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Wireless Networking Hardware Science

BBC Rules That Wi-Fi Radiation Findings Were Wrong 210

Stony Stevenson writes "A Panorama programme claiming that Wi-Fi creates three times as much radiation as mobile phone masts was 'misleading', an official BBC complaints ruling has found. The team involved in the research came under fire from the school where the 'investigations' were held for scaremongering, but now the BBC has come out with an official ruling. 'The programme included only one contributor (Professor Repacholi) who disagreed with Sir William, compared with three scientists and a number of other speakers (one of whom was introduced as a former cancer specialist) who seconded his concerns.'"
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BBC Rules That Wi-Fi Radiation Findings Were Wrong

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  • by Curmudgeonlyoldbloke ( 850482 ) on Tuesday December 04, 2007 @01:40PM (#21573947)
    According to the BBC complaints ruling "two viewers complained". Assuming that one of them was Prof. Repacholi, I must be the other. But then again, I'm probably Spartacus as well.

    Since this report was published Panorama was broadcast as usual on Monday night. There was no trailing "we got the wifi program badly wrong" apology, so I've complained again about that - we'll see what happens.

    It's worth mentioning that the BBC is going through a sustained period of navel-gazing at the moment, ever since the Hutton Report. Among the items for consideration have been such earth-shattering topics such as the name of the Blue Peter cat [] and whether two pieces of film about an unelected German woman had been reversed between the programme and the trail []. In among this, ensuring basic scientific accuracy in a flagship current-affairs program clearly isn't very important.
  • by SigILL ( 6475 ) on Tuesday December 04, 2007 @01:47PM (#21574077) Homepage

    So what about the 2.4 GHz spectrum that is used by WiFi?

    Generally speaking, the higher the frequency the more is absorbed by air. So higher frequencies are actually _less_ dangerous.

    Note that that's also why so many businesses are interested in the 700 MHz spectrum licenses for sale over at your side of the great pond. Less absorption means less base stations, repeaters and transmission power needed.
  • by Jarjarthejedi ( 996957 ) <> on Tuesday December 04, 2007 @02:06PM (#21574381) Journal
    I see your anecdote and raise you another anecdote. My family and I have been huge tech users for a while now, we've all had cell phones for 10 years, our landline phones use the 2.4 GHz spectrum to tranmit to each other wirelessly, and we have a powerful G router, and have had a wireless router for 5+ years now. None of us have ever been diagnosed with any cancer, nor any ailments worse than some bone issues due to running. In fact, the only person in my family who has even been affected by cancer was a bit of an oldtimer, having neither a cellphone nor a wireless router and living far from any sort of tower (didn't get any bars at his house).

    So that's 5 anecdotes to your one, take it as you will. Brain tumors have been around for far longer than wireless transmissions, as has almost all types of cancer. Perhaps there is a statistical significance, but anecdotes can't prove that.
  • by blind biker ( 1066130 ) on Tuesday December 04, 2007 @02:58PM (#21575253) Journal
    This reminds me of when a reporter of BBC World covered a story about copy-protected "CD"s. On one side there was a Big Label (Universal I think) rep that lied through his teeth saying that the silvery disk is a CD, while on the other side there was a techy guy who explained how these disks don't adhere to the CD standards and have (most of) the loss-correcction rendundant bits removed.

    And the BBC journalist, in the conclusion remarks said "as always, the truth is somewhre in between". WTF? Truth is usually NOT somewhere in between, but at one or the other side - like in that story, when it was squarely in the techy guy's hands.

    I HATE this sort of journalistic bullshit. Probably spouted because they have no clue about what they're writing about. My father worked as a journalist for 20 years, and he told me the "Journalists are the most ignorant people in the world". His words.
  • Re:I can't wait! (Score:2, Interesting)

    by zippthorne ( 748122 ) on Tuesday December 04, 2007 @04:09PM (#21576493) Journal
    The brilliance of the enviro-collectivists is that they can't possibly get *all* of their measures approved, but they can probably get some of them. So, in 50 years, or 100 (though few around now will be around in 100..) when things are not nearly as dire as the scaremongering predictions deemed, they can point to the staggering array of freedom-reducing half-measures as the only reason it wasn't much, much worse, and so we should implement new, stronger measures, shouldn't we?

"Call immediately. Time is running out. We both need to do something monstrous before we die." -- Message from Ralph Steadman to Hunter Thompson