August 22, 2008
WiFi-B-Gone: bookofjoe MoneyMaker©™® — squared
Jonathan D. Glater's front page article in yesterday's New York Times Business section about how more and more universities are handing out free iPhones to incoming freshman was an eye-opener.
"The lone losers, some fear, could be professors," wrote Glater.
That's an understatement.
The only losers will be professors.
Naomi J. Pugh, a first-year student at Freed-Hardeman University in Henderson, Tennessee, who received a free iPod Touch from the school, told Glater, "When it gets a little boring, I might pull it out."
Glater added, "She speculated that professors might try harder to make class interesting if they were competing with the devices."
How do you spell "Game over?"
But I digress.
Predictably, professors like Robert S. Summers, who's taught at Cornell Law School for about 40 years, did the old knee-jerk dance, to wit: Summers "... announced this week — in a detailed footnoted memorandum — that he would ban laptop computers from his class on contract law."
Said Summers of the iPhone, after its capabilities were explained to him, "I would ban that too if I knew the students were using it in class."
Yo, prof: the horse left the barn a long time ago.
Now to the good part.
What, you stopped reading 'cause you got bored?
But I digress yet again.
Well, here's your big chance to do Altman one better, to wit: WiFi-B-Gone.
How 'bout one that interferes with WiFi so Canute the Great types like professor Summers can enjoy a year or two more of wireless-free classrooms?
And no — you can't have the ones that're available to certain government agencies.
Even if you know someone who works at Fort Meade or Langley.
Note added at 7:22 p.m. today: a reader in a secure, undisclosed location points out that jamming WiFi signals is illegal in the U.S.
I knew this to be true but didn't mention it because, well, I don't know why I didn't mention it in the original 4:01 p.m. post — perhaps because it seemed obvious.
I'm not here to cause trouble.
But it's sure fun to think stuff up.
Same as it ever was.
August 22, 2008 at 04:01 PM | Permalink
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Actually my fiance has used her iPod video extensively for class. Lectures for some of her classes are uploaded in ipod format so she can watch/listen to them anywhere. I know there's an extensive collection of lectures on IpodU (or itunesU or whatever it's called)
Also "free" is not probably technically correct. I'm guessing tuition just went up the price of one Iphone. Good marketing!
Posted by: bnug | Aug 25, 2008 8:32:14 AM
Where do you need a signal jammed?
Posted by: hotzy | Aug 23, 2008 1:58:37 PM
all it takes is a document camera at the front of the class and one line on the syllabus "put away your electronic devises and pay attention during lecture."
free technology be damned - i hold the grade book!!!
Posted by: jo | Aug 23, 2008 12:02:29 AM
Systems already exist for this at universities, and are employed all the time. Sorry -- Cisco beat you to it.
Posted by: CathyDev | Aug 22, 2008 10:35:19 PM
There are a few devices in play at universities that can do this. Hell...a leaky microwave is going to kill all wifi (as I found out doing a group test...anytime someone in the lounge decided to heat up their food, we were knocked off line!)
Beyond that, this is technically illegal. Same with the cell phone disruptor...you can get these for like $30 overseas, but illegal in the states.
I *DO NOT* own one of these for use in my university duties. Nope. Would be wrong.
Posted by: clifyt | Aug 22, 2008 7:03:27 PM
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