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Jamming Devices Could Bring Solitude But Only SHHH! Cards are Legal - For Now

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4 November 2007: Commuting home on the train --after a loud day at the office-- would be one place to wind down before relaxing with the wife and children. Train trips home would allow you to catch up with the morning newspaper or read another chapter of the latest check-out from the local library (they do still exist.) Perhaps you would scribble the outline on paper for that team meeting the following day and get it out of the way ahead of time.

You may have even created what now is an absolute faux pas by striking-up a conversation with your Long Island-bound seat mate(s.)

But today, commutes home bring zero solace. Even if you choose to remain quiet, and eye the changing landscape in Queens, the extended work pollution from voices of other commuters make you feel guilty for not working all the way home.

Even though we banned smoking in commuter trains a long time ago, smokers had been polite enough to sit in the back. Noise pollution is today's cigarette smoke, and the term "polite cellphone yack" isn't defined.

To keep this story tidy, it must be stated up front (at least in the United States) that cellphone jammers are not legal to use. In fact, this writer cannot publically state whether or not he owns and or uses a cellphone jammer or face immediate prosecution and fines. So, technically we cannot advocate their use either...nor link to websites that sell them. We don't want the FCC knocking at our door and demanding we pull this story. But in checking those websites, before writing this copy, there are more "out of stock" tags on cellphone jammers for sale than not.

Obviously there is demand for this heroic invention meant to counter those blabby stock brokers in public places. No one needs to hear about the boy's $60,000 per night stay in the Hamptons. So, with the press of the cellphone jamming device, hidden inside your pants pocket, you can cut off his bragging right then and there. As an added bonus you cut-off the Wong Wyland mutha chatting with her 10-year-old Mensa child, and dozens of other commuters all speaking at once on topics you, nor I, care to hear.

Now, if you do buy a cellphone jammer and get caught using it, the FCC can fine you up to $11,000, on a first offense, and take the little $50 toy away. The government agency has already closed down cellphone jamming manufacturers in the United States.

Even more of a threat now -- the big guys at Verizon and other cellphone companies are secretly working with the authorities to locate those who use cellphone jammers.

However, Draplin Industries (Draplin Design Co.,) and Coudal Partners developed a legal PDF that users may print out and carry with them to flash on the train or in other public places when the pitch of conversations breaks a sound barrier. SHHH!, as it is called, is actually an acronym for Society for HandHeld Hushing.

Now, hopefully this link stays stable -- nothing worse than having to go back and cleanup dead links to fabulous products. So, until cellphone companies pay Congressional leaders to ban the use of SHHH! cards, maybe these will drop that hint to bring a little peace from noise (download the file.)

The PDF offers 12 separate cards, some of which you can customize on the spot to flash in the face of the most offensive noise polluters.

The business partners don't however advise SHHH! card users on how to handle uprisings when the stock broker cellphone yackers violently and physically attack you in return, so use the SHHH! card at your own risk.


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