Thursday, September 23, 2004

Mexican Church Silences Cell Phones

Via Religious News Online:

MONTERREY, Mexico (Reuters) - Some Mexican churches are using state-of-the-art technology developed by Israeli electronic warfare experts to silence cell phones that ring during mass, church officials said on Tuesday.

Four churches in the northern city of Monterrey, which lies some two hours by car south of the Texas border, are using equipment made by Israeli telecoms equipment firm Netline Communications Technologies to block incoming calls during services.

The Tel Aviv-based company was set up in 1998 by former military and defense industry specialists to develop mobile telephone jamming systems, mainly for the security industry.

"Before we had the system, it was very uncomfortable hearing calls coming in during the celebration of mass. But now it's 95 percent quiet," said Bulmaro Carranza, a caretaker at the city's Baroque-style Sacred Heart church.

The signal-jamming equipment is packed into two wall-mounted boxes the size of small hi-fi speakers, with one beside the altar and the other at the church entrance.

Switched on just before the start of every service, the system causes a "no signal" message to be displayed on worshipers' phones, but causes them no lasting damage.

"We believe that we were the first church in Mexico to use this technology," Carranza said.

"Now we are getting calls from all over the country to see how it can be installed."

Read the full story here.
I know a few shuls that could make good use of such a device. Hmm I wonder if it would be kosher for Shabbat?


The background image on this page is a Hebrew translation of the verse from Bob Dylan's song  It's Alright, Ma (I'm Only Bleeding), from which the title of this blog is taken. Translation courtesy of Yoram Aharon of Hod-HaSharon's page--found via YudelLine-- which has many Dylan lyrics in Hebrew.