Baby Monitors Allow Strangers Inside Your Home

This morning on the Today Show, they had a segment about baby monitors and how insecure the devices are. The segment covered the range that some baby monitors broadcast, including a demonstration of one monitor broadcasting into the studio from outside on the street. Many of the baby monitors broadcast a signal on 900 MHz or 2.4 GHz, and can not be secured. So a stranger sitting outside the home can view your child sleeping inside.

But what is further disturbing is that the conversations by adults can also be heard from the home. In one case, a reporter was able to listen to a woman who was having a private conversation with her attorney, while monitoring the transmission from outside the home on the street. In another report it also stated that:

Electronics technicians have long known that wireless phone and baby monitor frequencies can be intercepted to allow a stranger to intentionally or accidentally listen in to personal conversations.Jonathan Gulsby, of the U-Spy Store in Orlando, said the new video baby monitors are good but are still vulnerable to the same potential breach in security and privacy.”Baby monitors are wireless cameras, so any wireless frequency can be intercepted,” Gulsby said.Local 6 News investigative reporter Mike Holfeld drove down the streets of one upscale neighborhood to test the theory.

He was able to intercept video signals from nearly a dozen homes in less than five minutes.

On the Today Show they had similar results driving through a neighborhood in Lond Island. In both experiments the residence where the baby monitors were being use, did not know the signal from the baby cam could be seen outside of their home.

In addition, a burglary can use the baby monitor system to see if anyone is home prior to a break in. Also perverts can see which homes have small babies or children inside.

Two suggestions to secure the baby monitors were to connect the system to a secure router. Another was to hard wire the camera to the monitor.

Comments welcome.

Source – Today Show

Source – Click Orlando

Wireless Industry Sues San Francisco – Protests Radiation Disclosure Law

Wireless Industry Protests Radiation Disclosure Law – States Law Is Misleading Consumers.

San Francisco is being challenged by the wireless industry [CITA] concerning the cities new law which requires radiation warnings for all cell phones. The wireless people believe that the law will mislead consumers into thinking that one phone may be safer than another. In addition the law does not address if cell phones are a hazard or not. There has been no scientific evidence to positively conclude that using a cell phone causes any type of health risks. In addition a recent article also states that:

According to the Cellular Telecommunications Industry Association, specific absorption rate, or SAR, is “a way of measuring the quantity of radio frequency (RF) energy that is absorbed by the body.” For a phone to pass FCC certification and be sold in the United States, its maximum SAR level must be less than 1.6 watts per kilogram. In Europe, the level is capped at 2 watts per kilogram while Canada allows a maximum of 1.6 watts per kilogram.

My question to you is this. Should we consumers be concerned with the amount of radiation our cell phones give off?

Comments welcome.

Over at CNet they have provide a list of phone ratings for the SAR levels to help you determine just how much radiation is coming from your cell phone.

UTStarcom/PCD| Kyocera | LG | Motorola | Nokia | Palm | Pantech | RIM | Samsung | Sanyo | Siemens | Sony Ericsson | Apple iPhone/Other

Source – CNBC

Wireless – dBi – Decibels Made Easy

The animated TECHTip Tutorial is available here.

This is an animated tutorial on wireless RF [Radio Frequency] propagation critical to successful wireless transmission and reception.

Antenna Power Gain is the ratio of power input to the antenna to power output measured in dBi [decibels isotropic] which is a logarithmic to an isotropic antenna (a perfect spherical or round antenna). According to Cisco, “the greater the dBi value, the higher the gain, and the more acute the angle of coverage.” Decibel or 1/10 of a Bel is a unit to express differences in power. That is, Decibel measurements occur along a logarithmic scale in which each 10 dB increase represents a tenfold increase in signal amplitude, while each 10 dB reduction represents a tenfold reduction.
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Wireless Antenna Diversity

The animated TECHTip Tutorial is available here.

Antenna Diversity is an AP [Access Point] with two antennas. This is the default setting on most APs designed to select the signal from the antenna that receives the strongest signal. If the AP has two fixed (non-removable) same-type antennas, this setting is recommended for both receive and transmit.

If, because of the application, a higher-gain antenna is used for either Tx [Transmit] or Rx [Receive], then this option may not be desirable. Each antenna listens for (receives) both signals. The AP selects the stronger signal for DSP [Digital Signal Processing] and transmission to other devices. RF [Radio Frequency] waves may be absorbed by objects such as buildings, mountains, etc.; however, these objects do not reduce the signal speed which is 300,000,000 meters per second, or the speed of light, 186,000 miles per second.
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MEMS [Micro Electrical Mechanical System] – Micro-Mirror Technology

The animated TECHTip Tutorial is available here.

This is an introduction to micro mirror technology, which has an increasing number of applications. From optical switching, Wi-Fi [Wireless Fidelity], RF [Radio Frequency] antennas, HDTV [High-Definition TeleVision], sets and other applications, MEMS is emerging as a powerful new force in semiconductor technology.
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