Archive for May, 2007

Last Word on WiFi

May 28, 2007 in bad science | Comments (0)

The last word in the WiFi debate (for now) should go to the teacher who was asked to have Panorama come into his classroom. You can read all about it on the Bad Science blog.

Ooh its well into the red there,” says reporter Paul Kenyon, holding up the detector (19 minutes in). Gosh that sounds bad. Well into the red on what? It’s tricky to callibrate measurements, and to decide what to measure, and what the cut off point is for “red”. Panorama’s readings were “well into the red” on “The COM Monitor”, a special piece of detecting equipment designed from scratch and built by none other than Alasdair Philips of Powerwatch, the man who leads the campaign against WiFi. His bespoke device is manufactured exclusively for Powerwatch, and he will sell one to you for just £175. Alasdair decided what “red” meant on Panorama’s device. So not very independent then.

Actually, all this would make a great case study on how not to carry out a scientific investigation.

And for the definitive last word, here’s a great cartoon.


Something Whiffy about WiFI?

May 23, 2007 in bad science | Comments (0)

OK so its been six months since I started this blog that I have finally got round to making a second post. I was spurred into life by the Panorama report on Monday night about the supposed dangers of WiFi. With the tabloid approach by the Beeb, and the Daily Mail getting in on the action, I can see parents running around now terrified that WiFi is going to scramble the brains of all their children.

Of course all these children are carrying around mobile phones belting out radiation and they’re totally happy with that – as long as the mobile phone mast is in somebody elses back yard. They’d be the first to complain if they couldn’t get a signal at their house.

Anyway, some nice rebuttals of the Panorama programme can be found on the more scientific websites out there. Here are a few to check out.

http://www.badscience.net/?p=414

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2007/04/24/open_letter/

http://wongablog.co.uk/2007/05/22/panorama-on-wi-fi/

http://education.guardian.co.uk/schools/story/0,,2084525,00.html

http://timworstall.typepad.com/timworstall/2007/05/wifi_is_killing.html

BBC Have you Say is a good place to make your case.