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  • Cel Phone Jammers

    So this bit of technology is in the news again. I know they've been reported on before, but i don't recall seeing it in the New York Times in recent memory, however.

    Devices Enforce Silence of Cellphones, Illegally
    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.”
    what are your opinions of cel phone jammers? i know that Lady Ada from Make actually constructed one as part of a thesis project, later showcasing it at HOPE. anyone else care to boldy comment on their ownership or use of one? or perhaps speak in hypotheticals about whether you could see yourself ever using one.

    heh, my one of personal favorite stories about them pertains to a prominent 2600 individual who has a device like that inside a fake cigarette pack... the user interface is one single switch, which he likes to call he "hello?" button, due to the utterances it generates from many babbling callers in the vicinity when it's pressed.
    "I'll admit I had an OiNK account and frequented it quite often… What made OiNK a great place was that it was like the world's greatest record store… iTunes kind of feels like Sam Goody to me. I don't feel cool when I go there. I'm tired of seeing John Mayer's face pop up. I feel like I'm being hustled when I visit there, and I don't think their product is that great. DRM, low bit rate, etc... OiNK it existed because it filled a void of what people want."
    - Trent Reznor

  • #2
    Re: Cel Phone Jammers

    It is effectively a DoS attack, and by itself, isn't very clever. (My opinion.)
    (Just because something isn't clever does not mean it isn't entertaining or useful. :-)

    As for effectiveness, it could stop social talkers, but is that something that people should enforce? I see value in denying cell phone service in theaters, and places people eat, but it would be best if it were published or announced as such on a sign so people can choose to patronize such businesses or not, and businesses can choose to block cell phone use if they think it would be profitable.

    Use of such tools is an attempt to enforce rules of social conduct. If we empowered people to legally stop other people from doing things that annoy them, eventually someone would think something I do annoys them. (Of course, I do many things that sometimes annoy people, and am told I am not at all funny by these people, too. ]:> )

    On the other hand, history shows us that significant change seldom happens unless there is a threat which seems worse than one of the alternatives available for selection, and a kind of, "bargaining," takes place. Perhaps wide-spread use of this as a tool could cause exceptions in laws to come into being. Laws against LCD in view of the driver have changed when mapping and driving route tools became popular, so....

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    • #3
      Re: Cel Phone Jammers

      There are certainly some legitimate uses for cell phone jammers...
      "\x74\x68\x65\x70\x72\x65\x7a\x39\x38";

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Cel Phone Jammers

        Originally posted by TheCotMan View Post
        I see value in denying cell phone service in theaters, and places people eat, but it would be best if it were published or announced as such on a sign so people can choose to patronize such businesses or not, and businesses can choose to block cell phone use if they think it would be profitable.
        Well it clearly needs to be advertised in today's world. There are many professions (I love to use doctors as an example because of the emotional response) that require people being "on-call", and those people would be unable to patronize such establishments.

        There is also a problem of enforcing limits on the jammer. Assuming it is acceptable to control the radio frequences passing through your private property, how much care is being taken to check the limits of the jammer? Knowing the attitude of most people, I'm guessing the answer is "not much".

        What about the owner's liability when preventing emergency calls? I don't know that this has ever come up in court, but I can see it being a very real legal issue.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Cel Phone Jammers

          Originally posted by Voltage Spike View Post
          Well it clearly needs to be advertised in today's world. There are many professions (I love to use doctors as an example because of the emotional response) that require people being "on-call", and those people would be unable to patronize such establishments.
          see, on this topic i tend to give a big "so what" answer. my father is a doctor (well, a dentist, actually) and is part of a pool of professionals whose practices work together to form emergency dentist coverage lists. a schedule is drawn up for weekends and holidays... and they all rotate who is on call at certain times. if he is on call he won't go out to a movie or out to eat that particular night.

          now, the thing is, very few professions are truly on a state of permanent readiness and on call 24/7. Why can't doctors and other folk who experience occasions of being "on call" just accept the fact that there are certain establishments that they will be unable to patronize on such evenings? either that, or they accept that they are obligated to walk outside and check their phone every half hour?

          i realize that there are folk in the IT world who have phones permanently welded to their side due to their support for sensitive or critical systems. Cygnus is one person, i believe. well... that's a career choice. you go into a field that requires you to be on call 24/7 and certain things just come with the territory. however, i would think that even he could get by with not seeing his phone for 30 minutes or so. (geez, otherwise how's a guy like that supposed to adequately go for a swim or spend time with a call girl or something?)

          in the end, it's all a trade-off. people pick how demanding their job should be... and they also pick what establishments they want to visit. much like allowing smoking in bars, each person has the choice to patronize a private establishment (and abide by all the rules and regulations that such a visit entails) or to take their business elsewhere.


          Originally posted by Voltage Spike View Post
          There is also a problem of enforcing limits on the jammer. Assuming it is acceptable to control the radio frequences passing through your private property, how much care is being taken to check the limits of the jammer? Knowing the attitude of most people, I'm guessing the answer is "not much".
          a good point. maybe one day the use of such a device would have to be coordinated also with Faraday cage wall construction to prevent "leak" of the jamming signals out to the rest of the world.

          Originally posted by Voltage Spike View Post
          What about the owner's liability when preventing emergency calls? I don't know that this has ever come up in court, but I can see it being a very real legal issue.
          i would, personally, equate this to businesses that post "no weapons" signs when operating in states that allow concealed carry. (and if i were a business owner facing a lawsuit, that's exactly the analogy i would use in court.)

          in a place like Texas, if a bar or restaurant has a "no CCW" policy and posts signs accordingly, patrons are obligated to leave their handguns in the car. if an armed robbery happens and your spouse is shot and wounded by the assailant, you wouldn't easily be able to argue in court "i could have defended her if i had my gun!" because you saw the sign, made the choice to dine there anyway, and left it in the car of your own accord. i would think that people are smart enough to understand the fundamental choice there...

          "well, Maybel, we can eat here but on the off chance that you have a heart attack i won't be able to call 911 on my cell phone. should we still eat here or go to the Denny's down the street?"
          "I'll admit I had an OiNK account and frequented it quite often… What made OiNK a great place was that it was like the world's greatest record store… iTunes kind of feels like Sam Goody to me. I don't feel cool when I go there. I'm tired of seeing John Mayer's face pop up. I feel like I'm being hustled when I visit there, and I don't think their product is that great. DRM, low bit rate, etc... OiNK it existed because it filled a void of what people want."
          - Trent Reznor

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Cel Phone Jammers

            Raw jamming is defiantly not the answer due to the emergency situations noted above.

            A possible solution would be to have an 'courtesy' field. Essentially a transmitter that would tell the cell phones in it's area to go to vibrate/silent mode (think movie theaters, etc where ringing phones would suck). Would take some co-operation with the cell phone manufacturers, but would not be difficult. The least they could do is have it disable those god awful mp3 ringtones

            The other is to have some sort of legislation that allows for patrons (with appropriate signs to the fact) to be removed from the establishment for 'excessive' cell phone talking.

            The combination of the 2 would cut down on ringing phones causing disruption and then give management some discression on ejecting those who are rude enough to not excuse themselves to a hallway or other place to take that oh-so-important call.
            Never drink anything larger than your head!





            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Cel Phone Jammers

              Originally posted by renderman View Post
              A possible solution would be to have an 'courtesy' field. Essentially a transmitter that would tell the cell phones in it's area to go to vibrate/silent mode
              i like the notion in a general sort of way... but i grow leery of any technology that can make policy decisions for my personal devices. my guess is that the best you could do would be getting manufacturers to include such a feature and maybe have it turned on by default... but there would likely be a menu option to disable it. and the assholes who are a problem are the ones who would want it disabled. considerate people turn their devices off already.

              Originally posted by renderman View Post
              The other is to have some sort of legislation that allows for patrons (with appropriate signs to the fact) to be removed from the establishment for 'excessive' cell phone talking.
              heh, as far as i know that doesn't require legislation, that just requires balls on the part of management. you can be asked to leave a private place at any time for just about any reason. all it would take would be an owner or manager with the sack to walk over and say, "i'm sorry, but we have a no cel phone policy... you'll either have to handle all your calls out front or we will have to ask you to leave."

              i wish i could witness that. i'd fucking applaud.

              [EDIT: in fact, maybe this leads to a decent public poll question about what constitutes appropriate cel use. look for a new thread in a sec.]
              Last edited by Deviant Ollam; November 5, 2007, 15:49.
              "I'll admit I had an OiNK account and frequented it quite often… What made OiNK a great place was that it was like the world's greatest record store… iTunes kind of feels like Sam Goody to me. I don't feel cool when I go there. I'm tired of seeing John Mayer's face pop up. I feel like I'm being hustled when I visit there, and I don't think their product is that great. DRM, low bit rate, etc... OiNK it existed because it filled a void of what people want."
              - Trent Reznor

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Cel Phone Jammers

                I think dining rooms and theathers should be faraday cages. I don't want anyone talking on a cell phone when I am trying to enjoy dinner and or a movie. If they need to make a call that bad, go outside = it's only a few steps away.

                Oh, and don't even get me going on what i think about people that walk around with the bluetooth headset when they are not on a call.
                DaKahuna
                ___________________
                Will Hack for Bandwidth

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Cel Phone Jammers

                  Originally posted by Deviant Ollam View Post
                  now, the thing is, very few professions are truly on a state of permanent readiness and on call 24/7. Why can't doctors and other folk who experience occasions of being "on call" just accept the fact that there are certain establishments that they will be unable to patronize on such evenings?
                  I was referring to part-time on-call professions, but it could extend to full-time (if there is really such a thing)...

                  Originally posted by Deviant Ollam View Post
                  i would, personally, equate this to businesses that post "no weapons" signs when operating in states that allow concealed carry.
                  So both situations lead to the same suggestion: the use of a jammer requires appropriate signage. In the case of the on-call user they shouldn't have to stay at home, but they should be informed that their choice of establishment will conflict with their status.

                  Originally posted by Deviant Ollam
                  i like the notion in a general sort of way... but i grow leery of any technology that can make policy decisions for my personal devices.
                  In either case, policy decisions are being made on my behalf. If it was a choice between forced vibrate (not that I ever use the ringer anyway...) or no service, then I'm going to have to choice the former.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Cel Phone Jammers

                    Originally posted by DaKahuna View Post
                    Oh, and don't even get me going on what i think about people that walk around with the bluetooth headset when they are not on a call.
                    There's a reason I'm following the OSS BT protocol analyser research so closely, I desperatly want to be able to beam the voice of god into those peoples heads!
                    Never drink anything larger than your head!





                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Cel Phone Jammers

                      I know there are people that would find jammers pretty useful- I actually had one executive ask me to buy him a jammer to use during business meetings while I was in Japan, in Akihabara. Turns out jamming technology is actually incorporated into Japanese cell phones.
                      One Nation Under Surveillance
                      "War is Peace, Freedom is Slavery, Ignorance is Strength."

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Cel Phone Jammers

                        Jamming technology could be a fun thing too.

                        Some people arrange for escape calls when on blind dates, or in meetings they don't want to attend.

                        *ring*
                        "Servers are melting down? I'll be in, right away!"
                        ..
                        "Sorry. emergency came up. Have to leave early. Had a nice time. See you later."

                        Heh heh. With this, you can trap people and prevent their escape clause from reaching them.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Cel Phone Jammers

                          Okay, so who has the plans necessary to build one of these or knows where I can buy one :) Just think what fun it would be at a Con!
                          DaKahuna
                          ___________________
                          Will Hack for Bandwidth

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Cel Phone Jammers

                            Originally posted by DaKahuna View Post
                            Okay, so who ... knows where I can buy one
                            biggitty bam
                            "I'll admit I had an OiNK account and frequented it quite often… What made OiNK a great place was that it was like the world's greatest record store… iTunes kind of feels like Sam Goody to me. I don't feel cool when I go there. I'm tired of seeing John Mayer's face pop up. I feel like I'm being hustled when I visit there, and I don't think their product is that great. DRM, low bit rate, etc... OiNK it existed because it filled a void of what people want."
                            - Trent Reznor

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Cel Phone Jammers

                              Originally posted by Deviant Ollam View Post
                              Thanks. I may just have to get one to test at ShmooCon.
                              DaKahuna
                              ___________________
                              Will Hack for Bandwidth

                              Comment

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