Cell-phone generation increasingly disconnected [Telecom]

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Alas, I have been caught in the cell phone snare. While speaking to my Sonoma State University students one day, mine went off, much to their delight, giggles and snickers, as well as my embarrassment.

We may have a social epidemic on our hands. Studies reported in three Press Democrat articles this year reveal that "American teenagers sent and received an average of 2,272 text messages a month in the fourth quarter of 2008."

I invited a SSU freshman class to go to Santa Rosa for a film and dinner. The first thing that some of these teens did at the restaurant was to put their cell phones on the dinner table.

Their little gadgets promptly vibrated, buzzed and made a variety of demanding sounds. My dinner guests were soon miles away texting, having what sounded like one-way conversations intruding into our dinner and playing phone games, ignoring the rest of us at the table in front of them.

What happened to old-fashioned connective mealtime conversations?



Reply to
John Mayson
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That "should" have been a signal for the waiters to collect the phones (and return them after dinner). Seriously.

As I wrote previously, welcome to the beginning of the MATRIX. :-)

The only places I've seen in California that have signs stating cell phones must be turned off (or ringers muted) are voting locations. There may be other venues; I'd suspect courtrooms might be one, but stories of jurors texting during a trial are becoming common.

If it was my call (no pun), I'd install jammers in restaurants (fully knowing it's illegal to do so). Perhaps constructing the equivalent of a Faraday cage (grounded copper screening in the walls and ceiling) would work and be legal (until, perhaps, a doctor sues the restaurant for a missed emergency call). Sigh.

Reply to
Thad Floryan

I guess I'm revealing my approximate age when I state I was highly irritated when I got my third and fourth cell phone call of this month today. I've been aiming for two calls or less a month but not getting there.

When I look at the stats inside the phone I've had two hours of calls in the last year that I've had the phone with the average call length being 90 seconds.

I've also sent and received 4 or 6 text messages but mostly for testing purposes.

I'm on a prepaid plan where I stuff in $100 per year. I'm the cellco's worst nightmare as I'm sure I won't consume that in a year. Hehehehehe

Tony -- Tony Toews, Microsoft Access MVP Tony's Main MS Access pages -

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***** Moderator's Note *****

It starts with "4 or 6" test messages, and then, there you are standing up in the support group saying "and now I need surgery on both thumbs...". ;-)

Reply to
Tony Toews [MVP]

The Faraday cage approach is perfectly legal and all you would have to do to avoid anyone prevailing against you in a lawsuit would be to provide prominent notice of the lack of radio reception in the restaurant. There is even a paneling commercially available for radio shielding for which an available option is warning labels on every sheet.

Reply to
Tom Horne

Looks like others feel the same way, too. :-)

I just found this on Slashdot:

" School System Considers Jamming Students' Phones " " The St. Ansgar, Iowa school system is considering buying " cell-phone jamming equipment for up to $5000 if it is deemed " legal. The use of the equipment would be suspended in the " case of an emergency, but one has to wonder if they would be " quick enough to shut it down should an emergency arise. " 'A Federal Communications Commission notice issued in 2005 " says the sale and use of transmitters that jam cellular or " personal communications services is unlawful.'

Original story is here:

ST. ANSGAR, Iowa (AP) - School officials in St. Ansgar in northeast Iowa are considering buying equipment to jam cell phone signals if they can do so legally.

Earlier this month, the school board passed a motion to spend up to $5,000 to block the phone signals.

Officials said students aren't following rules that prohibit the use of cell phones during school hours. They noted that use of the jamming equipment would be suspended during emergencies.

Interim superintendent Jim Woodward says the Iowa Association of School Boards is helping research whether it's legal to block the cell phone signals.

A Federal Communications Commission notice issued in 2005 says the sale and use of transmitters that jam cellular or personal communications services is unlawful.

Reply to
Thad Floryan

There is no guarantee that a cell phone will receive signal in any particular location. I just returned from a 4 day music festival located just off the Blue Ridge Parkway. Cell coverage is abysmal there. You can occasionally get a signal and *maybe* make a call, but mostly not. I don't see how sheilding a restaurant, or theatre, would cause any legal liability. My cell phone doesn't work in my office because the building has a metal frame and blocks the signal just from common construction techniques.

At most, a place that made some extra effort to block cell signal might need to post a notice that they are a sheilded location and cell phones won't work, but a lot of places already block signal without trying. I've been advocating using the Farady cage idea for at least 10 years. It would cost very little during new construction. They could make foil backed wallboard and wallpaper. Instead we get 3 reminders at the beginning of every movie to turn off our cells. Sigh.

Bill Ranck Blacksburg, Va.

Reply to

Why does anyone who has a smart phone that can send and receive email need text messaging at all?

Have we finally drunk the Kool-Aid?

Reply to
Sam Spade

Back a couple of years ago I got to see an MRI machine installed. It's built inside a good size Faraday cage because of the way MRI works.

The magnets align the atoms, then a radio pulse is sent out causing the atoms to release energy as they fall from an excited state to a ground state.

Being that the detection part is also RF you need to have an RF quiet environment.

Reply to

My last house was an imperfect Faraday cage, due to the foil backed insulation in the outside walls. Only some fairly large window areas made it possible to get any signal inside!

-- Julian Thomas: snipped-for-privacy@jt-mj.net

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In the beautiful Genesee Valley of Western New York State! -- -- Good Intentions Paving Company: "We did the road to Hell."

Reply to
Julian Thomas

On Sat, 01 Aug 2009 10:26:53 -0400, T wrote: ........

A MRI's Faraday Cage may help with the transient spike it generates, but it does little for the massive localised static magnetic field these things have.

I once had a room full of PCs near a couple of these things, and you could never get CRT monitors working correctly because of the magnetic field. I wondered about the effect this sort of field had on the humans who worked in the same area every day of the week (well before the cellphone user concerns of RFI exposure came to the fore).

Reply to
David Clayton

Uh, because you might want [to] exchange messages with some of the billion people who have cell phones that do SMS but not mail? Or is this a trick question?

R's, John

PS: Email-to-SMS gateways are pretty much non-existent outside the US, and SMS-to-Email pretty much non-existent everywhere.

Reply to
John Levine


I'm at 80 or 90 wpm on the ergonomic keyboard. Ok, 30 wpm if you include my errors.

I don't want the interruptions of text messaging. Just like I never use an IM program either. And I check my email at my convenience. My email program does not auto check every x minutes. Etc, etc.

You want to talk to me? Send me an email [and tell me] several good times for me to call.


***** Moderator's Note *****

You're an "early adopter" of the next big trend: some corporations are embargoing email for delivery once per day, and it's becoming routine to cut off web access except during the lunch hour and after quiting time.

I once attended a seminar given by a consultant named Dick Thomas: he told us that the worst invention in history was the fax machine, and pointed out that before the electronic age, an office worker knew for a fact that when a message arrived in his "In" basket, he had at least until Five PM that day before he had to do something about it. That gave him time to reflect, consider alternatives, plan for possible responses, etc.

Now, our society is, IMNSHO, approaching a state of catatonic schizophrenia, with everyone so intent on waiting for everyone else to ring their Pavlovian bell that we're no longer capable of original thought or well-considered action. We have substituted speed for sagacity, immediacy for insight, and expediency for experience.

I was interviewed by the Boston Globe on this subject recently, and I told the reporter that someone had fed a copy of Emily Post into a word processor and then changed it around so that we're now responsible for managing each others' schedules: not only is it considered déclassé not to return voice mail messages promptly, but we've all been conned into paying our own money to allow the world the privilege of imposing on us!

Bill Horne

-- Copyright (C) 2009 E.W. Horne. All Rights Reserved.

Reply to
Tony Toews [MVP]

My only experience in this regard is that the Polish cellular carrier Orange (PL) *does* have functioning SMS-to-Email service (and *should* have implemented Email-to-SMS as well, though I've been unable to test that myself).

But that's just an isolated data-point :-) .

Cheers, -- tlvp

Reply to

This is especially so in the USA national government!

Reply to


I don't really know why all the fanatical anti-western fundamentalists are bothering with their terror campaigns to try and kill off western society, it is quite possible that we are all heading down a path of "teching" ourselves to death anyway!

If they want victory and control of the planet, they might as well just wait until our brains explode from self-inflicted information overload (on the assumption that the machines haven't taken over by then anyway).

Reply to
David Clayton

It does nothing for any magnetic field because it's not supposed to. Faraday cages act only on the E field.

The cage exists to keep the noise from those PC and all the other electronic equipment from leaking into the MRI sensors.


Reply to
Scott Dorsey

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