Saturday, January 14, 2012

'Saftey Valve' to disable your Cell Phone?

John Fischer wrote an interesting article "Two Years Gone, Two Million More Accidents...When Will We Realize Cell Phones Need Safety Valves?" over at the Injury Board. Mr. Fischer explains why bans don't work, due to a Cell Phone causing a neuro-chemical addiction in the brain [1]. The above article then leads us to his own site Try Safety First, where we find a more data on how bans don't work, well worth your time to read, then purposes a solution.

The purposed solution is to standardize a protocol that disables the cell phone when it receives a transmission from a local low power transmitter. Such transmitters are placed in class rooms, prisons, automobiles etc. The publicly available "White Paper" marked "CONFIDENTIAL", seems rather odd to me, describes the bases of the system. No link here, because after all the paper is marked "CONFIDENTIAL"...

Personally, what seems disingenuous to me is that the "White Paper" wants to charge a dollar per Cell Phone per month for this "safety" function. Not clear where this money actually goes, tho the web site does have a section seeking "investors". They also claim to have filled 17 patents on this technology. My altruistic view of the world would not lock up safety functions behind patents and fees.

I'm sure you have been in places where you wish Cell Phones were not allowed, just as I have. Alas Cell Phone Jammers are illegal. The above proposed protocol does mention security being important to prevent the technology from being circumvented. What I didn't see was anything that said there was something that prevented the local transmitter from being overridden, other than laws, so the Cell Phone would not be able to receive the lockout protocol message...

[1] What I find interesting was the drawing Ben Tannenbaum, The Value of Mobile Phones and the Uberconnected Individual had on his site. We've now come exactly to the point predicted by futurist Alvin Toffler in his 1970 book Future Shock :

I've covered various distractions before: