by Mike Masnick

Fighting Back Against Ringing Mobile Phones

from the a-little-peace-and-quiet-please... dept

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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  • identicon
    Shreeji, 7 Apr 2004 @ 7:55pm

    Information Required

    This is Shreeji Doshi.I am doing Electronics& Telecommunication Engineering from Mumbai University,India. I am intrested in doing my yearly project on Cellular Phone Jammers. I have searched the web but havent yet found the necessary information. Then from a search result I followed the link to your page. I hope that you could provide me with the schematics and the circit description(text) or the link from which I get the information for the same. I hope you reply me as soon as possible as I have to start working on it. ~Shreeji Doshi

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 8 Apr 2004 @ 9:28am

    No Subject Given

    "Of course, there's a simple solution to all of this: just keep your phone on vibrate all the time."

    I Do.

    It's the other people who have driven me out of many public places, such as theaters.

    I'm HIGHLY in favor of "communications free" zones on PRIVATE property, such as theaters. Sheilding is one way to accomplish this. I believe a theatre owner would ATTRACT many, many, many more customers than they lost by advertising "no cell/pager ringing in my theater". Especially if it was pointed out that everything still functions just fine in the lobby.

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

    • identicon
      PhuzzyLogic, 8 Apr 2004 @ 11:01am

      Re: No Subject Given

      I keep mine on vibrate as well, but for my own reason.

      I look foward to this new tech, and hope that it is applied to vehicles as well. (yes, I am against driving and 'Holding' a phone.)

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

  • identicon
    beck, 8 Apr 2004 @ 11:48am

    Emergency Calls

    I just returned from picking up my son at school. He became very ill this afternoon. I was not at home, so they called me on my cell phone to come pick him up and take him to the doctor. How would that work if I am near a jammer, or in a building built to block cell phone signals?

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 8 Apr 2004 @ 12:25pm

      Re: Emergency Calls

      Beck, what did you, your kids, and your school do before cell phones? What does the school do if you are out-of-range, say, on an airplane, during the few hours that your child happens to come up sick?

      I sympathize with your situation... it's clear that all the people who abuse the vibrate-v-ringer are going to effectively deprive you of the ability to communicate from certain locations if my earlier suggestion (shielding) is carried out.

      However... you have choice: You can avoid the blocked zones if you feel you MUST have instant communictions, no matter what. I do not have choice: I cannot "not listen" to the abusers ringers.

      In balancing the impacts like this, it is always easy to give an "end justifies the means" example like a sick child or a life that could be saved if only... but 99.9% of the time, it's balancing inconvience for hundreds v conveninece for one. And, in that one critical case, there are alternatives.

      Having said all of that, my most favorite plan is not shielding, it's social disgrace. Rather than have a theater owner shield, what I'd like to see happen EVERY TIME a phone audibly rings in the theatre is every single member of the audience (other than the inconsiderate or forgetfull phone person) BOO and/or APPLAUD LOUDLY until the person is forced to walk out of the theater.

      This plan would serve all interests: The person would remember to put their phone on vibrate next time; if it was a trivial call, they'd blow it off; if it were an important call, they could leave the theater and continue (or call back).

      Perhaps this "boo to disgrace" could becom a culturally accepted solution. Would it work in a restaraunt as well?

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

      • identicon
        AMetamorphosis, 9 Apr 2004 @ 9:14am

        Block Signals AND clearly post it ...

        I believe strongly that businesses and people should have the right to block cell phone communication signals.

        I ALSO strongly believe that there should be a law allowing people to block them as long as it is CLEARLY posted.

        Then YOU get to make the decision weather or not you must have all the time communication AND the business or person gets the choice to protect themselves from unwanted annoyances like your cell phone ringing because your too much of a dolt to turn it to vibrate ...

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

    • identicon
      D. Hansel, 30 Apr 2004 @ 7:46pm

      Re: Emergency Calls

      Do what we used to do. GO AND USE A PAY PHONE.

      Can you believe people would come up with stuff like this.
      Remember the good old days without cell phones.

      Must be Clintonites.....
      SOS (stuck on stupid)

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

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