WiFi Fear Kills Free Local WiFi Plan

from the this-again? dept

Every so often we hear stories about very concerned adults freaking out over the supposed "harm" that WiFi does. The latest, as pointed out by Broadband Reports is that a bunch of folks up in Sebastopol (a ways north of San Francisco) have convinced the town to cancel plans for an ISP to offer free WiFi in the downtown area. This wasn't "muni-WiFi." This was just an ISP that asked for, and was granted, permission to put up some free WiFi access points in the downtown area. There are just a few problems with this, with the first one being the simple fact that there's no evidence that WiFi does any harm whatsoever or is even noticeable by those who claim "electrical sensitivity." Double-blind tests have showed that those who claimed they could sense the electricity cannot. The radiation from a year's worth of WiFi is equal to 20 minutes on a mobile phone, and even the health implications of mobile phone radiation is very much in dispute. However, the real killer point is that you can bet that there's already probably plenty of WiFi "radiation" in the same downtown area from any local store that probably set up its own WiFi network.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    James, Mar 25th, 2008 @ 4:11am

    Rediculous

    Maybe they should be against free E-mail in that town too, you know because free E-mail is bad.. oh, and the boogie man.

     

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  2.  
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    John Duncan Yoyo, Mar 25th, 2008 @ 4:19am

    Tin foil hats for Sebastopol

    There is an urgent shortage of tin foil hats in Sebastopol, CA please send them to the city council for distribution.

     

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  3.  
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    Jake, Mar 25th, 2008 @ 4:46am

    *sigh* I give up. There's nothing I can possibly say that could even start to express my feelings on the matter.

     

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  4.  
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    Roman Citizen, Mar 25th, 2008 @ 5:10am

    As Rome fell

    This is how fear controls the masses. We fear destruction so much we bring it about.

     

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  5.  
    identicon
    Huh?, Mar 25th, 2008 @ 5:20am

    This is what I keep saying. Democracy won't work as long as people are stupid. What difference does it make if one paranoid, ignorant monarch rules with irrationality, or it's the paranoid, ignorant masses? It's still tyranny either way.

     

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  6.  
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    Danny, Mar 25th, 2008 @ 5:39am

    Frankenstien's Monster

    After reading this an image popped in my mind. It was a image of a bunch of countryside villagers chasing a wireless router with torches and pitchforks in hand. Idiots.

     

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  7.  
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    shanoboy (profile), Mar 25th, 2008 @ 5:44am

    Wow, the university I went to for 5 years (yes I was a second year senior, my home for years, my place or work and my neighbors all have wi-fi beaming 24/7.

    So if wi-fi were harmful, I'd probably be growing some strange tumors by now wouldn't I? Being that I've constantly been exposed to it for over half a decade.

    Morons.

     

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  8.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 25th, 2008 @ 5:47am

    Studies show that not giving me $$ leads to brain tumors - If you want to insure your health - leave a message and I'll tell you where to send the $$

     

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  9.  
    identicon
    Alimas, Mar 25th, 2008 @ 5:54am

    Re:

    Wow! You too? I have that same affliction!
    Leave your info.

    (your comment is awesome - I'm using that somewhere)

     

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  10.  
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    Matt, Mar 25th, 2008 @ 5:59am

    maybe they should check for black magic instead!

    Maybe they were trying the wrong hocus pocus and should have gone with the black magic trick that our indian sham tried. Good laugh over at http://www.reason.com/blog/show/125653.html

    Kinda makes you wonder if the shaman has any relation to the electrosensitivity folks? At least logic wise.

     

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  11.  
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    Doc AL, Mar 25th, 2008 @ 6:00am

    Wacko Fanatics...

    People have nothing better to do. Just because they are miserable about their own lives, they gotta bring everyone else down. Those studies about cell phone radiation is incunclusive. I work in the radiation field, 40hrs a week, 250 days a year and the doses I recieve are minimal. You have a better chance of getting radiated just by being out in the sun. If you ask me, those individuals are WACKO.

     

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  12.  
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    slimcat (profile), Mar 25th, 2008 @ 6:11am

    The only thing we have to fear....

    Aren't these the same folks who think 'ping-pong balls' is a venereal disease?

    I'm sure godless, commie, free software, and ESR, are banned there as well.

     

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  13.  
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    carlos, Mar 25th, 2008 @ 6:36am

    Feed the fear

    Can some one tell them about EMF or RFI...that should have them living like they were in the 1700's.

     

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  14.  
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    RJ, Mar 25th, 2008 @ 6:44am

    Really Ignorant

    The rub in all of this is this isn't the majority that is calling for the wi-fi ban it is a vocal minority. We, the majority, are silent too much of the time.

     

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  15.  
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    dsgsdf, Mar 25th, 2008 @ 7:04am

    it sounds like both the city and the company that wanted to install the hotspots don't have any experience with risk communication.

    When it comes to outrage, simply spouting off numbers like a robot only increases the publics' outrage, regardless of the accuracy of the numbers.

    As idiotic as the public may seem, the city/company has to acknowledge the outrage and bring the public into the discussion to reach a mutually agreeable conclusion. Usually, giving the public some form of control over the operation goes a long way to silencing the critics, or better yet, making them part of the solution. It's a pain in the ass, but much better than having no wi-fi.

     

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  16.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 25th, 2008 @ 7:27am

    Re:

    I'm going to steal this one also! I might even patent it!

     

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  17.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 25th, 2008 @ 7:48am

    PLEASE DON'T send Tin foil hats
    Studies have shown they actually amplify 2.4GHz signals... they only block older 700-900MHz signals.
    I'm pretty sure 802.11x uses 2.4GHz
    HAHAHAHAHA

     

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  18.  
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    Overcast, Mar 25th, 2008 @ 7:49am

    heh, I'm sure they are saying this with a Cell phone strapped to their head.

     

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  19.  
    identicon
    Iron Chef, Mar 25th, 2008 @ 7:57am

    What about...

    LR-WPAN Proliferation? I wonder what they will say when 802.15.4 starts becoming mainstream, and incorporated into things like doorbells, and home security systems.

     

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  20.  
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    muzakaz, Mar 25th, 2008 @ 8:37am

    Hippies

    Laughing My A&# off! Sebastopol is a hippie town... ever been there? They are still stoned from the 70's - "electrical sensitivity" - their brains were fried before the 80's ever hurt. And to think they get a vote. AUGH SOMEBODY SHOOT ME!

     

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  21.  
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    JS Beckerist (profile), Mar 25th, 2008 @ 8:53am

    Re:

    Yep that'd be about right. I had my first wireless router set up amongst my frat roomies in 2001. I currently have a wireless network at my house, at where I work and even in the coffee shop I visit most mornings.

    No tumors so far! *crosses fingers*

     

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  22.  
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    Robogeek, Mar 25th, 2008 @ 9:16am

    Nothing New

    For a truly humorous perspective on this,read "The Town That Voted The Earth Was Flat" by Rudyard Kipling. It will give you many a laugh.

     

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  23.  
    identicon
    Jimmy, Mar 25th, 2008 @ 9:45am

    Hey.....

    Well, uhhh, since your not installing it over there in Tin-foil-hat Alley, why dont ya come on over to Minneapolis, Minnesota for an install!

     

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  24.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 25th, 2008 @ 10:21am

    I Was In Sebastopol Last Weekend

    And the above poster is correct. Total hippie town - for better or for worse.

    The thing is, most former hippies have realized that their views were a little extreme back in the day, and moderated somewhat as they re-entered the mainstream. Those that remain are the extreme, die-hard hippies, and a new generation of neo-hippies.

    The radiation expert above who said: "You have a better chance of getting radiated just by being out in the sun." This is true -- especially since these Sebastopol-types won't wear sunblock "because it's carcinogenic".

    These types find the boogie-man in every vestige of modern life. They ache for a simpler time, when technology and mass production didn't de-humanize mankind. You know, a simpler time like the feudal system, the days of the black plague, the dark ages, slavery, the great ol' caveman days of yore...where life expectancy was 34 years, you had as many human rights as you could beat with a club, and bathing occurred every time you fell in the river.

    Really. There are extremists on the Right Wing of politics who seem to ache for a "simpler time", these 1950s perfect crew-cut years, even if they were barely an ephemeral whisper in the 400,000 year history of mankind. Meanwhile, the hippies on the other end of the spectrum, yearn for a simpler time that never existed.

    Sad to say it people, but yearning for unlikely outcomes, when you are but one of six billion, is kinda self-indulgent. Get on the bus, or get hit by the bus.

     

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  25.  
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    a biologist, Mar 25th, 2008 @ 10:45am

    Education failure

    Good thing is those people do not have to eat the wifi.
    For fear of transgenic products, the stupidity is the same.

     

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  26.  
    identicon
    Jamoma, Mar 25th, 2008 @ 10:53am

    FREE WIFI

    I think I'm going to move to Sabastopol and sue the downtown Mickey D's and Starbucks for giving me radiation poisoning. I'm gonna get PAID!

     

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  27.  
    identicon
    BTR1701, Mar 25th, 2008 @ 10:57am

    Illogically Scared

    > However, the real killer point is that you can
    > bet that there's already probably plenty of
    > WiFi "radiation" in the same downtown area from
    > any local store that probably set up its own
    > WiFi network.

    Exactly.

    This is roughly analogous to the folks who make such a huge deal out of smokers who stand near the entrances to buildings and smoke. They complain about the health effects of having to walk through a noxious cloud of smoke as they go into or out of a building, all the while oblivious to the fact that the pollution from the exhaust pipes of cars and trucks passing by not 10 feet away on the street is a hundred times more noxious and the average time of exposure is far greater than the 2 seconds it takes to walk through someone's cigarette smoke, which (when outside) begins to attenuate almost immediately.

     

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  28.  
    identicon
    Lucretious, Mar 25th, 2008 @ 2:27pm

    What do you want from a population of morons that beleives crystals have magical properties, that Feng-Shui is something other than a ridiculous piece if superstitious clap-trap simply because the Chinese have been using it for "thousands of years" (the same scientific principles that no doubt leads to taking powdered horn of a black rhino to improve libido). Junk science and medicine is a way of life in that part of the country.

     

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  29.  
    identicon
    M., Mar 26th, 2008 @ 9:50am

    I wasn't joking when I said hippies... my aunt lived there in the 70's - in a TEE PEE.

    Now, like all of the HIPPIES from 'back in the day' - the ones that survived - became capitalist yuppie pig yogurt shop owners - educating their young to hate America. Bad america - Good money. HA!
    What a sad joke!

     

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  30.  
    identicon
    George Fragos, Mar 26th, 2008 @ 12:56pm

    And the ignorant shall rule the earth.

     

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  31.  
    identicon
    Lucas, Apr 1st, 2008 @ 8:51pm

    ...

    i actualy live in sebastopol, and the people who rejected this plan were few, but they were also loud and stupid. i mean, who the fuck rejects FREE wi fi!?! someone compared it to people rejecting electricity or phones. yes, mabe it could hurt you, but only if your stupid! luckily, the youth population is pissed and trying to get it back

     

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  32.  
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    Angela Flynn, Apr 12th, 2008 @ 3:52pm

    WIFI

    I had a wireless router in my bedroom for two years. Ater a year and a half I developed a full body muscle, ache, creaky joints and could not sleep or concentrate enough to read a book. After I got rid of the router my symptoms went away. I have spent the last year researching this. If you dismiss the over 2,000 studies in the www.bioinitiative.org, then sure it is just some nutty people like me who are reporting harm from this non-ionizing radiation. Wake up already. Cell phones cause brain tumors. People living near cell towers are in constant exposure and the effects are cummulative. Long term low level exposure can be worse than short term high level. There are microwaves. The level may be on slow cook, but it is still cooking. Another good website to check out is www.emrpolicy.org

     

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  33.  
    identicon
    Kevin, Apr 15th, 2008 @ 6:02am

    Reality vs. Morality vs. Society

    The simple answer is:
    You are born, you hope to mature, and you die.
    The real question is:
    Did you do your best to live your life the way you wanted, and did you help those you could, live thier life the way they wanted.
    The answer is:
    How would we know if you didn't blog it! You didn't blog it because there wasn't FREE Wi-Fi downtown and you were hit by a drunk driver on the way home to your desktop with it's own radiation poising you from the monitor...
    Hmmm. Wonder if the Amish have it figured out.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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