Researchers secretly tracked the locations of 100,000 people outside the United States through their cell phone use and concluded that most people rarely stray more than a few miles from home.
The first-of-its-kind study by Northeastern University raises privacy and ethical questions for its monitoring methods, which would be illegal in the United States.
It also yielded somewhat surprising results that reveal how little people move around in their daily lives. Nearly three-quarters of those studied mainly stayed within a 20-mile-wide circle for half a year.
The scientists would not disclose where the study was done, only describing the location as an industrialized nation.
Researchers used cell phone towers to track individuals’ locations whenever they made or received phone calls and text messages over six months. In a second set of records, researchers took another 206 cell phones that had tracking devices in them and got records for their locations every two hours over a week’s time period.
The study was based on cell phone records from a private company, whose name also was not disclosed.
Study co-author Cesar Hidalgo, a physics researcher at Northeastern, said he and his colleagues didn’t know the individual phone numbers because they were disguised into “ugly” 26-digit-and-letter codes.
That type of nonconsensual tracking would be illegal in the United States, according to Rob Kenny, a spokesman for the Federal Communications Commission. Consensual tracking, however, is legal and even marketed as a special feature by some U.S. cell phone providers.
Study of 13,000 children exposes link between use of handsets and later behavioural problems
Scientists found that mothers who did use the handsets were 54 per cent more likely to have children with behavioural problems and that the likelihood increased with the amount of potential exposure to the radiation
Women who use mobile phones when pregnant are more likely to give birth to children with behavioural problems, according to authoritative research.
A giant study, which surveyed more than 13,000 children, found that using the handsets just two or three times a day was enough to raise the risk of their babies developing hyperactivity and difficulties with conduct, emotions and relationships by the time they reached school age. And it adds that the likelihood is even greater if the children themselves used the phones before the age of seven.
(Dr. Carlo was the responsible scientist for conducting the biggest study ($ 25 million) on cellphones ever. He later hissed all red flags possible. He got ridiculed although he was the favored/desired independent scientist to conduct the study by the industry and government. He has written a book about it:
“Cell Phones: Invisible Hazards in the Wireless Age: An Insider’s Alarming Discoveries About Cancer and Genetic Damage” – The Infinite Unknown)
The results of the study, the first of its kind, have taken the top scientists who conducted it by surprise. But they follow warnings against both pregnant women and children using mobiles by the official Russian radiation watchdog body, which believes that the peril they pose “is not much lower than the risk to children’s health from tobacco or alcohol”.
The research – at the universities of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and Aarhus, Denmark – is to be published in the July issue of the journal Epidemiology and will carry particular weight because one of its authors has been sceptical that mobile phones pose a risk to health.
UCLA’s Professor Leeka Kheifets – who serves on a key committee of the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection, the body that sets the guidelines for exposure to mobile phones – wrote three and a half years ago that the results of studies on people who used them “to date give no consistent evidence of a causal relationship between exposure to radiofrequency fields and any adverse health effect”.
The scientists questioned the mothers of 13,159 children born in Denmark in the late 1990s about their use of the phones in pregnancy, and their children’s use of them and behaviour up to the age of seven. As they gave birth before mobiles became universal, about half of the mothers had used them infrequently or not at all, enabling comparisons to be made.
They found that mothers who did use the handsets were 54 per cent more likely to have children with behavioural problems and that the likelihood increased with the amount of potential exposure to the radiation. And when the children also later used the phones they were, overall, 80 per cent more likely to suffer from difficulties with behaviour. They were 25 per cent more at risk from emotional problems, 34 per cent more likely to suffer from difficulties relating to their peers, 35 per cent more likely to be hyperactive, and 49 per cent more prone to problems with conduct.
The scientists say that the results were “unexpected”, and that they knew of no biological mechanisms that could cause them. But when they tried to explain them by accounting for other possible causes – such as smoking during pregnancy, family psychiatric history or socio-economic status – they found that, far from disappearing, the association with mobile phone use got even stronger.
They add that there might be other possible explanations that they did not examine – such as that mothers who used the phones frequently might pay less attention to their children – and stress that the results “should be interpreted with caution” and checked by further studies. But they conclude that “if they are real they would have major public health implications”.
Professor Sam Milham, of the blue-chip Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York, and the University of Washington School of Public Health – one of the pioneers of research in the field – said last week that he had no doubt that the results were real. He pointed out that recent Canadian research on pregnant rats exposed to similar radiation had found structural changes in their offspring’s brains.
The Russian National Committee on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection says that use of the phones by both pregnant women and children should be “limited”. It concludes that children who talk on the handsets are likely to suffer from “disruption of memory, decline of attention, diminishing learning and cognitive abilities, increased irritability” in the short term, and that longer-term hazards include “depressive syndrome” and “degeneration of the nervous structures of the brain”.
By Geoffrey Lean, Environment Editor
Sunday, 18 May 2008
Source: The Independent
It connects you to the world, but your cell phone could also be giving anyone from your boss to your wife a window into your every move. The same technology that lets you stay in touch on-the-go can now let others tap into your private world — without you ever even suspecting something is awry.
The new generation
Long gone are the days of simple wiretapping, when the worst your phone could do was let someone listen in to your conversations. The new generation of cell phone spying tools provides a lot more power.
Eavesdropping is easy. All it takes is a two-minute software install and someone can record your calls and monitor your text messages. They can even set up systems to be automatically alerted when you dial a certain number, then instantly patched into your conversation. Anyone who can perform a basic internet search can find the tools and figure out how to do it in no time.
But the scarier stuff is what your phone can do when you aren’t even using it. Let’s start with your location.
You don’t have to plant a CIA-style bug to conduct surveillance any more. A service called World Tracker lets you use data from cell phone towers and GPS systems to pinpoint anyone’s exact whereabouts, any time — as long as they’ve got their phone on them.
All you have to do is log on to the web site and enter the target phone number. The site sends a single text message to the phone that requires one response for confirmation. Once the response is sent, you are locked in to their location and can track them step-by-step. The response is only required the first time the phone is contacted, so you can imagine how easily it could be handled without the phone’s owner even knowing.
Once connected, the service shows you the exact location of the phone by the minute, conveniently pinpointed on a Google Map. So far, the service is only available in the UK, but the company has indicated plans to expand its service to other countries soon.
So you’ve figured out where someone is, but now you want to know what they’re actually doing. Turns out you can listen in, even if they aren’t talking on their phone.
Read the rest of this highly recommended article here: geeksaresexy.net
May 5, 2008
By JR Raphael
Contributing Writer, [GAS]
Phone makers own scientists discover that bedtime use can lead to headaches, confusion and depressionRadiation from mobile phones delays and reduces sleep, and causes headaches and confusion, according to a new study.
The research, sponsored by the mobile phone companies themselves, shows that using the handsets before bed causes people to take longer to reach the deeper stages of sleep and to spend less time in them, interfering with the body’s ability to repair damage suffered during the day.
Phone the doctor: Men who use mobile phones could face increased risk of infertility
Men who use mobile phones could be risking their fertility, warn researchers.
A new study shows a worrying link between poor sperm and the number of hours a day that a man uses his mobile phone.