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Thursday, June 15, 2006

High-Pitched Battle for Cell Phone Use in School

From about 4700 different sites, including but not limited to a story on e-School News, comes word of a new ringtone for cellies. Turns out most adults CAN'T HEAR IT, making it a preferred choice for students in schools where phone use is "banned" (read: driven underground).

Seems most adults lose the ability to hear very high-pitched noises as we age, but the little lambs with their relatively unscathed eardrums can make out this noise just fine. This makes "pinging" their friends in school easy and stealthy. Mrs. Smith and Mr. Jones can't hear the tone, but Johnny and Soshanna can, so they're able to text, IM, or what-have-you without their teachers knowing.

Of course, this doesn't preclude teachers from seeing phones in use, but if the little darlings are sufficiently surreptitous they can now get over on the old timers.

Interestingly, the idea was borne from a UK practice of blasting high-frequency sounds at shopping malls and other popular teen hangouts, making kids move on to quieter (less visible) haunts without disturbing mumsie and daddums while they perused the latest shoe sale. Now teens have turned the tables. Kudos for their ingenuity; guess schools will have to either cave on their cell bans or go with that signal-strangling copper-based paint being shopped to movie theaters.

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