Worst Service: Foursquare
Worst Gadget: Teddyfone
Worst Technology: 4G (LTE)
Please, keep on reading to find out why.
I will also present more sustainable and healthier alternatives.
Worst Service: foursquare
Have you seen these Microwave Zombies walking around and entering a bar or a restaurant ? OK, Foursquare is based on GPS coordinates. A user maps a location and the foursquare application must be running all the time in the mobile phone, so that it recognises when a user enters the mapped hot-spot. In that hot-spot the foursquare application sends automatically a message (mostly) through 3G data connection to the foursquare server. This way the foursquare status&commmunity is updated.
The Problem: Foursquare creates almost continues microwave bursts in certain spots (close to front door) every time a Foursquare user enters this location/building. Additionally, these burst are often directed to the stomach and genitials of the entering Foursquare user. (Are you still keeping you mobile phone in your pocket? Maybe you should not.) Unfortunately, the service is encouraging heavy users to collect badges and (some with low self-esteem) to become 'mayors' of that location.
In the future, I would like to see signs next to restaurants: "No foursquare mapping, thank you" or "Please, do not enter here with foursquare on".
BTW, there are also privacy problems in the foursquare, on purpose I am showing the twisted logo :-P
- A restaurant or bar with Twitter Stations. Yes, you heard it right. A special social networking computer attached to certain tables with table-build-in keyboard and mouse, with Ethernet-cable. Or with virtual keyboard and virtual mouse ala Photo Play style. Perhaps a TouchSmart-machine?!
- Passive RFID solutions with short range and low power. You just swipe your card at a RFID reader to let your friends know where you are.
Worst Gadget: Teddyfone (http://teddyfone.com)
What's the rush to irradiate babies and little children?
France and Russia, nations with longest experience on biological effects of non-ionising radiation have banned marketing of mobile phones to little children and warn about health-risks.
The Teddyfone manufacturer claims that "It is a Blue Angel product with low SAR-value". Wait a minute! Non-thermal effects are non-linear and low SAR value is no guarantee of safety.
The manufacturer encourages children to carry those Bearphonies close to child's heart and stomach. No hands-free can be attached to this device.
- Stationary mobile telephone (like Huawei ETS6630) - An external antenna can be connected (and installed on the roof), works also as a 3G modem. With external antenna hardly any RF-exposure.
- Carrying mobile phone in a special pouch reduces radiation exposure (of a child) more than 98 %. (Like Novonic e-blocker).
Japan was the first test-bed of this technology. Here in Nordic countries we are also guinea pigs since this technology with its low-frequency variation is first piloted in Sweden, Finland and Norway. After the launch of 4G at 2.6 GHz in all larger cities, the next layout in Nordic countries will be in 800 MHz in smaller cities and in the countryside. Remember, the lower the frequency, the better microwaves penetrate through building walls and human body. Currently, 8 out of 10 epidemiological studies of base stations show increased risk. Historically, all microwave technologies have been harmful.
What happened when 3G was launched? Health effects of 3G were not properly tested. First provocation tests showed risks for sensitive and non-sensitive populations. EU Reflex-project documented DNA breaks. Still, the technology was launched, resistance was silenced and it was a big short-term business for governments. I say short-term, because the long-term health costs may be substancial. Update 15th March 2011: The minister of health in Israel is asking to delay 4G launch until health effects are tested.
The power of money is strong with 4G. Consumers are enchanted to believe that they need faster and faster mobile connections. No area on Earth will be left unradiated, thanks to huge 4G satellite projects. Hardly anyone understands (thinks about) health consequences or effects on nature.
- Light-based data transfer. Perhaps with directed lasers, no need to use high power/point at eyes.
- Super-fast DSL (like D-Link DSL 320B ).
- Wireless microwave technologies that are health-tested and noise is added to signal.
Any other Polluter of the Year -nominations?