Tuesday, November 6, 2007

You're hanging up now!

How many times have you been in a nice restaurant or at your kid's ball game and some dude is on his cell phone. Usually, he is talking too loud and jabbering on about something obviously not worthy of pissing off or distracting all those around him. Meanwhile, noone nearby can carry on a normal conversation or enjoy what everyone else is there for?

A client of mine and I were at Ciao Bella a while back and some pompous dot bomb paper tycoon was holding court with his employees. He was already too loud and then his cell phone rang. His blather on his dumbphone was so loud that it was even embarrassing for his groupies.

They were shrugging their shoulders and glancing around at all of us with apologetic visages. Meanwhile their presumed employer was foaming on and on, oblivious to the scene he was creating.

We asked the waiter to move us and we were grateful that he could oblige. He got it.

How I would have loved to have one of these devices under the table to nuke his call, let him reconnect, and then repeat. Tell me you have never been in a similar situation.

Andrew reached into his shirt pocket and pushed a button on a black device the size of a cigarette pack. It sent out a powerful radio signal that cut off the chatterer’s cellphone transmission — and any others in a 30-foot radius.

“She kept talking into her phone for about 30 seconds before she realized there was no one listening on the other end,” he said. His reaction when he first discovered he could wield such power? “Oh, holy moly! Deliverance.”

The jamming technology works by sending out a radio signal so powerful that phones are overwhelmed and cannot communicate with cell towers. The range varies from several feet to several yards, and the devices cost from $50 to several hundred dollars. Larger models can be left on to create a no-call zone.

But before you order one (and I know you want to), consider this:

The Federal Communication Commission says people who use cellphone jammers could be fined up to $11,000 for a first offense. Its enforcement bureau has prosecuted a handful of American companies for distributing the gadgets — and it also pursues their users.


Bike Bubba said...

Some theater owners do a legal alternative; they make sure that the theater is enclosed in metal, which prevents the signal from getting in at all.

arclightzero said...

Why on earth would it be illegal to use a cell phone jammer in a private establishment? I mean, if a property owner wanted to enforce a strict no cell phone policy in his own private business, he should have the right to do so. People do not have the right to use a cell phone, or anything else for all that matters, on private property. This is just crazy nanny state nonsense.

Bike Bubba said...

Because unless you surround your property in metal (and thus need no jammer), you infringe on the property rights of cell phone users on adjacent properties. Radio waves aren't conveniently stopped by property lines or survey markers.