2006_06_cellphone.jpgAwesome - that sound some British company developed to repel teenagers from hanging outside convenience stores is now a cellphone ring tone that teens are using at school. Since many schools frown on cells in the classroom, this seems tp be a way for kids to get away with being connected. But the NY Times offered this lesson:

Recently, in classes at Trinity and elsewhere, some students have begun testing the boundaries of their new technology. One place was Michelle Musorofiti's freshman honors math class at Roslyn High School on Long Island.

At Roslyn, as at most schools, cellphones must be turned off during class. But one morning last week, a high-pitched ring tone went off that set teeth on edge for anyone who could hear it. To the students' surprise, that group included their teacher.

"Whose cellphone is that?" Miss Musorofiti demanded, demonstrating that at 28, her ears had not lost their sensitivity to strangely annoying, high-pitched, though virtually inaudible tones.

"You can hear that?" one of them asked.

"Adults are not supposed to be able to hear that," said another, according to the teacher's account.

She had indeed heard that, Miss Musorofiti said, adding, "Now turn it off."

Busted! And let that be a lesson to the kids - 28 might be an "adult" but it's not old! We wonder what the long term implications of hearing this noise are - imagine, your homeroom full of kids with that terrible ringtone. And we imagine the NYC Department of Education will try to station spot checks of these cellphones by randomly stationing younger teachers during cafeteria duty.

The company, Compoung Security, that invented the "Mosquito" sound now offers the "official Mosquito ringtone." The NY Times also has an MP3 of the ringtone. In a sad testament to our advancing years, Gothamist can sort of hear it - but barely.