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Combating Harassing Use of Mosquito Noise Device? 1059

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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  • Ask Slashdot? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ag0ny ( 59629 ) <.ten.ariednaval. .ta. .ivaj.> on Saturday August 05, 2006 @12:04AM (#15850649) Homepage
    Instead of "Ask Slashdot", shouldn't this be under "Ask Your Lawyer"?
  • 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.
  • how about (Score:2, Insightful)

    by teh_mykel ( 756567 ) on Saturday August 05, 2006 @12:09AM (#15850673) Homepage
    how about you go talk to him, ask him to turn it off maybe?
  • 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.)
  • PLL (Score:3, Insightful)

    by MichaelSmith ( 789609 ) on Saturday August 05, 2006 @12:20AM (#15850707) Homepage Journal

    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.

  • 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.

  • 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 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.
  • 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:Ask Slashdot? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by rolfwind ( 528248 ) on Saturday August 05, 2006 @02:14AM (#15851026)
    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.
  • by Trogre ( 513942 ) on Saturday August 05, 2006 @02:16AM (#15851032) Homepage
    Unfortunately it's not quite so simple.
    The situation can be summarised as follows:

    If the Arabs put down their weapons there would be peace.

    If the Israelis put down their weapons there would be genocide.

  • 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

  • by jcr ( 53032 ) <jcr.mac@com> on Saturday August 05, 2006 @02:56AM (#15851159) Journal
    It's amazing what you can do with a $0.99 bottle of super-glue!

    Yeah, like getting yourself tossed in jail for vandalizing other people's property! Woo, hoo!

  • Have you tried... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Gordonjcp ( 186804 ) on Saturday August 05, 2006 @02:56AM (#15851160) Homepage
    ... asking him to turn it off?
  • What, "destruction of property" is a valid "option"?

    I guess if you're completely amoral and sociopathic...

  • DUMBASS RTFA! (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 05, 2006 @02:57AM (#15851164)
    It isn't a misquito repellant asshole!
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 05, 2006 @03:44AM (#15851288)
    >The situation can be summarised as follows:
    >If the Arabs put down their weapons there would be peace.
    >If the Israelis put down their weapons there would be genocide.

    Please consider:
    Both statements are assumptions. Facts can show otherwise.
    In the chicken and egg question of who started first the issue of land occupation is paramount.
  • Re:I can relate... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by SnowZero ( 92219 ) on Saturday August 05, 2006 @03:46AM (#15851294)
    As someonw who has experienced major vandalism, including having all the windows broken out in a house we owned that was gutted and even amateur attempts at burning it down

    I live in a city, and I think most alarms are simply pacifiers that serve no real purpose. Think about it; If the alarm went off numerous times and nobody ever came, then there obviously wasn't any enforcement. Someone could do whatever they want anyway. An alarm that doesn't summon a person around is next to useless. It won't stop someone from breaking your windows (nobody's going to come), and it won't stop them from burning the building down (can be done from outside). If the alarm summoned the cops every time it went off, it would at least provide some security, and I'm sure the construction company would have fixed its sensitivity, since then it would cost them money for all the false alarms.

    If you don't like the alarm tell the guy about it and that it is bird and such setting it off so he can take actions to prevent entry to those birds and such.

    You're assuming he didn't ask them already. He very likely did ask them, and they "didn't see a problem" (since they weren't there at night). I would also like to know the fantasy city you live in where construction companies care what "the neighbors" think anyway. Where I live, they run jackhammers first thing in the morning, large generators all day (often away from where they work but next to someone else's place), and pour excess concrete in the gutter, partially ruining the street.
  • 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 Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 05, 2006 @05:23AM (#15851462)
    Hah, you call that proper disposal of a body? The wood chipper would be far too messy, and you'd never rid yourself of all the DNA. Far better to use a bathtub full of bleach over the course of a few days; the solution should be inaccessible to police testing.
  • 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:OUCH! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by h4rm0ny ( 722443 ) on Saturday August 05, 2006 @05:42AM (#15851501) Journal
    Perhaps this is a method that the teenagers can use to bring about a legal redress for the harrasment, rather than breaking the device. Bring in the RSPCA or whatever local society covers animal welfare in that area. Animal cruelty might get more press than teenager-cruelty.
  • 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.
  • 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).
  • 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.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 05, 2006 @06:35AM (#15851568)
    Getting off the guy's lawn is actually very good advice, considering the noise emitter only has a 15-20 metre range...
  • Re:Try this (Score:2, Insightful)

    by SillyNickName4me ( 760022 ) <dotslash@bartsplace.net> on Saturday August 05, 2006 @07:39AM (#15851675) Homepage
    For anyone who has moral concerns over smashing the property of an elderly person, said person should take into consideration the fact

    Blahblahblah.. 2 wrongs don't make a right.
  • Re:Try this (Score:4, Insightful)

    by fuzzix ( 700457 ) <flippy@example.com> on Saturday August 05, 2006 @07:40AM (#15851678) Journal
    I'm 35 and heard it just fine. This product probably discourages a lot of normal business as well.
    I wonder if the fact that there was MP3 compression applied effected the sound. I'd rather hear an uncompressed version to be sure that I wasn't just perceiving some mpeg artefact.
  • by SillyNickName4me ( 760022 ) <dotslash@bartsplace.net> on Saturday August 05, 2006 @07:55AM (#15851715) Homepage
    Unfortunately it's not quite so simple.
    The situation can be summarised as follows:

    If the X put down their weapons there would be peace.

    If the Y put down their weapons there would be genocide.

    And the problem is that X is always us and Y is always them, and everyone believes this to be true, and so won't put down their arms.

    Matter of fact is, both sides are extremely wrong and beyond any legitimacy in the mentioned conflict. Just cut it off and start trying to actually take your obligations seriously.
  • by Joce640k ( 829181 ) on Saturday August 05, 2006 @08:01AM (#15851731) Homepage
    Seriously, how hard can it be....?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 05, 2006 @08:11AM (#15851750)
    Agreed - my first reaction to this is WTF?! It's a shame that we live in such a paranoid society where everybody thinks their neighbor is "out to get them" and that somehow that justifies an escalating spiral of "revenge" tactics. Life is too f'king short..you all should learn to relax more.

    Did you ever consider that maybe because he can't HEAR it he doesn't know there is a problem? Can you talk to him about it calmly and respectfully, or have you already become such bitter rivals that you would/could never do that..

    Like WTF would putting glue in the door locks accomplish? Nothing..because if you are smart you wouldn't get caught..and he wouldn't have a CLUE that the reason you did it was because of the "ultrasonic jammer". He would just get more irrate and do something MORE irritating. MATURE adults try to talk out their problems..assuming that you aren't living in redneck-city or something.

    Signed Sincerely,
    Your local naive anonymous coward.
  • 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 Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 05, 2006 @08:50AM (#15851827)

    When somebody "gets one over" on you, there are a bazillion ways to fight back.

    Fantastic. The guy is doing this because he thinks he's being persecuted, so you suggest... persecuting him? That won't escalate matters at all, will it?

  • Re:OUCH! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Lemmeoutada Collecti ( 588075 ) <obereonNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Saturday August 05, 2006 @08:59AM (#15851855) Homepage Journal
    Good idea, actually... just find a friend with a seeing eye dog and have them try to enter the area. That would then involve all kinds of equal access laws, to your benefit. And my cats and dogs hated that sound, even just coming from my headset.
  • 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.
  • Re:Try this (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 05, 2006 @09:20AM (#15851907)
    Very well stated. But I suspect the main goal is to pester the old geezer. Some kids do pester old geezers, intentionally or not, just as some old geezers pester young ones. Perhaps the police responded as they did because they've gotten numerous calls from the geezer, complaining about actions of the young folks, and the police said basically they couldn't do anything unless caught in the act. (I've no idea what is really going on, just as most readers don't...I'm just giving a possible alternative view.)

    Finally, this sort of thing RARELY comes out of the blue.(although that's possible) Often it's the result of a relationship in which people have consistently been less than good neighbors. Reading the suggestions of those who think destroying the individual's property, including car, etc., I suspect a lot of folks are bringing their frustrations with others to their advice.

    As to cranking up Hendrix, depending on how old he is, he might be happy for the "Oldies night." He'd probably hate rap more. But, then again, so might your other neighbors. And his hearing, as mentioned, is probably not as acute as yours, so it would probably damage the ears of younger folks more than older ones. Note: This does not apply to those who have already damaged their ears using iPods or other "personal" music players, if used as eardrum destructive devices.(playing them loudly) Hmmm, maybe a good common ground might be, "Which audiologist do you use?"

    If, indeed, the original poster wanted the problem handled, perhaps the innocent young folks should find a young person the geezer likes, and have a dialog begun about how to improve your relationships. Often people have no clue that something they are doing is bothering someone else. (witness cell phone conversations, where the talker is louder than the speech of people nearby.
  • Re:Try this (Score:3, Insightful)

    by SillyNickName4me ( 760022 ) <dotslash@bartsplace.net> on Saturday August 05, 2006 @09:38AM (#15851956) Homepage
    They do, in nearly all cases.

    Only for those who disregard the consequences.

    Creating a bigger monster to fight a monster will work for fighting the monster.. Only problem is you are now left with a bigger monster then what you started out with, hence having made the situation worse, not better, despite the original 'monster' being gone.
  • by NoTheory ( 580275 ) on Saturday August 05, 2006 @09:58AM (#15852007)
    25 and 40 are both artificial cutoffs. This isn't a case of exaggeration, it's a use of inherently flawed statistics. If you take care of your hearing, and are genetically well endowed, it may be the case you can here these things your whole life. The ability to hear these things are a function of aural capability, not age.
  • Re:Ask Slashdot? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by AusIV ( 950840 ) on Saturday August 05, 2006 @10:17AM (#15852059)
    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.
  • 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.
  • by Cromac ( 610264 ) on Saturday August 05, 2006 @10:57AM (#15852194)
    Maybe, but we don't know his side of the story either. From the summary "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.", that's just the kids point of view, maybe their idea of harmless day-to-day activities involves cruising up and down the block blasting (c)rap music and the old man and the rest of the neighborhood has had enough and that's the reason no one has asked him to stop.
  • by gutnor ( 872759 ) on Saturday August 05, 2006 @11:02AM (#15852211)
    Why destroying the car ? I doesn't help with your problem.

    Beter try to
    1. Talk the guy out of this
    2. Just destroy the moskito repeler in a fashion that is not apparent to the owner. After all if he doesn't hear it, you just have to take the first opportunity, open the box, and cut the alimentation to the speaker. Your problem is solve. The owner is happy because the nice blue led tells him that the device is working. And after all, if the guy is really paranoid, teens are not *really* invading his property, so he will never realise that the device is not actually working ( like garlic neclace to repel vampire )

    Off course if the guy has a real reason because your kids (neighbourhood kids) are drinking in his lawn every night, you have to solve that problem first. In that case, if you destroy the mosquito before, you can be certain the owner will call the police and unlike the sound, they will be able to see that you detroyed you neighbour property.
  • Re:Try this (Score:4, Insightful)

    by drsquare ( 530038 ) on Saturday August 05, 2006 @11:07AM (#15852225)
    Destroying a device put there for the sole purpose of causing people misery is not a wrong.
  • Re:Ask Slashdot? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by ultranova ( 717540 ) on Saturday August 05, 2006 @11:13AM (#15852250)

    In Soviet Russia... people used to do just that...

    And now that the Soviet Union is gone and the West no longer has any reason to keep up its image, the West is fast becoming the new Soviet block, at least as far as legal system and people's rights are concerned. Isn't historical irony wonderfull ?

  • by yndrd1984 ( 730475 ) on Saturday August 05, 2006 @11:15AM (#15852261)
    it's a lot easier just to stay out of range.
    Yes. It's usually easier not to stand up for your rights and just take it. But that's the philosophy of slaves and peasants.

    "regardless of their actions" is a bit strong -- someone is hanging around there, aren't you?
    Yes, those horrid teenagers are sitting in their back yard or walking down a public sidewalk, so they deserve what they get![/sarcasm]

    are they perfectly silent and peaceful everytime? not?
    Let's attack an entire group for the actions of a few of them! That's so stupid and immoral I never would have thought of it!

    The mosquito thing is better than the old solutions of spraying cold water or throwing eggs.
    No, it's just harder to get the police to do their duty. If he was doing as you suggest, to people accross the street, he could be prosecuted for assault. By doing it this way he can get away with noise ordinance violations.

  • amoral, perhaps. However, consider this attitude as well:

    It's only wrong if you get caught. ;)

    (I don't actually buy into that attitude, but humor me for a moment.)

    Consider for a moment what the poster said - it's well out of his hearing range. So...2 am, wear earplugs. Go over to the unit, if you can, simply short one of the wires running to the speakers. If that's unreasonable, a few drops of super-glue down into the cone of the unit might just do the trick.

    The power light still comes on, the old man feels more safe, and the rest of the neighborhood has peace. Win-win.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 05, 2006 @11:22AM (#15852289)
    hm, keep in mind that police are often.... whats the word..... assholes.
  • by AusIV ( 950840 ) on Saturday August 05, 2006 @11:42AM (#15852342)
    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.

  • by AdamWeeden ( 678591 ) on Saturday August 05, 2006 @12:00PM (#15852391) Homepage
    <sarcasm>That's the spirit! It's only illegal if you get caught!</sarcasm>

    Remember: two wrongs don't make a right.
  • Re:Try this (Score:2, Insightful)

    by hedwards ( 940851 ) on Saturday August 05, 2006 @12:01PM (#15852395)
    Yeah really, I still can't shop for TVs in person without getting all twitchy.
    I dunno, at least here in the US, one could request accomodations. Of course it
    really shouldn't be necessary. What is worse is when the monitors are in public

    In the case of the problem at hand, file a harassment complaint with the police.
    It isn't the job of the officer to decide whether or not it is harassment, just
    to determine the facts in the matter. In all likely hood getting a summons from
    the local DA's office will stop this behavior.

    Otherwise, if the police are not taking it seriously you can always complain to
    the local oversight board about them not properly investigating the problem.
  • Grow the fuck up (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 05, 2006 @12:06PM (#15852412)
    Or at least tell us the whole story. What did you do to invoke his anger?
  • Re:Try this (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 05, 2006 @01:15PM (#15852637)
    Get out of his yard.
    Those devices have limited range, the only reason you are hearing it is because you are trespassing.
  • by AdamWeeden ( 678591 ) on Saturday August 05, 2006 @01:31PM (#15852689) Homepage
    Only if you have the attitude that "If perfection can not be achieved we shouldn't bother striving for it." Another wrong only leads us further away from a peaceful society towards the vigilante style societies of our past. By your model if I consider what your posting as "wrong," I have the right to seek vengence to "right" it. Only by treating others how we WISH to be treated, and not by how they treat us first, is our society going to advance. Will we ever achieve 100% of people doing it? No, but that doesn't mean that it's a dumb thing to do.
  • Yup. I've learned over time however that hard and fast rules have rarely won over anyone for anything. Compassion for the needs of others and a desire to do right will however often win out. It sounds to me as though the person has taken every reasonable recourse, and if he has in fact approached the neighbor directly with a kind disposition and that has failed, has approached law enforcement, and that has failed, a mild bending of the rules and a "what he doesn't know won't hurt him" attitude probably isn't the worst approach.

    Bash me if you like, but unless you can suggest a better course of action than "return fire!", I would appreciate a bit more levity. I'm not heartless here.
  • by Lord Apathy ( 584315 ) on Saturday August 05, 2006 @01:39PM (#15852719)
    You could simply wait till the old goat is a asleep then jerk the god damn thing off the wall. Then giving it three hard wacks with a bat should do it. Since the fucker costs a 1000 bucks the old goat wouldn't be in a hurry to buy another one. Since the old fart is paranoid you might want to dress in all black and wear a hood on your mission. Think ninja. He might have security cameras up.
  • by drsquare ( 530038 ) on Saturday August 05, 2006 @02:02PM (#15852787)
    Just because it's illegal doesn't make it wrong.

    Only by treating others how we WISH to be treated, and not by how they treat us first, is our society going to advance.

    That Jesus crap doesn't work when you're dealing with senile dickheads who go out of their way to make other people's lives a misery.

    Remember that vigilantism is necessary when the police and relevent authorities refuse to do their jobs.
  • I suggest: (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Angostura ( 703910 ) on Saturday August 05, 2006 @03:36PM (#15853108)
    You modify your day-to-day activities somewhat - explain to him that you aren't trying to harass him., and ask him politely to turn the device off since you find it unpleasant.

    I mean, you have tried to come to a reasonable accommodation, right?
  • If he can't hear it, I think the easy fix is to wait until he is gone, then replace the batteries with dead ones, snip the power cord someplace where it won't be immediately obvious, or disable the device in some other way. Since he can't hear it, he'll just assume that it's working and no escalation is necessary.
  • by gardyloo ( 512791 ) on Saturday August 05, 2006 @05:44PM (#15853445)
    The "sharing" of music with everyone is one of my biggest pet-peeves. People don't seem to realize that neighbors might want to work at home, and don't want to be distracted with, e.g. loud music of any sort.

        Or people have young children who can't sleep with crap blaring; or older people who can't sleep with crap blaring; or, just for fun, how about your friendly emergency room nurse or doctor, who happens to pull a night-shift. When THEY can't do their job effectively because of some asshole neighbor, good luck to you.

        Perhaps your neighbors did escalate things a bit much when they called animal control. However, you certainly didn't help things by keeping the whole damned neighborhood awake and crabby. Nice job.

        I'm glad that police here take noise complaints seriously, no matter what time of day they're reported.
  • by Millenniumman ( 924859 ) on Saturday August 05, 2006 @06:29PM (#15853546)
    He'll probably figure out eventually (when people nearby aren't cringing). Plus, you shouldn't violate his property in such a way, unless absolutely necessary. And, he is still being a jerk. The best way to fix it would be for one of his neighbors to get one that operates a wavelength he can hear, or, if you must, alter his such that it makes a noise he can hear.
  • by v1 ( 525388 ) on Saturday August 05, 2006 @09:00PM (#15853910) Homepage Journal
    I used to work 3rd shift. I would sleep from 8am to 4pm. The next door neighbor owned one large dog. His father passed away, and he inheirited a medium and small dog, all of which were now left loose in the back yard all day long while he was at work. The little dog would start barking at the slightest provocation, such as spotting a rabbit in a back yard two houses away. This would eventually get the medium dog barking for no good reason other than to join in, and the large dog even would start in. One rabbit spotting could produce 15 minutes of continuous barking from all three dogs. This would generally occur several times a day, every day. On some days it never really seemed to stop, barking almost nonstop between 10am and 4pm when I finally got up for work.

    We tried taking to him several times, but he didn't feel he had a choice since the dogs were thrust upon him and he wasn't around during the day to stop it and could not leave the dogs in his house during the day. (I hear they ripped the place apart whenever he was away) So he made his problem my problem.

    We finally tried some phonecalls and that got him several warnings which went largely ignored. I talked with other neighbors only to find out that several of us had called in complaints. But they would send no more written warnings now, the only recourse we were left with at that point was filing a written complaint, which would fetch him a fine, and our name would be on the ticket as the complainer. We decided it wasn't worth it and to just deal with the barking. (same for the other neighbors, we did not wish to start a fight) I was very thankful when he finally found a home for the animals (all of them!) a few months later.

    Most people that own problem-barking dogs take the view that it is not their problem and that they neither have any control over their animal nor is disturbance created by the dog their responsibility. These are the ones that will respond with "what do you want me to do, tape his mouth shut?" or the one they always come up with, "a dog's gonna bark." For these people, until you make your problem their problem, they will refuse to do anything about it. Consideration for others is not as common of a trait as you might imagine. In these cases you often have to appeal to the more basic "cause and effect" concept that can be used to show reason to even the rock heads.
  • by sarge apone ( 918461 ) on Saturday August 05, 2006 @09:18PM (#15853944)

    Compassion for the needs of others and a desire to do right will however often win out.

    What is this? An ABC After-School special?!

  • Purple Martins (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Fizzlewhiff ( 256410 ) <jeffshannon@hotm ... om minus painter> on Saturday August 05, 2006 @11:48PM (#15854242) Homepage
    Talk to the guy and tell him his device is hurting your ears. Offer to help him put up a birdhouse for purple martins [purplemartin.org]. Looking out for the birds should keep him busy and out of everyones hair.

    If that doesn't work, a box of 1000 crickets cost about $10. Sneak a few thousand crickets in his flowerbeds and then tell him you read those electric mosquito repellers attract crickets. Crickets can be a little noisy and he might turn off his device hoping the other bugs go away.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 06, 2006 @01:20PM (#15855699)
    Ban automobile subwoofers. There's the solution! LOL We all hear these things, yet a lot of kids seem to feel they have some "right" to make everyone else hear AND feel their choice of music. It's annoying when you can't even talk with your kids in the backseat because some idiot has the bass blaring. I'm 45; I CAN hear these mosquito devices loud and clear. It would bother me every bit as much as the loud bass (except the bass will travel through walls better)! So how about just keeping it down? Is the reason he's doing this just because he's cranky (not all older people are unreasonable, and sure enough you'll be one too), or is it because you are blaring your bass into everyone's home? This is a serious question and I'm not taking sides.
  • by pngwen ( 72492 ) on Sunday August 06, 2006 @01:34PM (#15855740) Journal
    I thought I would deviate a bit and offer a more technological solution.

    Let's examine the facts. He can't hear it, and neither can the police. That means you can't prove that it is making a load sound. However, that goes the other way too. He can't prove that it ISN'T making a sound and cannot even notice when it stops working.

    Now, if you were to destroy the box, he would notice. If you stole it, again he would notice. If you pulled the power out, he would still notice because it wouldn't light up any more. Any cirucit disruption would cause the power indicator to not glow.

    So, here is what you do. You get a 50 ohm resistor, and then sneak over there in the dead of the night with a screwdriver and a soldering iron. These devices are made with ultrasonic transducers. An ultrasonic transducer looks like a small can with holes in the top. It may also use speakers, which are readily identifiable. Simply sever the leads to the transducers/speakers and then solder a 50 ohm resistor in the place of each one. Put the device back together and no one knows that you have tampered with it.

    If you do this, all indicator lights that the device has will still work. Every young person will notice the absence of sound, and the older people will be none the wiser. You get your peace back, and he gets to keep his smugness, everyone wins!

The moon may be smaller than Earth, but it's further away.