This Means War

Ever been in a movie theater or a restaurant and had to endure the loud, obnoxious prick with a cell phone who was regaling all in earshot with his or her conversation?  Despite it being illegal in the United States, some people are taking action.

A cafe customer fed up with cell phone chatter sits in a bubble of blissful silence as nearby patrons puzzle over dead handsets.

A man tries to take a secret snapshot with his camera phone, but gets only a blank screen.

A priest imbues his church with a new energy—the electromagnetic kind—to keep his sermons serene and free from beeps, chirps and rockin’ ring tones.

These are glimpses at a war of gadgets quietly playing out around the world.

As millions embrace the freedoms of mobile communications, some people and companies are pushing back against the tide. They are fighting technology with technology, using detectors, jammers and other gizmos to defend privacy, security and sometimes sanity.

However, for those worried about the legal ramifications of using a jammer, there may be hope in the near future.  A researcher at Iwata University in Morioka, Japan has come up with something called “magnetic wood”, which can passively block cell signals in rooms which have been lined with it.

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