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Wireless Network

My boss told me to install a wireless network in our office. Two issues popped up in my mind: security and the health. The latter concerns me a bit more for the moment.

I would like to know if any of you are using a wireless network for hours every day? Do you think exposure to radio wave for long hours affect your health?

Some even say radio wave affects the users' sex life and lowers the rate of pregnancy. I like programming and don't mind doing it for life but my girlfriend's happiness is definitely non-negotiable.

S.C.
Sunday, July 20, 2003

Maybe that's why the birth rate is dropping in industrialized counties - they have more radio staions then undeveloped countries!

You're surrounded by radio waves all day - what makes you think that this will be a significant increase? Where's the research you've seen that says wireless devices are a health problem?

I'm guessing it's a troll, but you never can tell...

RocketJeff
Sunday, July 20, 2003

There is still much debate about whether a cell phone put straight against your head can cause issues. As for a device that's transmitting with much less power, much farther away? Seriously doubt it.

Rocket's right. You're constantly being bombarded by high frequency energy. You should be more worried about your cordless phone than your wireless network!

Brad Wilson (dotnetguy.techieswithcats.com)
Sunday, July 20, 2003

The wireless phone companies got together in the late 80s/early 90s to investigate the health impact of wireless technology. Their motivation was business related of course. There were some high profile lawsuits against the industry (notably against Motorola) and they wanted to cover their respective derrieres. So, they funded an "independent" (har de har har) group to investigate for 5 years.

Of course, the lawsuits never made headway and by the mid 90s, only a few people were around to listen to their verdict. Their conclusion? They needed more money and a few more years. I followed them for 2 more years and discovered that this group was quietly disbanded. Because public furor died down, they had no interest in maintaining an activity that could only make them look bad.

My 2 cents is that there is ALWAYS a concern when energy is bombarding your body. While it's true that distance and energy are huge factors, I would still feel safer (albeit more tethered) without wireless anything.

Sample article on the subject:
http://www.rfsafe.com/articles/australian_032399.htm

StickyWicket
Sunday, July 20, 2003

Of course, the risks of wireless are less than other forms of radiation:

http://courses.cs.vt.edu/~cs3604/lib/Therac_25/Therac_1.htm

StickyWicket
Sunday, July 20, 2003

It's my understanding that the intensity of a given radio signal drops off exponentially the further you are from the source.  So putting a laptop with a 200mW card on your actual lap might have reprodcutive implications, but keeping it on your desk a few feet away (and using an external keyboard and mouse) is basically fine.

Heard this from one of the primary people behind http://www.personaltelco.net -- you could check their mailing list for more info.

I've been using an iBook with wireless card (several hours a day on my lap) for a few months now, and haven't noticed any effects, but then we're not starting our family this year...

Sam Livingston-Gray
Sunday, July 20, 2003

I basically concur.

I heard about a lawsuit on the local liberal radio station about a guy suing the cell phone companies after his wife developed a tumor that seemed to radiate out from where the antennae was on her cell phone. A few "facts" I gleaned were:

1. cell phones put out more radiation than microwave ovens are allowed to.
2. it definately decreases by distance - use a hands-free device if you're going to use a cell phone.

As an audio guy, I'm well aware of the impact of distance on energy levels - put your ears next to a headphone or speaker and it might deafen you, from just a few feet away it's a comfortable volume.

You're constantly being bombarded by this type of radiation in small amounts... in NYC alone there are dozens of free hook up nodes, and you never know when you're walking through one just walking down the street. The big concern is the laptop itself, not the base unit.

If you're concerned about this, get a wireless drop port, the kind that you hook an ethernet cable up to and situate it a few feet away from where you want to sit... It will probably need AC power as well, but at least it won't be so close you have to worry about the radiation.

Now let's talk about the chlorine in the water, the radiation we're getting from our unshielded AC hookups, the radiation from our CRT's, UV exposure and cancer, industrial waste from GE in NY's water and how it gets into the fish, asbestos poisoning in the NYC subways, how pollution from NYC blows out of the city and settles in suburban areas, automobile fumes as we commute to and rom work, irradiation of our foods, milk that doesn't spoil, and countless other miserable things that are happening to us every day without our knowing about it.

www.marktaw.com
Sunday, July 20, 2003

Mark-

Wasn't there something a few years back about how wired headsets actually *increased* your exposure to cellphone radiation?  I seem to recall that the cord acts as an antenna.  So perhaps a Bluetooth hands-free device is in order.  ;>

Sam Livingston-Gray
Monday, July 21, 2003

Yeouch. I hadn't heard that one. I think we're all gonna need personal geiger counters soon.

www.marktaw.com
Monday, July 21, 2003

Our precious bodily fluids!!

Joe
Monday, July 21, 2003

HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA

Did you know they put flouride in the water? Let's build a wireless doomsday device. MWA HA HA HA.

www.marktaw.com
Wednesday, July 23, 2003

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