back to article Jammy b*stards: Admen flog chocolate bars with 'Wi-Fi-free' zones

A Dutch advertising company has set up Wi-Fi-free zones, promoting chocolate bars with what the UK's regulator would certainly rule to be illegal radio jamming. The zones consist of a large sign proclaiming no Wi-Fi within five metres, and a bench where users can enjoy some lack of connectivity, but the promotion begs some …

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JDX
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So a little 'booth' in the middle of a busy throughfare... hardly a peaceful environment. And of course, what about all those people (nearly all of them) who have 3G?

Blocking WiFi, 3G and phone coverage would be better. I'd quite like pubs which had such systems, and train Quiet coaches.

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quiet coaches

Blocking WiFi, 3G and phone coverage would be better. I'd quite like pubs which had such systems, and train Quiet coaches.

I don't have any problem with people using their phones or computers silently on public transport (I do it, so it's not exactly rocket science). Even without internet/phone coverage, people can create a disturbance by watching videos or playing music. Here's what we really need: instead of one "quiet coach" on large trains if you're lucky, all public transport should be designated "electronic-noise-free" except for one crappy old coach on long trains; and the rule should be enforced strictly: you talk on the phone or make electronic noise so someone else can hear you, and you get chucked off at the next stop (maybe one warning first).

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Re: quiet coaches

There's nothing wrong with 'quiet coaches' often when there are people standing in other carriages, there are still seats in the 'quiet coach'.

I know my line very well and know that the only time in my hour long journey that I can actually make and hold a phone call for more than a few seconds are either whilst the train is standing at the platform in London or when I reach my destination. So I? find it useful that many will avoid 'quiet coaches' just because they are prohibited from doing something which they can't really do any way. The laugh is sitting in other carriages and hearing all the people loosing connection 30 seconds after the train departs as it heads into the first of several tunnels, then reconnecting just in time for the train to go into the next tunnel ...

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Re: quiet coaches

I don't have any problem with people using their phones or computers silently

I tried to use my phone silently, but they keep hanging up on me after "Hello? Hello? Are you there?"

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Re: quiet coaches

I tried to use my phone silently, but they keep hanging up on me after "Hello? Hello? Are you there?"

There's this modern innovation called "texting" that let's you communicate over a long distance without annoying the people near you.

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how is it worse than talking to your neighbour?

I have no problems with people talking on their phone on the bus/train. I have a problem with people talking *loudly* on their phone.

Get a decent headset and a noise-cancelling mic and you can talk at a reasonable level and still understand each other.

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Re: quiet coaches

I seem to remember years ago talk of the new Pendolino's having a Faraday Cage built in to the quiet carriage. Nothing came of it probably due to cost rather than illegality. Can't find an article about that but found this later one which is interesting http://www.theregister.co.uk/2008/10/30/faraday_train_windows/

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Trollface

Re: quiet coaches

Quote: I seem to remember years ago talk of the new Pendolino's having a Faraday Cage built in to the quiet carriage. Nothing came of it

Well, that's the point of the cage isn't it..?

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or...

maybe its just marketing Bullshit (tm)

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Coat

How does Bob Marley like his KitKat?

With Jamming.

Hmmm. Think I'd better get my coat after that 're-purposing' of an old joke. Although I am shocked that you could suggest there isn't any jamming really and the advertising poster might be a lie. I'm shocked I tell you! Advertising contains lies? Say it ain't so!

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I doubt very much they are blocking or jamming any frequency its more likely they just made the use of wifi black spots and a spoof sign.

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or....it's a total bluff - they haven't checked if wi-fi is available or not - they are just hoping that people who want to use wi-fi won't be "stupid" enough to sit below a big sign that says "no wifi available here"

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I'm more worried about the El Reg web servers

"but at the time of press it had not responded to our enquiries."

So what platform are you using for the site?

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First, do you really think they advertisers set up jammers in a Mall without getting permission from the Mall? If the Mall have allowed it, then it is legal surely?

Second, regarding Faraday cages. Radio interference has a specific definition. Faraday cages do not transmit signals - they do not interfere, they impede.

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@scot

I thought that 'interference' required 'active' transmissions rather than a passive device.

Thanks for clearing that up for me,.

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Anonymous Coward

Why assume blocking?

I'm not sure there was anything in the article to suggest that there's any sort of signla block at all. More likely this just works by the fact that if you want to use connectivity, you're unlikely to sit under a big sign that says the area is for people that don't want to. Is there something else to this?

Much like apart from some inconsiderate idiots, most people don't make phone calls in silent carriages on trains, even though there's nothing technically stopping this. It works on the basis that some people are actually, occasionally at least, considerate to others.

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Devil

Blocking wi-fi legally...

... just get a crappy old microwave oven with poor shielding and leave it running!

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Coat

Re: Blocking wi-fi legally...

..with poor shielding..

Or just stick a bit of duct tape over the door switch and leave it open. Far more effective. Of course when you sit down to enjoy your chocolate in peace you'll find it's a molten mess in your pocket and you may find that having hard-boiled bollocks is a tad disconcerting......

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Dutch frequency allotment authority has been notified

The Dutch frequency allotment authority (agentschap telecom) has been notified of this jamming (over a week ago) and has had at least one jammer disabled.

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Re: Dutch frequency allotment authority has been notified

URL for the reference please.

Its just that there is very little real hard facts about this other than the advertising campaign and it's message.

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hang on a moment....

isn't telling people to put down their apples and have some chocolate a bit of a dodgy health message?

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Oh come one

It doesn't say anything about wifi jamming at all, isn't this taking things a bit too seriously? Everyone under the sun is advertising free wifi so they are saying free no wifi. Its a joke. Free wifi is now so common that not having it is worth mentioning. Ho Ho such humorous alternative thinking. A poor joke but hardly worth getting so worked up about.

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Megaphone

While Ofcom might very well deem such a thing to be illegal in this country - the bigger question is - would they actually bother to do anything about it should it occur?!

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3G?

Usually, when I am using data services on the move, it is via 3G.

Wifi relies on other people's networks. And half the time you have to pay extortionate rates to use. Even if it is 'free' it often requires a signin, such as queueing up and begging the counter person for a wifi ID.

No freedom until 3G is blocked.

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Coat

The Shape of Things to Come?

Imagine a world where everyone is 'on' all the time. (Get a hold of Asimov's "Buy Jupiter" or go see "Minority Report" again.) It might be nice to have a small spot where one could just be…

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Bah!

I thought they had cell squelchers in the Albert Hall?

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WTF?

Jamming? No necessarily

"but the only way to achieve such blocking is, of course, to transmit a jamming signal which would in turn be illegal, or at least be sailing very close to the wind."

Never heard of EM screening? line your cafe in foil backed plasterboard and put a fine metal mesh fence around it and its a wifi/2G/3G/4G free zone .

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Anonymous Coward

Had it happen to me

Purchased one of those "SCART remote TV" boxes in the silver case.

Turned it on, it nuked Bluetooth and Wifi so badly that the phone locked *solid* during a scan and had to have the battery taken out and replaced before it worked again.

Saved the transmitter for posterity, as its handy to have a Wifi buster just in case someone tries to leech my bandwidth :-)

Call it the "Ultimate Off Switch" if combined with a juiced up TV-Be-Gone and a few other goodies.

AC but email youcannotbeserious@hotmail.com

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Boffin

Most chocolate manufacturers provide portable not-spots

Instructions:

1) Remove foil wrapper from chocolate.

2) Place wrapper on phone, being sure to cover WiFi antenna.

Check phone manual for antenna location.

3) Eat chocolate.

Troubleshooting guide:

If signal still gets through, turn phone off, wait, and turn it on again.

IMPORTANT. Delay turning phone on again until all chocolate is completely eaten.

Simples!

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