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Nanotube Paint Blocks Cell Phones on Demand

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 8 years ago | from the special-hell-for-people-who-talk-at-the-theater dept.

679

Kozar_The_Malignant writes "Newsday is reporting on a new nanotube paint that is able to block cell phone signals on demand. The nanotubes are filled with copper, suspended in paint, and can be applied to the walls and ceiling of places such as concert halls, churches, and classrooms."

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679 comments

Cool but (4, Funny)

Eightyford (893696) | more than 8 years ago | (#14828303)

That's cool, but where do you get the tiny little paintbrushes?

Re:Cool but (1)

TykeClone (668449) | more than 8 years ago | (#14828593)

Nanobots!

People in movie theaters... (1)

FrontalLobe (897758) | more than 8 years ago | (#14828315)

Pffft. Who needs nanotubes. I just chuck popcorn at someone yakkin' on the phone during a movie. Half the time, they don't even realize why I'm doing it.

Re:People in movie theaters... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14828376)

I believe that the punishment for chatting on a cell phone during a movie (this includes phone calls and text messages) should be an intermission from the movie, a beating administered to the offender on the spot by everyone in the theater, followed by resumption of the movie.

This paint only serves to reduce the amount of fun my friends and I have at the movies beating inconsiderate people.

Re:People in movie theaters... (2, Insightful)

Rei (128717) | more than 8 years ago | (#14828453)

As much as we love to hate cell phone chatters, there are two serious problems with the paint proposal, though.

1) Cost. Copper filled nanotubes? Doesn't sound cheap. I'd expect even a plain paint with a relevant amount of copper in it to be expensive, let alone copper filled nanotubes.

2) Blocking emergency calls. Doctors on call, first responders, etc.

Re:People in movie theaters... (1)

Moby Cock (771358) | more than 8 years ago | (#14828515)

1) Cost. Copper filled nanotubes? Doesn't sound cheap. I'd expect even a plain paint with a relevant amount of copper in it to be expensive, let alone copper filled nanotubes.

The cost of popcorn is going to $1/kernel.

Re:People in movie theaters... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14828526)

That's why beating works out so well. First, beatings are free, and there are plenty of people around who are willing to administer a beating to someone who is playing with their cell phone during a movie. Second, most people are going to think twice about attempting to beat up a first responder because, let's face it, most people who are willing to give a beating probably would get their ass kicked by a first responder. It's a simple, economical solution to a social problem.

Technological solutions are inadequate to cope with social problems, however, social solutions tend to be much more effective.

Re:People in movie theaters... (2, Insightful)

DigiShaman (671371) | more than 8 years ago | (#14828530)

2) Blocking emergency calls. Doctors on call, first responders, etc.

In a movie theater? Seriously, society has gotten along just fine before cell phones in the past. If you have an emergency, walk out of the bloody theater and use a land-line from a receptionist or payphone.

Just because there might be a potential problem without a technology doesn't mean that very technology is implicitly granted a *right* to be used.

Re:People in movie theaters... (1)

MaelstromX (739241) | more than 8 years ago | (#14828532)

2) Blocking emergency calls. Doctors on call, first responders, etc.


These people make other sacrifices for their chosen profession. This can be another one -- no movies while on call.

Re:People in movie theaters... (1)

troll -1 (956834) | more than 8 years ago | (#14828552)

Right. If there was, for example, a medical emergency, fire, or hostage situtation and you couldn't use your cell phone .... they'd be a problem.

Better Application? (1, Funny)

umrgregg (192838) | more than 8 years ago | (#14828316)

"Nothing for you to hear here. Please move along."

Thank GOD. But I still think the best option is to just dump a can of this paint on the offenders and then light them on fire.

Much more direct. And you don't have to listen to them yap to the person next to them about how their cell phone isn't working.

Hold on (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14828317)


can you hear me now ?

Illegal? (2, Interesting)

Douglas Simmons (628988) | more than 8 years ago | (#14828319)

At least in the USA, cell phone jammers [globalgadgetuk.com] are illegal. Because this paint isn't emitting signals to accomplish the same purpose, could it be legal?

Re:Illegal? (1)

LordNimon (85072) | more than 8 years ago | (#14828368)

Yes, it's legal. It's also legal to build a Faraday cage around your store, if you wanted to, which is pretty much what this paint is.

Re:Illegal? (1)

Moby Cock (771358) | more than 8 years ago | (#14828369)

Why wouldn't it be? Its a purely passive method of damping.

When I was a kid I helped my father build a corrugated tin shed. My brother tried to use his cell phone in it over christmas and found no signal. There have been no charges laid in connection with the construction of the shed.

Re:Illegal? (2, Insightful)

XxtraLarGe (551297) | more than 8 years ago | (#14828602)

"Why wouldn't it be? Its a purely passive method of damping."

Your problem is that you're trying to apply reason to the issue. This is completely irrelevant when it comes to the law. In many jurisdictions, it's illegal to own a "bullet-proof" vest, because obviously the only reason you would want it is if you're planning to do something illegal.

Don't you see, if it blocks cell phones, then it could also block other transmitting waves, such as bugs or undercover wired polizei. Anybody who wants to try and set up a drug/gun/(insert misc. illicit activity here) deal will say "Let's meet at the Opera House to discuss this." Or better yet, they'll have their own placed painted with it. As you can see, simply because some people might abuse something, it must be verboten for all of us.

Re:Illegal? (1)

Erioll (229536) | more than 8 years ago | (#14828378)

From the article, the cell company representative says it's illegal, but the company that makes the paint says it isn't.

Which figures of course, but isn't an answer either.

Re:Illegal? (1)

xs650 (741277) | more than 8 years ago | (#14828527)

From the article, the cell company representative says it's illegal,

If the cell company rep's lips were moving when he said that, that's prima facie evidence that it's legal.

Re:Illegal? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14828423)

Well, the jammers you link to can't be sold into the US or Europe (From the website: Due to non CE approval of these products we cannot sell these products into any European Union country.) So why are they advertising in English?

Re:Illegal? (1)

qwijibo (101731) | more than 8 years ago | (#14828549)

1. Other people speak English

2. People break the law

Re:Illegal? (1)

dvdsmith (892766) | more than 8 years ago | (#14828441)

IANAL, but sometime back I did some research on the subject of jamming, specifically to jam rogue wifi access points. I actually got an email back from the FCC, basically stating that active jamming or radio waves is illegal for civilian use. From what I found out, only police forces and other gov't agencies can use ACTIVE jamming. I found no laws or regulations against PASSIVE jamming. Anybody know more?

Re:Illegal? (1)

UserGoogol (623581) | more than 8 years ago | (#14828461)

Not really. It's like the difference between yelling really really loud and wearing ear plugs.

Do they make it in paintball form? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14828320)

So I can pelt the idiots using their cell phones in a movie theater

Re:Do they make it in paintball form? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14828505)

And whats wrong with just chucking the whole can of paint at them? With the right amount of force, it's much more effective.

OPTIMUS PRIME WAS TEH BEST TRANSFORMAR EVAR (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14828324)


Is this the new high-tech tinfoil?? (1)

the_rajah (749499) | more than 8 years ago | (#14828325)

Can I get a hat made of it?

Really cool.. (2, Insightful)

Kutsal (514445) | more than 8 years ago | (#14828330)

I would want to see warning signs posted at key places in buildings where this paint is used though... And a phone number to which I can forward my cell phone when I'm inside this building as well.

Because..

The very first time I miss an emergency call because of this paint, I will be suing both the building and the company that made the paint. I might even sue the guy who applied the paint on the walls..

Some people RELY on their cell phones' ability to receive calls...

Re:Really cool.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14828380)

That is just 'cuz you have a suing nature, anything to make a buck, that is you.

Re:Really cool.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14828383)

If some people who use cell phones weren't ASSHOLES about how they use them, it woudn't be a problem...

Re:Really cool.. (1)

voice_of_all_reason (926702) | more than 8 years ago | (#14828386)

Some people RELY on their cell phones' ability to receive calls...

Like doctors

Re:Really cool.. (2, Insightful)

Erioll (229536) | more than 8 years ago | (#14828588)

Yes but by the same measure a Doctor that is on-call doesn't go mountain climbing and is 2 days away from civilization. All this means is that if you have additional responsibilities, you can't do certain things.

What do you think these people did BEFORE cell phones? No different with this thing, except it's only a FEW places where they are restricted from going, rather than being stuck at home.

Re:Really cool.. (1)

MindStalker (22827) | more than 8 years ago | (#14828387)

Well you would notice your meter dropping significantly, there are many buildings that because of their structure block cell phones even now. So if you currently work on the assumption that you can go anywhere in your cell range and be able to receive calls no matter what, you may be in for a rough time without this paint.

Re:Really cool.. (1)

John Napkintosh (140126) | more than 8 years ago | (#14828412)

If you're that in demand, then you don't have the time to be sitting in a public performance. Frankly, it's a bit irresponsible for you to make yourself unavailable if this is the case.

Re:Really cool.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14828587)

If someone is on call, I see no reason they can't watch a movie. A doc on call just has to able to answer the phone and hurry into the hospital right? So if its a calm day, he sees the end of the movie. If there's a pileup on the interstate, he'll have to try again or rent the dvd.

Re:Really cool.. (1)

generalbeard (675699) | more than 8 years ago | (#14828416)

It is people like you who irritate me because they think they can sue whoever they like - If you're waiting on an emergency phone call, then don't go into the building. If the company puts the sign up saying 'the paint is on' then that's your fault. The person putting on the paint is just following their boss' orders, he/she has no intent on blocking your emergency calls. If you're waiting for the baby to pop out, hang out with your pregnant girlfriend.

Re:Really cool.. (1)

Moby Cock (771358) | more than 8 years ago | (#14828421)

Just don't go in the theatre/church/classroom. You don't have a right to cell phone reception on private property.

MOD UP (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14828582)

Ooooh yea, if the GP is "so valuable" than what is he doing in a movie theater anyway? He should be sleeping in the emergency waiting room, eating at the cafeteria, and taking showers in the changing room.

Really, if you have to treat your cell phone like a shot of insulin or a pacemaker, then don't go to the theater. If you do, you are the cause your own problems.

And before you go on whining about how you deserve the same pasttimes as other people, remember you made the choice to live a lifestyle that depends on cell phones. Oh sure, someone's gotta do it, but then they gotta make the sacrifices too.

No sympathy for you GP. If you sue I hope the court slaps you silly.

Re:Really cool.. (1)

Phroggy (441) | more than 8 years ago | (#14828422)

Not just receive emergency calls - what if the guy next to you has a heart attack, and you can't call 911?

Re:Really cool.. (1)

John Napkintosh (140126) | more than 8 years ago | (#14828439)

Believe it or not, land lines still exist. In an emergency situation where a land line is readily accessible and one choses to use a cell phone instead, that's an invitation for disaster.

Re:Really cool.. (1)

Moby Cock (771358) | more than 8 years ago | (#14828448)

I expect that the usher will have access to afunctioning communication device.

Re:Really cool.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14828490)

How about you, you know, actually walk like 30 feet or whatever it takes to get outside of the painted theatre room and make the call from the lobby area or outside? It'll take you an extra 5 seconds or so.

Selfish b**tard! (1)

Expert Determination (950523) | more than 8 years ago | (#14828443)

In a cinema there are often hundreds of people. The chance that at least one person out of those hundreds has an 'emergency' during the length of a movie is significant. This means that any time I see a movie I have to endure a significant chance of it being ruined because of someone else's problem. No thanks. If you're worried about emergencies DON'T WATCH MOVIES OR GO TO CONCERTS. It's as simple as that. You can wait for the DVD or buy the CD instead.

Re:Really cool.. (5, Insightful)

LordNimon (85072) | more than 8 years ago | (#14828473)

You'd get nowhere in that lawsuit.

Cell phones are inherently unreliable, and the cell phone company itself makes no guarantee that your phone will work at any given time or any given place. Would you sue the cell phone company every time your phone fails to ring? Of course not.

People like you suck.

Re:Really cool.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14828482)

Since when do you have a right to be able to receive cell phone calls in someone else's building?

Do you plan to sue the transit authority because you can't receive cell phone calls in the subway? How about the airlines, since they make you turn off your phone on the plane? Heck, what about the national park service? There are plenty of parks where you can't receive cell phone calls because there are no towers.

Re:Really cool.. (1)

TimeTrav (460837) | more than 8 years ago | (#14828486)

I for one will be happy if this thing takes off. I can't even count the number of times I've been embarassed by my cell ringing loudly when I forgot to turn on vibrate mode.

While I can understand the viewpoint of those who "RELY" on their phones, in all reality, there are very few people who have to take "emergency" calls. I personally spend 1 out of every 3 weeks oncall, and during those weeks I have agreements with the others who share oncall responsibilities so that any time I am unreachable, they cover for me, and vice versa.

The very first time I miss an emergency call because of this paint, I will be suing both the building and the company that made the paint. I might even sue the guy who applied the paint on the walls..

Good luck on that one, you'll need it.

Re:Really cool.. (1)

Red Flayer (890720) | more than 8 years ago | (#14828488)

"The very first time I miss an emergency call because of this paint, I will be suing both the building and the company that made the paint. I might even sue the guy who applied the paint on the walls..
Some people RELY on their cell phones' ability to receive calls... "


That's fine. But don't sue because you chose to enter an area where cell phone use is disabled -- you have no universal right to cell phone coverage, and BS lawsuits are a waste of MY money as a taxpayer.

If you rely on your cell phone, don't stay where you can't receive calls. It's that simple, and no one's responsibility but your own.

Technological solution. (2, Interesting)

FuzzyDaddy (584528) | more than 8 years ago | (#14828502)

How about this - the theater gives you a vibrate-only pager to which you forward your calls (or even to which their conduit automatically routes your calls.) So if you REALLY need to be in touch you can be, but without annoying people around you. And you have to leave the theater to actually talk.

Re:Really cool.. (1)

ChibiOne (716763) | more than 8 years ago | (#14828503)

It is precisely this kind of arrogance that ruin the movie/concert-going experience.


Let's remember: one person's freedom ends where the neighbor's starts. You have as much right to receive your calls as I have the right to enjoy a concert-play-movie, or listen to, or even give, a conference.


The key here would be the warnings: every place has a code of conduct. When you buy a ticket or enroll in a conference, you accept a, let's call it "EULA": by entering the premises, you accept to have your cell phone blocked and the company is not responsible for any lost calls nor its consequences. You have been warned.


Heck, they should have this small print on every ticket now, to enforce vibration mode: if your phone makes noise, you can be kicked out of the premises.

Cell is not reliable (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14828520)

And you can't prove in court that it is. You're expecting POTS like performance and NO ONE will back you that cells can do that. Cell is intermitant, and if you're relying on it knowing you may have to respond to an emergency, then it's your own fault for any damages that are inccured, period. You might get a stupid jury and judge find for you, but if the defense has competant lawyers, you won't win. Even if they don't put up signs warning you.

Re:Really cool.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14828544)

Fuck you, asshole. You're probably the kind of prick that needs to be run down by a truck.

Fuck you and your idiotic insistence that the whole world tailor itself to your needs.

Faggot.

Re:Really cool.. (1)

TheRogue (71674) | more than 8 years ago | (#14828550)

I think the poster is only threatening to sue if there is no warning sign. That may be a valid assertion - if you go into a small building you have a reasonable expectation of cell phone availability. If that expectation is violated by the actions of the owners of the building, they could be considered liable for the consequences.

Re:Really cool.. (1)

InsaneGeek (175763) | more than 8 years ago | (#14828554)

I assume that you actively sue the: city, state, federal gov, architect, construction company and blue collar construction workers when you step in an elevator inside a government building. You also must go after mother nature during certain weather storms, or for allowing trees to grow too tall. Let me make it very, very clear to you: YOU CAN NOT RELY ON A WIRELESS DEVICE (INCLUDING A PAGER), and you should be smacked up side the head in a court room if you try to bring something in this frivilous.

Re:Really cool.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14828571)

The very first time I miss an emergency call because of this paint, I will be suing both the building and the company that made the paint. I might even sue the guy who applied the paint on the walls..

So businesses have a duty to make sure you have cell phone service inside of them? That's rather odd.

Re:Really cool.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14828577)

everyone seems to be flaming you, so I want to offer a little bit of support/perspective.

while many repliers are relying on saying that one would be waiting for an emergency call, what about when it comes out of nowhere? recently (aka. the last time i've been to the theater in 6 months) i recieved a call that one of my friends had gotten into a an accident and was going to the hospital near me. he has a supreme fear of hospitals, and more speciifically... dying in them

No one else was allowed in the medivac, and nobody else was close enough to get there in time to see him in besides me (being 1 block from the hospital). My phone was on silent. I feel one discreet buzz with a txt that says 911. So I left the theater and called to see what was up. I was able to calm him down. If i hadn't been there, he would have likely flipped the hell out with IV's and all that sticking out of him.

Why should people who respectfully and discreetly use their phones be punished because of morons? If something happens to someone I care about, and someone is calling me in a place that can feasibly recieve a cell signal (without nanotube tampering) then I better damn well get the call.

Re:Really cool.. (1)

negative3 (836451) | more than 8 years ago | (#14828595)

Is your ability to receive calls on your cell phone a right or a privilege? Where is it guaranteed that you will be able to use items such as a cellphone in certain places? Is your ability to receive a phone call more important than another person's expectation to watch a movie or concert performance without overwhelming distraction from another person? I'd say that in some situations not being able to receive calls falls under the category of "your problem", not that of the building owner and especially not the guy who actually applied the paint to the walls.

(Just asking, hoping to start meaningful conversation, not a flamewar)

FROM THE OFFICE OF *insert lawyer's name here* (1)

nevergleam (900375) | more than 8 years ago | (#14828598)

This is a public service announcement from the office of *insert lawyer's name here*.

*******Do you rely on your cellphone in order to receive calls? You should then consider suing cell phone companies for not existing in the past. You potentially missed hundreds of emergency calls, and lost hundreds of thousands of dollars in business opportunities because cell phone companies did not exist to provide you the means to receive them! That's where the office of *insert lawyer's name here* can help! Call 555-8282. Once again, 555-8282.********

{/Tongue in cheek}
You do prove a valid point. Warning signs will be required, because as annoying as people find them in some situations, cellular telephones have become for many people a necessary part of life. As a college student, I actually have no other line aside from my cellular phone.

Re:Really cool.. (1)

The Fun Guy (21791) | more than 8 years ago | (#14828613)

In that case, I'm going to sue NBC because their skyscraper screws up my cell phone signal when I go to my favorite park bench.

4. Profit!

I have no problem with this (2, Insightful)

CyberSnyder (8122) | more than 8 years ago | (#14828335)

...as long as the areas where cell phones are blocked are clearly marked as dead areas. It's something that you really need to know if you're on call.

Re:I have no problem with this (0, Flamebait)

Red Flayer (890720) | more than 8 years ago | (#14828531)

"...as long as the areas where cell phones are blocked are clearly marked as dead areas. It's something that you really need to know if you're on call.

Just set your cell phone to beep or vibrate when you lose coverage. Why should a theater etc be responsible for alerting you to potential problems with your personal electronics?

Finally! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14828336)

A way to block calls to all thoses assholes with the obnoxious ring tones at the worst times!

FCC might kill this. (1)

hal2814 (725639) | more than 8 years ago | (#14828341)

This nano technology may indeed be a trillion dollar business like the article claims, but it's going to have to get the blessing of the FCC to be usable here in the US. If not, it'll be relelgated to backrooms of spy shops like all the other cell phone blocking technology already present.

Re:FCC might kill this. (2, Informative)

TimeTrav (460837) | more than 8 years ago | (#14828377)

Um, no. Since it is a passive method, this is not and will not be regulated. You can acheive a similar effect by putting a layer of copper shielding in your wall.

The novelty here is that it can be enabled and disabled at will.

Re:FCC might kill this. (1)

Expert Determination (950523) | more than 8 years ago | (#14828382)

What does it have to do with the FCC? This is completely passive and emits no signal. I'm allowed to build a Faraday cage around my own house if I so desire. The only thing different here is the ability to switch the cage on and off.

Re:FCC might kill this. (2, Informative)

lintocs (723324) | more than 8 years ago | (#14828475)

The FCC can't kill this, as it doesn't transmit anything to anywhere, it's not even a powered device (persay). For example, if a builder decides to line the walls of his building with lead to achieve the same result, tough luck cell user. If an interior designer likes chromium (and they did in the '20s) and builds a lobby that is in essence a Faraday box, tough luck BlackBerry.

Personally, I like the idea of creating a domestic space where I'm not being bombarded by microwave energy, around the clock. Just because every idiot neighbour I have feels that they need a WiFi network, cordless phone, and what-have-you, doesn't mean that I should have to sleep in their energy pollution.

goodbye tin foil hat (1)

MaceyHW (832021) | more than 8 years ago | (#14828344)

...hello nano-copper hairspray in stylish punk green.

Good use (1)

Croakus (663556) | more than 8 years ago | (#14828346)

I'm going to paint my phone with it (grin)

911 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14828366)

"In case you get trapped by fire, go outside to call 911"

Hack! (1)

Joe5678 (135227) | more than 8 years ago | (#14828398)

The "On Demand" portion seems to be a hack. The paint does block the wireless signals. For you to "turn off" the paint though requires that you capture the wireless signals outside the protected area and then rebroadcast them inside.

Not exactly "On Demand".

Annoyance compression (1)

coinreturn (617535) | more than 8 years ago | (#14828400)

Yeah, the calls will be silenced during the show, but when intermission comes, all those pent up calls notify the all the phones of waiting voice mails at one time. As soon as the signal is allowed through a bunch of phones all ring at once and everybody starts talking at once.

Developing != exists (1)

Mab_Mass (903149) | more than 8 years ago | (#14828415)

Read this carefully. They are "developing" a technology that "would" block cell phones. This doesn't exist (yet?). I'd be suprised it they would ever succeed.

In related news, I'm developping a method to turn lead into gold. Anybody want to invest?

Re:Developing != exists (1)

nate nice (672391) | more than 8 years ago | (#14828579)

You can turn lead into gold?! Holy shit, we're going to make a fortune! Don't tell many people about this or they might steal this great plan. Man, send me your email so we can get started on this. I have enough venture capital to get it going...wow, I can see it already...a house of gold! I'll have more gold than I'll ever know what to do with!

Nano threat to humanity? (1)

blankoboy (719577) | more than 8 years ago | (#14828419)

Where has all the fear of the grey goo gone? Are nano particles now considered safe for use in consumer products and everything else?
I recall reading that there were/are some serious safety concerns with the effects of nano material on biological systems.
Did I miss some news reports?

Re:Nano threat to humanity? (1)

blankoboy (719577) | more than 8 years ago | (#14828442)

Or was it just the standard 'greed overcomes human safety'?

Re:Nano threat to humanity? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14828534)

No, you didn't miss the news report, since it was never reported, but corporations have taken over the government. If nano particles are dangerous a law prohibiting suing for damages caused by nano particles will be passed to protect the corporations. That's how you'll know they're dangerous.

Of course the law prohibiting posting signs saying "this building contains nanoparticles" will make it hard to find out where to avoid, but that's necessary to protect other corporations.

Re:Nano threat to humanity? (1)

Kelson (129150) | more than 8 years ago | (#14828559)

Nanotechnology != Nanites.

Nanotech just refers to anything dealing with really really small technology. Grey goo is only an issue with self-replicating machines -- often referred to as Von Neumann machines [wikipedia.org] (or possibly other machines that alter the environment around them). The fear there is that microscopic self-replicating machines could, molecule by molecule, transform everything around them into more self-replicating machines.

If the nanotech doesn't alter matter around it, grey goo isn't a risk.

Re:Nano threat to humanity? (1)

greginnj (891863) | more than 8 years ago | (#14828563)

chill out ... 'grey goo' refers to the threat self-replicating nano-technology; the threat being that it could suck up resources without limit as it replicates. All we're talking about here is nanotubes, little submicroscopic pipes of carbon filled with copper. They can't replicate or do much of anything except stick to a wall. Health risks of 'nano-particles' (whatever those are) are much the same as any fine dust (and likely to be less severe than asbestos). Carbon nano-particles are also known as coal dust, but we're much less likely to be exposed to dangerous quantities of nanoparticles than miners are to coal dust (since there's no reason to spray it around indiscriminately). In this case the whole thing's moot because the nano stuff is in the paint, not floating free in the air.

Sweet (1)

Junior J. Junior III (192702) | more than 8 years ago | (#14828438)

I am totally going to paint my bedroom with this stuff.

Blocks 911 too - private use only (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14828447)

Imagine the lawsuit that results when there's a heart attack at a theater and 911 doesn't get there in time because they tried calling 911 and it didn't work, due to they panic they didn't think about running outside to call. Until it can specifically block only non 911 calls no system will see much use. If all the companies were on a single GSM standard like in Europe it would be much easier to make a device or institute a mandatory system for the cell phone companies where government buildings, airports, and perhaps privately movie theaters can choose to block non 911 calls. til then, good luck

Re:Blocks 911 too - private use only (1)

robertjw (728654) | more than 8 years ago | (#14828499)

Imagine the lawsuit that results when there's a heart attack at a theater and 911 doesn't get there in time because they tried calling 911 and it didn't work

Not sure how your phone works, but there are plenty of places where mine doesn't. If I go into the local Walmart I don't get any signal at all (which is annoying when you can't remember why you were sent there). Most of us wouldn't think it odd at all if our phones didn't work in any given building. Running outside to make a call is very instinctive to most of us with cell phones and probably not basis for a lawsuit.

Thanks be to Allah (1)

RedHatLinux (453603) | more than 8 years ago | (#14828458)

Someone has found a technological solution to bad manners. Seriously, now I might actually get to watch a movie or attend class without listening to some idiot described the movie to someone else or explain to their 8 year old home alone how to light a fireplace(Happen in an art history class)

For real people, despite how many of us feel, very few us are so important that we cannot do without a cell phone for a few hours.

Re:Thanks be to Allah (1)

engagebot (941678) | more than 8 years ago | (#14828591)

Very few does not mean all. I understand what you're saying, but a full out block of the cell signals is hardly a realistic fix for bad manners. Like i said in an earlier post, i wear a hospital pager 24/7. Tons of people do. Do movie theatre owners really want to alienate higher-income medical professionals, or just crack down on the knuckle-heads?

Organisms? (1)

nullset (39850) | more than 8 years ago | (#14828460)

From TFA:

> Nanotechnology, the emerging science of harnessing sub-microscopic organisms for everyday uses,

Um, last I checked nanotech had nothing to do with small "organisms".

Re:Organisms? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14828492)

Um, last I checked nanotech had nothing to do with small "orgasms".

You're right, that's something altogether different.

This is the best paint ever! (1)

EntropyXP (956792) | more than 8 years ago | (#14828462)

This is the best thing since cell phones came out! "I know an old lady who swallowed a fly..." Next thing you'll have unblockable cell phones.... "Perhaps she'll die..." They should implement this paint everywhere, like in... Restaurants... so you know when you're date is faking a phone call to get out of the boring conversation about Star Trek and Captain Kirk really being superior to Star Wars and Luke Skywalker. Hospitals... so you can't interfere with the Catscan machine and cause someone to have a stroke. Movie theaters... so I can hear every last over-acted-word come out of Leonardo Dicaprio's mouth. Grocery stores... so I don't have to hear the soccer mom order her husband around remotely. Yes, I love this paint!

Not just theatres and classrooms... (1)

Randolpho (628485) | more than 8 years ago | (#14828466)

Perhaps airplanes [slashdot.org] could use a little nanotube paint as well?

The new asbestos? (2, Informative)

PIPBoy3000 (619296) | more than 8 years ago | (#14828469)

There may be some serious health risks [jnanobiotechnology.com] associated with nanotubes and other small particles. Hopefully the companies involved do thorough health risk assessments before putting it up everywhere.

Carcinogenic? (1)

Capt'n Hector (650760) | more than 8 years ago | (#14828471)

I don't think copper by itself is carcinogenic, but what about nanotubes? What happens when you need to sand down the wall?

Are the facts really that difficult? (1)

attonitus (533238) | more than 8 years ago | (#14828472)

nanotechnology, the emerging science of harnessing sub-microscopic organisms for everyday use

And I should pay any attention to the rest of the article because ...?

For what it's worth, the article also claims that the:

paint relies on the wizardry of nanotechnology to create a system that locks out unwanted cell phone signals on demand

This would be remarkable and is not true. Actually (from later on in the article), the company will:

combine this signal-blocking paint scheme with a radio-filtering device that collects phone signals from outside a shielded space, allowing certain transmissions to proceed

Which still sounds useful, but is a lot less exciting.

before cell phones (1)

acvh (120205) | more than 8 years ago | (#14828474)

people went out, doctors went out, parents went out, and we did ok.

last Sunday in church (spare me the religion debate) a cell phone rang while the priest was consecrating the host. Jesus was pissed.

if people could be trusted to turn them to vibrate this sort of thing wouldn't even be on the drawing board. but people suck.

Will they make shampoo like this? (1)

devphaeton (695736) | more than 8 years ago | (#14828481)

You know, i'd have much fewer people pointing at my shiny hat.

just trying to keep the Liberal Media out!

Other uses (1)

Billosaur (927319) | more than 8 years ago | (#14828498)

I'm thinking this might be useful in other ways:
  • Applying it on your car, to foil radar guns
  • Using it in offices to keep wireless signals from escaping (I know it's not quite the same thing, but close)

As to people who need their cell phones (parents with children, brain sugeons, etc.), use a system like you have at restaurants that use the wireless pagers. They would be tuned to work inside the building; someone dials a number or goes online, sends a message to the theatre, church, whatever, and it's relayed.

I know this sounds paranoid... (1)

haibijon (893019) | more than 8 years ago | (#14828501)

Wouldn't this allow kidnappers or anyone else for that matter to block cell phone signals maliciously, or unintentionally in the case of an emergency?

Re:I know this sounds paranoid... (1)

devphaeton (695736) | more than 8 years ago | (#14828566)

....any differently than the kidnapper physically throwing the cell phone on the ground and stomping on it a bunch of times?

no-can-do (2, Insightful)

engagebot (941678) | more than 8 years ago | (#14828533)

What we really need is people with common sense/courtesy. Don't have an obnoxious ringtone. Don't talk on the phone in a movie theatre, etc.

My situation: I've got to wear a hospital pager 24/7. New movie theatre with signal-jamming capability? I can't go. Sure, I've got sense enough to keep it on vibrate, but i'm the minority. We have to resort to actually crippling the devices to keep people from being idiots.

Where can i get this! (1)

GmAz (916505) | more than 8 years ago | (#14828542)

I want some of this so bad. The possibilities are endless. Imagine getting an annoying persons cell phone and painting the inside of the case. Blissful silence.

Riiiiight... (1)

krnpimpsta (906084) | more than 8 years ago | (#14828569)

I stopped reading after this sentence:

"It is also another breakthrough application of nanotechnology, the emerging science of harnessing sub-microscopic organisms for everyday uses, like stain-resistant pants and transparent sunblock."

Will nanotubes become the next asbestos? (1)

cpotoso (606303) | more than 8 years ago | (#14828574)

All of this sounds very nice, but will these nanofibers become in a decade or two the next asbestos? Before one puts these nanotubes out in the open and in large amounts there should be studies about this.

Disasters? (1)

MyDixieWrecked (548719) | more than 8 years ago | (#14828584)

But what happens when there's a disaster (earthquake, hurricane, explosion, etc) and people get trapped in said facility? Or there's an emergency, like someone breaking their arm or having a heartattack?

How do you call for help? How do you let people know you're in there?

Blocking a means of emergency communications should be illegal. Especially with something that can't be turned off.

Sure, cell phones are a disturbance and a distraction, but they're not a danger to society or anything close to being an epidemic.

Lawyers (1)

TopSpin (753) | more than 8 years ago | (#14828609)

The cynic in me envisions a trial lawyer engaging the survivors of people killed in a theater fire, cell phone in hand...

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