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Wi-Fi Illness Claim Doesn't Impress New Mexico Court

timothy posted about 2 years ago | from the show-me-the-blind-test dept.

The Courts 217

McGruber writes "Arthur Firstenberg, the Santa Fe, New Mexico man who sued his neighbors, claiming their Wi-Fi made him sick, has lost what might have been his final round in court. According to the Santa Fe New Mexican, state District Judge Sarah Singleton ruled that no scientific study has yet proved that electromagnetic stimulus adversely impacts personal health. While he lost the lawsuit, he did score a victory: the neighbors he sued have moved out of Santa Fe."

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217 comments

yay (4, Funny)

MickyTheIdiot (1032226) | about 2 years ago | (#41398971)

Basic sanity wins once in a while. Maybe one of every 50 cases.

Re:yay (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41399237)

The case was won for the wrong reason though. Why would hospitals worry about the dose of X-rays they give you if "no scientific study has yet proved that electromagnetic stimulus adversely impacts personal health"?

Re:yay (4, Informative)

NatasRevol (731260) | about 2 years ago | (#41399289)

That statement, as is, is obviously not true. However, I believe that's an editor's words, not the judges words.

From FTA, the judge said:
"reliable studies, including one from the World Health Organization, “have failed to provide clear support for a causal relationship between electromagnetic fields and complaints of EMS"."

Re:yay (4, Insightful)

LordLimecat (1103839) | about 2 years ago | (#41399349)

We are constantly bombarded with radiation across the EM spectrum, from visible light to infra red (which we, ourselves, emit) to ultraviolet to radio. I think its fair for the judge to say "show me proof that we're all slowly getting cancer from radio waves".

Re:yay (5, Informative)

mcgrew (92797) | about 2 years ago | (#41399739)

Why would hospitals worry about the dose of X-rays they give you if "no scientific study has yet proved that electromagnetic stimulus adversely impacts personal health"?

Because the danger from X-rays isn't that they're electromagnetic, it's because the radiation is ionizing. Normal radio waves aren't.

Re:yay (-1, Offtopic)

jythie (914043) | about 2 years ago | (#41400535)

That is like saying poisons are not poisonous because they are chemicals, but because they chemically interact.

Re:yay (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41400651)

This is the dumbest comment I've read all week

Re:yay (5, Funny)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about 2 years ago | (#41400905)

This is the dumbest comment I've read all week

You must be new here.

Re:yay (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41400805)

Is your apple also an orange?

Re:yay (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41401375)

It's more like saying, "Just because some chemicals are dangerous doesn't mean all chemicals are dangerous." Water is a chemical, after all. I guarantee that ingesting 1 liter of water will have a much different effect than ingesting a 10M solution of NaOH, despite the fact that they're both chemicals.

Re:yay (4, Insightful)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about 2 years ago | (#41401401)

That is like saying poisons are not poisonous because they are chemicals, but because they chemically interact.

Which is completely true and a great point to make.

Re:yay (5, Insightful)

Shoten (260439) | about 2 years ago | (#41401595)

Which is actually correct. What makes a poison poisonous isn't the inherent nature of being a chemical; it is the interaction that it has with an organism's chemistry. That's why chocolate is safe for humans, and poison to dogs. It's the same component (theobromine) in chocolate that stimulates humans and poisons dogs; the nature of that chemical interaction is what is different, and thus makes all the different.

In this case, however, there's a difference in types of electromagnetic stimulus. X-rays are nothing like radio signals emanated from consumer electronics. Not at all similar. So, what mcgrew was really saying was more like "that's a whole other kind of chemical than the one that the OP is talking about. Just because warfarin is lethal at relatively small doses doesn't mean that table salt is, even though they are both technically chemicals."

Re:yay (2)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41399899)

The wavelength is much smaller for x-rays and gamma rays, allowing it to penetrate deeply (sounds like fun!) and disrupt atoms. In comparison, RF and microwave EMF is easily blocked. That metal grill on the front of your microwave oven does just that.

The only danger with RF and/or microwave EMF is being in close proximity to a high-powered source. RF/microwave is safely blocked by skin, but the energy has to go somewhere, so it becomes heat. This is how a microwave oven works. But wi-fi and cell phones are so low power that it's ridiculous to worry.

If you still think EMF is worth worrying about, then you should also avoid visible light. After all, visible light lasers can be used to cut flesh.

Re:yay (2)

RobertLTux (260313) | about 2 years ago | (#41400043)

in the same fashion that folks do not worry about somebody throwing a pencil tip at you and somebody SHOOTING you

its all about the doseage

Re:yay (1)

coyote_oww (749758) | about 2 years ago | (#41401929)

Also, graphite vs lead. But your point still stands, quantity matters.

3 cheers for Judge Singleton (4, Funny)

gestalt_n_pepper (991155) | about 2 years ago | (#41398991)

Sanity. We haz it.

How much you wanna bet... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41398995)

that since the neighbors are gone, his symptoms will go away. Nevermind that his new neighbors also use Wi-Fi.

Re:How much you wanna bet... (4, Interesting)

firex726 (1188453) | about 2 years ago | (#41399051)

If he actually did feel any symptoms they would probably just psychosomatic.

TBH I would not be surprised if there was some feud between them and he just went full retard. Someone who sues because of WiFi probably is not entirely there to begin with.

Wasn't there also some public school district that was suffering legal trouble from the same claims?

Re:How much you wanna bet... (4, Funny)

Talderas (1212466) | about 2 years ago | (#41399541)

TBH I would not be surprised if there was some feud between them and he just went full retard.

You never go full retard.

Re:How much you wanna bet... (2)

firex726 (1188453) | about 2 years ago | (#41400355)

Well how's he going to know that if he has no wifi?
lol

Re:How much you wanna bet... (2)

jythie (914043) | about 2 years ago | (#41400557)

Actually, there is a pretty sizable alt-med community that believe EM from modern electronics make us sick because the energy in their body is going a different direction or something. In the US they pay for (what they think) are shielded walls and stuff.

Re:How much you wanna bet... (4, Interesting)

firex726 (1188453) | about 2 years ago | (#41400659)

There is also a sizable population of mental patients who think they are Joan or Ark or Napoleon.
Good thing physics does not care how many people believe in something.

How do they account for background radiation, or all the other various EM radiation we're exposed to every day?
Do they live in some kind of 100% perfect Faraday cage that blocks all forms of radiation; because I know some physicists that would love to get their hands on a building material that could do that.

Re:How much you wanna bet... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41401169)

They also wear aluminum foil hats and surgical masks, and have jumpsuits made of bubble wrap.

Re:How much you wanna bet... (5, Informative)

The Archon V2.0 (782634) | about 2 years ago | (#41401573)

TBH I would not be surprised if there was some feud between them and he just went full retard.

Nah, he was full retard from day one. http://articles.latimes.com/2010/mar/28/nation/la-na-hometown-santa-fe28-2010mar28 [latimes.com]

My favorite parts: "waves of nausea, vertigo, body aches, dizziness, heart arrhythmia and insomnia returned -- all, he says, because she was using an iPhone, a laptop computer, a wireless router and dimmer switches." To stress this: he gets that sick from DIMMER SWITCHES 30 FEET AWAY. And it would have to be a damn fantastic dimmer to have wi-fi.

And: "Firstenberg said he was staying with friends and occasionally sleeping in his car." A dimmer switch in a house about 30 feet from his makes him sick, but he can drive (I assume) and sleep in a car about a yard from an internal combustion engine, alternator, and a lead acid battery.

Wasn't there also some public school district that was suffering legal trouble from the same claims?

You were probably thinking of: http://www.oregonlive.com/portland/index.ssf/2012/07/wi-fi_lawsuit_against_portland.html [oregonlive.com]

Or maybe: http://www.wired.com/science/discoveries/news/2003/10/60769 [wired.com]

But there's been a LOT of places suffering legal trouble: http://www.smdp.com/resident-files-1-7b-claim-with-city-hall/ [smdp.com]

If you want to find more, look up Magda Havas. She's making a nice profit being an "expert" on how Wifi is killing you and UR BABIEZZZZZ. Then there's Barrie Trower. I haven't heard much about him except that he adds some conspiracy theory to the mix and meets interesting people like the king of Botswana (the country is a republic).

Re:How much you wanna bet... (2)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41399485)

yes, exactly. I remember an article from about a year ago (too lazy to go find it, but it was covered here on slashdot) where a company put up a new cell tower and immediately began getting these "it made me sick" complaints. However the tower had not been powered up yet. So, it is a simple case of (choose one or more) psychosomatic issue, or fakers wanting money, or people are actually allergic to metals or paints in towers and not the RF.

Re:How much you wanna bet... (2)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41400945)

In the city where I live, a city-wide wireless network was set to be opened in the autumn a few years ago. After the opening "ceremony", a bunch of people started complaining about various diffuse pains and tiredness. What they didn't know, was that the wireless network had been on for more than half a year for testing the infrastructure. There was no doubt in these peoples minds that the problem was caused by the wireless network, and they demanded it switched off.
Morons.

Eat popcorn! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41399001)

Well, he can always start eating lots of microwave popcorn [torontosun.com] and try it that way. $7.2 million isn't bad, is it?

Re:Eat popcorn! (5, Informative)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 2 years ago | (#41399473)

Well, he can always start eating lots of microwave popcorn [torontosun.com] and try it that way. $7.2 million isn't bad, is it?

"Popcorn lung" makes it sound funny; but that one is actually a pretty ugly story(at least for the production workers and some of the QA guys at the plants, this guy must have really been a big fan to inhale that much). Let's just say that "constrictive bronchiolitis obliterans" is almost as much fun as it sounds like it would be. A much rarer disease; but the macro-scale symptoms are pretty similar to emphysema.

The matter first came to broader attention when NIOSH looked into a cluster of occurrences of this(usually quite uncommon) condition at a microwave popcorn plant [cdc.gov] . As it turns out, diacetyl, the usual artificial butter flavoring component, causes a delightful progressive, irreversible, destruction of lung capacity(pretty much what 'bronchiolitis obliterans' sounds like it does, it does.) The most severe cases require permanent supplemental oxygen or lung transplants to survive. Less severe cases experience ongoing shortness of breath and respiratory difficulties(whether only under exertion, or even when idle depends on the severity of the case).

As usual with these cases, the story of the discovery is littered with OSHA dragging its feet, popcorn producers skipping cheap protective measures like extractor fans to keep exposure down(25k to install fans, or slow death for the workers in the mixing room... Hmm, which is better for shareholder value?), and similar depressing anecdotes. Since consumer exposure is much, much lower than flavor-mixing exposure, the FDA has twiddled its thumbs about any questions of reconsidering the present regulatory status of 'safe' give to diacetyl as a food ingredient; but some are a bit concerned...

Way of the world (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41399031)

And this just goes to show you... no matter how wrong you are, as long as you're a big enough asshole, you'll at least get most of your way.

The only reason they say 'nice guys finish last' is because they get last by default, since nice guys simply aren't allowed to finish. Not when there's a sea of assholes just waiting to step on their back to get slightly further ahead.

Re:Way of the world (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41399159)

Dude. Don't jump, okay?

Re:Way of the world (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41400893)

No worries, not suicidal, just pessimistic. Or more accurately, realistic.

Re:Way of the world (4, Funny)

thePowerOfGrayskull (905905) | about 2 years ago | (#41399333)

Not when there's a sea of assholes just waiting to step on their back

Now there's a fine visual for you.

Re:Way of the world (5, Funny)

Immerman (2627577) | about 2 years ago | (#41399939)

A corporation is like a tree full of monkeys - when those at the top look down they see a tree full of smiling faces, but when those at the bottom look up all they see is a bunch of assholes.

Re:Way of the world (1)

Baloroth (2370816) | about 2 years ago | (#41399503)

And this just goes to show you... no matter how wrong you are, as long as you're a big enough asshole, you'll at least get most of your way.

Really? I'd say his neighbors won, in this case: they get to not live in New Mexico, especially not next to this guy. Major win for them.

Simple question... (3, Interesting)

Joce640k (829181) | about 2 years ago | (#41399033)

Have they found an 'electrosensitive' who's prepared to go double-blind on which of a selection of ten telephones/routers is actually switched on yet?

A certain Mr Randi has a million dollars waiting for the first person to do it. Maybe he should apply for that so he can buy a new house in the woods (or even buy the neighbors house and make them go someplace else). Problem solved.

Re:Simple question... (5, Insightful)

firex726 (1188453) | about 2 years ago | (#41399105)

Or take the Darwin approach; selection of ten wires, nine are hot and you're grounded.
If you're electrosensitive it should be no issue to figure out which one's cold and not electrocute yourself.

Re:Simple question... (1)

LordLimecat (1103839) | about 2 years ago | (#41399397)

Ill take that test. I just need 9 eager-to-help volunteers standing by.

Re:Simple question... (1)

firex726 (1188453) | about 2 years ago | (#41400381)

Eager might be a bit of a stretch, would eight apathetic and one crazy volunteers work for you?

Re:Simple question... (1)

firewrought (36952) | about 2 years ago | (#41401971)

Eager might be a bit of a stretch, would eight apathetic and one crazy volunteers work for you?

Grandparent post is inefficient... you really just need one extremely lucky volunteer.

Re:Simple question... (2)

MetalliQaZ (539913) | about 2 years ago | (#41399609)

I assume you are using AC on those lines, otherwise there would be no waves to "detect". Lines with enough power to cause a fatality can be detected by normal human beings. You could use the rug to build up some static electricity on your person, then place your arm hairs near the wires. You'd have to be very careful, but I think you could do it.

Re:Simple question... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41399877)

I used to "test" bare 120v AC lines to see if they were live by quickly touching them with the tips of my fingers. Life was fun back then.

Re:Simple question... (1)

firex726 (1188453) | about 2 years ago | (#41400317)

There are people who get those magnets implanted in their fingers that can do that.
They can move their finger within a few inches of a wire or device and see if it's live. I wonder if they get a break on insurance for that reason.

Re:Simple question... (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about 2 years ago | (#41400979)

Hopefully, they aren't very strong magnets.

Re:Simple question... (1)

interkin3tic (1469267) | about 2 years ago | (#41400237)

I'm not sure the people who claim wifi sickness are keen on Darwin. Real science confuses and annoys them.

Re:Simple question... (1)

firex726 (1188453) | about 2 years ago | (#41400429)

Even better, then they won't know it's a trap.

Re:Simple question... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41401155)

Implanting a magnet in your fingertip will allow you to do that...

Re:Simple question... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41399131)

I thought under the new rules you could no longer apply for the prize and that the JREF would instead publicly challenge those that made public claims of supernatural abilities.

Re:Simple question... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41399773)

Yeah, what I heard was that they got tired of having floods of fakers signing up and then trying to sue them because the test was "unfair", and demanding their money and fame for not proving anything.

Re:Simple question... (1)

darkstar949 (697933) | about 2 years ago | (#41399393)

A certain Mr Randi has a million dollars waiting for the first person to do it.

I'm not sure that would really apply in this case as they aren't claiming anything that is paranormal per se as they aren't claiming anything paranormal in the same way that someone who claims to predict the future is.

Re:Simple question... (2)

Joce640k (829181) | about 2 years ago | (#41399991)

The JREF expanded the scope of its challenge over the last few years. They now include things like telling the difference between Monster speaker cables and cheapo lamp wire.

Re:Simple question... (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about 2 years ago | (#41401005)

Well, jeez. Just sign me right up. Monster cables are big and fat and have a directional arrow for the electrons. They even say "MONSTER" on them.

Boy, did my ship just come in.

Re:Simple question... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41399989)

I'm quite quite certain I saw a study somewhere where they did this and did find real volunteers. They rigged a Wi-Fi router with LEDs that could be set to blink when the Wi-Fi was not on, and could be turned off when the Wi-Fi actually was on.

They placed this behind the volunteers, so that they could sort of see the reflection of flashing LED's on the wall in front.

Then, of course, they ran some trials with and without Wi-Fi, and with and without the blinking LEDs in various random combinations.

The obvious results? The volunteers were sensitive only to blinking LEDs.

I am trying to find that study.....

Re:Simple question... (1)

Capt.DrumkenBum (1173011) | about 2 years ago | (#41401947)

To obvious conclusion is that LEDs cause the condition. We must outlaw LEDs!!!!!

Re:Simple question... (1)

tlhIngan (30335) | about 2 years ago | (#41401577)

Have they found an 'electrosensitive' who's prepared to go double-blind on which of a selection of ten telephones/routers is actually switched on yet?

A certain Mr Randi has a million dollars waiting for the first person to do it. Maybe he should apply for that so he can buy a new house in the woods (or even buy the neighbors house and make them go someplace else). Problem solved.

There is one guy in Sweden.

http://www.popsci.com/science/article/2010-02/disconnected?single-page-view=true [popsci.com]

He does, however, live away from civilization (in the woods) and with very little electricity (because that can trigger him - doesn' tmatter the frequency).

His case though, is that it isn't just Wi-Fi. Or cellphones, it's *everything*. It's a lot more compelling than anyone who complains they got headaches after a smart meter got put in or something, especially since he moved away to the countryside and gave up modern conveniences.

You simply cannot claim to be sensitive to "WiFi" or "cellphones" or "smart meters" and live in a modern city - if you were sensitive, you'd already be off on the countryside far away from electrical infrastructure.

Re:Simple question... (1)

Joce640k (829181) | about 2 years ago | (#41401787)

There is one guy in Sweden.

One guy in Sweden who ... what?

Has he taken a double blind test? Even if he doesn't want the million dollars, a few minutes of suffering from him could bring relief to the millions of sufferers around the world by forcing science to take him seriously. Surely he'd want that.

I suggest you get in touch with him and explain the situation. Report back here with his reply, we'll be waiting.

Never amazed (5, Funny)

roland_mai (852416) | about 2 years ago | (#41399083)

Gentlemen we found Magneto's cousin, ElectroMangeto. His powers are retarded though.

Re:Never amazed (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41399221)

As is his name... Mangeto??? Man Geto? Man Ghetto? What are you implying??

Re:Never amazed (1)

roland_mai (852416) | about 2 years ago | (#41399279)

And we found the grammar Nazi.

Re:Never amazed (1)

Aaden42 (198257) | about 2 years ago | (#41399441)

Not unlike roaches, there's never just one.

Re:Never amazed (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41399491)

Watch out! The grammar nazi won't take kindly to you giving him credit for the work of the spelling nazi!

Re:Never amazed (1)

game kid (805301) | about 2 years ago | (#41399663)

The grammar nazi wouldn't care (though it appears the attribution nazi wants to have some words with you).

Re:Never amazed (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41399811)

I believe that's what's called a Fraudulent Slip. Sorta like a Freudian Slip, but intentional.

Does this mean . . . (2)

smooth wombat (796938) | about 2 years ago | (#41399103)

he doesn't watch television, use a computer, have any electrical device in his house, doesn't use lights of any kind, and has shielded his house from any and all radio sources?

Did he also request that we snuff out the Sun and stars, not to mention getting rid of the naturally occurring radioactivity in the soil around him?

What about cars/trucks that drive by his house or the street lights? Did he request to have them stopped?

I am offering my services to prove once and for all that these people cannot tell when a wi-fi or similar device is on or off. I will offer my entire life's savings to anyone who can tell, greater than random chance, whether a device is on or off.

Re:Does this mean . . . (5, Interesting)

slim (1652) | about 2 years ago | (#41399175)

I will offer my entire life's savings to anyone who can tell, greater than random chance, whether a device is on or off.

Randi's already offered $1M.

But these people are wackos. They don't understand why a 50% detection rate demonstrates nothing.

Re:Does this mean . . . (1)

Quiet_Desperation (858215) | about 2 years ago | (#41399385)

I will offer my entire life's savings to anyone who can tell, greater than random chance, whether a device is on or off.

The ones with the illuminated LEDs are on.

PM me to get my address to send the check.

Re:Does this mean . . . (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41399525)

What part of a blind study did you not understand?

Now shut up if you want your eyes back.

Re:Does this mean . . . (1)

RobertLTux (260313) | about 2 years ago | (#41400003)

i can rig both a false positive and a false negative for you

False negative: open the router and cut the traces to the LEDs

False postive: set the router to disable the radio or just wire camo leds into the holes.

Re:Does this mean . . . (1)

ballpoint (192660) | about 2 years ago | (#41400849)

Indeed, and they produce narrow bandwidth insanely (whole orders of magnitude more than very, ultra, super) high frequency electromagnetic radiation that is easily detectable by a M1EB.

Re:Does this mean . . . (1)

91degrees (207121) | about 2 years ago | (#41401807)

No, you see, there's something magical about the specific frequencies used!

Not his neighbor's problem. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41399187)

I don't have to bend over backwards to satisfy my neighbor's needs. If they have a problem, they deal with it themselves.
This idiot should have built his house out of lead, he probably had enough of the stuff lying around that he woke up and chewed on every day.

Re:Not his neighbor's problem. (1)

slim (1652) | about 2 years ago | (#41399327)

If his claim that it was a health hazard was true, then it would be your responsibility not to pollute your neighbour's home with a health hazard.

The issue is that the claim holds no weight.

Re:Not his neighbor's problem. (5, Insightful)

Anubis IV (1279820) | about 2 years ago | (#41400157)

If you are bothering or disturbing your neighbors, it is understood that you will undertake reasonable efforts to rectify the situation. For instance, if you were playing your music extremely loudly, the proper response would not be to have your neighbor spend thousands of dollars installing soundproofing throughout their house in order to "deal with it themselves". The proper response would be to ask you to turn it down, and, if you refused, to call the police and have them issue you a citation for violating local noise ordinances. Similarly, if your water hose was left running for an extended period of time and had begun to flood your neighbor's garden, the proper response is not for your neighbor to go out and buy sandbags to obstruct the flow of water. Instead, they should just ask you to turn off the hose.

Essentially, your rights end as soon as they step on mine, so if you're causing harm to me or my property, or else causing a disturbance, I am well within my rights to ask that you cease doing so. And should you fail to respond, local ordinances will likely back me up.

The difference in this case is that we're talking about something that causes no demonstrable harm or disturbance.

should have used crystals (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41399283)

bah... can't login. captchas -- I failed to prove I Was human 9 out of 10 times. mail still hasn't come in. whatever.
I'll post anomymously. was supposed to be short and sweet, but I'll have to bitch first about the stupid captchas.

Anyway -- the guy should have used crystals to protect himself.

Finally, for your stupid fvcks out there, that last sentence is meant to be humor. If you have lived in or anywhere
near Santa Fe -- unless you are one of the new age whackos -- you might have even found it funny.

why aren't you working?

get back to work.

Blatant ignorance (0, Troll)

Cigaes (714444) | about 2 years ago | (#41399465)

“no scientific study has yet proved that electromagnetic stimulus adversely impacts personal health” Are we to assume that it is ok, in Mexico, to sunbath without sunscreen? Are X-rays and gamma rays also harmless there?

Re:Blatant ignorance (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41399629)

“no scientific study has yet proved that electromagnetic stimulus adversely impacts personal health”

Are we to assume that it is ok, in Mexico, to sunbath without sunscreen? Are X-rays and gamma rays also harmless there?

A) New Mexico

B) Sunscreen stops UV, neither X-rays nor gamma rays.

C) Scientific studies have proven X-rays and gamma rays are harmful.

Who voted that comment up? I thought higher of you slashdot.

AC

Re:Blatant ignorance (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41399647)

x-rays are harmless if they're in use the same microvoltage levels as phones and wifi devices.
go read the report before blurting out something retarded.

Re:Blatant ignorance (0, Flamebait)

Cigaes (714444) | about 2 years ago | (#41400169)

X-rays are harmless if they are used at low power, and harmful if they are used at high power. Same goes for UV and gamma rays, only with different threshold.

Therefore, the original claim, “no scientific study has yet proved that electromagnetic stimulus adversely impacts personal health”, is obviously completely wrong: we know that some electromagnetic stimulus are harmful.

I plead guilty on the Mexico/New Mexico thing. For the rest, some people should re-learn basic logic and look-up “sarcasm” in a dictionary.

Re:Blatant ignorance (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about 2 years ago | (#41401213)

Among other things, Slashcode doesn't handle sarcasm well. A known bug.

Re:Blatant ignorance (0)

del_diablo (1747634) | about 2 years ago | (#41400037)

Why state something blatantly false? People have become sterile from working on various high power radio equipment, back in the day. So el-mag tech can have negative impact, but generally what we use, is safe, or so do we assume based on various studies.

Looking for helpful references (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41399499)

Just last week my father sent me an article from a motorcycle magazine that proposed that EM energy (including wifi, cell phones, et cetera) is harmful to the human body. My father is a logical person who can listen to reason...he just isn't well informed on this issue. Does anyone have any suggestions on scholarly reference material I can link to when I rebut this article? So far I haven't found anything well written that wasn't behind a paywall.

Re:Looking for helpful references (2)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about 2 years ago | (#41401257)

Just last week my father sent me an article from a motorcycle magazine that proposed that EM energy (including wifi, cell phones, et cetera) is harmful to the human body. My father is a logical person who can listen to reason...he just isn't well informed on this issue. Does anyone have any suggestions on scholarly reference material I can link to when I rebut this article? So far I haven't found anything well written that wasn't behind a paywall.

A motorcycle magazine? They're worried about cell phones and they tolerate the 60kv from the coil that's busily building charge (and a field) up right between their legs?

My head aslpode. Again.

Been there, done that (5, Interesting)

RogueyWon (735973) | about 2 years ago | (#41399667)

Went through something similar (though it didn't go to court) in my old flat, which I moved out of earlier this year. Middle-aged couple living downstairs, got on fine with them for years, then the woman's late-teenaged daughter from a previous marriage gets kicked out by her father and moves in with them in the summer of last year (putting 3 people in a flat which is, to be honest, a little small for one person and downright cramped for 2).

This is one deeply troubled youth - clear mental health problems and surrounded by a constant stench of strong cannabis. She can also - in her mothers' eyes, do no wrong. Anyway, my life very quickly becomes absolute hell. First it's the complaints about noise. I take these seriously at first and do everything I can to limit the noise I'm making. Doesn't help, indeed she calls the police on multiple occasions, though they don't actually do anything. She loses access that particular trick after she calls the police over a weekend when I'm away visiting my parents - they force open the door to my flat and find it empty. After that, they stopped responding to her calls.

Anyway, in the course of this, she gets to see inside my flat (while I'm not there, imagine how delighted I am) - and she notes the fairly large amount of electronic equipment. Her next move - a phone call to the council complaining that interference from the electronics in my flat is giving her headaches.

I get a very puzzled call from an environmental health officer. He's very apologetic about the whole thing and freely admits that he has no idea whether he has any legal basis to do anything. By this point, I've already got my escape in sight - I've finally, after 4 years, been able to save for the deposit needed to get a mortage and out of rental accomodation (and to move to a much better area in the process). So I'm quite prepared to be all reasonable and light. We agree that he can come and inspect my flat for anything that might be emitting either outside of the allowed spectrum, or high-pitched noises outside the normal hearing range (which can be a genuine issue for teenagers and for some adults - like me!).

Anyway, he comes, he waves a toolkit around and he agrees that there's absolutely nothing out of the ordinary. He sends my neighbours a letter telling them this. He and I then get a very angry letter back (or rather, he gets a letter, I get a copy pushed through my letterbox with something obscene scribbed on it as well) saying that, among other things, my wireless network is "beaming words through her head".

Two days later, I load my possessions into a van and move off to my new home. I've not seen or heard from her since. I still see my old upstairs neighbour, who works at a station I pass through on my morning commute (and who I always got on very well with). He tells me that she continues to make life unbearable for the new occupants of my old flat and has started to turn her attention to him as well.

It would have been interesting on one level to see what would have happened if I hadn't been in a position to move out - but I'm glad I didn't have to find out.

By the way, this all happened in London, so it's definitely not a US-only phenomenon.

Re:Been there, done that (2)

DBCubix (1027232) | about 2 years ago | (#41399919)

I would have called Mental Health and had her involuntarily committed. At that point you have enough of a paper trail to get her some help.

Re:Been there, done that (1)

RogueyWon (735973) | about 2 years ago | (#41400451)

Sadly, it's not that easy (at least not in the UK, where resources for these things are limited and the emphasis for mental health is on "care in the community"). In particular, it was complicated by the fact that she'd been the first one to raise a complaint with the authorities. That makes it very difficult to lodge counter-complaints without them being discarded as retaliatory actions. Besides, from about the mid-point of this sequence, I knew that I was going to be moving out in the near future, so my motivation to do more than try to minimise the immediate grief was pretty low.

But yes, she clearly needed to be removed from the environment she was in - to provide her with treatment if any was likely to be effective and to protect other people from her in any event. I feel very, very sorry for whoever got the flat after me (a young couple, I'm told by my former upstairs neighbour - god, I hope they have a baby soon, a really loud, cranky baby).

Re:Been there, done that (3, Informative)

slim (1652) | about 2 years ago | (#41399963)

or high-pitched noises outside the normal hearing range (which can be a genuine issue for teenagers and for some adults - like me!).

This is significant. Despite fast approaching my 40th year, I can still hear those inhumane "mosquito" devices designed to keep teenagers from loitering.

My dad has a PSU in his study which makes a constant, loud, high pitched tone. It drives me mad. Nobody else in the family can hear it (but then, my dad's high frequency hearing is so wrecked he can't hear hi-hats).

I find it easy to believe that someone superstitious could think that tone was electromagnetism.

Re:Been there, done that (2, Interesting)

RogueyWon (735973) | about 2 years ago | (#41400287)

Yes, quite, I can also hear those mosquito devices, despite being well up into my 30s. When I was in my teens, my dad was a director in a small business that sold, serviced and provided training for medical electronics. It was a very small company and even the directors did a bit of hands-on engineering, so our garage was often full of bits of medical kit.

There was one weekend that I spent seriously ill - headaches, nausea, dizziness. Eventually, I tracked it down to a monitor in the garage. My dad didn't want to believe me, but it was proven int he end.

So when this came to a head earlier this year, I was actually perfectly happy to have my flat checked to see whether there was something even further up the range beyond what I could hear - but we proved that there wasn't.

And yes, I would not be the slightest bit surprised if this were behind at least some of the complaints of "magical computer waves give me headaches".

Re:Been there, done that (1)

Beowulf_Boy (239340) | about 2 years ago | (#41400587)

I recently bought a 60" LG Plasma TV.

I get headaches when watching it.

I can also hear a high pitched sound coming out of it when its on. A bit of googling told me this is the transformer it uses to power the plasma with.

I'm a bit concerned the two are related.

Kind of mad I just spent $900 on a TV that gives me headaches.

Re:Been there, done that (1)

ADRA (37398) | about 2 years ago | (#41400941)

Make sure true-motion or whatever they call it in your TV (motion compensation) is turned right off. A lot of my friends have complained about feeling nautious having it on when viewing. Also 3:2 pulldown has caused similar swiming in my stomach from time to time sadly =/ The easy one is to usually enable 'game' modes which usually turn off all TV correction techniques.

question guy's attorney (5, Funny)

RichMan (8097) | about 2 years ago | (#41399671)

Q: Do you have a cell phone?
Att: Yes
Q: Is it normally on?
Att: Yes
Q: Do you drive and talk with a wireless head set?
Att: Yes
Q: Do you use a computer in your office?
Att: Yes
Q: Is it a laptop?
Att: Yes
Q: Do you connect to cable to access email, or do you use wireless?
Att: wireless

Q: Can you explain how your client ever got within 100feet of you or your office?

Headaches from cellular telephones: are they real? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41399819)

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1533043/

Re:Headaches from cellular telephones: are they re (4, Funny)

EmagGeek (574360) | about 2 years ago | (#41400877)

I can see how government bureaucrats can incorrectly attribute headaches to cell phones.

The headaches are caused not by the cell phone, but the person on the other side.

how about this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41400433)

He could always wear a tinfoil hat. Problem solved

Oh he wouldn't like me (2)

kilodelta (843627) | about 2 years ago | (#41400863)

Why, I hold both amateur radio extra and commercial radiotelphone licenses.

I'd kindly explain Part 15 to him. You know, the one that says devices have to accept interference from licensed services and may not generate interference to licensed services.

And then I'd pop a 100 foot tower on the property under PRB-1 and then proceed to transmit on 20m at 200W for starters. Maybe install a dish and do some EME or meteor scatter.

just because fring's dead, don't mean it's safe (3, Funny)

Eponymous Hero (2090636) | about 2 years ago | (#41400961)

this guy's not crazy, or sick. check for the blue meth.

Wifi-type radiation CAN cause harm... (3, Interesting)

Maxmin (921568) | about 2 years ago | (#41401045)

Grant that, a dosage of wifi-wavelength radio emissions of sufficiently high wattage and duration, aimed at his cranium, *would* cause this man some mental health issues.

But people like this neglect to consider a little something I like to call the "inverse square law." Not to mention multiple layers of sheetrock and other possible cladding on the domicile.

Recently in San Francisco I saw a sign on a house with the text "Electromagnetic Harassment" in a red circle-slash, with lightning bolt symbols around the head of a stick figure man that was falling backwards. Wish I'd taken a picture.

Re:Wifi-type radiation CAN cause harm... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41401877)

[citation needed]

Crazy Santa Fe (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41401091)

I live in Santa Fe and I work for a WISP so I deal with wireless interference all the time. Santa Fe is blanketed by WiFi as well as WiMAX, that's not counting the 50000 watt radio transmitter overlooking the city, nor is it taking into account the wireless signals used by the city, county, state, and Federal government. And don't get me started about Los Alamos National Labs not far from here which is constantly blasting out radio waves of every imaginable frequency and strength. Yet, we here in Santa Fe have a small but very vocal group of crackpots who insist upon putting the kibosh any any sort of wireless initiative, be it cellular, WiFi, WiMAX, etc, etc, some on the City Council listen to them, but anybody with a brain calls them what they are, crazy. This court ruling hopefully will show how shallow their claims truly are. Without a shred of solid evidence, nobody will, nor should they, take them seriously.

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