Far from being the harmless displays of holiday cheer and good will towards men that their manufacturers would like us to believe, Christmas decorations are now being accused of hitting us where it hurts the most: our WiFi connections. According to a study done in a simulated office environment by Sunnyvale-based wireless network assurance firm AirMagnet Inc., all of those shiny ornaments, blinking lights, and inflatable monstrosities that people like to keep out for the entire Halloween through Easter time frame can actually decrease WiFi signal strength by up to 25% and increase signal deterioration over distances by one-third. It should be noted, however, that many other common objects can also interfere with wireless signals, so this study seems to be more about PR and less about a grand atheist conspiracy to cripple internet connectivity for the pious. It should also be noted that AirMagnet makes its money from selling products and services that analyze and troubleshoot your WLAN, which -- surprise, surprise -- are exactly what you'd need to combat this curse of the holiday decorations. Still, even if this study is completely self-serving, we're not taking any chances: from now on, the only holiday-related swag to grace the Engadget mansion will be a ratty, unadorned tree and a small menorah made out of marshmallows and peanut butter.
Xmas decorations said to degrade wireless signals: baby Jesus hates WiFi
Evan Blass|December 6, 2006 1:08 PM
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