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Cellphones Government Networking Wireless Networking

Long Island Town Enacts Tough Cell Tower Limits 310

crimeandpunishment writes "They're getting tougher on towers on Long Island. The town of Hempstead, NY has imposed some of the toughest cell phone tower restrictions in the country. The ordinance prohibits wireless equipment within 1,500 feet of homes, schools, day care centers, and houses of worship, unless the company can prove absolute need. A spokesman for Verizon says, 'It's not unheard of for towns to have issues, but this is extreme,' and says this makes 95 percent of the town off limits to future antenna construction." With internet access by 3G, 4G and WiMax getting ever more common, I suspect that not everyone in the town will appreciate blocking out the companies that provide it.
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Long Island Town Enacts Tough Cell Tower Limits

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  • by vadim_t ( 324782 ) on Saturday September 25, 2010 @09:35AM (#33696350) Homepage

    I don't think you get it.

    Radio signal strength decays exponentially. To give a city good coverage you have to place towers at more or less regular intervals. You cover the area with towers whose coverage overlaps like this [].

    If the laws are such that most of the city is out of limits for tower placement, it means that a lot of people are going to get really crappy reception. You could place the Mother of All Towers in the allowed bit, but a tower has a limit to the amount of calls it can handle, so it's not going to work very well.

  • by wowbagger ( 69688 ) on Saturday September 25, 2010 @10:07AM (#33696500) Homepage Journal

    "Radio signal strength decays exponentially. "

    No, it decays geometrically.

    Exponential decay would be of the form P=An^d, where "d" is the distance, and A and n are constants.

    The formula for free space losses is of the form P=Ad^2 - a geometrical loss.

  • by TheRaven64 ( 641858 ) on Saturday September 25, 2010 @10:25AM (#33696582) Journal
    He's a late entrant into the 'most stupid Slashdot poster of 2010' but he seems to be closing in on commodore64_love's early lead.
  • by TheRaven64 ( 641858 ) on Saturday September 25, 2010 @10:33AM (#33696614) Journal
    Your phone does a periodic handshake with the tower, so that the operator knows which cell to route your calls to. If the cell is far away, this handshake has to be much stronger. You can test this quite easily by watching how much battery life suffers on a phone in standby mode when the signal strength is low.
  • by drewhk ( 1744562 ) on Saturday September 25, 2010 @11:32AM (#33696926)

    In practice that could be way higher than 2 (or sometimes less). From Wikipedia:

    "In the study of wireless communications, path loss can be represented by the path loss exponent, whose value is normally in the range of 2 to 4 (where 2 is for propagation in free space, 4 is for relatively lossy environments and for the case of full specular reflection from the earth surface—the so-called flat-earth model). In some environments, such as buildings, stadiums and other indoor environments, the path loss exponent can reach values in the range of 4 to 6. On the other hand, a tunnel may act as a waveguide, resulting in a path loss exponent less than 2."

  • CFL vs Incandescent (Score:3, Informative)

    by sjbe ( 173966 ) on Saturday September 25, 2010 @12:54PM (#33697384)

    I consider Edison's incandescent bulbs to be a superior technology to CFLs. Fast turnon, can be used in cold/hot areas (or enclosed fixtures), cost consumers 1/10th to buy, use fewer materials, easy to recycle, and no mercury vapor.


    Somewhat off topic I know but I can't resist.

    Let's examine those points you made:

    • You're quite correct that incandescent bulbs turn on faster than CFLs. However CFLs are available that achieve near full brightness nearly instantly and have little/no noticeable warm up period. While there are cases where the difference will matter, most of the time it doesn't. Any fluorescent lighting will work best in environments where they aren't switched on/off frequently.
    • CFLs can be used in both hot and cold areas - just not to the extremes that incandescents can. CFLs can operate with a cold weather ballast as low as -23C (-10F). Incandescents do win on temperature in most cases however.
    • Incandescents do cost less (not usually 1/10th however) to buy initially but they also cost 3-4X as much to operate and CFLs last 6000-15000 hours versus 750-1000 hours for incandescents. Best case you'll buy 6 incandescents for every CFL. There really is no debate that over the full lifespan, CFLs are cheaper.
    • Yes incandescents use fewer materials per bulb but when you have to buy 6+ incandescents for every CFL this advantage disappears rapidly.
    • It is easier to recycle incandescent bulbs, however I've NEVER seen anyone recycle an incandescent bulb ever. It simply does not happen for the vast majority of lightbulbs.
    • The bit about no mercury vapor is nonsense in areas with coal fired power plants []. A CFL will pollute less mercury and coal plants emit other toxins besides.

    A few indisputable advantages of incandescents:

    • Work better with dimmers. There are dimmable CFLs but they work poorly at best.
    • Size - incandescents are available in more compact sizes for the same light output.
    • UV emmissions are lower from incandescents which can be an issue with some paintings and textiles.
    • Most incandescents have better color rendering than most CFLs, though there are CFLs (pricey ones) which can do just about as well as incandescents.

    A few indisputable disadvantages of incandescents:

    • Much higher frequency of replacement
    • Much more waste heat
    • 3-4X higher energy consumption per lumen
    • Much higher lifetime operation costs.

    In short, your assertion that incandescents are "a superior technology" is only true for specific applications. For most commercial buildings and residences, CFLs are a better choice much of the time for many many applications.

  • by meerling ( 1487879 ) on Saturday September 25, 2010 @12:54PM (#33697386)
    Wow, where do I start... Let's keep it short.
    First, this country is not a democracy, even though we espouse the democratic concepts. It's something called a representative republic. If your school failed to teach you that, or you failed high school civics, then go look it up, I'm sure wikipedia has an article on it.

    Second, no town or person can do "whatever they want". If they could, it would be an anarchy and there would be no town ordinances in the first place. Don't forget that they have to follow rules as well (state & federal), and if you let people do whatever they want, they will eventually do stupid or unfair things that just hurt themselves or other people. (Remember slavery? It's an extreme example, but totally valid to represent what happens when you let the 'majority' do what they want.)

    Third is the communist thing. We'll ignore the original utopian concept that communism was meant to be and go with the more modern variant based on the old Soviet Union and the current China. Hmmm, a government setting a restrictive rule that limits both corporate endeavors and public access to communication utilities/resources. Yep, that qualifies as modern communism. But that's the opposite of your declaration... Yeah, speaking of failing high school civics, I think we've got your number.

    Just a small note on utopias. There are many different utopian theories, and they are all interesting but fatally flawed. I don't believe in the possiblity of any form of utopia existing until after all of humanities basic psyche has been severely altered, and that isn't happening any time soon, if ever.
  • Re:Nevertheless... (Score:2, Informative)

    by BrokenHalo ( 565198 ) on Saturday September 25, 2010 @01:15PM (#33697502) visualise [sic]...

    FYI: in the English (as opposed to American)-speaking world, it is typical (though no longer obligatory) to use "s" rather than "z" in such a case.

Information is the inverse of entropy.