The BBC has announced the launch of it’s ‘BBC micro:bit’ – a revolutionary palm/pocket sized portable computer which it is generously offering to provide to each and every child between the ages of 11-12 in the UK! “Great” you might think if you’re a struggling parent, “a free computer!” However, it may not be as innocent as it seems and there are many things a responsible parent needs to know that the ‘industries’ won’t tell (because they only really care about their profits, let’s face it).
I decided to do a little digging on the subject and hope to provide here access to important information every parent/grandparent or anyone ‘caring’ for a child, not just those in the UK, should know about how the technology may affect their children (is affecting already a large proportion – knowingly or unknowingly). What I provide further down is not exhaustive as there really aren’t enough hours in any number of days to collect ALL the information and ALL the videos on this subject. But, it may offer some incentive to look further; or if you wish to continue to bury your head in the sand hoping someone else will do all the work for you and it will all go away and we can all live in a land far-far away…happily ever after 🙂
From the perspective of the above ‘gift’ here’s what’s on offer:
Here’s what the spec’s for the wonderfully sounding ‘Bluetooth low energy’ are…and where I found them…eventually, right at the bottom (!):
Note: THERE ARE NO WARNINGS ABOUT THE USE OF THIS MICROWAVE EMITTING TECHNOLOGY despite the fact that WHO (World Health Organisation) and IARC (International Agency for Research on Cancer) have classified Magnetic fields (ELF’s = electricity in general, for example overhead power lines and in simple terms ‘dirty electricity’, which comes from old/faulty wiring and appliances, power adaptors, CFL bulbs and even from multi-plug extensions) and Radio Frequency electromagnetic fields (RF, another name for EMF and all part of the same part of the spectrum) as Group 2B-the agent is possibly carcinogenic to humans.
There is nothing promoting the safe use of wireless technology in either the safety guidelines for kids or parents & teachers… Nothing to state that the device should be kept away from the body…if, as I suspect the Bluetooth is ‘ON’ all the time. Oh, did I not mention that yet? The description of the microbit also specifically states ‘Bluetooth low energy radio’. This is a great marketing angle. I can almost hear the cries of “Low energy, cool! That means we’re being green and helping the environment”. Excuse me if I reply ‘Bhah Humbug!”. Now I could be wrong about the ‘ON’ status, so don’t quote me on it, it’s just my opinion; especially as:
The Bluetooth Low Energy Anntena with no obvious ‘on/off’ button is stated to be:
“…for a messaging service, built for the Internet of Things so that devices can talk to each other. The BBC micro:bit is a peripheral device which can talk to a central device like a smart phone or tablet that has Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE). The BBC micro:bit can send signals and receive signals from a central device so another BLE device can control the BBC micro:bit or the micro:bit can control another BLE device.”
The Internet of Things, if you’re wondering:
“…was first talked about more than 15 years ago, when it was speculated that objects and people would be able to connect wirelessly over the internet. Objects can be detected and controlled remotely, allowing greater integration between the physical and computer based world. It will let you to remotely control your alarm system, thermostat or lights in your home. It has many applications in different fields including manufacturing, health and fitness, consumer electronics and the home.”
So now we have a device that is not only a possible health risk to all users and all those who are around the users because of the emissions from it and the phones/tablets/devices/appliances connected to it, but it looks like this is another way of ‘Big Brother’ infiltrating all nooks and crannies of our lives. Plus it’s openly stated that using this feature, not only can the microbit talk to any central device like a smart phone or tablet which has Bluetooth Low Energy or BLE, as they call it, but then other BLE devices can then control the microbit or vice-versa. This to me smacks of there being the opportunity for anyone to be able to know where a particular microbit is (aka where the operator or child is) and what they are doing. It could lead to all sorts of troubles that don’t bear thinking about. Perhaps another step closer to RFID implants ???! There is also a really long section in the ‘Have a question’ segment of the website on ‘Community Guidelines’ and I wonder if all users (aka 11-12 year olds, parents and teachers) will read this before signing for receipt of their microbit. along with extensive safety information…which should, I feel, not allow for the sue of the technology unless supervised by a responsible adult – especially as you shouldn’t touch the exposed circuits with wet fingers when it’s connected or touch it with a metal object. You can just see how that goes with some kids…”Don’t touch that!”…”OUCH!!”…”I told you not to touch it!” 🙂
However, the main point of this post is to educate on the dangers of wireless technology pertaining to children, so let’s get on with that because, to be very honest, when I watched some of the videos of the classroom scenarios and saw all those young children amongst all those laptops and computers connected to the internet by wifi I almost fainted. I can’t even be in a room with the router on, let alone with twenty odd devices connected, and I bet they nearly all had a mobile in their pocket or bag too….AARGH!!!
Let me take a deep breath and breeeeathe…
Oh, before we move on, here’s a useless abstract fact for you :):
‘Ble’ in French is wheat, which we now know is also bad for your health being that it’s mostly GMO, sprayed with harmful chemicals, in almost all processed foods along with GMO corn and soya, and is an appetite stimulant! 😉
Now, if you haven’t already heard, microwaves are not good for you. In fact the growing pollution of EMF’s (electromagnetic frequency) or to put it bluntly MICROWAVES is affecting all living organisms – along with the other pollutants in the air and water but which aren’t part of this post (Chemitrails, GMO’s, Fluoride…etc).
And if you don’t believe me when I say that the Bluetooth technology is not good for the health of the children, and especially as kids will be kids and no doubt will all use the Bluetooth at the same time (and by the way I couldn’t find any instructions on how to operate the Bluetooth, so does that mean that it’s ON all the time?); or that wifi is bad for everyone but especially children, then please take a few minutes to watch the following short and informative videos. Specifically watch the one where the children affected by wireless technology speak out for themselves, you may just recognise what they have experienced as being something a child (or teacher) you know is experiencing. The last one is longer but definitely worth a watch as Barrie Trower is a great advocate of safe technology for children:
Safe Use of Technology – Wifi in Schools Australia
Safe & Smart 4 Kids – reduce wireless radiation
Wifi in schools – The Facts
Health Dangers of Wifi in Schools
Children Speak out on Wifi Symptoms
Dr. Devra Davis – Cell Phones are not Toys!
Barrie Trower – The Dangers of Microwave Technology
On a final note, I wonder if any of you will agree that the information provided for kids, parents and teachers alike for this new gadget, which ALL kids 11-12 years old will have very soon, lacks the information that adults need to be allowed to make an informed choice about what they should or should not allow their children access to.
- It doesn’t provide any safety guidelines relating to the use of the microbit with wireless technology either in or out of the school environment, that I could easily find anyway – this in itself is irresponsible!
- It hides the fact (by ommission) that Bluetooth technology, whether it’s low energy or not, emits EMF radiation on a level equal to that of weather radars, microwave ovens, mobile phones and wireless LAN. In fact it’s in the same band of frequency as that used by NASA to communicate with the Space Shuttle! Now how can that be good?
The microbit may have it’s plus points in that it gets kids excited about technology, that it encourages teamwork and interaction, that it sparks creativity but there are ways and means of doing that safely and responsibly using computers in the classroom/home connected to the internet using ethernet cables and by providing sensible and accurate information to parents and teachers about the Bluetooth element and possible consequences of excessive and continuous use. That’s my bug bear about this!
Here are a couple of great images which show just where BLE at a frequency range of 2402 to 2480MHz-Megahertz (or 2.4 – 2.5 GHz-Gigahertz…in case you hadn’t got that one as they always change the measurements to confuse people). While it may be worded as ‘Radio’ you can clearly see that this is in fact well into ‘Microwave’ territory.
By Inductiveload, NASA – self-made, information by NASABased off of File:EM_Spectrum3-new.jpg by NASAThe butterfly icon is from the P icon set, P biology.svgThe humans are from the Pioneer plaque, Human.svgThe buildings are the Petronas towers and the Empire State Buildings, both from Skyscrapercompare.svg, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=2974242
By Victor Blacus – SVG version of File:Electromagnetic-Spectrum.png, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=22428451
Hope this helps to spread some awareness so that at least a few kids might have a chance of keep a clear head 🙂
Love & light
Louise (aka Mermie)