Saturday, November 3, 2007
Cell Phone Jammer, Yeah!
I know they're illegal, but if they were cheaper I'd buy one in a flash and just LOVE listening to the cussing and frustration of the a-holes on the bus who inflict their inane and assinine personal conversations on me courtesy of their cell phones! Wouldn't I just love to shove one of those phones - well, you get the picture, I'm sure. Wait a minute - where can I buy one of those $50 models - Devices Enforce Cellular Silence, Sweet but Illegal By MATT RICHTEL Published: November 4, 2007 SAN FRANCISCO, Nov. 2 — One afternoon in early September, an architect boarded his commuter train and became a cellphone vigilante. He sat down next to a 20-something woman who he said was “blabbing away” into her phone. “She was using the word ‘like’ all the time. She sounded like a Valley Girl,” said the architect, Andrew, who declined to give his last name because what he did next was illegal. Andrew reached into his shirt pocket and pushed a button on a black device the size of a cigarette pack. It sent out a powerful radio signal that cut off the chatterer’s cellphone transmission — and any others in a 30-foot radius. “She kept talking into her phone for about 30 seconds before she realized there was no one listening on the other end,” he said. His reaction when he first discovered he could wield such power? “Oh, holy moly! Deliverance.” As cellphone use has skyrocketed, making it hard to avoid hearing half a conversation in many public places, a small but growing band of rebels is turning to a blunt countermeasure: the cellphone jammer, a gadget that renders nearby mobile devices impotent. The technology is not new, but overseas exporters of jammers say demand is rising and they are sending hundreds of them a month into the United States — prompting scrutiny from federal regulators and new concern last week from the cellphone industry. The buyers include owners of cafes and hair salons, hoteliers, public speakers, theater operators, bus drivers and, increasingly, commuters on public transportation. The development is creating a battle for control of the airspace within earshot. And the damage is collateral. Insensitive talkers impose their racket on the defenseless, while jammers punish not just the offender, but also more discreet chatterers. “If anything characterizes the 21st century, it’s our inability to restrain ourselves for the benefit of other people,” said James Katz, director of the Center for Mobile Communication Studies at Rutgers University. “The cellphone talker thinks his rights go above that of people around him, and the jammer thinks his are the more important rights.” The jamming technology works by sending out a radio signal so powerful that phones are overwhelmed and cannot communicate with cell towers. The range varies from several feet to several yards, and the devices cost from $50 to several hundred dollars. Larger models can be left on to create a no-call zone. Using the jammers is illegal in the United States. The radio frequencies used by cellphone carriers are protected, just like those used by television and radio broadcasters. The Federal Communication Commission says people who use cellphone jammers could be fined up to $11,000 for a first offense. Its enforcement bureau has prosecuted a handful of American companies for distributing the gadgets — and it also pursues their users. Investigators from the F.C.C. and Verizon Wireless visited an upscale restaurant in Maryland over the last year, the restaurant owner said. The owner, who declined to be named, said he bought a powerful jammer for $1,000 because he was tired of his employees focusing on their phones rather than customers. “I told them: put away your phones, put away your phones, put away your phones,” he said. They ignored him. The owner said the F.C.C. investigator hung around for a week, using special equipment designed to detect jammers. But the owner had turned his off. The Verizon investigator was similarly unsuccessful. “He went to everyone in town and gave them his number and said if they were having trouble, they should call him right away,” the owner said. He said he has since stopped using the jammer. Of course, it would be harder to detect the use of smaller battery-operated jammers like those used by disgruntled commuters. An F.C.C. spokesman, Clyde Ensslin, declined to comment on the issue or the case in Maryland. Cellphone carriers pay tens of billions of dollars to lease frequencies from the government with an understanding that others will not interfere with their signals. And there are other costs on top of that. Verizon Wireless, for example, spends $6.5 billion a year to build and maintain its network. “It’s counterintuitive that when the demand is clear and strong from wireless consumers for improved cell coverage, that these kinds of devices are finding a market,” said Jeffrey Nelson, a Verizon spokesman. The carriers also raise a public safety issue: jammers could be used by criminals to stop people from communicating in an emergency. Rest of story. ********************************************************************************** “It’s counterintuitive that when the demand is clear and strong from wireless consumers for improved cell coverage, that these kinds of devices are finding a market” Say what? Obviously this man has never taken a bus and been subjected to listening to someone else's conversation at close range. YECH! In my shoes, the real mystery is why the jammers aren't being used by EVERYONE! I HATE CELLPHONES! I don't own one, and probably never will. I also don't have an answering machine, I don't have call forwarding or star-69 on my phone, and I don't have voice mail on my home phone. Guess what - I'm not missing a damn thing and I'm saving lots of money not missing it! LOL!