January 15, 2010
| by Arlen Schweiger
It’s one thing to get sneaky on your neighbors by piggybacking off of their WiFi so you can get free Internet.
It’s quite another story when you go to court seeking over $500K in damages because your neighbor won’t stop using a WiFi router, or other popular electronics devices like an iPhone, laptop charger and lighting dimmer switches.
But that’s what New Mexican Arthur Firstenberg is doing, alleging pain and suffering in a lawsuit against his neighbor because those on-24/7 electronics are feeding the Electromagnetic Sensitivity (EMS) he claims to suffer from, the Santa Fe Reporter and Huffington Post are reporting. It doesn’t sound like the kind of fun that everyone else with an iPhone is having—Firstenberg claims the electromagnetic radiation from the laptop charger, wireless modem, et al are causing “nausea, vertigo, diarrhea, ringing in the ears, severe headaches and body aches, crippling joint pains, insomnia, impaired vision, impaired muscular control” hence the $530,000 he’s seeking.
Firstenberg has other supporters for his cause, who have outcried against public WiFi (don’t they know how great Barnes & Noble or Panera are when you’re in a bind?) in Santa Fe.
We’re not trying to be completely insensitive to Firstenberg’s case, but the money seems a bit much ... maybe Apple can dig into its deep pockets though to help. We’ll have to see what the court says about this matter, but hopefully no one comes knocking on your door. We don’t want to cause any iPhone/WiFi rage, or give you any more reason to battle your neighbors.
Arlen writes about home technology installations and product news and reviews for electronichouse.com
and Electronic House magazine.