Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Cell-Phone Jammers

Dear Madame L,

I have a long ride on a Metro train to work every day, and I'm so sick of listening to other people's cell-phone conversations. You can't even glare at them to get them to talk softly because they're not looking around while they talk, or they just glare back aggressively. What can I do about this? I've even heard that you can buy cell-phone jammers that keep these people from receiving a signal so they can't talk.


Just Want Some Peace and Quiet

Dear Peace and Quiet,

Madame L urges you NOT to buy a cell-phone jammer because these are against the law, as are GPS and Wi-Fi jammers, and the FCC is beginning to crack down on their use. 

The FCC said in a statement, "Cell phone jammers do not distinguish between social or other cell phone conversations and an emergency call to a family member or a 9-1-1 emergency responder. Similarly, GPS and Wi-Fi jammers maliciously disrupt both routine and critical communications services." 

A lot of sites offer advice on cell-phone etiquette, such as this comprehensive list of rules from WiseGeek.com. 

But, assuming you follow these rules yourself, Madame L can only suggest that you improve your skills of ignoring such noises, bring along a good book to read, or become engrossed in your own music.

Dear Readers, do you have any other suggestions to help this person who just Wants Some Peace and Quiet?

Please comment,

Madame L

1 comment:

AskTheGeologist said...

Several technical solutions come rather immediately to mind, along with one that is not - quite - technical:

A: Bose and other manufactures sell headphones that cancel out all external noise. If you want, you can listen to your iPod through them. Or you can just enjoy sublime peace and quiet ($100 - $300).

B: An iPod or MP3 device will drown out most of this crap ($30 - $120).

C: Put a finger down your throat, stand up, lurch towards the Offender, and puke on him. Afterwards, apologize profusely as you ineffectually wipe/smear the results around. "Loud voices tend to trigger this," you might add. Typically $0 to $5 if you want to use fake vomit simulation. A PayDay candy bar serves quite well.

Advanced training in Jujitsu might make you feel a bit more secure in safely and successfully pulling this off...