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BlackBerry Bold Tops Radiation Ranking 189

Posted by timothy
from the woo-top-of-the-list-awesome dept.
geek4 writes with this excerpt from eWeek Europe: "Data from the Environmental Working Group places the BlackBerry Bold 9700 as the mobile device with the highest legal levels of cell phone radiation among popular smartphones. Research In Motion's BlackBerry Bold 9700 scores the highest among popular smartphones for exposing users to the highest legal levels of cell phone radiation, according to the latest 2010 Environmental Working Group ranking. Following the Bold 9700 are the Motorola Droid, the LG Chocolate and Google's HTC Nexus One. The rankings still put the phones well within federal guidelines and rules."
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BlackBerry Bold Tops Radiation Ranking

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  • Oh good (Score:4, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 25, 2010 @09:49PM (#31280590)

    Perhaps this means it'll get signal where I live?

    • by thsths (31372)

      > Perhaps this means it'll get signal where I live?

      Unfortunately now. All the energy going into your head is not going to reach the base station, so this is going to hurt your reception. It is just bad engineering, and they should really try to do better. This is not rocket science - the equations are very well understood and design tools are readily available.

      • by thsths (31372)

        s/now/not/

      • I never knew brain matter was a magnet for radio signals.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Cytotoxic (245301)
        Huh? This stupid survey is recording the strength of the cell phone's radio signal (called radiation in the article) by copying down the "Specific Absorption Rate" from the FCC. It is a stupid spin to claim that it is a "radiation study" in the first place, but to claim that there is simple engineering available to make cell phone radios beam their signal to the tower while avoiding vital organs is just silly. Unless you are talking about moving the antenna away from your body, I guess.

        The SAR they talk

  • The solution? Stop putting in the Bold (tm) chunk of americium inside the earpiece. :3

  • Uh (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward

    The rankings still put the phones well within federal guidelines and rules.

    Wait... so I guess that makes this a complete non-story?

    Or maybe we should have an enthralling debate about how these devices are within legal spec.

    Or perhaps it's flamebait: We're supposed to bring out the apple fanboys and where the iphone ranks.

    Current FCC regulations permit SAR levels of up to 1.6 W/kg for partial body (head) exposure, 0.08 W/kg for whole-body exposure and 4 W/kg for exposure to the hands, wrists, feet and ankles.
    The BlackBerry Bold 9700 scores an overall 1.55 SAR in the new rankings. The Motorola Droid came in at 1.50 while the LG Chocolate scored a 1.46, the Nexus One ranked a 1.39 and the Apple iPhone 3G scored a 1.19.

    Ok, I read some of the article. I guess we can talk about how close the Blackberry is to the upper bound. It still seems like a boring, non-story.

    • Radiation Blues (Score:3, Insightful)

      by handy_vandal (606174)

      It's flamebait for the "cell phones cause cancer" crowd: the word "radiation" is a dead giveaway.

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by icebike (68054)

        I thought it was flamebait for why the iPhone drops 30% of calls [engadget.com].

  • by 0xdeadbeef (28836) on Thursday February 25, 2010 @09:56PM (#31280634) Homepage Journal

    You poor fanboys, your precious toy didn't even make the list. Weak is the signal, weak as the user.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by cyfer2000 (548592)
      Based on your id "0xdeadbeef (28836)" and the fact that you didn't RTFA, you must be old here.
      • It took about time, I was already growing roots waiting for this to come up.
        Makes me feel old .. go on! Start that prelife crisis right now .. come on!

        .. I'm going to rest some now, all that energy I've used.

        • by karnal (22275)

          You must have ran out of energy before telling them to get off your lawn..... I'll do it for you.

          GET OFF HIS LAWN!

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Hurricane78 (562437)

      Wow, when I do that I get modded troll (not that I care anyway).

      The iTrollerators must be sleeping, wrapped in their cozy reality distortion field. ;)

    • by sa1lnr (669048)

      Ah, they get RDF not EMI/RFI.

  • not a big deal (Score:4, Insightful)

    by sammykrupa (828537) <sam@theplaceforitall.com> on Thursday February 25, 2010 @10:07PM (#31280712) Homepage Journal

    Someone compiled a list, then sorted it numerically by some quantifiable characteristic.

    Something came in at #1. what a surprise. this doesn't mean #1 is that that good or great or bad or harmful, as noted in the summary itself
    "The rankings still put the phones well within federal guidelines and rules."

    stupid

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by broken_chaos (1188549)

      It's useful because now I have a device with a new function -- warding off the 'cell phones cause cancer!' crazies. Just wave my 9700 at them, and they'll run screaming for their tinfoil-insulated houses (which keep out the pain-causing wifi signals, of course).

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by ascari (1400977)
      Not a big deal? I for one demand that all cellphones rank below the average in terms of radiation!
  • no comprende (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Eil (82413) on Thursday February 25, 2010 @10:14PM (#31280746) Homepage Journal

    The rankings still put the phones well within federal guidelines and rules.

    Then why is it a story?

    • Well, guess who profits from this?
      See, there you got the reason why this is a story.

      (For the uninformed: Apple pays lots of money to have at least a story about Apple on Slashdot every week.)
      (And I’m in no way saying that this would make them worse than anybody else doing it. They’re just better at it. ;)

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      The rankings still put the phones well within federal guidelines and rules.

      Then why is it a story?

      Because we know from the meatpacking, pharmaceutical, and genetically modified crop industries just how much those lobbyist-paid federal regulators have (hah) public safety at heart. So we want to see the numbers and decide for ourselves.

    • Re:no comprende (Score:5, Informative)

      by natehoy (1608657) on Thursday February 25, 2010 @11:12PM (#31281056) Journal

      Three reasons come to mind:

      1. Even though it's within limits, there are people who intentionally look for units that emit the least RF possible, so that if it does turn out there was a risk they are minimizing their risk. It's at least more rational than sleeping in a Faraday cage and suing neighbors for WiFi radiation or wearing tinfoil underwear. If you need a cell phone but have some concerns about RF exposure, picking the cell phone that emits the lowest levels of RF just seems like a rational middle ground.

      2. Some will intentionally seek out phones with high RF because more RF means the radio has more juice or the antenna is more efficient, which means it'll get "more bars in more places". I know my Blackberry Curve 8310 gets awesome signal in a lot of places that iPhones don't, so I'm sure that also means it's putting out more RF and/or has a more efficient antenna.

      3. If it's GSM, one of the side effects is the annoying clicky-buzzing sound every nonshielded electronic device within ten yards emits. Less RF means less of that interference.

    • by dubbreak (623656)

      Then why is it a story?

      I know. Why would anyone want to make the most popular smartphone (among business users) look bad? It just doesn't make sense.

    • Rules do not need to be broken in order for a story to be posted to slashdot (or anywhere). If there was a processor ranking list posted to slashdot would you question the story because the processors were not breaking any rules?
  • it's within legal limits.
    • Re:So? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by zero_out (1705074) on Friday February 26, 2010 @12:11AM (#31281394)
      In PA (USA) the legal limit for driving while intoxicated was 1.0. Now it's 0.8. Legal limits change when new facts are discovered. Do you remember asbestos? Lead paint? What about cigarettes? Oh, wait, cigarettes are still legal, even though their deadly effects are well documented.

      Note: I do not believe that cell phones cause cancer, but just because something is legal doesn't mean it's safe.
      • Re:So? (Score:4, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 26, 2010 @08:21AM (#31283636)
        Here's a fact for you: .08 isn't the magic number at which people are intoxicated. Facts didn't drop that number, lobbying by MADD and other groups dropped that number.
      • In this application, the legal limit has to do with interference. Cell phone output is well below the power that represents any danger to a person's body.
  • http://www.ewg.org/cellphone-radiation [ewg.org] -- This is the actual report site. Have a look through.
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by istartedi (132515)

      This link [ewg.org] would have been even better. You see they have 1.58 W/kg. You have over a dozen phones above 1.5. Somebody always has to be the highest. Actually, the model number they cite is not the worst, although the worst is still a Blackberry.

      True, they are several times worst than the best; but is that meaningful? If the standard for poison X in the water is 100 ppm, and your city water has 2 ppm and mine has 20 ppm that's a factor of 10 but it doesn't mean anything if you believe that the standard i

      • by judgecorp (778838)
        Oops yes. I have added both those links to the story.

        Another thing about this research is it is compiled from the manufacturers' own data - though obviously any attempt to falsify could be picked up, I don't know how many third parties have measured the radiation.

        I see from the list of phones at EWG that there are phones called a Motorola Brute, and a Samsung Slash. Why do American phones always have better names? Our Droids are Milestones, for goodness sake....

        Peter Judge
    • And here's [ewg.org] the whole list.
  • Sweet (Score:2, Informative)

    by dissy (172727)

    Research In Motion's BlackBerry Bold 9700 scores the highest among popular smartphones for exposing users to the highest legal levels of cell phone radiation

    That is awesome. Now you know what cell will have the strongest possible signal!

    Of course the unspoken assumption being made is that this cell phone radiation, aka radio waves, are somehow a bad thing or undesirable.

    • I purchased a BB Curve 8330 a year ago and never (not once, honest) had a dropped call due to poor reception. Audio quality has always been consistent.

      I guess the fact it ranks in at #6 of having the highest radiation level has something to do with that =) CNET has written a nice article on the subject with a chart of phones by radiation rankings.

      http://reviews.cnet.com/2719-6602_7-291-1.html?tag=page;page [cnet.com]

    • I hate “we all know this” statements in situations that only exist because not everybody knows this.

      Microwave radiation from mobile phones can by definition (=frequency=energy) not ionize anything. It can only heat things up. In case of human flesh that is 0.1-0.2 degrees Celsius. (Warning: Only the rotation causes the strong heating in microwave ovens. Not the resonance or radiation energy itself.)
      Do you know what Van-den-Waals bondings are? Look up their bonding energy. Now take the above quan

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by NatasRevol (731260)

        Did you just say that the main reason your water gets hot in the microwave is because it's going around in a circle and not the...ummm.. microwaves? Cause I'm thinking I could lower my energy bill if you're not a complete crackpot. /sarcasm

        • by zero_out (1705074)
          Perhaps I am misunderstanding which part of your statement was supposed to be the sarcastic part (which words are receiving the intonation), but he's talking about the rotation of the water molecules spinning around (not the plate rotating in the oven).
          • Yes, the sarcasm was because he wrote: "Only the rotation causes the strong heating in microwave ovens." On first pass, I thought he meant the actual plate rotating in the oven, not the microwaves rotating the water molecules.

            A better joke would have been to put a smaller gear in the bottom of the microwave so the plate turns faster...

      • and you know if it can denature proteins.

        yeah, but there seems to be something else going on, some effect on DNA. There was that one study about the 1800MHz DNA breakage, the one about the protein expression in skin cells, and the one about a protective effect against Alzheimers in mice. And those are just a few I happen to recall.

        While you're right about non-ionizing radiation, we want to be careful not to say, "this isn't gamma radiation, so it has no effects".

  • We're number ONE!....

    Oh wait....

  • They'll come out with one that is just exactly at the Government limit on radiation, and call it the "Zesty".

    Then they'll come out with one well above the limit and call it the "Extra Crispy"

  • by Audrey23 (663718) on Thursday February 25, 2010 @11:18PM (#31281088)
    Folks please don't get wound up about 'radiation' from a wireless device, remember that it is only 'heating' radiation, not ionizing radiation http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Non-ionizing_radiation [wikipedia.org]. All it is going to do is warm your skin near where the phone is, or very slow cook for you microwave oven enthusiasts... Ionizing radiation like gamma rays are quite another story and will cause DNA damage, but are a wholly different type of 'radiation'. You will get more damage from standing out in the sun every day then you will from the weak signal that is emitted from your mobile. Now the fact that most mobile phones these days do not have a very efficient antenna is quite the reason that so many of them have such bad SAR values, if people could just stand having a little 'duckie' antenna sticking out of the top of the phone then we would have more efficient emission of the signal and a better SAR value. But that is not sexy and so we won't see any more antenna's like we did when cellphones first came out and so instead the phone body itself is the antenna and a good portion of the emitted signal is absorbed by the hand and head, its just the way it works... The best thing is to educate yourself and make your own decisions http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mobile_phone_radiation_and_health [wikipedia.org]
    • Actually. . . (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Fantastic Lad (198284) on Friday February 26, 2010 @02:03AM (#31281940)

      Oh boy.

      I can't count the number of times I've run across this particular piece of rationalization. Probably because, on the surface, it makes an emotional kind of sense.

      Yes, non-ionizing radiation doesn't burn anything. But that's not the problem. Nobody is claiming it IS the problem. The only people who are convinced that anybody is claiming this as the problem simply aren't paying attention. Sorry. I don't mean to come down hard on you, but the EM spectrum is useful in electronics because it vibrates, not because it burns things. Cells, when vibrated on the EM spectrum, react. It's that simple. There is a ton of information available to anybody who wants to know what is really going on here.

      Basically, it comes down to this:

      Cells respond, evidently by their very nature, to coherent electromagnetic signals in the 1 to 500Hz range. They do all kinds of weird things depending on the pulse rate and power and how the Earth's magnetic field interacts with the signal. Cells have been observed to reproduce many times faster or slower than normal when exposed to different radio frequencies. -Or to open up their membrane walls allowing foreign particles to enter which would not normally be able to pass. Very low power signals can do this and a great deal more.

      There are a number of observed mechanics, one of which is called, "Cyclotronic Resonance". Here's an example. . .

      As I am sure you know, everything has a natural sympathetic frequency. This is understood. Cyclotronic Resonance is a type of resonance which occurs when both a radio frequency and a steady magnetic field are present. For instance, when you produce a 60Hz frequency, (as in wall-socket current), and combine it with a steady magnetic field of 0.2 Gauss, (as supplied by the Earth's magnetic field), the Lithium Ion resonates and becomes excited. It also moves on a spiral vector. The result is that any trace quantities of Lithium which happen to be in the blood stream of an organism will cease to sit still and will instead energize and move, enabling them to penetrate the blood brain barrier with greater frequency than normal. It was noted that rats exposed to these conditions exhibited behavior consistent with a medicinal dose of lithium drug as compared to the control rats. It should be noted that Lithium is the active ingredient in many anti-depressants.

      That's just one small example. There are many others. But you're NOT going to read about them in the main stream press. You just won't. I'd explain why but that's a whole other post. (Typically, people who believe in the whole idea that "non-ionizing" means "Safe" also tend to have trouble believing that the media can be anything less than honest. Or that corruption exists. Or that any group might have a vested interest in mass-medicating a population. Just as one example.)

      But there is some excellent information out there. -A good book on this is, "Cross Currents" by Robert O. Becker. [amazon.com]

      Scary?

      Of course it is.

      Good luck.

      -FL

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by QuoteMstr (55051)

        Oh boy, yourself.

        Your post displays all the hallmarks of pseudoscience: elevated language to bamboozle the layman, accusations of censorship from the media, bald assertion of "common sense" causal connections, and a complete lack of rigorous data. A simple search-and-replace on your post could turn it into a defense of intelligent design, magnetic healing, or homeopathy: the thought process is the same. You adopt all the trappings of science without the rigor that makes the exercise worthwhile. You're no be

        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by Fantastic Lad (198284)

          Please take a deep breath and count to ten before trying to absorb what I'm about to say. . .

          You're making a lot of unfounded accusations and demands and you are generally being very uncivil. If you have questions, I'd be happy to answer them. However, demands made from a place of strong emotion and combativeness. . , not so much.

          You have demanded layered proof with very specific protocols. I have in fact offered exactly enough of this to fill a book and indeed provided a link to that book. But will you

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by bartwol (117819)

            I was interested to see, after your initial post and the challenge to show evidence, whether you had any substance behind your position.

            You offered nothing.

            The challenger nailed your deficiencies. You show no awareness of the substance of those deficiencies.

            You may know much _about_ science, but you have no stomach for its underlying rigors and the tightly measured increments by which it informs our understanding of the universe. You _know_ (certainly believe) much more than science tells us. For a sc

            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              by Fantastic Lad (198284)

              And you offer NOTHING.

              It doesn't matter if you repeat it more than once or type it in all-caps, this assertion is still false. Sorry. The universe doesn't respond to the power of 'tantrum.' I'm not trying to insult you. I'm just looking at what you have provided.

              Here's the truth:

              I in fact offered two things. 1) A logical explanation which even a low-level science student can grasp. 2) A book which I have told you contains the full narrative behind that explanation along with all the materials necessary to verify its asserti

        • by dnoyeb (547705)

          So what your saying is that cell phones have been "proven" by science to be safe? I don't think so. Far too many of our conveniences could potentially be unsafe. You have to protect yourself. More information is always better.

          • by QuoteMstr (55051)

            Has soap been "provenGene Ray are two prominent physicists with divergent views on then nature of time.

            That's bullshit. It's exactly the strategy that advocates of intelligent design, telekinesis, spirit communication, and homeopathy use. They know they can't win in a fair fight so they try to rig the game. The cell phone radiation people are of the same stock.

          • by QuoteMstr (55051)

            Grr. I somehow managed to mangle the comment the first time I tried to post it.

            So what your saying is that cell phones have been "proven" by science to be safe? I don't think so.

            Has soap been "proven" by science to be safe? We can't really be sure, can we?

            If I were to stand on a street corner and claim that soap causes melanoma by "attacking epidermal lipids", you'd think me to be a crazy man. I'd have to present strong, damning evidence of my claim to counter a long history of use before you'd even begin

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by unkiereamus (1061340)

      You will [be] standing out in the sun every day...

      Hi, Welcome to /.

  • Given the study a while back on cell phone radiation being possibly beneficial for Alzheimers patients, it seems like this information could be useful for anyone looking to try to it out for themselves: http://science.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=10/01/07/1812250 [slashdot.org]
  • CNET has a nice list of just about every cell phone model out there and how much radiation they put out.
    http://reviews.cnet.com/2719-6602_7-291-1.html [cnet.com]

    Click through the pages for lists by manufacture.

  • Is that anything like delta radiation? A tachyon field? The omega particle?

    I also like this, from the summary: "the highest legal levels." Hm.

    • #1 602000000000000000000099 arsenic molecules per mole - NYC
    • #2 602000000000000000000098 arsenic molecules per mole - LA
    • #3 602000000000000000000097 arsenic molecules per mole - Chicago
    • #4 602000000000000000000096 arsenic molecules per mole - Miami
    • #5 602000000000000000000095 arsenic molecules per mole - Houston
    • ...

    This might affect you! Visit my site to read more about this shocking news and give me ad views!

  • Having a lower radiation would have helped me to gulp the linuxopensource cost :-/
    Nobody knows where to find its figure?

  • ...then I can only assume you spend all your time in a sealed, pitch-black room. Light is radiation, y'know.

  • With radiation like this, our kids will have 4 thumbs, thus doubling productivity!

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