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Communications

Cell Phone Jamming on the Rise 942

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the jerks-ruin-it-for-everyone dept.
netbuzz writes "It shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone either, as the number of inconsiderate dolts who yammer away oblivious to the disruptions their yapping is causing those around them continues to rise. Pocket-sized cell jammers are becoming a hot item, while proprietors of restaurants and the like look to defend themselves as well. Yes it's illegal, but given that the rudeness is pretty close to criminal as well, it's unlikely to stop any time soon."
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Cell Phone Jamming on the Rise

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  • matter of time (Score:5, Insightful)

    by yagu (721525) * <yayagu@noSPaM.gmail.com> on Sunday November 04, 2007 @11:19AM (#21231793) Journal

    Probably just a matter of time before an emergency requires a quick call to 911 that gets blocked by this illegal tactic. And then nasty court battles... the "blockers" will deserve it. You don't silence rude cell phone people by cutting off the cell phone universe. You don't stop obnoxious car drivers by blockading the interstate.

    There are better ways to deal with the issue. It requires a little courage on the part of those who are violated, but it's better than the alternative. Personally, I do think cell phones are way overused and a general nuisance, certainly the way they're used today. But I'm coming out with guns blazing the day I can't get emergency help for me or someone who needs it because some gutless wonder is using one of these devices and my cell phone is rendered more useless than it already is.

    From the article, one of the makers of a jamming device offers up this weak rationalization:

    "Our position is that the proprietor of an enclosed space should have the right to control disturbances within that space. That could be a fight in a bar, that could be somebody yelling at his kid on a cell phone, or whatever."

    Back to my example of bad and dangerous drivers... yes, there's a "collective right" to "control" bad behavior, but you wouldn't blockade the interstates in the interest of "control". Similarly, to unilaterally disable all cell phones is ludicrous.

    In pre-response to:

    • Just take it outside! Answer: In an emergency one may not be thinking that clearly about just why their cell phone isn't working, losing precious time.
    • Just take it outside! Answer: Outside may not be all that close... what if you're on the commuter train? Where's "outside" there?
    • Just take it outside! Answer: What if "outside" is another zone where someone has deemed it appropriate to silence rude cell phones?

    I do propose at some point the ubiquitous rude behavior on cell phones dictates some solution. I hope sooner rather than later. Jamming.... is not the solution.

    • by Verteiron (224042) on Sunday November 04, 2007 @11:23AM (#21231839) Homepage
      I do propose at some point the ubiquitous rude behavior on cell phones dictates some solution. I hope sooner rather than later.

      I hear cattle prods are fairly effective. Oh sure, it briefly increases the noise level, but it's well worth it.
      • by WormholeFiend (674934) on Sunday November 04, 2007 @11:34AM (#21231959)
        don't forget that you also have the option to touch the offending cellphone with that cattle prod, too, for a longer term solution
    • Re:matter of time (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Daniel Dvorkin (106857) on Sunday November 04, 2007 @11:28AM (#21231901) Homepage Journal
      911 calls were the first thing I thought of, too. Any business owner who jams a call about somebody having a heart attack would be sued into oblivion, and deserve it.

      For restaurants, hair salons, etc., there's a simple solution -- just make it a policy, and have the guts to enforce it. Post little "No cell phone usage inside this establishment" signs. If people ignore the signs, politely remind them of the policy. If they continue to ignore it, throw them out, just like with any other customer who violates a policy of the business. Make common-sense exceptions for 911 calls. (They could even put that on their signs, if they wanted to.) Whatever business they'd lose in aggrieved cell-phone-addicted customers, they'd probably gain in others who appreciate the peace and quiet. The jamming thing is sneaky, cowardly, and dangerous.
      • *Mod Parent up!** (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Bananatree3 (872975) on Sunday November 04, 2007 @11:55AM (#21232171)
        Throw out a loud obnoxious bozo yelling into his cell like you'd throw out that loud obnoxious drunk guy. There's not much of a difference.
      • ...with smoking. And yet for some reason people feel that they need to force the government to step in and enforce such rules en masse, instead of letting individual businesses decide for themselves...
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Doc Ruby (173196)
          Do you feel the same way about the spitting that people used to do in every restauarant and bar? How about littering?

          "The government" isn't just some enemy gang. It's the people delegating some labor by consensus, applied by rules equally to everyone.
    • by bashibazouk (582054) on Sunday November 04, 2007 @11:35AM (#21231963) Journal
      A jammer does not need to be on all the time to work. Just turn it on when someone is being annoying. They loose signal. try again, loose signal. They go outside thinking they are not getting enough bars. Problem solved.

      Not to mention society seemed to get along just fine before the invention of the cell phone. Landlines work for 911 as well, you know. And if it's a pay phone you don't even need money...
      • by PJ1216 (1063738) * on Sunday November 04, 2007 @11:44AM (#21232061)
        you're still putting a lot of faith in the one using the jamming device. the person may very well just leave it on (not sure how long they last or power usage, etc.). that right there destroys your first argument. the second argument is that cell phones have changed societies. landlines are becoming more and more rare. yes, in most establishments you can find them, but a lot of payphones are being shut down due to them no longer being as profitable. so, comparing now to the pre-cell phone age isn't a very good comparison. not everything else is equal. while your points are valid, it still puts all the control in the hands of the jammer, not the person making the emergency phone call.
      • by plate_o_shrimp (948271) on Sunday November 04, 2007 @11:52AM (#21232145)
        That argument assumes jammers would be used responsibly. If cell phones aren't being used responsibly, what are the odds that jammers would be?
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by v1 (525388)
          If they made a law against anything that someone could use irresponsibly, doing anything would be illegal, including doing nothing.

          Don't tell me I can't do someting just because you managed to find someone that can't do it responsibly.

          That's why fireworks are illegal in so many states. Little Timmy's parents can't supervise him well enough to stop him from trying to light a firecracker in his mouth and as a result I can't have any. That's also the brainchild behind prohibition. Great plan that was, eh?
    • Re:matter of time (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Threni (635302) on Sunday November 04, 2007 @11:43AM (#21232043)
      > You don't stop obnoxious car drivers by blockading the interstate.

      If there was a way of only blocking obnoxious car drivers by blockading the interstate then I'd blockade the interstate.

      My interest in this is watching a film/listening to a concert. I don't want to hear a phone ring, ever. You know, the way it was 10/15 years ago. Back then, only professionals had phones/pagers, which would vibrate silently. Before that (20+ years ago), not even that. I'm proposing that no phones ever ring in a cinema/concert hall. If your job is so important that you must be reachable all the time, you have 2 options. One - you just don't attend the event whilst on call, and 2) you pay someone outside the event to look after your phone, and if it's important enough for you to leave then they can come and get you.
      • Re:matter of time (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Neoprofin (871029) <`neoprofin' `at' `hotmail.com'> on Sunday November 04, 2007 @12:06PM (#21232317)
        You know, there are a lot of things that I hate when I got to movies, including but not limited to cell phones going off, people talking loudly, people who go to the bathroom too often, people who eat loudly, people who put there feet up, etc etc. All of these things could be prevented in one way or another.

        However, I lack that feeling of self-importance that the entire movie theater revolves around my experience. If someone's cell phone goes off, fine. If they answer it or if it goes off again I politely ask them to get out of the theater. If someone eats too loudly, not much you can do there but tell them, because your food jammer hasn't come in the mail yet. If people are talking, ask them to stop because you can't legally duct tape their mouths shut yet. Jamming cell phones is just an unneeded cost to stop something that isn't even the most common or distracting thing that happens(at least at any movie I've ever seen). If someone does something you don't like, tell them about it, don't sit around thinking about a preemptive strike to try and control other people. Try being assertive, it works even on problems that technology can't solve.
    • Re:matter of time (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Ricardo (43461) on Sunday November 04, 2007 @11:44AM (#21232049)
      When you use one of these things, you only hold down the button till the phone call disconnects (usually ten seconds at most). The you let it off. You usually find if they call back, they get the phone call over with quickly.

      This hysterical crazy talk about many people dying in a skyscraper because of this kind "black spot" is just nonsense (You really have to wonder how the human race made it to the 1980s without cell phones at all).

      In Japan people are very polite on trains regarding talking on phones, most people wisper and cover their mouths while talking.

      In the US, Australia and the UK (where I have most of my experience of it, you often encounter "Exhibition Talkers" who seem to believe the whole carriage is interested in their little world. Asking them to "keep it down please" will only result in abuse.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by jguthrie (57467)
        Actually, what I wonder is not how we survived the 80's at all, but when people started believing that the appropriate response to obnoxious behavior is behavior that is even more obnoxious. My guess is that it's something that is part of our genetic makeup and is something that we should be working hard to overcome.
    • Re:matter of time (Score:4, Insightful)

      by vertinox (846076) on Sunday November 04, 2007 @11:45AM (#21232069)
      Probably just a matter of time before an emergency requires a quick call to 911 that gets blocked by this illegal tactic.

      One possibility could be that a team of highjackers take over an airplane and use one to prevent outside phone calls.
      Or...
      An armed robber has one to prevent anyone from making calls during a heist.
      Or...
      An house burglar uses it to disable one of the new type of house alarms that are cellular.

      That said, I don't think the technology should be banned outright because any of the above would be able to make it from generic parts and it would have some legal uses.

      As long as it remains on private property and the signal does not interfere with cell phones outside the property any business should be allowed to use one as long as they have signs posted that they disable cell phones.

      Of course as it stands now, FCC regulations prevents even legitimate use so this has become a black market of sorts.
    • Re:matter of time (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Just Some Guy (3352) <kirk+slashdot@strauser.com> on Sunday November 04, 2007 @11:55AM (#21232177) Homepage Journal

      "Our position is that the proprietor of an enclosed space should have the right to control disturbances within that space. That could be a fight in a bar, that could be somebody yelling at his kid on a cell phone, or whatever."

      "Your honor, my client was viciously raped after the attacker use the Jam-O-Matic 5000 to keep her from calling the police. We're asking $3.2 billion."

      I wonder to what extent a judge or jury would buy their rationalization.

    • Same old same old (Score:5, Insightful)

      by knorthern knight (513660) on Sunday November 04, 2007 @12:29PM (#21232629)
      The only hot-button missing from your tirade is "think of the children". OK, I'll admit I'm in my mid 50's. Back in the early/mid 1980's, I remember 2 new trends in phones...
      1) the rise of telemarketing (answering machines were non-existant for the average consumer)
      2) instead of phones being hard-wired into the wall, you could actually get the now-familiar phone-jack

      There was all sorts of yelling and screaming and apocalyptic predictions about the thousands of people who would die because they had disconnected their phones from the wall socket, and wouldn't get the warning phone call that their house was on fire, or some natural disaster (flood/fire/whatever) was coming their way. Guess what, it didn't happen.

      One incident I do remember is when my employer was short-staffed in one office. In addition to someone being on vacation, and someone else on a long training course, another employee in a rotating shift position got pregnant, and was unable to continue, especially with the shiftwork. Because I had done the same job a few years earlier, I got pulled off my regular duties, got a 1-week refresher course by the shift supervisor, then went on rotating shifts by myself for a month.

      The morning after my first graveyard shift, I got home around 8:00 AM, and was not exactly 100% lucid. I undressed and crashed into bed... only to be awakened 3 times in the next hour and a half by telemarketing assholes. Fortunately, I had a condo with the "new" phone jacks, and disconnected it from the wall. If the phone had been hard-wired, so help me, I would've "disconnected" it "the hard way".

      Similarly, I don't think that society is going to callapse if cellphones become unreliable. Unlike you young whippersnappers, I remember the ers BC... Before Cellphones. Civilization survived thousands of years without cellphones, and can do so again.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Belial6 (794905)
        "Similarly, I don't think that society is going to callapse if cellphones become unreliable. Unlike you young whippersnappers, I remember the ers BC... Before Cellphones. Civilization survived thousands of years without cellphones, and can do so again."

        The same can be said for electricity. So, does your logic hold up there?
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by ceoyoyo (59147)
      It's not illegal to put a layer of foil under the drywall. Same effect (except when someone opens the door), and perfectly legal. If I were opening a restaurant or theatre I'd look into that possibility.

      You have no expectation that your cell phone will work in any particular place. Are you going to sue someone if an emergency happens in a spot with poor service because of tower layout? How did we handle emergencies when we didn't have cell phones anyway? Oh right, land lines. I'm pretty sure most plac
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      Ya know, people did manage to get help before cell phones existed. Really. In fact, if someone has a heart attack in a restaraunt, you're more likely to have 20 people calling 911 simultaneously and clogging the system than one calm person using the ol' landline. One of the problems 911 centers have is too many people calling in the same incident because of cell phones. They don't broadcast it much, because calling is still better than not calling, but I don't think being unable to call 911 from you cel
    • by phorm (591458)
      There are better ways to deal with the issue.

      100% agreed here. The best way to deal with the issue is to actually address and *deal* with the issue. First of all it means a visible policy against the phones, or at least disturbing of others, much the same as hospitals or theatres do. The second means enforcing it. A few cases:

      A few weeks ago I was in the hospital, and was please to see that most people when entering the emergency area would pop out their phones and then turn them off or at least silenc
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      You're at the max, so no mod points from me today. Also, you came in here to say what I was going to say.

      Recently, I interviewed for a tech job with the [ area ] ambulance service. Part of the job would be to carry a cell or pager in case the systems went down. Yeah, the ambulance systems. If the 911 system went down, there would be a call to come in and fix it.

      I didn't get the job, but that doesn't mean the job doesn't exist. Imagine that - 911 goes down, and they can't call you for help.

      The guys who use c
  • hmmm (Score:5, Insightful)

    by nomadic (141991) <nomadicworld@nOSpaM.gmail.com> on Sunday November 04, 2007 @11:24AM (#21231855) Homepage
    What I find a little strange is how some people consider someone talking on a cell phone in a restaurant automatically rude, even if they're speaking at a normal volume. If someone's in a conversation at another table, is it really that bad if the other participant in the conversation isn't actually in the restaurant?
  • by LightPhoenix7 (1070028) on Sunday November 04, 2007 @11:24AM (#21231861)
    No, the rudeness is not criminal. A cell phone jammer takes away a person's right to be a loud, annoying, inconsiderate idiot. Rudeness is a person exercising their right to be a loud, annoying, inconsiderate idiot.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Tony Hoyle (11698)
      Nah they'll just get children.

      (my pet hate - children in restaraunts.. they just run around screaming and, occasaionally, throwing food at the other guests, and all their parents can say is 'isn't he cute'. NO HE FUCKING ISN'T. LEAVE THE BASTARD AT HOME!!).
  • by LM741N (258038) on Sunday November 04, 2007 @11:25AM (#21231867)
    In addition to the public safety issues, there are purely engineering ones. We are on a path to where the background noise level caused by multitudes of transmitters is going to render much of the radio spectrum useless. Plus with devices that have not gone through Type Acceptance, who knows what garbage is coming out of their antenna?
  • by colmore (56499) on Sunday November 04, 2007 @11:28AM (#21231891) Journal
    I really don't know much about cell / PCS

    Is there some way these things could be made to not block a special frequency or pagers. Doctors and emergency workers on call need to be able to be reached at dinner and in movie theaters. Everyone else can shut up.
  • So when will we have a "spoiled rampaging kids" jammer?
  • by martyb (196687)

    Instead of reading a *summary* of a New York Times article, here it is [nytimes.com].

    That article mentions high-powered jammers and specifically one restaurant owner who paid $1000 to install one so he could keep his employees working instead of gabbing on their cell phone.

    It may be illegal in the USA to actively jam cell-phone signals, but as far as I know, there's no law prohibiting someone from passively jamming signals; see: Faraday Cage [wikipedia.org]:

    Mobile phones and radios may have no reception inside elevators or similar structures. Some traditional architectural materials act as Faraday shields in practice. These include plaster with metal lath, and rebar reinforced concrete. These affect the use of cordless phones and wireless networks inside buildings and houses.

    Hmmm, I wonder if aluminum siding would be effective?

  • by Nicolas MONNET (4727) <nicoaltiva.gmail@com> on Sunday November 04, 2007 @11:35AM (#21231965) Journal
    Criminal? That's an hyperbole. Here's a use of the word that's not: preventing access to emergency services because it affords you a little convenience is, literally, criminal.
    Besides, while I can see the harm of a cellphone ring during a live theatrical performance, such as a play or an opera, it's merely an annoyance during a movie. And as far as restaurants are concerned, well, it's not like asking the offending patron to STFU is going to stop the globe from spinning. And sysadmins, doctors and other "on-call" professions have a right to eat, don't they?
    • by tcgroat (666085) on Sunday November 04, 2007 @12:06PM (#21232327)
      Running a jammer is literally a "federal case". Enforcement hasn't been widespread, but that is subject to change based on complaints. The cell phone carriers know how the FCC works and they certainly can complain effectively if they have cause and desire to do so. Illegal jammers conducting denial-of-service attacks on spectrum the carriers paid dearly to license would seem to provide that cause and motivation. Use jammers at your own risk!
      SEC. 501. [47 U.S.C. 501] GENERAL PENALTY.

      Any person who willfully and knowingly does or causes or suffers to be done any act, matter, or thing, in this Act prohibited or declared to be unlawful, or who willfully and knowingly omits or fails to do any act, matter, or thing in this Act required to be done, or willfully and knowingly causes or suffers such omission or failure, shall upon conviction thereof, be punished for such offense, for which no penalty (other than a forfeiture) is provided in this Act, by a fine of not more than $10,000 or by imprisonment for a term not exceeding one year, or both; except that any person, having been once convicted of an offense punishable under this section, who is subsequently convicted of violating any provision of this Act punishable under this section, shall be punished by a fine of not more than $10,000 Communications Act of 1934 or by imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years, or both.

      SEC. 502. [47 U.S.C. 502] VIOLATION OF RULES, REGULATIONS, AND SO FORTH.

      Any person who willfully and knowingly violates any rule, regulation, restriction, or condition made or imposed by the Commission under authority of this Act, or any rule, regulation, restriction, or condition made or imposed by any international radio or wire communications treaty or convention, or regulations annexed thereto, to which the United States is or may hereafter become a party, shall, in addition to any other penalties provided by law, be punished, upon conviction thereof, by a fine of not more than $500 for each and every day during which such offense occurs.(quotation from the communications act,47 U.S.C 501 [fcc.gov](large pdf!)

  • by Just Some Guy (3352) <kirk+slashdot@strauser.com> on Sunday November 04, 2007 @11:47AM (#21232095) Homepage Journal

    Yes it's illegal, but given that the rudeness is pretty close to criminal as well, it's unlikely to stop any time soon.

    It's not just illegal, it's totally unethical. My wife and I both carry cellphones - I'm a sysadmin and she's a surgeon and we're both on call basically 24/7. And yet, you'd never know that we have them, because we mute them when appropriate and never start conversations when we shouldn't. Instead, we'll either step outside quickly to answer them or let it roll to voicemail so we don't kill ourselves and others as we dive over rows of seats and then respond ASAP. Cell phone jammers punish the jackasses in theaters that we all love to hate, but they also punish the majority of users who are quiet and responsible.

    Imagine that you or your mom or your kid has a problem with their recent surgery and is desperately trying to reach their doctor who went to a movie, but some smug asshole with a jammer is blocking the call. Kinda puts it in a different light, huh?

  • not this again (Score:5, Insightful)

    by aztektum (170569) on Sunday November 04, 2007 @11:48AM (#21232113)
    jamming cellphones is ridiculous. it's about as useful as throwing a spammer in prison for 50 years. it doesn't do anything to impact the practice.

    i STILL have yet to be intruded upon so heinously (in fact not at all i can remember) by someone on a phone either at a restaurant, movie, play, etc that makes me think this is at all a rational response (i live in a metro area of 2.2 million. so it's not like i'm in the sticks where no one has a phone).

    i rotate on call shift with the other IT guys. granted i won't goto a movie or something that would be boned by the intrusion, but i won't stop myself from going to a nice restaurant because of it and expect that i'll be reachable.

    if this were a story about DRM everyone would be crying that the MAFIAA is "screwing over the responsible ones because of the bad acts of the few". if i'm on my phone at the store, i get off before standing in line, don't do it at the bank, don't do it at movies, if i'm at a restaurant i'll quickly goto a better place and call back.

    there was another poster who got it right, establishments need to make it known to patrons if they allow phone use and enforce it. not pull some underhanded sneaky bullshit. that will piss customers off more.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Shawn Parr (712602)

      there was another poster who got it right, establishments need to make it known to patrons if they allow phone use and enforce it. not pull some underhanded sneaky bullshit. that will piss customers off more.

      Unfortunately even 'making it known' has little effect. I work for a University Theatre Department. We always announce before a show to turn off your cell phones and pagers. We have to use wireless intercom systems, and on some shows wireless microphones. Cellular phones can and do interfere, we g

  • Ha! Good! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by morari (1080535) on Sunday November 04, 2007 @12:00PM (#21232243) Journal
    Cellphones are WAY overused in today's society. There should be a "No Phone" sign on the door of every establishment right by the ones concerning smoking and guns. Or better yet, replace the "no guns" sign with "no phones"! The only people complaining about not being able to wander around aimlessly while carrying on some insipid "conversation" are yuppies. I can only hope that the stock market goes further down the hill and they all get crushed under the ridiculous mortgages that they had to have for their "holier than thou" SUVs and ranch houses!
  • Rights? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by AugustZephyr (989775) on Sunday November 04, 2007 @12:03PM (#21232275)
    I would have to say that a very valid statement can be applied to both sides of this argument: "Your rights end where mine begin".

    From the cell phone users perspective: I have the right to use my cellphone for critical situations and needs.
    From the cell phone jammers perspective: I have the right to not be forced to listen to your conversation.

    Somewhere in the middle there is a gray area where both parties must be respectful of one another.
  • Good deal (Score:5, Interesting)

    by whitroth (9367) <whitrothNO@SPAM5-cent.us> on Sunday November 04, 2007 @12:03PM (#21232281) Homepage
    Here in Chicago, downtown, there's a great sandwich shop called Perry's Deli. They have signs: no pagers, no cell phones (if you need to use them while eating, maybe you should be eating at a more upscale restaurant, the sign says). If they see someone using it, they turn on a LOUD, *VERY* ANNOYING alarm, annoying everyone in the place, until the offender either stops, or goes outside.

    And I still want all cellphone usage by drivers treated exactly like DUI, since the accident stats are the same for drunks and cellphone users.

                mark "could you drive any better if I shoved it where the sun
                              don't shine?"
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Compholio (770966)

      And I still want all cellphone usage by drivers treated exactly like DUI, since the accident stats are the same for drunks and cellphone users.

      Actually, that's not true. In tests where they had people go through an obstacle course where they were 1) drunk, 2) on the phone, or 3) sober the groups #1 and #2 performed about as poorly (much worse than #3). However, when complaints were raised about this method of testing a more appropriate test was devised - a real-world driving scenario (not an obstacle cou

  • by gruntled (107194) on Sunday November 04, 2007 @12:19PM (#21232495)
    If you don't want a cell phone active in your establishment, what you want is not a jammer, which is illegal, but a detector...

    http://www.cellbusters.com/product_info.php?products_id=28 [cellbusters.com]

    Of course, then you have to be willing to forgo the miscreant's business by ordering anybody with an active cell phone outside. When I first researched this issue about six years ago, I found precisely nobody -- not restaurants, not the pharmacy, not even a freakin' movie theater -- would be willing to install a detector and order people off the property. The only places I know of that use detectors is hospitals, because some cells put out signals that interfere with things like an EEG.
  • by Tom (822) on Sunday November 04, 2007 @02:18PM (#21233771) Homepage Journal
    Most often seen reply: "But I need it for emergency... I'm a Sysadmin/Nurse/Surgeon/Firefighter".

    Yes, you are right.
    Yes, your use is justified.

    And you make up 0.01% of what we're talking about here.

    I commute to work just 30 minutes each way. At least once a week there's some idiot on the train with a cellphone conversation so loud and/or obnoxious that I'd like to hit him with something hard. At least once a day there's someone with a ringtone that was certainly carefully engineered after extensive studies as to what the most nerve-wrecking sound imagineable is and at what precise volume (maximum) you have to play it to cause inner-ear bleedings. At least twice as often there are less irritating but still obnoxious and anti-social cases that scream "I'd piss in your front yard and shit in your doorway, too".

    And as far as I get the contents, it has not once not ever been something important that couldn't have waited until the asshole got home.

    If cell phone jammers were legal, I'd buy one tomorrow.
    • by Dunbal (464142) on Sunday November 04, 2007 @02:56PM (#21234165)
      But I need it for emergency... I'm a Sysadmin/Nurse/Surgeon/Firefighter

            I'm a doc, and I have NO problem switching off my phone when I go to the movies or at a fancy restaurant. If I'm expected to be available, I simply don't go to those places that day. And I doubt very much that anyone can make up a more pressing reason to be reachable than me. It's just bad manners, there's no excuse.
  • Forced Buzzing (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Doc Ruby (173196) on Sunday November 04, 2007 @02:26PM (#21233861) Homepage Journal
    The talking on the phone I can deal with, by talking to the rude talker. Sometimes I take the other half of their conversation, or just act like they're talking to me, other times I just tell them to stop talking, or just yell "WHAT? WHAT? I CAN'T HEAR YOU!" They almost always shut up and/or leave.

    What really needs automated jamming is ringing. Phones should be required to accept a signal that switches them from ringing to vibrating. Then movie theaters, public transit vehicles, and other places where the public is forced to share a space with some people too rude to keep to themselves. Buzzing won't interfere wih their functioning, it won't privately infringe on the public airwaves except to send the signal.

    The damn phones should be shipped to vibrate by default anyway, with a ringtone an explicit option, and a single puttonpress to switch between the modes.
  • by sjames (1099) on Sunday November 04, 2007 @04:33PM (#21234955) Homepage

    If people would just be marginally polite and turn off the audible ring then theaters wouldn't be so tempted to jam cellphones. It's not like it's that hard to put a phone on vibrate to see a movie. If a call (silently) comes in that's THAT important, the lobby is only a few seconds away.

    If it's not important enough to go to thee lobby for, it's not important enough to answer at all.

    When checking out at a store, the cashier and people behind you do not want to just wait around while you quack on about your new shoes, little Johhny's report card, what's going on, etc. The cashier is NOT the one being rude by trying to get you to at least have the courtesy to complete the transaction and get out of the way before you complete your conversation.

  • by NerveGas (168686) on Sunday November 04, 2007 @04:59PM (#21235197)
    How is the inconsiderate person talking loudly on a cell phone worse than the inconsiderate person talking loudly to their friends? Maybe we don't need cell-phone jammers, just gags.
  • by neapolitan (1100101) on Sunday November 04, 2007 @08:47PM (#21236845)
    Numerous points have been made about emergencies. As a doctor, I would add the following:

    Radio waves do not know their discrete boundaries -- I don't have too much of a problem with jamming on private property in theory, provided the business informs the consumer very well that the premises is jammed. Therefore, doctors, etc. can avoid this area when on call or need to be reached, and people can 'vote with their wallets'; in truth I would not be a patron of such a place. However, in practice jamming signals can creep elsewhere, to the neighboring restaurant / apartment / out on the street. This clearly can be very dangerous.

    Numerous people have commented that you should not expect to receive cell phone signals everywhere. This is true, and also why physicians still carry low-tech pagers, which have much more of a signal range. In clinical practice, all reliable systems for emergencies have redundancy. For instance, an interventional cardiologist in the middle of the night may be paged for a patient with a heart attack. If the operator doesn't hear back from the doctor in 5 minutes, he pages again and tries another form of communication (cell phone, land line..) If still no response, a backup doctor may be paged (extremely rare). Ideally, this redundancy works across different modalities (e.g. not all cellphone / 900 MHz etc.)

    For some reason, probably historical, most doctors consider cellphones unreliable, and pagers completely reliable. For good systems, there must be redundancy as above in all situations. A half year ago, I got a nasty email from another doctor saying that I didn't return a page; I thought the person was crazy and they hadn't paged me, or paged the wrong person (still not sure what happened), but again, had they a second / backup method of reaching me, it would not have been a big deal. My role was not critical in that situation, so nothing happened (also why we didn't have critical redundancy), but if this had been due to *intentional* uninformed jamming, appropriate action would be taken...
  • by h3llfish (663057) on Sunday November 04, 2007 @08:51PM (#21236869)
    I've promised myself for years that now if I pay 10 of my hard-earned dollars to go to a movie and some bozo starts yammering away on his phone during the feature itself, I will grab the phone away from him and throw it to the other side of the theater. Yeah, that's a crime of some sort, I'm sure... but would a jury in the world convict you? And if they did, what would the punishment be? A new phone for the dirtbag? Taking me to court to actually get the money would cost more than the phone is worth.

    I know it's not as fun as making a neat gizmo to do the job, and obviously it increases your chances of getting knifed by a teenage gangbanger exponentially, but as another comment said, jamming runs the risk of jamming a 911 call.

    By listening to the douche say "nuthin, I'm just kickin it at the movies...", you ensure that the call is of a non-vital nature, and therefore rude as hell.

    This aggression shall not stand, Dude!
  • by SmallFurryCreature (593017) on Monday November 05, 2007 @05:42AM (#21239419) Journal

    If anything characterizes the 21st century, its 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.

    Or put more simply three people are involved here who think "ME ME ME". The caller, who couldn't wait to call, the answerer who couldn't wait to answer the call and the person being annoyed who thinks he has to the right to be undisturbed by other people.

    First the caller, 99% of calls are unneeded and could easily have waited until a later time. People keep bringing up emergency calls, I am willing to bet my entire income for the rest of my life that if you measured all the calls that are of a real emergency nature (911 or even telling someone their wife is about to give birth) that would not even come to a whole percentage of mobile phone calls. You do NOT have to call that other person at night when you see them next day. You may want too, and technology has made it possible but their is NO NEED. Learn to understand the difference between NEED and DESIRE.

    Then there is the person answering. YOU ARE NOT IMPORTANT. The entire rest of the world does NOT have to be put on hold for your convenience. Sometimes you got to make choices what to do, and this means you can't be doing something else. Lets say you think you should answer the phone in a theather, should the actors do the same? Do you want your doctor to answers his wifes call while he is working on your hearth? So why do you NEED to answer that phone NOW. I think this is part of a larger social disfunction. Take MMO's you see people complain that they take large chunks of time, and that people get upset if you leave in the middle of a raid. Well yeah, but how many of you would walk out of the middle of a say a football game? If you are in any kind of a race, do you really expect all the others to stop because your phone is ringing? I think the mobile phone is just a symptom of the larger development that some people think, the world revolves around me (they are wrong, it revolves around me) and that everyone else should fit themselves to their need.

    But finally there is also the person who is offended. There is NO law, NO right, to be undisturbed. Yes there are some laws that forbid certain disturbances, anti-honking laws for instance that dictate you can only use your car horn for alerting of impending danger, but talking in public is not among them. People are free to talk in public transport. You get people who get upset by headphones being too loud who complain that they can't hear themselves talking. Eh, your talking and the headphone are BOTH interfering with my peace and quiet. Unless we introduce a law to SHUT THE FUCK UP and produce NO noise whatsoever, public transport is NOT a place of peace and quiet. Your desire for peace and quiet is NOT a right. You are just as much an asshole for wanting everyone else to be silent as the person making a noise.

    It is often said that human beings are social animals, so lets see some social animals shall we? Ooh, what a lot of fighting and squabiling in even small groups. We are NOT ants who really work together, we are a pack of monkeys who are constantly fighting over everything but without a leader who can just beat the crap out of anyone who really gets out of line.

    Modern techonology just brings it out more. We also allowed the controlling elements of our society to become weak and feeble. We think we are mature adults who don't need a big brother watching us, while we behave as little spoiled brats.

    A simple solution exists to this whole mobile phone dilemma. Since REAL emergency calls are so rare, it would have been very easy to put in as part of the system a protocol for dealing with them. In restricted areas you would broadcast a signal "emergency only". The caller would have to send the signal that it is an emer

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