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Combating Harassing Use of Mosquito Noise Device? 1059

Posted by Cliff
from the high-tech-hijinx-and-migraines dept.
amicold asks: "For a while now my neighborhood has had to deal with an elderly neighbor who has displayed a slightly paranoid attitude towards myself and the fellow younger-adults of the neighborhood, believing us to be attempting to harass him in our day-to-day activities. Recently, he installed a Mosquito ultrasonic noise device as an apparent attempt to 'get back at us' for our harassment. As the Mosquito emits a sound that's well out of his hearing range, he can't hear it, while most of the rest of the neighborhood is under 40 and can; at which point it's causing everyone a great deal of discomfort. Unfortunately, because the police also can't hear it, we can't get the authorities to do anything about it, leaving us empty-handed in our attempts at getting some peace and quiet back. What can we do to either help the police realize how disturbing this device is, or counteract it so that it's no longer disturbing us? And is this the first of what may be a growing trend of civilians using high-tech discomfort weapons as a method of neighborhood warfare?"
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Combating Harassing Use of Mosquito Noise Device?

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  • right back at them (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 05, 2006 @12:00AM (#15850628)
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 05, 2006 @12:03AM (#15850645)
    You could start by getting off his damn lawn.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      You could fight back in two ways

      Use 2 directional low frequency drivers pointed at his house that would cause him to have a bowel movement.

      "Strong infrasonic or ultrasonic sound waves passing through the head, neck, or chest can cause gasping for breath, head pains, or a choking effect. The firing point of the weapon could be from inside of the house next door or the inside of the house across the street. Since the weapon is hidden inside of a house and no damage is done to either house, it is virtually imp
  • Ask Slashdot? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ag0ny (59629) <javi.lavandeira@net> on Saturday August 05, 2006 @12:04AM (#15850649) Homepage
    Instead of "Ask Slashdot", shouldn't this be under "Ask Your Lawyer"?
    • Re:Ask Slashdot? (Score:3, Insightful)

      by rolfwind (528248)
      To settle disputes, turning to a lawyer may not be the correct move. I mean, a lot of times it is, but there is the chance it gets expensive and out of hand. I would consider turning to the lawyer only for egregious offenses, or a last resort.

      An annoying neighbor is not there yet (as a first step) unless they start to build fences on your side of the property or something of that level.
      • Have you tried... (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Gordonjcp (186804) on Saturday August 05, 2006 @02:56AM (#15851160) Homepage
        ... asking him to turn it off?
        • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 05, 2006 @04:04AM (#15851332)
          ...they don't know his email address.
        • by kebes (861706) on Saturday August 05, 2006 @10:18AM (#15852062) Journal
          I think that is a good idea... but if I were you, I would ask a friend (who the elderly gentelman in question has never met) to go and ask. He/she should simply pretend/imply that they live "nearby"... the fact that the man has never met this person will make him think twice. He's probably not evil at the core, and he's only trying to get back at certain people. If he suddenly realizes that he's annoying others, he will probably stop.

          This new friend could be someone a bit older than all of you, in which case he may sympathize with them more and stop this particular annoying behavior.

          Alternately, you might get a friendly and attractive female to go and do the asking. It's amazing how frequently that can resolve a situation with a grumpy old man. I've seen it work more than once.
      • Re:Ask Slashdot? (Score:3, Insightful)

        by AusIV (950840)
        Suing gets expensive and out of hand. Consulting a lawyer about a public nuissance, and possibly having the lawyer send a letter to the offender would probably be wise, and relatively inexpensive.
    • Re:Ask Slashdot? (Score:5, Informative)

      by arivanov (12034) on Saturday August 05, 2006 @03:38AM (#15851275) Homepage
      If it is in the UK you can use the standard laws against nuisance noise for which you do not need a lawyer. Dig the relevant address of your council website, write a well written letter and off you go. Same as with security lights shining with your windows. No need for using your lawyers. This is something you pay for using your council tax.

      Most other legislations around EU (and many other countries outside it) are not any different. All you need to do is find the relevant local council address and send a complaint. They will send an engineer with measuring equipment at your site ASAP. The mere appearance of the van with the measurement equipment may be enough for the idiot Meldrew clone to take his Mosquito and shovel it where sun does not shine.
  • Simple (Score:5, Funny)

    by NitsujTPU (19263) on Saturday August 05, 2006 @12:05AM (#15850653)
  • Try this (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Kozar_The_Malignant (738483) on Saturday August 05, 2006 @12:06AM (#15850656)

    Take pictures of it. Print out the link you have in your post and any other documentation you can find on the thing. Ask a community service officer from the police to come out. She will probably be a she. She will probably be young, and since not carrying a gun, will not have spent a bunch of time on the firing range ruining her hearing. She will hear it, and since the docs clearly show it is designed to be annoying, she will be on your side. Probably. Maybe. You can try it and hope, anyway.

    Plan B. You like Hendrix, right? With breakfast. Early. Turn it up to eleven.

    • Do it yourself. If you're annoying people, DIY Hendrix is better than recorded. Be sure to wear your American Flag suit when you step out on your back deck to serenade him. An old Heathkit amp with some bad solder joints for extra distortion will help as well.
    • Re:Try this (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Tlosk (761023) on Saturday August 05, 2006 @12:57AM (#15850830)
      There was a piece on NPR radio a few weeks ago about an inventor who is marketing a device similar to the mosquito one in this article only it is specifically desinged to be annoying to teenagers (he had problems with them congregating in front of his store). Amusingly his daughter then subverted it for her own use by creating ringtones of the noise so that she could turn her phone on during school (since vibra mode can still be audible in a quiet classroom) and none of the teachers can hear it even though everyone else can lol.

      They even had the ringtone as a downloadable ringtone there (you can't of course hear it at all if you're over 25 or so, as you age you lose the ability to hear in those outlier frequency ranges).

      Here's a link to the story:

      http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?story Id=5434687 [npr.org]
    • Re:Try this (Score:5, Insightful)

      by rolfwind (528248) on Saturday August 05, 2006 @02:06AM (#15851005)
      Or at night, plan a raid, whereby you break the device in such a fashion that all the nice little leds stay on (take out the speaker or whatever makes the noise). This will require a screwdriver and you bringing it back to your place. The old man, never having heard the device doesn't know it is broken and is happy annoying you and you are happy as well. Everybody wins^_^
      • Re:Try this (Score:5, Insightful)

        by volpe (58112) on Saturday August 05, 2006 @05:34AM (#15851487)
        I was about to suggest that but you beat me to it. So let me add a little suggestion: Instead of trying to carefully break the thing in the middle of the night, buy another identical device from wherever he got it (Home Depot, whatever) and take your time breaking it carefully. Then just swap the two in the middle of the night. Then return the properly-functioning one to the store for a refund.
      • Re:Try this (Score:5, Interesting)

        by skam240 (789197) on Saturday August 05, 2006 @06:00AM (#15851531)
        Or at night, plan a raid, whereby you break the device in such a fashion that all the nice little leds stay on...

        Screw that. I'd just head over there at 3 in the morning and smash it with a hammer (and I'm dead serious for those looking to mod this funny). I've had to deal with people of this sort in dealing with my condo association and let me tell you, there are certain segments of the elderly who literally hate everyone. Given that the police will do nothing about this, the only option is to take things into your own hands. These units are fairly expensive and some one on a limited budget (such as your typical elderly neighbor) will likely not have the resources to replace such a device. I would Hop the fence at three in the morning and anything that looked like it might be emitting the sound would be either stolen or smashed.

        For anyone who has moral concerns over smashing the property of an elderly person, said person should take into consideration the fact that this elderly person has installed a device which targets young neighbors regardless of their actions or behavior. Punishing all individuals of a given group regardless of guilt is certainly immoral. Furthermore, said elderly neighbor has plenty of options through the local police department in dealing with disturbances and has no right to take things into their own hands

        Given that the police will do nothing about this, one has no option but to take things into ones own hands.

        Of course if you choose this course of action you should be careful in doing so and recongnize the fact that it is illegal. I'm really just saying what I would personally do and not necessarily what you should do.
        • Re:Try this (Score:4, Funny)

          by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 05, 2006 @07:50AM (#15851703)
          The old don't tend to sleep well.
          The old are rumored to favor shotguns loaded with rock salt.
          The old are generally sympathetic figures to those of us who don't deal with them every day.

          You are a snot-nosed young'un who's hopping a fence at 3am with a deadly weapon, and just stupid enough to admit that you were planning to vandalize a particular old person's house.

          This could go very, very badly for you.

          I should know. I'm 35 and I already own the shotgun.

        • Re:Try this (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Jeff DeMaagd (2015) on Saturday August 05, 2006 @08:42AM (#15851813) Homepage Journal
          Furthermore, said elderly neighbor has plenty of options through the local police department in dealing with disturbances and has no right to take things into their own hands.

          But you just advocated vigilante actions when it doesn't appear that all legal options have been exhausted. Not only did at least one poster suggest other options through the police, there is the community government as well.
  • by sockman (133264) on Saturday August 05, 2006 @12:06AM (#15850659)
    And record the "noise" phase shift it by 180, and play it on your stero. Viola, no mosquito.
    • Re:Quit bitching (Score:5, Informative)

      by ivan256 (17499) on Saturday August 05, 2006 @12:14AM (#15850685)
      Yeah, that will work great in a two dimensional world. Here in three dimensions it will suck a lot in all the places where amplitude is doubled instead.
    • Re:Quit bitching (Score:3, Informative)

      by ToasterofDOOM (878240)
      That will work, but only at certain angles. Really, you don't need to 'Phase shift' it, that happens naturally. All he needs to do is play the sound an integer + 1/2 number of wavelengths away from the original source and at the same volume, and he should be as close to inline with both sources as possible. Really, you were right in concept though. It's basically a moire effect for waves http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Active_noise_control [wikipedia.org] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phase_cancellation [wikipedia.org]
      • PLL (Score:3, Insightful)

        by MichaelSmith (789609)

        He could use microphone and amplifier to pick up the signal and a phase locked loop to divide the frequency by two, then feed the lot into a really big speaker. The only hard part is convincing people that the bad noise is really coming from over there.

        OTH how about using the stereo effect? If the neighbour on the other side can go along with it bracket his place with speakers and feed the signal in so it appears to be coming from the original location? I like this article. Lots of hacking potential.

    • by Scaba (183684)

      Are you trying to say the phase-shifted noise of a Mosquito annoyancebot sounds like a viola?

  • by gweihir (88907) on Saturday August 05, 2006 @12:07AM (#15850663)
    I think the only way to go is the legal route. Try to get a young police officer. If that fails, get an expert that can measure the signal and testify about ist impact on younger people. I would be surprised very much if hwat your neoghbour does is legal.
    • by jpardey (569633) <j_pardey AT hotmail DOT com> on Saturday August 05, 2006 @12:11AM (#15850681)
      If you can't get a young police officer, kidnap a young police officer's young child and strap him to your neighbour's lawn. This will give the police someone to trust, and will also get you away from the house for a few years.
  • Observation (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 05, 2006 @12:08AM (#15850671)
    Not that I'm condoning any particular course of action, but I just though it worth pointing out that if he can't hear it himself, he can't tell if it's still functioning. Just an observation.
    • Re:Observation (Score:5, Insightful)

      by MichaelSmith (789609) on Saturday August 05, 2006 @12:26AM (#15850733) Homepage Journal
      if he can't hear it himself, he can't tell if it's still functioning.

      Only if the poster stops complaining. So if the device has an accident with a pair of wire cutters in the middle of the night one should continue to act outraged for a while.

  • Skip the police. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ivan256 (17499) on Saturday August 05, 2006 @12:10AM (#15850677)
    Who needs the cops? Sue him. He'll take it down in seconds. You won't even have to go to court.

    Then, all you need to do is be annoying enough that he moves to Florida. (Unless you already live in Florida, in which case you're screwed.)
    • by linuxtelephony (141049) on Saturday August 05, 2006 @01:13AM (#15850874) Homepage
      Claim it's damaging your ears and killing your ability to hear sounds in the higher frequency range. If it's on after 10PM (or whatever the local disturbing the peace violations occur), call the cops and report that high pitch noise is disrupting your peace. Have all the neighbors also call. If it's more than one household, they'll do something. When the responding officers don't do anything, get their names and badge numbers (but, as we learned earlier, don't videotape them unless you want to be a martyr) and then call and complain that they responding officers failed to stop the disturbance in the neighborhood and ask for supervisors.
  • Beat frequency (Score:5, Interesting)

    by MichaelSmith (789609) on Saturday August 05, 2006 @12:10AM (#15850680) Homepage Journal

    Build a similar device to emit noise at a slightly different frequency. The result will be horrible sounds as the two waves interfere. The horrible sounds will seem to come from both your source and the original source. You may get the blame but at least the cops/etc will believe that an issue exists.

  • ideas (Score:3, Funny)

    by alienw (585907) <alienw...slashdot@@@gmail...com> on Saturday August 05, 2006 @12:19AM (#15850704)
    Well, if the cops don't care, you don't need to stick to legal means. I hear BB guns work pretty well for destroying plastic things. Paintball markers are also quite excellent for this purpose. Or use a nice big water gun on it. Of course, I recommend you just call the cops again. There are plenty of cops under 40.
  • Egg 'im (Score:5, Funny)

    by talkingpaperclip (952112) on Saturday August 05, 2006 @12:20AM (#15850706) Homepage
    Just egg his house. That will surely make him realize his immaturity and bring a swift end to his harassment.
  • Hmmmm (Score:5, Interesting)

    by MyLongNickName (822545) on Saturday August 05, 2006 @12:23AM (#15850724) Journal
    Am I the only one that thinks this is a novel Slashvertizement?

    How many of you thought "hmmmm. I could use this to really annoy xxx"?

    And note that the link goes to a specifc supplier of such items. Not a generic link.... say a wiki. I mean, who really believes that some guy cannot get a cop under 40. Cannot figure out that he should talk to the police and explain more, or maybe go to see a lawyer... or maybe sneak into his neighbor's year with a baseball bat and a ski mask?
    • Re:Hmmmm (Score:3, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward
      No, this is a real story. I actually wrote it based off of a forum post [anandtech.com] by someone else as a quasi-humorous way to see how the Slashdot readership would handle it.
  • by Mattintosh (758112) on Saturday August 05, 2006 @12:25AM (#15850730)
    Several (disjointed) ideas sprang to mind:

    1) Get a sound meter (dB meter, noise level meter, or whatever it's called where you are) and call the cops again. Show the meter to the officer.
    2) Buy big speakers and send some noise his direction that he CAN hear. I recommend NES chiptunes.
    3) Disconnect the device without his knowledge. He can't hear it, so he can't tell if it's working or not.
    4) Kick the neighbor in the nuts. If he gets angry, kick him in the nuts again. If he threatens you, proceed to #5.
    5) Shoot him. You didn't need the curmudgeonly bastard anyway. Take his stuff and tell his family he went on vacation to BFE. Be sure to dispose of his body properly - through a wood chipper, then burn the chunks. Invite other young neighbors over for BBQ. Display a big cookbook with a cover that says "To Serve Annoying Old Neighbors".

    (And just for the humor impaired, options 4 and 5 are not serious. I am not the voice in your head telling you to assault or kill your neighbor. That voice is named Larry. I'm Matt.)
  • £495 ...? (Score:5, Informative)

    by euxneks (516538) on Saturday August 05, 2006 @12:26AM (#15850732)
    This guy spent £495 to annoy the shit out of you? Either you deserved this, or the guy is a complete prick, in the latter case, fight fire with fire. Get some _very_ large subwoofers, a good amp, and play a song like Hootchie Mama [stlyrics.com] by 2 live crew, or if that's not your style, maybe something like "Superpredators" by Massive Attack.
        Or, even if you don't like that, just find something with real spleen shattering bass and just blast it.

    Also, for those interested, I found a link to the mosquito sound here [bbc.co.uk] from an article at the Beeb here [bbc.co.uk], also, another interesting turn-around:
    http://www.boingboing.net/2006/05/24/kids_turn_tee n_repel.html [boingboing.net]
    Quite fascinating...
  • by CompotatoJ (848808) on Saturday August 05, 2006 @12:48AM (#15850807) Homepage
    You could try setting up a device (such as a stereo or computer speakers) which cancels out the noise which I believe is 17KHz. If you emit the exact opposite sound, they will cancel out each other. It uses the same principle as noise-cancelling headphones. I hope this ASCII drawing of how the waves will interact helps:
    Mosquito Wave: /^\/^\/^\

    Opposite Wave: \_/\_/\_/

    = Combination: ---------
    • by dww (119841) on Saturday August 05, 2006 @06:13AM (#15851546) Homepage
      Unless you can EXACTLY duplicate the signal - which you can't - and transmit its inverse from EXACTLY the same point - which you can't - noise cancelling over an area will not work. It works in headphones because the area covered is much smaller than the sound wavelength - that is not so here.

      Imagine throwing two stones into a quiet pond. The two expanding waves will intersect and cancel at some points - but half a wavelength further on they will be in phase and so double. So it will be with the sound - varying from silent to twice as loud depending where you are. As the wavelength will be small, moving your head will be very uncomfortable! You can try the effect if you play the clean MP3 sample you'll find at http://www.star94.com/shows/index.cfm?show=cr&cid= 63 [star94.com] in a small room, where there will be lots of echoes. I'm 60 but I can hear it if I turn the volume up, a high pitched warble that changes in a very disconcerting way when I move my head. (Not everyone over 25 is deaf!)

      Meanwhile - IGNORE the idiots here suggesting various illegal measures. Those WILL get the police involved, but not in the way you want. However, if you could get the authorities to recognise the problem (get the neighbours to all complain to your local councillor as well as the police), you may be able to persuade them to take out an ASBO against the offender preventing him from continuing the nuisance. (For our US friends, an ASBO is an "Anti-Social Behaviour Order", and ignoring it becomes a criminal offence).
  • Analysis: before implementing a solution, is to make sure you've got the full picture. Note that your neighbor is in fact being harassed by something, if not intentionally. What is that thing? If it's something you are doing... Trade Study: will it be a major or minor imposition to not do it; can you bring yourself to politely inform your neighbor that you'll not do it in exchange for taking the offending device offline?

    If either you or the neighbor doesn't want to deal: since you've already alerted the authorities that the device is an issue, I'd pass on petty crime or felony-based solutions you likely suspect, you. You and your neighors should keep a running record of your complaints to the police. You might try borrowing/buying a meter that'll measure the dB of the frequency in question. Then, while you can ask for a younger officer that can hear the noise, if you get someone my age, at least the officer will have something to go on.

    If you get the device taken offline without dealing with what's pissing your neighbor off, you may just be trading one headache for another.
  • by Pig Hogger (10379) <pig DOT hogger AT gmail DOT com> on Saturday August 05, 2006 @01:23AM (#15850893) Journal
    I can relate...

    Two years ago, the building next to mine was being totally renovated (they gutted everything but the outside walls).

    And they had that big honking alarm that would go off each time a cat or a bird would go inside the structure.

    Of course, it went off at 2 in the morning many times.

    After a few weeks, we got to get pretty pissed at it, so I started to grab a pair of cutters, and enter the place despite it being barricaded (from the third floor, the balconies of the respective buildings are only 2 feet away). Then it's just a matter of finding the wire and snipping it.

    Of course, they would fix it, until the next snip...

    The last time I did it (at 3 in the morning), I was so pissed that I cut the wire in about 200 one inch long little sections. This must have drove the message home because that's the last time we heard the fucking alarm...

  • Do this (Score:5, Funny)

    by Kohath (38547) on Saturday August 05, 2006 @01:29AM (#15850918)
    Here's the plan:

    1. Spend the next 30-40 years breeding and training vicious attack dogs
    2. Now you're over 40 and can hear it any more. (Plus, everyone loves dogs -- bonus.)

    It's foolproof.
  • by Animats (122034) on Saturday August 05, 2006 @02:39AM (#15851103) Homepage
    This thing won't produce a reading on a standard sound level meter. There's a standard bandwidth weighting ("A-law") for sound level meters, based on data about hearing damage, and it cuts off at only 8KHz. That's the definition used in most noise ordnances.
  • by Frangible (881728) on Saturday August 05, 2006 @02:52AM (#15851145)
    Do you truly think the best option is further conflict? Getting legal authorities involved? Going to court?

    Why don't you try talking to the guy-- listen to him-- this simple act will make him more comfortable with you. Apologize to him. Buy him a gift. Show kindness.

    Which is of more value to you-- an empty, hollow sense of victory that will bring you no satisfaction, even if it does occur, or peace?

    "Whenever you are confronted with an opponent, conquer him with love." -Mahatma Gandhi

    "Suppose someone, to annoy, Provokes you to do some evil act. Why allow anger to arise and thus Do exactly as he wants you to do? If you get angry Then maybe he will suffer, maybe not. But by feeling anger yourself You certainly do suffer." "For in this world, Hatred is never appeased by more hatred; It is love that conquers hatred. This is an eternal law." -The Buddha

    • Let's not forget

      "Do unto others as you'd have them do unto you." - Jesus.

      If I had a friend come to me asking advice on this subject, I'd loan them one of my copies of Dale Carnegie's How to Win Friends and Influence People. That book has helped me resolve quite a few conflicts, and is definitely worth a read.

    • Great idea! (Score:3, Funny)

      by AmazingRuss (555076)
      Go on over to his house, ring the bell, and when he answers, give him your friendliest smile, then cockpunch him.

      The population is too large to limit yourself to peaceful solutions. Do what you feel!

  • by EverLurking (595528) <.gro.nehcevad. .ta. .hsals.> on Saturday August 05, 2006 @03:14AM (#15851208) Homepage
    Looks like the speaker cone on the device is rather exposed.

    Betcha if you inject in some epoxy or expanding foam into said cone in quantities that won't be visible from the outside, the horn tweeter will stop making said annoying tone or at least attenuate the sound output or alter the frequency so that it won't be as bad.

    Do it right and it'll probably still look like it was still working this way too. Much faster than trying to disassemble something and disable it while making it look like it's still working. The old fart can't hear it anyways, so he'd never know that you'd broken the horn tweeter as many others have pointed out.

    You can also just go for a brute force/economic war approach:

    Your cost: A couple of bucks for a tube of quick setting epoxy with syringe type applicator. Or, if you don't want to do this manually or the unit isn't readily accessible try some home made/customized paint balls filled with acid/epoxy/superglue/something nasty His cost: $600-$750 + shipping per unit disabled.

    Just how many times do you think this guy will be able to afford to replace this device repeatedly? He's probably on fixed income so it's either the Mosquito or the Heart Medications/Doctor's Visits/Food/Heat/etc. The problem will soon go away given enough cheap paintballs I suspect.

    War after all is really a matter of economics. Does the damage you cause cost more to your opponent than it does to you and which of you can continue spending money while racking up damage/cost the longest? The guys with the biggest budget or the ability to do massive damage to the other side for cheaper usually wins.

    Dave

  • by whistlingtony (691548) on Saturday August 05, 2006 @03:33AM (#15851262)
    I love the way everyone here says to go over and break his stuff.... Lovely...

    Ok, so he's probably an annoying old paranoid crank. He's not going to stop being annoying. If you go over and break his stuff, he'll just become more annoying.

    So don't go starting a neighborhood war.

    You might try... oh... I don't know... TALKING to him about it? You know, person to person? And leave your attitude at the door.

    If that fails, and it may well do so, go talk to your neighbors. Get about 20 of you. go knock on his door together and POLITELY state that his little toy is driving the entire neighborhood nuts and you'd all really appreciate him turning it off. Bring food. Make it an event. Hell, throw a neighborhood barbecue while you're at it.

    Don't consider the situation an obstruction to be overcome. Instead, consider it a chance to meet your neighbors. Who knows, you might find out they are actual people, with lives and interests and stuff. Who knew?

    And shame on those of you who immediately decided the best course of action was to go on a shadowrun against an old man. Sheesh.. People...

    -T
  • A classic choice (Score:4, Interesting)

    by ydra2 (821713) on Saturday August 05, 2006 @03:56AM (#15851311)
    You could escalate the conflict by using high tech countermeasures which will piss him off and turn his relatives and friends against you, or make peace and have a nice quiet neighborhood. Hmmm, which way to go, never ending warfare on the one hand, or peace and quiet on the other?

    If you go with high tech warefare then you will stimulate the economy by propping up the companies selling sonic noise cancelling systems. And he will of course provide even more stimulation to the economy when he installs an infra-red insect repellent that fries your border plants. And then you have to invest in a cryogenic thermal redirection unit to protect your flowers, after which he will escalate with a plastic dissolving mist spray device, all great news for the high tech neighborhood armament corporations, aka, the militarized neighborhood complex.

    This will be fraught with unforseen complications and collateral damage. Your paper boy will refuse delivery, the water meter reader will not dare enter the property, causing an unpaid bill, and various charges about maliciously killing pets will pop up. You can stay the course until he gives up, but just make sure you understand that you may be liable for accidents caused by radio frequency interference with passing vehicle's electronics.

    Or you could just walk up to the guy and say "Hi neighbor, is there a problem, and if so, lets work it out."

    Naahh, not a chance. Get out the mini trebouchet and carpet bomb the hell out of him with marbles, eggs, and anything else you have handy! Screw the bastard more than he ever thought of screwing you! Worry about the consequences later, after all you don't have to pay for it, or at least not most of it.

    • by Bronster (13157) <slashdot@brong.net> on Saturday August 05, 2006 @06:22AM (#15851553) Homepage
      Or you could just walk up to the guy and say "Hi neighbor, is there a problem, and if so, lets work it out."

      I'm replying to you out of many who said this, but...

      The problem with this theory is that said neighbour has already invested approx £700 in a device with which to fight this war. A device which, if the war is terminated early will be useless.

      Sounds to me like this investment will make resolution harder. The best time to fix this would have been before lots of money was invested in war-making machines.

      See also: international relations.
  • Behave like a man (Score:5, Insightful)

    by gnasher719 (869701) on Saturday August 05, 2006 @04:03AM (#15851327)
    Try to behave like a man. Knock on his door, and ask him _politely_ why he thinks he needs to keep you and your friends away from your home. And I mean, politely. And alone, not with a gang of youths in the background. And listen to what he says. If he doesn't want to talk to you, try again. This may be the hardest thing you have ever done in your life, showing some respect for the people around you, thinking about the consequences of your actions and behaving like a responsible adult. Maybe think about things that you do that you think are funny when you are drunk, and think what other people would feel about them.

    Now if you are completely without fault, and the reason for your problem _is_ indeed just paranoia, then the easiest and best solution is to just stay away. It doesn't cost you much, he feels better, and you feel better because you have done The Right Thing.

    Some idiots here suggest you should escalate the problem. The problem with that is you don't know where it will end. If you escalate enough, it can end with destroyed lives, his or yours. Think about that.
    • by Absentminded-Artist (560582) on Saturday August 05, 2006 @09:15AM (#15851890) Homepage
      So many people have suggested this, but you are assuming the neighbor is capable of being reasonable. Some people are just jerks. Honest.

      The best suggestions here involve getting younger policemen to come out to witness the aural attack. Don't call dispatch. The submitter needs to drive over to the precinct and talk to the person in charge - whomever is on duty. Explain the technology to them, show them news printouts from NPR, CNN, BBC, etc. Bring a sample sound clip of the "mosquito" on his laptop or iPod. He'll have to convince them in person or they'll just dismiss him as a punk kid/crackpot.

      If I didn't have a house filled with kids and teenagers I might like to use this "warfare" myself on an annoying neighbor myself. My next door neighbor can't seem to experience any music without a sub woofer. In fact, I swear he has a stereo with sub woofer in every room of his house. Of course, he mounts his stereos on the inside walls. Every few months I have to go over there and remind him to keep it down after 10pm. Then I have to knock on his door at 1am, 2am, 3am... He doesn't get it until I've made such a pain of myself I win for a few months. If I asked this guy earnestly why he feels the need to be so loud so late at night he'd tell me to do anatomically awkward things to myself. No. I'm better off just kindly but sternly asking him to lower the music again. He glares at me but he turns the music down.

      Now he's parking his car across two spaces so nobody else can use Guest parking. I don't think he's clueless. I think he just enjoys pissing his neighbors off. It's a power trip. Talking nicely to him only makes him crankier.
  • by smackdotcom (136408) on Saturday August 05, 2006 @06:12AM (#15851545)
    ...just conspire with the neighbours one day, and thank him for turning it off. Have the neighbours do the same. He may protest that it's still on, but you simply assure him that you certainly can't hear anything anymore (for drama, cock your head and pause a second when you do this). Now obviously he'll take the thing down and maybe try to fix it and remount it, but continue to ignore it and be pleasant to him. Hopefully he'll get the idea that even if the thing isn't working anymore, it obviously was not worthwhile in the first place, and either pack it away or ship it back for a refund.

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