but I'll be the first to admit that Canada is leading the information-technology revolution and leaving the US in the dust. Thirty years ago, parts of New Brunswick still didn't have running water. Now they're hotbeds of technological innovation.

Canada is ideal for two reasons: a small disperse population and a friendly regulatory environment. Unlike the US to the south, Canada's governments know how to spur economic and technological innovation by adopting stimulative regulations; a best-of-both-worlds approach where economic competition is suppressed in favor of great horizontal development. Monopolies become numerous, but the market is best served by maintaining control in the hands of the few where it can be best put to use. Take the Canadian health-care system, for example. The government has a monopoly on health care, but access is guaranteed to all. Perhaps the DOJ and its zealous persecution of Microsoft can learn something from this.

The American film industry is moving to Canada, as are giants in the IT industry. Fifty years ago, technology like this would've had to have been developed and deployed in the US if it were to be taken seriously. Now, it can be developed, deployed, and perfected in Canada, where it can then be exported to the rest of the world. Canada is about to replace the US as the world's largest exporter of electronic and devices and will likely supplant the US as the world's biggest superpower within a few decades.

Cellphone-jamming technology, whatever its moral and legal implications, is just another step in Canada's conquest of the twenty-first century. Expect more from Canada.

Need this in college classrooms (1)

daemonc (145175) | more than 13 years ago | (#379966)

I'm sick of these yuppie kids with their cell phones. Phone rings in the middle of the lecture, usually with some annoying song that they think is so clever. The professor pretends to ignore it, even though all 200 people in the lecture hall turn around to see who it is. Half the time the yuppie has the nerve to answer it. "Yeah? I'm in class, what are you doing? I don't know, what are you doing this weekend?..."

They deserve their brain tumors.

Use hands-free kits (1)

mystery_boy_x (322417) | more than 13 years ago | (#379968)

In Australia you can be fined for using a cell phone while you are driving, unless you are using a hands-free kit.

Given how dangerous these drivers can be, I for one think this is a smashing idea...

Re:its about time (1)

suselaptop (323319) | more than 13 years ago | (#379972)

I spent 14 years in the military my carraer field was basicaly radar jamming but the pricipales are the same you can easily uild your own personal jammer just do a little research and you will never hear a cell phone ring again

Jammer be damned (1)

jfdawes (254678) | more than 13 years ago | (#379973)

Can we spell "Faraday cage". And no, it's not Nicholas's brother.

Re:Cell Phone Jammers (2)

Bob McCown (8411) | more than 13 years ago | (#379975)

Nah, aluminum foil hats [zapatopi.net] rock for keeping the CIA out of your head..

Re:its about time (2)

Gandalf (787) | more than 13 years ago | (#379985)

if you don't want to hear other people's conversations, why are you out in public?

To see a movie? A stand up comedian? Ballet?

Besides, people tend to speak louder on the telephone and might end up in endless "yes, yes, oh no, yes" rituals for some people. Normal conversation usually is less irritating and more diverse so it falls back as background noise (in a restaurant for example).

Re:NOT funny, scary (2)

roman_mir (125474) | more than 13 years ago | (#379987)

The jamming system should be able to filter out a signal comming from a phone, and if the number dialed on the phone is one of the emergency numbers, it should let it through.

Re:its about time (1)

wcb4 (75520) | more than 13 years ago | (#379988)

Many folks who talk on cellophones seem to mysteriously think that just because the person next to them can't hear the other person on the phone that they can't be heard either. And because they are out in public, they seem to want to talk at an elevated volume. Its not the fact theat they are having a conversation, its the fact that the majority of the time, they seem to be yelling their half of the conversation apparently trying to be "heard above the background noise". Not all cell phone users are like this, I have a cell phone, and while it does not have a silent ring, I have it set to a single beep when I am in public, and I try my best to keep conversations quiet. If I think I might start talking a bit too loud, I generally excuse myself and walk outside or to a lobby for a few minutes. Again, not all cell phone users are annoying, just enough of them that I would not mind seeing cell phone jamming in restaraunts and theatres
I think....therefore I am

ah yes.. (1)

vectus (193351) | more than 13 years ago | (#379995)

*awaits a troll to cite sayings from 'South Park' as proof that Canada is an inferior nation*

I find it interesting that my government is finally doing something like this. Usually we try to preserve individual rights even if we find them morally disguisting. We have even allowed ownership of child pornography in order to do so. Although I do understand the difference between the two issues, I still find it odd that our government would pass a law like this.

Restaurants (2)

pac4854 (130343) | more than 13 years ago | (#379996)

I have begun lately when asked by restaurant hosts or hostesses my seating preference, to ask to be seated in the "no cell phone" section as opposed to the smoking or non-smoking areas. I am usually met with a blank stare.

As a smoker, I will myself refrain from my habit at restaurants out of deference to others' sensibilities. Now if only we could get the cellphone addicts to do the same.

Re:its about time (2)

eXtro (258933) | more than 13 years ago | (#380008)

My real question is this: if you don't want to hear other people's conversations, why are you out in public?
Because I'm out in public to watch a movie, or have a nice meal. There are some times when people have the right not to be disturbed by other peoples phones. I think a better question is this: If you can't exist without a phone for a couple of hours, why don't you stay home?

Which is exactly what I had to ask somebody last weekend as I was trying to see a movie with my friends. Some idiot couldn't stand to be parted from the electronic tether he calls a cellular phone and was incessantly talking on it, or it was incessantly ringing. I consider cellular phones in the wrong places (not just public places, many public places are fine) just as invasive and obnoxious as if the person behind me put their feet on the back of my chair.

I think they are already in use... (1)

wavelet (17885) | more than 13 years ago | (#380010)

... in casinos or it maybe just a happy coincidence. Whenever I've been to Las Vegas, magically my cell phone doesn't work. It isn't the lack of signal. Not only does my phone read 4 signal bars, but I've also put it into field test mode and the signal is fine.

Much like anything else in Las Vegas anything that takes you away from feeding money into the slot machines is a bad thing. The lack of watches, direct sunlight, or communication via cell phone is good for the casino.

More on topic, I personally would love to see jammers in use in things like churches, restaurants, movies, and hospitals. I think we as a society have become very rude when it comes to cell phone usage. Call waiting, caller ID and caller ID waiting are bad enough when you have to choose who's more important, the person you're talking to or the person calling. Cell phones take that to the next rudeness level.

I stopped taking phone calls while I'm out to dinner because I think it is disrespectful towards the person I'm having dinner with.

It would be nice though if there were signs alerting you to jammer use so that you'd know if you've walked into a cellular free zone or not.

Would be cool... (1)

SpanishInquisition (127269) | more than 13 years ago | (#380011)

If the jammer would make the cell phone explode whenever it tries to ring. That would have all sorts of practical joke applications (plus it might save us from a couple of brain cancers)
--

Re:its about time (2)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 13 years ago | (#380013)

but of course, here in the US, someone will consider it your right to have your cell phone ring anywhere and anytime you want.

Unfortunately so, the first amendment has been virtually twisted into a pretzel to protect the damndest things. Foolish me, I thought it was there to protect the right of citizens to criticize their government, but it seems to protect the right of a person to yak away on a cell phone, while placing others in harm's way or, at the least, distraction. While I've been mildly amused at the attempt to protect DeCSS by wrapping it in the first amendment, the right to free speech is a serious matter, which IMHO does not extend to the right to have a phone or pager go off in a theatre. That's choice, the abuser chose to go into the restaurant, theatre or drive while talking. Personally, I have voice mail and use it. You want to talk to me, you will on my terms and they are when I'm not in a restaurant, theatre, and especially while driving.

I suppose it would be a further twist to say my right to free speech is limited by any law which bars my making a political statement by running a cell phone jammer.

Probably, though, a matter of my rights end where the other's rights begin, and visa versa.

--

Re:NOT funny, scary (2)

Christopher Thomas (11717) | more than 13 years ago | (#380015)

The jamming system should be able to filter out a signal comming from a phone, and if the number dialed on the phone is one of the emergency numbers, it should let it through.

That's not how jammers work, unfortunately. Jammers just produce enough radio noise in the frequency band used by the jammed devices to prevent them from working. You either block everything or you block nothing.

A 911 cell phone call looks exactly like any other call to someone snooping radio signals. There's no way that a jammer, no matter how smart, could tell the difference.

Re:Blanket the freeways with them too! (1)

DNAspark99 (218197) | more than 13 years ago | (#380016)

Yes! I ride a gsxr and I don't know how many stupid cagers almost kill me daily because they're 'on the phone'....

--

I'm Canadian, but... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#380017)

you're all wrong.

Monopolies become numerous, but the market is best served by maintaining control in the hands of the few where it can be best put to use. Take the Canadian health-care system, for example. The government has a monopoly on health care, but access is guaranteed to all.

It seems every other day I see a front-page story about how heart patients die on the waiting list for surgery, or how a woman in the hospital was ignored by nurses while she gave birth (she was screaming for help, and they just left her), or how yet another study has shown our health care system is broken. It's available to everyone, but it sucks. Effective, equitable. Choose one.

The American film industry is moving to Canada, as are giants in the IT industry. Fifty years ago, technology like this would've had to have been developed and deployed in the US if it were to be taken seriously.

I guess you haven't seen Nortel's stock recently or heard about the 11,000 people who are getting laid off there... By the way, the telephone was invented by a Canadian--Alexander Graham Bell (yes, the Bell in Bell Telephone)--so it's not like we're new at this.

The grass is always greener...

Something similar in use in San Francisco (2)

ciurana (2603) | more than 13 years ago | (#380018)

Some of my friends occasionally invited my girlfriend and me to gatherings at the San Francisco Yacht Club and one of the better golf clubs in the peninsula. My girlfriend discovered that mobile phones don't work inside the club houses at either location. They have a sign where they politely ask people to turn off their cell phones, and obviously have something blocking the signal going in or out of the building.

I don't believe, though, that either place is using active jammers. I think they use some kind of passive technology, such as RF reflective material covering the walls and roof of the building. The RF silence, however, is total. Cell phones don't light up until you are well outside the club house, where you won't disturb others.

Personally I think this is a good idea. It's always annoying having to deal with someone with a cell phone at the next table in a restaurant or during a movie or (worse!) during a play or ballet. As my brother says: "If you're so important that you can't miss a call, you usually have a chauffer waiting for you outside answering the phone in your limo." I haven't personally carried a mobile phone since 1997 (I was addicted to them before), and realized that there is no call so important that it can't wait. The best strategy for closing important business is good planning, not your ability to answer a phone 24 hours a day.

Cheers!

E

Re:its about time (3)

outlier (64928) | more than 13 years ago | (#380020)

people tend to speak louder on the telephone

This irks me. Cell phones typically don't give the user appropriate auditory feedback. On a regular phone, you can hear yourself through the phone, on a cell phone you can't. I'm not sure why this design decision was made[1]. The result is that people can't hear themselves through one ear and talk louder to compensate.

Providing the traditional feedback that a landline phone offers would undoubtedly reduce the volume that cell phone users spoke at.

I get very annoyed by people using cell phones while driving or in relatively quiet public places, but there are concerns. Imagine a doctor on call going to a movie with his cell phone, when an emergency call doesn't make it through.

From what I've read though (a NY Times article, I think), beepers aren't affected by cell jammers.

I've also heard that you can put metal mesh in walls and ceilings to prevent most cell signals.

[1] Possible reasons:

  • battery power
  • it may provide false feedback when there's a bad connection
  • some kind of half/full duplex mismatch problems
  • didn't consider it

Re:its about time (1)

puck01 (207782) | more than 13 years ago | (#380021)

I hate rude cell phone users as much as anyone else. I can't stand it when people in lectures have the audacity to leave them on ring mode and then proceed to have conversations in class. It's unbelievable. Same can be said for movies and resturants, but I don't think jamming is the answer. Cell phones are so new in mainstream society that 'rules' of politeness perhaps need sometime to develop. There are alternatives, put up signs encouraging them to be put on 'buzz' mode, and requiring converstations to be held in other areas. As a future doctor, I would hate to find out I could not be reached because I was unknowly withing the range of a cell phone jammer. The same goes for anyone else that needs to be availble in emergencies or for immediate consultation. At the very least, if something like this would be allowed, there needs to be a requirment that everyone in an area being jammed is made well aware of that fact. puck

Re:As much as I like the idea .. (1)

neothdoeuni (323339) | more than 13 years ago | (#380022)

Make the arena reasonably RF tight and set up microcell transceivers on the ceiling that accept emergency calls and reject all others

Ever seen a Faraday cage? Want one at your place? Bwahahaha

What I assumed they were talking about is "silent cells" - a "fake" cellphone node that you install locally that captures any cellphone close enough and does not do anything eles. Your phone thinks it's connected to the network, your cell knows otherwise. Jamming (esp CDMA) would be tricky and loud (read lots-o-watts)

That sort of thing can be low power and not obtrusive, and you could possibly even make one that was battery powered and portable. The problem of accepting calls to emergency services is, IMO, a dead herring. Require users to tell people about the dead zone and leave it at that. Anyone stupid enough to forget is SOL.

With GSM etc you can even display the location as "jammed" or "silenced".

Re:Sounds good to me... (1)

Knobby (71829) | more than 13 years ago | (#380023)

I defended my PhD thesis proposal yesterday, and two minutes after I finished my presentation, my advisor's phone rang.. If it had gone off during my talk I probably would've thrown him through the third floor window!!!

Re:Your home, fine, but NOT public places. (2)

Bert Peers (120166) | more than 13 years ago | (#380024)

Sure it sounds nice to guarentee no interruptions in a movie theater, and while it seems like everyone has a cellphone, some people do, in fact, need them.
Your wife (or you) go(es) into labor, and the hospital pages your doctor, only they're at a movie because labor is two weeks early and they have a baby expected during any 4 week span. They don't find out because their cellphone and pager are jammed.

Hm, I don't think this holds much ground. The jammer only makes "turning the volume down" mandatory, since the phone basically stops working -- but you were already supposed to turn the volume down, anyway, when going to a movie. I agree that for a doctor at a restaurant this would be a borderline case, and jamming probably inappropriate, but for a movie, the doctor isn't supposed to be there with a live phone in the first place, so jam away. In other words, anybody who needs to be reachable and has a bit of courtesy shouldn't show up at movies (or funerals or whatever) with a live phone in the first place.

Where these are really needed. (1)

xinit (6477) | more than 13 years ago | (#380036)

I want one of these in my car. Think of the fun you can have paralleling that big Ford SUV and watching the bewildered look on the driver's face as he careens out of control into a lamp post trying to figure out what's wrong with his phone.

Re:Legal ramifications in emergencies? (1)

astrosmash (3561) | more than 13 years ago | (#380038)

If someone had a heart attack or something, and a cell phone jammer prevented someone else from dialing 911 (or its equivalent), could the owner of the cell phone jammer face legal liability?

I doubt it. I think it's pretty safe to assume that every "jamming" establishment would have a land line phone for use in such emergencies, so I don't think it would ever come up.


Re:Legal ramifications in emergencies? (2)

tokengeekgrrl (105602) | more than 13 years ago | (#380040)

No, they would most likely not be liable. In most states in the US, anyone who calls 911 or performs any other lifesaving measure during an emergency that does not permit them the ability to obtain the express consent of the person they are trying to help is usually covered by what's called the good samaritan clause [bergen.com] .

- tokengeekgrrl

Some simple thoughts.. (2)

LauraLolly (229637) | more than 13 years ago | (#380042)

Cell phones are already on some very crowded wireless bands. Anyone who has been in an ICU recently has probably seen the "No Cell Phones, Please" sign. The phones interfere with one of the wireless monitoring schemes out there. Presumably any jammer would do the same...

What would be done so that outgoing cell calls can be sent in an emergency? I have worked as a theater (as opposed to cinema) usher where a 911 call during a heart attack saved a precious 35 seconds.

Any jammer would need to be regulated for radius of jamming; this becomes especially important for those of us who have just given up on landlines, and have paid for a "no fees" monthly long-distance/surfing/local/no-roaming package of minutes.

Last I heard, coverage and usage in U.S. was not nearly as bad as Israel, where members of Knesset take calls while in session.

Re:Look for more to come from Canada (2)

SpinyNorman (33776) | more than 13 years ago | (#380043)

I've got to say that having made quite a few visits to Canada, and the more I hear about it, the more it seems like a VERY cool country.

OTOH, the more I hear about Australia - a country I've always had a soft spot for - the more the regulators there sound like a bunch of Nazis, and the less interested I become in ever going there for more than a vacation.

The Canucks are all right, even if they're a bunch of hosers!

Re:its about time (2)

grammar nazi (197303) | more than 13 years ago | (#380044)

I spent 14 years in the military my carraer field was basicaly radar jamming but the pricipales are the same you can easily uild your own personal jammer just do a little research and you will never hear a cell phone ring again
...That just goes to show... You can teach a military man to jam radars, but you can't teach him to form coherent sentences.

Shame on you suselaptop for your grammar!

Can anyone comment on my opinion of why the rest of the world seems to be ahead of the USA in the area of mobile phones? Here's my reason: The USA has years of infrastructure behind the conventional telephone system. Basically, the phones are so damn good, that we didn't need to 'take to the airwaves' so soon. A friend told me this, but I don't know if I believe him. Either way, our mobile phone technology is probably a full year behind the rest of the world (Iraq included)!

FIRE! (1)

xinit (6477) | more than 13 years ago | (#380045)

And yelling "FIRE!" in a crowded theatre being outlawed is crushing your right to free speech, as is the ability to libel people. Perhaps we all need to think a bit more before we post.

Re:Need this in college classrooms (1)

SomeoneYouDontKnow (267893) | more than 13 years ago | (#380046)

When I was teaching, I never had this happen, but if I had, I would have thrown the student out of the room immediately and failed them on any assignments given after they left. That ought to be the standard response. And for anyone who says a professor can't do that, if it's in the sylabus or given in some other form of prior notice, they most certainly can.

Re:this is a potentially good thing... (3)

Webmonger (24302) | more than 13 years ago | (#380047)

Already being invented
http://www.bluelinx.com/products.htm

Re:Sucks to be you, then. (1)

KFury (19522) | more than 13 years ago | (#380048)

God, how do you think people have survived the last 3 million years before cell phones? Your level of self-absorbtion reaches signal 11 proportions.

And you don't think society's changed in the last 3 million years, or even just the last 10? The way people work has changed because of the freedom afforded by telephones, pages, and cellphones. To ignore that in justifying blocking them is to necessitate returning to work habits and limitations in effect in the days before telecommuting, email, wired transfer of information, and even the written word.

Get your head out of your ass, Coward. You're missing your wake-up call.

Kevin Fox
--

Re:its about time (2)

Rudeboy777 (214749) | more than 13 years ago | (#380049)

Foolish me, I thought it was there to protect the right of citizens to criticize their government, but it seems to protect the right of a person to yak away on a cell phone

This annoys you too, huh? Unfortunately we can't campaign for DeCSS and Napster and not also make allowances for spammers, pedophiles and cell-phone scum. Irony sucks.

IANAL, but I suppose they could get away with it if there are signs posted in movie theatres and restaurants stating that if you enter you agree to abide by their "no cellphone" policy (oh dammit, now I have to defend fascist EULA's too :-P Curse this foul beast).

good/bad (2)

thistledown's name (254509) | more than 13 years ago | (#380050)

ok here goes.

First off, Canada is only talking about this right now, not actually doing anything. Any canadians that are reading this might want to tell Industry Canada as well as posting here. Now on to the arguments for and against.

Good things:

Keep cell phones off in certain places. Well, ok, but how? A field effect? Last time I checked, most buildings are not hemispherical so the field would probably extend into other buildings as well. These buildings might actually want their cell phones to work, so this might be a problem. A device installed on the phones themselves? This might work very well, including the problem of allowing select users (emergency services). The only problem with this is that people will probably just find a way to turn off the device or just buy a cell phone from another country. I don't know that much about cell phones, anybody know of another idea?

The bad:

Freedom of speech impared. I don't know what the freedom of speech laws in Canada are, but here in the US you are (normally) allowed to say what you want. where you want, to whoever you want. I don't know if this would be considered limiting this or not.

Emergency Services. This is one of the biggest arguments against the ban based on the site listed. Because emergency services use some of the same frequency band that cell phones use, devices that block one would hinder the other. One way to change this would be to change the emergency services frequency, but this would be expensive, time consuming and difficult. A better sollution could be to make it so that whatever device they make sends a simple radio signal to all the phones in range, which have another device in them, which turns off the phones. The emergency equipment would not have this device, so it would not be effected.

And before you say that this would only create a black market for cell phones, think about this: All cell phones still have to have some form of service provider. Just order the service providers to change their systems so that the phones will only work if the device is installed in them and working. As a bonus for PR, have existing cell phone users come in to some servicing station to have it installed at the government's expence (a small extra chip shouldn't be that expensive).

I don't know if this would work, but it was the best I could come up with right now.

Re:Nice, but dangerous (1)

darkonc (47285) | more than 13 years ago | (#380052)

It would definately result in an upsurge of phonebooth sales -- especially to cellphone manufacturers.

Besides pre-mugging blocking, I'm thinking about the problem of jammer bleed. I can just imagine walking/driving past the plaza 6 theatre while trying to talk a customer through a problem when .....

BZZZZZT!
Hello? Hello?
HSSSSSSSK
Damn!
--

Re:Nice, but dangerous (2)

jmv (93421) | more than 13 years ago | (#380064)

I'd worry about a smart thief who decides to jam a person's cell-phone just prior to mugging them.

Sure, no thief would use a jammer if jammers are illegal... You could be fined for using a jammer while committing a crime :-)

Re:Yippie!! (2)

KFury (19522) | more than 13 years ago | (#380065)

-Starbucks

Considering Starbucks is installing complimentary 802.11 wireless data networks for their patrons, I'm guessing cellphone jamming isn't on their to-do list...

Kevin Fox
--

links? (1)

gimpboy (34912) | more than 13 years ago | (#380067)

hey. could you hit me with some links. i would love this.

use LaTeX? want an online reference manager that

Re:Nice Troll! (1)

atrowe (209484) | more than 13 years ago | (#380069)

I'm sorry, what?

Look up the definition of a troll, before you go accusing people of trolling. A troll is a post that is intended to be overly contraversial or inflamatory in order to garner a large number of replies. My post was not a troll.

A troll would be something along the lines of:

It disgusts me that people would actually want to ban or restrict cell phone usage. Cellular phones were the single greatest inventions of the 20th century, and have done countless good for the advancement of our society as a whole. Cellular phones allow people to remain in constant contact with their loved ones and business associates while continuing to enjoy everyday leisure activities such as watching a movie, driving, or eating dinner in a restaurant. I think we should allow, nay, encourage all forms of public cell phone usage.

The "all your base" crap is most definitely not trolling.

YEAH!!! (1)

Alpha Zulu (253293) | more than 13 years ago | (#380070)

You can bet I'll be getting on right quick. It'll be nice to NOT hear cell phones during lecture, and NOT during exams...oh, and all those business students around campus...oh the joy I could have MUHAHAHAHAHAA

Re:Nice, but dangerous (2)

tap (18562) | more than 13 years ago | (#380071)

Did you know it's rude to use a cell phone while being mugged? Muggers are on a busy schedule, they don't have time to sit around while you yak away. I bet if you tried to use your cell while being mugged, the mugger would be so offended they would just TAKE YOUR DAMN PHONE!

I don't have a cell phone, and I'm afraid to go outside! What if I have a heart attack, or get mugged, or there is a 6.8 earthquake? Oh wait, no ones cell phone worked after the earthquake.. I wonder how we survived in the dark ages before cell phones? I'll have to ask my parents if they still have their smoke-signal blanket, from the primitive cell-less days of 1980s.

What I would like to see... (1)

NonSequor (230139) | more than 13 years ago | (#380072)

A device that listens for cell-phones that play music and, upon hearing one, sends a little robot to electrocute whomever owns it.


"Homo sum: humani nil a me alienum puto"
(I am a man: nothing human is alien to me)

Make it optional, not mandatory (5)

yali (209015) | more than 13 years ago | (#380073)

it would be better if there was some kind of cell phone maker organization that setup somethign were you could buy a device that would make tell cell phones that they are in a 'quiet zone'

You mean something like this [bluelinx.com] ?

In my opinion, it's much better if cell-phone jamming is optional, rather than accomplished by brute force. What if the babysitter is trying to tell me there's been an emergency at home, and my phone doesn't even vibrate?

Re:Yippie!! (3)

stain ain (151381) | more than 13 years ago | (#380074)

I find this jamming quite unacceptable.
I want my telephone, I need my telephone and I have it ALWAYS ON unless I need to do some maintenance, just like a Linux box, you know.
And despite beeing always on, it has never ringed on a movie theater, nor in a classroom nor in a restaurant; I have some education and in some places I have it in silent mode, if the call is important, I answer if I can or move to a place where I can talk freely without annoying people, if not, the call gets registered and I callback later.
And I now that there's more people doing like me, don't harm us because of some miseducated; at the end, if they cannot use the phone on the classroom they will talk out loud to other classmates annoying you at the same level with different methods.

Bluetooth to the rescue (1)

sideshow (99249) | more than 13 years ago | (#380075)

What if phones came with bluetooth? Then the doors of the theatre could tell the phones to turn on silent mode as it went bye.

Cell phone user celebrates... (3)

LauraLolly (229637) | more than 13 years ago | (#380076)

All that's really needed is good manners and consideration of others. Unfortunately, many people with cell phones suddenly become very important in their own eyes, or at least more important that other people deserving of consideration. If everyone followed the four simple rules of cell phone courtesy, we wouldn't need regulation or legislation or jammers. Many might consider the following four rules as infringing on their right to be jerks whenever they wish:

  1. Take not calls in class, theater, movie, concert, library, nor any other place where speaking in an ordinary voice would be considered disruptive.
  2. If thee must take calls, set the phone to vibrate, and excuse thyself before taking the call. If the caller has hung up, use thou thy messaging, and return the call.
  3. Take not calls while driving, operating a chainsaw, brushing thy child's teeth, playing an accordian, nor any other activity where concentration and motor coordination are needed.
  4. If a call is paramount, move thou to a quiet place, rather than asking all around thee to quiet. If the reception is bad, assume not that it is the other end, but look thou at the weather, or at thy own degrading battery before shouting. Shouts will not travel better to the cell tower than whispers.
If people followed these rules, then jammers would not be necessary. I teach college classes; my students sometimes need cell phones on to keep track of family or situations at work. They need to take these calls, and can jolly well excuse themselves when the calls come in. If jammers were turned on, I expect enrollment in these classes would drop...

Re:Yippie!! (2)

OmegaDan (101255) | more than 13 years ago | (#380077)

Umm, I've been in starbucks atleast once when lives could have been lost if peoples cell phones were jammed -> When it was robbed. You can't go jamming cell phones so no one interrupts your latte.

This is a tech solution to a social problem. Social problems need social solutions. Everytime I'm in class and some guys phone rings during class I shout "FAG!" [its always a horrible ring to, like the scooby doo theme or the theme to rocky] ... the entire class chuckles, and guess what? A Lot less cell phones are ringing in Math 46 :)

Re:Your home, fine, but NOT public places. (2)

KFury (19522) | more than 13 years ago | (#380078)

Hm, I don't think this holds much ground. The jammer only makes "turning the volume down" mandatory, since the phone basically stops working -- but you were already supposed to turn the volume down, anyway, when going to a movie. I agree that for a doctor at a restaurant this would be a borderline case, and jamming probably inappropriate, but for a movie, the doctor isn't supposed to be there with a live phone in the first place, so jam away. In other words, anybody who needs to be reachable and has a bit of courtesy shouldn't show up at movies (or funerals or whatever) with a live phone in the first place.

Umm:
  • The jammer doesn't turn down the volume on a phone, it stops a call from getting through at all.
  • A 'live phone' can be set to vibrate so the person can quietly get up, leave the theater, and answer the phone. This would enable someone with a 'live phone' to coexist with others in peace. Millions do it every day.
  • In regards to your comment that "anyone who needs to be reachable and has a bit of courtesy shouldn't show up at movies (or funerals or whatever) with a live phone in the first place." there are many people who, because of their job, need to be reachable at all times, and not simply for selfish reasons (doctors being the most salient example). They therefore can never go to movies?
  • Did you misunderstand the 'set to vibrate' concept, or am I missing your point?
Thanks,

Kevin Fox
--

Re:Either this or Darwinism (2)

Voltage_Gate (69001) | more than 13 years ago | (#380079)

I've noticed I do have a hard time talking on the phone and driving, but it's no different from talking to a passenger. As for losing a little reflex time because you're holding the phone, just compare that to holding a cigarette or holding your french fries from the drive-thru. As for pulling over to use your phone, that can be even more dangerous in heavy traffic, or if you're in a bad neighborhood.

company in charlotte making bluetooth node (1)

mlesesky (81453) | more than 13 years ago | (#380101)

that does something like this. except this node will be smart and if you accept the signal, just mute your phone, or turn it to quiet ring.

Re:Make it optional, not mandatory (1)

toast0 (63707) | more than 13 years ago | (#380104)

yes that would work :)

with options such as that, flat out jamming seems incredibly stupid and graceless

(thank you for linking that btw)

Re:this is a potentially good thing... (3)

zaius (147422) | more than 13 years ago | (#380106)

I can see how a 'quiet zone' feature on cell phones could be a good thing, but brute-force jamming them is probably not a good idea.

Let me relate what that would be like for radio waves: you don't want cars driving through your front yard so you encase your yard in a solid block of cement. It's just a bad idea. (Now sprinkling nails in the grass is different...)

A far nicer(nastier) solution (2)

wowbagger (69688) | more than 13 years ago | (#380107)

A far nicer (or nastier, depending upon your point of view) would be to set up a "microcell" site: a very low power, short range and limited cell site. Cell phones will lock onto the microcell as it has the best signal, and will go into roaming mode. You can then allow incoming calls, but limit the duration to 30 seconds. You can also block outgoing calls, save those to 911.

Now for the nasty bit: You can also charge the begeezus out of anybody dumb enough to use the system. Hit a few people with a $50 bill for yakking during a movie and they will shut up....

Man on screen: "I love sunsets...."
Woman on screen: "Are you going to talk through the movie?"
Audience: "OF FUCKING COURSE! THIS IS ROCKY HORROR!"

Have they lost their minds!!!!! (2)

the_other_one (178565) | more than 13 years ago | (#380110)

This is insane. How is a restaraunt owner going to stop the jamming signal at the door and walls of his premises. The guy next door with a cell phone store may not be pleased. If I'm on my cell phone calling my stock broker and my cell phone cuts out before he hears my frantic order to SELL VA Linux can I sue the restaraunteur for my losses? If I'm running from a georgous blond woman that want's to rape me and my 911 call doesn't go through ...hmmm I might be able to live with that one. However, most women will be much more worried.

The only use for a jammer that I could justify is on stretches of the 400 series highways that are monitored by the COMPASS system. [gov.on.ca] The RESCU cameras reduce the need for 911 calls and the reduction of idiots on the phone will save lives.

What we need is idiocy jamming technology (1)

SmokeSerpent (106200) | more than 13 years ago | (#380112)

Like, the lady at the counter at the pizza place carrying on a conversation on her cell phone the whole time the poor waitperson is trying to take her order and whatnot. The problem isn't her cellphone, its her defective brain.

Before we Jam... (1)

rjamestaylor (117847) | more than 13 years ago | (#380113)

Could we wait until we can actually have reliable reception before making the dead zones? Please?

As to irritating cell-phoners...we need to expand the smoking-section rules to include all mouth-oriented vices that encroach on the rights of innocent bystanders.

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