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TECH: Since my desired method of teaching rude people about the manners of cell phone usage, punching them in the face, is unlikely to catch on with the public, I'm glad to see the rise of cell-phone jammers. To paraphrase Homer Simpson, "Technology; the cause of, and solution to, all of life's problems." I don't think that putting jammers everywhere is a real solution because someone will just come out with a jammer-jammer and we'll be into one of the things technology does best, an arms race. What I do think jammers will do is spark a debate on cell-phone usage. Once their usage trickles down to the local news and the public starts hearing more about these devices it will give people a real reason to talk about cell manners, it won't just be whining. Of course I'm sure a lot of people will just want them banned and we'll be back to being forced to punch people in the face but I do think a dialogue will help. If nothing else, it will give manufacturers a financial reason to think of a technological solution to the problem.

The solution I thought of is to require all cell manufacturers to have a Silent Mode for their phone which is activated by a signal given off by a device that movie theaters, restaurants, etc., can buy. That way a theater can have a sign up that tells people their phones will be in Silent Mode while inside. If someone has an old phone then the theater reserves the right to refuse service and kick them out if their phone rings or if they answer it inside the theater. I forget exactly what the turnover rate for new phones is in the US but I think it's pretty high. It wouldn't take very long for this feature to become a standard, especially if it becomes the alternative to the signal being jammed altogether.

Link courtesy of Gizmodo.