back to article Santa Fe man demands half a mill for being near iPhone

Arthur Firstenberg is suing his neighbour for $530,000 for refusing to switch off her iPhone, claiming that the electromagnetic fields generated are destroying his health. Not only does Mr. Firstenberg want the iPhone switched off, but he also reckons that leaving the iPhone and a laptop charging overnight is denying him the …


This topic is closed for new posts.
  1. Anonymous Coward

    EMF Free Zones

    EMF free zones? If you can find one of them anywhere on the planet I'd be surprised.

    Anyhoo, I've yet to see any concrete evidence that a mobile phone will harm the user's health, let alone the health of somebody several yards and a least one wall seperated from the phone in question. At that distance the radiation from the nearest base station, or indeed the nearest TV or radio transmitter, will be as powerful as that from his neighbour's phone. Is he suggesting all radio communication should cease at night?

    And does he switch off everything electrical in his house at night? Fridge, freezer, central heating controller, burglar alarm, etc.

    1. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

      re: EMF Free Zones

      How about inside a Faraday Cage? IIRC, there is a nice one on the top of a hill that overlooks Portsmouth Harbour. Clue, It's got a Radar Dish on the top.

      how about at the bottom of something like a salt mine (not coal as there is sometimes radioactive grot in it)

      Back on topic. I wonder if this idiot's neighbours are suing him for an equal amount?

      Mines the one with a lead lining.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward


        Tell him to sit in a large microwave - a nice farady cage there. While hes in it, switch it on.

      2. mr.K

        Re: re: EMF Free Zones

        First of all Faraday cages are not usually meant to protect again electromagnetic radiation, but against external static electric fields and discharges. However, you are correct that they can to a large degree shield the interior from electromagnetic radiation. But the shielding will not be complete and it will only shield against frequencies that have a significantly larger wavelength than the holes in the cages, and only then if the conductive material is thick enough. So what then if the distance between the atoms are significantly larger than the wavelengths of the radiation, as it the case with gamma radiation. Yes, usually sooner or later a gamma ray will hit the core of an atom, but there is no guarantee.

        Further more let us assume if we can make a perfect Faraday Cage that will catch all electromagnetic radiation. That isn't enough. It would have to deflect all radiation and maintain a temperature of zero Kelvin. This since only at that temperature will it not radiate heat as electromagnetic radiation, and only if it deflects all radiation, instead of merely catching it, and is suspended in vacuum will not pick up any energy either.

        Personally I recommend a tinfoil hat to mister Firstenberg, it should provide him with adequate cover.

        Mines the one made of fur - What, it is cold out.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Is he serious? If one iPhone can screw him over that badly I should be a jibbering wreck in my wireless-technology-infested open-plan office. Well, sometimes I am, but I'm sure it's unrelated.

  3. ian 22

    The telly makes me sick

    Yes, it does, but its the crap content that does it.

  4. Michael

    tinfoil hat anyone?

    Maybe we can advise him and his fellows to wear blue tinfoil hats thus making them easier to round up....

    Although anyone wanting to blame apple for everything can't be all bad....

    1. mafoo
      Black Helicopters

      re: tinfoil hat anyone?

      I would be hilarious if the judge ruled that medicare should provide a roll of tinfoil to the accuser.

      However the poor accused, being harangued by some loony exercising his right to free (crazy) speech.

      But maybe they want you to wear tin foil hats, its all a plan to make you act as range extenders for the at&t wireless network. The black helicopters are coming!!! AHHHHHHHH!

  5. Shadowslayer

    Beware of the Neo-luddites

    I wonder if i can start a business selling faraday cages to nutters like this.

    1. Peter Simpson 1

      Too late... has all you need, including a stylish shielded baseball cap (so much more discreet than tinfoil).

      1. Gangsta



        Most of this is simple cheap chinese made tech.

        Take for example the dashing alarm clock.

        The image shows a cheap typical chinese made clock with a photoshopped (or rather MS painted) low EMF logo.

        I think possible these people know how ridiculous these tinfoil hat wearers are, or they actually believe this stuff works.

        Or even take the Degaussing coil.

        Isn't this contradicting the point?

        You may demagnetize a credit card - because we all know that gives off a massive electronic field /sarcasm

        /rant end

    2. MonkeyBot

      There's definitely a market

      Somebody's already selling tinfoil baseball caps and shielded phone holsters. I'm not sure how you're supposed to receive a call with that.

    3. Tom 35

      Too late

      There are already people selling stuff like RFI blocking paint for $400 / gallon or copper "mosquito nets" to hang over your bed. Even some magic black boxes that run on a 9v battery that can cancel out all RFI in an area (it must be true, it says so on the website).

    4. Robin


      Be quick though, it's a 'healthy' market already.

  6. Anonymous Coward

    Nowt as queer as folk!

    I'm sure there is some feeble basis to this, some people are sensitive to EMFs, but sounds like he picked up a copy fo New Scientist in the dentist waiting room and a light-bulb ( a low wattage, eco one of course ) went off in his head, he was then on the phone to this lawyer within minutes!

    1. Nick Stallman

      No no

      Not a eco bulb. Fluros make quite a nice EMF field when you turn them on.

  7. Dave Fox

    Counter suit?

    I doubt this will be a problem for him for long. Given his ridiculous claims are not backed up by any kind of medical science, I'd expect his suit to be thrown out, and that the inevitable counter suit from his neighbour for "distress" probably will win rendering poor Arthur penniless and homeless!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      On the bright side

      On the bright side, his new neighbours won't have iPhones.

    2. Big-nosed Pengie


      This is America. He'll probably be awarded all he claims and more.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    I trust Mr Fruitloopenberg lives nowhere near any TV signals

    or indeed on a planet which has a large electromagnetic field of its own

    1. Crazy Operations Guy


      He does live in New Mexico....

      1. heyrick Silver badge

        He lives where?!?

        Great! Roswell, aliens, and he's worried about an iPhone...

  9. Annihilator

    Blind testing

    Piece of piss for the neighbour to humour him if required - tell him you're going to switch it off one night and get him to tell you which night he thinks it was.

    Then just leave it on the whole week and tell him to f**k off when he tells you it must have been Tuesday night.

  10. Remy Redert

    re: Counter suit

    With the added advantage that he'll no longer need to worry about the shared wiring in his house intensifying his exposure, as he won't have a house to start with.

  11. Scho

    Anyone want to take a guess....

    At what this guy may do for a living.

    I would suggest a politician. Maybe a distant relative of Peter Mandelson?

  12. gollux

    He's sniffed one too many alien probes...

    And the woo woo fairies are stealing his sleep. Seriously needs some mental help, some Xanax to take care of his anxiety disorders, and a place out side the universe if he wants an EMF free zone. Between cosmic rays and background radiation, dieing is probably his only relief. Or maybe wrapping himself in about a 100 layers of tinfoil and a layer of lead connected to a 4 gauge copper wire connected to an eight foot ground rod.

  13. cirby

    I think we need to start a new trend

    Whenever someone files a lawsuit like this, the defending side should start out with paperwork to have them committed to a mental institution. At the very least, it would slow down some of the other folks of similar disposition, and at best it could cause some of these loonies to be put where they belong.

  14. J 3

    Throw him out

    A hefty fine for wasting court's time.

    A counter suit for the time and effort of the victim (neighbor).

    Then lock him away at some prison for the mentally unhealthy (can't recall the correct term for those in English now...) until he is cured, or dead, or can prove EMF really makes him sick (burden of proof is on the claimant, obviously), whichever comes first. Make him pay for his stay, of course.

    Ain't I feeling generous today?

  15. Henry Wertz 1 Gold badge

    EMF-Free zones and nutjobs

    "was campaigning to have the government pay for EMF-Free zones where fellow sufferers could hide out"

    There are already. Move to West Virginia, a large portion of it bans any radio, cellular, etc. sites so (publicly) the radio telescope can operate and (covertly) so the feds could have a clean RF environment to try to pick up Soviet broadcasts better. Oh, you want one that's not in the middle of nowhere? Too bad, piss off. Or better still move to a deserted island. Or, build a farraday cage around your place. Or better for a nutjob. get a tinfoil hat.

    What a nutjob. I would DEFINITELY countersue. This has been proven false, in an experiment where basically the suckers started twitching, complaining about headaches, etc. etc. AS SOON as they saw a cell phone, then got real sheepish as soon as the researchers pointed out "this phone is off." They were, without exception, unable to tell if a device was operating or not, and if they could not SEE an operating phone they would not react (even if they were well within it's strong RF field.)

    1. ElReg!comments!Pierre

      "This has been proven false"

      Actually the experiment you cite only proves that the headache-inducing effects of cell phones is mediated through the eyes of the victims. It all makes sense now! I'm sure that Mr. Firstenberg would sleep much better if he plugged that peep hole to his neighbour's bedroom (regardless of the state of said neighbour's phone or laptop).

    2. Muscleguy

      Absolutely Right

      None of the properly set up experiments (they began to use the techniques the parapsychology people use) have been able to find anyone who can demonstrate electrosensitivity. Apparently they are not necessarily ruling out that there are some truly sensitive souls out there, only that they have never found one. These people are either in need of psychiatric help or just out to seek to blame anyone but themselves for problems in their lives (most likely). It's a goldmine for hypochondriacs, being 'electrosensitive').

      Since we have now had in much of Europe cellphone coverage for 30 years now, the epidemiologists have been mighty quiet about the huge extra load on health services that must have resulted if these people are right. Which is a good thing to ask yourself when the doom mongers tell you civilisation will end if you continue to eat/drink/wear/breathe/be exposed to X. Where are all the bodies?

      1. FSS

        look out for...

        Look for "Cancer", you may find some bodies...

        Have you done a MRI lately?

  16. windywoo

    Bothered by loony neighbours with paranoid delusions?

    Unfortunately there is no app for that. Having said that, it has given me an idea for an app. Basically it would be just a button that said on/off but with "Brain Frying Ray" at the top. iPhone users could then point their phone at those overly sensitive types and watch them squirm.

  17. Gaz 6


    Wait till he finds out about the satellites (commercial geosynchronous C,Ku,Ka bands, military, weather, etc.) and the cell towers too (not just the phones)..that'd be precious to observe. What's he gonna do, put tinfoil on all the walls inside his house? That might help this nut.

  18. Galidron

    Disconect his electricity

    If we wants to be free of EMF he shouldn't have any electricity to his house in the first place.

  19. Version 1.0 Silver badge

    It's only certain EMF fields that are DANGEROUS!

    My neighbor has FOX news on all the time - can start a class action suit? I'm sure it's giving me the runs.

  20. Justin Clements

    EMF Free Zone?

    Its called Montana.

    Seriously, there are loads of places in the US that have no cell coverage - its called "the countryside".

  21. ElReg!comments!Pierre

    Exposure to the iPhone?

    I often find that exposure to iPhone _owners_ is far more headache-inducing than exposure to their fruity devices. But maybe it's just me.

  22. Fihart

    Common Complaint

    I'm with him. All iPhone users make me feel sick.

  23. Mectron

    This guy belong

    in the looney bin.

  24. Alex 28

    All you need to know about EMF sensitivity...

    I particularly like the refernce to Compulsive Risk Assessment Psychosis.

    I seem to remember an article in New Scientist saying that in controlled conditions it was simply impossible for the supposedly afflicted to tell whether they were being subjected to such fields with any better than a 50/50 chance of success.

    Give 'em an MRI and see what happens...

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Dead Vulture

    I really...

    Wish you lot managed to get yourselves exposed enough till you started suffering Electromagnetic HyperSensitivity...

    then you'd be screaming for recognition of our disability that the British Government Refuses to acknowledge exists, as they (without asking any scientist) think all this high tech crap will save them in the next election and the worlds economy (they also believed the sun shined out of the arses of the corporate bankers.)

    there are places in France, Romania and Finland where mobile phone networks are non existant. most of the rest of europe accept that the condition exists, we all have different sensitivity levels.

    Emissions from TV and GPRS and survey satellites are something we cannot avoid anywhere on the planet (unfortunately) but the levels from them are still very low.

    DVB, 3G/4G and the damned WiFi networks are growing in power levels and will have a increasing effect in cancer clusters and other physical/physiological effect on the population.

    and yes living in a salt mine is a option, though not a very healthy one.

    i believe there is a Faraday Cage at the science museum in London, why not pop along and see just how much ElectroSmog we are really being exposed to after being in there for a few minutes. You will be surprised by just how much we have become accustomed to over the years.

    oh an that junk science alzheimers report on benificial EMF's helping is utter junk, they used a scientific microwave generator, not the emmsions of a 3G phone or wifi or even Tetra radio (all of which utilise PMR) which is very damaging to DNA.

    wishing you all the very best with living next door to a Mobile phone tower,(it wont only be your property value going south, but you family into pine boxes going the same way)

    welcome to your next residence, a pretty plot with a view....

    you are most welcome to it..........

    1. ElReg!comments!Pierre

      Faraday cage

      You know that a Faraday cage is really easy to make, right? With some money you can even turn your whole apartment into a nigh-perfect Faraday cage (search for "shielded rooms"). Of course you'll have to get rid of all electrical appliances if you really want a RF-free place. If sleep is the only problem you can set a shielded tent around your bed (doubles as a mosquito net). For a whole-apartment shielding on the cheap, you can check shielding drapes and tarpaulins (not as perfect as real shielded rooms, but you can open them when you want to watch TV, listen to the radio or use a cellphone.)

      You know, the funny thing with "mobile phone towers" as you call them is that most of the people complaining (headaches and whatnot) are the ones living directly underneath. That is, where the relay tower actually doesn't emit anything. Funny that.

    2. Anonymous Coward

      And so...

      Like the peanut-allergic causing nuts to be banned on all flights, you would have all electronic technology banned so you and your ilk can perpetuate your weak genes. Seriously, I (and LOT of others) are sick of these allergic-to-everything minorities demanding impositions on the whole of society because 0.001% of the population has a problem with something. Guess what? A century and a half ago, a gentleman by the name of Charles Darwin posited a scientific principle that held that lifeforms with genetic properties that prevented them from adapting to changes in their environment became extinct through a process he called "natural selection". What you have is what is called a non-survival trait. You are destined for extinction because you can't adapt. The world isn't going to stop changing so that you and your maladaptive genome can survive.

      Now please to die and fossilise so the world can continue evolving and future paleontologists can study your remains and speculate on what might have caused such an aberrant creature to evolve.

    3. ElReg!comments!Pierre

      DIY bedroom shielding

      Now that I'm not wating my employer's money anymore, here is a simple DIY recipe for the members of the tinfoil brigade wishing to shield their well-desserving sleep from noxious brain-cooking, cancer-inducing, kiddie-fiddling electromagnetic radiations. It's not as efficient as living in a 10-cm thick airtight copper box but it should dim the radiations enough to cut most man-induced signal transmission. (effect on headaches not guaranteed, though: paracetamol -or in this case Xanax- are probably more efficient).


      -A few tens of Times worth of newspaper

      -a bunch of cheapo white bed linen (two times the surface to be shielded, plus2 linen. Don't forget floor and ceiling.)

      -a few tens of tinfoil rolls (adapt the number to the area of the shield needed. Don't forget to take floor and ceiling in consideration). Real tin foil (i. e. Fe, not Al) is probably much better, but Al foil will probably do the trick anyway (tin foil is more difficult to get -and more expensive). Given the choice, go for the "industrial" or "heavy-duty" variety, a bit more expensive but probably more "effective" -especially regarding your time and curses: save your fragile nerves, kitchen-type aluminium foil is nigh-impossible to handle for the kind of surface we're talking about. And thin tin foil is even worse.

      -a few bags of dry poster glue (cheap as dirt, don't hesitate to over-buy, you can still pour the surplus in your neighbour's mailbox, oughta teach'em). If you want, recipes for poster glue abound on the web. Just check your fave pseudo-activist website. Most artisanal glues will crumble to dust quite fast though, so you might want to use real wallpaper glue instead.

      -a large glue brush.

      -some way to keep the shielding in place (nails and hammer for permanent wall install, rods, string and contact glue for your very own fort, same plus 147 rolls of duct tape if you are an engineer, etc. Your imagination is the limit)

      -semi-optional: a heavy-duty bathtub, large amount of water (x2), mop, pants.

      -optional: assorted acrylic paint pots, assorted paintbrushes, paint thinner.


      -lay one linen on the floor, cover generously with poster glue.

      -remember that you forgot to cover the floor with newspaper

      -frantically remove the glue-soaked linen from the floor, throw in the bathtub.

      -clean floor with large amount of water and mop

      -Allow the floor to dry.

      -get glue-soaked linen from the bathtub

      -The floor was not the only thing to dry...Soak linen in second large amount of water (in the bathtub, of course)

      -lay new clean, dry linen on the newspaper-covered floor

      -cover generously with poster glue

      -apply tinfoil on the linen so as to cover the whole surface. Avoid tinfoil superimposition as poster glue does a bad job at gluing metal on metal.

      -if you used the kitchen-variety of tinfoil: realize that tinfoil prefers to stick to your glue-covered hands rather than to the linen. Cuss a lot, make a total mess of the thing, stop short of turning yourself into a tinfoil mummy and throw everything in bathtub.

      - go get industrial-grade tinfoil (well, you can't say I did not warn you)

      -take fresh linen

      -realise that the newspaper protective layer went in the bathtub with the rest of the bloody stuff.

      -Lay new layer of newspaper.

      -Ooops, what was this Sun edition doing in there?

      -Admire page 3, save it for, erm, a friend of yours who collects them and happens to miss this particular one.

      -finish laying the newspaper.

      -lay new linen, cover in glue (you should be an expert at that by now).

      -Cover the linen with tinfoil, avoiding superimposition.

      -Notice how easy it is when you use heavy-duty tinfoil. Laugh at the cheap fools who try to use the kitchen-grade one.

      -Wonder what you are going to do with these 30 rolls of kitchen-grade tinfoil that the missus seems to have bought for some reason. Seriously, what was she thinking.

      -once the linen is covered with tinfoil, lay a second linen on the floor.

      -realise that you don't have that kind of surface available, go do that in the neighbours' living room (hey, you're watering their plants, they owe you that)

      -cover generously with poster glue.

      -realise that you forgot the newspaper

      -don't give a crap. After all, you're watering their plants. Not to mention the mail. (more about that later)

      -Lay the second, glue-covered linen on the tinfoil layer covering the first linen to make a linen-glue-tinfoil-glue-linen sanwich.

      -carefully chase air bubbles away.

      -let dry (while possibly admiring your friend's collection of Sun's page 3s which he happened to leave there for some reason -if you forgot to wash your glue covered-hands, cuss a lot)

      -check the dryness state of your crafty creation

      -realise that glue-soaked jeans dry faster thant tinfoil-covered linen. Especially at 37 degrees.

      -cuss a lot

      -be thankfull that you don't have to shave your legs anymore.

      -actually, don't. Especially when you realise that it's not only your legs.

      -stumble to the bathtub

      -after half an hour in the bathtub, take off your pants, discard the mud (made of 2 linen, some tinfoil, newspaper, and your pants.)

      -have a shower, get new pants

      -repeat until shortage of any supply.

      -cover walls, ceiling and floor with your homemade shielding.

      -optional: decorate (using the optional acrylic paint, paintbrush and paint thinner).

      -notice that you have 9 liters of glue left. Pour half a liter in any letterbox you have access to (except your own, stupid). That should take care of your neighbour's mail. What do they think you are, their slave?

      -realize that you have 8.5 liters of glue left. Use that to water the neighbour's plants. It's organic, they should like it.

      -Realise that you had only 8 liters left, not 8.5. Wonder where the missing half liter went

      -don't check your mailbox now, you've had enough for today.

      -go to bed, have a nice, quiet night, undisturbed by all the nocive radiations.

    4. Anonymous Coward

      Re: Electromagnetic HyperSensitivity

      It's called natural selection – and it’s nature's* way of strengthening the human gene pool by weeding out the weak and the deficient.

      * - (with some help from Vodafone, Linksys, the national grid, et-al)

    5. Barry Tabrah

      However in this case...

      The electromagnetic field generated by electrical devices from a neighbours house is what is really being ridiculed here. The levels of exposure from these devices would be so low at that range as to be unnoticeable in comparison to background radiation. And I'm pretty sure it's not being carried by shared wiring.

      We are all hoping that common sense, and maybe a bit of science, will be applied in this case.

      You will note that I am not saying that hypersensitivity doesn't exist, just that it does not apply in this case.

  26. Dimitrov


    There's a joke about Citizens Raging Against Phones somewhere around here...

  27. dracnoc

    Oh dear...

    ... perhaps we can send him to a nice, quiet, and overall EMF-free zone so that he can live out a happy and peaceful life - that is until the French use it as a nuclear test site.

    Problem solved.

  28. Herby

    Inverse square: It's the Law!

    One of these days the tin-foil-hat people will understand, but probably not in their lifetime. Of course, one must consider ALL sources of EMF, including that great nuclear reactor that is emitting them 93,000,000 miles away. Until THAT gets shut off, I don't think anything will truly be EMF free. Of course there is the big-bang background radiation that persists, and I don't think THAT is going away anytime soon.

    Why doesn't he move to Taliban territory. They seem to be in the 13th century when EMF wasn't a problem!

  29. Tony Paulazzo

    Medical science

    >Given his ridiculous claims are not backed up by any kind of medical science<

    The arrogance.

    Things not yet proven but billions accept as 'fact'

    1. The universe was created by a big bang

    2. Mankind evolved from apes

    3. God

    Any proof that this stuff is actually bad, cancer producing etc would destroy modern civilisation.

    Disclaimer: I have wireless broadband, large flat screen TV, desktop, laptop, mobile phone, landline phone, 5.1 sound system, wireless keyboard n mouse and I feel fine, though the only electrical thing in my bedroom is the laptop - I 'feel' I sleep better, I do not own a tinfoil hat.

    I also don't instantly subscribe to whatever the current 'experts' are saying.


    1. Benny

      You cant

      have big bang and god in the same rant, also, thats just showing off..

    2. ElReg!comments!Pierre

      Re: medical science

      "Things not yet proven but billions accept as 'fact'

      1. The universe was created by a big bang

      2. Mankind evolved from apes

      3. God"

      As such none are accepted as facts (with or without quotes). The first two, however are common vulgarization images for fairly well proven scientific facts. Number 3 still cannot be completely disproven by science (because it's been cleverly put outside the very scope of science by its inventors in the first place) but most of it's "manifestations" have been quite comprehensively debunked. As far as science is involved, it is certainly not "accepted as fact". Mostly tolerated as long as it can't be categorically disproven (as is the GSM -the pasta-and-meatballs one, not the nasty EMR-generating stuff).

      Also, by "billions you might actually mean "millions". Even in the "I can't spell milliard" acceptation of the word "billion".

    3. Muscleguy

      Conspiracy not needed

      "Any proof that this stuff is actually bad, cancer producing etc would destroy modern civilisation."

      Which is why science has been busily beavering away investigating just exactly these questions then? Mrs Muscleguy used to run admin for cancer epidemiology studies. One of them was measuring the EMF's in the houses, rooms, around the beds of those with a variety of cancers, especially brain cancers. No link between strength of EMF's and the cancers was found, not even for those who slept with their heads just the other side of the wall from the consumer unit.

      Even Dennis Henshaw who has risked the derision of his scientific peers for decades has given up on EMF's being directly dangerous. The last talk of his I went to his hypothesis was that high voltage power lines were bad when were in areas of high pollution, such as car exhausts if beside a busy road AND you live downwind of them. The idea being that they ionise the particles making them even more dangerous when inhaled, a biologically plausible scenario. His data were not convincing however since finding sites with sufficiently prevailing winds upwind of major populations has proven difficult.

      But the point is, science is asking these questions and they are not being stopped by the power industry. Not in this country anyway.

      Mind you I still wouldn't recommend a pregnant woman took a tour of an aluminium smelter. We don't have that dose response curve for embryos worked out yet and we know they are sensitive. But that does not apply to the sorts of EMF's you find in a home, not within several orders of magnitude strong enough.

    4. James Hughes 1

      What arrogance?

      But the point is, his claims are NOT backed up by any medical science. Where is the arrogance in that?

      I'm not saying his claims are completely false - just that at this stage, there is no medical science evidence to support them. (which, to be honest, is pretty close to false given the current understanding)

  30. Dazed and Confused

    Low wattage Eco bulbs and EM radiation

    The problem with eco bulbs is that they don't make a nice EMF their EM radiation is weedy and horrid. Bring back beautiful tungsten is what I say!

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Nay, but I object...

      Each of those little CFL's has a switchmode power supply in it, which spews out all kinds of electromagnetic filth.

      Most of the little lightweight power adaptors these days are small switching power supplies, and were one to look at the RF spectrum around them (I have) with something like a spectrum analyser, you would get a display that looked something similar to lots of grass. (that being, loads of RFI, EMI and other garbage.)

      Twas part of my job at one time to test and track down EMI sources, and I can assure you the electrical fields from cell-phone chargers to televisions spew out a great deal of the stuff.

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Jobs Halo

    Can your brain feel me now?

    Silly lawsuit. Everybody knows that AT&T signals don't reach indoors.

  32. androidbottlecap


    I live in Santa Fe, we consider Arty a nut job as well, but he won't go away. He lives not too far from me and I make sure he sees me on my Android or blackberry or what have you. I just wanted to say we're all not nuts in Santa Fe.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Black Helicopters

      If I were you I'd be so tempted... build a transmitter aerial in the doesn't have to work... he'll just go nuts until it all gets too much for him.

      anyway on a more serious note.. surely it'd be cheaper to buy a cabin in the hills, than to keep paying the lawyers?

  33. Anonymous Coward


    I just thought I had to share this passage from the SFR website:


    Update 1:46 pm, Jan. 7: Lovejoy did not immediately return a second message—but he has been talking to KOAT, according to Melissa Vega, a reporter for that station. SFR just dropped by Firstenberg’s neighbor’s house, where Vega and a cameraman are parked outside, waiting for the woman to exit.

    Vega says Lovejoy told her he wants the case to play out in court (rather than in the media, presumably).

    Update 2:14 pm: SFR’s Zane Fischer points out that if the iPhone next door was bad for Firstenberg, that KOAT news truck must really be murder.


  34. Winkypop Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    Isn't it great?

    How the less mentally robust of us can now live amongst the community.


  35. Leon Prinsloo

    In the words of Monty Python

    from the skit of the cat license : You ARE a looney...

  36. Robert Heffernan


    This LessEMF clothing looks like it'll do the trick! woven from conductive threads and whatnot.

    Also looks pretty comfortable too!

    Say, is that thunder I hear?



  37. sabba

    God bless America

    So many nutters in one place. You gotta love 'em, not only do they think that they live in the land of the free but they provide so much entertainment to the rest of the world.

  38. M7S

    She should bill him

    for the Alzheimer's preventative treatment he's getting from her phone.

  39. Dale 3

    Test it

    So what you need to do is be sure to turn off the iPhone and laptop every night, but tell the bloke that you left it ON. Keep doing this for a month and keep a daily log of when it was turned off and back on. Then when court day comes and he moans about his head, show them your log and you've proved he's a nutcase. Or alternatively if his complaints stop, then you know he had a real problem and maybe it's time he moved to the countryside.

  40. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    Faraday Cage ?

    I saw a brilliant TV programme about EM radiation a few years ago with a similar "sufferer" in the UK. Instead of ridiculous litigation, the sufferer had built himself a simple Faraday cage around his bed. Simple wooden frame covered with chicken wire.

    He demonstrated it's effectiveness by placing a normal radio on the bed. With the cage door open, Terry Wogan. With the cage door closed, static. neighbours for money.


    I'm not saying its perfect, but if I was being deprived of my sleep I'd be exploring all avenues to a resolution, not simply chasing my neighbours for cash.

  41. Anonymous Coward

    Why oh why...

    ....didn't I sign up to be this guys lawyer/doctor..... they would be the only folks making any money out of him......

  42. John Sims

    Fellow sufferer (in part)

    The guy mentions he can't get asleep when his neighbour is charging her phone / laptop at night.

    I suffer from a similar problem. My dell laptop charger doesn't seem to bother me. However my samsung and sony ericsson mobile phone charger prevent me from going to sleep. I'll lie in bed unable to get asleep all night if I leave them on and they produce a high pitched (but not very loud) noise from them that no one else seems to be able to hear. If I switch the things off I'm straight asleep. I have to say the samsung charger isn't quite as bad as the sony ericsson - I can some times sleep with that if totally exhausted.

    Don't seem to experience problems from any neighbouring houses.

    WiFi doesn't have any effect on me.

    I love tech but would love it even better if they made a phone charger I could use in my room that didn't have such a bizarre effect on me.

    1. ElReg!comments!Pierre

      Bizarre effect?

      Yep, some transformers can be noisy and annoying. But I fail to see what it has to do with electromagnetic radiations. I used to turn off the UPS in the room next to my bedroom at night because the noise of the transformer was conducted by the floor. The fan was OK though. Now the UPS sits on some rubber and stays on 24/7 again.

  43. fred #257
    Thumb Up

    Huge kudos...

    To Corey Pein of the Santa Fe Reporter (linked to in your story) for writing a long article that gets all the technical facts right, reports the woo-woo claims without getting over-dramatic about them, and is a pleasure to read. (In total contrast to the usual idiocy of the Daily Fail and suchlike).

    For once, an intelligent journo who assumes that his (her?) readers are too.

  44. Dazed and Confused

    Re: the amusing AC @ 12th January 2010 10:11 GMT

    The problem with natural selection is that the human race has evolved "modern medicine" now all sorts of genetic basket cases are allowed to pass on their genes and eugenics has a rather bad name.

    Loved the tongue in cheek nature though :--)

  45. markp 1

    well done on reversing physics, there, pal

    The wiring in the walls helps transmit and amplify the Wi Fi signals? I'd like him to come to my workplace and demonstrate that - far too much steel reinforcements and all manner of cable trunking carrying power, phone, cat 5, video/audio feeds and the forgotten remnants of base-2, base-5 and what appears to be econet (?!) is the very reason we can't get decent wireless coverage over significant portions of the site even when we put in ludicrous numbers of APs....

    Each one emitting such trifling amounts of power you'd be lucky to cook a single bacteria with a purposely focussed beam.

This topic is closed for new posts.

Other stories you might like