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Examiners use spectrum analyzers to bust cellphone-packin' cheats

Joseph L. Flatley
January 12, 2011
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We don't see too many spectrum analyzers 'round these parts, and when we do the applications are usually pretty obscure. But catching cheating cheaters before they cheat again? That we can understand -- and apparently that's exactly what happened in Taiwan recently, when folks being tested for government jobs were overseen by folks packing a Rohde and Schwarz FSH4 spectrum analyzer. In addition to being a "closed book" test, this one was also a "closed phone" test, and the analyzers allowed examiners to listen for (and pinpoint the location of) mobile phone signals. As of right now, it looks like officials have uncovered three prospective cheaters, although additional evidence will have to be offered before a conclusion is made (perhaps they were just sexting). Can we offer a friendly word of advice? The next time you're taking a test somewhere, and the room is full of people outfitted with large spectrum analyzers and Secret Service-style earbuds, you'd probably want to take that as fair warning and turn off your celly.

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