Feeds

Mobile anti-radiation - a telecoms 'inflight life-jacket'?

It's better to be safe than sorry

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

3GSM column A cynic's first response to the offer of a magic device to protect phone users from radiation is to laugh and go find someone else to talk to. Don't. You may believe that the Exradia chip will never save a single life, or even prevent a single disease, but that doesn't mean they won't sell them.

To understand Exradia, think as a large corporate employer would think about exposure - not exposure to radiation, but exposure to legal liability. Then look at Exradia, and see what that large corporate CEO would see.

For a start, the CEO of Exradia is James Fintain Lawler. He's no snake-oil salesman, and nobody would try to pretend he is: a former CFO of Xerox, with deep understanding of American corporate life, he's onto something. He understands corporate responsibility.

The technology that powers Exradia is, to put it gently, unproven (quite possibly, unproveable) in operation.

Indeed, he knows this. In his pitch, Jim Lawler makes the excellent case that there is an incredible amount of anxiety, expressed by people who can be assumed to know what they are talking about, about the rise in radio frequency emissions, and the effects on human tissue - and points out that it simply isn't possible to say, as yet, whether the effects on human tissue involve effects on human health.

If the effects aren't long-term enough yet, the same applies to the cure (you might argue) but that's not the point. The point is whether there is a risk.

At this moment, the risk is assessed by almost everybody as nil. But nobody in authority can say: "It's safe!" because they would almost certainly be blamed for the next case of ear cancer in a mobile user.

What Exradia claims for its very low cost device is simply that it takes the pulsing signal emitted by a mobile phone's battery as it feeds the wireless signal, and masks that low frequency pulse with a superimposed noise signal. No low frequency pulse, no harmful effects from that low frequency pulse.

If you had to ask me whether I believe it or not, I would have to admit I don't believe a word of it. But if you asked me to sign a document saying there was no harm caused by low frequency pulsing and that a responsible employer could safely ignore a possible cure for that harm, I'd have to admit: "I can't say that." Nobody can - and that's why aircraft carry life-jackets.

To date, there is no known case of a life being saved by the presence of life jackets on aircraft. But there's a comfortable business or two based on the need to provide every seat with one, and to provide a maintenance and inspection service for the jackets, and an update service, and a replacement service.

If you have 2,000 employees and give them mobile phones what's the chance that one of them will develop a brain tumour?

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

Next page: Related link

More from The Register

next story
Mighty Blighty broadbanders beg: Let us lay cable in BT's, er, ducts
Complain to Ofcom that telco has 'effective monopoly'
BT said to have pulled patent-infringing boxes from DSL network
Take your license demand and stick it in your ASSIA
Yahoo! blames! MONSTER! email! OUTAGE! on! CUT! CABLE! bungle!
Weekend woe for BT as telco struggles to restore service
Fujitsu CTO: We'll be 3D-printing tech execs in 15 years
Fleshy techie disses network neutrality, helmet-less motorcyclists
Ofcom tackles complaint over Premier League footie TV rights
Virgin Media: UK fans pay the most for the fewest matches
FCC: Gonna need y'all to cough up $1.5bn to put broadband in schools
Kids need more fiber, says Wheeler, and you'll pay for it
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing and building an open ITOA architecture
Learn about a new IT data taxonomy defined by the four data sources of IT visibility: wire, machine, agent, and synthetic data sets.
How to determine if cloud backup is right for your servers
Two key factors, technical feasibility and TCO economics, that backup and IT operations managers should consider when assessing cloud backup.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Website security in corporate America
Find out how you rank among other IT managers testing your website's vulnerabilities.