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(The New York Times)   The real danger of using electronic devices on an airplane: an increasing risk of becoming part of Fark headline, like Alec Baldwin, or that teenager that was punched by the 68 year old guy   (bits.blogs.nytimes.com) divider line 74
    More: Asinine, Alec Baldwin, Words With Friends, electronics, airplanes, electromagnetic waves, Walter Isaacson  
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3414 clicks; posted to Geek » on 05 Jan 2013 at 4:44 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-01-05 04:11:11 PM  
hey nick, keep using your toys on airplane so you can prove the FAA wrong, and quit your whining.
 
2013-01-05 04:26:33 PM  
Paschal's Wager can be applied to  number of different situations. Personally, I would err on the my personal safety on this issue.  I feel much safer gripping the armrests on takeoff or landing than clinging to my iphone.
 
2013-01-05 04:54:50 PM  
Until the FAA changes its rules on electronic devices, stop acting like self-entitled pricks and just turn off the farking iPad. You will survive the 15 minutes of ascension to cruising altitude without Fruit Ninja.
 
2013-01-05 05:00:47 PM  
I was on an airplane a few days ago and while I waited at the gate, some old asian gentleman waiting for the same flight was ralphing all over the seats uncontrollably. It was pretty nasty.
 
2013-01-05 05:01:00 PM  
We're flying in a Lockheed Eagle Series L-1011. Came off the line twenty months ago. Carries a Sim-5 transponder tracking system. And you're telling me I can still flummox this thing with something I bought at Radio Shack?
 
2013-01-05 05:01:08 PM  
This is a massive conspiracy to force everyone to read the SkyMall catalog.

Follow the money.
 
2013-01-05 05:03:43 PM  
I also seem to remember on 9/11 that people on the ground where receiving text messages and calls from loved ones on the planes before they crashed into the WTC. If using a cell phone can't bring down a plane during a terrorist attack then I don't see the real problem with them after take off or before landing.
 
2013-01-05 05:04:17 PM  

red5ish: We're flying in a Lockheed Eagle Series L-1011. Came off the line twenty months ago. Carries a Sim-5 transponder tracking system. And you're telling me I can still flummox this thing with something I bought at Radio Shack?


The wisdom of Toby Ziegler is never to be questioned.
 
2013-01-05 05:06:46 PM  
Repost, because get off my lawn.

It drives me NUTS every time someone brings up this argument.

Yes, the plane's instruments will survive interference from a few ipads and cells phones being active during takeoff. Yes, it will still probably be OK if every damned person is using one. Is there a ~chance~ that a few hundred radio emitting devices could screw with an instrument or two during flight? HELL YES. You are inside a giant wave-guide. Your little 1 watt transmitter is bouncing signals all over the place. Ever picked up a truckers CB on your car radio when he was right next to you? Similar principle.

I just wish the populous would understand that it isn't certain doom and gloom with the electronic rules. It's a potential risk. If there is a snowballs chance in hell that something could cause your plane to crash, even a 1 in 100,000 chance, why on earth would you fight so badly to take that chance?

If that isn't good enough a reason, think about it this way. If they allowed cell phones in flight, it wouldn't be long before some frequent flyer asshole sneaks a jammer on board because he's sick of listening to people jabber all night on his red-eye. Now we're really talking instrument issues. It's easier just to let the rules be.
 
2013-01-05 05:10:17 PM  
Point is that dumb laws just make it less likely that the sensible rules will be respected.

If pilots are using iPads right up the pointy end among all the so-called sensitive electronics, then FAA has accepted that they aren't a hazard.

And every flight will be carrying dozens of phones which haven't been switched off.
 
2013-01-05 05:12:20 PM  

italie: Repost, because get off my lawn.

It drives me NUTS every time someone brings up this argument.

Yes, the plane's instruments will survive interference from a few ipads and cells phones being active during takeoff. Yes, it will still probably be OK if every damned person is using one. Is there a ~chance~ that a few hundred radio emitting devices could screw with an instrument or two during flight? HELL YES. You are inside a giant wave-guide. Your little 1 watt transmitter is bouncing signals all over the place. Ever picked up a truckers CB on your car radio when he was right next to you? Similar principle.

I just wish the populous would understand that it isn't certain doom and gloom with the electronic rules. It's a potential risk. If there is a snowballs chance in hell that something could cause your plane to crash, even a 1 in 100,000 chance, why on earth would you fight so badly to take that chance?

If that isn't good enough a reason, think about it this way. If they allowed cell phones in flight, it wouldn't be long before some frequent flyer asshole sneaks a jammer on board because he's sick of listening to people jabber all night flight on his red-eye. Now we're really talking instrument issues. It's easier just to let the rules be.


FTF one more reason people shouldn't be fighting this.
 
2013-01-05 05:13:13 PM  

Ed Finnerty: This is a massive conspiracy to force everyone to read the SkyMall catalog.

Follow the money.


Kinda this.
The pressure to change the FAA must come from the Airlines,
And the airlines want to control the passenger (or rather, the passenger's money, they do get a kickback from SkyMall.)

You cant legally bring your own boozy nips to sip in flight, but you an buy them from the stewardess for, what's the going rate... $8 or something?
 
2013-01-05 05:25:41 PM  
I believe there is some evidence that using cellphones on airplanes can interfer with cellphone communications on the ground, in which case it would be considerate not to use your cellphone in the air (but less dangerous than the FAA believes), but the odds that a Kindle interfers with avionics or communications anywhere is slight.

The FAA was no doubt applying the precautionary principle--acting on the safe side until evidence piles up enough to be ensure the safety of using electronic devices on airplanes.

It could be argued that even without electronic interference, you should put your damn devices away during takeoffs and landings so you can pay attention to the instructions you may recieve, such as putting your tray in the upright position. Accidents mostly happen during takeoff and landing. It's best if your laptop and other devices aren't flying around the passenger compartment in the event of a rough landing or a crash during takeoff.

As for Pascal's Wager, I have my doubts about it. I believe it is full of begging the question fallacies and other logical bumpf. For one thing, if you should beleive in Pascal's God because he threatens you with an eternity of pain and suffering in Hell, then Pascal's Wager applies equally to anybody else's God who is a Royal SOB, including Allah and the Tetragramatton and possibly the many Hells of some Buddhist sects.

Any way, you are begging the question of the possibility of eternal damnation. Prove it. Prove there is a soul designed to suffer eternally. Prove that God operates that way and isn't the all-loving and all-forgiving God of so many other Christian sects including the Universalists. Prove that God doesn't give you a second chance or that reincarnation isn't an option.

Pascal's Wager is crap in my book. I think he should have stuck to mathematics, at which he was brilliant, but even great mathematicians and scientists seem to go gaga in their old age and Pascal, like Sir Isaac Newton, did most of his best work in his youth and then went religious on us, which is a shame, as none of their religious work really adds up to a pile of Napier's bones. Sir Isaac Newton made massive contributions to science and then wasted his mature years and decline on trying to calculate the date of the Apocalypse. It is still quite unlikely that he go it right, even though the date in quesiton hasn't been reached yet.

By the way, I am Subby and am gratified by the speed with which the mods greenlit this headline. I'm not saying it is a great headline, but it does mention Fark, a celebrity misbehaving, an issue that people take a personal interest in, and a teenager being punched in the face by an old codger, so it does give us some hints on how to get a quick greenlight, even with less than brilliant wit or topicality.

You're welcome. I could say "Your welcome" and troll the Grammar Nazis, but I will resist. I've said my say.
 
2013-01-05 05:30:36 PM  

italie: If there is a snowballs chance in hell that something could cause your plane to crash, even a 1 in 100,000 chance, why on earth would you fight so badly to take that chance?


If the chances were that high, we'd have a plane crash every 12 hours or so. (After all, on practically every flight some one does leave their phone turned on, so...)
 
2013-01-05 05:34:34 PM  
img708.imageshack.us
/what the future of electronics in passenger planes might look like
//I'll be in my holobunk
///source
 
2013-01-05 05:38:33 PM  

p4p3rm4t3: [img708.imageshack.us image 800x450]
/what the future of electronics in passenger planes might look like
//I'll be in my holobunk
///source


What am I looking at here? It is kind of hard to make out everything since it is a very active image, especially outside of the green fairway.
 
2013-01-05 05:43:11 PM  

brantgoose: I believe there is some evidence that using cellphones on airplanes can interfer with cellphone communications on the ground, in which case it would be considerate not to use your cellphone in the air (but less dangerous than the FAA believes), but the odds that a Kindle interfers with avionics or communications anywhere is slight.

The FAA was no doubt applying the precautionary principle--acting on the safe side until evidence piles up enough to be ensure the safety of using electronic devices on airplanes.


Because if it's one thing the FAA likes to do, it's wager peoples safety on "beliefs".


oh, and just for good measure:

profile.ak.fbcdn.net
 
2013-01-05 05:52:25 PM  
italie:
I just wish the populous would understand that it isn't certain doom and gloom with the electronic rules. It's a potential risk. If there is a snowballs chance in hell that something could cause your plane to crash, even a 1 in 100,000 chance, why on earth would you fight so badly to take that chance?
 If we all play the what-if game, why should any of us risk using cellphones? They could cause our cars to accelerate wildly, make our houses explode or make gay people want to get married (NTTAWWT). Just because nobody has proven 100% that these don't happen because of cellphones, its a risk to us all!


I'm all in favor of banning them during takeoff and landing due to people not paying attention, but to ban them under the guise of unproven danger with no evidence seems ridiculous.
 
2013-01-05 05:54:26 PM  

fredklein: italie: If there is a snowballs chance in hell that something could cause your plane to crash, even a 1 in 100,000 chance, why on earth would you fight so badly to take that chance?

If the chances were that high, we'd have a plane crash every 12 hours or so. (After all, on practically every flight some one does leave their phone turned on, so...)


Okay, allow me to rephrase.

Using these devices during takeoff increases your likelihood of meeting a fiery demise. That is fact. The odds could be increased by a ten of a percent, or by a billionth of a percent. in either case, why would you invite it? Are the other 200 people on board your flight OK with your decision?

It's not a black and white issue either. It's a numbers game as well. If 20 assholes leave there phone on, that may be an acceptable and expected level of interference. If the phone isn't in use the output will be a lot weaker as well. 200 people in active cell conversations or using wireless devices during takeoff would be a significant noise issue.
 
HBK
2013-01-05 05:58:01 PM  

DuudeStanky: italie:
I just wish the populous would understand that it isn't certain doom and gloom with the electronic rules. It's a potential risk. If there is a snowballs chance in hell that something could cause your plane to crash, even a 1 in 100,000 chance, why on earth would you fight so badly to take that chance?
 If we all play the what-if game, why should any of us risk using cellphones? They could cause our cars to accelerate wildly, make our houses explode or make gay people want to get married (NTTAWWT). Just because nobody has proven 100% that these don't happen because of cellphones, its a risk to us all!


I'm all in favor of banning them during takeoff and landing due to people not paying attention, but to ban them under the guise of unproven danger with no evidence seems ridiculous.


I always thought it was a safety issue. takeoff and landing are the two times the plane is most likely to crash- want people paying attention to instructions and buckled in rather than balls deep in farmville.
 
2013-01-05 06:11:41 PM  

DubyaHater: Until the FAA changes its rules on electronic devices, stop acting like self-entitled pricks and just turn off the farking iPad. You will survive the 15 minutes of ascension to cruising altitude without Fruit Ninja.


Pretty much. God forbid you read a book made of paper!
 
2013-01-05 06:19:43 PM  

DuudeStanky: italie:
I just wish the populous would understand that it isn't certain doom and gloom with the electronic rules. It's a potential risk. If there is a snowballs chance in hell that something could cause your plane to crash, even a 1 in 100,000 chance, why on earth would you fight so badly to take that chance?


 If we all play the what-if game, why should any of us risk using cellphones? They could cause our cars to accelerate wildly, make our houses explode or make gay people want to get married (NTTAWWT). Just because nobody has proven 100% that these don't happen because of cellphones, its a risk to us all!


I'm all in favor of banning them during takeoff and landing due to people not paying attention, but to ban them under the guise of unproven danger with no evidence seems ridiculous.



This is exactly what drives me batty. Blissful ignorance of the public on how things work, and silly argumentative statements supporting non-truths. You car doesn't run on a bevy of highly sensitive gauges and instruments (comparatively speaking). Your car isn't being fed data crucial to it's operation on a myriad of wireless frequencies. Most importantly, your car isn't airborne.

Also, to say the dangers are "unproven" is absolute verbal tripe. Ever hear the strange noises your cell phone pushes through your car speakers? It isn't a matter of ~if~ the danger of interference is there, it's a matter of how well the equipment is shielded from it. It takes MONTHS of testing to certify a single device as safe. They could waste all the time and money in the world, and still not have covered every scenario possible.
 
2013-01-05 06:50:12 PM  
From I've seen is that when you have hundreds of cell phone all signaling at once, trying to find a cell tower etc. It creates a background noise for the pilots headphones. Heck you've probably experienced the same thing by placing a cell phone close to a computer speaker, multiply that by a couple of hundred of phones in a big metal tube that focus the signals to the cockpit.
Non radio devices might to be reexamined. But, there's very little way to for a attendant to tell if your phone, or pad, is in airplane mode effectively.
 
2013-01-05 07:06:09 PM  

italie: fredklein: italie: If there is a snowballs chance in hell that something could cause your plane to crash, even a 1 in 100,000 chance, why on earth would you fight so badly to take that chance?

If the chances were that high, we'd have a plane crash every 12 hours or so. (After all, on practically every flight some one does leave their phone turned on, so...)

Okay, allow me to rephrase.

Using these devices during takeoff increases your likelihood of meeting a fiery demise. That is fact. The odds could be increased by a ten of a percent, or by a billionth of a percent. in either case, why would you invite it? Are the other 200 people on board your flight OK with your decision?

It's not a black and white issue either. It's a numbers game as well. If 20 assholes leave there phone on, that may be an acceptable and expected level of interference. If the phone isn't in use the output will be a lot weaker as well. 200 people in active cell conversations or using wireless devices during takeoff would be a significant noise issue.


You keeping using the word "fact." I do not think it means what you think it means. That's part of the point of the article. There's no actual basis for suggesting that a Kindle actually threatens the plane. And if it could, the pilots wouldn't be using them... which they are.
 
2013-01-05 07:13:33 PM  

DubyaHater: Until the FAA changes its rules on electronic devices, stop acting like self-entitled pricks and just turn off the farking iPad. You will survive the 15 minutes of ascension to cruising altitude without Fruit Ninja.


Poor whiny Alec can't go that long. He's like a 13 year old girl. Another spoiled liberal simply above the law.
 
2013-01-05 07:32:07 PM  
I will continue to listen to the theme music to Jonny Quest on my mp3 during every takeoff as I have for years. 100's of flights. Haven't crashed yet. And the music is the most perfect takeoff soundtrack EVAR! Peaks just as the aircraft lifts off. They should play it on the PA to add extra drama to the exciting miracle that is takeoff....
 
2013-01-05 07:39:06 PM  
The interaction of EMR (ElectroMagetic Radiation) can be predicted mathematically. There are many companies that do this professionally related to the installation of large-scale WiFi systems for facilities and cities. All of these electronic devices are rated by the FCC before they can be sold commercially. The frequencies these devices produce are known and that data can be used to determine the effects of an entire range of devices without the individual testing of each one. It's not like the EMF and RF of an iPad is radically different from that of a Kindle (when both have the same type of internal RF hardware).

You should be more worried about the effects of ionizing radiation exposure from high altitude flight than if your Kindle is going to cause a problem.
 
2013-01-05 07:48:52 PM  
I read the headline and thought to myself that Alec Baldwin looks pretty good for 68.
 
2013-01-05 07:51:16 PM  

italie: The odds could be increased by a ten of a percent, or by a billionth of a percent. in either case, why would you invite it?


Because there are lots of other factors that affect the odds by a lot more. As you cross the street, are you worried about getting hit by a meteorite? No- you're worried about getting hit by a car. If your chance of getting hit by a meteorite goes up from 1/100000000000000 to 2/100000000000000, are you really going to freak out about it when the chance of getting hit by a car is 1/80???
 
2013-01-05 07:55:21 PM  

LazarusLong42: italie: fredklein: italie: If there is a snowballs chance in hell that something could cause your plane to crash, even a 1 in 100,000 chance, why on earth would you fight so badly to take that chance?

If the chances were that high, we'd have a plane crash every 12 hours or so. (After all, on practically every flight some one does leave their phone turned on, so...)

Okay, allow me to rephrase.

Using these devices during takeoff increases your likelihood of meeting a fiery demise. That is fact. The odds could be increased by a ten of a percent, or by a billionth of a percent. in either case, why would you invite it? Are the other 200 people on board your flight OK with your decision?

It's not a black and white issue either. It's a numbers game as well. If 20 assholes leave there phone on, that may be an acceptable and expected level of interference. If the phone isn't in use the output will be a lot weaker as well. 200 people in active cell conversations or using wireless devices during takeoff would be a significant noise issue.

You keeping using the word "fact." I do not think it means what you think it means. That's part of the point of the article. There's no actual basis for suggesting that a Kindle actually threatens the plane. And if it could, the pilots wouldn't be using them... which they are.



If the kindle (or any other device) has a wireless transmitter of ANY kind, it has the potential to interfere with other devices susceptible to radio interference. That_is_fact. There is no arguing or disproving that statement.

There are two main ways you are going to increase your odds of interfering with instrumentation. Amplitude, and quantity. Lets take those two scenarios and personify them so that laypeople can understand. Say you are in a large auditorium, trying to talk to a friend ten feet away. Lets say that you both have no control over the volume of your voices, and can only speak in at a firm but normal volume.

AMPLITUDE:
Empty auditorium, easy conversation. 10 people scattered about the auditorium talking as well, still an easy conversation. AC/DC playing on stage? You are no longer able to communicate with your friend. Obviously amplitude is not the main concern aboard an airplane, as most people won't be bringing a ham radio and a linear with them as a personal electronic device. Still, it's a possibility, and flight attendants have no way of knowing what exactly Johnny Hacker has done to his PED.

QUANTITY:
This one is a little bit tricky, but still relatable. Say you are still in the auditorium, the warm up band has just finished, but AC/DC isn't on stage yet. 20,000 people have filled the stadium, and all are talking at about the same level as you. While it's possible you can still communicate with your friend, the conversation is more difficult. You may not hear certain words, and he/she struggle to differentiate your voice from 19,998 others.

It's a numbers game to determine what is "safe". A numbers game that has many unknown variables, constantly changing. The FAA doesn't Fark with "safe". You should oblige the paltry rules currently in place, and not tempt being the lucky one in a billion asswipe that got 200 people killed over a game of words-with-friends.
 
2013-01-05 08:00:42 PM  

fredklein: italie: The odds could be increased by a ten of a percent, or by a billionth of a percent. in either case, why would you invite it?

Because there are lots of other factors that affect the odds by a lot more. As you cross the street, are you worried about getting hit by a meteorite? No- you're worried about getting hit by a car. If your chance of getting hit by a meteorite goes up from 1/100000000000000 to 2/100000000000000, are you really going to freak out about it when the chance of getting hit by a car is 1/80???


If you are telling me I have a controlling say over weather my odds are 1/100000000000000 or 2/100000000000000 of dying, I will choose the first every time. Especially if the price is something as simple as turning my ipad off for 7 minutes.
 
2013-01-05 08:15:23 PM  

italie: fredklein: italie: If there is a snowballs chance in hell that something could cause your plane to crash, even a 1 in 100,000 chance, why on earth would you fight so badly to take that chance?

If the chances were that high, we'd have a plane crash every 12 hours or so. (After all, on practically every flight some one does leave their phone turned on, so...)

Okay, allow me to rephrase.

Using these devices during takeoff increases your likelihood of meeting a fiery demise. That is fact. The odds could be increased by a ten of a percent, or by a billionth of a percent. in either case, why would you invite it? Are the other 200 people on board your flight OK with your decision?

It's not a black and white issue either. It's a numbers game as well. If 20 assholes leave there phone on, that may be an acceptable and expected level of interference. If the phone isn't in use the output will be a lot weaker as well. 200 people in active cell conversations or using wireless devices during takeoff would be a significant noise issue.


Something happens during a landing where the cabin is full of smoke. This isn't an electronic issue, but you hear stories of this kind of thing happening every now and then.

The flight crew is trying to keep the pace of everyone moving out of the plane in orderly fashion. Do you really want to be behind 8 people who are holding up the line twittering the event as the cabin fills with smoke? Not paying attention to orders being issued? Because that's what's going to happen in the case of weird situations where everyone is connected during a flight all of the time.
 
2013-01-05 08:58:58 PM  

italie: LazarusLong42:
You keeping using the word "fact." I do not think it means what you think it means. That's part of the point of the article. There's no actual basis for suggesting that a Kindle actually threatens the plane. And if it could, the pilots wouldn't be using them... which they are.

If the kindle (or any other device) has a wireless transmitter of ANY kind, it has the potential to interfere with other devices susceptible to radio interference. That_is_fact. There is no arguing or disproving that statement.


Then why the hell is the FAA allowing pilots to use iPads in the cockpit of all places? If my Kindle in row 26 could potentially interfere with the instruments in the cockpit 50 meters away, why are the pilots using similar devices 1 meter away--with 2500 times less attenuation? Certainly the FAA should be worried about those, right?

Also, while your sound analogy is somewhat good, it ignores two major things. First, the electronic devices in question are closer in "volume" to you and your friends compared to the air traffic controllers' AC/DC on stage. Second, because of the way our ears work, different sound frequencies interfere with one another. Radio receivers can be tuned to very specific frequencies, though; otherwise AM/FM radio wouldn't work. And since non-FAA transmitters aren't going to be able to operate on FAA bands--because the FCC wouldn't certify the device if they could--there's not going to be any interference. Information transmission over radio doesn't work that way.
 
2013-01-05 09:02:57 PM  
I'm surprised no one mentioned yet that it's actually the FCC that doesn't want people to use cell phones on airplanes.

Also, I find the author's reference to the NASA report disingenuous because the it's just a list of anecdotes. If there is no attempt to produce scientific evidence, it doesn't support your case to say, "See, no scientific evidence here!"
 
2013-01-05 09:25:58 PM  

mark12A: I will continue to listen to the theme music to Jonny Quest on my mp3 during every takeoff as I have for years. 100's of flights. Haven't crashed yet. And the music is the most perfect takeoff soundtrack EVAR! Peaks just as the aircraft lifts off. They should play it on the PA to add extra drama to the exciting miracle that is takeoff....


So. Brave.
 
2013-01-05 09:28:32 PM  
I would be perfectly happy if they continue to prohibit the use of cellphones, but allow other devices like Kindles, mp3 players, and tablets. Until I see some kind of scientific evidence that they're a danger, I'm gonna keep saying that the FAA is full of shiat and just being stubborn about this. And I don't buy that "if there's even ANY chance..." argument. I'm still, by orders of magnitude, more likely to be killed in a car accident on the way to the airport.

The "people need to pay attention during takeoff and landing" argument doesn't hold water either. Most people who fly have done it many times before, they know the drill. Even if I have my headphones on, I can hear if there's an announcement, and I'm constantly having to pause my iPod to figure out if it's important or just one of the usual bullshiat spiels. On my last trip, they did a two or three minute sales pitch for the airline's credit card. Seriously.
 
2013-01-05 09:52:07 PM  

LazarusLong42: italie: LazarusLong42:
You keeping using the word "fact." I do not think it means what you think it means. That's part of the point of the article. There's no actual basis for suggesting that a Kindle actually threatens the plane. And if it could, the pilots wouldn't be using them... which they are.

If the kindle (or any other device) has a wireless transmitter of ANY kind, it has the potential to interfere with other devices susceptible to radio interference. That_is_fact. There is no arguing or disproving that statement.

Then why the hell is the FAA allowing pilots to use iPads in the cockpit of all places? If my Kindle in row 26 could potentially interfere with the instruments in the cockpit 50 meters away, why are the pilots using similar devices 1 meter away--with 2500 times less attenuation? Certainly the FAA should be worried about those, right?

Also, while your sound analogy is somewhat good, it ignores two major things. First, the electronic devices in question are closer in "volume" to you and your friends compared to the air traffic controllers' AC/DC on stage. Second, because of the way our ears work, different sound frequencies interfere with one another. Radio receivers can be tuned to very specific frequencies, though; otherwise AM/FM radio wouldn't work. And since non-FAA transmitters aren't going to be able to operate on FAA bands--because the FCC wouldn't certify the device if they could--there's not going to be any interference. Information transmission over radio doesn't work that way.



The primary sensor/pickup/antenna for any particular instrument might very well be right underneath you in row 26, or to your side on the wing. You could in fact be in a better position to interfere than the pilots are. You are also ignoring one vs many devices, and the idea that you are essentially inside a giant wave-guide.

The analogy isn't perfect, but the only way I could think of to relate the idea. The "volume" of the traffic controllers signals may be substantially different, but the transmitter is also much further away. By the time the signal hits the receiver, the difference in "volume" may not be as far apart as you would think.

As for the second part of your argument, harmonics and reflections are a funny thing. A transmitter picks up a signal in much the same way your ear does. Most of the tuning is done post reception, interference and all. There are means to lessen the effects of interference, but short of certifying every device that enters the cabin...you can't control them all.

Side note: An airplane full of laptops and cell phones has been show in testing to exceed a "safe" EM noise level. They haven't found a direct link to any system failure in testing, but the potential is there. Controlling that potential at crucial points of the flight is pretty much why the rules of today exist.
 
2013-01-05 10:06:05 PM  

Mr. Chainsaw: I would be perfectly happy if they continue to prohibit the use of cellphones, but allow other devices like Kindles, mp3 players, and tablets. Until I see some kind of scientific evidence that they're a danger, I'm gonna keep saying that the FAA is full of shiat and just being stubborn about this. And I don't buy that "if there's even ANY chance..." argument. I'm still, by orders of magnitude, more likely to be killed in a car accident on the way to the airport.

The "people need to pay attention during takeoff and landing" argument doesn't hold water either. Most people who fly have done it many times before, they know the drill. Even if I have my headphones on, I can hear if there's an announcement, and I'm constantly having to pause my iPod to figure out if it's important or just one of the usual bullshiat spiels. On my last trip, they did a two or three minute sales pitch for the airline's credit card. Seriously.


http://www.boeing.com/commercial/aeromagazine/aero_10/interfere_text on ly.html

What more proof do you want, aside from a lesson in physics? I'll clip out some of the better parts, as not to keep you surfing Fark for too long while driving down the highway.


Ground and airplane tests of in-seat power.[Laptops plugged in to seat outlets]
" The noise levels were above the airplane equipment emission levels from 150 kHz to 500 MHz. Even though these computers did not cause any airplane system anomalies, Boeing has observed airplane antenna receiver susceptibility from "noisy" systems with levels significantly lower than those recorded by the laptop computers used in the tests."

Cell phone tests and analysis.
"The laboratory results indicated that the phones not only produce emissions at the operating frequency, but also produce other emissions that fall within airplane communication/navigation frequency bands (automatic direction finder, high frequency, very high frequency [VHF] omni range/locator, and VHF communications and instrument landing system [ILS]). Emissions at the operating frequency were as high as 60 dB over the airplane equipment emission limits, but the other emissions were generally within airplane equipment emission limits. One concern about these other emissions from cell phones is that they may interfere with the operation of an airplane communication or navigation system if the levels are high enough."

1998, 747 airplane.
"A passenger's palmtop computer ...Boeing laboratory emission testing revealed that the unit exceeded Boeing airplane equipment emission levels by up to 37 dB by demonstrating energy levels in the frequency range of 150 to 700 kHz."
 
2013-01-05 10:14:10 PM  
Aside from the regulation being completely unnecessary, there's a great reason to do away with this regulation - the perpetuation of bullshiat.

It reminds me of those "turn off your cell phone while pumping gas" stickers I see on the pump. Which lead me to run into people who honestly believe that cell phones have anything to do with what cause gas pump fires. Which causes them to NOT learn the real reason (ESD), which does two things: 1) makes them look like an idiot, and 2) prevents them from learning to discharge static before touching the pump, thus increasing their chance of causing a fire.

I don't think the FAA electronic device regulation can be tied to stupidity quite so easily, but it's essentially the same - it's a cause for the dumb masses to not learn how technology work. At least I can say I haven't heard recently claim that 802.11 will give them cancer.
 
2013-01-05 10:28:33 PM  
Can you imagine being confined to a seat, with your ear 12" away from one side of a stranger's phone call for 3,4 or 12 hours?

No cell phones on planes, please. Ever.

If they want, they can install a booth beside the washroom and charge $5 a minute for access.
 
2013-01-05 10:38:43 PM  

italie: fredklein: italie: The odds could be increased by a ten of a percent, or by a billionth of a percent. in either case, why would you invite it?

Because there are lots of other factors that affect the odds by a lot more. As you cross the street, are you worried about getting hit by a meteorite? No- you're worried about getting hit by a car. If your chance of getting hit by a meteorite goes up from 1/100000000000000 to 2/100000000000000, are you really going to freak out about it when the chance of getting hit by a car is 1/80???

If you are telling me I have a controlling say over weather my odds are 1/100000000000000 or 2/100000000000000 of dying, I will choose the first every time. Especially if the price is something as simple as turning my ipad off for 7 minutes.


Are you wearing a helmet right now? Because there's a non-zero chance of a chunk of the ceiling breaking off, hitting you on the head, and causing permanent brain damage or death without a helmet.

Why take the chance?
 
2013-01-05 10:53:01 PM  

trialpha: italie: fredklein: italie: The odds could be increased by a ten of a percent, or by a billionth of a percent. in either case, why would you invite it?

Because there are lots of other factors that affect the odds by a lot more. As you cross the street, are you worried about getting hit by a meteorite? No- you're worried about getting hit by a car. If your chance of getting hit by a meteorite goes up from 1/100000000000000 to 2/100000000000000, are you really going to freak out about it when the chance of getting hit by a car is 1/80???

If you are telling me I have a controlling say over weather my odds are 1/100000000000000 or 2/100000000000000 of dying, I will choose the first every time. Especially if the price is something as simple as turning my ipad off for 7 minutes.

Are you wearing a helmet right now? Because there's a non-zero chance of a chunk of the ceiling breaking off, hitting you on the head, and causing permanent brain damage or death without a helmet.

Why take the chance?


The points you are arguing are nonsensical, and I haven't even filled my whiskey glass yet.
 
2013-01-05 11:03:38 PM  

italie: Mr. Chainsaw: I would be perfectly happy if they continue to prohibit the use of cellphones, but allow other devices like Kindles, mp3 players, and tablets. Until I see some kind of scientific evidence that they're a danger, I'm gonna keep saying that the FAA is full of shiat and just being stubborn about this. And I don't buy that "if there's even ANY chance..." argument. I'm still, by orders of magnitude, more likely to be killed in a car accident on the way to the airport.

The "people need to pay attention during takeoff and landing" argument doesn't hold water either. Most people who fly have done it many times before, they know the drill. Even if I have my headphones on, I can hear if there's an announcement, and I'm constantly having to pause my iPod to figure out if it's important or just one of the usual bullshiat spiels. On my last trip, they did a two or three minute sales pitch for the airline's credit card. Seriously.

http://www.boeing.com/commercial/aeromagazine/aero_10/interfere_text on ly.html

What more proof do you want, aside from a lesson in physics? I'll clip out some of the better parts, as not to keep you surfing Fark for too long while driving down the highway.


Ground and airplane tests of in-seat power.[Laptops plugged in to seat outlets]
" The noise levels were above the airplane equipment emission levels from 150 kHz to 500 MHz. Even though these computers did not cause any airplane system anomalies, Boeing has observed airplane antenna receiver susceptibility from "noisy" systems with levels significantly lower than those recorded by the laptop computers used in the tests."

Cell phone tests and analysis.
"The laboratory results indicated that the phones not only produce emissions at the operating frequency, but also produce other emissions that fall within airplane communication/navigation frequency bands (automatic direction finder, high frequency, very high frequency [VHF] omni range/locator, and VHF communications and instrument la ...


I like how you cut out all the parts where they said that they did not observe any susceptibility or system anomalies on the aircraft in any of the tests.
 
2013-01-05 11:08:59 PM  

whatshisname: Can you imagine being confined to a seat, with your ear 12" away from one side of a stranger's phone call for 3,4 or 12 hours?

No cell phones on planes, please. Ever.

If they want, they can install a booth beside the washroom and charge $5 a minute for access.


As someone that has had to listen to some insipid conversations prior to take off, I agree completely.
 
2013-01-05 11:18:00 PM  
Mr. Chainsaw: italie:

Ground and airplane tests of in-seat power.[Laptops plugged in to seat outlets]
" The noise levels were above the airplane equipment emission levels from 150 kHz to 500 MHz. Even though these computers did not cause any airplane system anomalies, Boeing has observed airplane antenna receiver susceptibility from "noisy" systems with levels significantly lower than those recorded by the laptop computers used in the tests."

I like how you cut out all the parts where they said that they did not observe any susceptibility or system anomalies on the aircraft in any of the tests.


You mean aside from the portion where I directly quoted that?

The point of the quoted text was to show you "scientific evidence that they're a danger". The quoted text is potential for exactly that. I've never been in an accident on my way to the airport, but I know that my car is capable of that danger.
 
2013-01-05 11:30:12 PM  

italie: Mr. Chainsaw: italie:

Ground and airplane tests of in-seat power.[Laptops plugged in to seat outlets]
" The noise levels were above the airplane equipment emission levels from 150 kHz to 500 MHz. Even though these computers did not cause any airplane system anomalies, Boeing has observed airplane antenna receiver susceptibility from "noisy" systems with levels significantly lower than those recorded by the laptop computers used in the tests."

I like how you cut out all the parts where they said that they did not observe any susceptibility or system anomalies on the aircraft in any of the tests.


You mean aside from the portion where I directly quoted that?

The point of the quoted text was to show you "scientific evidence that they're a danger". The quoted text is potential for exactly that. I've never been in an accident on my way to the airport, but I know that my car is capable of that danger.


No, it showed that, under laboratory conditions, those devices can potentially produce signals that are beyond the tolerances of the plane. There's nothing that says "these devices were tested under practical conditions and caused an anomaly in the actual aircraft." The incidents referenced in that article are mostly anecdotal, and those same errors could not be replicated under identical conditions. Call me crazy, but that doesn't worry me.
 
2013-01-05 11:37:59 PM  
While I can appreciate the various arguments that there is a potential for interference, I find it quite ironic and frustrating that when flying planes that support in flight WIFI that the wireless networks are still up and running during takeoff and landing.  While the internet may be "blocked" they are indeed transmitting during those times. I fail to see how that is any less dangerous than a Kindle or for that matter even a cell phone.

So it would seem we don't have to worry about someone crashing a plane from leaving their Kindle on, instead the airlines will do it for us with the WIFI.
 
2013-01-05 11:51:21 PM  

italie: trialpha: italie: fredklein: italie: The odds could be increased by a ten of a percent, or by a billionth of a percent. in either case, why would you invite it?

Because there are lots of other factors that affect the odds by a lot more. As you cross the street, are you worried about getting hit by a meteorite? No- you're worried about getting hit by a car. If your chance of getting hit by a meteorite goes up from 1/100000000000000 to 2/100000000000000, are you really going to freak out about it when the chance of getting hit by a car is 1/80???

If you are telling me I have a controlling say over weather my odds are 1/100000000000000 or 2/100000000000000 of dying, I will choose the first every time. Especially if the price is something as simple as turning my ipad off for 7 minutes.

Are you wearing a helmet right now? Because there's a non-zero chance of a chunk of the ceiling breaking off, hitting you on the head, and causing permanent brain damage or death without a helmet.

Why take the chance?

The points you are arguing are nonsensical, and I haven't even filled my whiskey glass yet.


Fine, I'll humor you and explain. I was pointing out the absurdity of your statement above, by giving a ridiculous example. Specifically - if you always take the action that will reduce your odds of dying - even if those odds are insignificant - then you should be wearing a helmet at all times. Something could fall and hit your head, after all. Thus, if you are not wearing a helmet right now, you have taken the choice that results in a higher probability of death, and your statement is false.
 
2013-01-06 12:04:43 AM  

italie: Using these devices during takeoff increases your likelihood of meeting a fiery demise. That is fact. The odds could be increased by a ten of a percent, or by a billionth of a percent. in either case, why would you invite it?


The odds can still be so low as to be improbable that there will ever be a single fatality within the lifetime of the universe.

Plus, there are plenty of things each of us does that increases our risk of death by some amount. Just being on that plane and absorbing the extra four or five millirem of cosmic radiation is going to increase your risk of death by cancer by more than a billionth of a percent. Every time you take a shower, you increase your risk of death by a small amount - the bathroom is the most dangerous room in the house, particularly during showering.

And don't even think about driving - or even being a passenger in a car. That's the most dangerous of your daily activities, and far more dangerous than a plane flight.

If you worry about every trivial increase to your risk of death, you'd never do anything.
 
2013-01-06 12:25:56 AM  

Mr. Chainsaw:
No, it showed that, under laboratory conditions, those devices can potentially produce signals that are beyond the tolerances of the plane. There's nothing that says "these devices were tested under practical conditions and caused an anomaly in the actual aircraft." The incidents referenced in that article are mostly anecdotal, and those same errors could not be replicated under identical conditions. Call me crazy, but that doesn't worry me.


Just because you can't duplicate something in a lab doesn't negate it's existence. If the signal of your noise is greater than the signal of your source, you have an issue. That issue ~was~ duplicated in a lab. While it doesn't prove that EM interference can interrupt an aircraft's normal operation, it conclusively proves that the aircraft can be put in a susceptible position to said interference. It is a danger. The consequences of said danger are inconclusive. "Inconclusive" is not synonymous with "ignore" at 30K feet.

//There are reasons us in the electronics industry have the saying "At least we aren't flying these things".
 
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