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Cellphone Jammer Man: America's newest hero?

Cellphone Jammer Man. That could be the moniker for the nation's newest superhero. Or villain. Or upcoming "Saturday Night Live" skit.


Right now, it's what you could call a Philadelphia-area bus rider who's set the online world abuzz with his brazen use of a cellphone jammer. He used the device to shut down fellow commuters when he deemed they were yakking too loudly on their cellphones and presumably annoying everyone around them.

The reaction has gone something like this: What? Wait ... a cellphone jammer? And then, more often than not: How do I get one?

Apparently, many people have had it up to here with the guy or gal next to them yelling into a cellphone, going on and on about their weekend or their lunch or their hair appointment.

"Wait, cell-phone jammers DO exist!? Why aren't they installed in every restaurant and school across the nation yet?" said one commenter at the Daily What.

"Hats off to this guy!" "Two-thumbs up" and "I love this guy! He is my hero" were among the comments pouring in at NBC10.com in Philadelphia, which broke the story.

These people are not just a bunch of grumpy-pants, mind you.

Researchers at Cornell University have found that the human brain is particularly irritated by half-heard conversations because they mess with our mental sense of order. Such noise has even been shown to be especially distracting and difficult to ignore, to the point of impairing the listener's performance

Cellphone jammers range in price from $40 to $10,000 and can be used as anti-terrorism devices, according to Forbes.com, which reported similar jammer use by disgruntled and unapologeticcommuters in New Jersey and New York.

So far, all these jammer vigilantes have been anonymous. (Cellphone jammers are banned under federal law because they can disrupt emergency services.)

And, of course, there have been howls of outrage from frustrated phone users and others touting doomsday "What if" scenarios, such as needing to contact emergency responders and being unable to do so.

But that response seems to be in the minority, and is shouted down by others who clearly want some peace and quiet: "How in the world did we survive for over 5,000 years without cell phones?" one commenter at NBC10.com asked sarcastically.

Cellphone Jammer Man, who so far has been identified only as Eric, said at first that he was proud of his ability to enforce silence by using the jammer to disrupt reception.

But after an NBC10 reporter circled back to him and informed him that what he was doing was illegal, Cellphone Jammer Man said he would get rid of the device.

If he wants to sell it online, there should be plenty of potential buyers in the Tri-State area