Tuesday, January 6, 2004

Walkie-talkies popular on Tahoe slopes: "The two snowboarders who became lost near Heavenly Valley before Christmas who later were found with the aid of a walkie-talkie might owe their lives to the Family Radio Service. That possibility, and the headlines about it, seem to have spurred demand for the pocket-sized communicators.

"'People are really showing an interest,' Matt Kahler, a clerk at a Sparks Radio Shack store, said recently. Not just skiers, but motorcyclists, hikers and others have taken to the inexpensive devices. They’re being seen on the job, where they allow unlimited, no-cost short-range communication without the problems or fees of cell phones.

"FRS is even becoming common among shoppers, allowing families seeking the best deal on recliners or the perfect blue sweater to pillage a mall in a fraction of the time it would take using the conventional 'meet at the fountain in 45 minutes' technique."

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