There have been stories on mobile phone jammers before, but the NY Times has a longer article looking at a variety of methods to stop mobile phones from ringing inappropriately. There are the jammers of course - which remain illegal in the US. They are perfectly legal elsewhere, and (as you might imagine) are still being used in the US. However, there are, increasingly, other options. There are construction techniques that can supposedly block out cellular signals so that anyone inside a certain building will not be able to use their mobile phone. Of course, some are angered by such solutions, pointing out that just because a ringing phone annoys you, doesn't give you the right to stop others from using their phones. This argument gets a little tricky when you're talking about being on private property, though. However, as with many technology problems and solutions, given a bit of time, it looks like solutions are going to get a lot more sophisticated over time. Already, some are working on technology that will automatically switch mobile phones to silent or vibrate mode in certain places using Bluetooth. Of course, this will only work with certain phones - but hopefully a standardized version of such a solution will emerge. Even more impressive is some research being done at MIT to automatically know how to deal with incoming calls based on a variety of factors. I really wonder how well this works, but if it really can determine when it's right to pass a call through and when it should vibrate or when it should just go to voicemail, that would be impressive. Of course, there's a simple solution to all of this: just keep your phone on vibrate all the time.
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