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L.A. Building's Lights Interfere With Cellular Network, FCC Says

timothy posted about 2 months ago | from the can't-you-hear-me-now? dept.

Communications 158

alphadogg writes "When a certain Los Angeles office building lights up, it's a dark day for nearby cellphone users, according to the Federal Communications Commission. Fluorescent lights at Ernst & Young Plaza, a 41-story tower near the heart of downtown, emit frequencies that interfere with the Verizon Wireless 700MHz network, the agency said in a citation issued against the building owner. The FCC's message comes through loud and clear in the filing: the building owner could be fined up to $16,000 a day if it keeps using the interfering lights, up to a total of $112,500. The alleged violation could also lead to 'criminal sanctions, including imprisonment,' the citation says."

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158 comments

Beta interferes (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46202669)

with my faith in humanity.

Re:Beta interferes (-1, Troll)

Barsteward (969998) | about 2 months ago | (#46202983)

fucking moaning beta prats like you interferes with my faith in humanity.

Re:Beta interferes (0)

richlv (778496) | about 2 months ago | (#46204015)

it could be great if /. would have separate comment sections. you could go over to the "beta" one and stop being annoyed. or annoying...

Re:You asked for it! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46203251)

http://beta.slashdot.org/

Re:Beta interferes (-1, Offtopic)

flyneye (84093) | about 2 months ago | (#46203703)

This is a test, this is only a test, if this were an actual webpage, you would be notified by the FCC in writing.
Please stay tuned for more bureucratic overreach and cocaine fueled abuse of power sponsored by the usual monkeys elected to office by the same ambivalent
yokels who keep the Repubmocrats on their back, smokin crack, back in office, burnin tax.

Fine Dice! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46202679)

Too bad we can't fine Dice if the slashdot beta ever sees the light of day.

Usenet is the new Slashdot, see you in comp.misc (-1, Offtopic)

RocketRabbit (830691) | about 2 months ago | (#46202727)

Because Beta has exposed a fatal flaw in web- based communities, ie that the current owner of a domain around which a community has formed can choose to do whatever they like, the new official Slashdot is on Usenet, at comp.misc and I hope to see you all there.

Eternal September is a free Usenet provider, with the caveat that they do not carry binary (warez+porn) groups. Head on over and get your account today, and then we'll see each other on comp.misc!

Re:Usenet is the new Slashdot, see you in comp.mis (-1, Offtopic)

runeghost (2509522) | about 2 months ago | (#46202767)

Because Beta has exposed a fatal flaw in web- based communities, ie that the current owner of a domain around which a community has formed can choose to do whatever they like, the new official Slashdot is on Usenet, at comp.misc and I hope to see you all there.

Eternal September is a free Usenet provider, with the caveat that they do not carry binary (warez+porn) groups. Head on over and get your account today, and then we'll see each other on comp.misc!

Thanks for the pointer. For those interested, there's also altslashdot.org

Re:Usenet is the new Slashdot, see you in comp.mis (0)

Bing Tsher E (943915) | about 2 months ago | (#46203451)

And for those who want to use an easy all-in-one program to participate in Usenet, the Seamonkey web suite [seamonkey-project.org] still includes an NNTP newsreader component (combined with the email component.) In addition to the Mozilla browser from before the beta-dudes at Firefox wrecked it, incidentally.

Re:Usenet is the new Slashdot, see you in comp.mis (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46202769)

Why not something more specific.

comp.misc.slashdot perhaps?

*Boycott begins tomorrow*

Re:Usenet is the new Slashdot, see you in comp.mis (3, Informative)

maxwell demon (590494) | about 2 months ago | (#46203027)

Why not something more specific.

comp.misc.slashdot perhaps?

You clearly don't know Usenet rules. A more specific group for comp.misc would be comp.slashdot. Which could then be split up into comp.slashdot.developers, comp.slashdot.ask, etc. with comp.slashdot.misc for the stuff that doesn't go into one of the more specific groups.

However given the group creation rules (assuming they are still enforced), it would be easier to create alt.slashdot instead of comp.slashdot (alt.ALL is a hierarchy with much more relaxed group creation rules).

Re:comp.slashdot.org (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46203323)

reddit works way better

Re:Usenet is the new Slashdot, see you in comp.mis (0, Offtopic)

gl4ss (559668) | about 2 months ago | (#46202811)

it needs a web interface where you can just go by fuckslashdot.com or something similar. that's why slashdot reigns over some forums. easier to type in a pinch at work or where ever.

Re:Usenet is the new Slashdot, see you in comp.mis (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46202901)

All right. I took a peek into comp.misc [google.com] through the Google Groups web interface. What I am seeing there is just more of this "fuck beta" raving and a lot of just general spam. No thanks.

Re:Usenet is the new Slashdot, see you in comp.mis (1)

arth1 (260657) | about 2 months ago | (#46203339)

All right. I took a peek into comp.misc [google.com] through the Google Groups web interface. What I am seeing there is just more of this "fuck beta" raving and a lot of just general spam. No thanks.

On the other hand, you can filter the posts according to your own criteria, unlike a web forum where the filtering happens centrally, if at all. As was pointed out in another article here just the other day, having the power at the edge instead of the core brings some unique advantages.
If you don't want "fuck beta" posts, there's a regexp for that!

How does one... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46203541)

How does one post to comp.misc (via a browser)?

The building owner is at fault? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46202729)

Isn't this a case where the manufacturer of the fluorescent fixtures needs to fix them so they don't emit interference? Don't electronics of that type have to go through FCC testing?

Re:The building owner is at fault? (3, Informative)

nurb432 (527695) | about 2 months ago | (#46202915)

If they continue to use the bulbs, yes the building owners are at fault. They cant just point the finger elsewhere once they have been notified.

Re:The building owner is at fault? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46203913)

if they used incandescent light bulbs they would not have had this problem,

welcome to the suck

Re:The building owner is at fault? (5, Informative)

mysidia (191772) | about 2 months ago | (#46203005)

Isn't this a case where the manufacturer of the fluorescent fixtures needs to fix them so they don't emit interference?

That only works before the person/company operating the fixtures is informed of the interference: once informed, they must disconnect the fixtures and cease operating them immediately --- otherwise, they are liable for potential forfeitures or criminal sanctions.

Re:The building owner is at fault? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46203049)

Building owner is at fault for using them, they then pass that fault onto the supplier via their contract.

FCC will fine the owner, then the owner will demand the supplier replace the bulbs and seek compensation from them (ie get them to pay the fine). Otherwise there's nothing that would stop the owner continuing to use them.

Meanwhile the FCC should indeed also go after the manufacturer since they're presumable in use elsewhere too.

Re:The building owner is at fault? (1)

Mitsoid (837831) | about 2 months ago | (#46203093)

If the manufacturer is not a US company, the FCC can't do much to stop them directly.

Yes, they could go after other places that use the bulbs, but it could also be a factor of:
1. Bad batch
2. Interaction with local device/electricity
3. age-related

Either way, the manf. will know there is a problem, and will likely address it since they may get bad publicity in the circles that matter to them (business building owners) much like a bad HDD story would circle around slashdot, I'm sure the people owning buildings communicate as well... Or own a few dozen other buildings....

Ultimately, I think the "Fine Owner" solution is great.. There is an immediate requirement to fix an issue, and costs/blame is done after. Much better then assign blame then work on a solution!

Re:Duck for cover, but Hawaii full of liberals (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46203343)

trade war 2.0

Re:The building owner is at fault? (3, Informative)

mspohr (589790) | about 2 months ago | (#46204185)

TFA stated that the light ballasts were made by GE and that they were aware of the problem and had a procedure to replace them.
Probably this is an issue of who is going to pay to replace all of the ballasts... this won't be cheap.

Re:The building owner is at fault? (1)

beelsebob (529313) | about 2 months ago | (#46203489)

Chain of responsibility. The FCC tells the building owner to fix their building (which is emitting RF interference), the building owner take the lights down, replace them, and tell the maker of the lights to refund them or replace the lights with correctly working ones.

including imprisonment? (2, Insightful)

jjeffries (17675) | about 2 months ago | (#46202731)

Who are they planning to imprison for this? The president of the company? The guy who changes out the lightbulbs? Will they build a giant prison around the building?

Neither Ernst nor Young are around to throw in the slammer, both having started their corps. in the early 1900s.

Re: including imprisonment? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46202759)

Let's find who ECM tested the bulbs. Which leads us back to FCC.

Re: including imprisonment? (1)

lxs (131946) | about 2 months ago | (#46203111)

If they even were tested. Untested grey imports are much cheaper than properly certified light fixtures. A contractor probably has been cutting corners.

Re: including imprisonment? & perfect timing (2)

rmdingler (1955220) | about 2 months ago | (#46202775)

As the decriminalization of marijuana continues along it's mary way, there will develop a need to fill prison beds.

Re: including imprisonment? & perfect timing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46202945)

As the decriminalization of marijuana continues along it's mary way

mary Way? something tells me you want to become a /. editor

Re: including imprisonment? & perfect timing (1)

JustOK (667959) | about 2 months ago | (#46203107)

Naw, he's probably one of those bald long haired hippies what like to smoke that rope dope

Re: including imprisonment? & perfect timing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46202947)

hah, OT but funny.
I can hear the PrisonCorp lobbyists now.
"But $congresscritter, we need this criminalisation legislation to keep american jobs!"

Re: including imprisonment? (1, Insightful)

Kierthos (225954) | about 2 months ago | (#46202789)

Obviously, instead of imprisoning any of the current executives (because we can't have that), the building manager will be thrown in prison, because clearly, it's his fault.

Re: including imprisonment? (5, Informative)

PuckSR (1073464) | about 2 months ago | (#46203221)

What are you talking about? Imprisoning executives? Do you understand how FCC regulations work?

Very simple. The FCC is the "radiowaves police". If you get pulled over in a brand new car that has a faulty speedometer which is showing your speed as 20 mph slower than reality, the cop is still going to write you a speeding ticket ticket. Sure, it is the manufacturer's fault. The traffic cop's job is to make sure everyone is driving at the correct speed. The traffic cop isn't going to drive back the manufacturer and write them a citation.

The end-user IS ALWAYS responsible for using equipment that interferes. It doesn't matter if he bought it legally. It doesn't matter why the interference is being caused. If you have a transmitter that is causing illegal interference, you are responsible. This just makes sense. Even if they went back to the reseller or manufacturer; that doesn't fix the problem in the "here and now". The only way to fix the immediate problem is to compel the end-user to STOP TRANSMITTING.

Re: including imprisonment? (1)

mysidia (191772) | about 2 months ago | (#46203023)

Who are they planning to imprison for this? The president of the company? The guy who changes out the lightbulbs? Will they build a giant prison around the building?

They could probably very well start by giving the utility operator a law enforcement order to disconnect and keep disconnected all electrical power service at the location.

They would probably be making the forfeiture order against the company itself.

As for criminal sanctions involving prison time ---- this would potentially go to officers of the company.

By any chance is there a vault in that building? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46203397)

The circuits that cannnot be cut are cut automatically in response to a interference incident. You asked for miracles, Mysidia, I give you the FCC.

Corporations are people too! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46203085)

Imprison the corporation!

Re: including imprisonment? (1)

scarboni888 (1122993) | about 2 months ago | (#46203273)

I think that it is the board members that ultimately have legal liability for incorporated entities is it not?

Re: including imprisonment? (1)

alexander_686 (957440) | about 2 months ago | (#46203539)

It is not. Corporations are limited liability organizations - They are legally liable up to the value of the corporation. After that it goes bankrupt.

Now, one can sue board members if they were negligent - as in failed to due their duties - not in making bad business decisions. That being said, the are usually only a few 10s of millions of dollars between the board members and their insurance companies (and yes, most of them take out insurance.) so if they caused a multibillion dollar corporation to go bust one can collect a few pennies per share.

Re: including imprisonment? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46203413)

Ernst & Young Plaza is owned by Brookfield Office Properties. The CEO of Brookfield Office Properties is Dennis Friedrich.
Dennis Friedrich would face imprisonment, if they failed to comply.

Re: including imprisonment? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46203535)

Neither Ernst nor Young are around to throw in the slammer, both having started their corps. in the early 1900s.

is "started their corpse" a funny way of saying they died ?

Re: including imprisonment? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46203685)

The feds will just bust into the building one day unannounced with a 200-man SWAT team, immediately shoot any dogs they see, lobbing flashbang gernades all over, throw everyone to the floor with machine guns pointed at their heads, and seize all the offending lights, plus everyone's computers, tablets, smartphones, all the security cameras too. All the building's occupants will be arrested and charged at minimum with conspiracy. Then they'll probably burn the building down and have any remaining rubble scooped up with bulldozers.

Re: including imprisonment? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46203917)

Feds don't need to bust in, the secret service has 2 floors in that building.

Re: including imprisonment? (1)

Applehu Akbar (2968043) | about 2 months ago | (#46204053)

So do the SS floors use different lighting than Ernst and Young floors in the building? Inquiring minds can't wait to poke fun.

Re: including imprisonment? (1)

lairdb (244939) | about 2 months ago | (#46204005)

Yes -- the corporate officers are potentially criminally liable for the acts of the corporation. Assuming that the underlings acted responsibly and according to company policy and direction, then the criminal liability will run upstream, probably to the COO. (Of the building operator, if that wasn't obvious; typically the same as the building owner.)

Incorporation is not a magic shield, however much the anti-corporatists would like you to think so.

"Must accept harmful interference..." (4, Insightful)

pla (258480) | about 2 months ago | (#46202765)

What ever happened to the ubiqitous 47 C.F.R. 15.5? How did this building even find noncompliant lights to install, in the US? And weirder still, why the hell would a lighting system use 700MHz?

Re:"Must accept harmful interference..." (5, Informative)

Tom Hek (1082667) | about 2 months ago | (#46202795)

Switching transformers that are out on the market nowadays put out all sorts of crap, including noise on those frequencies. In Europe, police in the Netherlands and other countries search for illegal marijuana growers by scanning the RF band for strange noise from the transformers used for the lamps, sometimes they even get discovered by the cable companies that get complaints about channels not working or with a fuck load of noise, etc.

Re: "Must accept harmful interference..." (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46202841)

It's either a ballast or controller issue which should be quite easy to put right. RF in weed growing is only a problem for non magnetic ballasts

Re:"Must accept harmful interference..." (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46202853)

And the long tube full of ionized gas makes a very good antenna.
See; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plasma_antenna

Re:"Must accept harmful interference..." (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46203353)

sometimes they even get discovered by the cable companies that get complaints about channels not working or with a fuck load of noise, etc.

Thanks, that solved it for my sister's annoying problem of partially showing channels. Unfortunately, the next step would be to search all surrounding apartments for drug paraphernalia and sneaks living in terrariums with unlicensed thermal lights since the cable company says there have been no complaints otherwise.

Re:"Must accept harmful interference..." (4, Interesting)

jeffb (2.718) (1189693) | about 2 months ago | (#46202859)

Cheap switching power supplies crank out plenty of harmonics, and you don't need a very high percentage of the power lighting an entire high-rise to overwhelm cellular signals.

As for compliant lights (and drivers), I think most certifications specify "when installed according to specifications". For an industrial-scale lighting installation, I'd bet there are plenty of places where contractors could cut corners on grounding or shielding, throwing a product out of compliance.

I'm no expert, though, so I'll defer to those who are.

Re:"Must accept harmful interference..." (4, Interesting)

quetwo (1203948) | about 2 months ago | (#46202865)

It's not that the lighting system uses 700 Mhz, but that the ballasts or other high-energy equipment that is used to power these lights leak RF in the 700Mhz band. Cheap electronics are noisy and they leak out RF like crazy. Hell, just last week I found an old CRT monitor that was flooding out the aeronautical band at about 9,000 mV -- enough for my meter to go crazy over a football field-length away.

Most likely the electronics are not grounded properly, or they aren't properly shielded. That is why the UL and and FCC require certifications on most classes of devices in order to catch this stuff. Of course, with our global economy it is easy to order cheap crap from Asia or elsewhere that was never tested by the UL or FCC.

Re:"Must accept harmful interference..." (1)

mysidia (191772) | about 2 months ago | (#46203043)

Of course, with our global economy it is easy to order cheap crap from Asia or elsewhere that was never tested by the UL or FCC.

Isn't that exactly the type of stuff customs is supposed to be keeping out of the US if not bearing the proper UL or FCC cert?

Re:"Must accept harmful interference..." (2)

Yew2 (1560829) | about 2 months ago | (#46203159)

not when youre paying $2 for it on ebay and its coming in zillions of tiny packages one at a time

Re:"Must accept harmful interference..." (1)

mysidia (191772) | about 2 months ago | (#46203285)

not when youre paying $2 for it on ebay and its coming in zillions of tiny packages one at a time

They just have to check 1 in 10 of the zillions of tiny packages, and fine the crap out of the recipient, as in a $10,000 penalty for whoever the tiny package was being shipped to, every time a shipment found to contain uncertified electronics requiring FCC/UL certification for import.

Re:"Must accept harmful interference..." (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46203477)

You're an idealistic dreamer, aren't you? They're so cute when they're young, but watch out when their eyes eventually open.

Re: "Must accept harmful interference..." (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46203167)

The FCC is a federal agency and there is enforcement involved. The UL is a private commercial oufit. Building codes and Insurance companies usually mandate UL or equivalent standards compliance.

Re:"Must accept harmful interference..." (1)

jonbryce (703250) | about 2 months ago | (#46203993)

Only if they are aware there is a problem. Mostly they will look, see it is lighting stuff which is legal to import, and make sure the importer has paid the appropriate import tax on it.

Re:"Must accept harmful interference..." (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46202883)

Without reading the CFR, 700mhz is probably licensed spectrum, and probably does not apply - licensee takes priority. The lighting system probably is a noise issue, not a purposeful emission.

CM

Re:"Must accept harmful interference..." (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46203083)

And weirder still, why the hell would a lighting system use 700MHz

Not intentionally.

All electronic circuits are likely to emit some RF... it's only an issue if it's strong. Some circuits will therefore emit RF that the designers never intended. The designers will try to design the circuits in such a way they don't emit problematic RF but in this case they must have failed to take something into account. It could also be harmonics of a frequency that is desired, or a faulty circuit (which is less likely if it's affecting all the lights, as it likely is if it's strong enough to be such an issue).

Re:"Must accept harmful interference..." (1)

grumling (94709) | about 2 months ago | (#46203089)

One of our club repeaters started getting a lot of QRM (interference) back in November. It is located on top of a ski mountain in a building that houses a small restaurant. It turned out when they opened the restaurant and turned on the florescent lights the QRM started. At the end of the day they shut off the lights and it stopped. It took the better part of a day for the guys to track down the source, thinking it had to be something like a wireless router or plasma TV. It's likely that it was just one bad ballast or transformer, but it was more than enough to make the repeater unusable.

Re:"Must accept harmful interference..." (1)

J Story (30227) | about 2 months ago | (#46203687)

For the terminally curious, can you tell us how the situation was finally resolved, and how much effort/money it took?

Re:"Must accept harmful interference..." (1)

dbc (135354) | about 2 months ago | (#46203117)

Part 15??? Ha ha ha..... hooooweeeee..... let me catch my breath......

You mean the part of the Code of Federal Regulations to keep unlicensed RF emitters from causing excessive harmful interference? You mean the part of the CFR's where manufacturers self-certify that they pass? You mean the part of the CFR's where even *if* the manufacturer sends out for certification, they only send a few sample "lab queen" units that have been carefully selected? And where they send it to a lab that has zero oversight requirements from the FCC? You mean the same part 15 where getting any enforcement attention *at* *all* from the FCC requires months of lobbying from someone with influenece?

The lax to non-existent enforcement standards around part 15 is why the entire spectrum from DC to daylight is becoming a cesspool. Part 15 is a cruel joke.

Re:"Must accept harmful interference..." (1)

evilviper (135110) | about 2 months ago | (#46203153)

What ever happened to the ubiqitous 47 C.F.R. 15.5? How did this building even find noncompliant lights to install, in the US?

Paragraph 6 of TFA...

Re:"Must accept harmful interference..." (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46203377)

"How did this building even find noncompliant lights to install"

That's explained in the article.

Re:"Must accept harmful interference..." (1)

Waffle Iron (339739) | about 2 months ago | (#46203519)

I never understood what that sentence means anyway. How could you even create a device that doesn't "accept" interference? If you figure out a clever way to filter out noise, you're not allowed to use it?

Re:"Must accept harmful interference..." (0)

pla (258480) | about 2 months ago | (#46204157)

It just means that the FCC likes its money the same way all government agencies do.

If they license (aka "accept a bribe for monopoly use of a free public resource") a chunk of spectrum to your neighbor so he can run a Christian Rock radio station, you have absolutely no right to complain that your microwave, can opener, and dog fountain all buzz along non-stop to Petra's Greatest Hits.

If, however, your blender causes even the slightest bit of feedback for your neighbor's radio station, you can expect the feds to swoop in with guns drawn to confiscate and destroy every electronic device in your house.

Really quite a great scam!

Re:"Must accept harmful interference..." (2)

DTentilhao (3484023) | about 2 months ago | (#46203575)

"What ever happened to the ubiqitous 47 C.F.R. 15.5? How did this building even find noncompliant lights to install, in the US? And weirder still, why the hell would a lighting system use 700MHz?"

They don't operate at 700mhz, they do use a high frequency switching square wave operating at 30kHz to 100kHz, which produces harmonics at multiple of the fundamental frequency and not enough shielding can lead to electromagnetic interference [gavita-holland.com] ..

RTFA (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46202809)

- Building has non-compliant GI made FL ballasts, that they know there are some defects, it otherwise passed the FCC
- Building management seems negligent on fixing the problem in a timely manner.

need action on infomercials as interference... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46202851)

In the DFW area over 50% of the OTA TV channels are strictly continuous ads -"infomercials." In view of the limited RF spectrum, why isn't this interference?

BETA INTERFERES WITH SLASHDOT (-1, Flamebait)

FUCK BETA, FUCK DICE (3529333) | about 2 months ago | (#46202871)

Please post this to new articles if it hasn't been posted yet. (Copy-paste the html from here [pastebin.com] so links don't get mangled!)

On February 5, 2014, Slashdot announced through a javascript popup that they are starting to "move in to" the new Slashdot Beta design. Slashdot Beta is a trend-following attempt to give Slashdot a fresh look, an approach that has led to less space for text and an abandonment of the traditional Slashdot look. Much worse than that, Slashdot Beta fundamentally breaks the classic Slashdot discussion and moderation system.

If you haven't seen Slashdot Beta already, open this [slashdot.org] in a new tab. After seeing that, click here [slashdot.org] to return to classic Slashdot.

We should boycott stories and only discuss the abomination that is Slashdot Beta until Dice abandons the project.
We should boycott slashdot entirely during the week of Feb 10 to Feb 17 as part of the wider slashcott [slashdot.org]

Moderators - only spend mod points on comments that discuss Beta
Commentors - only discuss Beta
http://slashdot.org/recent [slashdot.org] - Vote up the Fuck Beta stories

Keep this up for a few days and we may finally get the PHBs attention.

-----=====##### LINKS #####=====-----

Discussion of Beta: http://slashdot.org/firehose.pl?op=view&id=56395415 [slashdot.org]
Discussion of where to go if Beta goes live: http://slashdot.org/firehose.pl?op=view&type=submission&id=3321441 [slashdot.org]
Alternative Slashdot: http://altslashdot.org [altslashdot.org] (thanks Okian Warrior (537106) [slashdot.org])

They don't interfere with Beta! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46202935)

But Beta is already awful.

An Opportunity is disguise? (1)

Cantankerous Cur (3435207) | about 2 months ago | (#46203037)

Upgrade to LED lights. High upfront costs but can use the same fixtures, uses less power, and absolutely no chance of having frequency issues.

Re:An Opportunity is disguise? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46203065)

Um, how can you be so certain about that? You know something about off-line switchers you want to share with us?

I mean, this circuit topology is very recent:

http://newscenter.ti.com/2013-... [ti.com]

Are you claiming that now every single LED lighbulb out there uses this now? Every single one?

Re:An Opportunity is disguise? (1)

grumling (94709) | about 2 months ago | (#46203113)

Cheap switching power supplies can still put out a bunch of RFI. Cost of upgrading is non-trivial when talking about an entire office building. If the cell tower is on or next to the offending building it can be degraded by only one or two faulty units.

Re:An Opportunity is disguise? (1)

Cantankerous Cur (3435207) | about 2 months ago | (#46203193)

It was my understanding from the article that the ballasts were the issue. LEDs do not use the fixture's ballast, they have their own built in. To hook them up, you must disconnect the fixture's ballasts completely. And yes, at roughly $25 a tube, they're pricey for an office building that probably has a few thousand.

Re:An Opportunity is disguise? (1)

serviscope_minor (664417) | about 2 months ago | (#46203527)

uses less power,

Nope.

No commercial buildings are using incandescent lights (and certainly not this one sine they're RF quiet). Modern LEDs and modern fluoresent tubes have comparable efficiency. They both top out at a little above 100lm/W in practical situations.

IOW, LEDs won't save any money at all.

Re:An Opportunity is disguise? (1)

R.Mo_Robert (737913) | about 2 months ago | (#46203745)

uses less power,

Nope.

No commercial buildings are using incandescent lights (and certainly not this one sine they're RF quiet). Modern LEDs and modern fluoresent tubes have comparable efficiency. They both top out at a little above 100lm/W in practical situations.

IOW, LEDs won't save any money at all.

I don't think that's accurate. Most LEDs I've seen are a little more efficient fluorescent bulbs, plus they last a lot longer. While the LED bulbs are still more expensive initially in most cases, I think the increased efficiency and longer life will balance out in their favor at the end. You might be right if (only) the fluorescent bulbs were free.

Re:An Opportunity is disguise? (2)

serviscope_minor (664417) | about 2 months ago | (#46204409)

Most LEDs I've seen are a little more efficient fluorescent bulbs, plus they last a lot longer.

Two things: CFLs are less efficient than standard linear. light fluorescents. Second, commercial CFLs and fluorescents last a lot longer than cheapie ones you might get from most stores: tubes exist for ratings up to 30k hours.

Thirdly...

Our three main points are: 1) linear tubes, 2) longer life and 3) don't forget to compare modern tubes on modern ballasts and starters. And an almost fanatical devotion to the pope.

Our points include: 1)...

Re:An Opportunity is disguise? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46203781)

While the efficacy of the light source (fluorescent tube or LEDs) is comparable, the system efficacy that includes the luminaire (reflectors, etc.) is higher for LEDs, because LEDs are directional while most fluorescent tubes also radiate light up into the luminaire. End result is that you can use lower-power LEDs to get the same luminous flux or same illumination out of the luminaire.

Doesn't each device have a disclaimer? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46203067)

One of the FCC's rules is that any electronic device "Must accept all interference".
The FCC doesn't regulate light bulbs, so the fact that the lights might cause interference is out of their jurisdiction.

Re: Doesn't each device have a disclaimer? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46203231)

No. Specific classes of devices must accept all interference. Devices in other frequency bands can be highly protected and anything interfering with them prohibited from emitting.

Wifi is an example of "must tolerate interference" which is why it's open and flexible and easy to deploy.

Re:Doesn't each device have a disclaimer? (1)

quetwo (1203948) | about 2 months ago | (#46203237)

The FCC regulates RF airspace. They are involved with anything that emits or accepts RF energy, whether purposefully or not. They are the responsible federal agency for enforcing this matter.

CATV leakage is an issue too (5, Informative)

grumling (94709) | about 2 months ago | (#46203179)

As Verizon (especially) lights up LTE they bring in trucks that look for problems in the 700MHz bands. They are taking a proactive approach to cleaning up the band before RFI causes problems. This makes sense since LTE uses QAM and high symbol rates to push data, meaning that the carrier to noise requirements are much higher than 3G. Most cable companies use the same frequency band, up to 750MHz. To make matters worse, cable systems use QAM carriers too, so the demodulators can get confused and pick up the wrong carrier.

Cable companies monitor their plant for signal egress from broken coax, cracked housings, poor craftsmanship, etc (leakage), but usually around 115MHz, in the aeronautical bands (since there's been cases of planes lining up on leaks instead of the glide path). Because some types of leaks are frequency dependent, a system that looks great in the aeronautical band might leak like a sieve at 700MHz. In fact a certain set top box happened to have vent slots that made a perfect antenna at 700MHz.

http://www.slideshare.net/Cisc... [slideshare.net]

Re:CATV leakage is an issue too (1)

quetwo (1203948) | about 2 months ago | (#46203267)

CATV is heavily regulated by the FCC, because they use high RF energy that duplicates the RF spectrum that exists outside the cable network. Leaks of RF can and are very problematic for everybody involved. Cable companies are required to do very regular checks of their plant for leaks and if they find them are required to do immediate remediations. While a big focus of CLIs are in the aeronautical band (because of the atmosphere, leaks often go "up" and cause issues for airplanes), the entire spectrum needs to be tight. And on long-lines where you are pushing the RF energy to +60dBm, leaks can be problematic for a very large distance if they actual do happen. Regardless of QAM modulation or not, if there is noise on the wire you start to get errors -- and if you are running at QAM256 like most cable plants, there is very little room for error.

Re:CATV leakage is an issue too (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46203433)

DOCSIS3 uses CDMA for QAM256 and can handle a lot of noise. CDMA is like magic. I've seen DOCSIS3 modems that bonded 8 CDMA channels all on the same physical channel and got 320mb/s over that single 6mhz band. Not too shabby.

Fucking BETA building (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46203197)

They should not fucking use fucking BETA light fucking bulbs. Fuck BETA.

High frequency electronic ballast circuits .. (1)

DTentilhao (3484023) | about 2 months ago | (#46203501)

"Here’s what you need to know about dimming fluorescent lighting" link [electronicproducts.com]

Frequency jammer (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46203711)

Wonder if there is a square wave generator in the circuit (I.e., all frequencies-- an interrupter causes this problem with DC circuits in boats,for example, but it's easily fixed).

Seems like the punishment is directed incorrectly (1)

argStyopa (232550) | about 2 months ago | (#46203779)

I'd say whoever made the light fixtures, and sold them for general use emitting that much interference is really the person against whom they should be acting.

The article says the lights are made by GE, who was aware that some of their ballasts were causing interference. IF the building owner was advised, and they failed to replace them, then they're at fault. If GE's replacement program was chintzy (ie they'd replace the fixture, but building owners had to pay for labor, for example), then they should be the target here.

FUCK YOUR BETA AND FUCK YOU, YOU INCOMPETENT FAGGO (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46203999)

What I said above.

Re:FUCK YOUR BETA AND FUCK YOU, YOU INCOMPETENT FA (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46204487)

I dislike Beta as much as the next AC, but leave the gays out of it you homophobic fuck.

fuck em (0)

Osgeld (1900440) | about 2 months ago | (#46204117)

112 grand fine is cheaper than redoing the lighting system of a skyscraper, besides why is verizion that low anyway

Job killing regulations.... (0)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | about 2 months ago | (#46204125)

Wondering what happened to all those people who fall over themselves denouncing the government interfering with free markets, regulations being job killers and taxation being theft etc etc? All those ideas look attractive in the abstract. On the ground when the free market is interfering with your drinking water supply (like it happened in Charleston recently) or when some building interferes with cell phones, that is when we want the regulators to have some power. But we have systematically cut their budgets, driven all competent people out of civil service by constant insults.

The sad thing is, polluters follow the "power rule", that is 80% of the pollution is caused by 20% of the polluters, they use lobbying and public (mis)information campaigns that bias the general population against the civil service.

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