Cellphone jammers are a godsend, but they're also illegal


What I wouldn’t give to disable everyone’s cellphone on the 7 train here. Yeah, I could buy a cheap jamming device, but I’d prefer not to be fined several thousands of dollars just for a few minutes of peace and quiet. That’s the dilemma: do I be a champion for civility by preventing people from SHOUTING LOUDLY into their phones, but would that make me a jerk? (And this is just me talking, but why do people have to whip out their cellphones as soon as they emerge from a subway tunnel or land at an airport? Unless you’re in the CIA, odds are you can wait till you’re in a place where you’re not disturbing everyone around you.)

For their part, cellphone carriers like Verizon Wireless pay lots of money to access the wireless spectrum that jammers fiddle with. Why pay the federal government billions of dollars if some snot nosed kid (read: me) can muddy up its signals with an inexpensive devise?

And the most schadenfreude thing I’ve read in quite some time, says one bus driver:

The kids think they are sneaky by hiding low in the seats and using their phones. Now the kids can’t figure out why their phones don’t work, but can’t ask because they will get in trouble! It’s fun to watch them try to get a signal.

Hats off to that guy. You’d half expect a beer commercial honoring this guy, “mean bus driver man.”

<a HREF="http://www.nytimes.com/2007/11/04/technology/04jammer.html?ei=5065&en=5e5485ab1f2c0aeb&ex=1194753600&partner=MYWAY&pagewanted=print"Devices Enforce Cellular Silence, Sweet but Illegal [New York Times via Drudge]